Monday, July 06, 2009

Stop the sexist rants against Palin!

cross-posted from The Huffington Post

The ascent of Sarah Palin to the national political stage has yielded no shortage of material for legitimate criticism -- even legitimate derision. There's her famous lack of intellectual curiosity, her tortured syntax, and her alliance with a group of Alaskan secessionists, to name just a few.

But whenever Sarah Palin makes news, as she did big-time with her decision last weekend to resign her office as governor of Alaska, more than legitimate criticism hits the airwaves and the Web. Seeping through the Web's meshes and wafting through the airwaves is the acrid stench of sexism.

I'm hardly the first to notice this trend. At Jezebel, Megan Carpentier has been on the case since the presidential campaign, when Palin burst on the scene as John McCain's wild-card pick for his vice-presidential running-mate. So, too, has Melissa McEwan at Shakesville. But this latest burst of fresh hell leads me to take another approach: I'm asking readers to Tweet any sexist coverage they see on Palin with the hashtag: #palinsexism.

Why? As blogger Echidne of the Snakes observes, the takedown of Palin following her resignation of her office "may be mostly justified, but it allows the misogynists to join in, and they are not just attacking Palin, my friends: They are attacking women in general."

Just look what happened on CNN just moments after Palin's resignation broke into the airwaves: anchor Rick Sanchez speculated that Palin might be pregnant again. As if women don't work when they're pregnant, or make sane decisions while in the family way; as if Palin hadn't already worked through one pregnancy.

Michelle Goldberg observed that in Todd Purdum's Vanity Fair profile of Palin, several sources pegged Palin as having a textbook case of narcissistic personality disorder for exhibiting exactly the same kind of self-centered traits demonstrated by male politicians who are presumed to be sane.

Even on The Huffington Post, blogger Andy Ostoy referred to Palin as "the most famous MILF in America".

But Ostoy's narcissistic crudeness (like I really care who you'd like to do, Andy) is nothing compared to some of the comments made by readers of otherwise fine, upstanding liberal blogs. The intrepid Echidne went wading into those slimy waters (so you and don't have to), protesting as she did:

I hate McCain for what he did to me as a feminist, by putting me in the position of having to wade into the sewers of lefty blogs to find out what sexist crap might be floating around on the topic of Sarah Palin. I do that not to defend Palin but to defend the women of the future who might one day run for the office, and I do it with great bitterness, because I'm going to be told off for spending time on someone like Palin by all those who don't see that certain comments are not just about Palin but about women in politics in general.
And here's a taste (blech!) of what she found in the comments sections of Eschaton and Democratic Underground:
Let's put it this way.

Sarah Palin is probably a sexual object in the sense of most porn starlets.

Good sex (there is no other kind) but you want her out of your bed before the cock crows, because the thought of having to make small talk with her over breakfast repulses you no end.

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Palin's not hot. She's actually pretty dick deflating, in an ignorant-stupid-moralistic way. Sorry, but she's a typical 40 - something GOP woman that thinks with that push-up bra, tummy tuck panty hose, and makeup from hell that she still has it.

she doesn't.

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she gets on national tv and rambles for 20 minutes...
And do we get a great shot of her tits? NO!!!!!

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I could've straightened her out with a good, hard spanking, but Cindy wouldn't let me.

Now look what's happened . . .

--John McCain Editorial note from your blogstress: of course, that's not really John McCain writing

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palin's pregnant with levi's love child.

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I hope she can become a spokesperson for drilling in ANWR now, and helping this country become independent of foreign oil.

She should pose naked on a drilling rig.

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she thought she was pulling of a cunning stunt with her announcement.

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This asshole is going to be a constant reminder of what you can do with NO qualifications

Goodbye you whore.
Enough already! Whether it's a news anchor, an unnamed source, a blogger or commenter, it's time to put a stop to this barrage of gender-based hatred. It's not only right; it's smart. There's plenty to criticize about Sarah Palin, her latest gambit, and others who share her politics without stooping to the lowest forms of name-calling. Keep the critique on the up-and-up, and you'll have more credibility.

So please join me in helping to put a stop to what really amounts to a war on all women: When you see or hear a sexist quote about Palin, Tweet it, and add the hashtag: #palinsexism.

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2 comments:

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Mark said...

The comments cited here are certainly distasteful, but let's face facts: the only reason Palin got the VP slot (blech!) was that she is an attractive woman. Just as no one would listen to a word Ann Coulter says if she wasn't a leggy blond, that's all Palin had going for her. While that doesn't justify the vulgar comments thrown at her, it is the fact of the matter. With her recent comments regarding health care reform, it's no longer necessary for her critics to dwell on the gender issue. She's just another run of the mill GOP hack, like any number of male politicians who I think of as bimbos, or himbos if you will.