"But that's not the only voice of women in America. I'd like to remind people of another feminist tradition, kind of a western feminism. It's influenced by the pioneering spirit of our foremothers, who went in wagon trains across the wilderness, and they settled in homesteads. And these were tough, independent pioneering mothers, whose work was as valuable as any man's on the frontier. ... They went where no woman had gone before."
A speech that began with women as "mama grizzlies" defending their children's economic interests ("My kid is not your ATM") ends with a call for a new kind of feminism:
"As an Alaskan woman, I'm proud to consider myself a frontier feminist like those early pioneering women of the West.
"Now, maybe my jumping on the national stage was a bit of a shock to some people," Palin went on. "I know that some left-wing feminists, they sure didn't know what to make of an Alaskan chick out there talking about ... the Second Amendment and talking about raising family and kids -- the more the merrier -- and, you know, all that."
She proceeded to thank one of the largest and most effective pro-life organizations in the country, the Susan B. Anthony List, named for a key 19th-century leader who opposed abortion. "I'm grateful to have a place like this, full of sisters who are not put off by a gun-toting, pro-life mom of a fun, full family -- never dull."
Women can do anything. We can bear children under less than ideal circumstances. Like Sarah and her "strong and independent" daughter Bristol. 2010, Sarah Palin announced exuberantly, is the year "when commonsense conservative women get things done for our country."
I don't know if it's true or not. But I'll tell you one thing: Sarah Palin had me at the word "Trig."
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.
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