Where Are the Feminists for Bristol Palin?

Nineteen-year-old Bristol Palin is back in the media spotlight now that she has joined the cast of this season’s Dancing With The Stars, and once again she’s being ridiculed for being a teen mother. Witness her recent interview with Jay Leno:

Bristol: “Well, I expected [Dancing With the Stars] to be hard work, but I’m so uncoordinated, don’t have any rhythm, so we’re starting from scratch.”

Jay: “I was going to say, that’s also how you get pregnant, but I’m not going to go there.”

I feel for Bristol. Like her, I was raised in a Pentecostal Evangelical household where abstinence is the only acceptable path. This leaves girls wholly unprepared for practicing safe sex, and my four sisters all became single mothers who worked grueling hours to complete their education and pay the bills.

Oddly enough, I ran into Bristol at a television studio a few days ago. She seemed genuinely concerned that, as a liberal and a feminist, I would pen something nasty about her. It’s clear that she’s personally hurt by the ridicule.

Why aren’t more feminists pushing back against the sexism and degradation of single, teen mothers evident here? Sarah Palin’s anti-woman policy positions are not grounds for feminists to turn a blind eye when Bristol is being dragged through the sexist media mud.

Her lack of defenders was all-too-apparent in the responses to the Huffington Post poll last week, “Is Bristol’s [Dancing with the Stars] dress modest?”

Readers responded with more than forty pages of overtly sexist comments about “fat thighs,” “cankles,” and claims of being a “fame ho.” Others took pop shots at her parenting, “She should be home taking care of her kid.”  One thoughtful liberal pointed out that the comments reflected a “lack of respect for women in general,” but she was ignored.

David Letterman’s tasteless 2009 joke about Bristol’s pregnancy — “one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game; during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez” — did receive some criticism. But those offended were outraged only because 14-year-old Willow was the daughter who attended the Yankees game he mentioned, even though the joke was clearly meant as a reference to Bristol.

Bristol Palin has publicly experienced many of the hardships that pregnant young women privately face. I can only imagine what it must feel like to be 17, pregnant, and find out your “mistake” will be front-page news. Your fiancé is a high school dropout who announces “I don’t want kids” on his Facebook page. Then the wedding is called off, then on, then off–amidst rumors that he fathered another child and appeared in a music video mocking your family.

Bristol had plans to go to college and become a nurse, but, like many of the other 13.7 million single parents in the U.S., her life shifted when Tripp was born. Instead, she got a job at a medical office and started classes at a community college in Anchorage. Bristol’s celebrity and money cushion her experience relative to that of other single parents, but she, too, is struggling to manage work and parenting.

Our feminist silence in the face of widespread vitriol against a celebrity teen and single parent demeans all such women, including my sisters and other single mothers.

Dancing with the Stars isn’t exactly the best avenue for making a feminist statement, but a vote for Bristol Palin is an easy way to protest pervasive degradation of single, teen mothers.

Dancing With The Stars promotional photo.

Comments

  1. melaniemurphy3 says:

    I think we criticize Bristol Palin when really, we're criticizing a system that allows teenagers to be uneducated about the risks of unprotected sex. She is a symbol of a much larger and grossly flawed construct, that of abstinence-only education. Teenagers that are taught to abstain, and not given room to have a discourse about sex with their parents, or with an adult they trust, creates a society that turns a blind eye to the realities of STDs and teen pregnancy.

  2. The general idea in this article is fine. I agree that the comments and jokes quoted are offensive. I also agree that she shouldn’t be mocked and chasticed for the questionable politics of her mother. However, the purpose of the post, to get feminists to vote for Bristol seems off:

    “a vote for Bristol Palin is an easy way to protest pervasive degradation of single, teen mothers”

    That’s quite a sweeping statement. How, exactly, does voting for Bristol in a contrived “reality” television program about dancing successfully fight sexism and the degradation of single mothers? Seems like a giant leap to me. Actually, it’s patronizing even. I can’t speak for Bristol, but if I was on such a competition, I would want people to vote for me because I’m the best dancer, not because they feel bad for me and wish to make a grand statement with me as an unintended poster child.

