Feminists and the mystery of Sarah Palin

Saturday, July 4th, 2009 · 486 Comments »

I don’t usually comment on other blogs; I have little enough time to keep my own gig in working order. But the other day I was over at I Blame The Patriarchy, where I was dismayed to find in the comment threads some of the same Palin-bashing that has become drearily familiar from the rest of the inner tubes. Now, IBTP is just about the best feminist blog going, with a genius proprietor and a thoughtful commentariat. Hence my dismay. Even here? I thought. Fortunately, some of the commenters there did try to set the record straight, though they got significant guff from others.

This is the comment I left, which I’m dragging back here to the smoking lounge for your perusal (the first bit in italics is a quote from Jill):

“Mang, when I wrote this post, I sure never expected it would result in blamer support for a skeevy antifeminist politician.”

It seems that some blamers know that the bullshit published about Palin (and unfortunately repeated here) was just that — bullshit. Palin considers herself a feminist, and except for the abortion thing, she’s more explicitly feminist than the average American. When a regular Jane with that kind of background proclaims her feminist sympathies, it doesn’t seem terribly productive to ridicule her or indulge in the misogynist slander put out by the political hacks running against her. I mean, sure, by the standards of pure feminism, she’s an enabling godbag. But so are most American women. On the other hand, by the standards of the Republican Party or evangelical Christianity, she’s Twisty Faster.

Pheenobarbidoll responded that abortion rights are a cornerstone too important to overlook, to which I replied:

Abortion rights are important. But it’s interesting that Hugo Schwyzer, a male “pro-life” feminist and former member of and financial contributor to Feminists For Life, is allowed into the feminist community. He even blogs at RH Reality Check, and has been befriended by Amanda Marcotte.

Schwyzer’s awkward pro-feminist/anti-abortion stance is the same as Sarah Palin’s, yet only Palin is reviled and ridiculed. How dare she call herself a feminist!

Someone else then loftily announced that Palin cannot be a feminist since she “believes in keeping children ignorant of the facts of their reproductive rights and responsibilities.” To which I replied:

She doesn’t believe that. She’s fully in favor of sex ed and contraception.

I imagine you consider yourself a feminist. What I’m wondering is why, if you’re a feminist, you don’t even give Palin the courtesy of finding out what she actually believes, rather than simply accepting the lies created by political hacks? This is bizarre to me. It’s really not difficult to google and discover that Sarah Palin is in favor of contraception and sex ed, that the whole “abstinence-only” thing is a smear spread by Obama supporters.

It’s a bit weird to drag all this back here to the lounge, but it’s the setup for the giant, rambling brain dump that’s about to follow. Sarah Palin’s surprise resignation has brought out the crazy again, and reading through the blogs I’m reminded of how much pure bullshit has been said and believed about her and continues to be said and believed. I’m reminded of how so many feminists seem possessed of a wholly irrational hatred for this woman.

Why?

This isn’t going to be the kind of post where I sketch out a pattern and then give you The Key To Understanding It All. This is going to be more like a stream-of-consciousness tiptoe through the violets of my reclusive thought processes. I’ve been puzzling over this stuff since last August. One reason I’ve written as many posts as I have about Palin is because I’m so baffled by the reaction to her. I can’t figure it out. It’s like quantum entanglement or dark energy: I make myself sick trying to understand it and worry that I’ll die before I get it sorted. (I know: Xanax.)

Of course, the first answer you’ll get if you ask feminists why they hate Sarah Palin is that “it’s because she ____” — and then fill in the blank with the lie of choice: made rape victims pay for their own kits, is against contraception or sex ed, believes in abstinence-only, thinks the dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago, doesn’t believe in global warming, doesn’t believe in evolution, is stupid and can’t read, etc., etc., etc., etc.

But none of those things is true. None of them.

Which brings me to my first puzzlement: why don’t people bother to find out what Sarah Palin really believes? I don’t mean people as in the usual sexist freaks; I mean feminists.

Sarah Palin is only the second woman in the history of this country to run on a major party’s presidential ticket. That alone makes her, to me, a fascinating figure worthy of serious investigation. When McCain announced Palin as his choice for VP, I immediately tried to find out as much about her as I could. I wanted to know who she was, what she believed, what her politics were. It never occurred to me that this interest would make me in any way unusual among feminists, but apparently it did. Apparently most feminists — at least the ones online — are content to just take the word of the frat boys at DailyKos or the psycho-sexists at Huffington Post. That amazes me. Aren’t you even interested in who she really is? I want to ask. She’s only the second woman on a presidential ticket in our whole fricking history!

But even weirder is what happens when you try to replace the myths with the truth. If you explain, “no, she didn’t charge rape victims,” your feminist interlocutor will come back with something else: “she’s abstinence-only!” No, you say, she’s not; and then the person comes back with, “she’s a creationist!” and so on. “She’s an uneducated moron!” Actually, Sarah Palin is not dumb at all, and based on her interviews and comments, I’d say she has a greater knowledge of evolution, global warming, and the Wisconsin glaciation in Alaska than the average citizen.

But after you’ve had a few of these myth-dispelling conversations, you start to realize that it doesn’t matter. These people don’t hate Palin because of the lies; the lies exist to justify the hate. That’s why they keep reaching and reaching for something else, until they finally get to “she winked on TV!” (And by the way: I’ve been winked at my whole life by my grandmother, aunts, and great-aunts. Who knew it was such a despicable act?)

The only thing Palin is commonly accused of that is actually true is her anti-abortion stance, though, as I’ve pointed out several times, her political position is that “the will of the people” should decide the law. She has also expressed sympathy for women choosing abortion and has said that she is totally opposed to any woman ever being criminalized for it. I’m not pretending she’s anything other than what she is (an adamant “pro-lifer”), but I am trying to be as clear and honest as I can be about her actual stance.

The fact is, that stance alone is not enough to explain the kind of frenzied hatred and feminist repudiation that Palin has attracted. Notice the example of Hugo Schwyzer, who, as I pointed out in my comment at IBTP, is allowed to call himself a feminist and even cross-post at RH Reality Check — while Sarah Palin is endlessly ridiculed and reviled for having the same beliefs. Notice, too, that the Republican Party (and even the Democratic Party) is full of other “pro-life” politicians, none of whom have ever been crucified and slandered Palin-style.

Speaking of slander, that brings me to my next big puzzlement: what is it with the feminists who just freely make shit up about Palin? The lies had to start somewhere, and they didn’t all hatch in the bowels of the Obama campaign (though a bunch of them did). Some of them were incubated by feminists, particularly the ones about Palin being an anti-sex “purity queen,” the kind of batshit Christian who believes in Purity Balls and abstinence pledges and is opposed to sex ed. None of that is true.

When I first started investigating Palin, I was very relieved to discover that she’s not nearly as nutty as she might be, given that she’s a Christian. I was pleased to learn that she’s not one of those fundies who thinks wives have to submit or that Adam and Eve rode on dinosaurs. She’s not into that whacked-out purity or abstinence-only stuff. That’s good. It’s good that she’s not a nutjob. So…why aren’t other feminists also happy that she’s not a nutjob? Why do they, in fact, spread lies to make her seem worse than she is?

Are people simply confused about the differences between Christians? Do they think all Christians are alike? I doubt it. I’m no godbag and I personally wish that Christianity would evaporate from the face of the earth, but I still recognize that not all Christians are alike. I think most other people do, too. I think most people in this country understand that Tennessee snake handlers don’t go to Catholic mass, and that the Quiverfull people are not the same as the Episcopalians. Being a Christian, even a conservative Christian, doesn’t automatically mean you’re a young earth creationist in a calico dress with a purity ring on your finger.

Besides, I know for a fact that at least some of the feminists spreading lies about Palin knew they were spreading lies. Not to tell tales out of school, but: they knew. They were supplied with the correct information, and they chose to lie anyway. Why?

Was it just about electing Obama? Were feminists simply willing to commit any slander necessary to elect the Chosen One? That’s a likely explanation, but here again: we’re talking about feminists. Feminists doing this — slandering a woman, and doing so in unmistakably sexist terms. After all, caricaturing Palin as a purity queen (Bible Spice, Sexy Puritan) is just the flip side of caricaturing her as a porn queen. As I’ve said before, it’s like the NAACP sponsoring a lynching. The mind boggles.

Even more mind-boggling are the attacks that don’t even bother with false claims about policy or beliefs, but just go straight for free-floating misogynistic rage. Ridiculing her hair, clothes, makeup, voice, body, womb. “Sarah Palin is a cunt” — good one! Calling her a bimbo — good one! Calling her a fucking whore — good one! Fantasizing about her being gang-raped — good one! And all this from feminists. Forget the NAACP sponsoring a lynching; this is like the NAACP ripping off their masks to reveal that they’ve been replaced by white supremacist pod people.

Think back to the reactions to Sarah Palin’s speech at the convention. Remember the gal at Jezebel whose head throbbed with hate blood as she listened to Palin speak? The one who said she wanted to “murk that cunt”? What the hell is that? I cannot figure it out. I look and look, and it’s like trying to see someone else’s hallucination. No matter how hard I squint, I can’t see whatever it is they’re looking at. What is so horrifying?

My own reaction to Palin’s convention speech was the polar opposite. I can honestly say that, aside from Nixon’s resignation speech, Sarah Palin’s address at the convention is the only Republican speech I have ever enjoyed. Or even been much interested in. I don’t agree with Republicans on politics — not by a long shot — but as a person, I found Palin charming in a Harry Truman, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Erin Brockovich kind of way. How could you not? Especially after the goons had spent the previous weekend in a misogyny fest of lurid speculation and grotesque sexual insults about her and her family. I was proud of her for her courage, as well as for her personal accomplishments as a working-class regular person who went into politics and succeeded.

Her speech also delivered some welcome punctures to the national gasbag known as Obama. And that’s another thing: it has not escaped my attention that many of the things Palin is accused of, falsely, are actually true of Obama. This is a guy who, as a U.S. senator from Illinois, didn’t even know which Senate committees he was on or which states bordered his own. (And don’t even get me started on Joe “The Talking Donkey” Biden, who thinks FDR was president during the stock market crash and that people watched TV back then.) I’m not saying Obama’s a moron, but he’s sure as hell no genius. People say Sarah Palin rambles; excuse me, but have you actually heard Obama speak extemporaneously? As for being a diva, surely we all remember the Possomus sign and the special embroidered pillow on the Obama campaign plane. The fact is, Obama is an intellectually mediocre narcissist with a thin resume who’s lost without a teleprompter and whose entire campaign had all the substance and gravity of a Pepsi commercial. Yet people say Sarah Palin is a fluffy bunny diva.

So: are we back to Obama after all? Is this a transference thing? Are people subconsciously frustrated by the fact that Obama is an empty suit, and are they transferring that rage to Palin?

As you see, I don’t have the answers.

Awhile ago I came up with what I think is the most plausible explanation yet when I said:

Sarah Palin is the Designated Hate Receptacle for self-described feminists. They know they’re not supposed to hate other women, but they do anyway because their feminism is not quite as strong as their patriarchal brainwashing. Sarah Palin is the culture’s designated Hate Receptacle.

I’m not entirely satisfied with that, but it’s the best I can come up with. If we add to that the subconscious Obama resentment-transference, perhaps on a kind of sliding rheostat thing, we may be getting close to a solution.

What’s alarming is that the need for a female Hate Receptacle exists, even with feminists. But that would explain why Palin haters are so reluctant to give up hating her. It would explain why they’re so resistant to the truth. They don’t want to find out that the lies are lies; they don’t want to be disabused. They need a hate receptacle, and so they need Palin to be the sum of all things they fear.

I guess.

One other observation, and then I’ll quit: it is striking to me how much of the political discourse in 2008 revolved around people who don’t exist. The main players last year, if you recall, were Obama, the genius messiah whose perfection and purity would save the planet; Hillary, the evil racist lesbian who killed Vince Foster with her bare hands before plotting the Iraqi invasion and then attempting to have Obama assassinated; and Sarah Palin, a crazed dominionist who hates polar bears and personally arranges for Christian girls to be raped by their fathers just so she can charge them for their rape kits.

None of these characters are real, of course. Yet, weirdly, people were much more interested in these fictional beings than they were in the real individuals who were vying for political office last year. There were times in 2008 where I felt that the entire national discourse had become one of those scripted faux-reality shows, where nothing is real and the producers edit everybody into barking stereotypes. And the people at home just watch and point and snicker. We’re actually having an election here, I kept wanting to say. These are the people who want to run the country. Don’t you want to know who they really are?

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486 Responses to “Feminists and the mystery of Sarah Palin”

  1. octogalore says:

    Well, I was going to print out my recent post, expressing frustration about this very thing, and force feed it to my husband, but damnit, I’ll be printing this one out and putting it on top!

    This absofuckinglutely nails it.

    One commenter at my place, La Lubu, suggested that women have higher expectations for each other. This is echoed by Pheenobarbidoll at IBTP, whose last comment at your linked posts suggests female Republicans are somehow guiltier than the male version.

