FRONTIER FEMINISM

I've posted some harsh things here about Sarah Palin, but much as I fear — and think everyone should fear — what she might do if she ever got control of America's nuclear arsenal, I must confess that there's a part of me that loves her.  Camille Paglia (pictured above), in the extraordinary article from Salon below, made me realize why I love her:

New Blood For the Vampire

You won't read anything like this article anywhere else in the national media — it's an exhilarating exercise in free thought, a celebration of Sarah Palin by a liberal, atheist, dissident-feminist lesbian who hates John McCain, supports Barack Obama and is a passionate advocate of choice on the abortion issue.

Paglia is dead wrong about many things but she's right about what Palin represents, at least in part — America's frontier past, its real frontier past, in which women hauled their fair share of the freight, and then some.

I especially commend this article to my fellow progressives, who need to understand its profound insights if they're ever going to have a chance of electing politicians who represent their views . . . something I fear is not going to happen this time around.

Sarah Palin may not be a good woman, or an honorable woman — she may even be a very bad and a very dangerous woman . . . but she's the kind of woman who got the crops in before the hailstorm hit while her husband was passed out drunk in the barn, the kind of woman who saved America's sorry ass more times than America cares to remember.  As Paglia argues, she represents a kind of frontier feminism that was getting its hands dirty with the hard work of the nation before feminism was an ideology you could subscribe to — when it was something you had to live.

Credit where credit is due, folks.  This is powerful stuff.  There are, I suspect, millions of women who would be willing to endure four more years of economic catastrophe and international disgrace, indeed to sacrifice this nation's welfare for many decades to come, just to see that kind of feminism honored and respected.  The impulse might be, in the larger context of things, irrational, self-destructive, borderline insane, but it's there and it's not going away.  The chickens are coming home to roost.

6 thoughts on “FRONTIER FEMINISM

  1. Meant to post this sooner…, but Lloydville, you couldn't be more mistaken.
    Sarah Palin is just another political hack *posing* as “a woman who got the crops in before the hailstorm hit.” With her $30K tanning bed, designer frames and flight among lightweight colleges, she's no more a “frontier feminist” than George W. Bush is a “rancher.”
    And while her heavily-scripted convention schtick was fodder for a few news cycles, such smoke-and-mirrors can distract only temporarily from her true character: Troopergate, charging victims for rape kits, ignorant on the issues, lies about visiting Iraq, the Bridge to Nowhere, etc.
    The reason progressives –especially women– are appalled by Palin goes beyond her extremist worldview: by selecting her, McCain has said unequivocably that *he thinks women voters are stupid.*
    Stupid & shallow enough to vote for *him* despite picking a clearly unqualified running-mate –whom he met just once, who opposes *their* core beliefs and who would legislate against their own self-interest– *simply because she is a woman with an intriguing story.*
    (For all Paglia's cleverness, she abandoned honest dissent years ago for the Warholian pursuit of fame; you get much more airtime as a liberal-feminist criticizing liberal feminists than just another liberal feminist criticizing orthodox conservatives)
    The fact that Palin's unmarried daughter got pregnant personifies the fallacy of right-wing values: the Right claims, after all, that liberalism, empiricism, and sex education are to blame for teens having premarital sex…
    Palin's Favorability Ratings Tumble 21 Ponits:
    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2008/09/19/palins_favorability_ratings_tumble.html

  2. I'm no fan of Palin — see my other posts about her — but I think Paglia put her finger on the positive side of what her image represents. If Democrats remain tone-deaf to such subliminal messages, they will keep on losing and remain clueless about why.

  3. I realize you're not lauding Palin or her politics. My point is that the “positive side of what her image represents” is, in her case, a complete fabrication of political image-makers. And the fabrication has been rather quickly exposed…
    Palin installed a $30,000 tanning bed in her governor's mansion, championed some of the worst Big Government pork in US history (the Bridge to Nowhere), got the first passport of her life a year ago, charged rape victims for evidence kits while mayor, and is still too much of a lightweight to be put in a room full of reporters… hardly the stuff of frontier mythology!
    Sure, Paglia is quick to churn out her “lessons for liberals” whenever a media bandwagon passes by; that is her schtick. But it's now pretty clear from the polls that the Palin joke is officially over. She's been busted for lies and her 4-week avoidance of the press makes her look like a frightened child.
    American women are truly insulted that McCain would think they'd vote for him just because Palin's a woman.

  4. I agree that Palin's political persona is largely manufactured, but she does know how to handle firearms, fish, hunt and field-dress a moose. That speaks to something deep in the American psyche — like Reagan's ability to sit a horse extremely well. None of these things qualifies a person to be President or Vice-President — but they're not nothing, either, and they matter to a lot of people. If Obama could sit a horse well he'd be leading in the polls by 20 points. It would have been worth taking lessons.
    I'm not talking here about how Americans SHOULD pick a President, I'm talking about how they DO — which is something Democrats should pay more attention to.

