Three Reasons Why Sarah Palin is Bad for Young Women

So much has been said about Sarah Palin since the 2008 elections. Few people outside of Alaska knew much about her prior to the VP bid that made her an instant celebrity. Now she’s a media sensation with more than 610,000 Twitter followers.

Palin did one good thing for women (and coincidentally, for herself) by calling attention to sexism during her 2008 campaign. Who could have guessed that Fox news would ever care about double standards, however briefly? But let’s be clear, taking upskirt photos of a female politician is sexist. Questioning her credentials is not.

The problem with Sarah Palin is that though she markets herself as the ideal modern woman, she advocates policies that limit our rights. She is the perfect example of a why a woman candidate is not necessarily a woman’s candidate. Feminism advocates the right for women to be treated as men’s intellectual and professional equals. Based on this criteria, Sarah Palin is a major league anti-feminist. Here are the top 3 reasons why Sarah Palin is bad news for young women.

1.       She is against big government everywhere except your uterus.

Sarah Palin has expressed harmful views on a woman’s right to choose and supports abstinence-only education. She has said that abortion should be illegal, granting exceptions only when a mother’s life was in danger. In November 2006, Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter in the case of rape. At the time, her daughter was 14. Palin would prefer that we return to the dark and dangerous days before Roe V. Wade. Perhaps the fact that 70,000 women die annually from illegal abortions worldwide is among the many things she unaware of.

Ironically, while she wants to deny our access to safe and legal abortions, she is a supporter of abstinence-only education though it has been consistently proven as ineffective. American women have their first sexual encounter at the average age of 17, meaning that more than half of women have sex before graduating from high school. Teenagers and young women who do not use contraceptives properly are more likely to have unwanted pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies lead to abortions. This is fact.

Furthermore, she is insensitive to sexual violence against women. During her two terms as mayor, the town of Wasilla charged victims of sexual assault the cost of their rape kits. You might think that requiring victims to pay the cost of their own rape kit is despicable, but don’t forget that prosecuting rapists burdens the taxpayer. Sinking a few million dollars into an athletic center, however, does not. Did she think women could cut out the middleman by using Tae-bo to punish their attackers?

Lastly, she wants to defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that helps women of all income levels have agency over their own bodies. Maybe she would use rather use this money to issue red-white-and-blue American-made chastity belts.

2.       Her proposed policies harm working women

Though she made wage discrimination a talking point throughout her campaign, she took positions against the Lily Lebdetter Fair Pay act and the Paycheck Fairness act, bills that restore essential protections against wage discrimination. She dismisses concerns about women’s pay by throwing out conservative buzzwords (see interview with Katie Couric). Currently American women make 77 cents to a man’s dollar. If we want to change this, we need a doer — not a talker — in office.

Furthermore, she has also expressed opposition to government programs that help women with issues like affordable child care. This issue is pivotal for women in the workplace and greatly affects lower-income families. Other developed countries are light-years ahead of the US on this issue.

3.       Most importantly, she is unqualified.

Palin captivated people who would have never given someone with her record a second glance if they were unattractive. She rose through the GOP ranks because of her good looks, not her abilities.  She expresses inconsistent views, is unable to speak clearly and has no transparency. What does it say about the nature of modern American politics that a public official who is proud of what she does not know is not only accepted but applauded?

Furthermore, she reinforces materialism, anti-intellectualism and gender stereotypes. From the winking to the wardrobe, she consistently encourages the gender conventions that are helpful to her.

Overall, Sarah Palin is a terrible role model. Just like Paris Hilton or the people on Jersey Shore, she is committed to celebrity, not public service. She resigned as governor to pursue more lucrative opportunities. To date she has had a reality television show, a multi-million book deal and a show on Fox News, not to mention all the free swag that comes with being the GOP’s darling.

The GOP is trying to break away from its white rich old man image (though white rich old men are their policies’ main benefactors), by showing their supposed diversity. Don’t let them get away with it. We must elect someone who is an advocate for our rights, regardless of their sex, race or age. With regards to a woman in the White House, any woman will not do.



