I Write Letters: Feminism in the Paper.
June 21, 2010 2 Comments
Remember the controversy regarding Jessica Valenti’s column about Sarah Palin’s “feminism”? The controversy that was, essentially, Palin fans crying foul that Valenti pointed out that Palin’s political beliefs were not feminist beliefs. A woman wrote in to The Courier-Journal, claiming that, as so many do, that Valenti was trying to play gatekeeper to the Feminist Funland.
I wrote The Courier-Journal also, and my thoughts were published in the editorial section of Saturday’s paper, available here. My letter is the third one from the top.There are comments, of course. As I write this, they’re safe, but of course I need to say that it’s not a safe space. My letter is available below the cut, just in case.
Feminism is a movement that seeks equality, justice and opportunity for everyone, even Sarah Palin and all the other women who seek to take freedom and choices away from their sisters. That is valuing the worth of all women, even the ones who don’t agree with feminism’s ideals.
A letter-writer is mistaken about Jessica Valenti’s column and Sarah Palin’s feminism. Valenti did not in any way imply that women cannot be mothers and have careers. Feminism is a social justice movement, and it always has been.
What Palin advocates is not what feminism advocates. Palin wants to restrict women’s choices and take away established help for women in need. Is this feminist? No. But Palin is co-opting the language of feminism, like “choice,” “sisterhood” and, of course, the title itself. Palin may call herself what she likes, but the reality reflecting her actions and opinions show otherwise. No title will change that.