Palin's "Sexism" Charges
A left-leaning national news publication takes
advantage of a sexy photo that you posed for, writes mean things about
you, and makes you look like a twit. In response you charge
"sexism!" (because, no, they would not have done this to Hillary
Clinton). Then, because you think you're nailing them on the turf they
helped to create (the land where anything vaguely hinted to be
"sexism" is the same thing as cutting eye-holes in white sheets), you
imagine that you have your "touche" moment and, as an added benefit,
the sympathy of thinking conservative women like me. Well, sorry.
You don't. You helped to make yourself look like an even bigger twit--and
it's all the worse because you didn't have to do that. If you had really
been the anti-feminist conservative candidate, yours would have been the hill I
chose to die on. But you're not . . . you're playing it. If you
want to be the anti-feminist candidate, stop whining like a feminist.
Maybe there is a female constituency out there in Oprah-land who finds this
kind of victim thing to be a rallying cry? I wouldn't know. I heard
a caller on one of the shows yesterday suggest that this could all be part of a
clever strategy you have to win back female support lost in the Couric/Fey wars
. . . like Hilary's "Pretty in Pink" moment of victimhood after
Bill's misdeeds became public. Maybe even some conservative women enjoy
approaching life as if life's realities are all part of some cosmic plan to do
them wrong. But I'm sorry. It's nails on the chalkboard time for
me. What did you think you were doing? Signing up for a tiddlywinks
tournament? Whining about sexism from the press at this point in the
game--a game you chose to play--is beneath you. And, if its a
self-conscious ploy, it's insulting to the women you wish to champion.
Was the cover telling? Yes. But it told me more than perhaps you wanted
me to know. It seems to me that you had to know that it was coming.
And, in knowing that, you had two choices before the picture was ever
taken. If the Newsweek result was something you had reason to fear
(as clearly you did) you should not have done it. So why was that picture
ever taken? Oh . . . because you're a runner and good health is important
to you. Fabulous. Run. Talk about running. Promote
running. Do a cover of Runner's World . . . in a jogging
suit. But you enjoy being a girl, you protest. There's nothing
wrong with that. Indeed. There's not. You shouldn't have to
look like Bella Azbug in order to be taken seriously in the political
world. But when you make a conscious effort to show off what your workout
gave you this is always going to be the result. Any non-feminist knows
that. And, frankly, I believe you know it too. You in jogging
shorts is never going to be the same thing as Bill Clinton or George W. Bush in
jogging shorts. Is that fair? Maybe not.
But who is going to change it? Whining sure as heck won't change it . . .
though it does, perhaps, serve some imagined political purpose.
Your other choice was to do that cover and to be self-consciously ironic about
it. You could have cultivated the sexy-librarian schtick. But, of
course, that would be more useful to you if your real goal was merely to sell
books or land a TV show . . . and maybe, in fact, it really is. But even
then . . . what's with the whining? Being a woman requires that a woman
know when and when NOT to take advantage of her erotic pull . . . just as a man
has to be able to tame his physical superiority when around women (to say
nothing of his sexual drive). You appear to want to have it both ways . .
. invite the attention (always), and then decry it as sexist.
None of this is to say that women cannot or should not be concerned about or
involved in politics (that would be something coming from me!). And it is
certainly NOT to say that attractive women should abandon the game or uglify
themselves before joining in. But it is to say that when women do
get involved, we have to be able to play the game differently . . . or, like Ann Coulter, one should be prepared to make herself a
cartoon and accept the consequences.
It's time to put on your big girl pants or be satisfied with the mess of your
4:45 PM / November 18, 2009