  1. Bee says:

    Will we be addressing Obama's lack of qualifications in the next article? I'm not saying I agree 100% with all of Palin's choices and I'm not saying I disagree with all of Obama's but I think this article is a little silly. Obama also has book deals and has favored programs like The View in lieu of more important events. I cannot remember off the top of my head what he chose to ignore in favor of The View but it was a more meaningful even than bantering with Joy Behar. I understand this is a "fun" site not a hard hitting, political new report but at least try to be fair and stop judging one person for one thing while you (surely) ignore a candidate you favor for doing some of the same.

    1. Polly says:

      I think you missed the point of this article. I don't see why you have to bring some one into it who has nothing to do with the article. The article is relating a WOMAN in politics to the influence she may have over other WOMEN in the country. Obama is not a WOMAN!!! In terms of this article it doesn't matter if he did exactly the same things as Palin it would be irrelevant because he is not a role model for women!!!!

      As you already said this is not hard hitting political site. It's a site aimed at college aged WOMEN, thus when they do tackle politics often times they relate it to their general audience. Obama's qualifications or "lack of qualifications" has nothing to do with this article.

  2. idesign says:

    No doubt the author has a full blown case of PDS.

  3. yesisaidit says:

    Brenda, you're so right, she IS unqualified, but lets take that from the equation because people always discredit you're argument by saying that Obama was unqualified and is in office now. You're first point is spot on. She preaches abstinence only yet her daughter was an unwed teen mother and her son got his girlfriend pregnant prior to marrying her. She cannot continue to pretend like teens aren't having sex when her own children are prime examples that they do. She's more of a "do as I say, not as I do" politician. Another thing that I don't like about her is she doesn't know when to not speak. People will ask her questions and she'll talk until an answer comes out, and 99% of the time it isn't a correct answer. Example? The whole Paul Revere thing, that was embarrassing to watch. She told people to "don't retreat, RELOAD" and then Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 21 other people were shot and or killed a few weeks later. she's the type of person that throws rocks and then hides her hands. There is nothing she could do to win my vote. She and Donald Trump are very similar. Both people want the publicity but neither one really wanted to be president.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Well, anyone saying Obama was at the same level of qualification as Palin in '08 would be talking out of their asses. Obama was a Senator longer than Palin was a governor, and before that he was a politician in Chicago – a major city – whereas Palin was a small-town mayor. He also went to Harvard law school and was president of the Harvard Law Review, and later went on to become a professor in Constitutional law. Palin barely graduated with a journalism degree after attending 4 different colleges. They can't be compared at all, and I remember the perfect reflection on it when Google released the version of their site in 2000 in the midst of the '08 campaign – someone pointed out, of the two presidential and two vice presidential candidates, which of the four didn't have an Internet presence in 2000? Not Obama.

  4. Caitlin says:

    If you want to just sit around and bash the GOP, go for it, but please, don't disguise it as an article talking about why Sarah Palin is bad for women.

    I don't think Sarah Palin is good for women either, and I'm a Republican – there were plenty of things you could discuss that don't have anything to do with the GOP.

    I would love to see an article on this site that was written by a Republican…

    Also, I agree with Bee, let's see an article discussing Obama's lack of qualifications, please. If we're going to talk about gender double standards, let's not be hypocrites and refuse to discuss the obvious political double standard present on this site.

  5. Petra says:

    Obviously, there are things wrong on both sides of the political spectrum, but I am glad this was published. There are better, smarter women in politics on both sides for girls to look up to–I can't have respect for someone who claims reporters are being too hard on them when asked questions that need answering on the campaign trail–both sides get asked hard questions by reporters; that is par for the course. If you support feminism (which seems to have an odd rep these days–last I checked, it was all about equality, not man-hating or something equally silly) then don't support someone who insists on being treated differently than anyone else on the campaign trail.

  6. women4women says:

    the difference between discussing obama and palin is this: PALIN IS A WOMAN and would be the first woman to hold such a high executive position in the white house. this being said, obama isn't trying to pretend to be some pioneer to american women the way palin is. why is this relevant? because obama isn't attacking women's rights (abortion, planned parenthood/crucial healthcare access and job wage rights) and palin blatantly is. this would be like obama parading around his race while subsequently stripping african americans of their rights. plain and simple. which is why this is a relevant article.

    1. Bee says:

      If you were to ask the black (or even most minority racial groups) community what Obama has done for them, they would tell you he has done nothing significant for them despite his promises for change.

    2. pam says:

      Perhaps, but like women4women said, he at least isn't actively stripping black people of their rights.

