Is Sarah Palin a gift to women voters or a gift to the religious right?

For those who thought McCain’s nomination of Sarah Palin for VP was all about picking up any of Hillary’s old supporters still on the loose, maybe it is more about picking up the religious right.

Obama’s recent shift to the right on FISA, abortion, and offshore drilling was about trying to pick up this group of evangelicals.  The more that comes out about Palin, the more she seems to fit the far right mold of those in the Republican party who are ticked off at McCain’s lack of ideological purity.

The guy on Red State Update , after ogling her photo, may be putting it more accurately than he thought when he says.”You know you can’t vote for her without voting for McCain too,” and his friend answers, “There’s always a catch.”

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2 Responses to “Is Sarah Palin a gift to women voters or a gift to the religious right?”

  1. leslie singer Says:

    The Betrayal of the Sisterhood or What’s Wrong with Sarah Palin ?
    By Leslie Singer– Corporate Brand Expert, Educator and Mother

    For the longest time I thought, as a strong, independent self-made, self-sufficient professional woman – that I shared a secret only my fellow womanhood knew about. We were part of a secret sect. We didn’t join a march or burn our bras or wear buttons promoting equal pay for equal work. That was so yesterday. We just hung in the trenches and worked and worked and worked and gallantly marched on toward the glass ceiling like gladiators.

    I look up with awe to Hillary, Martha, Carly and Oprah and so many others as my role models for perseverance and I respect their tough skin to withstand the mudslinging. These women not only broke through – they built their own ceilings. How proud the suffragettes must be.
    I applaud Ruth Bader Ginsberg, revere women like Susan Eisenhower, and to quote Katie Couric’s attempt at cool, I say to all glass ceiling breakers (give a shout out sista’s) – ‘you GO Girl!’

    I believed we were all fighting for the same rights – rights over our bodies, freedom to choose, equal pay for equal work and the right to become leaders of industry.
    It wasn’t that long ago that women were considered property, married women had no rights to property, custody rights favored men, and women weren’t allowed to practice medicine or law. Not being able to vote was the least of our problems.

    But overnight – like a punch in the stomach – many of my sisters have let me down. There was a crowd of these turncoats at the RNC. They cheered for Palin! And in doing so they were saying, “YES, veto our right to choose! YES, ban gay marriage! YES, Censor libraries! Great idea! “Yes, ‘Sarah from Alaska’, you be the arbiter of our lives and tell us what’s right for us and our families. Yes! Be our beacon of righteousness.” And the women cheered on!

    Palin spoke of her daughter’s situation as a private family matter. That’s right Sarah, a ‘private family matter’. Not a government, church or state matter. It escapes Sarah Palin that her daughter had the freedom to choose, as our daughters should.

    That a woman would support abstinence and try to deny sex education for our children is a crime. You can’t live in this media driven culture and not arm your children with vital information.

    Only parents should have the right to censor what their children read, not the government, in the libraries that our tax dollars support. And we have a right to read whatever we damn well want to read. Read my lips Sarah: We aren’t a one-size-fits-all world.

    That she proudly supports her child going off to fight a war, that we should have never been in that is draining this country’s infrastructure, growth and global good will is stunning. I wish him and her Godspeed on that one.

    One would think at the very least Palin’s feminine side would grasp that government couldn’t mandate the power of love. And if a woman is raped, discovers a genetic abnormality or has economic circumstances hindering her options and subsequently makes abortion the best alternative for herself – that’s HER choice.

    Furthering her barking, she glowed in the promise that children with special needs will have a ‘friend in the White House’. She would have been better off inviting her fellow sisters – the likes of the Shrivers and Kennedys, who single handedly and tirelessly made their life work culminate into the global initiative called the Special Olympics. Maybe she can humble up for a minute and realize that her Down syndrome child has endless opportunities and rights that wouldn’t be on the books if it wasn’t for others before her.

    No doubt a woman who is aces in hunting, killing, and gutting animals for sport will be fine having to shoot down whatever. You Go Girlfriend! – Show us that Alaskan wildlife before you drill it to death. The kind of hunting Sarah does however, from helicopters and planes, the animal really doesn’t have a chance. And if she gets elected, we might not either.

