Family Issues

A Great Moment for Women

Why Sarah Palin is good for America

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Whatever the outcome of the presidential race, 2008 will be a memorable Year of the Woman. First, Hillary Clinton came close to capturing the Democratic nomination, a feminist dream that failed. Now, there is Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential pick: to some a new feminist dream, to others a feminist nightmare—a conservative female politician who embraces a right-wing social agenda, including opposition to abortion.

To the contrast between Clinton and Palin, add a contrast between Palin and Democratic vice presidential nominee Senator Joseph Biden, himself a player in gender politics as the champion of a major piece of feminist legislation—the Violence Against Women Act of 1994.

Is Palin—whose image as a tough woman has evoked comparisons to historical and fictional female fighters like Joan of Arc and Xena, Warrior Princess—a feminist hero?

To some feminists, the answer is a clear no. Novelist Jane Smiley brands her "a woman who reinforces patriarchal power rather than challenges it."

But the charge is unfair. Unlike right-wing columnist Ann Coulter, to whom Smiley compares her, Palin is not known for attacking the women's movement; she credits it with breaking down gender barriers and creating the opportunities she has enjoyed. While anti-abortion, she belongs to a group called Feminists for Life.

As a social issues liberal with strong concerns about religion-based public policy, I have some serious disagreements with Palin, though it's often hard to separate the reality of her views from the caricatures painting her as a zealot. But I also believe that her candidacy is a great moment for American women.

First, more representation for feminism across the spectrum of political beliefs is a good thing. Women, like men, should be able to disagree on gun ownership, environmental policies, taxes, even abortion while agreeing on gender equity.

Second, the biggest feminist issue in America today is the career-family balance. Despite remaining discrimination, motherhood is at the core of the "glass ceiling" holding back female achievement. How inspirational, then, to see that the "mommy track" can be a road to the White House. Palin is a mother of five who resumed an intensive work schedule days after giving birth, and whose husband seems to be a full partner.

Palin's candidacy may also be a watershed moment in conservative politics. The right has long been ambivalent about working mothers; a number of conservative politicians and pundits have been given to chiding "selfish" women who pursue career ambitions after having children. Now, a mother with a high-powered career is a conservative hero, and full-time motherhood may be forever gone from the roster of "family values."

If there is hypocrisy in this conservative celebration of Palin, it is outdone by the hypocrisy of feminist liberals who deploy sexist weapons against her. Smiley calls Palin "arrogant"; sex educator Deborah Haffner and women's magazine editor Bonnie Fuller attack her as a bad mother; an article on Salon.com by Gary Kamiya titled "The Dominatrix" derides her as a "pinup queen." It is not sexist to question Palin's qualifications; but a disturbing amount of the criticism targets her as a woman.

On the Democratic side, the vice presidential candidate offers another form of pseudo-feminist sexism. Biden's legislative offspring, the Violence Against Women Act, authorized some good programs addressing rape and domestic violence. But it also represents a toxic mix of gender-war feminism that treats such crimes as acts of patriarchal oppression rather than individual wrongdoing, and paternalism that sees women as deserving of special protection. One of the Act's provisions sought to discourage "dual arrests" in domestic assaults, based on the false assumption that women in such cases are wrongly arrested for defending themselves.

At the 1990 Senate hearings on the bill, Biden proudly reported that he and his brothers were forbidden to lay a hand on their sister even in self-defense, while she enjoyed "absolute impunity"—and added, apparently not as a joke, that he had "the bruises to prove it." This is not equality; it's chivalry masquerading as feminism.

Ultimately, women should vote on the basis of a candidate's ideas and ability, not gender. But in the contest of the vice presidential candidates, Palin represents by far the better version of female empowerment. Regardless of how we vote or who wins, that empowering message is here to stay.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor of reason. A version of this article originally appeared in The Boston Globe.

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  1. Second, the biggest feminist issue in America today is the career-family balance.

    Why? I’ve heard that asserted, but I don’t know why career-family balance is important.

  2. Why? I’ve heard that asserted, but I don’t know why career-family balance is important.

    Families are pretty important, and require investments of time (and resources) to function effectively.

    Two incomes are increasingly necessary to support a family in modern life.

    Do you need someone to draw a map for you?

  3. If you have to ask the question …

  4. I wasn’t sure if that was a serious question.

  5. WHO will stop the wicked witch of the North??? WHO???

    The Magic Negro of course!!!11!!!

    Silly humans, no one can stop the God King.

  6. Sara Palin sort of reminds me of Peggy Hill. Is that image really good for feminism?

  7. Families are pretty important, and require investments of time (and resources) to function effectively.

    Two incomes are increasingly necessary to support a family in modern life.

    Do you need someone to draw a map for you?

    Well, from that description, family is the priority and making money (via career) is simply in support of that priority.

    I’m not sure that is how feminists view career-family balance, as family is weighed heavier than “career.”

    Would a feminist, for example, support as a goal a modern life that doesn’t require two incomes to support a family?

  8. “Would a feminist, for example, support as a goal a modern life that doesn’t require two incomes to support a family?”

    Not if that meant cutting taxes – and that’s what it would mean. Feminists tend to have a lot of faith in the government, so long is it is run by the right women (or the right men).

  9. Can some explain to me how, other than the fact (I assume) that she has a vagina and a career, Palin is a feminist? She’s governor of a state that has one of the worst records in the country with regard to sexual abuse, and now they’re claiming that they fired a guy because he was so focused on combating sexual abuse in the state that he went to Washington to try and get money for it (of course, that’s not why they really fired him, but that’s their latest excuse).

    Meanwhile, she was governor of a town that bought her a $25,000 company car, and built a multi-million dollar sports facility, but apparently couldn’t afford to cover the cost of rape kits for alleged victims of sexual abuse.

    Those don’t sound like very feminist friendly positions.

  10. Great article, Young.

  11. Cathy Young on Sarah Palin

    She’s both wrong.

