Straw Feminist Weekly: The jealous bitch

Via The Sexist: the astute cultural analysts of The O’Reilly Factor (not Bill himself, but his sub, Laura Ingraham) know why feminists don’t like Sarah Palin (because apparently it is mid-2008 again?): we are just totes jealous of her cute hubby and her cute little babies and her smokin’ bod! Ingraham breaks it down with her guests, WaPo columnist Sally Quinn and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway. See, it’s simple: all feminists are ugly, barren spinsters who are also firmly supported by the old boys’ network and who require you to have an abortion before they give you the time of day. (If you haven’t yet had an abortion, you should go ahead and get knocked up right quick so you can get the mandatory abortion out of the way ASAP.)

Sally Quinn, lord love her, seems to have both a sense of what feminism is and why Sarah Palin sucks:

QUINN: And most women I know are feminists. So I think it depends on who you call feminist. I think one of the producers was saying the sort of raging crazed pro-choice liberal women. But I have to say that of all the people I know, I don’t know a single person who feels jealous about her. I think that most of the people I know who are not Sarah Palin fans just don’t like what she has to say.

(Emphasis mine.)

But hers is not the voice of reason!  For that we need professional Republicans.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, REPUBLICAN POLLSTER:Yeah, the qualified stuff is a canard, and it came late after she made many women feel inadequate, Laura. This is a woman who is — her path to power was so unusual for women in power. She didn’t have the money or the power or the access of a father, of a husband. She certainly didn’t go to an Ivy League school. She was a standout athlete. I think of some of the spinster childless columnists who have attacked this woman for her right to choose…

INGRAHAM: Can you name names?

CONWAY: …and have five children. There are too many to name and then it would make them relevant on such a great show.

THE SPINSTERS, THEY ARE LEGION. YOU CANNOT NAME THEM ON A RESPECTABLE SHOW OR THEIR SEXLESS SPIRITS WILL TAKE OVER THE CAMERAS AND SHOW YOU FROM A BAD ANGLE.

Also, you’re fat and your SO is ugly.

CONWAY: …the extended family. He’s cute to go. And look, she lost all her baby weight. It makes some women crazy. They’ve got 1.3 children and a Pilates schedule they have to keep, and it makes some of them crazy.

These, of course, are not the spinsters, but don’t worry — they’re still jealous! You don’t understand how CRAZY you get when you do Pilates. Conway knows. I mean, the name is even crazy, am I right? Pilates. Pilates Pilates Pilates. No wonder feminists are crazy jealous bitches.

Look, you know who loves Palin? Caregivers, that’s who, you selfish jealous feminist fatty.

CONWAY: But the people who love and support her are still pushing babies in strollers and elderly women in wheelchairs just to go see her, just to go buy her book, which is already No. 1 and not even out.

Maybe the babies and the old ladies aren’t that wild about her, but whatever, that’s cool — you can just push them to the side while you coo over Trig and check out Palin’s muscular thighs. Grandma can wait! She doesn’t have an opinion of her own — I mean, she uses a wheelchair.

Palin-hating feminists, let’s just come clean. Sure, we say that we dislike her because she coopts feminist rhetoric to push an agenda that hurts women, or because she encourages her followers to be shockingly disingenuous about reproductive rights, but we all know we’re just blowing smoke. We are just so fucking jealous of Sarah Palin. She has a book and everything! You don’t hear about feminists writing books, now do you?

Now quit being jealous and start making some babies, for god’s sake.

194 thoughts on “Straw Feminist Weekly: The jealous bitch

  1. You know what makes me crazy? When I somehow have .3 of a child, and have to figure out how that happened and what to do about it. At least I only gained 30% of the usual baby weight, amirite?

  2. It’s a reasonable question to ask why Palin inspires such vitriol among women (myself included). Why do I hate her so much more than, say, Mike Huckabee, whose politics I find equally appalling? I think it has to do with the way she was put up on a pedastal as a paragon of a Professional Woman. It was infuriating. After so many years of seeing Hillary denigrated as a castrating bitch, this in-curious, un-serious, unintelligent woman is thrust into the national spotlight as the Platonic Ideal of a female politician just because she is “hot”, fertile, family-oriented, and non-threatening. It was was rage-inducing to get the message that those things are more important in a woman than intelligence, experience, or competence. Also I am just totes just super-jealous of her way-cute wardrobe, super sexxxay hubby, and bangin’ body.

  3. Oh crap. I’ve chosen to give birth to my babies rather than have an abortion. Am I no longer welcome here? *sobs*

  4. Well I am annoyed because I actually had to get 1.5 Masters degrees and acceptance to a PhD program at a prestigious uni just to be considered barely average. She went to five schools, got one degree and gets to be governor. I don’t think jealousy is exactly what I’m feeling.

    I am amused at how angry white feminists are about Palin. Omg, someone being praised for nothing and receiving all kinds of benefits and it pisses you off.

    Welcome to my life. The water is warm and pissy. You’ll get used to it.

  5. At least one of them sort of had a clue…

    I disliked Sarah Palin from the minute she stepped on the national stage. Not because I’m “an elitist” and she’s “folksy” (thank you, more than half my blood relatives employ all the rhetorical tropes she does), and not solely over the choice issue–but because I cannot comprehend how someone so unwilling to be educated on actual facts and figures can have risen to govern anything larger than her own household, never mind an entire state. Not to mention the variety of ethical issues that trailed after her like detritus in the wake of a tornado. She just offends me on so many levels, as a thinking person, a feminist, and someone who believes in smaller government and less legislation of morality.

    (If her wardrobe is “cute,” by the way, I’ll keep mine, thanks ever so. And if her husband is supposed to be the model of sexy, well, I fail to see how that actually is supposed to affect my opinion of her? Quite satisfied in my own relationship, don’t need hers.)

  6. I am amused at how angry white feminists are about Palin. Omg, someone being praised for nothing and receiving all kinds of benefits and it pisses you off.

    Yeah, I think the whole Palin debacle was a wakeup call for a lot of white feminists that (as a group) we have not been paying attention to a lot of shit. A lot.

  7. Wait, I thought all us feminists were a bunch of hairy lezzies. How are we supposed to get knocked up so we can have our mandatory abortions if we only bonk each other?

  8. She went to five schools, got one degree and gets to be governor. I don’t think jealousy is exactly what I’m feeling.

    I am amused at how angry white feminists are about Palin. Omg, someone being praised for nothing and receiving all kinds of benefits and it pisses you off.

    You know, this is a terrific juxtaposition in terms of illuminating the “you’re just jealous” argument. Because it’s a mistake people also make about privilege — that recognizing that someone else has privilege and you don’t means that you are jealous of what they have, rather than angry at injustice. Anger is something people like to take away from oppressed groups — from women/feminists here, from non-whites in the case of asserting that recognition of white privilege stems from jealousy, etc.

  9. Well, I *am* jealous that Amy Poehler never wrote a rap about me! And that I don’t have a background chorus of “Eskimo” dancers.

  10. i’m a phd woman, married, kid on the way, and am in no way jealous of Sara Palin. i also don’t hate her. I just wish that she would get her sh*t together. Having great female role models is so important and here is a woman who is “balancing” a career and 5 kids. i *want* to like her, i realllllly do. i can agree to disagree with her politics, and look past the fact that i think she is wrong on every issue. what pisses me off that is that she doesn’t seem to care enough to actually educate herself and step it up. what kind of message is she sending to young women?

    slightly off topic, but directly related…i think we need a feminism PR campaign. so many women i know are feminists, but don’t want to call themselves feminist because of the image it invokes. can’t we do something about this?

  11. Having great female role models is so important and here is a woman who is “balancing” a career and 5 kids.

    See, this is where I try not to let myself go, because this is tokenism. She’s a woman with a family and a job, not a representative of womankind.

    You know, I disagree with her politics and dislike her about as much as I dislike other appallingly ignorant and ethically questionable Republican politicians, but I don’t really feel the vehement Palin hatred. (Also, uh, I’m not jealous of her.)

    Can we also not get into criticizing her clothes? We can say we aren’t jealous without doing more of the same, right?

  12. Well, I am an elitist, and that’s part of what I don’t like about Sarah Palin. (I think it’s funny that this idea has such negative connotations. Obviously, there’s all sorts of problematic ways that this plays out–social elitism, white supremacy, etc–and that’s not how I mean the word when I use it. But as far as I can tell, there’s no other word that means I want the best people for any given job to be doing it.) I want the best person for the job to be President, and the next-best person to be VP. Sarah Palin knows less than I do about American Foreign Policy and the United States Government, and I *almost* have a minor in Political Science. I’m insulted that the Republican Party thought she was the best choice for VP. I wouldn’t have voted Republican either way, but I might have respected the party more if they’d picked, say, Condoleezza Rice, even though I still disagree with her politics. At least she seems to know what she’s talking about.

    But what offends me most is that it’s not okay for me to not like Sarah Palin. I mean, my dad used to run around with a t-shirt that said Clinochio and had a picture of the President with a long nose, and was never accused of anything more than a sense of humor and right-wing tendencies. No one ever said he was jealous of the President’s access to interns.

  13. This spinster (in all senses of the word) loathes Sarah Palin the way she loathes any antifeminist woman: with a combination of anger, exhaustion, and pity. Why pity? Because of the pressures on women which require them to collaborate with patriarchy as a means of self-protection. Jealousy, however, has certainly never entered into it.

    Also, it’s sort of comical that an anti-Palin post is your return from Fluffcation, since enough people like Palin that you may garner a fair number of hateful remarks. Then again, since your audience is mostly liberal, it’s still probably safer for you to dislike Sarah Palin than it is to ask men to stop forcing themselves on us. Alas.

  14. I think I dislike Palin for the same reasons I dislike Bush. They’re both republicans and they both seem dumb. In Palin’s case I also can’t stand the folksy, perky act. Why can’t we have smart, coherent female politicians who want what’s best for other females and their country?

  15. Hey, where’s all the great lemur commentary we’ve come to expect?

    *ducks*

    I don’t have much to say about Sarah Palin. There have been times I’ve been deeply terrified by her, but not because her existence tears down the leftist myth that women can’t… whatever. Personally, I’m not sure her mere existence proves that we can all have five kids and be governor for as long as we feel like before getting a dump truck full of money for writing our memoirs, but that’s so not even the issue.

  16. I think the thing yon republican pollster is ignoring is that feminists are inclined to vote for people based on what they think and do instead of based on who they are. I respect her as a woman doing what she thinks is important, because that opens her up to an unreasonable amount of vitriol and criticism. I don’t respect her ideas.

    Sexiness, family status, and even how much education a person has is far less important when it comes to electing a person than what they think about important issues. I hope that her supporters like her because of what she thinks.

  17. What I hate about Sarah Palin is not actually Palin, per se. The choice of Palin as VP candidate felt like McCain’s Used Cars And Title Loans needed a babe in a bikini to pose in the ads, next to a shiny Camaro. I hate the babe-in-a-bikini advertising concept, and inasfar as I hate Palin, I hate her for her smirking, winking, oooh-baby cooperation with the idea.

    Of course, when it didn’t work, McCain’s campaign went into bash-the-woman overdrive, blaming her for being unreasonable, hysterical, shrill, stupid, and ungovernable. Probably uppity, too, though no one had the poor taste to say that word in front of a Vanity Fair reporter. And now the legitimate criticism of Palin-as-politician is wrapped up with all these themes that denigrate women who dare to step into the public sphere.

    Yes, I am unhappy about her careless politics and her lack of intellectual chops. But I actually appreciate her going after the Republican establishment. Not only do I subscribe to the notion of Divide and Conquer, I am happy to see those asses realize that they chose a person with decided ambitions and ideas, not just a cute accessory to their war hero.

  18. Also, it’s sort of comical that an anti-Palin post is your return from Fluffcation, since enough people like Palin that you may garner a fair number of hateful remarks.

    I know, I know. I had vowed not to post anything else this week, personally (since, um, I guess I’ve had the keys to the blog in the last little while), but Palin inspires such telling incoherence in people who hate women that I had to. I can’t pass up such a beautiful Straw Feminist.

  19. Also, I’m looking forward to seeing Bill O’Reilly tackle another great topic: Why do Angry Conservative Talk Show Hosts hate Obama? Is it because he’s good-looking, and has two cute kids? Is it because he managed to get to a position of power without the support of money, family or political access? Because he throws three-point shots in basketball? Because he’s not anti-woman, but has actually spoken out about women’s causes and health issues, and has a supportive wife? Oooh, I know! It’s because they’re jealous of him! That must be it!

  20. I’m still stuck on the fact that someone would use ‘spinster’ non-ironically (or non-self-referentially) in public. Do…is this, like, a normal word for professional Republicans? “Spinster”? Really?

    Palin pisses me off for the same reason that all professional career women who bolster their careers by exhorting women to get back into the kitchen do. But I don’t actually dislike her any more than I dislike the anti-choice ‘women shouldn’t have the vote heh heh heh’ men do.

    Also, obviously, noone has ‘attacked her right to choose’. We’ve attacked her desire to take away our right to choose.

  21. it’s sort of comical that an anti-Palin post is your return from Fluffcation

    Ehh, Fluffcation is not necessarily over yet. It might just be temporarily suspended due to an irresistible straw feminist. :)

  22. Why do I hate Palin? Oh, maybe because she’s a moron. Maybe because she was VP choice only because a bunch of old white Republican men were sitting around looking at Clinton’s popularity and wondering how to cash in. I can just see one of them taking his cigar out of his mouth and saying, “I know! We need to get one o’ them people with a verginer! Then we’ll get all them votes!”

