It is a fact universally acknowledged that Governor Palin’s every action and pronouncement over the next three years will be scrutinized with the assumption that she’s going to run in the 2012 primaries:
“It was so recent, yet it feels so foreign,” she said of the time before women had the right to vote, standing in front of pictures of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.
Palin also remarked with pleasure on a black-and-white photograph of four women aiming pistols, and passed in silence under another of a woman holding aloft a sign reading, “Black lesbian feminist.”
She then toured the National Women’s Hall of Fame a block away, concluding with a handshake for the town’s mayor, Diana Smith, and a word of cheer for “mommy mayors and girl governors.”
Admittedly, as a target for mockery, that’s just about irresistable. But it also makes my stomach hurt, because dismissing women elected to public office as ‘mommy mayors and girl governors’ has been the standard misogynist trope going back to at least Samuel Johnson. (“A woman preaching is like a dog walking on its hind legs; it is not done well, but you are astonished to see it done at all.”)
So, I would like to petition the good thoughtful progressive men and women here — maybe especially the men — to try a thought experiment in regard to mocking Sarah Palin. Your zingers may be both justified and delicious, but would you repeat them in front of your Black Best Friend if Alan Keyes were your target?
Good God, yes!
Palin and Keyes are equal opportunity mockable, not for either skin color or XX chromosomes, but for the batshit insanity of their opinions, and, more in Palin’s case than Keyes, the infelicity of their mode of expressing those opinions.
And those opinions and modes of expression are certainly fair game.
Now, commenting on Palin’s physical attributes is right out. And there certainly is a grey area in both Keyes and Palin’s family circumstances where a line may easily be crossed; given the target rich nature of the environment, it would be wise, in my view, to stay away.
From the article, it appears that it was not the author, but Sarah Palin herself who used the phrase “mommy mayors and girl governors.” Certainly, it appears in quotations and is therefore probably not any form of editorializing from the author.
Unfortunately, as with so many of her statements, the pity with Governor Palin is that she is actually worse than her most antagonistic critics would paint her.
Sarah Palin’s positions on issues are a target-rich environment as it is–no need to ever go after anything else, even if it weren’t douchey to do so.
Many of the women I know are significanly harsher than I am when it comes to her.
Her ridiculousness in terms of actual issues is so bad that I don’t even bother to discuss that. I do admit to wallowing in the shallow end of the pool and enjoy her looks quite a bit. My lady friends mock me for that. I don’t mind.
Sure–considering that my zingers concerning Palin have to do with her lack of preparedness for national office and her odd habit of simply blurting out nonsense when cornered (“Which one, Charlie?” “Oh, all of them, Katie”).
And back when Alan Keyes WAS running for president (and, later, Senator), I did sure plenty of zingers with my black friends–and all of my zingers were about Keyes’s lunatic policy proscriptions.
It is entirely possible to mock women and minority public personages over the substance of their statements and views. There is no need to even reference race, gender, or religion when one sticks to the substance of the subjects’ views.
This has been another edition of Simple Answers to Simple Questions.
What @James F said. I don’t think I understand this post. If the question is “Can I call Sarah Palin a village idiot without referring to her girl parts?”, then I answer a resounding “Hell yes!”. But I’m not sure where Sarah Palin’s decision to demean women everywhere fits into that discussion.
Yes. And we’d both laugh ourselves silly.
I come from a long line of shit talkers and story tellers. Saying things that appear inappropriate or offensive things is a way of life in my family (for some perspective, my maternal grandmother was well known for giving her own children the bird). Offensive jokes rule at family gatherings. And we mock just about anything and everything, family members, politicians, athletes, celebrities. So yes, I would say something like this. There are a few things I won’t say, I won’t use the n-word (though some in my family do, judiciously), I won’t use the c-word to describe a woman, but that’s pretty much it.
Oh, hell yes! Been there and done that. Blacks I know are far worse on Keyes than I am, just as the women I know are far worse on Palin.
Idiocy knows no racial or gender boundaries, after all.
In a heartbeat. Because, as noted many times already, both Palin and Keyes are idiots, knaves, carnival barkers, charlatans, maroons. They are easy to mock because they are fools who have no idea that what they say is foolish.
We can mock them without any fear of giving offense because the offense has already tumbled out of their mouths.
Consider your audience here. Most of the regulars can easily do it without the “She’s a woman, and you know women” line. There are plenty of people that can’t, but they tend to not like John’s writing, or the fact that he switched parties.
Your post makes an important point, and its one anyone who was around during the primary felt keenly, because some nitwits used sexist terms to deride the Clinton candidacy or racist ones to describe Obama, while other nitwits – far more of them or far louder ones iirc – denounced substantive or at least unprejudiced crticisms as being evidence of sexism or racism.
But from your blockquote, it appears that the wildly inappropriate sexist description you’re objecting to is between quotation marks, as apparently coming out of the mouth of Governor Palin. Just as I would rebuke anyone who used sexist terms to attack Palin, I insist on my right to denounce sexist remarks that she herself makes – indeed, the former is required if I want any moral authority with which to do the other.
The Grand Panjandrum
Absofuckinglutely. I don’t pull my punches for anyone. If I can’t say what I have to say in front of everyone then I figure it shouldn’t be said period. That seems to be a pretty good way to live your life, no? Well done snark and vicious humor is a feature not a bug in my book. Why do you think I spend so much time hanging out here?
Yeah, but the white guy Keyes was running against still benefited from your put-downs!
Believe me…Palin provided, and continues to provide, TONS of fodder for mockery without her vaginality ever having to be a factor.
An idiot is an idiot, regardless of gender. And Sarah Palin is an idiot, and a hateful, overweening one at that. She is an embarrassment of riches.
While I have heard no end of sexist criticism of Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Madeleine Albright, and plenty of other female politicians, I can’t think of anything I’ve ever said or heard said about Sarah Palin that was sexist.
She’s as stupid as a log. What’s sexist about pointing that out? How is refraining from pointing that out anything other than patronizing?
Death By Mosquito Truck
Maybe we could get Tim F. to reprise his role as profanity-cop.
Preemptive doesn’t need a dash.
No one, but no one, hates Sarah Palin as much as my mom.
Exactly what I was going to say. If you have to be nice because she has lady parts then obviously you don’t think much of women.
@Warren Terra: Yeah, it was amazing how fast the right’s scoffing at Clinton’s assertion of sexism during the primaries turned to full-throated cries of sexism leveled at any journalists with the temerity to say anything critical of Palin. Don’t get me wrong – I think there was sexism in some of the coverage of her, it just wasn’t any more or less, IMO, than that which was leveled at Clinton, or the racism Obama faced, much of it from the same sources.
My wife’s contempt for Sarah Palin is greater than my own.
Was it just me, who noticed that she was completely silenced by the woman holding the sign. Was Palin silenced, because the woman is black, lesbian, feminist, or the whole combination?
It’s hard to go after a genius judge like Sotomayor or a savvy politician like Clinton or an ass kicking Congressman like Rahm Emanuel. Stupid Mexican. Shrill woman. Self-hating Jew.
