9.06.2008

My Palin Post: For Me, For My Daughter

I've been waiting to write this post until most of the initial madness has cleared. I haven't read most of the blog reactions out there. I watched the conventions, some news, and did my own research, trying to stick to only factual reports and not opinion-based articles (which is hard, because there are obviously a million opinion-based posts out there!). I've tweeted on Twitter, and conversed with friends. My friends know how opinionated I am. They are waiting for me to blog about it. (Hint: if you follow me on Twitter or FB you'd know my immediate thoughts :).

This is not to stir up (my 4 or 5) readers on either side, or allow folks another chance to proclaim their love or hate of Governor Palin. I am a former journalist, a registered Democrat, but in no way an expert on the exact details of Ms. Palin's life or policies. I am a voter, a mom of two small kids, the owner of two small businesses, and this is my post for me, and for my daughter.

I am, and always have been, a feminist. I believe women have a right to the same things as men. Plain and simple. We deserve the same pay, the same respect, the same acknowledgement, the same opportunities. I dressed up as Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 2nd grade for the "dress as your favorite historic figure" day or something like that (favorite hero day maybe?). I grew up with the hardest working mother, who, through her own experiences and dedication to and passion for her work, taught me that being a woman should not limit me in any way, but it also does not afford me any special privileges either. Just do your best job, and if you get over-looked or under-valued for being a woman or being a Filipino-American, then you simply do your job even better than your best.

I am a huge Hillary fan. Not that I voted for her in the primary, but I truly admire what she has done throughout her years of service, what she has stood for, and what she has tried to accomplish. For me, it was nice to see a prominent female politician finally become a serious contender for the Commander in Chief position. It was thrilling to watch her speak, and think that WOMAN could be our next President. A. Woman. President. The words I've been wanting to hear since I was a little girl. Forget dreams of the knight riding in on his white horse to save me; I dreamed of a day when maybe someday I could be president, or my friend Megan, or Emily, or Nikki. I dreamed simply for that possibility.

And here we are. After this election, we will either have the first African-American President or the first female Vice-President of the United States. Mind boggling. The problem with that? For me, it's how to properly explain to my daughter when she is older WHY I did not vote for the ticket with a woman's name on it. Why, after all my talk and work to further promote professional women in this world, why I did not use my power to vote to further promote THIS particular professional woman. And that's when I will have to explain to her that sexism works both ways: I wouldn't want a man to vote for someone just because he's a man, and nobody should vote for this ticket just because it has a woman's name on it.

And that woman is not just any woman. Sarah Palin is not the right woman for the job, and were she a man with the same credentials (or lack thereof), same spotted history, same hypocritical leadership, same disregard for rules that are put in place to protect equality, I would think she were just as unqualified to be second in line for Commander in Chief. As a woman, I am deeply, profoundly, dishearteningly insulted by the GOP's choice of Sarah Palin as their VP on the ticket. If they wanted my vote simply as a female, they should have chosen someone who actually has the credentials, the leadership, the intelligence, the family values that are pro-women. Someone whom we could all point to and say, "Ah! Now THERE'S a woman who will work and fight for the future of womankind!" But they didn't.

As a woman, I don't want someone with the same degree that I hold to be VP of the country; I want someone who is smarter and more educated than I am because her decisions and daily responsibilities are far, far greater than mine will ever be. As a woman, I want my kids to live in a safer world, and that means having someone in the #2 spot who has knowledge of how other countries actually work, because she has been to those countries, talked with their people, witnessed their daily rituals and understands their cultures; I've been to more countries than Palin, and many of my friend's young kids can say the same. As a woman, I want someone in the VP position who puts country first, and believes in this great nation and its constitution; but the GOP chose a woman who has supported succession from the country she now claims she wants to help lead, and whose husband has been one of the greatest supporters of that cause. As a woman, I want someone to help lead the country who will protect our ability to tell the truth, to ask hard questions and to uphold fairness for all; but in Palin, they've chosen a woman who is involved in a scandal that accuses her of an inappropriate firing (and who reportedly has a history of attempting to fire or demote anyone who disagrees with her), a woman who wants to ban books (I could write a whole separate post on my thoughts about that issue alone), and a woman who, when actually asked a simple fact-based question by a reporter, results in the GOP resorting to big bully tactics and refusing to actually answer fact-based questions. What will she do as VP? Only answer questions about issues she is in favor of or about her kids? As a woman, I also want someone who respects all Americans, and their way of life, not someone like Palin who mocks a man who has worked with the poor first hand and not just behind a desk as she has; a man who chose to work with and for the people, instead of the elite, corrupted big government as she has.

For me, as a woman, the choice is clear: by not voting the McCain/Palin ticket, I am voting FOR womankind. I am voting for the kind of future that allows my daughter the opportunity to live her life to the fullest, to have equal opportunities as those who are wealthier and of different color than her, to have control over not just her body but her LIFE should something awful happen to her, to live in a world free of fear from extinction in her lifetime because of our actions against the earth. I am voting for my kids, so that they may live in a safer world, so that they may have leadership that is intelligent, not average; passionate, not reactive; collaborative and fair, not exclusive and elitest.

