Recently I have become painfully aware of the double standard that we hold women to versus men. I am guilty it of myself. When I first heard about Palin as VP, qualifications or lack there of aside, I found myself wondering about her young infant child and asking questions like, why isn’t she caring for that little one. I found myself questioning her values as a new mom and whether she is breastfeeding or not. As a result of that and the discussions I have had with my friends, I have wondered, is the double standard alive and well in our society? Woman can fly fighter jets, serve in combat, write nobel peace prize winning books and poetry, run for Vice-President, and manage a multi-million dollar company but the truth remains- there is a double standard against females in our advanced world.
Unfortunately, that is how our society is. Fortunately, we live in America where it is still better for women than most other countries. In my own life, I see a double standard set for myself as opposed to my for my husband. My biggest pet peeve with my husband is his weekly entertainment. While I am gone from home alot for work, both my second job of serving in the Air Force Reserves and business travel for my primary job, my husband does not travel on business at all. Therefore, I think he tends to feel the need to get away more to go play poker and other games of chance at the local casinos. It is not something I have ever enjoyed nor do I think I would come to like. Of course, with a kid or two at home, it is not an activity we can both partake in anyway. In either case, the double standard here is that his entertainment will take him away an average of 9 hours per week with him arriving home long after 2am sometimes. If the casinos were open later, I wonder if he’d come home by morning light.
I couldn’t help but wonder that if it was the woman who was coming home at 2-3am every week – not for a job but simply from dancing and drinking with her friends, how would that fly with society and family? Now, I am not saying that his trips to the casinos are wrong or right, but in light of my recent consideration of Palin being away from her infant child, I could not help but wonder what people would be saying about me if I were the one taking these late night trips away from my daughter? I can only imagine the comments. She’s a slut who does not care for her family or her child. She is probably sleeping around- even if that were not true. She is irresponsible and has no self-control. What are the comments about a man when he is gone – Oh he just needs an outlet. He needs to get away from his nagging wife and screaming child so it is okay. It is at night when the kid is asleep so I guess that is okay. He is not the breastfeeder or the primary care provider so it’s okay. The guy needs to just get away- come on! These comments are not limited to just a guy’s night out or poker trips or when a guy plays video games a lot, you would hear the same comments for the guy who plays golf all the time, the guy who is an avid skiier and is gone on weekends alot in the Winter, and so on. But, if a woman wanted to do these activities every week or every weekend, I do not think it would be cool. After all, then when is she ever at home? Who is watching the kid? Shouldn’t she be devoting herself to the family she chose to have?
Now as far as Palin- I think she is an idiot and she is scary to say the least and it has nothing to do with her personal life. It has everything with what she stands for – Abstinence, Pro-life even in cases of rape and incest, her acceptance of earmarks for Alaska, her economic policies or lack there of, her desire to teach creation in public schools (probably along side with abstinence), her poor environmental record, her support of oil and gas, her lack of support for science and research especially on stem cell researched, and her underlying right wing conservative Christianity values injected into our Government. There is much more on her policies that scare the crap out of me but it is interesting to note that I also am concerned about her ability to lead based on her home and family life. In either case, this recent development has made me consider my own bias and my own judgment of women in and outside the home. There is truly a double standard, a glass ceiling that woman have that is often hard to overcome.