You know I love ’em. MSNBC is back at it, bothering me AGAIN.
On their take on the battle for Oklahoma governor between two women in which the Republican candidate has (of course) thrown down the gauntlet by saying she is better qualified to run a state because she is a mother, NBC’s Alexandra Moe asks:
Does motherhood really qualify you to run a state? And if so, what if you biologically cannot have children? Should that disqualify you from running for political office?
Uhm, based on the history of this country and basically every other nation, state, kingdom, tribe, or whatever kind of organized group of people, that answer is no. Because MEN aren’t biologically able to have children. Oh, wait. This isn’t actually about whether having children qualifies PEOPLE for office. It is only about whether it qualifies WOMEN. And you know what, Ms. Moe? That’s what the Republican candidate wanted you to ask. Good on you for just polishing that spot light that she turned on when she said those things at the debate last week.
The point I’m trying to make in a really roundabout way is that this is a stupid debate that shouldn’t exist as a debate at all and, yet, here it is. Whether these women have children shouldn’t matter any more than it matters for male candidates (have you EVER heard a male candidate say they are better qualified for office because they are fathers? If so, tell me so in the comments because I’d love to know). And you, Ms. Moe, writing this article only serves to legitimate the Republican candidate’s red herring of a point.
Thankfully, I’m not the only person who thinks this way.
From an AP article on this exact issue:
Several other women in public life, including Republicans, objected. “I don’t understand why that’s important,” said Brenda Reneau, a Republican and former state labor commissioner, questioning why a candidate’s husband and children were worth stressing in a gubernatorial debate. “Is she going to bring them to work? I’ve never found one thing while I was in office that I needed experience in being married and having children.”
State Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, one of 17 women serving in Oklahoma’s legislature, also said Fallin’s comment seemed like a “cheap shot.” McIntyre, a Democrat, said Askins’ unmarried status “doesn’t have anything to do with anything.”
But articles can’t help but make this some sort of actual debate (this article I linked to ends by posing questions about it), even as it cheapens all the female candidates out there vying for positions. And it reminds voters once again that women candidates are different because they have babies and are domestic or should be. Or something.