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. chris

    is this possible....

    shes doesnt know what she wants

    obama/biden 08

    11 more days...oh man could this be real....TOO EXCITED

    October 23, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  2. Jane SixPack

    This woman is a power-grabbing, marginally functional moron, that talks out of both sides of her mouth– just like George Bush. I mean, McClone.

    October 24, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  3. jerzeegrl 4 obama

    I want to thank Gov. Palin for the laughs! Thanks for making SNL funny again and providing some great late night material.

    I'm glad that she's not labeling herself. she would be lying if she were to suggest that she or her party were pro-women/feminist.the GOP used her and she allowed herself to be be used. They deserve each other.

    October 24, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  4. 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: what illegal drug of choice were you taking at the time you wrote that garbage? Yes, Palin dresses well and you betcha she will not give those clothes to charity. That's a cover story. Mighty expensive clothes to be giving to charity.
    She is setting women back 100 years every time she speaks. I am not proud of those two bigots, McCain/Palin. It seems most women are repulsed by her and her negative rhetoric. And McCain's hero status has since diminished over the years. Now he's seen as a bitter, angry bigot who is has finally come out of the closet and showed his true colors.
    I will not be voting for McCain or Palin. We will be in serious danger if that ticket wins. A win with that ticket will be every terrorist's dream.

    October 24, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  5. sharon

    she regularly slips up and shows us how she sees herself – "in the white house". i'd like someone to confront her about this. i have no doubt that she fully intends to be president. if that's the outcome, we're moving to nova scotia.

    October 24, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  6. Pat

    I think she would have to understand the REAL meaning of feminist for her to know how to answer the question. I am willing to bet she is unclear about her answer here because she is clueless about femenists role in society. It's like Fareed Zakaria said a while back..."She doesn't really understand the question." Don't ask her things that are based on common knowledge material like which newspaper she reads or which judicial decision she doesn't agree with or whether she is a feminist or not. Because, she is not interested in common knowledge stuff that any 3rd grader from Gladyswood Elementary would know. But she gives a mean campaign stump.

    The problem with Sarah Palin is that is 'dangerously uncurious' Arian Huffington said last night. And I couldn't agree more.

    October 24, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  7. bob in LA

    Doesn't like labels???? Terrorist? Socialist?Pro American?
    And now...designer labels!
    Let me add one- useless

    October 24, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  8. insider

    She was a feminist when Couric asked that question but when Williams ask the question she says "I'm not gonna label myself anything” …What happened to Maverick, Hockey Mom, Pit Bull with lipstick just to name a few labels… How bout the labels your giving others. Socialist, Terrorist, Joe sixpack....bla bla blab!!!

    Palin please just go away, every time you open your mouth something stupid comes out!

    October 24, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  9. ST.ED

    P Brown – Football mom, career woman, etc... October 23rd, 2008 11:34 pm ET

    Why not investigate Obama's background – birth certificate, lawsuit regarding eligibility to be the president, college transcripts, thesis, etc….where are these things? We AMERICANS apply for jobs, we go through a throughout background check….why does Barack get special treatment? Humm……

    Are you implying that Obama is not or may not be an American? If I am not mistaken McCain was born somewhere in South or Central America. The Constitution states that you must be BORN IN THE UNITED STATES TO BE PRESIDENT. Who is getting the special treatment now?

    October 24, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  10. Unbelievable!

    She's NOT A FEMINIST! And NEVER will be while holding fast to the agenda that she's laid out on the campaign trail. She's anti-feminist if anything.

