Ms. Ifill is bound to ruffle some feathers in the legal world with her comments about President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court to replace Justice Souter. She wrote a commentary on CNN that was pretty convincing, in my opinion, but will no doubt the bothersome to some.
Well, I don’t think that Gov. Sarah Palin is offensive to black women. She’s offensive to women in general. This is the woman who John McCain says is brilliant, yet she can’t answer a simple question about what newspapers and magazines she reads. This is the same woman who offered a lame excuse about her foreign policy experience as being able to see Russia from Alaska and keeping an eye on Vladimir Putin. So, Gwen Ifill entered the fray this week when her objectivity was questioned because she has a pro-Barack Obama book coming out around inauguration day. Well, another Ifill has joined this political dogfight. Sherrilyn Ifill, who Gwen has called her “brilliant” little cousin, said that “from the first day, Palin presented herself as shooting a bear in the morning, field dressing it, cooking up the breakfast, diapering the babies, passing legislation in the afternoon, cleaning the house, satisfying her husband, etc., etc., etc. And it’s just not true,” she wrote in an e-mail interview. “It’s hard to be an average working mom, really hard. And when women who are privileged present as though they have it all together, it’s offensive to black women.”
She said, “black women are not easily confused by false claims to feminism. When women like Palin lay claims to ‘representing’ average women, I think that black women have a visceral reaction to it.”
Ifill added that Palin “missed her opportunity when she announced Bristol’s pregnancy to explicitly talk about how painful it was to her as a mother – instead of making it as though this too was also part of her perfect life.
“Hillary has the sympathy of women because of what she went through with Bill in front of the whole country. Michelle [Obama] takes pains to be self-deprecating and to talk about her concerns and fear about her girls. She insists that she couldn’t do what she does without the help of her mother. Most importantly, both champion issues that affect the lives of real, average women – universal health care, equal pay, choice, etc. To do so is a recognition that real working women (not political wives or politicians) need policies that will help them maintain their families. What’s the point of Palin’s brand of feminism if it doesn’t translate into real returns for average women?”
But, Ms. Ifill did attack Hillary Clinton as well. She denounced her as a phony feminist: “When she knocked back a shot and a beer in that bar in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Clinton ended any pretense of running as a feminist.” She compared it to Michael Dukakis in a tank, a failed “macho stunt.” Wow, this is deep!