  12. “Meanwhile, she was governor of a town that bought her a $25,000 company car, and built a multi-million dollar sports facility, but apparently couldn’t afford to cover the cost of rape kits for alleged victims of sexual abuse.”

    I can’t even decode these obamabots’ screeds anymore. What does that mean?

  13. I can’t even decode these obamabots’ screeds anymore. What does that mean?

    It’s pretty straigtforward. What part are you too stupid to figure out?

  14. Sara Palin sort of reminds me of Peggy Hill.

    Thank you for putting a finger on it! That’s been bothering me for weeks, and all I could think was “yeah, kinda like Tina Fey, but *not*”. Peggy Hill works much better.

    I’m not sure that is how feminists view career-family balance, as family is weighed heavier than “career.”

    Would a feminist, for example, support as a goal a modern life that doesn’t require two incomes to support a family?

    “Feminists” are not a monoculture monolith. There are (some very serious) differences of opinion among them.

    I think *most* would point out as a complicating factor the issue of uncompensated labor. That is, many traditionally female labor roles (child rearing, cleaning the house, doing laundry, etc.) are not usually salaried. That factor would have to be addressed when balancing the “means” (two incomes) with the “end” (functional family).

    Not if that meant cutting taxes – and that’s what it would mean. Feminists tend to have a lot of faith in the government, so long is it is run by the right women (or the right men).

    What the flying fuck are you on about, Mad Max? Feminists don’t have anything close to a consensus on *tax policy*, of all things.

  15. I think *most* would point out as a complicating factor the issue of uncompensated labor.

    A lot of the career/family balance discussion centers around the lack of equality in dividing housework and childcare equally. Women work an 8 hour day, same as men, but still face the lioness-share of “the second shift.”

    The uncompensated labor arguments usually come in when discussing divorce law.

  16. Peggy Hill works much better.

    I don’t know…Peggy Hill like Palin is vastly more talented then her spouse yet Palin unlike Hill does not hide her talents to protect her spouse’s fragile ego.

  17. I’ve linked it here before, but this site shows that feminists cannot be pigeon-holed into one belief or another.
    Also, every feminist I’ve ever met has placed extreme importance on family.

  18. Parts I’m too stupid to understand:
    Meanwhile [meanwhile to what]
    governor of a town [????]
    company car [????- wouldn’t it be a towncar?]

    At least the Mcainiacs use small words like “Socialist” and “Dictator” and chant them, rather than try to string together a bunch of non-sequiturs and call it an arguement.

    Points for the insult – now I’m really going to vote for your god king.

  19. Senator Clinton and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues.

    Even on the question of whether women should vote!

    Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.

    Suffragettes were opposed by many women who were what was known as ‘anti.’

    The most influential ‘anti’ lived in the White House — First Lady Edith Wilson.

    “The Privilege of Voting” is a new free e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 – 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.

    It’s a real-life soap opera about the suffragettes! And it’s ALL true!

    Powerful suffragettes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with TWO gorgeous presidential mistresses, First Lady Edith Wilson, Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan and Alice Roosevelt.

    There are tons of heartache on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, women WIN!

    Thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women have voices and choices!

    Exciting, sequential episodes with lots of historical photos are great to read on coffeebreaks, or anytime.

    Subscribe free at

    http://www.CoffeebreakReaders.com/subscribe.html

  20. Peggy Hill like Palin is vastly more talented then her spouse yet Palin unlike Hill does not hide her talents to protect her spouse’s fragile ego.

    Dude, which King of the Hill have you been watching? Peggy Hill gets constantly taken advantage of because she’s convinced that she’s a talented genius with absolutely no evidence to back it up. And Hank Hill can’t really be described to have a fragile ego after about the first season. Have you watched more than one episode?

  21. Anti-abortion feminist is an oxymoron, and if Palin’s ticket was elected it would be bad not just for women but for the future of this planet.

    And since when do libertarians support fundamentalists and book-banners?

    Cathy Young, like Sarah Palin, is the Right’s idea of a good “feminist” – extremely tame and pleasing to patriarchs everywhere.

  22. Palin LOOKS like Peggy Hill, but as far as the nanny scold factor, Peggy more closely resembles Hillary.

  23. Blue is not only too stupid to understand a perfectly straightforward argument, he’s also too fucking retarded to get the fact that a shot against palin/mcCain is NOT automatically an endorsement of Obama.
    Blue, who the fuck here has been saying anything about Obama besides you?

  24. yawn. just what we need. a neocon Feminist movement under RINO flags. that palin is apparently pro-feminism but against gay marriage, a minority group with unequal rights….is……………..idiotic.

    i guess to clarify this, it means Palin is a Hetero-feminist. lesbians need not apply.

  25. Anti-abortion feminist is an oxymoron, . .

    My wife and daughter would disagree with you.

  26. “Cathy Young, like Sarah Palin, is the Right’s idea of a good “feminist” – extremely tame and pleasing to patriarchs everywhere”

    See, I like to imagine that when Sarah hears words like “patriarch” her trigger finger gets itchy.

  27. governor of a town [????]

    Yeah, my bad, I’ll admit to that one. Company car still works for me, though.

  28. Parts I’m too stupid to understand:
    Meanwhile [meanwhile to what]
    governor of a town [????]
    company car [????- wouldn’t it be a towncar?]

    But those missteps do not obscure the main point, which I doubt you are too stupid to understand. So why do you pretend not to?

  29. I think the most telling fact about Palin’s feminist credentials was that while she was mayor of Wasilla, rape complainants were forced to pay for there own forensic exams, the only community in Alska to do so, I believe. That state also has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country.

  30. Senator Clinton and Governor Palin are proof that women can and do diverge on important issues. Even on the question of whether women should vote!

    And where’s the evidence that Palin wants to take away the right for women to vote?

    I don’t have to agree with her, support her, and I’m certainly not going to vote for her, to call “bullshit” on that claptrap.

  31. That state also has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country.

    I think the late, great George Carlin adequately covered why this is so.

  32. “Meanwhile, she was governor of a town that bought her a $25,000 company car, and built a multi-million dollar sports facility, but apparently couldn’t afford to cover the cost of rape kits for alleged victims of sexual abuse.”