    Let us all hope that we continue to live in a country where fighting for one’s right will still be an option. The suffragettes are most likely too tired to roll in their graves, but I am sure they are scratching their heads. We need a collective voice, ladies, and we need it now to protect our rights – for our sake, our daughters’ sake, and in honor of those that fought so hard so we can achieve anything – even the road to the White House. If Sarah had a soul it wouldn’t escape her that she has a role to play to advance and support the strides we have all made as women. Not all of us, Sarah, are gun toting abstinence-supporting God-fearing, creationist, book-burning hunters. Some of us just want to live simply by the laws of the Constitution.

    This is a call to arms ladies. Cast your vote not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, but as a woman.

  2. Nijma Says:

    Is being female only about reproductive organs? Whenever I hear this supreme court/abortion argument I am reminded of the Pocket Guide to Obamabots Lately, that argument is creating a lot of anger towards the DNC over in PUMAland.

    Also there is this thoughtful piece, via Riverdaughter (confluenceDOTwordpressDOTcom)

    I am reprinting a letter from Dr. Lynette Long that was sent to me today. Although I agree with many of the points Lynette makes, I am not as willing to go as far as she has with an endorsement. Everyone is encouraged to take as much time as they like in choosing whether to vote or not this year. This is Dr. Long’s POV and I find her thoughts on gender equity point on. My own daughter, who scores in the top 2% nationally in math has been forced to repeat a year of pre-algebra in spite of good grades. Many of her male classmates with her scores are taking a math class that will put her two years behind them next year. There was no arguing with the teacher. Brook just didn’t register on her radar and after March, she stopped calling on Brook in class. Brook is 12. Fortunately, she was admitted to Stanford University’s EPGY program based on the strength of her standardized test scores. She doesn’t have to fall behind but it is a sad situation that forces her to teach herself, via distance learning, with virtually no encouragement from her teachers or peer group. Already, it is expected that she will have to work much harder to get half as far. Discrimination starts young.

    Without further interruption, a letter from Lynette:

    The X Factor

    by Lynette Long

    Gloria Steinem, in her recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times, came out strongly against Governor Palin claiming the only thing women have in common with Palin is an X chromosome. I respectfully disagree. Governor Palin knows what it is like to be a woman, a mother, a daughter, a sister – things the two men on the Democratic ticket can never fully understand. She knows what it is like to grow up invisible in an incredibly sexist society, to be stared at, groped, and sexually harassed. She knows what it is like to be smaller in stature than men and physically vulnerable. She knows what it’s like to worry that you are pregnant when you don’t want to be or that you are not pregnant when you want to be. Sarah Palin knows what it is to experience the joys and sorrows of motherhood, to nurse a baby while holding down a job, to leave for work in the morning with a toddler tugging at your pant leg, or to have your children calling you at work to diffuse squabbles or ask for help with homework. She knows that once you get to work you have to speak twice as loud and twice as often to be heard and work twice a hard to go half as far. She knows what it is to be a member of the second sex.

    Gender is the most fundamental human characteristic. The first comment made when a child is born is either, “It’s a girl” or “It’s a boy.” From that second on, boys and girls live in parallel universes in the same culture. From the nursery room to the board room, boys and girls are given different messages about their respective roles in the world. At the hospital they are given different types of names and wrapped in different color blankets. Once home, baby girls and boys wear fundamentally different clothes and play with different toys. This differentiation extends through school where girls are given less attention, picked less frequently to answer questions and placed less often in advanced science and math classes. Once in the workforce, women are steered into lower-paying careers, paid less for the same work, and forced to juggle the responsibilities of work and home. You can’t learn what it is to be a woman, unless you are one. You can’t have a government essentially devoid of women that knows what’s best for women. You can’t legislate for women, without women.

    After the last Democratic Primary was over and it was clear Senator Clinton was not going to get the Democratic nomination, myself, and a small group of Clinton supporters met with Senator McCain and Carly Fiorina. I personally explained to Senator McCain that women comprise well over half of the population, yet are underrepresented in every branch of government. I asked him loudly and clearly to choose a woman for the VP slot and to increase the number of women in the cabinet and on the Supreme Court. Senator McCain listened respectfully to my request. Representatives of The New Agenda also met with Carly Fiorina and as well as representatives from the Obama campaign to
    make similar requests.

