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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Women

posted by on September 17 at 7:44 AM


America’s largest women’s rights organisation delivered a snub to Sarah Palin’s history-making candidacy yesterday by endorsing Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s bid for power.

The National Organisation for Women (NOW) is 500,000 strong and hugely influential. The feminist organisation almost never supports a presidential candidate, but the Alaska governor’s Christian fundamentalist faith and her opposition to abortion rights has forced its hand. Other women’s rights organisations are also campaigning against Governor Palin, pushed along by a spontaneous anti-Palin movement among women.

In Alaska at the weekend, a Welcome Home rally for Mrs Palin was dwarfed by a demonstration organised by Alaska Women Reject Palin, which was held on the lawn of a downtown Anchorage library.

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NOW is about as relevant to women today as elephant bell bottoms. Brush off your cobwebs, SLOG!

Posted by John Bailo | September 17, 2008 7:52 AM

while this is awesome and needs to be done,i am amazed at how much press the "women against palin" situation gets. there are plenty of men that won't vote for mccain - but noone talks about that. women are people! just like men! and they can smell a rat just like men can and sarah palin is a big, stinky rat. and they aren't going to vote for palin just because she happens to share the XX chromosomal makeup. everyone in this country needs a serious reality check.

Posted by xina | September 17, 2008 7:55 AM

...And that is why this Slog needs comment moderation.

Posted by elenchos | September 17, 2008 8:07 AM


Yeah, to scrape off all the Internet barnacles:

Barnacles = 1/Trolls

Posted by John Bailo | September 17, 2008 8:09 AM

Why do we always have to look to UK media to find out what's going on in our own country?

Posted by Cat in Chicago | September 17, 2008 8:14 AM

I read the Guardian and the Independent every damn day.

Posted by Dan Savage | September 17, 2008 8:24 AM

@2 including you, Xina. In recent polls it is strikingly apparent that many women ARE being fooled by the similar chromosome in Palin. It's sad, pathetic, and depressing, but it's true.

So while I agree that America needs a reality check I disagree about which check we need.

Too many people are swayed by the obvious lies and the same tactics that won Bush the election four years ago. Instead of "downhome country cowboy", though, we get "downhome country soccer mom." Both are equally misleading and deceptive ways to skirt around the fact that these people are simply not cut out to be president. And America needs to get the hint.

Posted by Johnny Liverwerst | September 17, 2008 8:26 AM

How is Palin's nomination history making?

Posted by Eek, a mouse! | September 17, 2008 8:37 AM

@2 - I think the point of the women against Palin thing, is that one of the reasons the Republicans chose her was specifically because they thought that women would be swayed to vote for the ticket with a woman on it. So, that's why it's extra important for this group to make the point that women aren't buying it.

Posted by Julie in Chicago | September 17, 2008 8:37 AM

At the Puyallup Fair yesterday, I talked to two 18-year olds, each eager about voting in their first election.

The young man wore an Obama button on his shirt, and told me that he thought Obama could deal with foreign nations better than McCain, and that he trusted him.

The young woman wore a McCain sticker across the middle of her breasts, and told me that she would be "really excited to see a woman in the White House."

When I rattled off a few of Palin's most egregious crimes, the dude nodded and agreed. The girl engaged in the dialog, and admitted she was pro-choice.

"But, it would still be so cool to have a woman win! And, you know, she's a good mom."

I am not making this up.

Posted by kerri harrop | September 17, 2008 8:40 AM

@10, I attend a large, public university in Ohio and I'm a member of the Dems here, so I've spent a fair amount of time registering people to vote. Unfortunately, I've gotten a lot of comments from gullible folks saying pretty much the same thing about Palin. They don't like her politics, but goddamn it, it's cool to think about!

They're rather dumbfounded when I point out that Obama is history making and could be even more so should he win.

Posted by Leslie N. | September 17, 2008 8:51 AM

@10: Reading your comment has made me feel vaguely suicidal.

Posted by Lawks a Lordy | September 17, 2008 8:52 AM


Because she was picked by the GOP.

