I'm a woman, a mother, and a first time candidate running for office this year. This is a conversation I’ve had more often than I can count…
“You’re running for office?”
“Yes, I’m running for the Florida House of Representatives.”
“And you have a child?”
“Yes, I’m a mother of a 2-year-old little boy.”
“You know you’d have to be in Tallahassee for session for a few months right?”
“Yes, I understand being a Representative requires a few months in Tallahassee and a lot of travel.”
“What are you going to do with your son?”
“He has a father that is more than capable of taking care of him along with grandparents and other family in the area. There’s also day care.”
What I really want to know is why I’m being asked these questions. Why am I, and not any of the male candidates with children, receiving these questions? Have we not moved past the point of assuming the wo
man is solely responsible for taking care of children? Have we not realized that fathers are equals in the parenting world? Do those asking me these questions not realize how sexist it is? Do they not realize it is reasons like this that demonstrate why we still need the ERA? They are questioning my ability to do a job simply because I am a mother when they would not even think to question a mans ability to do the same job as a father.
As a parent, my first responsibility is to my child and I have, and always will, make sure the he is well taken care of. That should be the case for both the mother and the father. Before I officially decided to run, my husband and I thought about all the details. We made a plan for how we would take care of our son and what we would do so that neither of us was away from him for too long.
So, if you are going to question my ability to have a child and be a Representative, you better turn right around and ask that to all the candidates that are fathers as well.