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Is Sarah Palin a feminist?

sarahpalin_200908_477x600_1

My mom dropped by to visit this afternoon and the subject of Sarah Palin came up. I mentioned to her that a number of people in the blogosphere have been arguing that Sarah Palin is not a feminist because she is pro-life. My mom looked at me like I was crazy.

That’s not unusual, she’s been looking at me like that for a long as I can remember, but she asked “What’s that got to do with anything?”

I told her that according to some people “pro-life feminist” is an oxymoron and anyone who isn’t pro-choice is anti-feminist.  My mom said “Some people are idiots” as she stole my last beer from the fridge.

My mom is old school – she was a feminist back when they were called “women’s libbers” and married women were called “Mrs. Husband’s Name.”  I learned to drive in a car with a bumper sticker that said “A Woman’s Place is in the House – and the Senate”

No college diploma, she spent her life in the “pink collar” working class.  She’s not much for “feminist theory,” her life is applied feminism.  When she was a single mom raising me and my older sister she had to deal with the fact that “women’s jobs” didn’t pay enough to support a family.  (Back in the sixties women were supposed to be housewives and men were supposed to be the breadwinners.)

Before she retired my mom was active in NOW, BPW and LWV, and was the local chapter president of the latter two for a while.  Now she’s on the board of the local AARP chapter.

She’s also a devout Christian who thinks abortion is morally wrong.

Feminism is about equality for women.  That encompasses a lot of issues, including gender discrimination, domestic violence and reproductive rights.  Abortion is one issue, but it’s not the only issue.

Conservative women have just as much at stake as liberal women when it comes to job discrimination and sexual harassment.  To exclude them as allies on common issues because they disagree on abortion is absurd.

Caveat – not all conservative women support feminism.  I’m not talking about finding common ground with Phyllis Schlafly.  But when you have a successful “self-made” woman who self-identifies as a feminist  you should keep an open mind.

Right now feminism is perceived by most people to be part of  liberal ideology.  That also means that it is a “Democratic” issue – feminists generally vote for Democratic candidates.  How does that work in practice?

The GOP either ignores or opposes feminist issues.  There are no votes to be had supporting feminism so why not cater to the reactionaries?  But the Democrats take feminists for granted beccause “where else are they gonna go?”

Finding common ground doesn’t mean making compromises.  It means setting aside your differences temporarily to work together on an issue you agree on.  Unless the issue you are working on is abortion why bring it up?


BTW – Not everyone who opposes abortion is an Operation Rescue nut-job. Demonizing or ridiculing people who hold sincere beliefs that are different from ours is not only a waste of time, it’s counterproductive. We can treat their beliefs with respect without agreeing with them.


UPDATE:

Violet Socks seems to be on the same wavelength as me. If I was her I’d be worried.


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179 Responses

  1. Excellent post. I think the secret to getting your issues heard and dealt with is for both parties to be vying for you and your issues. If one party ignores you and the other party takes you for granted, then you’ve already lost. It’s not in your parties interest to actually resolve your issues, because then they’d lose you.

    • Amen.

    • This video is a prime example of women hating by teh progressives supporting Obama. Notice how he doesn’t like Pelosi and notice how many times he says the ‘B’ word and how he goes after the baby, yes, the Baby and yes it got 2 + million hits.

  2. Yes. Sarah is a feminist. And many conservative women are feminists. And what’s more, there are many conservative women (i.e., Republicans) that are not only feminists, but they’re also pro choice. So finding common ground is not only a good idea, it’s the only way to make a real difference.

    • so true. I have met a lot of pro choice republicans and a lot of pro life dems.
      Abortion is a divisive issue that can never be resolved, so it is used to divide women and make them hate each other more.

      • In my case, it didn’t work. I disagree with Sarah Palin on the issue but I don’t hate her. On the contrary, I admire her and I think it is important to acknowledge that it was only with the support of women like her that we got laws like the Child Enforcement Act or Domestic Violence Act. It isn’t like this isn’t a woman who votes to put a child into the world and then believes we should forget about them or their needs(which unfortunately seems to be the case with a broad swath of GOP males). There is common ground. I always want to scream when people call Sarah the Anti Hillary. She isn’t. Sure, there are differences but there are also areas where they would be in agreement.

      • And sadly that strategy seems to be working wonders!

    • For that matter, was Ann Durham a feminist? As a single mom, she chose to have her son.

    • If you don’t have the right to decide whether to have a baby or not, you have no reproductive freedom. I would be terrified to live in a world where politicians like Sarah Palin would, if their policies were made law, force my wife to give birth if she became pregnant.

      It’s a pretty narrow definition of feminism that you all are constructing here; is there any politician currently on the national stage that does not at least in rhetoric say that men and women should be treated equally? And I should remind you that by these standards Barack Obama is more of a feminist than Sarah Palin.

  3. I feel like that weird guy from youtube who sobs into the camera and wails, “Leave Britney alllooonnnnneeee!”
    BC I love Britney, but in my case I scream “leave Sarah ALLOOONNEE!”

  4. Hillaryis44 once again successfully slams Jeralyn and TalkLeft for their PDS and overall hypocrisy:

    http://www.hillaryis44.org/2009/07/09/pantsuit-less-palin-provokes-pino-panic-part-i/

    One Left-Talking woman defense lawyer with a history of unexamined sexism and most disgusting misogyny has even pulled herself away from her fixation with reality-show television junk in order to slime Governor Palin. We have written about this sad unexamined life before.

    The Left-Talking woman defense attorney has previously attacked Hillary supporters as “revenge voters” even as she wimped out from her own plans to “revenge” vote. This virulent sexist and misogynist held a loathsome “lottery” to promote her vile attacks on Governor Palin while her male attorney partner compared Obama to FDR and urged a vote for Obama because Obama was a “media darling” thus warping the primary process into a Big Media selection process.

