You don’t need to be a feminist to assemble a pack of conservative “mama grizzlies” for 2012; besides, as a conservative, it’s unnecessary. They simply do not support women’s individual freedoms, which is the bottom line in any feminist creed. So why Sarah Palin has chosen to contort her message saying she’s working on a “new conservative feminist movement” is more a lesson in gymnastic messaging than truth. She should stick with “mama grizzlies,” which is on point to who she is, because Sarah Palin is not a feminist.
As Chris Cilizza notes today, Sarah Palin is betting on several fierce candidates, all of them female: Carly Fiorina, who is running for the Republican Senate nomination in California; Rep. Nikki Haley, a candidate for governor in South Carolina; and Susana Martinez, the Dona Ana County district attorney seeking the GOP nod in the New Mexico governor’s race.
When you compare Sarah Palin’s actions to those of Democratic Party lately, sadly, what you see is something much more supportive of women coming from the right than the left. As I’ve been writing for months, we have no female equivalent to Sarah Palin on the left; someone who will stand beside women against the misogynistic Democratic establishment that refuses to stand up for women’s rights. It’s helping to tilt the Democratic Party, while aiding Republicans in moving this country rightward.
As Tony Lee proves rather convincingly in The Atlantic, it hardly matters whether Sarah Palin is a feminist, or as she deems it “frontier feminist,” because she’s got plenty of attributes to woo conservatives without that mantle. I understand that the left disagrees with me on this one, but no one has convinced me otherwise, whether she runs in 2012 or not. So, it’s an overwrought, bend over backwards exercise for Palin to even try to resurrect the feminist moniker with a conservative twist that not only won’t work but isn’t required, especially since it might awaken a dead women’s movement that won’t serve Sarah in the process.
Palin spoke at the Susan B. Anthony List breakfast on Friday, ranting on and on, invoking “mama grizzlies,” while using anti women’s rights language, evidently not at all concerned that her usual rhetoric extolling the values and importance of freedoms doesn’t extend to women. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the rights of Sarah Palin and conservative women to make decisions that fit their lives and philosophy. Unfortunately, they do not respect mine or the millions of other women who stand up for women’s individual freedoms and the right to self-determination that equals any man.
You simply can’t be a feminist if you don’t support a woman’s individual rights. Announcing a “new conservative feminist movement” without acknowledging the individual freedoms of women won’t cut it. This feministic facade that actually takes aim at women’s rights should be seen for what it is.
Anything less than supporting women’s full individual rights simply renders you a pretender, a fake, a feminist fraud.
See Emily’s List president Stephanie Schriock’s response to Mrs. Palin. Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, remained silent, though her ineptitude has already been proven. As for NARAL and NOW, they’re completely ineffectual, so nothing is expected.
Segue to Gallup’s latest poll proclaiming “The New Normal on Abortion: Americans More “Pro-Life”. Though it tries to bolster the Sarah Palin wing of the anti women’s right lobby, Gallup needs to take a step into the 21st century, maybe taking a page from NPR’s neutrality language when talking about reproductive rights. One can only wonder what the outcome would have been if Gallup had chosen abortion rights supporter (or advocate) and abortion rights opponent (or advocate). However, they have to support the status quo, which comes from another era. Until they change the language we should all take this organization for what it is: an organization that pushes an agenda that marginalizes women’s freedoms in order to get a specific outcome, which benefits the right in this country, regardless of party.
No one should be able to take a woman’s freedom away from her, which is what Sarah Palin and her feministic followers want to do. Anyone who tries to strip women of our individual freedoms is not for women’s rights, but also against women’s freedoms, and they most certainly aren’t a feminist in any real, true or important manifestation of the word.
Freedom is not just for men.
Human rights are women’s rights, which include individual freedom, which no one has the right to abridge.
However, Sarah Palin’s anti abortion rights rhetoric in no way diminishes her “unapologetic feistiness,” as Lee better describes her, or her ability to amass conservative “mama grizzlies.” Just don’t put Palin in the feminist column, because women can’t be truly free unless they are fully free, just like men.