The Guardian UK ran a column today that claimed that the people who believe that Trig Palin is not actually Sarah Palin’s son are bunch of men on the Internet who want out of misogynistic interest want to peer into the vagina of Sarah Palin (shudder). This is not only not true, but it doesn’t explain away the fact that if Sarah Palin’s birth story is true, she endangered the life of her unborn child.
Megan Carpentier of the Guardian UK described those who don’t believe that Trig Palin is Sarah Palin’s son thusly,
Trig birthers? In the stubbly nether regions of the internet untouched by Occam’s razor, a dedicated group of (mostly) men seeks to prove that the Palin family drama is more soap operatic than the family has already acknowledged. That is, they seek to convince the rest of the world that, despite all evidence to the contrary, Sarah Palin wasn’t really pregnant in 2007 and 2008, and did not give birth to her son Trig three years ago. Many of them believe Palin’s pregnancy was a ruse designed to shield her teenage daughter, Bristol, from the consequences of a teenage pregnancy – conveniently ignoring the fact that Bristol’s actual teenage pregnancy culminated in a live full-term birth a mere eight months after her brother Trig was born. Oh, those mysterious lady parts! How do they ever work?
Later she called the Babygaters a bunch of misogynists:
And that’s really what Trig birtherism comes down to: misogyny. They can’t just oppose her positions or personally dislike her (not that any of the Trig birthers apparently know her personally). No, her very femaleness and what they consider her subversion of it must disqualify her from office. And no firsthand accounts or doctor’s statements are going to change their minds that the highly improbable fantasy is more compelling than the mundane truth – not without being able to put their grubby little hands on her private gynaecological records. Though, like Obama birthers, they probably wouldn’t be satisfied with those alone, either – unless they found something else in them with which to demonise her.
There are plenty of reasons to disagree with Sarah Palin, plenty of reasons to dislike Sarah Palin’s political persona and a plethora of reasons to oppose a potential Palin candidacy in 2012. And while Trig birthers clearly don’t suffer from a lack of a certain kind of imagination (one rooted in her identity as a woman and a mother), it’s perfectly fair to suggest that they just aren’t interesting enough or imaginative enough to come up with any actual good reason for voters to oppose her – which is why they settled on this conspiracy theory.
This website has extensively covered Sarah Palin’s political movements for years, and in my experience the Trig Truthers are not all men. In fact, most of the people who have expressed doubts about Palin’s pregnancy story to us over the years have been women. I am not sure where the author of Guardian UK piece was getting her information. If one spends any time talking to the people who follow Sarah Palin closely, you will see that women make up a sizable part of this group.
It follows then that if the people who are interested in Babygate aren’t a bunch of men, the cries of misogyny fall apart. I believe it is unfair to label a group of people as misogynistic because they have questions about the most implausible birth story since Jesus was born. The story surrounding Sarah Palin’s fifth pregnancy captures so many imaginations because it is weird, and doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
On April 14, Sarah Jones recently referenced Babygate in her article, “Is Sarah Palin Finally Over?” Sarah made reference to the Business Insider piece on the Babygate story.
From the Business Insider piece to The New Yorker, the mainstream media is starting to ask questions about Trig’s birth and unless Amy Davidson of The New Yorker is a misogynist, I don’t think misogyny is the reason why these questions are being asked.
Davidson wrote that she believes that Trig is Palin’s son, but the story surrounding the birth shows a level of “reckless narcissism,” that is important because it reveals a great deal about Sarah Palin’s character. I think the story of Trig’s birth is relevant not because of any conspiracy, but because the story itself and the way that Palin has handled it reveal just as much about Sarah Palin as whether or not she actually gave birth to the child.
The reason why this doesn’t compare to the right’s Obama birtherism is that Obama has not behaved oddly. We have seen the birth certificate. We have seen the birth notices in the newspapers. Obama hasn’t told conflicting or inconsistent stories about where he was born.
Unlike Obama, through her erratic behavior Sarah Palin herself has raised questions. The Babygaters are infatuated with a conspiracy theory for the same reason people are still talking about the JFK assassination today. Babygate is a conspiracy theory, but Sarah Palin’s own behavior has kept the theory alive.
The Babygaters aren’t a part of a misogynistic plot to destroy Sarah Palin.
In February, Sarah Jones published an article that asked whether Babygate was a conspiracy or an act of child endangerment by Sarah Palin.
Politically the story is relevant, because if we accept Trig Palin’s birth story as true then Sarah Palin reckless endangered the life of her unborn child. This possibility is more damaging to the myth of Sarah Palin as adoring mother of the year material than any conspiracy theory ever could be.