    …The Left-Talking woman defense attorney (along with another defense attorney on that pernicious website) demands presumption of innocence for her criminally charged clients, but she did not provide any presumption of innoncense to non-defendant Governor Palin. No, for accused murderers and accused rapists the Left-Talking defense attorney whines for fairness but like other PINOs this defense attorney slimed Governor Palin.

    • When Jeralyn is blogging on law issues (especially crim law) she is a really topnotch blogger.

      When she’s blogging about other stuff it’s embarrassing to read.

      • Her credibility is so seriously compromised with all the junky writing she does, that it’s difficult to get through the criminal law. She was willing to hang Sarah Palin with the recent HouseGate post, but backpeddled as fast as she could when the threat came out from Palin’s attorney (I never said anything that could be construed as fact…just linked to others who did), she wants the Manson gang of women released from prison, she protected Phil Spector from even the slightest suggestion he might have been guilty, and on and on. She’s made herself into such a petty buffoon and celebrity stalker that it really is a challenge to find anything she says as intelligent.

        • Absolutely agreed, meeee2! Jeralyn over sympathizes with convicted killers but attacks victims’ families and treats Palin as if she was as bad as the serial killers she wants released from prison. I don’t even agree with many of her opinions when it comes to criminal law either!

    • I absolutely love that site. They are always spot on and their sense of humor makes me laugh out loud. I especially loved this post about the “left talking woman defense attorney.

      • I also like Hillary is 44, though they can occasionally be tin-foil hat, and they sometimes obsess over eye rolling “birther” and “whitey tape” theories.

    • “Big Pink” really called LT out didn’t they? I still visit her site from time to time and I even “commented” the other day on police brutality. But I found that when the subject strays from “Law and Order,” things quickly become a feeding ground for the bot’s to feed!

      • TalkLeft was my favorite blog during the primaries. Loved it back then. Had the ‘bestest’ commenters too. What a shame it changed.

        • You just didn’t know us back then. The real party was here.

        • Most of those commenters left instantly at the conversion from discussion site to Obot-heaven. They have never returned. Only a few remain, but the bulk of the comment section is a gaggle of bullies and thugs. Little substance is found in the comment sections and the posts are writings from other blogs and media with a short “and, then there’s this:” added between quotes. Their front-pagers are rarely doing the writing or thinking.

          I think Jeralyn had hoped for something that resembled what Taylor Marsh got out of the convention, and has gone to burn-out having received no boost of readership or reward after that. Then, when a blogger behaves like a kid in a candy store only writing about the freebies and celebrities she’s enjoyed, it’s no wonder nothing materialized.

    • What I find fascinating is how we supposedly must find “common ground” with anti-choicers but when it comes to Democrats they can be attacked with the full fury of the PUMA. There is no way to find common ground with people who think doctors and women should be jailed for performing/having abortions. The only common ground to be found is with those who personally think abortion is wrong but would not force that choice on others — in other words people who are really pro-choice and do not know what “pro-life” represents.

  5. Great post, myiq. Your mom sounds terrific.

    As far as I know, Sarah Palin hasn’t tried to take anyone else’s choices away. If she does, I’ll fight her tooth and nail. But to me, pro-choice means a woman gets to choose whether to bear a child or not.

    • Yes, I agree. I love your Mom and would love to have a beer with her. Sarah Palin is a feminist and I am so sick women bashing her. Sure, she may be pro life but she emphasizes that it is her “personal view”.

      We should not allow this to be used as a “wedge issue” in the Pumasphere. I’m sick of my ovaries being dangled in front of me.

      • OK, another image I didn’t need tonight. First it was a 9 pounder through the pee hole, now this. Stop with the graphic stuff already. :-)

    • Same here BB. She has a “state’s rights” position on Roe Vs Wade and has even uttered the Clintonian phrase “safe, legal, and rare” on a couple of occasions.
      I will argue against anyone who tries to paint her as some kooky, Phyllis Schaifley wannabe, right-wing loon.
      Despitethe fact that some of her policy positions make my toes curl, she is not a wing nut and she has a relatively moderate record to prove it.

  6. Another must read that might explain why some women hate Palin: http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/2009/07/06/whos-the-feminist/

  7. A feminist is someone who believes that women are equal to men.
    I am often amazed at some of my female friends who say, “I am not some feminist” with looks of disdain on their faces. It amazes me. I say to them, “do you believe in the social, economic, and political equality of men and women?”
    And they blink and say, “yes, of course.”
    To which I reply, “Then you are a feminist.”
    Sarah Palin, agree with her politics or not, is a feminist. She has said that she is a feminist, and she believes in the social, economic, and political equality of men and women, so therefore, she is a feminist.
    It is that freaking simple.

    • Heh, it really IS that simple. What I find fascinating is that people like Reid are anti choice and I don’t hear anyone calling him names or saying HE is anti feminist.

      • And don’t forget our beloved Gov. Kaine. I just can’t call him a jacka$$ too many times.

        • You know, I wonder if obots will ever hate Obama as much as I hate Kaine. A large part of the reason I despise Kaine is because I voted for him.

          • If I remember correctly his opponent was a dolt so don’t be so hard on yourself. (I voted for him too)

    • “It is that freaking simple”

      Damn straight. Why, oh why, is simple so freaking hard for so many people?

    • But why do you even need to adhere to an -ism? Why should I let others define me and “box” me in?

      I don’t consider myself a feminist but am pro women, pro equal rights and fight misogyny whenever I can. But I neither want nor need any one group or label to define me or my convictions. Or judge me, for that matter!

