Tuesday, September 9, 2008

another day, another reason to hate sarah palin

Feminism has become such a subjective term recently.  According to Websters, feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.  Back in the day, I didn’t consider myself a feminist because I always thought women were better than men so why should we be equal when we should get more?  Despite probably being alone in my just-stated theory, I began to realize that women are so far from being considered a man’s equal that perhaps I should focus on equality first before going for ‘more.’  And thus, a feminist was born.

Since the nomination of Sarah Palin as GOP VP candidate (BTW, has anyone heard from McCain lately?  Seems to be all Palin, all the time lately), the Republicans have usurped the word ‘feminist’ for their own purpose to promote Palin as a woman for all women (for the GOP, a feminist is someone with a vagina).  Except she’s not.  A feminist, that is.

Some people out there think that feminism, as the liberals define it, is about abortion rights.  I say to those people who feel that way that your view is short sighted.  It’s not about securing a safe abortion for all women who want one.  Feminism, if it relates to abortion, is about choice.  Women have the right to decide what to do with their own bodies, make their own choices over how often to reproduce and how to plan a family (if they want one).  NO ONE questions a man’s control over his penis.  NO ONE.  How is it fair that a woman’s control over her reproductive organs is fair game for criticism and control?  Sarah Palin is against all abortions, even in the case of rape or incest.  How is this woman a feminist when she is denying victims of rape and incest control over their own bodies (thus allowing the rapist to win)?

Feminists are fighters.  It’s about standing up for what you believe in (in this case, equality) and promoting equal rights for women.  Yet, there is Palin, standing next to John McCain as his VP candidate and staunch supporter.  John McCain is the same man who called his wife a ‘cunt’ in public and opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act , a law that is supposed to protect women and racial minorities from pay discrimination.  McCain’s rationale for his opposition?  Women just ‘need more training’.  Right, McCain.  Just like your VP candidate, maybe?

Speaking of fighting (and training), where has Palin been lately?  She came out swinging with her acceptance speech, criticizing community organizers (if Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive, I’m sure he’d be offended by her remarks) and Democrats in general.  Yet she didn’t offer one constructive solution to the nation’s problems (except DRILL, DRILL, DRILL).  And since then, she’s been in seclusion.  No interviews at all except with the hard hitting journalists of People magazine.  The McCain campaign said she would talk to the media when the media was ready to show Palin some respect.  HA!  If all the candidates felt that way, we’d have no interviews.  So it’s ok for the male candidates to take the hard hitting questions with no respect, but Palin can’t take the heat?  Her avoidance of the press is kinda wussy and very antifeminist.  Can you imagine if Hillary had gone into hiding when she cried during the primaries, facing all that criticism?  Despite all the sexism Hillary faced during her campaign, she never avoided the media.

Speaking of sexism, feminists fight it every day.  Instead of denouncing it, Palin is going with it.  According to the right wing media, being a working mother, being beautiful, wearing skirt suits instead of pant suits all qualify you for office.  I’m sure Condi Rice might have something to say about that. 
Right now, Palin is all appearances and no substance.  Palin may appear to be the GOP definition of a feminist.  But she certainly doesn’t act like one.    

21 comments:

Zipcode said...

Nermal for President 2008
I can't comment on this one :-)

Anonymous said...

Daily Kos reports that when she was mayor of that 9,000-strong town rape victims had to pay for their own rape test, which runs about $300 to $1200. It is too expensive for taxpayers to foot the bill apparently. ~erika

anOCgirl said...

zip: if you disagree, i'd like to know your thoughts. seriously. i'll still be your friend when it's all said and done.

erika: yup. i read that too. this from the state that gives its residents money just for living there. too expensive my *ss.

Generation Next said...

I think the paragraph starting with this sentence is really strong:
"The McCain campaign said she would talk to the media when the media was ready to show Palin some respect. HA! If all the candidates felt that way, we’d have no interviews."

Mad Cabbie said...

Liz, it was a desperate attempt by McCaine and his clones to energize the Christian Talibans and the hail Mary pass is working. Unfortunately there are a good number of Hillary supporters who'd rather ride with the McCain/Palin ticket instead of voting for a brother!

