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When it comes to defending Palin's right to run for vice president, where are the feminists?


Are you as surprised as I am that people in the year 2008 are debating whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin should have thought twice about being John McCain's running mate because she has a baby and her teen unwed daughter is pregnant? Here's a column by Jodi Enda that ran in The Root wondering where the feminists are on this one.


So where are the feminists?

The very people who have done the most to make Americans aware of sexism and its dangers - defenders of women like Anita Hill, Lilly Ledbetter and Clinton - have remained mum where Palin is concerned.

True, they stand in staunch opposition to Palin's ultra-right-wing positions. True, too, that Palin was not the least bit sympathetic to what she called Clinton's "perceived whine about excess criticism" during the Democratic primaries. And her selection, given her short tenure as governor, certainly raises questions.


It takes more than ovaries to be a feminist.

Governor Palin isn't a feminist, by any stretch of the word, and doesn't warrant the support of the feminist community.

Supporting Governor Palin just because of her chromosomal arrangement isn't feminism, it's sexism, and that's stupid and reprehensible no matter what the gender of the source.

There's more to being a feminist than being a woman. I'm not a woman but there is now way in hell I'd stand-up for Palin. In my belief, she stands against every good thing about feminism and feminists.

Rights of women only apply to the informed feminists...clearly NOW doesn't view Palin as a woman worthy of support or defending. These groups will endure and remain silent even when some attacks...."how can a mommy of 5 hold a big job"....go to the core of their of their fight. Guess political views trump women's cause every time

Were where the feminists when John Edwards was playing around on his dying wife? Sneaking (moving) his mistress and HIS baby to California inorder to try to hide everything? Were where the feminists when Jesse Jackson was using PUSH funds to sneak (move) HIS mistress and baby to California inorder to try to hide everything? Were where the feminists during the Clinton-Monica escapades and all the others? They never said a word. Reason: There party-partisan gophers, nothing more and nothing less. And Lynn, you will NEVER challenge them on it, either.

Only properly credentialed women deserve support by feminists. NOW doesn't consider Palin worthy of support or defending her from sexist attacks ,for that matter. Even when an incredible affront.... "What is a mommy with 5 kids doing running for office?" ....surfaces, the silence from woman's groups is deafening. I guess politics trumps woman's rights.

Feminists are not defending Palin because they are too busy defending women's rights to make their own reproductive choices *from* Palin.

so-called "Austin Mayor"

Are you kidding me? Name one, ONE Democrat - any Democratic or Obama operative - who has raised this as a criticism of Palin. Name one. You can't. The only prominent personality I've seen who raised this was Dr. Laura. Of course her argument is horribly sexist. But this has been a minor blip in the tidal wave of Palin criticism - most of which has been substantive - from Troopergate to her love of federal pork for Alaska (including her lie about opposing the Bridge to Nowhere) to her book-burning lust as mayor of Wasilla, to her miring that hamlet in major debt through mismanagement. Your focus on this side issue has the whiff of diversion. How about focusing on the substantive objections that people are actually raising instead of buying the GOP spin that criticism of Palin has been sexist? Don't be a Republican hack - it's so 2003.

I may not agree with Sarah Palin on many of the issues she supports but I will tell you this outright. I am furious with the mainstream media, the so-called 'feminists", the leading womens' groups, etc. who are only in support of left-leaning women and to hell with the rest. I was a member of the Democratic Party for over 40+ years and those so-called feminist groups and am now an Independent as of this year (wonder why?). I was and am a strong Hillary Clinton supporter but I own my vote. I am tired of the Democratic Party using me and my uterus as a reason to stay with them. They (the DONC and Democratic Party leaders) constantly yammer about all of the women who support the Party but when push comes to shove (re: Hillary) - there is nothing from the Party - just rhetoric which means absolutely nothing to me. No more - Sarah Palin is entitled to and deserves the same support from women as Hillary Clinton did and does. Even if I don't agree with Sarah on most of her issues - I will be voting for her 'just because she is a woman'. No different than voting for Precious because he is black.

Voters vote their pick - I would not vote the liberal side, because I'm not leaning toward the new terms for socialism: social economics or social justice. Sure I want equal justice, but not at the price of bigger expanding government.

