Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sarah Palin: Stop the lies; stop the misogyny

Written by Heart, crossposted from Women's Space

Tami's note: I am a liberal and unlike Heart, I am a registered Democrat. I can find a gazillion policy- and idealogy-related reasons not to like Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. And I am offended that John McCain thinks women followed Hillary Clinton not for her platform or experience, but because "Hey! She's got lady parts!" and that supporters can easily transfer their support to someone else whose views are the polar opposite of everything Hillary Clinton stands for 'cause "Hey! She's got lady parts, too!" If you doubt my liberal bonafides, just read the rest of the blog. I don't have much use for McCain or his running mate.

But I'm appalled at how Sarah Palin is being covered in the media and on so-called progressive blogs. I've heard less about Palin's governing history (what little of it there is) and Troopergate, than I have about her mothering skills, beauty queen past and her daughter's pregnancy. Smells like a heap of sexism. Like I said yesterday, we folks on the left had best watch that we don't become the thing we say we hate.


But wait...Heart can say it better than I can.

I’ve never in my life of 56 years, not a single time, voted for a Republican. Neither have I ever voted for a conservative of any stripe. This includes during all of the years I was a Christian and during all of my “Quiverfull” years. Throughout my adult life, going back to my college days in the late 60s, early 70s, I have always been some kind of anarchist. When I was young, I was a Julian Beck, Ivan Illich, Emma Goldman style anarchist. As a member of the conservative Christian community, I was a Christian anarchist and student of Walter Wink. As a homesteader and small farmer, I was (and still am) a decentralist (a kind of anarchist) along the lines of Ralph Borsodi and E.F. Shumacher. When I published my magazine, it was listed as a (vetted) resource in the anarchist publication, Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed. As a feminist, I’ve always been an anarchafeminist, believing anarchy is the theory and radical feminism is the practice, with sheroes like the Free Women of Spain of the 1930s. As an anarchist, I have always rejected mainstream politics and voting preferring direct action and organizing instead. It’s not only my politics and philosophies that have made me an anarchist, it’s also my disgust over the way U.S. mainstream, party politics makes shills, hypocrites, tools and liars out of virtually everyone who really participates in them. My experience is that women of integrity who are committed to women’s rights, human rights, and the values and ethos of love, compassion and nonviolence almost always steer similarly clear. The ugliness of party politics as they have historically and traditionally existed simply runs too deep. The disillusion watching as colleagues and (theoretical) allies descend into the ugliness ultimately themselves is too great and too discouraging. And, there is far too much good that each woman can do by instead becoming involved, again, in direct action and organizing and far too little good that ever comes out of giving time and energy to the swamp that is American politics as usual. If there ever was a bucket with a hole in it, that’s it.

So I’m reading about the newly-named Republican Vice Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, and following the responses of Democrats, leftists and progressives on the blogosphere. They disgust me. They remind me of every last reason I ever had to stay severely away from party politics in particular, and the mainstream political arena in general. I am not writing, in other words, out of any sort of history with, loyalty to or defensiveness towards either mainstream party or candidate, neither Republicans nor Democrats. I am saying as someone who has rejected this swamp that what is happening at the moment to Sarah Palin and to her teenage daughter is disgusting. That feminists and progressives lead the way in this disgusting behavior is incredible.

Jeff Fecke blogging on Alas:

Palin is the “any boobs will do” pick to the nth degree.

From Open Left (via Shakesville, who, go Shakes, has begun a sexism watch on Palin’s behalf):

How is she going to campaign full time with a baby? Is that any way to treat your child? Can she handle the VP duties and also raise a baby, a 7 year old, and a 13 year old? My friends, please welcome the Mayor of Wasilla and her eskimo First Gentleman.
From Daily Kos

[Responding to a widely-circulated photo of Palin in a short skirt and heels]

My goodness, she certainly doesn’t look pregnant in this picture either. Could this be the picture they kept showing old McShame as a reminder of who Sarah Palin was? Did one of his handlers perhaps suggest to ole grampa McBush3 that perhaps, if he was very nice to her, she would dress this way for executive conferences on campaign matters? Maybe suggest she might make it worth Jonny’s while to pick her?

First thing I thought of was “I got 99 problems but my bitch ain’t one”.
Posted by blogger BoBo2020 on Daily Kos:

44. There’s already Sarah Palin GILF merchandise.

Commenters:

Anyone here know what MILF* means?

Oh someone else knows, I was afraid I was the only one who picked up on the GILF thing. She’s 5x MILF, not just merely GILF. and really proud of that mommy part.

…she participated in some very bizarre behavior in her 8th month of pregnancy, boarding a plane after experiencing amniotic fluid leakage, when she’d already had 4 deliveries. Her 5th could have presented itself well within the window of her 8 hour flight, which probably involved a total of 10-12 hours door to door. Once the amniotic fluid is leaking, the clock is ticking, the baby is at risk by about 24 hours. Say what you will about her personal life, this behavior is strange in the extreme, may have involved her airline and doctor in legal trouble, and demands some kind of accounting for.
From Pandagon:

She’s only 44. I’d wonder what she’s using for birth control, but of course she’s using the natural method, or abstaining, right? (Discussion then ensues speculating as to Palin’s birth control and sexual practices, with Amanda Marcotte participating.)
Marcotte then writes an entire post announcing that Palin’s 17-year-old daughter is pregnant and keeping the baby. The point seems to be that whoopee! Palin’s a bad mother! Yay, team! That will really come in handy! After all, it’s a no-brainer that the mothers of pregnant teenagers who keep their babies are bad mothers.

Amanda in the comments:

Most people would think it’s worse for a 17-year-old to get married and have a baby than have sex without “consequences”. It’s unfair to the daughter, but this is going to confirm suspicions that Palin is an extreme right wing nut.
Then this from Marcotte, defending the inexcusable intrusions into Palin’s daughter’s privacy:

Yeah, I haven’t seen an ugly word anywhere against Bristol Palin. 17-year-olds get knocked up. It happens. It happens especially to those who have parents who refuse to educate them or help them access contraception.
17-year-olds “get” ”knocked up”? And it’s all the parents’ fault, woohoo, we get to use the Bad Mom card against Palin? Where are the boys and the men in all of this precisely? Why is this open season on a 17-year-old girl, or girls or women just in general?

Does anybody recall birth control practices, birth stories, the adequacy of parenting or the possibility of having more children ever having been an issue so far as any male presidential or vice presidential candidate, ever, other than favorably? Does anybody get it that that is sexist? And misogynist? Every bit as sexist and misogynist and “colluding” as Republicans and their shills are sexist and misogynist and colluding? This is why I want nothing to do with these parties or these campaigns, whether Republican or Democrat, whether (apparently) leftist, progressive, feminist, or right-wing and conservative. The real issues go unaddressed, and women are relentlessly and unapologetically attacked in the most sexist and misogynist of ways.
Above are a very few of thousands of examples I could post, as you can gather for yourselves by going to Daily Kos and simply looking through the titles of the journals over the past several days. Or check out the photos of Palin that even feminist bloggers have chosen to use. I don’t support the Republicans and I sure as hell am not voting for McCain, that’s not what this post is about. Neither am I any kind of PUMA, never have been, never will be, just like I’ve never been a Democrat or a Republican. I am a candidate for President on the Free Soil Party ticket. This post is about what this election continues to reveal about the deep sexism and misogyny of most Americans, and about the way it goes unnoticed, unremarked, unaddressed and is even celebrated by the majority, including leftists, progressives, Democrats, and unbelievably, feminists.

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