Friday, October 17, 2008

Sarah Palin: The Queen Bee

I try to never disappoint the people that take their precious time to read my little blog.  This week in the comment section I was asked to respond to an article entitled, "Spittin' sisters show true colours", that appeared in the  Sydney Morning Herald.

The "jist" of this little piece of anti-feminist hyperbole, is that we hate Palin because she is attractive, successful, and pro-life.  Shall we rip this bullshit apart piece by piece?

But the intemperate reaction by women to Palin flags something beside ideological differences - a weird, visceral rage, with its roots in some entrenched psychic pain. There is an echo of bitchy high-school jealousy of the popular queen bee from the snarling, self-mutilating nerd and goths who vainly lusted after the cute boys she snared.

Yeah that is a feminist concern, who has the good fortune to fuck all of the popular boys.  Clearly this idiot has no idea that feminism is about redirecting the lens to focus on women's issues.  This means that something like sex, which has been historically the preserve of men to talk about, and engage in freely, is being claimed by women.  Oh btw don't you love the erasure of lesbians, asexuals and bisexual women from her little rant.  In more ways than one, it's not about who gets the dick. 

If she made any sacrifices or compromises they were not apparent. And she had won the marriage jackpot: a hunky house-husband who is able to take a back seat without losing his cojones. She juggled home and family, even breast-feeding in the office, without any angst, middle-class welfare, or even bags under her eyes. How did that work?

Instead of lauding the aspirational quality of Palin's achievements, establishment feminists despised her for showing up their inadequacies.

We love the idea that Palin seems to have a marriage that is based in shared respect and responsibility, but that does not mean we should ignore her obvious flaws.  Having a vagina does not buy anyone solidarity.  If that were the case feminism would not mean anything.   No matter how many colloquial phrases, winks, and stunning smiles that Palin delivers it cannot hide the fact that she did not know what the Bush Doctrine is, nor the fact that at times her speech is completely incoherent.  It is also very telling that these kinds of vitriolic ad homenin attacks were not aimed at men when they openly criticized Bush for his lack of shall we say eloquence.

Abortion is the emotional peg on which Palin-haters hang their hatreds and justify their intemperance. The touchstone issue which makes both sides hyperventilate has become such a bedrock article of faith for establishment feminists that they question it as little as their born-again Christian nemeses question the existence of God.

While I will admit one of my issues with Palin, is her aggressive pro life stance, it is not because she believes that this is the right decision for her, it is because she believes that this is the right decision for every single woman walking the planet.  Palin is free to do whatever she chooses with her body; however believing that someone has the right to control the body of another is completely wrong.  This is why feminists have a problem with Palin.

The author of this little piece also forgot to point out things like Palins poor record on hiring Indigenous Americans, though they are a significant part of the population in Alaska.  Her lie about the state jet, and lets not forget the ever so brilliant decision to charge women for rape kits. There are plenty of reasons to dislike Palin, and choosing to do so is not based in bitter jealousy or hatred, but in simple common sense. 

I find this particular commentary to be disgusting because once again it reduces feminists to angry shrews without any basis for their disagreement.  The author is so busy painting Palin as a saint, I am surprised that she did not become blinded by the halo she created for her. True feminism is not the reductive movement that this author has described.  Feminists are more than happy to allow the kool aid sipping Palin supporters to have their say, but don't expect us to inhale the fumes.  I have a vagina and a brain.

Editors Note: In the original post I called Palin Pro Choice, which is not what I meant to write. Palin is Pro Life and the article has been edited to reflect that mistake.

 


7 comments:

hexy said...

Ah, I see you've encountered Miranda Devine.

She does this a lot. It's like that stereotypical drunken cousin who gets pissed at a party and embarrasses everyone, only in terms of International media. Aussie feminists tend to wish she'd shut the hell up. I can't tell you what she thinks of us, as she's never really succeeded in successfully identifying "feminism" when she rants against it in her columns.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

I don't like Sarah Palin because women today are smart, nurturing, honest and very talented. Sarah seems to use pageantry tricks and newscaster signals to hypnotize citizens. I don't like it when woman do things like that. I also don't like it that she has a big family (which includes a special needs baby & a new grand baby born to a teen daughter), and she is not recognizing how much responsibility it entails to be the mother head of that family plus the second in command of our country. I know some might say it's sexist, but what she is trying to do cannot be done with out someone losing, big time. I don't think she should be governor either.

Amelia said...

You said twice in this post that Palin was pro-choice. Isn't she more like...the opposite? Anti-choice? Or pro-life, if you prefer that term? Maybe I was misunderstanding what you were saying, but saying "Palin" and "pro-choice" in the same sentence kind of threw me off.

Otherwise, great post.

space said...

Yes, rockstar, what you say IS sexist.

But in her case, the one who loses would be the hired nanny who probably isn't getting paid what she (probably a she) deserves. Rich people don't have to raise their own kids. I guess that kind of classism is itself problematic. If we eliminated sexism and classism, then either nannies/day care people would get paid well, or rich people - both men and women - would have to raise their own kids...and then, how could they stay rich? hmm...

Renee said...

@Amelia

I did not even realize that I wrote Pro Choice. This is what happens when you blog in the wee hours of the morning. Thanks for pointing out my error and it has been corrected.

@Rockstar

I tend to agree with space, your commentary is indeed sexist. Obama is the father of two young girls and by your reasoning he should not be running for President either because of his parental responsibilities. In a truly equal society, we do not hold men and women to different standards. The fact that Palin is a mother has no bearing on whether or not she can perform as VP.

Shelley said...

As far as I'm concerned the problem with all Neocons is the hypocrisy they spew with every breath. They scream about individuals' rights and then fight everything that would promote an individual with whom they disagree actually getting those rights. And then they lie about it. Oh, I should have said that first. They lie about everything!

Shelley said...

Sorry - my complete point there was that as a feminist I don't support anyone who doesn't support my rights, vagina-wielding, moose-killing, rape-kit charging, illegal using of power Sarah-effing-Palin included.