Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Motherhood Becomes Issue in Gubernatorial Race October 29, 2010

We saw it earlier this year, with Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination, but now the issue of motherhood as a qualification has raised its ugly head again, this time in Oklahoma’s race for governor.

NBC News reports that Republican candidate, U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, claimed her experience as a mother made her more qualified to run the state than her single, childless opponent, Lt. Gov. Jari Askins. Fallin said:

“I think my experience is one of the things that sets me apart as a candidate for Governor. First of all, being a mother, having children, raising a family…”

Really? While I can see how coordinating lunches and settling tantrums could certainly be useful in state politics, I curious…HOW does being a mother really qualify a person for the job of running a state? How dare she suggest that a childless woman couldn’t possibly be up to the job?

Sorry, but it smells to me like another attempt to use “family values” as a selling point, suggesting that a woman without children has none. Shame on you, Mary Fallin, for playing the motherhood card. As a woman, you should know better than that.


3 Responses to “Motherhood Becomes Issue in Gubernatorial Race”

  1. Sue Says:

    You have GOT to be kidding me!!!! How about the candidate without children will be more focused on the job at hand than the day to day dramas of childrearing???

  2. Kathleen Guthrie Says:

    Fuming. Shame on her.

  3. mina Says:

    I went to this conference the other day which was supposed to be aimed at professionals working with young people. That’s what the audience was. I participated in a workshop about gender stereotypes and how they affect male youngsters (models in the media, pop music and so on). At least three of the contributions to the discussion started with “well i can see it in my 2/3/4 year old daughter/son”… and that came from people who keep insisting at every possible opportunity on their professionality when working with youngsters.
    I know that talking about gender issues has this effect even on professionals: Everybody is a woman/man and so has “personal experience” regarding the issue. But the frequent referrals to their own children shocked me anyway. I’m a bit of a specialist myself on the subject of gender socialization, i’ve worked a lot on that. So i found myself sitting there thinking “what? do i still get to contribute to this discussion?” There was only one guy there who saved my day by providing a really deep and (to me) convincing on-the-spot-psychoanalytical analysis about the behaviour/image strategy and relationship between two rap artists whose videos we had watched instead of just answering out of his everyday experience (with kids).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s