Rebecca Walker


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Anti-Abortion Mommy: Five Questions for Sarah Palin


Okay, I think we all agree that even though she's probably a very nice human being, the Sarah Palin VP pick is deeply problematic.

From the looks of how she's being positioned in the GOP, she's the foil for a host of horrifying scenarios they've got planned, from the continued erosion of first amendment rights to the exponential growth of the prison-industrial complex.


If I ran into her at a hunting-themed bar at the Anchorage airport, I'd walk right up and ask some questions--because she's so accessible, you know?

1. I really, truly respect your privacy, but I read on the net that your fifth baby may be your daughter's. Even if that is just a vicious lefty-commie smear, your seventeen year-old is really pregnant, right? Listen, I love babies, and I get you're anti-abortion and pro-abstinence, but don't you think you should be pro-birth control, too? And teen moms who aren't your daughter?

2. What on earth does the bear on your office sofa symbolize? Bear market? Bear Stearns? Father Bear, Black Bear, Childbearing, Bearing down? Your victory against environmentalists who want to protect polar bears from extinction? I know I'm not alone when I wonder what you feel when you rest your back against all that dark fur. Dominance, protection, hunger, compassion? It would tell us a lot about who you are and what you would do with the living organism we call earth.

3. Your mother-in-law says you don't bring anything to the table other than your gender and political affiliation. What did you do to her last Thanksgiving? Is she responsible for the Eskimo-Yupiik part of your husband and if so, is she upset he married a woman who wants to drill on native lands? Or is your husband's mom pro-sovereignty, and still coming to terms with the whole Alaskan statehoood thing?

4. The way you congratulated and undermined Hillary at the same time was clever. That part about 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, and the American people being ready to break all the way through. But Hillary has faced down some of the most dangerous forces on the planet, and won eighteen million votes, too. What experience do you have surviving physical, psychological, cultural or any other kind of warfare?

What's your position on Darfur? Tibet? North Korea? I think you and Sarkozy might get on, but what about Putin? Are you ready to go over the fine points with Vladimir? Are you up for challenging Hu Jintao on the age of the gymnasts on the Chinese Olympic team, or on the oil pipeline China is running from Somalia?

And finally:

5. Have you sat down and had a long talk with your husband about this whole thing? I'm not saying it's an issue, but we're talking five kids, in Washington, DC. We're talking state dinners, applications to Sidwell Friends, and a landmine of completely uncharted masculinity issues. Can your marriage hold up? Just how secure is your husband?

And maybe more important, would your husband's role in your life encourage you to support a broader Family Leave Act? Like the one in Sweden, where parents are entitled to eighteen months paid Parental Leave?

But seriously. I hope you're making the right choice. Because should you manage to pull off a miracle and end up VP, it's going to get very hot in your kitchen. And if you don't, you're going to have to live knowing your nomination may have unified and cemented the victory of the democratic party in 2008 and beyond.

Either way, I wish you and your family the best. Like it or not, we really are all in this together.



Blogger Danielle said...

Wow, what an appropriate picture, lol.

I am not a republican, but I am still embarassed for McCain that he would think this was a good choice. On a good note, I think you're right. I think that this cemented Obama's victory.

I do feel bad for her daughter, though. It wasn't her choice to be put in the spotlight. I know what it's like to have people talking crap about you for being pregnant, I just can't imagine being 17 and it being the whole country. Poor kid.

Blogger Danielle said...

By the way, did you see this?

Blogger Carol said...

I think it says a lot about her 'family values' when she accepted the VP ticket knowing that her being thrown into the spotlight would also mean that her daughter would too.. and at such a fragile time for her daughter too.

I was appalled by the dead bear skin on the back of her sofa chair. I so hope that McCain is not elected.

Blogger Katya said...

Amen, Rebecca! I am an Alaskan resident living in Homer, AK. My friends and family from my home state, Minnesota have been asking me my thoughts and I have been saying similar things back. Just because you are a woman does not make you a feminist and the best person to represent our gender!

By the way, I've loved both of your books and thank you for writing them.


Blogger Rebecca Walker said...

It's just crazy--thanks for the link, Danielle!

Thanks for the love, Katya.

Looking forward to seeing you both on my soon to come new and improved site/blog! xoxoxo

Blogger Carol said...

I wonder, are we doing women a great disservice when we criticise Palin for being a working Mother? I have pondered this over the past couple of days, and although I still think that accepting the ticket when she knew that her daughters pregnancy would become public knowledge was poor judgement on Palins part. I am becoming concerned about the level of venom being directed at her. I feel that she's being put into the position of having to choose between the two, family or work. Millions of women combine work and family around the world. Are we doing them a disservice too when we suggest that if it's a high responsibility job that, the two cannot be combined?



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