    Additionally, I’m not convinced such a statement would even be made. I can’t imagine Bristol winning and those watching thinking to themselves, “wow! Bristol won! I better stop calling her a fat fame whore. Those feminists sure showed me”. If anything, a victory is likely to cause greater, louder backlash from her haters. That’s no reason not to vote for her or for her not to pursue a victory 100%, I’m just saying the logic is flawed.

    • Jean Alandzes says:

      I think it is a shame that women go after other women. If we all stood together we could do anything we set our mind to. After all where would the men of the world be without us. I was out raged what women said about Sarah Palin during her campagne. Now they make degrading remarks about Bristol. Shame on you women. Sarah and Bristol keep on doing your thing. Stand up and roar and a lot of women will stand with you.

  3. I agree that Bristol Palin often gets all sorts of unnecessary flack from people IDing themselves as feminists. But, let's be honest in considering where all of the criticism stems from. For the most part, it stems from Bristol herself. She is the poster child for "abstinence only" education gone horribly wrong, and yet, she obstinately follows in her mother's footsteps by taking a very reductive and narrow stance on sex ed and options available to teenagers. The fact is that people don't like hypocrites, and the group Bristol Palin represents is rife with them.

    • Interesting that you seem to criticisize Bristol for talking about abstinence only, in todays world our young teens need to have both ideas given to them. Just looking at the movies,ads, and many adults talking that it is ok for teens to have sex is one reason we have many young people doing the sexual act much to young today. At 13,14.15 is to young should be still having a wonderful life as a child . We are making our kids grow up much to fast, just look at all the years you have as a adult, have a longer childhood.
      As far as Bristol idea of having sex to early seems she is one example why it is not the best idea when a baby is part of the deal. Bristol can tell other teens it is not all easy, fun and etc, cause in many cases it is not. Your mother and father can not raise your baby for you that is your child. So do not see any hard in telling others that being a single teen age mom is not the ideal for any one.

  4. I believe one of the reasons Ms. Palin is not getting much, if any, "feminist" support is simply because she continues to propagate the mentality and policy that left her vulnerable to pregnancy.

    I'm sure that most people wish Bristol and her son well, but she's hardly the feminist example we would want other young women to follow.

    • Precisely!

    • "she's hardly the feminist example we would want other young women to follow".

      I would like to know your definition of a 'feminist'. I thought a feminist was a women who advocated equal rights for women. I also think being independent and strong willed could describe many feminists.
      She seems to have taken responsibility for her life. She is raising her son, holding a job at a doctor's office and whenever I have heard her speak, she is respectful and polite.

      She is not being a burden to the system. I do not have a problem with this young lady.

  5. As the writer states, "Dancing with the Stars isn’t exactly the best avenue for making a feminist statement, but a vote for Bristol Palin is an easy way to protest pervasive degradation of single, teen mothers."

    Asking feminists to show support through a vote may not be the most effective way to make a feminist statement. But that's not the entire point of this post. In fact, the post itself quite frankly probably takes the Dancing with the Stars angle to draw more views by referencing a current hot topic within American pop-culture. **The important part** to take away from this post, as feminists, is that no (teen) mother deserves the flak that Bristol has received, regardless of her stances on feminism. [Nor does any woman deserve to take abuse based on her looks with comments such as "cankles" and "fame ho."] We as feminists, must support women and feminist ideals even when said women don't currently support said feminist ideals. Feminists should not encourage criticism based on looks. Feminists should not support derogatory use (if any) of the term "ho." Feminists certainly should not support criticism towards pregnant teens or sexual promiscuity. Feminists SHOULD support any and all women (or person/people) who face(s) these means of criticism.

    The Ms. blog post sends a message to Bristol that feminists support her. Perhaps one day she will consider supporting feminism and sexual education. I appreciate and applaud the courage of the blogger for taking the risk in supporting a woman who doesn't necessarily share the same beliefs.