      • why wouldn’t you want to consider yourself a feminist? When you call the police because some man is beating you up and they come, thank a feminist. When you go to work and you get to do something besides Mommy, Whore, Nurse or teacher, thank a feminist. When you go to the polls to vote, thank a feminist. When you have a heart attack and the doctor doesn’t tell you it’s the vapors or your wandering uterus, thank a feminist. If you go to church and do not have to wear some damn doily on your head, thank a feminist.
        Why wouldn’t you want to be one?
        Why insult the rest of us by saying you do not want to be defined as one of us? Is it the bra-burning or the reputation for man hating and lesbianism that we have been tarred with?

  8. Cheers to your mom myiq!

    Speaking of iconic feminists–if reports are true, we’ll be seeing a lot more of HRC SOS pretty soon :) :

    With foreign-policy speech, Clinton plans to raise her profile

    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/07/08/with_foreign_policy_speech_clinton_plans_to_raise_her_profile

  9. There’s a long thread at The Widdershins I have to read but I think there have been anti-feminist trolls at Reclusive Leftist because feminism doubling it’s numbers is a huge threat. NOW, NARAL and Emily’s List are the biggest feminist groups in the US and they are pro-choice. IWF, CWA and FFL are marginal groups which isn’t to say Obama’s pandering to evangelicals and pro-lifers isn’t worrisome. Clinton, Palin and PUMAs had each others’ backs and Palin has been a feminist up to now but I take it as it comes.

    • And I met too many pro-life feminists over the past year like your mom to know they aren’t Astroturfers.

  10. Guess this belongs on the thread several posts down about Obama’s falling approval rating but I wanted everyone to see the latest attack ad on Obama. It’s true. Obama’s economic stimulus plan was a big fat failure. No matter if you belong to Krugman’s school of thought or the conservative pov, Obama screwed up.

    • Of course the ultimate joke is that this is coming from Republicans. Pleeease. But I have to admit, I like that they used Biden this way. Pretty funny.

  11. I love your mom. She is my kind of feminist. The kind that believes that women need to be able to decide things for themselves. If they are really deciding for themselves and to do stupid things, then you need to shake your head and move on.

    Women are the standard. WE have let men define people as men.

  12. Would it be OT to comment how much I love the pic accompanying this post? Is it from the Runner’s World article?

    • I think it is from that article. Yea, she does look particularly menacing and scary in that picture doesn’t she. It’s easy to see why they hate her so much…. not.

  13. This is what a feminist looks like (according to Ms. magazine): http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Most-Emailed-Photos/ss/1756

    • LOL. Kind of sums him up doesn’t it.

      • I should qualify that. I don’t think it’s particularly wrong to be mesmerized by someone who is beautiful. But he is the POTUS and a bit of thinking of others and thinking of diplomacy, etc. would be in order. And it does appear to be a bit on the creepy side here too the way he’s gawking. But then he’s always seemed creepy in that way to me.

    • Thanks for the link DV. That’s just priceless. ROTFL.

    • Ugh, and look at how Nicky is smirking. What a wonderful representation of our world leaders. Angela Merkel will probably title her autobiography, “Everytime the doors closed, they all tried to demand lap dances.”

    • Have your media shown the clip where those two male Heads of State are literally all over each other, grinning like kids? It seems they simply can’t keep their hands off each other. And Obama with his shoulders up around his ears … giggling like a girl. Priceless!

      But whatever happened to dignity?

    • Oh, Jeez, and I’m only halfway through my first tea of the morning.

      Put this one right up there with GW’s “chicken dance.”

      • Don’t know how that got attributed to “search the web,” but that’s me.

  14. Of course Palin is a feminist. And even if she wasn’t, she has broken gender stereotypes, cracked the class ceiling, and been only the second woman in US history to ever get on a presidential ticket. Women of all stripes owe Palin a debt of gratitude for her groundbreaking work.

    Many of our feminist heroes were pro-life., Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Emma Goldman, Victoria Woodhull. It’s only recently that we have created this phony litmus test for feminism.

    • With all due respect- everyone is pro life. People who oppose abortion are anti choice. They do not believe that women should have the right to decide whether or not to continue a pregnancy.

      • I don’t know. I was thinking of joining an inanimate object group myself. I’ve had it with all these organic things. :-)

      • Yes, but what she was saying is that many feminist icons were anti-choice. I completely disagree with them. But that doesn’t make them not feminists, or their fight for the vote and equality less valid or admirable.

      • Well said.

  15. It is rather fascinating that there is a lot of attention focused on whether a particular Republican is a feminist or not when the Democratic president apparently isn’t much a feminist and come to think of it, the Democratic party as a whole doesn’t appear to represent feminism particularly well either. I mean they talk a good talk, but they’re not so hot on the delivery.

    Perhaps all of these people on the left so focused on which Republicans are feminists might want to look to the party they purport to hold as a left organization.

    Of course what’s embarrassing is, she is and a number of their leaders (Obama, Reid, et al) are not.

    • I know. Mr. Superman Feminist is neither super nor a feminist. Why aren’t the FAWs talking about that? Especially when one takes into account the fact that he’s POTUS and, right now, his feminist cred matters a whole hell of a lot more than Palin’s.

