Sarah Palin, Fake Feminist?

Sarah Palin has professed to being many things, but until recently, a feminist was not one of them. Suddenly, though, that’s changed, Feministing.com founder Jessica Valenti points out in a Washington Post op-ed. Valenti’s best guess at why? To drum up support among conservative women. In a speech before the antiabortion Susan B. Anthony List in May, Palin dropped the words "feminism" and "feminist" at least a dozen times. According to Valenti, "Palin's 'feminism' isn't just co-opting the language of the feminist movement, it's deliberately misrepresenting real feminism to distract from the fact that she supports policies that limit women's rights." She’s able to be taken seriously by harking back to a more convenient definition of feminism, Valenti writes, one that fits with her pro-life mentality: She relates feminism to the suffragists of a century ago. Valenti calls Palin on the fact that the feminism of the last 40 years—the "radical" feminism that alienates and disturbs Palin—is the very movement that paved the way for Palin to take the top seat in Alaska's state government.