Archive for August, 2008

So, what do the ‘feminists’ think of Sarah Palin?

Alas, the summer hiatus ends and I write once again.

I was feeling euphoric about witnessing and sharing with my young daughter and son, the historic moment at the close of the Democratic Convention. (For my husband, he was priviledged to actually be there and share in that moment.)  I had to impress upon their young and inquisitive minds, how momentus this evening was – that the first African-American had been nominated for President by a leading political party in the United Stated of America, for the very first time in history!  What this would mean to them in the context of a tumultous history from slavery, to civil rights and then to a general election with an African-American on the top of the ticket – will only be realized once they have lived a little in this world.

It was an interesting discussion explaining to my children about the defeat of a woman, for instance; ‘that while Hillary Clinton was a strong and able candidate, who lost the nomination to Barack Obama,  it was equally historic that an African-American became the Democrat’s candidate’, is how I think I phrased it.  I knew my daughter would still be inspired – by both Clinton AND Obama – telling her that anyone who has worked hard, cares about people, is smart and can stand up and speak intelligently about issues which affect our country and the world around us, can someday aspire to becoming president. 

Then came the Friday announcement of McCain’s running-mate: Sarah Palin.  My son asked me who she was as we watched the announcement/rally.  Telling him she was McCain’s Vice President, he said, “But she’s not Hillary Clinton, how can she become a Vice President”.  The same thought ran through my mind, but naturally on an entirely different level.  That McCain felt he could dupe the women out there by propping up an unknown female politician, from a sparsely populated state, who sounded aggressive, and seems to be a most anti-woman, woman candidate- was frankly, insulting.  My hope is that the disgruntled Hillary supporters are smarter than what McCain is making them out to be!  Just because she has the anatomy of the female gender, does not make her some symbolic replacement.  Women need to see through this blatant transparency.  Most people would acknowledge that were many more compelling women in the Republican party with much more broad based experience, ‘vetted-ness’ and gravitas.   This is obvious pandering to a very specific segment of Republican conservatives.  My wish is for the many articulate, media savvy, vocal and active ‘feminists’ to come out aggressively to voice their disgust at McCain and this insult to women. While I respect that there are many women who may agree with Palin’s conservative bent with regards to abortion, I’m sure they would come to reject McCain’s policies on women’s concerns. I invite the alums from women’s colleges, prominent feminists and women’s rights activitists to heed this call and flood the media with a clear message from women who know McCain is not a champion for women’s rights, is against equal pay for equal work, and even against the right to choose – and dissuade those women who are leaning towards voting for this ticket.  Let us not re-seal those 18 million cracks which have been made in that glass ceiling! In the blogosphere, I am hearing women rally behind Palin, saying, “she’s so pretty and would make a great VP”, or “she’s the mother of 5 kids, what an inspiration”.  Our young women need to be inspired by more than just a beauty pageant winner or an honorable mother – even while she may have made personal strides in achieving her political aspirations.  The creditials required to be next in line as the leader of the free world, I would hope, would be a slightly more demanding reach for higher expectations, no?  In all fairness, it would be wiser to critique Palin’s work and policies she’s set in her short gubernatorial career.  Very quickly it will be realized that most Democratic women would not agree with her platform.

 

ADDENDUM:  Thank goodness fellow Alum, Gloria Steinem said her peace: “To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs!” You can read the post here.

So, here I have dug up a few voices of prominent ‘feminists’ and hope for more…

McCain Tries To Grab the History Flag From Obama:  by Tanya Melich

August 29, 2008

www.WomensMediaCenter.com

The first time I hear a woman has achieved something special, my automatic reaction is to cheer, to think  “good, another of us has won.”  

Then reality sets in and the questions start.

Read the rest of this entry »

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