Some Feminists Love Abortion on Demand But Hate Governor Sarah Palin

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 28, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Some Feminists Love Abortion on Demand But Hate Governor Sarah Palin

by Joan Swirsky
September 28, 2008 Note: Joan Swirsky is a New York-based journalist and author. You can find out more about her at her web site may not necessarily endorse every view presented in the editorial columns we carry.

Why are the retro-feminists in the left-wing media, the National Organization of Women, and the abortion lobby, among other hysterics, militating so violently against Sarah Palin? It’s because they value abortion-on-demand over every other subject on earth.

This "value" started in the late 1950s – before abortion became de rigueur – when the Food and Drug Administration approved the birth-control pill developed by Dr. John Rock and two collaborators. For the first time in human history, women had a measure of control over their fertility, which gave them a greater chance to pursue economic independence and escape bad marriages.

But in just a few years – aided by the even-then left-wing media – feminists managed to convince a gullible public that most of the bedrocks of American life were bad.


A few years after Rock’s discovery, the godmother of feminism, Betty Friedan, fueled the feminist movement with her 1963 book, "The Feminist Mystique," in which she wrote: "As [women] made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night – she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question – `Is this all?’"

Friedan, also the founding mother of NOW, spoke to my generation, but not all of us bought her women-as-victims screed. As I raised three children, it was clear to me that creating a home, contributing to my children’s security and happiness, and supporting my husband were not at all in conflict with my extra-domestic goals – just as they hadn’t been obstacles for many women in my mother’s generation. Maybe Betty and her friends were not sufficiently evolved to appreciate what legions of women had accomplished before them.

The result: Many of today’s women are burning with rage that they "have to" work outside the home – for mostly paltry pay – and are unable to witness the first steps or words of their babies and teach them their values, but instead are forced to cede these important roles to daycare functionaries and hired nannies.


Gloria Steinem followed Friedan, coining the word Ms. – to remove the "stigma" of marital status as disqualifying qualified women for jobs – and founding Ms Magazine.

The result: today, the "evolved" women of the media and other women refer to themselves and other females as "you guys." Imagine if leftist newswomen like Soledad O’Brien, Andrea Mitchell or Katie Couric referred to their male colleagues as "you gals!" Some progress!


While the early feminists paved the way for some of today’s young women to flourish in the marketplace, the price has been draconian. "The founders" consistently fail to mention that their second most-cherished tenet – of economic freedom – has resulted in the failure of one out of two marriages, leaving most women in dire economic straits.

The result: today, women still have not gained economic parity.

Relevant here is the "share the wealth" socialist philosophy of presidential candidate, Barack Obama. The women on his staff earn a paltry 77-cents on the dollar compared to the men, who receive 100 cents on the dollar. From October 1 through March 31 of this year, Obama paid women on his senate staff an average annual salary of $44,953.21 – $12,472 less than the $57,425 he paid men on his staff.

In stark contrast, Sen. McCain pays female campaign staffers 101 percent of what he pays men, and females on his senate staff higher salaries than he pays his male staff.

So much for the endorsement Sen. Obama received from Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal, in which she stated that pay equity was a major issue.


Of course, the first most-cherished tenet of the feminist movement has always been abortion-on-demand – the "right" of women to put their "interests" (and moods and convenience) before giving birth to an unwanted child. This "inconvenience" has cost over 50-million babies their rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness since the Supreme Court enacted Roe v. Wade in 1973.

This "right" is heartily endorsed by Barack Obama, who has:

Said that women shouldn’t be "punished" with babies if they weren’t in the mood to have them.

Co-sponsored the "Freedom of Choice Act" (S-.1173) that would make partial-birth abortion legal again, require taxpayer funding of abortion, and invalidate all state and federal limitations on abortion, including parental-notification laws.

Failed to vote for the Illinois Partial-Abortion Ban Act.

Voted four times in the Illinois legislature against legislation that would have provided care and protections for babies who were born alive after abortion.

Voted to block a bill that would have required an abortionist to notify at least one parent before performing an abortion on a minor girl from another state.


As author Jeffrey Bell says about Gov. Palin: "The simple fact of her being a pro-life married mother of five with a thriving political career was – before anything else about her was known – enough for the left and its outliers to target her for destruction. She could not be allowed to contradict symbolically one of the central narratives of the left."

