Is Sarah Palin a feminist? It’s a question that has been exercising the minds of some commentators:

Sarah Palin

Pic: Jeff Geerling

Matthew Continetti believes she is. In an interview with Shawn Macomber in the American Spectator he says:
“Palin does not subscribe to the full menu of what the political consultant and author Jeffrey Bell has called “adversarial feminism.
“But Palin is a feminist. She supports Title IX, frequently mentions the “glass ceiling” separating women from men, attacked Barack Obama for paying his female Senate staff members less than male staff, and outlined a pro-woman foreign policy that Hillary Clinton would be comfortable supporting. But she is also pro-life and does not believe that women necessarily must trade off a happy home life for professional success.”

In his book The Persecution of Sarah Palin, Continetti argues that the “story of Sarah Palin is the story of American political journalism’s intellectual bankruptcy”.
And it was “the feminist establishment” that began the “crusade to expel her from the city of ladies,” he goes on. “They succeeded in making her politically polarizing. But, I think, they also irrevocably tarnished their ability to speak on behalf of women as a whole.”

More criticism of feminists comes from Leslie Sanchez in her book You’ve Come a Long Way, Maybe. Writing about the book in the New Yorker Ariel Levy criticises the direction taken by American feminism of focusing on identity politics and getting women in positions of power rather than what they should do when they get there.
Picking up on Sanchez’s complaint that Gloria Steinem‘s criticism of Palin sent the message that, “you can run, Sarah Palin, but you won’t get my support because you don’t believe in all the same things I believe in” Jezebel writes: “The idea that men had the luxury of choosing candidates they actually agree with but women had to vote with their vaginas was one of the most upsetting things about the 2008 election.”

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