I think liberal women think the same way-ideology before personality. Where it got ugly of course is the smears on Palin of a sexist nature. The very liberal women (most) keep quiet because they are concerned it will help the GOP gain votes- that's the nature of politics. The lib women who spew the vitriol take delight in bringing non-card carrying women. (yes, delight) Thanks to them, Palin is more popular than sliced bread even without the MSM in her tank. Can we beat the MSM--I hope so.

Obama is a Chicago pol in my opinion. Reform and change was not in his vocabulary until he began to run for POTUS. Daley, Jones, Pfleger, Ayers and I suspect even Jeremiah Wright are proud of the candidate they helped shape. Of course Axelrod is a Daley man too.

That's the reason this minority and woman is voting for McCain, not because of Palin, though I am delighted with her selection.

The opportunistic Sara Palin is being used by the McCain campaign to activate the Evangelical Christian base for their votes. Feminists have integrity in their beliefs so I can understand why this group would not be anxious to rain praise on this, base on background information coming from her home town and within the State of Alaska, corrupted smooth talking, attractive individual? Sara Palin has a lot of personal and political baggage needing to be revealed to the American public. A premature acknowledgment of Sara Palin could reflect poorly on any interest group organization.

Sarah Palin did not reform the”Old Boys,’’ she became the “Old Boys”

As she refers to herself as the “Pit Bull” I am in total agreement with her on that. I believe that Sarah Palin
can not only kill a moose with a shot gun and a smile, but a man as well; Which she attempted to do to
Obama in her speech on 9/03/08……As if America’s image is not already bad enough around the world
resulting from the last 8 years.

I understand now why the Republicans love guns and war; They enables cowards to breed more
cowards. The Bush speech writer used Sarah Palin , a women (“A BABE”) in physical apparance, a pretty
one even, to shoot Obama, because they (the men) were too coward to hit man to man; they knew that
they could not win.

The Republican knew that their "babe” move could back Obama and the Media in a corner; they knew if
Obama and the Media attacked Sarah Palin for the "pit Bull" that even she labeled herself as, that
uninformed females and Republicans would scream: sexist....WILL THIS BACKFIRE ON McCAIN?....

You are kidding aren't you. Change her from a R to a D and you wouldn't hear anything. Change her from pro-life to pro-choice and she would be hailed as a combination of Bella Abzug, Jackie Kennedy and Susan B. Anthony. The first time a man so much as cleared his throat they would light their bras and burn him at the stake.

It's because feminists only care about liberal women, not women. But I think you knew that.

Mainstream Media, would Bush have been elected 2000 or 2004,
had you been allowed to properly vet, or include Bush in, even
half the number of debates as Obama & Hillary?

Mainstream Media: know this is not election 2000 or 2004, you will not lose your job. Enough is Enough!
Do not be McCained, Bushed, or Roved into being-quiet, and not asking Sara Palin the hard questions as you
were not allowed to ask George Bush.
If you had been allowed to properly vet George Bush, do you think that George Bush would have been
elected, either in 2000 and 2004? If you had bean allowed to vet him as you were allowed to vet Obama , Hillary
, Kerry and Al Gore. Please don"t make that mistake with McCain and Sarah Palin.

If reporters are not allowed to ask John McCain and Sarah Palin
questions in the usual manner that other political candidates have had to
endure, refuse to cover any of the Republicans campaign stops, local or
otherwise, while continuing to cover Obama's. The American people
cannot be duped again, because Republican candidates refuses to be
vetted by the Mainstream Media.

It seem everyone, and I mean everyone including the Mainstream Media has been given a script that states
before you say anything about John McCain, always, and I mean always say: I respect his great military
services. The other is you have to always say: I am proud of my country.. So do not be afraid, or forbidden to
interview anyone who served in the military with McCain. There was no hesitation to participate in interviewing
people who served with John Kerry, which aided in John Kerry losing the election in 2004. So throw that fact
back at your bosses, if they are siding with the McCains etc. Remember the Mainstream Media's lack
of reporting both sides of the news during the fear years of Bush is what has
aided in the hugh growth of bloggers and decreasing our dependency on
Mainstream Media.

