Saturday, September 6, 2008

second wave feminism on vp choice palin

On September 4, Gloria Steinem wrote an op-ed piece on Sarah Palin, the woman nominated by McCain and the Republican party as the potential VP.

Gloria Steinem was one of the leaders of the second wave of feminism and quite possibly the most influential female in granting women reproductive rights (also a Smith graduate).

Since high school, I’ve been interested in nearly every article she’s published. If you like this one, try “If Men Could Menstruate” (I’m being serious here).

Palin: wrong woman, wrong message
By Gloria Steinem
Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

Quotes from the rest of the article:

“Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton.”

“This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me.”

“I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.”

“When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, ‘I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?’ When asked about Iraq, she said, ‘I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq.’

“…perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on ‘God, guns and gays’ ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.”

“Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves ‘abstinence-only’ programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation”
“She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child”

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View Full Article from LA Times.

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