I don’t like Sarah Palin’s policies, which are extremely right-wing and are not the direction we need to go. I don’t want her to be the next Vice President of the United States. However, speculation about and scrutiny of her body, pregnancy, and sex life, or her daughter’s body, pregnancy, and sex life, and all discussions of leaking amniotic fluid, lactation practices, medical records, or anything at all relating to the sexuality and reproductive history of anyone in the Palin family are disgusting, beside the point, and moreover, a really dumb path for so-called “liberals” and “progressives” to go down. (Aren’t we the party of sexual and reproductive liberty? Do we or do we not believe in medical privacy rights? Or does that all depend on whether we’re sniffing Republican or Democratic panties?) Besides–guess who else had a teenaged mom (h/t TalkLeft)?
Please see these posts at Roxie’s World and Anglachel on why it’s never appropriate to make any woman’s (or teenaged daughter’s!) sexuality or reproductive history a political talking point, and to ask yourself how you would react if Bristol Palin weren’t just a media image to most of you but rather a student of yours. (Thanks to Roxie for the Scarlet Letter comparison, a concept that I’ve borrowed from her. A also stands for Arrogance, friends.) All of the Dimmesdales out there should remove the logs from their own eyes before scrutinizing others for splinters. Big Tent Democrat–and Bob Herbert–also explain why the Dimmesdales need to lay off.
Historiann will warn you again: there are an awful lot of families out there who have dealt with teenaged pregnancy and who are helping to raise their own grandchildren. Are those families going to be more sympathetic to the Palin family, or to the people who are gossiping about and laughing at them like city slicker collegiates chuckling at the antics of the small-town rubes? Figure it out. Doing the right thing morally just might be the right thing politically.
Here endeth the lesson.