Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Alaska: Where Men Are Men
& Women Win The Iditarod

When Susan Butcher began running the Iditarod dog sled race (1,049 miles), men made fun of her. They claimed that she was a typical female; she babied her dogs. When she started winning, race after race (4 Iditarod wins), to be followed by Lybby Riddles, we saw tee shirts that read: Alaska-- Where Men Are Men & Women Win the Iditarod.

I thought of this the other day when I heard the radio announcer refer to Governor Sarah Palin, first woman governor of Alaska, as "Mrs. Palin." Now, here in Juneau we often call the governor by first name -- I have spoken affectionately of Tony (Knowles) and Wally (Hickle) and scornfully of Frank (Murkowski), so Sarah would be fine. But Mrs. Palin is different. It is reducing the governor of the largest state in the Union to the status of Mr. Palin's wife.

And although Governor Palin is a Republican, so far she has been doing a pretty good job. She immediately put the jet plane that Murkowski had done an end run around the Legislature to buy, up for sale. She reinstated the Longevity Bonus which Murkowski had stopped. She cut off the building of a one-way, gravel road that would have connected two privately owned mines to Juneau but given us no access to the outside. She scuttled the clandestine negotiations Murkowski was holding with the oil companies and made them not only transparent, but open to other bidders as well. She ordered the state to comply with the Alaska Supreme Court order and begin same-sex partners health insurance coverage, although the Legislature had tried to stop it.

And so I wonder -- what tee shirt will we come up with this time? Perhaps, Alaska, Where Men Strut and Women Solve Problems?


Deja Pseu said...

Or in the words of the late Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, "The roosters may crow, but the hens deliver the goods."

donna said...

Women are always the problem solvers, men just take the credit. You wouldn't be too surprised how many companies are run by secretaries - oh, excuse me, "administrative assistants".

kenju said...

I tried to comment here earlier, and it wouldn't work - so maybe now it will! I love the last line. That should be the motto of every state!

I hope the poor little bear learns what he is supposed to do.

gawilli said...

You go, Sarah! I would wear that t-shirt! Sounds like she is doing a great job to me. And a Republican to boot. Wow.

J said...

I also tried to comment earlier, with no luck. Blogger's been up and down today.

I don't have a problem with women using Mrs. if they want to. It's long been accepted in our society, and if that's how she chooses to name herself, it's fine. I myself will never be a Mrs., because I read not too long ago that with the Mrs. comes the husband's first name as well...so you're Mrs. Jim Smith. The only time Mrs. Sally Smith is truly correct is if you are widowed. Maybe divorced, I'm not sure. Nice, huh? Anyway, it's not for me, and it's offensive, but if that's how she chooses to be addressed, whatever.

Then again, perhaps she'd prefer "Governor".

Sounds like she might be the right kind of Republican to have in office, though!

Maya's Granny said...

She doesn't choose to be referred to as Mrs. when the discussion is of her actions as governor. That was the decision of the radio announcer -- just a touch of good, old-fashioned misogyny there.

Anonymous said...

She may have ordered the state to comply with the Alaska Supreme Court order and begin same-sex partners health insurance... but she has stated publicly that she believes the constitution should be amended so that government isn't forced to provide health benefits to same-sex partners of public employees.

How can Palin talk about protecting the constitution at the same time she's busy trying to amend the stuff she doesn't agree with?

(So much for claiming to be a "uniter".)

Maya's Granny said...

Anonymous -she is complying with the constitution until or unless it is amended. Since it admits of amendment, it is more lawful to try to amend it than to ignor it.

I'm not a Palin supporter -- my point was that to refer to her as Mrs. Palin in her official capacity is sexist; and so far she is doing a pretty good job. That could change any day; she is a Republican.

joared said...

We have us a Republican Gov. in Calif., too. I think of myself as an independent though some of those political leanings tests have me in a more liberal area. I'm almost beginning to think our Gov. S. may be a bit more than a movie star, but I still view his money machinations with our State budget with a great deal of caution. I don't care what the party affiliation if they do more than talk the talk as you seem to recognize your Gov. trying to do.

kenju said...

Oh, MG, I wonder what you'd think of Sarah now??!! Could you ever have imagined her as the VP candidate?