18 September 2008


Some people get it wrong when their argument is to show that Sarah Palin is more "feminist" than, say, Gloria Steinem. This is a ploy that feminists themselves do not use. Do not forget: feminism is about choice and equality, not about promoting a particular lifestyle.

It is not that Sarah Palin herself is so successfully feminist or has successfully benefited from the long struggle of feminist praxis. It is, instead, that she, with her religio-political ideology, would never have been for the feminist cause in the first place (even though today she is the beneficiary of that cause) and would, if elected, arrest the forward movement of feminism. As Gloria Steinem said, very near the top of her recent op-ed piece (http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/opinion/la-oe-steinem4-2008sep04,0,1290251.story), "Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie." Can you imagine that Palin would lead the effort to create a new pie for women in America?

Many have distorted the discussion by making Palin's own life the point; the real point is what she believes, in her religio-political ideology, and what she would promote as political policy. After all, she thinks Creationism should be taught in schools; she believes in an ultimate war between Good and Evil; she thinks Islam is a false religion; she thinks the Iraq War is holy war, with God on the side of America. I ask you: Can someone like this make rational choices for the good of the country? Would she not continue the Bush Administration assault against science policy? Since she is a global-warming skeptic, would she not set back environmental policy? And she is against a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body, even being against abortions when the pregnancy is due to rape or incest.

Who cares whether her husband stays home with their children (with plenty of hired caretakers) or that she personally kills animals from helicopters? The point is that Palin herself is a walking contradiction. If not, then let's hear her repudiate what her branch of Pentecostalism stands for. For example, it promotes the very fundamentalist position that wives must submit to their husbands. I have no problem with Pentecostalist belief, UNTIL it--with the beliefs outlined above and its belief in God's special dispensation of making America always right and their chosenness to lead--exersizes political power over my life and national policy.

So, congratulatons to Sarah Palin for exploiting the feminist history of struggle in which she cannot believe. But let's not give her the priviledge of walking the halls of power. That's when her religio-political ideology can become dangerous. She just might become a leader marching us backwards.

Note: See the anonymous comment and its link to some frightening info about Gov. Palin's religio-political ideology.


Virginia Harris said...

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Gloria Steinem and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.

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Anonymous said...

For some more information about Palin's political/religous ideology, you may be interested in reading an article found here, that discusses Palin’s links to the Christian Right. As the article states -"This is the background of the woman who might well become Vice President to a 72-year old President John McCain, a man reported to have severe skin cancer and other major health problems. According to the US Constitutional succession, should McCain be incapacitated or die in office, she would become President." – it is vitally important that the public become aware of her agenda.

Thank you for your post.