  6. I do not know what kind of sex education Bristol got at home. I do know her mother said in a debate four years ago, “I’m pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues.”

    This picture is not so clear-cut as some would like to paint it. The trash thrown at Bristol Palin is comparable to the vitriol allegedly feminist Democrats threw at her mother, not to mention Hillary Clinton. This is rank sexism, amplified and rationalized by political animosity. There are ways of criticizing the political positions of women without being sexist.

    • Sarah Palin’s pro-contraception statement flies in the face of her membership in Feminists For Life(FFL).

      Not only does FFL want abortion illegal, but it blames contraceptives for breast cancer. Last I checked, its website also considered emergency contraception as an abortion procedure.

      The picture that is clear-cut is Palin’s desire to have it both ways. It’s something that most liberal feminists, at least, have known about her for quite some time.

  7. Meghan McCain doesn't get the kind of grief that Bristol Palin does. Perhaps if she spoke out against her mom's hypocrisy the way Ms. McCain does aginst her father's, these negative commens would subside.

    • Meghan McCain is also a good deal more outspoken, older and more world-wise. I think Bristol is really in a bind – she is still so young, and of course, she loves and supports her mother. You'll also notice that Bristol is dealing with her MOTHER as opposed to Meghan dealing with her FATHER. The dynamics of those relationships are significantly different. As she gets out a little more, and as she gets more educated and allows herself to hear a perspective she isn't getting at home, I think Bristol will eventually wisen up. Regardless of how I feel about her mother and her mother's shady politics, Bristol is a lovely young lady and my opinion of her at the moment is that she is very sweet but in an awkward situation.Also she is probably incapable of disagreeing with her mother and hoping to keep her head. I think Leno's comments were totally uncalled-for. Totally. He should be ashamed and should apologize to Bristol.

    • So if she agrees with the “liberal point of view” she will get less flack.. If she doesn’t agree with “liberals” then all bets are off..

      Right . got it .. Just checking . I think that was exactly the point of the article. Thanks

  8. Bristol herself needs to not be a hypocrite and support comprehensive sex ed. She needs to admit that abstinence only did not and does not work in preventing teen pregnancy. Then I will support her.

    • So sexism is ok if it's directed at someone with opposing views from yours?

      • Bristol's getting public flack because her own activities went against the policies of what her mother and other policians advocated for—never mind what I support.

        And she is not conceeding that these same public policies were ineffective in preventing either pre-marital sex or teen pregnancy. She is the one leaving women out to hang.

    • Jean Alandzes says:

      Do the males have any responsibilities, you know she did not make that baby all by herself, but she stood up to her responsibilities. Thank heaven she has a great family to help her and her son.

  9. I agree with@nomargins. She is an uneducated woman with poor parenting as her history. Let's not forget the stats of 71% of teen pregnancy come from women of homes without fathers or homes with fathers that are unavailable to their daughters. She is a 19 year that appears absolutely pitiful – I would be so sad for my daughter were it her – on TV making a fool of herself for $$$. It would break my heart to see her riduculed – it is not bravery or courage she is displaying… it is the Poor Parenting of the Palins…we are witnessing the tip of the iceberg I am afraid….stay tuned for more sadness.

  10. So you think Bristol P winning on that cheesy dancing show would be a victory for feminism? Did you look at the photo in your own article? One reason people feel free to comment on BP's cankles and thighs is that they are displayed here for all to see and judge. No one comments on her male dance partner's physique because he is fully dressed. He might have cankles himself but nobody can see them. The only feminist commentary worth making about that show is: "Why are all the women half naked and all the men fully dressed?"

  11. When Bristol can tour the country giving talking tours and appear on a show like Dancing With The Stars, she is NOT a typical single mother. At all. I can tell you my days consist of none these activities. None of my days include boarding jets and enjoying the rewards of my rider in the green room. None of my days involve thousands of dollars in wardrobes.
    I'm tired of hearing how Bristol should be pitied for her tough burden in life between being a single mother and the daughter of S. Palin. She seems to be milking the situation and spotlight for all its worth.

