I haven't commented much on Palin cuz a.) I've been dealing with my own immediate things, and b.) I've been accumulating thoughts. Watching the media frenzy ebb and flow... watching with interest and trying to figure out what exactly bothers me about her. So in no particular order of importance here are things that bother me about Palin:
- The way she carries Trig
I'm not sure what it is... I know Trig has Down's Syndrome and will have developmental delays and so he will not grasp and cling the way most babies do. Or maybe he will... I don't know. But something about the way she holds him is very, I dunno... cold? She may as well be holding a fish:
She doesn't look natural or "mom-like" when she holds him. Granted... she may be dealing with a lot of mixed feelings right now about the baby. Maybe she hasn't bonded. But seeing pictures of her with Trig don't feel "warm", you know?
- I'm not satisfied that Trig is hers:
I really didn't pay too much attention to the rumors. And then I started looking for pictures of her holding Trig to illustrate the above. I found this picture of Palin and her "First Dude" with Trig:
but then I found this picture of Bristol and supposedly-expectant Babydaddy and it just kinda makes you go "hmmmmmmmm":
Now see... the timing is tight.... but it could still work. If Trig was born early, it's entirely possible that daughter didn't show all that much, deliver a baby early and still get pregnant again right away. Shoefly was seven months pregnant when she gave birth to the Moon... she was tiny... but she was showing. She didn't look unlike Bristol in these pictures:
Shoefly did NOT look like this at seven months:
which is supposedly Palin around the time she would have been seven months pregnant. Now granted... she's wearing black. It's a little hard to tell. But speaking again as a mom... you can hide your very first pregnancy a pretty long time. But your muscles relax with each successive pregnancy, and after five kids, I'm pretty sure you'd be a little bit bigger than this at seven months.
And Shoefly didn't look like this after delivering the Moon, who incidentally, stayed in the NICU for a month:(I found this picture on this blog)
Supposedly, Palin "hid" her pregnancy from the press and co-workers (not family... cuz I read elsewhere the family knew in advance that Trig would be born with difficulties... so she couldn't have hid her pregnancy from family the way some rumors suggest), and right when she announced it... she flew cross country with broken water??? And returned to work three days later? Look folks... I'm a mom. It's not fucking physically possible. Even slave women got four weeks of "confinement" (on some plantations) before being forced back to work. If you had a C-section, you're sore. If you delivered vaginally, you're still pretty sore. Bare minimum, you're moving a tad bit slower than you normally do. But you're telling me that three days after giving birth to a special needs baby, Palin was back at work? I do know of a young girl who dropped a baby and got a job a few days after delivery and went to work. It's possible. But she was in her twenties. Not 44.
But the whole thing brings up a couple of issues for me:
- If Trig isn't her baby
Why would she cover up? Maybe because it would make her daughter look REALLY bad to not only be unwed and pregnant, but pregnant back to back? But if you're so "pro-choice" and your kid "chose" to have a baby, why would you hide that?
- And if Trig is her baby
What kind of woman flies in a plane with broken water and then returns to work immediately after giving birth to a special needs baby??? I watched her in her interview defend her working mom status. When asked how could she be a mother to five and still be VP, her answer was "Just like a man could".
Bullshit. I'm not one of those who's vicious in my attacks on working moms. I don't buy into the whole hyped-up "Working moms vs. Stay At Home moms" debate. For one thing... some women just don't have a choice. For another, some women just plain old love what they do, and motherhood isn't the only thing that defines them--nor should it. I don't think that it's impossible to have several children and have a high-profile and/or demanding career. Women do it all the time. I know several who do... and do a good job at it, generally speaking. And sometimes they hire nannies and lots of help. OR... have a husband who stays at home and really holds down the family. Or sometimes both parents work but the moms I know still will hold a lionshare of the guilt as they struggle with their decision, occasionally questioning their mothering ability as they shuttle kids back and forth to schools and daycare and therapies and dentists and doctors appointments and still make the 8:30A meeting without vomit on their shoulder.
Because you can't do it "just like a man" because you're NOT a man. There is always that physical pull between mother and child, for the simple fact that because for somewhere from 7 to 9 months, you shared physical space in the same body. Unless of course you adopt, but even then you worry about bonding. And there are things that women will struggle with when they make the choice to work outside the home. And not for nothing... men don't generally struggle with the same guilt. That's why it's called "mommy guilt".
I have known women to have kids and then immerse themselves in their career with very little thought. It's their choice, of course; but the women I've dealt with--one in particular comes to mind--who do that and put their careers before their kids without that element of mommy guilt... I tend not to like. Not cuz they put their career ahead of their kids but because they tend to put their careers ahead of ALL relationships, and tend not to be very nice people in general.
And then of course, Trig is going to have special needs. If he were born without those special needs, and he's your fifth kid, it's totally feasible you'd be back to work pretty quickly. I mean, you're used to it all by now, and moms tend to be more and more cavalier with each kid they have. Consequently, younger children tend to be a lot more self-sufficient than their older siblings. But still... if you know your baby is going to have issues...wouldn't you be a little more attentive?
