Geraldine Ferraro, thank you, and a reminder of the vicious sexism you faced

by CynthiaYockey on March 26, 2011

Geraldine Ferraro died today of blood cancer. As the first female vice presidential candidate in 1984, she inspired a generation of women, including me. The moment I knew Sarah Palin has the majesty of soul to be a great leader came during her speech after John McCain announced he had selected her as his running mate, when she thanked Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton, both Democrats, for their accomplishments in clearing the way for other women to run for vice president and president. This video includes both that moment and the moment on the Greta van Susteren show when Rep. Ferraro said that Gov. Palin was the FIRST PERSON EVER TO THANK HER for her achievements as a trailblazer for women. I can’t find a clip of that interview on Fox News, but I saw it at the time, and this clip doesn’t show the mixture of emotions on Rep. Ferraro’s face as she has to admit this injustice and betrayal by the women of her own party and her own liberation movement who should have heaped her with honors, if only for their own selfish reasons of using these honors to inspire more women, raise money and advance the cause of equality for women. (The fact that they didn’t now looks to me like evidence that the women’s liberation movement I joined when I came of age in the 1970’s was hijacked by Leftists and converted to serving the interests of Leftist men and a few queen bees.)

Also: this video was made during the 2008 campaign in support of the McCain/Palin ticket to shine a bright light on extreme sexism of Barack Obama and his campaign. It ends with Obama gloating about his confidence that Hillary’s supporters would come around and vote for him. Nope. Obama blew his last chance to get my support when he chose Sen. Joe “Assassination Insurance” Biden over Sen. Hillary “I’ve held real jobs and am actually qualified to be president” Clinton. And then John McCain gave me a positive reason to vote for him: Gov. Palin. I became a conservative because I actually believed that if I researched the reasons for my choice, I could explain it to my Democratic friends and, loving diversity and tolerance as they do — stop laughing — they would understand and accept my rationale for voting Republican. Well, THAT didn’t go as well as planned. Toward the end of the campaign, Obama announced he would be purging the Democratic party of centrists and I decided not to wait. I fight with a team, so I registered as Republican in December 2008. And I started this blog on January 12, 2009. About six weeks later, at CPAC 2009, Joy McCann of Little Miss Attila became my fairy blogmother and, much to my surprise, I was welcomed into the fold by other conservative bloggers. (I had just gotten settled in the Conservativism 2.0 meeting when Andrew Klavan started talking about how conservatives ought to be doing more outreach to gays, speaking as if he could be sure none were there, and I took that as a good omen and popped to my feet to agree.) A couple of weeks later, I shared my first Instalanche with Stacy McCain — on account of he was my target — and he became my fairy blogfather. (He’s still a little iffy on the “fairy” part.)

So — thank you, Geraldine Ferraro, and God bless you. You blazed the trail for other women and made the world a better place.

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  • Liz

    RIP. She strikes me, looking at a time before I was born, as someone who probably would have been better than the schmuck they decided to run. (Remind you of anyone?)

    Personally, when it comes to the feminist movement and leftists, I think it’s time to retire the word. Stop fighting the fight on how to define it, let the left have it and move on to things that will actually improve women’s lives and society as a whole.

    It’s tarnished for a reason – well, a large number of reasons – and the rhetoric is so poisonous that it’s not worth it. Create something new or else we’re fighting on the other side’s territory, adhering to their rules and using the weapons they deem okay.

    Just my two cent.

  • Anonymous

    She certainly had the class of the ’84 Dem ticket.

  • duane

    instead of vague and paranoid accusations of sexism by the Obama 08 campaign, you could have spent some time focusing on the very real sexism that the great Rep. Ferraro faced back in 84.
    to compare Ferraro, even superficially, to Palin is an insult to that which you purport to defend.

    • The accusations of sexism by the Obama ’08 campaign are specific and illustrated in the video. There is nothing vague or paranoid about them. I didn’t cite the sexism Rep. Ferraro faced in 1984 because I am concerned with the present state of equal treatment for women in the political arena. Also, I am extremely skeptical that you know very much at all that is true about Gov. Palin, while I’ve made a lot of effort to research both her real record and qualifications as well as the false claims made about her. Sadly, Gov. Palin’s most vicious and sexist attackers are feminists, who have demonstrated there’s no lie they won’t tell and no feminist principle they won’t betray when one of the less-equal gets uppity and defies any point in the feminist gleichschaltung. Also, as a former reporter who covered local government, I understand Gov. Palin’s political credentials, which is why she earned my respect the instant I glanced over her record.

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