Motherhood and leadership
Three days after John McCain announced his selection of Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate, I said at VFR that Palin should not have been chosen, because her responsibilities as the mother of an infant with special needs were incompatible with national office. A commenter at Laura Wood’s The Thinking Housewife goes further. Based on his experience as a manager in private business with women working under him, he argues that being a mother of young children is incompatible with any senior position, period. Working mothers, he says, “are unequivocally a drain on productivity, time and resources.” His telling anecdotes of what it was like having a working mother on his executive team remind me of the enjoyable 1986 comedy Baby Boom, in which an ultra high powered sales exec played by Diane Keaton suddenly finds herself making a complete mess of her job because of a baby she has unexpectedly adopted. There is, however, a big difference between that movie and the situation described by Laura’s commenter. In Baby Boom, the Keaton character soon gets fired for her inability to do her job, whereas in the real world of today, under-performing working mothers are protected by diversity policies that make it impossible even to mention that a woman is failing to hold up her end.
Now let’s hear the Rudy Giulianis, the Michelle Malkins, and the Pamela Gellers of the world all cry in unison: “How dare they—how dare they—suggest that mothers of young children can’t do the same job as anyone else”!