Sarah Palin's Papoose.
I know, I know, everybody’s talking about O-calm-a and John McBlinky, about William Ayers and Joe the Plumber, about whose attack ads are more negative, whose campaigns are more corrupt, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I’m sick of all of it. There’s two weeks to go until this election, and I’m ready to start talking about what’s really important: Sarah Palin’s baby snuggler. I’m talking about that harness thing she wears to carry her baby around when she’s on the campaign trail. This may be the one nice thing I ever say about Sarah Palin, but I think her snuggler is awesome.
The first time I saw an image of Palin with the snuggler was last week, on the Nightly News. It was just a brief few seconds of footage; Palin and McCain at a campaign event, both of them on a big stage, in black suits, he with a red power tie, she with…a big old baby in a sling. The accompanying story had nothing to do with the snuggler – the newcaster didn’t even mention it – and that’s what struck me as so remarkable. It seems to me that, up until now, when powerful women have had babies, the accepted wisdom has been that you do your best to hide them, and any evidence of them. After all, women want to be Taken Seriously in the workplace, and babies are Not Serious. So you check your jacket to make sure there aren’t any stains from when the baby spit up this morning; you cover those dark circles under your eyes from being up all night. On your desk, a small picture of your little guy or girl is acceptable, but a collage on one wall, or a screensaver on your computer, is not. And please, when you’re at the watercooler, don’t talk about your baby, don’t complain about your husband, and if you must pump, do it in the bathroom, where nobody has to know about it. The message is, and has always been, that you do your juggling act at home, because at work, you’re a worker, and nothing else. Don’t ask me who made these rules, or who declared these judgments, because I don’t know. But my guess is that they got started in the ‘80s, when women wore shoulder pads and floppy bowties to the office, in the hopes of looking more like men.