Wednesday, September 24, 2008

'Pro-Choice, Anti-Palin'

By Ben Trott

There’s been a reasonably huge backlash amongst independent, Democratic and even Republican registered women voters in the US in response to McCain’s naming of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Two quick examples.

On September 3, the Women Against Sarah Palin blog was launched. It began with a letter sent by the blog’s editors to 40 of their friends and colleagues, asking them to respond to the announcement that the Alaskan governor was to run as the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate. Many of the letter’s original recipients forwarded the email, and the site has now compiled over 160,000 responses from US women. The site explains,
‘We are not in the habit of criticizing women in the public sphere, as we usually feel we should support our female compatriots with as much encouragement as we can. However, Sarah Palin's record is anti-woman. Feminism is not simply about achieving the power and status typically held by men. It's about protecting and supporting the rights of women of all classes, races, cultures, and beliefs. Palin's record and beliefs do not align with this. She was chosen by John McCain specifically because he believes that American women will vote for any female candidate regardless of their qualifications. He is wrong.’

Secondly, coinciding with Sarah Palin’s ‘Welcome Home!’ rally in Anchorage on September 14, an ‘Alaskan Women Reject Palin’ demonstration was held nearby. (Incidentally, the anti-Palin event was (marginally) bigger than the Welcome rally!) Carrying home made signs with slogans like ‘Pro-Choice, Anti-Palin’ and ‘Polar Bear Moms Say: No Palin!’, around 1,500 women gathered in front of the city’s Loussac Library. There’s a report from the demonstration here (check out the photos of the placards too!) and a short video clip below.

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