I appreciated both Amy Alexander's and Patricia William's piece about Sarah Palin. What Gloria Steinam's position paper, NOW's pronouncements and feminists' claims of being "insulted" do not understand is precisely this visceral appeal of the woman. Indeed, when I was watching Palin's convention speech, she reminded of my favorite democratic "ballsy" women: Anne Richards and Molly Ivins. If there is one thing I learned growing up in Texas, it is this: never underestimate the woman with the up-do. Richards and Ivins could dish out the snarkiness with the same kind of humor and populist mischief that Palin did in her speech, and we Democrats loved them for it.
However, what both articles miss, I believe, is the fact not of Palin's emotional but her political appeal. Though I abhor Palin's policies, I, like many women I know, feel betrayed by the lack of support Clinton received from the left, from the Democratic party, and in the end, from Barak Obama himself when he did not choose her as his running mate. What a ticket it could have been. Truly historic--a coming together of two movements that have, for too long, been separate and at odds with one another. When Obama did not pick Clinton, her female supporters felt that the candidate did not value them as a demographic, that he did not care about their issues, and that it foretold at least four more years of traditional masculine political images, resulting in the diminution of the cultural and political status of women.
The notion that Palin would provide some kind of real corrective to the imminent disappearance of a strong woman from the political stage is not irrational. This alone is not reason enough to vote for her. But the fact of her political appeal must be acknowledged.
Tulane University<br />New Orleans, lA
Sep 19 2008 - 2:43pm