Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Science Fiction Angle on Sarah Palin

By Nancy Jane Moore

At the now-obligatory panel on diversity issues in SF at ArmadilloCon a couple of weeks ago, Debbie Smith said, "I don't want people to buy my work just because I'm a woman." To which I responded from the audience, "I don't want people to not buy my work because I'm a woman, either."

Both Debbie and I are right, but it's Debbie's point of view that applies to the Sarah Palin nomination. Palin was chosen because she's a woman with extreme religious right viewpoints, not because she is qualified to be vice president.

So Republicans, who have screamed for years that affirmative action means unqualified women and minorities are hired over qualified white men, are going to choose an unqualified woman for their ticket. It's either a deeply cynical action, or an effort to show the supposed errors of affirmative action.

I'll go with cynicism.


Gregory Frost... said...

Likewise. Let's remove the matter of what sex/what race the candidate is from the table. It should be utter irrelevant. What do we have then? A candidate that has repeatedly used personal power against anyone against whom she has an issue: as mayor against those who supported a different candidate; as governor in a family squabble against a brother-in-law. He's still got his job, but his superior was fired by her for not firing the brother-in-law. Palin has been caught lying, changing her story, and lying again. This certainly makes her a perfect candidate for the Bushit Administration, but a horror of a candidate for any rational, sane voter.

Cat Rambo said...

Once I got past my initial disappointment that, despite my first impression, McCain had not picked Micheal Palin of Monty Python fame, I was...appalled by the cynicism of McCain's pick. GAH.

ellen-datlow said...

Not to mention that she doesn't know that the founding fathers did not write the Pledge of allegiance and that the phrase "under God" was only relatively recently added...

Plus someone running on "family values" and who preaches abstinence has a 17 year old unmarried pregnant daughter--I don't care about the morality of the daughter but the hypocrisy of the mother and the whole Republican party -not that we've needed more proof.

Eileen Gunn said...

Nicely put, Nancy.

In that sense, the Republicans are supporting affirmative action as they understand it: favoring an unqualified woman over better qualified white men. So they're not going to understand why feminists don't line up behind them on this. "What do women want, anyway?" they'll ask in confusion.

This really helps make sense of the Harriet Meyer nomination, and of Clarence Thomas's as well. It's not that they are making a mockery affirmative action: they simply have a different idea of what it means. From their point of view, they have gone to great pains to find unqualified candidates, and yet they have been reviled for it.

Eileen Gunn said...

I was very interested in what Palin said in announcing that her daughter was pregnant: "We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby[...]"

Her daughter gets to decide, but Palin would mandate that everyone else be required to bring their pregnancies to term?

Nancy Jane Moore said...

BTW, in a post on In This Moment, where I occasionally vent my political opinions, I found a disturbing parallel between Palin and Mrs. Pritchard, the inexperienced populist prime minister in "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard." Disturbing because in watching the show sporadically, I have found myself rooting for Mrs. Pritchard (which is, of course, the point of the show). Of course, Palin isn't actually that naive, though she is really that inexperienced.