In the same way that I resented feminism being mobilized for national agendas in the Middle East, I resent feminism being used to keep the N. American people from learning more about the Republican VP Candidate. As I said in an earlier post, we need to hold the media accountable when they are being sexist and they have been. At the same time, McCain’s assertion that any questions of Palin’s legitimacy are sexist is out of step with his own campaign and reality. He has consistently questioned Obama’s credentials and everyone has to answer questions about their policies and experience.
Palin doing an interview is par for the course. And if she isn’t strong enough to stand up to any sexist comments that might slip through in an interview, then how is she going to stand up to sexist world leaders?
A lot of people called Hillary Clinton names for saying she would not stand for sexism from the media but I’ll tell you what, in the end they apologized and people were sanctioned. Sometimes she threw her weight around and that was wrong, but many times she was absolutely right about sexist treatment she and her daughter were receiving and she made sure that no woman during her campaign, except Michelle Obama, was maligned by the national press without consequence. If Palin had followed her example, I would not have spent an hour combing through sexist comic strips looking for a decent illustration for this blog entry when I should be prepping my lecture.
These are the questions I would like to see her answer:
- what exactly is her role in the White House going to be should they win? – answered 9/15/08
Sarah Palin said Monday she would concentrate on energy, government reform and helping families with special needs children (Yahoo News)
- does she have particular issues or projects she would like to spearhead as VP?
- Can she outline the core policies of the McCain-Palin ticket and give some examples of what they plan to do in the first 100 days?
- She increased taxes on oil in Alaska to fund a giveback program to residents, will she be doing the same at the national level? Would she support a higher tax that funded increased infrastructure re/building? And how does her tax of oil differ from the McCain-Palin ticket’s claims that Obama wants to increase taxes but that they have never supported increased taxes?
- what are some of the ways she intends to make good on her promise to be an advocate for the differently-abled in the White House?
- What are her opinions on affirmative action particularly in schools and hiring (and I mean every group that benefits including white women)?
- How does she feel about a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman?
- What are her views on education? Will she continue to support the conservative Texas textbook industry? Will she try to pass legislation that prevents the teaching of evolution, sex ed, or multiculturalism (including glbtq issues)? Will she support the current administrations attacks on “identity” studies programs?
- How does she feel about reproductive technologies and how does she see her role in implementing or preventing policy surrounding them? repro tech defined as: morning after, abortion, in vitro, corrective surgery, the pill, etc. And I would like her to address testing issues, ie testing on “third world” women and vulnerable populations in the U.S., subsidized access, as well as sterilization programs like CRACK.
- What is her stance on women’s health issues in general? Will she refund a Commission on Women’s Health? If so how will she ensure proper testing and approval procedures as well as innovative research on key women’s health issues? Does she support equal access to procedures and health options – currently low income women receive less preventive care and more radical procedures like mastectomies than their upper class counterparts.
- Will she be taking part in foreign affairs and if so what will her role be? Does she think she will be able to handle complex international issues given her flubs on basic oil issues during her speech at the RNC?
- What does she think about NAFTA, CAFTA, etc. neo-liberalism in general, and the current administrations interference in foreign affairs to maintain cheap labor and EPZs in the Americas and the rest of the world?
- Piggy backing on neo-liberalism’s impact abroad, how do she and McCain plan to create and retain jobs in the U.S. while supporting international trade agreements that make it more lucrative to produce abroad?
- Does she plan on having a role in regulating import-export issues like product standards, workers rights, etc.? and what are her thoughts on fair trade?
- Given her decision to deny polar bears endangered status to ensure corporate investment, what are her thoughts on environmental protections? Does she have or has she considered contingency plans for environmental disasters that may result from the “drill here, drill now” plan?
- Does she feel any obligation to represent women in the white house and if so what does that mean?
- What are her thoughts on immigration? What policies would she support surrounding the treatment of immigrants, particularly women and children? Does she think that ICE needs more, less, or the same regulation it has now? Does she support civilian/vigilante border patrolling and if so why? Does she plan to take an active role in immigration policy?
- She has said she is against Big government but took $225 million from the government as part of the bridge to nowhere fund (she did not give this money back despite changing her mind about the bridge), so can she please explain what she means by “big government,” using specific examples of programs she thinks need to be cut or restructured?
- Can she speak to her involvement in a separatist group that claimed the N. American government has no right to dictate any state policies and what she thinks are the major points of control for states vs. those of the federal government?
Things I am not interested in
- Why she prays or seeks “God’s will” – MSNBC spent a considerably amount of time on this last night (as they did with Obama a few months ago) implying that she believed God mandated the war based on her saying that her church needed to pray that they were doing God’s will and acting accordance to God’s plan. These are not the same thing. Ever heard the phrase “God’s people pray”? Christians pray on everything and actively strive to bring their own actions into alignment with God’s will or God’s plan. It does not mean that we think God’s plan is our plan, it means we get that they are not the same and we need help getting on the right bus. Now, as an arch-conservative evangelical she may actually think the war is mandated by God but since she won’t be running the war, and I hope her opinion will change as her son starts writing home from Iraq, I’m not going to let that bother me. With regards to the war, my mind is on the Commander and Chief, ie the president, and if McCain wins he has already said he will “stay the course.” (That being said, I do want to register concern about her attending a church that supports the ex-gay movement and featured a speaker, while she was in attendance, that said bombings in Israel were God’s wrath against unbelieving Jewish people. These are things that give me pause as a human being but that I do not think will translate into policy beyond their already stated opposition to queer rights and nationalistic view of war.)
- Her daughter’s reproductive choices – turns out Palin was actually the one who leaked this story to the press, not expecting it to turn into a free for all. That speaks to her judgment, her daughter’s pregnancy does not. Just because the Republicans would exploit this if she were a Democrat does not make it ok. And yes, she believes in abstinence education and clearly her kid was not practicing it. Raise your hands abstinence folks if you don’t know anyone in your Church or social set who claims to be abstaining and is not (and no “born again virgins” don’t count). No hands? Ok then. Let’s move on. We have stats to prove abstinence only education does not work, we do not need to drag Bristol Palin through the mud to make the point nor do we need to reject our party’s belief in reproductive freedom and women’s rights because it benefits us to be conservative for the day.
- questions about what she eats, where she shops, how many times she rides that motorcycle she is pictured with outside of a lodge in Alaska, or even how many animals she has killed. – none of these things impact her ability to run this country and I do not care whether she joins the sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits or continues to rock school marm heels and a skirt suit until the day she fades off the national radar again. I don’t want to hear a cheer. I don’t care about her photo shoot with Glamour. None of these things will put food on my table, ensure I won’t be the victim of one or more hate crimes, protect my civil rights at work, lower my insurance premiums, or make people nicer to me when I pull out my N. American passport when traveling.
I don’t know what Charlie Gibson is going to ask. All indications are that he is sympathetic to Republicans and likely to softball his line of questioning.
If Palin really is a pitbull with lipstick, as she self-described, then she knows how to handle herself. I say clit up sister and quite rocking the pedestal b/c that is not how you become a world leader and I think you know that.
image: Cagle Cartoons. Cartoonist Adam Zgus. Buffalo News.