Writer Arnold Ahlert says that feminism, "like many movements that begin with good intentions, was hijacked by radicals who whittled it down to one over-arching requirement: either you’re in favor of unrestricted abortion-on-demand, or we want nothing to do with you."

"If Palin were pro-choice," Ahlert continues, "is there any doubt whatsoever she’d be lionized by the very same people currently determined to kick the slats out from under her at every opportunity?" After all, she’s "a governor, an experienced businesswoman and reformer willing to take on the hacks in her own party, an assertive, self-confident, self-made woman with a demonstrated sense of ease and contentment about who she is."

"20th Century feminism," he says, "has come to resemble the `Picture of Dorian Gray,’ a movement that has grown incrementally uglier as time goes by. [Feminists’] unrelenting vitriol towards a woman whose only real `flaw’ is a belief in the sanctity of life has revealed 20th Century feminism for the one-trick pony it has become."

Even the pro-abortion über-liberal Camille Paglia, wrote approvingly in that Palin’s debut on the national stage "represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism"

"But what of Palin’s pro-life stand?" Paglia asks. "I have criticized the way that abortion became the obsessive idée fixé of the post-1960’s women’s movement – leading to feminists’ McCarthyite tactics in pitting Anita Hill with her flimsy charges against conservative Clarence Thomas…Similarly, Bill Clinton’s support for abortion rights gave him a free pass among leading feminists for his serial exploitation of women – an abusive pattern that would scream misogyny to any neutral observer.

"But the pro-life position, whether or not it is based on religious orthodoxy, is more ethically highly evolved than my own tenet of unconstrained access to abortion on demand…hence, I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue…I have never understood the standard Democratic combo of support for abortion and yet opposition to the death penalty. Surely it is the guilty rather than the innocent who deserve execution?

"The gigantic, instantaneous coast-to-coast rage directed at Sarah Palin," Paglia adds, "when she was identified as pro-life was, I submit, a psychological response by loyal liberals who on some level do not want to open themselves to deep questioning about abortion and its human consequences…It is nonsensical and counterproductive for Democrats to imagine that pro-life values can be defeated by maliciously destroying their proponents. And it is equally foolish to expect that feminism must for all time be inextricably wed to the pro-choice agenda. There is plenty of room in modern thought for a pro-life feminism…"


In keeping with my theory of liberal pathology, the uncontrolled, childlike temper tantrums and obscenities that spew from leftists when faced with any disagreement is predictable.

Who can forget Susan Estrich’s vile and inaccurate onslaught on the Opinion Editor of the Los Angeles Times, Michael Kinsley – who suffers from Parkinson’s disease – when she complained that the newspaper wouldn’t publish her syndicated column? "Your illness may have affected your brain, your judgment, and your ability to do this job."

Estrich revealed the kind of hatred the left has raised to an art form over the past eight years, in their epic – but failed – efforts to undermine President Bush, his reelection to POTUS in 2004, his "Surge" from prevailing in Iraq, and his effective blocking of even one piece of meaningful legislation that the Democrat congressional majority has put forth since its victory in 2006.

While the president is on his way out of office, the left’s endemic rage still boils. Simply, they need someone to hate!

Enter Gov. Palin, who, as writer Kevin McCullough says, "scares them, intimidates them, and shatters the presuppositions of the Steinem, Allred, NARAL, and Oprah crowd."

Gloria Steinem: "Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with [Hillary] Clinton."

Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues":

"I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears…I need the polar bears…she does not believe in evolution…she does not believe in global warming…[she] does not believe in abortion…If the Polar Bears don’t move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, `Drill Drill Drill.’ I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain."

Sandra Bernhard, unfunny comedienne, warned that if Palin were to go to Manhattan, she’d be "gang-raped by [her] big black brothers."

Margaret Cho, unfunny comedienne, blogged: "She is evil" and then fantasized about having perverse sex with Palin, adding that Palin is "the worst thing to happen to America since 9/11."

Lindsay Lohan, of, um, Hollywood: "Is our country so divided that the Republicans’ best hope is a narrow-minded, media-obsessed homophobe?"

