October 23rd, 2008
09:32 PM ET
3 years ago

Palin changes tune on 'feminist' label

Palin told Katie Couric last month she considers herself a feminist.
Palin told Katie Couric last month she considers herself a feminist.

BEAVER, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Does Sarah Palin consider herself a feminist? It depends on which network anchor is asking.

In an interview on NBC Nightly News that aired Thursday, host Brian Williams asked Palin: "Governor, are you a feminist?"

"I'm not gonna label myself anything, Brian," she responded. "And I think that's what annoys a lot of Americans, especially in a political campaign, is to start trying to label different parts of America different, different backgrounds, different … I'm not going to put a label on myself. "

The vice presidential nominee said she believes in women's rights and equal rights. Palin went on to say that when she was growing up in Alaska, she "was expected to do the same thing that the guys were doing."

"I'm not going label myself feminist or not," she concluded, "but I do believe that American women can recognize in me an advocate and a friend. And I want to be in the White House for them."

But Palin gave a different answer in September when Katie Couric of CBS News asked her, "Do you consider yourself a feminist?"

"I do," Palin answered. "I'm a feminist who believes in equal rights and I believe that women certainly today have every opportunity that a man has to succeed, and to try to do it all, anyway."

In that sit-down, Palin told Couric she defines a feminist as "someone who believes in equal rights. Someone who would not stand for oppression against women."


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (551 Responses)
  1. Kathy in Minnesota

    I am more a FEMINIST than Sarah Palin will ever consider herself to be. Who is she kidding???

    October 23, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  2. Susan

    I will just label her a megalomaniac

    October 23, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  3. Ann

    Not only is a feminist described as someone who believes in equal rights for both sexes, but can also be described as activity that promotes the rights of women and their interests. Everyone knows where she stands on THAT issue. She SHOULD be backing away from the feminist "label".... she has never been a true supporter of women's rights, and she knows it.

    October 23, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  4. Anne

    I don't know too many "feminists" that would spend $150K on clothing. She also seems to like labels when they're attached to the back of her outfits or emblazoned on her credit card receipts. Please, for the love of God and the USA, send this woman and her family packing back to Alaska. She truly scares me.

    October 23, 2008 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  5. Independent White Woman

    Palin--"I'm not gonna label myself anything, Brian," she responded. "And I think that's what annoys a lot of Americans, especially in a political campaign, is to start trying to label different parts of America different, different backgrounds, different … I'm not going to put a label on myself. "

    Why do you label Senator Obama ........LIAR!!!

    October 23, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  6. VETS4Obama

    PLEASE!!! WOW! She does not want to label herself? The smart mouthed power abuser has no problem labeling everyone else!!! What a "Christian"! Thank God in 12 more days we will be sending her and her $150,000 wardrobe back to the igloo she came from!!!

    October 23, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  7. Michael Ray Thompson

    O.K. Sarah Palin is the VP pick for John McCain. So she's a feminist. I would accept Mickey Mouse as VP under John McCain, who is an American hero.

    October 23, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  8. Jane Independent

    Actually, I don't know what a feminist is anymore either. If you are pro-choice, then it seems you can't – diametrically opposed – mutually exclusive- possibly be a feminist. At least that's the impression I get these days. N.O.W. is really N.O.L.W. Guess what "L" is in that acronym?

    October 23, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  9. va guy

    but she will label others/

    October 23, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  10. Rose

    I believe in women's rights and I'm glad either way that women have gotten this far. I'm even happier that I can vote and have the right to choose. But I'm sorry Palin... it won't be you. If anything you are souring the image of women in politics. Please women out there don't vote for McCain/Palin just because you supported Hillary. They are nothing alike and we will have our day soon enough – but Obama is who we need for at least the next 4 years. McCain/Palin – the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. We don't WANT change. We don't HOPE for change. Change we NEED! And I'm demanding just such when I vote OBAMA/BIDEN 08!

    October 23, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. Karl

    Well, well. I guess Brian caught Bimbo with her head bobbing the other way. How about a Sarah bobble head doll to raise funds for her wardrobe? It conveys the image AND if finances the campaign!