    • I'm sure none of your days involve being ridiculed on national television or on the front page of our biggest publications either.

  12. I am neither for nor against Bristol Palin, and why should I be either? Considering that traditional femininity requires women to "be" rather than to "do", I hardly think it's a positive step for feminism to promote a 19 year old who has accomplished virtually nothing in life and is in the spotlight because of who she's related to, rather than what she's done. Teenagers get pregnant, and Bristol should be neither vilified nor lionized for being what she is–entirely unexceptional.

  13. boxingoctopus says:

    So, because Jay Leno made fun of her, Bristol Palin is afraid that liberal feminists will make fun of her? That doesn't make any sense. Then again, she's a Palin, so logic has been bred out of her.

  14. Exactly. I don't have to support Bristol Palin to spport single mothers. I don't think teens need kids anyway,even though I wouldn't go so far as to socially condemn her either.

  15. Well written Caroline. I definitely do not agree with Bristol's political views – especially abstinence only education (really?? I mean seriously…) – but comments such as that she should be home "taking care of her kid" are highly disrespectful of ALL women, no matter your political affiliation.

    You can bet that if we were talking about a conservative black male public figure, and someone made a racist comment about how he should be home with his family rather than being a "deadbeat dad," many blacks – liberals included – would have come to his defense.

    So why won't women agree to disagree in the political arena in order to come to each other's defense on sexist issues??

  16. It's the job of feminists to scold the Palin family's detractors while the Palins make a good living as talentless public figures? You must be kidding.

  17. the comments in the huffington post and in your other links were way out of line and completely inappropriate. that said, how on earth would voting for bristol palin on a show that is based around quasi-celebrities doing something they normally do not do make a difference for single teen mothers? i think the show is stupid, i disagree with just about everything bristol palin has said, and there is no real impact from her winning said stupid show on a teenaged mother living here in the real world with the rest of us.

    you know what would make a good statement? figuring out social support offered in our communities and volunteering or donating to that. supporting comprehensive sex education in our schools. talking to your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, & any other kid or teenager you know well about thinking their actions through and protecting themselves & their partners from STDs and pregnancy. those make good statements. a celebrity's daughter winning a reality show on the teevee? not so much.

  18. yoteech2002 says:

    Remind me again…why is Bristol Palin a "Star"?

  19. The comments by Jay Leno and commenters on Huffington Post are unfortunate… ugly, mean-spirited, and yes, anti-feminist. But that doesn't mean feminists need support Bristol Palin.
    She was used by her mother in the campaign, and that was a terrible betrayal. I felt very bad for her when it happened, and I feel sad for her in general. This is probably not the life she imagined for herself.
    But she is chasing the celebrity status that she ridiculed and rejected her former fiance for wanting. She is making money touring the country promoting what is clearly an unrealistic, untenable position on sex education. This on top of drawing a sizable salary from her mother's PAC in a consulting position that is questionable at best, given her qualifications.
    She's getting hers. She is a hypocrite, albeit a seemingly sweet and mild-tempered one. She has clearly inherited at least some of her mother's gift for self-delusion, as well as greedy and manipulative tendencies. She didn't pick her parents, but she's an adult now, and she could choose to live a life of integrity, but she doesn't.
    Tell me again why should I defend her? Colleentwo, I'm with you.

  20. I understand the argument that Bristol shouldn't be pilloried for her mother's policies.

    But Bristol isn't a star.

    Bristol is the daughter of Sarah Palin. Bristol's only claim to fame is that she was a major embarassment for her mother in the last election, and for conservatives preaching abstinence and anti-feminist ideals. I don't feel the need to slap her around for her own personal mistakes on a day to day level. But if she's going to ride her own bad decisions into the limelight, then she deserves what she gets.

  21. I have worked very closely with Bristol Palin over the last year and agree wholeheartedly with this article. Bristol is very down-to-earth, very shy, and genuinely wants to get her message out about the difficulties of being a teen mother. Yes, she is making money off of her fame but who can blame her? At least she is helping others make money off of it, too, like the teen mothers’ home in Louisville she recently did a fundraiser for. (It raised far more money than it would have without her, even after her speaking fee was paid.) I get that people don’t like her mother – as a feminist, liberal, former Planned Parenthood worker, neither do I – but let’s stop taking our rage out on Bristol and appreciate that she is at least speaking out.

