By no means is Sarah Palin a feminist

Gov. Sarah Palin may be feminine, but she is no feminist.

She believes teaching creationism in public school is a good idea. You know: that Book-of-Genesis blarney about how Eve was created out of Adam’s rib, and how someone begat someone else, who begat someone later on, and there was just a whole lot of begatting going on.

Palin thinks telling teenagers to “just say no” is a realistic way of preventing pregnancies. She’s opposed to abortion rights, even in the cases involving rape or incest. In 2006, she said she would oppose an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped.

Anyone has a perfect right to believe such things and to shout those beliefs to the rafters. In the days since Palin was added to the GOP ticket by Sen. John McCain, polls have shown that more women seem to be supporting McCain.

Unquestionably, adding Palin to the ticket was good politics.

If those women are supporting the ticket because they agree with a biblical view, fine. But they shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that Palin has much in common with feminists merely because she is a woman.

“Being opposed to reproductive rights in the way Sarah Palin is is anti-feminist,” said Tomi Ann Roberts, a Colorado College psychology professor who directs the Feminist and Gender Studies program. When Palin was named to the ticket, Roberts said, “My first reaction is I felt insulted on behalf of working women.”

However, when it comes to a simple definition of the term “feminist,” Roberts said, “I doubt all feminists would agree on one definition.”

Roberts said it’s true that a solid prochoice stance “was the rallying cry” for the women’s movement in the 1970s.

Abby Ferber, director of the Women’s Studies program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, responded in an e-mail, saying, “I don’t think that a pro-choice stance has ever been a requirement for a feminist. The term feminist has been defined in many different ways, by many different people and organizations, but they usually share a basic commitment to equity for everyone, of every gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.”

Yet Ferber also said that when it comes to being a feminist, Palin doesn’t cut it.

“I would not define Sarah Palin as a feminist because she has not demonstrated a commitment to improving the lives of women,” Ferber wrote.

Whatever else you might call Hillary Clinton, just about everyone would agree she is a feminist.

As Clinton’s campaign rose and fell, some pundits thought some of her support came from women who wanted to vote for her just because she is a woman. It would be too bad if that was true, but this week’s polls seem to say it was, because the addition of Palin to the ticket has brought McCain more support from women.

Palin’s membership in the National Rifle Association is something conservatives can embrace. She shoots moose, she runs marathons. She’s a supermom, raising five kids and pursuing a career.

So if you want concealed-carry permits dispensed like gum balls, or if you think simply telling kids not to have sex will resolve teen pregnancies, or if you actually believe women sprang from the rib of a man, then make sure you vote for the GOP ticket.

Just don’t think, for even an Alaskan millisecond, that Sarah Palin has anything to do with feminists.

Contact noreen at 636-0363 or noreen@gazette.com. He appears every other Friday on KoAA’s Comcast Channel 9 at 4 p.m.

barry noreen

tHe gAzette