Excuse Me, Senator McCain — What I Want for My Daughter Isn’t About Being Liberal or Conservative

Sun, October 19, 2008


As the mother of a daughter, there are things I want for my eight-year-old PunditGirl, especially when she becomes a woman — things that I was lucky to have, but that generations before me didn’t. Interestingly, John McCain, as the father of daughters, doesn’t seem to want those same things.

Since we are both parents of daughters, I’m a bit confounded, Senator McCain, about your lack of interest in things that would benefit your girls directly. I know you probably won’t pay much attention, but here is the list of the things I want for my PunditGirl:

1. Equal pay for equal work. I know you seem to think that that’s all about more education and working harder, but that’s just nonsense and you know it, you just don’t have the spine to stand up to your GOP colleagues and vote for something that should be every daughter’s right in this country. Ask your daughters Meghan and Bridget — I’m betting they’d agree. Your oldest daughter Sidney, who’s an executive in the music industry, might also have some really enlightening things to chat about when it comes to women in the workplace. You might want to sit down with her about that … soon.

2. To be a feminist. I know you think that “feminist” is a dirty word. I can tell by the Dr. Evil smirk on your face in this clip with Fox News:

The funny thing is that the definition of a feminist is someone who advocates for the rights of women to be equal to the rights of men in all ways, including the social and political worlds.

Hmmm. That doesn’t sound especially liberal to me, especially since, Senator, you must, by definition, be a feminist since you apparently believe that Sarah Palin is as competent as you to be President. Otherwise, you would never have chosen her to be your running mate, right? Again, I’m thinking your daughters might have a few interesting thoughts on whether they think having equal rights is so horribly liberal.

3. Adequate paid maternity leave. You might be familiar with my reason for wanting this, because when Mr. PunditMom and I adopted PunditGirl, I was a federal employee — just like you! As a result, I did not get any paid leave, and it wasn’t because we adopted to form our family.

No federal employees get paid maternity leave, not even the parents who have their children the “old fashioned” way. I know when you and Cindy adopted Bridget, whether you got to take paid leave wasn’t an issue — Senators don’t get docked pay for taking time off and, of course, even if you had, Cindy is financially loaded, so it wouldn’t have been a problem for you. For me? It sure would have been helpful to have even part of my paycheck for those six to eight weeks.

Since she’s only in third grade, PunditGirl doesn’t have to make a decision yet about whether she wants to become a mother, but I know she wants to work at something, so it would be lovely if mothers in the future actually got some paid leave, like, say, the rest of the civilized world, so she won’t have to worry.

4. Access to safe and affordable birth control. I was lucky. I came of age at just the right time in terms of having access to birth control. I’m particularly happy about that because without it, there’s a big chance that my life would be a lot different today. You see, John, (may I call you John?), I made a pretty reckless decision and got married when I was a VERY young 19. The marriage didn’t last long because it turned out that my now ex-husband was pretty abusive in a lot of ways. I am thankful every day that we did not have any children that either would have tied me to him in some way for the rest of my life or would have exposed a child to an abusive father. Without access to birth control, I shudder to think how things might have turned out differently.

The Bush administration you are so cozy with is still in its waning days doing everything it can to take that right away. Now, in light of my recent birthday, that’s not something I have to worry about anymore. But don’t you and your conservative cronies dare take away from my daughter what she may want and need when she’s a young woman. Again, maybe you’ve neglected to chat with your daughters about birth control and how they feel about this?

Senator McCain, those are just a few of the things I want for my daughter that don’t have anything to do with being a conservative or a liberal, no matter how you try to paint it. What I would like, though, is for you to wipe that ‘I’m-so-far-behind-in-the-polls’ smirk off your face when you hold Sarah Palin up as the shining example of anti-feminist, conservative motherhood.

‘Cause, you know, without feminism, Palin couldn’t even be your running mate, right?

Thanks to Mom-101 who tweeted this video.

Be Sociable, Share!

