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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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78 Responses

  1. Hugo
    Hugo August 29, 2008 at 11:51 am |

    From my blog post on this matter this morning:

    From a feminist standpoint, I’m thrilled that a candidate who is the mother of a very young child has been nominated. One of the standard tropes of social conservatism is that mothers of young children should not work outside the home. If Sarah Palin is the vice-president, one heartbeat (a septuagenarian heartbeat at that) from the presidency and also the mother of a special-needs toddler, that sends a powerful message about the compatibility of motherhood with career. However right-wing Palin’s politics are, the narrative of her life today reflects a deep feminism. She embodies, literally, the notion that women ought not be forced to choose between family and public duty. That’s a deeply progressive message, even if it’s sent by an ostensibly conservative woman.

  2. Empere
    Empere August 29, 2008 at 11:54 am |

    Palin had the right to make her own choice, and it does show a strength of character in that today there are screening processes to determine wither a pre-birth child has Down’s Syndrome.

    Down’s Syndrome is a spectrum disease and can fall anywhere from mild to severe on the spectrum, in whitch the care recieved in the first few months of life are critical.

    I’m not saying this should disaualify Palin as the VP choice, but when I read up on this, I to my surprise found myself having the reaction of “She has a child with Down’s Syndrome, how much will her campeigning with McCain affect her ability to care (or breastfeed if she does that) for that child?”

    Also, maybe I’m cynical but I know a lot of pro-choice Republicans are going to milk this (“She didn’t abort her Down Syndrome child!!”) for all it’s worth.

  3. Sweating Through Fog
    Sweating Through Fog August 29, 2008 at 12:02 pm |

    “I’m not saying this should disaualify Palin as the VP choice, but when I read up on this, I to my surprise found myself having the reaction of “She has a child with Down’s Syndrome, how much will her campeigning with McCain affect her ability to care (or breastfeed if she does that) for that child?””

    Why is the question even asked? The baby has a father to take care of it.

  4. akeeyu
    akeeyu August 29, 2008 at 12:05 pm |

    “As for the prospect of her being vice president, Palin told Kudlow that she could not answer the question of whether she wanted the job “until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day. I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that that VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we’re trying to accomplish up here….””

    Jesus Christ on a cracker. I’m not sure what I find more horrifying, the idea that she’s not sure what the job entails, her apparent concern for shoving more pork in the direction of Alaska, or the fact that she’d be veeping for the cryptkeeper, which…I think I need to go lay down.

  5. Emily
    Emily August 29, 2008 at 12:11 pm |

    I have initiated a moratorium on political commentary. I watched the convention on C-SPAN specifically to avoid the commentary. These people won’t tell you anything you can’t judge for yourself and are generally assholes to boot.

  6. Kristen
    Kristen August 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm |

    Great…and CNN has already started the sexist crap against her. Two seconds….it’s a record! Now I’m going to have to DEFEND this woman against sexist asshats even though I think she’s an asshat.

    ::headdesk::

  7. mad the swine
    mad the swine August 29, 2008 at 12:21 pm |

    I expect that a whole lot of people who I generally agree with politically are going to take the low road and target Palin with the same sort of misogynist crap they threw at Hillary – exhibit A – which is really depressing, because Palin has so many things wrong with her as a candidate, and yet I’m going to have to defend her when ‘liberals’ start going ‘OMG she’s a beauty queen’ and ‘OMG she has a baybee’ and all the usual garbage.

    Which is, of course, the whole point of this VP pick – a hard-line fundie with a solid conservative record who can sow division in the Democratic ranks – but just because I see it coming doesn’t mean it’s not going to work.

  8. Natmusk
    Natmusk August 29, 2008 at 12:22 pm |

    Virtually every article i’ve read on her has two things: “hockey-mom” and “beauty queen” so I’m not surprised we’ve already started on the sexist commentary.

  9. Thomas
    Thomas August 29, 2008 at 12:41 pm |

    There are other attack routes.

    (1) She is fervently anti-choice. She highlights the McCain ticket’s commitment to giving the far right their social-issue holy grail, which they have sought for 35 years: a five-vote majority to overturn Roe outright. McCain and Palin each want desperately to roll back reproductive freedom in the US and abroad. There may be many centrist women who feel heartened that now both parties have put a woman on a Presidential ticket, but who are not willing to support their policy.

    (2) She’s an Alaska Republican. She’s not a product of the Uncle Ted machine, but as appears epidemic in Alaska Republican circles, she seems intent on (a) sticking both hands in the pork barrel for Alaska — so much for McCain the pork-fighter — and (b) using her office for personal advantage, such as firing her ex-brother-in-law from a state job. She says it was done without her knowledge …

    (3) Isn’t she a thinly-veiled creationist? The religious fringe factor may help in the eyes of the evangelical base, but it will also damage the moderate cred the ticket might also have.

  10. DEAF FEMINIST PUNK!!!!
    DEAF FEMINIST PUNK!!!! August 29, 2008 at 12:52 pm |

    Great! An anti-choice, anti-evolution, homophobic “feminist” female candidate, with less than 20 months of experience in office, for the Republican party!! Wow, how totally radical.

    great move, John McStain!

  11. Thomas
    Thomas August 29, 2008 at 12:59 pm |

    Exactly, DFP. Another faith-based hater from the cesspool of Republican gravy-train feeding that is Alaska, who discovered “public service” fifteen minutes ago.

    So much for “experience and foreign policy chops matter.” So much for mavericky cuts to wasteful spending. So much for courting moderate women.

