February 19th 2011

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Julia Gillard's fragile grip on power

EDITORIAL: Why utility prices are going through the roof

HOUSING: Australia has the least affordable housing

MIDDLE EAST I: Arab turmoil to change Middle East power balance

MIDDLE EAST II: Obama learns nothing from Bush's Middle East failures

UNITED STATES I: Obama's State of the Union address

UNITED STATES II: Tirade of calumny directed at Sarah Palin

UNITED STATES III: Ronald Reagan remembered

HIGHER EDUCATION: The rise of the entrepreneurial university

CLIMATE CHANGE: New research rebuts man-made global warming

EUTHANASIA: Ageism on the increase in Amsterdam

OPINION: Australia's identity with the Christian West

OPINION: Farmers' livelihoods under attack

WikiLeaks 1 (letter)

WikiLeaks 2 (letter)

La Niña, not CO2 (letter)

Government's insult to home mothers (letter)

Feminists on stamps (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: More British Christians converting to Islam / Commonwealth Chief Rabbi rejects multiculturalism / US teenage pregnancies / The Muslim Brotherhood

BOOK REVIEW: UNPLANNED, by Abby Johnson with Cindy Lambert

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Tirade of calumny directed at Sarah Palin

by Babette Francis

News Weekly, February 19, 2011
The visceral dislike displayed by US feminists towards Sarah Palin is an object lesson for Australian women when dealing with Emily's List, the pro-abortion feminist faction in the Labor Party.

When Palin was chosen by John McCain to be his vice-presidential candidate in 2008, feminists should have been ecstatic. She is a woman from the working-class, ambitious, successful and with an egalitarian marriage.

Instead, however, Palin turned out to be their worst nightmare. A former beauty queen, Palin has religious values, is pro-life and loves babies - she has five children. Her husband Todd is a gorgeous hunk, and she is wildly popular with the conservative Tea Party movement, which was so successful in the US 2010 mid-term elections.

Feminist Jessica Grose, writing on the Jezebel.com website after the September 2008 US Republican convention, said: "When Palin spoke on Wednesday night, my head almost exploded from the incandescent anger boiling in my skull. ... What I feel for her privately could be described as violent, nay, murderous, rage." .

Grose's blog supporters were also incandescent, including one who "wanted to vomit with rage". Some of the milder comments described Palin as a traitor to her sex or, as Judith Warner wrote in the New York Times, "an insult to women".

Actress Sandra Bernhard on YouTube called Palin a "Turncoat bitch - a whore in your cheap f****** cheap-ass plastic glasses and your hair up...". Wendy Doniger, academic at the University of Chicago divinity school, blogged in the Washington Post: "Palin's greatest hypocrisy is her pretence that she is a woman."

This is what passes for academic commentary in feminist circles.

Good old-fashioned jealousy may have something to do with feminist hostility to Palin; but the basic reason is that she has debunked the widespread myth that feminists alone represent the "women's" movement. As Suzanne Venker wrote in WorldNetDaily: "Feminism has never been about equal rights for women. It's about power for the female Left. That's what makes feminism the fraud of the century."

Australia's Emily's List promotes and funds only ALP feminists for election, not feminists in other parties.

Palin has inspired large numbers of women who do not subscribe to the feminist agenda which demands big government programs, i.e., affirmative action quotas for women in employment and promotion, taxpayer-funded institutionalised childcare, and abortion availability during all nine months of gestation. (This is also Emily's List shopping-list of non-negotiable demands).

One reason why feminists support big government programs is because many of them have rejected - or never had - supportive men (husbands) in their lives, so the government is their de facto spouse.

Palin stands for small government and argues that the real women's issue is the United States' fiscal future.

The former Governor of Alaska has provided a new model of a successful woman, one that does not reject maternity or domesticity. Indeed, it is a housewife's simple economic reasoning that one cannot spend one's way out of household debt that animates the Tea Party's rejection of President Obama's brand of economics.

The Palinites' enthusiastic embrace of maternalism drives feminists berserk. Dana Loesch, a home-schooling mother and columnist, co-founded the St Louis Tea Party. Another Tea Party favourite, Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann, re-elected in November, has fostered 23 children over the years. Palin calls female Tea Party congressional candidates "Mama Grizzlies".

In the 1970s, US Eagle Forum founder Phyllis Schlafly, mother of six, almost single-handedly stopped the passage of the radical feminist-initiated Equal Rights Amendment. Feminist reaction alternated between complaining "Why doesn't Fred Schlafly [Phyllis's husband] make her stay at home?" to theorising with Gloria Steinem that "Any group of people that has been subordinate absorbs the idea of their own subordination ... and comes to think that the only way to survive is to identify with the powerful", i.e., those of us who don't think we have to abort our babies to be successful have been brainwashed by the all-powerful "patriarchy".

Another ploy which also passed for debate in feminist circles was when a cream cake was thrown at Phyllis Schlafly as she walked to a podium. (Phyllis wiped the cream off her face and kept walking.)

However, the "feminist" who really takes the cake is President Obama.

In his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father, he wrote: "I'd pronounce the need for change. Change in the White House where [pro-life] Reagan and his minions were carrying on their dirty deeds."

But now when the US from coast to coast is celebrating the 100th anniversary of President Reagan's birth, with Sarah Palin giving the banquet keynote address at Reagan's ranch in California, Obama tries to wrap himself in the mantle of Reagan's popularity and writes admiringly: "Reagan recognised the American people's hunger for accountability and change....".

Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons), is national coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc.

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