  16. I don’t know. I know my own family experience with right wing devout christian women is that they have given up hang-ups about a woman’s place being in the home. Again from my personal experience, some of them are real career women. However, their churches are organized in an almost mind boggling patriarchal fashion. It’s surprising because in their work world they compete head to head with men, but (only anecdotal) in their church world it’s like the stone ages. Further, this:
    “Conservative women have just as much at stake as liberal women when it comes to job discrimination and sexual harassment. To exclude them as allies on common issues because they disagree on abortion is absurd.”
    As I recall, Palin did not stand in favor of Lily Ledbetter. I mean, again, I find that on a variety of issues, Christian conservative women(despite their own experiences, both pro and con, in the work place) often do not find common ground with liberal women on such issues. Finally, a woman’s right to domain over her body in pregnancy is a principle issue of feminism. How can it not be? And, while I totally respect her choosing what was right for her, I would have said, yes, she’s a feminist, if I saw she advanced the same choices for other women. That said, she doesn’t seem to degrade women or use misogyny against female political opponents, barring that comment about Hillary “whining”, and that speaks to her view of women as equal participants in society. All that said, the women on the Left who crudely and relentlessly used sexist caricatures against Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin in their support of Obama completely lost their feminist credentials with me, pro-choice or otherwise. Thing is, this election cycle really made me realize feminism is in desperate need of revival in this country because few women or men strike me as authentically feminist. I’ll tell who really walks the walk of feminism, Hillary Clinton. Not only does she tirelessly push issues of womens rights in whatever her sphere of influence, but on a personal level, she has always tried to promote and advance women into visible positions of influence and authority. They just don’t make them like that anymore.

    • Not to reopen the Ledbetter can of worms, but it’s a law that really doesn’t do much of anything. All it does is extend the statute of limitations, but it also limits backpay recovery to no more than two years prior to the filing of an EEOC charge. This is not a landmark feminist victory IMHO. Even the NYT described it as “narrow.” A real victory would be to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which actually would strengthen the law on equal pay. But I am not holding my breath.

      • Yes, no kidding, and she didn’t back it. I don’t think that speaks to a feminist POV.

        Further, again, I really think the choice question is more than “an issue”. If Sarah Palin advanced the principle of affording the same choice she had, then I would say, yes, feminist. But at the end of the day, I don’t think you can be a feminist and not support a woman’s domain over her own body. And, you know, I’m a Christian. I understand the conflict. But, no one said it was easy. Being a feminist isn’t easy. It means really sticking up for womens rights, even when you disagree with how they will exercise them. It means not using sexist stereotypes about women even if you already don’t like them, and everybody is doing it. Eh, this is still a pretty sexist country.

        • Sarah wasn’t voting on the issue and VP candidates are supposed to support the boss – Hillary is in the same situation.

          The problem with defining “feminist” by a laundry list of policies and programs is that it allows people like Obama to use symbolic laws like the LL act to substitute for meaningful change.

          • Excuse me? A laundry list? I don’t think a fundamental issue such as a woman’s domain over her own body in pregnancy, regardless of how one would personally exercise her freedom, is a laundry list issue. I stand by what I said. I haven’t seen Sarah Palin advance many issues in her sphere of influence that I would describe as feminist. And, Ledbetter, while narrow, was a clarification of existing law that the SC got wrong. It wasn’t earth shattering, but it was important. It’s got zero to do with Obama. Again, standing up for and advancing women’s rights is not easy, but if you deem yourself a feminist you ought to walk the walk.

        • Why would anyone back it when it may as well have been a photo op, for all the good it will do. Generally extending the statute of limitation in our litigioous culture is suspect.

          Where have you seen Sarah Palin attempt to force her beliefs on abortion on anyone else. She has specifically stated that it was up to the people of Alaska to decide and she would enforce the laws. That’s the case with a lot of politicians like Harry Reed and Tom Dasche, who didn’t catch hell for it.

          • “She has specifically stated that it was up to the people of Alaska to decide and she would enforce the laws. That’s the case with a lot of politicians like Harry Reed and Tom Dasche, who didn’t catch hell for it.”

            I don’t think Tom Daschle or Harry Reid are feminists. Jesus, read carefully, I said most people are not feminist. It takes real courage to be a feminist. I would say the greatest living example of a feminist is Hillary Clinton because she’s always advancing women’s rights, even when it isn’t comfortable.

        • But at the end of the day, I don’t think you can be a feminist and not support a woman’s domain over her own body.

          So, in your opinion, Susan B. Anthony was not a feminist? That’s what i don’t get. I get that reproductive rights are important, but I don’t get that if one disagrees, one is disqualified from being a feminist.

          • Well, I think we should have advanced feminism since the 1800’s. I mean, when SBA was fighting for a woman’s right to vote, it was hard to do.

            “get that reproductive rights are important, but I don’t get that if one disagrees, one is disqualified from being a feminist.”

            You know, you can believe personally abortion is morally wrong and still believe legally a women has the right to choose.

          • I’m with you. In the 60’s and 70’s the equality thing was professional and economic, with reproductive right being part of the above.

        • A woman taking on an entire good ol boy system – isn’t easy.

    • Ledbetter wouldn’t have passed without the help of conservative women. Snowe, Collins, and Hutchinson all voted for it(in addition to Spector).

  17. If you want to see something really funny, check out this post from exactly a year ago by Reclusive Leftist commenter Octogalore. She and I said the same thing about sexist attacks on pro-life, Republican Cindy McCain and Third Wavers made the same sexist comments:

    http://octogalore.blogspot.com/2008/06/cindy-mccain.HTML

    • I remember defending Cindy McCain. Now see, there’s a someone who believes women should have reproductive choices, but still she was accused of not being a feminist. Like it or not, a lot of it has to do with whether or not you are a Democrat. Democrats are presumed to be feminists even before women are, and that’s a label many of them have certainly not earned.

      • “Democrats are presumed to be feminists even before women are.”

        And doesn’t that make the label sort of meaningless?

    • Very telling. Thanks for the link. Sadly that makes sense. All the noise from some out there that it’s about choice is just hot air when they say the same for a conservative that’s both a feminist and pro choice. It’s a tribal/gang thing again and nothing more.

      • You’re welcome and thank you for informing me she’s pro-choice! I still have residual lefty kneejerk responses.