I am a woman, a mother, and I am voting for Obama/Biden because I believe my daughter's future is safer and and filled with more opportunity in their hands. Now if only the GOP would stop insulting women everywhere by parading about the woman who so obviously is for nobody but herself.

(Also: read this letter from a Wasilla resident, sent to me by the ever fabulous @jenhen)

25 comments:

Lauren said...

I LOVED THIS! I've looked forward to hearing your full thoughts and opinion on the matter, and am SO glad you wrote this. I agree for sure. Thank you Marlynn.

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Lara said...

Bravo! I agree wholeheartedly and am so glad to see this argument made so succinctly. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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Erica said...

Very well written. The Palin nomination seems to be engaging many women in ways the Republicans likely didn't expect! I want a woman to be president because she will show she is as strong and qualified as a man. Palin's qualifications of "reading a good speech" don't come close.

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ml said...

Three cheers for a voice of reason in this matter! Today when I saw the headline, "McCain-Palin, or is it Palin-McCain?" I felt my heart sink a little further. Palin's judgement and experience are limited at best, and I question the intelligence of any woman who votes for Palin simply to help a woman be elected to this office.

I thank you, and my daughters will thank you someday, too! Now, about those childhood dreams....it's not too late to realize them. Marlynn for President! You'd have my vote!

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ThatGirl said...

I could not agree more, as you know, and I am linking to this post.

Palin reminds me of the Mean Girls from high school.

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Hubby said...

Nice work M! Little C will appreciate this when she's older. I'm a guy (as you know) and even I found her selection insulting, cynical and desperate.

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Marcy Writes - The Glamorous Life said...

I wrote MY Palin post a few days ago to strange reactions: Here it is in all its glory my friend!!!

"If any of my readers who are really really into politics-should maybe stop reading now as well. If you do not, you will soon be infuriated by my lack of interest, knowledge and savvy when it comes to all things regarding this upcoming election.

I am not political. I am really sorta ANTI-political, if there is such a thing. I know, I know….politics effects us all and we should care about one side or the other yada, yada, yada…..but I don’t. The whole spectacle just frustrates me. So I just try to IGNORE it. (do you hate me yet?). I do vote. I research at the last minute and make a decision. So I vote. That is good right?

BUT. I. HAVE.TO. COMMENT on Mccain’s VP choice. Because sometimes I have no control over this blog and my typing hands….I MUST. I like to say the things I think people might be THINKING….but are afraid to say outloud lest they offend others. I guess I am a natural offender.

First, the whole ‘joke’ about hockey moms and bulldogs was offensive. To both sport moms and well, bulldogs. Just exactly whose vote is she trying to get?

She has a 4 month old BABY. Um, a baby with special needs (Down Syndrome) no less. I am pretty damn sure when my kids were 4 months old I was in no position to be running a country. Heck when they were 4 months old I could barely get a shower everyday. And they were still feeding in the middle of the night-so spent most days in a zombie like state until nap time. When I may or may not have passed out on the floor next to the baby’s crib daily. Okay so…..you (you being those who support his choice) might say- oh but she will have HELP if elected. White House nannies I guess. (do they have those? and if they do, do they wear those secret service ear pieces?)……SO she is gonna let someone else help raise her kid I guess. Along with her fishing snowmobiling husband. Not exactly the kind of mom the kid was probably hoping to get. Some mom’s HAVE to work. But does SHE? We criticise celebrities FREELY about their nannies and ability to spend so much time away from their children. How they go back to work immediately-even if they obviously don’t need the income. Um, how then is this any different? How can I be expected to think her choices AS A MOTHER are a good reflection on HER CHOICES as A VP of A COUNTRY?

And what is with having a baby at 44? By choice? She had to know the increase % in complications and possibility for special needs to the child. Oh wait- perhaps an accident surprise? Do they not HAVE birth control in her ’small town’? Perhaps that is the same cause of her 17 year old daughter’s pregnancy as well. Like mother, like daughter? But most shocking to me, was the fact that her 19 year old son has enlisted to the military. I think the men and women fighting for our country are…I say without hesitation…absolute HEROS….BUT would I encourage my son to join in the middle of a WAR? I am praying this was not a ploy to help the campaign. And I am praying he (along with all the other CHILDREN in Iraq) come home safe.

I am all about women doing all the jobs that men can do blah, blah, blah. But not at the expense of their CHILDREN. Sure you can DO it ALL. But NOT all at the SAME TIME. And if you try to do it all at the same time…something WILL SUFFER.

So as you can see I know next to nothing when it comes to politics. I know McCain has a better deal on taxes for me. And I know Obama has a pencil mustache that is really obvious on a 60″ plasma screen TV but his wife seems pretty together. Oh that and his catch phrase is CHANGE. Which as it sits right now- no matter which side wins…there is gonna be plenty of change in the white house. PLEN.TY. Including and not limited to the possibility of DIAPERS. And I am not talking about McCain this time.

