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"Because you both have a vagina" is as bad a reason to support a candidate as "because you both have a penis". 2008

I am deeply disappointed to see people who claimed to be fighting for equality drawn to support McCain due to his choice of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate. If you want people to be judged and compensated on their merits rather than based on gender, then gender shouldn't be your first priority in choosing who to support.

- Sarah Palin is a member of an organization ("Feminists For Life") which opposes abortion and - a critically important detail - "abortifacient birth control", in other words the pill, IUD, and Plan B. Whether they are opposed to other methods is unclear, but probable considering their unwillingness to respond to questions on birth control other than to bring up ways in which different methods may cause health risks. (As if pregnancy didn't frequently have side effects far worse!)

She appears to be completely opposed to a woman's right to choose whether or not to become pregnant. Not being able to have control over your own body is definitely NOT a feminist political position.

- Despite the clear benefits to women (indeed, to everyone) of increasing education and scientific understanding, Sarah Palin is opposed to science education and is obstinately ignorant of the state of scientific knowledge. She has sued to try to stop the addition of animals which might interfere with oil drilling being added to the endangered species list in opposition to Alaska state biologists' recommendations and peer-reviewed scholarship showing numbers of polar bears are dropping. She supports the teaching of creationism in science classes (not in religious studies where it would belong if it belonged anywhere in a state-funded school), though it's possible that after some of her backpedaling it's more appropriate to say she isn't opposed to it. She is opposed to stem cell research. Most damning, she doesn't think human activity has led to global warming despite the opinion that it has held by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and by at least 30 scientific societies and academies of science, including all of the national academies of science of the major industrialized countries.

A person who's a creationist doesn't understand science and technology at all. A person whose understanding of environmental change is entirely shaped by ties to the oil industry is dangerously biased. The vice president of the United States needs to be held to a higher standard of understanding on science; it is too critical to our national health and competitive success.

So, should women who supported Hillary Clinton now support John McCain just because he's got a woman VP? No. It's ridiculous to think that Palin's gender should make her palatable to Clinton supporters.

No one skewered this point of view better than Jon Stewart and Samantha Bee on the Daily Show in the second half of this video:

Posted on September 1, 2008 at 12:23 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink

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