    • I love how she, like Hillary, is responsible for everything her husband does. As if she’s going to endorse someone else or announce she disagrees with him, please. I don’t like Michelle Obama, but it’s because she says things like if you can’t run your own house and goes out of her way to downplay her status as a professional to distinguish herself from HRC. Not because she’s responsible for her husband’s policies. Even if she advocates for them, what else is she supposed to do?

      I also hate that bs about Mrs. Spitzer, and Mrs. MacGreevy being bad role models, along with Hill. This ain’t a damn episode of Dr. Phil. People make choices about what’s worthwhile to them to stay in a relationship. We don’t know anything about these people or their relationships. It’s not our business and not their responsibility to arrange their lives to suit our abstract notions of what they should do. Again, I don’t judge MO for marrying a narcissistic idiot though she’s clearly bright, maybe being a husband and father is actually something he’s good at.

      • It’s a cardinal Democratic rule. Thou shalt stand by your pro-choice husband.

  18. Equality? Good idea. Men own their bodies. They are not legally compelled to turn them over as life support systems for other beings.

    The power to force women to have children is the cornerstone of patriarchy, in fact it’s reason for being. All the other inequalities–economic, political, social–are simply means to that end.

    Certainly I will work with any woman on any feminist issue she supports. But choice is the core issue, on which all the others depend. That is why the misogynists focus on it, that is why so much emotion is generated around it.

    • It’s rather more complicated than that.

      I really doubt that there are a bunch of men sitting around discussing how to oppress women – “Let’s force them to bear children by keeping abortion illegal!”

      • It is complicated, myiq, and you can have just as much misogyny backing up abortion rights as you have on the pro-life side. Abortion can be promoted as preventing an inconvenience to men, so nobody winds up being “punished with a baby,” as Obama said.

        • Lots of men become very pro-choice when they hear the words “I’m late”

          I’ve heard guys complain about being forced to be fathers, especially the part about being required to support their kids.

        • Exactly!

          But pro-life is about controlling women period. I don’t know women’s rationales except religious ones and believing zygotes are human beings. To me, life begins at birth. The other day, I was talking about “womb envy” or men’s jealousy over women’s ability to create life. Until recently, most gynecologists were men because they wanted to control reproduction. See Mary Daly on that. Men know deep down they are unnecessary and that they can be replaced by a few sperm banks.

          • I’d guess most gynecologists were men because most doctors were men. As opposed to the secret plans to control women. And by the way, who leaked that out. :-)

        • Part of the “womb envy” theory is men are jealous they cannot create like women but also that they cannot control women’s reproduction. So the field of gynecology came about which literally means the study of women and almost all gynecologists were men. Another part of the theory is men know they are unnecessary and can be replaced by a few sperm banks.

        • Hence women must be destroyed.

      • yea myiq2xu, i agree

      • It is more complicated than that. Because from the point of view of a pro-lifer, there is more than ONE person’s body involved.

        Reducing the abortion debate to always and only “the patriarchy wants to control women” is a vast oversimplification. And all the other inequalities do not stem from that. It’s about power. And yeah, reproductive issues are often the easiest lever to use. But guess what? The Left uses that lever to control women JUST AS MUCH as the the Right does.

        Those who are freaked out over pre-marital sex, birth-control, have cows over adultery and promiscuity and dress codes, etc? Yes, those types are likely all about controlling teh evil wimminz. They have issues. But EVERY person who is pro-life is not in that group.

        • Here’s the thing. The Dems are constantly promoting anti-choice candidates and telling anyone who has a problem with it to shut up. Then they turn around and try to act as if they’re the great defenders of choice. Gosh, if they’re telling me I should be voting on choice, that strongly cuts down on my options. Here in MA, half the time the sacrificial lamb Repub is more likely to be pro choice, in fact the Repub state senate candidate was doing push polling to indicate he’s more pro woman and pro gay than our current guy.

          • Yup. Choice is simply not a litmus test for me anymore, despite the fact that I am and will always remain adamantly pro-choice, and will argue my reasons for that til I’m blue in the face.

            But given a choice between a “liberal” who does jack shit for women, but is dutifully 100% pro-choice, and a female who might be more conservative, but is kicking ass and taking names AS A WOMAN, and is openly PROUD of that fact? No contest, baybee.

            Give me a 50% female Congress, and watch how fast some of those Repub women who’ve been toeing the party line to get ahead decide they don’t want to outlaw abortion after all. I think some of them are bluffing, myself. Empowerment in the REAL political sense, as in tangible POWER, can do amazing things to women who’ve been saying one thing and secretly believing another. Call me crazy, but I believe that.

          • Yeah, I’ll take my chances with kickass women over Lurch drunk with college girls and POTUS ogling someone’s a$$ knowing photographers are three feet away. Lol Call me crazy, but I don’t think those guys are serious. :)

  19. Itouch screws up my spelling:

    http://octogalore.blogspot.com/2008/06/cindy-mccain.html

  20. Great post myiq! I’m beginning to wonder if the litmus test for a feminist should be that she’s willing to steal the last beer out of the fridge. Sure seems like a good starting point to me.

  21. It’s waaaay past my bedtime. Good night all!

  22. Here is “the litmus test” for feminism. Tomato Nation’s classic, “Yes, You Are”:

    http://tomatonation.com/?p=677

    If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist.

    By this definition, Fourth Wavers are feminists and Third Wavers, who condoned and participated in the worst sexism witnessed in our history, are not.