Go ahead and comment. But if you really are hating me for this post….just be gentle. I know I am lame and uninformed and possibly come off as a sexist woman hating, anti-feminism, anti-progress beeotch. I am not really. At least I don’t think I am………oh the fear of clicking Publish!"

You can read the fury of comments at my blog of of course. But glad to know I am not ALONE in my thoughts!

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marlynn said...

hey thanks for all of your comments! I really appreciate them. And to Marcy Writes, thanks for, uh, hijacking the comments section with what is actually your blog post :).

But since it is MY blog, I can hijack the comments with a comment that is post-length as well! :)

I actually disagree with Marcy's "comment" on many points, including:
1. the working mother issue. I have a PT nanny because I couldn't own 2 businesses w/o one, went back to work early by choice because, well, there's no one else to do the work and because I LOVE my business babies. I also think many many many parents are MUCH better parents because they work. SAHM does not equal Good Mom, and it's not necessarily what's best for the kids either, depending on the individual mom. I could go on for several hours about this issue but in the end? It Does Not Matter. The only thing that matters is YOUR choice for YOUR family. Not mine, and quite frankly as much as I can't stand her, not Palin's. Can a woman be VP and also have a litter of kids including a baby and still be an awesome mom? HELL YES. But... not Palin.

2. The issue of a woman of 44 having a child. I have many friends who have had children in their 40's, by choice. They are all excellent, loving, well-educated, energetic mothers and their children are all healthy and happy.

3. McCain's tax plan is IN NO WAY better for YOU. Unless you make more than 250,000 a year, and guess what? The vast majority of American households fall very short of that number.

I do thank you all for your comments. I get more and more fired up about this idiotic VP pick by the minute. And, the idiotic mommy wars that have sprouted back up to the surface again as a result.

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Toasty said...

I put a link to you on my blog. And I never do that, but I LOVED this! Thank you!

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marlynn said...

thanks for linking to me, toasty! :) I appreciate it. and really, I do welcome comments from both sides. what I love about this election is how fired up people are getting, especially to hear from folks who aren't normally that interested or involved with politics.

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Marcy Writes - The Glamorous Life said...

um, WAY sorry for the hijack. That was insane of me. Really. Sorry.

lets just agree to disagree ok?

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kateypie35 said...

everywhere i turn, there is drama in regards to palin. Its fascinating really.
This post is excellent honey, and so well written. Its just what I am feeling, but am too lazy to write. Would you mind if I link to you as well?

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marlynn said...

oh Marcy, it's all written in fun :) I seriously am thankful for your comment, but also did feel the need to post my disagreements. I appreciate you leaving a comment!

Kate-please feel free to link! Thanks! Everyone should go read kateypie35's blog as well. Great new mom blog!

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we_be_toys said...

Everything you had to say about Sarah Palin?
Oh. Hell. Yes!!!

I came over from My Inner Teen and I'm glad I did.

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Annie said...

Love it. Thanks. I'm passing this on.

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Miss M said...

I am one of Toasty's loyal readers and was so glad she linked to you. This is a great piece!

I recently read this article by Gloria Steinem from the Los Angeles Times and thought it was fabulous too! You might enjoy reading it: http://www.truthout.org/article/palin-wrong-woman-wrong-message

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lemons are not red said...

"For me, as a woman, the choice is clear: by not voting the McCain/Palin ticket, I am voting FOR womankind."

AMEN.

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Caroline said...

Hi,
I've been trying to spread the word about the ramifications of our choices on my blog as well - so for all you commenters, if you like this post or any other, link to it. Send it to your uncommitted/undecided friends, or even to your committed friends who are going the WRONG WAY. Don't let people get away with the argument about "oh I just like her so much!" - we've had eight years of a president people wanted to have a beer with, and see what happened? PS I came here from Toasty's blog, too!

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Kelly said...

Marlyn, I want you to run for President. Seriously.

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Jen said...

M,

WONDERFUL post! Very thoughtful and well written. I wish the you-go-girl-fembots would look into at the deeper issues, and not just at putting a woman, ANY woman in the White House. How is that possibly pro-woman (especially if she is against most issues important to women)? Argh! So frustrating!

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Vodka Mom said...

Bravo! bravo....

i think we will have betrayed all that is right with the world, if someone OTHER than Hillary is the first woman- anything....

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Pamela said...

Great post, so well said. I don't just want anyone woman either, it needs to be the right woman, and that is not Palin.

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lemons are not red said...

Found this and thought I'd add it to your post.


http://www.now.org/press/09-08/09-16.html

"It is with great enthusiasm that I announce today, on behalf of the nation's oldest and largest women's rights organization, that the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) proudly endorses Sen. Barack Obama for President of the United States....."

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Boca Beth said...

I have never read your blog before - I follow you on Twitter - and now I will be a regular reader amiga.

Well said! Well done!

I'm still reeling from the debate - seemed like a bad dream.

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dee-ah-nah said...

I love this post. Great job explaining what most of us are (should!) be thinking. Our daughters deserve it!

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