I recently wrote a book called OVERCOMING PREJUDICE for Chelsea House Publishers. It will be released in spring 2009. I devoted one of the chapters to prejudice against women, starting from women binding their feet in China for the sake of beauty, to the suffrage movements in the U.K. and the U.S.A., to the inequity in pay that women still face.
This political season, Hilary Clinton was going to do something unprecedented by becoming the Democratic nominee for President, and possibly the first woman president of the United States. She was following in the footsteps of other female leaders… Indira Ghandi in India, Sirimavo Bandaranaike in Sri Lanka, Golda Meir in Israel and Margaret Thatcher in the U.K. But Clinton lost the nomination. Then on Friday, John McCain, the Republican nominee announced that his running mate would be a woman. Sarah Palin. Someone no one had ever heard of, and someone so new to politics, that a few weeks ago, she couldn’t even say what the job of Vice President was.
Clinton was a qualified candidate, despite what people’s feelings may have been about her. By contrast, Palin is unknown, underqualified, and a clear attempt by one party to gain voter support from Clinton’s drop-off. Palin even invoked Clinton in her speech, as if she was picking up from where the former first lady had left off.
I am incredibly offended. I do not make political choices based on a candidate’s anatomy, nor do I know any woman who would (thankfully). It’s like a beer commercial with a busty, skimpily-clad woman serving the drinks. She’s just there to use her appeal as a woman, nothing more. I don’t know if Ms. Palin is aware that she is being used, or if she genuinely believes that she is qualified for the job. If she is aware that this is a cheap trick, and is willing to trick herself out for the entire Republican party, then that’s someone I couldn’t vote for morally. If she genuinely believes that she was chosen based on her abilities, then she is too stupid for my vote. So which is it?
I certainly hope that young women in this country are able to see through this grand-scale sexism and demand better for themselves. Palin has just single-handedly put the women’s movement back 100 years. It’s the equivalent of McCain choosing Jim Crow as his Veep and I am beyond disgusted.