Saturday, September 27, 2008

Have you heard about Palin's Wasilla policy of requiring rape survivors to pay for their own "rape kits"?

This has been the most emailed item in the New York Times for almost 24 hours now. While I'm deeply upset by the choice Palin made in the name of balancing Wasilla's budget, I'm pleased to see that so many NYTimes readers appreciate the significance of Palin's decision and what it says about her understanding of sexual violence and the myriad legal, personal and economic decisions at stake in pursuing criminal charges against perpetrators of these crimes.

Author Dorothy Samuels speculates that Palin's decision was driven by "outmoded attitudes and boneheaded budget cutting." Probably, but in any event I add my voice to that of Samuels in calling for Palin to explain decisions like these, particularly as Palin relies so heavily on her record in Wasilla as evidence of her ability to lead.

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