On Saturday, October 4 there was an interesting constellation of Southern California NOW chapter Presidents. For weeks I had planned on being at the Palin Protest at Segerstom Hall. It was a very high end fundraiser with the attendees arriving in limos, dressed in business clothes, walking in to hear a woman speak whom they would never know personally, professionally or in school. I am not sure how much it cost, but the law does have a ceiling ~ is it $2,300?
I arrived early and was really dazzled with the diversity of people there. I met one woman who had been aware of Governor Palin for a while now, as she is a wolf advocate. Animal protectors have known that Sarah Palin has zero concern for animals; polar bears to wolves. Code Pink was there. There were all kinds of Democratic clubs, student groups, progressives in general.
I was in the same spot for a while and overheard a man’s conversation with his two grade school age daughters. One of the girls asked why they were there. Her dad explained that he wanted them to see what democracy looks like, people protesting and know that it is our right. I was so moved I broke the polite silence between strangers and thanked him.
To my delight I saw the President of OC NOW and the President of Long Beach NOW. So all tolled there were three of us at the Palin Protest; as I am the President of Pacific Shore NOW. And it was only right to be there with so much to protest. Sarah Palin may be the beneficiary of Title IX and the First & Second Wave of Feminism but she is not an advocate of the very women and organizations that won her rights.
The list is really long which is a testament to how consistent Governor Palin is. She is pro-life in all cases except, of course, capital punishment and war. She is a hunter, though not for dinner just the sport of shooting wolves from helicopters. She is a fundamentalist, evangelical who was exorcised of demons and witches just recently by a traveling pastor. She supports McCain’s votes against pay equity, limiting veteran’s benefits and support of the surge.
Can I tell you how happy I am when I see a “NOW Round” in the crowd? It makes me think of the women and man who founded this fantastic organization in 1966. I am proud to say that I actually know some of the people who were in the original 26 people. If you can go to a women’s clinic, take a women’s studies class, get a scholarship in a girls’ sports, you owe it to these women and men who have worked for 42 years.
I happen to know that another CA NOW chapter president was at a Hillary Clinton event at this very same time. It was quite an afternoon for Southern California and women’s rights. I came home so happy, convinced of a Democratic White House, Democratic Congress and seats guaranteed on the Supreme Court being composed of people who will vote safely for women.
Then the terrible news came over my mobile phone, my texting, my email, my land phone, on the TV and on the radio ~ another CA NOW chapter president was at another event at the very same time, introducing Sarah Palin. Since that revelation I have been drowning in a river of angry betrayed women, shrieking emails, confused family & friends, media inquiries, chapters utterly baffled, members asking how could this be. I have to say, “I DON’T KNOW.”
Obviously, the president of LA NOW, Shelly Mandell did not talk to me about it. No one I know has talked with her about it. I have written several women whom I thought would know and they don’t know either. I can tell you this; The NOW PAC has endorsed the Obama/Biden ticket. I can also tell you that the bylaws of NOW do not permit members to publicly take opposing positions. For example, my chapter cannot endorse the Green Party, since it is a national election and only the National PAC can endorse on national issues. My local chapter would only be able to have a local PAC and endorse local candidates in local elections.
I do know hundreds of people want answers, want to he heard, want the National PAC to make their position known about a local chapter taking a position contrary to theirs. The president of CA NOW has posted a statement on the CA NOW website and they have closed their comments. To me this is not consistent with feminist principles ~ I am really attached to freedom of speech. I wonder if Palin would think it is ok?
But for the record, Shelly Mandell does not speak for me. Feminists are people who believe and act as if women and men are equal under the law. Sarah Palin is not a feminist or a friend of women, children, men and animals. People who believe that Sarah Palin is good for women are deeply confused.