    Or maybe I’m just jealous of all the babies she’s had to push through her vaginal canal and spend her life caring for.

  23. Dear Laura Ingraham,
    While it is true that Sarah Palin is indeed female, her physique is not your public property to comment upon. I should never have to turn on a news show and listen to two adult women dissect the hotness/ugliness of another woman. Those conversations ceased to interest me after middle school. Until her boobs can hold a pen and sign a bill into law, I do not want to hear them described on a political show.
    Thanks,
    Chrissy

  24. @Starling – I feel much the same way. I think that Sarah Palin’s candidacy was the equivalent of a ratings stunt by the McCain campaign. Very shortly before it was announced, Senator McCain released a video of himself congratulating then-ator Obama on the historic nature of his campaign, and he looked so smug and happy that I thought, “Oh, crap, what’s he going to do now?” Then came the Palin announcement. It was a particularly shameless stunt in the midst of a campaign characterized by them.

    Her qualifications concern me a lot less than her principles, politics, and policies, but even if there was nothing in there I disagreed with, the McCain campaign’s use of her reflects the belief that us lib’rul types are all about affirmative action and identity politics. Our primary frontrunners were Senators Clinton and Obama—a woman and a POC—and that fact alone was seen by some as sufficient to prove that we don’t care about qualifications or politics, only minority representation.

  25. Actually, I shouldn’t say I hate Palin. I disagree with her on just about everything, and I don’t respect her. But hate is too strong a word.

    I agree — and I think people ascribe hatred to feminists when it *doesn’t* exist so that they can ignore it when it *does.*

  26. I feel the same way about Sarah Palin as I do about banana flavored Tootsie Pops. I think they’re both useless and taking up space that could be occupied by something better (like watermelon Tootsie Pops!) but I really just ignore them.

    Also I’m totes jealous of Palin’s super hot hubby… oh wait… I think he’s the dudiest dudebro of all dudebros… I forgot that part.

  27. It depresses the hell out of me that even Sarah Palin’s female supporters (hey, Laura Ingraham, I’m talking to you!) seem not to realize that Palin is not merely a hott body and a warm-fuzzy biography.

    This person has political opinions. This person has exercised political power. Those things are, in fact, more important than her ability to lose baby weight or her smokin’ husband. At least the liberal feminists who dislike her are doing her the courtesy of thinking about her character and politics instead of her boobs.

  28. I completely agree with those who have said that it’s not so much Sarah Palin; it was the blatant “let’s put in a woman so women will vote Republican!” tactic. I suspect that if she hadn’t been nominated for VP, but had come into the national spotlight some other way, the public perception of her might be a little gentler.

    I still wouldn’t agree with just about anything she has to say, but maybe she wouldn’t make my blood pressure go up as much.

  29. BINGO jennyknopinski – this is exactly the problem I have with Palin (apart from her policies of course).

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how people have very narrow and incorrect understandings of words like “feminist”, “environmentalist”, “unionist”, etc.

    “I’m not a feminist,” they say, “because I’m heterosexual, married, want a family, and like wearing dresses. And don’t even mention those dreadful trade unionists or nutty environmentalists.” And then they go onto say, “Of course I believe I should be paid properly for the work I do and I’m really annoyed that there isn’t proper paid maternity leave in this country which means I’ll either have to give up my career while I look after my child – and you never catch up again – or if I go back to work because there is no way we can afford to live on the paltry minimum wage my husband earns, it means I’ll have to stop breastfeeding months before what would be in the best interests of my child. It would be so much easier if there was at least proper public transport in our area – it’s so expensive and wasteful to have to run two cars…”

    Sure lady, you’re not a feminist or a unionist or an environmentalist. Whatever…

  30. What troubles me is this idea put forth by her puppetmasters that “If she could do it ANYONE could do it.” But really, there’s no way in hell a person of color could have her qualifications and even get a job running the drive through at Jack-in-the-box.

    I think it’s also very weird that we’re back to that old 70s trope that feminists are feminists because they are ugly women or that one cannot be attractive and still be a feminist.

    Palin already had my blood boiling when she first won the governorship. I was wary of her rhetoric and her political views now seem TAME compared to what she was saying prior to being selected as the Republican VP candidate. It amazes me that the republican party can only see the “flaws” of affirmative action on the side of the aisle and not their own.

    She is an AA naysayer’s dream.

    Don’t get me started on LI or her twin Tammy Bruce. ::shakes head::

    Also in response to someone who mentioned Condi. I do not like her politics AT ALL, but her qualifications are quite impressive. It’s too bad she went to the dark side, though I have a complicated relationship with that concept and I’ll leave it at that.

  31. I probably wouldn’t be considered a feminist by many (and no, I don’t really want to get into definitions here), but I do hate the living shit out of Sarah Palin. She was gravely uninformed on the issues, winked and nodded at the folks who wanted to lynch Obama at the repub rallies, and totally dehumanized our “enemies” in Iraq whilst claiming to be some sort of Pro-life martyr. And she hasn’t gotten a clue since. I really wish the media would let her slip into the obscurity she so richly deserves.

    And I’m so glad someone else watches O’Reilly so I don’t have to. Thank you for that.

  32. I’m not jealous of Sarah Palin. Not the remotest tiniest bit.

    I also don’t hate her.

    I have measureless contempt for her.

    And John McCain, and Mike Huckabee, and pretty much all of the right wing, especially their talking heads, with the occasional rare exception of people like John Dean.

    DRST

  33. I think it’s also very weird that we’re back to that old 70s trope that feminists are feminists because they are ugly women or that one cannot be attractive and still be a feminist.

    That trope is as old as feminism. Older, actually, as it applied to women involved in any cause from feeding the poor to temperance. Sigh.

    The only way I can explain Sarah Palin’s following is to remind myself that this is the party that thought Dan Quayle would be a good idea. She’s the product of idiot marketing, a kind of composite of what some GOP committee came up with over too many drinks.

  34. Politically, I loathe both Huckabee and Palin (but find Huckabee scarier because I think he’s got a better shot at getting somewhere). However, at least Huckabee didn’t put on a demonstrably 100% pseudo-Midwestern accent for his campaign in order to seem more “folksy” or whatever. Faking a bizarre imaginary accent for a campaign does not speak well to Palin’s sincerity about anything, and the whole “folksy” persona suggests that she thinks the folk are stupid, and I find that extremely distasteful.

    I also don’t have a clue what Palin’s husband looks like, but I don’t date Republicans, so that’s a moot point. And also, wtf.

  35. Definitely on Quayle — I was thinking the same thing. Palin is Quayle + “hot” + “folksy.”

    On the “unattractive feminist” line — I think I remember hearing the 1970s story about how, because Gloria Steinem was younger and wore miniskirts, men assumed that she was less radical, and that the “less hottie” Betty Friedan was more radical. As we know, it was the opposite.

    Don’t know if I’ve got that right exactly — I know someone on here can correct me.

  36. SARAH PALIN HATES OUR FREEDOM.

    Really. She threatened to fire the librarian in Wasilla for not removing materials that Palin didn’t like. She tried to get the city department heads to clear it with her before ever speaking to the press. She is the minion of Gozer. It is not untoward to avidly hate somebody who wants to take a dump on intellectual freedom.

  37. I know that I might lose my troll-endorsed groupthink badge :P, but I like Sarah Palin for reasons I think are consistent with my feminism.

    It’s really easy for people to respect members of minority groups who are exceptional, like, um, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And, I will admit, I like being governed by the most exceptional people available, which is why generally vote democrat. But true equality is going to be achieved when below average women and members of different minorities are able to succeed at the same levels as below average white dudes. So, it’s possible the republicans, with Michael Steele and Sarah Palin, are ahead on that . . .

    I’m not saying that she is right or that I would vote for her or that she is doing anything right on “my” issues, just Yay mediocrity!!

  38. My problem with Sarah Palin is that she is so uninformed and so entitled. Oh, and she has no scruples, embracing all the fanatics that show up at her rallies and whatnot. When she first appeared on the scene, I was very interested in who she was and what she was about. Then I learned more about her and have been disturbed ever since.

  39. I’d like to know when a 25 year old woman became a spinster in today’s world. Single? Yep – and by choice at the moment. I don’t even really consider myself marriageable age, since I’m not remotely ready for it. Whatevs.

    @MargB – I’m undoubtedly a feminist and I definitely wear skirts (short ones!) and plan to get married someday.

    For what it’s worth, I think Palin is a hypocrite. I’m not jealous of her because I don’t want anything she has, but I find it irritating that she talks about choice within her family but then turns around and says that other women shouldn’t have that same right.

  40. Until her boobs can hold a pen and sign a bill into law, I do not want to hear them described on a political show.

    Did anyone else have a flashback to The Breakfast Club for a moment, where Molly Ringwald puts her lip gloss on without using her hands?

    Sarah Palin should have been nominated for VP back when I was in high school. If I’d known how high you could rise on sheer mediocrity, I’d have told the guidance counselor I wanted to be governor of Alaska when I grew up. I probably would never have learned to do the folksy charm thing, but I can fake the accent (don’tcha know). Yeah, maybe I’m a little jealous, it’s not easy to see completely undeserving people get ahead in life. It’d mostly be funny if she wasn’t in politics.

  41. Heh. When I finally get around to forming my own all-female rock band, we are SO going to call ourselves the Legion Spinsters.

  42. I haven’t read every comment yet, but I had to skip down to say:

    OMG THAT LEMUR WAS TERRIFYING!!! I like the drawings better. When it’s eyes got wide I had a physical reaction of terror and couldn’t stop screaming at it to “Stop!” and “Go Away!” Seriously! My heart is still racing.

    Also, I dislike the reasons why Palin was brought into the spotlight, I dislike the sarcastic remarks about why I didn’t like Palin. She’s a woman after all. I dislike the script they gave her, I dislike the fact that no one called her out for preaching abstinence-only while her teenage daughter got married to her baby’s father. But then of course we need to uphold the sanctity of marriage!

    I could go on and on and on. But I don’t feel like it. I’m saving myself for the 2012 elections.

  43. What troubles me is this idea put forth by her puppetmasters that “If she could do it ANYONE could do it.” But really, there’s no way in hell a person of color could have her qualifications and even get a job running the drive through at Jack-in-the-box.

    YES!

    I’m vaguely remembering something Chris Rock said while doing stand-up, about former (yay!) President Bush that said something along the lines of a black C student cannot even be made manager of McDonalds, but a white C student gets to run the country. Can you imagine what would have been said by the other side, and rightly so, if President Obama answered questions the way she did? They would’ve been telling us how incompetent he was before he even finished a sentence. But she got a pass on that…it was “folksy” or “down-to-earth” or whatnot.

    That is really what troubles me about the whole Republican party, Horatio Alger, nonsense. Using her as an example of an average person who got where they were going solely based on how wonderful and special they are…spare me.

  44. Maybe because she was VP choice only because a bunch of old white Republican men were sitting around looking at Clinton’s popularity and wondering how to cash in.

    I completely agree with those who have said that it’s not so much Sarah Palin; it was the blatant “let’s put in a woman so women will vote Republican!” tactic….I still wouldn’t agree with just about anything she has to say, but maybe she wouldn’t make my blood pressure go up as much.

    You guys, I’m a little surprised to keep reading these kinds of comments, because while these are excellent reasons to be angry with the male Republican party establishment, I’m not sure I understanding holding it against Palin herself. Holding her responsible for going along with that is like saying I shouldn’t take a job I’m offered as a token, even if I really want the job, and I don’t know if I agree, you know? If someone makes me a token, that would suck, but it’s not my fault that they might be assholes like that.

    Anyway, I hate her political points of view, I dislike the folksy persona (easily as much as I disliked it from Bush), I think she’s as underqualified as Bush was, and I’d certainly never vote for her. (Her personality probably bothers me less than his because she doesn’t strike me as as much of nasty bully, but I still don’t think I’d want to be her friend!) And all of that is, of course, because I’m a lonely spinster and I wish I could have babies with a hot husband and lose all the baby weight and be sexy in the public eye. What else am I here for??

  45. Just like to say how much I enjoy this blog. It’s almost summer here in Australia, and SP has been instrumental in keeping me from falling into the ‘oh-no-how-could-I-possibly -go-to-the-beach-in-*this*-body’ trap. The posts that preceded the fluffication were illuminating.

    Also: SM, that “Lemure” video is terrifying!

  46. Okay, so the women who hate Sarah Palin are doctrinaire feminist spinster mommies, whose wee minds are preoccupied with superficial trivialities that can only be described with sneering disdain; who look down on her from their position of presumed intellectual superiority; who are jealous of her fancy job, her body, her cute male spouse, and her book. Fine. Got it. Makes perfect sense.

    What about the supposedly liberal doods who hate Sarah Palin so much that they use images of sexual violence to describe how they’d like to shut her up and destroy her? The baby weight again? Or the Pilates? They want a fancy job too? What?

  47. Volcanista, I wouldn’t say that I hold it against Palin herself, just that that factors into my feelings about her. It seems like a big part of our discussion is why people dislike her so much, and that’s part of what feeds into my gut reaction.
    I’d like to think that if I was in a position to be hiring her for a job or something, I would be able to separate those factors, but my personal feelings aren’t necessarily 100% rational.

