Monday, September 1, 2008

Governor Palin

Whoa. A woman candidate for Vice President on the Republican ticket! Hello, 21st century.

She is a member of "feminists for life" or something like that. Conservatives are funny that way. They have managed to make feminism a bad word, yet are not afraid to use it if it will make them pretty. Anyway this pro-life woman is also pro-gun. Tricky ground. I understand pro-gun advocates uphold people's rights to bear guns as a form of self-defense and legitimate hunting. So the nuance here is that she defends the life that is in fetuses but not the life in legitimately hunted Alaskan wolves?

I have no idea what she has against wolves. Except maybe that wild women and wolves have been put together in the popular imagination by feminist writers. Kidding aside, I do wonder what she intends to do with the fact that gun ownership leads to the killings of human beings. Does she know for example that fetuses die when husbands shoot their pregnant wives with those guns they are supposed to use to defend themselves and hunt? What shall we do? Allow fetuses to bear guns? Fetuses are persons remember? That is why they are supposed to be protected from their mother's bad intentions even when in the mother's wombs. (And give those mothers some family values while we are at it!)

I assume that she is for the family values that those Republicans keep talking about. Here is the family values story: mother, father, children. Children not told too much about sex. Innocent children abstain from sex which they know nothing about. Innocent children fall in love in romantic asexual way to persons of the opposite sex. They fall in love at some appropriate age. The appropriate age being older for the man (he has to sow a few wild oats you know, boys being boys) than the woman (that biological clock ticks and urges women to complete their womanhood by becoming mothers). The love deepens, becomes committed. They seek God's blessing of this God-created love by marriage. They discover sex during marriage. They realize heterosexual sex is precisely the God-given way of sex because heterosexual sex is the only way to create God-given children. They have fun sex within marriage only. Fun sex (with no contraceptives if they are Catholic) may lead to children (inevitable if they have no contraceptives) whom they will accept with boundless joy each and every time.

But then there is this news report that her teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. She intends to keep the child according to reports and marry the father. Oh, okay?!? Here is the nuance then: if the child gets some of the story line wrong (the part about discovering sex only after marriage) she may redeem herself by catching up with the storyline--marry the guy so we can all have the happy ending we want.

Pro-family values. Palin's children have to understand that mother and father know best. I hope her daughter has learned this lesson now.

I hope all those other kids have learned their lesson now. You get to be parents first, then you can ignore the lessons that your children's lives are actually trying to teach you. Child learns lessons from parents--- period. It isn't a two-way street.

I see this all the time. The gay, lesbian and bisexual kids I have to help so that they can survive in families who insist that they tow the conservative family values storyline. The post-botched-illegal-abortion care I have to provide children of the pro-life families. All of this done in secret, so that their mothers can smile at me confidently when they label me immoral for upholding reproductive and sexual rights.

But is Palin conservative enough? After all, what is she doing in the Governor's office? This is so unlike the ideal of conservative family values: the stay-at-home mother. Perhaps the nuance is: she is Governor because she had to leave the home in order to go drill for oil in the Arctic.

I wonder why conservatives love virginity and prisitine cleanliness more in women than in business and politics.

But then, no one should listen to brown-faced, third world me. After all I should mind my own business. Except that the last time I looked the Republicans launched a "war on terror" that has changed the politics of Islam even in Mindanao, and sought to curtail women's reproductive rights in the United Nations. I also can't help myself from caring about idiocies that put American security at greater risk while they proclaim that they are doing these things to protect Americans. Hey, I have quite a number of friends living in the U.S. Hey, I honestly feel strong solidarity for all the peoples of the world, including American citizens. Hey, it is to my detriment when powerful nations do stupid things in the world.

Am I supposed to be happy with Governor Palin's claim that her candidacy has to do with women breaking the glass ceiling? Does she really think that this invocation of hers will rally those 16 million who voted for Hillary, to vote for the Republican ticket instead?

It's not so 21st century after all. Memo to John McCain: we don't need women in the White House. We need feminists there. The one's that don't misuse the term by labeling themselves feminist, and go on to uphold patriarchy at every turn.

Palin's nomination is a cynical attempt to rally the women's vote while pandering to the conservatives. For shame!

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