Tuesday, September 8, 2009


As I started writing this I was facing a bit of a grown-up type decision. Nothing life shattering, but one option was clearly more mature and the other less so (not exactly immature, just a bit less wise) I chose the less mature option but covered myself and it will all probably work out.

I bring this vague little tangent because the recent Virginia race for Governor (yes, we're electing a new governor down here THIS VERY YEAR!!!) has reached a new interesting point given that Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate, wrote a very, very conservative thesis for graduate school, which in his case was the very, very conservative Regents university. From the original post article which broke this story: 'Robert F. McDonnell submitted a master's thesis to the evangelical school he was attending in Virginia Beach in which he described working women and feminists as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators."'

Now we've all done and said things in college that we may regret. In some (okay, many) cases these things are posted on facebook. But there's a bit of a problem with Bob's thesis, even though it was published back in 1989 -- he was 34 years old at the time.

Now I'll be the first to say we all have our immature moments even as we get further into adulthood (see: my pottymouth at the last DC United game), but anything you write of the length and concentration in a graduate thesis is not something to be easily dismissed as youthful indiscretion. This was a not a "wise Latina" moment, it was something far worse. Most people don't lay out their moral stances in quite such detail ever, but McDonnell did, and to say that it was 20 years ago is simply bullshit. This wasn't just an off-color comment in private company or hitting on a woman at the bar because you had to drink. This thesis is Bob McDonnell, and as the right continues to focus on values over positions, it's quite disingenuous for him to keep saying he's going to be the "jobs" governor when he wants 50% of the workforce back in the kitchen.

So the broader question is, when can we really say that you are an adult and you have to accept responsibility? When you have a kid? When you graduate college? When you turn 30? I don't know if there's a simple line and maybe that's the problem. To paraphrase that old Supreme Court chestnut, most of us know adulthood when we see it.


AZ Winer said...

Remember, Alex Rodriguez excused himself of wrong doing in regards to using steroids because, at age 27, he claims he was acting childishly and immature.

When does adulthood and taking responsibility begin?

Jstone said...

well if 50% of the workforce gets back in the kitchen then there will be more jobs for the employable.

eh? eh? think about it...

Patrick H. Ouzts said...

This is actually one I have pondered. I find that men have an especially hard time growing up.

I'm not sure I have done it yet, but I think I began to grow up when my wardrobe grew up. That might sound silly but in my late 20s, I started paying attention to fashion.

I think I was finally looking at myself as a man, so I started dressing like a man.

You can get a little fuller explanation from my post on the Eulogy of the T-shirt at xymen.com.