10.09.2008

I'm a Real Woman; Palin is not

From one of my favorite commenters, in answer to my latest post:

Why is it that Sarah Palin inspires hatred and vitriol from women ? I do not see this from men, but from her "fellow" women there is a pure form of vile saved just for her.
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Smells a lot like partisanship.
Or is it something else indeed ?

Just curious about the special hate for Palin


First a disclaimer: I never use the word "hate" when talking about Palin. It's an ugly, over-generalized word and I try very hard not to have it anywhere in my conversations.

The "woman's movement" (for want of a better name) has been on a rollercoaster ride for ever – at least 200 years in our own country. We just got the right to vote, what, in the mid 1920s? The date isn't important, but what is, is that we have had to struggle, struggle, struggle to get over the "bare foot and pregnant" obstacle that is constantly being put in front of us. We gain something and then there is that old obstacle, like a bad penny. I know that women have been on this journey for decades. I'm almost 60. I'm mainly talking about the women in my age group. Women in their 40s are reaping the benefits of my generation's hard work.

In the 70s we had more radical movements – women burning their bras in town square. I was 21 in 1970. I had my two sons in 1972 and 1974. There was a huge deal going on in those two years about women working, women staying home, women breast feeding, not breast feeding, women saying this is MY body, women saying this embryo is a living human being. We were drowning in all these "movements."

My husband came to me one night when I was 28 and told me he was in love with someone else. A man. Now – that was something that was really a stretch to wrap my mind around. I was a fairy princess who left the house of my absolutely wonderful father and married this tall, handsome, knight on a white charger. All my fantasies fulfilled.

Suddenly I had to really pay attention to all the things I had been hearing about the glass ceiling, equal rights, women working OUT of the home, and face the frowns and glares from people who believed it was a woman's duty to stay at home with her children. I also was entering the work force at a time when divorce rates skyrocketed. There were divorced single mothers everywhere you looked.

So I became two parents to my children; I was "head of household" according to my tax return; I made home repairs and car repairs myself; I had a very trim budget that I lived by; I spent quality time with my children while I worked at a full time job. At one point I held two jobs – my full time secretarial job and cleaning houses in the evening (and my office one summer). I had little emergencies, like when my car died and I needed just about everything replaced – head gasket, alternator, battery. My youngest son had to have surgery for tubes in his ears, tonsils out. I dealt with special teachers, counselors, speech therapists, etc., because this same son had a 30% hearing loss. I sent my oldest son off to the Army when he graduated from high school. Both sons miraculously grew into men, who appreciate and respect women. I take a lot of credit for that.

Now here I am, almost 60, and I have found my place as a woman in this society, having pretty much done everything myself that a husband would normally do for me.

Along comes Pollyanna Palin and the nation applauds her being a "woman in a man's world." I beg to differ. This isn't something new – we have gradually been filling the non-traditional roles that once were for men only. Hell, it used to be that a secretary was a man. (The "lot in life" for a woman was literally to be barefoot and pregnant.) It also definitely is NOT partisanship – I have no devotion to Palin, no political leanings towards her.

I have a small circle of friends – four women who have been in my life for the last 30 years. Among them, a former police officer, a telephone lineperson, a salon business owner. We have been single mothers, remarried, moved on. We are not afraid to tackle things by ourselves. We do NOT use winks, cutsie talk, flirty ways, or sex to get our point across. We are Real Women! Gosh darn it I wish people would finally get that. {wink}

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3 comments:

Cheryl said...

AMEN and AMEN! And, as a woman in my 40's I want to earnestly THANK YOU for all you did for me, for paving the road, for building that ladder, for clearing the weeds on the path! You are remarkable and should be celebrated for your efforts! I celebrate you, I applaud you, I hold you in my heart! I have reaped, and continue to reap, all the benefits from your personal efforts. Thank you, thank you!

And - your post could not be more dead on! And please, 'Pollyanna Palin'? I actually snorted chamomile tea through my nose...which sounds funny,but it was actually very hot!

Still, I celebrate you...even with hot tea dripping from the tip of my nose! BRAVA! [*wink*hair toss*nod*wink-wink*] Cher

Al said...

I recall in the early 70's when I worked at McDonalds. No women. It was strictly a male fraternity.

And I'd like to give a shout out to the {wink} - ;)

In spite of being my sister, you are a riot. Your Dad would have been proud of his little princess.

JeanieSpokane said...

Al - it was Dad who told me once that I could BE an attorney or a police officer or whatever. I didn't have to DATE them. :)