  12. Irene M.
    Irene M. August 29, 2008 at 1:04 pm |

    Thank you for posting this. Palin’s nomination is going to bring all the sexist Democrats/liberals out of the woodwork, including (I fear) some at the feminist sites I read. I’m so happy and relieved to see a feminist site defending a non-feminist woman against sexism, even if I do hate her guts. Looking forward to more coverage on Sara Palinn and Michelle Obama.

  13. ThatCrazyEquitist
    ThatCrazyEquitist August 29, 2008 at 1:12 pm |

    DFP: 12 years > 20 months. She was mayor of Wasilla before becoming governor.

    Thomas: She reduced her own salary as mayor, killed the Alaskan “Bridge to Nowhere,” helped kick Don Young (R) from the House and is trying to shine the light on Ted Stevens’s (R) financial dealings. At most, she rides the gravy snowmobile.

  14. Thomas
    Thomas August 29, 2008 at 1:27 pm |

    Also, Palin appears to be in the “drill our way out of this” camp of dinosaur; fossil-fuel true believers who refuse to take renewables seriously until every last drop of crude and puff of natural gas are gone. She sat on Alaska’s oil and gas board in ’03 and ’04, and she’s a huge advocate of fucking up the pristine wilderness of ANWR by building a bunch of drilling facilities in a place where the environmental recovery cycle is measured in centuries.

    So, after McCain’s cave-in on offshore drilling (because he needed the Hess money), he’s thrown in completely with the “drill in every backyard” wing of the big-oil lobby.

    Splendid pick there, John McSame. Yet another administration dedicated to tough-talk foreign policy and bad strategy, to complete dependence on oil and stratospheric profits for the oil industry, and married to the far-right wing, knuckle-dragging, science-hating, womb-colonizing sector of the Republican party.

    There are plenty of problems with Palin that we, as progressives and feminists, can shout about with our heads held high; and that we can shout about while calling out those who stoop to misogyny.

  15. Sara Anderson
    Sara Anderson August 29, 2008 at 1:29 pm |

    Sweating through the fog: …and isn’t any major candidate’s spouse expected to take that identity on as their career? What if a man running for president had just had a baby with his wife before the campaign?

    Anyway, this is an excellent point at which to bring up childcare issues.

  16. Sweating Through Fog
    Sweating Through Fog August 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm |

    Sara,

    I was just wondering at the assumption that she, and she alone, needs to be the one to care for their baby. I don’t know anything about her husband, but to me it isn’t out of the question that he can be the primary caregiver leaving her time to campaign. For all I know they may have worked that out and their baby is getting excellent care.

    There just seems to be an implicit assumption by the CNN crew that if mom isn’t around, an infant will suffer.

  17. ThickRedGlasses
    ThickRedGlasses August 29, 2008 at 1:53 pm |

    I have to, unfortunately, disagree with Hugo. While Palin’s political career is evidence of this country’s great progress towards an equal society, I feel that Palin has learned nothing from the sexism she undoubtedly experienced during her life, and I doubt she will learn anything from the sexist commentary she has already been subjected to. She’s a woman with experiences similar to the experiences of all women in the United States, but she still cannot empathize with women with unintended or complicated pregnancies who, for whatever reason, want to terminate them. She still cannot empathize with members of the LGBT community, who are also discriminated against with sexist slurs. She broke through the glass ceiling and holds the highest political position in the state, but she has done nothing for the people who can’t do the same. There are plenty of Republican women who have never forgotten the women who fought for their rights and who want the next generation of women to have the same (and more) opportunities that they had. Governor Sarah Palin is not one of them.

  18. Thomas
    Thomas August 29, 2008 at 2:12 pm |

    From Bloomberg News:

    McCain Running Mate Palin Faces State Probe in Personnel Case 2008-08-29 17:59:54.920 GMT

    By Ken Fireman
    Aug. 29 (Bloomberg) — Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s appeal as a corruption-fighting outsider may be undercut by a legislative probe of her conduct in a personnel case.
    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain said he chose Palin as his running mate today in large part because of her record as a corruption fighter.
    “I found someone with an outstanding reputation for standing up to special interests and entrenched bureaucracies; someone who has fought against corruption and the failed policies of the past,” McCain said as he introduced his running mate at a campaign event in Dayton, Ohio.
    Her record includes leading an ethics investigation against a fellow Republican member of a state energy conservation body as well as a willingness to take on large oil companies over energy development.
    It also includes one potential blemish. The Alaska Legislature voted last month to investigate allegations that Palin dismissed the state’s public safety commissioner after the commissioner resisted pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a contentious divorce from Palin’s sister.
    The legislature has hired a former district attorney to investigate the case and asked him to issue a report by Oct. 31 -
    - just before the Nov. 4 general election, state Senator Hollis French said in an interview.
    Palin fired the public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, on July 11. Several days later, Monegan said he had been pressured by members of Palin’s administration and family to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

    Potential Embarrassment

    French said it “remains to be seen” whether the investigation embarrasses Palin. The important issue, he said, will be whether evidence emerges that ties Palin directly to efforts to pressure Monegan.
    Gerald McBeath, a political scientist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, said he didn’t regard the probe as a serious threat to the governor.
    “This is small potatoes,” he said. “This isn’t going to detract much from her candidacy.”
    French, a Democrat from West Anchorage, said he is serving as the legislature’s liaison with the investigator, Stephen Branchflower.
    Monegan said he resisted the pressure to fire Wooten, who had been married to Palin’s sister and was involved in a child custody battle with her.
    Palin has denied pressuring Monegan in the case of the trooper. At the time of Monegan’s dismissal, she said she wanted the department to move in a new direction.
    The legislative probe of the Monegan case isn’t connected to a separate, four-year federal investigation of alleged political corruption in Alaska. The federal probe has resulted in convictions of or guilty pleas from three state legislators, the chief of staff of Palin’s predecessor and two executives of an oil-services company, as well as the indictment of Senator Ted Stevens.

