Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sarah Palin Feminism is Anti-Woman




There are many schools of feminism. There's the school of feminism that believes you vote for a woman no matter what the consequences because she is a woman and we need more women in government. There's the school of feminism that believes you vote for the most qualified person and if that happens to be a woman, even better.

Now there's a new school of feminism, created solely for those saps who didn't believe in feminism before September 2008--Sarah Palin feminism. It's made up of thousands if not millions of women who are recognizing for the first time, or at least admitting for the first time, that sexism exists and that we should support women candidates.

The problem with this last type of feminism? It ignores everything that feminism has been about for centuries in the hopes of electing one woman who could set our gender back decades, if not further.

You may ask yourself, and I'm sure people will ask me, why Sarah Palin is bad for women. Go ahead--ask it. And I'll answer you in a well-thought-out set of talking points that you should take with you to the bank and store away for safe keeping.

1. Sarah Palin is a token woman.

Sarah Palin is the GOP's Vice Presidential candidate for no other reason than the fact that she's a woman and they need pissed off Hillary supporters who may ignore politics to vote for someone who has a vagina. That's plan and simple. To think otherwise is to fool yourself, and I hope you try to avoid that at all costs.

Definition: A token woman is a woman placed in a predominately male setting placed there for the simple fact that she is a woman and a woman is needed for appearances.

By all definitions, Sarah Palin is that woman. I think in the past few weeks, Palin has showed us how vulnerable she truly is as a politician, lacking experience and even the quality of character to do her own interviews, stay on point or talk the issues with any sense of cohesiveness or consistancy. Sarah Palin is to John McCain what Colin Powell was to Bush I--a convinient way to say "I have friends that are Black..." or "I have a woman friend..." without having to justify or discuss their issues which oppose the majority of Blacks or women in society.

In other words, Palin is not there for her brains or her politics as much as she's there because she has, presumably, the physiological parts that comprise a woman--a demographic from which the GOP needs a win.

2. Sarah Palin is not a politician in her own right as much as she is a figure head to be viewed in the male gaze.
For those of you unfamiliar with the male gaze, here's a (very) basic primer: The male gaze is the point of view from which a situation is viewed that casts (or typecasts) a woman as an object, not as the subject of the situation. It was a theory derrived from a study of film. If you still don't get it, this Dinosour Comic explains it much simpler and definitely more understandible.

So how does Palin fit into the Male Gaze? Well, it's actually so blatant that it becomes obscured, like viewing a close up item with binoculars. Sarah Palin has been viewed, from day one, as not an independent woman making decisions on her own and joining the McCain campaign for her own political motivations or beliefs, but rather a figure head for the GOP's attempt to gather women voters and solidify conservative males by creating a "VPILF". Instead of creating a persona for herself, Palin has become an object, rather than a subject. She is viewed as treating McCain as a sugar daddy or even pimp, thus furthering the view.

In other words, Palin is not on the ticket as McCain's equal or even his second in command, but she's there to be a figurehead for women, subjugated to the same myopic view of the world that has existed with men in charge for millenia.

3. Sarah Palin doesn't care about women.
Remember when Kanye said George Bush does not care about black people? He was right. That was the irony of the uproar over it. George Bush's policies have disenfranchized Black America from receiving their piece of the pie from day one of his presidency and even as Governor of Texas. In the same vein, Palin represents not a policy driven perspective intent on helping women achieve equality, but rather one that attempts to both use and abuse her gender for gain when necessary and drop it when convinient. Her policies about everything from rape kits to family planning imagine a world where women do not have choices over what happens to their bodies and once it has happened, have no recourse with which to address the aggressor. Her ideas about "counseling for life," even in the cases of child rape and incest are beyond regrettable. But even in the most stunning of changes, Palin denies that sexism plays a part in our media culture, something even Mom Grace could tell you, she claims the latest hullaballo over the price of her clothing was sexist. (Oddly enough, McCain campaign advisors are playing into the sexism Palin claims surrounds the wardrobe malfunction.) She doesn't believe in comprehensive sex education, even after her daughter falls victim to abstinence only policies.

In other words, if a man had these policies, you'd think of him as anti-feminist and anti-woman, but because she's a woman she's gotten, in large part, a free pass.

Feminism is about supporting women in achieving equality based on the theory that women are equal to men and should be treated alike. Sarah Palin Feminism is the idea that women can be touted around to serve agendas, present a strict set of so-called "family values," but never to stand on their own two feet and declare policies that support fellow women.

I hope for the sake of all the women in the world and those yet to come into existence, that we remember these things when we vote next week and recognize that a vote for the McCain/Palin ticket supports such backwards views of women and feminism.

3 Comments:

Leigh said...

Extremely well-said. I couldn't agree with you more! Thank you.

dana said...

The RNC wanted a puppet like Bush they could manipulate after the temporary President McCain moves on and they got one in SP. If she wasn't so dangerous, I'd pity her. Imagine, talking about her earrings and accessories when we're in an economic crisis. What a waste of a platform.

You know it's bad when a republican speech writer says his party has gone over to the "rural rump" of America. And yes, he meant ass.

SportyGrrl said...

I completely agree. I once wrote that she is the 1996 version of Pat Buchanan who scared the GOP, but as a woman she gets a free pass from the GOP for her radical conservatism. It is so disheartening when women fall for this and think that she relates to their concerns.

 

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