So you’ve got to take the cheap shots.
Ladies like Palin? You don’t have that problem.
Wait, I’m confused — are you saying Palin is Black?
Me and your Mom would get along like peanut butter and jelly.
Considering my complaints about Palin were about her shallowness and lack of readiness to be President, yes, I could apply the criticisms to someone regardless of their color or sex. (Assuming, of course, that they were also shallow and unqualified to hold national office.)
My other complaint wasn’t so much about her, as about the inability of the Republican party to look past the folksy charm, the cute little winks she’d throw, and the former beauty contestant, to see that she was essentially George W. Bush 2.0 in a skirt.
But to them, at least, that was a feature, not a problem.
I think this graph, as well as some of the comments, are somewhat wide of target. Whether or not you would be comfortable saying some things in front of your “Best Black Friend” or whether your wife or mom hates Sarah Palin more than various men do is besides the point. The point is, are the zingers which you are using to mock various people of different political/social views than your own ones which contribute to offensive archetypes which impoverish our society by promoting bigotry? If they don’t, then good. If they do, then it doesn’t matter how many people of whatever race or gender aren’t actually offended.
Because shut up, that’s why.
Most of the stones I throw at Palin concern her general nincompoopishness, which does not depend on her gender at all. “I read all newspapers, Katie, but, no, I would not care to name any specifically,” is a dumb thing to say no matter how many penises the speaker has. When she says weird stuff about gender roles or whatever I have no problem making fun of that with my wife or other woman friends. Just like I make fun of Michael Steele’s “bling bling” statements with my black friends.
Yes. No question about it. Sarah Palin is very easy to mock without reference to her gender. The convoluted word dump that she somehow passes off as answers to questions is an obvious place to start. It would be equally incomprensible if the person saying it had dangly bits between his legs.
Sorry, I don’t see this as dismissive. This would be like saying Palin was dismissing herself, since she had been a mayor and is now a governor. If anything, she was coming close to a view that the GOP has been screaming about with respect to Sotomayor.
I would mock Palin all day and night for her lack of a grasp of national issues, but I would never mock her for being a woman, or even a self-described “mommy mayor” and “girl governor”. After all, unlike Hillary or even Pelosi, Palin did not get into public office on a husband’s or a political mentor’s coattails.
What you see as the standard misogynist trope just looks like old fashioned alliteration to me.
As always, your mileage may vary.
To paraphrase Al Bundy, it’s not the gender that makes her look stupid, it’s the *STOOPID* that makes her look stupid.
If we can only replay the 2000 campaign Republican debates where Keyes, as absurd and hateful as he is even toward his own family, gave us the first nation-wide window into the vapidity, cluelessness and utter stupidity of Dubya … ahh those were the days.
Despite the fact that Palin is a martyred vaginal-American, fuck her, the moose she rode in on, the snowmobile riding hillbilly who trailed her and the clown car full of fucked up family members that acted as the pooper-scoopers in the great parade of idiocy know as McCain/Palin ’08.
Palin gets hammered because she’s an idiot, not because she’s a woman.
@IndieTarheel: Yes, it is the Stupid that makes her look stupid.
I don’t think this is about whether or not Sarah Palin is stupid. The post is about being aware of what kinds of jokes we make about Stoopid Sarah Palin, and the effect those jokes can have on how some people perceive women in general.
I’m not an Alaskan, so I don’t know if this is true, but what I’ve heard is that Todd’s a bit of a celebrity in Alaska due to his Iron Dog championships. Apparently Sarah was able to leverage some name recognition from that.
Not trying to say it’s the same at all as a spouse or son/daughter filling a seat, but name recognition goes a long way in politics and so the story that she came from nowhere is not quite true.
That’s what I’ve heard, anyway. Like I said, I’m not an Alaskan. Maybe the Iron Dog is not that big of a deal up there and no one knew who Todd was before she was elected Governor. But it seems plausible anyway.
Most of the good ol’ boys in my family made a point of saying that while Sarah Palin is a moron, most women are not and would do a fine job holding public office.
I take this as a sign of progress, even though they all said this within earshot of my mother, who does hold public office. She is also a crack shot and once broke a cinder block with her head. (At her karate class, not at a campaign event or anything like that. Feats of strength went out as a test for fitness in the Poconos a while ago, and usually involved spittin’ chaw a long ways.)
I often refer to Sarah Palin as an evil dumb bitch, and I have said it frequently to my sister, who agrees with me. It has nothing to do with her gender. There are plenty of competent high profile women in politics. Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Sebelius (sp?) come to mind immediately. And not that I’m a Republican or anything, but Kay Bailey Hutchinson (sp again?) will soon be challenging that dick Rick Perry for govenor of Texas.
@Tropical Fats: I respectfully disagree. Palin did come in for some sexist treatment – not for the things she was whinging about for the most part but it was there. The frequent references to her having been a beauty pageant contestant with the wink and nod understanding that “beauty queen” = “stupid” are quite sexist. She was also called things like bimbo which, despite Bill Maher’s insistence to the contrary, is a sexist term. I know she is an idiot but calling her an idiot and using the many, many examples she gave us in a few short weeks is a very different thing from calling her a bimbo or frequent references to the fact that she was on the beauty pageant circuit.
Also, the frequent, almost obsessive, focus on her reproductive choices (everything from having that many kids to whether or not she should have gotten on the plane after her water broke) and the hand-wringing about the welfare of her children while she was on the campaign trail, as if she doesn’t have a husband and parents etc who are perfectly capable of taking care of the kids. These kinds of “issues” are frequently leveled at female candidates but rarely at male candidates…
I do think the majority of the coverage was actually focused on her failings as a candidate, but I did see pretty equal sexist time spent on Palin as on Clinton.
My mother easily bests me when it comes to Palin venom, so, well, yeah. Also.
Palin seems stupid to us here, because we value intellect. To Palin and her fans, we’re over-educated effete snobs. My wingnut friends who don’t have any other “over-educated” friends think she’s awesome and they want her to represent them in the highest office of the land, because that would validate the choices they made and didn’t make. The Palin story – the 6 colleges to get a degree, the trashy family, the small town petty vindictiveness is what they all live and totally understand, and to champion her is to champion themselves and their poor choices. Palin gets that, and her success at tapping into that resentment has to be admired. She’s used everything at her disposal, including, but not limited to, her feminine charms to get as far as she has. Because her looks are so important to the overall package, her window of opportunity is narrowing. Fifty something year old women without sharp intellects don’t get to play the game she’s playing. Also.
That would not pose a problem. It’s so damned easy to ridicule her in a nonsexist manner.
Sarah Palin is the biggest tool of the patriarchy I’ve seen in public in quite a while, and I can say that to my radical feminist best friends without alienating a one of them…
…Palin went on to give a shout-out to “mommy” Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher & “mommy” PM Indira Ghandi & to praise “girl” Canadian PM Kim Campbell… all of whom were the first PM in their respective countries.
Palin’s next book: “Mommy President Has Her Finger On The Red Button (So You’d Better Clean Your Room… Now!)”
