Sunday, September 28, 2008

My New Name For A Blog

Palin and the Patriarchy.

It’s a mistake to look at Sarah Palin and analyze her actions and her place in this campaign in terms of the struggle against patriarchy. She doesn’t struggle against it, she endorses it. That she has found a way to rig the patriarchal system to HER benefit and through her to that of those closest to her is to be expected, that’s what conservatives do no matter what group they belong to. Looking at Palin as any kind of first for women (second, actually, as we are not supposed to remember) only leads away from reality. She is out for number one, not for women in general. Her nomination is as meaningful for progress for women struggling against patriarchy as Clarence Thomas has been for the equality of black people or the Log Cabin Republicans for gay people. In the struggle against patriarchy, she’s just a patriarch in disguise. The use of her daughter in this campaign is rapidly approaching the level of depravity that Thomas’ use of his sister was. It is a warning of just how bad a Palin administration could get.

I've generally avoided discussions of Palin's child-rearing. I think that, in this society, making negative judgments about whatever women decide to do about/for/with their children comes far, far too easily (and liberals are almost as infected with this problem as conservatives). (Whether we're calling them "helicopter moms" or complaining that some woman is "willing to put career ahead of her children," whatever women do, it's wrong.) One never hears that Joe Biden left his young, injured children with caretakers all day. No, one hears how heroically he trained back home from DC every evening to be with them. And all politicians "use" their families as props, some, obviously, more than others. I remember how adorable the two young Edwards children were, how lovely and composed the older daughter was as she kind of helped corral them, how often we heard the very sad tale of their deceased son. And I just think there are a whole host of reasons why Palin shouldn't get anywhere near the presidency that don't involve judging her family choices. So, as noted, I'm reluctant to get into the issue.

Otherwise, I think olvlzl's post is spot on.


Rhode Island Rules said...

I believe that all politicians use their families to a degree, but if you look at the difference between the Clintons and the Carters trying to shield their young daughters as much as possible and the Palins pushing Bristol into the spotlight ready or not...

This is how I answered the post about the patriarchy

TH: I agree with you on a lot of levels. As a 50 year old woman with 3 brothers I have fought against patriarchy for my entire life. It is a choice one makes and it does have financial consequences. I currently work for a female boss who gets tons of raises and respect because she flutters her eyes at the board of directors and lets them know how wonderful they are while drip, drip, dripping things into their heads so it can be acceptable when it is their ideas.
I refuse to play that game. I present ideas in powerpoint, challenge them, try to make them think and all I get is no respect and low pay. But I get to keep my self respect and integrity and doncha know...within 2-3 years they adopt my ideas that they scoffed at as their own.
But I cannot do it. I cannot swallow hard and give all the power over. Sorry, if you can see me and treat me as an equal that's your problem and I want no part of it. I also am not willing to make money by compromising my ideals. That probably puts me in the minority today, but that's okay, I can live with myself and sleep well.
I am not willing to be a whore, corporate or otherwise.

Inanna said...

Thanks for linking to this; it's spot-on. And while I agree with you that women get criticized for their parenting (or lack of parenting) no matter what, and I think that we shouldn't criticize Palin for her parenting decisions, I do think it's fair to point out that she appears to be selling her daughter down the river of her own sexist, patriarchal values.

Anonymous said...

I could not agree with you more.. If I choose to vote democrat this year, she will be the key reason why..
It does annoy me who she seems to expliot her son simply because he has downe syndrome and it gains more sympathy for her..

Labrys said...

Thank you for the post, Hekate. I don't much give a damn what kind of mother she is, I care if she can do the job she is running for---and I do not find her actions feminist at all; she sells out all women for approval of the male clique she cheerleads for at every occasion. She is riding their wagon, not ours.

Anne Johnson said...

The only important criterion is the most objective. Is a person who has been a governor of a sparsely-populated state--and mayor of a small town--ready to run America, especially now?

HowEVER, Mrs. Palin is supposed to be representing the "family values" contingent. One would think that this contingent, if it truly believed what it preaches, would urge her to stay at home and care for her children, given that one is pregnant and another is disabled.

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