Is Sarah Palin smart enough to be a feminist?

I was born with a penis, which some people believe disqualifies me from expressing an opinion on feminism.  Now I’m not trying to define feminism, or to tell feminists how they should think, feel or act, but when I read this I had to say WTF?:

You might have noticed a recent media burp—gassy, though blissfully short—about a handful of faux “feminists” backing the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket. I won’t name these women out of concern that feeding their misplaced sense of self-importance may risk them bursting into shriveled balloon ribbons of overextended ego.  If you’re addicted to surreal humor you can find such SP supporters (I call them Spalinists) via Google—if you lack an excuse to put off, say, cleaning the garbage pail, and if you can manage it without bladder-challenging fits of hilarity at the cognitive dissonance invoked by juxtaposing words like “feminism” and “Palin.”

But if any actual feminists are concerned about the effect on Women’s Movement institutions and energy of this clutch of “formers” (a former chapter official of a national feminist organization, a former editor of a feminist publication, former Democratic funders, former Hillary supporters, and so forth), let me reassure you. The “trust date” had already long expired on these women, who’d been voted off feminist leadership posts, or fired, or quietly asked to resign. Some are confessed consultants to the campaign whose candidates they now—surprise!—endorse. I never imagined I’d see a “feminist” mercenary. But then I never heard of rats climbing onto a sinking ship, either.

Spalinists traipse around with their candidate, grinning and applauding her, sometimes getting paraded out to take a bow at a rally. They sound off about how she’s the target of sexism. (She is. D’uh. But being a victim of misogyny does not necessarily a feminist make—or we’d never have had Liddy Dole. Or Britney Spears.)

Spalinists claim they support the GOP ticket (while conveniently ignoring McCain) because: A) Palin is secretly brilliant, B) she is a feminist who only differs with the Women’s Movement in opposing abortion; C) us “elitist” Women’s Movement types who supported HRC but disavow SP are “anti-working-class women,” and—here it comes—D) Spalinists want to “teach the Democratic Party not to take women for granted.”


A) Anyone who hazards arguing that Palin is brilliant is herselfmorethana few watts short of a bulb. Palin is calculating (you betcha’!), or McCain wouldn’t be hemorrhaging from her stab-him-when-he’s-down wounds as she hypes her 2012 campaign before his is formally pronounced dead. But any real intelligence remotely attached to Palin gleams in Tina Fey’s eye.

That’s where I stopped reading.  If I or some other man had written those first three paragraphs, I would expect to see some righteous indignation and allegations of misogyny.  But the part that disturbed me was the allegation that Sarah Palin lacks intelligence.

Even assuming that the allegation was true (it’s not) what the fuck does that have to do with her credentials as a feminist?


5 Responses to Is Sarah Palin smart enough to be a feminist?

  1. madamab says:

    These women make me ashamed of my gender.

    On the one hand, they are massively misinformed about Sarah Palin and her supposed 2012 run, which is a complete lie that ABC has already apologized for spreading. On the other hand, they look down their classist noses at Sarah Palin’s intelligence.

    Well, at least GOVERNOR PALIN has not stomped all over fellow feminists and impugned their intelligence simply because they are pro-choice and she is not. And I defy these bitter bitches to show their resumes to the Internet community. Something tells me that they do not compare favorably to Governor Palin’s.

  2. angienc says:

    This is what is so great about you myiq — you “get it” like the woman who wrote this tripe doesn’t. If the author is a “real feminist” then I’m a faux-feminist — the company is of a much better caliber.

  3. angienc says:

    ooh, btw — I wasn’t going to waste my time trying to refute her “arguments” that the President of the L.A. Chapter of NOW, Lady de Rothchild, etc. are faux-feminists yada yada yada but this line is so incredibly dumb that I had to point it out:

    “few watts short of a bulb.” WTF? There is no minimum watt requirement to make a bulb — there are 7 watt bulbs, 27 watt bulbs, etc. Shouldn’t you even be smart yourself before you start throwing stones that Palin is the idiot?

  4. samanthasmom says:

    Robin Morgan was a real player in the feminist movement in the 60’s and 70’s. She once served as editor of Ms. Magazine and founded the Women’s Media Center. Now she mostly writes about feminism and the religious right, but doesn’t seem to do much more than that. She makes personal appearances and holds book signings. As someone whose feminist roots go back to the same time as Robin Morgan’s, I can say that at the time I admired her.

    There are some real accomplishments from the feminism of that time. Two of the biggies were Roe v. Wade and Title IX. However, I think that part of the failure to pass the Equal Rights Amendment was that leading feminists like Morgan and Steinem chased conservative women out of the feminist tent, setting an agenda for feminists that would eliminate woman like Sarah Palin from the movement. Since that time the feminist movement has largely stalled or moved further back. The sexism and misogyny that has been displayed this year has shown a light into the sewer pipes that many thought were gone, but in reality were just buried a little below the surface.

    Sarah Palin has accomplished so much that it pains me to see someone like Morgan be so disrespectful to her. It’s obvious that Morgan has slipped into complacency that being a well-paid author has afforded her and has not grown in her quest for women’s rights. She’s still fighting the battles that have been won. Feminism has a new face. It will be interesting to see if anyone cares whether Robin Morgan approves or not.

    And miq2xu, welcome to the club. You don’t have to be a woman to be a feminist. It’s obvious that you enjoy our company and want a world that respects and values the accomplishments of women. I’m glad you’re here.

  5. justus949 says:

    beautifully said, samanthasmom. myig, you are a hero to raise these important questions. these has-been so-called feminists are limited, sad and cheap. like obama and biden they have never run a state government or routed corrupt politicians and are CLUELESS about that level of gumption and brilliance. history is marching right past them. let it.

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