Nice shout out to Pride and Prejudice, btw.
jake 4 that 1
Seeing as I am my own BBF, youbetcha.
Here’s the thing, anyone who mocks Palin or Keyes based on gender/race is one lazy motherfucker. If you started mocking them when you were born and did it every day until you died at the ripe old age of 110, you would still have too much material to work with to justify going for hur hur stoopid gurl/neegro.
Same here. My wife screamed at the TV every time she came on.
She’s not well-educated, but she’s definitely often-educated.
@James F: I don’t disagree. In fact, not only did I NOT denigrate her with any gender-based jokes (not that I would in any event), my utter contempt for her was in part BASED on the fact that she tried to ride the “I am woman, hear me roar” train while demeaning both the memory and the spirit of the movement her candidacy mocked.
That, and the fact that she was, and is, a moron of angel-tear producing proportions.For the record, Shirley Chisholm would have mopped the floor with her, figuratively AND literally.
So none of the “good thoughtful progressive men and women here” is black?
Palin is the one who made your stomach hurt. Take it up with her.
@raff: LOL! That’s awesome. As well as making a good point. Palin probably thinks that “mommy mayor” and “girl governor” are complimentary terms, but they are not. They are dismissive of these women and the power that they hold. Juvenalizing women and people of color is a time honored tradition among those who want to keep women and POC “in their place.” But then Palin and her ilk wouldn’t know sexism if it touched them inappropriately in a break room.
Totally agree. It’s impossible to discuss Sarah Palin without at some point mentioning the role her looks have in her success. I’m relatively certain the “starbursts” crowd wouldn’t have been as bowled over had Sarah Palin been 65 and not all that attractive, even when she was younger. Every candidate has a “package.” Looks are part of hers.
I also agree that her window is narrowing, given that her looks are so much a part of her “package.” Eight years from now, she might not set Bill Kristol’s world on fire or shoot starbursts through the TV to quite so many wingnut men. That probably says way more about the men than it does about her. But it’s a factor she’s got to take into consideration. It’s reality.
I think the thought experiment is not a useful one.
I’ve never heard a comment at Palin’s expense that dinged the sexism hotline in my head, but I never liked people putting down Ann Coulter for her looks, it creeped me out. So I’ll think of that. And then, if I take a creep-out comment against Ann Coulter, and replace it with Michael Steele, well, it won’t make any sense.
Instead of thinking of your BBF as the intended audience, think of your girlfriend, or friend who is a girl, or Anne Laurie. Shouldn’t that work?
And what Cat Lady said. Also.
“mommy mayors and girl governors” is just 3 decades outta date, living in nowheresville, one giant leap backwards cheap/cutesy talk.
Fighting to appoint a man who said: “If a guy can’t rape his wife, who’s he gonna rape?” as your AG. Pricelessly biblical womenhate.
Completely redundant. Any intellectually honest critiques of Palin have nothing to do with her gender.
Indeed, most, if not all of my criticisms of her — ignorance, intolerance, self-interest, simple & simple-minded ideology, power-lust — are traits I would ordinarily ascribe to men. I would expect more of the superior gender.
Palin stands on her own terms – in word & deed. Gender doesn’t enter into it.
@jake 4 that 1: Yes, this. I have to agree with Mayken, though that there was a lot of slamming on Palin due to things that are particularly female, such as her looks and her amazing reproductive ability.
However, I think it’s a bit complicated because she played into the stereotypes with her winking and blinking, and she certainly used her children on the campaign trail.
In other words, it’s not a clear-cut case to me. Personally, I don’t slam her for her looks (though they do nothing for me), and I don’t particularly care about her reproductive abilities. I think she’s stupid in the literal sense, just as W. was. In addition, just like W., she is proud of her ignorance, and she will use any means necessary to win.
Edited to add, I agree that she has tried to undermine women’s rights herself several times as governor of Alaska.
@IndieTarheel: She’s not close to being in Chisholm’s weight class.
I hope it didn’t seem that I was accusing you of having made any cutting remarks of any kind about Palin or anyone else. I think this is a badly flawed post, but I also think the response has been flawed, and was simply trying to move the replies in a different direction. I apologize if that reflected in any way on you, and will try to be better in the future.
@Mayken: I agree about the “beauty queen” remarks, which I had somehow forgotten. I had not (I don’t think) heard her called a bimbo, which is of course sexist. (Maher actually tried to say it wasn’t? Wow.)
So yeah, point taken. But I still maintain that she is a stupid, aggressively ignorant, mean-spirited person who in a better world would be unknown to those fortunate many outside her personal sphere of acquaintances.
Anne Laurie….are you serious saying we should holster our guns on a two-digit that constantly self-styled as a talking dog with lipstick?
Try this thought experiment– Camelot redux with a beautiful hyperintelligent moviestar family, vs someones sick grampa with an 80s bighair dimbo on his arm?
Anne Laurie, put me down in the James F column as being completely confused about what your question is referring to, and wondering if you may be confused too.
What do you mean by “your zingers”? It sure sounds like you’re talking about the “mommy mayors and girl governors” thing. James is right: it wasn’t someone making fun of Palin who said that, it was Palin! Are you just talking to someone who might say some other, unspecified mean thing making fun of Palin for being a silly girl because of the silly thing she said?
Then I’m sexist. Because I am offended not only by her more stupid than a fencepost intellect but by the mere fact that she is a woman. She is everything I find abhorrent about my own gender and her mere existence, let alone her prominence, is an insult to me as a woman. And so I feel as free to mock her as a female specifically as I do her venality, shallowness, and lack of any sort of familiarity with reality or truth. Fuck her and fuck her double for reproducing more trailer trash just like her. I hate her with a special burning hate that only a woman can have for another woman.
first, her opponents are sexist for criticizing her. then, she causes wink-nuts to orgasm spontaneously with a come hither. she has played her sex like a fiddle, turnabout is fair play
No, Anne, that isn’t a thought experiment, it’s begging the question. False equivalency to boot. Besides, both Palin and Keyes can be raked over the coals quite mercilessly without bringing their racial or gender status into the process.
Not only that, but the phrase “Black Best Friend” as utilized demonstrates some strange presumptions about the readership here (not everyone is white out in the blogosphere) as well as the racial makeup of the social circles the white readership dwells in. Physician, heal thyself.
I think my successful, feminist, businesswoman (person) sister said it best, “I hate to say this, but, Palin is one woman who should be kept home, barefoot and pregnant!”
I said to her, “Sis honey, Todd tried!”
@Tropical Fats: Yeah, he has said it several times. Too lazy to find a link. But I nearly destroyed my tv the first time he said it. I loves me some Bill but there are days….
You will get no argument from me that Palin is stupid, aggressively (and proudly!) ignorant and mean spirited. I did not care for her politics and I really dislike her trying to make herself out to be some sort of feminist icon. Sister, please, sit down, you are embarrassing us! There is, as many folks have noted, no end of fodder for zingers without ever once refering to her gender, even a little bit.
