Saturday, November 22, 2008

Steinem on HRC and Palin

Gloria Steinem wrote a couple of high profile op-ed pieces over the course of the election. Here are excerpts from two -- one about HRC and one about Sarah Palin.

This appeared on January 8, 2008, after Hillary lost Iowa and before she won New Hampshire. It was titled, "Women are Never Front-runners," and it cleverly juxtaposed female gender with some of Obama's biographical details to make the point that Obama's credentials might be subject to greater scrutiny and skepticism were he a woman. Here are the first few paragraphs:

THE woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6. Herself the daughter of a white American mother and a black African father — in this race-conscious country, she is considered black — she served as a state legislator for eight years, and became an inspirational voice for national unity.

Be honest: Do you think this is the biography of someone who could be elected to the United States Senate?

Steinem says that if you answered "no," you are hardly alone. She goes on to call gender "probably the most restricting force in American life." She notes a study which found that the United States "polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy."

The second Steinem piece appeared in the Los Angeles Times after Sarah Palin was chosen as McCain's running mate. It is titled "Wrong woman, wrong message." After labeling John McCain the "real culprit," Steinem argues that he chose Palin to curry favor with "right-wing ideologues." She continues:
Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions . . .
Gloria Steinem, long-time editor of Ms. magazine, is a so-called second-generation feminist who is famous for saying, "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Do you see any inconsistencies in the positions she takes in these two editorials?

No comments: