It is largely agreed upon that Republican candidate John McCain at least partly chose Alaskan governor Sarah Palin as his VP choice in order to appeal to the women voters who supported Hilary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee.
As renowned feminist, Hillary Clinton famously said, “women’s rights are human rights.” Sarah Palin, who recently appeared on the cover of Newsweek sporting a sawed-off shotgun and a trigger-happy smile, is a self-proclaimed “hockey mom.” But in what way does Sarah Palin appeal to women voters (especially Clinton supporters), aside from the fact that she is a woman?
One thing that struck me is that Palin is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and, judging from that Newsweek cover, enjoys hunting and killing animals (and, presumably, guarding herself from the A-rabs and commies). Guns and killing, it seems to me, are not often considered to be the kind of pastime woman usually indulge in, although there are obviously exceptions. Still, I don’t find it a sweeping generalization to claim that the obsession with firearms is most prevalent among men, which Freud will explain the reasons for.
More important than Palin’s attitude toward guns, however, is her attitude on abortion. In November of 2006, Palin apparently, and ridiculously, stated that she would not even support abortion if her own daughter was raped. So fierce is her religious fanaticism that she would rather condemn her own daughter to carry, bear, and take responsibility for a child that was consummated in complete violation of her body and her human rights than to acknowledge that every woman has an inviolable right to make her own decision about her own body.
I wonder if Sarah Palin has considered the prospect of a thirteen-year-old girl being raped and impregnated by her father. “Choosing life” is a rather cynical response in the event of such a crime.
And yet, the contemptible celebrities interviewed by various TV stations this weekend seemed reluctant to talk about anything other than Palin’s style and fashion. Never mind that there is a genuine risk of increasingly irresponsible gun laws; never mind that the government might be allowed to decide what a woman can or can’t do with her own body; never mind that Palin’s actions are governed by the illusions of the divine, convincing her that the earth, contrary to all scientific theories, is 6000 years old. Never mind all that, because at least she dresses well.
I sincerely hope women aren’t fooled by the rhetoric and the deceptive smile of “the hockey mom” who, as Sam Harris pointed out, has never met a foreign head of state. Instead, I hope that hearing Obama’s speech in the BankUnited Center on women’s issues made us all realize who the greater feminist is.