Is Palin a Feminist Icon?
The questions raised from the sudden rise of Sarah Palin to political prominence has forced many, who consider themselves feminist, to re-examine the definition of feminist and construct some baseline idea of what constitutes carrying the moniker. This isn’t a new struggle, but it’s one that has primarily been confined to the halls of Women’s Studies departments and the pages of social journals for many years.
Enter Palin and all bets are off. Suddenly feminists are forced to question what it is that feminism stands for. If it is political power, then Palin is an icon standing toe to toe with Hillary Clinton. If it is promoting equity for women, then Palin fails the litmus test. Opinions vary.
Palin doesn’t hold the same ideologies that traditionally constitute feminism, but she has reignited the discussions, and that may very well designate her as a feminist icon- as some in academia are beginning to argue. Is feminism a paradigm that is confined to a set of ideologies? Is feminism a strategy of action? Or is feminism forging a new territory where, as third wavers have argued, feminism is simply about honoring every perspective that emerges from the experiences of women?
Regardless of what anyone says, it can be argued that Sarah Palin has pressed buttons- and ultimately, that may be the most feminist thing a woman can do. Is Sarah Palin a feminist icon? You decide.
Pearl Green on The Feminist Consciousness