Canadian writer Heather Mallick: Palin "has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favored by this decade’s woman, the over-treated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression." Mallick commenting on Bristol Palin’s boyfriend: "I’m not the one preaching homespun values but I’d destroy that ratboy before I’d let him get within scenting range of my daughter again…"

Carol Fowler, South Carolina Democratic chairwoman: "Palin’s "primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion."

Michelle Cottle of the New Republic: Palin’s nomination "is a slap in the face to all women."

Columnist Michelle Malkin describes the media hypocrites who fault Palin for daring to work and have children at the same time – exactly what they themselves have done.

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien has four children under the age of eight, but has been "working overtime covering the campaign, anchoring daily coverage and nighttime conventions, and producing documentaries that require much time away from home."

NBC’s Meredeith Viera juggles several demanding TV shows and "has three children at home and a husband who has battled multiple sclerosis and colon cancer."

CBS’ Katie Couric, whose "husband died at 42 when her daughters were 6 and 2 years old…opted not to quit journalism…anchored NBC’s `Today Show’ through his illness and death, continued working an intensive schedule…as a single mother with two fatherless children at home, and then jumped to CBS News, where she maintains a rigorous on-air schedule, travel plans and an off-air social calendar."

CNN’s Campbell Brown "flew to Las Vegas last year to moderate a political debate while 8½ months pregnant" and continues her demanding anchoring job to this day… with an infant at home!

We all know that it’s not Palin’s career-mother role or the she-doesn’t-have-enough-experience canard or even her skill with guns these retro-feminists object to. It’s her sin of not believing in abortion!


In the Financial Times, Chrystia Freeland writes ("The Argument That Scares The Left To Death: Sarah Palin Really Is A Feminist Role Model"):

"What Democrats, and progressives generally, will have a harder time accepting is that Gov Palin’s nomination could be a milestone for American women: in many ways she is an even better feminist icon than America’s reigning top gal Hillary Clinton. In contrast with Mrs Clinton, whose most important political decision was whom she married, Mrs Palin is a genuinely self-made woman, who broke into politics without the head start of a powerful husband or father.

"Feminism has long been torn between focusing on the fight against sexism pure and simple, and waging a broader campaign for a `women’s agenda,’on which abortion rights tend to feature prominently."

Historian Victor Davis Hanson said that, "the old definition of feminism is now dead…we were supposed to learn about a liberated Gov. Sarah Palin. Instead the media taught us more than we ever wanted to know about what they now call feminism."

Writer Maureen Scott has another take: "Feminists and their flocks of angry, aggressive, cutthroat, whining followers are just jealous that it isn’t one of their `gals’ up there. Sarah hasn’t advocated for them or accepted their playbook of rules…She doesn’t hate men, or support killing defenseless babies. She has not been part of demonstrations against America or fought in the streets against inequalities. Oh, the horrors of Sarah and her success!"

And Weekly Standard writer Noemie Emery writes: "Palin’s pick was a hand grenade tossed into the old-fashioned feminist movement’s aged and tottering hulk." How stunned Palin’s feminist critics "must have been several days later when polls showed a move to McCain by white women and by independents…they might have found a few clues in the polls, which would have told them the abortion rights extremism they back is a minority viewpoint…so the old-fashioned feminists have fallen back on the old theme of false consciousness; that women who don’t agree with them aren’t really women at all."

"…it may turn out," Emery continues, "that the main contribution [Palin] makes to [McCain’s] effort is in goading the Democrats into spasms of self-defeating and entirely lunatic rage. Somehow, every element of her life – the dual offense of being a beauty-queen and hunter; the Down syndrome baby who wasn’t aborted; the teenage daughter about to get married, whose baby also wasn’t aborted; the non-metrosexual husband working the nightshift; the very fact of five children – touched a nerve on the liberal template, and sent the whole beast into convulsions…"


While I believe that Sen. John McCain is a good man, patriot, war hero, genuine reformer, and lifelong pro-life advocate, my suspicion is that Republicans, Democrats, and Independents will flock to the polls on November 4th to vote for the brightest new light on the political scene, Sarah Palin.

And it won’t just be a vote for her fiscal conservatism, executive experience, reformer’s track record, and family values, but to put the final nail in the coffin of the toxic feminism and abortion-on-demand fanaticism that has plagued our country for the last half century.

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