When we saw this image (found here) flashed across our screen after ignoring most of the debate for a much more enthralling episode of Battlestar Galactica, CK suddenly looked like he smelled a fart and started to say, "It annoys me to see..."
I didn't let him finish.
"My GAWD, I LOVE seeing pictures of her with Trig!"
I was practically bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm. Or maybe it was the supersweet truffle brownie I'd just eaten. I dunno. But anyway: "There's something so revolutionary about seeing a governor and vice presidential candidate holding her own baby on camera and during work hours. How often do you see that? HOW OFTEN?!"
And I still think that's true to some extent. It's not often you see someone not on the reality TV circuit so willing to share her personal life while simultaneously stumping for a new job position. Or at least, not in what is traditionally considered such a feminine manner: burping a five-month-old.
And I think it's neat (albeit possibly counterrevolutionary) that in order to advance in the ranks, a woman doesn't have to play the anti-feminine role in order to show she can play with the big boys (flurge, anyone?).
But as many feminist bloggers and writers have noted, parenthood and all its trappings isn't strictly a female role or even a gendered role at all.
So it was after remembering that qualification and waking up this morning to read all the post-debate blog analysis that I realized something: During any of his highly-publicized media circus, I've never seen Todd Palin hold his youngest son.
So I went on a google photo hunt, determined to find something to the contrary. And what I found was pretty interesting.
In these pictures, Todd is holding the baby, to be sure, but it's Sarah who's got her hands on Trig, being an extremely efficient and happy mother while still wearing her executive suit and pearls. Todd's pretty, yeah. And he's also doing... well, I don't know what he's doing, but he's in the picture so it counts for something, right? Riiight.
The other pictures I could find where Trig and Todd were captured within the same frame all have the same two things in common: 1) Todd is extremely supportive of his wife in an extremely "manly" way, and 2) a woman is holding the baby (pics found here, here, and here).
Meanwhile, Sarah barely misses an opportunity to have her picture taken with Trig in her arms, whether it's on the debate floor, at the grocery store, in the office signing state legislature, or getting off a freakin' plane. As soon as the pictures have been taken, though, she always seems to hand him off to one of her daughters -- but never Todd.
So what does this all mean? That the baby-as-prop thing worked last night, but not this morning, at least not for me.
Suzy Shuster says over at HuffPo after noting that Trig was up late at night in order to be with Mom after work, "[I]f Palin is going to keep shoving the motherhood card down our collective throats, maybe she can start being a mom again and stop using her own kid for political gain. Trig deserves a good night sleep."
I think so too. I'd like to start seeing Sarah as the leader she thinks she'll be, not as the image of the lipsticked hockey baby-holding mom she wants me to see.
But the baby thing? Still cute.