Of Role Models, Leaders, and Daycare Providers

The poll currently posted on the Washington Whispers page asks if you had a choice of four daycare centers run separately by Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, which would you choose for your kids ["Who'd Run the Best Daycare?" Washington Whispers, usnews.com].

+ More

The poll currently posted on the Washington Whispers page asks if you had a choice of four daycare centers run separately by Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, or Nancy Pelosi, which would you choose for your kids ["Who'd Run the Best Daycare?" Washington Whispers, usnews.com]. By ignoring these politicians' work and casting them all as mommy stand-ins, U.S. News & World Report is engaging in, and promoting, anti-woman rhetoric. Obama, Palin, Clinton, and Pelosi do not run daycare centers. There is no reason to associate them with daycare, unless one assumes that all women are automatically supposed to take care of everyone's children. The poll is offensive not only to these four accomplished politicians but also to women everywhere, who are reminded yet again that no matter what their accomplishments, they will always been seen as nothing more than childcare providers.

Lisa Nosal San Luis Obispo , Calif.

I'm disappointed in your recent online poll asking which women involved in national politics would run the best daycare center. While it seems no one can enter American politics without extensive press discussion of matters trivial or private, the last election shows that women get the worst of it: they are judged as mothers and wives, not based on their beliefs and abilities. It's bad enough that the press helps reduce American politics to a sideshow distraction from matters of substance. Pieces like this one help send a message to young women that they can't enter a profession and be evaluated on their work alone.

Nathan Treadwell New York

I can't imagine what you were thinking when you ran the poll asking people to vote on who you would trust to watch your kids. Congratulations. You can't get much more sexist than that. All the women in your "poll" are strong, independent professionals in their own right and have no place in any discussion about daycare whatsoever; unless, of course, you are the type of publication that sees a woman's worth in terms of how well she can "raise them babies." You would do well to remember that a large percentage of your readership consists of women (and hopefully, progressive men) who do not appreciate reducing women to babysitters. What a stupid move.

Sarah Szwejda Lansing , Mich.

Regarding the "daycare" online survey question: Was this seriously the best question you could come up with? Am I to take this as your magazine's female equivalent of "which politician would you like to have a beer with?" Speaker Pelosi, Governor Palin, Secretary Clinton, and Mrs. Obama are accomplished figures on the world stage and deserve more respect than this.

John J. Roe Audubon , Pa.

What on earth are you thinking? I am appalled at the blatant sexism and disrespect shown to accomplished professional women. Would it even occur to your staff to ask this question about Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain, or any other male politician who happens to be a father? Then why level this question at women; to reduce them to their biologically decreed role because it's just too much for the American public (or your staff) to handle a few women in public office?

Sana Hamelin Aurora , Colo.

Who, among four brilliant and accomplished—well, three brilliant and accomplished, four famous—women do I want to see running daycare? This is 2009, lest you've lost track. Women die in the military. Women run for and nearly win elections for the president of the United States and continue successfully to run other large and complex countries and organizations. What in God's green acres possessed you to post this inane, insulting, and by the way stupid poll? I wouldn't want any of them watching my kids. Three of them because they're really busy keeping our country and climate from going down the tubes, one because she's insane. Unbelievable. I used to respect this magazine.

Jane Connor Arlington , Mass.


You Might Also Like