    A government employee with a budgeted vehicle? How does she sleep?

    A majority of a town’s citizens vote to fund a sports facility while its police department evidently has a policy of not paying for rape kits? Since, from what I gather, the money to pay for them was to come from fines assessed to the offender in the event it were necessary? The mayor of that town must have been a complete bitch.

    Please, people in most jurisdictions have to pay for their own ambulance fees in the event of an emergency, later likely covered by insurers.

    And I personally hold Gov. Palin responsible for every Alaskan rape, as is only reasonable.

  33. “At the 1990 Senate hearings on the bill, Biden proudly reported that he and his brothers were forbidden to lay a hand on their sister even in self-defense, while she enjoyed “absolute impunity”-and added, apparently not as a joke, that he had ‘the bruises to prove it.'”

    So because he was bullied as a child, he believes in bullying now. His parents never taught him fairness, they showed him the very opposite.

  34. Elemenope | September 17, 2008, 12:14pm | #

    Families are pretty important, and require investments of time (and resources) to function effectively.

    Two incomes are increasingly necessary to support a family in modern life.

    Elemenope | September 17, 2008, 12:49pm | #

    I think *most* would point out as a complicating factor the issue of uncompensated labor. That is, many traditionally female labor roles (child rearing, cleaning the house, doing laundry, etc.) are not usually salaried. That factor would have to be addressed when balancing the “means” (two incomes) with the “end” (functional family).Your first quote doesn’t jive with the second. Your first quote stated that the goal is supporting a family in modern life, with career existing to make that possible. If a family is sucessfully supported without a second career, “uncompensated labor” should play no factor.

  35. Your first quote doesn’t jive with the second. Your first quote stated that the goal is supporting a family in modern life, with career existing to make that possible. If a family is sucessfully supported without a second career, “uncompensated labor” should play no factor.

  36. “That state also has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country”

    That state also has the highest ratio of men to women. That may explain some of it.

  37. Anti-abortion feminist is an oxymoron, and if Palin’s ticket was elected it would be bad not just for women but for the future of this planet.

    Nancy, you are an idiot. BTW, I’m sort of a pro-choice kind of guy.

  38. Hogan,

    I heard she held everyone of them down.

    The rape kits… it seems, through the constant fog of conflicting reports, that she was in the wrong there. It wasn’t a fire-it-off-pay-it later, but rather “pay us or don’t get a rape kit.” That’s pretty fucked up. But for every legitimate complaint there seems to be a hundred paranoid rants about Palin ushering in The Handmaiden’s Tale and wanting to turn women into “three hole chattel.”

    (Cue someone demanding links to things I’ve linked to constantly.)

  39. I’m sure the cop/ER doc called Mayor Palin every time a rape allegation came in and she told them the person couldn’t be tested unless they paid FIRST. If all they had was a check, they had to wait 7 days until it cleared.

  40. “three hole chattel.”

    That’s my all time favorite.

  41. Nancy, you are an idiot. BTW, I’m sort of a pro-choice kind of guy.

    I wouldn’t call her an idiot, but I think you can be anti-abortion and still be a feminist. Hell, I think you can be anti-abortion and still be pro-choice.

    And I love how the people defending the rape kit thing don’t seem to understand that Wasilla was the only city in the state with such a policy, and that they had to pass a state law to get them to stop it.

  42. Anti-abortion feminist is an oxymoron, . .

    My wife and daughter would disagree with you.

    Why wouldn’t you? You don’t need to be a woman to be a feminist, you know.

  43. I think the most telling fact about Palin’s feminist credentials was that while she was mayor of Wasilla, rape complainants were forced to pay for there own forensic exams, the only community in Alska to do so, I believe.

    Wasilla was hardly unique in that.

    But according to a 2004 bulletin published by the NCVC, “[F]eedback from the field indicates that sexual assault victims are still being billed.” Knecht says she’s recently heard from caseworkers in Illinois, Georgia, and Arkansas reporting that rape victims continue to be charged for their forensic exams. [emphasis added]

    Hmmm, now who do you suppose on either ticket was an elected goverment official in 2004 where victims were being charged for rape exams/evidence collection? Let us ask wikipedia.

    In January 2003, Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee when Democrats, after a decade in the minority, regained a majority.

    That state also has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country.

    And this has what to do with Palin’s feminist credentials? Oh yeah, not a goddam thing.

  44. And where’s the evidence that Palin wants to take away the right for women to vote?

    You’re responding to an Ad-Bot. It crawls the internet, looking for “Hillary” “Palin” “Feminist” and god only knows what other keywords, then drops that post in. The line you quote is a ham-fisted segue. They want you to listen to their podcast, not debate their post.

  45. I made the mistake of clicking on Nancy’s handle. I had an almost irresistable urge to plunge my sharpie into both of my eye sockets after reading her wretched blog.

  46. it all comes back to World Police descriptions of Dicks, Pussies, and Assholes.

    In this election we have two pussies (Obama and Biden) running against two dicks (McCain and Palin).

    I think if O had picked Hillary (who is definately a dick) he would have sewn up the election.

  47. Not defending the rape kit thing. Just not convinced that Palin was even involved at all. Not surprised that local government would charge for a service (even an extremely important one). Not sure why this is persuasive evidence that Palin has some kind of anti-women agenda.

    Sugarfree – I am definitely not an expert on the rape kit policies of Alaskan municipalities, but to judge from this quote:

    “In the past, we’ve charged the cost of exams to victim’s insurance companies when possible,” former chief Charlie Fannon told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman in 2000 as then-Democratic Governor Tony Knowles was signing legislation to make local police branches cover the costs of the kits.

    … I have to conclude that the policy was a great deal like charging patients for ambulance fees. Regrettable, perhaps, but not something I can get that worked up about.

    The merits of the policy are definitely debatable. But I’m glad that Palin’s disgusting pro-rape agenda is finally getting the scrutiny it deserves.

