Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sarah Palin's "Feminism"

There's been a lot of hullaballoo all over the blogosphere about Sarah Palin calling herself a feminist, and whether she should or should not be considered one.

I'm going to be honest here. I don't like Sarah Palin. I don't like what she stands for. I don't like what she has to say about pretty much anything. And she is not a woman I admire in any way or consider to be any kind of feminist role model.


For similar reasons that the gay and lesbian community told Mary Cheney to f*** herself when she had her first child instead of rallying behind her.

Because privileged hypocrisy doesn't fly. Because a person with privilege who takes advantage of the hard work of other activists to benefit herself while simultaneously working to take away those benefits from others sucks.

Some of the most insightful analysis I have read comes from Nancy Vedder-Shults, who pointed out striking similarities between Palin's "feminism" and the feminism of Nazi Militants in World War II era Germany in her Tikkun Daily Blog article, Right Wing "Feminism" Nothing New. She went into more analytic detail in her follow up article, Right Wing "Feminism" Nothing New - More Thoughts.

In More Thoughts, Vedder-Shults quotes Abby Scher, editor of The Public Eye - a quarterly publication of a small progressive think tank which tracks right wing movements, who believes that Palin and other right-wing "feminists" want
equal “rules of the game,” not actual equality for women. Palin would like opportunity for women like herself — educated, middle to upper-middle class women — to succeed in a patriarchal society. Clearly such women are the only ones who might “elevate themselves above the masses,” since the rest of us need affirmative action, family leave laws, and other government programs to make sure we have equal opportunity. But these are exactly the types of “big government” initiatives that Palin and these other “feminists” oppose. They believe that it’s up to the individual woman to compete in the market, no matter what her background or resources.

Like the right wing Nazi militant "feminists" wanted a piece of the Aryan pie, Palin and right wing American "feminists" want to advance the status of rich, white, Christian women while taking away opportunities and rights from women who do not share their privilege.

In general, I have to agree with Vedder-Shults' final comment in her original post:
What seems clear to me is that conservative “feminism” may improve the lot of a few, elite women — and even more so the situation of the GOP, if they can entice women to vote for them — but it won’t actually help women as a group. And in order to qualify as a feminist in my book, you need to work for the advancement of all women, no matter their race, color, religion, sexual orientation, or age.

Thank you, Nancy, for articulating so clearly and precisely what I think and feel about Sarah Palin.


  1. That is Exactly what i think too. Sarah Palin is so full of crap, how dare she actually try to call herself a true feminist. Sadly i know a female or two that believe every word Sarah Palin speaks along with Fox News, Her Church or anything Republican for that matter. Sarah Palin is not for Womans Right....she is for the few privileged ones to raise higher up the pole, that's all.

  2. Simply put, she's a nut job. It's too late for me to focus on putting anything intelligent here, but anyone who goes along with her rhetoric without questioning her sanity definitely needs to get their head checked!