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The Expansionist
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
No One Can "Have It All". A lot of nonsense is bandied about by feminists about a woman's right to "have it all" — career, love, motherhood — and not worry about shortchanging anyone or working herself into exhaustion, feeling there aren't enuf hours in the day or days in a life to do everything she "should" do. At a time when tens of millions of women who tried to "have it all" have accepted that it's just not possible, and made a choice, ordinarily for family over 'career', some stupid babe from Alaska has reignited the debate. But is it really taking the right form? Are enuf women who have accepted that it just is not possible to do right by everyone in trying to "have it all" willing to say,

I made my choice. I decided that my feminine side was far more me, than my 'masculine' side, and that I am happiest when I am with my family, taking care of them. I love my children, and my husband. I liked my job. It is insane to love a job, and emotionally impoverish yourself and the people you love in order to pursue a career that, at end, is meaningless. Many other people can fill any job in the economy. I am the only one who can fill my 'job' as wife and mother. I am not just the best-qualified person on the planet — no, in the universe — to do this job, but I am even the only one who can do it. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I agree with what Barbara Bush said at the Wellesley commencement exercises in 1990:

At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a child, a friend, or a parent.

This is a common sentiment more customarily expressed as "On their deathbed, nobody says 'I wish I'd spent more time at the office'." Altho some feminists decry the sentiment, it remains essentially, and obviously, valid. And it's not just a female thing. The late singer-songwriter Harry Chapin is best known for his achingly wonderful song, "Cat's in the Cradle". (Wikipedia says that his wife, Sandy, actually wrote the words as a poem, and Harry merely added the music. But the sentiment is associated firmly with men in their relations with their kids.)
Republican women in particular should be completely comfortable with saying such things aloud, especially as regards a woman who has a "special-needs" child, as has Sarah Palin. Normal kids have a hard enuf time adjusting to neglect. How is a Down's syndrome kid supposed to cope?
Ms. Palin made a conscious choice to have a child she knew would have Down's syndrome and require more time and more attention than normal children. Now she is making an absolutely incompatible later decision to take on a job that will require her to neglect the responsibilities to that child that she knowingly, willingly accepted. She's slime.
And what of her husband? Does he have a job in Alaska that he will have to leave? a career he will have to suspend because it's location-dependent? Or does he have to remain in Alaska in order to avoid losing his career to her temp job (4 years, 8 at most)? Is it really up to the man to give up his career, if he can't pursue it in a new location, and follow his wife? What kind of castrato would do that?
There is a minor problem for the Republicans with regard to Todd Palin aside from this issue of where he is to live and what he is supposed to work at: he was a registered member of the Alaska Independence Party (AIP), many of whose members have advocated SECESSION from the United States. Tho a news report claims that secession is not a formal part of the party's (present) platform, the AIP's own website does in fact speak of wanting independence from the United States! Did the Republicans do ANY vetting of this Sarah Palin creature? Any at all??
Consider this passage from the "Introduction" page on the AIP website:

The platform of the AIP is, as one would expect, centered on Alaskan issues. Although it is widely thought to be a secessionist movement, the Party makes great effort to emphasize that its primary goal is merely a vote on secession, something that Party advocates say Alaskans were denied during the founding of the state. A plebiscite was, in fact, held in Alaska at the state's inception in 1958, but AIP members argue that voting was corrupt and that residents were not given the proper choice between statehood, commonwealth status, or complete separation -- something they say has been granted to other U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico.
That page also includes this intriguing quote from the founder of the party:

"I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."
Michelle Obama was fiercely, rabidly attacked for a much more oblique comment, "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country". Michelle Obama is not known ever to have said anything remotely like "I'm ... not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."
Returning to Todd Palin, "the First Gentleman of Alaska", a National Governors Association website says:

Mr. Palin has worked for nearly 20 years as a production operator in the oil fields on Alaska’s North Slope, and he also is a lifelong commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay.

Mr. Palin was born in Dillingham, located in western Alaska, where he gained an appreciation for Alaska’s cultural heritage and traditions from his Yup'ik grandmother. These traditions and the state’s rugged outdoors have played an influential role in the life of the Palin family. Since 1993, the first gentleman has participated every year in the Iron Dog race—the world’s longest snowmachine race (spanning 2,000 miles, from Wasilla to Nome to Fairbanks). To date, he has won the championship four times. * * * In his free time, the first gentleman enjoys fishing, flying and spending time with his family.
Hm. There are no oilfields in the DC area. I suppose he could commute an hour or more each way to work in commercial fishing on Chesapeake Bay, if that fishery hasn't been destroyed. But apparently at least elements of the Chesapeake Bay fishery are in grave trouble.
Well, he can indeed spend a lot more "time with his family", by staying home with the kids, "Mr. Mom" style. Yeah, that's Republican family values, alrite. Men as stay-at-home 'moms'.
This reminds me of a comment by Chris Rock that 'you know the world is going crazy when the best golfer in the world is a black guy and the best rapper is a white guy.' (Tiger Woods, Eminem)
Nite is day, up is down, black is white, male is female. Yes, everything is fine in this Republic, and Republicans are the guardians of traditional American values, to make sure everything stays fine.
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,152 — for Israel.)

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