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sarah palin: the jessica simpson of politics. ~.m. by maria b.

yep, i still loathe sarah palin.

i don’t really remember how much -Z- and i have expounded on how repulsive we find this woman, but i feel the need to go off on it right now.

i just finished reading a really interesting article on her, and there were two things i really liked about it: 1) it fleshed her out as someone who “takes disagreements personally, and swiftly deals vengeance on enemies, real or perceived” (not a particularly effective mindset for someone who wants to succeed in national politics, i’d say), and 2) the author, Todd S. Purdum, arrived at his conclusions about her from doing what seems to be pretty thorough research and interviews with people who have known her since before she was on the Wasilla City Council.

i know that Sarah Palin (and her ilk) will read hear about this article and decry it as some kind of image-assassination attempt by the “evil liberal media” who intend to hamstring Palin and the conservatives’ “right to free speech.” (remember Carrie Prejean’s whining? every time these asshats get criticized for saying something ignorant, incorrect or just plain idiotic, they play the First Amendment card, which is actually totally irrelevant within the context of the situation. it’s fucking disingenuous and tiresome.)

but i also find the feminist angles on Sarah Palin to be pretty interesting. -Z- and i have had plenty of discussions about how different feminist philosophies are applied inconsistently to Palin, by both ends of the political spectrum. i know i found it really interesting that, as a woman very vocally against Sarah Palin in last year’s election, so many people (yes, conservatives and yes, disingenuously) accused me of essentially not supporting someone who seemed like an obvious choice for me, seeing as we both have vaginas and all.

i was really frustrated that  so many people, even seemingly well-educated and well-informed people, considered Palin some kind of feminist political icon based solely on her newfound fame. if she’d risen to the national level in politics based on her political stances on important issues (and not just contentious ones) and things she’d actually accomplished, then i’d say we could have a debate on her role in the contemporary feminist landscape.

however, as a feminist and as a woman, i found/find her incredibly frustrating, both in her own right and as a woman who is apparently delusional enough to assume she speaks for a majority of American women. she is not well-read, she is not well-informed on foreign-relations issues, she has no groundbreaking ideas on any domestic issues, and she is unapologetic about her lack of desire to learn more about any of these topics and develop any ideas about them. she is most certainly not somebody i would want representing me in any capacity.

i also found the picking-and-choosing by the McCain campaign of which situations in which to invoke feminist ideas and which to insist that Palin be respected as a woman. more simply put, i found it frustrating that in certain instances the campaign insisted Palin was just as tough as any male politician, despite her looks, then within days or hours, they’d do a 180 and insist that she be treated differently because she’s a woman. the Newsweek cover is one situation that springs to mind–Palin supporters were infuriated because the crow’s feet around Palin’s eyes weren’t photoshopped out, and they saw that as a blatant attempt to… i don’t even know. it was so asinine.

there are certainly more topics to discuss on the dynamics between Sarah Palin, her opinions and feminist philosophies, but i’ll leave that to -Z-‘s (and Devrah’s? and Stephy’s? and whoever’s…) comments. i’m really interested to hear how other people view her, how they see the intersection between feminism and Palinism, etc., etc.

but, on a final note, when you read the article be sure to pay special attention to the photo on page 4. it’s awesome.

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2 Comments so far
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I agree that this is verrrrrry interesting. A lot of people I know equate pursuit of ghey rights with the left. They think that gheys MUST support the Democratic Party, and that the GOP is the enemy forever and ever. This leaves the gheys completely impotent: if the Democratic Party KNOWS that we’ll always support them, what need have they to actually get around to pursuing our agenda? An effective way to actually spur the Dem Party to action would be for the GOP to start co-opting their stances on ghey rights. Then there would be competition for support of the gheys.

I think it’s a similar situation (not the same, but similar) with pursuit of women’s rights. Must all great feminist figures really come from the left? What if you believe in fundamental women’s rights but don’t agree with other stancess of the Democratic Party, for example? When Palin was first plucked from Alaska to run with McCain, I read a column that somewhat excitedly talked about how she could represent women from the right who wanted a strong female figure in politics. Slanted media coverage aside, it’s really too bad that she turned out to be a moron.

In the future when the next strong (SMART, PRINCIPLED, ARTICULATE) conservative woman emerges into national politics, she’ll stir up discussion about and by strong female figures on the left in national politics. The debate could lead to a wider, more comprehensive view of effective means of pursuing women’s rights. It will make the country better.

Comment by ioncehadpartedhair

*stances, not “stancess.” I’m a pretty pretty stancess!

Comment by ioncehadpartedhair




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