Politics: Sarah Palin

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Masum Momaya, Curator
Masum Momaya, Curator
United States

Sarah Palin

What do you think of the presumptive 2008 Republican candidate for Vice President, Sarah Palin? Is this is a good choice? Does this advance women in politics? Share your thoughts!


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Karen Offen
Karen Offen
United States

What do IMOW community outside the US think about the policies of Sarah Palin?

So far we've heard only from community members in the U.S. What do our community members in other countries think about Sarah Palin and her policies as concern women?

Anahi DeCanio
Anahi DeCanio
United States

Two wrongs don't make a right...

I don't want to confuse the issue. Women have been fighting for equal rights and empowerment since the beginning of time. We've made some improvements but we have a long way to go. If we were to support a candidate simply because of her gender we would be no better than someone who discriminated against us for being women. Wouldn't that be a double standard?
Joe Biden has supported issues benefitting women during his entire tenure in the Senate. Should we discriminate against him when comparing VP candidates because he's a man?
I don't believe Ms. Palin's policies are empowering to women or the country. That's what we should be talking about!!

My Pink Soapbox (Anahi DeCanio)

Not Historic and Not US

I will reiterate in response to Karen above that in my view, the very idea that Sarah Palin's candidacy is somehow a banner event is myopic, not only in terms of being completely US-centric (other countries have had women leaders for decades), but even in terms of its own recent history (Geraldine Ferraro was on the ticket in the 80s). There is a story on this site about the novelty frame, which ghettoizes women's achievement. I think the media focus on Palin as a women is very much snared in that trap.

IMOW Team
IMOW Team
United States

View our Timeline

Excellent point Quinn. The Women, Power and Politics Timeline offers an overview of women leaders throughout history and the world.

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Deleted User

Sarah Palin Does Not Represent Me

Sarah Palin. She has really been on my mind a lot lately. Her speech at the Republican National Convention stumped me. She was good, gosh, wasn't she?

Who would have expected a politician who has been a governor for 2 whole years representing a population of people so small that some larger cities in other states outnumber it, would be that comfortable and that savvy in front of that many people. After all, the entire nation was watching, glued to their television screens.

Although she had nothing to do with writing that speech, I admit that she executed it with skill, poise, and remarkable--and for Republicans much needed and often lacking--charisma.

But all I could think of was: Another DEMAGOGUE in sheep's (read: woman's) clothing.

As a woman and a liberal thinker who cares about the environment, our children futures, education and health care, I would NEVER vote for Sarah Palin.

I just don't agree with anything she stands for. Nothing at all. Not a smidgen of something. The two of us are from Venus and Mars.

A woman (or man) who does not espouse women's issues is not somebody I would ever vote for. As a woman, I want my rights protected at all times, at all costs.

Finally, I just want to say something that has been on my mind a lot: ABORTION is not a Republican issue. It is not a Democrat issue. It is not a party issue. Because many Democrats are anti-choice. And many Republicans are pro-choice.

It is a WOMEN'S issue and an issue that Sarah Palin does not espouse. As a result, in my opinon, she does not represent me, a woman.

Read this interesting article on U.S. WOMEN VOTERS and patterns of women's voting in the Women, Power and Politics exhibition. It might help answer some questions.

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Deleted User

What message does it send?

I watched Palin's speech on the television for as long as I could stomach the conservative rhetoric. Will women, teenagers, and young girls look to Palin as proof that women are valued and can be part of the political sphere? Or will they look and see that if you want to be accepted as a woman in politics you have to toe the conservative party line and decimate your sex politically and socially?

Kimberly Gray
United States

Good for women? NO

The Sarah Palin VP nomination is very disturbing and it is not good for women. The way that men and the media already treat her, i.e. don't ask her tough questions because she's a woman, already says to me that men don't respect her. When people only pick up on the fact that she is pretty, that is also demeaning to any other positive characteristics she has. After having her last baby, she went back to work after two days. What does this tell men? That this is normal and women shouldn't get a maternity leave? It seems like everything women have fought for up until now, could take a big step back. Just having a "woman" in office does not advance women as a whole. I am scared of a possible McCain presidency.

I am not sure Sarah Palin is the right person to help woman even though she seems very liberal with har family. I am not in accordance with her opinion on terrorism and war; there is a dichotomy between her ideas of family liberty and a nation's liberty. Plus her religious posture is very conservative.

Scary

I was glad at first that a woman was chosen to be a VP UNTIL it dawned on me that she was chosen as a mere trophy VP. Reading about her, I learned (as most of you here have already pointed out) that she is anti-choice, anti-gays, would ban books in a library if she could, etc.

This morning, I read an article in Huffington Post saying that she is Dick Cheney with a lipstick, the neo-con's prized entry to this election. Add that to the fact that she's a heartbeat away from the presidency due to McCain's old age, that's scary.

More

In answer to Masum's questions (sorry I didn't read it entirely) - I don't think she's a good choice. Her candidacy doesn't advance women in politics but does quite oppposite, brings us a step back, in my humble opinion.

Jewel Forster
Jewel Forster
United States

Trophy VP

Just because someone has benefited from feminism does not mean they are a feminist.

Looking beyond her pretty face, it's evident that she's not qualified for the job.

NOTE TO U.S. MEDIA: Ask Sarah Palin the tough questions!

Michael DeLong
Michael DeLong
United States

Alaskan Women Make History!

On September 14, a protest originally organized by a small group of women over coffee swelled to well over 1400, making it the largest political rally in Alaskan history. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was, in fact, larger than her very own Welcome Home rally held the same day in Anchorage. Women and men waved signs with slogans, including the humorous (if ageist) "McCain and Palin: Incontinent and Incompetent."

