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Thoughts on Sarah Palin

pejordan's picture

Watching “The Undefeated” this weekend was a very complicated and interesting experience for me. The film itself was quite obviously biased, and didn’t really make much of an attempt to seem otherwise--there was a lot of really exaggerated language, often accompanied by dramatic music or clips of earthquakes and car crashes to make a point. However, it did make me start to think about my perceptions of Sarah Palin. I very much want a woman to be president, to represent women in the government--does that mean that I should support all women who run for office, just because they are women? I don’t think so; if we really want gender equality, then we should support women because we support their politics (and in turn, because their politics support women). Another question that watching “The Undefeated” brought up for me that ties into bell hooks as well is how much ground Palin actually gained for women by running for vice president. bell hooks makes the point that women can be just as sexist as men, and I think that Sarah Palin’s politics don’t help women. She is opposed to abortion (including in cases of rape) and opposed to same-sex marriage, which I think are issues that concern many women in the United States. The National Organization for Women, in fact, supported the Obama/Biden campaign over the McCain/Palin campaign in the 2008 election. While Palin has been subject to some harsh criticism, some of it predicated on the fact that she is a woman, she has done quite a bit of criticizing of her own too. In sum, I do realize that women need to support women, but Palin is only perpetuating patriarchal and sexist ideas and I don’t think that supporting those policies will help to improve gender equality.


dear.abby's picture

I think bell hooks has somthing further to say about this...

bell hooks wrote that if feminism "is a movement to end sexist oppression, and depriving females of reproductive rights is a form of sexist oppression, then one cannot be anti-choice and be a feminist. A woman can insist whe would never choose to have an abotion while affirming her support of the right of wome to choose and stil be an advocate of feminist politics. She cannot be anti-abortion and an advocate of feminism" (hooks 6). This means that being an advocate of women, and women in politics, might logically entail advocating against particular female politicians whose politics work against the movement against sexist oppression. As pejordan already mentioned that women can be advocates of sexism just as well as men can. The following female politicians are not feminists working against sexist oppression via their anti-choice voting record (all information based upon NARAL's voting record percentages ).

NOTE: women make up roughly 17% of both the House and the Senate. There are 90 female representatives, and 17 female senators. This means men stand for 83% of Congress.

Kathy Dahlkemper  Kelly Ayotte  Susan Collins  Olympia Snowe

Marcia Kaptur Jaime Herrera Beutler Cathy McMorris Rodgers Mary Bono Mack  Cynthia Lummis  Kristi Noem  Lynn Jenkins  Michele Bachmann   Jo Ann Emerson   Diane Black   Marsha Blackburn Martha Roby  Candice Miller  Jean Schmidt  Shelley Moore Capito  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen  Sandy Adams  Sue Myrick  Virginia Foxx  Renee Ellmers  Ann Marie Buerkle 

michelle.lee's picture

I agree with your statement,

I agree with your statement, "I very much want a woman to be president, to represent women in the government--does that mean that I should support all women who run for office, just because they are women?"  For myself, I think it's very conflicting that there are not as many noted female figures in politics.  I feel that there are many who are not put into the media spotlight and those who are, are not portrayed in a flattering light.  I feel like women such as Condoleeeza Rice and Hilary Clinton, who are generally deemed as high ranking female politicians, are then painted in the media are also not portrayed in a flattering light.

What will it take for women to be portrayed in a flattering light? What is considered a flattering light in politics?  Is politics too inherently patriarchal that it is impossible for a woman to place her own standards?  Is it better to become a prominent figure by "playing the game" or fighting your way through the system in a way that does not reflect the patriarchy?