Calvin Freiburger

Sarah Palin Isn’t Female Enough for the Left

Posted on April 6 2010 5:00 pm
Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College. He also writes for the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.
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As a man, I’m not sure if I’m allowed to have an opinion on feminism, but I’m gonna throw my two cents in anyway.  This weekend, Amy Siskind wrote a Daily Beast column on female Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin, which turns some left-wing assumptions on their heads, yet embraces radical feminism’s core fallacies on the role of gender in American politics.

First, Siskind writes that, rather than racist radicals, “the Tea Party, predominantly composed of women, is more akin to ‘Soccer Moms’ with very mainstream concerns,” and that:

Liberal bloggers question whether the Democrats are losing their hold on women. Many women view health-care reform as anti-mom, and are despondent over Obama’s executive order that enshrined the Hyde Amendment. Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, said: “We concluded that on balance… the bill actually is bad for women.” Bloggers hold a special disdain for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laughable attempt to make health-care reform a victory for women, noting that Pelosi’s sudden concern for women’s issues is about as genuine as Madame Mao’s interest in the proletariat.

Overall, this paints a very clear picture that Democrat policy and women’s interests are not automatically synonymous, but we need to back the truck up to NOW and the Hyde Amendment.  NOW is a radical feminist group that sees sexism under every bed and around every corner, supports gender preferences rather than “eradicating sexism,” is hostile toward traditional Christianity, and advocates for numerous left-wing causes unrelated to gender.  Why should we recognize their authority to judge what’s good or bad for women?  Why not the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute, Concerned Women for America, Feminists for Life, or the Independent Women’s Forum?

As for the Hyde Amendment, it’s outrageous enough that supporting abortion is recognized as a “pro-women” stance (more on that in a minute), but the suggestion that anything short of forcing every American to subsidize abortion with their taxes is “bad for women” is beyond absurd.  Believing in the right to choose what to support your own money with is “bad for women”?  Believing in respecting Americans’ freedom of conscience is “bad for women”?

Noting that neither party “is the party for women,” Siskind goes on to ask, “Will concern for our bodies and our children’s future be the agitator for women finally demanding a leader who understands these issues firsthand: a woman president?”  It may be “time to do this for our country,” but Sarah Palin can’t be trusted to “stand up for women”:

Palin has failed to endorse important women of the Republican Party, and is actively supporting numerous challengers to Democratic women incumbents. She has become outspoken in her antiabortion views, turning away from what was a key factor in making her one of the country’s most popular governors and the de facto leader of the Tea Party: letting the people decide.

The glaring fallacy in Siskind’s logic is, of course, the fact that unborn babies are not part of their mother’s bodies, but separate, unique human beings with natural rights all their own.  I can’t put it any better than Abraham Lincoln did, who said of a similar controversy:

The doctrine of self government is right—absolutely and eternally right—but it has no just application, as here attempted. Or perhaps I should rather say that whether it has such just application depends upon whether a negro is not or is a man. If he is not a man, why in that case, he who is a man may, as a matter of self-government, do just as he pleases with him. But if the negro is a man, is it not to that extent, a total destruction of self-government, to say that he too shall not govern himself? When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than self-government—that is despotism. If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that “all men are created equal;” and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of another.

For what it’s worth, I’d also like to remind the author that female babies get aborted, too.

Further, Sarah Palin is a conservative—why on Earth should she support candidates who disagree with her political philosophy and policy preferences—even members of the opposite party—just because their chromosomes match?  Aren’t female politicians allowed to have any differing opinions?

The idea that only members of a particular demographic group are fit to govern for that demographic group is an odious article of left-wing faith that denies human nature and threatens to divide America further still.  We are all individuals capable of human reason, not drones beholden to a hive mind.  Besides, if Siskind is right, doesn’t it follow that women can’t fully understand men’s interests, and would “disenfranchise” men if they were to gain power? Indeed, men are parents, too.  Are we not capable of “concern for…our children’s future”?

Ultimately, if self interest and the ability to perceive it are inextricably tied to one’s physical characteristics, then pursuing the common good or general welfare is a nonsensical exercise in futility, and people should band together in an “every demographic for itself” struggle rather than reach across physical or cultural lines to understand one another, resolve disputes, or find common ground.

It’s clear that leftism, not genuine women’s rights, is what really animates Amy Siskind.  And it’s radical feminism’s war on individuality and free thought that “actually is bad for women”…and for every other American.


Hailing from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Calvin Freiburger is a political science major at Hillsdale College.  He also blogs at the Hillsdale Forum and his personal website, Calvin Freiburger Online.

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