So I’ve written a lot about how I think feminism should be viewed as anti-sexism, not pro-women-ism – that is, how it should be based on fighting a specific type of problem rather than on supporting a type of person or group of people. Sometimes the two things are pretty much the same, but here we get to see the difference. The people who think feminism is all about women think I should support Palin because she’s a woman. (There are also people, like my dad and Palin herself, who use my feminism as an excuse for why I should support her even though they don’t give a shit about feminism.) The people who think feminism is all about fighting sexism think it’s a much better idea to vote for candidates that work to reduce sexism (Obama and Biden) than candidates that do just the opposite (McCain and Palin). I don’t understand the people who really do support Palin out of feminism. If you’re reading, I’d love to know what good effect her vice presidency would have on the state of women’s rights? Because knowing that a woman has been VP is something (god it’s so pathetic that even VICE president is a stretch for a population that’s a majority in this country), but I don’t think that knowledge accomplishes THAT much. I mean, I’m glad we have a female Speaker of the House, but I don’t get up in the morning and think “I’m not going to tolerate any sexist jokes today, because I know Nancy Pelosi is successful.” I’m sure it’s helpful for men to grow up in a place where they see women in power, too, but again, I don’t think Palin’s presence would make enough of a difference to balance out her sexist policies. And beyond the benefit of knowing what’s possible for women to accomplish, I don’t see any ways in which Palin’s political power would benefit women who aren’t Palin or her relatives, and I certainly don’t see any ways in which Palin’s political power would create a decrease in systemic sexism.
My stance also means that I should be against sexism wherever I see it, even when it’s inflicted on someone I don’t like. Which is why I have criticizing the endless sexism that has been thrown at Palin by people who are too stupid to come up with something legitimate to say against her – and there’s plenty. (Not on my blog, but believe me, my friends are probably getting whiplash from me constantly switching between denouncing her and defending her.)
Some people can’t quite grasp this whole having principles thing. Tricky, I know.