    This may have some relevance to the issue of choice, but there are many other issues on which there is no remote reason for a woman to think differently, and it’s on these issues as well that Palin is branded “crazy” by so-called feminists who don’t call men with similar policy positions crazy. So I don’t think that explanation holds water.

    I have to agree with you about the hate receptacle theory. After getting my in-box stuffed with nasty, misogynist Palin jokes from so-called “feminist” friends, it’s hard to look that possibility in the eye and not find some truth there.

  2. Violet says:

    This absofuckinglutely nails it.

    Nails what??? That’s the whole thing — I don’t have the answer!

    If anybody does, please let me know.

    (Also, if anybody can sort out quantum entanglement, I’d be much obliged.)

  3. Amy K. says:

    Hate is made up mostly of fear. It is a fear they don’t acknowledge and so it is expressed as hate without them ever realizing they’re viscerally afraid.

    Figure out what they’re afraid of, and you find the fatal weakness of third-wave feminism and maybe you can make a go with a fourth wave.

    I have my own opinion.

  4. Sis says:

    It’s mob hysteria, a pile-on. Making your bones. Twisty isn’t doing anything very much differently from what those freakazoids bloggers are doing. It’s the style. Everyone trying to outdo each other with the clever neologisms and horrifics. When you do that kind of ‘bonding’, throwing down, you have to have a target. And you have to have an ideal that you are trying to meet. And it’s defined by a kind of gay male cutting cruel humour. Sorry to say, I once thought what went on at Twisty’s to be smart. It’s not. It’s just pathological, and actually sexist even before they hit on Palin.

    That’s not all of it, but it’s as much of it as I can stay focussed on to say.

  5. leis says:

    My friends and family, who are for the most part Democrats, raged about Palin during the election. To which I replied, “I don’t dislike her any more than any other Republican” and without fail they would respond that she was far worse. I asked them how they could justify disliking Palin worse than McCain for fuck’s sake? What I found so disappointing (still do) was their total lack of awareness. They really, really believe she is worse than Bush, worse than McCain. There is no critical thinking, no questioning why they feel more strongly about her than a Republican that has been spewing uber-conservative bullshit for 50 years. And when I ask them, “Do you think you feel this way because she has a vagina? Because I’m almost certain that’s why”. Well, then they stop talking to me for a day or two.

    I am losing hope.

  6. Alex Curylo says:

    “I’m so baffled by the reaction to her. I can’t figure it out. It’s like quantum entanglement or dark energy: I make myself sick trying to understand it and worry that I’ll die before I get it sorted.”

    Well, I’ve got a remarkably strong correlation I’ve observed: Women who have focused their lives on their children, or plan to, 100% universally *adore* Her Sarahness. Women who chose career over children, whether to not have any at all or to concentrate on career advancement and just phone in the mothering bit, better than 90% oppose her strongly and about two-thirds in utterly irrational fashion.

    Now, my sample size here is the couple dozen women in my extended family I know well enough to match up their expressed opinions of Our Sarah with their life history, so you can quite fairly dismiss this as anecdotal, but it’s certainly striking…

  7. BabeinLA says:

    I think you’re getting close now.

    We were slurping our root beer floats at dinner tonight, watching Greta on Palin, commenting on the incivility, the vileness of attacks, “permission” to say whatever nowadays, and, and, and… Crap, this sexism we are watching is like nothing I could ever have imagined. I feel more attacked now (figuratively/on the media, oh hell, you know what I mean) than I did back in the dinosaur era when gentlemen opened the door for a, um, a lady.

    Violet, I’d like to add to the repertoire above about Palin saying “Drill, Baby, drill.” This offended some terribly. They thought it was vulgar and sexual, I surmise. Huh? Then there is the liberal and known photograher in the beauty salon last week who had gone to Alaska and was shocked, yes, shocked how much people cared about the land, and they were independent, and blah blah, not like Palin, and that awful “Drill, baby, drill.” All of Alaska in her mind as populated by oil wells. I tried to talk to her about women in the northwest that I knew and had grown up with. The people. Yes, she said, it was like that. lalalalalalalalalalalala.

    One more thing: Trig Palin. Perhaps what I have found viscerally most offensive about the attacks on her are the blogs and distorted photos of that baby. That he is not her natural child. That she has the nerve to give birth to a special needs child. This goes beyond sexism to something very sick in the blogosphere/MSM where such vileness can be spewed.

    Perhaps we are analogous to the end of the Roman Empire–any sort of spectacle to amuse and keep the masses entertained.

  8. Leis says:

    What? I am a working mother by choice. I love my children and my career. It is not either/or. So where do I fall in that sample? Please don’t start that false working women vs stay at homes nonsense. For the record I would never vote R, but at this point I’m not voting D either.

  9. Amy K. says:

    From an article in the NY Sun last September:

    “All of my women friends, a week ago Monday, were on the verge of throwing themselves out windows,” an author and political activist, Nancy Kricorian of Manhattan, said yesterday. “People were flipping out. … Every woman I know was in high hysteria over this. Everyone was just beside themselves with terror that this woman could be our president — our potential next president.”

    A posting on a New York-based Web site for women, Jezebel.com, spoke of unbridled anger. “What I feel for her privately could be described as violent, nay, murderous, rage,” an associate editor at Jezebel, Jessica Grose, wrote just after the Republican convention wrapped up. “When Palin spoke on Wednesday night, my head almost exploded from the incandescent anger boiling in my skull.”

    Ms. Grose was not alone. More than 700 comments poured in, many from women who said they were experiencing a visceral hostility to Mrs. Palin that they were struggling to explain.

    “When I see people crowing about her ‘acceptable’ speech last Wednesday … I literally want to vomit with rage,” a comment from Anibundel said.

    “I am shocked by the depths of my hatred for this woman,” another commenter, CJWeimar, wrote.

    “It is impossible for me not to read about her in the newspaper in the subway every morning on my way to work and not come into the office angry and wanting to kick things,” a commenter using the name ChampagneofBeers wrote. “My boxing class definitely helps.”

    They’re afraid they made the wrong choice. Sadly, since they are so incapable of analyzing their emotions, they can’t even slow down and think about it. Maybe once they thought about it rationally they could say, “yeah, I’m okay. I made the right choice for me.”

    But Sarah found a man who married her when she got pregnant. Sarah didn’t put off getting married and starting a family. She had a bunch of kids, but still managed to be very successful on her own merits. She didn’t need to kowtow to the feminists (third wave, who in my opinion have deluded themselves into thinking they are standing up from women when in fact they have just made it easier for men to prey upon them).

    She was everything they wanted to be and beautiful too, but without getting dumped by her boyfriend when she got pregnant, without being convinced she had to get an abortion, without being serially emotionally abused by men who “weren’t really that into her.”

    There have been 50 million abortions since 1973. That is a lot of women who have lost their children. I’m sure a lot of women are fine with it. But I know there are a lot of women out there who are suffering greatly with guilt and remorse. But feminists aren’t allowed to feel guilty about it. Because they got to choose, god damn it.

    In my opinion.

  10. Violet says:

    Yeah, I also blow that correlation. I am childless and a career woman.

  11. Amy K. says:

    crap, forgot to end italics after the sixth paragraph.

  12. Sis says:

    I think it has something to do with the fact that she has power, but didn’t get it by using what she also has, beauty and sexuality, or as that author of the last vile piece called it “fertile”. I actually had a mental image of him whacking off as he wrote that. I’m not saying it very well, but I think what it is, is somewhere in that.

  13. Amy K. says:

    Violet. But you don’t hate her. Because you are okay with your decisions. We’re only talking about the ones who have this completely irrational incandescent rage toward her. Those are the ones you have to figure out.

  14. Violet says:

    Right. But the thing is, and I’m going to disclose something personal since we’re really trying to figure this out: I do actually regret not having children. I think it was the great mistake of my life.

    But that doesn’t make me hate or resent any woman who does have children. Not at all.

  15. octogalore says:

    RE #2: “nails it” in the sense that your “most plausible explanation” is in fact, I think, THE explanation in a majority of cases.

  16. leis says:

    Amy K, I’m confused. Are you saying that one reason women may dislike her is because they had an abortion and she didn’t?

  17. Violet says:

    This is echoed by Pheenobarbidoll at IBTP, whose last comment at your linked posts suggests female Republicans are somehow guiltier than the male version.

    Sandra Day O’Connor is a Republican. Anybody here besides me remember when she was appointed to the Supreme Court? It was thrilling. That was a proud moment, finally breaking that barrier. Even if she was a Republican.

    I have a feeling that today’s feminists, in that same situation, would instead wear “Sandra Day O’Connor is a cunt” T-shirts and insist that they’d much rather have a Democratic man on the court than some Republican bitch.

  18. No Blood for Hubris says:

    I *so* disagree with you about Palin.

    But other than that, I think your blog is awesome.

  19. octogalore says:

    Add another data point not fitting into the stereotyped categories “Women who have focused their lives on their children, or plan to” and “Women who chose career over children, whether to not have any at all or to concentrate on career advancement and just phone in the mothering bit.” I find the idea that women must be either/or, in fact, offensive.

    In any case, I don’t think women are so simplistic that we can only treat fairly other women who have a similar job/family configuration. And many women from whom I’ve seen misogynist commentary do have kids and a job they enjoy, as well as a conventionally attractive appearance.

    I think it’s more fundamental and comes down to what Violet said originally: for certain women, “their feminism is not quite as strong as their patriarchal brainwashing.”

    Such women, IMO, believe in feminism but also in pleasing the men in their community, which for many feminists, particularly in that 20-35 range, is the male-run liberal community. These guys are already at odds with them over disagreements over such things as Girls Gone Wild (although, many feminists are all for that, for some reason — well, this whole discussion is the reason).

    Palin represents an opportunity to curry favor with these guys, who are caught between misogynist loathing and lust (for which they hate themselves) for Palin. Such “feminists” can bond with the liberal boyz by trashing Palin, but still call themselves the F word (however inaccurately) by branding her as antifeminist or not actually a woman. A win-win, in other words.

  20. Little Isis says:

    Her speech also delivered some welcome punctures to the national gasbag known as Obama. And that’s another thing: it has not escaped my attention that many of the things Palin is accused of, falsely, are actually true of Obama. This is a guy who, as a U.S. senator from Illinois, didn’t even know which Senate committees he was on or which states bordered his own. (And don’t even get me started on Joe “The Talking Donkey” Biden, who thinks FDR was president during the stock market crash and that people watched TV in those days.) I’m not saying Obama’s a moron, but he’s sure as hell no genius. People say Sarah Palin rambles; excuse me, but have you actually heard Obama speak extemporaneously? As for being a diva, surely we all remember the Possomus sign and the special embroidered pillow on the Obama campaign plane. The fact is, Obama is an intellectually mediocre narcissist with a thin resume who’s lost without a teleprompter and whose entire campaign had all the substance and gravity of a Pepsi commercial. Yet people say Sarah Palin is a fluffy bunny diva.

    I think this is the “answer” Violet. I have found that projection and displacement are pretty common psychological occurrences, particularly among Obots.

    It is nothing else but that. They project onto Sarah Palin everything they know in their hearts are the true characteristics of their chosen gasbag in chief.

  21. Amy K. says:

    The more I think about it, the more I think they feeling judged. Partly by Palin, but that wouldn’t explain the rage. I think they are feeling judged by their own consciences.

    Who the f- does she think she is to show off that Down Syndrome baby. Oh, she thinks she’s so GD special because she kept her baby. Slut can’t keep her legs crossed. Doesn’t she know how babies are made? Ignorant c- just keeps popping them out.

    Democrats who have a bunch of kids don’t bother them because they’re pro-choice, so they feel safe that those people are not judging them.

    The man you reference above who is pro-life but they somewhat accept doesn’t bother them that much either because they don’t identify with him. He’s a man and who knows how many kids he has anyway.

    But Palin. She got up there and showed off all her children, including the one that statistics show gets aborted 90% of the time when a woman knows in advance she is pregnant with one, and she DARES to think they were wrong to do what they did.

    Their emotions engage before they ever think through what they are feeling. And they can’t afford to think it through because it is much safer to assume she is a freaking right-wing Handmaiden than to assess their own worldview and possibly have to make adjustments.

    The people who are truly okay with their choices don’t feel instinctive rage toward a woman who made different ones. Or even if they hated her at first, they were able to stop and think through their emotions and realize they were off-base. They may regret their decisions but they are emotionally mature enough to realize Sarah Palin is not at fault for anything in their lives.

    The ones who indict themselves by their own words are the ones who are letting everyone else know they feel uncomfortable with the choices they have made. Whether professional or personal.

  22. lisadawn82 says:

    “These people don’t hate Palin because of the lies; the lies exist to justify the hate.”

    That’s sums up the whole thing about the people who hate Governor Palin doesn’t it?

  23. Sis says:

    What she said.

  24. Carolyn says:

    I have a few thoughts on the “quantum entanglement”, but I confess to being as baffled as you are.

