Double Standards

Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood. Gloria Steinem

I hate double standards and the American feminist movement is full of them. The quote above is a great example. I certainly haven't seen the great 'sisterhood' Steinem speaks of rushing to defend Sarah Palin. Quite the opposite! In an op-ed Steinem wrote during the 2008 presidential campaign, she labeled Palin an "unqualified woman" who "opposes everything most other women want and need."

Humph! It would seem Palin is another 'Square Peg.'

I started the Palin book last weekend while at the cottage. I only made it through the first chapter and a half before deciding I was going to take a peek at the photos bunched together further back in the book. They were absolutely fascinating. I was particularly impressed by the the photo taken as she prepares to 'field dress' an enormous caribou. Another, of her working on her husband's salmon fishing boat, was pretty amazing also.

From the first few pages of the book I learned that Palin grew up in an extremely modest home an hour from the nearest city (Skagway). Her father was a school teacher from Idaho who moved his family to Alaska because they were willing to double his salary to do so. She was a high school athlete who fell in love with her high school sweetheart (an American Eskimo), graduated from college, returned to her hometown, got married, had children and ran for public office because she saw a need in her community. Whew!

This woman couldn't be more 'fully human'.

I am a child of the nineteen-sixties. I lived the whole feminist revolution but I have never felt welcome in the great 'sisterhood' of Steinem and her fellow feminists. Don't bother rushing that sorority unless you're an unattractive, urban, intellectual.

I never gave much thought to politics until the day my husband came home with his bonus check and 60% was missing. I'll never forget that day. At the time, I was working for the Catholic church in Toledo, Ohio and trying to stay politically neutral. Most of those that work for the Church are die-hard Democrats. I wanted to get along with my co-workers and I wanted them to like me, so I thought it best to keep some of my opinions to myself. The bonus check was a wake-up call.

And then, there was California! Don't get me started on California. Actually, Ventura and San Diego counties are both heavily Republican so at least I found myself in friendly territory. The girls and I even went to a Bush rally in 2000 and actually heard the then Governor Bush speak. We didn't find him particularly inarticulate, but then what did we know?

Daughter Brooke attempted to join the Young Republicans of Southern California but was told that the group had no real leadership. There just wasn't enough interest.

A few years later, Mom helped bring Barbara Bush to Escondido to speak at a charity luncheon. The charity raised funds to purchase school clothes for low income children (mostly Mexican immigrants). I guess nobody told those ladies that conservative women aren't supposed to be compassionate.

Mom and I joined the National Federation of Republican Women. I was the only one in the room under seventy-years old.

On June 1, 1960, then Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine gave a speech entitled a "Declaration of Conscience."

I speak as a Republican. I speak as a woman. I speak as a United States Senator. I speak as an American.

The right to criticize; the right to hold unpopular beliefs;
the right to protest; the right of independent thought.

The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us doesn't? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in.

The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as "Communists" or "Fascists" by their opponents. Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America. It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.

I wonder what Gloria Steinem thought of Margaret Chase Smith?

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to the people of Massachusetts for making their voices heard!