Of course, when the Democratic Party picked a female V.P. candidate in - oh, gee, 1984 - it was considered pandering to the women's vote - by the GOP.

From The New York Times August 7, 1984:

"Representative Geraldine A. Ferraro would have been an extremely unlikely choice to run for Vice President if she were not a woman, and her inexperience will begin to show in a long campaign, according to Representative Robert H. Michel, the House minority leader.

"I doubt very much whether, in today's politics, we would be inclined to pick a third-term member of Congress if he were a man, with no other experience, other than as state's attorney, or district attorney, and say he is qualified to be President," Mr. Michel, an Illinois Republican, said in an interview.

"But the Democratic Party has done so here, in the case of a woman, for the sake of simply putting a woman on the ticket." "

Posted by COMTE | September 17, 2008 9:07 AM

NOW's endorsement won't sway much of the flibberdigibbet vote.

@10: i hope you disabused her of the notion that Palin is a "good mom". "good moms" don't have their eldest son enter the military to avoid jail, or a pregnant teenage daughter. maybe you can have one & claim "good mom" status, but both is not a coincidence.

Posted by father of 2 on the dean's list at UW | September 17, 2008 9:12 AM

@4 do != due

Posted by infrequent | September 17, 2008 9:16 AM

for republican or "independent" women, having a woman on the ticket (pandering or otherwise) is a good thing. who cares if it's pandering anyways? we are long overdue to have a woman president or vice-president. and, yes, we are long overdue to have many different groups of minorities represented in the white house.

you call it pandering -- but think about it. if you are a republican woman, who is "pro-life", a christian, and believes in "traditional family values", why wouldn't palin represent you? there are quite a few women (and men) out there who fit that description.

if you agree that it was pandering to select ferarro, then maybe you have a foot to stand on when criticizing the choice of palin. otherwise, it seems pretty obvious that she pulls the party-line.

as far as persuading female democrats... well, i'm not really surprised to hear that it's not working. but it was an interesting try on mccain's part.

Posted by infrequent | September 17, 2008 9:24 AM

@5: Ridiculous comment, at least in this context. I checked Google News and this story ran in every major newspaper in America.

Of course, it is valuable to get perspective from outside the U.S., and the Guardian and Independent are excellent newspapers.

Posted by rjh | September 17, 2008 9:29 AM

All this talk of trolling and barnacles makes me want to eat a bowl of cioppino.

Posted by laterite | September 17, 2008 9:51 AM

Well, all I know is that hopefully women who are thinking about Palin because she's a woman can be swayed by the opinions of, well, other women.

I signed up to canvass this weekend and phonebank next Wednesday for "Washington Women's Week of Action." Y'all can do it too!

Posted by leek | September 17, 2008 10:04 AM

I don't know how numerous they are, but yes, those Hillary-supporting pro-choice, supposedly liberal women who will vote McCain because of Palin do exist, and yes, it's unbelievably sad, like a turkey celebrating Thanksgiving. I mean, Christ, they really seem to think Palin as VP will somehow represent some kind of triumph for women like them over ... well, guys like me.

Posted by tsm | September 17, 2008 10:10 AM

Heh. Awesome turkey comparison, tsm.

Posted by leek | September 17, 2008 10:30 AM

It's about time people started getting together a backlash against this phony. Palin!?! What a joke!

Posted by Vince | September 17, 2008 10:53 AM

The only women who even are voting toward Palin are white women, and white men like her even more so if anything this election is more race based then gender based.

But yea it's stupid to think women won't vote for Palin just because Palin doesn't support women's rights...not all women are feminists, I am going ahead and saying most women aren't feminists anymore, maybe half-and-half. Hell, I know women who hate feminists even. This has always been true.

The majority of women still support Obama obviously, and I don't think that will change. But it is stupid to think all women are feminist women all of a sudden.

Posted by EmmiG | September 17, 2008 11:01 AM

Aaand if women voted for women just because they were women, La Riva announced her candidacy in January, she's one of the most pro-women candidates running, and how many women gave a shit? MAYBE 30-40?

Posted by EmmiG | September 17, 2008 11:17 AM

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