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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

The real sexism really is in the media's treatment of women, and it's exemplified by the Palin/Clinton thing. Where Clinton--whatever else you think of her--is obviously competent, prepared, and capable of extemporizing a complete unmemorized English sentence, she's demonized as unfeminine and a harpy. (But I like harpies!) Palin, on the other hand, wins points for being fragile and over-made-up and flustered, and the pundits are willing to hand her enormous credit for just not sinking her foot in her own mouth up to the knee, even when it's pretty obvious she's reciting memorized sound bites rather than actually answering the question.

Gov. Palin, I'm sorry, but you don't get to play the "I'm just a girl! Don't hit me!" card when you're running for national office.

It breaks my heart, frankly, that she's been raised to believe that the way women get things done is by looking helpless. It breaks my heart more that there are opinionistas who are willing to back her up on that.


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Did you see Ariana Huffington's piece overnight? Fascinating quotes from Meg Whitman, Martha Stewart and Christine Heffner, who thought that Palin's performance was sex-tinged.
I have to agree that her performance was sex-tinged. As I watched her "comfortably" leaning on her podium and smirking, my thought was that she was vamping for the camera.

It made me a little ill.
What breaks my heart is that women support her - think she's a good representative for womanhood.
Yes, but there are women who thought that Richard Nixon was a good representative for personhood, too. (Some of them people I love, even.) Discouraging, but not surprising.
Yes. She kept doing the "I'm cute, look at me being all smiling and CUTE and looking submissive so you'll like me" routine while refusing to actually meet standards, and all I kept thinking was "you are a disgrace to every woman -- and every man -- who has ever said "equality now."

If you want the job, then earn it. Don't twitter and smirk and think your ovaries are enough to get you a passing grade and a whitewash over your past actions.

I like my harpies up front and unabashed about it. Ditto for the male iteration. All I ask is that they bring the game to back the 'tude.

And I contrast that to Obama and his comment about wanting his daughters to have the same opportunities as your sons...

Well, yeah. Okay. That's feminism in action.
What you said. Absolutely.
I must not have been scrounging around enough (and I'm not sure I can bring myself to, really) - I have yet to run into a positive representation of Sarah Palin.

No! Stop! I BELIEVE you that they're out there and are just as described. I do. If I feel less ill from my cold sometime today, maybe I'll take a couple minutes to find them for myself and make myself ill in a new and exciting way.

My own rant about Palin and sexism stems from the language, tone, and assumptions I've been finding in a lot of the criticisms of her, in the media as well as from more personal sources. If I'd been reading what you've apparently been reading, I'd almost certainly be saying just about the same thing.

(Btw, have you seen the article in Slate about diagramming Gov. Palin's sentences?)
God, I did. I squeaked. *g*
Oi. You know. I wouldn't *mind* a powerful person who was a woman and happened to be a Republican, even if I disagreed with her on everything, if I thought there was a coherency to the development of the stances.

I just...really wish she was better. I *want* a female at this level to shine, regardless of party. She just glitters.
Yeah, see, I was deeply turned off by the choice of Palin. If McCain had been serious about wooing women, especially disaffected Hillary voters like my mother, he should have picked Kay Bailey Hutchenson or even Condoleeza Rice. That would have been a gesture of substance. There are plenty of capable experienced Republican women out there. The Palin choice implies that any woman will do.

And I feel weirdly bad for Palin (although not bad enough to vote for her). She might be intelligent, but she was not ready for the big time, not even a little bit. She's really young. She had a reputation for keeping her religion in the background in state politics. Who knows what she would have matured into in 20 years. But for the rest of her life she's going to be remembered as the moron who can see Russia from her house.
Remember Katherine Harris, back in 2000? She was a sort of caricature of girliness, at well past the age where that was believable.

Growing up where I did, I've known a lot of women who managed to meet traditional standards for femme grooming (and often they enjoyed doing so) and still be plainly efficient and effective leaders. When my parents were young, there were women like Ellen Woodward and Emily Newell Blair, and their fellow suffragettes. They knew when to turn the charm (or even flirtiness) on, and when to turn it off. They stood up in front of a lot of crowds (often hostile ones) and gave speeches, both to campaign for women's suffrage and to campaign for political candidates. They were prepared and businesslike; they didn't think there was any other way to be, if you were going to be taken seriously and be involved in politics and government service. In my mother's youth, this was called "good deportment"; nowadays, I believe it's called "appropriate behavior".

Last night, I told a friend "John McCain is over 70. Imagine him dying in office, and having to listen to that voice give the State of the Union Address for three years or so."

Truly, I believe this is so. Downthread there's someone posting that power is masculine and to an extent that is true, but I honestly believe you can groom yourself in a feminine sort of way -- and enjoy doing so -- and be completely professional and taken seriously. I've known too many women who *do*.