  7. criolle johnny says:

    "she reinforces materialism, anti-intellectualism … "
    I'm not a really big fan of Palin. I'm not a big fan of either party.
    "Anti-intellectualism" on the other hand may have some valid points. If you look at the last F-O-U-R presidents, they all have serious intellectual educations. Yale, Harvard, Rhodes scholar, etc. Bush II actually had better grades than either of his presidential campaign opponents! Go figure.
    As a result, we have a Federal budget with a 1.4 TRILLION DOLLAR deficit. Look at all the Ivy League degrees in Congress, and between them they cannot balance a checkbook.
    A million seconds is 11-1/2 days. A billion seconds is 32 YEARS. A trillion seconds is over thirty one MILLENNIUM (31.688 and change). Pay up children.
    "Intellectuals" have racked up these deficits. Anti-intellectuals cannot do much worse.
    Eight more years of intellectuals and there will not be, literally NOT BE enough money in the world to pay off the US deficit.

    1. Polly says:

      Feel free to correct me if i'm wrong. But I thought a lot of the deficit that we got into was due to the practices and decisions made by Reagan during his time in office. And while i'm not going to say he's a dumb man we do know for fact that his job prior to presidency was acting and he didn't exactly graduate from an ivy league university. So basically it's ridiculous to play the blame game saying the "intellectuals" got us into this mess plus our government is not a dictatorship the president doesn't have sole power. If you want to put blame at all you really should look at congress over the years not just the president.

    2. criolle johnny says:

      Reagan's job prior to The White House was governor of California, the 8th largest economy on earth.
      A complete debate on the deficit would be a great topic for a doctoral thesis. I've heard credible arguments that the massive deficit began with the Johnson administration fighting Vietnam without funding. I've heard others that trace it to the 19th Amendment. Have fun with THAT! The last president to pay off the national debt was Andrew Jackson.
      I can mention that Bush II needed eight years to raise a trillion dollar deficit. Obama matched that 90 days in office and has a 1.4 trillion dollar deficit in this year's budget alone.
      Reagan arguable raised a strategic deficit by cutting taxes. This forced Congress to consider previously unthinkable spending cuts.
      Obama has done the opposite by raising anticipated entitlements, forcing Congress to consider previously unthinkable taxes.
      The smartest people in the room created Enron. Do we really want them running the country? I'd like to see a few carpenters and plumbers and nurses in Congress AND the Supreme Court. At least they have some concept of what impact the laws have on actual people.

    3. Polly says:

      I wasn't referring to the position he held directly before presidency. I was referring to his previous occupation which related to absolutely nothing political or intellectual.

      Now that i'm reading your post I realize this is an attempt to push some political banter toward criticizing the president and frankly i'm not interested. Like I said we can play the blame game all day but it will get you no where. Also i'm not sure what you're specifically referring to that Obama did that required spending 1 trillion dollars in office only 90 days in but you must realize (which is why I say you can't blame one president) that each president doesn't come in with a clean slate Obama had to inherit all the issues Bush couldn't fix while in office the same way Bush had to inherit Clinton's "problems" and so on and so forth. Despite what you wish to believe a President is not a magician.

    4. criolle johnny says:

      Agreed that NOBODY comes into any job (even life) with a clean slate. As I mentioned, the last president to pay off the debt was Andrew Jackson.
      I'm surprised nobody caught my dig on the 19th Amendment causing the deficit. I was hoping to spark a little outrage.

  8. Max says:


    We have a dangerous & inept buffoon in the White House ALL OF YOU BELIEVED WAS GOING TO SAVE THE WORLD.

    Obama is a monumental disaster and thus what ever you pea brains think OPPOSITE!!

    Palin 2012

  9. I was willing to give this article a chance until you made the statement that "rich old white men" are the main benefactors of GOP policies. This ridiculous stereotypical statement is baseless, untrue, discriminatory (do you have a problem with old people now? and white people?), and makes you a poor journalist.

    You also said that Sarah Palin is some sort of tool for the GOP to show its "supposed diversity." If you really and truly believe that the Republican party is composed of "rich old white men" and that people like Sarah Palin (and Herman Cain? Michelle Bachmann? Michelle Malkin? Marco Rubio?) are mere tokens in a grand scheme to change an image, then you should refrain from ever writing about politics.