So far, it appears that mainstream is improving , but with the few days left to question Sarah Palin and ask
McCain what is it about his five years, rather according to the Michael Moore article attached it was only 3 years
etc. that qualifies him to be U.S. President over anything else?These are some of the questions that should be
asked in the debate. Moore's article attached:Michael Moore Dares to Ask: What's So Heroic About
Being Shot Down While Bombing Innocent Civilians?http://www.alternet.

It is totally Un- American, not to mention being unfair responding to McCain & Palin with the
same fear that the Bush- McCain-Rove & camp continues to use to scare people into voting
for a Republican, or die from terrorist attacks, even though, more people probably die from
lack of health care daily than was killed on 911........These are things that people need to hear

What always surprises me is that a man can have little to no experience in office and his relationship to his family is not a related issue. How then is Palin's ability to be a "good parent" related to her ability to run for office? Does anyone ask if Obama is a good father and therefore able to run for President? We don't have a problem asking a man to serve his country before his family, we shouldn't have a problem with a woman who is willing to do the same. I have noticed that men and women alike are uncomfortable with women they perceive to have too many masculine personality traits.

Feminists are not silent, we are quietly angry. And we will have our say-so in November.

Sarah Palin is a woman of accomplishment, leadership skill, relevant experience and terrific capability. Sound like anyone else we know? Sure, Hillary is a highly experienced, capable woman of accomplishment, also.

But apparently, Hillary wasn't good enough for the Democrat Good Old Boys Club. Are feminists angry about that? You betcha!

This is beyond Roe v Wade...this is beyond pro-life or pro-choice. This is about EQUAL RIGHTS! This is about the rejection of their most capable woman candidate by the Party's all-male leadership.

To Sarah Palin, I say "You go girl!"

To John McCain & the GOP, I say, "Thanks!"

Gloria Steinem speaks to this issue, although not a full-bodied voice of support.

I think feminist, and I consider myself one, are offended that she was even selected. For her to claim sexism and hide behind that mantel at even the mildest questioning of her place on the ticket is ridiculous, and it doesn't motivate me to defend her.

I know people like to spout opinions without facts, but how about reading NOW President Kim Gandy's statement before making prounouncements on NOW's position or what feminists think?

Following are some excerpts. You can read the entire statement at

"Palin should be applauded as well for becoming the first woman to appear on a Republican presidential ticket, a ceiling Geraldine Ferraro cracked for the Democrats in 1984."

"...Sarah Palin, who, as I write this, has been McCain's VP choice for less than one week, and already has faced an onslaught of double standards and condescension. The sexism aimed at Palin might not look exactly the same as the sexism directed Clinton, but it originates from the same biased place nonetheless."

"Over the next two months, NOW will be working to educate voters about the dangers of sending McCain and Palin to the White House. We will be posting information about their records and platform on our website. But we also will monitor the media and call them out for their sexism directed at Palin. A woman slurred, regardless of her party or stances, is a woman slurred."

"The media are not doing themselves any favors by questioning the priorities and abilities of moms who work outside the home. ...would they be asking whether a man with five children should be running for high office?"

"Palin also has been portrayed as a lightweight in a way that men of similar experience rarely are."

"I feel for Palin, and for all women struggling to be taken seriously in a man's realm"

Only an avid reader of NOW's newsletter/website would even have an inkling of this sentument. For an organization that is not shy about burning up the fax lines, emails and telephones of decision makers across the country this is absolutely tepid. The silence IS deafening

I am a lifelong demand feminist voting for McCain / Palin. We are witnessing a sea change in politics. The New Agenda is a feminist group (non-partisan)defending Palin from sexist attacks.

Feminists have been democratic loyalists - until now. There are commonalities women have with each other. One is: We are under represented in politics. If Rwanda has 49% women in their Parliament how come we have 16% women in our Senate? How come we have 80 women in the congress - out of 435 congressmen? How come we can't get a woman nominated for president.
Feminists, take off your party label and remove your uteruses from above your heads. Abortion will go away as an issue when we say it goes away.
Palin 2008
Hillary 2012

This article answered all my questions and concerns about feminists. I wish I'd known this long ago.