  48. Shem,

    Ah, OK. Good to know. I glazed over at the rest of its insipid post.

    Although, Ann Coulter has expressed that sentiment in the past…

  49. By all means America, vote for Palin. Just don’t wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t take you seriously from that point on.

  50. I apologize for the extensive cut-n-paste, but I’m tired of so many people stomping all over the nuances of this case.

    By the way, I had to go four pages deep in Google to find an article that wasn’t a blog.

    As far as I know, there is no evidence that Palin initiated or was in anyway directly responsible for the policy of the police department. Being mayor definitely implies some level of responsiblity for police polices, but does not indicate that Palin was directly involved in the all the detailed procedures implemented by the department.

    = = = =

    By Ken Dilanian and Matt Kelley, USA TODAY

    WASILLA, Alaska – In 2000, Alaska lawmakers learned that rural police agencies had been billing rape victims or their insurance companies $500 to $1,200 for the costs of the forensic medical examinations used to gather evidence. They quickly passed a law prohibiting the practice.

    According to the sponsor, Democrat Eric Croft, the law was aimed in part at Wasilla, where now-Gov. Sarah Palin was mayor. When it was signed, Wasilla’s police chief expressed displeasure.

    “In the past, we’ve charged the cost of exams to the victims’ insurance company when possible,” then-chief Charlie Fannon told the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, the local newspaper. “I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer.”

    Now that Palin is the Republican nominee for vice president, Democrats such as former Alaska governor Tony Knowles – who signed the rape-kit bill into law and was defeated by Palin in 2006 – are raising the issue to question Palin’s commitment to women’s issues and crime victims. Palin appointed Fannon after firing his predecessor shortly after she took office in 1996.

    “In retrospect, I would have asked the female working-mother mayor of that town why her police chief was against this,” said Croft, the former Anchorage state representative.

    Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said in an e-mail that the governor “does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test.”

    “Gov. Palin’s position could not be more clear,” she said. “To suggest otherwise is a deliberate misrepresentation of her commitment to supporting victims and bringing violent criminals to justice.”

    Comella would not answer other questions, including when Palin learned of Wasilla’s policy or whether she tried to change it. The campaign cited the governor’s record on domestic violence, including increasing funding for shelters.

    Knowles criticized Palin to USA TODAY, and again Wednesday in a teleconference organized by Democrats. “It seems like one of those pieces of legislation that you can’t imagine it would ever have to be written,” he said.

    Until the 2000 legislation, local law enforcement agencies in Alaska could pass along the cost of the exams, which are needed to obtain an attacker’s DNA evidence. Rape victims in several areas of Alaska, including the Matanuska-Susitna Valley where Wasilla is, complained about being charged for the tests, victims’ advocate Lauree Hugonin, of the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, told state House committees, records show.

    In cases when insurance companies are billed, the victims pay a deductible.

    Fannon told the Frontiersman that the tests would cost the department up to $14,000 per year. He said he would rather force rapists to pay for the tests, not taxpayers. Fannon, who is no longer police chief, could not be reached for comment Wednesday; his home phone number has been disconnected.

    It is not known how many rape victims in Wasilla were required to pay for some or all of the medical exams, but a legislative staffer who worked on the bill for Croft said it happened. “It was more than a couple of cases, and it was standard practice in Wasilla,” Peggy Wilcox said, who now works for the Alaska Public Employees Association. “If you were raped in Wasilla, this was going to happen to you.”

  51. Cathy Young rears her…head.

    Oh bother!

    What I know about Sarah Palin–all the Crazy Jesus People love her. I have electoral policy that forbids me from advancing anyone with this characteristic ever again. It does not mean the obverse is true (i.e. I will try to advance those the CJPs hate), but it does rule out SP for me.

    Next case.

  52. I think the most telling fact about Palin’s feminist credentials was that while she was mayor of Wasilla, rape complainants were forced to pay for there own forensic exams, the only community in Alska to do so, I believe. That state also has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country.

    Sounds to me like it’s a pretty unfriendly place to live if you’re a woman.

    Must be the Ms. Palin is even more competent than the average to get elected in such a woman hating area, huh? Sounds like she beat the boys at their own game using the rules they set up. Sounds like a feminist hero to me.

    A real feminist doesn’t just whine about the unfairness of shit, they fix the problems they see. Maybe some of the whiners on this board should go up to Wasilla and get elected and fix the rape kit scandal.

  53. Hogan,
    “Not defending the rape kit thing. Just not convinced that Palin was even involved at all.”

    That’s sort of the issue. If she really is a feminist why didn’t she tackle this issue. Maybe she’s just a lazy feminist?

  54. After 7 years of W, does anyone take us seriously now?

  55. By all means America, vote for Palin. Just don’t wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t take you seriously from that point on.

    Not giving a shit if the world takes us seriously or not is a feature, not a bug.

    They need to be much more concerned whether or not we take them seriously.

  56. Fannon told the Frontiersman that the tests would cost the department up to $14,000 per year.

    $14,000? Oh, no! That’s almost more than 6% of the do-nut and crotch-scratching budget!

    By the way, $14,000 means he’s expecting 11-18 (reported) rapes per year. That’s a lot of rape for 5,500 people.

    Also, why does vaginal swabs, fingernail scrapings, and a hair and fiber tape lift cost $500 to $1200? (And don’t be retarded and say “patriarchy.”)

  57. Geo. Washington,
    “Not giving a shit if the world takes us seriously or not is a feature, not a bug.
    They need to be much more concerned whether or not we take them seriously.”

    Don’t hurt me dude. Oh man – forgive me – I didn’t mean a word of it. You take the ‘Bush Doctrine’ very seriously don’t you.

    🙂

    Now I believe you deserve her. Idiot.

  58. kinnath-And yet, they don’t provide the names of any other communities that charged for the rape kits, and the legislators who were spoken to by the Wasilla Frontiersman here) seem to strongly suggest that Wasilla is the only town around who charged. Unless and until I see some evidence that another community charged for rape kits, I’m not going to give a politician the benefit of the doubt when they defend themselves by whining “But everyone else was doing it!”

