As an advocate for girls let me make the following plea on behalf of your daughter:
Please, please, please speak respectfully of the one and only female candidate the Repubican Party has ever put on their ticket for Vice President of the United States - Sarah Palin.
What you say about Sarah Palin has the potential to translate to your daughters as your opinion of all women (including your daughter) seeking power.
Disrespectful criticism has the potential to translate, "I only respect other women if they agree with me." Your daughter may one day disagree with you. This moment, and your reaction, won't be forgotten by her.
Your example will also teach her how she should expect to be treated by those who disagree with her and how she should treat those who disagree with her.
In other words -
Mothers - don't be a mean mommy and you won't create a mean girl. Fathers - don't reduce her to whether you'd have sex with her and you won't create a daughter who gets her self-worth from her sexuality or appearance.
Fathers - don't reduce her to whether you'd have sex with her and you won't create a daughter who gets her self-worth from her sexuality or appearance.
I vividly remember asking my parents what the Equal Rights Amendment was as a child. I remember them telling me that it was a bill to make women equal to men. And they were voting against it.
Here's how that translated to a six-year-old girl: "My parents are voting against ME! Why would they do that?"
I also remember criticism of Geraldine Ferraro that went something like, "We'll never elect a woman president. God wants it that way."
What you might say instead of "I Hate Sarah Palin" (or worse) might be, "I think a woman would make a wonderful Vice President, I just don't agree with this particular woman's political views on ________."
It would be helpful, for your daughter, to avoid vague negative statements about Sarah's suitability as a role model for girls. Instead you could say, "I think it's wonderful that a female has gotten this far in American politics. It's wonderful that women are becoming more powerful and ambitious in both parties. I just don't agree with her views on ________."
If you minimize and criticize the significance of Sarah Palin's presence in this race, then you minimize and criticize your daughter's potential.
It is my hope, as an advocate for girls, that they will never see another election in their lifetime where there is not a woman on either ticket.
Thanks to women's adamant support of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin both Republicans and Democrats have included women this year. Our top politicians have finally realized they can't win without addressing women and women's issues.
For our daughters' sakes, let's pray the inclusion of women - on all political levels and in all political parties - becomes the norm.
To be absolutely fair I made the same plea on behalf of Hillary and your daughter right before Super Tuesday. You can revisit that story in I Hate Hillary! I also advocated voting for Hillary for the sheer reason that she would be an example to my daughter of women in power for 4 years in Shut Up John Mayer, Stop Waiting For the World To Change.
For more on my personal opinion of Sarah Palin visit Blog Fabulous, I've written plenty about her politics and the emotional conflict she's causing in me personally.
Image Source: http://gov.state.ak.us/official_portraits.php