I can't tell you how disgusted I have been of the "coverage" of Sarah Palin over the last few days. I think I had the same reaction a lot of women had when McCain put Palin forward as his running mate in that I thought it might be a cynical ploy to get the Hillary Clinton vote. But then I stood back and realized that Sarah Palin is not Hillary Clinton and it wouldn't take long for people to start focusing on their political differences. What I didn't expect was that the so-called feminist movement is only behind women who have the "right" politics.
Like a lot of people I wanted to know about Sarah Palin. Cynical or not, by putting Palin on the Republican ticket McCain has put a woman in position to take on one of the most powerful offices in our country. It isn't the first time, as anyone who remembers Geraldine Ferraro can tell you. But this has been a very close race. Democrats would like to think that their very polished candidate is going to take the Presidency in a landslide. In most cases the Democrats would be almost guaranteed the office following on the heels of an 8-year Republican administration, but somehow middle America hasn't fully bought into the Obama hype. It may be because Obama said that people who "cling" to religion or guns are "bitter." It could be because his wife Michelle, a Princeton graduate who also has a law degree from Harvard, declared she wasn't proud of her country until her husband was running for President. Maybe I'm bitter, but I remember that statement. Or maybe the Democrats aren't running as strongly as they could because Hillary was such a strong contender that she took the shine off of Obama-- at least for awhile.
Yes, the Democrats have surged after Obama's speech as the convention. And no matter your political inclinations, you have to admit the man can give one heck of a speech. But McCain pulled the spotlight back to the Republicans by picking Sarah Palin as his running mate. After I got over my shock that he did pick a woman I began to think his pick was less cynical than I originally thought. She's no Hillary clone-- not even close. She isn't just conservative, she's staunchly so. I began to think there might be a chance that she would invigorate the conservative base. I began to read stories about her through the online media (Washington Post, New York Times etc.) to see what the general opinion was of her and began to realize something. Feminism only works if you're a Democrat.
I couldn't believe the comments I read about Sarah Palin. They weren't about her stance on abortion-- which I could understand. No, the comments were full of innuendo about the birth of her youngest child. The comments were about her looks and the fact that she had been in a beauty contest at some point in her young life. I read comments by women who referred to her as a bimbo or whore, or worse. I read comments by women who had nothing but scathing remarks for another woman who would dare to seek a career in politics while she had children to raise. Or worse, choose to have so many children. (Don't even get me started on the number of people out there who consider themselves superior by only choosing to have one or two kids but neglect them shamelessly--I saw this often as a teacher) Apparently only Democrat women are allowed to work, the rest of world needs to be home burping the baby.
Then we find out Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant. *Sigh* As expected, the comments have only gotten uglier (though points to Obama by his classy--so far--handling of the information). Apparently if a pro-life woman has a teenage daughter that gets pregnant, her pro-life stance must be to blame. After all, we assume, she must not have talked to her daughter about s-e-x. I mean, a pro-choice Democrat woman who talks to her daughter about birth control never finds herself in the same position as Sarah Palin. The approximately 520,000 children born to teenage mothers each year must be a result of conservative values gone wrong. Right?
I have a daughter that I have already broached the subject of sex with. I also talk to her about drugs, smoking and alcohol. Does this guarantee that she won't smoke, drink, use drugs or get pregnant? Absolutely not. My mom didn't talk to me about any of those things and I never drank before I was 21, never smoked, never used drugs and didn't have my first child until I was 30. Could I attribute any of those things to my upbringing? I seriously doubt it. Look at the statistics. 4 kids in the family: 2 high school dropouts, 2 high school graduates: 1 college graduate: 2 had children out of wedlock , 2 did not: 3 had (have) serious issues with drugs and alcohol. No wonder my brother calls my mom every year just to tell her that he voted Republican and therefore cancelled out her vote. I'm tempted to do the same thing.
At the end of the day I could care less if people go after Sarah Palin on her politics. If you don't like her stance on abortion, I get it. If you are against domestic drilling for oil, say so and vote for Obama. If you are anti-gun, I'm happy for you. But if you go after Sarah Palin because she is a woman I am going to get pissed off-- more than I already am. Barak Obama has young children and no one assumes he needs to be home raising them. Why can't we make the same assumption about Sarah Palin? Something tells me that if she were elected Vice President, her husband would probably move to Washington D.C. with her and just maybe, take some time off to help raise the kids. Just a thought.
And if you are rabidly anti Sarah Palin, ask yourself this. If she were a Democrat and strongly pro-choice, would all the "feminists" be so hard on her? I seriously doubt it.
As a woman, this whole thing makes me fume.