Six months ago, I sat in my hometown, forced to listen to the ramblings of the local radio station: “Who will you vote for in the Primaries?”
There were predictable calls of homage to McCain, a superstar in conservative Tuolumne County, CA; I even caught a few maverick cheers for Obama.
And then: “I’m voting for Hillary Clinton, because it’s time we had a female president!”
Do you think you sound intelligent when you say that? I snarled to myself. It was as sexist in my mind as voting for McCain because he’s a man. If Senator Clinton and her followers believed in equality between the sexes, then why call attention to the obvious fact that she’s a woman?
Then came Sarah Palin. No fellow woman has ever made my ovaries cringe so violently. My mother’s ilk had ingrained in my mind certain seemingly unalienable associations with feminism: pro-choice, socially liberal, and secularist policies in government.
Suddenly an anti-choice Creationist who praised the war in Iraq as “a task sent from God” promised that with John McCain’s victory, the highest glass ceiling would finally come crashing down.
My friends and I accused Palin of being the Anti-Feminist, but as time progressed, I had to question our correctness. In its very basics, feminism represents two fundamental stances: a woman’s right to participate politically, and to determine her own station.
Sarah Palin has done just that: she knew she wanted to be a wife and mother – she is now happily married with five children. She believes women have an equal duty to fill the highest offices in the land. She is obviously articulate and intelligent, despite any uncouthness. Sarah Palin, I am scared to say, is in fact a feminist.
I am in no way defending John McCain’s vice presidential pick. To the contrary, the whole thing reeks of tokenism, and though I disfavor her, I believe Palin to be sincere in her desire to be an exceptional leader, a quality which McCain has used to turn Palin into a pawn.
I warmly invite disagreement to my musings, if only to open discussion about a subject that has been burning on my mind for the last week. Is feminism purely for the socially liberal? Or can conservatives have their own definition too?