    1. Rose says:

      actually, that statement is not entirely untrue. if you look at demographics for the GOP, a large portion of its supporters are wealthy Caucasians (not necessarily old, though).

    2. Aly_J says:

      Rose is exactly right. The examples you have given (Bachmann, Cain, Malkin, Rubio) are only small representatives of the GOP and just happen to have good publicity.

    3. Jennifer says:

      Just because this person wrote something you don't like doesn't mean that they are a poor journalist.

    4. Jesse says:

      Oh Jennifer. Writing ANYTHING that speaks against the conservatives is poor journalism.

  10. Sara says:

    I feel that many of these articles are very one-sided. I don't like to brand myself with labels of any one political party; but I am against abortion. It has nothing to do with me saying women shouldn't have the right to choose; it is my religious belief. These same people who are pro-life are pro-religious freedom. So why is it that because my faith tells me that abortion is wrong that I am being pigheaded and uneducated? It is not fair that because of my personal faiths that I have to be labeled as that when the same people are pushing for everyone to make their own decision. I am in no way a Palin supporter; but I am very tired of being generalized into this group of "idiots" because I share a belief with her.

    1. Polly says:

      I agree with you and I disagree with you.

      I do agree that many articles on college candy are one-sided. I feel like most of the writers here represent some sort of liberal-feminist position on issues. And while I am liberal on some issues like, Pro-Choice, on other issues I am much more conservative and I hate the fact that it seems like they disregard people who have more traditional values/view points.

      However, after reading the article I don't see where the author said or implied that those who are Pro-Life are "idiots". The point she is trying to make is that she feels as though women need to move toward gender equality and feminine independence and that Palin's beliefs are stifling this "movement". It's clear the author is Pro-Choice but she didn't exactly come down on those who aren't as much as she called Palin out on her inconsistencies. At least that's what I got from the article.

    2. criolle johnny says:

      Sara & Polly are restricted to voting for one political party on this issue because the two parties have a lock on political power in Congress and The White House. We need multiple parties to break up the power coalition.

    3. Tom says:

      Having faith is not pigheaded; wanting your faith to be law is.

    4. Anonymous says:

      Yeah, isn't it funny how when these people talk about "religious freedom" they really mean "freedom to force my religion upon you"? That isn't "freedom," people.

    5. Aly_J says:

      Pro choice gives you the option to be religiously free. Just because all women are granted the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion doesn't mean YOU have to get an abortion. Pro-choice does not mean pro-abortion.

  11. Rose says:

    I like these kinds of controversial pieces on CollegeCandy. Maybe next time you could have a more conservative writer do an article on a well-known Democrat.

    1. Becca says:

      Yeah, but when I think conservative, I think Tea Party. And that wouldn't bode well at all. Perhaps a moderate that has registered with the GOP and can look at a democrat objectively instead of screaming communist liberalism and all of that crap?

    2. Emily says:

      The Tea Party didn't even exist up until the last couple years. "When I think conservative, I think Tea Party" – I wish you didn't, because most conservatives don't support the Tea Party.

  12. Hannah says:

    1. Abortion is murder no matter how u say it.
    2. Women shud stay home and men shud work thats how its ment to be.
    3. I agree women shudn't lead…if she got pms it cud start a war….men shud step up and be real men.

    1. fifa says:

      Please, PLEASE be joking. It's hard to believe that you really believe that but it's hard to tell on the internet. Also, even if it was a joke it's not particulary funny… (And to anyone who'll tell me "of course she's joking", you would be surprised at what I've encountered)

  13. Hayley says:

    Hey instead of bashing and degrading another woman and what you think she stands for, use your writing abilities for empowering and advocating someone.

    1. Casey says:

      Why the hell does this have so many "thumbs down" damn this site's negative!

  14. […] 3 reasons why Sarah Palin is bad for young women. -College Candy […]

  15. Sab says:

    Thanks for writing this post! I learned a lot :)

  16. Jane says:

    This would have been a better article if you had left your personal political leanings out of it and simply focused on why Sarah Palin is a poor role model for young women.

  17. Deb says:

    I think if CC lets some moronic, liberal propagandist write an article bashing a well known conservative that CC should let someone write an article that rips Obama to pieces. He's a shit president, and we need CHANGE.

