Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Women Against Sarah Palin

If you haven't seen this Blogspot already, check it out: Women Against Sarah Palin.

A friend of mine just wrote a great letter to this site (you can read it below) and I'm inspired to do the same. If you feel strongly that Sarah Palin is the wrong choice for vice president, is a distraction from the real issues, and doesn't represent your voice, please write a letter.

I also want to call attention to a D.C. blogger who recently decided to do something about the McCain-Palin mess: she volunteered at Obama's campaign office in Northern Virginia. If you want to get involved, head over to your nearest campaign office and give a few hours of your time. I'll be going over one day next week myself.


I really wish I were Sarah Palin. I wish I were that pretty and that poised as a public speaker. I wish that I had perfect hair and a perfect smile, and had the best skirt suit. I wish I looked good in a bikini, either after or even before pregnancy. I wish I could be 7 months pregnant and not show, instead of looking as big as a zeppelin, and feeling much worse. I wish I could take my daughter to work and have everyone happy to have her in the office.

I wish I could have taken my babies to work in a sling, like she did. But I had a job that was not child-friendly – flexible hours and a job I loved, but part time and no paid sick leave or paid holidays and no health insurance. That's the price I paid for "mommy time." I wish my career was more like hers. I wish that I could go back to work after having children, and within ten years go from a local, part-time volunteer "mommy job" to a high-paying position with an expense account and national prominence -- ambition is not such a bad thing. But it doesn't happen that way for most mothers on the job.

I'm like Sarah Palin – I like being a mommy and I think it has been a job that nobody else could do for my children. I have a four year old boy who said, "Mommy, I want a house with an upstairs and a downstairs, and a porch where I can keep my bike." I wish we could have a house, but I have to explain to him: over the last ten years, a few people got really, really rich, and the rest of us …. didn't. Now something really bad is happening on Wall Street, and banks are collapsing and the economy is doing frightening things, and I don't really understand how international investment funds work or why they are suddenly going bankrupt, but it means it is unlikely we will be able to get a mortgage for a house we can afford. I wish I were Sarah Palin and I understood how the international debt and financing markets work, and could figure out what went wrong over the last few years and fix it, so that my little boy could live in a house with a porch.

I have a five year old daughter. She wants to see a polar bear. I wish I were Sarah Palin, because then I'd be in a position to do something about it, to make sure there were polar bears around in ten years for my little girl to see. But I guess since she's already seen a wolf and moose and a polar bear, Sarah Palin's not worried about them, and whether there will be any left for my little girl when she grows up.

I'm like Sarah Palin, because I care about schools. I care about the schools in Connecticut, where I live, and in Utah and California and Washington, where my nephews and nieces live, and Brooklyn and Portland, where my friends live. I don't why the schools even half a mile apart in our small city can be so different, and I sure don't know why across the country, from small towns to big cities, schools are failing. But I figure I'm probably going to have to choose between living in a neighborhood that I can't afford that has good schools and one that I can afford that has awful schools and have to pay for private school instead (another reason we can't afford a house). And I wish I was Sarah Palin and understood how taxes and federal policies and large demographic patterns can create a school crisis across the country that is much larger than just in a small town in Alaska, and what we could do to save them for all the children (because mandatory testing certainly hasn't done it).

I'm like Sarah Palin, because I've been pregnant and I care about abortion. I think it's a sad thing, and I wish there were fewer. But I'm also like most Americans, and I care about children too, and I care about what would happen if the government told me I HAD to stay pregnant, no matter what. And I hate it when the anti-abortion protestors stand on the sidewalk in my neighborhood and harass me when I'm trying to walk my kids in the stroller, and show them pictures of bloody "dead babies," because they think they know what's right for everybody.

I wish I were Sarah Palin, and I could speak in front of tens of thousands of cheering supporters, and be on the front page of newspapers across the country looking great. But on second thought, I don't. Because sometimes it's more important to look your four-year-old little boy and five-year-old little girl in the eyes and say to them, No matter what, I will try to do the right thing for you, and sometimes it's more important to say things that are true and honest than to say the things that people will cheer for. I can't promise you that we will ever live in a house, but yes, honey, I will take you to see a polar bear. If there are any left.

Cherie Woodworth, Ph.D.
Yale University
New Haven, Conn.

Reprinted here with permission.


Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin is connected to Scientology. Here's how:

She has been, and still continues to be, deeply involved with the ultra-right-wing "Dominionist" church movement. READ THIS:

The main nexus for the Dominionists is the "Committee on National Policy", which strangely includes non-Christian organizations such as, yes, The Church of Scientology.

The leading "Dominionist" church is MorningStar ministries, which despite being a Christian church, leans heavily on "supernatural" themes and blatantly uses the Scientology Cross in their logo:

Jess said...

This is a fabulous letter. Sarah Palin scares me, and so does the "feminist" rhetoric about her.

Cele said...

Great letter, I wish I'd written it, or something half as great as.

Virginia said...

Dear Sarah,
I admire you for what you have done with your life. Obviously you have a husband that has been able to stay at home and raise your children while you have pursued your political career. I have absolutely no problem with that. What I have a problem with is the newest member of your family. Your precious son Trig is a Down Syndrome baby. As a former teacher I can promise you that these children were the students I loved the very most. As an educator I know that these are babies that need the most intensive early intervention and physical therapy . Every day of the week will need to be devoted to his therapy, not to mention at home intervention as well. Should John McCain be elected and you are his VP, I hope that you and your husband have made plans for not only the important parental duties for the other children in your family, but also the essential duties that will need to be devoted to Trig's progress. A job far more important than any political career could possibly offer.

Perhaps your husband's hobbies will have to be put on hold in order that the special needs of your son will get the very best care you can provide. At the end of the day, HE is the one that is the most important in my opinion.

Mr. and Mrs. Palin, who is going to provide the best possible care for TRig????

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Anon: Oh, lovely. Another Tom Cruise doughead is just what we need leading this country. Can't wait to read the material you've linked. Thanks!

Jess: Me, too! What's up with the feminist rhetoric on this one? And where is Gloria Steinem when we need her. Speaking out against a candidate who just happens to be a woman isn't bad feminism. It's smart thinking.

Cele: Me, too!

Virginia: Excellent letter! You should send it to the Washington Post. Seriously!

Adriana Velez said...

Love this post!

There are many ways to volunteer for Obama. As soon as I get a spare hour or so I'm going to help do "get out the vote" calls.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Adriana: While others are watching football on Sunday, I'm going go over to Obama's office in Northern VA and volunteer for a few hours. Come on down and go with me!

Anonymous said...

I love this letter! Send it in to Huffington Post.
This Sunday I'll be making the "get out the vote" calls to the undecided states.
I really fight not getting discouraged by how under-handed the McCain/Palin campaign operates, and how smug they are. It amazes me how so many women are taking this one great opportunity to make a statement and move things forward and just tossing it, because Palin is a woman. To not vote for her, for the right reasons, is the best way to help women, make us proud and stronger then we've ever been.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Emma: Glad you liked the letter. I can't claim authorship. A friend of mine wrote it. I know she submitted it to the Washington Post and received no response. She also sent it to the New York Times. I'll send her a note suggesting she try the Huffington Post.

I'll be volunteering for Obama tomorrow. After you volunteer on Sunday, let me know how it goes and I'll add your name to the list of folks who are volunteering between Oct. 1 and the weekend.