After four days of moving speeches and inspiring messages at the Democratic National Convention, we woke up this morning to find John McCain naming Sarah Palin as his running mate. Palin is the first-term Governor of Alaska, 44 years old, whose Republican-endorsed attributes include being a former beauty queen and a “hockey mom” to five kids. She’s anti-choice, against same-sex marriage, and supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. She’s also a proud member of the National Rifle Association. In short, she’s a right-winger bent on taking away the rights of women and destroying the environment for Big Oil.

McCain probably thinks he’s done a great thing, putting – gasp! – a woman on the Presidential ticket. Ooh, look, we’ve got a person with a vagina here, folks! A vagina that produces children! And she’s pretty, too! And she’s not uppity, either! She’s one of them good ladies! Welcome, Sarah!

Here’s one word the Republicans need to consider: tokenism. Palin actually celebrates being compared to Margaret Thatcher, calling herself the “Iron Lady of the North.” Check it out on the Palin for VP website. (John Rentoul of The Independent caught this first). It’s as if the Republicans think we can’t tell two women apart. Hillary Clinton may not be a radical, but she’s sure as heck no Margaret Thatcher.

Here’s my problem with Palin as VP pick: I suspect McCain’s team chose her because she’s a woman, and only because she’s a woman. I suspect they think that disgruntled Hillary supporters and people on the fence will look at this woman and say, “wow! glass ceiling!” and vote for her. McCain just doesn’t get it. Palin will not work for women, she’ll work against them. So she has five kids – well, that’s nice. But she supports policies that hurt other people’s kids. She supports policies that will destroy the very environment that her kids will inherit. She supports policies that hurt women, including other mothers. She may be a woman, but she’s still a Republican. Is she supposed to make me feel better about voting McCain? Do they really think I’m that stupid?

While we’re here, I wonder if Palin has any comment on a) McCain calling his wife a “trollop” and a “cunt;” b) McCain volunteering his wife as a contestant in a bikini contest a few weeks ago; and c) McCain cheating on his first wife after she was in a car accident. Let’s not forget that McCain has a really shitty position on birth control – although Palin probably agrees with him on that one. Nice attitude towards the ladies, eh?

The choice of Palin as VP candidate is insulting to women. In fact, the entire Republican ticket is insulting to women. You can’t cover up misogyny with a pretty face, dudes.

There are some good discussions on this going on at Feministing, Pandagon and Feministe. Go check ’em out!

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