Like many Americans, I was eagerly anticipating Senator John McCains choice for vice-president. Around noon on Aug. 29, I received a text message from a friend of mine, saying, Palin, eh? My initial reaction, like most of the worlds, was, Who exactly is Sarah Palin? The first response I heard about the VP pick was from my high-school-aged brother, who said, This definitely makes the race more interesting. The first response I got from a Barnard student was a text message, saying, Ewwwww.
Really? Ewwwww? But, hey, thats not an unusual gut reaction to conservatives around here. I brushed off the reply as shock that McCain had picked someone seemingly out of left field. With time, Barnard women might come around to Sarah Palin. Not to her views, necessarily (I do live in the real world), but to her historical role and value as a female role model. Right?
During my first week back at Barnard, I was sitting in my room when I heard a shout of outrage and alarm. Thinking something catastrophic had occurred, I ran to my suitemates room. What happened? I asked. My suitemate was so angry she could barely speak. Sarah Palins daughtershe, she, shes pregnant! Yeah, I heard. But so what? I asked. Its so... so... so.... Shell act so... that she didnt have an abortion! She then launched into an expletive-laced tirade. Wow. Teenage pregnancy is so shocking that my normally articulate suitemate could only stammer out her feelings of anger toward the Palin family?
This past Sunday, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) came to speak at Columbia. One female student stood up and said, As an educated woman, I know many of us were offended by the pick of Sarah Palin. So a two-part questionfirst part, what are your thoughts on Sarah Palin? Go wild. Second part, Im really unsure why it became bad in politics to be smart and well-educated, especially at elite institutions such as Harvard or Yale or Columbia.
What? Is educated women a group of which Sarah Palin is not a member? Is Sarah Palin uneducated because she didnt attend an elite Ivy League university?
Baffled, I spent part of the afternoon interviewing some of my Barnard friends about their feelings regarding Sarah Palin.
First, I asked: what were your initial reactions when you heard that John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his running mate?
Who in Gods name is Sarah Palin? Funny that he picked a woman. Im really afraid that she could possibly be president.
What are some of your thoughts on her now?
Shes piggish, risky, reminds me of Dolores Umbridge, hypocritical, in the sense that she is conservative and her teenage daughter is pregnant, and shes unaware of the realities of modern-day America, and she thinks that people should have to pay for their own rape kits. Her accent makes her sound stupid. I think she is an f-ing (insert offensive expletive here), and anyone with viewpoints as personal as, you know, like, so extreme on issues that are extremely close to some peoples heartsbirth control, abortion, rape stuff, looking into banning booksshouldnt be in office.What do you think about her having five kids and possibly being vice-president?
My mom thinks her hormones are out of whack. How does a woman run the country with all of those hormones? I wouldnt want my mother running the country.
Do you think Sarah Palin is a step backward for women?
Yeah, because if he had appointed someone with more credibility or views that were a little bit more in line with the majoritymore sympathetic, more moderate, much more informedpeople would have been like, Oh, good, a woman,not like, She sounds stupid. Shes bad for women. Shes a joke. She represents all that people dont like about Hillary. Lik, sexists will say shes over-emotional and not as informed.
Shes an anti-feminist. Her stances on issues are not what a feminist would believe in.If someone was to make up a caricature of the worst possible woman that could be that high in office, it would be Sarah Palin.
Whoa. Sarah Palin has out-of-whack hormones? She thinks people should have to pay for their own rape kits? Shes an anti-feminist? This Sarah Palin character sounds pretty dangerous to me. I guess I should just vote for Obama.
Too bad none of thats true.
Sarah Palin recently had a baby, yes, but she returned to work only three days after delivering her fifth child, and passed landmark legislation such as a natural gas pipeline bill through the Alaska legislature. The rumor that she thinks rape victims should have to pay for their own rape kits turned out to be false. And is Sarah Palin an anti-feminist? Well, what exactly is a feminist anyway?
Sarah Palin shows that while women have to make sacrifices, they dont have to choose. You can have a career and have five kids. You can be a strong woman and have a strong marriage. You can be beautiful and be respected for your accomplishments. If thats not feminism, then what is?