    I appreciate your point about not blaming people in token positions though. I’m in a male-dominated field, and I would probably take a job even if I thought affirmative action factored into it. I’d like to think I would only take the job if I thought I was actually qualified though.

  48. I reread the Republican comments three times, looking for a reference to cats, but never found it. Isn’t that supposed to be part of the “crazy dried-up bitter spinster” package?

    Chalk me up as another one who thinks of Sarah Palin as seldom as possible.

  49. Politically, I loathe both Huckabee and Palin (but find Huckabee scarier because I think he’s got a better shot at getting somewhere). However, at least Huckabee didn’t put on a demonstrably 100% pseudo-Midwestern accent for his campaign in order to seem more “folksy” or whatever. Faking a bizarre imaginary accent for a campaign does not speak well to Palin’s sincerity about anything, and the whole “folksy” persona suggests that she thinks the folk are stupid, and I find that extremely distasteful.

    Minor point, but I spent a couple of months in Alaska once and I’m not convinced her accent is faked. She’s not the only person I heard with a similar cadence of speech. Though of course she could be exaggerating the accent. But I don’t think it’s necessarily straight out faked like some people’s ::cough::Dubya::cough::.

    It’s interesting. I actually do feel a bit of what that woman is saying because in some ways, I do respect Palin for becoming governor when she’s not from a political dynasty family or a family with money. That’s not, in theory, an unadmirable thing. But it breaks down because as much as I might theoretically admire someone like Palin for achieving what she has, I think what she’s done with those achievements has been pretty despicable. I don’t have to be jealous to reach that conclusion and it’s ridiculous to paint it that way.

  50. Now, now, peeps, don’t be hating on those of us who consider Sarah Palin the most entertaining thing to happen in politics in the past two years, not excluding the awesome Democratic primaries of ’08 and the all-too-brief episode of Days of Our Lives featuring Mark Sanford. I was waiting for us to find out that it was really his twin who ran the state while he was in Argentina, and that Jenny Sanford was really having a tempestuous affair with the Lt. Gov. Alas, it was not to be.

    Anyway. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE politics? And Sarah Palin is my #1 Politician for the great joy she brings me, although I may have to knock her down to #2 in my list if James Traficant gets himself elected to something again.

  51. I don’t hate Palin, not at all, not in the least. In fact I think her and I could probably have a nice little chat if we were ever put in the same room together. It really does frustrate me that people have to look for reasons why people might not like a certain politician other than that they don’t have the same views and that they disagree with what that person is trying to do. I get really pissed off when discussions especially in the political field have to get so low as start picking on the person or people and not the issue. They don’t hate her cause they are lacking and so then are jealous. I really don’t get why people can’t talk about the issue and not lower themselves to pettiness. GAH!

  52. I don’t hate Sarah Palin the person. She is perfectly welcome to live out her life in a quiet gated community somewhere, preferably very far away from me. But I do hate Sarah Palin the public-figure-as-representation-of-how-white-Republican-men-think-women-want-to-see-themselves. I like Mad Men as much as anyone else, but it’s not a good model for egalitarian participation in government in the 21st century.

    I am consumed with rage when people talk about Sarah Palin as being a representative for women because WOMEN ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. It’s insulting to think that people Out There are trying to imply that we should be striving to be *as good as* (and interpret “good” however you like) someone who is deliberately ignorant, refuses to become educated about science and politics (fruit flies, anyone?), and cannot string three words together to form a coherent sentence — and who *takes pride in this.*

    Really? You think that’s an example of something we might be capable of, someday, if we are blessed by God? How condescending and patronizing. Now, why don’t you get the hell out of our way? Here, have a lollipop and go sit in the corner.

  53. “i think we need a feminism PR campaign. so many women i know are feminists, but don’t want to call themselves feminist because of the image it invokes. can’t we do something about this?”

    Don’t look at me. I’m the very embodiment of a fat, hairy LIBRUL feminist, minus the Birkenstocks. Oh, and I’m not a lesbian. OK so I’m not 100% het, but last time I checked, not actually a lesbian. And not a spinster either. Well, sort of half-spinster, since my male partner of 7+ years and I don’t cohabitate. Does that count?

  54. I don’t care what Palin is like personally. I find her politics repugnant, her environmental record distressing, and her enthusiasm for aerial hunting loathsome. I reckon that’s more than enough to never want to be in the same room with her, which is why I wish she’d never show up on the tube again.

    Alas, I haven’t been eligible for spinsterhood in yonks. I am, however, childless, middle-aged, disabled, fat, brown, moderately hairy, with three cats and a dog, and perhaps most damning, I’ve been known on occasion to quote Alice B. Toklas during dinner prep.

  55. @Sarah B –

    Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol did not marry the father of her child – they broke up, instead.
    And you know, I am kind of jealous of Sarah Palin, because she gets away with stuff – the pushing of abstinence-until-marriage being this major, major, image -maker, this sweet little woman with the five kids going on about the necessity of teaching Christian virtues to the young ones – and then her daughter turns up pregnant. No turnabout on her position, no public recognition at all that pregnant teenagers are a natural product of not teaching your kids about birth control. Like, no learning curve at all, and no backlash, ever – just more adoration because it’s okay, the kids are getting married and then it’s like the premarital sex didn’t even happen… it was just, well, like taking a loan against future earnings, or something.
    And that attitude drives me crazy, the idea that you can set rules for others, but there’s no need to actually set an example. All you need are the words – the actions are unnecessary. I hate that, I hate it so much, because it cheapens the real effort you have to make to steer a straight course in a crooked world. ( I should add that I am in no way a proponent of abstinence-only education – I think it’s stupid and youth-hating) I struggle with moral puzzles every day – and I am kind of jealous of someone who can just claim the high ground because they never examine where they really stand.

  56. “Actually, I shouldn’t say I hate Palin. I disagree with her on just about everything, and I don’t respect her. But hate is too strong a word.”

    “I agree — and I think people ascribe hatred to feminists when it *doesn’t* exist so that they can ignore it when it *does.*”

    SM: Thanks for articulating why I added to my comment–you’re exactly right.

    bellacoker: Your badge is suspended. How dare you have an opinion, you’re proving all those nice trolls wrong!

    volcanista: You’re right that the reasons she was brought in to the spotlight aren’t her fault, and aren’t a reason to dislike her personally. But her actions afterward made it seem like she was of a similar mind–with all her folksy crap she played right in to their shallow, misogynistic plotting. It seemed like she was in on the “joke”, rather than trying to seize the opportunity. I’m only a fledgling feminist, so I’m sure somebody else can express it better. :)

  57. slythwolf: I guess that means you’re supposed to do in vitro and then abort the fetus? Oh wait, there’s a whole camp of people who think in vitro is wrong too. Now what? :)

  58. And that attitude drives me crazy, the idea that you can set rules for others, but there’s no need to actually set an example.

    Erm. Kimberley O. Huh? Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin are not the same person. Bristol getting pregnant without being married isn’t Sarah’s action, and isn’t Sarah setting bad example or failing to live her values.

  59. Frigid Spinsters, Hairy Lesbians, and Wanton Drunken Sluts

    This is my Y-axis, and my X-axis is [alcohol] in units of shots/Bagelsan. My graph has a large and positive slope. :D

    (Guess what I spent all day doing? Graphing crap! Yay!)

    On topic: I don’t “hate” Palin either (mostly I just hate that I would occasionally find myself slipping into her cadence for a word or two every now and then during the elections. Eek!) But I’m disappointed by her decisions and insulted by her political prominence and selection as McCain’s running partner. And I’m still a bit meeved that I didn’t get the opportunity to vote for an awesome female candidate last year, so waving a terrible female candidate in front of my nose makes me meeved-er.

    Alternatively, I think it would be really fun to go to a range with Palin sometime and have her teach me how to shoot. We wouldn’t talk politics, we’d just hang and I’d learn some skills. I’d try venison for the first time and poke Trig on the nose until he bit me. :) And I’d still disagree like crazy with her politics.

  60. Nitpicking: I’ve been living here in Alaska for about 2 months now and I can definitely tell you that her accent isn’t fake. I’ve heard a lot of similar speech here.

  61. I’m confused: what if you’re a hairy lesbian and a wanton drunken slut? (Well, I’ve had 1/2 a glass of wine so far; I’ll get there.) As for the frigid spinster part, I don’t have a partner at present, and it’s a cool evening, so I could stand outside a bit until I’m sufficiently chilled.

    Does this make me a Galactic Death Star feminist? Say yes!

    Getting back to one of my pet peeves, people who claim they aren’t feminists, but who like getting decent pay, their own bank accounts (and mortgages!), the right to vote, and to marry whom they choose, while owning their own property.

    It is exactly like those ads for the union movement, that talk about 40-hour weeks, safety regulations, fair pay in cash (not “in kind”), the right to fair process during a dismissal, yadda yadda yadda. Hello, there’s socialism at work, even in the US.

    My mother is one of those women who claims she isn’t a feminist, because “they go too far”. I dunno, she also gets angry about fuckwit men in her social circle who treat her opinions as if they are worth nothing, who says she would have used a women’s refuge if they had been around in the mid-70s, who was furious at being denied a mortgage in the 80s without a (male!) guarantor… I really don’t understand the cognitive dissonance there.

  62. I thought I disliked Palin because she is supporting a system that will take us all back into the dark ages if it succeeds. I didn’t know I was just jealous. Darn.

  63. I didn’t like her because she struck me as about as bright as a box of broken light bulbs.

    That is just me though.

    I also thought that maybe that fellow she was running with might have been the human incarnation of Satan.

    :P

  64. Whenever I read the, “You’re just jealous argument” the first thing that goes through my head is, ‘I AM SO MUCH FUCKING HOTTER THAN SARAH GODDAMN PALIN.”

    Kind of telling, that I’m more defensive of my own “beauty” than of someone putting words in my mouth or trying to delegitimize my complaints. No, man, I’m pissed because I’m SEXAH.

  65. I dislike Palin for a lot of reasons, but mainly because she got where she is by climbing on the backs of actual, real-life feminists with her sexay stiletto heels and her patronizing, hokey, wink-wink act. And her politics suck. And the “shooting wildlife from helicopters” thing, too. I don’t dislike her because she’s stupid, she can’t help that. The willfull ignorance is another story, though.

    And I wish I were a spinster. A spinster was once a woman who made a living from spinning yarn, and if I could do that for realz instead of being a government office monkey, I’d be much much happier.

  66. Faking a bizarre imaginary accent

    Hey now, my whooole family talks thet waaay, don’tcha know? It’s a fairly prevalent speech pattern in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and parts of Michigan. People can exaggerate it for effect, and a lot of professional people work hard to get rid of the accent, but it’s not faked. I think it has something to do with the prevalence of Nordic ancestry in the areas.

    I can actually hear it a bit in the underpinnings of the accents in Ohio, there’s a lot of nasal tones. I think the cold makes your voice crawl up into your sinuses for warmth.

  67. Grafton – Palin and her daughter are different people, but Palin stood up and preached about abstinence only education and then when the inherent problem with it cropped up in her own family, she never acknowledged it. Never admitted that maybe this program which just failed in her personal life might need to be re-thought as a national plan. Which is pretty sad.

    Kimberly O. – I agree with you. The thing that drives me batty about the Republican party in the last couple of decades is the rampant hypocrisy. When a politician endlessly preaches “family values” and blasts gay people for being immoral and then gets caught cheating on his wife (and they’re almost always men who do this), especially with another man, that makes me furious. And it seems to be an endemic attitude on the right – because you can do anything as long as you say you’re sorry, regardless of how much of a fraud you are proved to be. There’s a special level of hell reserved for the hypocrites.

    DRST

  68. I love that I should hate her because I’m a childless SPINSTER, which, if I work that line of logic to it’s logical conclusion, means I should also hate my mom. And my aunt. And my best friend’s mom. I should hate ALL OF THEM!!!!

  69. I am jealous that Sarah Palin got to bring her baby to the office and then got all sorts of praise for her brilliant ability to create a work-life balance.

    Then again, I’m not jealous of her coworkers who had to deal with the disruption a baby in the office can cause.

  70. Kimberly O., Grafton, et. al.

    RE: Abstinence Only “Sex Ed”

    Yeah, Kimberly (and I think DRST?) nailed it down for me. But I’ll add that Abstinence-only teaching was already implemented in the Alaska school system because of Palin. So not only did her daughter get pregnant, she was the by-product of a system that Palin was preaching for the whole country. So that had me pretty steamed.

    I did forget that they had broken up (very publicly and in the gossip rags no less). I find it highly suspect that when this comes out during an election the kids are so happy and getting married! But the minute they lost the election the wedding’s off. I have to wonder if McCain/Palin had won – would they have gone through with it? (That would have been, of course, the least of my worries if McCain/Palin had won.)

    I will also add on that I dislike Sarah Palin as a person for many of the reasons listed by others above (hunting, ethical problems, the fact that she QUIT HER JOB IN POLITICS TO “BECOME A BETTER POLITICIAN!”) Ahem. Sorry for shouting.

  71. FOREWORD — Later on in this comment, I say some harsh stuff. I tried to measure my words, but I apologize in advance if I inadvertently offend. It is not my intention. My intention is to bring up some points that perhaps get lost in some of our conversations around feminism.