  23. When she runs she’s going to win. and that’s going to be a very conservative time, i can’t quite think how, but it will be. def. no money. She’s gonna have some tight purse strings and appoint fairly conservative judges, but probably not freaks. Still gonna be cool to see on tv, a woman president. Esp. one as fun as her, she’s much better than a saturday night live skit. Much more charismatic than milqtoast. For some reason i don’t find her as scary as the others, still could get pretty freaky though. And i imagine will be drilling everything in sight.

    • yea i have no doubt that she will ron in 2012

      & i think she the best shot the reps got . but i do also see a hillary vs palin matchup

    • She appointed a pro-choice judge to the Alaskan Supreme Court. Even though she had to pick between two candidates who were pro-choice she picked the pro-choice woman.

      • Do you have the names of all involved? I would love to look into their qualifications. My money is on her choosing the best candidate overall.

        • It was between the woman who was involved with Planned Parenthood in the nineties and a gentlemen who was an environmental lawyer. Just google Palin prochoice judge and you’ll get a bunch of articles. I’d post the links but they are really long and I don’t want to bust the margins here.

  24. Excellent post! Agree 100%.

  25. as far as a definition of a feminist i don’t think that there is a clear one . since it means so many thing to so many different people

  26. I don’t agree with many of Sarah’s views.

    The pro-life agenda is very troubling to me, as it represents patriarchal control, which I do feel is very anti-feminist.

    However: she plays by her own rules, does not let the Big Boys tell her she can’t compete at their level, play their game. I LOVE THIS! it IS feminism. Women need to compete in a big way, with the players in power. I will support her in her endeavors to do so. I may not give her my vote, if it comes to that….as her platform doesn’t represent my values, for the most part.

    I’d rather hear the conservative agenda from the mouth of Sarah Palin, vs. Mike Hukabee or any of the old GOP boyz, any day. I may not like what I hear, but Sarah has earned the right to be that messenger.

  27. The story about your mom is great. I think the fact that she is from a different time means that her experience of feminism and understanding of the term is very different from those of us who have come to it in the last 20 years.

    In my experience no one who is opposed to abortion is welcome into the feminist club. It used to make me sad because I really do agree with feminists on most everything except abortion.

    It’s particularly sad to me that feminist don’t speak out forcefully against the practice of gender selection abortion. This seems to me to be an issue where *all* feminists could agree – the killing of women because of their gender is a BAD THING.

    The idea that the ‘pro-choice’ feminists are scared to expand their feminist club because ti would dilute their control of it is interesting. It never made sense to me that feminists would claim to speak for all women and at the same time be attacking women because they don’t agree on abortion.

    It would be nice if the ‘fourth wave’ of feminism doesn’t use abortion as a litmus test to exclude roughly half the women in our country from being feminists. Here’s hoping!

    • It’s even worse that just excluding anti-choice feminists in the club as noted in a post above about Cindy McCain. They also exclude pro choice feminists who happen to be conservative. So the exclusionary practices are strictly about tribal/gang membership and have nothing to do with philosophies. Isn’t that just great. Those types of “tribal feminists” need to be called out. It certainly isn’t helping their cause.

      • Here’s the rub… by calling those who are opposed to abortion ‘anti-choice’ you are labeling them in a derogatory way and making them the ‘other’ and not part of the feminist tribe.

        I am not anti choice. I am anti abortion. I don’t totally embrace the term ‘pro-life’ because it comes with lots of baggage and because I think that by using euphemisms such as choice and life we dance around the real subject at hand… which is abortion.

        I still call those on the other side of the issue pro-choice because I think it is common courtesy to use use the terms to describe people that they choose. When we define people against their wishes it is insulting and demeaning… be it a racial term or a political one.

        • They are what they are. If you oppose giving women the CHOICE of whether or not to continue a pregnancy, you are anti choice. It doesn’t mean you can’t be a feminist, but it does make you anti choice.

          • Ok, you can call me whatever you want. However, every time you do I will be reminded that you are not interested in treating me, or those who hold positions like mine with respect . Just like you can use a racist epithet to describe me and it will show me what you think of me.

            I am frustrated by those who act as though the only choice in the world is whether or not they will have an abortion.

            I am supportive of women making choices of all sorts that feminists have fought for. The choice to be a working mother or stay home with children and be respected for either one. The choice to work in historically male fields and be treated with respect. Life is filled with choices and I support woman’s power to make those choices.

            Why can’t we focus on those issues where we can work together instead of fighting over abortion amoung ourselves and using demeaning terms (anti-choice) to describe those who disagree?

        • Nobody likes abortion. That being said those of us who support it believe it is a necessary procedure that allows a woman control over her body and destiny.

          I believe it is beyond absurd to argue that women shouldn’t have the right to decide what is best for their bodies and their lives.

          Furthermore, I reject the idea that the majority of women use this procedure as a means of birth control. Not when there are easier and safer methods available.

          • I believe that a woman can control her body and destiny without abortion.

            I believe it is beyond absurd to argue that the only way that women can decide what is best for their bodies and lives is abortion.

        • mary martha — You are repeating yourself on 2 blogs now without reading what feminists/women are saying about Palin being a conservative feminist, and liking her, as I do. We are doing exactly what you’re complaining about — opening up the women’s movement.

          Why are you so hung up on feminists and what they think? There are many women’s issues besides abortion that you can support.

          My guess is you know all about what I’ve written, so what’s really gnawing at you?

          • Why am I so hung up on feminists and what they think? In no small part because they claim to speak for me as a woman… and in terms of abortion they do so contrary to my actual position.

    • here’s your forth wave right here Mary, have we excluded anti-choice women?
      As far as gender selection, in the scheme of things it is a very small proportion of abortions and something you might be letting yourself get side tracked on. I do not believe it is happening here and here is what we have to fix first before we take on Asia.

