Shame on You, Sarah Palin September 12, 2008Posted by Sarah in women.
Tags: feminism, mccain, politics, rant, sarah palin
I wasn’t going to get too carried away with this – after all it’s not my country, which has plenty of troubles of its own – but what the heck, it’s Friday, I’ll have a rant. I’ve been reading, talking (arguing), thinking more about Sarah Palin as every tidbit of news is thrust in our face by the (still) overexcited media. And really, where does the woman get off?
First of all I think she’s a formidable woman. She clearly has a lot of ambition, spark, and is not intimidated by anyone – and good for her. But that’s where my compliments will stop. The woman, or anyone sharing her views and beliefs, shouldn’t be in the White House (and preferably nowhere near it either).
The Republican Party’s move to steal away some disgruntled Hillary supporters by nominating a female VP candidate is so transparent it’s a bit insulting really – see Jon Stewart’s sketch on the the Daily Show. But she herself has much to answer for too. Her entire image is based on that fact that she’s supposedly a Hockey Mom, the PTA mum who ended up in politics. And that’s rubbish – she may be a mother but she was a town mayor, then a state governor, now a vice-presidential candidate. Sarah Palin is a hard-nosed career woman – and a very impressive one at that. But isn’t that exactly the kind of person that right-wing conservative types blame for the breakdown of the family structure, rises in teenage delinquency and other such societal problems? Think about it.
Sarah Palin can be a successful politician and a good mother. But the Hockey Mom image she keeps portraying is stupid and disprespectful to all those working mothers out there who have to juggle their families and careers and face criticism from the media and all those pro-family enthusiasts. Oh wait – but isn’t she one of those?! How confusing, Mrs Palin.
And in spite of the media’s misleading headlines, Sarah Palin is NOT a feminist. Feminism is ensuring a woman’s right to control her own body and fertility; protecting women everywhere against violence in their own homes and on the streets, be it in peacetime or war; caring for and supporting those who are victims of abuse or rape; educating women to feel comfortable with their bodies and sexuality; providing equal rights for women as for men to pursue their life goals either in the home or in a career – to name just a few basic principles. Sarah Palin opposes several of these very fundamental principles by being anti-abortion, anti-contraception and supporting abstinence-only education. There’s too much to list but many blogs like Feministing throw up a lot of interesting examples from all over the web and press – check them out. This open letter from the Executive Director of the US National Advocates for Pregnant Women hits home too.
So shame on you, Sarah Palin, as a woman, for forgetting the generations before us who fought for women to have the right to vote in elections for politicans like yourself, for women even to have the right to a career, let alone to run for office in the White House. Shame on you for now opposing the very basic principles that have enabled you and your family to get to your privilieged position.
Update: A very good piece from Jessica Valenti in The Guardian today on precisely the same topic.