Say it ain’t so, Cal.
Yesterday I encountered one of the most offensive columns I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. The worst of it is the fact that it was written by a columnist and conservative pundit I considered far above such things. Someone I respect. The more I think about the title of the column, it makes me think of two things. First, either Barack Obama has so changed the political climate that now substance does not matter, only hot-dogging rhetoric, or someone is trying to lower the bar for GOP women to the point where they will be silenced, forever.
It provided good fodder for an argument during the last leg of a very long day, yesterday. Naturally my mother, who rarely approves of a feminist stand, was offended over the fact that she thought I was putting down stay at home mothers. “Well, it never hurt me.” Sometimes I want to groan. It is the fact that if a woman starts off on a career, then takes a good 15-25 years off to raise a family, if she goes back into the career path, she starts right back at the bottom rung along with the 23 year old college grad. The only way to make up for this is to start your own business, which is what many women, including my sister, have done after the last child leaves the nest.
The cynical view of this is by then the poor woman must go off and start a new business or go back to the bottom rung of the career ladder because after she’s put in all those years raising the family, hubby decides to ditch her for the young chippie. The long serving, conservative wife gets the shaft. Trust me, I know way too many of these women. If you are honest, so do you.
I am one of those people who believe if a woman choses to have a family, then by golly, if she can’t afford a career where she can take the little ones with her to work, or create some scenario where only family cares for the pre-school kids, then STAY HOME and be a mom. Society puts too many demands on us, requiring if we want to be viable as a person and a human being, women must be married, have a career, and have a family. If you want to devote your life to a career, skip the kids unless you can afford to bring them along in the room next to you.
Maybe this is why I find what Cal Thomas wrote so offensive. Back to the argument yesterday. I couldn’t get my mother to see how a woman had to start over. Her comment was she’s be in deep dodo. My father, shockingly agreed with me. He said, “If I wanted to go to work now, I’d be starting all over at the bottom.” (Will wonders never cease!)
If a woman follows the Cal Thomas theorem of good little conservative superstar female candidates – well, there will never be one. I decided to take a look at a few successful Republican women. Some are liberal, some moderate, and some conservative. I did not profile Sarah Palin because fortunately she seems to be all the talk (thank goodness!). Neither did I profile Condi Rice. You know her.
There is a bottom line here. Not one of these women did the good little conservative mommy thing. Every one of them has proved Thomas wrong.
In Townhall, Cal Thomas wrote the following:
MARY FALLIN has been in politics most of her adult life. She is divorced with 2 children.
I have two words: SARAH PALIN
Two more words: CONDI RICE
JOE ANN EMERSON inherited her House seat from her late husband. She has 2 daughters and 4 step daughters.
VIRGINIA FOX has been involved in politics most of her adult life. She has degrees in English, Sociology, and Higher Education. She has taught on the university level and served on many state and national commissions on education.
Note to Cal: Hillary wears mostly St. John. How do I know? Unfortunately for my mother, she and Hillary have much the same taste in St. John and wear the same thing. The family has had much amusement this past election cycle. St. John also sells pants. Every outfit my mother has, comes with a skirt and pants. Also note to Cal: I’m a Republican and I wouldn’t be caught dead in a St. John.
Or how about CATHY MCMORRIS ROGERS, shown here in RED LEATHER! Congresswoman Rogers is in good company with Sarah Palin. Baby Cole also has Downs, and Congressmommy chose life instead of an abortion. She’s the Co-Chair of the Congressional Woman’s Caucus. It’s not a very traditional job, but then being Governor of Alaska isn’t exactly a traditional job.
SUE MYRICK is a small business woman, mayor, political activist and mother of two. ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, born in Cuba, is in a mixed marriage. She is Catholic, her husband Episcopalian. She has a Ph. D. in education.
CANDICE MILLER has been involved in politics most of her adult life. DEBORAH PRYCE is a divorced, single mother, attorney, and a judge.
MARY BONO MACK came to politics after being the wife of the late Sonny Bono. She’s had a rather interesting romantic life that doesn’t exactly promote the traditional values Cal Thomas thinks is the way to power. GINNY BROWN WAITE has a masters in public administration with three grown daughters.
BARBARA CUBIN is an Episcopalian, a chemist, former social worker, and a realtor. She has 2 grown sons. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO has a degree in zoology, and 3 grown children.
JUDY BIGGERT is an Episcopalian, attorney, and a working mother of 4! MARSHA BLACKBURN is a life-long GOP activist and former head of the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission. JEAN SCHMIDT is a marathoner. She is a mother, banker, schoolteacher, and a GOP activist.
Yep, keep ‘em barefoot and pregnant. Anyone who thinks “home” is where the ultimate power lies is either blind, stupid, or just wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant. Being in the home and not in Washington is NOT the way to win elections and influence voters. HEATHER WILSON of NM is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and had a Ph. D. in International Relations.
Today only about 30% of the women in Congress are Republican. 20 years ago it was half and half. Is Thomas’ view so pervasive that the back room power brokers who are so busy keeping Republican women busy baking cookies and serving punch are stifling the election of Republican women? I’ve been there and done that. In 1995 it became all to apparent to me that the only thing a women was wanted for in the SC GOP was to bake cookies and serve punch. I rebelled. No one puts down SUSAN COLLINS or OLYMPIA SNOW. Collins is not married, and has spent her life in her career. Olympia Snow is not your usual housewife either. Both of these women have had careers and lives outside of the home. So does ELIZABETH DOLE. She is an attorney, and held two Cabinet positions, as well as being President of the American Red Cross
KAY GRANGER is divorced, an author, and has a long distinguished political career.
KAY BAILEY HUTCHINSON is an attorney. She was also a legal and political correspondent for a television station in Houston. LISA MURKOWSKI is a wife, mother, attorney, and a politician. Before running for the school-board (to start her political career), MARILYN MUSGRAVE was a school teacher, wife and mother of four.
I don’t know where to start. This is the biggest piece of papa cow excreta I’ve seen in a very long time. I thought better from Cal Thomas. Does he know about MICHELE BACHMANN? She’s not your traditional housewife, either. She is an activist!
If you are to follow Cal Thomas’ formula for the good little conservative woman, NOT ONE of these women would be an office holder. There is nothing wrong with being a wife and full time mom. BUT, it is not how you advance politically. Evidently Thomas is part of the growing conservative trend of stripping women of their rights, keeping ‘em barefoot and pregnant, and silencing their political voices. He brings up the icon = Margaret Thatcher. No stay at home mom was she. Instead, she was a scientist, a chemist, and developed a way of preserving ice cream. New husband Denis encouraged her to become a barrister. A year later, in 1953, she entered politics. She was never a traditional mother.
Neither is Sarah Palin, even though she is one of those ‘working moms’ who is always there for her children, and has been called a ‘hockey mom’.
If a woman wants a career in politics, she needs to follow a career path similar to that of a man. To spread the propaganda Thomas is spreading is misleading and highly biased. It is a way to keep women in their place, baking cookies and serving punch at their local GOP meetings so the men-folk can go about their business making all the important decisions. Sorry, Cal. I thought better of you. I guess I was wrong.