  59. andrew,

    If you want to be our new idiot troll, go to the back of the line and wait your turn with the rest of the fuckwits.

  60. By the way, $14,000 means he’s expecting 11-18 (reported) rapes per year. That’s a lot of rape for 5,500 people

    Apparently they have about 12 annually. Which is crazy when you realize that the national average would place the expected number for a town of 5,500 at about 2.

  61. Shem: Perhaps it only happens in backwater states like Alaska and NC, but I doubt this is really all that unusual.

    Follow my name above for the link.

    = = =

    Rape Victims Can Be Hurt Financially, Too
    February 21, 2008 05:32 PM ET | Michelle Andrews

    Talk about adding insult to injury. In a story last week in the Raleigh News & Observer, reporter Mandy Locke described the situation in North Carolina, where “the vast majority of the 3,000 or so emergency room patients examined for sexual assaults each year shoulder some of the cost of a rape kit test.” A state victims compensation fund intended to help cover the bills is woefully underfunded and had capped payouts for the $1,600 test at $1,000. Since Locke’s story ran, “The cap has been lifted,” says North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety spokesperson Patty McQuillan, though she noted that the legislature would still have to provide the additional funds.

  62. Sort of off topic here but: I ran across a short article somewhere the otherday. I forget where. The church Mrs. Palin was attending when she was elected mayor, was trying to get a book removed from the local library. The book, by a pastor of a church in Palmer, was titled, “Pastor, I am gay.” I am thinking that might be the title she was questioning the librarian hypothetically about. She ran a very hardcore anti-abortion race for mayor with the backing of the state GOP. I don’t think she is as willing as some believe to seperate her church and her governance.

  63. Also, why does vaginal swabs, fingernail scrapings, and a hair and fiber tape lift cost $500 to $1200? (And don’t be retarded and say “patriarchy.”)

    Let’s see:

    Trained medical staff to take samples.
    Detailed records of chain of custody.
    Laboratory testing to extract DNA evidence.
    Etc
    Etc
    Etc

  64. Hmmm, now who do you suppose on either ticket was an elected goverment official in 2004 where victims were being charged for rape exams/evidence collection?

    The misdirection in your argument lies in “where”: There are at least some places in Illinois where women are charged, and one place in Alaska. At the time, Palin was in charge of that one place in Alaska, and Obama was in charge of none of those places in Illinois.

    Oh, and Obama’s feminism isn’t at issue here anyway.

    Not giving a shit if the world takes us seriously or not is a feature, not a bug.

    A bad feature.

  65. saccharine,
    “The rape kits… it seems, through the constant fog of conflicting reports, that she was in the wrong there. It wasn’t a fire-it-off-pay-it later, but rather “pay us or don’t get a rape kit.” That’s pretty fucked up.”

    Dude, you hurt me feelings.
    It seems like we’re on the same side of this issue, but if you want to fight then fine – fuck you too.

  66. What your name would be if Palin were your mother. Pretty funny.

    http://personal-space.com/script/script.php

  67. Jeez, is someone at Reason going to set up some kind of secret H&R site where the regular commenters can go to be free from Obamabot / Mccaintard trolls and other assorted morons until mid-November?

    …oh, um. you did already?…um, er, great.

  68. She’s kidding right? Palin good for American woman?

    Let me understand. Please.

    How is that a mildly fuckable dingbat that believes the Earth is 6000 years old, that can’t teach her daughter contraception, that busts the budget of her state and hometown, that can barely speak coherent English, is somehow good for American Women? And are we insane to even entertain electing such a person to a position where she will be one heartbeat away from controlling nuclear missiles in a crisis?

  69. She sounds a heck of a lot more stable than you do, Mr. Jesus F’ing Christ. You sound completely unhinged and hysterically irrational.

  70. – Qualifications?
    Rape, murder, arson, and rape.
    – You said rape twice.
    I like rape.

  71. Nancy, you are an idiot. BTW, I’m sort of a pro-choice kind of guy.

    I guess this is what passes for an argument among libertarians.

    Sarah Palin is an idiot – as many on this board have patiently explained, and as almost every word that issues from her mouth demonstrates.

    And anybody who doesn’t get that about her is an even bigger idiot.

    But thank you “libertarians” for proving what I always say – a libertarian is just a fancy word for a conservative who doesn’t hate non-marital sex.

  72. And anybody who doesn’t get that about her is an even bigger idiot.

    And Bush Derangement Syndrome begets Palin Derangement Syndrome.

    There are many valid reasons to dislike Palin’s politics. But she is not an idiot, and people that support her are not idiots.

  73. Nancy, you sound like a typical narrow-minded, Obama worshiping democrat. I bet you’d support Dog the Bounty Hunter if he ran on the democrat ticket.

  74. Silly, old-fashioned me. I still believe in citizen-legislators. I know, I know, the world is a Complex Place. That’s why both Obama and McCain have advanced economics degrees. So they can issue intelligent sound-bites that will solve our Economic Crisis?.

  75. I guess this is what passes for an argument among libertarians.

    ………………

    Sarah Palin is an idiot – as many on this board have patiently explained, and as almost every word that issues from her mouth demonstrates.

    And anybody who doesn’t get that about her is an even bigger idiot.

    Hey Nance, are you familiar with irony?

  76. This column is a joke, Palin is a bad joke on real feminists, and I can’t believe “Reason” actually printed this sad pean to utter cluelessness…

  77. I still can’t figure out why “career-family balance” is a feminist issue. Why isn’t this an issue for men and women equally?

    How is that a mildly fuckable dingbat that believes the Earth is 6000 years old,

    I’m gonna need a link for that (the second one, about the age of the Earth) (oh, hell, if you’ve got a link for the first one, I’ll click through that one, too).

  78. “and I can’t believe “Reason” actually printed this sad pean to utter cluelessness…”

    Everyone take a drink.

  79. “””Most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won votes for women, and what life was REALLY like for women before they did.”””

