Moms in Politics
Re “Questions of the House Not Being a Home,” June 29:
Bringing children into the world is an enormous responsibility for which both fathers and mothers must be held accountable. Why then does the controversy surrounding the pregnancy of Jane Swift, the candidate for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, not touch upon the career and child-care choices of her husband? Is it not possible that he will share equally in the care of their child, or even be the primary caregiver? Your article on Swift didn’t even bother to mention her husband’s name! And while the article did provide statistics about how many women in the U.S. House and Senate have children under 18, it offered no information about men in office who are fathers. Has anyone done a study of how much time they spend with their kids? Or whether the nannies they hire are illegal immigrants?
“Family values” should lead the public to scrutinize the behavior of mothers and fathers. Yes, women give birth. And yes, they breast-feed. But otherwise, child-rearing is an equal opportunity employer, and men are just as capable as women of fulfilling this job.
* It’s convenient to let women do the mudslinging at one another over working vs. staying at home, while men like radio commentator Dan Yorke offer judgmental commentary from the sidelines. Where are the fathers in these debates? Are we such an uncreative society that the only solution we see to nonparental care is a full-time, stay-at-home mother? Or do we believe that the only contribution families really need from fathers (in politics or not) is a paycheck?
No wonder so many poor men abandon their children, when we tell them that money is all they have to offer. Men and women should be making the same choices regarding careers and parenting; “separate but equal” was debunked long ago. The mommy wars will never end as long as dads are exempt from enlisting.