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picture of Sarah Palin action figure
so much has been said about Sarah Palin these past few weeks. Fred Thompson said she’s the only one on the ticket who can dress a moose. Debbie Dingell, a leading Michigan Democrat, said that women should feel insulted by the choice of her for Republican Vice-President. and now Hero Builders has created 3 different Sarah Palin action figures, one doing the covered up black trenchcoat governor/soccer mom, another doing the Catholic Schoolgirl Librarian Britney Spears, and the last one that is just scantily clad action figure perhaps attempting to channel what some have called her “milf” or “vpilf”ness.
i came across an interesting editorial on The Economist that speaks of what Sarah Palin candidacy means in the greater context of the feminist movement. she’s brought out a seemingly contradictory viewpoints from both sides – where the feminists groups are expressing doubt of whether she can or should be juggling 5 kids, 1 pregnant daughter and potentially the US vice-presidency, and the pro-family organizations are exclaiming that she very well can, and it’s a gross double standard that this ‘scenario’ has even become an issue. the editorial sums up with, what i think is a fairly convincing argument, that Sarah Palin doesn’t necessarily represent anti-feminism, or that she’s a big step back for the movement, as a whole. but maybe there’s been a generational shift where gender equality has almost become the accepted norm. certainly there are the cold numbers that women are still underpaid in comparison to men, but we’ve caught up educationally – there are more women in college, more receiving advanced degrees, more elite colleges are being headed by women (former Smith president, Ruth Simmons now heads up Brown University). the younger generation of feminists were not as necessarily gung-ho for Hillary Clinton, as those who marched alongside Gloria Steinem, because the world we’ve grown up in has been completely different, a result of the long feminist struggle for equality – it’s been proven time after time that women can do anything men can. talking with lots of my Smith friends, the reason many are pro-Obama is because we agree with his stance on particular issues more than Hillary, we didn’t feel as much pressure to vote for her solely because she was a woman, instead we looked at both the Democrats as equals, and made decisions purely based upon the issues. “She demonstrates that gender is no longer a barrier to success. She also proves that you can be a career woman without needing to subscribe to any fixed feminist ideology.” Sarah Palin brings to the spotlight a question of whether feminism and women are one, or whether feminism = leftism. but maybe this is the next stage of the feminist movement, a certain level of equality b/c the genders has been achieved, and perhaps we’re starting (at least a little bit) to view and judge others based upon who they are, and not on their gender.