  19. Jen B
    Jen B August 29, 2008 at 2:16 pm |

    McCain is just trying illuminate the little-known truth that Republicans rather than Democrats represent the interests of women and minorities. If elected, he promises to appoint a homophobic gay man as Attorney General and a paraplegic who opposes stem cell research and universal healthcare as Secretary of State.

  20. jj
    jj August 29, 2008 at 2:50 pm |

    Thanks for this post. Her choice about having a child with Downs is something that has been talked about in the same breath as her being anit-choice on many progressive blogs (Feministing for example), which I really don’t get. I HATE her politics around abortion, but don’t see what the hell that has to do with her having 5 children or one with Downs Syndrome. I know of PLENTY of pro-choice women who choose both to have many children and/or to not terminate a pregnancy due to the fetus having Downs Syndrome. I really can’t believe the comments on supposedly feminist sites blasting her choice to have 5 children. And while nobody is outright saying she should have aborted the Downs child, why the hell are you even mentioning this fact when talking about her being anti-choice?? I wouldn’t for a second think about voting for her for any office, but I really can’t believe the way she is being talked about by “feminists”.

  21. Sarah
    Sarah August 29, 2008 at 2:53 pm |

    I see absolutely nothing “feminst” about picking Palin for McCain’s running mate. She’s rabidly anti-choice and anti-science, and is contentedly filling the “token girl” position on the Republican ticket. A woman getting a chance at political power because of her youth and pretty face and willingness to toe the party line isn’t feminist, and it’s ridiculous to accept it as anything but another bit of bullshit chucked at the masses by the conservatives.

    I see no problem in pointing out Palin’s looks, youth, inexperience, and “hockey-mom” image, not to belittle her as a person, but to frame these traits as tools that the McCain campaign is using for the benefit of the patriarchy. Like Jen B said, an ignorant, shallow, self-hating ANYBODY trying to run for office and appeal to the very people they turn their backs on deserves ridicule and opposition. Demonstrating that one has a functioning uterus shouldn’t shield a person from criticism about policy and personal beliefs.

    I don’t think she’s be a terrible VP or P because she’s a woman, and that notion I will happily shoot down. She’d be a terrible VP because she’s a terrible person who happens to be a woman, and a terrible example to women and girls everywhere.

  22. Mo
    Mo August 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm |

    The baby is five months old. Actually, Vice President is probably a job that would be a reasonable fit for a mother of young children. How I read this, however, is that she is intended to be a figurehead and not given any real responsibilities.

    What angers me is that she will be supported by all the right-wing “babies need their mothers” crowd without any irony or anybody calling them on their hypocrisy.

  23. Bruce from Missouri
    Bruce from Missouri August 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm |

    I think it’s a totally fair question to ask of a right-wing christian mother. It’s the hypocrisy. You know that if the script was flipped and she was a democrat, that all the sister-punishers like Schlafly, the IWF, and the CWA would be out in force saying what a terrible mother she is.

    I personally, could care less whether, she, her husband, or a nanny is doing the caregiving. I just think that considering her beliefs, it’s a fair question.

  24. Elena Perez
    Elena Perez August 29, 2008 at 4:38 pm |

    Shakesville has already started a Sarah Palin Sexism Watch, and we’re talking about it over at the CA NOW Blog too: http://www.canow.org/canoworg/2008/08/mccains-vp-choi.html

  25. Sweet Machine
    Sweet Machine August 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm |

    Palin had the right to make her own choice, and it does show a strength of character in that today there are screening processes to determine wither a pre-birth child has Down’s Syndrome.

    And it may also show a “strength of character” to make a different choice. I’m the first to say that raising a child with a disability comes with a lot of difficulties (many of which are caused by institutionalized ableism), but happening to have a child with a disability also doesn’t instantly turn you into a better, stronger person.

    It would be nice if her family situation translated into greater campaign/administration attention to the needs of people with disabilities, but I can’t help but think that it’s wishful thinking.

  26. Kathleen
    Kathleen August 29, 2008 at 6:35 pm |

    It’s very unlikely that having a baby with Down’s Syndrome will make someone like Palin any more aware of disabililty issues. She’ll spend the 4 years in office (heaven forfend) in the “oh what a cute kid, aren’t you a saintly parent” stage. A lot of great work (not enough, of course) has been done for children and adolescents. Disability issues really come to the fore in adulthood — there are all kinds of structures in place by now in the childhood and school years for people with developmental disabilities. Adulthood? Um, not so much. She may get revved up someday, but that day will come a quarter-century after she’s out of office.

    As for the “unfortunately” comment — one great, GREAT thing that could come out of her candidacy is journalists being made to feel a lot, A LOT, of shame when those kinds of statements come out of their mouths (and the public watching and learning). The Globe and Mail (in Canada) had an article about adults with Down’s Syndrome in which it shared the apparently astonishing news that if adults with the syndrome die before their siblings, these siblings may even feel grief! “may”! It didn’t bother me so much that the author put the word in but that once in, it survived the editing process which has got to involve at least 2 other readers, too.