    After the Democratic Primary, I was also in contact with a member of Obama’s Finance Committee. He left several messages on my office phone, “urging” me to support Senator Obama. We had numerous contentious conversations and I finally told him I would be happy to vote for Senator Obama and rally other Hillary supporters to vote for Senator Obama but in return I wanted Obama to pledge gender parity in the cabinet. I foolishly thought equal representation in government was a reasonable request. “What if there aren’t qualified women you still expect us to appoint half women to the cabinet?” he replied. I was confused. “There are 300 million people in this country; you’re telling me you can’t find ten qualified women?” His responded, “You can’t have that.” We had no further conversations. There was nothing more to say.

    Weeks later I approached a training session for DNC canvassers at a park in my neighborhood. Eager to practice their new skills, they all ran up to me, “Do you support Senator Obama? Do you want to donate money to the DNC?” After explaining that I was a Hillary supporter, I again made my request. I will support Senator Obama if he will pick a woman as his running mate and promise gender parity in the cabinet. The men in the group openly laughed at me and found my request ridiculous. I looked at the horrified faces of the newly minted female canvassers. “They’re laughing at you too,” I muttered.

    Not one to give up, I contacted a daughter of a friend of mine who is a policy advisor for Obama. She assured me Obama was a good guy, so I posed my request to her. She generously responded, “I’ll ask him.” When I did not hear back from her in a few days, I shot her another email. She told me how disappointed she was in me for making such a stupid request. Obama was on the “right” side of the issues. Why did it matter whether men or women legislated those issues? I guess the answer from Obama was No. What saddened me was her mother was one of this nation’s greatest champions of title nine, educational equity and gender parity. Her mother and I counted the number of pictures of boys and girls in text books, male and female cartoon characters, and documented the underrepresentation of girls in math classes in our nation’s schools. Yes, policy is important but who decides and delivers that policy is even more important. As Marshall McLuhan profoundly noted, “The medium is the message.” Children incorporate many of their perceptions about gender by five years old. Little girls won’t understand if Sarah Palin is pro-life or pro-choice, believes in gun control or is a member of the NRA, but they will know the Vice-President of the United States of America is a girl and that alone will alter their perceptions of themselves.

    I have given my loyalty to the Democratic Party for decades. My party, which is comprised primary of women, has not put a woman on a presidential ticket for 24 years. My party refused to nominate my candidate, Hillary Clinton, for president or vice president, even though she received more votes than any other candidate in history. My party stood silently by as Hillary Clinton was eviscerated by the mainstream media. My party was mute while MSM repeatedly called Clinton a bitch and symbolically called me and every other woman in this country a bitch. My party was disturbingly silent when the MSM commented on Hillary’s body or the shrillness of her voice, reminding me and every other woman the fundamental disrespect we endure on a daily basis. My party’s candidate was mute when Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Father Pfleger openly mocked Senator Clinton from the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ. My party’s candidate was silent when the rapper Ludicrous released a new song calling Hillary a bitch. My party and it’s candidate gave their tacit approval for the attacks on Senator Hillary Clinton and consequently women in general.

    I have a choice. I can vote for my party and it’s candidates which have demonstrated a blatant disrespect for women and a fundamental lack of integrity or I can vote for the Republican ticket which has heard our concerns and put a woman on the ticket but with whom I fundamentally don’t agree on most issues. If Democratic women wait for the perfect woman to come along, we will never elect a woman. We have to seize opportunity where it presents itself. Besides, the Democratic Party is no longer my home. I have no home, but this election I will make my bed somewhere else.

    I respect Gloria Steinem’s right to support the presidential ticket of her choice but she is openly trying to derail Sarah Palin’s historic candidacy. As Madeleine Albright said, “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” I will vote for McCain-Palin. I urge other women to do the same. I might not personally agree with Palin on every issue and I promise to the first person knocking on her door, if Roe v. Wade, or any other legislation that goes against the rights of women is threatened. But in Governor Palin I find a woman of integrity, who not only talks the talk but walks the walk. I can work with that. I will work with that. When I walk down the street, I don’t have democrat printed on my forehead, but my gender is obvious to everyone and impacts every interaction in my life. Since my country is far from gender neutral, right now for me gender trumps everything else. I urge other women to join me in this fight for equality. Sometimes opportunities occur where you least expect them.

    Lynette Long
    http://www.lynettelong.com
    drlynettelong@aol.com


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