Our next entry in TSW is probably the least shocking thus far in terms of our readers’ familiarity with her relationship with Governor Palin. C4P is no stranger to posting Amy Siskind’s articles, and many of you are probably aware of her recent petition to have Bill Maher yanked from the air.*
The reason we have added Ms. Siskind to our list, however, is to highlight a far too rare voice in our political discourse: the consistent feminist. Often, those who claim to speak on behalf of women are really only speaking for a certain kind of woman, i.e. liberal women who support legal abortion. It begs the question: Is selective feminism really feminism?
Siskind has been consistent in her defence of women on both the Left and the Right. Indeed, her site, The New Agenda, has been called "a ‘free market’ approach to women’s issues" because of its refusal to resort to single-issue gender politicking. Siskind and her colleagues have called out Maher for his sexism against Governor Palin the same way they did Chris Matthews for his mistreatment of then-Senator Hillary Clinton and other women.
Siskind, to be fair, was not going to vote for Obama, but she did not merely sit on the sidelines of the last Presidential election, miffed that her candidate did not win the Democratic Party’s nomination. Far from it. Siskind took to the air and defended Governor Palin against the Internet and Democratic smears against the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate. In her passionate dissection of the subtle, hateful war against Palin, she declared:
Many of us, when it [media sexism] was done to Hillary, said we would never let this happen again. We will speak out if another woman is attacked.
In a powerful editorial at, of all places, The Huffington Post, Siskind said what any fair-minded self-described feminist believes: sexism against conservative women is still sexism. From the article:
[S]elective sexism allows a dangerous level of permissible sexism to live and breed in our country. The only way for the women of this country to truly move forward is to unite and speak out against all forms of sexism regardless of party or the source of the attack.
[W]hen Governor Sarah Palin’s 14 year-old daughter is the subject of a degrading and humiliating joke by David Letterman, how can we let this be part of our culture? How would any one of us feel if this comment were directed at our daughter? And if Governor Palin were Governor "Sam" Palin, would Letterman dare to make that joke? (Emphasis added)
Indeed, Siskind cites The Undefeated as an example of how Clinton could have salvaged herself from the distortions used to distort her image and record. Indeed, even deep in the bowels of HuffPo, Siskind issued a call to arms, of sorts, for people to put aside their biases — partisan, sexist or otherwise — and give the Guv a fair shake:
We owe it to Governor Palin to get to know her and see through the haze of the media’s sexism-colored-glasses. We might learn about her and disagree on policy and issues, and that is okay. But we also might find a different kind of leader at a time when the country we love needs fixing. (Emphasis added)
If we are ever going to have true equality in the United States, including equality in our elected leadership, we must ally with those who normally disagree with us on issues we hold dear. A good example of such a group is Feminists for Life, of which Governor Palin has been a member since 2006. FFL has many pro-life, pro-woman accomplishments under its belt, achieved by joining forces with both parties and even groups that support abortion, such as the ACLU. (Full disclosure: I am also a member of FFL.)
As the late Geraldine Ferraro put it, "Anytime a woman runs, women win." There is no conflict between being a conservative and a feminist. One of the most poignant speeches of the 2008 campaign was on that very subject. It was delivered by only the second woman to be nominated for Vice President by a major political party. Siskind and those who defend Governor Palin on her merits are to be commended for refusing to kowtow to the so-called progressive feminist groups who are, in reality, shills for the far-Left and its enablers, to the exclusion of women who are pro-life or otherwise conservative.
Most of our readers are male and conservative. What does it say about NOW, NARAL and the rest of their ilk that it is supposedly troglodyte, Right-wing males who are more willing to stand up for the most prominent woman in national politics today than most of the feminist establishment?
Special thanks to Amy Siskind for directing me to the articles cited for this post. You can read more about The New Agenda in the news here. For more on the subject of women in politics, I highly recommend Notes from the Cracked Ceiling, by Anne E. Kornblut.
*Full disclosure: My libertarian beliefs on freedom of speech compel me to reiterate my support for Maher’s right to say the disgusting things he says, as well has HBO’s right to air them. But that does not preclude my agreement with Ms. Siskind’s statement that his comments "have no place in our national dialogue". The man is a sexist pig and ought to be shunned by all decent individuals.