    As one who travels outside this country, and who gets asked pretty much everywhere — “what the heck is up with Sarah Palin?”, I have to say that the only answer is a shrug. To me, it is an imponderable like how many angels can sit on the head of a pin.

    Historically, there have been candidates who traded on their folksiness, ignorance, provincialism, and know-nothing-ness since about… Oh… the end of the 18th century. The only twist here is that she is a woman. Put her words in a guy’s mouth, and it’s a snoozer. And yet… She provides an effective example for us. She is an example of someone who has benefited from feminism, yet who seeks to retain the privilege earned by removing thoses privileges from which she drew benefit. Her message, however, resonates with many women who have felt ignored by feminists.

    Here starts the harsh stuff…

    Someone above mentioned women who believed in equal pay, etc., and yet who say they are not feminists. I cannot explain all those persons and their motives, but I CAN tell you that I have personally met many women who were dismissed and in some cases actually disrespected by women advocating feminism, and within the context of political activity. I have witnessed this as well. As a feminist, I believe that this is inexcusable. I brought this up at the time, but was dismissed and disrespected myself with the old “they just don’t understand” or “they are ignorant” or “well, she had a bad day” argument; or worse “well if they don’t agree with us they just don’t matter”.

    Also, NOW and other organizations have crafted messages over the years which have FAILED MISERABLY to create empathy or encourage activism in women who are married, have children, are straight, or who live in communities which are not diverse and where values are more ‘traditional’ (whatever that means to the speaker – I have stopped trying to define that). Instead, a teachable moment disappears because in some cases, these women feel insulted and dismissed – and they stop listening. If these women judge ALL feminists by those who CLAIM to speak for all feminists, then we are all in deep… stuff…

    I think we are all well pickled in the privilege discussion, and I am certain that some resistance to messaging lies there. However, the only way we have to educate is to speak. The only way we have to make change is to organize and to raise consciousness among women – even knowing that not all women necessarily agree with us and knowing that this does not make them evil. So… Pray tell… If we are not able to reach a very large segment of the population, if we have given up the definition of what is feminism to those who would twist what it is, how the heck are goals to be achieved?

    We need to take back the definition of feminism, and make it multi-dimensional again. Not flat, grey, and joyless. This means re-examining our message and how we deliver it. It also means being critical of the leadership of organizations, or even individuals, which claim to speak for us. It also means being “out there” and showing that feminism has many faces (gay, straight, married, single, educated, auto-didact, able-bodied and disabled, way left and not so much… fill in your own identifiers). This advice applies to me too. I say this because some days I feel like I am a submarine — under the surface, and not out there.

    It also means checking our own assumptions about people who do not match our politics, but withh whom we might be able to work in coalition.

    Sorry this got so long. I left formal activism YEARS ago because of how disgusted I got over this. I guess I’m still disgusted.

  72. I don’t hate Sarah Palin, I just think she’s not a terribly nice person, as evidenced by her actions. Such as proving that she is willing to throw any and all other women under the bus to please the Republican doods, UP TO AND INCLUDING HER OWN DAUGHTER ZOMG. *ahem* Anyway.
    I have absolutely no doubt that there would have been a wedding, whether Bristol wanted it or not, if McCain had been elected. And IMO, encouraging/forcing your daughter to marry a cute but highly questionable boy that’s she’s really not that into to maintain an appearance of ‘family values’ and make your party stop clutching their pearls is totally shitty and indicative of how seriously she takes others’ wellbeing. And then there’s the whole shooting animals from helicopters for fun thing.

    So no, I’m not jealous of Sarah Palin, because I think my ethics are prettier than hers.

  73. They figure that feminist mothers have 1.3 children, because all of them started out with an abortion ended at the first trimester, before having their kid (being sarcastic, there).

    I *do* think that a lot of people attack both Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton’s femininity, in different ways. I didn’t like her as a politician, but I was a bit outraged over some of the “fan” t-shirts and what-not that basically depicted her as nothing but a sex object. The whole “she’s faking being pregnant to shield her daughter thing” was very invasive as well, and turned out to be false. Like it or not, politicians are judged based on how their children and spouse behave, and women *far* more so than men.

    @SarahB, Palin’s stance on “abstinence education” in contrast to Bristol getting pregnant *was* brought up a lot, with quite a bit of sarcasm. The marriage, and the breakup, both got a lot of media attention.

  74. Err planned marriage that is, I know they didn’t actually get married. When I was growing up, I went to a Christian school that used the “abstinence-only” paradigm. The pastor’s oldest daughter got pregnant when she was 16 or 17, and there was a huge scandal which eventually abated when she got married (to a different guy than the baby’s father, but it still magically made her respectable again).

  75. @DRST, that’s because for abstinence-only advocates, anyone who has sex in spite of the “education” has failed morally as an individual, rather than there being anything wrong with the message. It’s just like the people who rant about the obesity epidemic, and consider anyone who *they* feel is too heavy is a lazy slob who constantly eats junk food. If they’d “just listen to the message” they would see the light and instantly be thin and never have sex outside of marriage.

  76. They figure that feminist mothers have 1.3 children, because all of them started out with an abortion ended at the first trimester, before having their kid (being sarcastic, there).

    Wait, I thought we waited until the third trimester and then faked a need for one, just because.

  77. Well, the .3 child seems to indicate 1/3 of a child, so the end of the first trimester/beginning of the second. Nobody can accuse them of being logically consistent, though!

  78. @ Whisper, re: Palin and Clinton’s femininity being targeted, but in different ways. I think Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s skit on SNL (the I can see Russia from my house one), where Clinton/Poehler comment on sexism.

    P. says something like “I want people to stop saying I have cankles” and F. responds with “and I want people to stop calling me a MILF.”

    That summed it all up for me; taken together, we got a whole range of ways you can belittle women by commenting on appearance. You can do it by insult and by “compliment.”

    I don’t like Sarah Palin because she does what Bush does so very well. Willful ignorance with overconfidence is not a nice combination.

  79. Echoing everyone who doesn’t like Sarah Palin because she seems willfully ignorant and doesn’t admit to making mistakes. I think she isn’t smart enough for the jobs she’s held and been put up for.

    But one thing I’ve never understood is: why is it bad that Bristol Palin made a choice/decision about her pregnancy? We all exist within the framework of choice, whether we are pro- or anti-. We can’t avoid it, because that’s the law in the US (theoretically, anyway). Sarah Palin didn’t say, “Fortunately for Bristol, she had a choice…” She and the campaign just made a statement of fact that Bristol had decided on a course of action. Regardless of one’s feelings about abortion, every pregnant woman makes a choice. This is a function of logic, and is irrelevant to one’s opinions about whether the choice should exist in the first place. At least, that’s how it’s always struck me. Am I missing something? This is a genuine question.
    B.

  80. Oooh… so I “hate” Sarah Palin because I am jealous, eh?

    You mean I don’t dislike Grandma Palin (because that’s what she is) because of any of the following:

    - Treats family (husband, children, grandchild) like they are nothing but props and trophies and then throws a massive fit when anyone cares to examine them more closely

    - Answers a question like “what newspapers do you read?” with “all of them”, and then gets offended when people criticize her for not being more specific (well, DUH?)

    - Makes the claim that then-senator Obama “pals around with terrorists” when she is married to and sleeping with a member (possibly former, but even so) of the Alaska Independence Party… and has made speeches in front of one of their conventions

    - Said that then-Senator HRClinton was “whining” about how she was treated in the media BEFORE being picked to be McCain’s running mate, and then proceeded to say that the media was sexist in their treatment of her AFTER she became part of McCain’s ticket.

    Funny… I don’t see the word ‘jealous’ in there anywhere.

    I just don’t like her actions or her politics.

    And I wish she would stop winking at the camera…

  81. IDK, it actually is one of the things I hold against her that she jumped on that particular job offer.

    I know I have been offered roles/jobs/positiions for which I have known my self to be un- or under-qualified. Some mix of humility, honesty, and fear of fucking up has thus far enabled me to to admit to such, and decline. What it says about Ms. Palin that she was so demonstrably unqualified to be VPOTUS, and did it anyway, is very unsavory and sinister, in my mind. It’s the kind of thing that makes despotic monarchs, for one thing. And it reminds me of the multiple studies out there that show that people who are in fact most incompetant are the least able to judge that accurately about themselves.

    And I can’t think well of her heart or her understanding that she seemed HAPPY to fill the role offered her – to the extent that she was, which I can only infer from what she has shown in public.

    No hate, but a fuckload of contempt for what she represents.

  82. for abstinence-only advocates, anyone who has sex in spite of the “education” has failed morally as an individual, rather than there being anything wrong with the message.

    Thank you, Whisper.

    I think that the pregnant-Bristol issue probably gained Palin points in the folksyness department. It seems to me that most of the Christian conservatives around here (and they are all over the place) have moral failures for kids, unless their kids are under 14.

  83. @bindicated:

    I hope I didn’t convey that I dislike the choice she made, because that was her choice. I seem to have offended some people with the way I chose to express my dislike of Sarah Palin. I’m not sure how to phrase it in a way that is better for others, but it angers me that we had proof positive that her values were faulty and no one on her side called her out on it. As far as I know, I tend to not watch Fox News or anything so that my head won’t explode. The fact is that her daughter was pushed into the limelight during a very sensitive time and made her choice with millions of people watching. After giving birth she has gone on the record as saying she doesn’t regret her decision but she would encourage other teen girls to not follow her path.

    I’m not trying to drag Bristol into this, but when Sarah Palin tells me she doesn’t believe in abortion (she wants to take away my choice) and she doesn’t believe in educating teens on how to be safe and then she presents her pregnant, teenaged daughter to the world, well, it gave me hives just thinking about all of the teenage mothers we would have if Sarah Palin actually got to follow through on this plan of hers. Am I the only one who thought that?

    This is of course my opinion and I feel awkward having to point this out. But I’ve been feeling some negative vibes coming my way over this topic and it could be because I’m paranoid, or because I can’t sense tone over the internet, or because I’ve actually made people angry.

  84. I have way less problem with Palin than I do with Malkin, who appears to have once had a brain and should know better, or Rice, who definitely has a brain. It’s like I didn’t really hate Bush – he also seemed like an identifiable icon designed to sell the platform. Those I’m red with anger at are Rove, Cheney – Friedman, Greenspan…

    Palin was a ham-fisted Cover Girl, and she makes me sad, a little like Britney Spears. Not quite savvy enough to know what she’s being used for and how it might hurt her. Not savvy enough to know she isn’t cut out for the job.

    Dunning-Kreuger effect, FTW.

  85. IrishUp: I guess I assume that all politicians are essentially completely delusional about their capabilities. It’s an occupational hazard. No one in the world is actually qualified for the US presidency, with the possible exception of Bill Clinton (not because I think he’s da bomb, but because he has 8 years of on-the-job training. And I consider that one a bit iffy.) Yet masses of politicians put themselves through the grueling experience of running for president, anyway. Someone who has the kind of self-image that allows her to run for public office is not someone I expect to turn down a shot at the VP slot on some silly question of competence.

    So I can’t hold that against Palin. I mean, I voted for the guy whose big executive experience was the Harvard Law Review. The presidency has got to be a little like parenthood–you are scared as hell and demonstrably incompetent for a while, and then you figure out what you’re supposed to be doing and stop embarrassing yourself. By the midterm elections, one hopes.

  86. On feminist PR campaign:

    I propose some kind of message that says:

    Dear ladies, If you enjoy this, thank a feminist.

    This message could come with college diplomas, paychecks, bank accounts, credit cards, female sports teams, well, almost everything good.

  87. jennyknopinski
    It’s a reasonable question to ask why Palin inspires such vitriol among women (myself included). Why do I hate her so much more than, say, Mike Huckabee, whose politics I find equally appalling?

    Huckabee is an amiable person. His beliefs are insane, and his politics unjust and cruel (and insane) but he speaks respectfully to people who disagree. I’d hate to have Huck as my president or governor, but I wouldn’t mind him as my neighbor or my kid’s soccer coach. He smiles and seems to mean it.

    Sarah Palin is a raving, sneering, psychopath who thinks about 70% of the country don’t qualify as “real Americans.”

    Style matters.

  88. Sweet Machine
    And I’m jealous she met Tina Fey, if briefly.

    There’s nothing anti-feminist about making love to Tina Fey in the library fantasies is there?

  89. it gave me hives just thinking about all of the teenage mothers we would have if Sarah Palin actually got to follow through on this plan of hers. Am I the only one who thought that?

    Not at all. It’s that that it’s a practicality failure. It’s not evidence that her values are contradictory to themselves, they’re contradictory to reality. And possibly not all that much, as educated teens sometimes choose to get pregnant.

    Really, I am surprised that there is not more vitriol here against the minion of Gozer, because, uh, hey. She’s a threat to Intellectual freedom. She’s a threat to the environment. She’s a threat to abortion rights. She knows that ‘special needs chiiiiildreeeeeenz!!’ means never having to say I’m ableist. There’s so much to hate without ever thinking about the family draaah-muh, and we really ought to know by now that dumbass drama just makes a lot of people sympathetic.

  90. There’s so much to hate without ever thinking about the family draaah-muh, and we really ought to know by now that dumbass drama just makes a lot of people sympathetic.