    What has occurred to me is that the way the media and the DC elite have been so condescending is really a reflection of how they really feel about all of us out here in the real world…they think of all of us exactly the way they talk about her…and we are beneath their contempt.

    I don’t think that it is always realized how much of themselves they reveal when they trash her. So, as if we were still in high school or something, there is an obsession to be part of the popular group…and in order to do that, these women aren’t thinking of themselves as seeking approval from men that really are not worthy of their respect, and they don’t think of themselves as being destroyers of women…but they are scared to death of being identified with those of us who are on the “outs”.

    I know that sounds simplistic, but I think it may be accurate. The desire to be part of the “group” means that every one who is “other” must be destroyed. It’s like some really crazy autoimmune disease where we turn on ourselves out of fear and are willing to stoop to such lows to preserve what we think is our special status.

    Now I have read a lot of posts and articles in the past 24 hours and I have also been impressed by the observation that maybe she makes people who have had abortions so uncomfortable with the choice to keep Trig, that they feel it necessary to destroy her in order to deal with any conflict they may still feel about their own choices. I don’t know. I have had an abortion, and I don’t hate her, but I have to say that I realize that she is a much stronger person than I am.

    The other thing is that it seems as though she is trying to give her Lt Gov the best possible chance of winning in 2010. She could have taken the route of lame duck, collecting her pay, dealing with a new ethics investigation daily, sucking up all the resources the state has and having little time to actually DO what she was elected to do. I mean, one of the guys who was instrumental in the whole troopergate farce just announced for the dem primary. Why give these dems any more time to destroy any chances of a republican victory next time? Is she expected to not only sit still while she is personally ruined, but also take out her party as well? Just so she can have the great title and earn the big bucks? Right. I admire her for quitting when she realized that she was not going to be able to make good use of the state’s time and money. I mean, our politicians do that all the time, right?

    I think she is one hopping mad momma bear who is truly committed to this country, our people in uniform, and is disgusted to see our country being destroyed by the same people who are trying to destroy her in AK. I hope she kicks some serious ass. God knows we don’t have anyone else with balls in a position of leadership who is willing to stand up for us normal folks out here.

    To summarize, I think it is very important to listen to what is said about her, and realize they are saying it about us…every single one of us. All the hoping and wishing that we are one of the cool kids and the acting out to bully her so that our idols will think of us as one of them, are really self deception. We aren’t them. We aren’t the elite. We aren’t the cool kids. And the sooner that we realize that every time they insult her, they are revealing how they really feel about us, the sooner we can change things.

    I remember thinking during the primaries how it could be that 98% of AA could think they were going to be part of the cool group at the same time that “they” were making obscene jokes about poor white folks in appalachia…and calling educated women who have done well in the world cunts. How is it that they thought that somehow they were respected while these other groups weren’t? Gays fell for it too. Lots of women fell for it. Somehow all this vitriol that was being tossed at people who have certainly accomplished much more that I would ever hope to are being treated like white trailor trash, but somehow I am supposed to believe that I am the one I have been waiting for?

    What we having been witnessing is self deception on such a grand scale that it is frightening. They have made whores of us all in our desperation to be part of them. They have nothing but contempt for us. All of us.

    It’s sort of the reverse of that scripture that goes something like ” when you do for the least of my brethren, you it do it for me” when Christ was talking about serving others. What we have here is the absolute flip side of the golden rule…such a perversion of the golden rule that it is truly sickening. And 52% bought it, and are scared to death to face the truth…of just how empty their souls are…how debased they have become.

    Just my thoughts. I probably left things out.

  25. Toonces says:

    They see Palin as a threat who can in some way possibly knock the house of cards they’ve built for themselves down. Whatever makes up that house of cards may be different for each of the ‘feminists’ who hate her (maybe they’re afraid of her losing ground feminists have gained, or that they’ll lose power if feminism changes…I’m just speculating), but she was a surprise, and there was a lot of fear about having another Bush presidency. There is also, I think, a feeling of her being a representative for women, since every public woman is a representative of all of us by default, and they don’t necessarily like the way she presents herself. They feel it isn’t the right, in my estimation, for a woman who wants to be taken seriously, to wink or act phonyfolksy or whatever. I’ve seen too many cheesy male politicians to think her cheesiness is somehow uniquely offensive, but I don’t think of her as being representative of me. Maybe that’s a generational thing?

    I also think many of us are indoctrinated from a young age to be on one ‘side’ politically and hate the other ‘team’, and that clouds most of our political discourse. Then there’s the media. Most people don’t have the time or energy to keep up with politics the way political junkies do. I personally HATE politics and I wish I could ween myself off of paying attention to what’s going on because it just looks more and more hopeless every day. I think your average person is too busy with work/family/friends/life/problems to pay very close attention to what’s going on or do much research on politicians’ actual positions before they make their minds up about them, and the media (run for elites, by elites, of both ‘sides’) is all too happy to keep us stupid.

    So I would say it’s fear and laziness, on top of a culture clash and misogyny.

  26. pm317 says:

    1. elitism — Palin is not Ivy League and they don’t think she is smart. Or rather they are surprised that she is smart and don’t want to accept it.
    2. fear and jealousy — they think she is the antithesis of who they are and they fear to be represented by her. To them, she is not one of them but unfortunately for them she has the same lady parts as they do (and the world makes no distinction between them and her).

  27. Amy K. says:

    Violet, I also regret being single and childless. I’m okay with it, but I wish I had perhaps made different choices when I was younger. But you and I fall under the category that I wrote about above:

    They may regret their decisions but they are emotionally mature enough to realize Sarah Palin is not at fault for anything in their lives.

  28. Unree says:

    It all seems simpler to me, Violet. Patriarchy. We are soaking in it. Almost everyone, feminists included, hates women.

    I too remember when Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor–but that’s just it: he appointed her, plucked her out of her nowheresville job, where was it, the Arizona lower appellate court? O’Connor is by all accounts very charming, and she was always a solid party member: I am sure Reagan liked her.

    Try to stand up and say you want power in your own right. Present your qualifications as if they justify your holding some rank above men. You’ll get a different response, especially if fauxgressives have a man of color to use against you.

    The part I can’t fathom is why we’re marching backwards so fast. Patriarchy was always vicious, but it’s getting worse. Even if you don’t care about women, you have to care about the madness of it, the willed disconnect from reality.

  29. Toonces says:

    Shorter, Toonces: They think she’s selling them out and they think it’s okay to use misogyny against/hate women they feel are selling them out to the patriarchy. They think she’s a woman who isn’t acting like a ‘sister’ and unfortunately, they aren’t taking the time to test whether or not their information about her is true because she’s not the type of person they want to have a beer with, so she must be bad, bad, bad and they’ll believe anything about her.

  30. Little Isis says:

    By the way Violet, this is one of your best posts ever. I loved it.

  31. Carmonn says:

    “Ridiculing her hair, clothes, makeup, voice, body, womb.”

    Hey, it worked for Hillary, why not Sarah? If Barbara Ehrenreich could diagnoses Hillary with a mental disorder for changing her hairstyle while Obot feminists like Katha Pollitt said nothing….

    “concentrate on career advancement and just phone in the mothering bit”

    Arrruuuggghhhh…

    “completely irrational incandescent rage toward her”

    An awful, awful lot of those Jezebel typw feminist women with a completely irrational, incandescent rage toward palin had the same rage toward H. Clinton. Hell, a lot of conservative women who like palin had that same completely irrational incandescent rage toward Hillary. Was that because they were filled with resentment for making the wrong life choices and envy her beauty, too?

    I think a lot of the Palin problem has to do with class. A lot of working class women who voted for Hillary also supported or at least like Palin. The Jezebel types are more likely to be wealthier and culturally more similar to the liberal blogger Whole Food Nation types who were sickened by Hillary’s earnestness, wonkiness, unhipness, unyouth, and Palin’s accent, clothes, zip code, mannerisms, unhipness, etc.

  32. Amy K. says:

    leis: Amy K, I’m confused. Are you saying that one reason women may dislike her is because they had an abortion and she didn’t?

    I think that is one reason for many of them. I don’t think every woman who had an abortion hates her and I don’t think everyone who hates her had an abortion. I think it’s a big part of the problem, however.

    I can’t remember who brought it out above, but I agree that the class issue was also a problem. As well as tribalism which I guess is part of the class issue. She’s not US. She is OTHER. She is WRONG.

  33. Sis says:

    All her smarts, and sexuality, are supposed to be used for getting some guy–like ‘them’. Not some guy who just wants to go salmon fishing and stand quietly in the background with his hands folded while she speaks. Geez. The whole picture is just so wrong.

  34. Unree says:

    Also, in fairness to Hugo Schwyzer, let the record reflect that according to his blog archive he is now pro-choice, has been so since February 2009, and had a pro-choice period before his anti-choice days.

  35. Sis says:

    There will be no uncountered call for fairness to that pedophile Schwyzer on any blog I post on.

  36. pm317 says:

    I too am childless by choice and went after a career. The grand prize I went after (my tenure) was denied mostly because of the shenanigans of a few (bad) women who thought my success would diminish theirs, what with their A-list school credentials.

    Same thing with Palin. Imagine a hillbilly like her(which is what they think of her) running away with the grand prize. They conveniently forget how they shot themselves in the foot last election. Or may be that adds to their resentment.

  37. Little Isis says:

    An awful, awful lot of those Jezebel typw feminist women with a completely irrational, incandescent rage toward palin had the same rage toward H. Clinton. Hell, a lot of conservative women who like palin had that same completely irrational incandescent rage toward Hillary. Was that because they were filled with resentment for making the wrong life choices and envy her beauty, too?

    Yes. That, and both Hillary and Sarah have really hot husbands :P

  38. octogalore says:

    What Little Isis said about projecting thoughts about Obama onto Palin is interesting.

    I wonder, too, if perhaps — coming back to the “hatred receptacle” idea of the OP — the buildup of Obama into a messiah-like entity isn’t a separate phenomenon but is part and parcel of the same idea.

    Various “feminists” didn’t want to vote for a woman. They didn’t vote for HRC in the primary, and pretended to think, or convinced themselves they thought, she was a racist who hoped Obama would be assassinated. This didn’t exactly bear up to reasoned analysis. Another more effective mechanism was to decide Obama was the second coming — so who could vote for a mere woman, over that?

  39. Violet says:

    Not some guy who just wants to go salmon fishing and stand quietly in the background with his hands folded while she speaks. Geez. The whole picture is just so wrong.

    And see, to me, that whole picture is delightful. It was even better because Palin IS a Republican and a Christian! I’m a practical feminist: all my life I’ve been trying to spread the word. I look at the Palin family and I see how much of a huge role model she could be for those girls and women trapped in small town conservatism, who think “feminist” is a dirty word. The fact that she calls herself a feminist and is out and proud about gender equality — that’s fucking HUGE!

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why feminists would not want the feminist message to be spread.

    And it’s bullshit to say “oh, she’s pro-life, that waters down feminism.” For chrissake, what’s watering down feminism — no, what’s poisoning it — is the behavior of the hateful twits at places like Jezebel.

    Sarah Palin’s explicit feminist identity gives young girls and women an option in, a crack in the door, that otherwise would not be available to them.

  40. Little Isis says:

    Same thing with Palin. Imagine a hillbilly like her(which is what they think of her) running away with the grand prize. They conveniently forget how they shot themselves in the foot last election. Or may be that adds to their resentment.

    That right there, bb. That right there. Sarah (and Hillary too) is a middle class woman. She is unconventional in that she comes from modest roots, didn’t do what she was told, and managed to have a successful career in Politics through drive and intelligence alone.

    The women who hate her (and Hillary) have always done what they were told by the menz to do. Joining the whole foods nation, beating up on women the Patriarchy doesn’t like… they chose to obey and Sarah (and Hillary) didn’t.
    So it isn’t just class, but jealousy that drives them. How dare this Hillbilly, Publicly educated woman take what should have been theirs, had they made better choices in their lives?
    That is what I think. Projection and displacement, which is common among extremists (obots and fundies).

  41. Carolyn says:

    The deflection thing is a key! Do you recall reading posts on some blog a couple of months ago talking in detail about narcissistic personality disorders, and some pretty interesting articles that were linked showing how much Obama fits that description? I’m not sure if it was the confluence or pumapac, but I remember reading it and finding it very revealing.

    All of a sudden, Sarah Palin has a narcissistic personality disorder…if we could find the original posts I’ll be we would find that they used the same posts to discredit her in the Vanity Fair article. It’s just too similar to what I read before.

    Everything he is guilty of they are accusing her of, and it is not accident in my opinion…thats what Axelrod does…”perception management”. And they know we are mostly too busy to tease out the details, and they know exactly how many times they have to repeat the message for it to be picked up in our subconscious…we have been victims of mass hypnosis.

  42. Carmonn says:

    “She’s not US. She is OTHER. She is WRONG.”

