Sexist is as sexist does

September 4, 2008

There’s a lot of discussion about whether the press is being unfair to Sarah Palin in the ususal liberal sorts of ways, but also speficially whether a lot of the treatmenet of her is sexist:

Should Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — a mother of five children, including a special-needs infant — have accepted the vice presidential slot on the Republican ticket? Is it sexist to even ask such a question? The conversation transcends traditional party lines.

Anne-Marie Nichols, a Democratic in Fort Collins who writes a blog called A Mama’s Rant, supports the Republican’s decision.

“She’s the luckiest woman in the world if she gets that job,” Nichols said. “She’ll have babysitters, chefs, maids, chauffeurs, health care.”

But others, such as talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlesinger, a social conservative, are critical.

“What kind of role model is a woman whose fifth child was recently born with a serious issue, Down syndrome, and then goes back to the job of governor within days of the birth?” she wrote on her blog, noting that she still intended to vote for Palin running mate John McCain.

It is true that male candidates are never challenged on whether they can balance the office and family the way female candidates are. But is that really “sexist,” since it pretty much reflects reality? The fact is that working women usually don’t get much help from their husbands — they come home from the office and are still expected to do most of the housework and child-rearing. The further truth is that many in the audience for Palin’s speech believe that’s the way it should be — or that the women shouldn’t leave the home fires for “outside” work in the first place. When did they get religion? And I’ve been in “the press” long enough to know most of them are on the other side of the equality and choice issue, so why they do they keep repeating the question of Plain?

This is a good debate to have. I just don’t think it’s possible to have it in the midst of partisan meltdown.

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2 Responses to “Sexist is as sexist does”

  1. tim zank Says:

    There’s an absolute sh&^load of us (republican/conservative)families in this country that have 3 (or more) kids to raise and two working parents. My wife doesn’t cook, shuttle the kids, or do the laundry, I do.
    She is much more tied to an office than I, and it would be grossly unfair of me to toss all that on her. Besides I’m a much better cook, but seriously, a lot of us have high powered wives and we don’t begrudge them that, we help out like any decent human being would. I left a career that kept me in the office from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. six days a week and found a more flexible way to make a living so I could do all those things. Those that can, do. Those that can’t bitch.

    As for Dr. Laura (and I use that term “Dr.” loosely) she’s full of sh%# as well. A downs syndrome baby requires no more effort than a non-downs baby. They all cry, eat, crap and sleep until almost 2 years of age. After that, she has an ample support system in place and the income and time to tend to his “special” needs.

  2. gadfly Says:

    Dr. Laura needs to keep her clothes on and her nose out of other peoples business. She certainly has enough problems with her son to occupy her time, mouth and energy.

    Dr. Melissa Clothier (she is a chiropractor) writes about blatant sexism on her blog:

    There is no question Sarah Palin will be able to handle this disgusting desperate display, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t fight it. So, I need your help. I’m going to start this myself. And you can add your own in the comments and I’ll post the good ones.

    Here is what I just heard on the radio. KTRH, where Rush finds his home in Houston, put up a poll. The question on the website:

    Many women, citing their own difficulties, say it’s impossible for Sarah Palin to succeed both at motherhood and as vice president of the country. Do you agree or disagree?

    Okay, so here’s the game. Substitute Barack Obama’s name every time you see Sarah Palin and change the pronouns. This is the new question:

    Many men, citing their own difficulties, say it’s impossible for Barack Obama to succeed both at fatherhood and as President of the country. Do you agree or disagree?


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