Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sarah Palin or Am I Still A Feminist

One of the goals of my blog is to share some political musings I have as The Good Wife. As TGW I have to reconcile my life and work as both a die hard feminist and a wife who enjoys cooking and cleaning. Most of the time the task is easy. I mean, isn't being a feminist all about choices and I made my choice to like activities that are ascribed to traditional gender roles? So while I do enjoy being a wife, I know that it is not all that I am and I am not bound by my apron strings.

But then there are days when I question everything I know about being a feminist and a woman. The day of my latest struggle began on August 29. This was the day that Sen. John McCain announced Gov. Sarah Palin as his choice for Vice President.

You would think that as a feminist I would rejoice in this news. I mean we could actually have a woman Vice President! But after the first two seconds of something like joy, a deer-in-the-headlights panic set over me and I have not been able to shake it since. It has been growing like a tumor as I struggle to define how I deal with Palin.

How could it be that a feminist would find panic in the nomination of Palin?

This article explains it rather well for me. Zombie Feminists of the RNC

"In this strange new pro-woman tableau, feminism -- a word that is being used all over the country with regard to Palin's potential power -- means voting for someone who would limit reproductive control, access to healthcare and funding for places like Covenant House Alaska, an organization that helps unwed teen mothers. It means cheering someone who allowed women to be charged for their rape kits while she was mayor of Wasilla, who supports the teaching of creationism alongside evolution, who has inquired locally about the possibility of using her position to ban children's books from the public library, who does not support the teaching of sex education.

In this 'Handmaid's Tale'-inflected universe, in which femininity is worshipped but females will be denied rights, CNBC pundit
Donny Deutsch tells us that we're witnessing 'a new creation ... of the feminist ideal,' the feminism being so ideal because instead of being voiced by hairy old bats with unattractive ideas about intellect and economy and politics and power, it's now embodied by a woman who, according to Deutsch, does what Hillary Clinton did not: 'put a skirt on.' 'I want her watching my kids,' says Deutsch. 'I want her laying next to me in bed.'"

So if this is the case, I am now labeling myself something that is turning into the exact opposite of what I believe in. Do we need a new word for feminism? Womynism?

There is just something about Palin's nomination that rubs me the wrong way. Is it the fee she charged sexual assault victims for rape kits? Is it the rhetorical questions about book banning? Is the the blatant pandering to the vagina vote? Was it her mocking of the sexism Clinton faced in her primary bid, saying Clinton was whining? Something about this woman just leaves me panicked and fearful.

Some will say that the media is being sexist towards Palin. This is true - to a point. But this is not the sexism we saw with Clinton.

Not quite the same is it?

That is not to say that Palin hasn't faced her own sexist attacks in the media. She has.

But her support of groups like Feminists for Life, abstinence only sex education and her opposition to abortion even in the cases of rape and incest (although she does get some points for being consistent) just makes my vagina sad.

I look at these last weeks leading up to the election with a kind of fear and depression and on the other hand, hope and pride. I hope that I can turn most of my attention to the economy, or saving and looking for a new house, or making some killer sugar cookies for fall. I hope this growing tumor will turn out to be benign and all will be fine.

And to counter this post, tomorrow I will post about the most housewifely dishes of all time: meatloaf.


Kira said...

I totally agree. Am I somehow less of a feminist because my husband makes more than I do and I do most of the housework? Sarah Palin scares me, even if she's more woman than I'll ever be.

Ms. Foodie said...

Palin = Bush in Drag. I don't feel bad hating on her. Actually, I think it makes me a better feminist.

Finger snaps for your post.