Sarah Palin is an extremist. By extremist I mean she forces her beliefs onto other people. She is a Christian Crusader and her primary interests for getting into the White House (either in 2008 or 2012) is so she can push for banning abortion, ban gay marriages, ban books that support gay rights, feminist rights, etc. and basically do whatever the Vatican and conservative Christian minority wants.
So taking those facts in stride, can we still consider her a feminist? No. She's an anti-feminist which is a very complicated term.
If you thought feminism was complicated you haven't encountered the sheer complexity of ideas and backwards logic that is anti-feminism. Anti-feminism believes (essentially) that feminism is inherently wrong, that feminism is about "male hating" and "female supremacy", etc. Anti-feminism works a bit like the KKK blaming everything on the Jews, except in anti-feminism they blame everything on the feminists. According to anti-feminists we "fem-nazi-bitches" want to destroy marriage, families, promote abortion/divorce, convert to socialist communism, practice witchcraft/wicca and turn everyone into lesbians.
"[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians."
- Pat Robertson (being sarcastic), Feminist Quotes
Women like Sarah Palin like to preach the philosophy of Traditional Womanhood, which basically pushes that women should pursue motherhood first, careers second and essentially be subservient to their husbands demands. In other words a virtual slave in their own home. Its not wonder women in the 18th century got "hysteria" so often, they were driven mad (or at very least really pissed off) from their over-demanding, over-controlling husbands.
There's also something called Conservative Feminism, but frankly its so close to anti-feminism in its ideals the lines become a bit blurred. Conservative Feminism also promotes the idea that women belong in the home first and foremost. Conservative Feminism also promotes Pro-Life when it comes to abortion and promotes Traditional Womanhood/Motherhood. Hardly any differences except women are more likely to identify themselves as Conservative Feminists and men are more likely to call themselves anti-feminists. No big difference at all.
Postfeminism says that women have a choice. They can choose to have abortion or not, they can choose to have a career or not, they can choose to wear skirts or pants, they can choose to wear lingerie if they want to, they can choose to get an education, they can choose to get married/divorced, they can choose to run for public office. Does this make Sarah Palin a postfeminist? No, because she wants to get rid of some of those choices. She still wants to run for public office evidently, and she's not about to get rid of divorce... but she is in favour of denying women a choice when it comes to abortion.
So evidently Sarah Palin falls into the category of Conservative Feminist/Anti-Feminist, and there's very little distinction between the two.
Now what was that I said about 2012? Oh yes, lately Sarah Palin has been trying to distance herself from electoral partner John McCain and has even been arguing with him over several key election issues. Why? She wants to distance herself from him and run for president herself. Currently all the polls are predicting Barack Obama to win 49% to 48% with an estimated voter turnout of 59% (in 2004 voter turnout was 56% and in 2000 it was 51%). Voter turnout is expected to be higher in 2008 thanks to Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.
Indeed these days it seems more like Republican voters are voting for Sarah Palin, not John McCain, as quite a few people expect the 72 year old John McCain to kick the bucket sometime soon.
I know there's a lot of women out there who seem to think Sarah Palin is a feminist, but really she isn't. She's just an Conservative extremist. There's a huge difference. If people still think of her as a feminist it will only serve to give feminists a bad name (as if feminists don't already have enough problems being called "a bunch of baby-killing lesbians").
Admittedly there is a minority of women in the United States who support the idea of banning abortion and no longer giving women a choice in that matter. But is there enough Pro-Lifers to push Sarah Palin into office in 2012?
I certainly hope not.
Remember the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher? She was Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990 and the first female Prime Minister of England. She was very good at it too, but there's a problem. She had a lot of feminist support when she first got into power and as soon as she was in power she cut funding to women's groups such as women's shelters, programs to promote literacy and education amongst women, etc. It struck a tremendous blow to women's rights in England. She was a good leader and well respected in some respects, but she wasn't called the Iron Lady for nothing.
If Sarah Palin should run for president in 2012, and win by some ill fate, she needs a moniker that would more effectively describe her Conservative extremist background. How about the Palinbomber? It would reference the willingness of Pro-Lifers to bomb abortion clinics and reference her pro-war stance on the Middle East.
A Woman's Choice - Abortion Privacy and the Right to Choose
Womens' Rights in the United States