Left-wing feminists have a hard time dealing with strong, successful conservative women in politics such as Margaret Thatcher. Sarah Palin seems to have truly unhinged more than a few, eliciting a stream of vicious, often misogynist invective....I wouldn't have titled this piece "Why feminists hate Sarah Palin." Young never concedes that the feminism that liberals say is the only feminism is, in fact, the only feminism. Nor would I.
I disagree with Sarah Palin on a number of issues, including abortion rights. But when the feminist establishment treats not only pro-life feminism but small-government, individualist feminism as heresy, it writes off multitudes of women.
There was a time -- I was there -- back in the 80s and early 90s, when feminists would speak of "feminisms" and were always promoting some new version of feminism that, we'd argue, was better than the last. We were way out in front of the liberal feminists. So it seemed, and we duly disparaged them -- from the left.
Those were heady times. But in recent years, feminism has been dominated by Democratic Party devotees who act like they own feminism, as if theirs was the only feminism -- as if they could dictate that all women should vote Democratic.
Perversely, this conventional Democratic Party feminism took over after Bill Clinton made it rather obvious that within the Democratic Party, the party's interests would necessarily supervene women's interests. The feminism of the last dozen years has been a dull, uninspired argument for keeping Democratic politicians in power.
But feminism is something that transcends party politics. Women have interests that the parties should have to compete for. I want a vivid debate about what is good for women. Sarah Palin represents one argument, and her feminism will require Democrats to improve their argument and not take women for granted. Sarah Palin brings feminism to a lot of people who've been scorning feminism -- because feminism has seemed like a strand of Democratic party politics.
This is great for feminism.