Friday, October 3, 2008

I can think of a better reason.

Okay, Time author. Your description of woman-on-woman hate was pretty funny. But I could barely have managed to be more disappointed by this article. (Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin)

I actually love that she's attractive, and confident. If I knew nothing about her politics, I'd think she was adorable. I still kind of do. Embarrassment isn't really an issue, either. A small part of me actually deeply loves Sarah Palin.

So you know what? It really is just a matter of hating on the policies.

Oh, it takes other forms out of a kind of defensiveness. There might even be a degree of repressed misogyny in the way I want to get into a dogfight-cum-grudgefuck with her. But then again, maybe it's just the way my brain, overloaded with anger and insult, is choosing to combine "she's attractive, confident, and with the potential for fragility underneath" with "that's the most appalling set of politics I've come across in a long time." Plus, me = dog.

I respect approximately two things she's ever done. I'm all in on closing loopholes on oil company tax policy, for instance.

...okay, one thing she's done.

Otherwise? She's a menace on just about every issue I hold dear. And even on ones about which I just have Views. I don't think I even have to get into that, here, do I? (Though, Times author, I was impressed with the way in which you so readily dismissed the impact of actual politics on my political views! Well done!) Now I will admit that I am insulted, too, and that that's probably ramping up the level of disdain--the choice to appoint her as running mate was a pretty weak pander. If there wasn't the buzz (hopefully overblown) about displaced Hillary supporters looking to McCain, would he have chosen her? There would have been plenty of other options for people who would have roused the Base for him. Although I suppose choosing a woman with anything that actually looks like a record of defending women's rights wouldn't have worked in McCain's favor with said Base. In the end, she's the political equivalent of a trophy wife, and that really doesn't do anything to resonate with my feminism.

And now supposing she did become leader of the nation. The executive record she suggests is so important is terrifying. It's full of grudges being played out in politics, friendships being the primary decider on who gets what post (as opposed to competence), general corruption and calculated secrecy checked against legal loopholes--in short, a good replica of the Bush White House. That's not something I'm looking forward to repeating.

And as for competence: I understand that she's having to do a lot of learning very quickly, and she's making leaps. I can forgive misspeaking, and I thought she did very well in the debate, especially compared to Everything Else She's Said So Far. But while experience isn't the be all and end all for me, having a solid grasp of the political situations around you is pretty fucking crucial. Demonstrating a capacity to think critically about them--and to not rely on (more Bush-esque ploys) appealing to "the American people's common sense" or "common values" or anything else that is a stand in in today's rhetoric for Not Actually Thinking--is pretty fucking crucial.

So, while I'm delighted at your attempt to dumb down my political feelings to that classic Petty Woman-y Getting-My-Hate-On, I think in the end that--in this case-I'm still going to want to "just elect a man" into office, "like we've always done." You know, the man with the policies I support, the most similar sense of values, the capacity to improve our country's standing in the view of the rest of the world, the ability to potentially inspire us to live up to higher standards rather than down to pettiness and populism-for-its-own-sake, the one with better record on women's issues...

On second thought, you must be right. My girly anger machine must just be getting in the way of my ability to be loyal to the sex, and look past how perfect she is to the leader underneath. I just hate her because she's pretty.

7 comments:

No Celery Please said...

Wow... your response to that article was to reasoned and fair.

I just wanted to punch the stupid #$##@( in the head.

No Celery Please said...

to = so

Stupid typos!

Lulu--Back in Town said...

That's because girls are just so mean!

No, seriously, I did, too. And I want to break Palin into little eatable pieces.

Anonymous said...

But Lauren!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/05/palin-misquotes-albright_n_131967.html?view=print

If we don't vote for her we're going to HELL!

In all honesty, I think Obama would have liked to have had a female running mate, and there were quite a few to choose from, but if he had done so the Republicans would have been all over him for it. OBAMA'S TOO WEAK TO HOLD HIS OWN, HE HAS TO PANDER TO HILLARY VOTERS!!!

As for the Times article, I found it repulsive as well. Here's the only real reason women hate Palin:

1) Her goals and interests are detrimental to the rights and well-being of all other American women save herself.

The article came off more like "female voters agree that 'OMG PALIN WILL STEAL MY BOYFRIEND!!1!!'"

I wonder if the Democratic party played up this gender-allegiance bullshit when Geraldine Ferraro was running for VP.

It's scary to see how easily shysters can reel some women in with fauxminism, but at the same time I think the GOP snagged far fewer women in their net than they'd like to think.

It's also interesting to note how race is still far more of an issue than gender. I guess it's because a white kid in the midwest can go until college without meeting a black person, but EVERYONE has or had a mom, whether they like it or not.

-Helena

Helena Talbot said...

Oh, and I finally dug up my old blogspot account, so now you know it's me and not some helena impostor.

tiff said...

I fear that this wonderful post will be taken at face value by someone who has an impaired snark capacity.

While waiting for that to happen, congratulations on writing a great post!

Lulu--Back in Town said...

Helena: "fauxminism" should be the word of the day. Thank you!

And Tiff: I'm a little afraid of that, too, but I'm holding out hope. :) Thank you so much!