  27. urbanartiste
    urbanartiste August 29, 2008 at 7:20 pm |

    If anything this pick is bringing issues women face on a daily basis to the forefront of American politics.

  28. Sweet Machine
    Sweet Machine August 29, 2008 at 7:48 pm |

    Good lord, Kathleen, that’s awful. Talk about dehumanizing.

  29. jdt
    jdt August 29, 2008 at 7:49 pm |

    Palin was mayor of my town before running for governor. We are stunned, there is no way she is qualified for VP, she barely qualified as a governor. She had been elected on the promise of reform and the fact that she wasn’t a Murkowski. It didn’t take long to find that she was as ethically challenged as the rest of our Alaskan career politicians.
    For a good take on what Alaskans think about Palin, check out Grassroots Science (Yukon Kuskokwim area) or Alaska Real. Writing Raven at Alaska Real is a Native Alaskan blogger, who is down in Denver for the convention.

  30. Peter
    Peter August 29, 2008 at 7:54 pm |

    I see absolutely nothing “feminst” about picking Palin for McCain’s running mate. She’s rabidly anti-choice and anti-science, and is contentedly filling the “token girl” position on the Republican ticket. A woman getting a chance at political power because of her youth and pretty face and willingness to toe the party line isn’t feminist, and it’s ridiculous to accept it as anything but another bit of bullshit chucked at the masses by the conservatives.

    snip

    I don’t think she’s be a terrible VP or P because she’s a woman, and that notion I will happily shoot down. She’d be a terrible VP because she’s a terrible person who happens to be a woman, and a terrible example to women and girls everywhere.

    Thank God somebody said that. I totally agree.

    I don’t know much about her, but she seems like a rightwing nut job, and that’s exactly how I’m going to judge her.

  31. AnonymousCoward
    AnonymousCoward August 29, 2008 at 8:31 pm |

    CNN also asked if Edwards should have cancelled his run for the Presidency when his wife’s cancer returned. For instance, I found this collection of letters with a quick Google: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/03/22/edwards.emails/

    I don’t think asking the question is sexist, though the focus on her family which gives rise to it being asked might be sexist.

  32. Madeleine
    Madeleine August 29, 2008 at 8:49 pm |

    As an Northern European, who cares if Sarah Palin is a woman or not. Her stand on some of the issues are these:

    - she is against the idea that woman has a right to choose an abortion, even in the case of a rape/incest. Anti-******ing-abortion. She also calls herself ‘a feminist’. I kid you not. This issue has not been debated in most of Europe for decades, as it is one of the issues taken granted for a modern country.

    - she supports adding creationism to science education for the childrens’ science education. I kid you not.

    These are not the stances of a modern country leader. These are the stances a tribal leader would have in rural India. And that is the direction Palin will take the country as one on the reigns.

    She also took the little city which she was a mayor of into $3000 per person debt during her reign from zero debt. Sound familiar? She is the continuation of the failed lend and spend policies of the last 8 years in the U.S.

  33. Lynne
    Lynne August 29, 2008 at 8:56 pm |

    this is an absolute insult to women, I can’t believe that McCain would do this, does he think that women are so stupid that they will vote for her just to be voting for a woman? What about Olympia Snowe or Kay Bailey Huthison? both are skilled experienced politicians, did McCain want a hottie to play grab ass with, or was this done because his internal polling was so bad that he had to do something to get the MSM to quit talking about Obama? Was she even vetted?

  34. NancyP
    NancyP August 29, 2008 at 9:01 pm |

    It’s not sexist to point out the choice to take on more job responsibility when there’s a major family challenge. She needs to acknowledge her husband as the primary caregiver, and he has to have time to do it. Down syndrome children, autistic children, and the like, need more significantly more care just by their nature than a standard-issue child.

    The Republican party is all about Family Values. Part of Family Values is the willingness to sacrifice for the good of your children.

  35. Dalgalpal
    Dalgalpal August 29, 2008 at 9:29 pm |

    Yes, CNN was insensitive about the comments regarding her son. Let us not however, in our support of her, lose sight of the fact that she is an ultraconservative, antiabortion candidate who will do more to harm women’s rights than to improve them. Did any of you read the Handmaid’s Tale? In that the women of the new power regimen were more oppressive than the men. Just because she has ovaries does not make her a supporter of the values that as a feminist I hold dear.

  36. Sarah
    Sarah August 29, 2008 at 10:22 pm |

    All children the age of Palin’s son require a lot of care, or so I’ve heard. Is the assumption that a child with Down’s Syndrome would just be SO much more time-consuming than a “typical” child the same age confirmed fact or just speculation, especially since we know almost nothing about her son? Either way, comments about “their nature” are troublesome, especially because there is so much diversity within children affected by those developmental disabilities. Either way, I somehow suspect that a man in the same situation wouldn’t have to face all these questions about who was going to care for his children.