    Yes, neither Hillary nor Sarah is their type of women. But when to comes right down to it, no one, it turns out, is. “I want a woman, just not that woman.” Okay then, what woman? crickets I don’t think even women of their own class would be accetable for the SATC school feminists. Older women of their class, not hip enough, a little embarassing. And as far as the younger women, they don’t take themselves or each oher seriously enough, they’d probably be writing columns calling each other bimbos (cribbing lines from MoDo about “girlish trills” and so forth). And their ale counterparts would not support them for sure.

  43. Toonces says:

    As far as the Obama-as-messiah thing, it’s marketing 101. This product will turn you into an elite, an immortal, the most hip, trendy, attractive, powerful being on the planet, etc. stuff. It’s like expensive shampoo — it’s the same basic sudsing ingredients as in Suave but packaged and marketed in a way that goes along with a ‘lifestyle’, something you aspire to or desire, and you’ll pay $30 a bottle for it. It’s all about wanting to live the good life, be in the club, be sexier or smarter than though, blah blah blah. That was what they fell for in Obama, because they’ve been primed for it their entire lives (my generation) and don’t really know how to guard against that seeping into their brains (and every aspect of their lives), at least IMNSHO. That’s for sure part of why they hated Hillary — she didn’t fit in with their lifestyle brand. I think with Palin they feel more of a sense of betrayal, rather than as much “Mom! Go away! You’re so uncool!” stuff.

  44. Little Isis says:

    Various “feminists” didn’t want to vote for a woman. They didn’t vote for HRC in the primary, and pretended to think, or convinced themselves they thought, she was a racist who hoped Obama would be assassinated. This didn’t exactly bear up to reasoned analysis. Another more effective mechanism was to decide Obama was the second coming — so who could vote for a mere woman, over that?

    A big part of it is that Patriarchy pits women against each other. A “divide and conquer” strategy. I remember being amazed reading during the primaries that many so-called feminist women were actually looking for reasons not to support Hillary and other female candidates. They would cite certain reasons or stances on issues as to why they wouldn’t support this particular woman, and then go and vote for a white man for believing the exact same thing.

    The sad thing is that these women don’t even realize the irony of what they are doing. Patriarchy enabling is so programmed into them that they just cannot get their heads around women being capable and excellent leaders without finding minor things to harp about, because of their own insecurities.

  45. Sis says:

    But it’s not women in small-town America who are skewering her. I remember her hairdresser who spoke so warmly about Sarah and how she had encouraged her to keep working, open her little shop, bring her child in to work with her if need be, stop complaining about something she didn’t like, but get involved in politics to change them. That image kind of defines my picture of Palin.

    D’ya think it was Todd who said “Hell Yeah.” To what we don’t know. Who’s checking the Twitter?

  46. Little Isis says:

    That is right Sis. Average women, heck, average Americans-really like Sarah Palin. The same way they really liked Bill Clinton.
    It’s the elites who hate them. They remind me of those sports announcers who rip into the players they cover, but they do it out of jealousy. They had their daddies or whatever get them sports scholarships but they weren’t good enough to play in the major leagues, now this small town guy from Georgia or whatever is the star player on sheer talent, and they can’t stand it.
    I think the same analogy can be used for feminists who irrationally loathe Sarah.

  47. Violet says:

    Well, some of my own relatives have the Palin crazy hate, and they’re small-town, working-class types. Not the Jezebel set.

    D’ya think it was Todd who said “Hell Yeah.”

    No, she said the kids, so I think that was Track. The oldest boy, the one in the military. (Is that Track?)

  48. Violet says:

    Do you recall reading posts on some blog a couple of months ago talking in detail about narcissistic personality disorders, and some pretty interesting articles that were linked showing how much Obama fits that description?…

    All of a sudden, Sarah Palin has a narcissistic personality disorder…

    Carolyn, I thought of that exact same thing when I read the VF piece.

  49. Carmonn says:

    I don’t think it’s completely non existant outside the Jezebel set, but it’s almost universal within it. I remember reading an author talking about how she was approached by a guy she knew slighly and asked about palin and she gave a measured answer, and he told her she was the first woman in their social set to not fly into a rage at the mention of her name. (She was the only Hillary supporter she knew of, the rest were Obots).

  50. Little Isis says:

    No, she said the kids, so I think that was Track. The oldest boy, the one in the military. (Is that Track

    Yup! I remember him because he was attractive. :P

  51. AM says:

    She grabbed the feminist ball the feminist establishment had let go of as their focus changed from women to the sucking up to and enabling of the Democratic wing of the patriarchy party in the belief that that illusion of power was better for them–for them!–than was the power of women united.

    They hate her for that.

  52. Amy K. says:

    She grabbed the feminist ball the feminist establishment had let go of as their focus changed from women to the sucking up to and enabling of the Democratic wing of the patriarchy party in the belief that that illusion of power was better for them–for them!–than was the power of women united.

    Which goes back to the fact they made the wrong choice. But they are afraid to admit that to themselves, so they hate her instead.

  53. sonia says:

    ” Aren’t you even interested in who she really is? I want to ask. She’s only the second woman on a presidential ticket in our whole fricking history!”

    right on.

    “murk that c—” means “fuck that bitch” in gangster slang. she’s saying she wants to punish Palin with her…hm. cock? which is clearly a feminist statement. Jezebel is wack, yo.

  54. sister of ye says:

    Well, I’m urban, and liberal enough to be termed radical, yet I can’t find myself hating Sarah Palin. I think it’s the class thing. I’m just a working class person who, though smart (well, I used to be), never broke into the professional class. I admire Sarah Palin for being like a lot of people I know – someone who kept plugging away till she got her degrees, and accomplished her goals.

    Yeah, it would have been nice to have kids, but I was never sure I could have healthy ones anyway. I’ve what I could to help others’ kids along the way. I don’t condemn Palin for having Trig any more than I would have condemned her for having an abortion – we all have to decide what we’re capable of doing.

    I agree with Palin on one thing, though I doubt she sees it the same way – I’d love to usher in a “smaller government” that would dismantle America’s war industry. 9/11 notwithstanding, most people are in far more danger of dying from cancer or other maladies than terrorists, yet we fund a huge military and Homeland Security (there’s a misnomer), but won’t fund universal health care.

    I still think it would be great fun to have Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin over to drink a few beers (or whatever) and watch hockey.

  55. Jeff says:

    Don’t stop, Dr. Socks; you’re amazing.

    Historical angle: MANAGED religious fervor prior to revolution.

    Usually takes a decade or more, a manufactured bogeyperson or two, carefully chosen causes elevated to unassailable religion status, a smear of, well, smear…

    Futz with the money stream a bit, salt and pepper to taste…

    and you have ALL the revolutions of the last 300 years.

    This is too universal to be coincidence. 680 of 683 posts on one of NPR’s threads ALL saying exactly the same thing?

    Someone is orchestrating this slow-motion interstate pile-up, and they’ve been planning it for a while.

  56. Amy K. says:

    I went over and read the comments in the post you referenced.

    Eye opening. They are not secure in their own worldview. Any opposing worldview cannot be accepted. It cannot even be tolerated as misguided. It must be declared wicked and destroyed.

    I especially enjoyed the deliciousness of the others being called anti-intellectual because they appreciated the education possible outside of the expensive elite colleges and universities. Talk about someone with an inferiority complex.

    Palin can’t just be a fellow woman with differing views. She must be submoronic and incapable of rational thought altogether. They are afraid to have their ideas debated in the open. Much easier to vility everyone who disagrees with them. Talk about anti-intellectual.

    Amusingly, it is not Palin who is the rigid moralist they are all afraid of; they are. Must be more of that projection. ;)

  57. sonia says:

    and also-one more thing. it is hard to decipher, but i think in Sarah Palin, there’s something that threatens everyone-(and please don’t take me to dislike feminists, but I am one and also a realist about people and their personalities being coexistent with their beliefs): for men she’s threatening on soo many levels. for women who are self-described feminists, she may be threatening because she is super-ambitious and driven, strong, without the feminist ideals. I mean, yes-she clearly holds some feminist beliefs, but she’s very much a part of things non-feminist as well. I think she hits just enough of everyone’s insecurity/hate points to piss of a large demographic, except women who lead similar lifestyles in one respect or another, i.e. they can personally approve of her as a girlfriend, not a figure for political transference. I myself experience this personally with Ms. Palin because I am strong, well-spoken and femme like her. I relate to her as someone who I’d enjoy face to face, and wouldn’t mind growing up to be (except for her politics and being married)-just generally. But for people who do not feel that way, she is very threatening on a lot of levels. She, basically, is neither a woman’s woman or a man’s woman, and that leaves her with few allies.

    gender role identification strikes again. how disappointing that feminists have not expanded their sphere of approval to women period…yet.

  58. Amy K. says:

    I’m laughing as I think more about this.

    Why do these women identify themselves as feminists and despise fundamentalist conservative women? Isn’t it because they feel the fundy cons accept what they are enlightened enough to reject? Isn’t it because they reject women being oppressed by men? They reject women being reduced to bickering at each other to secure the few resources available to them after picking over what’s left by men? Reject women playing by men’s rules and getting nothing for it? And yet, and yet…

    They have met the enemy, and the enemy is them.

  59. Sameol says:

    I don’t think it has anything to do with envy. My sense is the hardest hardcore haters are the youngest, there are a lot more valentis than gandys. It’s too early for us to be quite so regret-ridden quite yet. I can honestly say most of the haters I know would shoot themselves in the head if I told them they had to live Palin’s life.

    I think it’s mostly what octogalore said, trying to suck up to nasty liberal doods by showing we can join in the fun, but telling ourselves it’s okay because we’re different and special. And, what Toonces said about sense of betrayal/culture clash. Take young women who grew up in small towns, never felt they belonged there, ran as far and as fast as they could as soon as they could and never want to go back. She represents things like church picnics and having lots of kids and being stuck. Revulsion that anyone would choose that life and fear of going back.

  60. sarah says:

    Feminist leaders and organizations have existed for some time now as the titular or pretextual heads of empty and directionless post-feminist vestiges of the women’s movement, concerned first and foremost with their own personal well-being and career trajectories, and the perpetuation of their little political machines. There’s also a measure of cognitive dissonance in there, self-hate. Just like the patriarchal charitable women’s auxiliaries of yore, these women posture as interested in helping the poor, oppressed, discriminated against (lesbian, black, ethnic), battered, pregnant, pathetic other women. Much more comfortable. Palin is white, heterosexual, happily married, a mother, not a member of the academic elite, and not someone who owes existing power mongers in the faux feminist establishment structures and coalitions for her position. She’s not in the clique; she’s the same-old woman-competitor, the target of catty envy. That’s why there are no women’s rights being discussed in the feminist newsletters all about homosexual rights, black and minority rights, abortion rights, domestic violence, gender neutrality (men too), and those subjugated women in Thosethirdworld countries… That’s why NOW events for decades have been characterized by history celebrations and feting of selected member icons, and similar tea parties and clubbish too-dos, and only incidentally (if not largely ignoring altogether) issues of concern of the majority of women in the country. So much more comfortable to make these tangents “feminism”, and not address or identify with women’s rights (and that would be so counter-productive, too, to one’s own personal political and financial positions.) As for the rest of us, nothing’s really changed but the standards of superficial public discourse, and we were only pretending.

  61. lexia says:

    I may be repeating what others have said earlier, but I think there is another reason in addition to the otherness, the snobbery, the common jealousy and the sheer misogyny – agency.

    I kept thinking of what made Hillary Clinton so different and so trustworthy. Yes, she’s been a life-long feminist, but that’s also only a part of who she is. It’s an integral part of a person who is an integrated whole, a person who has access to and has been able to use her talents and capabilities, who has been able to translate her thoughts and ideas into an indisputable reality.

    Sarah Palin has the same kind of agency and integrity. It’s in a different direction than Sec. Clinton, but I think nothing she’s accomplished in politics has been at the expense of her core beliefs. She’s moved forward as a whole person and done it in an unself-conscious way that can be doubly infuriating to those without that kind of agency.

    Its bad enough to you feel you’ve made less desirable choices, but I think the real fury comes when you feel you didn’t have the choices and they did. I had a regrettable flash of that when girls were admitted to Little League and allowed to go on playing a sport I loved but was shut out of around middle school; girls back then weren’t allowed to play baseball and that weird grapefruit’s just not the same thing. I got over it but was surprised at how much at first I just didn’t want them to be able to play because I couldn’t.

    There’s is also the added sting that the self-determination that Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have so clearly shown is at the core of any definition of feminism. The women I knew in business and academia who were most like the Hillary-and-Sarah-haters could not afford to lose the good opinion of the men who were in control of their environment, but also could not admit that this was the case.

    And to add to what Sonia said, there have been studies showing that breaking sex stereotyping is as threatening for women as it is for men. One book on this is “Why So Slow” by Virginia Valen. The Price-Waterhouse v. Hopkins decision was also based in part on Susan Fisk’s testimony to that effect. So I think that is also a part of it, maybe not at Twisty’s place, but definitely for the more objectified sites.

