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Catherine Townsend writes on her blog that she has found it difficult to stomach Sarah Palin as a role model for women:

We are facing a monumental moment in history, because the next president will almost certainly be nominating one or more Supreme Court justices and Roe vs. Wade and our reproductive freedoms lie in the balance.

The website Jezebel has already pointed out the similarities between Palin's policies and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. As a kid, I always thought that was a horror story, but if she gets into office it may come to life. Read more.

Question: Are women's freedoms and feminist issues a major feature of this election? And is Catherine right - that a woman is the biggest danger to those freedoms?

Comments

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brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
Not "a woman" but that woman.
jeffxandra wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
Agreed.

Just that woman.

Though it's arguable that woman is also the biggest savior of those freedoms because of how disastrously unpopular she has become. She can be considered a significant contributing factor to the sinking of John McCain's candidacy.
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 16th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - wolfwyndd - Oct. 16th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - carmy_w - Oct. 16th, 2008 02:37 pm (UTC) Expand
jessica_leah wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC)
McCain scoffed at the notion of protecting a woman's health (over that of a fetus) in the debate last night. So, certainly, a lot is at stake.
glassthorne wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC)
It's my belief that Sarah Palin represents all the negative stereotypes that have developed over the years, ever since women entered the white-collar workplace as more than just secretaries.

She can't separate her personal life from her political life.

She abuses her power for vindictive revenge when she doesn't get her way.

Instead of filling political office positions with people who are capable, she fills them with friends and yes-men who will bend to her will because they owe her for their upgrade in career and lifestyle.

When she is challenged on her intelligence and grasp of serious matters and fails to come up with a decent canned response, she bats her eyes and tries instead to sound cute, rather than competent, subconsciously reinforcing the archaic notion, "Don't ask her, she's just a girl."

The fact that she is fanatically pro-life sickens me. In my opinion, as a woman, Roe V Wade is not about the right to have an abortion. It's about the right for women to have a choice about what they do with their bodies. The absolute last thing that I want is a bunch of decrepit old politicians to decide what I can or can't do with my reproductive organs. That should be kept strictly between me, my significant other, and my doctor.
ratphooey wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
Well said.
(no subject) - credendovides - Oct. 16th, 2008 02:59 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 16th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pennyann - Oct. 16th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - moonlittaint - Oct. 17th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - takemetothesea - Oct. 16th, 2008 10:42 pm (UTC) Expand
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(no subject) - the_paulr - Oct. 17th, 2008 01:56 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - celli_puzzle - Oct. 18th, 2008 08:42 am (UTC) Expand
janet_prime wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
Women's freedoms are demonstrated by this election, not an issue. Which is a thing to be celebrated. Never again will white men be able to assume that one of their one MUST sit in the oval office.

Being a danger to women's freedom is an equal opportunity thing, open to both genders -- and anyone as totally lacking boundaries between her professional life and her professional responsibilities as Sarah Palin is indeed a danger. The thought of her as president scares me.

And I was for Hillary during the primary elections.
credendovides wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
My wife was for Hillary during the primaries and was one of the disgruntled women who was ready to vote against Obama because of how she was treated by the media and party. By the time the conventions were rolling around though she was starting to admit that Obama was still not a bad choice, and his speech at the democratic convention really impressed her. But the final nail in the coffin that stuck her firmly in the Obama camp was Palin.
grace_om wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 03:37 pm (UTC)
Women's reproductive rights are a major issue in this election, but I don't know that Palin is necessarily "the biggest danger" in this area -- she'll have to stand in line behind McCain. After his comments on abortion and "women's health" (airquotes, eyeroll, sneer), no one can have any doubt of *his* intentions, should he be elected.

As for Palin... Of all the accomplished, experienced, and knowledgable conservative women he might have chosen as a running mate...he picks her? There is nothing role-modelly or empowering about it. She's a sideshow star, and that is all.
freak2760 wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
tip toeing into the minefield.....
Are women's freedoms and feminist issues a major feature of this election?

No, but Hillary Clinton and Palin have shown that women are a force to be reckoned with in future elections.

And is Catherine right - that a woman is the biggest danger to those freedoms?

I believe she is wrong. It simply amazes me to see other women tear each other apart when their ideologies don't converge. From the beginning of the Feminist Movement, and this is just my opinion, the goal has been to "free women" from the boogeyman, and to advance women in society and to break those glass ceilings that are put in women's way's. No one ripped on Clinton when she ran, but because Palin is on the ticket with different views on government, family, and faith everyone assumes that she's out to turn this country into a theocracy, which imo, most Republicans don't agree with. All Catherine and everyone who agrees with her are doing are fear mongering.

