Sarah Palin is the feminist Left’s favorite target. It seems strange to anyone not entrenched in a radical, extremist feminist agenda. Feminists once fought for equality between the sexes — the right for women to vote, giving women a fair chance to go to college and get a job without fear of discrimination, and the choice to either stay at home with her children or work full-time. Fighting for equality has long since fallen by the wayside though, and the leftist agenda has fully set in. Women like Sarah Palin and Michelle Malkin, therefore, cannot be feminists.
Daring to call Sarah Palin a feminist will make radical modern feminists’ heads explode. Currently screeching with rage is Jessica Valenti, angry that someone might think that Sarah Palin is indeed a feminist.
Seriously, y’all – how many times does it have to be said? Sarah Palin is not a feminist. I thought we had covered Palin’s gross appropriation of feminism and feminist rhetoric during the election, but media coverage of Palin’s recent speech for the anti-choice PAC the Susan B. Anthony List has reignited the debate. (Incidentally, the whole thing about Anthony being pro-life has been debunked.)
So, simply declaring oneself a feminist is all that it takes to be a feminist? Methinks not. Under this standard of feminism anyone – a racist, a misogynist, etc – could be a feminist just because they identify as such.
Sarah Palin’s crime against modern feminism is that she is a political conservative who is pro-life. This makes her anti-woman, because all conservatives are apparently anti-woman. Valenti writes:
[W]hile I’m sympathetic to the idea that abortion shouldn’t be a litmus test for feminism – I believe, for example, that one can be personally pro-life and feminist – there is simply no way that you can advocate for the limitation of other women’s rights and access to health care and call yourself a feminist.
The line about being “personally pro-life” is meant to mislead. You can’t be personally pro-life and still support abortion, and Valenti knows it. This is exactly why Valenti phrases it this way. It comes across as a much more moderate position, yet still argues that all feminists must support abortion. The feminist Left believes it isn’t good enough to just believe in equality between the sexes. You have to toe the “progressive” line, as Amanda Marcotte recently showcased in an interview, saying that real feminists are devoted to a very specific set of issues.
Interestingly, Valenti’s screed against Palin is so extreme that not all of her readers could get behind her. Feministing usually serves as a leftist echo chamber, but several commenters actually disagreed that all feminists need to think a certain way in order to be considered feminists. Valenti had to jump in to defend herself five times before closing commenting on the post.
Perhaps it’s because she isn’t following her own rules of feminism. In her book, Full Frontal Feminism, Valenti had this to say about people defining what feminists should be:
[L]ike many feminist authors before her, Valenti quickly expands feminism to include a wide array of liberal pet causes. If you don’t agree with them, guess what? You’re not really a feminist — you’re an anti-feminist. According to Valenti, feminists demand government-funded preschools and universal childcare, think American culture “breeds a society where rape is expected and practically okayed,” and proudly wear shirts that say “I don’t f*** Republicans.”
Valenti vents that she’s “so f***ing sick and tired of people telling [her] how to be an appropriate feminist.” Maybe so, but Valenti is happy to dish out a feminist litmus test herself.
So it isn’t OK for someone to tell Jessica Valenti what makes an appropriate feminist, but it’s OK for her to tell other people what makes an appropriate feminist? Quite the hypocrite, I see.
Here are some more quotes from Full Frontal Feminism in whichValenti defines what women should and shouldn’t do when it comes to marriage:
You may not like me for saying this…but engagement rings piss me the hell off. It’s a frigging dowry! …the only purpose of an engagement ring is to show that you “belong” to someone, and that your man makes bank.
For the life of me, I will never understand why a woman today would change her last name. It makes no sense whatsoever. You want future kids to have the same last name as you and your hubby? Hyphenate, bitch! Or do something, anything, but change your last name. It’s the ultimate buy-in of sexist bulls***. It epitomizes the idea that you are not your own person.
And here we get to the heart of “progressive” feminism. Today’s feminists like Jessica Valenti are the least “pro-choice” people on the planet … and I don’t mean when it comes to abortion. They want to dictate everything about the lives of American women. If you don’t live exactly the way they want you to live, then you’re “anti-woman” and an “anti-feminist.”
Change your name to your husband’s when you get married? You’re a slave to the patriarchy and an anti-feminist. Personally and politically pro-life? Anti-woman! Believe in small government, fiscal responsibility, and the free market? ANTI-FEMINIST! Believe in closing the borders and enforcing our immigration laws? Don’t believe in universal health care? Think global warming is all a fake? These all make you an anti-feminist, too.
Sad, isn’t it? A movement that once fought for equality for women now doesn’t want women to think for themselves. Someone like Sarah Palin, who quite literally has it all, should be a perfect example of a feminist. She’s got a loving marriage and a wonderful family. She is the breadwinner in her family and is one of the most powerful women in the country. But she doesn’t wallow in patriarchal victimhood; she’s a conservative, she’s pro-life. She doesn’t toe the Jessica Valenti and Amanda Marcotte line, and therefore, she can never be considered a feminist. If you need an example of how hijacked the feminist movement has been by radicals, this is it.