@asiangrrlMN: I agree that she definitely used her looks and played into the stereotype but imo the commentary is no less sexist because she did so. YMMV.
Ah, Sarah Palin.
I figured out why she bothered me so.
It’s hard enough being Black in America, knowing about White Privilege.
It’s tougher, though, when White Privilege is thrown in your face in the personage of Sarah Palin.
Nobody can convince me.
Nobody can convince me that if the Democrats had trotted out someone BLACK with the same resume, and who showed that level of ignorance as she did with Gibson and Couric, that ANYONE Black would be taken seriously as a NATIONAL candidate. Nobody will convince me that someone Black wouldn’t have been ground up with the label “incompetent” branded on their chest; a brand that hasn’t been attached to Palin.
The PRETENSE that this woman was qualified to be one of four people that could wind up President of the United States is what I can’t get past.
And, the MSM aided and abetted this crime, and continue to do so. Because, if they had treated her the way she ought to have been treated – as a complete and utter joke- then the Presidential race would have been over by October 1st, because it would have been obvious that McCain never put this country first by nominating that woman. That he could have cared less about this country. And, to this day, the MSM can’t call her out, because the public would have go to ‘ if she was this bad, then why didn’t you say so during the campaign?’, so they continue with this farce.
As an educated Black woman, yes, Palin galls me. She galls me with her stupidity; she galls me with her ignorance. As a woman, she galls me with the way she pimps her children faster than Tyrone does his best $10 HO. As a Black person who has seen not only mine but my ancestors patriotism routinely questioned, the FACT that this woman is MARRIED to a man that belonged to a SECESSIONIST GROUP FOR SEVEN YEARS, and that she gave speeches to said group…..
like I said, it’s altogether different to have White Privilege thrown in your face in the mediocre, unintelligent persona that is Sarah Palin.
I’m probably gonna regret saying this but what the hell. Sarah Palin is a specific type of woman, much as all those doughy, white, sexually frustrated wingers we all love to mock, happily insulting their manhood all the way. And they deserve it no doubt. And so it is ridiculous to not be able to do the same in regard to female types like like Palin and Coulter because somehow it’s offensive to women but the same thing isn’t when you’re saying about a white male type. I find that more than a little patronizing to women, to be honest. I don’t know anyone who isn’t more offended by how Palin has conducted herself as a female politician than they are about any of the things said about her.
Anne Laurie…..please….Palin isn’t even in our species.
My mom said she should stay home and take care of her children.
What compelling reason could drive a woman with a special needs newborn and an unwed pregnant teenage high-school drop-out daughter to seek the high office?
Pig-ignorant ambition is what.
And we are supposed to cut her some slack because we are XX?
Please…she was a bot.
Puffy old white men used her as a stage prop and an attack dog.
It would give her the power to place a hit on her sister’s ex.
@Mayken: So people who mock Palin’s own winkin’-blinkin’-and-nod schtick are inappropriately sexist, but you think it’s clever to make cracks about sexual battery in the workplace. Really?
@HumboldtBlue: “Despite the fact that Palin is a martyred vaginal-American, fuck her, the moose she rode in on, the snowmobile riding hillbilly who trailed her and the clown car full of fucked up family members that acted as the pooper-scoopers in the great parade of idiocy know as McCain/Palin ‘08.”
Now that is some fine writing there.. laugh out loud great!
Mayken is smarter than I am.
And Jake 4 That 1 is wittier. Also.
Death By Mosquito Truck
And Blue Raven is righter.
Feel free to mock her for this.
@Death By Mosquito Truck:
I like an umlaut, though.
As a female myself, I have nothing but disdain for Palin. The reason she gets called a “dingbat beauty queen” is because she made a fuss about it, just the way she made a fuss about being a sexy mom. If she didn’t want to be tagged as a stereotypical beauty queen/sexpot, she shouldn’t have played into all the stereotypes.
Sorry, lady; you used the stereotypes and your sex appeal for all you could get out of them. Not surprising that the negative aspects of the stereotypes stuck to you as well, especially when you personified them to the max.
You act like a bimbo, you get tagged as a bimbo. Too bad, so sad. Wise up.
Palin didn’t get into office on a husband’s “coattails,” but here’s an interesting article about two particular (male) mentors who helped her get her start. One of them was director of the Alaska Independence Party:
Sure. The woman is utterly incapable of answering a follow-up question on any topic whatsoever, no matter how friendly the interrogator. (See the Republican head of the Alaskan Senate, who dared ask her what her plans for the state were. Putting her on the spot! Like the governor would have plans for the state, especially at the start of the legislative session when she visited the legislature.) So long as there is the slightest chance this twit will become president, I will mock her.
I’m confused by your complaint, but I think commenter 2 has it: You’re interpreting an apparent Palin quote as being a misogynist dig by a mean reporter, rather than a Palin quote. But I think it’s a Palin quote, as well, so perhaps your question is whether Palin would say stuff about “mommy mayors and girl governors” to another woman–and the answer, per the article, is yes.
She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to politics. When she finally exits the scene, I will weep.
She’s golden. She’s worth a million bucks. She’s a walking advertisement against teh stoopid. Honestly, people, appreciate her while she’s around. It may not last long.
Okay, checked the story and I’m with James F and the other confused commenters: Ben Smith is not being a misogynist. If the mommy mayor comment is misogynist, then that hat must be affixed to Governor Palin.
@rikyrah: Good God, yes, THIS!!!
“Mommy mayors and girl governors” is clearly a direct quote from Palin herself. Did someone think the reporter made that up?!
Honestly, I didn’t see that much criticism of Palin that struck me as sexist. What I saw instead was class bias. It reminded me of the coverage of Bill Clinton. “Hey, her knocked-up daughter is dating a redneck! Yuk Yuk” Maybe I’m just a little more tuned into it, as I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, but that was my reaction to lots of the coverage and her reaction to it as well. “What newspapers do you read?” struck me as “Hey you yokel, *can* you even read?” And the discomfort when Palin answered clearly struck me as a poor person apologizing to the big media lady from New York. Don’t get me wrong; I dislike her tons, but it really went a long way towards explaining the dynamic of the fall to me.
I don’t know to what extent raw intellect is a requirement for leadership, but a measure of intellectual curiosity ought to be. There is no way Palin is too stupid not to have done better in those interviews if she had frakkin’ bothered to pay attention to the briefings they must have been giving her (or trying to). The most offensive thing about Palin is that she is a willing tool of winger ideology and using faux-feminism as a smokescreen.
Yeah, I would. Girls need thick skin too. Quit whining and deal with it. Christ you’re like a whiny version of Kathleen Parker (free clue: That’s not a compliment, girlfriend. Oh, snap. I just “went there.”)
kommrade reproductive vigor
Preferably with wood screws and a high power drill.
Dear me, what a simply dreadful thing to say.
@KRK: I have trouble with the “dumb because she is a beauty queen” and bimbo jokes – the “dumb because she opened her mouth and removed all doubt” is a very different thing. My point above is that just because she takes advantage of the fact that she is a good looking (in some people’s minds, I don’t really think she’s all that) doesn’t make it OK to throw around sexist terms at her. As a few others have said here, there is plenty of room to criticize her without resorting to gender specific insults.