      Your feelings about gender selection are the same as anti-choice gay men who think women should be forced to carry gay babies to term because aborting someone for being gay is wrong. I always wondered why we would want someone ignorant enough to abort because the fetus was homosexual to be inflicted on some poor gay child as a parent… the same with girl babies. The bottom line, no matter what is that it is a woman’s right to do as she wishes with her body. We are not incubators owned by the state. There is no other bottom line.

      • The problem is that as we see here on this thread interacting with feminist almost always leads to me being called derogatory terms and being excluded as the ‘other’.

        To derogatorily label those who are opposed abortion ‘anti-choice’ even after they ask that it not be done is a great way to isolate them, make them unwelcome and make it clear that they do not belong to the group.

        I just brought up gender selection abortion because I really don’t get why feminists are not opposed to them. It seems like a great way that feminists and those of us who are anti-abortion could find some common ground (however small).

        The problem is that we have very different bottom lines on the issue and really, having a debate about abortion here would be a distraction – we know where we each stand.

        I have been reading feminist blogs for a while and decided to start commenting just this week because even though I know I am not welcome in the feminist club there seemed to be a crack where I would be able to comment. Lesson learned, I will be called names, my gender denied and have posts pulled (which the owners of the blogs have every right to do).

        I don’t yet see where the fourth wavers are all that interested in really welcoming anti-abortion women into the feminist club. Sarah Palin far away in AK and having resigned from public life is ok… but average nobody me – not so much.

  28. No

  29. “applied feminism” ~ this phrase I love! MyIq you rock!

    I have been astounded over the last week (since Palin’s announcement) of the emergence of this issue of real feminist vs a faux feminist…. I have been shocked at the vitriol aimed at this woman and to feminists like myself who honestly want to move forward without the abortion issue being the end all and be all….. after a year of being a democrat in exile, I am now becoming a feminist in exile. And the fervor that I’m witnessing is eerily similar to the wave of Obotism that swept the blogosphere last year …. “if you ain’t with us your against us” I’ve seen formerly PUMA blogs that would normally be discussing a myriad of issues and more important paying attention to what the rats in DC are up to disintegrate into nothing more than anti Palin 24/7 all because of this issue! It’s crazy and reminiscent of the zealotry against HRC and her war vote.

    Bigger picture, chicas… there’s a bigger picture.

    • Somehow I see a future scenario of men (still) busy ruling the world, and women (still) quibbling over productive rights – and over who are “allowed” to call themselves feminists.

      And I really don’t see the powers that be objecting to this scenario.

  30. Extremely well said MIQ!

    Bravo!!

    And besides, this issue grows tiresome.

    Self definition is a cornerstone of Feminist philosophy. If Sarah Palin says she is a Feminist, I will take her at her word.

    And, besides, I can hear in her voice… and see in her legislative past… that she cares deeply about women and children.

    Now let’s move on and get some real PUMA work done. We don’t need this Democratic establishment, manufactured distraction to tear us apart and bring us down.

    SYD

  31. “That’s not unusual, she’s been looking at me like that for a long as I can remember, but she asked “What’s that got to do with anything?”

    I told her that according to some people “pro-life feminist” is an oxymoron and anyone who isn’t pro-choice is anti-feminist. My mom said “Some people are idiots” as she stole my last beer from the fridge.”

    Your mom nailed it!

  32. Feminism is not a label that is branded onto someone. Either you practice the Feminism or you don’t. My sis is a self made woman. She doesn’t take sh** from anybody. She’s got her Doctorate, she worked, went to night school, took a break to complete her degree after having saved some money while raising 4 children on her own. She re-married a self-proclaimed redneck laborer who we all dearly love. I was the first gay person he had ever met as far as he knew, and we’re best buddies.
    Earlier if her life, sis had 2 abortions. Once, secretly while married since she knew the marriage wasn’t good. I learned a few years ago that she now opposes abortion. It took me by surprise when she told me that. While she opposes it, she believes every woman has the right to their private decision also. Its almost a contradiction, but not when you realize that you can oppose something and still support other’s rights to their own body and circumstances. She said her own children brought her to her view. That they were so individually special and valued, she now wondered about who the 2 aborted children were or would have been. I understand her alot better and as a man, I am not one who should have a view about this at all. I am not a woman. But I support each woman’s right to their belief and their decisions.

    • Yes, your sis is a perfect example of what I am talking about. You can oppose abortion personally and still support women’s reproductive rights.

    • I had an abortion and I realize that I may not have had my secound son if I had gone to term with that first pregnancy. Two children were what we wanted and I would not pass Ian up for a 12 week fetus I never knew. I hope that doesn’t sound cold.
      On the other hand I had several early miscarriages and I never mourned those unborn or blamed God for taking them or wondered who they would be. I assumed that the pregnancy was no viable.
      I wonder if your sister might not be laying some misplaced quilt on herself. If she is against abortion for herself now, I can understand. If she is against other women making the choice she made when she needed it to be available, that I can not agree to disagree with. That is a discussion waiting to happen.

  33. Anyone who says “life begins at birth” has never experienced the tragedy of a miscarriage. According to them my youngest daughter never lived.

    • Wow….I never thought of it that way. I am sorry for your loss, myiq. I am pro-choice, but I do believe abortion is morally wrong. I don’t think it necessarily equates, but I also believe gun ownership should be legal, however killing someone is morally wrong. I also don’t think abortion is the defining issue of feminism, otherwise it would be called ‘abortionism’.

      • I think women are more important than the unborn in their womb, there for I believe abortion is morally neither right nor wrong. Women’s lives matter more, that is not so hard to understand.
        But I love your point about abortionism. I think I will adopt and use it if you do not mind.

        • I don’t think abortion is the defining issue of femnism either, but I do think there is a serious problem when a society values adult women’s lives less than a glob of cells. Once the fetus has a brain and is approaching the point where it can live on its own, then I can see some need for balance. However, even then, an adult woman should not have to sacrifice her life or sanity for a fetus.