    • i like what you have to say on this topic and that your response is different than every ones. I think that she is trying to make better of herself and to help others who have been in the same situation for teen mothers. Mistakes happen and you have to deal with the outcomes no matter how old you are what race you are whatever. I dont think she is doing anything wrong by presenting herself out there by being a teen mother because teens are uneducated and parents do not communicate with their children at all or enough about being sexually active. if the parents want their kids to be absence then they still need to present facts and information just so they know for future reference. I dont feel like the media, celebrities, conservatives, or liberals should criticize her situation because it is very common that all around the world, teens are becoming pregnant and to put her on a petastool just because she is a famous individual's daughter, i feel like it would help other teens see how much of a change it can have on your life and to prevent this situation from happening to them. She is recovering by going to school, taking care of her child, and being a strong woman and i feel like we need to look at her from a different angle and think to ourselves about how she has cooped with her harassment. She hasnt let the media take over her life, or get to her, shes trying to prove her self and to the public that yes, i made a mistake but look how far i have came. people should really give her some slack.

  22. shamelesshussy says:

    I will vote for Bristol only if I find her to be a terrific dancer. With regard to the criticism heaped upon her, e.g., she should be home with her kid, shouldn't wear revealing outfits, etc., why weren't there complaints about mother-of-four Brooke Burke and the scandalously skimpy stuff she was wearing when she danced?

  23. hypocritebarometer says:

    I don't really believe people are against Bristol, the person.

    It's the Palins' hypocrisy and their "do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do" attitude of superiority that I have an issue with. I don't hold anything against them that Bristol is a teenaged single mom, but then her mother shouldn't be spouting off about "family values" to other people. How about focusing that message inside her own household first! Talk about meddling in other peoples' business when your own house isn't exactly "in order" (the way she defines it).

    Kenia wrote:
    "You can bet that if we were talking about a conservative black male public figure, and someone made a racist comment about how he should be home with his family rather than being a "deadbeat dad," many blacks – liberals included – would have come to his defense."

    I will bet that if any Democratic politician came out making a big deal about "family values" and had a teenaged daughter who was an unwed mom, that the conservative talking heads (our national upholders of family values, after all) would be all over that person like a ton of bricks. The ridicule would be vicious.

    I'm an Independent. So I don't love the Democrats either. But they're just not as blatantly hypocritical. Hey, if you're going to claim the mantle of "family values", how about trying it out yourself first before slamming others for doing exactly what you've done? Democrats and Republicans alike get caught up in sex scandals, tax evasions, and other dubious activities. That's all bad enough, but then to have the nerve to claim you uphold a higher moral/ethical ground than the other guy? That is why Sarah Palin and others of her ilk will never get my vote.

    Sadly for her, some people take out their disgust with her mother on Bristol. That's not fair, but I suspect that's what causes some of the slams against her.

  24. I'm not really a feminist, I've made fun of Bristol Palin because she's a hypocrite. I don't like Bristol Palin because she preaches abstinence when it obviously didn't work for her. Unless she will come out and say that she was on birth control and the condom broke, I don't buy it. I don't hate the girl though, she seems like a nice enough person, and who can blame her for being so messed up with a mother like that?

  25. The people who ridicule Bristol are really after her mom. It's shameful to do that.

  26. Scold their politics and attitudes all you want. But I'd argue that commenting on cankles or worrying about whether HER dress is modest (rather than ballroom dancing attire in general – who's out there protesting the professional, non-prime-time events?) is irrelevant to the conversation, and mean. She's doing what she can with the spotlight she has, and she looks like she's having fun. For her sake and her son's, I hope she enjoys herself, raises her son as well as she possibly, and takes advantage of all her opportunities. Regardless of her politics or her "talents". I think the politics of her mother are loathsome, but that doesn't mean I want Bristol (or any of the other Palins) to suffer.