My joke was not meant to make light of either sexual harassment – as a woman in a traditionally “masculine” profession (IT) I’ve been faced with it more than once so I am quite aware that it is serious matter. But the point was that she and her apologists were all running around saying the media et al were sexist because they questioned her suitability based on not being able to handle simple interviews (and other appropriate critiques) while utterly dismissing Clinton for pointing out actual sexism cast at her in the primaries.
I am sorry for coming across as flippant though.
@Anne Laurie: Aw ** blush ** thanks! I appreciate your writing and it is not coincidence that yours are the posts that bring me out of lurk mode.
I’m a white, middle-aged, middle-class female, and I’ll go on record here as saying that every time Sarah Palin opens her vacuous yap in public I’d like to punch her goddamned teeth so far down her goddamned throat she’d need to stick her goddamned toothbrush up her goddamned ass to clean ’em. And I’ve already said as much in front of my equally white, middle-class female friends, and they all agree.
(As for my friends of color, they’d trash Keyes themselves before I could even begin to get the words out.)
SP thinks she can talk or wink her way out of anything, because she has done it her entire life. Her toolset consists of a quick wit, a pretty face, great tits, ass and nice legs and she works them to death. Notice when when shit catches up with her she can’t knowledge a mistake or admit failure. She just gets pissed and lashes out at whoever or whatever dares to question her. She is the always going to be the prettiest girl in most rooms and she likes it that way because that is always the way its been for her…she knows that when she talks to most guys she doesn’t have to know shit because they are thinking about fucking her rather than having a meaningful conversation. I would bet she has never been called to account for anything in her life, she is a spoiled, mean bitch. I would bet money that Todd fucks around on her and if she found out her first question would be…”is she pretty?”
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
And yet they called Barack Obama “unqualified.”
I don’t quite get this. As a governor, and as a vice-presidential candidate, it is just not acceptable that she could not answer basic questions about national issues, when the GOP campaign claimed that she had foreign policy knowledge and experience. And it is not acceptable that she could not talk intelligently about what newspapers she read or how she formed her opinions of national issues.
Here, Palin reminded me of Harriet Miers, who could not demonstrate even a minimal level of knowledge of constitutional issues when questioned by Senators when Bush tried to get her onto the Supreme Court.
Also, I don’t know that you could call Palin poor. Although she was not a trust fund baby like John McCain’s wife, the Palin’s tax returns for 2007 showed an adjusted gross income of $166,000. And her background seemed to be solidly middle class: she was the daughter of a school secretary and a science teacher.
But I will give you this: it was interesting to see that the media could not adequately understand either Obama’s Hawaiian background or Palin’s Alaskan connections. They wanted to try to recast Palin as some kind of character out of the old tv show, Northern Exposure.
Ladies & Gents, the thread-winner. This is the essence of the wingnut Palin worship.
There’s a pathetic lack of depth and any degree of intellectual awareness with Sarah Palin that was obvious from her first interview. She was totally clueless that an interviewer would be asking questions not so much to have her just deliver a simple one off answer, but to offer a starting point on a topic so she could elaborate and let us learn more about how she thinks, which is why her interviews were beyond embarrassing.
She acted like like she was answering a beauty pageant judge, not interviewing for the second most important job in the world and it showed. You betcha!
FWIW, my wife snarled like a she-wolf with it’s foot caught in a steel trap when she was on the Tee Vee during the election and still does at the mention of her name.
And I’ve got a Benjamin that says she bottoms from the top in the First Bedroom with the First Dude, the missing chromosome alpha wingnuts sense it and it drives ’em bat-shit crazy. FTW.
I thought Anne Laurie was using Sarah Palin’s own comment to pose the question- how do we phrase our disdain for a politician we dislike when the politician is female- do we say things, without even thinking of it, that don’t have an equivalent if the politician were male? There are a lot of words we use for women that don’t have a male match. The c word is the most obvious, but calling someone a bitch isn’t the same as calling someone a son of a bitch. One term identifies the person as unattractive and less than human; the other criticizes the person by stating his female parent was both unattractive and less than human. There’s no male equivalent to “bitch.” Not dick, not dog, not asshole.
Generally, any word a particular group has attempted to “reclaim” whether through slang, pop songs or whatever, is probably a word that should not be used when discussing a person’s suitability for a professional job.
IMO, the questioning of her parenting/quality as a mother was sexist. If John Edwards had a special needs kid, would anyone have suggested that he shouldn’t seek office so he could help care for the kid? Not in a million years. Heck, his wife has a nasty form of cancer and he still ran, a decision I couldn’t imagine myself making if my wife were ill.
Aside from that, I agree with the commentators above-she was sunk by her own (lack of) ability, legitimately criticized.
I don’t think of Palin as a “bitch,” nor do I think that there is a single word that summarizes or dismisses her.
Further, I think that the most incompetent candidate in the 2008 presidential race, including primaries, was Mitt Romney, a sleek pretty boy, an empty suit, who was a shallow flip-flopper who had far less command of the issues than he realized.
And some people think that a Romney is a viable 2012 candidate.
As shallow, as unprepared, as unqualified as Palin was, I think she could run rings around Romney.
@rikyrah: I think it was Chris Rock who said it best. In the neighborhood he lives in, there’s only two other blacks; Mary J.Blige and Eddie Murphy. All of the other residents are white. And their professions range from dentist to other non-specific high paying gigs.
The only way black dentist could afford to live there is if he invented teeth. So, to reinstate your theory, pretty much a black candidate of Sarah Palin’s intelligence would have been laughed at and called an affirmative action case. Period.
@Cat Lady: Even with all that failure behind her, she still able to attain some positions and great opportunities.
She is an idiot of the highest order. I work with someone who stated that during the election, despite all of the stupid things she said, that Palin was real and that eventually she was going to “shine”. She could relate to Palin because she was a woman. That was her lame ass excuse for supporting Palin. I was completely in a state of disbelief.
I don’t equate beauty queen to stupid, I equate it to shallow, and FSM knows Caribou Barbie has shown herself to be shallow.
Not “cock” or “pecker”?
Sexist or not, my daughter, mother of 4 young kids, had a real problem with Palin’s behavior in Texas when her water broke and her failure to seek immediate medical care for her unborn baby.
I have long been surprised that McCain-Palin didn’t lose by more than 9 million votes. Goldwater, who had a lot more to offer in terms of ability and character lost by 16 million votes. If McCain had been 10 years younger, their ticket might have won, and that possibility, in light of the 8 years which preceded the election, gives me a very low opinion of a great many voters in this country. The Palin lovers were all around me and they were educated middle class, albeit Southern Republican women. They thought and still think that she is adorable. But, alas,so did Bill Clinton in the immediate aftermath of her nomination.
I don’t miss Joe the not Plumber (did he finally exit, stage left, er right?), I won’t miss Palin when she departs the scene.
If a person uses sex appeal to get something they want, commentary on the fact that they have done so is invariably going to be sexist. There is nothing problematic about that.
