It’s a mistake to look at Sarah Palin and analyze her actions and her place in this campaign in terms of the struggle against patriarchy. She doesn’t struggle against it, she endorses it. That she has found a way to rig the patriarchal system to HER benefit and through her to that of those closest to her is to be expected, that’s what conservatives do no matter what group they belong to. Looking at Palin as any kind of first for women (second, actually, as we are not supposed to remember) only leads away from reality. She is out for number one, not for women in general. Her nomination is as meaningful for progress for women struggling against patriarchy as Clarence Thomas has been for the equality of black people or the Log Cabin Republicans for gay people. In the struggle against patriarchy, she’s just a patriarch in disguise. The use of her daughter in this campaign is rapidly approaching the level of depravity that Thomas’ use of his sister was. It is a warning of just how bad a Palin administration could get.
I've generally avoided discussions of Palin's child-rearing. I think that, in this society, making negative judgments about whatever women decide to do about/for/with their children comes far, far too easily (and liberals are almost as infected with this problem as conservatives). (Whether we're calling them "helicopter moms" or complaining that some woman is "willing to put career ahead of her children," whatever women do, it's wrong.) One never hears that Joe Biden left his young, injured children with caretakers all day. No, one hears how heroically he trained back home from DC every evening to be with them. And all politicians "use" their families as props, some, obviously, more than others. I remember how adorable the two young Edwards children were, how lovely and composed the older daughter was as she kind of helped corral them, how often we heard the very sad tale of their deceased son. And I just think there are a whole host of reasons why Palin shouldn't get anywhere near the presidency that don't involve judging her family choices. So, as noted, I'm reluctant to get into the issue.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."