    I have nothing to add to this, it just needs repeating

  91. @Sarah B
    I’m so sorry! I wasn’t thinking of your comment when I wrote mine. I’m really sorry I gave the wrong impression there. I generally agree with what you said: the positions she’s taken are a recipe for more teenage motherhood, and this is part of why I don’t like her.

    I was responding to the Samantha Bee/Daily Show clip linked in the OP where Samantha tries to get Palin fans to say the word “choice.” If I sounded angry, it was only because I *was* angry at the way “our side” handled the Bristol pregnancy and that clip stirred it up for me again. This is because I see the left’s harping on the word “choice” as exactly the kind of disingenuous rhetoric that is more commonly found on Fox News. Of course she made a choice; she had to. I don’t like it any better coming out of liberal mouths than out of conservative ones–well, maybe a little better. ;) So that’s what makes me wonder if I’m missing something.

    I apologize for not being more clear in my original comment. I think it was my jealousy about Sarah Palin’s lost baby weight getting in the way of my thought process.
    B.

  92. @Bindicated:

    I’m sorry, too. That wasn’t entirely directed at you. It was in regards to several comments made upthread as well. But thanks for clarifying for me. It makes me feel better.

    My judgment is also screwed up by the hawtness of Mr. Palin.

  93. This is because I see the left’s harping on the word “choice” as exactly the kind of disingenuous rhetoric that is more commonly found on Fox News.

    Well, what I like about the Samantha Bee clip is that she’s focusing on getting them to say the word “choice” because what each interviewee is describing is a pro-choice position already. They pretend it’s not, because IOKIYAR, so when she’s “harping on the word ‘choice’” she’s trying to get them to recognize their own political dishonesty.

  94. I disagree with Sarah Palin’s politics, find her speeches ill-informed and tendentious, and disapprove of many of her decisions as Governor of Alaska, including her decision to resign.

    “Hate?” No, Laura Ingraham. I don’t “hate” her. I kind of hate you, though, for your incessant attacks on other women.

  95. “See, it’s simple: all feminists are ugly, barren spinsters who are also firmly supported by the old boys’ network and who require you to have an abortion before they give you the time of day.”

    Ah, an original argument . Always so refreshing to see.

    “WaPo columnist Sally Quinn”
    Oh, well, there’s your trouble right there. She’s been reading her girlish colleagues Allen and Givhan. I’m beginning to suspect the MRA is contributing some large wad of cash to WaPo’s balance sheet.

    @FJ -
    “…it’s a mistake people also make about privilege — that recognizing that someone else has privilege and you don’t means that you are jealous of what they have, rather than angry at injustice. Anger is something people like to take away from oppressed groups — from women/feminists here, from non-whites in the case of asserting that recognition of white privilege stems from jealousy, etc.”

    Repeated for emphasis. Also because it is, um … brilliant. (IMO.)

    “Sexiness, family status, and even how much education a person has is far less important when it comes to electing a person than what they think about important issues.”
    Puffalo, I’m sorry. This is just un-American. I think you’ll have to leave now.

  96. @Starling;
    Maybe no one is really qualified to be POTUS, like no one is really qualified to be a parent ;). But in both cases, some people are sure as hell more EQUIPPED for the job than others, and some people will be REALLY GOOD at learning on the fly.

    I can’t tell if you’re being flip, and I will not deny that it seems like a pre-req for a political job is unwavering self-confidence. However, it has been my experience that the best ones are distinctly NOT delusional about the harm it is in their power to cause. The best ones are not taking the job so that they can get back at someone, or make someone pay, or simply and only to further their self-interest.

    I have been lucky, I have met several Kennedy’s, Geraldine Ferraro, Mario Cuomo (who came up in pols as our district rep in Manhattan), Paul Tsongas (a true loss), Senator Kerry, Mike Dukakis, and Pat Schroeder (please please come back Pat!!!). I would never claim that they were never self interested in their carreers, but I know that each of these believed in their power to advocate for those with less privilege. They also felt it when they failed and made mistakes.

    Sarah Palin appeared not to give a second’s pause to think “Holy CRAP, as VPOTUS it could potentially be in my power to fuck it up for everyone forever because I’m one of the most incurious, fundamentally self-interested people on the planet. Maybe I should decline and offer to consult or fundraise or something”.

    Nope, not every politician is just as bad, but even if they were, just cuz every one else is doing it, is no reason to let her off the hook. I give her enough agency to hold her accountable for being enough of an asshole to take that job. I’ll put her right up there with Heckuva Job Brownie, even though he ACTUALLY cost lives, not just hypothetically.

  97. Dear ladies, If you enjoy this, thank a feminist.

    Pants.

    That’s what I’m always telling my goofy-ass little sister — “I see you’re wearing pants today. You like wearing pants, don’t you?” Our very own mother could not wear pants to her public high school in suburban, down-state New York until 1969, and you know that the Great Pants Permission of 1969 was not a gift from the benevolent gods.

  98. I think this nation is in a lot of trouble when one of our two political parties is committed to the principles that black people are born in Africa and Sarah Palin should control nuclear weapons.

  99. I dislike Sarah Palin because she is so willfully ignorant. I cringe with embarrassment, not jealousy, whenever I hear her speak. I can’t believe she was actually a governor; what, did no one else want the job? It pisses me off that Hilary Clinton, an intelligent woman even if you don’t dig her politics, is called a harpy & a shrew but Sarah Palin is held up as the shining example of American womanhood that we should all try to become. No thanks.

  100. Paula, Palin’s not a champion in any mental arena, but she doesn’t sound nearly as stupid and ignorant talking about local Alaska issues. What we see today is the result of a mediocre fish in a small small pool being thrown into the ocean and told she’s King Triton. She’s never learned about national issues because she’s never needed to care to advance her own career before, and now she’s too egotistical to think she has anything to learn. Also, she was able to rise to the top of the Alaska GOP because the leadership was crumbling and she filled a void – story of her life, amirite?

    As for Hillary Clinton, whom I dislike but whose intelligence I certainly acknowledge, I’m willing to bet her national approval rating would be a lot higher than Palin’s today. Yes, a certain group thinks that Palin is all that a woman should be and have spent the last 20 years hating Hillary Clinton, but the thing is that these are verifiably stupid people.

  101. I don’t like Sarah Palin. I don’t agree with anything she says. I can say the same thing about Laura Ingrahm (sp?), Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly. And, yes, definitely Mike Huckabee. I disagree with them. Am I jealous of any of them? No. Does it make me crazy when they start pulling out the “sexist” card when it comes to the treatment of Gov. Palin, after years and years of ripping Hillary a new one? Yes. Am I sick and tired of being stereotyped as a dried-up, bitter spinster (I’m a 40 year-old hot mom, thankyouverymuch)? Yes. Would I want to be married to Todd Palin? Um, NO, I happen to love the husband I have, thanks.
    Fox News just continues to spew its ignorance all over the airwaves. And these women are doing THEMSELVES a disservice by remaining so ignorant, let alone dissing the very movement that FOUGHT AND BLED TO ALLOW them to have the careers they have!!!!!

  102. Can you please (please please please) help me out here.

    Do you like S Palin, or hate her?

    I am relatively new to this site, to FA/ HAES and I’m not sure if you are being sarcastic or you mean what you say.

    And – soz to be dumb, I live in England – what does SP have to do with Fat Acceptance?

    Yeah, she has five kids, and I *know* the grief she gets for that (I have more than twice that number of children and boy do I get grief/anger/hatred for my decision and choice and determination to have given birth to my children)

    Try telling anyone that you want to have five, ten, or fifteen children – they treat you like your brain is styrofoam and you just crawled out from under a stone. . . . .

    Sorry, I realise this is off topic for this site.

    I am interested in the FA movement.

    I know I have a lot to learn – but I am a little scared to ask to be honest.

    So here goes my first post.

    What did you mean about Sarah Palin? Do you love or hate her? Or are you just pointing out that some people love her and others hate her? Being English, I have no opinion on her, other than that I know she must have fought hard against some entrenched stereotypes to get where she is today. And that it is not easy to be a smart, educated and able woman who chooses to have “too many” children.

    I have millions more questions, would reallly appreciate if anyone would be happy to talk to me off list (henrrietta@hotmail.com) about FA etc

    This is the most compelling website/blog I have ever come across – and I’m online 15 – 20 hours a day, six days a week.

    I wish you didn’t swear so much. I don’t agree with some things you say (I am not as politically correct – yet – as you are); but boy does this site give me an insight into human nature and myself, and yeah, you challenge me to find out who I am and what I believe.

    Hope you post this comment; and even if you don’t, please, I would love to dialogue with someone who is prepared to answer qs re FA.

    I have been ED’d since I was a kid (now 43). I . . .have suffered because of my size; or more accurately, because of society’s attitude to my size. I wish with all my heart that I had found this site when I was 14. (there wasn’t any internet or computers then, so I couldn’t have)

    I’m not a troll, I realise you might think I am and delete my post, but if just one person who is part of this community (and used to discussing and debating the issues) would be willing to email me – I’d be thrilled.

    Please no flames.

    I know this place can be pretty brutal to those who say the wrong stuff (I’ve been reading for about 3 wks?) Sometimes I’ve read comments that I might have written and the writer gets crucified. Ouch. I feel for her. Maybe she was just asking, thinking, and feeling her way forward

    Long post, sorry,

    Look forward to hearing from you and knowing you – and most of all *learning from you*. That is why I am here

    Hx

  103. IrishUp: Yeah, I was being a little sarcastic, but I do think that it takes a certain–shall we call it optimism?–to run for political office. I never, never, never expect politicians to do things based on a sense of their limitations, because I think people with a keen sense of their limitations are not suited to campaigning for anything, and don’t run for office.

    To be honest, the fact that no one already has the POTUS skill set is one of the reasons I had few qualms about voting for Obama. I look for qualifications that suggest the candidate will be quick to pick up the job, and indications he’s sufficiently pragmatic not to become an ideological ass and screw things up when the unexpected happens. (You know, he’ll go ahead with the Louisiana Purchase instead of pearl-clutching about theories of government.) It’s on those two grounds that Sarah Palin failed in my eyes–neither brilliant nor flexible.

    But I wouldn’t expect her to notice it. People who know they are incurious and uninformed make an effort to remedy those faults.

  104. @snarkysmachine: Regarding the first comment you made in this thread, thank you. I immediately understood your point, and wish I could have stepped outside of my own frame of reference to see that on my own. But I didn’t, so thank you for helping me see things in a different light, one I will try to be more vigilant about shining without needing someone else to flip the switch for me.

  105. Starling
    Yeah, I was being a little sarcastic, but I do think that it takes a certain–shall we call it optimism?–to run for political office. I never, never, never expect politicians to do things based on a sense of their limitations, because I think people with a keen sense of their limitations are not suited to campaigning for anything, and don’t run for office.

    Absolutely. Politicians and would-be politicians are the kinds of people who will find the one person in the room who thinks they’re bound for greatness and extrapolate The People and Destiny’s collective will from that supporter. And every City Councilor thinks he or she would make a great president. Most representatives, and all senators and governors think they will one day.

  106. SM,
    Thanks for responding to me. I appreciate your taking the time. I get what you’re saying, but to me it sounds like she’s trying to get them to describe the legal framework in which we all exist as US citizens, rather than actually getting them to “describe what is a pro-choice position already.” Because abortion is legal, having a baby is by definition a choice… regardless of whether one wants the choice to exist in the first place. So to me it sounds disingenuous to act as though by acknowledging the factual existence of the choice, those people on the video are actually betraying sekrit pro-choice feelings. None of them said it was good that the choice exists; they just acknowledged that it was there. I do see your point about it, I just still don’t like the video and was curious whether I was alone in being put off by it. I usually agree with this blog totally, so I am thankful to be accepted in my moment of dissent as well. It means a lot to me, esp because I rarely comment.
    B.

  107. I do hate Sarah Palin. I hate her politics, I hate her fakery, I hate everything she’s ever done or said. I hate that she played along with the patriarchy-directed joke of her candidacy. I hate her fully and without reservation. Does that mean there’s something more wrong with me than with anybody who hates anybody else? Because we’re both women? WTF?

  108. There *is* a way to do positive ‘Feminism PR.’ I do it by telling people I’m a feminist, without any explanation or apology, and letting them judge what that means by my behavior. I doubt I’m going to turn the tide of anti-feminism, but at least I can live with myself.

  109. @ Andy Jo, and regarding feminist PR, you know, to me that “one way fits all” version of feminism went out in the late 80s. Sure, I remember those Earnest types who ran around saying that sex with penetration was rape, that women who prefer to stay at home with the babies are suspect (although there’s nothing wrong with critiquing an expectation that women should stay home; or, of course, that there is an expectation they go to work), and even, god help us, “political lesbians”. I’m sure the latter meant well, but as an actual lesbian, I could have done without that co-optation of sexual identity.

    I certainly understand the anger from the left-overs of those times. I remember being told by some fuckwits that I couldn’t be a “real” feminist, and that I was “male-identified”, because I’m a butch-leaning lesbian who prefers more femme-than-me women. In those days, all the lesbian-feminists were supposed to be androgynous, with matching haircuts and matching/shared wardrobes. I’m sorry, that doesn’t float my boat. Hilariously, more than one of those sanctimonious women has ended up married (to a man) and having children by the bushel. I still wouldn’t spit on some of them if they were on fire.

