Does Progress Have a Gender?

With the recent selection of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska by John McCain as his running mate, I have been thinking a lot about the significance of his choice. What seemed like a simple choice for many women who were Hillary or Obama supporters, may have just gotten more difficult.While I think it is amazing progress that a woman could be chosen as a Vice Presidential candidate and that choice is considered a strength rather than a weakness, I am distraught at how the selection of Sarah Palin could effect our country and our world’s future.I have to tell you that in expressing any doubts about her, I am feeling very sensitive about potentially criticizing and putting down a woman. From my other blog entries, you know that I am a huge proponent of women coming into leadership and power. But can I stick by that position even if I don’t agree with the woman’s values?For example, Sarah Palin is a proponent of oil drilling. I am not. Sarah Palin is against women having a choice for an abortion. I am for women having a choice. Sarah Palin would put America first beyond all other countries. I on the other hand feel that an “America First” attitude will lead us to more “us vs. them” contentiousness and ultimately more war.Since John McCain’s announcement of his Vice Presidential running mate, I have been challenged by the questions: Does progress for women simply mean more women in power no matter what their political view? Does it mean men in power who respect, support and promote women? Or does it mean women in power who focus on what may be our future’s most important issue -- the interrelated nature of humanity and our Mother Earth?I have heard that people like to vote in their own image. This makes sense to me, but it also worries me. Will there be Democratic women voting Republican because there is a woman on the ticket? Where are men on the issue?