    Anyone remember the episode of The Man Show were they had a table and were taking signatures to petittion ending womens suffraging. Kimmel was barking “End the suffraging now”, It was funny as hell, all sorts of women were signing. They thought he meant suffering and he was phrasing his barking to make it sound that way, “Women shouldn’t sufferage, end the suffraging. One woman actually knew what it was and tried to explain to some women that it was their right to vote. It was funny as hell.

  80. “””I still can’t figure out why “career-family balance” is a feminist issue. Why isn’t this an issue for men and women equally? “””

    No kidding, it is a family issue, men and women. As far as the 6000 year old Earth, I think the poster is pointing to her Christian beliefs.

  81. There are many valid reasons to dislike Palin’s politics. But she is not an idiot, and people that support her are not idiots.

    I don’t think she’s an idiot, but that doesn’t mean that her supporters are really thinking things through. I’m not an idiot, but I’m not really equipped to be president, either, and I would question the political acumen of anyone who might vote for me.

    For the most part, Palin’s supporters are caught up in identity politics, even more than the Obamabots, which is saying a lot.

  82. I still can’t figure out why “career-family balance” is a feminist issue. Why isn’t this an issue for men and women equally?

    Technically, it is. I think most feminists would readily agree. But, they would then follow up (rightly, I think) with the point that both historically and currently, social and individual and practical pressures have made women get the short end of this family/career balance stick. So, they have cause to be louder about it.

  83. Palin is a mother of five who resumed an intensive work schedule days after giving birth, and whose husband seems to be a full partner.

    Uhm, as the husband of a woman with whom I had a child, I can tell you that the husband is a little more than a full partner if she went back to an “intensive work schedule days after giving birth”.

    I’m not going to run anyone down for career choices or directly impugn anyones parenting skills, but uhh, having a kid requires a certain minimum amount of attention. And the fact of the matter is, hooray if you can go back to an intensive work schedule days after giving birth, but something has to give.

    Most of the extremely wealthy successful people I know who have kids have to pay other people to live their lives for them. A lot of nannies come into play. The fact of the matter is that you can’t really do both. You can do one, and a little of the other– and at some point you have to leverage your time with other people.

    Bottom line: if you go to work days after giving birth, we know where your priorities are. And we know where they’re not.

  84. I don’t agree with Young’s premise that Palin is “good for America”, but Cathy nailed this one:

    At the 1990 Senate hearings on the bill, Biden proudly reported that he and his brothers were forbidden to lay a hand on their sister even in self-defense, while she enjoyed “absolute impunity”-and added, apparently not as a joke, that he had “the bruises to prove it.” This is not equality; it’s chivalry masquerading as feminism.

  85. Paul,
    but you forget about all the little bits of “quality time” the wealthy spend with their lil urchins.

  86. I made the mistake of clicking on Nancy’s handle. I had an almost irresistable urge to plunge my sharpie into both of my eye sockets after reading her wretched blog.

    What’s stopping you? Because if you were blind you couldn’t gaze lovingly on your wall full of photos of Sarah Palin?

    ==========

    Miggs | September 17, 2008, 4:05pm | #
    “and I can’t believe “Reason” actually printed this sad pean to utter cluelessness…”

    Everyone take a drink.

    That you being “ironic” Miggs?

    ==========

    See, I like to imagine that when Sarah hears words like “patriarch” her trigger finger gets itchy.

    I would have used the word “asshole” but “patriarch” is far more descriptive. And besides, “asshole” is implied.

    ==========

    Clearly I had some wrong-headed romantic notion that to be a libertarian you had to be devoted to rationality and cool logic. One thing you could always count on from Ayn Rand was to sneer at religious zealotry.

    Thanks for disabusing me of that notion Reason readers.

  87. Not surprised that local government would charge for a service (even an extremely important one).

    What other crimes do they charge the alleged victim for pursuing?

    Not sarcastic – just asking.

    I’ve never heard of anyone who claimed to have been mugged being asked to pay for the lineup or cover any other costs of the policework required to pursue justice.

  88. I think some people are misreading the criticism.

    I don’t think anyone is saying “Palin is a cold-hearted witch who chose to force rape vicims to pay for their tests out of malice”. I’m sure not.

    However, the plain fact is that our choice of how to spend our money (or the town’s money) does tell you about a persons priorities.

    Spending millions on a sports complex while “saving” money by charging rape victims for their kits certainly implies that she did consider prosecuting rapists to be less important a job for government than building a hockey rink.

    You can spin it and say she isn’t to blame all you want, but the fact is that she knew this was going on and didn’t care to change it – but did care to put a lot of effort into building a new hockey rink.

    It also tells you something that, when the owner of the land refused the price offered by the city, she ordered construction to start anyways.

    Palin: “We’ll offer $x”
    Owner: “I want more”
    Palin: “Too bad. Build away boys!! Lets see this chump try and stop us”

  89. It’s pretty stupid to equate a person’s sex with an ideological stance. Is Phyllis Schlafly a feminist because she is a woman and a political activist? Hell no. Palin is a right-wing religious conservative. She has the religious right drooling, and with good reason.

    The idea that she might in any way represent progress for women is pretty asinine. Libertarians have sunk pretty low when they become appoligists for right wing religious authoritarians. I never thought I would see the day.

  90. RE: What other crimes do they charge the alleged victim for pursuing? Not sarcastic – just asking.

    Sarcasim is definity an appropriate response to this sort of inanity. But I guess if your idea of “freedom” and “liberty” is “tax cutting at ANY cost” you would be at home with the idea. Libertarianism has really hit the skids. I guess this is why Scott Adams says he leans libertarian “minus the crazy stuff.” This is the crazy stuff.

  91. Do we really have to support the Republicans, just because Root is an asshole? America’s MILF isn’t running for president, and there could hardly be a worse enemy of individual liberty than John McCain.

  92. MILF, MILF, MILF!

    “Hey, a couple of us guys were wonderin’, uh if we’d go family-style on her”

  93. “How is that a mildly fuckable dingbat that believes the Earth is 6000 years old, that can’t teach her daughter contraception, that busts the budget of her state and hometown, that can barely speak coherent English, is somehow good for American Women? And are we insane to even entertain electing such a person to a position where she will be one heartbeat away from controlling nuclear missiles in a crisis?”