I do absolutely have sympathy for women who make use of their good looks -- the thinking there is to use whatever's at hand to get the job done. I'm a smidge conflicted about such use, but I certainly understand it. But I have no patience for women who expect to get by on nothing but their looks.

I saw a very interesting post back when Palin had just got the VP nomination that analysed the message that McCain was sending with it -- not a good one, I have to say. It can be found here -- as an aside, if anyone intends to comment there, I suggest they read this first. The highlight of it, though, was boiling out what seemed to be the message McCain was fundamentally sending in his VP choice:

[...] in picking Palin, McCain seems to be sending a message: "My VP will not play a big role in my administration. She will be window dressing, something nice to look at and someone to stand in for me while I am off doing the real work." Palin herself has no clear vision of what her VP role will be - and frankly this only underscores his message.

And Palin so far seems to be consistently confirming the window dressing message. Which isn't particularly reassuring in someone who would be VP to the oldest President ever whose health is a matter of some debate.
I just remember the SNL sketch when Tina Fey started playing Gov. Palin, the one with Palin and Clinton giving a speech on feminism. One of the funny-'cuz-its-true bits was the jokes about how Palin faced sexism because people focused on the fact she was 'cute' and attractive, and Clinton faced sexism because people focused on the fact she was assertive and 'bitchy', instead of evaluating either woman on her merits.
I agree with you on all of that. I watched some of the VP debate last night and saw how she avoided answering any question directly or thinking about it. Rather, she'd turn everything around to talk about taxing oil companies and justifying that Russia would attack Alaska first because it's next to it. >>
I couldn't agree more. She's running for freaking Vice President of the US, not president of the PTA. The fact that she's being judged positively for not speaking in tongues, drooling, and mostly composing complete sentences is repulsive and inappropriate, and ultimately patronizing.

liberalism shining through

You tend to shoe your liberal bias and apparently a fair amount of jealousy because she is able rally the republican base because she is intelligent, competent, and good looking.
Well, as a woman, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

A friend of mine, a pol.sci. and psychology-scholar, sent me a text while watching the VP debate, I'll try to translate it, because it's really quite good.

"Oh dear, Palin is too feminine... She was smiling and blinking to the viewers while she said that American workers are the best in the world, almost as though she was flirting. Let's face it, and like it or not: Fact is that it's not very "presidential". Why have we never seen Hillary in a dress or a skirt that's not part of a suit? Or a bikini for that matter? (After all, we've seen Bill, Kerry and Obama in swimming shorts.)

Because power is masculine. Call it chauvinism, but I can tell you right now that's what the viewers are thinking. What Palin is saying, although clearly rehearsed, is actually both reasonable and with substance, but the way she's saying it, her voice, body language and image, nullifies it. If Hillary said, verbatim, what Palin is saying, the outcome of the debate would be given. Biden is fact-oriented and, frankly, so boring he loses me within half a sentence, while Palin appeals to people's feelings and goes for the die-hard populist rhetoric. There is no doubt as to who has the most public-friendly message. Still, Biden will be pronounced the winner because Palin appears too feminine, i.e. not serious - which automatically detracts from her credibility.

I don't think the American people want a person like that with her finger on the button. Unfair? Yes. But it's simple psychology. Female heads of state are the type of Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, and our own Gro Harlem Brundtland."

I think he's right on many counts.
Oh. *takes off Glasses of Obliviousness* So that was what that was. Something about her presentation bothered me, and I didn't realize it was that she seemed like she was flirting. I suppose I didn't want to admit it. (The way she was standing bothered me too - she was standing with her hips cocked and one leg partly bent; a flirting stance)

Just to be fair, though. If a male candidate smiles too much and seems to be 'flirting' with the electorate, I get freaked out by that just as much as if it were a woman. Politicians, in general, who smile that much shouldn't be trusted. If someone smiles excessively during a debate I tend to think they're either trying to cover something up, or make a bad thing sound good, or both.

But I agree that the majority of the population probably thinks in those terms, and it is usually one-sided (in connection with gender), in my experience.
RThey;re willing to back her up because they can use it. I will bet anything Rove and the Fortress of Evil cherish her because they can stick their fingers up her jelly spine and make the puppet dance.
If I never hear another candidate *giggle* during a debate, I will die a happy woman. "Caribou Barbie" is a horrible, sexist nickname. Too bad she decided to live down to it.
wouldn't "moose barbie" be better?

or perhaps "pitbull barbie"

though as Obama pointed out, the pitbull is really McCain and that makes Palin the lipstick...
she's only setting us back about a billion years with the stupid.

also, she's a robot. ;)

Buck up, in another billion years, we'll all be robots!
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