    Anyway, getting back to the point, that’s not to say there still isn’t a proportion of feminists around who put quotes around the “feminist” in “sex-positive feminists”. It is not to say there aren’t those like Shelia Jeffries who told a very close friend of mine (a femme-ID’d queer woman) in a university tutorial that she was “wanting to be raped” because she wore lipstick. But these are the minority. That view started eroding after the “sex wars” of the early 80s, and really tipped over by the end of the decade. At least where I lived.

    Unfortunately, though, the backlash PR, and the media collusion in emphasising the more extreme so-called feminist views pre-mid-80s, means that many people seem to flinch still when they hear the word. Meh.

    My technique is like minervakoenig’s – behave the way you behave, challenge the bullshit, but know when to STFU so that you don’t seem to be too defensive. I tend to point out that when people go on about “feminists think that sex is rape”, that kind of assertion was always from the tiniest minority, and hello, most feminists are heterosexual women in relationships. With men. Etc, etc.

    It’s interesting though – even in social groupings where the word “feminist” makes people think of hairy-legged lesbians (*cough*), you’ll not hear many of them, male or female, asserting that men are the sole head of the household, women don’t need their own money, women should be submissive, yadda yadda. Things have changed, even if they avoid the label. My sister-in-law would have a fit if I called her a feminist, but she went back to work within 6 months of having the babies, while my brother is quite happy to stay home 3 days a week looking after them, and he doesn’t get gyp from his mates. I’d be happier if they acknowledged the role of feminism in getting those choices, but having the choices is more important, in the long run.

  110. None of them said it was good that the choice exists; they just acknowledged that it was there.

    That’s true, but I think the “it shouldn’t be political” and “it should stay in the family” and “no one should interfere” signals the idea that they really think that reproductive choice *is* a private matter when it’s not someone they consider an unworthy slut for being othered in some way. I can’t find the link at the moment (can anyone help? abortion stuff is not really Google-able because of all the bullshit out there), but there’s a website where an abortion provider describes the anti-choice protestors who come in to get abortions, and how they honestly seem to think they deserve different treatment from all the women they harass and demonize in their protests. The reaction of people in the Samantha Bee clip, to me, seems like the exact same kind of posturing.

  111. what does SP have to do with Fat Acceptance?

    This blog is about feminism and fat acceptance. A lot of times they overlap, but not 100% of the time.

    Or are you just pointing out that some people love her and others hate her?

    I suggest you click on the “straw feminist weekly” category in the sidebar if you’re not sure what this post is about.

    As to your other questions, I am glad you’re here and that you like our writing, but please know that we are not going to stop swearing and we don’t appreciate when people use violent metaphors (“crucified”) to describe our moderation style. We’re snarky bitches, yes, but torturers? Not so much.

    I hope you stick around and keep reading and listening — there are a lot of people here who can relate to where you’re coming from.

  112. SM–I think there was something about that in the August Esquire article about Walter Hern. You may be thinking of an entirely different source; I just remember the description of one young woman who came in for a late-term abortion and, after abusing the doctor and clinic workers as murderers, was shocked (SHOCKED!) when they asked her to leave. That was an excellent article, for anyone who feels like their Saturday needs some intractable grimness.

    http://www.esquire.com/features/abortion-doctor-warren-hern-0909

  113. Well, I am an elitist, and that’s part of what I don’t like about Sarah Palin.

    Me too. I think it may be time to try to redefine “elitism” from a word that means “racist, sexist, ableist, classist snobbery that looks down on anyone without an Ivy League education and a six-figure (at LEAST) income” to a word that means “wanting the best possible person for the job.” (That, or find a word that just means “wanting the best…” without the other connotations.) When I needed my transmission rebuilt, I didn’t look for someone attractive and charming who’d done a bit of tinkering around with autos, I looked for someone with experience in rebuilding transmissions in 1980′s cars. When I’m looking for a national-level politician, I want someone with an understanding of foreign policy, science, economics, and history who I think will be a quick and willing learner. I don’t think Sarah Palin is ready to be a national political figure because I don’t think she meets any of those criteria.

    I don’t dislike her, so much as I dislike the way she was presented — that I was expected to like her, because we both have two X chromosomes, and that former Hillary Clinton supporters would jump on the female bandwagon. Never mind qualifications, never mind her stances on the issues — she’s a woman, so women must support her.

    Although I will admit to being jealous (although envious would probably be more accurate) of one thing about her life. In the middle of a recession, she quit her job without having to worry about whether that would mean an inability to get medical care, buy groceries, or pay the mortgage. I’m a part-time grad student with a full-time job elsewhere. I would LOVE to be able to quit my job so I could finish my degree faster, but I find eating is a luxury that I’m unwilling to give up. (‘Cause, you know, us fatties are selfish like that.) As it is, I feel guilty when I “steal” time to do stuff like read SP, because I really should be studying for the exam I have this week. Also, I have a chronic medical condition (major depression), which means I can’t take the risk of not having health insurance. So no, I’m not jealous of her looks, her figure, her kids, her husband, or her fame — I like my face, more often than not these days I like my body, I don’t especially want kids, I love my own sweet geeky husband, and I’m a big-time introvert — but I envy her her economic security.

    I should never have to turn on a news show and listen to two adult women dissect the hotness/ugliness of another woman. Those conversations ceased to interest me after middle school. Until her boobs can hold a pen and sign a bill into law, I do not want to hear them described on a political show.

    Chrissy, I love you.

  114. SM, are you thinking of the blog post by the man who was a volunteer escort at a clinic? His post listed why he escorts and is pro choice, and each section ends with “and it’s none of your damn business anyway?”

    This is the one I am thinking of:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/10/8/164134/387

    (I googled abortion, escort, and “it’s none of your damn business”)

    Henrietta: I think to a person the commenters here do not in general think Sarah Palin has made much of a positive contribution to feminism or American politics. Whether that comes in the form of hate that burns with the fire of 10,000 fiery suns, or dribbles with the caustic disdain of scorn-Tabasco is the real variation. Which is not to say other readers hold the same POV, I know.

    One reason people seem to dislike her (and one reason I really dislike her) is that she exploits pull yourself up by the bootstraps mentality. (See! I can have a family, be governor, and run for VPOTUS! Why can’t yoouuuuu?)

    For American pull yourself up by the bootstraps to work, only a few people can actually achieve that. If all underprivileged persons did, or were able to, there would be no underclass to exploit. Palin appears to think all women can live her life, but her politics and the policies that stem from them are designed to make sure they can’t.

    Example: Palin advocates catastrophically unsuccessful abstinence only education. Bristol Palin has a baby at age 18 while unmarried. Her six-figure-salary earning parents can help support her and her child while she makes decisions about her life’s course. In La Porte Indiana, an 18 year old person has a baby and her parents earn $55,000 between them and are also raising other younger kids. This single mother… does not get support while figuring out college/work/whatever.

    Personally, since I am pro-choice, I don’t think it’s any of my damn business how many kids Sarah and Todd Palin decide to have. I haven’t really heard a lot of criticism of how many children she has from any quarter, either, but I could be missing something.

    The one criticism I have heard is that she took her baby to work with her and may have used state employees to watch her kid when she should be shelling out money from her own pocket to pay for child care. Since I am a very big believer in government subsidized child care for parents, I don’t actually have a problem with the idea… except once again, only a very few people are allowed access to this resource. The rest of Alaska’s work force doesn’t get the luxury, but are paying for hers. Not cool, man. And again… bootstraps.

  115. I disagree with Palin on a lot of things. I don’t dislike her. She reminds me a lot of, let’s see, 75% or more of the women in my hometown (white, rural, Christian, conservative) and in my extended family. I could get along with her and even become friends with her, but I wouldn’t vote for her, because I disagree with a lot of the things she and about 75% of the women I know in real life believe.

    I wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton for President because she reminds me of me. There’s stuff I disagree with her on too. That’s going to be true of any politician and, in fact, any human being in the world. There isn’t as much of it as with Palin. What there is is stuff, mostly, that I have pretty much accepted I’m stuck with, because of the system that we’re in.

  116. Other Becky… I totally, totally envy Sarah Palin’s health care. Oh, how I envy her that. Agreed, agreed, a thousand times agreed.

    Also, regarding elitism: I by no means think your merits as a person DO, and your ability to live a financially secure life SHOULD depend on whether or not you have a college degree.

    But I am also very aware that women in particular (and people in general) are saved from poverty through education. I think college is one path to becoming an civically engaged responsible citizen. Education has made me a better person. I wouldn’t be in my line of work if I didn’t believe these things with my whole self.

    So… am I an elitist? In the sense that I value what intellectual pursuit brings to the world and think it’s a worthwhile thing to do? Hell yes I am an elitist. Do I want my leaders to have taken the opportunity to become educated seriously and made the most of it? Yes, yes I do. Do I want for people in general the same opportunities I want for my leaders (more education makes more viable candidates…)

    Do I think there is something very weird about American anti-intellectualism, especially in politics, given all this? Yes.

    In particular, I can’t work out why our president has apparently done something wrong by going to Harvard Law (not just elitist… but also an uppity one!). Especially since I’d like to know how close he’d have gotten to the presidency with Palin’s qualifications.

    Then again, he pointed out himself in his 2004 DNC speech:

    “[Americans] know that parents have to teach, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.”

    Ah… that might explain some of it.

  117. Other Becky, I agree with about how Sarah palin was presented… Totally. I will never understand why John McCain chose her. Biggest mistake her ever made. And I understand even less why there is any debate why feminists wouldn’t like her! You have all already answered that one very well in these comments… Her opinions dammit! Grrrr.

  118. Thanks SM, starling, and AnthroK8 for the links/additional info. I find anti-choicers vile, but I guess I just didn’t read the video or the entire situation in the same way as everyone else did… which is interesting to me because, as a recovering Catholic, I’ve been privvy to my fair share of anti-abortion hypocrisy and bullshit.
    B.

  119. I hate her because she’s apparently ignorant, and because she didn’t even pretend to have a real debate with Joe Biden–”I don’t wanna answer that, so I’m gonna talk about what I wanna talk about.” And because she makes me talk to my TV whenever she’s on. And because now she’s a quitter, on top of it. How are those for reasons?

  120. I am not jealous of Sarah Palin, but I do hate her. Why? Well her views and she shoots animals from helicopters or as she would call it an “Air Machine”. I can’t help it.

  121. cggirl
    I will never understand why John McCain chose her. Biggest mistake her ever made.

    The same reason for all the other silly antics of his campaign. He was never going to win, a respectable campaign could have produced a respectable loss. It was a series of botched Hail Mary’s, none of which worked.

  122. I’m British and therefore couldnt give a jam roly-poly and custard about Sarah Palin. However, I am very jealous of the Aye-Aye Lemur, for it’s very long pointy finger and crazed eyes. I would invite you to Google image this lovely thing. I imagine that having one very long pointy finger would be very useful, and could be something of a treat come christmas. Think how many times a long pointy finger would be useful during the festive season. Opening gifts, digging out chestnuts, pointing at elderly flatulent relatives, signalling “More Wine!”…the list goes on. So yes, I’m very jealous, but only of the Aye-Aye Lemur, and anyone who today doesnt have a raging headcold.

  123. I was appalled during the primaries about how so many of my beloved feminist blogs talked about Hilary Clinton. Shortly after Palin was put up as VP, I had to withdraw from many of those blogs completely because the vitriol was so high and I found myself in the uncomfortable position of having to defend someone I didn’t particularly like to people who should know better than say the things they’re saying. Women (feminists included) spend far too much time hating other women, which is exactly what the patriarchy wants us to do. So, no thank you to those blogs and to most of the comments on this post. I don’t want any part of it.

  124. So feminism means never criticizing another woman regardless of her behaviour, beliefs, attacks on other women’s rights, or lack of qualifications. I think that’s how the GOP wanted us to treat Sarah Palin.

  125. I’m sorry eandh, I must have missed the part where I said it’s never okay to criticize another woman. Can you point that out to me?

  126. Women (feminists included) spend far too much time hating other women, which is exactly what the patriarchy wants us to do

    Since I see legitimate criticism and venting where you seem to see hate here on the feminist blogs.

  127. I will stop calling anyone who doesn’t agree with Sarah Palin “jealous” (which I have never done because 1. it’s untrue and 2. I don’t care what anyone thinks of Sarah Palin these days, especially since she quit in the middle of her term and pretty much disqualified herself from any future elected position) if you (the generic, non-specific, not-necessarily this audience but you know there are some people who have done this) will stop calling me a racist because I don’t agree with most of Obama’s positions.

  128. class factotum — As long as you also disliked those positions when Hillary Clinton was espousing them (or ones very similar to them) in the primary, I promise not to call you a racist for it. Even though there has been a strong positive correlation between racism and Republicanism among members of my family, I recognize that there are actual reasons of principle that motivate people to be something other than a Democrat. I just try not to think about it too much :)

    A cousin (first-cousin-once-removed-in-law) of mine bore a superficial resemblance to Sarah Palin, and once showed up at a family event with a new pair of rectangular glasses. This was the subject of some comment, given that the cousin in question was always an ardent liberal. Her response: “I’m working on my impression. It helps that we have the same foreign policy experience — I almost went to Hawaii one time.”

  129. Class Factotum,
    Disagreeing with Obama’s position on health care reform? Not racist. Disagreeing with Obama’s position that black people can be U.S. citizens and thus president? Pretty fucking racist. Which positions are you talking about disagreeing with?

