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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Palin's Pregnancy

Within the tabloid-worthy litany of Sarah Palin disclosures was this: "And she had waited until she was seven months pregnant to make public news that she was expecting a fifth child this year." (The New York Times story is here.) First, hiding being seven months pregnant is an impressive feat - think Seinfeld's Elaine in baggy coats and careful camera shots. Although, as one Alaska-based blog points out, "Remember, it was February in Alaska."

When should she have disclosed her pregnancy? Many things can distract a politician from his or her job - illness, divorce, wayward children. In other words, politicians are humans too. Pregnancy is unusual in that it is visible (except, apparently, in Alaska in February). Should we (and do we) require politicians to reveal illness?  When should a politician with prostate cancer reveal it?  A politician who is going through a messy and distracting divorce?  Or is there something special about pregnancy?

Posted by Verity Winship on September 4, 2008 at 09:09 AM in Gender | Permalink


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I agree completely!!!As a woman who has suffered from multiple chronic illnesses at a young age, it infuriates me when women, who have had no persoal experiences with chronic conditions, try to equate pregnancy with an illness or a disease. In healthy relationships, pregnancy is a choice. Those of us with chronic conditions did not ask to be sick. Most women are supportive of each others' pregnancies. With a chronic illness, you often have to suffer in silence. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME!!!!

As far as Palin is concerned, let's stick to her lack of qualifications to be VP, and potentially the Pres. vs. what she had under her parka!!!!

Posted by: Mila | Sep 16, 2008 9:15:34 AM

I'm not a Palin fan, but pregnancy is not an illness, and particularly not a chronic or life-threatening one. From all accounts, her pregnancy did not require her to spend very much time away from her job, no more than someone else's summer vacation and did not threaten to do so. Although she knew that her baby would have Down Syndrome, in most cases this does not require substantial special attention at birth. Of all the things one can point out about Palin's candidacy, attempting to read evilness into her decision to keep her baby bump under her parka seems the weakest.

Posted by: Christine Hurt | Sep 4, 2008 12:39:03 PM

Continuing on my "West Wing" fascination--wasn't this precisely the point at issue in the story arc about Bartlet not disclosing that he had M.S.?

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Sep 4, 2008 9:46:00 AM

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