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

Palin changes tune on 'feminist' label

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/03/art.palin.gi.jpg caption="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. Theresa

    The rudeness of many Democrats and the bias favoring the Dems by the Media will be the downfall of your ticket.
    After McCain is President and Palin is Vice-Prisident, many of the "CNN / MSNBC Employees & Fans" ought to take civility lessons!

    October 23, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  2. Felly

    If you put a lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig.

    October 23, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  3. juan bobo

    She refused to say that bombing abortion clinics was terrorism. Nuff said!

    October 23, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  4. Ist Ism Schmism

    Labels are for the other party. Besides sounds too much like feminist, socialist, communist. Maybe she thought they were related.

    October 23, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  5. Andrea

    She is scary because she is so inept she really believes she's qualified....

    October 23, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  6. asdfghjkl

    how can she say she believes in equal and women's rights, when she is pro life, and trying to take the right of choice away form all women?
    doesn't quite make sense...

    October 23, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  7. SHELLI1313

    Failin Palin is the biggest butt hole in the world. She is not America friendly, nor does she care about her children's education. They are with her 90% of the time along with her non working husband. She is a lier, cheater and to top it off she is stupid. $150,000 on clothing, jewls, purses for her, her husband, and her children. Makes me sick to my stomach

    October 23, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  8. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA


    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I respect your view, even though I do not share it.

    Here is what women who do not agree with Palin think:

    Palin is riding on the shoulders of the women who came before her whom her party has demonized for years and years.

    Palin would take away a woman's right to choose what happens to her body.

    Palin does not represent the vast majority of American women.

    While I do not agree nor support Gov. Palin, I am glad that finally the Republicans have a woman on their ticket.

    October 23, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  9. Kim

    i can't stand her. she may represent some women, but i don't think she represents the women who have worked hard, died, or suffered to advance women forward. how can she consider herself a friend to women when she believes a rape or incest victim should bear the child of the hideous crime?

    October 23, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  10. keli


    October 23, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  11. Sandy

    To Guida Curtis who said we women should be proud because "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". Are you kidding me? Those are the characteristics of a candidate that are going to make you proud she's a woman? Fit, gutsy and dressing well? Yes, I know you said smart, but you lose points for burying it in those other three. I want a proud feminist who believes in and strives for women's equality. Not a mean spirited, say anything show piece who doesn't have to keep repeating that she is a maverick, a pitbull, a fighter, experienced, because it will be OBVIOUS.

    October 23, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  12. Navy Vet

    "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."

    Pardon Me: I'd like to know what drugs you were taking when you wrote this garbage. Proud of those two bigots? I don't think so. You are right – she's dressing very well and I can betcha she will not give those clothes to charity. I betcha we see her in pictures after the election, months later, with those clothes on. The charity will be her closet.
    McCain might be a Navy hero but not everybody gets all gushy about that stuff. He's been commended for his service in the Navy and that's it. Just because he was captured and was a POW for five years does not make him President capable. And if he was so great at solving everything, why hasn't he done more for as long as he's been in the Senate. Things that make you go: Hmmmmmmmm!

    October 23, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  13. Mary Beth

    GUIDA CURTIS.........How can you possibly be proud of a woman who has already been convicted of an ethics violation, can't construct a correct sentance or answer a question from a 3rd grader correctly? She is an example of a woman who has let her mouth override her capabilities, outright lied. She is a prime example of trailer trash.

    October 23, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  14. e

    not going to label yourself? seriously maverick, reformer, hockey mom, joe six pack?

    October 23, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  15. keli

    i will personally buy your ticket to russia. one way!!!!


    October 23, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  16. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Honey, you don't need to label yourself anything...we'll do it for you:


    October 23, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  17. ST.ED

    I hate to hear this woman talk using words like gonna for going to and ya for you! Yak! McCain would have been better off chosing a whale or moose for a running mate! She is so uninformed and downright dumb I don't know how anyone would elect this ticket. Then again the man in the Whitehouse is just as dumb.

    October 23, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  18. aware

    I voted for McCain/Palin 08! They are America’s only hope this election!

    But, I can wait to vote for Palin in 2012 if B O wins in 08. By then Obama-hate will be as bad as Bush-hate is today!

    I went through Trudeau-mania and the huge disappointment that followed his equivocating reign!

    However, Obama will lead us into a global depression the likes of which we have never experienced! 🙁

    Palin is more experienced than Obama and doesn’t keep putting her foot in her mouth like Biden!

    And, Palin is authentic, intuitive, energetic, wise, smart, courageous, tough, a servant leader, a very quick study, (it took Obama months to learn what she has picked up in weeks), and she has a strong moral center plus American values!

    Also, the "least of these" wee ones deserve protection not disposal!

    October 23, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  19. Chris from STL

    I'm moving to Alaska ... and contest the next governor election.
    How did she get elected??? Alaskans ... what were you thinking?

    October 23, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |

    SARAH PALIN make me sick......she is nasty...lair...and we females dont want her.

    October 23, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  21. jw

    Palin is not feminist, she is an EXTREMIST! She does not believe in woman's right and she is so right winged that is scary. She destroyed the chance to show the world that working women can be smart and have a work/life balance. All she did is abuse her power and ran all her expenses to taxpayer in order to travel with her kids. She is a SHAME to women in America. Please ask her to return to Alaska after 11/4.

    October 23, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  22. Marc PDX

    And the ambush interviews continue... What am I talking about? How much coverage is there of Biden? He's had several notable gaffes in the past week alone, but the MSM is only interested in trying to trip up Sarah Palin on something. Why do you Dems hate her so much? She's not more conservative than many other Republicans. Is it simply because she's a woman who is also a Republican. Did that break a taboo of yours? Why don't you just take her out back and beat the carp out of her? You know you want to. LOL! Nice caring, understanding Dems! Peace and love baby... 😀

    October 23, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  23. Steward

    Palin would make a better president than Barack Obama. She has already proved herself. He has been present...how many times.

    October 23, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. Susan

    Sarah has been an energizing figure and force and I'm proud of her! It takes guts and smarts to stand up to the pro Obama media groups. I admire and respect her. She and McCain will make the changes America needs at this time. Only McCain Palin! No Obama Biden.

    October 23, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  25. aware

    Palin 2012! 🙂

    If Obama becomes POTUS everyone will hate him by then!

    Global depression on the way with Obama! 🙁

    October 23, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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