Thoughts on Sarah Palin
Watching “The Undefeated” this weekend was a very complicated and interesting experience for me. The film itself was quite obviously biased, and didn’t really make much of an attempt to seem otherwise--there was a lot of really exaggerated language, often accompanied by dramatic music or clips of earthquakes and car crashes to make a point. However, it did make me start to think about my perceptions of Sarah Palin. I very much want a woman to be president, to represent women in the government--does that mean that I should support all women who run for office, just because they are women? I don’t think so; if we really want gender equality, then we should support women because we support their politics (and in turn, because their politics support women). Another question that watching “The Undefeated” brought up for me that ties into bell hooks as well is how much ground Palin actually gained for women by running for vice president. bell hooks makes the point that women can be just as sexist as men, and I think that Sarah Palin’s politics don’t help women. She is opposed to abortion (including in cases of rape) and opposed to same-sex marriage, which I think are issues that concern many women in the United States. The National Organization for Women, in fact, supported the Obama/Biden campaign over the McCain/Palin campaign in the 2008 election. While Palin has been subject to some harsh criticism, some of it predicated on the fact that she is a woman, she has done quite a bit of criticizing of her own too. In sum, I do realize that women need to support women, but Palin is only perpetuating patriarchal and sexist ideas and I don’t think that supporting those policies will help to improve gender equality.