    1. Aly_J says:

      Even if you think Obama is a shit president, that doesn't mean Palin is qualified to take his place. And just because you don't agree with someone's opinions does not mean that the person is a propagandist.

  18. baron of gray matter says:

    "Palin is not qualified"…that is laughably incorrect, she ran a state. Obama was a community organizer, still don't know what that is.

    1. Bre says:

      Chicago has a population of 2,695,598, a large community to organize. Alaska has a population of 710,231. Yeah…

  19. Danae says:

    I am not a fan of Sarah Palin, but many of your views are uninformed. For example, you state that she is unqualified to run for the presidency and yet she governed and transformed the large state of Alaska. Few people, men or women, could have done this. Also, I would not equate her with characters from reality TV shows and trashy celebrities (who, by the way, are the most liberal individuals on the planet… besides your faculty at Columbia University)

  20. Maddy says:

    it scares me so much that so many people (including truly intelligent people that i know and respect) like her and want her to be president. she is so ignorant, it's ridiculous. i actually don't think i could live in america if she became president.

  21. Sabrina says:

    I've read through the comments and can see that many people are saying that you should not say that Palin is anymore less qualified than Obama. I will give it to you all that she was that Governor of Alaska, but she just comes off as not being that bright. Obama may not have the "experience" she has had, but there is no denying that he is an educated man. This coming from a liberal who is none too happy with Obama right now.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Actually, Obama has had far more political experience than Sarah Palin, along with way more education about the issues:

      This is why it is so laughable that these people are accusing this author of being "biased." Anyone claiming that Obama and Palin's levels of pre-'08 political experience are comparable is being deliberately facetious.

  22. Concerned says:

    The “fact that 70,000 women die annually from illegal abortions worlwide” pales in comparison to the fact that 40,000,000 (40 million!!) unborn children have been LEGALLY killed in the US since 1973, something YOU are unaware of. That’s a lot of missing US citizens, people, greater than the entire population of Canada. You also need to re-check your facts: most abortions are not performed on teenagers, but on older, married women. Victims of rape and incest? Not even close to the largest percentage of abortion-seekers. And does the child have to die because of the circumstances of its conception? We are truly living in a disposable society. Sarah Palin is just one voice trying to change that thinking. The author of this article is selfish and childish. Grow up.

  23. Emily says:

    This would be a great article if you actually did your research and left your blatantly ignorant left-wing ideals out of it. "She's bad for women" – why? Because she believes that taxpayers' dollars shouldn't fund abortions? Hey, genius! You know what's cheaper than an abortion AND caring for a child?! A condom. Your whining about how Right-wing politicians don't want to keep policies that clean up after peoples messes is pathetic. Find something else to write about. You clearly know nothing about public policy and you know NOTHING about the Republican party.

  24. les says:

    She is a ho fo sho

  25. Guest says:

    “70,000 women die annually from illegal abortions worldwide” – Then perhaps women shouldn’t be having those abortions. Why do something that is both unsafe and will kill your child?
    “American women have their first sexual encounter at the average age of 17, meaning that more than half of women have sex before graduating from high school. Teenagers and young women who do not use contraceptives properly are more likely to have unwanted pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies lead to abortions. This is fact.” – Unwanted pregnancies from consensual sex are due to the fact people are choosing to have sex. Here’s a fact for you – the only way to control whether or not you get pregnant is to not have sex; no other form of birth control is 100% effective. Rather than equipping teenagers to just give free reign to hormones, they should be taught that if they make the choice to have sex, they are risking pregnancy – regardless of whether or not they use birth control. Truthfully, Palin hit the nail on the head. No sex is the only 100% effective birth control – perhaps the only thing she forgot to mention is that teenagers should be made aware of the fact that they are responsible for their choices.
    Sincerely, Jessi
    (PS – I’m 18 now. I lost my virginity at age 17 and I realize that if I’m pregnant, which I’m a little afraid of at the moment, actually, it’s because of the choice I made to have sex and risk that – not because my health teacher never told me how to use a condom.)

  26. Jenna says:

    Great Article, but way too many reactionary posts in the comments section… eek!

  27. Jenna says:

    The only thing scarier than Palin are her supporters

  28. […] Three Reasons Why Sarah Palin is Bad for Young Women – College Candy […]

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