“WHO THE HELL ASKED YOU?”
That’s my initial response to the barrage of stories and blog posts second guessing Sarah Palin’s life as a working mother. I’m not defending her here, frankly I don’t care about her. If she ever runs for President, i Might. What I care about is the sense of entitlement that leads people to pass judgment on the lives and families of women they have never met, whose kitchen tables they have never sat at, whose families grow up thousands of miles away from them.
The nomination of Sarah Palin as VP has served as an excuse for a bunch of the usual types to drag out their rhetoric against working mothers.
First up is Mother of the Year, Dr. Laura, who let her own mother’s corpse rot in her apartment for weeks, followed by a whole lot of other folks who think that they get veto power over someone else’s life.
We live in a sick celebrity centered culture, a global gossip village that makes people feel entitled to judge someone else’s personal life, just because they’ve seen her on television. A narcissistic celebrity centered culture lets an overstimulated public project their own egos on famous people, root for them and then destroy them.
It’s part of the Palin phenomenon, but not the whole of it. It’s part of why people feel entitled to judge someone else’s family they never even met, whose living room they never sat in, whose ups and downs they have never been a part of.
The whole of it is gossip. It’s the same old snide whispers and judgementalism masquerading under a self-righteous facade of concern for the traditional family. But they don’t mean a “traditional family”, they mean a perfect family, a family where nothing ever goes wrong, where no one ever has sex before marriage and mistakes are never made. But I’ve got news for you, that family doesn’t exist.
Every family has things wrong. Yes even the traditional families. Even the ones with white tableclothes and perfect family photographs. Perfect families try to maintain the illusion so they won’t be judged. And that’s where we get the traditional family, some perfect beacon that’s supposed to uphold that standard we can all be bowed under and gossiped about when we slip.
None of what I’m saying is an open door to do what you like, it’s a realistic assessment of the imperfect family. We all fall down. We all have to try and get up again, as well as we can, which is tough as hell to do in public.
It’s up to the family to make it work. It’s not up to any of us to pass judgement on how they make it work.