Recommended reading on Sarah Palin's disability (lack)tivism

Seen this cover yet?


I recommend chasing it with Kristina Chew’s article on Care2 speculating whether Palin will be covering disability rights on her new Fox position, and then Jill at Feministe’s response as well, excerpted below:

….”Advocates” like Palin do little to actually advocate for what people with disabilities and their families actually need — holding up a cute baby and talking about how he’s a blessing is nice, but it doesn’t do much to help the parents who are worried about finding adequate schooling for their children, or the adults who need basic access to work or housing or medical care. It doesn’t do much for the women who receive a pre-natal diagnosis from a doctor who assumes that termination is the next step, in a society that seems to only offer two options for women who have to make this choice: Martyrdom or shame. It doesn’t do much for that cute baby when he or she grows up in a society that ostracizes and fears him, and offers no tangible support or assistance.

by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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6 Comments Have Been Posted

Oh dear lord.

This is exactly why people like Sarah Palin piss me off. You see, I'm a strong disability (although I prefer the term "physical/mental anomaly") advocate and am against any kind of eugenics, but I'm also staunchly pro-choice. These are not mutually exclusive, no matter what anyone else thinks! It took me a while to reconcile those two aspects of my personality—especially since the former is much newer to me—but really, things like this should be judged on a case-by-case basis, and people like her who make blanket statements about the issue are absurdly out of touch with reality.

People like Sarah and

People like Sarah and Bristol Palin don't realize their own privilege in this situation apparently. First of all, both women can afford to carry a pregnancy to term. Many women don't have the money or support for that to begin with. Sarah Palin can afford medical expenses that most often come with raising a child with a disability like down syndrome. Both women can afford some form of child care. Bristol Palin doesn't have to make the difficult choice between education and motherhood. While she may have taken time off school, she has the option of going back shortly.
I realize that choosing whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term is not solely a financial decision. But for most women, it's a huge factor, rightly so.


While I agree with you, just because a teen becomes pregnant, doesn't mean she has to choose between education and motherhood. I got pregnant my senior year, kicked ass working for a few years, and have been a student since January 2004 and finally graduate in May and off to grad school. I have used financial aid and have thousands of dollars in loans and have been a single mom pretty much the whole time. It's possible and just because a teen chooses to mother, she can still go to school. I am also WAY pro-choice. I think it's important to break down assumptions about teen moms, often times I hear that they just can't go to school. Of course, Bristol's in a privileged position. But I am on welfare (and have been since I got pregnant) and with some ass kickin' and support from other teen moms in school, I did it too.


Oh this just makes my blood boil! Notice they use the term "Chose" and yet they would take my choice away from me? I don't question the right they have to choose to have these gorgeous babies - that of course is personal. But I am so offended that they assume we are all the same. Indeed they WANT us all to be the same. I've got to go the the library and read this article now. I guess I might rant more when I get back....


Every time I watch Sarah Palin I get the urge to smack my head into the wall. This woman does not deserve to be in politics or the spotlight. In response to the above magazine cover I want to know what struggles little Bristol is going to face? She has unlimited resources presented to her. She does not have to struggle to pay for formula or other basic needs for a baby, she does not have to worry about health care or child care. So I'm sorry but she is not your typical teen mother. I think the whole family is a joke.

Look in the mirror

Oh, the continued hatred for this woman. Really. Let's try to move on past derangement syndrome here. This hostility is irrational and ridiculously visceral. I guess she's the female version of the vacuous empty-suit that now occupies the White House. We can't vent true rage at him for letting us down so we turn it on the non-entity Palin. We've scotch taped our displaced personal moral responsibility on an easy target. As long as she continues to flummox the kook left I say rock on!

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