        • Of course I don’t mind!
          I am always unsure of ‘morally wrong’. Even as I wrote it above, I felt that it wasn’t the best phrase. Too subjective. I guess I am not sure what is and is not ‘morally wrong’, therefore, I make the choice based on what I personally think will cause me the least regret in the long run. I have to consider what myiq said very seriously. A baby that is born dead has to have been alive at some point. There will never be an agreement on the timing of ‘life’, I don’t think. However, to be dead, you have to have been alive, right?

          I think women should just admit that they would rather have an abortion than to have a child. All the BS about women’s rights and oppression is a smokescreen for doing what you want. And that is OK. Just be honest about the reasons. It is OK to say you don’t want to be a mother, you got pregnant unintentionally and you are having an abortion. I support anyone in this position. I also support someone who has a baby under adverse conditions, and keeps it. I support both, because I am not sure if one is right or wrong. I know what I think, but I don’t know if what I think is right. Therefore, I have to allow others free choice in case I am wrong. Does this make sense? I do not mean to offend or start any arguments, just trying to make sense of it all.

          • it makes sense and in fact I believe it is more honest.. the vast number of abortions take place for the reason you describe: the woman doesn’t want to have a baby. It rarely has anything to do with rape, incest, or the inability to support the child financially (very very many poor people have babies). Many women (though not all) effectively use abortion as a means of birth control, which is the thing that galls pro-life (or anti-choice svp) people the most. I am pro-life, but certainly am more disturbed by abortion as birth control than for some other reasons.

            There is such a thing as shades of moral behavior. Almost no one would favor the intentional killing of a child outside the womb for any cause, and yet we feel the killing of child in utero is somewhat more acceptable, especially if it is not fully viable.

          • So do the men who helped create the child get to stand in the public square and make their admissions too? “I raped that young lady because she was wearing a skirt and I bought her dinner.”

            Women don’t owe anyone explanations, not from where I am sitting.

          • A lot of women have abortions to please their men.

            Their men consider that particular woman having a child as entrapment.

            Other women already have 2 kids, maybe they’re separated, maybe they don’t feel they can trust their new partner, to give them the emotional and financial support they need.

            Men count in the decision whether or not to have a child-it isn’t simply a question of using abortion as birth control.

    • I take your word for it, myiq.

    • myiq I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Exactly myiq, and I’m sorry to hear you lost that baby.

      For parents who want a child, it’s a baby and a human from the first realization that “I’m late.” And that is one of the sources for personal opposition to abortion that has nothing to do with wanting to control anyone else’s body.

      • so by extension, a preborn human only has rights insofar as it is wanted?

        • Was that what I said? I don’t think so.

          Under the law, a “preborn human” has no rights at all, because the definition of “person” requires that the “person” be “born alive.”

          What I said was that a family that wants a baby usually considers it an individual and a person from the moment the mother realizes she’s pregnant. That’s a perfectly understandable attitude, and a perfectly understandable reason for opposing abortion for oneself.

          I don’t consider it a good reason to oppose abortion for anyone else. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why a woman who found herself pregnant by rape might not share the attitude of the family who are having a child by their own considered choice.

  34. Great post. Those “liberals” who used sexist attacks against Hillary and now Sarah are NOT feminists. They are a new breed of misogynist. They hate women who do not conform to their particular view of what a woman “should” say or do. Women should be kept in their place, and “they” will decide what that place should be. It’s back to the 50’s!

    I’m still appalled at NARAL’s gall for encouraging women to vote against Hillary and for Obama. What kind of a “feminist” organization would encourage voters to vote for a man with no real record for women’s rights against a woman who has worked tirelessly for women’s rights ALL her life?

    Even WomenCount that I hopefully thought would be a new and different kind of organization is using its voice to join the chorus against Sarah Palin. They are all hypocrites! Feminism isn’t dead, but these organizations are walking corpses.

    Your mom is right! Feminism isn’t theory. It’s practice! Any woman who stands in the way of a woman who, in her own way, is seeking a position of leadership is NOT a feminist. And I want to make clear, this doesn’t mean you, as an individual, have to vote for her, if you don’t agree with her ideas. But to try to silence a woman’s voice and hound her so that she doesn’t run? Unacceptable!!!!

  35. I am in moderation…don’t know why…probably a no no word.

  36. myiq2xu — I always enjoy reading about people’s families and backgrounds. I like your mother without knowing her. Your mother’s feminism underscores how much influence one person can have in the feminist struggles as you are here on a liberal blog writing about feminism. Your mother’s story demonstrates how valuable conservative feminists are to the movement.

    Tell her we heart her.

  37. [...] Is Sarah Palin a feminist? My mom dropped by to visit this afternoon and the subject of Sarah Palin came up. I mentioned to her that a number of [...] [...]

  38. On abortion, I defer to women I know, so I’m pro-choice by default. I don’t see how abortion is not the ending of a human life. I’d bet the vast majority of human females bond with the fetus as soon as they know they are carrying. I might be wrong about that, but the reaction of human females to miscarriage is all the scientific evidence I need on when life begins.

    But legally forcing someone to carry and support a human life inside their body? Calling abortion murder is like saying I commit murder if I don’t swim out into the rip tide to save a drowning man.

    I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face. Roe v. Wade was a Republican decision by conservative judges appointed by Republican Presidents. It’s a fact!

    A friend told me ‘That woman is an idiot.’ I take it on faith a dumb woman could never be elected Governor. A dumb man, yes. A dumb woman, no. I’m not sure what feminism means. But I’m sure tolerance of pyschopathic misogyny is not feminism.

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