Having said that, I’m sure there are plenty of examples of people going further than they needed to in attacking her or piling on once she became a target without knowing or caring why, but most of the reallty harsh criticism that got levelled at Palin was really directed at the (mostly white male) people defending her.
Basically, it was obvious almost from the beginning that Palin was hopelessly out of her depth and was going to grow more embarrassing for the Republicans with each passing day. The joke was watching Sarah do something stupid and trying to guess how the kool-aid drinkers with sparkles in their eyes would defend her in the next day’s punditry. They never failed to do this, so the rest of us got months and months of entertainment out of it.
The same would be true of Alan Keyes if the Republicans were stupid enough to nominate him for higher office. The only reason Keyes doesn’t provoke as much laughter as Palin is that even the G.O.P. doesn’t seem to be foolish enough too do that.
As for the comparison with “beauty queens”, I don’t think it’s as out of line as some people are arguing. I don’t think anybody really believes that attractive women are invariably stupid. But I do think that the whole concept of beauty pageants is stupid. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a guy turning his head to look at a woman walking down the street. But I find the whole idea of gathering a bunch of women together as though they were the “best of the best” and scoring them on their looks down to four decimal places extremely moronic.
More to the point, the whole exercise of a pageant is capped by presenters with sparkles in their eyes claiming that the winner of the pageant is by far the smartest and most talented woman that they’ve ever set eyes on. They do this even though everyone with a brain knows that the votes were based on the swimsuit and evening gown competitions and most people regard the talent portion of the contest as totally optional.
Picking Palin drove home the point (much more than anyone else would have) that the G.O.P. was trying to run the whole Presidential campaign as though it were a beauty pageant.
The sad thing is that I actually have a certain amount of respect for Palin for her successes in Alaska. It’s easy to forget, but she did build herself up into a Governorship by taking on the system and winning. Once she was picked as the VP candidate however, she became as much a part of City Hall as anyone else. Pretending that people who attack Palin for doing so are “sexist” is to pretend that Fox News and the other usual suspects were not trying to bend and twist every screwup she made into a triumph of Olympic proportions.
@Brachiator: Maybe poor is wrong, but it seems to me like the daughter of a school teacher and a secretary is starting out on the low end of the spectrum. Money to me really isn’t the point, though. It’s class. I’m sorry that I don’t have a better way of expressing it. I just *know* that disdain. I’m from a small town in Texas, and I’ve been on the wrong end of the “yokel” stick enough to know it.
And look at the very next comment, talking about the “trashy family” and “6 colleges”. Don’t you see the attitude here?
Like I said, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want her anywhere near power. I think she is a small, mean person. But lots of the criticism I hear reeks of “How dare that trashy bimbo show up here?” The gossipy awfulness about her kids’ names, her daughter getting pregnant, how many colleges she went to… how do you not see this disdain?
So instead of “Who’s Nailin’ Palin?” how about “Tickling the Keyes: Ebony and Ivory Adventures?”
When it’s time for the money shot, he can sing Judy Garland songs.
On the whole, I view Palin and Keyes as the worst of their respective population segments, the ones that sold everyone else out to be the token, the popinjay that will be held up as a symbolic nod to open, tolerant diversity, while spouting the rhetoric of the ruling class. It’s a pass to wealth and power that’s much easier than fighting any actual oligarchy. If I could spout the utter, puerile nonsense of “mommy mayors & girlie governors” without laughing myself pissy, while wearing dreads and 3 piece power suit, I too could be the latest female, brown republican castigating the black community for a few bucks on faux noise. If I could do that wearing a turban, with a white girlfriend while supporting prop 8, it would count as living dada too.
Frankly, I can’t begin to pay attention to people who seem to be doing stupid performance art.
I watched Sarah twitch around like she was the hottest thing since fresh baked bread (she ain’t close) and be aggressively ignorant and mean and sexism is a question? There’s something sexist in mocking that? WTF? If Barack had played at being some farcical stereotypical black he would be free from mockery for it, or Keyes for that matter?
Other than the idle right wing chatter her entire candidacy was based on winks, tits, and fecundity and that’s somehow off limits? In what world of over-amped concern trolling am I supposed to ignore a major advertising schtick? I’ll be real damn impressed with this chain of “progressive reasoning” when I no longer read about a firearm as a dick enhancer or a hot car as a replacement to inadequate endowment from the same crowd.
Referring to her as a bitch is lack of vocabulary and original thinking, referring to the beauty pagent queen ludicrousness of her candidacy is not a problem for me and digging that knife in deep isn’t any more than deserved and earned. If a black candidate played Buckwheat to me I’d rip ’em a new one for it in plain terms, same as the old white man Confederate Party of Republicanism. Same shit. different day.
My aunt is Seneca Falls Mayor Diana Smith.
My father’s side of the family comes from Seneca Falls.
I saw this and about fell out of my chair.
BethanyAnne, I gotta call bullshit. Sarah Palin comes from a highly privileged background compared to me. Her parents were several rungs up the class ladder than mine. And Western PA is as much fodder for dumb hillbilly jokes as our host’s home state only they call us hoopies instead. And no one in my entire life has ever called me trailer trash (though I have family members who have had the label attached, deservedly so). And that’s because I chose to live my life in direct refutation of that label. Sarah Palin, with her college educated father, chose to act like every ignorant stereotype of woman and lower middle class lumpenproletariat and I, with my steel worker and grave digger father, choose to present myself with dignity and, hopefully, intelligence. There’s nothing classist about it unless it is somehow classist to say that that she’s too embarassing, mean spirited and stupid to represent those of us from the lower middle classes.
I wish I had back the time it took to read your post, Anne. And because you seem like a decent person, I also wish you had back the 20 seconds or so it apparently took you to conceive and write it.
Palin–winking Sarah–hides behind the very construct you propose: That any criticism of her come couched, tacitly or covertly, in misogyny. (A note to fellow posters here: Understand the difference between misogyny and sexism, which Anne, to her credit, does.) And don’t think that it’s not intentional.
Anyone who denounces Gov. Palin out of hand as stupid should pause to think that their oversimplification of matters might mean having to live four years under President Governor Stupid. She’s worse than stupid; she’s intellectually incurious, closed-minded, and more than a bit petty. She also has a growing retinue of political operatives who work dirty in short time-frames. Long-term goals fall before short-term objectives. Getting her elected is far more important than is what she does as President.
Does that profile sound familiar in presidential politics?
Sex and sex-roles will be a part of any analysis of candidates for office. Palin will get “bitch,” “she-wolf,” “mommy governor,” etc hung around her neck because she cultivates those mantels. But she seems incredibly adept at both mining false outrage, and then hiding behind it. (That’s what I mean when I write that she ain’t stupid.) The question is whether we’ll allow Sarah to do it–and Anne seems to be giving Palin and her seconds plenty of cover. I mean, heck, how many pretty-boy comments about Edwards and Romney did we have to endure–and I’m talking about the mass-consumption media, not the extreme wings of either political house. “It ain’t beanbag,” as Frank Luntz (and his ill-fitting toupee) is fond of saying while paraphrasing F.P. Dunne.
