In some ways, it’s a good thing that Sarah Palin calls herself a feminist. It means that, even among conservatives, women’s equality has become a normative position, the starting point for debate. It means that feminism has gone from something that the right wants to destroy to something it wants to appropriate. That’s progress, of a sort.
But reading Palin’s new book, America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag, it’s clear that in order to claim feminism as her own, she’s had to radically distort its history. In a chapter on feminism that’s sure to be widely discussed, she mischaracterizes the views of nearly every historical feminist she mentions.
Sometimes she does it to defame them, other times to make it seem as if they shared her ideology. As so often with Palin, it’s hard to tell whether ignorance or dishonesty is at work. Perhaps neither she nor her ghostwriter had time to read up on women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, presented here as a pious Christian conservative. But couldn’t one of them at least have perused her Wikipedia entry?
I am very heartened to see women standing up to Palin's bullying and defending the brave pioneers who struggled and sacrificed to help them achieve the level of autonomy that Sarah Palin takes for granted.
It is becoming very obvious that, rather then do the hard work of learning the history of this great nation, Sarah Palin and her ilk would rather to simply change the facts to match their belief system and hope that nobody will confront them as they rape the memories of our forefathers and foremothers.
We have recently heard this same sort of sneaky revisionism applied to the pilgrims who landed on Plymouth rock on the 1600's. In the conservative version of history the pilgrim's were NOT fleeing persecution, they were fleeing "socialism." Which, by the way, did not even exist yet.
Just listen to this amazing mutilation of the history that every American school child knows, delivered on the floor of Congress by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO
More from Raw Story:
Not only did socialism not exist in the early 1620's, communal production efforts were crucial to the survival of the first European settlers to arrive in America.
Akin's fiction also runs roughshod over a fact even school children know: that Pilgrims left Europe seeking freedom from religious persecution. Quite contrary to the Congressman's allegation, their migration had nothing to do with differences on economic policy.
By the way this is no accidental misunderstanding of the historic record, this is an organized effort to rewrite history by the Conservatives, as evidenced by John Stossel making the same claims on Fox News.
What is happening is that Sarah Palin and her ilk are vilifying the "Lamestream media" so that Americans will not trust them as they attempt to correct the lies and misstatements by the Grizzled Mama and the Republican party, which then allows them carte blanche to rewrite history to fit their unsophisticated view of what history SHOULD be teaching us.
And just to make sure that future generations will not be able to differentiate truth from fallacy, they have attacked the public school system in an attempt to marginalize it and keep it from educating our children well enough to defend themselves against these blatant lies and misrepresentations.
"Gee Mommy how do we know that Susan B. Anthony WASN'T a rabid anti-abortionist? Sarah Palin says she was, and our teachers are too afraid for their jobs to even talk about it?"
"Dad, are you sure the Pilgrims were not big business entrepreneurs? Fox News says they were, and my textbook only talks about growing corn and that the Indians were nice enough to hold our land for us, and then voluntarily go to live on reservations after we arrived, so that we could build the greatest country on earth."
Remember that the front line in this battle for America's future has being drawn in classrooms all over this nation, where the conservatives have wrestled for control over public school textbooks and the information made available to the defenseless minds of our innocent children.
Having spent her life attending school in the Mat-Su Valley, with additional influence coming from her church the Wasilla Assembly of God, Palin is both a product, and a a proponent, of this approach to the "education" our children.
Are we really prepared for a nation brimming over with Sarah Palins?