God, I love this race

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Breaking News: Gov. Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant and will marry the father.

Scroll further down and read the comments by NPR listeners/readers. We do live in interesting times, don’t we?

On first blush, I do think that some of the comments made on this particular blog (NPR’s, that is) are pointedly wrong and judgmental. To criticize Sarah Palin as a mother because her daughter is about to be a teenage mother is both wrong-headed and off the mark. The kid made a mistake and is owning up to her responsibility. Did the parents force her into a shotgun wedding? Who knows? We’re making assumptions based on nothing but a two-paragraph statement that indicates that the family is doing what it should at a critical time in their lives, i.e., circling the wagons and protecting and supporting each other.

Folks, Bristol didn’t flash her panties at NBC cameras during the Thursday nomination announcement. She didn’t kill anyone, she’s not pledging allegiance to al-Qaeda. She’s doing what millions — millions — of women have done before her, and that is have a baby. And guess what? Millions more have made something of themselves despite early motherhood; in many cases, early motherhood, as Palin points out in her statement, actually speeds up their maturation period. She’s getting the support of a loving, close-knit and well-to-do family; what’s the big deal?

Yes, this does put the spotlight on the whole morals issue again, given Gov. Palin’s ultra-conservative position on social issues. But you know, regardless of who uses the term “family values,” you have to remember that the operative word here is family. That includes nuclear families, extended families, gay-parent families, single-mom families, single-dad families, and yeah, teenage-parent families. You have children involved here — not just Bristol herself, but her baby, not to mention the other children in the Palin family. Perhaps this will be a good opportunity for Palin to re-examine her position on abortion and teenage pregnancy. Perhaps she won’t change her position and will continue to raise the moral high ground. Whatever. That’s for time to reveal. Right now she’s doing what a good mother and parent should, and that’s all we should expect from her. Time enough later to begin scrutinizing her social positions once she’s actually in the role of VP. (God forbid.)

Oh, and by the way, remember that the Palin family includes Mr. Palin as well. So please don’t be throwing that anti-feminist shit about Sarah Palin being a bad mom because Bristol’s going to be a teenage mom. Dad plays a role in parenting, too, probably more so with Mom as governor of an entire state and now the presumptive vice-presidential candidate. Yet another example of women bearing all the burden of parenthood, including the slings and arrows of clueless misogynists who extol the virtues of fathers who change one diaper, while castigating mothers who choose to work to help support the kids and maybe get a little personal fulfillment outside of the very narrow and underappreciated role of mom.

2 thoughts on “God, I love this race

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