  130. bindicated: So to me it sounds disingenuous to act as though by acknowledging the factual existence of the choice, those people on the video are actually betraying sekrit pro-choice feelings. None of them said it was good that the choice exists; they just acknowledged that it was there.

    But the people in that video are committed to eradicating the choice entirely. Some of them not only want to ban abortion but also the birth control pill. It’s completely disingenuous for them to be standing around articulating pro-choice positions that they won’t acknowledge are pro-choice when attending meetings for a party that has “end abortion” in its platform.

    Az – while I don’t disagree in theory about women vs. women being useful to the patriarchy, it’s situational. When an unbelievably unqualified woman who espouses anti-woman political positions is running for vice president, I don’t see any possible way to legitimately tell people “no you can’t criticize her because she’s also a woman.” I don’t subscribe to personal attacks on individuals, even politicians, but there’s a big difference between criticizing a woman and hatred. (Also, if you don’t like the comments, you could always not read them.)

  131. If Sarah Palin had any sense to her, she would be jealous of the feminists I know on campus. Fighting for one’s rights is far sexier than field-dressing a moose, which actually turns out to be bloody, dirty and disgusting (do a Google Image search if you’ve got the intestinal fortitude). Then again, the pro-Palin set are the kind of people who go wild when they hear about how viciously she can kill an animal, so what can we really expect from them?

  132. I also had a surprise moment of loathing for Marlee Matlin last night, whom I usually LOVE, and it wasn’t because I was jealous of her, either.

    Anyone see the “Family Guy Presents Seth & Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show” last night? There was a pretty horrible few moments where Alex sang a Lady Gaga song as Matlin (or many other people with a hearing disability) might sing it. It wasn’t funny to me at all–just ableist and offensive. Then Matlin came onstage, and all was supposed to be made better because she was in on the joke. I admit I was slightly relieved (if still mostly appalled)for a moment. But then, she launched into a string of fat jokes aimed at the host, replete with the age-old fat people never exercise, fat people shovel oreos into their mouths all day, fat people are disgusting, and fat people whine that everything else is someone else’s fault stereotypes. All in all, a ridiculously offensive several minutes. (Even given that I’m familiar with the source and was hardly expecting the Wonderful World of Disney.)

    My boyfriend suggested that we would be reading some backlash this morning, but when I just googled it all I saw was a review calling the show “pretty funny” and the scene in question “less than scandalous.”

    headdesk

  133. As a non-American who mostly speaks to non-Americans, I can say with some confidence Americans should probably have pretty hostile emotions towards her, on the basis that she’s one of the more obvious, indeed irresistible punchlines of the massive joke US domestic politics are abroad.

    Jealousy would not really be fitting as one of those hostile emotions and suggesting it is is simply beyond my comprehension. Frankly it’s incredible anyone is still talking about her; she’s a phenomenon who simply could not exist elsewhere, and thank god.

  134. @DRST
    Hrm, I will try to articulate my thoughts a different way. As I understand the timeline of events leading up to that video, the McCain campaign broke the news of Bristol’s pregnancy by issuing a statement saying that she had “decided on her own to keep the baby.” It always seemed to me, anyway, that this was a preemptive strike against the obvious assumption that Bristol was being coerced to keep the baby for political reasons. I never thought that the statement was intended as an articulation of a pro-choice position. For one thing, it was never made clear whether “keep” referred to birth-vs-abortion or raise-baby-herself-vs-adoption. The reason I have a hard time reading “keep” to mean birth-vs-abortion is that if she’d wanted to end the pregnancy, that could have been done (with FULL hypocrisy) quietly and with no statement issued. Sarah Palin has proved herself totally unscrupulous and an equivocator, so I was always inclined to read “keep” to mean that Bristol wanted to be the baby’s mother… which is consistent with an anti-choice mindset.

    Then the video and plenty of other hoopla come along, celebrating the hypocrisy of Republicans on the choice issue. The interviewees in the video didn’t come up with “decide” and “choose” on their own, they were forced into using those words by the McCain campaign’s original statement, which as I’ve already said, I’m not at all certain was issued as pro-choice commentary on the situation. The interviewees use the language to describe what happened, and it turns out that describing the factual situation and articulating a pro-choice position sound the same.

    I am fully aware that there is plenty of hypocrisy on the Republican side as far as choice goes. The articles cited upthread contain some prime examples of it. I just don’t think the video provides a good example. I think it shows people being set up with words that they thought meant one thing and then were taken to mean something else instead. This is why I don’t like it.

    I’m aware that I’m in the minority both in this thread and the larger world of pro-choice persons in having this opinion, and I’m ok with that. I don’t have to like everything.

    Thanks, everyone, for sharing your opinions with me. It’s helped me clarify my thinking.
    B.

  135. As a non-American who mostly speaks to non-Americans, I can say with some confidence Americans should probably have pretty hostile emotions towards her, on the basis that she’s one of the more obvious, indeed irresistible punchlines of the massive joke US domestic politics are abroad.

    I know, it sucks that the US has a monopoly on ludicrous politicians about whom people from other countries make jokes.

  136. I don’t know, Silvio Berlusconi seems to be rivalling her for crazy. Though, to be fair, I have yet to see a good celebrity impersonation or anything like that to take it to the next level.

  137. Sarah Palin isn’t a figure that inspires jealousy in me. She’s got 4 kids, a grandchild and a bunch of ethical violations to work out. Sounds like quite the work load to me. What annoys me about her is that she seems to ignore the women who came before her and trailblazed. Her attitude towards Women’s rights and place in society seems ignorant of the fight for Women’s suffrage, or the fight for reproductive rights (Sanger, then Roe v Wade, respectively) or even the fight to wear pants publicly and in a professional setting. Her arguments for the pro-life movement eschews shades of gray and go right for black and white: abortion bad, not-abortion good. There is no room in there to account for the women who have to make the actual decision: my life, or the life of the unborn. It also ignores non-viable fetuses.

    I consider myself pro-choice, but I personally want better public access to maternity care, neonatal care, adoption programs, and contraception because it improves the lives of all women to have better access to those resources. What I’ve read seems to indicate that the best way to reduce the abortion rate (and I do believe this is a laudable goal) is prevention through resource access, not bans. Palin would overturn Roe v. Wade if she could, so I could never in good conscience support her as a political candidate. This doesn’t stem from jealousy, it stems from a major disagreement between her and my ideas about reproductive freedom. I find many of her political ideas overly dualistic and simple minded, so I disagree with them. Jealousy has nothing to do with it. I wouldn’t take over her drama filled life if you paid me.

  138. Spliffe, ever hear of Pauline Hanson? (Australia.)

    I’m no knee-jerk America defender, but I must say I was rather put off by your glib mockery of a whole country (“she’s one of the more obvious, indeed irresistible punchlines of the massive joke US domestic politics are abroad”). Do pardon us for being hilariously funny. But I remain unconvinced that a Sarah Palin “simply could not exist elsewhere.”

  139. What I dislike about Palin (hate is really too strong a word, frankly, I’m bored with her) is the way she seems to symbolize the patriarchy’s concept of a good, nonthreatening woman (and lookie! She’s tough! She can run for VP and shoot wild critters, whoo!)
    She is like some sick parody of a feminist, dreamed up by good old boys . I find her – insulting. Insulting because of the implication that this vapid, nauseating creature is some sort of example of what “they” expect me to aspire to, and insulting because “they” seemed to think this image would appeal to – trick – feminists. Blech.
    I don’t necessarily even know if she is vapid and nauseating IRL – I’m just referring to her public image.
    And – hey. I have four kids, and no way in hell do I want five, thankyouverymuch. I have a hot husband who is currently cleaning the attic… and I don’t have Pilates, because, yanno, I didn’t want to sign up for it, so I just – didn’t. I’m a feminist like that, I do what I want.

    (As for the “choice” video, though, I have to agree with Bindicated: it doesn’t show what it claims to show.The video seems to be designed to out a straw “anti-choicer” who believes all choices related to reproduction should be made by the government and subject to public debate… since most only feel this way about abortion, and the discussion wasn’t even explicitly about only abortion… video = fail).

  140. @ Sweet as Cake: I totally agree with the idea that Palin somehow is a “trick” for feminists. As though we can’t evaluate a woman’s character because we’re women. To me, it feels like the GOP wanted to get women voters with blatantly anti-woman policies, so they thought bringing in a woman VP was magically the answer to their problems.

  141. Spliffe, what nations do you and your co-conversationalists live in that’ve never had an embarrassing figure more significant than the former 2-year governor of Alaska?

  142. Well, paintmonkey, it’s really in the eye of the beholder. I mean, personally, I say screw those quisling lemurs, parading around all svelte and wide-eyed, looking like preadolescent boys and conforming to the beauty standards of the fashion industry. Whenever I see a thin, successful lemur—especially one who’s successfully reproduced—I throw it a sneering look and tell it to eat a sandwich for god’s sake. But that’s because a thin lemur once took away my man. I just can’t get over my barren spinsterish jealousy, and thus have I turned to the cold comfort of feminism as my only recourse. If I can’t get a man that a lemur can’t take away, then it’s all sour grapes to me.

  143. (Sorry, I’m about to yell a lot.)

    bindicated: I never thought that the statement was intended as an articulation of a pro-choice position.

    THAT STATEMENT IS AN ARTICULATION OF A PRO-CHOICE POSITION FOR FUCK’S SAKE! It says “decided on her own” implying that there was a CHOICE involved, that Bristol Palin HAD THE RIGHT to make that decision FOR HERSELF, whatever the options of the decision were FOR HER. Whether it was to choose between adoption and keeping the baby is irrelevant - the fundamental issue at hand is that this young woman HAD THE RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO HER LIFE and everyone around her ACKNOWLEDGED THAT RIGHT.

    Which is the heart of the abortion debate. No one has the right to decide my life for me for any reason. There is nothing else to this issue. I have, and Bristol Palin and Sarah Palin and all the other women in the world have, the right to full bodily autonomy. THAT IS PRO-CHOICE. End of story.

    *headdesk*
    DRST

  144. DRST – I read the comments on every post (except fluff posts) and I seldom disagree with them. I’ve been reading this blog for over two years. Just because you comment more than me doesn’t give you the right to tell me to gtfo. That’s pretty fucking rude. And how am I supposed to know whether I like the comments or not if I don’t read them?

    And for other people who think that hating other women = criticizing them, I frankly don’t see the point of criticizing Sarah Palin anymore. She has no power. She didn’t get elected to VP, she quit her post as governor, and she’s never going to be elected to anywhere again. At this point, it feels like beating her up. And I think there’s a huge, huge difference between criticizing what she does, and criticizing her personally. And most of the people on the post haven’t said “I disagree with the following things she has done” they have said “I hate Sarah Palin because…” which makes it personal.

    Look people, I don’t have to agree with what everyone on this post says. I do, however, expect respect for my opinions, which I have expressed respectfully and which are valid. I just think it’s too easy to get into the us vs them mentality when we are in a conflict and the Sarah Palin thing is a good example of it. The Republicans don’t care about her, they just put her in there to negate all of the sexism they threw at Hilary Clinton during the primaries, so that they could say “You are sexists too!” And it worked, obviously.

    It’s just my opinion, but I think that the main downfall of feminism is women hating women who aren’t on our side. We can’t win them over if we hate them.

  145. DRST:
    Yelling a lot is ok by me. But I appreciate you giving fair warning. :)

    The difference between birth/abortion and raise-baby-yourself/adoption is completely relevant. Republicans do not, at least not in any mainstream population that I’m aware of, oppose women choosing between raise-baby-yourself and adoption (or whatever other alternatives I may be leaving out). Their beef is with abortion. Therefore, someone choosing between birth and adoption while simultaneously opposing the right of other women to choose abortion, has not committed any hypocrisy of belief with action. “Choice” is the word we use to describe ourselves and frame the issue (as “life” is theirs), but that doesn’t mean that Republicans can’t make smaller-c choices without going against what they advocate politically any more than it means we are in favor of fetus extermination.

    Also, I think you are reading a lot into the statement: “decided on her own to keep the baby.” “Bristol Palin HAD THE RIGHT to make that decision FOR HERSELF,” is a different concept than, “I did not force her to do this,” which is what I get out of it. I’m happy for us to each have our beliefs about what the statement implies (you’re certainly in the majority), but I’m not going to agree with you just because you shouted it.
    B.

  146. I thought the humor in the video came from the fact that the Republicans featured were simultaneously praising Bristol for making the choice they wanted her to make and pretending that there was no choice at all because abortion = unspeakable. I don’t think adoption ever entered into it; I thought they were clearly praising her for not getting an abortion while also refusing to state that outright.

    Though I also disagree, DRST, that they are articulating a pro-choice position without realizing it; the fact that they’re lauding Bristol for making the choice she did isn’t inconsistent with wanting to take away other people’s right to make that choice. Vile, but not actually inconsistent, I don’t think.

  147. Az – Just because you comment more than me doesn’t give you the right to tell me to gtfo. Um, what the hell? Where did I say any of that?

    bindicated – thanks for the calm response. The shouting had very little to do with you and a lot to do with Congress. Though I still completely disagree with you.

    “Choice” is the word we use to describe ourselves and frame the issue

    “Choice” isn’t a frame, it’s the heart of the issue. “Life” is a frame and it’s a dubious one, since the life the anti-choicers are concerned with is a collection of cells, not the fully grown human being they are residing within – she has no rights and her life has no other value to them.

