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Sarah's Smackdown

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In the aftermath of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's announcement earlier this month that she plans to resign from office, pundits have been scrambling for an explanation.

Sarah Palin

Heather Robinson and Jennifer Ginsberg: Personally, the whole matter has left me feeling a little like I did at the end of seventh grade, after a year spent passively watching bullies ostracize and pick on one of the only black girls in the school: sick, and embarrassed for us all. As women and mothers, we should be particularly ashamed of ourselves. Women who have participated in this smear-fest have reinforced every nasty stereotype of female bitchiness and cattiness at its worst. Whatever your passionate opinions, whatever your disagreements with her views, this woman and her family were savaged in a manner that went beyond any reasonable standard. She is a public figure, but her husband and children are not.

We got ridiculing of Mrs. Palin's appearance, of her decades-old participation in a beauty pageant, and even of her children, which was especially cruel. Self-proclaimed "feminists" made a blood sport of hating and dehumanizing her. Any moms who jumped on the "bashing Sarah bandwagon" need to take pause and ask themselves how they would feel if they were in her shoes. Can you imagine being publicly ostracized for the way you look, for your opinions, or for your parenting choices? Can anyone say junior high school?

Personally, I do not agree with all of Governor Palin's views, such as her absolutist pro-life position. But such vicious hatred on the part of self-described feminists was an embarrassment. Especially from self-proclaimed liberals whose entire platform is based on the premise of decency and kindness. I suppose tolerance is only offered to people whose opinions match theirs exactly!

Then there is the matter of how the media treated Mrs. Palin's family, especially her children. How sad that normal people may no longer wish to run for or hold public office due to this horrific sort of exposure, including abuse of their children.

Again, I am asking all mothers to honestly ask themselves this question: Is this the sort of behavior you wish to model for your children? How much of our own anxiety as women is derived from the feeling that we are being judged by other moms, and we are somehow messing up at the monumental task of motherhood? Whether we breastfeed too long or not long enough, whether our child sleeps through the night or is a nocturnal beast, it seems like we can't get it right from the very start. When we are met with challenges, we feel scared, confused, and uncertain, and what we need in those moments is kindness, not criticism. Mrs. Palin had a particularly difficult set of circumstances and was faced with choices none of us would wish for. I am certain we can all relate to her on some level, whether or not we can admit it.

Am I alone in feeling that ridicule of a disabled infant, and rape threats, represent a new low? How intensely cruel and hypocritical this behavior was, coming from "feminists" and "progressives" who probably don't realize how many conservatives they are helping to create, as anyone with a moral compass is likely to figure that, if that's how liberals argue, maybe I'll consider conservative ideas, thanks. No matter how strongly you disagree with Mrs. Palin, this type of behavior is simply inexcusable.

I shudder to think that the women who participated in these attacks are actually raising children.


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38 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jayd July 22, 2009, 6:31 PM

McCain/Palin lost by a large margin and tons of people were dissing Palin. I’m not saying it was ever right, but it was happening. Now there’s this big uproar about treating Palin with decency, even from people who disagree with her views. Why do I get the feeling that some people used to bash her and now feel bad about what that bashing has turned into? Yes, bashing band wagons are no fun. But flipping that around into a bash-the-bashers band wagon is equally no fun. Not to mention ridiculous.

Leoneli July 22, 2009, 6:50 PM

I totally agree with you. Thank you as I’ve been waiting for an article like this. I like Sarah and her family does not derserve the attacks… at all. She is a wonderful individual, beautiful inside and out, a great mom and wife and a talented and smart politician.

renai July 22, 2009, 8:46 PM

She ran and was voted into a public office..yes the media was harsh, but that is a consideration that has to be taken into effect PRIOR to taking the job. I feel for the people of Alaska who have been let down by Sarah Palin because it simply got too tough…I don’t agree at all with the attacks on the kids, but the media isn’t doing to her what they haven’t done to other women as well. She owed it to the people of Alaska to finish and not run out of office because the media got mean and nasty..
Personally I still think she is going to pop back up in the spotlight with a show or a series and that for me will negate her cry of the media made me do it…can’t have it both ways.
As a Republican I so wanted to be behind her, but she made that impossible with her own actions.

dcw July 22, 2009, 10:49 PM

this article totally put women back in time. Palin, played hardball and used her children when it was convenient and when it backfires cries. please, and far as the person that wrote about William Ayers, If my work cause me to work with a rapist I pall around with rapist - get over the lost and grow up. Are you cousins with Obama and know something the world don’t know about him.” I can’t wait until they find out about him” Your stupidity is showing.

Briellis July 23, 2009, 7:39 AM

I don’t think you can reasonably criticize feminists for being appalled at Sarah Palin’s behavior and politics. She is anti-feminist. While I understand the author’s point, I don’t think broad generalizations are appropriate. There have been plenty of female politicians that have not been attacked like Palin, mostly because none of them have been quite so ridiculous. As a mother, I wouldn’t want my daughter to emulate that woman in any way; Condoleeza Rice, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Madeliene Albright, Carla Bruni, yes. Palin? No.

Jenny Lynn July 24, 2009, 7:01 AM

GREAT article Jennifer & Heather! Two thumbs up for a new generation of women’s women! I’m all done w/these old & ugly gloria steinem feminists types who pick & choose what women are worthy of their support & attention. You’re all washed up ye ‘ol bags. Now move your over inflated everything. This new generation of feminine muscle & distinction is not going to tolerate your shallow platitudes any more. Visit me on Twitter @ jenny_lynn

Tiffany July 24, 2009, 2:23 PM

I have seen some pretty bad articles on Palin right here on MomLogic and that vile video someone had their toddler make about Bush, so when a friend sent me this I almost didn’t want to even visit this site.

I couldn’t agree more with what you have said and feel your article was real “Mom Logic”!

Jon Raymond July 28, 2009, 5:50 AM

Actually when women attack Sarah Palin it displays true feminist independence. Palin is attacked because she deserves it. She is a buffoon attempting to pass for a serious political force worthy of people’s trust. She is deceitful and a liar. She uses the basest pandering for personal political gain and it is all too obvious. So women who attack her are taking care of their own. She gives women a bad name. Her agenda is to dupe people into supporting her only because she is a woman. She had no worthy qualifications. When women attack her they are standing up for all women and saying this is not who we are. This is an anomaly and not worthy of anyone’s respect, and especially not of thinking women.

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