  27. I am a feminist and was also a teen mother, at 16 I got pregnant with a 26 year old man who tried to force me to have an abortion (back alley as it was not legal yet) but i physically fought both him and my mom off and had my baby, raised her, put myself through college and grad school and she through college and grad school. Now at age 64 guess who is criticizing me? My child who is now 48 with a fine career. She says I seduced her poor dad asked why didn't I put her up for adoption! She practically says i was a tramp. This is my reward for keeping and loving my baby. I am now dying from cancer and she won't speak to me as some shrink got hold of her and poor child had a teen mother. I was labeled immediately by their book DSM-IV and accused of being a borderline. Of course this shrink never met me. In fact I was very mature and read Dr. Spock 6 times before I gave birth and was a very good mother. But to a shrink who never met me, I am stereotyped as a loose, dumb teen mom. Dad however, the victim of seductive little girl me is top dog now though he never supported my daughter. It never ends for a woman.

  28. To article's author,

    Are you honestly just now seeing the double standard?

  29. Bristol gets the flack, because she is an untalented and misguided opportunist. If feminists want to throw their support for the "sister", than feminism would look fraudulent. Even the public has certain standards of what is acceptable – Palin's daughter just seems to be a naive puppet.

  30. The only reason Bristol Palin is in the news is because she is Sara Palin's daughter AND an unwed mother. Focusing on her unique circumstances, and advantages, does nothing to help other, non-famous teen mothers. She is not a role model, she is not an activist. If she were Joe the Plumber's pregnant teenage daughter nobody would even know her name.

    I feel sorry for her, because she is being used by her mother to keep mom's name out in front of everyone. Sarah Palin only cares about what's good for Sarah, not what's good for her family.

  31. Fame is a double edged sword. Doors were opened up to Bristol Palin because of who her mother is. Conversely, all aspects of her private life are open to comment. If she is not strong enough to deal with the media attention, perhaps she should have chosen a career that didn't put her in the spotlight. We all — women and men — have to live with the consequence of our actions. Why is it my job to defend anyone's life choices?

  32. I really feel for this kid and yes people she is still a child herself. Everyone is so fast to criticize another person, I am always so amazed that there are still so many perfect people in this country. She is on a show that people find entertaining, would she be on the show if her mother had not run for vice president, probably not, but then again her being a teenage mother would not have made the news either. Stop blaming Bristol because you may not like her mother!
    She gets pregnant at a young age and everyone wants her off the show, however, the man who got voted off the show has had all kinds of substance abuse problems and people don't seem to have a problem, or what about that Situation guy and that show he is on. No one seems to have said anything about the underage drinking, smoking, sex from that show. For goodness sakes, people find all kinds of problems with people and decide to overlook which ever ones they wish, I mean pleazzze even Mrs. Brady had an affair with the oldest son…. if you are looking for perfect people, check the mirror, oh not perfect there either…hmmmmm

  33. I agree that there seems to be some kind of flawed logic in casting a popularity ballot for a woman on an entertainment show and taking a stand for the rights and social well-being of teen mothers. If anything, it sends a disturbing message to teen mothers who must stay in school, in some cases hold down a real job, and devote their time, energy, and attention to caring for a newborn. Holding Bristol Palin up as some kind of teen mom feminist icon who "must" go on Dancing with the Stars to make ends meet only enhances the irresponsibly glamorized image of young motherhood that so many media outlets promote.

    • The sad thing is that the only reason most people are voting for Bristol to stay on DWTS is because thepeople calling in the votes are Republican males who dream of knocking up Bristol and fathering her next out-of-wedlock child, not so much for her ability or talent. It''s almost like an indirect vote for Sarah Palin, Mommy Dearest. Personally, I think Bristol may actually be a very decent person in spite of her mistakes. Her dysfunctional parents, on the other hand, need to step off and fade into obscurity, where they belong.

