Barbie for V.P.

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.

Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin

Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin

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.

5 thoughts on “Barbie for V.P.

  1. Jamie Holts says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  2. Natasha C says:

    Maybe, Gov Palin, see this as the obvious next step to her meteoric rise is politics. A mayor for one year, a governor for one year, VP for one year, and then … president????
    Maybe she thinks she’s qualified, maybe she doesn’t. More importantly she doesn’t care especially if the end justifies the means.
    Many women are forced to deal with being patronized and overlooked, so maybe Gov Palin is just trying to accomplish her goals by any means necessary.
    And unfortunately I truly believe she can pull some of the Clinton votes, as idiotic, illogical or inconsistent as that may seem.

  3. Jenny Chapman says:

    Gosh, that would make her a whore, wouldn’t it?

    Yep… and I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Well said, Ms. Baptiste!

  4. Amanda says:

    It is a sad state of affairs when people in this country vote based on anatomy (as you said–I probably would have used a slightly cruder word). It’s like people who say they don’t want to vote for Obama because they can’t relate to him. Since when do we need to RELATE to our president? Is this person going to go drinking with us next week?

    I have nothing in common with Ms. Palin except our anatomy. Everything she believes in is the total opposite of all of my core beliefs as an American and, especially, as a woman. The fact that people are talking more about her gender than her political beliefs scares the crap out of me for the stupidity level of this country.

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