I think one of the things about Gov. Palin that is appealing to so many people, men and women, is that she is an intelligent, capable, ambitious, beautiful woman who is feminine, comfortable being a woman. One of the things that bugs me about the Feminist movement is it seems to tell women that they have to act like men to be equal to them. And in the process women are no longer feminine and instead take on some of the worst aspects of masculine nature. I'm convinced that this is why many women have become promiscuous and accept pornography. And in politics, women who try to be tough in a masculine way come across as harpies and vulgar. (I'm not naming names. This happens across the political aisle.)
But Gov. Palin seems to have a feminine appeal while displaying her capability and strength.
While it's certainly fun to see a conservative, Christian woman who blasts the funny paper stereotypes so pervasive, I think the way conservatives and Christians defend Gov. Palin from the criticisms of neglecting her family. Some of the comments I've heard verge on sounding like women can do everything, we can have it all. No we can't. Life and parenting is about prioritizing, balancing, and sacrificing plans and ambition. While women can fill many roles at a time (we're very good at multi-tasking, which is essential to being a mom) we know the importance of parents being present for their children. I don't agree with those who protest that these questions weren't asked of the men running. I think it is more natural to ask the question about a mom and not a dad. Yeah, I'm old fashioned that way.
Now, I don't know the Palin family to know whether they have worked out that balance between both mom and dad. I'd be surprised if they don't wrestle with these arrangements like many busy families. I'm not going to prima facie conclude that a mom being VP means she's neglecting her family. I presume, and would hope, that dad is very involved with the kids. (My dad sure was.) But in defending her, we shouldn't diminish the importance of parents actively raising their kids because there's no substitute for good parents.
Jonah Goldberg puts it well.