I don’t like Sarah Palin’s politics. I don’t like Republican politics either. That’s why I’m not voting Republican in this election. I find everything the Republican Party stands for deeply immoral, with the behavior of Republicans—and I’m not saying the Democrats are angels—but the behavior of Republicans in recent decades has been so deeply unprincipled, dishonorable, inhumane, outright corrupt, and hypocritical that I’d face public execution before I’d vote Republican.
I’d like to single out Sarah Palin’s hypocrisy. Palin denounces feminists, which is curious, given that she lives according to so many feminist principles. She is a mother and a woman in a position of power in the public sphere with a husband who has been described in the press as a stay-at-home dad. Assuming this is true, the Palin’s don’t do traditional gender roles or traditional marriage.
But she’s a Republican. The Republican Party platform calls for traditional family values and imposing on women the traditional nuclear family with the husband and father as the “head” of household and the wife in subjugation. It calls for women to remain confined to the domestic sphere, and for men to dominate the public sphere.
Palin the Republican professes to support the Republican Party platform. She’s profited from enacting public policy consistent with that platform. But if she truly endorsed that platform, she wouldn’t be anywhere near the public sphere. According to Republican ideology—the ideology she claims to support—Palin should be a full-time, at-home mother tending to the needs of her brood, and especially the needs of her infant Down Syndrome son.
I support wholeheartedly the right of women—Sarah Palin or not, mothers or not—to participate fully in enacting public policy that affects all of us. The trouble is, Sarah Palin doesn’t. She supports an ideology that subjugates women. She campaigns to keep in power a political party that will work to keep women down. She works to ensure that women must be twice as good as men at the same tasks to be considered half as good, and she opposes discrimination legislation aimed at protecting women from such double standards. She supports a party that calls for women to remain confined to the domestic sphere while she, herself, campaigns to become the nation’s first woman vice-president.
So I think I have this straight: she denounces the feminists who secured for women the rights we enjoy now; she doesn’t shun those rights, but she takes them and runs with them; she uses them not just to enrich and empower herself, but also to deny the rest of us those rights.
Apparently Palin never has heard of leading by example.
I have no patience with women who denounce feminists and who have rained scorn and ridicule on them for decades, but who eagerly help themselves to the rights those feminists fought so hard to secure for women. But then, I’ve never been fond of ingrates and hypocrites. If nothing else, Palin serves as an example of one such woman.