Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sarah Palin: Not what we had in mind

What a treat with my morning coffee--all the Sarah Palin news. Makes subscribing to the New York Times worth while.

Above, what I believe is a genuine photograph of the February 2008 cover of Vogue magazine, though I was not able to pick it up from the Vogue site, but from a progressive Alaskan blog.

I want to take this opportunity to say, Girls, this is not what we feminists had in mind. "We feminists"---who? Those of us more or less in my generation who worked in NOW chapters, testified for gender-neutral language in our state constitutions, pointed out the awful news of pay discrepancies and the glass ceiling (which now seems to be made of bulletproof glass), began demanding that we be treated with respect in all our relationships, including marriage.

We feminists. I can really speak only for myself, of course. Among other things, the vision feminist thought made available to me was one of a society in which raising children and creating a hospitable, healthy home would be exalted as the most important work in the world. I hoped to one day see mothers salaried for their at-home work, and given health coverage and pension benefits. Devotion to mothering would not entail the personal sacrifice of economic security, and dependence on pleasing a partner. It was a vision of a new kind of family.

But what has happened is that too many women have adopted male competitiveness and striving for power and money, while retaining some of the worst of traditional gender roles. One is the beauty queen syndrome. Another is the shouldering of the impossibly heavy burden of working full-time outside the house, then coming home to work the second shift, for an average of 33 hours a week of housework/mothering in a two-parent home.

And here we have her, the feminist backlash personified. The only good thing I see about this is that the dreadful judgment shown here may help McCain lose the election. As my grandmother would have no doubt said, "It's an ill wind that blows no good."

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