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. Denise OKC

    Was the wind blowing in the studio with Brian?? That would explain her flip-flop. It's amazing – she doesn't know what the VP does either...geez

    October 23, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. dek in mo

    Govenor Palin is a "Cosmo Feminist" – Hide your agenda behind your sexy style, and then when you've snagged your man (or position) POW! Remind him that its "cheaper to keep her" and do as you please! Palin has a nasty agenda – Mc Cain had better watch his back, because if they win, he will find himself screwed before he knows it – and he won't even get a kiss.

    October 23, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  3. David

    I guess the McCainians want a woman who knows her place.

    October 23, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  4. Pennsylvania Voter

    If she's a feminist, I'm a Conservative. Not!

    Obama/Biden 2008 to 2012
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave Bound

    October 23, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  5. Brant, TX

    Palin says she is for equal rights and opportunity for women, but hasn't said she's for equal pay. Which is good considering McCain effectively voted against equal pay for women not so long ago. So she's two-thirds feminist. Way to sort-of advocate for your gender...

    October 23, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  6. ATG

    To expect that she will remember something she said few weeks is too much 🙂

    October 23, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |

    LoL. Palin already said that she considered herself a feminist and now she is not going to label herself as one? My god, she will never stop lying.

    October 23, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  8. Obama/Biden

    Here we go, the say anything, do anything Plain. Just like Mccain! This woman couldn't put two sentences together just a few weeks ago. Now she is nstructed by her campaign as how to answer reporters. As an independent Voter, she does not represent me in any way shape or form!

    October 23, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  9. Montana Mama

    Her, a feminist? Please, my 6 year old daughter has more common sense then this twit...What has she proven to anyone, besides showing us she can wink, wave and shop...

    October 23, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  10. elizabeth

    My headache is coming back again.--Will you please ask Sarah to define advocate, reformer, feminist, friend.-–Let me simple say Pallin is not prudent at all and McCain lives in the past.
    McCain campaign and the republican party has cultivated a culture of hate and a divide that this nation has never seen before .

    I am very convinced Obama will bring us back togther as one Nation

    October 23, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. ron

    Does she know the definition of a feminist?

    October 23, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |


    October 23, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  13. Tabitha

    Would she really run for president? I guess what's scarier is that a lot of people will vote for.

    October 23, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  14. NJHispanaAmericana

    Yesterday McCain denied reports that he has flip-flopped, well, today on the RACHEL MADDOW Show, she rattled off exactly where he has flip-flopped (yes, I wrote them down): abortion, torture, immigration, social security, Bush tax cuts, gay marriage, campaign finance, off-short drilling, more troops to Afganistan, and finally on making Martin Luther King Day a holiday (yes, initially McCain was AGAINST making this a holiday! Enough said!! Mr. McCain are you regretting yet having chosen Karl Rove's people to manage your campaign? I could tell when they came on board, because then your ads began getting vicious. It's ironic, because they are the same people that campaigned against you in 2000. BY THE WAY, did anyone see SNL's Thursday show today? It was hilarious, the part where McCain is trying to get away from Bush.

    October 23, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  15. Aron Best Sellers

    According to my friend, Thomas J. Aron, women have had a large role in fighting crime in Alaska history. His novel, Sour Rain, is based on his own experience in Juneau in 1967. Does having a part in breaking up a crime ring or exposing and helping disband the "good-old-boy" network make a woman a feminist? Maybe each United States of America voter should get informed and make his or her own decision.

    October 23, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. Audre

    Is this woman nuts – even a squirrel has more going upstairs that this one. I am totally convinced she has a plastic brain. Does she not have one coherent thought process – today this is the answer – two hours later, this is the answer – tomorrow, another answer.

    Get a life.

    October 23, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  17. D&D

    Why am I not surprised?

    she shouldn't have accepted this VP nomination, I don't know what she was thinking when she accepted!

    Furthermore, I absolutely have no idea what McCain was thinking when the idea of picking Palin crossed his mind...

    Now, the boat is sinking...and there is only less they can do now!

    October 23, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  18. aaron

    Whats new? I think Mccain is even questioning Mccain's judgements

    October 23, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  19. Andrew

    This woman would get lost driving to the white house. She is a complete fraud and thinking American's have already figured this out. Just like the right wingers to support somebody because they look great in those clothes bought by the RNC donors.

    October 23, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  20. Sandy

    According to the American Heritage Dictionary,

    feminism: n. Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

    Feminists, in the true sense of the word, simply believe in equality of the sexes. Nothing more, nothing less.

    "Feminist", like "liberal", has had a negative connotation because a certain section of the country decided that perhaps they did not agree with equality.

    October 23, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  21. AB

    Ummm... okay – now she is an expert at something?

    October 23, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  22. Dianne

    She'd better do a lot of studying for 4 years because she does not have a handle on the issues.

    She'd better do a reality check on her honesty as well.

    She won't even make it through the 'Primary Process', she appeals to a minority of the Republican Party. In fact, the Republican Party has been hijacked by the 'religious right' and by McCain's lack of leadership in allowing that to happen, he's lost the small "c" conservatives and the Independents.

    October 23, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  23. cyrusk


    One day she is a femenist, one day she doe not know what she is.
    Well, of course she is a lot of oher thing:s

    Hocky Mom,
    pit bull
    Joe-six-pack type
    Redneck woman

    If there was just one reason for McCain to loose, is Sarah Palin, his runnignmate.

    Go for OBAMA -BIDEN for change!

    October 23, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  24. St. Paul Mom

    I don't care whether or not she calls herself a feminist. Focus on her abilities, knowledge, and credentials (or lack thereof), and concrete policy suggestions. The thought of her as President is downright scary.

    October 23, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  25. Pete

    Riveting, just riveting.

    Keep up the great investigative journalism. You have certainly earned your degree.

    October 23, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
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