INK_BLAST | SARAH PALIN (SADLY) PROVES FEMINISM WORKED
By Juleyka Lantigua
Many women are mad that Sarah Palin was chosen as the Republican VP nominee. They are infuriated that, when the country produced a contender like Hillary Clinton, all the McCain campaign could come up with was Sarah Palin. Even the National Organization of Women, that bastion of all things liberating, broke its own rules and publicly endorsed Barack Obama, just to make sure women voters knew which presidential candidate stood to advance women’s rights.
The irony in all this is that Palin is actually proof that American feminism worked.
Think about it. How long have unqualified men been running everything from small businesses to corporations to school boards, large cities and even the whole country? It seems only fitting that feminism’s path would lead directly to an unqualified woman ascending the slippery ranks of the political machine.
It is embarrassing and unfortunate that the rest of the world has given us women like Margaret Thatcher (British Prime Minister 1979-1990), Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany, President of the European Council, Chair G8), and Michelle Bachelet (President of Chile) who have carved out political careers that have changed the course of history. And all we could come up with is someone who will have an asterisk permanently affixed to her name in all history books to be written from now on.
But that is not Sarah Palin’s fault. She happened to be the most politically expedient and affable accomplice McCain’s puppet masters could find. She was going on about her business of mismanaging Alaska when some eager political strategist in Washington decided that women would not care if the Republican party chose a QUALIFIED woman for the job. They convinced themselves that any woman would do to fill the power suit left hanging in the wind by Hillary Clinton.
But women still have a choice. We can play along and support a woman VP who stands to humiliate our gender every time she opens her mouth, or we can tell all the men in Washington and across the country that we will not be their accomplices and support women who are not qualified, regardless of how long we have waited to have one of us in the White House or the board room or the corner office.
This may sound dramatic, but if women (and men) vote for Sarah Palin, we are essentially admitting that we are the same as the men (and women) who perpetrated this farce; that we are willing to ignore reality to create a fantasy that satisfies our need to feel like we helped write (and right) history by putting a woman that much closer to the presidency.
If we fall for it, then we have collectively lowered all the standards women have been fighting for decades to uphold.
"Juleyka Lantigua is a journalist and editor whose work appears in national newspapers and magazines. For more info visit: www.juleykalantigua.com."