Friday, May 23, 2008

Why I Will Not Vote for Hillary

Now, let me preface this by saying that I don't have all the facts and this is simply my opinion based on what I hear on NPR between 6:00 and 6:15 am each morning. Correct me if I have my facts wrong.

Every morning on the radio I hear Democrats making the argument that the Democratic primary votes in Florida and Michigan should be counted, and that it is a crime against humanity for them not to be. They promise to fight for our votes to count, and pledge that they will not lay down arms until all of the delegates are seated.

And I can't help but wonder how they can look at themselves in the mirror each morning and not avert their eyes. Newsflash - the Democratic party broke the rules. Blatantly, from what I understand. The rules said when to have primaries, and that primaries held at times other than stipulated by the rules would not be valid. They ignored those rules and had primaries anyway. Obama did the right thing and abstained. Hillary made speeches about how she was going to campaign here anyway, as if she was doing us a favor by gracing us with her presence, and put her name on the ballot. And because she was THE ONLY CANDIDATE LISTED, she won. Note to Hillary - winning by default is not winning. I would stop waving that victory flag.

Is it any wonder why she is now fighting to have those votes counted? It's not because of democratic processes. It is because she wants to ignore the rules and then cry foul when she gets caught. It may be a stupid rule, and it may need to be changed. But if she won't respect the guidelines created by her own party for fair play and blatently manipulates the system for her own gain, how can we expect her to create diplomacy on a global level? It is obvious she does not have the best interests of democracy at heart, so why should we expect her to have our best interests at heart if she is in office?

Let me be very clear - I am registered as an Independent, so I have no alliance to either of the dominant parties. I don't like any of the candidates and think they are all products of a flawed system plagued with more of an emphasis on PR, pandering, and strategic endorsements than with the real leadership skill it will take to turn our economy around, improve foreign relations, and get us back on track.

Why won't I vote for Hillary? Because she doesn't respect us enough to play fair. She is a smart woman with a true gift for policy-making, leadership, and inspiring people to make a difference. But her campaign is not about those things. It is about Hillary Clinton waging a one-woman battle to stick it to the Republicans. I'm not so naive as to think that Obama and McCain are not cut from the same cloth, but at least they're better actors.

Hilary is losing, and it is driving her crazy. I can relate - I can appreciate a woman who fights to the death and doesn't take failure as an option. But there comes a time when you're just making a fool of yourself, and trying to convince us that you manipulating the system is really doing us a favor, you manage to simultaneously insult our intelligence and degrade your credibility as an agent of change.

Step aside, Hillary. The fat lady just cleared her throat.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Enough With the Mommy Guilt

I just read an article about the current marketing campaign by Suave, in which a woman is shown going through the stages of being a young, attractive woman, then having kids and slowly morphing into a spit-up smelling, wrinkled-clothes wearing, unhappy lump of a person. Then, of course, she uses Suave and is attractive and happy again. The writer of the article chastized Suave for exploiting mommy-guilt to sell their products, and argued that glamorous haircare isn't necessarily at the top of a mother's to-do list.

And then I read the comments from women (and men) listing off all of the roles women play as mothers, and how we should all just be glad that they don't hit us in the face with a frying pan for not worshipping at their feet for the sole reason that they gave birth.

My response - you signed up for this.

I am a mother, albeit to only one child who is pretty easy to take care of. And, I have a A+ husband who shares household chores and parenting responsibilities pretty equally and with enthusiasm. I work full-time and manage to keep the house relatively clean, wear clean and presentable clothes, cook healthy meals, run errands, maintain friendships, date my husband, and exercise daily. And I don't feel like society owes me any pity for this.

People call being a mother the hardest job on earth, and I can see why. It is a 24/7 all-hands-on-deck position with little vacation, no sick leave, and payment in the form of the occasional "please" or "thank you, mommy." I just don't feel the need to lord it over everyone about how hard I work as a mother. I asked to become a mother, and I knew it would be hard. Sure, I enjoyed my Mother's Day breakfast and basked in the appreciation of my son and husband, but I don't expect to be worshipped because I am a mother. I expect to be worshipped because I am awesome. LOL

Many mothers love to list off all of the hats they wear in their families. As one commenter on the article wrote: "cook, pastry chef, maid, taxi-cab driver, author, disciplinarian, friend, laundress, pet groomer/caregiver, professional grocery planner and shopper, party planner, gift purchaser (birthday parties, christmas, anniversaries, etc.), volunteer (at school event or otherwise), counselor, nurse/physician (primary care and ER services), vehicle cleaner(inside and out), editor, teacher (all subjects and specialties), financial analyst, college planner and financier..." Here's the thing - you don't have to do all of those things. There is a good chance that your family would survive - possibly thrive - if you just got out of the way a little bit.

What I'm trying to say is, I don't feel bad for you. Seriously. If you are filling all of those roles for your family, what is everyone else doing? Feeding a cat and scooping a litter box does not make you a pet groomer/caregiver. It makes you an adult. Shopping for gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas does not make you a personal shopper. It makes you an adult. Stopping at the gas station to vacuum out your car for 10 minutes does not make you a vehicle cleaner. It makes you an adult.

If you don't want to do these things, get rid of the cat, disown your family, and live with a dirty car. But don't make the rest of us feel bad because you can't get your act together.

Want to talk about the double standard regarding societal pressure for moms to look like supermodels while dads can let themselves go? I'm right there with you. Want to vent about there not being enough time in the day to get it all done and still get enough sleep to get up and do it the next day? Sing it, sister. Just stop with the guilt.

It really isn't making me feel bad.