  62. Reader says:

    I think the explanation for the excoriation of both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin by Third Wave Feminist bloggers is pretty straightforward, myself. They are trying to carve out careers for themselves as public intellectuals. The fastest, most efficient way to do this is with the mentorship and assistance of people who have already reached a certain level of fame and connectedness. Most all of these people are men. To gain approval from men they desperately want to impress, folks like Amanda Marcotte, Jill Filipovic, Jessica Valenti, Ann Friedman, Megan Carpenter, to name but a few, went after Clinton and Palin and anyone who defended them, doing a service for men who would be accused of sexism for invoking that level of dishonesty and vitriol.

    Seems to be paying off for them, too, at least in the short run. But someday they are going to reach a little too high and experience the same sort of smack downs from younger women on the way up that they have administered to anyone who supported or even defended Clinton and Palin. I can only hope they have enough self awareness to reflect on what they’ve done, when that happens. And maybe then they will become more principled feminists.

  63. Amy K. says:

    sarah, so the metaphor is the third wave feminists have set themselves up as Lady Jersey in Regency England or Mrs. Astor in Victorian America. They are the arbiters of proper society which must conform to a very rigid code and which is ruthlessly enforced by ostracism and ruination. Only ones they have approved are allowed in and everyone else is turned away.

    They play by the rules because it gives them power and in turn it serves the patriarchy’s purpose. It harnesses the women’s power and keeps them busy.

    So they’re players in a Regency romance novel. Ouch.

  64. myiq2xu says:

    The answer is tribalism.

    All the unhinged Palin-hating “feminists” are Obama supporters. Their level of hatred for Sarah is in direct proportion to the political threat she constitutes to Obama.

    BTW – I put “feminists” in quotes because they are not really feminists. Their primary allegiance isn’t to the sisterhood of women it is to the brotherhood of Obama.

  65. Carmonn says:

    Reader, that makes a lot of sense, but I don’t understand why they’d self-identify as feminists in the first place. Just attaching themselves to that label, regardless of how little they actually resemble it, mitigates against their being taken seriously as public intellectuals and sends those men who’ve achieved positions of power and fame running away screaming before they even get a chance to explain they don’t really mean it.

  66. Carmonn says:

    That’s not 100% true, myiq2xu. Some Hillary supporters became Sarah haters as well, though many did not. Gloria Steinem, although that’s pretty straightforward, she had to atone for the sin of not supporting Obama by dissing Palin (ironic since her essay supporting Hillary laid out what would happen if a woman came aong with Obama’s credentials, yet there she was leading the charge). In fact many fence sitters claimed they became Obama voters finally due to Palin.

  67. Lori says:

    It’s a very typical narcissistic equation. This kind of shit – venerating one person and hating everyone who opposes what that person wants to do – is the kind of dynamic that narcissists create over and over again. They create in groups and out groups and because the out groups threaten the ability of the in group to work their enlightened magic, they must be destroyed in order for humanity (or the company, or the church, or the family) to move forward.

    I once heard a con artist interviewed after his conviction for stealing tens of millions of dollars. He said that whenever he met a new mark, he would tell them a lie to see if they went along with it. Once they accepted a lie from him, he knew he had them. If they didn’t accept a lie, he knew he couldn’t con them.

    Obama conned the left and encouraged them to entertain themselves by making up shit about Clinton and Palin. Degrading those two women became part of the ritual for being accepted. it was the evidence that you were among the enlightened who knew the folly involved in allowing either of them into office. Telling the truth involves the blogosphere admitting that they behaved in a way that is morally deplorable and at odds with their principles. The stakes are awfully high for them. So, they are deeply invested in continuing the lies because to do otherwise involves admitting that they are the same reprehensible jokers as the people they normally look down on.

    Maybe you should read SNAPPING by Siegelman and Conway. They talk about cults and Obama supporters are very much part of cult.
    http://www.amazon.com/Snapping-Americas-Epidemic-Sudden-Personality/dp/0964765004

    Obama supporters talking about Palin always sound like Tom Cruise talking about psychiatrists. Same thing.

    Last but not least, hate is fun. Humility and discipline less so.

  68. Lori says:

    Oh, read this article with an interview with Conway and Siegelman and tell me they aren’t talking about the so-called “creative class” there at the end. Their point is that educated, bright, financially comfortable adults are more likely to be seduced by a cult than working class Americans.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/living/2003572300_snapping15.html

    Ironically, the most vulnerable people may be those with little experience coping with serious problems, people Siegelman describes as having lived a charmed life.

    Resilient people tend to view difficulties in life as expected, and to confront and learn from disappointments. They nurture connections in their lives, especially to other people. They also communicate effectively and have empathy. And perhaps most importantly, resilient people know when they need help, and they get it.

    It could be you

    Conway and Siegelman call snapping a disorder of experience, occurring in otherwise healthy people.

    “It is not traditionally a mental disorder, but a disorder caused by intense and stressful life experiences,” Siegelman says.

    “These can come about suddenly or cumulatively over time ['snapping in slow motion'].”

    “The smarter the people, the greater the success, the more stress,” adds Conway. “The more that is asked of us, the more vulnerable we are. It’s possible there is a psychiatric disorder that hasn’t surfaced before. But by and large, people who act out are doing it because of emotional stresses that build and build and collide.”

    And if there is no one to talk to, no way to get emotions out, we might find ourselves ready to snap.

    “We’re all vulnerable,” Conway says. “It can happen to anybody.”

    Think about the emotional stress involved in watching the Bush presidency for eight years destroy our very notions of what it means to be an American. Our standard of living, our way of life and our much-prized Constitutional principles were completely trashed. Along comes Obama offering to fix it all because he is a brilliant law professor, community organizer, civil rights attorney who is good looking, charming and better than you and I. All you had to do to get him, was trash her. That’s the dynamic he created. Think about his rhetoric about how a light would shine down and you would vote for Obama. That’s fuckin’ creepy and incredibly narcissistic.

    =

    Narcissists will always force you to become the person you don’t want to be in order to get them out of your life and most of us, once conned, will do almost anything to not be that person.

    Trashing Palin is a cultural ritual, an identifier that you are one of the superior beings. That’s why it is clung to so desperately.

  69. SweetSue says:

    Amy K. says:
    I went over and read the comments in the post you referenced.
    Eye opening. They are not secure in their own worldview. Any opposing worldview cannot be accepted. It cannot even be tolerated as misguided. It must be declared wicked and destroyed

    When did young feminists become so much like freepers?
    I hate to say this but is it possible that the phoney feminists hate Sarah Palin with such frenzy because she’s truly beautiful?
    That’s not the whole story, of course, but it can’t be dismissed when analyzing the knee jerk vitriol.
    Of course, that’s an answer that the patriarchal males would love–catfight!-but I have the uncomfortable feeling that sexual jealousy is part of the answer.
    Great post and great comments. This is fast becoming my go to virtual community: so much food for thought.
    I too am childless and very much regret that but I blame no one(including myself) and nothing for that pain, well, dull ache.

  70. Briar says:

    A couple of things to add to this fascinating discussion of a phenomenon which also baffles me. First, Palin-hate includes an unhealthy dose of classism as well. She isn’t just a woman, she is a working class woman, a red neck woman, white trash. I know Americans don’t have a class system (they say) but there it is. The other thing is that feminism seems to have enabled women not to become powerful *as women* but to identify with and behave like men. So feminists pile on the misogynist, abusive, slanderous hatred along with the boys as a sign of their equality with them. Bascially, in a society where power = violence = masculinity (a patriarchal society in other words) being able to beat up a woman is a sign of potency. For women as well as men. Women don’t want to sleep with the enemy – they want to be the enemy. And that means beating up on other women. Just look at all the lesbian fantasies where butch dykes marry and abuse femme women just like men do.

  71. soopermouse says:

    ok fuck that. Apparently Palin is responsible for @fostering teh cloud of hatred that surrounded Bristol’s pregnancy”

  72. Tomecat says:

    Well, I may be alone in this, but I think my initial dislike for her resulted from a sense of disappointment (and I recognize that my personal distaste for her conservative, pro-life politics played a large part in this).

    Unfair though it may be, just by virtue of being only the 2nd woman to be a vice presidential nominee, in many eyes, she represented the best of what women had to offer a position like that. By accepting the nomination, she unwittingly did us all a disservice, because it allowed sexists of all stripes to say “women aren’t smart/informed/experienced/serious enough…here’s your evidence.”

    I also believe that the McCain campaign chose her for superficial reasons, not her political prowess. Much like Dan Quayle was chosen by Bush 1 in hopes of getting “the female vote”, McCain’s people thought men would like her for her looks (and could ignore her as just the vp), and women (especially Hillary supporters like myself) would switch parties simply because he put a woman on the ticket, and I found that insulting. I don’t for one minute believe that McCain had any respect for her, and my inner conspiracy theorist believes that she may even have been chosen because she was unprepared for the task.

    Would I love to see a woman in the white house? Absolutely. But when we finally get there, I also want that woman to be a president/vice president that we can be proud of and who will, by being effective, leave the door open for other women to walk through.

    Is it right that she be held to a higher standard than a man? No, but much like Obama will be held up as proof that a black man can/cannot do the job as well as a white man, the first woman will be used the same way.

    Also, I’m all for supporting feminists, even if I don’t agree with their politics, but her speeches were divisive. Real Americans? Versus what? Maybe I’m even guilty of some of the classism that many here have mentioned, but she sure seemed to work hard to alienate me–spitting out the words “city” and “liberal” and “elite” like they were poison. That feminist support is supposed to work both ways. And yes, I want a woman in power to use that power to fight for feminist values and women’s rights, which I don’t think Palin would. Maybe I just want too much. Typical woman, I guess.

  73. Tomecat says:

    For the record, I do think she got a raw deal from the media and from feminists and even from her political “allies”. Also, I may have conflated the person with the politics a little too much.

  74. Modem X says:

    I think that any woman with power is going to be called a bitch, a dyke, a cunt, a ballbuster, etc., by a lot of people, but the hatred for Sarah Palin is far worse than that for Hillary Clinton. Why? Why, especially, do women calling themselves “feminists” hate Sarah more than Hillary?

    I think it’s jealousy, pure and simple. Sarah Palin is more of a threat than Hillary because she’s younger, she’s beautiful, she apparently has a happy marriage, she has five children, and she became governor on her own merits, without having a husband or other male relative in politics to campaign for her. She’s also managed to take her baby to work with her and her husband shares in child care. Most “third wave” women are never going to have all she has and most of the blogger boyz will never get to “murk” a woman like her. So they hate her and her “retard” baby.
    It’s sickening, the things that are said about her and her family by people who claim to be liberals and feminists. I want to resign from the human race when I read the filth they’re excreting online.

  75. Vickie says:

    I personally think part of the backlash against Palin began when a seriously large number of feminists who were for Hillary took the nomination of a perceived lesser qualified Palin as an affront. Misogynistic morons picked on Hillary about her pantsuits, her hairdo and everything else. Yet when Palin hit the scene, everybody went ga-ga for her beauty queen looks and folksy language. It just infuriated a large number of feminists and Hillary supporters … and they haven’t forgotten.

  76. Anna Belle says:

    Violet, I think you nailed it about a third of the equation with Projection. Both parties make a point of projecting plenty onto the other party. The handiness of this cannot be overstated. It makes two things that are exactly the same seem different. The two things that are exactly the same are parties filled with men who went to Yale, Harvard, and Princeton, and Congress is their personal employment agency. Note that Sarah did not go to Yale, Harvard, or Princeton, not even for graduate school.

    The other thing is her reproductive capacity. This also cannot be overstated. When men (and patriarchified women) think of women giving birth, they think of animals. They never think of this when they are having sex themselves, or are otherwise in the act of impregnating a female, but they do with birth. That’s because this is the one time in an adult life when one cannot make that lie that we are not animals work. Birth makes men and pregnancy-paranoid-patriarchal females feel the ick of their own biology. They will do anything to avoid having to think about that. Just google “leaking amniotic fluid” + Palin if you want to know the truth of this. It’s sick, sick, sick.

    Branding is the final point. The parties have branded their women, generally along abortion lines (though they have branded all their constituents in reality). They have taught them how to cheer the game even as they have refused to teach them how to play the game, and because women are so swept up in their “team spirit,” they are incapable of thinking clearly. Just ask any Cavaliers fan about that. It was Rah! rah! rah! all the way until they didn’t go to the playoffs. Then they were “robbed.” This is a very effective strategy for both parties,and goes alone with that thing about making two same-things appear different.

  77. anna says:

    Sarah Palin is writing her autobiography, set to hit stores spring 2010. So hopefully she can get the truth out there. And this supports the idea that she is planning to run for President in the future, as almost all presidential candidates write their memoirs before running.

  78. anne says:

    I’m not sure it’s that much of a mystery why Palin has been subject to what she has been. It’s misogyny, it’s what props up the patriarchy/male supremacy. Any woman who did what Sarah did (or Hillary) would be subject to the same thing – yes it would be tailored especially to them and their circumstances, but it would still have the same root: at all costs preventing women, any woman from gaining power.