Lynn, you need to interview Tammy Bruce about this issue. I think the former head of one of NOW's bigger California divisions could give excellent insight into why the oft quoted Feminist organizations are quiet on any issue that might damage Democrats. I am not in love with either of our candidates, but I know a shell game from the media and leftist organizations when I see them. Palin became fair game when she accepted the nomination as VP. The same holds true for Obama and McCain. The problem lies with the coverage by the media. It has a great tendency to quash news items that reflect negatively toward it's candidate. Our televised media outlets are almost entirely Democratic with the exception of Fox and , at times, ABC. NOW and NORAL get center stage whenever it is an issue that Democrats can get mileage from. That is typically the only time that they seek the stage. In closing, the above mentioned Ms. Bruce quit NOW because it seemed that the only causes they wanted to champion were abortion and Gay rights. She thought there were many other women's issues that were just as important. Apparently, they are still just as liberally lost now as they were then.

I am ashamed of women as I read the views of these "puma" types. I have been a proud and independent woman all my life. I don't define myself by any group. I want what is best for this country when I vote. Any woman voting for the Republican party is nothing but a throwback to our past - a disgrace! Talk about letting your vagina guide your politics.

To JaneK., I agree that both Gov. Palin and Senator Clinton are shrewd, ambitious, and intelligent women. However, to say that they are comparable candidates for the Presidency or Vice Presidency considering Clinton's experience would be laughable. They don't play in the same league. If Palin doesn't make it to the White House this year, she is bound to be a force in the Republican Party for a long time, just as Clinton never stopped working after she left the White House with Bill.
And, let's not confuse the issue. It is not about Equal Rights. No Person has the RIGHT to become President, man or woman. They have to earn the privilege to serve our country in that fashion. Hillary is qualified to do it, it just wasn't her year.
I hope it is Obama's year, and that he lives up to all the hype.

Since when did the shrill harridans of N.O.W. get to claim the exclusive mantle of true Feminism? Sarah Palin is a member of Feminists for Life. They are pro-life feminists in the traditions of Susan B. Anthony.

Since when are only career beaurecrats qualified for executive office? Sarah Palin is an authentic citizen/public-servant in the traditions this great nation was founded upon.

Sarah Palins appeal transcends political partys and ideology, and that is what has the liberal elites so scared. She has the potential to become the next Ronald Reagan.

This issue is why many people question liberals and the main stream media.

If an individual does not sign on to the pre-conceived theories that liberals or the main stream media present we are attacked.

If a black person agrees with conservative ideas they are out of the main stream! If a female does not agree with NOW or NARAL they are out of the main stream! If a scientist questions global warming they are open to attack!

This country should be open to many points of view but liberals and the main stream media only want to present their side of the equation.

Lots and lots of new posters on here. Looks like a republican 'astro turf' grass roots kind of blogging operation--apologies to real old republicans, these people are the new repugnant form of republicans, the repugnicans, I call them.
Sure seems like a campaign to smear the Obama campaign for 'smears' the repugs did to their little media-fearing 'pitbull with lipstick'--she can read a speech, but she doesn't like reading things like laws and rules and ethics statements.
This feminist is not obligated to defend anyone with a vagina--of human construction or otherwise.
How sexist the premise of the article--and no, new posters--Lynn Sweet has challenged us to think about the question--or did you not read the article and just immediately launch into your talking points faxed to you that morning?
Feminists are about the choice this woman would deny us:
Only abstinence education, (which apparently does not work well) and no abortions even in the case of rape or incest.
The investigation of the troopergate firing, the un researched rights of way road construction, the failure to return the 'bridge to nowhere' money after she 'refused' it, and the false claims that Obama campaign had 'smeared' them on the 'Downs' baby even before most people had even heard of the 'smear' shows how dirty this little pitbull plans to fight.

Oh, give me a break! They may be questioning her preparedness, but that's because she's been a governor for a scant two years and has no foreign policy experience. They may even be questioning her use of power. However, they are NOT questioning her right to be on the ticket because she's a woman. That's bull!

I'm voting Democratic not because I oppose having a woman VP--I would have been thrilled to have either Hillary Clinton or Kathleen Sebelius as the Democratic VP nominee--but because I simply do not believe as John McCain and Sarah Palin believe. It's as simple as that.

Or don't I have the right to choose for whom I will vote because I'm a woman?

