Friday, October 10, 2008

On Women

I'm a modern, independent woman. I moved to the big bad city after a lifetime in the suburbs, and I'd never go back. Every woman in my family was raised to be beautiful, strong, and independent of the various men in our lives. Divorce is a plague in our family, and every married woman in my family has been divorced at least once, except a few who married in. We bake and gossip and shop together and know how to take care of our various men, but we know, first and foremost, how to take care of ourselves. We know not to count on anyone but ourselves and other women. All of us, from my grandmother to my three year old cousin, wear the pants in our relationships, and all our various men know it, from my grandfather to my uncle, my cousin's father.

There was a time when women didn't have the choices I do. Women can be doctors and scientists as well as educators and nurses. We can do anything. When I was born in 1983, there were almost no women holding seats in the House and Senate. They are still grossly underrepresented, but there has been progress. Now, there is a woman, a black woman, serving as Secretary of State, the highest office a woman has ever held in this country. I don't remember Geraldine Ferraro campaigning with Michael Dukaukis in 1988, but I do remember Hillary Clinton. I remember Condi Rice. I remember Nancy Pelosi. I remember Sarah Palin.

It doesn't matter which of these women I agree with, though I'm pretty sure you could figure it out. It's important for women to get out there on the national stage and teach the men a thing or two. We need to be the ones drafting legislation that will decide what women can and can't do with their bodies. We can be just as tough as men, we won't be afraid of getting our feelings hurt, and after delivering a speech on Education or the Environment or National Security, we can still go home and bake cookies with our kids. We can have it all.

Just as important as getting women into higher office is, of course, getting the right women in office. Just because she has a vagina doesn't mean I want her in office. Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton both have one, but I'd rather have four years of root canal surgery than see Sarah Palin sitting in Dick Chaney's chair, a heartbeat away from the presidency. I am terrified at the thought of that woman running the country. It's not sexist to fundamentally disagree with someone.

This is why I was so insulted the McCain campaign actually thought they could attract the women who supported Hillary Clinton by putting a woman on the ticket. They actually thought one woman is just as good as another, and women would vote for Sarah Palin because they wanted a woman in office. It has been said many times before, and I will say it again here: Sarah Palin is not Hillary Clinton. One woman is not as good as another, and just because she has a vagina, doesn't mean I'm going to vote for her. Remember all that I said about putting the right woman in office? Sarah Palin is not the right woman for office.

1 comment:

xurando said...

When I was born in 1983, there were almost no women holding seats in the House and Senate.

Not so! Check this out: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/congress/a/women_congress_2.htm

If you're interested in woman congress check out the Coya Knutson story.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coya_Knutson