    Look, here’s the bottom line: the pro-choice movement isn’t about abortion. In fact, it doesn’t have anything specifically to do with abortion. It’s about autonomy. It’s about the fundamental right every single person, regardless of gender (or race, class, etc) has to control what happens to their own body, without exception.

    And guess what? This is also the root cause of this website, fat acceptance, feminism and a bunch of other progressive causes.

    Because I have the right to choose between options I set for myself if I get pregnant. For devout women, those choices may only be between adoption and raising the child herself, but it’s still a choice that she is allowed to make, rather than lawmakers who don’t know her. And I would defend her just as vocally as I would defend a woman who chose to have an abortion, because the crux of the issue doesn’t change: her choice, nobody else’s. She also gets to choose which options are on the table, whether she’ll consider abortion or not. The heart of the matter is the choice, not the options.

    I have the right to decide who I date, who I have sex with – and when I have sex with them and where, no matter what men who view me as existing to gratify their sexual urges may think when they assault me. I have the right to decide who I love and spend time with, and nobody else can take that right away from me or from anyone, no matter what awful laws they pass to the contrary.

    I have the right to choose whether or not to have kids at all, and choose how I parent my kids in public or in private, without interference from anyone else.

    I have the right to wear whatever I want to wear in public and not be harassed for it.

    I have the right to eat whatever the hell I want to eat whenever I want it without anyone else telling me what I can and can’t have “for my own good.” I have the right to control my body and the health of my body and nobody has the right to interfere because they don’t like how I look.

    The pro-choice movement isn’t about abortion, it’s about granting women the same power of self-determination men have held for millenia and which they don’t ever have to question because it’s so ingrained that of course they have that power. This is the root cause runs through almost every other progressive issue, every other “women’s issue” out there.

    To equate pro-choice meaning only relating to abortion, as you are doing, is understandable (especially given the massive obstacles in place to get access to abortion services after 30 years of Republican, forced birther harassment – I’m not arguing that abortion is unimportant or that access to legal health services is in any way not central to this fight) but I think it overlooks the basic goal of the pro-choice movement, which is Full Human Status, nothing less. The practice surrounding this issue is complex, but the principle underlying it, which is unrelated to abortion itself, isn’t.

    And that underlying principle was acknowledged by the McCain-Palin people, however unwillingly and unintentionally. Those women Samantha Bee interviewed acknowledged it, without realizing they were doing it. That’s where the humor and the irony come in.

    DRST

  148. Aleks…. A lemur once shot you from a helicopter? The bitch! Oh, I’m re-thinking the whole lemur thing now…I had NO idea they were armed. When the revolution comes, they’ll probably try and make us all do funny little lemur walks…well I’m not playing ball.

  149. Az:

    Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are also not vice president and are unlikely to be elected to s high a post. Does this mean they’re irrelevant and that any attempt we make to criticize them or refute their messages is “beating them up”?

    Sarah Palin hasn’t gone away. She may have something like a 30% approval rating, but that’s 30% of the country that’s listening to her and being influenced by her. Although the Tea Party movement is far from representing the majority they often claim to be, the fact that there is a whole movement of people who take their cues from her and see her as their big hope for 2012 means that she’s far from irrelevant.

    The idea that we can just ignore her because she lost strikes me as wishful thinking, which would maybe be understandable… but the fact that you’re choosing to castigate those who don’t join you in that wishful thinking is kind of, well… it’s too early in the morning for me to know how to finish that sentence. It’s not good, though.

  150. Clearly, I’m a spinster and a witch…and childless, but without the prerequisite abortion. But I am not the least bit jealous of Sarah Palin. I’m not even annoyed at her. I find her a touch amusing. I am however pissed off that anyone takes her seriously. And then I remember who was “voted” into the White House twice, and it all makes me realize that a select portion of the population is more than slightly psychotic.

  151. Can I just say how tired I am of the “you’re just jealous!” argument? From anyone? When applied to Sarah Palin, it’s almost rage inducing. There’s not a whole lot to be jealous of there.

    Oh and the word hubby = also rage inducing.

    If you need me, I’ll be in the corner, approaching critical mass.

  152. DRST:
    I am with you on the Shouting Because of Congress. On that, we heartily agree.

    I have to point out, I am using “pro-choice meaning only relating to abortion” because once you take abortion out of the question as you have mostly done, the lines get really blurry. I’m not trying to advocate that abortion *is* the only component of choice, but it is the political hot button of the lot and the issue upon which many votes turn. To disregard that is like gerrymandering–you’ve carved out a district that isn’t representative of everything that’s going on in the area. Abortion is the bright line that gives conservatives the voting power they currently have on the issue of choice. Take abortion away and I venture to guess that many moderate Republicans are on board at that point with something much closer to a broad pro-choice than what they will currently support. Giuliani and Bloomberg are basically there already, and although they’ve never won their party’s nomination for president, they’re not bit players either.

    Personally, I identify with your statement of pro-choice above and that is the basis for my opinions on the same wide range of issues that you specified. But that doesn’t make it the *only* definition of pro-choice floating around in the minds of voters. To view the video with only our definition in mind is, to me, to disregard the full context of the situation. Some people, particularly among Republicans, *do* hear “choice” as a proxy for abortion, which is why they oppose it as far as abortion (and sometimes hormonal BC, but that’s not part of what came up during the Bristol issue), but support it in regard to other things. I don’t hear that as an unconscious expression of the *whole* of pro-choice.

    I respect your comments (in general, as well as on this thread) and I am grateful for them, but maybe we are at impasse. You know, I can even accept on an intellectual level that I’m probably wrong about that video. I’m just not making the connections the same way you have. Thank you for bearing with me in that. :) I certainly feel more tolerant of the video than I did at the beginning of this discussion, because I have seen so much intelligent and well-thought-out support for it.
    B.

  153. bindicated – yeah we have to just accept disagreement here, because for me, talking about the choice issue in terms unrelated to abortion itself crystallizes the entire thing, rather than making it murkier. Also I’m not comfortable with arguments that predicate themselves on context. To talk about it as it exists in nebulous minds of others makes it too easy to argue for whatever you want it to mean, rather than what it is, and I’m not good with that approach. I think the more often and loudly the point gets made that this debate isn’t about the act of abortion but about choice and autonomy, the better.

    Possibly I’m also just not in a mood this week to accept anything that comes anywhere close to the “eh, it’s one more little nibble, we can live with it” mindset that’s evident in much of the progressive left over the Coathanger Amendment. *glares at Congress more*

    DRST

  154. I don’t hate Sarah Palin although her existence in the political arena pisses me off to no end. I didn’t like the fact that she allowed the Republicans to use her as a pawn in the last election, and the fact that the Republicans felt that just having any ol’ woman on the presidential ticket would make women vote automatically vote for John McCain. Although I vote Democrat and chose Obama over McCain, I actually respected and liked McCain. I feel he truly has America’s beset interests at heart although I don’t quite agree with his politics. But to throw Palin in the mix was just insulting. There are so many other well qualified female Republicans out there he could have chosen from and he chose her.

    As a librarian, I also didn’t appreciate the whole sexy librarian tag they tried to put on Sarah Plain especially since Palin had a hand in firing a librarian who wouldn’t remove/ban a book from the public library.

    I think of myself of as a feminist. I want equal pay and I want to right to chose to be a SAHM or a Working Mom or to be child free or to be Octofreakingmom. I don’t want the government and corporations and churches deciding on whether or not I can get birth control or an abortion or in vitro fertilization. Well, I could go on, but you get my drift.

  155. My only objections to the “sexy librarian” label for Sarah Palin are the inapplicability of the verb and the astonishing misappropriation of the noun.

  156. Hey Alecks… there is plan hatchery of MSPers on my LJ. Did you decide pomegranate heists (or coffee) aren’t for you? ‘Sokay if you want to opt out of the plan you hatched. But in case you missed my previous comment, you can drop an e-mail addy in the screened post at my LJ. (click my name here for the link)

  157. What I’ve read seems to indicate that the best way to reduce the abortion rate (and I do believe this is a laudable goal) is prevention through resource access, not bans.

    A laudable goal? Really? yeah, I say fuck that, basically.

    Az, I think I see some of what you’re saying, because I think it’s really easy to slip from disliking Palin’s politics to hating on her for being a bad woman/token, and a lot of people who are generally very progressive have done that a lot. I try to be aware of that. But I do think DSRT and AE and others are right that it is still absolutely acceptable to dislike a politician for their politics and behavior and it’s perfectly okay to [vociferously] criticize them for those things.

    That’s interesting, brooklynshoebabe. The things I have felt for McCain have been much closer to irrational hatred based on his personality and what he symbolically stood for than was the case with Palin (his nasty bullying behavior, temper tantrums, pettiness, documented physical abuse of strangers; ridiculously privileged patriarchy and spinelessness on political issues), and I had to struggle to ignore those feelings when evaluating his political stances. (Luckily, I hated his political positions, too, so it didn’t really affect my ultimate choice.) Thinking about that again makes me feel a little more sympathetic for people who irrationally hated Palin for her personality and what she symbolically stood for, even though in that case I still think I need to be far more careful to make sure internalized mysogyny isn’t also affecting my feelings.

  158. Hey, breaking news from The Washington Post: Sarah Palin herself wrote in her book that the reason she did so badly in the Katie Couric interview had something to do with Couric’s “low self esteem.” Which presumably was why Couric was “badgering” her during the interview.

    Of course! Bitch was jealous! So she made Palin look like an uneducated and delusional demagogue out of jealousy! [eyes rolling out of head]

  159. Volcanista–I think of a high abortion rate as being indicative of a basic failure to provide appropriate working contraception to the sexually-active population. We need wider availability of things like IUDs, better insurance coverage for contraception, better education for teenagers and at-risk groups, a “male pill”–all sorts of things that will, I hope, reduce the number of abortions. Because contraception is a lot less personally expensive, time-consuming, physically painful, and potentially emotionally fraught than abortion. So, yeah, I’m all for reducing the number of abortions the right way–by reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies.

  160. “because for me, talking about the choice issue in terms unrelated to abortion itself crystallizes the entire thing, rather than making it murkier.”

    DRST, I’m with you there. Reproductive choice was actually the last things that I became militant about when it comes to feminism. When I was a teen, I started out as rather anti-choice, actually – despite being very feminist in other ways. It was hearing arguments that talked about choices other than abortion – or in addition to abortion – that really convinced me and helped me think it all through more clearly.

    I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me, the reason why it works is because it helps sidestep the trap of assuming that people who make choices that are wildly different from mine are automatically bad mothers/people.* That is what I used to do when I was younger, and I can hear the same ideas in they way a lot of anti-choice people frame their arguments.

    If you tie in abortion access to not only birth control access but also to things like home birth and the right to refuse a cesarean then it becomes much more clear that what is really being discussed is a wide array of health care rights and allowing individuals to make private choices privately and with minimum state intervention.

    I think that part of what makes that clear is that the rhetoric of the anti-choicers is right in line with the rhetoric that has been used in the past to take children from unmarried women and that is still used today to dictate borthing choices, etc. Also, the more you delve into reproductive health care as a whole, the more you realize that 1) giving women more options and more support means healthier, happier women and families. 2) motherhood is a tough job that involves tough, personal choices; it is not some picture on a Hallmark card and it is not something that is right for everyone. and 3)PREGNANCY is a potentially DANGEROUS job that involves tough, personal choices.

    “Take abortion away and I venture to guess that many moderate Republicans are on board at that point with something much closer to a broad pro-choice than what they will currently support. ”

    Keep abortion IN and most moderate Republicans – especially the ones like my sister – are already on board. In fact, take it out – or be wishy washy as they always are – and you’ve lost one of the few things my sister thinks the Dems have going for them.

    *yes, I know that woman =/= mother, but part of why the anti-choice argument is so compelling is not just because people hear fetus and think baby, but because they also hear “(pregnant) woman” and hear “mother”. And you know, every (good) woman wants to be a mother yes?

  161. Sarah Palin was almost considered for one moment to be a candidate for fifth wave feminism according to the Usnews.com she actually praised allot there… Makes me sick.

  162. @slythwolf
    I’m supposed to be barren and have an abortion?

    Maybe the abortion’s supposed to create the barrenness? I don’t know.

    Way upthread Kimberly O. hit the nail on the head on one of the major reasons I detest Palin – her hypocrisy.

    But her hypocrisy isn’t all of it. It’s one facet. The anti-intellectualism is disheartening. The way she’s all about rebooting the Republican Party without actually offering any sort of new ideas (how can you reboot the party without changing it? I’m very confused by that), the willingness to make use of feminist theory when it suits her and to scorn it in the same conversation, and on and on and on.

    But she’s folksy and has a vagina, and that’s all the Republican party thinks women who aren’t on-board with their platform need. And the sad thing is that my aunt ended up being a woman who went from proudly supporting Clinton (and even after the Vice Presidential debate said she liked Biden pretty well despite not being entirely sold on Obama) to voting for Palin specifically because “It’s about time we had a woman.”

    I love my aunt dearly, but voting for a woman simply because of the parts she has doesn’t help anybody. On the other hand, her husband (a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army who had never voted anything but Republican for his whole life) voted for Obama because he finally realised that the Republican party did not give a rat’s ass about him and that it would take a while for the party to find its way back to some semblance of intellectual integrity.

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