Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My two cents about Palin, Feminism, and the upcoming election...



I’ve been relatively quiet about this in the blogosphere—the whole Sarah Palin business—because I like to process things a bit before I write about them. Of course in the real world (of the non-digital variety), I’ve been ranting about it almost nonstop. I think my mother is screening her phone calls now, and my husband has taken to hiding in the garage. To put it bluntly: I’m furious.

I’ve been trying to pinpoint what it is that makes me so angry about Sarah Palin. Some of the reasons are easy: I don’t agree with her beliefs about women’s reproductive rights (I’m fiercely protective of a woman’s right to choose), gun control, education, the environment, or the economy. It terrifies me that she even ASKED a librarian about removing certain books from the shelves (And that Palin tried to have her fired when she refused to consider it). It disturbs me deeply when women (who may be at their most vulnerable) are charged money for evidence collection and rape kits. She also appears seriously uninformed about a number political matters, both foreign and domestic.

And no, I didn’t know what the Bush Doctrine was, either. But I’m not running for Vice President.

I am the kind of woman the McCain campaign is trying to court using Sarah Palin. I’m a middle-class, nearly-middle-aged, white, college-educated mother. I have a developmentally disabled child. I vote. But I won’t be voting for the McCain / Palin ticket. No way.

I see a good number of Republicans stomping their feet and accusing women who don’t support Palin of some kind of deep-seated misogyny. They just don’t get it. Misogyny is what women are fighting when we protest Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. The selection of Sarah Palin is--in and of itself--a misogynist act on the part of the Republican party, and that makes me angry.

I’m angry when I see a woman used as a prop to further a man’s political career.

I’m angry when politicians try to dress their patriarchal ideology in a skirt and call it feminism. I think many other women feel the same.

Yes, feminism is—in part—about women being able to smash through the glass ceiling and establish careers in all the same fields as men. Sure, it’s about women having careers and families and not being criticized for choosing both. But it’s also about the fundamental rights that Sarah Palin does not support. As feminists, we want safe streets, a healthy planet, the right to choose what happens to our bodies. We want equal pay for equal work. We want our daughters to be educated about sex (as opposed to abstinence only education). We want them to have access to effective birth control, to recognize that they have the right to make choices, about their bodies and their futures.

I’m not angry because Sarah Palin is a woman, or because she’s the mother of five children and running for the second-highest office in the United States. I don't think I'm in any way obligated to support her candidacy just because she's a woman.

The problem isn’t that women have failed to support Sarah Palin.

The problem is that Sarah Palin has failed to support women.

8 comments:

Rudy said...

Susan,
I strongly disagree. Palin is only acknowledging the rights of men to see their planted seed fully develop. You feminists believe sex is an act of pleasure. Well it's not with me!

And why should John Q. Taxpayer be billed for a crime that a raped woman caused by showing too much skin?

Susan said...

Rudy,

You have the right to disagree. You even have the right to google the word "feminism" in hopes that you will find a blog where you might post highly inflammatory statements hoping to stir the pot, or perhaps get a rise out of someone who disagrees with your personal belief system.

I am not so easily baited, of course.

When you post illogical and indefensible statements as a response to feminism in general (as opposed to the essay as a whole, and its specific points) you merely make me appear that much smarter.

So...thanks.

Rudy said...

So, you know the word I googled to find your blog. This only proves that your feminist witchcraft is strong. I'm not afraid. My trembling fear of God serves as my protection from your black magic.

The fact that you did not disagree with my opinion shows that there truly is a good, obedient woman beneath that pointy black feminist hat.

Please put down your magic wand before Sarah Palin sics her pastor after you.
***
You don't need my help to make you look smarter, but you're very welcome :)

Susan said...

Excuse me while I adjust my pointy hat, and stir wicked things into my cauldron...or perhaps use that mystical occult device that those of us who inhabit the 21st century like to call "stat-counter software."

Rudy said...

I'm sure today's witches have modernized, computerized, and upgraded their hokus poki.

Can you look into your crystal ball and tell what sites I've spent hours ogling?

If this info were leaked to the holy-than-thou Christian community it could damage my reputation.

Ssshhhhh.

Greco-Roman said...

Susan,
Rudy is parody. I did not mean to offend you, but just make you laugh at the expense of chauvinism.

I'm sorry you had to use comment moderation. Rudy and I won't bother you anymore.

BTW, I do like your post on Palin.

Susan said...

Greco-Roman,

I enabled comment moderation for a number of reasons...not just because of "Rudy."

I understand the parody...but must mention that it's troubling to realize that there are some real "Rudy" characters out there, who sincerely think these very same things that you/ "Rudy" wrote, and don't recognize the absurdity of these beliefs.

No worries.

Peace,

Susan

Tilt Press said...

Thank goodness, I thought for a brief moment Rudy was serious - and only because there ARE people in this country who share the beliefs mentioned - even scarier is that there are MANY of them. *shiver*