    I was going to say that maybe there is an extra special ingredient of sex involved in the Palin attacks with the young 3rd wavers – that they are jealous that their boyfriends want to fuck Palin, but then I remembered that 3rd wavers hated Hillary because their boyfriends *didn’t* want to fuck her. They are women who have been trained to see everything through a male lens, and unless they do some serious work on themselves and apply a bit of thought and feminist analysis, they will continue to act as the boys’ cheerleaders/executioners of uppity females.

    Every woman in the public eye gets subject to this to a greater or lesser extent (the greater extent being directly correlated to their popularity or their threat to male power): Paris Hilton – uppity rich bitch slut; Hillary Clinton – power hungry, post-menopausal, over-intelligent but still under-experienced bitch; Andrea Dworkin – man-hating ugly lunatic feminazi (truth-teller of course); Britney Spears – post-nymphet grown up into a woman and spoilt all men’s Humbert Humbert fantasies white trash crazy bitch who we hope commits suicide; Sarah Palin – right-wing slutty stupid incompetent bitch shoving her fertility in our faces. Well you get the picture, it’s just what they do to women.

    The *interesting* thing to me, is that despite the brainwashing, despite the patriarchy, 18 million people still voted for Hillary and Palin is wildly popular and interesting to people from all parts of the political spectrum. That is quite something.

    One other thing that I still think is worth noting in this Palin-frenzy, is that Palin went for a nothing job, vice president. Who cares about who is US Vice President? The answer is pretty much nobody. Has anybody even heard from Biden since he took up the position? Yet the liberal establishment thought the world was coming to an end if Palin came anywhere near it. The whole election ended up being framed as a fight between Palin and Obama. I think that ties in what you said Violet about this being a fantasy election between invented characters. Part of the fantasy was that Palin would actually be gaining real power rather than something symbolic (I’m pretty sure John McCain would have survived the presidency if he could survive six years in the Hanoi Hilton). The hysteria/testyria over who was getting the VP’s job was incredible. But even being in a symbolically powerful position is too much power for a woman to have.

  79. anne says:

    The stuff from some of the posters at IBTP is awful, but I’m pretty sure most of them couldn’t stand Hillary either.

    Feminism for women who hate women isn’t a kind of feminism I can identify with.

  80. octogalore says:

    Tomecat — aside from Hillary Clinton (with whom I didn’t agree on all issues, but certainly the majority), all the nominees were disappointing in some way. And typically, election after election, that is the case.

    You seem ostensibly to be focusing in on experience and being “informed.” I agree with you that those were concerns. However, I don’t find much variance there with Obama, except the fact that from what you say, you agree more with his politics. However, you don’t take issue with other Republican men (except Quayle) on the grounds you took issue with Palin.

    Obama had more time, support from his team, coaching, and teleprompter assistance. He also has more academic aplomb than Palin. Yet his gaffes on the issues, albeit not covered by the MSM to close to the same degree, rival if not exceed hers. His experience level is similar, and in fact there’s a decent argument that executive experience, especially where most of it hasn’t been spent campaigning or writing autobiographies, is more relevant.

    And divisive speeches, belittling the other side, are stock in trade for politicians during a campaign. Keep in mind that Palin was chosen for this role, and that Biden was also asked to do more of this, so that McCain and Obama could be more above the frey. Blaming this on her is somewhat telling.

    So I still think something is missing from your analysis. And that what’s missing is the subject of this post.

  81. Reader says:

    And still more sexism from the MSM:
    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/07/every_woman_a_queen.php?ref=fpblg

  82. Alex Curylo says:

    @Leis:

    “What? I am a working mother by choice. I love my children and my career. It is not either/or. So where do I fall in that sample?”

    Wow, you must think I have veritably godlike intelligence. Twenty-eight words, and I’m supposed to evaluate your persona from that? Well, if you insist on a snap judgement, then I’d say your knee jerk defensiveness indicates you’ve got worries that you’re short-changing your children (whether you actually are or not) and therefore odds are you are not a Sarah fan.

    As an aside, there’s no need to be defensive with me, really. Hey, I don’t have a family and never plan to because I can’t even balance *myself* and a career … I’m just not going to even attempt adding a wife and children into that mix in any currently foreseeable future. That you even gave it a shot already makes you more ambitious than me personally.

    @Violet:

    “Yeah, I also blow that correlation. I am childless and a career woman.”

    Yeah, but you’re rational on the subject. The overwhelming majority of people don’t approach anything close to rationality on *any* subject, and on anything that brings children into the mix … just no hopen. Just about the only logical female commentary I read on the Palins is from Tammy Bruce and Camille Paglia, which I do not think is a complete coincidence. Now, people like you and apparently this Amy K. person too judging by the posts above who I see do regret your choices but are still rational … well, you’re just off the charts.

    @myiq2xu:

    “The answer is tribalism. All the unhinged Palin-hating “feminists” are Obama supporters. Their level of hatred for Sarah is in direct proportion to the political threat she constitutes to Obama.”

    Provably — trivially, even — not true. If you read any of the Republican blogosphere at all, you’ll have absolutely no problem coming up with scads of Sarah-loathing women who wouldn’t pull the lever for a D if they were in the Sahara Desert and it was the only way to get water. It’s not a negligible factor no, but it’s certainly nowhere near “the answer” in any way.

    No, I think the essence of it is this exchange -

    Amy K.: “But you don’t hate her. Because you are okay with your decisions.”
    Violet: ” it was the great mistake of my life. But that doesn’t make me hate or resent any woman who does have children.”

    See, that’s what makes you weird. The overwhelming majority of people hate and resent anyone who succeeds at anything they failed at, because it’s easier to demonize winners and comfort yourself with the “fact” that you’re morally superior and they got their success only through racism, classism, personal evil, blind luck, etc. than it is to confront yourself with the reality that you’re not as good as them. Which is why the striking correlation between people who are okay with how their lives have turned out and love Sarah, and people who aren’t and don’t.

    The sliver of people who can separate their emotions from their reasoning, as apparently our esteemed hostess numbers among, amounts to statistical noise. At best.

  83. In defense of Sarah Palin « Nancy Imperiale Blog says:

    [...] (Editor’s note: I wasn’t going to publish this on my blog. But then I read this post by Reclusive Leftist and I said Nancy, you cowardly weenie, post that sucker. Thanks once again to Blue Lyon for [...]

  84. Nessum says:

    Jealousy?

    I believe any woman would have been treated this way. “No other woman shall have, what I can’t have”.

    Remember how we were told, women should feel insulted by Palin’s nomination? Huh?
    But the meme spread – sounded better than jealousy too.

    Btw, does anyone recall how Geraldine Ferraro was treated by other women, back when she was nominated?

    Great post!

  85. Sis says:

    I know a lot of women who say they regret not having children, but if it was somehow possible for them to do so, now, they’d back away. They know what they’d have to give up.

    I think what they mean is, they regret what women have to give up in order to have children, and they regret they aren’t willing to do that. And they regret society makes them choose.

    I’m not saying that’s what Vi meant.

    A woman cannot have children without being punished for it. Period. I know we like to think society rewards woman who have children. Not so. We punish women who have children. And we punish women who don’t have children.

    I think a lot of feminists have figured this out, and try to make the best choice for a good life, and see that means not having children, having a career and independence, financial, and least patriarchal (at least in your home) that gives you no matter how little you earn, over what motherhood gives.

  86. Sis says:

    I think women who want to be smart, and achievers, and beautiful, and sexy and have children know, like Michelle Obama knows, it belongs to the guy, all your stuff, it’s his; or you’re going to be slaughtered. Michelle knows. She is doing motherhood the only guy acceptable way. The way Palin is doing it? Not going to happen, men, left right and centre, are not going to let that happen.

  87. yttik says:

    I really believe people become addicted to misogyny. After a while it has no rhyme or reason, it’s just a knee jerk release of brain chemicals. From day one girls especially are taught to find a girl to target, to blame, to use as a scapegoat. It becomes a learned behavior. At the moment Sarah is the designated receptacle, but just recently it was Carrie Perjean, The Dixie Chicks, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohen, Hillary Clinton, etc.etc. We love to see women torn down, shaving their heads, being drug off to prison, loosing money, being put back in their place and taught a lesson. She thinks too highly of herself, tear her down.

    Maya Angelou knows:

    Did you want to see me broken?
    Bowed head and lowered eyes?
    Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
    Weakened by my soulful cries.

  88. madamab says:

    I personally think that the PDS is the result of the fact that Palin calls herself a pro-life feminist and is a Republican. Over time, feminism has become accepted as the purview of pro-choice Democratic/liberal women ONLY.
    Palin makes liberal feminists crazy because she is claiming membership in a club that doesn’t want her. Moreover, they fear that her success will redefine feminism in a way that would threaten their dominance and, to be fair, erode the rights of women to control their own bodies.

    I do not think that “feminists” hate HRC the way they hate Palin, because Hillary is pro-choice and more in the traditional feminist mode. However, there is a huge reluctance among mainstream feminists to support other women. That, I believe, is all about pleasing the Patriarchy, which has made them successful, and which Hillary’s Presidency would have greatly undermined.

  89. Sis says:

    I went and followed Vi’s link. Wish I hadn’t. The woman-hating at IBTP is off the charts. No better than what we see at the sex-’positive’ blogs: same entree, different sauce.

  90. anne says:

    Have you seen the interview with Sarah Palin in Runners World, with Sarah giving a shout out to Title IX.

    http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-410–13221-0,00.html

    “The only other thing I’d like to add is I’ve been very fortunate to be a recipient of all the efforts people put into Title IX all those years ago where girls got equal opportunity to participate in sports and extracurricular activities because sports growing up were my world. I’m so thankful for Title IX allowing equal access to these opportunities, and I’m a huge proponent of girls being able to realize what they’re made of by participating in sports, and whatever I can do there I’m going to be doing.”

    How very unfeminine, I mean unfeminist of her.

  91. angienc says:

    Well, Violet, you might not have all the answers to the irrational reactions to Palin, but you certainly know how to sum up the frustrations/problems I’ve been experiencing this last year and 1/2 with all the blatant, celebrated women-hating going on in this country & I’m very grateful to not be alone. Thank you.

  92. Violet’s onto something « bright line rules says:

    [...] Violet’s onto something Published July 5, 2009 Politics Leave a Comment Tags: feminism, Politics Reclusive Leftist: Feminists and the Mystery of Sarah Palin [...]

  93. datechguy says:

    In my opinion Sarah Palin is a living contradiction to what some feminists think feminism means.

    Her life and lifestyle choices validate that one can be a wife and mother and a believing Christian while still being a powerful and strong woman and worthy of respect. That sounds like a model of feminism to me. If one is strong and secure in their beliefs that’s not a problem…

    …if one is not then she becomes a heresy; maybe even a reminder of what they choose to give up. The very sight of her reminds them of choices they didn’t have to make.

    I could be dead wrong but that’s my guess

  94. Toonces says:

    Women: when will they stop being such horrible, catty, jealous, back-stabbing bitchez, amirite?

  95. Sis says:

    Oh, but thanks to Anna Belle and soopermouse for trying.

    It is impossible to dispell the lies. Even as we’ve seen here, no matter what link we give or actual voice they get to listen to on video, they KNOW what she said. It’s what the dudes told them she said. Their bigotry and prejudice were just waiting to be fulfilled.

    No, her life does not validate what you’ve said tech guy. Frankly, I don’t think you have a right to comment on this.

  96. RalphB says:

    Alex Curylo; you and Dr Socks will have to share the prize for deciphering the irrational hatred.

    I love reading here because I always learn.

  97. Gayle says:

    “To gain approval from men they desperately want to impress, folks like Amanda Marcotte, Jill Filipovic, Jessica Valenti, Ann Friedman, Megan Carpenter, to name but a few, went after Clinton and Palin and anyone who defended them,”

    Approval and those all important links. I don’t know who Ann Friedman is and I can’t speak to all of those bloggers so I’m leaving (most) names aside for a moment. What I will say this that the better trafficked progressive feminist blogs used to exist somewhat independently of the big boy political blogs but that disconnect is all but gone now. I think this began, more or less, when Jesse Taylor invited Amanda Marcotte to blog on Pandagon. She linked to Feministe a lot; Feministe linked to Feministing, etc., and, eventually, this whole circle was connected to the progressive political blogs. There was an uneasy alliance made with some pro-feminist men welcoming the Third Wavers while other wanted nothing to do with them. The Third Wavers with integrity did call out sexism in the progressive blogosphere back then. I remember a few big flame wars.

    Close to the beginning of the last primary election those women were invited to Yearly Kos (now called Yearly Netroots, but whatever)and a big to-do was made of their attendance there. Marcotte was given a two thousand dollar award from Act Blue at some point around that time. Extra added effort was put into bringing the Third Wavers into the Dem-blog tent and I have no doubt HRCs run for the Presidency was behind those efforts.

