Monday, October 20, 2008

McCain and the "Liberal Feminist Agenda"

The McCain-Palin campaign gets crazier.

Yes, he did just say that choosing Palin was a "cold, political calculation" to counter the "liberal feminist agenda." There are a lot of conservatives voting Democratic because they don't like how far-right McCain and Palin are. Needless to say, I can't blame them at all.

Violet at Reclusive Leftist surmises, I think correctly, that this means that McCain sees two different feminisms, a liberal and a conservative. It's the conservative that McCain supports, the liberal he is against. Okay. I can see him being moronic enough to think that (as does Violet).

Palin calls herself a feminist. Does this mean that she's a conservative or a liberal feminist? Judging from her actions (not what she's said while on the campaign trail), it's pretty clear that she is not a liberal feminist. So what does a conservative feminist believe? McCain's website does not have a section discussing women or their rights, unlike Obama's website. I surmise that a conservative feminist believes she has the right to be a mother; clean the house; do the dishes; make dinner; raise the kids; run for mayor, governor, or Vice President; and give birth to her rapist's baby, but I don't think equal pay is in there. Maybe freedom from domestic violence, excluding the woman's husband (because marriage implies consent).

I don't want someone that believes those things in the White House. In fact, I would not call someone that believes in those things a feminist. That's an anti-feminist. That's a regressive. Feminism is an integral and necessary part of humanism, of progressivism. Those are not central tenets of the Republican platform.

That said, isn't it strange that Palin would call herself a feminist? It's a loaded word, nowadays. You can't just call yourself a feminist and receive an unweighted "ah" in return. Violet seems to take her at her word; I sure don't. I don't really care what she says; I care what she does. She has done more to upend women's rights than she has to support them, and that's true whether or not you take her pro-life stance into account. (Violet calls her a "pro-life feminist" - I can let that go, but even if I did, the rest of her platform and her actions as mayor and governor are still anti-feminist.) McCain went against the anti-feminism of his party to pick her in the first place, in order to appeal to Hillary Clinton's feminists; it follows, then, that she's going to call herself a feminist in public to further that end (and it looks like it's working).

In other news, Palin gives us this gem over the weekend:
[...] I don't support gay marriage. I'm not going to be out there judging individuals, sitting in a seat of judgment telling what they can and can't do, should and should not do [...]
Funny, those two statements are mutually exclusive, to my understanding, and yet they came in one breath.

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