Monday, November 23, 2009

Hey, Ladies!

I am not sure what I want to say about Sarah Palin, so I'll dive in and see what happens.

Ms. Palin continues to be disappointing. Everything about her makes my feminist sensibilities twitch. She's a "guy girl," and it's no wonder that men like Mr. Limbaugh fall all over themselves showering her with grodey compliments. (No, I am not going to read her book; there are too many other things to read, and for autobiography, I think I will stick to Ulysses S. Grant.)

For those who are not in the know, "guy girls" are women who reproduce the western, patriarchal, female norm, almost to parody in some cases, and tend to direct their attention toward men, sometimes in order to gain power, sometimes just attention. They usually will not have a lot of close female friends, and a lot of women will not like them and won't really be able to pin down why that is. Guys will love them and not understand why girls don't.

A lot of the talk about Ms. Palin during the campaign revealed that we are clearly not in a post-feminist world, as if most of us needed more proof of that. The discussions often dealt with appearance and usually included a few swipes at Hillary Clinton.

I just read a Media Matters piece about Newsweek's cover story on Ms. Palin. You know, the one with the shorts? They ask where the cover shot of Joe Biden in shorts is. Well, the answer to that is that Joe Biden has not posed in shorts, on purpose, for a national magazine campaign. Sarah Palin did. Perhaps Newsweek should have chosen a different picture, but perhaps Ms. Palin should have chosen a different portrayal of herself, if she wants to be taken seriously. Women need to be intentional about such things as presentation, otherwise we open ourselves up to ridicule and scorn. Is it fair? Nope. Is it the way things are? Yup. Ms. Palin chooses to present herself as the perfect guy girl, and then she whines when it's replicated.

Does the media portray women differently? Yes. Do they talk about Hillary's pantsuits? Yes. And this is the flip side of things. When women such as Hillary Clinton do not present themselves as stereotypically feminine, they are called ugly, aggressive, and bitchy.

But heck. I am probably just mad because I am an unattractive liberal.

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