I am not a pessimistic person by nature but I don't like the way this election is going at this moment.

zipcode said...

Christian Talibans - wow just wow on that.

media concepts said...

Well said. Plus, I think the choice of Palin as McCain's running mate, which by any common sense analysis was made due to political considerations (1. Woman who could go after Hillary Clinton supporters; 2. Anti-choice) rather than her experience or readiness to take over as President, is the ultimate anti-feminist statement by the Republicans.

anOCgirl said...

generation next: thanks for that compliment.

mad cabbie: i don't like the direction this election is going either. McCain's campaign manager said this election is not about the issues. he couldn't have been more right. and it's the GOP that turned this into a smoke and mirrors act and the American electorate are totally falling for it. people everywhere are going gaga over some woman who has accomplished nothing but, hey, she's pretty so she can be VP. i have no confidence whatsoever in US voters.

zipcode: while i don't agree with mad's wording, you have to wonder about the power of the religious right in this country. whatever happened to the separation of church and state? how is it ok for the VP nominee to say that the war in iraq was god's will?

media concepts: thank you for the compliment. i've been reading your stuff on Palin lately and i hope you keep up the good work. the media has certainly fallen under Palin's spell lately thanks to the GOP spin.

instatick said...

Great minds really do think alike. I was talking about this last night with friends, about how Palin had the audacity to say she's feminist all while standing high on her anti-choice, anti-education, anti-women-as-equals platform.

I just don't understand how a woman can feel okay denying other women freedoms.

anOCgirl said...

instatick: neither can i. a true feminist wouldn't do that.

Juliet said...

Well, I was thinking of responding to your post, but I'll just post this article by Camille Paglia, who is way cooler than I am anyway.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2008/09/10/palin/index.html

anOCgirl said...

juliet: from that article

"Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment."

also in salon.com: "The dominatrix Sarah Palin is trying to seduce independent voters. But she comes across like a whip-wielding mistress who wants to discipline a naughty America."

wow. so the only way a woman can be seen as powerful is when sex is attached to it? oh yeah. that's true feminism.

Juliet said...

I think it's pretty clear if you read Paglia's entire article that it's not the ONLY way women can be seen as powerful.

anOCgirl said...

juliet: ok then, there's this

"Feminism, which should be about equal rights and equal opportunity, should not be a closed club requiring an ideological litmus test for membership."

and this

"But what of Palin's pro-life stand? Creationism taught in schools? Book banning? Gay conversions? The Iraq war as God's plan? Zionism as a prelude to the apocalypse? We'll see how these big issues shake out."

And although this has nothing to do with feminism, i thought i should add this
"Since when did Democrats become so judgmental and intolerant?"

the first quote says to me, feminists should include all women into the club even if some women don't believe in equality.

the second says, all that stuff the media is saying about palin of which there is significant proof and palin hasn't been made ready to face in public by repeating the same tired lines from her nomination speech? eh, not important. i'm going to wait and see what happens.

and that third quote was just for laughs.

Juliet said...

Well, I agree with Paglia on these points and not with you. So I guess I'm not a feminist. That's fine. I have other core beliefs and values which your definition of feminism excludes, and those are more important to me than being in "the club."

anOCgirl said...

juliet: there is no club. that's paglia's word, not mine (and i certainly don't agree with paglia). feminism is equality. the feminism definition is not mine. it's websters. which is pretty much the general understanding of what feminism is about. if you don't care for equality and you want to back a candidate that is not for equality, then that does not make you a feminist.

Juliet said...

I think you're smart enough to figure out that the reason I'm opposed to abortion is not because I don't believe in equality, just as I am smart enough to figure out that the reason you support legalized abortion is not because you're anti-life. This is why the conversation always falls apart--because I base my opinions primarily on what I believe is the meaning of life, when it begins, and what our responsibilities are regarding it, and you base yours on what you believe about choice and equality and what that means ("I" and "you" being generalized into the plural here). I am all for choice and equality; I just can't use those terms outside of the context of my beliefs about what it means to be human and not just what it means to be a woman. I recognize that you disagree with me about what those baseline beliefs are, and that's perfectly legitimate; I just hope you can try to understand where I'm coming from, because my opinion is legitimate too and deserves to be expressed in my own terms.

