I sit in front of my computer and shake my head.
I have a fourteen-year-old daughter. She was born 8 weeks premature, spending 10 days in the hospital before coming home. I was able to take extra time off from work back then because I was working in a professional environment and was a corporate officer, and the one good benefit officers at my lowly level received was extra sick time. But, after 3 months, I went back to work and she went to daycare, because we were a dual-income-two-kid home. Through the years I was able to work flexible schedules and telecommute so I could spend more time with both of my children.
Being a child of the seventies, I grew up with the advertising mantras of the women’s liberation movement: Virginia Slims “You’ve come a long way, baby!”, Enjoli Perfume “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, etc. etc.”. At work, I had post-it notes that said “A woman’s place is in the home, and she should go there immediately after work.” One of my male co-workers gave me a sign for my cubicle that said “A woman has to work twice as hard as a man to get ahead. Fortunately that isn’t difficult.” Every boss I had, male or female, knew if something had to be done now to give it to me. There were hundreds of women just like me. I was blessed in that my husband helps A LOT. I think about the single moms I worked with. I think about the moms of teenage girls who got pregnant in high school, and the excruciating decisions they went through. These women truly were the backbone of the companies I worked for.
Now, let’s shift gears, shall we? Zoe 101 is a television show for teens that airs on Nickelodeon, which is owned by Viacom, which also owns MTV. It’s star was (I don’t think she’s still on it, but she might be, which just makes this worse) Jamie Lynn Spears. That’s Britney Spears little sister. We know what a super good role model Britney is for our teenage daughters. She was also an excellent role model for her little sister Jamie Lynn, who got pregnant at 16. The media loved Jamie Lynn. There were articles about her shopping for baby clothes, how she was decorating the nursery, what celebrities were sending what spiffy, expensive gifts. It was such a lovefest. Nick did issue a statement at one point asking the media to “respect Miss Spears’ privacy.”
The events of the past eight days leave me nauseated, angry and energized. I’ve witnessed an outright attempt to destroy the life of a 17-year-old girl who is trying to do the right thing in a difficult situation. The mainstream media is out to destroy her. The radical left wing activists are out to destroy her. Yes, Barak Obama issued a statement saying that attacks on Governor Palin’s family are off limits. However, it seems to me that one word from his mouth to his campaign staff or to his dedicated followers admonishing their behavior and compelling them to get out of the sewer and act like human beings could put a stop to it. I actually read this week that there are those who believe that if Obama’s political agenda can be brought to fruition at the cost of one teenage girl’s life, it will be worth that price. What is a human life worth to these people?
The question, though, is: why is everyone out to destroy Bristol Palin? Seems to me that the answer could be that they are actually out to destroy her mother, Governor Sarah Palin, a strong woman. She knows what she believes and stands by her convictions. If you disagree with her on policy, that is your right as a citizen of America. But nothing in our constitution gives anyone the right to destroy her character, or that of her daughter. She represents exactly what women like me have grown up believing we could do. When did the tables get turned on us?
I sit at my computer and shake my head.
And my fist.
I have work to do.