"Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant and down on the farm."
"A woman with newborn twins shouldn't be governor."
see a lot of progress there.
We do have six women governors now, but the sixth one
had the temerity to produce twins after she became the Gov, and there
are those who think that should disqualify her as an executive.
Lieutenant Governor Jane Swift became Governor of Massachusetts
April 10 when Governor Paul Cellucci resigned to become the U. S. Ambassador
to Canada. On May 16 she gave birth to twin girls and
her decision to continue both jobs is fueling new debate about women
in the workplace.
possible right does a woman have to produce twins while she is governor?
After all these years of watching women climbing the career ladder -- step
by hard, grinding step -- and trying to break through that glass ceiling,
we are still faced with those who say we have no right to do it if we have
children. They say Jane Swift can't be a good mother and a
good governor at the same time.
whatever the arguments, Governor Swift will hold her day job at least until
the next election in 2002. And she will continue to be the mother
of the twins and her three-year-old daughter. Her husband, Chuck
Hunt, is a stay at home dad and will be the primary care-giver of the babies.
Are fathers unfit to be nurturing parents?
Swift doesn't plan to resume a full work schedule for eight to ten weeks,
but she will be conducting a lot of meetings by speakerphone. She
may well be a model for that growing business technique, telecommuting.
says it's easy. But even politicians have a little free time.
President Dubya takes time out for baseball games and Minnesota Governor
Jesse Ventura spends his week-ends doing commentary for the XFL, So
who's to complain if Jane Swift chooses to use her free
are two issues here. Must women must choose between being executives
and being mothers? And must we assume that fathers cannot be good
is not the first political mother, of course. One of the best known
was Congresswoman Pat Schroeder who arrived in Washington in 1972 with
a husband, a six year old and a two year old. She writes,
"The business of politics as usual, however protracted and recalcitrant,
was easy compared to the challenge of juggling career and family."
Early on she was asked, "'How can you be both a congresswoman and a mother?"
replied, "I have a brain and a uterus and they both work."
for the record, a player in her 8th month of pregnancy is entered in the
U. S. Women's Open Golf Tourney. She did not ask for a cart.
Goodman, who has been a mother for 30 years and a journalist longer than
that, has had a close view of the history of the child/career issue. "We
have family leave, but unpaid. We have more child care, but not always
better child care. Mothers at home return to work but their years
'off' still don't count on their resume." She adds,
is motherhood still priceless and worthless?"
is the question.
who have achieved positions of some power and income and have good child
care are criticized for considering their children less important than
their "important" jobs.
with less money and less power are expected by society to work one or two
jobs to pay or help pay the bills and are often criticized because they
are leaving their children for someone else to raise.
pretty hard to win if you are a working mother when society insists
on telling you how to live.
Governor Swift a successful term (yes, even though she is a Republican),
and her family the freedom to choose their own lifestyle.
Goodman (a Bostonian) commented-- "All in all, the freshest faces
of 2001 may be Jane Swift's twins. Just don't let anybody call them
Chad and Dimple."
It is 100 years too late to "Keep 'em barefoot and pregnant and down on