Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Who Should Pay For Rape Kits? More On Palin and Feminism.

In the year 2000 a little town in Alaska called Wasilla charged the rape victims for the cost of the kits used in collecting evidence so that the taxpayers wouldn't have to ante up. Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002.

Does this matter? Was it Palin's responsibility to know about the (to me atrocious) practice of charging rape victims for the forensic work? But this is the sort of news snippet that the conservatives use all the time: picking up news snippets and forming them into albatrosses to drape over Democrats in politics.

More importantly, this item also tells me that Palin isn't keeping an eye out for other women and most likely would not support feminist policies in general. Well, I know the latter from just reading about her ideas in general.

Are there any feminist benefits from having Palin as the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate? Perhaps. Even Margaret Thatcher brought some such benefits with her reign, because people got used to the idea of a woman in power and that may have changed some prejudices. At the same time, a different woman might not have stated that she owes nothing to feminists (when she owed the very right to run for office to them not to mention the right to vote herself) and a different woman would not have created a cabinet in which she was the only female member. A different woman might have changed the society for the better in more obvious ways, too.

But having more woman-friendly policies is not a benefit I expect from Palin in the White House or near it, rather the reverse. She would not revoke the Global Gag Rule. She would not fight for reproductive choice. She would not keep the Supreme Court from becoming a permanent extreme right wing of the Republican Party, with all that means to the rights of women and people in general.