Alaskan Women Reject Palin ()

Feeling Defensive

When I first heard about the Palin nomination, I was surprised the McCain camp would choose someone with such a short political resume - especially because their main criticism of Obama stemmed from his inexperience.

But as the (obsessive) Palin talk continues in media, liberal and women's circles, I'm starting to feel on the defense about Sarah Palin.

The jabs have gone from being critical of her political resume to downright ridiculing her unique experiences as a woman. I think this is offensive to women's contributions in traditional roles of caretakers and nurturers. Raising the next generation of humans is no trivial task. Women have been steered towards these social roles of caretakers and now they're being ridiculed for them. Can we win?

Some of the main ridicules I've seen have come from liberal women themselves! Liberal women are attacking Palin every chance they get. Is this the sort of women's movement we want to build? In attacking Palin, are we cutting off our nose to spite our face -- as they say here in the U.S.? Or are we just being responsibly critical?

Not to generalize men, but it seems to me that the men in power just love to see women squabble over the few leadership positions that have opened up for us. Are we just engaged in the same old cat fight?

It seems to me like a classic case of divide and conquer and I'm growing increasingly more conflicted about it. Is anyone else?

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Deleted User

Some Libral Women and Sarah Palin

Renee, reading your comment I thought of this cartoon I saw a couple of days ago. I agree that current belittling by some of Sarah Palin and her personal life is offensive. Personally, I am only interested in her political views, past social, political, economic and environmental decisions and her future intentions for this country. I'm not impressed by any of the latter.

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Sara D.
India

Experience and Diversity

As an American working abroad, I haven’t been deluged by the presidential election coverage, but I am familiar enough with the respective Veep choices and their political positions. I have mixed emotions over Sarah Palin. While, I totally disagree with many of her beliefs, I do think it is phenomenal to see a woman with 5 children on a national party ticket for Veep. At the very least, she's representing the idea that women can and do, do it all and that's pretty commendable. I thought the foundational values of the women’s movement advocated for diversity and tolerance of other religious and politically differing views. Does the struggle for equality end only when we all have the same uniform beliefs, (especially on matters that shouldn’t be politicized in the first place, such as marriage and abortion).

For me (a registered independent voter), it comes down to being torn between female representation in the White House and representation of my personal values and beliefs. As for Obama, his pick of Joe Biden made me want to puke. He ran a campaign on "Change," but chooses one of the most deeply entrenched Washington insiders, who has been in office for more than half of his life – over 35 years as a Senator - to be his running mate. Actions speak louder than words, right? The security of Afghanistan has deteriorated as militant attacks have sharply risen over the past 18 months. During this same time period, Obama has served as chair of a senate oversight committee which is partly responsible for monitoring such foreign affairs as Afghanistan. Yet he has not held one single meeting, because according to him, “I became chairman of this committee, at the beginning of this campaign-at the beginning of 2007, so it is true that we haven’t had oversight hearings on Afghanistan” (transcript for Obama/Clinton primary debate in Texas). How come it appears no one is questioning the merits of a presidential candidate (rather more attention has recently been focused on the experience of a Veep candidate) in which the majority of his experience is attributed to running a campaign more so than that of actual legislating time in office? When did experience garnered in running a political campaign count for political leadership (i.e. Bush/Rove 2004 presidential campaign was successful by 3% over Kerry, yet Bush’s approval rating at the day of his swearing in was barely 50%, the lowest of any president for the previous 80 years, which has only fallen to the even more historic low of 25% today)? While we are on the subject of criticizing candidates for experience (apparently Hillary had too much, while Sarah has too little), we need to take a look at what kind of experience really matters. Why are we discounting the experience women gain in such traditional roles as “PTA and hockey mom.” Would a woman discussing her child’s education and school matters, especially controversial issues such as proposed school closures and relocation, use different communication and negotiation skills to have discussions with world leaders? Does a mother multi-task any differently than any politician on Capital Hill – granted she’s multi-tasking to support the lives of her children rather than juggling legislative bills and committees with the aid of dozens of staffers and assistants. In the end, this debate over what qualifies as “acceptable” experience may only further serve to deter other women, especially young women, from running for office. It’s like damned if you do have experience (Hillary) and damned if you don’t (Sarah). The reality remains that in terms of women’s representation in public office, the US pathetically pales in comparison to other less-developed countries with younger democracies.

I’ve just witnessed an historical election in Uttarakhand, India in which 30,000 women were elected to local government seats across the state, thereby achieving 50% representation. For the vast majority of these women, it is their first foray into the political arena and for many it is the first time they have participated in institutions outside of the family. If these women candidates weren’t supported by their women peers, but were instead criticized in the same fashion that American women are criticizing Palin, they wouldn’t have succeeded. Indeed, they would have likely “stayed at home.” The reality is that these women have loads of experience that can transfer to their new roles and positions. They are the bedrock of society, taking care of home, family, and tending to the fields. Often the survival of their children depends solely and directly on them as many men have migrated to the cities. These women are the caretakers of the environment and manage the natural resources in their daily agricultural work. So again, I have to ask my American peers to examine their definitions of experience and what kind of experience it takes to be a strong leader. I have to ask that we stop undervaluing ourselves and daily life responsibilities because the demands and pressures of raising a child is on par to that of making tough executive decisions in the office of the Presidency!

Tags: Sarah Palin , U.S. , Vice President , candidate , Republican , conservative , candidat , المرشح


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