Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Don't Want to be Under Palin's Umbrella Ella Eh..

After a heated Sarah Palin discussion last week, I knew I wanted to address the topic in a blog but was unsure how to approach the issue. My feminist theology class covered several more specific points concerning Sarah Palin, which I found interesting in comparison to our classes. Feminist theology reconsiders the traditions, theologies, and practices of religion from a more focused female perspective. Power as we have learned this semester can be applied and used to measure issues of control and behavior but defining power is difficult just as defining politics is. Sarah Palin falls into both these categories and the juxtaposition of the two class discussions proved extremely informative. 

The theology class covered readings from Dawne Moon's God, Sex, and Politics which led to a discussion on politics being negotiated in terms of power, privilege and hierarchy. Politics often denaturalizes, way of exposing how power functions in our lives, and I believe Sarah Palin has fallen victim to this in several areas. The media is prevalent beyond imagination in the current campaign and has made issue of several things I believe to be non issues. For example, the pregnancy of Sarah Palin's seventeen year old daughter has now graced the cover of US Weekly and several other 'gossip' magazines. Bristol Palin's pregnancy should not have received the coverage it did but I believe it has given a better understanding of Sarah Palin. 

The family hierarchy works off of a structure that is obviously being implemented by Palin in which abstinence on the education of pregnancy may have affected Bristol's situation. Would she be pregnant if she had been properly informed? Did she know how to use protection? Is she being drawn into the institution of marriage simply because of her pregnancy? In our philosophy discussion Palin seemed to be holding an 'umbrella' over all religious truths versus the scientific truths. I believe this issue belongs in a home and not political sphere. 



Allison Fish said...

I do agree that the issues surrounding Palin under media scrutiny have been widespread and maybe irrelevant, but I think Americans have a sympathetic view towards her when they shouldn't. She acts as if she was thrown into this election, but she said herself in an interview with Charles Gibson that she made her decision "without blinking". In an election where women as a whole have made an insane amount of impact and progress, she's seriously threatening it. As far as her pregnant teenage daughter goes, we can't pin her as the underlying cause, but it certainly is ironic how her family issues line up with her policy proposals. She's breeding exactly what she is saying she wants to prevent. How much sense does that make? Obviously her policies aren't very pragmatic if they won't even work in her own family. As little as Bristol Palin's pregnancy should or should not be in the media doesn't matter, because it has been and will continue to be brought up. The way Palin reacts to it, however, will show another side of her character. If she can ever "man-up" and defend her family rather than refusing interviews, maybe she can gain some respect. However, I refuse to listen to any pity-evoking speeches from her regarding sexism when she criticized Hillary Clinton for not being strong enough just months ago.

Courtney Martin said...

Although I don't feel that family issues should be brought into the political realm, this has definitely been a reoccurring theme of this election. How is it affecting the public though? Are people really giving out pity towards Palin? Palin has been very quiet about her daughters pregnancy, but she is a mother. She is looking out for her daughters best interest. Put yourself in their family's situation. I know that a mother would not want to publicly scrutinize their daughter, whose actions contrast her own perspective. Having a first hand experience on the issue, I feel makes Palin even more creditable on her own views. On this issue and many others that keep coming up, I think it is important to keep one's political opinion in tact and not let outside influences sway your judgement.