Thursday, September 04, 2008

More silliness on the campaign trail

On this the patriarchal crowd and the ultra-liberals agree: bashing mothers is always fair game, even if one has to be illogical and hypocritical to do so.

On this the patriarchal crowd and the ultra-liberals also agree: no one really cares if a father is a "bad father" or not. Fatherhood is, for the most part, usually not even worth thinking or talking about, especially in light of more "serious concerns".

So today I've learned, from both the patriarchal crowd and the ultra-liberals, that Governor Palin is a bad mom for bringing her family up on the stage with her after her speech. Supposedly she should have left her children at home --- or, at least, she should have left her 17 year old daughter and her youngest child at home.

She did nothing different from what all other candidates for political office have been doing ever since I can remember. Where was the criticism for all these men? Why are they not being accused of being bad dads? You would think the patriarchal crowd, who do like to go on about superior upper body strength making men naturally suitable to be leaders and protectors, would at least wonder aloud why all the male candidates are not protecting their families from the grave harm of appearing on stage at conventions! But, is only mothers who are expected to protect their children and who fail by not doing so.

This "it's harmful for children to receive national attention" idea must be some kind of odd, new-fangled notion. Or maybe the patriarchal crowd was simply too young (or not alive yet?) to raise their strident protests against Jackie Kennedy when she exposed her grieving tots to national scrutiny at her husband's funeral. No one seemed to think that abusive. Can any of us who watched it on TV ever forget the sight of tiny John, in his short suit, saluting his father's casket? I don't recall, then or since, anyone castigating Mrs. Kennedy for being a bad mom that day.

So...why not have at it now? And why stop there? Why not attack all the wives of politicians for being bad moms and allowing their children to be dragged on stage? Why not attack all the pastor's wives for not protecting their children from being used as sermon illustrations or, worse, having to stand at the door of the church and shake everyone's hand in the dreaded pastoral family reception line Sunday after Sunday? (I think I'm seriously dating myself here!) Why not attack all wives of public figures whose children are not being protected from having to appear at public functions, pose for the obligatory family pictures, and serve as props to further their father's professional image?

And the fathers who insist on these things? Why, they get a free ride, of course. Because they are only fathers. And what they do doesn't impact their children as much. What they do as fathers interests us less than their all-important careers and professions.

But let a mother get on our bad side! Why, it's open season!

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