    You have to win the prize for most incorrect statements in a single paragraph. Going down the list:

    – There’s no evidence that Palin is a strict creationist. All she has said is that she believes there is a creator. This puts her position on this directly in line with Barack Obama’s. Who, by the way, says he prays to Jesus for guidance every day. Palin also has said she doesn’t think creationism should be in the curriculum.

    – Palin is fully in favor of teaching contraception in sex ed class. The only stand she has taken is against ‘explicit’ sex ed, which would mean things like showing nudity or films of sexual acts. She has specifically said that every kid should learn about condoms and birth control, and if the parents won’t do it, the school should.

    – Palin vetoed half a billion dollars in spending in her state, and cut earmarks in half. She’s the most aggressive government budget-cutter in the nation.

    – She speaks English fine – well enough to get a job as an on-camera reporter, and she is lauded for her skills in giving speeches and in debating. I can’t believe you think this.

    And just to add on to that, Palin’s political heroes and mentors are the near-libertarians who wrote Alaska’s constitution, and she says her guiding governing philosophy is to adhere strictly to that constitution – which is why she vetoed a bill sent to her by her own party which would deny spousal benefits to same-sex couples.

    As Governor, she has not pushed a social agenda at all. She hasn’t been a drug warrior, she hasn’t tried to ban abortion (in fact, she has stated that if Roe V. Wade were appealed, she would not work to ban abortion in Alaska, because “it’s not the governor’s job to tell the Alaskan people what their morals should be.”

    You want to see something illuminating? Go to Google, search for “Sarah Palin”, search in News, then choose only articles authored before she was chosen as the VP candidate. It’s amazing. There are plenty of articles about her in mainstream mags and newspapers (NewsWeek, The Seattle Times, the LA Times, many others). And it’s hard to find a negative word. And no one was painting her as some fundy Christian Right crusader. The ‘book’ on Palin before the left needed to destroy her was that she is smart, ambitious, serious about reform, and one of the best governors in the U.S. Democrats liked her because she frequently crossed the aisle to work with them. She has a 70% approval rating among DEMOCRATS in Alaska, and a 90% approval rating overall. Article after article talking about the ‘Sarah Palin phenomenon’, including several that tout her as VP material for whoever the Republican nominee would be.

    Then she becomes a threat to the Democrats, the spin machine kicks into high gear, and now ‘everyone knows’ she’s a mean, vindictive, bible-thumping monster with no brain.

    Try thinking for yourself. It’s so much more rewarding than joining the herd and spouting the lines you’ve been given.

  94. I still can’t figure out why “career-family balance” is a feminist issue. Why isn’t this an issue for men and women equally?

    *I* still can’t figure out why men can’t be feminists.

  95. Palin Family Name Generator | September 17, 2008, 2:38pm | #

    What your name would be if Palin were your mother. Pretty funny.

    http://personal-space.com/script/script.php

    I think there should be a new rule: When posting on a Sarah Palin thread, you must post under the name created for you by the Palin Family Name Generator.

  96. “Second, the biggest feminist issue in America today is the career-family balance.”

    What precisely does that mean that it’s a “feminist” issue, much less the biggest one? It’s something that is entirely in the realm of the personal. It is soemthing can only be decided between the men and women who have families together. Exactly, what role do “feminists” or anyone else outside of the two adults involved, have to play in balancing career and family.

    The problem that I see is that Cathy Young appears to imply that a woman who chooses to be a stay at home wife and mother has made an impolitic choice.

  97. …Palin also has said she doesn’t think creationism should be in the curriculum.

    Strictly a technicality – what she initially said back in 2006 was:

    “The volatile issue of teaching creation science in public schools popped up in the Alaska governor’s race this week when Republican Sarah Palin said she thinks creationism should be taught alongside evolution in the state’s public classrooms.

    Palin was answering a question from the moderator near the conclusion of Wednesday night’s televised debate on KAKM Channel 7 when she said, ‘Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of information. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both.'”

    http://scienceblogs.com/afarensis/2006/10/27/intelligent_design_and_the_ala/

    What I think the real significance here though is not so much her views on creationism – it’s that it appears that she actually hasn’t given the issue much thought. She just kind of says like, whatever, teach them both.

    Because that’s her – she hasn’t thought much of ANYTHING through. She is clearly an intellectual lightweight.

    Now, I don’t think being an intellectual lightweight is going to bother the Bible thumpers but I really would have thought that LIBERTARIANS cared about being led by an intellectual elite.

    Surely you’ve ALL READ Altas Shrugged!!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_Shrugged

  98. Young is just wrong here. HRC sure, SP no way. You can’t have a watershed moment for feminism when the primary and nearly sole reason – you think Johnny has any intention of letting her govern – for her selection was her gender. The fundie tilt is just a bonus.

  99. *I* still can’t figure out why men can’t be feminists.

    We don’t know which camp to join.

  100. uh oh, Nancy, you said “elite”… also, if I were you, I’d read up a little on the Reason drinking game:

    Any time someone says “For a magazine called Reason…” or any other intelligent variant thereof.

  101. What part are you too stupid to figure out?

    I see that the democrats once again are planning on losing the election by being just as snotty as they possibly can.

    -jcr

  102. By all means America, vote for Palin.

    That’s not how it works in this country. The number of people who are gullible enough to actually vote for either of those clowns is probably less than 10% of the population. A majority of the votes that either of them get are cast against the other.

    -jcr

  103. She is clearly an intellectual lightweight.

    Project much?

    She beat her local Republican machine and also won the general election. I know how important it is to some people to believe their opponents are stupid, but you underestimate them at your peril.

    -jcr

  104. nice JCR…you completely avoided the…er….’intellectual lightweight’ part and said ‘oh she beat her opponents’.

    nicely done.

    well, since it seems like you praise anti-intellectual republicans, perhaps we could just vote for sean hannity, or micahel savage.

