The Discerning Texan

All that is necessary for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing.
-- Edmund Burke
Tuesday, September 02, 2008

UPDATED Women, Feminism, and the Sarah Palin Pick

UPDATE: Getting this piece right is important, because it is so easy to be misinterpreted when it comes to issues like gender, culture, and family. I've done a bit of editing on my original hurried post in order to try and clarify my opinion about what has transpired since Friday.


It goes without saying that NARAL and other Left-leaning feminist organizations have come out viciously against Sarah Palin: some because of her personal convictions about the abortion issue--convictions which Palin has lived multiple times in her life now, rather than to simply pay them lip service (e.g by choosing to having a Down baby and by her handling of her own daughter's pregnancy...); some because they see Governor Palin as a (legitimate) threat to Barack Obama's candidacy. And, while the Governor may not fit the stereotypical feminist "archetype" which Democrats have attempted to claim as their birthright, Palin nevertheless presents a serious problem for the so called "champions" of breaking the glass ceiling on the Left. And--as the Left most always does when they overreact--their mudslinging, angst, and thrashing around is only going to make their problem worse.

The media seems to be missing the point about Palin: her nomination was as much to energize the conservative base of the Party as it was about possibly picking off a Hillary voter here and there. It was the lack of enthusiasm for McCain among conservatives that was Obama's best chance to prevail in this election.

In less than 48 hours, that entire dynamic has now changed. Republicans are now being seen as those defending womanhood, the right of a strong woman to have a career and a happy family, and the privacy of children of candidates in a campaign. Democrats, meanwhile, are beginning to be seen as the oppresors, those who would victimize and/or prevent a perfectly qualified female from reaching her full potential. What a masterstroke!

For everything I have seen and read from those who make up the Republican base, all indications is that McCain has hit a home run. The Senator--who many Republicans (including myself) were not that wild about--has now raised more money and gotten more volunteers since the Palin nomination than in any 48 hour period since he started running for President.

In the case of the independent women originally drawn to Hillary, I would argue that the chances of independents relating to the Governor (and her family)--and becoming angry at their persecution by the Left and their lap dogs in the media--are growing by the hour as the intensity of the media attacks against her increases to a repulsive pitch. The trap is set, and the angry Left is walking right into it.

Why? Because they are scared.

From all I know about her, Governor Sarah Palin is the Left's worst nightmare: a strong, talented conservative woman. And--as we have already seen--they have come after her with as much or even more vitriol than they exhibited in going after Clarence Thomas (who was also assailed because he went against their stereotype of the African-American as "victim", and thus the poster children of their incessant "identity politics")... Now a woman threatens the Left's stereotype of what an "empowered" woman is supposed to be and stand for. And so it is almost a certainty that the the scurrilous bottom-feeding will only get worse for Palin and her family. The nutroots and the media can't help themselves; but what they don't seem to understand is the extent to which this will make Sarah Palin defenders out of many women (and men) who otherwise might have gone the other way--or who might not have bothered to vote at all.

Fortunately, like Clarence Thomas--and like Jackie Robinson before him--I think Sarah can handle the pressure. She will have to.

It won't be easy: in fact it will be tougher on her than for anyone who follows her. Not because she is a woman; because she is a conservative woman. And that the Left just cannot abide.

Which exposure of course will only serve to blow a gaping hole in their gender-based identity politics. What the Left seems not to understand is how nakedly obvious this will be even to the average American, as the hysterical venom directed at Governor Palin and her 17-year old daughter to even more grotesque levels. And--remember--she is the VICE Presidential candidate...

Today we saw a story on the front pages of liberal newspapers a story about a 22-year old DUI conviction by the husband of the Governor; yet it is telling that the fact that Obama openly admitting his own frequent use of cocaine in his autobiography barely even has registered a sub-atomic blip on big media's radar.

Now why would that be? Did he not inhale either?

I believe that if Governor Palin can maintain her poise, the angry Democrat lynch mob will make it clear once and for all--for all the world to see--that what they today call "feminism" is not really about empowering ALL women--not anymore; today's militant feminist will be exposed as only caring about those women who happen to agree with their ideology of moral relativism, promoting the idea of woman as "victim", agree with their definition about when life does and does not begin (and/or is "viable"), and who otherwise falls into lock step with the ideological party line of the hard Left.

By nominating Sarah Palin, John McCain may have done the one thing that no one would have dreamed possible in the midst of Obama's campaign for "Hope" and a "new kind of politics": he has turned the "new, inclusive" Democrats and the media into an ugly modern day equivalent of Hitler's Brownshirts.

"Hope and Change" indeed.

Welcome to their nightmare.

Kathryn Jean Lopez wisely writes:
In the weeks ahead, Sarah Palin should drop the lines about cracks in the glass ceiling and Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro. If you’re a conservative who needed to be rallied to a candidate on the Republican ticket who seems to share your worldview, you now have her.

If you’re voting because you’re into good girl role models, you’ll like “Sarah” (as everyone seems to be referring to her), who is very far away from the faux-feminism of the one-free-grope Clinton apologists — something most self-proclaimed feminists can say.

But if you’re a professional feminist, you may just be exposing yourself as more about liberal Democratic politics than any kind of sisterly encouragement for women pols.

And you’re also exposing the so-called “gender gap” once and for all as a myth.

As Kate O’Beirne points out in her book, Women Who Make the World Worse, “In the last seven presidential elections, Republicans have won five times and received more women’s votes than Democrats in three of the races.”

If women flock to McCain-Palin, it may not be because Palin has a uterus but because they vote Republican, know we’re at war, and aren’t into the silly girls’ games the Left likes to play.
Or... perhaps because they empathize with a quality, qualified candidate whose family has been the targets of indefensible attacks, and because they thus finally see the hypocrisy of the Left for what it is.

If Governor Palin can handle this pressure--as I believe she can--with dignity, grace, intelligence, conviction, and poise, this could become the most empowering election for women in the history of the US. Because it will finally prove that Americans will elect a woman to high office--that a girl can be whatever she wants to be in this country; only the world will now know that it will be because of her ideas, intellect and character--not simply because of her gender.

Now that would be something you could finally "equal treatment".

I welcome the day.

UPDATE: Via Glenn Reynolds, more proof:
SEXISM IN THE MEDIA: Hillary was right. Ouch.
DiscerningTexan, 9/02/2008 02:24:00 PM |