Should Sarah Palin Have A Career?

In other words, how dare a woman with five children, one who is an infant and only one of whom has left the nest, think for even five minutes of taking on a big job like Vice President of the United States?

There’s been a lot of talk already about this newest skirmish in the Mommy Wars.  Who’s going to take care of the children?  Doesn’t this make Sarah Palin a bad mother?  What about “family values“?  Will she be able to concentrate on her work?  And if she fails, wouldn’t this reflect poorly on all working mothers?

Working Girl, who has never had children and is probably not qualified to have an opinion, much less share it, weighs in.  (Everyone else is).   Here goes:  If Sarah Palin thinks she can do it, and her family is on board with it, then It’s Her Business.

Heck.  Wasn’t the feminist revolution all about equality of opportunity for women, in the workforce and beyond?

Don’t worry about Sarah.  Unlike most working mothers of five, she would have scads of help and resources.  A U.S. vice president earns $221,200 a year.  She’d be living at the fully staffed Number One Observatory Circle.  And isn’t Todd all set to do the Mr. Mom thing?

This is key: Someone other than Sarah would, to a large degree, raise those children.  And Sarah would, to whatever degree, be disengaged from them.  (Because WG sez, you can have it all—you just can’t have it all at the same time.)

Nothing new here.  The ruling class* has been rearing children this way since pretty much always.  Would the children suffer?  Maybe.  But maybe they’d suffer if she were a 100% fulltime stay-at-home mom, too.  No matter what your life situation, there’s a downside.

*You don’t think of hockey-mom Sarah in the same breath with the term “ruling class”?  Think again, duckie.  People who aim for high office are not like you and WG.  They may claim to be “jes’ folks,” they may manage to project a persona of someone you’d like to have a beer with (some voters seem to desire this quality in a leader), but a man or woman running for president, or vice president, is all about the power.  And is ready to accept whatever that entails.

P.S.  No, WG isn’t voting for the McCain-Palin ticket.  Nope.  But she does think that if Palin chooses to be a working mother, then let her.

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  • Florinda says:

    WG makes a good point about the feminist revolution. I think a lot of the flack that Palin is getting over being a working mom is because of the number of children she has, and the fact that one of them is a special-needs infant – but if she had just two “normal” kids, would she get more support? As you say, it’s her family business, and shouldn’t matter.

    However, WG’s even better point is one that many Americans prefer not to acknowledge: that there is a privileged, “ruling” class here, and that they are different from the rest of us.

    Also, it’s not like Palin has been a stay-at-home mom with her five children up to this point anyway.

  • Joanne says:

    Right on Karen! It’s absolutely her choice. It’s also her choice, not the government’s, to choose what to do in terms of an unwanted pregnancy. Also NOT the goverment’s decision to have teachers only promote abstinance as the only form of birth control. It’s all about choice, baby, in America! I must say, since I have this tiny forum, that I’m embarassed and sick at heart that we often choose presidents based on this “have a beer with them” mentality. Does the majority of this nation place education and intelligence so low on the scale of choosing leaders? Why we chose W two times in a row over leaders more intelligent than him due to this beer sharing factor just makes me embarassed for our country. “Nuff said…huff, huff.

  • Marsha says:

    As Florinda said your point about the “ruling class” is an interesting one. I think it’s something that we all know to be true but are reluctant to acknowledge.

    I was just looking at a financial blog. Today’s topic was financial tips for Sarah Palin. There were things like how to plan a budget wedding for her daughter and where to get inexpensive hockey equipment.

    Sarah Palin won’t be planning her daughter’s wedding. Forget Sarah buing the sport equipment. Attending even a few of her children’s games will be a HUGE challenge.

    They live a different life style filled with different challenges.

  • Karen Burns says:

    Huh. Good comments all.

    Here’s that “financial tips for Sarah Palin” article Marsha mentioned:

    Thanks to Marsha for sending it….

  • A Reader says:

    So, then there was Eleanor of Aquitaine, who lived in the 12th century, had 10 kids, including the infamous King John of England (the worst king ever) and the famous Richard the Lion Hearted, was married to kings of and was accordingly queen of both France and England, great grandmother of the sainted King Louis IX of France, personal participant in a crusade to the holy land and during this entire time, was an active participant in forming the destinies of France, England and Spain. All of this with no feminist movement – maybe a woman can handle a five kids and a vice presidency 800 years later!

  • I agree with your take on this. Penelope Trunk wrote an interested post on this today and yesterday, and she makes good points, but fundamentally it comes down to feminism giving every woman the right to make a choice.