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The Haunted Vagina

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I think Sarah Palin’s vagina is haunted.  It is possessed by insanity-inducing evil spirits that cause mass hysteria at the mere mention of her name.  These vaginal demons can turn feminists into lying misogynists and make a gay man obsess about nasty lady parts.  They can induce the pimping of speculative rumors by a criminal defense attorney and even cause sanctimonious critics of “truthiness” to invite the publishing of stories like these on their pristine blogs.

The haunted vagina explanation makes as much sense as any I’ve heard and would excuse some of the deplorable behavior of formerly esteemed lefty bloggers.

As for what I think about yesterday’s shocking announcement I have to say I don’t know what to think.  By the rules of conventional wisdom Sarah Palin has thrown away her credibility and ended her political career.

But when you have a haunted vagina the rules of conventional wisdom don’t apply to you.

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Black, white and Sarah

These women are feminists?

These women are feminists?

I found myself in a very weird comment thread last night on another blog.  I have a lot of respect for the blogger but something went horribly wrong in that thread and it occured to me that it is very easy to get the wrong idea about where a person stands with regard to Sarah Palin.  I finally understand what is mean by “polarizing” figure.  Sarah is becoming one.  But there really isn’t any reason why she has to be one, nor is there a reason why we feel we have to take sides.

Let’s examine the facts:

Sarah Palin, no matter how you slice her, is *not* a liberal.  She doesn’t believe in the common good, share the risk, allow your neighbors to pull themselves up by their bootstraps by providing them boots political philosophy of a typical liberal.  She’s free enterprise, pro-defense, small government (whatever that means to a Republican these days).  Her worldview is not ours.

Last year, I subscribed to Team Sarah because I like to keep up on what everyone is up to and love junk mail cluttering up my inbox.  Yesterday, Team Sarah sent me an email announcing Sarah’s resignation and in the body of the text was this message:

In a press release, Team Sarah co-founder Jane Abraham said, “Team Sarah members anxiously await Palin’s next decision on how she believes she can best serve our nation.  Since the 2008 Election, the continual presence of personal attacks on both Governor Palin and her family indicate that she remains a threat to the liberal feminist political establishment. Despite criticism, Governor Palin’s success will endure.  Team Sarah’s thousands of members remain as engaged as ever on TeamSarah.org.  The Governor has inspired millions, and her audience of enthusiastic support will only grow in the future.”

Ahhh, the “liberal feminist political establishment”.  It’s emails like this that have managed to make Sarah Palin a polarizing figure.  Because *I* consider myself a liberal feminist and I do not feel the least bit threatened by Sarah Palin.  But I can understand where the Democratic party might feel a bit uneasy. The women supporters of Barack Obama, like Naomi Wolf, Kim Gandy and Jessica Valenti did the party or the feminist movement no favors last year when they hitched their fortunes to Obama’s star. The party took the abortion issue  up to 11 and scared young women into voting for Obama in much the same way that Bush II frightened swing voters with the spectre of Osama bin Laden breaking into their homes in 2004.  It was a fear propaganda message and it worked.  Meanwhile, the cynical bastards of the Obama DNC carefully scrubbed most references of abortion and reproductive rights from Democratic candidates’ websites in an effort to capture the evangelical vote.  And who have the Obama administration been courting ever since they were elected?  Evangelicals of course.  That’s what Rick Warren was all about.

So, let’s get one thing straight here.  There are “liberal feminists”, such as myself and people like Violet Socks, who are pro-choice and anti-sexism.  Up until the election of Terry O’Neill as president of NOW a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t have much of a political voice.  Our champion, Hillary Clinton, was taken out by the women of the left who aligned themselves with Obama and undercut their own cause.

But in the meantime, the DNC cut its ties to millions of women who would have voted for Hillary and watched in shocked disbelief as they were characterized by their own party as old, stupid, uneducated, working class, post-menopausal idiots.  They were identified as Reagan Democrats, bitter knitters, the “old coalition”.  Many of these women became PUMAs when their own party nullified their primary votes and cast them out.  Then the Obama coalition took over promising change but delivering the party and its votes into the hands of the financial oligarchy that has many of the same values as, um, Sarah Palin.  Free enterprise, smaller government (for the non-oligarchy), pro-defense, etc, etc.  I mean really, what is it that separates what Sarah believes from what Obama actually practices?  And Obama is no more of a pro-choice person than Sarah when it comes right down to it.  What has he done about the Bush conscience rule?  Oh, sure, he reversed the Mexico City Gag Rule but that was an easy fix for the international audience.  Domestically, he stripped out millions of dollars from his stimulus bill for reproductive services in order to pacify the Republicans.

We don’t know much about Sonia Sotomayor except that she has on several occasions sided with anti-choice protestors.  But it doesn’t really matter.  The Supreme Court already has 5 votes to overturn Roe, which we *tried* to point out to the Obama women last year.  But getting through to them was as difficult as trying to reason with someone in 2004 who was convinced  that Al Qaeda was about to invade their neighborhood.  They were motivated by emotion, provoked by crafty propaganda artists who knew how to push the fear button while flattering them at the same time as the young and sexy saviors of their future.

I’m disgusted by the Naomi Wolfs, Jessica Valentis and Kim Gandys who either encouraged or didn’t stand up against the misogyny and sexism that occured in the primary season last year against Hillary and the general election season against Sarah.  The abortion issue has been out of our hands since Sam Alito was appointed.  We can do very little about the erosion of our abortion rights at this point.  Or, should I say, we can do little about it while the feminist movement stagnates and fails to take an adversarial stand against the erosion of our rights.  The so-called feminists who were flailing fecklessly for abortion  allowed themselves to be used against women last year.  They contributed to the perception of women as being stupid, bad campaigners, weak, easy to humiliate, obscene sex objects reducible to the sum of their parts and vulnerable to the tsunami of sexist stereotypes hurled at them by the media and the political establishment.  “Feminists” did that.

So-called feminists, though no one *I’d* want to know personally, have brought us to this point.  Now there is  a woman who has the potential to split this huge potential voting bloc of women.  The “Creative Class” has ditched millions of women whose votes are now up for grabs.  The Democratic party has turned its back on union women, poor women, vocational women, older women, retired women, women with health problems.  These women were reduced to non-persons who weren’t entitled to participate in their own government.  They were degraded, demoralized, dehumanized by their own party.  And here comes Sarah Palin, ready, willing and able to scoop them up in a third party run if she wants it.  She can distance herself from the Republicans and run as an independent if she chooses.  If she’s as tough as I think she is, she might be the crusader who takes on the media and beats them at their game.  I’ll be behind her 110% if she decides to do that.  I don’t have to vote for her in order to support her efforts against the media, something the so-called Naomi Wolf feminists should have been doing last year.

Here’s my point, and I know I’ve taken my time getting to it.  There are several things going on with Sarah Palin at the same time.  You can be for her without wanting to vote for her.  You can support her brand of feminism while insisting that she stay out of your doctor’s office.  You can be a liberal feminist without feeling threatened by her.  She’s a force to be reckoned with as well as a bright shiny object that will take your eye off the ball.

We pigeon hole ourselves at our own risk.


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