  37. CICI
    CICI August 29, 2008 at 10:47 pm |

    I’m a lifelong democrat- but you watch out for Palin -she’s going to surprise all the naysayers. The woman exudes confidence. She does not replace Hillary but neither does Obama. Obama is little a less than a cocky arrogant man making this run about race and equality only being attainable if a black man becomes President rather than who will be best for this country. His worst enemy is his wife. She is a such a liability that I can not in good conscience vote for Obama because she does not deserve to serve this country. How can a man who lets his children hear the words of hate from their preacher be a uniter? Dah -it’s a no brainer – he can’t. Of all the candidates, she has the best experience – she’s actuall governed a state – the others are wannabes. My prayer is that those 18+ million would write in Hillary for president. There is no one better qualified and more dedicated to this country. She’s so dedicated to this country that she swallowed her pride with grace and class to unite her party behind a person who does not deserve to sit at her table. Have you ever considered what Obama would have done had the tables been turned? He would have been a spoiled little brat. The democratic party, however, has fallen far short of my ideals. The entire party treated Hillary despicably. The democrats, headed by Ted Kennedy who wants the Kennedy name to be relevant again, did everything they could to undermine Hillary. The fiasco regarding Michigan and Florida changed the whole complexion early on. But its true, Karma always comes back ten-fold. The Republicans will win this election because the democrats shot themselves in the foot. They’ve proved that they have done to Hillary what they accuse the Republicans of doing to the people. Democrats everywhere, think about Nancy Pelosi. This woman is a Republican or being blackmailed by the Republicans (probably due to a thick dirty dosier on her). She immediately took impeachment off the table and has been railroading the democratic primary races to be sure Obama won. Is that so she would continuing to be the highest ranking woman? Did jealously play the biggest part of her “support” for Obama? I’d say it did. I intend to get all the supporters I can to support Cindy Sheehan to replace her.

  38. In which I pessimistically call the 2008 Election for McCain « XXBlaze

    [...] oldest in the army and the youngest born earlier this year with Down Syndrome. People have already speculated that Palin, because she is a woman, should be at home mothering and taking maternity leave instead [...]

  39. Misspelled
    Misspelled August 29, 2008 at 11:46 pm |

    CICI, is there anyone in national politics you haven’t created a neat little psycological profile on? Or are you planning on pitching this to Oliver Stone?

  40. Dr. Agonize
    Dr. Agonize August 30, 2008 at 12:16 am |

    It’s totally legitimate to question whether she’s putting her career and country before her family by taking the VP spot. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with a woman choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. A woman doesn’t need to be career-driven to be successful in life. But it is ultimately a question only she can answer. As a mayor and governor I’m sure she had and has plenty of nannies, and if she’s VP that won’t change.

  41. CICI
    CICI August 30, 2008 at 12:20 am |

    TO MISSPELLED- But do you disagree? What has the democratic party done that is democratic? The people want to believe in actual elections. What are caucuses other than strong arm tactics for people who have all day to spend intimidating others?

    Did Pelosi take the message of the 2006 elections from the people and act on it – no- she just wants to be a figurehead. What has she done for anyone who mandated they wanted change in Washington?

    Obama is an unknown. He’s too polished – it’s too much of a sales pitch and staged production – it lacks sincerity. It feels as though you’re buying that Kirby vacuum cleaner or Encyclopedia Britannica that you’ll never use even though it sounded great and now you can’t take it back.

    Michelle is least sincere – you can see it in her eyes, her posture, her mannerisms. Her body language and eyes are the tell. I just can’t get that “good feeling” about them. She is a liability and she’s on good behavior now what happens when she’s got the position?

    You don’t run across the class the Clintons have shown.

    My husband and daughter attended the Springfield rally for Obama and the Dayton rally for Mc Cain. These are democrats that have been Obama supporters and they both agreed that hands down they were far more impressed with McCain and Palin and their rally and sincerity than Obama. In fact, they left the Obama rally early out of sheer disappointment. My daughter said she felt dizzy watching Obama turn from side to side from one teleprompter to the other reading his speech that he was trying to pass off as more or less “impromptu.” She said she wondered what else he was trying to pass off….

    I continue to support Hillary and invite the 18+ million to write her name on the November ballot and really have your voices heard.

  42. Misspelled
    Misspelled August 30, 2008 at 12:39 am |

    Do I disagree? With what? Your analysis of Michelle Obama’s posture? Or your traveling-vacuum-cleaner-salesman analogy?

    I’m voting for Obama in November, because I enjoy my right not to have babies and would like for my best gay friend to be able to get married someday outside of our home state. I think it’s ridiculous that you’d rather have people write in Clinton’s name rather than vote for Obama; had I read that suggestion out of context, I would have assumed that your reasoning was based purely on image and instinct, not on policy — and thanks to the rest of your post, I now know I’d’ve been right. So yeah, you could say I disagree.

  43. Mystery Dyke Squadron (Bombing Division)

    CICI – If you are under the impression that Obama gets more polishing than your beloved Clinton then you are rather mistaken.

  44. Dr. Agonize
    Dr. Agonize August 30, 2008 at 1:39 am |

    The last day of the DNC was indeed a huge gaudy circus that lacked sincerity. But this was a performance that had to convince the other side of the country that he’s a good candidate. The Obama faithful already saw him up close and personal at grassroots rallies and smaller events throughout the primary. The convention was also mostly intended to patch up the damage that Hillary had caused by being a sore loser. The race now moves to TV now and TV is the thing that lacks sincerity and authenticity, not Obama.

  45. CICI
    CICI August 30, 2008 at 1:49 am |

    To Mystery Dyke Squadron – You’re undoubtedly correct, but it doesn’t “feel” that way. But do you disagree with what I’ve said?

  46. HuffPo Watch: VPILF.com wank at Hoyden About Town

    [...] Feministing and Feministe are keeping an eye on this, [...]

  47. Sarah
    Sarah August 30, 2008 at 2:20 am |

    Every time I hear someone say something like “I just can’t get that ‘good feeling’ about [him/her]” about one of the Obamas, I can’t help but mentally add “…because they’re, well, so brown!” to the end of it.

