Palin Torpedoes the Women's Movement

Sarah Palin’s resignation from the governship of Alaska midway through her term has tongues wagging about the real reasons behind it. Her rambling, contradictory and self-deluded 18 minute announcement did nothing to clarify the real reasons, but in it she clearly painted herself as a sainted victim of the MSM without acknowledging her own contribution to the adversarial relationship she created with them. It is worth noting that this is the same woman who told Hilary Clinton to ‘stop whining’ about unfair treatment in the media.

Palin’s enduring popularity is a testament to the fact that we have not progressed much with women’s rights.  It is obscene that after decades of fighting for legitimacy, success as a woman still boils down to sex appeal. Palin’s wink during the debates was an admission of defeat.  She was broadcasting to the world that skill, intellect, gravitas and just plain hard work simply do not work for women, but sexual playfulness and willingness to brand yourself a MILF (now a GILF) sure do. Now she has provided fodder for critics who contend that mothers simply can’t manage motherhood and responsible careers.

I agree with commentators who sincerely hope her resignation means Palin is going away. I don’t want to see her continue in the limelight even for entertainment value, though I suspect she will.  For professional women, Palin’s behavior is just one more obstacle we have to overcome on the way to being treated as full and equal contributors to society.

UPDATE: This is the best explanation I’ve seen for her resignation so far:

Perhaps she’s simply chosen this precious time to prepare for her inevitable 2012 presidential run by hunkering down and finally studying how to wink more effectively
(and not like an epileptic who was recently exposed to a strobe light)
.” Warren Holstein at the Huffington Post

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