In the teacher’s lounge the other day (deep in the belly of the beast) a fellow teacher (wearing a Social Justice t-shirt, of course) turned to me and, knowing I was the only Republican at the table, asked me a question.
“As a woman, how can you vote for Sarah Palin? She’ll roll back feminism 20 years.”
Twenty? I thought. Let me get back to that. Here’s what I say to anyone who wants to mention Sarah Palin and feminism in the same breath:
So you say you’re a feminist. And you don’t like Palin. Whom do you like better? Michelle Obama? Hillary Clinton? Okay. Let’s compare Michelle, Hillary, and Sarah.
I know you can see already where I’m going with this.
Let’s look at Hillary. The smartest woman in the world, they used to call her. She rode her husband’s coattails into the White House, put up with his cheating ways, stood by her man, and in return, she got to be Senator for a while, and received his tepid and, frankly, unhelpful support in her unsuccessful bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The man humiliated her and defiled his wedding vows, and did so in front of the whole world, I might add. It’s no exaggeration to say he got more from her than she ever got from him.
I mean, unless she really enjoyed picking out the White House Christmas Tree every year.
Then there’s Michelle Obama. Her role thus far has consisted of informing us of what her husband will and will not let us do, (”Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”)
Her other major contribution to history is to let us know that she was never proud of America until it embraced her husband.
Leaving out my knee-jerk reaction, which is the desire to tell ma belle Michelle that Barack can tell HER what he’ll allow (apparently) but he won’t be telling ME squat, I have to say, Michelle is no ringing bell for feminism. She’s even started wearing pearls, which is apparently the political wife’s sign of abject submission to her husband’s ambitions.
Look, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate supportive wives. Laura Bush has been a pillar of support and womanly fortitude. Of course, she doesn’t do it while striding around pretending to be the next harbinger of feminism.
So let’s take Hillary-stand-by-your-cheating-man and Michelle-you-will-obey-my-husband and stack them next to Sarah Palin.
Sarah Palin has not said diddly-blip about her husband as far as I know. Last I heard, he was home taking care of five kids while she gets ready to run the country. Last I heard, he hasn’t cheated on her. Maybe because he’s a loving husband; maybe because she shoots things, I don’t know and I don’t care.
What I know is this: Hillary got squat for her years of support. Michelle has been shushed up and has scuttled off into oblivion like a good little wife.
Sarah Palin is out there preparing to be Vice President. Her husband is home preparing formula for the baby.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not gloating about Todd Palin’s fate. Hopefully, he’s proud of his wife, and happy to be an active father. I’m just saying, tell me again who’s a better poster child for feminism?
Oh, and back to “Palin will roll feminism back 20 years.” No, she won’t. She’ll roll it back 60 years. You see, once upon a time, long long ago, feminism was about more than just abortion. What WAS it about? Well, I’ll give you a hint: Ask Todd Palin. ExileStreet
First appeared at CaliforniaRepublic
Bethanie Morrissey is an English teacher in Los Angeles and a veteran of the US Navy. She loves writing, cats, and her Mac.
copyright 2008 Bethanie Morrissey