    Call me paranoid, but negative “gut instincts” about a minority sound like they might be just plain old racism with cuter phrasing.

  48. Sarah
    Sarah August 30, 2008 at 2:28 am |

    CICI, what’s so “classy” about ignoring the wishes of your favorite candidate? Do you honestly think Clinton will *thank* you for betraying everything she has worked for, and screwing over the party she fought so hard for? That won’t teach the democrats a lesson. The only people that will be “taught a lesson” by women voting Republican… will be other women. Women who won’t get health care, birth control, education, or a chance to come home from Iraq. Women who will get four more years of being told “just keep your legs together, slut!” instead of getting sex education or access to safe, legal abortions. Women who will lose their homes, their insurance, and their jobs. Or their children. Or their rights. Or even their lives.

    Yeah, CICI. Vote McCain. Teach those bitches a lesson.

  49. Eileen
    Eileen August 30, 2008 at 2:59 am |

    Ms. Phallin has every right to achieve. She does not have a right to the title of feminist. That commitment requires something more than I go mine! It begins with a commitment to the poorest among us, i.w. wome n wit children dependent on them. It begins with a commitment to recognize women’s personal and moral autonomy, i.e. the right to decide the affairs of their own live. ms. Phallin does not embrace these commitment.

    To think that those of us who hoped to vote for a woman for President are so stupid as to believe that this vote only involves us is soooooo insulting.

  50. Kathleen Suits
    Kathleen Suits August 30, 2008 at 5:34 am |

    I would expect that the executive branch would give the Palins the same level of support that was provided to our current, medically challenged vice president.
    Holding high political office while caring for a baby requires a lot of support or one ends up with a mess. Check with Jane Swift, acting governor of MA and mother of twins. Her child care decisions were regularly played out in the press.
    Working mothers and women who had once been working mothers were initially sympathetic, but she eventually started looking bad compared to other female office holders with you children whose child care was better organized.

    Palin’s appoiintment may mean that McCain envisions an early version of the vice presidency (bucket of warm spit) rather than the Cheney version of the last eight years.

  51. PA
    PA August 30, 2008 at 8:56 am |

    her apparent concern for shoving more pork in the direction of Alaska

    Clue: the executive branch doesn’t dole out pork, or write the legislation that assigns it, congress does.

    The only case where she could have any effect is with a tie breaker vote in the Senate.

    Suggest reading a constitution in the future.

    BTW, she helped killed Tubes Steven’s bridge to nowhere. That was a power the AK governor did have.

  52. Bronze
    Bronze August 30, 2008 at 10:35 am |

    I’ve been reading this thread with growing interest, and I have to say, I’m surprised. Where did this notion that Palin is homophobic and ignorant come from? “Christian” is not analogous to “ignorant redneck.” As for wanting to help Alaska: desire to aid her home state doesn’t mean she’s going to gobble everything she gets.

    This may sound strange, but is it possible to look on the bright side? A woman has been nominated for VP by a major party, and if recent polls are correct, she’s got more than a fifty percent chance of winning. Fine, she’s not on your side, but it’s still progress. No matter what, there could still be a woman in a position of power in the White House–greater than ever achieved before by a member of our gender. Being Republican and Christian doesn’t mean she’s not a woman, or somehow unworthy of human respect.

    Frankly, I’m disappointed. Some of you have begun throwing the same accusation at her that all the male members of the media do–that maybe she should stay home and raise her kids. She’s got a right to go out and get a job, and do something with her life–maybe even be the vice president of the United States! I daresay her children won’t suffer because their mother is helping to run the nation.

    Step back, take a deep breath, and try and look on the bright side. This isn’t the End of Days, it’s just politics. Nobody’s going to come and rip our ovaries out if she gets elected.

  53. Mystery Dyke Squadron (Bombing Division)

    To Mystery Dyke Squadron – You’re undoubtedly correct, but it doesn’t “feel” that way. But do you disagree with what I’ve said?

    Ah, you’ve sliced through my relativism like a diamond cutter through butter.

    Hillary Clinton often feels slightly mechanical while giving speeches. All seems adopted, considered and contemplated. My feeling was that Obama spoke as he pleased (defending gays outright, being forthright and outspoken in his opposition to the war) whereas Clinton was firm where she opted to be (condemning Bush) but hesitated elsewhere (I fail to recall her even mentioning gays and the threat to their equality and wellbeing posed by America’s many reactionaries).

    This has been described as a “Defensive crouch” by some, and that phrase seems apt. Clinton’s formative decade politically was the 1980s. The outcome of that was, inevitably for someone on the left, somewhat watered-down. Somewhat fearful.

    I do disagree with what you said because Obama’s nomination speech, like so many others, seemed to me entirely genuine. Certainly it had been written beforehand (ad libbing skillfully is a rare talent) but he obviously meant every word. Obama has a passion and a vigour to him which other candidates (the last two democrats, for instance, as well as his rival) have not shared. Strangely enough the last man to squander a fine position, John Kerry, has been seemingly invigorated and gave easily the finest speech I’ve seen him perform at the Democratic National Convention, the topic largely being Obama.

    So in conclusion I am afraid that the android I find is unquestionably Clinton. Her earlier, wooden, performances were improved upon but she is no match for the immediacy and urgency of Obama.

  54. tina andreasson
    tina andreasson August 30, 2008 at 11:03 am |

    This is affirmative action for white women. She’s not qualified to be VP.

