Second -- make that third -- thoughts about Sarah Palin (and news of her pregnant daughter)
My first reaction was of course, yay, someone is finally putting a
woman on the ticket. My second reaction was, hang on a minute, she is
conservative, pro-life, anti-environment, and maybe not so experienced,
although maybe I should support her anyway (see yesterday's post). Now
that Sarah Palin, after all of four days in the public eye, has dropped
this bombshell that her seventeen year old unwed daughter is having a
baby, I'm having a third reaction. And this one, folks, is not about
Palin but about the media.
If we thought they were hard on Hillary, my
God, get a load of the tomatoes flying now.
Within an hour of Palins' announcement about her daughter, the New York Times had
200 reactions to this news. Maybe two comments -- maybe -- actually
offered words of encouragement and support to Palin. Many were critical
of a conservative hypocrisy and the failure of education for
abstinence. But there were also many comments -- I couldn't tell if
they were from liberals or conservatives -- criticizing or even mocking
Palin as a mother.
How can a woman be both a mother and grandmother in office? asked a few.
She can't even control her own daughter! shouted another few.
Can't have a woman in office if she has too many children, was one particularly obnoxious comment.
What kind of VP will she be if she is such a terrible mother? came the refrain.
And so, here it comes again. The anti-woman backlash is just flying here.
How many male candidates have been scrutinized for their parenting, or
for their children's choices, or for how many children they have?
Answer -- none.
And how much has Palin been through over the past four days,
compared to Biden? Biden got a nod and a giggle, and was let be. But
Palin has been hacked to death, and she's just getting started. The
Huffington Post, which was notoriously anti-Hillary in some of the most
sexist ways, has run one attack after another, barely leaving readers
with a moment to breathe.
So now I'm thinking, how much of the negative reaction to Palin is
real, and how much is more of the same old sexism packaged as
Let's give Palin a break, shall we? She is still Governor of Alaska,
she has still managed to achieve quite a lot while raising five kids,
and she is obviously smart and articulate.
And for the record, I think the way she is handling her daughter's
pregnancy is remarkable. She is supportive, kind, and loving, and has
committed herself to helping her daughter without putting her own life
on hold, going into hiding, or going into mourning. Personally, I give
her a lot of credit. And I sincerely hope that her party stands behind
her in this as well.
And that someone stands up to the male-chauvinist media. Give the Governor a little respect, please.