I have a question for you, and you have to answer this one quickly without using the internet to find the answer. Ready?
How many grandchildren does Mitch McConnell have? What about John Boehner?
You don’t know? Why don’t you know? Isn’t that information important to have? Don’t voters deserve to know whether they are grandfathers and have the right to openly debate whether their role as grandfather will necessarily interfere with anything they might be called to do as part of their jobs as elected representatives?
We don’t know, and it’s not even the type of information readily available online for two reasons. One, just because someone is an elected official shouldn’t mean that details about their family should be relevant. Two, they are men.
Yep, that second one…that’s really the reason we don’t know.
On Thursday, Chelsea Clinton announced that she is expecting her first child. Hillary Clinton, who has stated in the past that she is eager to be a grandmother and who was elated with the news, immediately became fodder for public discussions of whether she could be both a grandmother and the President of the United States.
Are you kidding me with this???
Mitt Romney added two grandchildren to his family while he was running for President and no one asked him about it, no one questioned whether it would affect his ability to do his job, no one asked if he’d feel compelled to spend more time with his family, no one assumed he’d be distracted.
No one cared.
Yet, this time, because it’s Hillary, because she is a woman, it’s perfectly acceptable for pundits and talking heads on television to muse about whether she’s fit to serve the nation because someone is going to call her Grandma.
No one asks a man if he can be an involved enough grandfather and President at the same time.
Then again, no one asks a man if he can do any job in the universe and still be a good father. Yet, women are faced with that question almost constantly. Regardless of whether we work or stay home, we’re deemed to be failing someone.
The stinging irony here is that Chelsea’s announcement came at a function of the Clinton foundation. The event focused on teaching young girls to be confident leaders, celebrated the shattering of glass ceilings in politics, in industry, in our society generally.
Apparently, not all the glass ceilings are shattered. If we live in a world where the question of whether a woman’s status as grandmother will impede her ability to do her job is something that reporters and journalists, talk show hosts and news commentators believe is permissible to ask, that glass ceiling is still very much in existence.
Don’t bump your head, Hillary. Break that glass into a million pieces instead.
Do it by refusing to answer any of these asinine questions. Do it by refusing to feed the sexism beast. Do it by refusing to issue a response. Do it by refusing to allow this double standard to persist.
If those questioning her ability to love a baby and do her job believe they are justified, they’re wrong…and they obviously haven’t done battle with an angry grandmother yet.