November 19, 2008

Sarah Palin is a Feminist

I know. It's a horrifying thought, isn't it.

The Maid of Wasilla, with her visions of plowing through White House doors at the behest of God, would do well to heed the fate of Joan of Arc, whose unwavering religious fervor won her the favor of the illiterate hayseed/redneck French countryside, yet cost her something far, far greater.

As predicted in "Sarah Palin, Superstar", the very people who ushered her in with palm leaves in September are now grumbling about her in November.

If the Bible is to be believed, and I don't think it is, we have seen this tale, before.

Just in time for the appreciation post lauding Palin's ability to mess with conservative christian men and their massive gender hangups, some christowank at Crosswalk is currently grappling with his hypocritical Christian innards:

It is in this spirit of honest, forthright engagement with God and his word that I'd like to ask a question that couldn't help but come to me as I was reading the Bible this morning. I was in 1 Timothy 2, when I read this: "I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes .... A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."

Now how in this world could I read that and not think of Sarah Palin? I didn't want to think of Sarah Palin. I didn't want to think of anything besides the glory of God's word. I hardly waded into my Bible this morning looking for trouble. But (alas) there it was.

So I'm honestly and truly asking, simply because I don't understand and want to: How do Christians who embraced and supported Sarah Palin in particular for her adherence to "traditional" Biblical values reconcile how utterly she violated Paul's injunctions to women to not wear expensive clothes, to stay quiet, to remain submissive, and to have no authority over men? If vigorously campaigning for Vice President of the United States (while, as we all know, wearing expensive clothes) isn't in direct, overt, purposeful, and sustained opposition to all four of those things, then ... then King Kong was a leprechaun. I would think evangelicals and Biblical fundamentalists would reject Ms. Palin for ... well, for one, so ambitiously seeking authority over men.

What do I say to non-Christians when they assert that Christians are being blatantly hypocritical and even opportunistically bigoted when they use Paul's words as justification for the condemnation of homosexuality, and at the same time ignore Paul's very explicit words when doing so suits their own personal desires and ambitions? How do we use Paul to argue for California's Proposition 8, but not use Paul to argue against Sarah Palin?
Poor thing. So confused. All it takes is a wink and a skirt. That's all it EVER takes with these males. Sorry fella, you've been punked by Sarah Palin; butch up and deal with it.

Meanwhile, the Iowa Independent further charts the Christian right's hypocrisy on the issue of a woman drawing attention herself and above all, holding authority over males, noting as John Shore did above, their utter failure to reconcile what the Bible states about women with what it allegedly proclaims about The Gays.

The charitable Christian will leave aside the implications of this injunction for Palin’s notorious $150,000 clothes shopping spree, and ask how biblical fundamentalists can accept Timothy’s teachings and still celebrate a female politician skilled in forthright rhetoric.

Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:8-15

The answer is: Not very easily.

For those who believe that there is an all-encompassing plan by God as delivered in the Scripture, the complementarian view is fundamental. The belief in specific gender roles with men being in leadership positions over women cannot be separated from the order that the Bible says God created:

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” ~ I Corinthians 11:3

These two findings help make up one reason I can say I appreciate Sarah Palin, not for being a "feminist" as defined by conventional 2nd wave pro-choice pro-equality activists, but for sticking it to her own conservative valiant male warriors, making them whimper and cry, and even go back to their Bibles to read what it actually says and think about it, as opposed to accepting what they have been told about the Bible and gender roles.

Yes, I appreciate that, very much. Thank you, Brown Eyes. In fact, these guys ought to be grateful she made their party lose, because if the McCain/Palin ticket had won, all you antiabortion control freaks trying to use Sarah Palin as a stick to beat the feminists would indeed find themselves with "a woman" "one heartbeat away" from being Commander in Chief, above countless males not only in the military but in the cabinet.

Oh, the travesty.

I always thought her "equality" and "progress" rhetoric would get her in trouble with the christofreaks from which she draws her support. I didn't expect them to jump ship before the elections, keeping themselves up for grabs. But I also didn't expect them to start throwing her under the theological bus so soon, not even a month after the election.

I guess it's a mark of the sore, male conservative loser: as with the cases of Eve, Lilith and Pandora, we can set our watch to the moment they blame the woman for their own strategic and tactical failures.

Too bad Sarah Palin seems so immersed in this world of scapegoating the always-already scapegoated, she can't quite see just how deeply scapegoated she is going to become amongst these people. Like Eve and Pandora who came before her, she may never be able to see it.

But those of us who can't stop watching, can. And after all the rightwing males suddenly discovering "sexism" because of her, after all the staunch ideological feminists trying to protect her from the same, it will be those of us who can see her for what she is -- the femme top Lilith/Pandora figure that just might have the ability to lift "feminism" to a height previously unknown and unfulfilled by the Steinems, the Lordes, the Paglias.

Welcome to Second Wave, 2.0, folks. A leftist didn't bring it on, a rightwing extremist did.

We're going to have to learn to reconcile it, because this is what history is going to recount.