Honestly? I think “intellectually bankrupt” shouldn’t have a problem crossing gender and ethnicity lines. Nor should “I feel my brain cells dying just listening to him/her talk”. I’d say it about Palin to women; I’d say it about Keyes to African-Americans; I’d say it about His ex-Royal and Imperious Shrubliness to Caucasians.
In all three cases, I’d have to judge the subject either imbecilic (in which case I wouldn’t want them anywhere near the levers of power) or pathologically dishonest (in which case I wouldn’t want them anywhere near the levers of power). I’d like to think that’s a race-neutral, gender-neutral judgment on my part.
I agree with you. There were class issues there. Still doesn’t cut it, though.
When they called Bill Clinton “Bubba” that was a reference to social class, so you’re right there too. The thing about Clinton was he defied the stereotype. He opened his mouth and his snotty detractors in DC and New York looked silly and clueless for assuming Arkansas = stupid, because of course Arkansas doesn’t = stupid, and Clinton proved that.
Palin personified the stereotype.
The fact is, unlike Clinton, she really didn’t read newspapers, or she could have answered that question, because anyone can answer that question. It’s an easy question. A softball. I can answer it, and so can you. She really isn’t curious. She really can’t put three sentences together. She really does have a small-minded mean-spirited approach to the rest of the country that is outside her narrow demographic.
Palin is all the worst attributes of lower middle class small town rolled into one, and none of the good attributes, and she’s rejected the whole growth through education idea, so there’s no hope of any of that that changing.
Clinton was lower middle class, but none of those things were true about him. They are true about Palin. The stereotype fits.
Being anti-Palin doesn’t mean I’m anti-woman; it just means I’m anti-doofus.
And, Bethanyanne, every politician gets asked the “which newspaper” question. Obama was asked it last week. It’s not a hard question. It’s supposed to be an easy question.
The answer, because she’s a governor, is the newspapers in her state and a national paper. For a conservative like Palin, it’s a freaking no brainer- The WSJ. Alaska papers and the WSJ, because conservatives have that weird anti-NYTimes thing going, so that leaves the WSJ.
That’s the answer. She can’t be President if she can’t come up with that on the fly.
I suppose this means that “Bible Spice” is out as well.
@Brachiator: I didn’t mean to imply that you, or anyone else here, was- I was saying I think the point of the original post was to really look at how we frame the discussions we have about female politicians. And I really started thinking about how many epithets we use about women don’t really have a male equivalent.
Though I could see the value in referring to a particularly irritating proponent of the sanctity of womanhood (read: oppress) as a “douche.” Like the real article, they claim they are only trying to help, when in fact they’re doing more harm than good.
In the end, I prefer the (relatively) gender-neutral “asshole.” I can see the argument that it’s making a reference to a lack of masculinity, but I think it’s overshadowed by the physical attributes of an actual asshole-male or female, we all have one, and smelly shit comes out when it opens up.
This was my comment, and my attitude as someone who grew up barely middle class is that trashy is as trashy does, and it has nothing to do with economic status. It has to do with character, and Sarah Palin, like everyone else, has made choices all along that reflect her character. That she’s trashy and petty and willfully ignorant is not a function of her class, but her character.
A line from Monty Python comes to mind here – “Let’s not call them anything, let’s just ignore them”.
It isn’t that she is intellectually bankrupt…shes intellectually impoverished. No resources.
I dislike her intensely because I get a strong wiff of pitchforks and torches off her.
One of my ancestors was burnt as a witch….a Palin administration would be burning evolutionary biologists and economists.
@rikyrah: Bravo! This is incredibly well stated. I am sending this comment to my friends.
Nice concern troll, LA.
Because you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, and you don’t bring a perfume-spraying monkey to a shit-flinging monkey fight. Palin and her family are shit flinging apes. Need I remind you that she doesn’t even consider you an American? After a comment like her ‘real America’ crack, I don’t think anything is out of bounds.
@grendelkhan: I was always partial to “Mooselini.” Check the link for a visual.
If “Bible Spice” is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Or Caribou Barbie. Also.
Now personally, I like to keep my political smears on a higher, better plane, if only because I like to set a high standard for my kids. But when Palin herself plays the winking beauty queen card, then any pushback on that theme is fair game. If Palin goes around calling herself a pitbull with lipstick, then she has opened the door to any other canine comparisons that might be coming down the track. If she wants to be treated with respect, she has to treat herself with respect
I understand. I get it. Everyone who called her trash above comes from worse circumstances personally. OK.
Next time, I’ll just go along with the flow of the hive mind here.
Agreed that there were no class issues, and apologies for thinking there were. Tea, anyone?
@kay: I agree. I don’t like her. Sorry that thinking at all about class conveyed any sympathy for her whatsoever.
I don’t think that’s a fair representation of what I said. I agreed with you. I said I thought there were class issues. I think it’s a great point you raised.
I had some sympathy for her, actually, and have written that here.
We just disagree on what happened re: the class thing.
@kay: Sigh. I know, and thank you for the response at 114. Like I said, I wish I had better language for this. It’s frustrating as heck to see these class issues come up, and for me to not be able to pin my thoughts down effectively.
I’m completely sympathetic. It’s difficult. I think Sotomayor is about class too. I think certain liberal lawyers are “classists”.
If Newt Gingrich can make up words, I can too.
I respectfully disagree. I live in a very mixed neighborhood, and I do not think, because I hear some residents refer to themselves in certain terms, that it automatically gives me free range to refer to them with those same terms.
Also, technically, Palin was telling a joke about soccer moms, not calling herself a pitbull with lipstick (unless she used the term after she did in her speech at the RNC; I don’t know). As I recall there was a lot of pearl-clutching and attempts later to make the case that Obama was calling her a pig, due to the common theme of lipstick.
None of this should be taken as any sort of endorsement of Palin, though I desperately want her to be the Republican nominee in 2012. For very different reasons than her supporters. Heh.
Heh. I agree… and I agree. ;-)
This brings to mind a question. We’ve all had numerous laughs at Her Mooseness’ expense, but does anyone here REALLY think she has a shot at he 2012 nomination? Yeah, I know we’re dealing with some of the most blockheaded people in existence, but there has to be a limit, right? Is there no sense of self-preservation among ANY of these people?
I know what you’re saying, and I agree with the general principle; while I call myself a nerd, it is a very different thing when the captain of the football team calls me a nerd.
But the same rules don’t necessarily apply when we are discussing the demagogues who would be our leaders. They introduce the criteria that they want to be judged by, and present a carefully constructed public face. And we are within our rights to judge them, as harshly or crudely as we wish, on the face they have chosen to present.
All right, the pitbull/bitch thing may be going too far. And I never did call her a bitch myself, except to agree with my wife. But it was always the winky ignorance that outraged me, and that’s where I chose to attack her; while comparisons to Barbie and the Spice Girls carry an element of sexism, I think they are fair attacks on a woman whose political appeal is based on a deliberate and calculated mix of ignorance and flirtatiousness.
