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. Texans for Obama

    This is not a surprise, but I'd at least expect Palin to remember her remarks in previous interviews especially after the gaffes she's had.

    I think she's just trying to keep her head above water and survive the next couple of weeks knowing that if McCain gets elected things will slow down (at least in her mind) so that she can get her much needed on the job training. She's probably also changing her feminist stance because she's thinking ahead as to what position will work best for her 2012 run.

    October 23, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. Surge

    The feminists must be killing themselves because for generations they have had a monopoly on the definition of feminisim. It was so-called 'feminists' who were out front attacking Palin in the most disgusting ways when she first emerged. So much for the lefts' anti-hate rhetoric.

    October 23, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  3. SB in NoVa

    She had no problem "labeling" what she thought was "pro-america" or "anti-america" so why would she have a problem now? You are no "friend" of mine!

    Obama/Biden 08 and beyond!
    Turn VA Blue!!
    VOTE * VOTE * VOTE * VOTE * VOTE * VOTE

    P.S. I shook Obama's hand yesterday at the No.VA Rally. He was so authentic and real during his speech which was a combo of the "usual" stump speech and interacting with the excited and exhuberant crowd . And he even signed my books. I'm convinced now more than ever ... he will be our next Prez!

    October 23, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  4. Jack

    Sarah believes in the women in her universe – the universe that's only 6000 years old and she won't dare describe what that universe is like to the rest of the country.

    Scary Sarah is keeping her cards close to the vest but, she has exposed enough of her beliefs to qualify as a truly flaky person.

    If America wants to progress economically and in world stature, we need a new leader in Barack Obama!

    October 23, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  5. Blake

    Flipping and flopping like a flounder on a boat's deck. I'm pretty sure that a "feminist" would be pro-choice. I could be mistaken... It's happened before. She doesn't like labels? Then it would be good if she stopped labeling various parts of the country "the Real America." As far as I can tell the "Real America" is wherever she is.

    October 23, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  6. tomowens

    she will say anything, be anything to help herself. But she will label obama something new every day. Time for her to go back to alaska.

    October 23, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  7. TjayeInLA

    She is not a feminist or an advocate for women. Anyone who seeks to deny women the right to choose what happens with their own body is NOT a friend of women. I doubt very seriously if women like her are in favor of forces vasectomies for men to keep women from becoming pregnant.

    October 23, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Palin: "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"

    Gov. You mean like labeling people terrorist, socialist, communist, un-American, un-patriotic, real Virginia, real America, etc?" IT seems no one is better at labels than you and yes IT IS ANNOYING US!

    October 23, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  9. snoopyloopy

    Hmm, sounds like someone must've gone to a couple coaching sessions, amirite?

    October 23, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. BK

    Is it a surprise that a woman who 'pals around with' secessionists (like her husband) say stupid things?

    October 23, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  11. Larique from CT

    I honestly dislike her more and more each day.
    How is she for equal rights for women BUT opposes equal pay for equal work??? Makes no sense – she lacks sense.

    October 23, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. Marg.

    I just watched Palin on her airplane taking to a reporter and was asked if she was a "feminist" and she stated that she was that she believed in "equal rights for women". Now she stated in an interview this past week with NBC that she was not a "feminist", and how you define a "feminist". All in all she is a phoney. She states that she is a "hockey mom", she shops at Wal+Mart, etc. What happens recently the RNC buys her $150,000 worth of designer clothes for her to wear. That would almost buy a home for the average person. The "hockey mom" does not use that amount of money to purchase clothes. I speak from experience because I am a "hockey mom", etc., and I don't spend that much on my clothes. Again, CNN and the other media are partly at fault for the description of Palin. The interview that CNN had with Palin recently was not much of an "interview". A lot of softball questions were asked of her without no followup.

    October 23, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  13. Debby

    Who cares CNN do you have some kind of fetish with Palin. Your pundits constantly talk about her especially Brown. She seems to have a sick obession with her.

    October 23, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  14. Lee

    How do you think McCain will grade this on the "saying what people want to hear" meter?

    October 23, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  15. HoosierDem

    This woman has no idea what she says!!
    So let's just imagine ...GASP... for a minute (and that's far to long to my confront) she's ever in... swallowing hard!.. the White House, and she tells one world leader one thing and another something else.
    ooppsy! We started a big ole war!

    Seriously though, She's no feminist. She will do NOTHING to advocate for or protect the rights of women in this country or around the world.

    October 23, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  16. Sheila

    "What annoys a lot of Americans" is Sarah Palin. Really. I cannot wait to start seeing much, much less of her. I think I speak for many when I say this. . . Whether she is a feminist or not–well, she acts like one of the "mean girls" from where I am sitting, and I've never seen much sisterly solidarity among them. That, coupled with her obvious antifeminist positions, pretty much takes her out of the "feminist" arena, I think.

    October 23, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  17. Buddy

    FLIP FLOP

    October 23, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  18. Scott VA

    sounds like she doesn't know what her identity is. Just one more thing that shows she is not ready to lead. A real feminist would not allow the campaign to use her as a "Spokesmodel."
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 23, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  19. YOU CAN'T TAKE THE TRUTH

    WORSE THAN A BLOND!

    WHERE DID THEY DIG UP THIS DING DONG?

    MCCAIN GONE INSANE

    October 23, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  20. Hilary B

    Oh, but she has no problem labeling Barack Obama or parts of America as "pro-America." Give me a break.

    October 23, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  21. Mccain/Palin's rallies are downright scary

    Please god November can't come fast enough. I'm not just talking about this particular post here, but I have a feeling things will get ugly in the days to come and my stomach hurts just thinking about it. Politics have to change and this election showed how important it is for these lies to change and change perminantly! If Mccain is elected, these Rove tactics will never go away, again I'm not just talking about this particular post but you guys know what I mean.

    October 23, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  22. Rusty

    I'm sorry but Mcain doesn't have a chance with a woman that changes her mind all the time.I would have voted for Hilary but Palin is definitely no Hilary

    October 23, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  23. Obama/Biden 08

    I think that a lot of feminists would take issue with that definition, and with Palin calling herself a feminist.

    October 23, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  24. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    But does a "feminist" wink cutely instead of cultivating informed, clear thinking?

    October 23, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  25. Kim

    Oh! Sarah the Feminist! or Not

    October 23, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
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