Monday, September 1, 2008

Feminist Movement Attacks Sarah Palin Nomination

Anti-choice extremist? Republican tokenism?

This is the language we get from the
radical feminists denouncing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who is John McCain's selection as vice-presidential running mate.

Such attacks strike me as nihilist. Palin's being smeared as making a run at the Oval Office
on Hillary Clinton's coattails, and she's even being attacked by NARAL for appealing to - God help us! - surburban Republican women!

Kenneth Davenport,
at the Weekly Standard, explains why the Palin pick has driven the feminist left to apoplexy:

Can it be that the National Organization for Women, the oldest, largest women's interest group in the United States is opposing a woman for the vice presidency of the United States?

The simple answer is: Yes, because NOW and other feminist organizations hew to a very strict leftist orthodoxy that places politics over gender. The NOW website, for example, lists prominently its "signature" issues--and they read like a laundry list of social activism: "Abortion and Reproductive Rights", "Racism", "Affirmative Action", "Disability Rights," "Marriage Equality" and many others. These issues provide the litmus test through which women are evaluated, with the most important being abortion rights--which is sort of the "First Amendment" of the women's movement. Not all women, it turns out, are created equal: if you don't believe in a woman's right to choose an abortion, you might as well be a man.

When Kim Gandy, NOW's Political Action chair, made her statement in support of Hillary Clinton during the primaries, for example, she noted how important it was for NOW to help women crack glass ceilings:

"Today, the first woman speaker presides over the U.S. House of Representatives, and Harvard University has its first woman president. Firsts are important, because they open doors for those who follow--but our real goal is to have every first followed by seconds and thirds and fourths, until having women in leadership is so common that it isn't even remarkable any longer."

Not for all women, however: Electing Sarah Palin as the first vice president in the nation's history doesn't count--because she doesn't march in lock-step to the way in which feminists have defined women's rights.

Such a strict definition of what is considered "acceptable" in the women's movement goes beyond NOW and other feminist organizations, and has become the de facto standard by which feminists view the world. The day Palin's selection was announced, for example, Sarah Seltzer, who writes at the liberal, wrote in an article entitled "A Feminist Appalled By Palin":

A lot of feminists out there are appalled by the cynicism and condescension inherent in this choice. It's as though the McCain camp believes our irrational she-hormones will lead us, like sheep, to pull the lever for any candidate who looks like us--even if she has a strong record, as Palin does, of standing against women's interests.

This seems a pretty typical reaction by feminists to the Palin choice. It's mostly anger mixed with frustration: That the Republicans would have the gall to steal Hillary's thunder by choosing a woman, but in doing so have chosen someone who (though female) is not their kind of woman--because she stands against their razor thin view of what is acceptable for women to believe in.
McCain's selection of Palin is even being described as inherently sexist, because, well, he's "an inveterate sexist, and it's written all over the way he talks about women, and the way he votes on issues that affect them."

So, now that
Joe Biden's declared that Sarah Palin's not just qualified on policy grounds, but she's "good looking" too, should we keep our eyes open for left-wing consistency with a round of attacks on Biden's "objectification of women"?

I'm not holding my breath.

See also, Kenneth G. Davenport, "
Palin V.P. Choice Turns Race Upside Down."


Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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