For four decades, right-wing icon Phyllis Schlafly has been an anti-feminist spokeswoman for the national conservative movement.
……Schlafly asserted women should not be permitted to do jobs traditionally held by men, such as firefighter, soldier or construction worker, because of their “inherent physical inferiority.”
……Schlafly also contended that married women cannot be sexually assaulted by their husbands.
“By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape,” she said..
She was everything we 70s equal right supporters feared: a woman who had the resources to spread the anti-woman notions of “fascinating womanhood.”
The only differences between Palin and Schlafly are age and the fact that Schlafly preached that a woman wouldn’t raise a family and have a job at the same time. Of course, Schlafly did not practice what she preached in that case.
Gloria Steinem, in her L.A. Times opinion piece, makes the point:
This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.
Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton’s candidacy stood for — and that Barack Obama’s still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs.”
The L.A. Times piece also says this about the Sarah Palin:
She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she’s won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain’s campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn’t know it’s about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate’s views on “God, guns and gays” ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.
So let’s be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can’t tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.
Palin’s value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women’s wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves “abstinence-only” programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers’ millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn’t spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.
Palin’s speech last night was scary because it was a perfect combination of content and delivery. She came across as, indeed, your neighborhood hockey mom who wins popularity as a cute, funny, and entertaining dinner speaker. What she says is not deeply thoughtful; but it is entertaining. Her delivery is so engaging that even non-conservatives might be sucked in by her natural charm and sarcastic wit.
I hope today’s women are smarter than that.