    I don’t know if people here know about the “Town House” email list but it’s kinda interesting if you want to know how the political blogs operate or if you’ve ever wondered why you read the same messaging over and over again, in predictable cycles. Town House is/was a by-invitation only group that hands out acceptable talking points to be disseminated by its affiliated blogs. The idea of Town House was to create a method by which progressives could do what right wing radio does with its audience: get those memes started and re-enforced through sheer repetition. Challenge those talking points and you get chased off the blogs.

    Now lots of bloggers want readers and links and will link and repeat what’s popular on larger blogs to gain those rewards with or without a Town House type e-list. It’s not too hard to figure out what talking points are acceptable to those blogs without Town House. The problem is the larger progressive blogs are stuffed with political operators and outright misogynists. If you’re trying to be an honest blogger, you’re going to come up against this at some time and have to make a decision.

    During the primary feminist bloggers did tend to point out and condemn outright sexist comments about Hillary Clinton. But at the same time, they were repeating all those other ridiculous talking points against her without any critical analysis. How could they trust the very same people who were calling HRC a castrating you-know-what when they were repeating lies about her killing Vince Foster? How could they not see through all the other lies and call them out? Did they really believe SHE was the risky candidate when it came to abortion rights?

    My own hypothesis is a number of those bigger feminist bloggers aren’t really interested in raw politics all that much, anyway. They’re certainly not wonks. If you’re not the type to delve deep into political analysis, to study issues and politicians on your own you’re more likely to repeat what you hear without question. Especially if you don’t much care about what’s true or not true because you’d rather be discussing something more interesting to you: like racism or burkas or sexist advertising, etc.

    If you read the larger third wave blogs you’ll see their interest in women’s issues is somewhat limited to two or three hot button topics: abortion, abstinence and rape. Now let’s see what political points were used against Palin in the GE. Hmm. Not too surprising, is it? Some feminist bloggers were well used. We’ll see what it wins them in the end.

    PS: In fairness, around the time the Town House list was “outed” on-line, A.M. claimed she declined the invitation to join. I don’t know if there’s anyway to know who belongs or doesn’t or if it even exists anymore. I used it only as an example of how a group-think mentality has been purposely created in the blogesphere.

  98. Toonces says:

    Oh, I forgot irrational! How could I forget that most famous womanly trait?

  99. Sis says:

    I wonder if the Town House list is linked to Fem 2?

    Thanks for the great post Gayle. I think if Marcotte (especially) stopped posting the hate, she’d lose her ad base.

  100. no pasaran says:

    I’ll say something unoriginal and say it is fear. Fear by both women and men of a possible disruption of the status quo of the power structure. Sarah Palin represents the unprecedented – a young woman who is the supreme leader of her state who also recently gave birth and breastfeeds on the job (yuck! amniotic fluid and dilation and episiotomies — see Anna Belle’s excellent comment on this at comment#73). Palin is way ahead of her time — we are only just beginning to barely accept as leaders older women (who have grown children and have fulfilled their patriarchal duty).

    And of course there is no doubt the propaganda by the Obama machine has been effective. Just look at Palin’s plummeting job approval ratings in Alaska after the Obama male supremacist movement put her through the wringer.

  101. Drawohm2 says:

    For me, the most interesting thing about Sarah Palin is how she just showed up .. suddenly .. all finished .. from a small town in Alaska .. with no obvious affiliation to ANY orthodoxy.

    She walked out on that stage at the Republican convention .. and stepped right into the line of fire.

    I look forward to her book .. if any culture needs a good shaking .. ours certainly does.

  102. anne says:

    There are quite a few tools of the patriarchy posting at IBTP. The Palin hatred isn’t a new phenomenon:

    http://blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com/2008/09/11/spinster-aunt-suffers-from-bridge-to-nowhere-fatigue/

  103. tinfoil hattie says:

    Alex, you’re being an asshole. You don’t get to decide that a commenter fits your stereotype of “working mothers” because she disagreed with something you said.

    I want you to re-read what you wrote. Women do not really put all their being into raising their children. It’s what mothers are “supposed” to do, and it’s what the media tell us mothers really do.

    To wit: In an awful accident in the DC area last week, a mother of six was killed when a tree branch fell on top of her minivan. One of her children was killed also. This woman has a master’s degree, has tenure at Loyola in MD, and is a practicing psychologist. The headline about her subsequent funeral? “They Lost Their Supermom.”

    So you, admittedly childless and oh-so-superior, can bite me.

  104. propertius says:

    I read this post yesterday, and typed out a relatively long response. By the time I got to the end of it, I was just too damned depressed to send it. I had a talk with the (quasi) spousal unit about it this morning (she’s in the next chair typing out her response right now).

    The sheer nastiness of what passes for political discourse in this country has really shaken me. It seems to me that the political landscape consists of authoritarians who call themselves “progressives” raging at authoritarians who call themselves “conservatives” – and the only real difference between them is the vocabulary they use to demonize those who are on the other team. It’s all screeching mobs, with self-proclaimed “feminists” flagellating women they should be proud of, women who claim to believe in choice ripping apart a woman whose choices differ from theirs, people who claim to believe in social justice and opportunity deriding “trailer trash” from “flyover country” who manage to make something of themselves in spite of all the odds against them (and not just Palin, both Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter faced this too).

    It’s all ugly and vicious and, well, base. I’m not sure that any of the “-isms” are really salvagable at this point: not progressivISM, nor feminISM, conservatISM, liberalISM, libertarianISM, hell even vegetarianISM. They all seem to be excuses for the authoritarian impulse, different masks for the same vile, unthinking murderous impulses. It’s all greed, hatred, and preening vanity and I’m just plain disgusted.

    When self-proclaimed “progressives” and “feminists” can talk about a Down’s Syndrome baby using language that one would expect from Joseph Goebbels, then I think we’ve really sunk into the abyss.

    I’ve got no answers – except maybe that hairless apes aren’t anywhere near as rational as they like to think they are, and that the very notions of intelligent discourse and respectful disagreement are naive fantasies.

    Orwell was an optimist.

    I blame Eddie Bernays.

  105. Kat says:

    I guess a display of coolness, a shibboleth to enter into the ranks of acceptable feminism? She’s threatening somehow, that’s for sure, since I’m always struck when reading her words (excellent posts you linked above) how NOT-crazy she is. In fact, how she says more thought-provoking things about women’s challenges than most female politicians that aren’t burned at the stake.

    I don’t understand it either — I don’t get that kind of blazing hate that’s based on lies about things like *rape kits*, for god’s sake — and that by now, they must know are lies.

    My brain stops and spins when I see some of the things that self-professed liberals, Democrats, and/or feminists post about this woman. I’ll never forget the Jezebel poster who launched that unfathomably evil “murk the cunt” line. I had to look up the word murk when I saw it here on your site, because I’m not up on my woman-killing slang.

    I appreciate the discussion. I want to figure this out. It seems too ugly and violent not to try to figure out.

  106. Kat says:

    Here’s an example — this one just… stopped my brain cold. Now, I understand that DU is hardly a feminist site, but I imagine most posters would call themselves feminists. Here is a thread on Sarah Palin’s… wait for it… toes.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×5832085

    You will note in this thread the words “tractor pull”, “Cincinatti hooker”, “china-mart shopper”, “barbie”. Among others. But the clincher is post #12, which states that “The toenail design looks like *ahem* a “string of pearls” has dripped onto her feet.”

    It seems like a sexually degrading or violent obsession that I don’t get. I can’t imagine what Palin has done that is so dire to say things like that. To fantasize about her gang rape, like that Sandra Bernhard routine, or to want to post on Jezebel about a desire to beat a woman to death.

    I think Sis might be on to something here: “When you do that kind of ‘bonding’, throwing down, you have to have a target.” Is this a group dynamic lowering of the bar? An old school witch hunt dynamic?

  107. Sis says:

    Before the election, on a Black woman’s blog, a poster referred to her as disgusting because she had “whelped a Mongoloid”. That was the first time I’d heard such ignorant comments. And I still think it’s the worst, although I’ve not read those blogs you reference, and don’t plan to.

    There was no-one posting on that blog who didn’t claim to be an Obama supporter.

    There’s another word for that bonding behaviour Kat: ravening. I also call it ravening.

  108. Gayle says:

    Thanks, Sis!

  109. Tomecat says:

    Octagalore:

    FWIW, I did vote for Obama, but only because I saw the alternative as worse. As Lori said upthread:

    Think about the emotional stress involved in watching the Bush presidency for eight years destroy our very notions of what it means to be an American. Our standard of living, our way of life and our much-prized Constitutional principles were completely trashed.

    This was the gist of it. Fear was my motivator. I was more afraid of McCain than Obama. A sad state of affairs, to be sure, but my hope is that this mess will finally allow another political party to become truly viable—a genuinely progressive one.

    You’re right on the divisive speeches, and of course there is no perfect candidate. I don’t blame all of this on her, or even most of it. Not her fault, but I did see her as a deliberately mediocre choice, and would have liked to have seen one of the many women who could have represented republican women, all women, better. Not that any woman would have gotten treated well, but maybe more feminists would have supported a different candidate?

    As far as Biden goes—right on. Again, the problem in my mind is that Biden doesn’t have the burden of making white men look competent. His failures will be seen as his own. Any failure that Palin might have experienced would have been seen as those of all women.

    I think I can still make a claim to feminism while not wanting to see one particular woman elected. I don’t hate her, but I do disagree with her.

    Reading more of the comments here, I am also sickened by the unforgivable treatment she got–I guess I didn’t realize how much of that was coming from so-called feminists. I apologize if I sounded like I was defending any of that.

  110. quixote says:

    Lori’s comment: “Hate is fun.” Heavy! as we used to say in the high and far off times. And those of us who don’t get it, don’t get it.

    I wanted to comment on this: I kept wanting to say. These are the people who want to run the country. Don’t you want to know who they really are?

    That’s what has me so mystified. You’re electing people who can beggar you, draft you into wars, do anything. Is the need for a little hate so much more important than that? How can you care so little about who they really are?

  111. leis says:

    Alex Curylo-
    My reasoning in pointing out my particular situation was to clarify that there are a whole range of women that do not fall into your very limited categories. I know many women that have chosen to focus their lives solely on their children and they most assuredly do not adore her “sarahness” Just as I know women that are career women that do like her. It is just not that simple because women are not that simple. I do not care for Palin’s politics because she is a Republican and I do not ascribe to a Republican world view. I have no opinion on her as a person because I do not know her, but I will continue to defend her against misogynist attacks because I am a feminist. Nice comment on my mothering though. Typical dude attitude. So as a working mother all I can say is thank you for choosing to not marry and have children.

  112. bob coley jr says:

    Dr. Socks,
    I read many blogs and comment threads. I don’t comment much because my pablum of knowledge fails to compare, at least in volume, anyway. I feel so many times that the blaming of the hive mentality of most humans misses the mark. The hive lives or dies following the leader. It is refreshing to see some focus on the leaders of the hive as it is their job to lead the hive to safety. Some bees just gather the pollen. Thank you for leading well!

  113. yttik says:

    “Is the need for a little hate so much more important than that?”

    Yes. I mean it when I say misogyny is a powerful addiction. It’s familiar and it makes people feel better about themselves because thankfully they aren’t that sleezy woman, or that ignorant one, or that one…or whoever is the designated target of the day.

    I’m serious, I spend every waking moment fighting the urge to comment about some woman, to criticize, to judge, to complain, to hold her to some impossible standard. It’s hardwired into our brains, it’s reinforced by the media, it’s this constant struggle to resist because it’s fed by this never ending bit of programming.

    The explanation is simple. Sisterhood is powerful and must be disrupted at all costs.

  114. BAC says:

    Abortion. It seems to always come up in any discussion of Sarah Palin. I would like to offer a position on abortion that I think represents a “feminist” perspective. Please feel free to disagree.

    The question is not really whether you personally support or oppose abortion, but rather “who decides.” In my opinion you can be a “feminist” an oppose abortion only if you allow others to act on the conclusions they have reached for themselves about abortion. In other words, you can be against abortion, decide to never have an abortion, but not legislate against another woman deciding to HAVE an abortion.

    For me, being “pro-choice” means that each woman gets to decide for herself whether or not to have an abortion. Someone who is pro-choice would not try and change the laws to prevent any woman from obtaining an abortion, if that is what the woman thinks is in her best interest.

    I like to describe it as the “Lawton Chiles” view on abortion. Former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles personally opposed abortion, but he vowed that he would never sign into law any bill that would restrict a woman’s right to make decisions about abortion for herself. He would probably have described himself as “pro-life”, but his public stance was very much “pro-choice.” For that reason, many feminists in Florida supported Gov. Chiles.

    Unless someone thinks that ultimately the decision about abortion must be left to the individual woman, I don’t see how they can call themselves a feminist. How can anyone be a feminist, if fundamentally they don’t trust women to make decisions about their own bodies?

    BAC

  115. AniEm says:

    Violet,

    Consider turning this post and these comments into a book or study guide for feminism. The analyses are top-notch and a refreshing antidote from the sheer hatred and bigotry of the MSM hacks and political pundits.

