Friday, June 18, 2010

A New Feminist’s Guide to The Movement: The Sarah Palin Welcome Wagon

If you haven’t heard, Sarah Palin is a feminist now! Which I’ve decided to view in the best possible light and write her an open letter (because she’s getting ripped to shreds everywhere else), effectively Quantum Leaping us to a timeline where she isn’t just an absolute monster!

GAWWWWWD, I hope the next leap is the leap home.

Sarah Palin,

Sarah Palin, I love to hate you. I haven’t loved to hate anyone this much since George W. Bush. And like Bush, you become more and more of a cartoon character each day. Sarah, if you had won the election I would be living in Canada right now. I would have moved to Canada, gotten married to an architect and raised Labradoodles, I really would have.

It isn’t just that every time I hear you speak, you seem uneducated. Because you are not a dumb person. You are shrewd. Just like Lady Gaga. Both of you ladies have this ability to crawl your way to the top, elbowing everyone else out of the way with your tenacity… it is breathtaking. Everything you do seems wacky and calculated.

Sarah, we need to talk about feminism. We need to have a conversation about feminism. A long one. Because feminist isn’t a word that anyone takes lightly. Especially now, when it seems a little heroic to call yourself a feminist. Conservatives and douchebags with too many hypotheticals and too much aftershave and personal space issues have dragged that word through the mud. I know a lot of women who won’t call themselves feminists — even though they believe in total and complete equality for women.

Being a feminist is about fighting complacency within yourself and others. It is waking up every morning and knowing that something you do will be shitty and full of privilege. For guys, it is about repeating “If it’s not about you, don’t make it about you” a million times until you understand that it isn’t. That is the process that we all go through to be allies to one another.

This is a journey of personal growth. And frankly, I didn’t think you were interested in personal growth. Women like you have your career, your money, and fuck the rest of the world. You ignore facts, evidence, and logic if they don’t gibe with your delusional, right-wing talking point – you lie and lie and lie (SARAH, remember that time, you like, got found guilty of ethics violations and then came out and JUST PRETENDED YOU HAD WON?) and no one cares. Some people love you – my mother bought your book. She rambles on about you not aborting your baby, and I’m all “Aren’t you pro-choice?” because she was a 911 dispatcher for a million years and knows how important safe, clean access to abortions is to desperate young women and my mother says something about her feelings changing since my brother had his new kid and just walks away. [I'm on to you, mother.]

Sarah, ideas as important as feminism don’t have gatekeepers. There is no licenses given out [Tiny Tape Recorder Notes #478: Suggest selling feminism licenses to make money at next staff meeting... as a joke.] to be a feminist. You just wake up one day and say “Hey! The world is a shitty place. I am making it shittier with my ignorance. I should educate myself. Now I will use what I’ve learned to make things happen.” DONE. You are now a feminist.

Here are a few things YOU could do, right now, to be a better feminist:

1. Stop protecting corporations from justice. Survivors like Jamie Leigh Jones need your support more than KBR does. Women in the armed forces are being sexually assaulted AND NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT. No one is talking about the smug sense of entitlement the military has about silencing survivors of sexual assault. The rape culture is bigger and more tentacled than you can imagine – rape culture is all around us. You could be helping.

2. Women living in the midst of a rape culture are intentionally restricted from family planning options. Abstinence-based sex education takes all of the power from young women, and places it in the hands of young men. Young men are socialized to be aggressive and take what they want, and young women are socialized to be demure and passive and that is how a girl ends up pregnant without knowing that sex leads to pregnancy. These girls deserve a choice. They deserve to choose when they will have a child and they don’t need a FUCKING VAGINAL ULTRASOUND AND A LECTURE, they need someone to hold their hand and comfort them. Abortions should be clean, free, and legal. Forever.

3. Quit making fun of Barack Obama. He is doing a very difficult job, he is doing it with aplomb, and you are not helping. When you ridicule Obama, your followers take that as a thumbs up for some nasty, old school racism. There are some ugly pockets of the country, Sarah, and these people worship you. They sit with their NASCAR Big Gulps in front of their high-definition televisions, and they nearly wee themselves when they see your face! They love everything you love and hate everything you hate! Including any and all minorities.

4. Universal health care, Sarah. We need it. We need it for disabled women who can’t work, we need it for better and more comprehensive sex education, we need it to lower the infant mortality rate. Health care is only expensive because people will pay more to keep their loved ones alive. That is it. End of story. Health care is shitty because of greed.

5. Support full civil rights for gays. Stop calling people “San Francisco liberals”, with that homophobic twinkle in your eye. It is a huge fucking city. A few blocks of it are gay. The world is not ending, your face is not sliding off, chill the fuck out with the homophobia. And please don’t say you have gay friends. In fact, please stop making claims if you aren’t prepared for follow-up questions. (What magazines do you read? ALL OF THEM? Bullshit. You struggle through Highlights, maybe.)

Those are just a few helpful hints. Again, welcome to feminism. Enjoy this journey of emotional and intellectual growth.

Yours always,
Garland Grey

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