Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sarah Palin Advances Feminist Goals
However, when I heard about one of her recent speeches in Louisville, KY, here is what I thought. Palin is popular with the most conservative, rabidly patriarchal segment of our population. Women who attend her speeches have been brainwashed since birth with a pseudo-Christian propaganda of female subjection. Finding a husband to please and obey, popping out babies, cooking, cleaning, going to Church, relinquishing control over their bodies, their sexuality, their professional and spiritual realization - that's the dreary life path shared by Sarah Palin's female listeners.
So I imagine them sitting there, wiped out by a life of drudgery, of endless repetitive household chores, of feeling like they have achieved nothing comparable to the important things done by their husbands, never having a real voice, never being able to travel, to be financially independent, to have a life of their own. And then there is Sarah Palin speaking to them from the podium. Delivering, of course, all the expected ultra-patriarchal cliches. But still, what her listeners see in front of them is a well-dressed, well-groomed, very rich woman who has a very active public life, a very successful career, who definitely has her own voice (albeit a very shrill one), who so obviously would have never been content with a life limited to cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing, whose husband is obviously a lot weaker than she is and who needs her a lot more than she needs him.
All this has got to register on some level with Palin's female audiences. They have to start experiencing a vague realization that they have been cheated out of many important things by the environment where they grew up. That they, too, could have had a life. Maybe after seeing Sarah Palin a few times, they will secretly start wishing that their daughters choose Palin's way of independence instead of their mothers' way of subjection and drudgery.