Last year, Joan Walsh of Salon wrote about Hillary-hatred in the media in an article named The Nag, the Witch, and the Media.

Sen. Hillary Clinton’s strong lead with Democratic female voters has undermined the media myth that women might be toughest on a Clinton candidacy. But there’s one group of women Clinton is still having a hard time with: female pundits. I winced Sunday when I read Maureen Dowd calling Clinton a “nag,” and Joan Vennochi, in the Boston Globe, comparing Clinton’s suddenly controversial laugh to the cackle of “hens” and “witches.” If David Brooks or David Broder started throwing around terms like “witch” or “nag” when talking about Clinton, they’d be castigated as sexist throwbacks,

Well, we all know what happened after that.

The media fell in love with Obama, openly urging Hillary to quit long before the primary season was over even though her popular vote matched Obamas (He won mainly due to the far left groups taking over the caucuses. In popular vote, they essentially were tied).

And Walsh’s fears became prophecy, when the Daily Kos (and some on the HuffPost) started castigating her for everything. How bad did it get? Well, how about this “letter” accusing her of racism and saying she wishes that someone shoot Obama.

It was so bad that the pro Hillary writers went on strike and refused to write there anymore.

Well, now that the women haters have destroyed Hillary in favor of an unqualified narcissist, they have aimed their tongues at vilifying the Republican Vice presidential pick, Sarah Palin.

Now, Palin is about as unqualified as Obama when it comes to running the country, so criticizing her on this point is a valid argument.

But instead, the vipers are hitting her at a different angle: with all sorts of rumors about her last son, Trig.

Alan Colmes, who has since removed the post from his blog, blamed her flight back to Alaska as the cause of her baby’s retardation. Presumably, Colmes, who is a gentleman, will apologize about it later.

Down’s syndrome is genetic, due to an extra chromosome. And since Palin is 44, her chances of having a Down’s syndrome baby was over one percent (at age 40 it is one in 100, at age 45 it is one in 40 births).

As for flying to Alaska when you suspect your water is leaking, that’s an iffy question. I would be leery if one of my patients started suspecting she was leaking fluid and flew home. On the other hand, if I were a mom expecting a baby with Down’s syndrome, I might also be worried to deliver at an unknown hospital. I worked years ago with mentally challenged adults, and know that not all physicians would give these babies full care– and in those days, most doctors still were trained to follow the Hippocratic oath.

But Andrew Sullivan is worse, reporting rumors that Palin faked her pregnancy and that the child is her daughter’s.

…the rumors buzzing across the Internets and the press corps are unfounded and unseemly. There must be plenty of medical records and obstetricians and medical eye-witnesses prepared to testify to Sarah Palin’s giving birth to Trig. There must be a record of Bristol’s high school attendance for the past year. And surely, surely, the McCain camp did due diligence on this. But the noise around this story is now deafening, and the weirdness of the chronology sufficient to rise to the level of good faith questions.

What is their evidence?That she had a menopause baby? So did Cherie Blair.

That she didn’t look pregnant?

By the third trimester, a perfectly fit woman not wearing anything less than a space suit should be easily spotted as pregnant. Not in Sarah’s case…Palin is then delivered one month premature, Friday night. Sarah returned to work after three days.

Really? I hate to tell them, but this is the norm for women doctors. Three days for childbirth, two weeks for Caesarean section. As for not “looking” pregnant, sorry, I checked the photographs that they claim prove it. All of them show a carefully camouflaged abdomen in a fit woman who has good abdominal muscles and would carry “high”.

Then there is the criticism that she works while raising a family.  The implication? How dare she neglect her children!

So we women who juggled children and career are to be chastised as “neglecting” them? Hello! But it’s not just that we juggle our children: It’s that we dared to “breed”. Quick: Imagine what would happen if MSNBC held a discussion that called Michelle Obama a “successful lawyer and a breeder”.

At least Sullivan didn’t go on to print the more rabid rumors of adultery or incest in the child’s conception..the right wing ProteinWisdom blog has collected a list of the libels if you want to dig into the mud.

What the slanderers are doing is quite easy to explain. Their story is not so much questioning Palin as slandering their favorite whipping boy, “Fundamentalist Christians”. One suspects that like Tina Brown they know little about Christian believers of any stripe, but they have a psychological need to feel superior, so they project their hatred on an imaginary “other” without guilt.

But their main ignorance is assuming the “scarlet letter” approach to unwed mothers is still the norm in such churches.

Well, when I worked for a couple years in the Bible belt, the Christian churches were aware of teenaged pregnancy, and often assisted the mothers to carry the baby to term. The grandmother usually helped out the mother and cared for the child so that the girl would finish high school and get a job. Sometimes, if the girl is just too young to care for the child, a relative would adopt the child. It’s not something you brag about, but it’s part of life, and these girls and their families are helped, not thrown out as outcasts.

But the point is that in small towns, such things can’t be kept secret. Everyone in school would know about it, and their daughters would talk. Everyone at the doctor’s office might keep quiet (as per the laws on medical privacy) but what about those sitting next to you in the waiting room?

All of this ignores the real reason that Palin is being lied about: Palin made the choice to allow her child to live, even though he is not perfect in the eyes of the world.

Palin compounded the fact that as a traditional feminist (and like Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, or even myself ) she manage ts to juggle caring for her kids with a career.

But if Palin could do it, so could other women…and I suspect a lot of her slanderers envy her that she has children and because they didn’t have what she has: A loving husband, a supportive family, and the knowledge that all things work for the best for those who trust in God.

No wonder the brittle pseudo-feminists like the Hillary hater Maureen Dowd are spitting and frothing at the mouth about Palin too.

And no wonder why true feminists like Hillary and Geraldine Farraro are delighted.

In some ways they see the bitter irony that, after a hard bitter campaign where Obama’s web supporters trashed Hillary for months, it was McCain who appointed a woman.

Obama? Despite his “pro woman” claims, he passed over Hillary and several well qualified Democratic woman governors and appointed a political hack as his Vice President.

So for feminists, it should be an interesting campaign.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Makaipablog.

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