Sunday, July 12, 2009

Palin, Sotomayor and feminism

A couple weeks ago, I got into a "discussion" with someone on Twitter, someone who I followed (at the time), about feminism and Sarah Palin. The person told me they were an "ex-liberal" and became that way after seeing how Palin was treated by the media and by other women. This person's main contention was that a feminist doesn't have to support Palin, but shouldn't "bash" Palin either. According to this person, feminists should be proud of/excited by the fact that she is the second woman ever to be on a presidential ticket.

I contended that my criticism of Palin's stances on certain issues (abortion), or the fact that she quit her job, or how she conducted herself during the campaign (i.e. her "palling around with terrorists" comment) has nothing to do with either of us being a woman; Palin is a politician, and I will speak up when I disagree with her, like I would with any male politician.

During our conversation, this person said, among other things, that I was a "female Democrat, not a feminist," and that I was a "sexist female who pretends to be a feminist." They also said that I am a "
feminist who spends her time trashing Palin" (I've written specifically about Palin twice on this blog, once about the Letterman joke and once when she quit her job), and that they "don't think it's cool for a feminist to bash any woman who makes political progress."

Since when does f
eminism equate to being silent when one disagrees with another woman, or any form of silence for that matter? Goodness knows I'm not ever supporting or keeping quiet about Rep. Michelle Bachmann, for instance, just because she's a woman. My own representative is a woman, who I disagree with on most every issue important to me. I didn't vote for her, nor would I, as some kind of act of "solidarity." I fail to see how any of this, Palin criticism included, would exclude me from being called a feminist. I also refuse to think feminism hasn't progressed enough that women can't disagree in the political arena. Do we, women, really want society to think women in the political arena are only there because they were propped up by other women, as if they couldn't get elected any other way? (And if so, why isn't Hillary president?)

But let's say one agrees that it's not "cool" for feminists to "
bash any woman who makes political progress." (Never mind that quitting your job as governor isn't exactly "political progress.") How, I wonder, would this person, a self-proclaimed feminist, defend the Palin defenders who are bashing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor? Are they going to go tell TeamSarah that it's not "cool" to bash another woman making political progress?

TeamSarah, if you didn't know, is promoting the
Women's Coalition for Justice, who oppose Sotomayor's nomination. TeamSarah also has a link to this site, where you can voice your opposition to Sotomayor. (They also have a Michelle Bachmann group!)

So, it would seem that supporting Palin means not supporting Sotomayor. Huh. What's a "feminist" to do now?!? Here's an idea for my Twitter friend: quit trying to define feminism in such narrow terms, or at the least, quit being so hypocritical in your feminist stances. If it's all about supporting other women, why did you attack me, a woman, for what I said? And why aren't you calling out your fellow Palin supporters for their opposition to Sonia Sotomayor? After all, she could be only the third woman to ever serve on the Supreme Court, and you yourself said "
being a feminist should not mean you only support women of your party. It should be for the advancement of ALL women." Time to practice what you preach, or quit preaching.

8 comments:

Razor said...

If any "feminist" supports Michele Bachmann, they should not only lose their feminist status, but also their status as someone with a functioning brain. There is absolutely no way that any sane human being could ever support that woman... or Sarah Palin for that matter, but Bachmann is like Sarah Palin with a lobotomy.

Miss Unconventional, Latina Fatale said...

Amen, sista!

Dissent and opinion are what makes the world go round.

So, what, because someone who is a women (who happens to be pretty anti-feminist) we are not supposed to state our opinions?

She is the one who is making women look like idiots who can't handle leadership positions.

RosieRed23 said...

"She is the one who is making women look like idiots who can't handle leadership positions."

Couldn't agree more Miss Unconventional.

ZIRGAR said...

Amen. Feminism is supposed to be about women being free to make whatever choice they want, even if it's to disagree with other women. Apparently your Twitter friend didn't receive that memo.

Great blog, by the way!

Tomboys said...

I am the one being written about in this article. And MOST of what I said has been left out. Also what Rosie wrote that she expressed to me.. she never actually said. Remember this was on Twitter and we were limited to 140 characters. If anyone has any questions about me or what I stand for please ask me directly. Do not buy into talking points and hearsay. Cheers! Edie

RosieRed23 said...

I would happily post our entire conversation, but what I have here does in fact cover the basic points of the conversation.

And what, no response to the Sotomayor opposition? Figures.

Miss Unconventional, Latina Fatale said...

I'm a "feminist who spends her time trashing Palin"! Is there something wrong with that? It's tons of fun.

Razor said...

Yeah, trashing Sarah Palin is a blast regardless of gender. It's equal opportunity fun!

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