Monday, September 08, 2008
I can "Bring Home the Bacon too!
After hearing about John McCain's choice for VP- instantaneously,my brain started to sing that old song, sung by feminists through my childhood and used in some popular commercial-can see it know a women dancing around with a skillet, cooking up some bacon- can't remember what the commercial was for-
" I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you are a man-cause I'm a women- W-o-M-A-N"
It seemed to be the battle cry for many women in the 70's and 80's ( my childhood) the first generation who on their own, with no role models- declared their independence from servitude of husband's and their mother's expectations.
My mother did bring home the bacon- she had too- she was a single mother. I, just as many of my friend- were witnesses to this new Revolution- and were effected by the choices and consequences of our mother's- "bringing home the bacon,". Because of that, I think women of my generation seem to understand- we can have it all too-but not ALL at the SAME TIME.
This is my "gripe" with Sarah Palin- should the song go-
I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, never let you forget you are a man, have five children, still lots of them young, be there for my newborn special needs baby and support my daughter through the tough times of being a seventeen year old mother and hey- since I am a women- ALSO-run for the Vice President of the United States! Cause- hey- I am a W-O-M-A-N!!"
What does this say to young mother out there- who are overwhelmed- overwhelmed with getting a dinner on the table, actually getting a load of laundry done, getting kids up for school- and failing miserably at it- Heah- Sarah Palin does it so well she also got elected as a Governor- so since we women are always wanted to judge ourselves against someone else-lets set the bar there!!
I would of respected Sarah Palin more- if at 55- she ran for President of the United States and had this history- "mother of five- is racing a ten year old special needs child,supported her teenage daughter through an unplanned pregnancy, and she had a decade invested in her young children's life-" all in the past tense.
Because what is a decade really- - or at least five years-to invest in young children- every educator- will tell you those first five years are critical- for a special needs child- an invested mother- can be the the difference between a highly functioning child and one that is not at their potential.
I have been a nanny, a daycare provider, a preschool teacher, a elementary teacher and a mother- no one, no one will go the distance for a child like their own mother- we carried them in our belly's or we claimed them as our own- and we watch out for them the rest of our lives- we are aware of their every need and are their nurturers- Father's are their protectors- and there is a difference- not to say father's are not absolutely wonderful- but it is a second best- when father's have to be the primary provider- that is the mother's job-
Father finches (Birds) get to have the fancy feather, mothers finches get to be plain- yes, fathers, for dating-per say- but also to protect- to guard and then distract the intruder- mother need to hide with the babies- in those first few weeks for a bird and human mothers need to hide away for the first few years of their children's lives.
Of course- I am not putting us back-bare foot and in the kitchen- and I am all for keeping your toe in something so you don't go "loony" at home- with your only existence being "Barney, diapers and laundry" .
I started weaving baskets when I was home with my first child- started doing arts and crafts shows, putting them in galleries and got involved with a weaving guild who met every other Saturday- a great time to get a way- for me and for Jon to be with the girls.
I had friends who worked twenty hours a week- providing plenty of time to be there for their kiddos. Mom' who did some kind of a home based business- but I think we would of all have agreed- when we met up at the park- or the coffee shop- we probably could not of fit in running for Vice President of the United State- or Governor of even the smallest state- between the teething,potty training, cranky night, and sick days that even plague a mother who works a 40 hour week. Now, maybe- knowing how it is to be a mayor in a small town- probably that would be a doable job for a mother of young children- if one was so inclined.
Now- what I find ironic- and so typical of politics- is the "Conservative Right"- are singing the praises of Palin- even though she is a mother of young children working HUGELY out of the home- something that they don't support- in anyway.
And then- there is Michelle Obama- Yes- I know she is not running for office- but this is about being a role model- for women- what Sarah Palin is now, as is Michelle Obama- and what example is Michelle OBama giving- a Harvard Law grad-who was making $200,00 plus a year- she cut back her work 80%- to be a consistent force in her young girl's life. The OBama's only have a housekeeper- the parenting is left up to the parents. Not that things are not getting more intense- but Michelle O'Bama has had a limited involvement in the campaign with a limit to how many nights she will be away from her children- all this is not just her philosophy but her husbands as well-who has taken time off the campaign to "go off the grid" with his girls.
To me- this says something about "character"- and in one way it really isn't about about the election- but in another way it is-