    October 24, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  11. newsnut

    Its a Sly question, aimed to slander and mislead Mrs.Palin's Character. Where are the questions the Democrats say they want answered? Everyone can tell the rudness of all their interviews. What the Democrats are not figuring on, is that alot of Americans will begin to pull their investments out , rather than let that Shyster control their monies. As for me I'm closing up shop if that Shyster wins. And I'm sure that goes for alot of Americans. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

    October 24, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |

    These erratic comments from the McCain/Palin 'mavericks' are causing people to turn to Obama/Biden-



    BIG SKY COUNTRY TURNING BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  13. Doctor Ruth De Paris

    This Palin Woman is not A Feminist, nor a Reformer!!! She haven,t got a Clue of who she really is!!.. I betcha ,Doggone it... Send her back to the Bridge to Nowhere!!!! Tell her she can keep all her expensive clothes bought with Joe the Plumber and Joe Six Pack Donation money that was stolen for her and her family!!! This is just another top of another Iceberg..

    October 24, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  14. Jon- Columbus, IN

    After labeling areas pro-America, implying the others aren't, NOW she says labels are bad?


    October 24, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  15. Democrat from Arizona

    ok I am not going to bash Palin but I think every canidate is fully Vetted and we know there views and opinions. Lets go vote and make history.

    October 24, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  16. Anonymous

    H E L L O?! Woman or not she is a I D I O T! and anyone who votes for her to be "feminist" should move to Canada. McCain is counting on you to vote blindly, I say no way run your negative ads because you're desperate! It's all you got besides being the traditional white male, with a doting BIMBO running beside you and a "blond" BIMBO behind you.

    October 24, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  17. MD

    I sure don't think she is a feminist. Over turn Roe vs. Wade??? Take away a woman's right to choose??? All I see in Palin is an opportunist. McCain was stupid to have chosen her. (0r let the RNC choose her.) Either way, I hope and pray she never gets anywhere near the White House. By the way Gov. Palin, the VP doesn't get to live in the White House. McCain should watch his back...

    October 24, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |


    OBAMA NOW LEADS MCCAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OBAMA AHEAD BY SEVERAL POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    October 24, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  19. SC

    SHELLI1313 : You and all athe rest of the feminsit women would not reconize a real woman as you have proven with your slurs against S Palin. She represents the women of America that stand up for what is rught and honorable. If all of you were not so jealous of he "butt" as you put it SHELLI1313 you may be able to understnad the message she is tryin g to give all you. It appeasr that some women are very insecure in their role as a woman and fight for their insecuritis so hard they only show how insecure the really are. Take some lessons for the real woman our next Rup. VP. Sahar Palin

    October 24, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  20. Military Woman

    Does her husband have a JOB???

    Who wants a man who doesn't work?

    Do her children go to school??

    Wouldn't she want to make sure they didn't follow in her uneducated footsteps? Put those kids in school and stop dragging them around to your K K K hatefests!

    October 24, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  21. I am an Elitist

    If Palin is so much against earmarks, why doesn't she say she will give back the money that Alaska is due to get NEXT year as the bridge to nowhere is nomore?

    October 24, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  22. Al Ram

    Ok so what if Palin flip flop. McCain is also a flip fopper. They are teamates right?

    October 24, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  23. Sally in Oregon

    Can the GOP honestly believe this person is suited for the position of VP (and God forbid President if McCain buys the farm)? Her answers change depending on A) who's asking the question let along B) what the climate and conditions are.
    She was FOR the Bridge to Nowhere before she was AGAINST it
    She was a Walmart-shopping Hockey Mom BEFORE her spree along 5th Avenue (funded in part by hard-working Americans who wanted to believe their donations were for something more than designer bags for the kids).
    I won't vote for you and McCain but I'd sure respect your campaign if you took a stand and defended it instead of the flip-flopping and viciousness you're so hell-bent on.

    October 24, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  24. Winnie Hussein.... in Montana

    P Brown – do some thinking and some research for yourself. Okay, let me help you, go to factcheck.org or snopes.com and find out the truth about Sen. Obama's birth certificate. In fact, during the primaries, a woman was trying to dig up dirt on this very subject. Guess what she found? A birth announcement in the newspaper in Honolulu, Hawaii about the birth of Barack Obama! He is definitely a citizen, so tell your GOP machine to stop spoon-feeding you lies.

    October 24, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  25. Magg38

    I am soo proud of you for your comments, P Brown – Football mom, career woman, etc

    October 24, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
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