I never said that she had to be supported just because she's a woman. She should be judged by the same merits as Joe Biden, who said that one of the differences between himself and Palin is that "she's good looking". And that's not sexist?
Or how about the Boston Herald reporter who doesn't report on the substance of her speeches, but on her hair. "With her long, straight, often pinned-up locks, Palin looks one humid day away from fronting a Kiss cover band... What's her position on scrunchies versus banana clips?"
And as for her bringing her family...good lord, this was one of the biggest days of her LIFE. I'm not sure, but I would bet that Joe Biden brought his wife, i.e. his family that is living with him, to the press conference where Obama announced him as his running mate. I'm also sure that with the vetting process started months ago, they discussed as a family how to handle the girl's pregnancy. Would you rather have had her shut away, on a vacation or any other 1950's excuse while she was with child? Wouldn't the media have had a field day with that one!
Hillary presented herself as a mother as well. Her book was all about "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child". She had her kid out there giving campaign speeches for her. Is Sarah Palin different because she had more kids than Hillary, or just because some of them are younger? As Susan Estrich pointed out, Barack and Michelle Obama haven't been home taking care of the kids either. No one made a big to-do out of that.
I'm just frankly really mad about how she's been called to the carpet for being a mother, and being a woman. Yes, I know Hillary was treated unfairly too but not to this extent apparently because her kid is grown. I can say this without feeling any twinge of guilt about my own perceptions of women in politics. I didn't support Hillary because of her positions on issues. The same reason I don't support Obama. I support Palin because everything I have seen, with the exception of abortion which is a non-issue in my mind (i.e. it's not going to be overturned so it's just a talking point), I agree with her position on issues. Not because she's a woman.
I would say children being grown probably plays some part of it for some people. But I remember when Britney Spears was having her meltdown or when Lindsey Lohan had her meltdown the fingers were pointed in the direction of the parents. So it has been something we as a culture have been doing for a long time.
The disses about her hair seem unfair until you remember all the hoopla surrounding Mitt Romneys good looks. He was dismissed for being too good looking. I think there are two issues here our cultural obsession with looks and sexism.