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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Sarah Palin is a feminist

By Jens Tamang

The Left faces a very real, slightly complex, problem in Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. According to Anne Ream of the Chicago Tribune, Palin’s nomination banked on “the idea that mainstream female voters would embrace [her].” Luckily for Democrats, Palin isn’t popular with women anymore. According to a CBS/NYT poll Palin’s popularity among white women has fallen nearly 11 percent in this week alone.Though the poll doesn’t specify it, I sense that Palin’s approval amongst white, conservative males will continue to rise. With nearly a quarter of Hillary’s supporters going red and with replenished campaign funds ($8.8 million collected only after a two day span with her on the ticket), can Democrats really afford to write Palin off as a cheeky mistake? Or is she, at this point, too much of a threat?

If she wasn’t a threat, CNN might curtail its fascination with Bristol’s fecundity. Take it as a sign, notes Ann Coulter of the Universal Press Syndicate: “When liberals start acting like they’re opposed to pre-marital sex, you know McCain’s vice presidential choice has knocked them back on their heels.”

At the Republican National Convention, Palin, always poised, spoke through technical difficulties and protestors without skipping a beat. She also roused working-class people in a way I’ve yet to see from B. Hussein Obama. “In small towns,” she said with an evil smirk, “we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they’re listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening.”

Give em’ hell, girl! Never have I seen naughty jokes so effectively reduce a candidate to his own arctic memoirs and “Styrofoam Greek columns.”

Could this tough-as-nails persona also heal a wounded feminist movement?

Youbetcha! Palin resurrected the radical feminist spirit of the sixties and molded it into her brand of muscled, can-do Americanism. She hasn’t the time to blame the world’s ills on male hegemony; she’s too busy cutting spending and gutting deer.

She reminds me of the women I grew up around in rural Oregon. My great-aunt, whose family worked in the timer industry, single-handedly ran her dead husband’s estate, raised seven children, and still scrubbed clothes with board and basin each morning. She channeled the frontier spirit of Wyoming women, who acquired the right to vote nearly 50 years prior to the corseted socialites of the eastern seaboard.

Today, bourgeois academe rules the feminist fife. Having been fractured throughout the ’70s and ’80s by the debate on abortion, the movement got cleaved across party lines. And, this anger against Palin is symptomatic of that cleave; it evidences that feminism no longer focuses on the success and achievement of women, but the particular politic to which those women subscribe.

The same feminists who applaud Catherine MacKinnon for trying to criminalize pornography rebuke Palin for Puritan extremism. Isn’t that precisely the kind of careless reasoning the Right used to justify B. Hussein Obama’s black-theology anti-patriotism?

But, what of her pro-life stance? Palin’s darn-tootin-moose-shootin’ persona does not, alas, excuse her egregious list of. conservative peculiarities. I confess, her attempt to ban books, among other peccadilloes, did not perfectly mesh with my own brand of libertarianism. But it’s her persona that’s revolutionary, not her politics.

If nothing else, Palin’s religious fervor might pressure Democrats to stop dropping verses from a book they pretend to care about. The squirming is really unattractive, Democrats. I want to see meatier issues tackled. So, until my dreams of a revamped feminism come to fruition, someone has got to ask that woman about dinosaurs.

Jens Tamang ’11 can be reached at [email protected].

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