Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Unexpected Possibility of Power

This twisting of feminist history and rhetoric to protect a champion of anti-feminist causes, traditionalism and sex-kitten objectification, is particularly unnerving for exactly the reasons that Palin's biggest supporters claim it is: for its elevation of antifeminist "real women" as icons of rebellion against a supposedly powerful and elite feminist status quo (however depressing it is to begin untangling that premise)....

That Esther's biblical fame is actually due to her subversion of that submissive role — using her beauty in order to save her people from genocide — seems fitting for the sort of adulation conservative Christians have for Palin in hailing her as the right woman for the times. They linger on her victimization at the hands of a cruel media — with Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America demanding that the media "Stop Bullying Sarah!" and offering Palin, post Charlie Gibson-interview, comforting words against Washington, D.C. "data robots" who know nothing of heartland values — while at the same time crowing about the hidden power that Palin will tap into. As Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition declares, trying his hand at coining demographic catch phrases, arguing that Palin has energized a groundswell of "Faith Moms."

..."Faith moms," "hockey moms" or "real women," the formula for the campaign is the same, yet another twist on the Esther story: the conservative argument that not only can traditional submissive wifehood hold unexpected possibilities of power, but a step further to the coercive promise that women's return to more traditional roles is the only avenue through which they will find power.
[via Religion Dispatches, HT: Benediction Blogs On]

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