Meredith Michaels, a professor and co-author of the "Mommy Myth" says Palin is "callous" and "cavalier" about motherhood.
"I think you're finding a lot of women in this country wondering what this combo of person is who is, on the one hand, presenting motherhood as a badge and, on the other hand, is somewhat cavalier and callous about it."I wish the reporter had asked Professor Michaels: What's your evidence that Palin is a cavalier and callous mother? (She seems anything but to me). Is it merely because she's seeking the vice presidency? Because she has a career? How does that inherently make her cavalier and callous? Why do you not pressure other women to stop their careers when they have children? What about the role of Todd Palin? Is Barack Obama a cavalier and callous father because he's seeking the presidency? To follow your logic, why not?
"The whole rhetoric around conservative family values has everything to do with mom – with a capital M – being at home, with the kids preferably home schooling them. So, she's appealing to that particular segment of the population, she's presenting herself as being in that place. But, obviously, she's not. She's governor of Alaska."First of all, Sarah Palin is NOT presenting herself as being in that place. Maybe she simply represents a more nuanced evolution in the conservative family values position, which is being driven by a younger generation of conservative women whose reality has always been about blending family and career.
Shouldn't feminists like Professor Michaels applaud that evolution?
I've never seen the conservative family values position as necessitating that women should never work, but then I am slightly younger than Palin is. I am sure there are some who argue that point on the conservative side. Rather, I've always seen the conservative family values position as being about emphasizing the importance of a mother and father in a child's family life and as being about not devaluing mothers who choose to stay home and raise their children. I also think it's been about not devaluing fathers.
Feminists better watch the new paradigm they are creating here. Through Sarah Palin, the conservative family values position is more firmly becoming one in the public mind that respects women's decisions to stay home and raise their children OR to work and raise their children.
The feminist position? It's evolving into one that pressures women to stay home if they want to have children. Is that really the stance that feminists want to stake out? Is that the message they want to send young women? That equality comes at a cost? The cost of having children? Won't that pressure more young women into seeking a life - as a housewife - that feminists tried to free them from? I prefer the conservative position these days that women can choose how to balance their own lives and still be considered good mothers.