Last Updated Sep 11, 2008 8:31 AM EDT
Some Republicans are crowing that women should be given the opportunity to simultaneously serve as vice-president of the United States and raise a large special needs family -- with a moose kill thrown in every once in awhile. Some Democrats, meanwhile, are taking the unfamiliar position that the mother of a pregnant teenager and a child with Downs Syndrome needs to step off the career express and tend to her family. The party of Family Values should walk the talk, their argument goes.
In a Harvard Business Publishing blog post, Christina Bielaszka-DuVernay wrestles with this contradiction and the basic question that never seems to go away:
"Do such obligations somehow make women less suited than men for certain professions or roles?"
Women commentators to her post offer contrasting opinions. Here's a sample:
- "Raising children is a family affair. I find it unbelievable that we are still having this conversation. A woman has the same rights and privilege as a man to have a career in business or politics."
- "I personally have never found a tremendous outpouring of support for stay at home mothers. The questions is always, 'So you don't work?' Somehow we should be able to do it all but those of us that have tried usually realize sometimes that just cant be done."
- "While (Palin's) desire to make a difference is admirable, her home life seems to need more of her time and attention than the Republican party needs."
- "Motherhood requires strength, dedication, leadership, determination, and pride. If a women finally receives the chance to show these qualities to a country in need of such qualities than the answer to the question is yes, women can be both a mother and a leader."
(Palin in Kuwait image by secondhandconjecture, CC 2.0)