What has Sarah Palin done for feminism?
Feminist arguments for Sarah Palin
Given the blatant sexism Hillary encountered in the primary, I, as a pro-abortion feminist, wasn't the only one to hear the news of Sarah Palin's nomination as Republican nominee for US Vice President. On the Republican side, it bridges the "enthusiasm gap" between conservatives and independents; what it has to offer democrats is even more attractive: the chance to vote for a woman who stands for herself and for a party whose positions we stand for do not agree on all issues, but at least respect women to the extent that they take them seriously.
Regardless of whether we have an R, D or I (for independent) after our name, what we all have in common is a life experience that differs from that of men and that comes with every choice we make and every decision we make before we stand, comes to fruition. Having a wife in the White House makes it clear where the hour has come. Notwithstanding the fact that some Democratic party leaders have decided otherwise. But after the Palin nomination, they may realize that they don't matter anymore.
For Clinton voters in particular, Palin's nomination is a political wake-up call they never expected. After you had to watch your candidate and her principles being betrayed by the very people who pretend to be standard-bearers for track and fairness, you now look to the other side of the street and see a woman there who embodies all of this, for that the women's movement has always stood: women can have a family and have a career. We can shape our life the way we want. For some, it may mean hunting moose, for others, shooting a film, or pursuing a career as a teacher. However different our inclinations may be, we will choose the system that enables us to make the best choices for us. As simple as that.
The trench warfare for the Clinton candidacy during the primaries has once again made it clear how misogynistic this party has become. The media launched the attacks and the Obama campaign continued. Trailblazer Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first Democrat to run for Vice President (in the 1980s), was so outraged by the attacks that she called Obama a "hideous sexist" and party leader Howard Dean was open to his striking silence on the sexist attacks criticized.
Feminists registered with concern when Obama, apart from other minor taunts, once said: “I understand that Sen. Clinton regularly rides attacks when she is feeling bad to polish up her attraction.” And the Democratic delegate Steve Cohen compared it Hillary in a TV interview with a film character (Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction") who turns spurned love into a stalker. Such behavior and other abuse - like Obama's recent "lipstick" mess - are typical of the Democratic leadership and conveyed the message to the grassroots and media that "friends before sluts" come to buy a popular Obama fan t-shirt quote.
This chauvinistic attitude was almost surpassed by the condescending attitude of the Democrats' congress. The Obama supporters made it clear that Super Special Women’s Night would have to be enough to get a grip on the ardent support for the woman who almost caught up with her opponents in the votes and was hard on the heels of the delegates. There were plenty of appeals and lip service to women's rights, and evenings long stories were spread about women cheated out of their dreams or denied promotion because they were women. Clinton's "18 million cracks in the glass ceiling" were mentioned again and again, but one only increasingly confused how many more cracks it would take to finally tear down the ceiling.
Very soon after the Republican announcement for Palin, experts on both sides wondered whether Clinton supporters - especially abortion advocates and gays - would switch to the Palin ticket. The answer is: no question.
The democratic party has transformed from a women's advancement group into a women's disenfranchisement group. And because of this, Sarah Palin is also a serious threat to the popular leftist claim of cultural and social superiority. Why? Because both women and men suddenly consider voting republican who would never have thought of it before.
Palin's candidacy marks a turning point for feminism both symbolically and in reality. The simple possibility of suddenly not only seeing things in the left grid, which has claimed for generations that only leftists can be trusted on important women's issues, is a kind of political atomic explosion. The fact that women are suddenly ready to look to the right will not only change this electoral policy but also bring more and more women into positions of power at the speed of light.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Democrats' response to Palin's nomination was to immediately play the left trump card that keeps Democracy going - the abortion card, with the party telling worried feminists on a daily basis that the opposing side want to seize the womb. And that comes from a party that has just shown the world that people with ovaries don't count for them.
Yes, both Palin and McCain are against abortion, but neither has ever made that belief the leitmotif of their policies. People become politicians because they have a cause. McCain's concern is reform. During her tenure as governor, Palins was not focused on stepping on the toes of gays but on corrupt officials, and not on making abortion illegal, but on wasting public money.
And one more thing: On the day her nomination was announced, Palin thanked Clinton and Ferraro for being a trailblazer. The next day, Ferraro reacted horrified to this comment. It's strange: none of her comrades has thanked her since her historic candidacy 24 years ago. Ferrero has since refused to reveal who it will vote for. Now many others see that it does indeed need a woman - and she will be a Republican named Sarah Palin. (Tammy Bruce, THE STANDARD, print edition, September 12, 2008)
To person: Tammy Bruce, author and broadcast journalist, was president of the National Organization for Women and was a lifelong Democrat voter until February 2008 ...
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