  55. Misspelled
    Misspelled August 30, 2008 at 12:53 pm |

    Bronze, she’s anti-choice and pro-gun, opposes gay rights, supports drilling ANWR, and wants creationism to be taught alongside evolution in science classes. What exactly makes you think that people’s opposition to her isn’t based on anything more substantial than an aversion to Christianity?

    And as for anyone coming to rip out our ovaries — the liberal side of the Supreme Court is getting up there in age. If McCain wins, he will very likely have the opportunity to appoint more conservatives — who will be around for another couple of decades. If the right to a safe and legal abortion is revoked while I’m young enough to get pregnant, I’ll consider if very much akin to a member of the McCain administration coming and ripping out my ovaries.

  56. estraven
    estraven August 30, 2008 at 1:35 pm |

    “Is the assumption that a child with Down’s Syndrome would just be SO much more time-consuming than a “typical” child the same age”

    It is not sure, but likely. However, the gap is going to get larger with time. My point is that I’m not terribly impressed by someone who chose to continue a pregnancy which results in a child with a (often) non-life-threatening disability, having the advantage of
    -a good income;
    - a supporting spouse and family;
    - not having to give up her career.

    I think Palin is fantastic example of being pro-choice; namely, she informed herself about the fetus’ condition, and then decided what to do. Sorry, but in a country where you deny people plan B on the off chance that it might interrupt a pregnacy, how should one evaluate the choice of having an amnio? Sorry folks, but _that_ also comes with a price tag, in terms of risking a pregnancy’s interruption.

    Mind you, I’m pro-amnio (or rather, pro-choice have an amnio or not as you wish) but I find it hypocritical on the part of someone who would deny rape vistims the right to an abortion. She instead is allowed to have a 1 in 100 chance of abortion just so she can now whether he fetus is healthy. Disgusting.

  57. Charity
    Charity August 30, 2008 at 3:40 pm |

    MDS (BD), I am hoping you can cite me those times Obama “defended gays outright”? I thought he was rather lacking in that department.

  58. Bronze
    Bronze August 30, 2008 at 4:02 pm |

    Misspelled: When did Palin ever vote for creationism? And drilling ANWR isn’t, as I said before, the End of Days. The pro-gun and pro-life is rather obvious, so there’s no point debating it. But politics is transient, to say the least. Even if (horror of horrors) McCain-Palin wins, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to attain everything they want. Aren’t the pro-choice people still going to fight against them? Or will the pro-choice movement just roll over and die with McCain in office? If you think so, you’re giving him far too much credit.

    There is a bit of a doomsday mentality here. You’re selling everybody short, including yourselves. So there’s a pro-life candidate nominated? Then it’s time to make sure your voices are heard too. They’re not Cthulhu, for God’s sake.

  59. Misspelled
    Misspelled August 30, 2008 at 5:08 pm |

    Bronze — She expressed her support of teaching creationism during a debate while running for governor of AK. As far as I know, she’s never been in a position to vote for or against it, since the only time she was a member of a legislative body was during her two terms on Wasilla’s city council.

    Drilling ANWR? Is a bad idea. And I’ll oppose it, and support abortion rights and gun control, as vehemently as I see fit. Please stop feeling like you have to “put things in perspective;” I swear, I’m perfectly capable of opposing the McCain/Palin ticket without shaving my head and retreating to the sewers to found a peaceful colony of earth-dwellers. I just don’t have it in me to view the presidency as something that’s not to be fretted over because it all breaks even in the end. If I was content to let the chips fall where they may re: gay rights, women’s rights, the environment, et al., and not get worked up about it, then I wouldn’t even have opinions on these issues. I do have them, and I want to see them reflected in the next presidency.

  60. Bronze
    Bronze August 30, 2008 at 7:00 pm |

    Misspelled: Yes, she did express her support for creationism–as part of a healthy debate, not as the only thing that should be taught. Students learn a lot from discussing and dissecting theories.

    Drilling ANWR? Is still a topic open for debate. Again, not cut and dried. So long, though, as everybody stays calm about it. I’m not saying you should be apathetic; but I do think approaching things calmly–as you’re doing now–is a good idea. One thing the world doesn’t need more of is irrational hatred.

  61. Blogtalk: All About Palin - The Caucus Blog - NYTimes.com

    [...] at Feministe, had a succinct reaction. [...]

  62. michele
    michele August 30, 2008 at 7:50 pm |

    Palin’s a narrow-minded social conservative above all negative gender constructs. If we’ve transcended gender (I know we haven’t; this is the ideal, though), then we can justifiably conclude that Palin is not fit to run as VP in America’s social climate. The continuum of women in politics is inching forward with Hillary’s campaign and Palin’s nomination. But to work on repairing a nation necessary of social, health-care, and environmental reform, and on implementing strong international policies, Palin is simply under-qualified. Dismiss the fact that she’s a woman, as should the media and thus our culture. Examine her background and you’ll see this was a brilliant move by McCain and the rest of the reps.

  63. Misspelled
    Misspelled August 30, 2008 at 9:39 pm |

    For God’s sake. I don’t hate her, irrationally or otherwise. I disagree with her. I don’t want us to drill ANWR ever, and creationism has no place in any science classroom under any circumstances. Healthy debate is wonderful; debate of proven science/legitimate theories versus unprovable matters of faith is not healthy in science classes. It may be healthy in a current-events or religion class, with a good, informed, responsible teacher and a good atmosphere for discussion; but it never, ever belongs in science.

