Red State Feminist Commentary:

Go, Sarah, Go!

(courtesy of Camille Solberg)

Red State Feminists are completely thrilled about Sarah Palin's vice presidential candidacy! In our eyes, she is the quintessential Red State Feminist. In her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in August, she said, " this is America, and every woman can walk through every door of opportunity"! She hereself, rising to the level of Governor of Alaska, shows that great feminist truth about our country. At the same time, she embodies many of the conservative values that Red State Feminists hold dear: she is a member of Feminists for Life, is married to her high school sweetheart, has five kids, and hews to her faith. As many have said before, she not only "talks the talk" of being a Red State Feminist, this gal "walks the walk," too. Her very life is a testimony to the vitality that a Red State feminist perspective brings!

And this is probably why she has been so vilified from one half of her Red State Feminist genealogy. While most conservatives are wild with joy over her candidacy, those who view themselves as liberal feminists seem to be insane with fury over her very presence on the national stage. Their view is apparently that Red State Feminism is oxymoronic, and that if you are not a Blue State Feminist, you are not a feminist at all--in fact, one commentator opined that Sarah Palin was not even a woman! What the commentator meant by this crack is that you can only be a "real" woman if your political views are left of center!

However, as we have discussed in a previous topic, we feel that feminism is the ultimate conservatism. Red State Feminists therefore find the highest expression of their conservatism in their feminism. We believe that if only we could see clearly--unobstructed by the centuries of distortion--we would find that to be a Christian is to be a feminist by defintion. To support heterosexual marriage is a profoundly feminist position. To oppose fetal stem stell research is a feminist stance. To be pro-life is at its core to be a feminist. To advocate for chastity before marriage and perfect fidelity in marriage is a strongly feminist viewpoint.

In the United States, many of these positions were considered feminist in the early 20th century. However, by the late 20th century, somehow these policy positions had become divorced from their true root of feminism. In this, there is plenty of blame for both Blue State Feminism and a brand of conservatism that we would call Misogyny Conservatism. In the mid-20th century, Misogyny Conservatives recoiled in horror at what they saw as the breakdown of the American family, and put the blame on those who argued for the equal participation of women in society. What they refused to see is that is was actually the anti-conservative cultural norms for men in our society--the male promiscuity, the domination of men over women, the marginalization of women by men--all of these things, practiced by men to the detriment of women, winked at or even appaluded by Mosogyny Conservatives, were what was really destroying the family. A society not based on Christian norms of feminism cannot hope to remain healthy.

In return, Blue State Feminists reacted to Misogyny Conservatism by increasingly taking the stance that what was good for families and what was good for women were two very different things--that marriage and family were perhaps inherently oppressive to women. In this they made a costly strategic error, thereby placing feminism on unsustainable ground. In a sense, they ceded to Misogyny Conservatives the vision of what a family ought to be. Thus, to be a feminist began to mean devaluing the family. And that is why the majority of women in America do not describe themselves as "feminist"--for they live lives in which their highest values are God and Family. In the 1990s, when the AAP announced that babies should optimally be breastfed for at least a year, NOW responded by slamming the AAP for wanting to tie women down to their biology! What was best for babies was simply a plot by pediatricians to keep women in a second-class position. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how far removed Blue State Feminism has become from the values of most American women.

The internal contradictions of both Blue State Feminism and Misogyny Conservatism had become increasingly obvious by the early 21st century. There was a sleeping giant ready to be awakened--the sleeping giant of women and men who felt that women do stand as equals before God and before men, and at the same time believe that the families formed by men and women in marriage are the most important institution in the land. Who would wake that sleeping giant? Our wonderful Sarah Palin!

In one fell swoop, Senator John McCain did something more important than he will ever do as a senator or perhaps even as a president. By picking Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, John McCain woke the sleeping giant of Red State Feminism. In one move, he destroyed Misogyny Conservatism in the United States forever. And in that same move, he has shaken to its very foundations--its very unstable foundations--Blue State Femnism. He has laid the groundwork for the emergence of the most healthy consensus America could ever have on the most important issues of our land--the Red State Feminist consensus.

And so while the first battle against Misogyny Conservatism was a cakewalk (to the credit of the conservative movement, which in recent years had increasingly distanced itself from its misogynist legacy), the second battle against Blue State Feminism now rages. And "rage" is the right word! Blue State Feminists, within and without the national media, are almost literally frothing at the mouth over Sarah Palin. The invective, the lies, the condescencion, the smearing have all been taken to a level we have never seen before in American politics. For example, one pundit even suggested that only a person with "the IQ of a tampax" could support Sarah Palin!

Not to worry--the level of invective is merely a sign that Blue State Feminism sees has glimpsed inevitable doom in the person of the Governor of Alaska. Blue State Feminism will fall; its end is written in the wild joy of the mothers who drag their daughters across two states just to see Sarah at her campaign events. A new day is dawning, and it is bright with promise for all American women and men. The old dragon of Mosogyny Conservatism is dead, dead, dead. And the younger dragon of Blue State Feminism is going down, too.

Thank you, Sarah Palin . . . we are eternally grateful that God brought you forth "for such a time as this."


September 26, 2008 by RedStateGal