“The long shadow of Sarah Palin still hangs over vice presidential politics,” writes Jennifer Lawless, director of American University's Women and Politics Institute. While many critics argue that Palin’s legacy has seriously scarred the image of women in politics in America and imprison the image of the dominant Other, it is often forgotten that feminism as a historical and political movement does not only speak to middle class white women.
As Americans sit glued to their television screens wondering who Romney will pick as his running mate, it remains clear that a woman might never again fill that void. Whether or not Sarah Palin is to be blamed for this discrepancy, it appears that a dichotomy has been created that severely demarcate the dominant from the subordinate, destroying the concept of Otherness, and paving the way for an even more androcentric domain in American politics.
Although it is true that women were not counted as persons until 1929, it is my contention that reason is still being sought in the existing prejudices that define American politics and the shape of the American social order.
The sequence of blunders taken by Palin on the McCain ticket in 2008 should in no way intensify the path for an open war on women in American politics. Women can be adequate leaders and have proven both biblically and scientifically that they can be keepers of the fold. Moreover, the need to explain to the American public by certain sectors of the Romney camp on why or why not a woman should be picked as a vice presidential running mate glorifies sexism and swaps the realities of history replacing them with western thinking and constructs. The misogynous veil that shrouds intellectual thinking in western thought and images make it impossible for women to be informed and exercise their right of political supervision, thereby imprisoning their quest to seek political office and freedom of the press.
The advancement of women’s abilities for a better America and the world should not be highlighted in the blunders or activities of Sarah Palin on the political stage because feminism is not a singular word. Sarah Palin is not her sister’s keeper. She does not represent every woman in America. She is definitely not my sister.
It must also be noted that women make great personal sacrifices in their courageous struggle for the cause of advancing civilization and its needs. Branding all women as incompetent because of the deeds of Sarah Palin give women a very narrow range of political freedom to contest their choices.
Hark! Their cries for the implementation of political, social, legal and academic reforms echo in the void.
It cannot be doubted that the public sphere is dominated by men in American society but there comes a time when political parties and the mass media must stop the negative stereotyping of all women because of the action of one. The imminent search for women in leadership and development in America appears to be precisely one of those times.