When I saw that John McCain had picked Sarah Palin as his running mate this morning, I was on the elliptical trainer, and my rage propelled me to the most furious workout I've had in a while.
It's always exciting to see women enter the political fray at higher levels. But a lot of feminists out there, are appalled by the cynicism and condescension inherent in this choice. It's as though the McCain camp believes our irrational she-hormones will lead us, like sheep, to pull the lever for any candidate who looks like us--even if she has a strong record, as Palin does, of standing against women's interests.
He hopes to court Hillary Clinton supporters with a woman VP who said on camera that she didn't like Hillary's "whining" about gender issues, a woman with unpopular, far-right positions on reproductive justice issues and LGBT rights. She's a woman who rides high on being a super-mom, but has an environmental record that won't leave the world in good shape for the next generation, her kids' generation.
This last-ditch attempt by the McCain campaign to re-brand its image is in reality, a capitulation to the far right. It assumes that women don't realize the extremism of the Republican platform this year, which opposes abortion even in the cases of rape and incest, and all stem-cell research. In recent weeks, it's been clear that the Republicans are not that into contraception either, contraception, which almost the entire country has used or will use at some point. This is something feminists have been saying for years. The anti-choice movement is not about saving unborn children, but rather about controlling women's sexuality, and subjecting women to second-class citizen status.
It's no rare thing for the right wing to use prominent women to keep the rest of us down. But just because Sarah Palin is a woman doesn't mean she's good for women. And female voters know that.
Join this facebook group to tell the media, and the McCain camp, that women won't fall for this ploy.