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September 29, 2008 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Ode to Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin. Hey Sarah Palin! Put down your gun. I’m talking to you. I felt I should write a column about you, cos soon you may be one of the most powerful women in the world.

A few people have asked me if I like you, referring me to my (somewhat foolish) comments earlier in the year, when I said “I like Hilary”. “Why?” “Cos she’s a woman”. Ok, simplistic, but partly true. I did indeed support Hilary. Firstly, because she was a Democrat, and I generally prefer those to Republicans. Hilary supported women’s issues. And she had more experience than Obama.

Now Hilary’s out and Obama’s in. Do I support you, Sarah Palin over Obama just because you’re a woman? Fuck no. I was cautious about writing this article because I don’t like being too critical of other feminists (preferring the belief that we need to band together), but Sarah, you ain’t no feminist. Why?

You don’t believe in abortion. Even in cases of rape and incest! The fact that women STILL have to fight on this (despite Roe v. Wade happening in 1973) means we can’t put our energies into fighting other important issues. Also, you love guns, you deny global warming, you support the death penalty, you want to teach creationism, you oppose same-sex marriage and you supported an amendment which would deny state healthbenefi ts to same-sex couples.

But it really doesn’t matter what I think, for many reasons (the main one being I can’t vote in the US election). What matters is why you were chosen. Feminist activist Eve Ensler calls McCain choosing you “insidious and cynical” because “The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.” It’s pretty obvious that the McCain camp were trying to poach the white working class women who previously supported Hilary but were iffy on Obama. McCain was appealing to my stereotype, that I’ll support someone cos they’re a woman.

Sarah, you are meant to appeal to feminists. That’s why you’re a member of the oxymoronic Feminists for Life of America – a pro-life feminist organisation. You want to eliminate the things that drive women to abortion like a lack of practical resources and support. That’s all well and good Sarah, but until those “root causes” are eliminated, stop denying women their right to abortion in the meantime. Also, maybe you should stop teaching abstinence in your schools. Just a thought. Also, thanks for coopting feminist rhetoric for your totally non-feminist cause. Good one.

Moreover, your membership of Feminists for Life is totally inconsistent with your actions when you cut state funding for Passage House, a transitional house for teenage mothers. Surely it’s because support like that isn’t there that more and more women have abortions?

Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women (NOW) had this to say: “The fact that Palin is a mother of five who has a 4-month-old baby, a woman who is juggling work and family responsibilities, will speak to many women. But will Palin speak FOR women? Based on her record and her stated positions, the answer is clearly No.”


About the Author ()

Well hello there. Eleanor was the Theatre Editor in 2007, now she writes the Women's Column and just generally minces about the Salient office. Eleanor is currently an Honours student in Theatre (with a touch of gender). She also has a BCA in Marketing but she tries to keep that on the d-low (embarrassing, because she loves academic integrity and also perpetuating the myth that she's a tad bohemian). If you've got a gender agenda, woo her by taking her a BYO Malaysian. She lies, if you show any interest at all she'll probably tackle you in the street and force you to write a column.

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