Westhampton College '09
One of my favorite sketches on "The Chappelle Show" stars the blind black man who is a leader in the white-power movement. Unaware of the color of his skin, he spouts off the racist rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan. The brilliant satire makes me laugh every time I watch it.
Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, reminds me of Chappelle's African-American KKK member. She seems unaware of her gender, regurgitating the misogynistic party line of the Republicans. However, this time, it's not satire, it's real life -- and this is a woman who has a chance at influencing major decisions and destroying all of the steps towards equality that have been made in the past 30 years.
One of her most blatant insults to women happened during her time as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska. Police Chief Charlie Fannon, hand-picked by then-Mayor Palin, had the Wasilla Police Office charge rape victims or their insurance companies for the cost of a rape kit. This $500 to $1,200 test is used to collect and process evidence from a rape or sexual assault, including DNA of the attacker.
The state government of Alaska had to pass a bill making it illegal to charge a victim for the costs of collecting evidence in a sexual assault case according to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla, Alaska). As then-Governor Tony Knowles put it, "We would never bill the victim of a burglary for fingerprinting and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence ... Nor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies."
Palin's choice of a man who would sacrifice the already-battered dignity of a rape victim to save "any more burden put on the taxpayer" shows that Palin cares little for hurting women.
Another major blow to women is Palin's stance on reproductive rights. She is virulently anti-abortion to the point that, hypothetically, if her daughter were raped, Palin would force her daughter to carry and give birth to the child of her attacker.
Of course, when 17-year-old daughter Bristol ends up pregnant with the child of her boyfriend Levi Johnston (whose MySpace profile, before it was removed from the Web site, listed his interests as "fishing, shooting some sh*t, and just f*ckin' chillin"), Palin has no issue framing her daughter's shotgun marriage to Levi as Bristol's "decision." It seems as though, if Palin is anti-choice, she might want to veer away from any words that suggest that her daughter had options when she became pregnant.
Palin claims to be pro-contraception, yet opposes comprehensive sexual education. How the governor expects women to learn about contraception is beyond me. Clearly, she doesn't expect parents to teach their children how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases and unexpected pregnancies -- she didn't feel the need to teach Bristol how to avoid becoming a teen mother.
Palin claims to be a member of Feminists for Life, but nothing that she has done has suggested that she is a feminist. She has consistently worked against women's rights to be treated as equals and against women's right to be in charge of their reproductive health. If only the choice of Sarah Palin was a sketch on Chappelle's Show -- then I could change the channel.
For sources, please contact me at email@example.com.
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