Doesn’t any criticism of Palin violate her free speech rights?
She said so herself. You hate her for her freedom.
Also, as W proved, presidenting doesn’t require a firm grasp of the Constitution. Also fap, fap, fap.
Gosh, I hope not.
No, she hates us because we can read.
Offered without commentary over and above: Where I come from, these are called “Come Fuck Me” shoes.
(Didn’t look up thread. May have already been discussed for significance.)
I think that the MSM has a lot to do with their persistent blockheadedness.
If they were shunned and not front in center on teevee and quoted as though every word from their lips was a wise gold jewel, they would feel consequence. Thus far, no matter how loony and raving they are, they get treated with abundant respect and deference in the media — allowing them to think that this stuff is working…
I do however, believe that despite the lopsided media support, that Palin is going to have a wicked hard time. In three years, unless she gets some work done, she won’t be quite as photogenic. Her persona will be much more bitter and less likely to rebound as before (albeit ragged, she had an innocense that is now gone). She is obviously still quite stupid and apparently likes staying that way but it wont feel better the second time around…
Sure, it’s easy to mock Palin’s idiocy and dishonesty without being sexist about it. I’d only point out that that’s generally different from critiquing how she presents herself on women’s issues – although female critics usually handle that angle the best. Back at the RNC, Palin and the GOP presented her (and Cindy McCain, actually) as good daughters respectful (and deferring to) male authority. In addition to her awful “mommy mayors and girl governors” line, Jezebel caught this one – Palin also said:
…The women’s movement can easily be equated to a pro-life stance, as it holds “a common thread of desiring protection for women – for me that includes our youngest sisters – that’s girls in the womb.”
@Indylib: I take your point. However much of the commentary at the time re: her being a former beauty queen was all about teh stoopid. Again, I do NOT disagree that she is the intellectual equivalent of W, or that she shallow and a lot of other criticism that has been leveled at her. I just objected to the framing that said in essence “she is pretty, she was a beauty queen, therefor she is stupid.”
Yes, that did turn out to be the case for her, but it is not the case all of the time. And as others have commented, I am also no fan of beauty contests – I think the sexism and the encouragement of shallowness is a terrible thing. On the other hand, I had college classmates who were whip smart but for whom the only way to go to college was on scholarships they got from doing pageants. So I try to be a little sensitive to that.
Sorry, long answer to a much more concise point.
"Fair and Balanced" Dave
What Phoebe says. I’ve seen numerous, supposedly-liberal people use derogatory names like “Mann Coulter” which, IMO, is an insult to transgendered people.
As to Sarah Palin, I’m actually grateful to her for providing such a goldmine of comedic material to Tina Fey last fall.
Where I come from its “catch me, fuck me” shoes
OK. I think I see what you may be saying here (even though I’ve never really thought of “asshole” as somehow denoting a lack of masculinity). It’s very interesting, but I don’t see any reason why insults have to magically become gender-neutral once women candidates are involved. Politics is dirty business, and although I wish it weren’t and try to avoid the nastier crap, some of politicking is inherently rough and tumble.
Jonathan Edwards was dismissed as a pretty boy and Ann Coulter even strangely, stupidly implied that he was gay. But there was no discussion about how we frame the context when a candidate is male, or a call for strictly gender-neutral.
And I always found this to be odd: when a racially tinged attack against Obama came from the Clinton camp, the counter-charge would be either “Oh, no, we couldn’t possibly be racist. We’re Clintons.” Or, the response would be “politics is tough and if Obama isn’t tough enough to deal with it, he’s not tough enough to be president.”
And yet for some, sexist language directly at Senator Clinton was beyond the pale, and a tiny coterie seemed to think that Democratic party officials had a special obligation to protect Clinton all sexism everywhere, even from sexist references coming from the GOP.
I understand some of the sentiment in regard to sexism. But political speech is supposed to be raucous. It gets to the heart of why we have a First Amendment. Political speech that is antiseptic, genteel, or is over-concerned about being sufficiently neutral risks becoming totally meaningless, of no use to anyone at all.
But Ann Coulter is an insult to human beings.
I agree with you. There were class issues there. Still doesn’t cut it, though.
When they called Bill Clinton “Bubba” that was a reference to social class, so you’re right there too. The thing about Clinton was he defied the stereotype. He opened his mouth and his snotty detractors in DC and New York looked silly and clueless for assuming Arkansas = stupid, because of course Arkansas doesn’t = stupid, and Clinton proved that.
Palin personified the stereotype.
Fareed Zakaria nailed it.
He said, the problem with Sarah Palin wasn’t that she didn’t know the answers to the questions..
It’s that she didn’t even know which questions to ask.
I will forever be grateful for Zakaria to be one of the first in the media to tell the truth about Palin in no uncertain terms. I remember Wolf Blitzer trying to cover and gloss it over, but Zakaria wasn’t having it and nailed her utter incompetence.
I can’t believe there are two posts on this blog that are, well, defending Palin. Somewhat. Maybe there’s a change in the air.
I’ve held my tongue on this subject, but I have to dish.
I’ve been to Wasilla.
I grew up in a fundamentalist trailer park in Alaska.
Palin got where she is because she is manipulative. (I know, a manipulative politician, how novel. pfeh.)
Imagine being a girl when men outnumber you 2:1.
Now, take this mindset and amp it up to the levels that you have to undergo to become a beauty pageanteer.
Then imagine the only way you can get a 4 year degree is by going to 6 colleges, where you will always be the hot new girl. History is discarded every year, while you are still a cute young 20-something.
Now take these skills and apply them to being mayor of Wasilla. Remember Wasilla has a city hall almost the size of two double-wide trailers. She became mayor by befriending a republican on the city council, getting him to sing her praises, and then stabbing him in the back by unleashing corruption charges and then being the cute little cleaner of politics.
Rinse and repeat for the Governorship. Befriend someone, use their secrets to compromise the mark, and then smile and look pretty.
This is why she fails at national politics. In a state where women are outnumbered almost 2:1, any woman will do. When you’re the prettiest, you can get away with almost anything. Right up until you leave Alaska. She’s the epitome of an Alaskan Republican. Sure, the town might only have 4 buildings in it, and one of them i the hotel/bar/whorehouse/diner and your 15 year old cousin runs the liquor store across the (singular) street, but they’re good christians, dangit! They don’t need no government interference out here on the great frontier (roads bought and paid for by feds, oil pipeline federally financed, and entire state bought from the Russians by Seward), so keep yer nose out of it!
In other words this isn’t enviousness, simply sexism and jealousy, or entirely low-hanging fruit. This is who she is, through and through.
Lowry’s starbursts are the tool that she has used so well to wrench herself into the national spotlight. It’s not really a condemnation of her, but rather an explanation of how such an idiot can charm their way into a position of enormous power without a famous heritage. This is why you get “All of them, Katie” when another cute woman asks her a basic question. It’s a combination of genuine intellectual incuriosity along with small-town guilt. Drill baby Drill is not an accident, it’s a path to power.