Monday, September 8, 2008

Sarah Palin Is No Feminist

As I've been surfing the net, looking at news and blogs and the buzz about the newest lady on the scene, Sarah Palin, I'm hearing things like, "Sarah Palin represents the new feminism," or that she is part of feminism's "next wave." Let's get one thing clear: SARAH PALIN IS NOT A FEMINIST! Not 2nd wave, not 3rd wave, not any wave.

There seems to be a lot of ignorant rhetoric flying around conservative circles concerning what feminism is and exactly who is a feminist. Being a working mom, as a few conservatives have asserted, does not make someone a feminist. Evangelist Mike Azinger believes that the Republican party has, "join[ed] the Democrats in their acceptance of full-throated feminism." Don't worry, Mike, your anti-feminist/anti-woman views are still being fully supported by your party, and even by Sarah Palin herself, even though she is a working mom, spitting in the face of God's perfect plan for men and women. The Republicans are lying to you (or at the very least are very confused and deeply ignorant) when they tell you Sarah Palin is a feminist.

Feminists have fought long and hard for women to be full citizens in this society, and more than mere chatel to be owned and guarded by men. This began with the 1st wave feminists fighting for over 70 years for women to have the right to vote. Without that, women were not citizens at all, but property of their fathers or husbands. Their bodies were not their own. We now have the right to vote, but men (and patriarchy-supporting women) are still fighting us for ownership of our bodies. How many people still believe that a husband can't rape his wife? Laws are slowly changing, but the way they are enforced and the deep-seated beliefs that are held about them are following at a much slower pace.

The right to choose what happens to our bodies with regard to reproduction is only one piece (albeit a rather large one) in the struggle for freedom for women. This not only includes the right to safe and legal abortions, but also access to comprehensive sex education, birth control and child care. Sarah Palin wants to take all choices away from us. She thinks that she and those who share her beliefs are better equipped to make the decision for us. According to Sarah Palin, women should not have the option of abortion, even if they are raped or if their life is in danger. According to Sarah Palin, our daughters and sons should be indoctrinated with abstinence-only-until-marriage teachings and should not have access to information regarding birth control and safer sex practices. We all know how well that worked out for her teenage daughter. If left up to Sarah Palin and the Republicans, we will be stripped of ownership of our own bodies. Our bodies will become property of the government, mere containers for reproduction.

Sarah Palin calls herself a "Feminist for Life." She is neither a feminist, nor is she "for life." How exactly can one be pro-life and be pro-war, pro-guns, pro-death penalty, pro-killing of endangered wildlife? Sarah Palin is not pro-life, she is anti-choice. In fact, she is pro-death. When abortion is criminalized, WOMEN DIE. A feminist who is for life believes in and works for affordable health care for all, access to affordable child care, comprehensive sexuality education, peace in the world, protection of our natural resources and wildlife, and responsible gun laws. Hey--it looks like I'm a feminist for life!

Do not be fooled. Joe Biden may not have been my first pick for VP, but when it comes to the issues that I care about, he's light years ahead of what we're looking at on the Republican ticket. Despite his flaws, he did champion the Violence Against Women Act; he will, to an extent, protect our right to choose; he has a pretty favorable voting record on environmental issues (Biden and Obama both score 67% this year with the League of Conservation voters, compared with McCain's 0%). Yes, Hillary Clinton would have been my first choice. But to think that Sarah Palin makes a good second choice is simply not to think at all.

1 comment:

jke said...

To say that Palin is PRO-DEATH really sums it all up. Thanks for a great post (and for visiting Across the Pond).