Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sarah Palin Advances Feminist Goals

Don't worry, gentle reader, I haven't suddenly gone insane and decided to agree with Sarah Palin's claims that she is a true feminist. The politics she promotes is profoundly hateful towards women, repressive, and patriarchal. At best, her feeble attempts to sell herself as a feminist icon are  risible. At worst, they are deeply offensive.

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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin by existing proves the merits of feminism, but unfortunately she's complicit in reinforcing patriarchy just as much as any similar male politician. She's sort of like a prison trustee, I guess.