Feminist Siskind Falls Short in Palin Defense
By Jennifer Stefano
Amy Siskind gave one of the most impassioned and righteous defenses of Sarah Palin and the recently released film “The Undefeated” in her Huffington Post article, “The Movie I Wish Hillary Had Made.” It’s what makes her follow-up editorial at DailyCaller.com such a disappointment. In it, Siskind lays out the top 10 reasons Palin should run for president.
Such commentary from a left-leaning feminist would usually be welcomed, but it embraces the very sexism it seeks to overcome by arguing that Palin should run for president because she’s female.
This type of gender-focused thinking is abhorrent to most women on the right. Many of us have outright and rightly rejected identity politics. Policy, principle, and character should be the criteria for presidential runs, not chromosomal makeup. It’s hard for many leftist feminists to understand that center-right women would rather elect a man who believes in and fights for our principles than a woman who does not. It’s why the vast majority of conservative women will never get behind Hillary.
No one should vote for Palin just because she’s a woman. The mere suggestion is harmful to any female looking to be taken seriously, especially in politics.
It can be argued that Sarah Palin should run for president because she possesses leadership skills that make her valuable to our nation and all of its people, regardless of gender. Or that she should run because she has endured the slings and arrows of political ascendancy and not only survived, but thrived. Or, it could be argued Palin should run for president because she is on the right side of the issues, because she believes in American exceptionalism, defends life, and is a champion of and warrior for individual liberty.
Arguing that she should run for president because she’s a girl is irrelevant and insulting.
Siskind is one of the few on the left who legitimately and rightly stands up and defends Palin, and it is painful to take her to task on this front. Siskind is a rarity, a feminist who actual defends women regardless of political persuasion. No group fell down more or showed their true character when Palin came onto the national scene in 2008 than the feminist left.
Feminism has never been about women. It's been about a radical leftist agenda compromised of degrading men, diminishing families, and promoting abortion — the antithesis of Palin's life and philosophy. However, to right that wrong by calling for a Palin presidency on gender lines puts her in the position of being written off merely as a “token” candidate and one without substance or sustainability, which is exactly what the feminist left did to Palin during her vice-presidential run.
No one was more hateful and vitriolic toward Palin than many of the so-called “women’s rights” groups. Their obsession over gender and maniacal insistence on defining what is and isn’t a women’s issue allowed (and still allows) Palin to be a target of Saul Alinsky-style destroy tactics from the very people who say they care about the advancement of women.
For example, in one of Gloria Steinem’s most condescending articles, the leftist-feminist icon argued that John McCain picked Palin only to appease the gender gap. Writing for the Los Angeles Times in September 2008, Steinem said, “This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need.” First, Steinem needs to accept that she does not speak for, nor is her viewpoint relevant to, the vast majority of women in this country. Second, this nasty, sexist attitude is the perfect example of the hypocrisy spewing forth from the leftist “women’s movement”.
It’s why anyone who wants to see a woman eventually ascend to the presidency must reject outright the notion that she belongs there because of her gender. At the same time, I applaud Siskind for at least trying to make right what the feminist left did to Palin during the last three years. Palin’s gender, her mothering, and the example she could set for young girls certainly could add to her attractiveness as a candidate, but what would make her the right candidate lie far outside gender politics.
Jennifer Stefano is the co-chair of The Loyal Opposition of Pennsylvania, a grass-roots conservative/tea party organization.