    I think this article by Young falls outside the focus of this magazine. And I thought TakiMag was being a bit rediculous for posting Buchanan’s lame-@ass attempts at promoting Palin…

    By the way, you can’t have Armaggedon w/o Jesus.

  105. Alan Combs on Hannity & Combs, himself a staunch liberal with a liberal spin to just about anything, applauded Sarah Palin’s being the VP candidate for the GOP. He likes the ideas of women being recognized for their worth as politicians, not just as homemakers! Of course, Ms. Young not only agrees with him on that (as do I), but points out that from now on, it will seem natural for a woman to be a mother and yet have a high-powered career. I totally love it! For me, it means looking at a woman not just for cuddling, sex, and support, but seeing a *mind* within each woman I contact. What a joy! Mike

  106. J4,

    you completely avoided the…er….’intellectual lightweight’ part

    I didn’t avoid it at all. I rejected it out of hand, because it’s merely wishful thinking on the part of the democrats.

    My point about her winning the nomination and the governorship is that you don’t beat an entrenched, corrupt, and very well-financed party machine without having something on the ball.

    since it seems like you praise anti-intellectual republicans

    What’s your next guess? I’ll knock anti-intellectual republicans, democrats, and others.

    You know, one of these days when you grow up and abandon your supercilious attitude, you just might realize that people don’t fit into the boxes in your imagination.

    -jcr

  107. Dan, thank you for writing possibly the most lucid comment in this thread.

  108. RE: – There’s no evidence that Palin is a strict creationist…

    Let’s see, she baptized a Pentacostal and attended most of her adult life, and now belongs to the Wasilla Bible Church, a conservative evangelical congregation, and she openly advocates the creationist “teach the controversy” strategy for putting dirt-simple, authoritarian religion into our public schools.

    The fact that John McCain, who eight years ago called the religious right “agents of intolerance” has stooped to pandering to them shows how far the Republican party has become dependent on them.

    The religious right are not only agents of intolerance, they are also agents of ignorance. And Palin is their gal. Libertarians, sadly, are as lustful of political office as are Republicans in general and are now willing to advocate the opponents of liberty and intelligence to obtain it.

  109. Heh. Doug Stanhope is offering Bristol Palin $50,000 to have an abortion.

  110. She is clearly an intellectual lightweight.

    Project much?

    She beat her local Republican machine and also won the general election. I know how important it is to some people to believe their opponents are stupid, but you underestimate them at your peril.

    -jcr

    Seriously – that’s your argment? Palin is a serious thinker because she WON AN ELECTION?

    By that standard, there is no elected official in the world who is an intellectual lightweight. You don’t actually believe that, do you?

    And thanks Mike Rael for mentioning Colms – he is very much like Cathy Young – taking money to represent liberalism and feminism by praising conservatives and anti-feminists. Only you and viewers of Fox News are gullible enough to believe that Alan Colms represents actual liberals.

  111. That’s not how it works in this country. The number of people who are gullible enough to actually vote for either of those clowns is probably less than 10% of the population. A majority of the votes that either of them get are cast against the other.

    That cynicism never goes out of style, but it’s not quite fair to Palin. The boost in McCain’s momentum certainly has to do with a growing hatred for Obama and liberalism, and it’s about time. (Thanks to the troop surge and offshore drilling, BO has lost the crybaby contingent.) But Sarah Palin is fantastic, certainly the best freedom-and-business candidate on a presidential ticket since Reagan. I just wish she’d stuck with the Alaskan Independence platform, and brought it to the whole country. Maybe in 2016, we’ll have a strong Republican candidate to vote for. Right now, let’s hurry up and put the left out of its misery for good.

  112. Why is what Joe Biden said so bad? That’s how I was raised — even if a woman hits a man, the man DOES NOT HIT BACK. That may not be a good basis for law, but it’s a good rule for a man to follow.

    And I’ll need someone to explain to me why not hitting women is anti-feminist, because I sure don’t get it. Nobody’s every marched on Washington for equal beatings.

  113. Sample Vice-Presidential Communique ___________________________________________________________________

    Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 11:37:06 PDT
    From: m?il?fgo?va?las?ka?o?ohaycom
    Subject: How Georgians are just like Democrats
    To: “Vladimir Putin (mr?p?oot?yoohay?ru)
    X-Header-CompanyDBUserName: Reply-To: ”
    X-Header-MasterId: 1023410
    X-Header-Versions: m?rpoo?tyooh?ay?ru
    Message-ID:
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
    boundary=

    Hey Pooty,

    Thought you might dig this:

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    I also have some super hot pics of me naked firing an AK-47 across the Bering Strait you might like to see you naughty despot.

    LOLZ!

    Call me on my cell and we’ll get back to our discussion of geopolitical leverage and I’ll tell you how Georgians are just like Democrats…

    LOLZ!

    Love Sarah

    P.S. Crystal says “no way” on the bikini line pix! Heh!

    P.P.S. And NO, Crystal is not her “Stripper Name.” LOLZ!

    It is my profound hope that women do not agree with the drivel the author of this tripe is laying down.

    Women will only be “empowered” when they themselves rise above wondering if they’re “empowered.” Overreacting to past abuses only produces women like Palin. Scheming, power-grubbing, disingenuous and transparent. She is not only incapable of taking on the task, she shames all the women who are capable of governing by her method of reaching a position of power.

    You want to be “empowered?” Then get to work and keep your ethics and abilities in line with your ambition.

  114. I don’t think you can be a feminist and pro-life, but I say that more as an insult to feminists than pro-lifers.

  115. “Women, like men, should be able to disagree on gun ownership, environmental policies, taxes, even abortion while agreeing on gender equity.”
    Do you honestly believe that there was no one more qualified than Palin to be McCain’s running mate? It is obvious that her being a woman was the single most important factor in McCain’s veep choice, and I just don’t get it how this is gender equity. McCain’s strategy calls for the outrage of true feminists as it uses gender issues to achieve political goals.

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