    October 23, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  12. MLH

    It isn't what she labels herself that counts, it is what we label her. Let it not be 'Vice-President.'

    Voted Obama '08

    October 23, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  13. Ellie in Alaska

    Please not that not all women in Alaska think Sarah Palin is qualified to be a VP. She won her republican primary because the incombent was the lowest rated worst governor Alaska has ever had.

    October 23, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. guida curtis

    All women should be proud of the Palin/MacCain ticket. When in the history of our country we had a woman fit, gutsy, smart and dressing well running for the vice presidency of our nation? Wake up ladies we now have an opportunity to understand our role in history and she is being lead by one of our hero soldiers.

    October 23, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. Independent Woman Voting For Obama

    I'm registered as an Independent (no party). As a 32-year-old single college-educated white woman who has never been married or even engaged, it has been too easy to be cynical about the future.

    The media, being political as it always is—whether overtly or covertly—has made it perfectly clear that everything is insanely whacked: divorce rates, medical bills, working multiple jobs, mortgages, and raising children under the aegis of a plethora of municipal, state, and federal regulations that do not allow for parental self-determination.

    I am voting for Obama because for the first time, I see myself becoming OPTIMISTIC about the future.

    I’ve always had a vague feeling that it would be awfully nice to get married or form a partnership with someone special, someone with whom I could spend many more years, creating a cozy home and raising a family.

    I sure as heck hope that we Americans do the smart thing and keep Palin out of Washington, DC, so that there'll be no further confusion over feminist (equal) rights and other important things such as parental self-determination in creating families, and supporting the economy Main-Street style so that all of our families, both existing and future ones, will have better chances in the future.

    October 23, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. hurriCAIN PALIN

    "Nobama will need his supporters to stand with him as tough

    decisions are made" said Biden, that equals – NOBAMA IS NOT

    READY. democrats cant get anything registered into their kool aid

    filled brains

    October 23, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  17. Ryan

    Is she going to be on the Joe the Plumber reality tour?

    October 23, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  18. Barb, Des Plaines

    Let me just clean up the coffee I choked on when I was thrown under the bus. Oh please. She could possibly be the first US Pres. who is a woman and her best reply now is to deny her own identity as a feminist?

    Wow. Looks like Gov. Palin would rather see us all barefoot, pregnant, and back to scrubbing the cave walls for our suppers. OUCH!

    October 23, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  19. NB

    Yeah right. You know what we are so sick of your lies. You came to the lime light saying you are a hockey mom. Hockey mom or Joe six packs can't even dream of wearing cloths worth $150,000.
    So stick to your lies. I don't think Flip Flops will look good with your designer cloths.

    October 23, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  20. David

    This woman is perhaps one of the most confused, misdirected, and vitriolic figures launched into political prominence in American history. It is absolutely astounding that people are willing to acknowledge any remark she makes. I feel dirty for even having written this.

    I think we should follow Senator Obama's lead and simply refuse to even make further comments on her. As a politician and potential representative of the American people, she deserves to be rendered irrelevant and forgettable.

    October 23, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  21. Blinded by the lie

    Obviously we know where we stand at this point....No more needs to be said ....so who's fooling who?

    October 23, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  22. vick

    palin waist of time

    October 23, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  23. Karl

    And complain about how we label every area of the country different... you mean like, "real America" and "unreal America" or "pro-American and "anti-American." Oh, I know, you know, I just hate those kinda labels gittin in the way of labeling people and such.

    October 23, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  24. Independent white female patriotic voter

    Wow! Sarah the feminist! John the liar! campaign the dishonorable!
    campain staff the lobbyists! barack the president! Joe the Vuce president! I lke this! Me the voter!
    Obama!Obama!Obama!

    October 23, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  25. Beth

    She believes in women's rights? Is that why she is opposed to abortion even in the cases of incest or rape? Is that why she will try to undo Roe v. Wade? No thank, you Palin: you belong back in Alaska, not in the White House! Your views would set women back many, many years.

    October 23, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22