The Glass Ceiling

Jonathan Alter made a comment in his "Between the Lines" column in Newsday about Sarah Palin that shows him to be just another grain of sand in the glass ceiling:

The balance between work and family, always a ticklish issue, will be brought into bold relief by the fact that the Palins' fifth child, Trig, was born with Down syndrome in April. Todd Palin, a commercial fisherman, may shoulder the bulk of the child-rearing duties in their family. But many voters will nonetheless wonder whether Palin should undertake the rigors of the vice presidency (and perhaps the presidency) while caring for a disabled infant. The subject will no doubt arise on "Oprah" and in other venues.

His use of the phrase "many voters will nonetheless wonder" is a weak attempt to make someone other than himself (in other words, to keep himself invisible, i.e., like glass!) responsible for raising the typical kind of question that has been used for centuries to keep women "in their place," which, as Alter apparently believes, is at home when there is a disabled child in the family. I suppose the good news is that his comment indicates that women have made some progress. It used to be that they belonged at home whenever there were any children in the family.