Principles are more important than politics. Here's one that I hold dear: "All men are created equal."
I believe people should be judged based on the issues and their experience-- not based on their race or sex.
So, as a mother, I was disturbed to read this article on Gov. Sarah Palin:
"With five children, including an infant with Down syndrome and, as the country learned Monday, a pregnant 17-year-old, Ms. Palin has set off a fierce argument among women about whether there are enough hours in the day for her to take on the vice presidency, and whether she is right to try."
Some of the comments are particularly discouraging:
"Upon reading that Ms. Palin’s special-needs child was three days old when she went back to work, Ms. Moore began questioning the governor’s judgment. Partly as a result, she plans to vote for Senator Barack Obama."
My son Joseph is about the same age as Gov. Palin's youngest son since both babies were born in April. Since Gov. Palin's nomination, I've spent a lot of time talking to my friends from Yale. Most of us are mommies now. The majority are Democrats, but we're pretty evenly divided between working moms and stay-at-home moms. Regardless of our politics, we found Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton inspirational.
One of my good friends from Yale is a dedicated Democratic activist. She is ardently for Obama, and she disagrees with many of Gov. Palin's positions. We became friends at Yale because we were both leaders in community service organizations that helped women. We both call ourselves feminists. We might have a different interpretation of what that means, but we agree wholeheartedly that it is wrong to attack Gov. Palin as a bad mother for political gain.
My husband went back to work almost immediately after our son was born. Most men do. And nobody would question their judgment as a result.
On a personal note, I ran for School Board while pregnant. I fought off morning sickness to knock on more than 2500 doors, and I stood for 12+ hours at the polls on election day. At the same time, I held down a fulltime job and continued to volunteer in the community. I even worked until a week past my due date and finished a blog post while in the early stages of labor.
I missed a committee meeting since I was in the hospital recovering from my c-section, but I was back at School Board meetings within two weeks after giving birth. Since I have a supportive husband and extended family, I have been able to combine motherhood, volunteering and work.
In the photo above, you can see me and Baby Joseph refurbishing computers for T&E Care at the E.S.C. Building. As he napped in his stroller or snuggled on my lap, I was able to spend hours refurbishing computers for needy students with only a bit of occasional drool on a keyboard or spitup on my shoulder.
So I find it a bit puzzling when people infer that mothers aren't capable of serving their community or their country AND taking care of their children. There is nothing in the world more important to me than my son, but I am still capable- with the support of my husband and my family- of contributing to the workforce and to my community too.
Attacking Gov. Palin's qualifications as a mother is likely to score political points, but it is wrong. And I suspect such sexist attacks will turn off young mothers. Regardless of their politics, my mom-friends agree. Love her or hate her: Gov. Palin deserves to be judged based on her merits.