Friday, October 24, 2008

WaPo Says: Feminists Go Home Already

Argh! I'm really tired of reading articles about how the very presence of Sarah Palin on a national presidential ticket invalidates everything that feminists fight for: access to birth control and abortion, equal pay, and protecting women from domestic violence. But there you go, the Washington Post went ahead and declared this the year of the woman.

This quote I thought was especially odd, from a Planned Parenthood division:
"It's going to take us a while to find our bearings," said Sarah Stoesz, who runs the Planned Parenthood office that oversees Minnesota and the Dakotas. "As feminists, we've always thought that a core aspect of women's equality is about being in control of our reproductive lives. But Sarah Palin is throwing the calculus out the window and demonstrating a view that some people would call feminism: I can be governor, I can have five children, I can shoot and field-dress a moose, and I don't need access to abortion."
Wait, what? So because Sarah Palin, the first Republican vice presidential nominee doesn't need access to abortion no one else does either? That just doesn't even make any sense. The whole idea behind the pro-choice movement is that women are welcome to make their own choices about whether or not they want to have an abortion. Sure, Sarah Palin didn't want one, but that doesn't mean other women don't. Many women out there need access to abortion and are having a very hard time obtaining one.

The article also quotes Geraldine Ferraro, who has turned out to be something of an embarrassment for feminists thanks to her racist remarks about Obama. Ferraro falls into the Camille Paglia category of counterintuitive non-feminists.

The article also seems to argue that because Palin calls herself a feminist, that automatically makes her one -- they do the same thing with Independent Women's Forum and Feminists for Life. Lately the right has been co-opting the word feminist but actively work against everything feminists work for. They seem to forget that just because some women make achievements doesn't mean the work of feminists is over, it means simply that some women have made achievements. Ultimately what we need to measure feminism by is not the class of women who live in privilege, but by the quality of life for the women at the bottom who are the most marginalized.

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