I just watched the Charlie Gibson interview with Sarah Palin on YouTube, and though there were plenty of things I had an opinion about, one that stuck out in my mind is Palin saying that the question of whether criticism of her trying to raise a family and run for VP is sexist is irrelevant. The way she framed the issue, talking about being part of the Title IX generation, etc. etc., struck me as saying that sexism is irrelevant, or maybe even non-existent, in this day and age. Sure, maybe people don’t come right and say “you can’t be the Vice President because you are a woman and a woman with children,” but sexism is extremely pervasive, and I can’t imagine that Palin has never in her life faced sexism. I’m sure it helps to be on the “right side” of things as far as the way the rich, white, conservative straight men who run the country see it, but I find this interesting. Is this how she feels personally or only politically? Does she honestly think she’s never been the victim of sexism?
One thing about being a part of the foodblogging community that I’ve become more and more used to is the diversity of the group. Most of my interests (LGBT studies, human rights, feminism) more or less tend to fall within a certain political range. There are variances within the group, but you know what you expect to hear. Foodies aren’t like that – after all, everyone has to eat. You get quite a range – a lot of moms and a lot of young or middle-aged professional women, many of whom are married, but also some single girls and occasionally guys. There are a lot of Christians and “family values” folks, which means there are presumably a lot of Republicans. I don’t have any problem with that, as I’ve always lived in politically diverse areas and had a politically diverse group of friends and colleagues. But I have to say a post on one foodblog gave me pause.
The woman who writes this blog said that she had been sure she was going to vote for Obama until she saw Palin’s speech. Now, as a mom, she’s energized and excited about the ticket and changing her mind. Really? I think a lot of us liberals are thinking that bullshit won’t work, but there’s a point there. She’s a young, vibrant mother and a lot of women probably see her and think yeah, that’s me, that’s a badass career mom, go get ’em girl. Now I know nothing about this particular blogger’s politics, though I gather she’s not very political and may well be an independent, but I wonder how much the “fellow mom” card plays above, say, Palin’s views on reproductive rights, Creationism, and other areas where she’s a conservative extremist. I wonder if women who want to vote for McCain because of Palin agree (or just don’t care that much) with her stance on the issues, or if they disagree but are simply willing to overlook. I also wonder if people realise that when they vote for this ticket they’re voting for McCain for President. There isn’t a young, vibrant mom running for President. It’s McCain. An old, votes-with-Bush white guy. If that genuinely appeals, then fine, but I can’t help but smell some trickery in the air.