The arguments that Palin wants Rape victims to pay for the tests have been debunked: http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_sarah_palin_make_rape_victims_pay.html

With that being said, I do not believe Roe vs. Wade is in any danger, now or ever.
wackinessensues wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: tip toeing into the minefield.....
What scares me is women who will vote for a woman who is ideologically opposed to everything (or anything) they believe in.

If you are so easily swayed that you would vote for a woman even after she and her running mate have publicly said that were your life in danger because of your fetus they would LET YOU DIE, well, that's the most anti-feminist stance I've ever seen a public official take.

I am a mother of two, and I love my daughters more than anything in the world, but had they at any point during the pregnancy made me choose between my own life and theirs? You better believe I would choose to live another day. When a handful of cells or unborn child have more rights than their mother we are living in a damned dangerous world.
Re: tip toeing into the minefield..... - freak2760 - Oct. 16th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: tip toeing into the minefield..... - freak2760 - Oct. 17th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: tip toeing into the minefield..... - brennakimi - Oct. 16th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: tip toeing into the minefield..... - freak2760 - Oct. 17th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: tip toeing into the minefield..... - brennakimi - Oct. 17th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC) Expand
You fail to comprehend...... - freak2760 - Oct. 19th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: You fail to comprehend...... - brennakimi - Oct. 19th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) Expand
You fail to comprehend......yet again.... - freak2760 - Oct. 20th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: tip toeing into the minefield..... - credendovides - Oct. 16th, 2008 04:57 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: tip toeing into the minefield..... - freak2760 - Oct. 16th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: tip toeing into the minefield..... - credendovides - Oct. 17th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC) Expand
wackinessensues wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
I've got to say yes!!!

A waaaaaay right-wing super fundamentalist woman who doesn't believe women should be able to choose when, how, or if they reproduce? Yeah, I'd say that's the most dangerous thing women are facing in this election.

Palin is the most sinister kind of woman, and we all know someone like her. She will slide the knife into your back and smile the whole time. She is a hateful, divisive, vindictive woman, and frankly she makes my skin crawl.

As someone who has fought for a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices, love who she wants to love, and live a life empowered Sarah Palin is the antithesis of everything I believe in. So yes, it could take a woman in the white house to undo everything women have been fighting for in this century.
stuartgbrown wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
Although an easy target for ridicule, Sarah Palin is arguably not only a risk to any notions of female emancipation but a figure potentially more damaging to the world than either Bush or Cheney.

Be afraid, be very afraid!
julione wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
I do not think that women are the biggest danger, but infact that woman just might be. It frightens me that in an interview with Katie Couric she could not pull out any other Supreme Court decisions but rather said she'd get back to her. Sure I don't expect her to know them all but you'd think at least some of the more popular ones (i.e. Brown vs. the Board of Education) would be brought out.


Now in the question of Roe v Wade, it is scary that she would swing one way or another without much thought. I think other women, such as Hilary, would step back and look at the issue. It would be hard for both to not take in to account their own religious views, but I think that Hilary would at least be able to look at the woman outside of religion.
tiny_josser wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
That book is the scariest thing.. ever.
pariskan wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 06:45 pm (UTC)
You know, the funny thing is that Palin is actually pro-choice (just don't tell her that).

When Couric asked her about her views on abortion, she said that she was unapologetically pro-life. However, she also acknowledged that other people did not feel as she did and said that she wouldn't force her views on other people. There's a video clip on the CBS website of the interview, and this page has a story about it as well; they key sentence is when Couric asked her if abortions should be made illegal. Palin's answer: "And, if you're asking, though, kind of foundationally here, should anyone end up in jail for having an...abortion, absolutely not. That's nothing I would ever support."

I really wish people would stop assuming that just because a person is pro-life or pro-choice, that they would do everything in their power to force that view on others. It's as if you can't acknowledge that other views might also be acceptable in a diverse world.
whatisbiscuits wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC)
I really wish people would stop assuming that just because a person is pro-life or pro-choice, that they would do everything in their power to force that view on others.

Hang on, John McCain's own website basically states that he is going to do everything he can to ban abortion, which is surely one way of forcing his view on others? From his website:

"John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat. However, the reversal of Roe v. Wade represents only one step in the long path toward ending abortion."

Ending abortion... he says it. Or am I misreading his words?
(no subject) - credendovides - Oct. 17th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - samuraigrrrl - Oct. 17th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC) Expand
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(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 16th, 2008 07:42 pm (UTC) Expand
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(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 17th, 2008 01:51 pm (UTC) Expand
respndines wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 06:48 pm (UTC)
This video says it all for me:

polarisdib wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC)
Are women's freedoms and feminist issues a major feature of this election?

Seems to be. Since the Hillary vs. Obama (note: first name vs. last name) primary leading to McCain choosing Palin basically to pick up the angry "I wanted Hillary, damn it!" votes (note: very unsuccessfully), the issue of "woman in White House" (as someone other than the First Wife, a particularly anti-feminist term if there is one) has spread new light onto the issue of feminism. More people talk about it than they talk about the (lack of) race issue with Obama, though that's not necessarily a good thing--the race issue may in fact make people more uncomfortable, and that's why they're not talking about it.

And is Catherine right - that a woman is the biggest danger to those freedoms?

Interesting phrasing there, as "a woman" isn't the issue but THAT woman, e.g. Palin. It's not lightly that people call her a cheerleader and a hockey mom... Okay, it is, it's very lightly and in its own way quite sexist, but anyway, Palin stands for conservative home values womanhood that works for some people but frankly appalls most feminists. As a cheerleader, she's a ditzy sex object meant to "invigorate the Republican base", which means "arouse them" or, translated into college talk, "be their fluffer." As a "hockey mom" she functions as the typical consumerist sexist image, the woman who's supposed to spend all her time cutting the crust off of bread and driving her kids around, and on her free time go shopping for shoes and school supplies. Not all women are impressed by that image, and notice how many times someone from her camp points out, "And she's a real good mother, too, doesn't that show how much experience she has!" (Note: no man ever gets recognized for being a good father in politics, as Biden pointed out in the veep debates. That is sexist, too."

--PolarisDiB
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 07:44 pm (UTC)
Hillary vs. Obama (note: first name vs. last name)

that was her own doing. she ran as "hillary" not as "clinton."

(no subject) - erynn999 - Oct. 17th, 2008 02:27 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 17th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - erynn999 - Oct. 17th, 2008 02:43 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 17th, 2008 02:44 am (UTC) Expand
manatees wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC)
I am a feminist (albeit a Christian one) and I would not consider the right to murder my unborn child a 'freedom' I would fight for. However, I dislike Sarah Palin for her views on healthcare etc and I am supporting Obama.
(no subject) - erynn999 - Oct. 17th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
(no subject) - pennyann - Oct. 17th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC) Expand
pennyann wrote:
Oct. 16th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
The major features of this election are the economy and energy policy, and tangentially... healthcare.

Women's issues are being focused on during this election cycle because a woman was running for president, and a woman has been chosen to be Vice President.

The fear that people have with regards to women's rights comes from Sarah Palin's strong personal stance against a woman's right to choose (or, as they would put it.. she is "anti-abortion").

I think with regards to the article, it is a stretch to go so far as to say we'd end up in a world like The Handmaid's Tale. In that world, a lot more has gone wrong then just overturning the law that grants a woman's right to choose.

I also think that, while it would not move women's issues forward to elect John McCain and Sarah Palin... we have to remember that the President (and the Vice President in particular) do not legislate. The President's legislative power exists only to veto. The Vice President has virtually no legislative power.

I do not believe Roe v Wade is in any danger of being overturned. We have a President right now who could have overturned it if he wanted to, he had a Republican congress and a couple of Supreme Court picks that might have helped him do this, but it didn't happen. I don't believe it will.

That doesn't mean that we should not pay attention to our politician's views on this matter, nor should we vote for those who threaten to take away freedoms that are granted by the constitution... but the abortion issue will always be sticky. The two sides will never agree. That's what happens when you try to legislate moral issues.
credendovides wrote:
Oct. 17th, 2008 12:45 am (UTC)
The supreme court also has limited power to rule on decisions. Something has to be brought to them before it can be ruled on. So they can't just one day say "Oops, you know what? We made a mistake on Roe v. Wade. Our bad." Someone has to bring up a case that has to make it through the lower courts to challenge the decision. That isn't a simple process, but it isn't an impossible process either.

Given that it is not a simple process, just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't happen. There is also a good chance the new president will be appointing new justices. From what I understand, it is likely justices with more left leaning point of view that would be replaced, so a more conservative president could put in a significant majority that disagreed with the decision, and then were a case to make it there, you can bet that Roe v. Wade would be in trouble.

So I don't think it is as safe as you think it is.
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