Palin Claims To Be Pioneering Woman; Pioneering Women Disagree
Sarah Palin fashions herself a feminist, but interestingly, while campaigning on behalf of conservative female candidates, her target map of candidates she’d like to see removed from office disproportionately focuses on women. And she has donated money in races where Democratic women are running.
Palin eagerly claims the feminist mantle—an unusual assertion for a candidate from her wing of the GOP—and spoke Friday of “a new conservative feminist movement” with an “emerging conservative feminist identity,” before a Washington audience.
“I kinda feel a connection to that tough, gun totin’ pioneer feminism,” she told the enthusiastic crowd of anti-abortion activists gathered to support the SBA [Susan B. Anthony] List.
While Palin lauds herself as a “pioneering” woman and conservatives concur, some of the true female pioneers, the ones who really did break ground, don’t see it that way.
“She tries to have it both ways,” said former Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo, pictured), who made a brief run for president in 1987. “If you remember when she first got the vice president nomination she talked about reaching out to Geraldine Ferraro, trying to tie herself into that legacy. Now she’s going to go get blood on her teeth, go out there and growl at them.”
“Those women have been out there making the hard decisions for the country and she decided to bail rather than make those hard decisions,” she added, referring to Palin’s decision to resign as governor of Alaska before the end of her term.
Another Democratic trailblazer, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-N.Y.), says Palin’s targeting of other women is particularly egregious because of how she landed on the national stage.
“She was elected, she was promoted, she was given the opportunity to run for vice president because she was a woman. Somewhere inside, there should be something that says, ‘don’t kick them in the teeth, don’t look down on other women,’” said Holtzman, who is currently running for state attorney general in New York nearly 40 years after first winning her seat in Congress.
Certainly one doesn’t expect that you’re going to support someone just because of gender, but going out of the way to “target” your own gender, while claiming the mantle of feminism is another story.
One of Palin’s 2010 targets, Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), says aiming at women like her undermines the rapport that women from both parties enjoy in Congress—where they make up only 17 percent of members.
“It certainly doesn’t help the cause of trying to get more women in Congress now, because I think as a whole I think we do a good job of working together, the women members,” Markey told POLITICO. “What Sarah Palin is doing simply doesn’t promote that idea of as women we all work together, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.”
“We’re seeing a huge interest in women across the country and what our message is, and I think Sarah Palin has broken barriers in a lot of ways. I know it seems kind of strange because Geraldine Ferraro ran before, but it’s not really in the memory of a lot of women. Sarah Palin is recent memory,” Bachmann told POLITICO recently. “They remember her.”Click here for reuse options!
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