Related Posts:

, , ,

15 Responses to “Excuse Me, Senator McCain — What I Want for My Daughter Isn’t About Being Liberal or Conservative”

  1. Cecily Says:

    Hear, hear! I want just the same things for my daughter, but also the ability to protect her “health” should she develop the pre-eclampsia that seems to plague the women in my family (as noted in my recent letter to McCain in my blog). Ahem. :)

    It was great meeting you at BlogHer DC!

  2. butwhymommy Says:

    Well said.

    It seems so basic that people would want these things for their daughters. I cannot fathom why he would think that any of that is bad.

  3. Candace Says:

    I feel so much better since you got that off your chest too! Thank you!

  4. Magpie Says:

    What Candace said. Thanks for saying that.

  5. ACACIA Says:

    Ohohoh!I loved your blog.
    Have not read it all but will come back with more time, that’s for sure.

    Kind regards,

    (a blogger from Buenos Aires, Argentina – yeah! That far away haha)

  6. Daisy Says:

    Well said. I want my daughter to have the same opportunities as men in the workforce, which includes maternity/paternity leave that won’t bankrupt them. Me? I still remember hearing, “We don’t hire women for these jobs. Try something more feminine.” Gag.

  7. Shonda Little Says:

    I really loved in the debate when John did the finger quote things around the “health” of the mother, as though any abortion performed to protect the health of the mother is bullshit. I also loved how he referred to it as the “pro-abortion” community, fucking prick. He knows that is using manipulation for undecided voters. I looked at my husband and said, “You know, as a “pro-abortioner,” nothing makes me happier than a woman chooses to end her pregnancy. Consider how “pro” abortion I am, it is amazing I decided to have our two children. I think I might get pregnant just to have an abortion.”

  8. anniegirl1138 Says:

    Well said! As the mother of daughters, I totally agree.

  9. winecat Says:

    Well spoken! Don’t you just want to reach through the tv and wipe that smirk off his face?

  10. donna Says:

    Of course we want these things for our daughters as they are sensible and right! This idea is in direct opposition with the far to the right, radical Republican party, however, as working women and mothers have been the main reason that the family unit is not succeeding in this country. ( Poor Dobson had to think fast and restructure his entire philosophy to endorse the Palin addition to the ticket!)

    Between the “health” comment made by McCain during the debate and the McCarthyism proposed by the Congresswoman from Minnesota on “Hardball” the other night, my stomach is in knots. These are representatives that have been elected to serve their constituents ideals and beliefs, and not their own singular agendas.

    November 4th, election day, gives us the opportunity to tell our representatives, on a local and federal level, that we won’t go backward, only forward. Our daughters are depending on us!

  11. Sarah Says:

    YEAH! Nicely said, PM!

    You know what really burns my ass? Insurance companies don't have to cover birth control – and they charge additional fees for "maternity coverage". So they're basically saying, hey, we won't help you pay to avoid a pregnancy – and if you can't afford to pay for the maternity coverage and you do get pg, you're really in trouble b/c we won't cover your prenatal care, hospitalization, labor & delivery – NADA! Meanwhile, that Viagra that the guy behind you in line at the pharmacy has a scrip for? Well…it involves a penis – so HELL YEAH it's covered! So, instead of just working for access to safe & effective birth control, how about asking for our reproductive and contreceptive rights to be given the same priority as a man's ability to have an erection.

  12. pajamadeen Says:

    Had to laugh when I saw the photo of McCain. Which once again reminded me – Is he ever going to avail himself of whitening strips?

  13. taxgirl Says:

    Excellent post! I’ve often said that I’ve become more of a feminist now that I’m a mother. I want so much for my daughters to not have to fight these fights.

  14. Mother Jones, RN Says:

    I want the best for my two daughters and that does NOT include Senator McCain.

    It was great meeting you at BlogHer DC. I’m adding you to my blogroll.


  15. Stephanie Rogers Says:

    Amen, PunditMom! The outcome of this election is going to have a huge impact on the future of important women’s issues like health care, equal pay and domestic violence. A great place to get the facts about the candidates’ voting histories is http://www.feministsforobama.org, run by Eleanor Smeal of the Feminist Majority. It really spells out how McCain has failed to protect women in so many ways! Thanks so much for posting this.

Leave a Reply