If by that do you mean would I be saying the same exact things if she weren’t a woman the answer is yes, some of the criticisms are altered to reflect the fact of her gender, like the use of the pronoun ‘she’.
But I have always been an equal opportunity attack dog, and here the case is no different. But what is the question of sexism really about? Is it about perfect point-by-point sameness for everything women do, or is it about the societal structures that prevent women from being autonomous as much as men?
I would bet that most women wouldn’t want, even if it were realistic, to deny their femininity—a dig made at Hillary in praise of Palin. It’s not about wearing ties or playing golf. It’s about can I pursue my dreams.
Biology has a lot to say about that. And women pressed into involuntary servitude as vessels for blastocysts they do not wish to bear, children they do not wish to have or raise can never have a chance of being equal in any meaningful sense.
I don’t dispute that, at least at some point, when the fetus becomes viable, it gains its own rights. But when its still part of mom, mom has a say. Because if mom doesn’t, mom either has to become an asexual being or give up on being a lawyer, or a doctor, or a soccer player. But remember, Palin’s not just about reversing Roe v. Wade or changing the date of viability, or banning d&x (“partial birth”), or limiting it to risks to the mother. She’s about none, ever. And also these same folks aren’t just about the relatively pathos-infused realities of abortion. They want to stop people from having sex that doesn’t make kids, period, forever. A sizeable minority may oppose abortion, but how many people would ban themselves from ever being allowed to have non-procreative sex? Proof is in the pudding: if abortion were the real issue, then why on earth would “conservatives” block RU486?! Having a dispenser of that in every bathroom in the world would eliminate abortion!
But asskicking careers isn’t what all women want. Some are stoked to be moms. I’m glad mine was. But I wouldn’t want a mom who had no choice (say because she was the daughter of a politician and also a minor) but to bear me, or but to be a child bearer and home maker, without any other choice, not in my existence, but in hers.
But men face none of these problems. So, until we come to grips with this stuff, we’ll never start figuring out whether it really matters if women can play golf at Augusta. Nancy Pelosi and Sandra Day O’Connor and Geraldine Ferraro and Sarah Palin mean jack shit if they got in those positions while still locked into 18th century gender roles.
So, to the extent that we’re supposed to think that Palin’s nomination or even (God forbid) election is some kind of victory for women just because she’s a woman is the sexist thought, not the criticism based on the fact that she wants to make the choice for all women, not just about abortion, but about limiting the scope of their entire potential being to that of a Norman Rockwell painting and nothing else.
Hillary, on the other hand, who this sexist supported in the primaries, well, Hillary as president or vice president or senator or majority leader—well, that means something. Why? Because she didn’t do it by being the church’s model of a perfect woman. She did it by kicking ass and working twice as hard for half the reward for years and years, and still basically had to be married to a powerful man to get a chance to shine on her own.
No one picked Hillary because she’s a piece of ass.