  34. I think the majority of you are way of base! she’s not doing this for the money, or for her mother. She is doing this for herself people! She has not ever used her “position as Sarah Palin’s” daughter for money or fame. The only time it seemed that way was when Levi was involved. And we ALL know that’s all he wants. (Fame, money,ect…) I can’t believe how people, even you guys on your posts, can talk about this 19 year old girl. She didn’t have to get a job! And she, unlike many people her age or even older, takes responsibility for her mistakes and takes care of her son.

    • I don't see anyone off base here at all. The ONLY reason she is on DWTS is because she is Palin spawn…

      She placed herself in the position to get pregnant . Maybe she did not have any choice or didn't refuse….being paraded in public as a pregant teen for her parents benefit and her embarrassment.

      Now she places herself in the national limelight on a show for the "has been" fame whores for $$$.

      It's not an accident – it's not something she had to do — it is something she did regardless of what is thought of her or said about her for money.

      This is all her own doing, don't blame anyone for commenting on the situations she created BOTH times.
      I would not defend any critique of a public figure. The first time her ignorant parents paraded her in the National Media for her and John McCains' benefit — she gets a pass there.

      She is certainly doing it for money – 250,000k per episode– Staci.

  35. I am curious why it has not been mentioned that the health insurance reform bill restored funding for abstinence-only sex education. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/health/30fine.h

    "ABSTINENCE MAKES A COMEBACK
    Abstinence-only education programs to prevent teenage pregnancy took a hit when President Obama took office and eliminated $115 million in funding, moving the money into more comprehensive programs that cover contraception and sexually transmitted diseases as well. Congress allowed another $50 million in abstinence-only funding to expire in June. The health reform law restores $50 million a year for abstinence-only programs for each of the next five years. "

    The Palins are not in power. Feminists have the Democratic Party to thank for this, as well as the sellout on abortion. Political hypocrisy is a bipartisan problem.

  36. I find the cankles thing to be irritating, as well as poking at her weight in general, but this is not my problem with her.

    My problem is that within a few short weeks to two or so months following the 2008 election, Bristol said publicly in magazines etc, that abstinence doesn't work. I read that, and my jaw dropped open in glee. I was all ready to take a mental note in the back of my mind that Bristol is a smart girl when…

    She starts doing abstinence lectures around the country for as much as $10,000. And mysteriously retracted her statements on abstinence.

    I know all of the possible implications why – but I was still utterly disgusted by them, and I am utterly disgusted with her. Couple that with a recent youtube video of a native Alaskan woman genuinely asking Bristol's mother why she sold out to the state, and Bristol herself being quite rude to the woman, and now, I see her as nothing but a younger version of her mother.

    And getting foolishly knocked up by a hick does NOT constitute as a good reason to be placed on "Dancing with the Stars." Nor does being the daughter of that….that thing. Hasn't every contestant on that show had SOME sort of experience with movies and tv? I mean yeah, there's The Situation – but he was on reality tv. And that new TLC show that Bristol is in by default doesn't count. That came after her appearance on Dancing With the Stars.

    Bristol started to appear in the news apart from her mother and has done some things that have made me believe she's just a younger clone. I won't ridicule her on her appearance (goodness knows I could stand to lose weight), but I will throw mud at her for her ACTIONS, unless she suddenly proves that she's not part of the machine that her monster of a mother has created. Right now, she doesn't appear to me to have a mind of her own.

  37. Caroline- such an eloquent statement and a needed voice. This isn't just about Bristol, it's about the failure of those who believe themselves to be Feminists to provide a critical lens when confronted with unfair, sexist, misogynist public dialouge. I notice how many women respond with "yeah, buts", and refuse to be held accountable for facing the responsibility to push back against that dialouge. The ideals of social justice seem to have been truly harmed by crass, hateful, Internet verbal attacks.

  38. SoulSister says:

    Caroline, you have no idea what the feminist movement is about. Of course, I would expect that sort of blather from someone who spends as much time appearing on Faux news as you do.
    We can only support those who support us. Bristol Palin and her family work against us. That would be hypocritical to support them as they would just spit on our backs.

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