  5. Greetings, Muguza. Hope life sees you well.
    It's astonishing, really.
    Of course, what is meant here is that Palin is the wrong KIND of women, with the wrong kind of ideology. One supposes that not only does she think that women might need bicycles as much as fish do, or that one can “mate in captivity” (also as Gloria put it), but she seemingly clings to God n' Guns. Also obnoxious to the milkwater socialist visions of Obama.
    Not only are all the lies handily shot down in flames by various sites like FactCheck.org and Snopes regarding these little ditties like Troopergate and all the other hilarious hoopla well known–they just get better with the telling. And of course the context is missing, as always.
    The lovable bear of a man trooper tasered his own step son. (I'd fire his sorry ass too..), she has never charged victims for rape kits, and she shot down the BTNW, which is more than many current pols can claim as even to this moment are bailing out an EZ credit scam primarily caused by their progressive pieties.
    I'll leave the feminist-non-feminist dichotomy/bash fest to others.
    Suffice it to say it looks too much like the nutcase/brainsurgeon spooge combo of Naomi Wolf mixed with Lindsey Lohan's new lesbian training wheels and the hyperbole of Eve Ensler's frets over polar bear skins drying out in Anchorage. As for lack of real world foreign policy experience, its funny this issues comes up for her but not for Barry, or Barack, or whatever street cred name this Chicago ACORN hustler is getting a pass on. And what a scammy oaktree it is now, branching out its Fannie Mae-like tendrils to create voter fraud in Ohio and Nevada. Not to mention, since we are on the Experience and philosophy train here, his chumminess with firewalkers and marxian bomb makers like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorn, and that ratbag pastor in whose pew he sat like a frog for over 1000 Sundays.
    As Mark Steyn has indicated, ever the pulse on culture, the REAL reason women such as Sarah Palin are hated is that she exudes a cultural confidence the Left long ago gave up on. A self-reliance, or at least sense of, where family and not government is primal. A world in which the primary responsibilities of life are not hijacked or outsourced to government's alphabet soup of agencies. To liberals, that is a cardinal sin, and not only obnoxious, but dangerous to utopian dreams of European false bliss of sleeping in late, 28 hour workweeks, and other killers of nations—now that Europe is about to become Eurabia. America stubbornly refusese to not go quietly into the night, and maintains or defaults to liberty.
    Hmmm. Well, label as false Palin if you like. But there's more feminism to many women in killing and gutting a moose than in sipping coffee in some grimy hippy den blogging all day.
    Oh yeah. And she works for a living too.
    As to this vitriole about the daughter. I doubt the ratio of pregnancies and other happenstances of life is greater among the Righties. What MIGHT be the case, pace Gloria Steinem and the culture of death, is that these little buns in the ovens don't get virtually auto-sucked down some sink at the local……”clinic”…..
    The Right does not claim that empiricism, liberalism, and sex education cause preganancy any more than the rooster makes the sun come up. However, these notions and actions are either null and voicd in their affirmation about values if something DOES happen (abortion) or create an atmosphere where sexuality is a primal urge not to worry about, OR it has no connection to traditional issues like marraige or other socially engineered confines that all cultures in history have embraced one way or another. Or, it treats sex as just another body contact sport with no special attachment to emotion, like football. And so you just get the right gear slapped on.
    I tire of people who've never heard that magical word called “context”, or never seem eager to explore its application.

  6. American women are truly insulted that McCain would think they'd vote for him just because Palin's a woman.
    _______________________________
    Woman-Shwoman, Munguza.
    Not sure about Paglia. As you know, I don't exactly bicycle in those circles. And not sure of the passport charge being evidence of one thing or another. Some Brit writer pulled that schtick a while back not thinking that for most Americans in a nation this large there is neither the will, the desire, nor the need to travel abroad. I've done so, but its only increased my native xenophobia, as I realize what a deal we have here. Not all see that way and prefer the lands of 2304 cheeses and wine snots and grinding poverty cossetted by the government. I prefer the life of a free man. This is the testimony of many of my peers who've traveled even more extensivily to all these lovely people's republics and other human pig styes. So be it.
    But now as far as McCain? Well, its true without being cynical that he's for all practical purposes a Democrat with an R behind his name. But the pick was not so much the female issue or this “hold” on the female electorate once Hillary got drummed out after receiving a plurality of votes in the primaries. But instead the fact that Palin was used to shore up conservative votes. Which in all honesty for them is the matter of getting plastered on Jagermeister and Jack Daniels late on Nov 3 to pull the level for the guy who (unlike the Messiah) DOES have foreign policy insights, even if he can't stanch the bleeding regarding health and housing and other DSS benefits going to 20 million migrants. Often also called, falsely, immigrants. Sometimes often called by the more honest ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. But that's another issue…..

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