Monday, October 13, 2008

Double Standard?

While attending a marriage conference several weeks ago, I watched a television news program on Sunday morning in our hotel room while I was waiting for my wife to finish getting ready. The panelists consisted of three men and two women, all of whom were either television or print journalists. The topic of discussion was Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

The question of concern was Palin’s ability to fulfill the position of vice president as the mother of five children, one of whom has special needs and one who is pregnant. Interestingly, both of the women journalists emphatically stated, “No, she cannot do the job and be a mother to five children. She cannot have it all.” When asked by the male journalist why Barak Obama is never questioned on his ability to fulfill the position of president while being a father of two children, Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn replied to the effect, “It is different. Men do not shoulder the burden of child rearing. I have many friends who are CEO’s of businesses and to a woman they say they struggle being a mother and a businesswoman.”

These comments coming from mainstream media representatives beg to examine a number of significant issues. First I suspect if Sarah Palin were a liberal democrat we would not be having these discussions. Secondly, feminists have been telling us for years that women can have it all—they can be successful in the workplace and as mothers (BTW--if a man had made the statement that Quinn did it would have caused an uproar heard across the land). Third, if the journalist’s CEO friends were able to be successful in their careers and families then why is Palin not capable of fulfilling both roles? Lastly, why isn’t Obama’s (or any other male politician) ability to serve as a father questioned in the same vein as Palin’s as a mother?

Frankly, I’m by no means a feminist, but I was more than a little offended by the tone of the entire discussion. Sarah Palin appears to me to be a confident and successful woman, wife, and mother who should be getting praised for her achievements, not demeaned because she is faced with the same circumstances as every other person on the planet. She is a model of everything the feminists have touted as being admirable in women, and yet liberal women are attacking her with vitriolic fury. I cannot help but think that if she believed in abortion and homosexual marriage, she would be getting praise heaped on her by the media. Instead they are questioning her ability to do the very things that they once lavished praise upon Hillary Clinton for. I’ll take a woman who can successfully be a mayor, a governor, a wife, and a mother for vice president candidate over a presidential candidate who’s never accomplished anything significant in his life any day of the week. At least from the tone of the program I watched, it appears there is clearly a double standard involved with the media where Palin is concerned.

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