Little more than a gaggle of hacks and geeks.

Bye-Bye, American Mommy.

with one comment

The war between the feminist left and the conservative right over the role of women as mothers and as citizens (i.e. “Mommy War”) may have come to an end. With it will go years of dedication to a cause many believed to be righteous and good. As has been demonstrated time and again, Christian and conservative pundits are professional political prostitutes, hooking themselves and their cause for a place at the table of the establishment. What they have never quite grasped is that the meal isn’t free, or even cheap for that matter.

Sarah Palin’s instant rise to fame amongst so-called conservatives is proof-positive of this. Here we have a woman who may be juggling the office of vice president , one of the most demanding and dangerous jobs on the planet, with her god-given role as a wife and a mother. In fact, she is a mother of five,  two of which have special needs. That is, she’s got two children with special needs if we still believe pre-marital sex and teenage pregnancy is justifiably a special situation requiring special attention and extraordinary care. Such a situation would, at least in years past, cause conservatives and most Christians great concern. At bare minimum it would have been reason for serious speculation and reserve. But not for Palin. She has been given the red carpet, is portrayed in ways reminiscent to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and is given a “Pass Criticism Free” card.

James Dobson, a man who has insisted for years that children (especially those with special needs and in their most formidable years) need their mothers. He has claimed, and rightly so, that it is essential for the physical, emotional, psychological, and religious well-being of the child. Rather predictably, Dobson has shown amazing signs of forgetfulness, backpedaling on virtually all of these assertions. In an interview with radio host and contributing writer for, Dennis Prager, the flip-flop doc said that Palin made him feel much like he did when Reagan was put in office. This was because, as Dobson put it, “everything that we had hoped for and been working for had come to pass.” Too bad that most of us were not aware that placing a mother of five, and two with special needs, into the extremely demanding (and dangerous) office of vice president was something he had been hoping for and working toward. I presume it is a matter of our inability to read between the lines.

Another pundit tossing up the white flag is Maggie Gallagher. In her article entitled “Sarah Palin’s Pioneering Streak” she says that Palin is providing women with a unique woman figure: the pioneer. According to Gallagher, these “traditional” types take care of the home and the community. The pioneers understand that their primary purpose is tending to the needs of their children and home, but this doesn’t bar them from social responsibility. And in the instance where the husband (or men) drop the gun with danger quickly approaching, they know how to pick up the gun and take down the beast that wishes to devour. So is the life of the pioneering woman. This, we are told by Gallagher, is the amazing life of Palin.

But are we really so dense as to buy into what Gallagher is saying? Pioneer-type women may be traditional in the sense that knickers are, but this doesn’t make them preferable. We also have to face the fact that Palin has been negligent in taking care of her family responsibilities. She has sacrificed her sacred trust for political porridge. Still more, Gallagher’s illustration of the pioneer picking up the gun misses the mark. The pioneer woman would only pick up the gun if her husband (or a man) couldn’t do it. And once she had killed the creature, she would tend to the man and make sure he could return to his traditional roles as provider and protector.

Even Rev. Doug Wilson of Christ Church gave his two cents worth. What did Mr. Wilson have to say? Well, Dennis, Mr. Wilson plays the political menace. He uses the extraordinary example of Deborah in the book of Judges as a means by which to justify women with young children becoming civil servants. But does he really believe it wise to use extraordinary events in history as normative standards by which to make moral judgments on ordinary affairs? And does he really wish to compare the responsibilities and time contraints of an Israeli judge with that of a 21st century vice president? I hope not! He then disregards Isaias 3:12 as little more than a judgment on society. But even if this were to be the case, it ends up biting him in the butt. One is baffled as to why he would feel comfortable with Palin in leadership. Why would he contribute to something that is the result of being culturally effeminate? Lastly, he provides readers with an example where cultures weren’t effeminate and yet were under the rule of a woman. This line of reasoning is, in principle, little different than the reasoning employed by those who say that homosexual marriage should be permitted because of the minimal impact it would have on a heterosexual society. Suffice it to say that Rev. Wilson’s case for Palin amounts to little more than sloppy theology and an ever so convenient dose of utilitarian pragmatism.

The real question, though, is how Palin perceives her role as a mother and a politician. I am beyond convinced that Palin looks at this matter not as a pioneer woman but as an ambitious feminist (a descriptive word she uses of herself) wishing to be the breadwinner rather than a traditional mother figure. She isn’t a temporary replacement for men who, for one reason or another, cannot do the job. No, she is a permanent fixture in the political machinery.

So what we have are “Mommy War” icons tossing in the towel. We can rest assured that they would disagree with my assessment, insisting that nothing has changed, but the writing is on the wall. Definitions have been tampered with, and goalposts have been moved. Unfortunately, it is hard to distinguish between the definitions and goals of those once identified as culture warriors and those recognized as cultural deconstructionists. Keep this in mind whenever you hear a conservative complain that feminists aren’t jumping on the Palin bandwagon. You will quickly understand the reality of this all too depressing state of affairs.


One Response

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  1. Good observations, I agree entirely.


    September 5, 2008 at 10:53 pm

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