Friday, October 10, 2008

Mothers' Political Hazards

"She...spent Sundays in the kitchen cooking five meals to store in the freezer so the family could eat together during the week," says the Seattle Times this morning about Washington State governor Christine Gregoire.

Gregoire has been governor for four years and before that held a little post known as State Attorney General. Oh, and before that, she had an amusing little job as Director of the Department of Ecology.

Yet, the Seattle Times would like us to know, she never missed one of her daughter's high school soccer games. Says daughter Courtney, "We're close because Mom always made us priority."

Excuse me, I know it is Ms. Gregoire who is up for re-election and not her husband, but I must ask: What was the husband's job that was so important that he was not the one cooking five meals on Sunday? King of the World? Was he also at the soccer games? Did he make the family a priority?

I just have to ask, because if we don't ask that question, then we will never have a real, publicly-acknowledged answer to why more women do not rise to the highest positions of public office.

Reading this article this morning, the answer is so black-and-white to me that I can't believe it's not addressed by the article's author, Andrew Garber. (Any guesses, readers?)I mean, ok, there are issues of self-esteem and gender-conditioning that begin in infancy. But, damn, we don't have a female president yet because most women bear children. And of those, most mothers are attached to male partners, who, all the research you care to quote will show, do not raise the children.

The mothers raise the children. The mothers make their children a priority.

Even when they are governor of Washington State.

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