Sunday, December 7, 2008

I guess I don't have a life...

…since I don't have kids… not according to the (Democratic) Governor of Pennsylvania, at any rate. OK, he actually was speaking about single people -- in reference to U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's choice of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano for Homeland Security chief, earlier this week. But reading this column by Gail Collins in the New York Times, I found myself thinking, "They could substitute 'childless' for 'single' & the message would still hold in the eyes of many people.

I opened the comments & had to read no more than the first few to see that NYT readers picked up on the link very quickly.

Campbell Brown of CNN rightly called the Governor to task on this... however, as a childfree-by-choice blogger I sometimes read pointed out, she speaks of "mothers and single women" -- implying that married woman = mother.

I am, however, willing to cut Campbell a little slack. Does anyone else remember hearing that she was turned down as the host of the Today show a few years back when Katie Couric went to CBS (the job eventually went to Meredith Vieira) -- because (so it was rumoured) she wasn't a mom (at that time), & the network brass felt that moms (their target audience for the show) would find her too "threatening"?? (!!) NBC's loss, CNN's gain...

(I meant to post this a few days ago, but that's the kind of week I've been having...!)


  1. Of course you have a life!

    I think they said it backwards in the articles, because truly, in politics, mothers and fathers are verboten. Only single people and childless people get hired or get to keep their jobs. Yeah, it's wrong to discuss family status.

    Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that context is everything. If you wanted a job like that, you would be expected to quit every outside activity, never ever see your extended family, and work round the clock. There are no vacations, no support group visits, no visits to doctors, cause you aren't allowed to get sick, no shopping trips, no errands. Literally people are hired to do that for you.

    If they had kids and tried to do that job, CAS would be called. Hence the reason I haven't done a political job for pay since having my kids.

  2. I read the article - very entertaining. It seems as if women are damned if they do have children and damned if they don't.

  3. Fascinating the omissions and assumptions isn't it? I guess that makes me threatening and lifeless ;-)

  4. I was waiting for you to pick this up!!!

  5. Glad I didn't disappoint you, then!! ; )

  6. Our governor is an asshole.

    Aurelia is right, sadly, but may I just chime in from some experience that politics doesn't discriminate between men and women and the hours epxected (although Rendell might, but again, asshole). Ditto football coaches and a few other professions I could think of where people are just expected to run themselves ragged and sleep 5 hours a night.

    Which isn't right regardless of whether you have children or not.