Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hang on Lipstick-wearing Pitbulls, or How I'm gonna get Mavericky in here

This is not a political blog. Mainly because I'm not a political person per se. But there is something to be said about the power of political figures in popular culture (where I reside for most of my day). Governor Sarah Palin is one of such figures.

I have been following Ms Palin more so than I have ever followed any politician. At first it was the novelty of... well, her foreignness (she would label it "outsider-status" later in her campaign trail). And after what was seen as her rise to the spotlight in a well-scripted and well-delivered speech at the Republican convention (funny how so few people caught on to her empty rhetoric, her low jabs at the opposite ticket and even her inability to mention Obama by name!) she has been in a political see-saw: "She's spunky!" "She's reigniting the Republican party!" "She's inexperienced!" "The media has in it for her!" "She can't answer questions!" "Gotcha journalism!" "Satisfactory performance at the VP Debate!" etc. etc.

What irks me more about this person is her personality. No, not her folksy demeanour (though that does get on my nerves: nuclear is pronounced "n(y)oōklēər Governor, and it doesn't rhyme with jugular), but her barracuda/pitbull image she has so carefully constructed for herself (under the banner of "Maverick" whatever that means right now after it has been diluted with so much use). This is a commendable thing - from not knowing what a VP does on a daily basis to being the star of the Republican party takes a hell of a lot of work and charisma. But here, I can't agree more with Matt Damon - picking the McCain ticket on accounts of Ms Palin (the former's hail mary pass) is as preposterous as to warrant a comparison to a bad Disney movie.

But while I have enjoyed the media circus around this woman, the fact that her gender politics have not gone (to my eyes) under harsher scrutiny bothers me. So, taking a note off of Palin's book:

First of all, leave aside the fact that she misquoted Madeleine Albright (Palin's paraphrase: "There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't support other women" / actual quote: "There's a place in Hell reserved for women who don't help other women" which while being accurate to some extent, distorts the quote to the point of hilarity, if she hadn't followed it by a bully-like maneuver towards the 'elite media' which is so obsessed with 'gotcha journalism') let's just focus on her point: a woman who doesn't support another woman because she is a woman is going to go to hell?

Coming from a woman who presided over a city where women were charged for their rape-kits, who while supportive of 'equal pay' is against legislation that would allow employees to sue over wage discrimination, who wants to overturn Roe v Wade (abortion shouldn't be an option even in case of rape/incest for her!) yet in her statement to the press states that  "We [Todd and her] are proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents" (her daughter has a choice, but women around the country shouldn't?) and that doesn't even cover her "I tolerate gay people" discourse (can anything be more demeaning or condescending?) and her moose-hunting, wolf-shooting mentality.

If Palin wants the 'media elite' to spin her little hokey joke around, she better fact-check which candidate vying for VP has been more "supportive" of women: Joe Biden

For more info on Sarah Palin go here.
No Country for Old Men/"I can see the end of your political career from my house" image from Boy Culture who shares most of my anxieties over the Palinator.
And to leave you on a bright note - a friend of mine runs Antigone Magazine and over there they're currently working on a video project continuing their Dreams for Women series. When asked to participate, there was only one dream that came to mind:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awww... you linked me. You really linked me.

(btw... Oscarboy, that was a reference to the infamous Sally Fields acceptance speech)