Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Glass ceiling not shattering anytime soon

By now everybody is bouncing back from the shock of Sarah Palin being chosen as the Republican VP nominee. Relax. This post is not about who I'm voting for...or not.

I'm an admirer of BOTH Hillary Clinton AND Sarah Palin. (Okay, pick yourselves up off the floor...) I know what you're thinking. These two women believe COMPLETELY different things. You're right! I read a blog yesterday that said, "The only thing Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton share in common is that they have the same kind of genitals." Well, perhaps. I actually think they'd probably find a little more common ground than that, but here's where I'm going with this...although I might not agree 100% or even 10% with what a person stands for (their values) I can look beyond that to see the admirable qualities in a person. Just because I admire someone doesn't mean I'd vote for them.

I know she's not in the race anymore this year, but like her or not, you have to admit, Hillary Clinton is a sharp lady. She's a worker to the core -- you might not agree with everything she stands for, or even anything she stands for, but the fact is, she'll work to her dying day for what she believes in and with passion, and never give up. She embodies perseverance. I admire that in a person. I haven't known as much about Palin for very long, she has simply not been as prominent as Clinton. However I see many qualities in her that are admirable as well -- an equal passion for what she believes in, standing against corruption, cutting unnecessary spending, being willing to brave the storm that inevitably comes into one's life by not caving in to the "good old boy network".

What I'd like to address in this post are the questions people ask women that they would NEVER ask men. As soon as Palin was chosen as the VP pick, people rose up to question whether she should take this job, having 5 kids, one of them being a newborn baby. No kidding, I actually heard one pundit ask if she would have to bring the baby to the White House for meetings to nurse him, and if people thought that should be allowed!! I had to double over laughing on that one. (And yes, I breastfed my kids, and yes, I think it's a great thing.) It was my brilliant husband who shook his head at the stupid commenter as well and said, "you idiot, by the time she gets to the White House for meetings, if indeed she is elected VP, the baby will be at the age where he would be weaned before she's even sworn in." (I love my husband!)

Here's my thought...the glass ceiling is far from being shattered until we start asking MEN the same questions we ask women.

Do you think anyone in 21 years has ever asked my husband, "Pastor Shrodes, how do you manage to pastor the church while still having three kids in your home?"

Do you think in 21 years anyone has ever asked my husband, "Pastor Shrodes, how do you get everything done? How do you balance it all?"

Do you think in 21 years of pastoring, my husband has ever sat in an interview with a pulpit committee and heard, "Now Pastor Shrodes, you are after all, a husband and father. Do you think with that as a factor that you will be able to effectively do this job if indeed you are elected the pastor of this church?"

No, no, no. They have asked Pastor Shrodes, alright, but it's been THE WRONG Pastor Shrodes! LOL We will have shattered the glass ceiling when people are asking men the same questions they ask us.

Some of you might be ready to rattle off at your keyboard and comment or e-mail me with... "are you saying being a wife and mother aren't important?" and "don't you know motherhood is a high calling from God?" and "don't you believe in putting your kids before your job?" Answer to questions: no , yes, and yes.

I simply believe that all the same applies to my husband. Being a husband and father is important, isn't it? Being a husband and father is a high calling from God, isn't it? Being a husband and father comes before your job, doesn't it? So why aren't people asking the man the same questions?

It's obvious from some of the reading I've been doing that Todd Palin believes the way that my husband and quite a number of husbands today believe: parenting wasn't designed by God to be a one person responsibility. Single parenting is hard and most people aren't doing it by choice. God gave children a father and a mother for a reason. My husband and I believe God has given us our home and our children to lead as a team - together.

It's about a partnership. It's evident both Clinton and Palin have husbands who are partners. This is another thing I admire about both women, and something, ironically I have heard both criticized about!

Some of these questions about Palin's fitness to lead at this time come from women who strongly supported Hillary. Shame! Shame! Shame on you women!!! It's as if you forgot that Hillary ever had a child! She might be an empty nester now, but remember, she was raising Chelsea the majority of the years she was in the White House. And by all appearances it seems she and Bill raised her equally together. With all the bad you might have to say about the woman, give her this - she's a darn good mother who together with her husband raised a fine young lady. At least if you are going to criticize Sarah Palin, do it concerning her policies, not about whether she's going to nurse the baby or not, or whether she'll be able to keep the laundry done and still work on America's energy crisis. How ridiculous!!!

Ladies, ladies, ladies...let's not hold our sisters back or down by this type of rhetoric, whether we agree with their policies or not. Whether you are a Palin supporter or not, don't tear down what so many of our sisters -- and thankfully many of our right thinking and compassionate brothers --before us have worked so long and hard for.

No matter who gets elected this November, please keep in mind, the glass ceiling is not shattered until we stop asking women certain questions, or decide to ask men the same ones.

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