Janet Napolitano "Perfect" Because She's Not a Mom

Filed under: In The News

Ed RendellRemember when your mother used to tell you that if couldn't say something nice you shouldn't say anything at all? Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is wishing he had thought of that; last week, Rendell was caught on a live microphone saying that Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano is an excellent candidate to head up the nation's Homeland Security office because she is a single woman without children.

Rendell was overheard saying that "Janet's perfect for that job. Because for that job, you have to have no life. Janet has no family. Perfect. She can devote, literally, 19-20 hours a day to it." It's a compliment, at some level, but a pretty backhanded one. And an insult to working women who DO have families. Or friends. Or even just cats.

Rendell has subsequently apologized, saying "What I meant is that Janet is a person who works 24/7, just like me." Yeah, we get that, Ed, but you still seem to be missing the point: it's okay for a woman to have a family AND a demanding career. As much as I disliked Sarah Palin's politics, I was put off by people who said they wouldn't vote for her because she's a mom. And of course, Rendell himself is married and has a son, and yet finds a way to work 24 hours a day. And President-Elect Obama has a wife and two SMALL kids. Funny how that's not an issue.

What do you think?

Are childless women better employees?
No - having kids is irrelevant to how you do your job.48 (23.3%)
Maybe - it depends on the job.71 (34.5%)
Yes - kids are a big demand on any parent.60 (29.1%)
Janet who?27 (13.1%)

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.