anOCgirl said...

juliet: i love debating with you. i think that you are really smart and i love that you have some actual information to back up your opinions. i know that the interwebs can be completely devoid of emotion some times (or rather devoid of a correct representation of emotion). i'm not angry or heated and i hope you are not either.

ok, that being said, feminism is not about abortion. it's about equality. please take abortion out of it. abortion was part of the post because no one questions a man's reproductive rights and that's how it relates to equality of the sexes.

and this is why there is a big debate about abortion in this country. our (i'm generalizing too) fundamental beliefs which lead to our side in this debate differ greatly and both sides have a hard time seeing the other.

ok, that was an aside. back to the issue. there's more to equality than choice. there's equal pay and equal treatment. mccain has shown that he does not support either in the laws he has voted against. palin is his running mate and supporter. she won't speak to the press so i'm assuming they agree on everything (because I have nothing to indicate otherwise). therefore palin does not agree either.

do you believe in equal pay? equal treatment? should women be earning 60 cents for every $1 a man makes for the same work? what are you thoughts on those issues?

Juliet said...

Thank you for your first paragraph. I respect you too and I hope you don't think I'm coming here just to crap all over your blog, because that would be kind of lame.

I'm down with you on other women's issues, r.e. equal pay, equal treatment, etc. (although I think the fact that women usually are the ones who take off work for family reasons, thus affecting their productivity and qualifications for career advancement, complicates the issue more than might appear to be the case from statistics--I have seen evidence that women who have never been married actually earn more on average than men who have never been married and therefore haven't benefited from having a spouse at home to share the burden of housework and so on, but that's another issue; I do absolutely believe that equal work and equal qualifications deserve equal pay regardless of sex and that there is real sex discrimination in the workplace that prevents this ideal from being realized). I don't think I'm the one who brought abortion into it--it's pretty clear that it's been about abortion ever since Palin came on the scene. The message I've been getting is 1. the sine qua non of feminism is belief in abortion rights (you're not the only one who seems to suggest this; it's pretty much everywhere) and 2. if I don't believe in abortion rights then I must not believe in feminism in general. I just want it to be absolutely clear that even if I'm not a feminist by the standard of "choice" doesn't mean I'm not a feminist on other matters.

anOCgirl said...

juliet: if you believe in equal pay, etc and the mccain ticket is not behind it, tell me again how palin is a feminist. i seriously want to know. b/c paglia said in her article that she believes that feinstein is most like a feminist and that hillary is 'shrill'. if anything, hillary has done the most to fight a male dominated establishment ever since she was first lady. but feinstein is more of a feminist, according to paglia (don't get me wrong. i love feinstein and i voted for her in every election when i lived in cali). and feinstein and hillary have accomplished so much more than palin. so really, how is palin a feminist?

Juliet said...

I don't know, we could get into the whole debate of Hillary was married to the freaking president, so how hard is it to become a politician after that? vs. Palin rose through the ranks of Alaskan politics on her own efforts while raising a family. That never goes anywhere. But everyone's acting like Palin hasn't accomplished anything, when in her own sphere (not that it's necessarily a qualification for VP), she's accomplished a hell of a lot. She is a feminist in the way my mother-in-law is a feminist: I'm sure she adheres to the usual feminist dogma (she's pro-choice, etc.), but that's not who she is--she is a mother of eight and a full-time attorney--she doesn't sit around talking about what she should be able to do, she DOES it. And by doing it, she proves that there is no reason women shouldn't be able to do it.

You're approaching feminism from the perspective of "feminism is what you believe in," while I am approaching it from the perspective of "feminism is who you ARE," which is why I like Paglia's whole frontier women riff (I am descended from a number of frontier women who made their way to the Northwest, and I like to think I inherited some sort of independent do-it-yourself streak, although I've gone soft). Palin got to be governor of Alaska without help from any man, as far as I can tell--her husband supported her but she can't possibly be said to have ridden on his coattails (to be fair I think Hillary has accomplished a lot on her own merit, but you can't pretend Bill had nothing to do with it). I think that's cool. If I were ever to get into politics (I'm sure I won't), that would be how I'd do it. I admire her for that. I like to think I could disagree with everything she stands for and still admire her.