About a dozen students and I watched the last presidential debate here at the guest apartment I’m using at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne. Some had been perturbed by my thesis that McCain is the Republican candidate because the party considers this election a throw-away one, and they intended to use and are using the election to launch an allegedly new generation of right-wing politicians like Sarah Palin into national prominence.
I came to this conclusion at the end of the Republican primary because McCain, whose specialty is national security, did not seem apropos for the times. It was of telling significance to me that Palin knew only one Supreme Court case -- Roe V. Wade – indicating that what stuck the most in the right wing crow was the expansion and deepening of women’s emancipation.
Still I was shocked to see McCain raise his hands and place under virtual quotation marks the phrase “women’s health.”
For a guy whose (partial) medical records run to 1,000 pages, this cavalier dismissal of legitimate concern for womankind, 90% of whom have neither access nor the means to medical care.
The National Center for Health Statistics says that US maternal deaths at childbirth has been rising steadily; it’s now 13 per 100,000 live births; it was 12 per 100,000 in 2003 – the first time maternal death rose above 10 since 1977.
In NY, women are dying at the rate of 2.5 times the national average.
Women, we had better work to eradicate "contentless" feminism because we're sure to meet Palin or her doppelganger somewhere, sometime, down the road. -- ##