Here’s a third datapoint in the Sarah Palin Introduces Her Children sexism series. The first two are in this post: “Republican sexism watch: Sarah Palin gives us no evidence that she values girls” (cross-posted to Shakesville).
The only change is that she now gives her daughters two adjectives. She introduces them as a group, not as individuals. They are the “girls in between“. Seriously. She drops the “another daughter”, and replaces it with “girls in between”.
The introduction of Bristol, Willow and Piper is at 2:05, in case you blink and miss it. It runs for eight seconds, then there are 18 seconds of applause: a big improvement on the stony, “who cares?” audience silence with her first speech.
She talks about her sons and nephew (and the politics and cheering arising) for 128 seconds. So we’re down to 83% on the boys, now. Is the marginal improvement a sign that someone has given her a heads-up? Who knows.
[Direct link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1xxYxgg8Ac]
[Transcript below. Clipped from the complete speech here. ]
Here’s what I see: a woman who wastes no time using the introduction of her children to talk about her politics. I’m not going to debate in this post the pluses and minuses of that; let’s just take it as a given, for the purposes of this argument.
* Palin has a son and nephew in the armed services. She talks about how proud she is of him and others in uniform, she talks about the war in Iraq, she leaps on the chance to say September 11, the crowd cheers and chants “U!S!A!” when they hear that Track is going to war.
* Palin has a son with a disability. She talks about the joys and challenges, and about her pledge to be an advocate for parents with children with disabilities. [Note that she doesn’t talk about being an advocate for people with disabilities themselves; only for their carers – I think this is a telling point right here, and perhaps something to expand on later. Also note that her actual record on disability policy is poor.]
* Palin claims the word “feminist”, as a member of “Feminists for Life”. Yet she glosses over her daughters, lumping them together, rapidly getting their introduction out of the way so she can move on to talking at length about the next son. What feminist in this position and in this context – and by that I mean having already used her family as a political springboard – would not talk about making the world a better place for her daughters? About being sure they can freely access every opportunity in life, about equal pay, about bodily autonomy and support for their reproductive choices, about being free from gendered violence and exploitation and objectification and harassment and coercion?
What does her “feminism” consist of, if not this?
Transcript (bare bones from adn.com)
“Our nominee for president is a true profile in courage, and people like that are hard to come by.
He’s a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years, and refused to break faith with those troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight.
And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. I’m just one of many moms who’ll say an extra prayer each night for our sons and daughters going into harm’s way.
Our son Track is 19.
And one week from tomorrow – September 11th – he’ll deploy to Iraq with the Army infantry in the service of his country.
My nephew Kasey also enlisted, and serves on a carrier in the Persian Gulf.
My family is proud of both of them and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform.
Track is the eldest of our five children.
In our family, it’s two boys and three girls in between – my strong and kind-hearted daughters Bristol, Willow, and Piper.
And we were so blessed in April, my husband Todd and I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig.
You know, from the inside, no family ever seems typical. That’s how it is with us. Our family has the same ups and downs as any other … the same challenges and the same joys. Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.
And children with special needs inspire a very, very special love.
To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.
I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.”
[A note to commenters: Note: Before commenting, please read tigtog’s post “Families, politicians and stupid rumours“. What this post of mine is NOT about: 1. Palin’s reproductive choices, private life, or sexual behaviour; 2. The reproductive choices, private life, or sexual behaviour of anyone in her family. Comments should adhere to the same. Please also read our general Comments Policy before commenting.]
Categories: gender & feminism