Amid Palin hype, a pro-life feminist's dilemma
Both the Republican and Democratic parties force me to betray my core values.
I am still not sure about Republican motives behind the choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate. As I try to sort out the truth and fiction behind the barrage of attacks against Governor Palin (and my confidence in her ability to lead our country), one thing is certain: The 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling made for women during this campaign have not been made for me.Skip to next paragraph
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As a social worker who believes that life begins at conception, I am both pro-life and pro-woman. Both parties' platforms force me to betray my core values and choose between the two.
The White House Project, a nonprofit organization, states that support from other women is critical to increasing the number of women in politics. But, in general, feminists have led the attacks on one of their own who is close to shattering the ceiling. To them, Palin's pro-life position alone is proof that she is not fit to lead.
The sabotage of pro-life female leadership by other women is a bipartisan effort. Political action committees – Emily's List for Democrats, and WISH for Republicans – have been established on both sides to advance the careers of female political candidates. Each give money and deliver a bloc of voters to all women interested in running for public office, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion. Only one issue determines whether a woman is worthy of their resources: abortion. The candidate must be pro-choice.
Pro-life feminism is not a contradiction. Conveniently under our progressive radar is the hushed fact that the feminist movement is rooted in pro-life activism. Founders such as Victoria Woodhull, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were active crusaders both for the progress of women, and for the unborn child. Stanton was the organizer of the nation's first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. In 1873, she wrote: "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit," (Julia Howe's Diary, Harvard University Library).
Pro-life feminists of our time include Maya Angelou, the late Benazir Bhutto, and women who have made a powerful social statement by changing their position, including Roe v. Wade's "Jane Roe," Norma McCorvey.