    I will not relax my attitude toward these issues, because they’re important to me, and I won’t relax my attitude toward Sarah Palin, because it doesn’t need relaxing. Are you satisfied with that?

  64. Connie Bryson
    Connie Bryson August 30, 2008 at 10:06 pm |

    Does John McCain have a thing for ex-beauty queens? He’s married to one. He could have picked a far more qualified (“deserving”) woman than ex-Miss Alaska contestant Sarah Palin as his running mate.

    Kay Bailey Hutchison, for example. But then, she’s sixty-five, and looks it. Will disaffected Hillary supporters who are voting for McCain simply because he picked a woman for his running mate be smart enough to realize that his choice is a slap in the face to older, more qualified women?

    Let’s get the word out to the Hillary hold-outs that McCain’s choice of a young, woefully inexperienced, telegenic woman is cynical, and at its core, anti-feminist.

  65. GlobalComment » Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama: Hypocrisy in Mainstream Feminism

    [...] to her defence. The rallying cry of the day is, attack the issues not the woman. Shakesville, Feministe, Alas, a blog, and Feministing all have posts attacking the media for its willingness to reduce the [...]

  66. Feministe » Sarah Palin and the Drink America’s Milkshake Party

    [...] GustavMusical InterludeJohn McCain thinks women are stupidSeriously, CNN?Crap.Caught Between the Tiger and the CrocodileAs promised?Women?s Health: More Than Our Uteruses, [...]

  67. Hope
    Hope August 31, 2008 at 7:29 pm |

    I always wonder why there is such a knee jerk reaction when someone asks a question which is pertinent. It’s not that she has children or that she’s a working mother, it’s the fact that she has an infant and is about to embark on the campaign trail. Her harshest critics are not going to be men but other women who will judge her, fairly or unfairly. And I have to admit when she brought that baby on stage, I became uncomfortable. First of all, it smacks of; look at my defective child, congratulate me because I kept him knowing he wasn’t perfect. I don’t think any analyst pointed out the fact that her rabid pro-life position renders the question of choice (in continuing the pregnancy or not), moot. And the other part of me cringed because the last thing a baby needs is to be in a raucous gymnasium listening to thousands of people scream.
    If anything she is being touted not because she’s qualified but because she’s a hockey mom who bravely birthed a child with Down Syndrome. Women everywhere should be offended and should not by sidetracked by the positing of a relevant question.

  68. Eleanor
    Eleanor September 1, 2008 at 1:18 am |

    I thought that the post was about the sexist question regarding Pallin by a male reporter. Pallin herself did not claim she’s a feminst, did she?

    BTW, years ago Senator Biden’s wife was killed in a car accident and he became the primary caretaker of his two young sons. At that time he had considered not accepting his senate post, but was asked to stay on.

    Sad to see we still have the double standard after all these years.

    (McCain/Pailin will not get my vote)

  69. Georgie
    Georgie September 1, 2008 at 1:52 am |

    Anything that I could say in response to this blog would not cover it. So, I shall simply relay this:

    That shit’s fucked up.

  70. Cara
    Cara September 1, 2008 at 10:04 am |

    Pallin herself did not claim she’s a feminst, did she?

    From what I’ve read, she actually has.

  71. Peter
    Peter September 1, 2008 at 10:24 am |

    Pallin herself did not claim she’s a feminst, did she?

    Don’t know.

    But, she’s a prominent member of an anti-choice group called “Feminists for Life”.

    Which is a strange name for a group that is hostile to contraceptive choice, believes in forced pregnancy, and believes in criminal sanctions for those who get abortions.

  72. lucie13
    lucie13 September 2, 2008 at 11:51 am |

    Sorry–whether she is a man or a woman, she is not innoculated against this question. In fact, I’m appalled that she is running. A presidential campaign is more grueling than trekking through the Sahara, and a male or female candidate with an infant should seriously examine their priorities before undertaking it.

    I view it as a serious lack of responsibility and character on her part that she has jumped into this race with a “special needs” infant under 6 months and a pregnant daughter (which she concealed from the McCain campaign), both of whom could use a parent more than a few sporadic minutes a day.

    I’m the most feminist of feministas, but in the first 6 months of life, a baby needs bonding with his/her mother that a father can’t entirely provide.

    If she were a Dem candidate, the ultra-right would be tearing her a new one for being a bad mother, instead of glorifiying her. What hypocrisy!

  73. lucie13
    lucie13 September 2, 2008 at 12:06 pm |

    I have to qualify that the baby issue is the smallest reason that I am appalled at Palin’s nomination.

    I should also say that I would have the same questionable feelings about a Dem or other party candidate pursuing the same course after just having a baby, but it’s more galling with Palin b/c she is put out there as all “family values.”

  74. Rebecca Traister Rocks « The World As Meditation

    [...] in some of the coverage. The VPILF stuff. The “she won’t be raising her kids” stuff. How can one oppose a candidate — and in particularly question her qualifications — [...]

  75. LadyBlog » Blog Archive » Playing the ‘Gotcha’-Sexism Card

    [...] that they’re giving a pass to sexists-against-Sarah is simply not true. See Ann @ Feministing, Jill @ Feministe, or this whole series of Sarah-Palin-sexism-watch posts at Shakesville, to pluck just a few [...]

  76. http://pocochina.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php « Pocochina’s Weblog

    [...] they know that if their child has a particular type of disability, they’ll be shamed for leaving an “unfortunate” child in someone else’s care while they pursue a [...]

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