Sarah Palin goes to Seneca Falls

senecafalls060509cvia Feminist Law Professors, who calls the visit “cringeworthy.”  I’m not so sure — let’s keep in mind that these sound bites are often taken out of context. Also, let’s face it, a lot of so-called progressive columnists like to make Palin look like a stupid hillbilly. [who the hell cares about her pedicure — how about discussing the substance of her visit? To paraphrase Melissa McEwan, if you take misogynist pot-shots at conservative women, you’re a fauxgressive, not a progressive]

I’d agree that mentioning Susan B. Anthony opposed abortion is annoying, but it’s also true.  Palin just neglects to mention the context — at the time, abortion was a dangerous procedure. Anthony also believed that the sexual double standard caused women to have abortions.  (“When a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is a sign that, by education or circumstances, she has been greatly wronged.” 1869)

Palin’s remark that “I think the more things change, the more they stay the same in some arenas,” is dead on IMHO.  At least she’s trying to appreciate early feminists and the ways they paved the way for her and other female leaders.  Here’s a slideshow of the visit from the Syracuse, NY local news.

Folks, we can’t always preach to the choir.  If Palin’s visit to Seneca Falls can convert other conservative women to the cause of feminism, then this is a good thing.

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3 Comments

  1. Even Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly (hardly from the conservative wing of the movement) had long essays against abortion, because it was so dangerous, even fatal, for so many women in the 1870s. There’s one particularly ghoulish piece where the wraiths of child victims (of abortion, but also infanticide, abuse and neglect) speak for the reforms that would have prevented their deaths. If anyone’s curious, it’s called “The Ghosts of Washington Square” and appeared in the 4 June 1870 issue, under the byline S. F. Norton.

  2. Great points, KC. I saw this over at Feminist Law Profs too, and after reading the linked story, I couldn’t see too much that was “cringeworthy.” So–we want Palin to ignore women’s history instead of visiting Seneca Falls and learning a bit? I bet the people of Seneca Falls were thrilled to host her–although they probably wished she had brought a larger entourage with her. I visited there in 2000, and it was a nice little town that had fixed itself up for public history as a way of coping with the post-industrial era, but it needed more traffic and attention.

    I can’t see anything bad about any politician visiting Seneca Falls. Do you think Mitt Romney will make the same trip? Ha!

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