Anna Holmes, founding editor of liberal feminist site Jezebel.com, and Rebecca Traister of Salon.com wrote an op-ed for the New York Times this week called A Palin of Our Own. Holmes and Traister sounded both frustrated revolted as they admit that maybe, just maybe, the left could learn something from Backwoods Barbie herself.
First, they voice their annoyance with Lefties who refuse to support female candidates.
The left should be outraged and exasperated by all this — but at their own failings as much as Ms. Palin’s ascension. Since the 2008 election, progressive leaders have done little to address the obvious national appetite for female leadership.
The left has repeatedly failed to support women. They conveniently ignore that the Left had a qualified female candidate that ran for the highest office in the country in 2008, and they undermined her every step of the way. The race card obviously trumps the girly card, so Hillary was hung out to dry by the sexist hacks in her own party. Meanwhile, Palin has consistently and fiercely supported strong female candidates like Nikki Haley and Sharron Angle across the country.
The irony here is that they are acting as if the Left has an interest in supporting female candidates while simultaneously highlighting that there is no national figure actually supporting liberal women running for office. Democrats and liberals are much more interested in the oppressed minority du jour… which is why high ranking female Democrats like Nancy Pelosi have hammered issues like immigration and the Ground Zero Mosque recently, only giving the female base lip service on days like the 90th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.
Next, Holmes and Traister voice frustration with Palin’s success, whining that liberals laid the groundwork for her to be successful in the first place. As I’ve pointed out before, the heads of the suffrage movement were Republicans. Susan B. Anthony voted a straight Republican ticket after she claimed her right to cast a ballot. The Feminist movement began out of necessity, and – like the Civil Rights Movement – benefitted Americans as a whole. People united in support for black Americans in the 60’s. It was a non-partisan cultural shift that changed America forever. However, the end game was not that each of these groups become a protected class. The ultimate goal was that these movements would empower people and make them equal in the eyes of Americans and their government. Immense progress has been made, and instead of allowing the women they’ve fought for to run for office on their self-defined platforms, they choose to define what a real woman would believe. Palin herself thanked her predecessors for making it possible for her to be where she is. It’s the third wave of feminism that decided those rules only apply if you’re pro-abortion and need to have your equality legislated for you.
This reality, apparently, is lost on Holmes and Traister.
Sure, the Grizzlies sound somewhat progressive on paper. But from their opposition to reproductive rights to their work against health care reform and labor policies that would empower American women, their ideas are just antiquated clichés dressed up in designer suits. Like Ms. Palin herself, their talk about being “mama bears” and “tough as an ox … wearing lipstick” simply reduces female candidates’ political prospects to maternal worth and sex appeal.
Since when did ensuring that women aren’t forced to participate in health care plans that they may not want, fighting the legislated faux-equality enacted by Big Labor, and valuing life become “antiquated clichés?” Being strong and feminine at the same time seems to be more than these women can comprehend.In no way does it “reduce a female candidates’ political prospects to maternal worth and sex appeal” to wear lipstick and embrace motherhood… and be a governor and Vice Presidential nominee. Palin has managed to garner significant political influence in her designer suits high heels, impacting primaries and raising money and support for candidates all over the country.
Good luck finding a liberal woman who is willing to go to bat for other women in a time when the race card is at the forefront. It is no longer historic for women to be Governors, Senators, Congressmen, or Judges, so this is no longer a fight that is on their radar. They’ve moved on to other battles, leaving the women that the original feminists fought so hard for in the dust as they chase abortion rights and gender quotas for employers. The fight is not about women for Holmes and Traister. It is about a leftist ideology that does nothing but enslave them.