Said Gloria Steinem, a woman who knows feminism because she defined it, grew it, nurtured it and helped it bear fruit.
I’ve established my liberal leaning, my support for Hillary Clinton, my choice of local candidate for state assembly, and more. I’ve even shared my favorite bumper stickers. When Barack Obama chose Joe Biden as his running mate, I worried a little. Biden has the credentials, the intelligence, the experience in D.C.’s trenches. He’s been on the campaign trail enough to know how it functions. I worried more about the perception of the Old White Guy, the image of Obama picking someone to appeal to the political center.
Then John McCain picked Sarah Palin. Stylish, presentable, and female, the choice seemed to pander to the women who might leave Obama’s camp for someone of their own gender.
Unfortunately for McCain, it’s just not that simple. All politics may be local, but national politics do more than trickle down. What happens in Washinton, D.C. doesn’t stay in Washington, D.C. It floods the nation. Women get that. We know that leadership at all levels needs to be in competent hands, whether male or female, whether black or white.
Michelle (Scribbit) and I have had many a civil conversation about our political differences, and none of those conversations even mentioned Palin’s gender or appearance. Senator McCain doesn’t get that. He doesn’t understand that women vote with their brains, their thoughts, their philosophies. Women don’t automatically pull the lever or punch the chad for the one who wears heels.
A Palin presidency (and make no doubt, it’s possible) would be devastating to women’s rights. Palin in or near the Oval Office would mean one giant step for one woman, but one giant step into quicksand for women.