(Cross-posted at Reclusive Leftist.)
Sarah Palin calls herself a “pro-life feminist.” Basically, that’s feminism minus abortion rights.
Obviously that puts her at odds with modern American feminism on a crucial issue. But to hear tell from the many feminist writers now publishing furious editorials, Sarah Palin isn’t just out of step on that one issue. She is, according to them, the antithesis of everything feminism means.
I thought I’d start a collection of Palin’s own statements on feminist issues. I post these for now without comment; that’ll come later. From what I can tell, the feminist writers who are attacking Palin are doing so with an astonishing disregard for the truth. I’m still trying to sort out why.
Sarah Palin on combining motherhood with a career: “To any critics who say a woman can’t think and work and carry a baby at the same time, I’d just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave.”
Sarah Palin on her ability to govern Alaska while raising children: “My answer would always be … that I’m going to do the job just as well as any male governor who had kids, you know, I think we can handle this.”
Sarah Palin on raising her children to embrace gender equality: “Because I have both boys and girls I have a greater respect for equality and making sure that gender is not an issue and that everyone is treated equally.”
Sarah Palin on being a “pro-life feminist”: “I believe in the strength and the power of women, and the potential of every human life.”
Sarah Palin on contraception and sex education: “I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues. So I am not anti-contraception. But, yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids. I don’t have a problem with that. That doesn’t scare me, so it’s something I would support also.”
Sarah Palin on whether she would support an abortion ban in Alaska if Roe v. Wade were overturned: “It would be up to the people of Alaska to discuss and decide how we would like our society to reflect our values.”
Sarah Palin on a woman president and endorsing McCain instead of Hillary (March 2008): “But I have to admit a little bit of guilt there for not being able to jump on Hillary’s bandwagon, because I would so love to see a woman president. I think our nation is overdue there. So, I’ve said along, ‘Heck yeah, America’s ready for a woman president.'”
Sarah Palin on being the first female governor of Alaska: “I’m the first female governor in Alaska, so that’s brought with it kind of a whole new chapter in Alaska’s life. Like my husband — up here they refer to him as the ‘first dude,’ not the first gentleman. And Todd… A whole new chapter here when Todd is asked to do things like — and he graciously complies and he has a good time doing it — hosting, as he did a couple of weeks ago down in Juneau, our capital city, the former first ladies tea party. And he does just great at things like that, as well as working in oil fields, with snow machines and in commercial fishing. That’s a dynamic here that’s of interest to others.”
Sarah Palin on Title IX, sports, and growing up with gender equality: “You know I grew up with Title IX, and sports were so big, and in my upbringing very instrumental in shaping my character and a need to compete and really to win. So because of a very athletic background and growing up in a family, a busy large family, where gender never was really an issue there. My dad expected us to be back there chopping wood and snowmachining with the rest of them, hunting and fishing and doing all those things that are quite Alaskan.”
Sarah Palin on sports, scholarships, and the beauty pageant: “Graduating high school in 1982 there weren’t a whole lot of high-school athletes, females going on to college to play sports yet. That’s what I was looking for, a scholarship in athletics. I didn’t get one, the next best thing would be the Miss America scholarship pageant where at least you had to show that you had a talent. I played the flute and was really into music so, you know I won a couple of titles there, and it paid tuition through four, five years of college. So, that was OK, it wasn’t really my thing, I was never really comfortable with it, but it paid for some college, though.”
Sarah Palin on the challenge for Hillary and other women candidates to appear “tough”: “I recognize that Hillary seems to be trying real hard to be tough, but I say, more power to her. I think she’s had to do that. It’s unfortunate that she’s had to do that, but she comes across to me as tough, capable. I can respect that in her, that she is that tough, capable and experienced and all that….I recognize that’s what she’s trying to do and I think it’s unfortunate that maybe a woman candidate feels that she has to go there. You don’t see male candidates doing that.”
Sarah Palin on dealing with the double standard applied to women candidates: “Fair or unfair—and I do think that it’s a more concentrated criticism that Hillary gets on so many fronts; I think that’s unfortunate. But fair or unfair, I think she does herself a disservice to even mention it, really. You have to plow through that and know what you’re getting into. I say this with all due respect to Hillary Clinton and to her experience and to her passion for changing the status quo. But when I hear a statement like that coming from a women candidate with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism or a sharper microscope put on her, I think, man, that doesn’t do us any good. Women in politics, women in general wanting to progress this country, I don’t think it bodes well for her, a statement like that. Because, again, fair or not fair it is there. I think it’s reality and it’s a given, people just accept that she’s going to be under a sharper microscope. So be it. Work harder, prove to yourself to an even greater degree that you’re capable, that you’re going to be the best candidate.”