- Palin is really "white"
Let's face it. Racism and stereotyping is alive and well in this great nation of ours. At best, there's a truce. At worse there's all-out nastiness. A lot of times there's an uneasy peace. I said elsewhere on my blog that Palin is the kind of "white" chick that brownskinned women tend to go to war with because they tend to not have any frame of reference in dealing with us. All they see is themselves, and their world, and how they fit into it. If you don't fit into the way they view the world, they literally don't see you. They never pick you on their teams. They pass right over you in the PTA, handing the "fun stuff" to their friends, never acknowledge you or your suggestions in meetings. Completely ignore you at work. Make assumptions about your "shiftiness" if you don't look them in the eye, or accuse you of being "lazy" when you take too many breaks at work. Mind you, you took only one... but they'll come looking for you in the bathroom while you're peeing if they think you took too long, cuz you're "black", and "black" people don't really like to work. Their attitudes extend to other "white" women who don't fit into their world, of course, but as a brown-skinned woman it has a particular undertone that's sort of hard to explain. But I betcha there are brown women out there who understand what I'm trying to say.
- I can't stand her hair-do
Yeah that may be trivial, but her hair-do reminds me of the bullet point above. It's just an overall feeling that beehive gives, and it's not a warm/fuzzy feeling. And her glasses don't help either. I know, I know. It sounds catty. But I'm not being catty. The look she has going is so "white" that it just makes me uneasy. Even Hillary has some style. Even McCain's wife has some style; scary Republican "Muffy's mom at the country club" style, but style nonetheless. But Palin's style is "HUGE nasty fish in a small pond" style and it bothers me.
- I don't like her policies
We need gun-control in this country. There are too many miseducated idiots running around with vendettas and it's too easy for them to get guns. I once saw a man bleed to death on a Harlem sidewalk, shot in the head. He kept trying to pick himself up off the sidewalk, blood and brains making a dark river leading into the gutter. It was awful. We've got to figure out how to either get them off the street or make it harder for unlicensed guns to find their way into stupid hands.
Abortion may not be desirable, but it's a necessary evil to allow women to have safe, clean abortions in a safe, clean place. And if you're going to make abortion illegal, you HAVE to have cheap, available, guilt-free birth control and blatant sex education. Cuz point blank, people are going to have sex. These days, in certain age groups, sex is a sport. In certain circles, it's even a spectator sport. I'm finding that people are pretty cavalier about who and when they sleep with people. Not everyone in this country is white, Republican, Christian and practices abstinence. And even if they are the first three, they're not practicing abstinence since obviously Palin's own daughter wasn't practicing abstinence. Telling a teenager "Don't have sex" is pretty much inviting them to try to figure out why they shouldn't. I admit, I'm pretty hard-core against late-term abortions. I really think you should be able to figure out what you're going to do in the first 12 weeks of discovering you're pregnant, but it's not my life or my decision. And some people don't even realize their pregnant... sex and pregnancy and deciding to have children is not an absolute thing. And it can't be dictated by government.
I don't know what planet Palin is living on... but polar bears are dying. Their environment is already suffering. If we start drilling in Alaska, are we really sure it won't affect the already delicate environment and affect the ice caps further? How can she be so sure? How can she know more than a scientist?
- Rumors of Palin's vendettas are a little disturbing
It kinda fits into my overall unease of her. People like that should NOT be politicians. That's how we ended up in Iraq.
- She's barely been outside Alaska
and barely been outside the country. Which is OK if you're mayor of Wasilla. Understandable if you're governor of Alaska... they kind of live up in their own world. But for someone who needs to deal with all kinds of people from all kinds of cultures, you have to appear adaptable. You have to be able to relate to Africans and Chinese and Koreans and the British, the Italians and Spaniards and people from Baltimore. Or New Orleans. Or Harlem.
- Her speech at the RNC REALLY bothered me
especially when she sneered at "Community Organizers". It was her miseducation about how important those people can be, and her willingness to dismiss what she didn't know as being irrelevant that really really bothered me.
- There were other, scarier but qualified women McCain could have picked
and it bothers me he picked her. And I think he picked her cuz she's the kind of chick who appears independent and a "fighter" but basically everything they do is geared to pleasing the establishment. They totally buy into stereotypes, into what they've been told by old white men. They don't investigate for themselves. They don't question. It's dangerous.
- Her signature looks like that of a megalomaniac
So maybe none of what I feel is relevant to picking a Vice President. But I don't think so... cuz there's a good chance she could be president. And the prospect of her as president is scarier than if they changed the law and managed to get GW to be president for 12 years instead of 8. Which would be pretty fucking scary.
Other random things that bother me, but it's late and I can't elaborate:
- How come Palin is more qualified to be president, but Obama isn't? Really??
- This bailout of AIG/possibly other big businesses while there's no "bailout" on foreclosed homes or ridiculous student loan debt: are they fucking kidding me????
- Are we really gonna be screwed over again with another 4 years of Republican bullshit because people can't get over voting for a brown man?
- How freaking scary is it to see well-heeled former executives and office-workers on line for a job fair in NYC???