I think feminists are silent because this woman is set to take away all that the Suffrage Movement has fought to gain.
I am ashamed of Sarah Palin because of her selfish stance on reproductive rights--she benefited from women who were treated like trash and worse for demanding the right to say how many pregnancies they wanted to have and Palin is poised to close the door on all of that.
Birth control pills weren't freely available until the 60s (I'm in my 40s so I think that is factual) and there was some requirement where the husband had to give his approval.
Believe that. Want to go back to those days? Sarah does.
Anyone remember back-alley abortions? The deaths? Anyone remember when women HAD to get married to have credit and a life and to be accepted in this society?
Remember the women who put aside their dreams to have a family when really they wanted to do what Sarah Palin has done? Back in the day they would have been burned at the stake if they didn't have babies, RAISE THEM PROPERLY and tend to their man.
Now, all women have a choice in the matter. It is okay to be single, successful and still have a family if you want. Or be married--we're allowed now.
Sarah has benefited from all of this and because of that fact, to me,
Sarah is an embarrassment to women because all of her accomplishments are to the betterment of one not many. The girl doesn't know her history!
She has bettered herself on the backs of the Women's Community (yes, the Suffrage Movement was comprised of community organizers, just like the PTA and other groups) and is now closing the door of opportunity because she doesn't believe in abortion.
If Sarah Palin is making national decisions, having sway over judicial picks, etc. the Movement would come to a screeching halt.
Sarah Palin doesn't appreciate a dang thing feminists or the Woman's Rights Movement has done for her and she expects my support?
No way, No Palin!
The other point is that no one is questioning her right as an American citizen to participate in this election. No thinking woman supports her platform.
If this woman gets to the White House, no other woman would be able to get there unless she was married to the president because when you take one right away, the others are soon to follow. NO one would be able to do what she has done--they'd all be worn out from all of the babies they'd be forced to have and RAISE PROPERLY.

Is the baby her's or her daughters? Why was her daughter out of school for five months? What are ideas for the middle class to not disapper? What are her ideas for education? How does she feel about the war? Why is she wearing a flag bikini while holding a AK47? This is a photo that everyone needs to see.

I am a woman who was blessed with five children and I get tired just looking at them. No way in hell would I give birth and then three days later report to work. Someone is lying and someone should be brave enough to stand up and ask the questions. Have we become so meek that we will take whatever is thrown at us!


Maybe not EQUAL RIGHTS -- you are correct, no one has the "right" to become president.

What I should have said is EQUAL OPPORTUNITY.

This year we had two capable, highly qualified women for the office of president or vice president. But, there was no equal opportunity!

The Democrat Party DENIED Hillary equal opportunity because she is a woman. The Good Old Boys didn't even allow her on the short list for VP nominee. Wow, that's stunning considering that she got 18 million primary votes, compared to the 3,000 votes that Biden got.

The GOP actually gave equal opportunity. Both women & men were on the consideration list for VP candidate. The fact that a woman was selected goes to show that the GOP not only espouses equal opportunity, they put it into practice.

I have yet seen Pahlin on the stage when her husband was not right behind her. Does she actually think for herself? I think time will tell not. She got on the ticket because of her looks and alot of luck. I think people should look at her and McCain side by side. Her youth makes him look like what he actually is. An old man trying to recapture youth. 1st thru his younger wife and now again thru a younger woman.
Big mistake if this guy gets elected. Don't forget to watch the canidate profile on him. Hers is coming up this weekend.


The GOP did not and does not consider Sarah Palin as their opportunity to give women equality in this election. They are simply using her to get whatever women they can who doesn't pay attention to the real issues at stake. McCain was told to pick her b/c she will bring in the evangelical base, which he needs to win this election. Palin has done that. I have a theory that the GOP wanted her out of Alaska and what better place to stick her than in the VP's spot where they think they can control her. McCain made a bad decision for the country by picking her b/c she is NOT qualified. I agree that she is shrewd and ambitious, not qualified.
And btw, Jane, the Dems didn't take the nomination from Hillary the way the Supreme Court gave it to Bush - the delegate system did that. And check out this months Atlantic for a very interesting read on how Hillary ran (or didn't run) her campaign...

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 7, 2008 10:32 AM.

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