  116. propertius says:

    Kat asks: “Is this a group dynamic lowering of the bar? An old school witch hunt dynamic?”

    That’s exactly what it is. Whether it’s “rape kits”, “witches”, Jews poisoning the wells, commies under the bed, Christians sacrificing and eating Roman babies, terrorists lurking in every mosque, the “homosexual agenda”, or Sarah Palin wanting to drag your daughter to a “purity ball” (presumably so she can be forcibly impregnated by Palin’s husband), it’s all the same. It’s mindless groupthink and scapegoat-hunting. The astonishing thing about it is that they’ve actually gotten women to participate in the misogyny. What’s next? Jewish neo-Nazis? African-American Klans?

    And yes, despite Violet’s reservations I think the Great Obama Noise Machine has a lot to do with how widespread the twisted fictions and misogynistic fantasies about Palin are. Axelrod’s proven himself a master at sowing viral memes – a rumor here, an innuendo there, a planted story here, an anonymous source there, and before you know it, Hillary is planning Obama’s assassination, Geraldine Feraro is a Klan member, and Trig Palin is really the product of some bizarre Inuit incest ritual – and it’s acceptable discourse to talk about raping and/or killing all of them. After all, it’s not like they’re people.

    It’s a lot easier simply to demonize (and therefore dehumanize) people who disagree with you than engage them on a rational level. The whole point of PR is to subvert rational decision-making: in this case, to get you to despise (and therefore wish to “murk”) the “cunt” rather than discuss (and therefore, horribile dictu. have to engage) the “woman”. The amazing thing is that the campaign was so successful with women.

  117. Sameol says:

    Tomecat, Palin was a popular Governor who is also wildly popular among conservatives, the very group that hates McCain and where he needed turnout in order to win. Picking her made all kinds of political sense–in fact, one of the major reasons that he lost may have been that conservatives perceived him as abandoning her and registered their displeasure. I don’t understand where the perception that he picked her to pander to Democratic women and laugh at us for falling for his scheme comes from, except from the idea that nobody would actually pick a woman for a good reason, despite how much she appears to bring to the table in his case.

    If he did think he could win by having Palin draw female Democrats, anyone could have told him the chances against it were 10 billion to one.

  118. AM says:

    I am by choice childless and a (retired) career woman. My articulated (to myself, I wasn’t crazy)goal in life, at about age11, was to be part of a little gang that fought for justice. What catapulted me into what we called Womens Liberation was the plight of women in general but especially mothers. One thing that helped push me over the edge into focussed purpose was a little anecdote, or case history as they call it when they do it, in a medical journal (a division of Harper & Row) in 1967. Paraphrasing here, it was about a woman who’d gone into total breakdown mode. After weeks and weeks in the mental hospital she recovered and was able to go home to family. A husband and several children. Husband confined to wheelchair (war wound) and alcoholic; a couple of the children had mid-serious chronic ailments. Lots of hospital, doctor visits, sudden crises.

    Well, so, she went home and within weeks landed up in the mental hospital again.

    Okay, nothing new here. What really got me, made me want to lunge into the page and strangle the author, was the last sentence. Burned into my brain. “We don’t know why this happened.” I sure knew why, and it wasn’t because I grew up in a home that had such problems, I was lucky, a very large family with no major health problems. It was the plight of mothers that motivated me, not the lesbian thing. (I thought being a dyke meant being freedom fighter in general, and for
    mothers in particular.) Because all mothers want in the whole wide world is to grow their garden, nurture their precious child flowers, make sure they have what they need. How desperate it is for many!

    It was about our mothers, their mothers, and their mothers before them, down through herstory. We were connected.

    Most if not all of the women I encountered in those hectic days, starting in 1968, and I met many, from all over the country, the Bay Area being a major woman’s energy hub, felt the same way. These are the women who went on to create the laws and support group industry that have made things easier for many.

    Our generation was followed by the generation to whom, as one woman put it, “we gave the woman’s movement on a silver platter”, and things have crumbled ever since.

    The same thing happened to Black Liberation: the moment Jackie Robinson set foot in Ebbets Field, the black baseball league began to shrivel; and the Civil Rights successes led to extreme decline in Black areas of cities.

    Things are really different now.

    Several generations, each with somewhat differing overview, goals. All the different suggested reasons put forth in these comments to explain attitudes toward Sarh Palin ring true, each being true for one or another segment of the population, it seems to me.

    I think many of the younger women are caught up in instant and continuous electronic communication, and thus instant decision making. Which they instantly transmit electronically, and then there’s no going back. Crowd creation.

    Getting tired now. This whole discussion is valuable. Might be worth indexing.

  119. Sameol says:

    Really, the only way I can see it making sense for McCain to target Hillary voters as even a small part of his strategy would be to gamble that watching Obama and his supporters reenact the misogyny of the primary might possibly push a small number of votes. But even there, speculating on the potential for a small number of votes wouldn’t be remotely worth it unless she brought significant, quantifiable additional advantages on the other side.

  120. Apostate says:

    I dislike her as strongly as I do because she is anti-choice. That’s my biggest reason, followed closely by her Republicanism.

    My dislike of conservatives and of anti-choicers is really quite strong, enough that I’ve banned people on my blog who have expressed the mildest of reservations about choice, and I refuse to sign up for a bone marrow registry because I might accidentally end up helping an anti-choicer, a Christian, or a Republican. Really!

    If Palin were pro-choice but still Republican, I would be severely conflicted about not voting for her if she ran for president. So the choice issue really is the biggest one for me. I AM a one-issue voter – I wouldn’t vote for the perfect candidate if the only thing wrong with them was that they were anti-choice. Being pro-choice earns 70% of my goodwill, right there.

  121. Apostate says:

    And oh, I hate male Republicans, especially if they’re anti-choice but even if they aren’t, even more, if that’s possible.

    I hate McCain ten times more than Palin.

    I was a strong Hillary Clinton supporter, so it’s not just that I hate women.

  122. Keri says:

    Remember a lot of those Obot “feminists” (remember Nimbrthril, my livejournal Obot troll who puked out a few such comments here?) also violently attacked Hillary, called her the c word, repeated right wing smears, plus constantly brought up not just the Iraq war vote (but were completely ignorant of her strong words of reservation on that vote) but the Walmart board thing- and again ignored that during the time Hillary was on that board she lobbied hard to improve working conditions, and tried again and again to get them to change their minds on unionizing the workers (she succeeded in improving the working conditions while she was on the board, but couldn’t get them to budge on unions) They Obots conveniently ignored that Michelle Obama was on the board of a distributor to Walmart, and while she was, conditions actually worsened for those employees and she made no effort to do any lobbying for the sake of the workers. Obama’s voting record was far more pro corporate than Hillary’s, ditto for his work history as a lawyer.

  123. Lori says:

    Sameol,

    There were a lot of people, like Lynette Long, who asked McCain to put a woman on the ticket in the hopes of breaking the barrier. Long saw value in a woman being in the White House, whether she was liberal or conservative. her point being that women in general would benefit from Palin’s presence even if her policies were at odds with ours. Our daughters would grow up confident that they too could run for president and win. So, he had reason to believe he could get some Clinton supporters, eager for the barrier to be broken. And, in addition, Hillary had brought a chunk of fairly conservative women to her side, and Palin’s presence might help get them back.

    I think Palin may be the pol that has the ability to bring the Republican party back closer to the center even as Obama drags the Democratic party farther to the right.

  124. Sis says:

    A lot of new posters turned up to make this one amazing thread. I sure hope they stay around.

  125. propertius says:

    “Former Florida Governor Lawton Chiles personally opposed abortion, but he vowed that he would never sign into law any bill that would restrict a woman’s right to make decisions about abortion for herself. ”

    Well, that sure brings back some memories.
    One of my early forays into electoral politics was campaigning for “Walkin’ Lawton” when he ran for Senate in 1970 (and I was in high school). He was an honorable, intelligent public servant.

    It’s pretty clear to me that a lot of those who so loudly proclaim their feminism aren’t really “pro choice” at all, because they can’t accept the notion that someone else’s choice might not be the same as theirs. If you really believe in choice, then you believe that what a woman does with her uterus is none of your goddamned business. Why is it so difficult to leave it at that?

  126. Dark Eden says:

    I’m a Republican of the libertarian persuasion. It restores a bit of my faith in humanity that at least some on the left are aware of this bizarre cauldron of hate brewing on your side of the aisle and are as stunned and perplexed by it as I am. I’m sure I don’t agree with many of the readers here on many issues, but I would love to return to the days where we could agree to disagree instead of calling each other nazi’s and worse. Far worse.

  127. Assistant Village Idiot says:

    I have heard this “why” question from intelligent feminists for years. There is an important undercurrent to popular, especially academic feminism, that consistent feminists just don’t want to acknowledge. Most modern feminism is just generic progressive politics and class distinction. Believing a consistent feminist ideology is just not part of the package. They are liberals first, with feminism as one of the usual accessories that goes with the outfit.

    Thus the use of the pro-choice position as a proxy for feminist orthodoxy. It just hurts to think harder than that. That’s not a putdown of women, but of human beings in general. We don’t individually affect much in a nation of 300M, and adopt our views for social rather than intellectual reasons.

    Sarah Palin cannot be a feminist to them because she is not a liberal. They know she’s not a liberal because she’s prolife, goes to the wrong church, and talks hick. It just doesn’t go any deeper than that. There is no position she could take, no theory of feminism she could articulate, no appointment of women who are more feminist, that would change those people’s minds.

    Feminists attempting to stand for principle resist knowing this because they don’t want to face how few allies they really have.

    Again, that’s not just feminists, that’s principled believers of nearly everything – libertarians, greens, Christians, marxists. The number of folks who have thought their way into a position is small, the number of people picking it up as decoration is large.

    To use a fashion metaphor, Palin doesn’t go with their outfit and doesn’t have a hot brand name. How useful and beautiful she is as a handbag is irrelevant to them.

  128. femina says:

    I don’t understand your intense hate, Apostate. Just as I don’t understand the women who hated Palin so much they would come to their offices and kick things after earlier hearing or reading about her. There were those who contemplated throwing themselves out the window if Palin won. Mothers and women were threatened by their children and family members if they didn’t vote for Obama. Sounds pretty childish or pathetic to me.

    Violet, I don’t have any different answers to your question. My ready answer is always that the patriarchy is still humming along with new women recruits who will (hell yeah!)vote against their interests. It appears to me that younger women don’t realize how much erosion of earlier fought rights has been taking place. They don’t understand that all women need to come together in solidarity to fight for our causes and against sexism. We should defend Palin even though we have political differences.

    Even though I’m glad you’re pro-choice, Apostate, it could be the best thing to happen to women if roe vs wade were to be reversed. Women then might become vigilant about their status. I don’t want roe to be reversed, but, with all the names I was called as a Hillary supporter and all the misogyny crap I read last year, women then might become “truth” researchers like Violet and many of us and make voting and political decisions on facts rather than on groupthink or political news progams. We need to vote for true feminists like Hillary, not for a charlatan like Obama.

  129. Lori says:

    I will point out that Anglachel constantly makes the point that Versailles’ issue with the Clintons is that they were hicks. Working class. Same thing here. Now, both Bill and Hillary are much more polished than Sarah will ever be. Heck, more polished than most of humanity will ever be. But they tinker with the system trying to make life better for ordinary people and too many of the creative class are disdainful of “those” people.

    Sarah is not alone being on the receiving end of an upper class disdain for working class America.

    One of things I’m starting to think provoked the hatred of Bill and Hillary is that they work hard and master issues. And people who wrestle with entitlement issues may resent them continuing to work even in the aftermath of genuine accomplishment.

  130. Sameol says:

    Lori, I totally understand and respect Dr. Long’s reasoning, but from JM’s POV’s, we’re talking about a small subset of a subset who may or may not have been able to be persuaded. It seems unlikely that anyone would make a major political decision on that basis, yet so many Dems acted as if the main if not only purpose was to appeal directly to them, and they were insulted. Oddly, the possibility that she could have been chosen on merit for what she brought to the ticket in terms of her own base of support in a way that had little to do with them didn’t seem to cross many minds. She got turned into the random unqualified putative affirmative action hire who’s making us all look bad rather than someone who’s got some things McCain lacked and needed.

  131. quixote says:

    Yttik: misogyny is a powerful addiction

    The evidence is out there, that’s for sure. But it still boggles my mind that people would rather risk everything they care about than give their sexism a rest for a second. I mean, a bit of hating is worth the world to them. That’s obvious, as you say. But it doesn’t make it less amazing. Why do they do it? What the hell for? What does it mean to them, that it’s worth so much? What do they think they’re getting? What do they think they would lose if they gave it a rest for a second? Just long enough not to sell the whole future down the river?

  132. femina says:

    Assistant Village Idiot — To use Obama’s words, Palin is one of those small town, gun/Bible clinging, xenophobic low information Americans.

    (ugg, how disgusting!)

  133. William Woody says:

    Thank you for the interesting “rant.”

    The best explanation I can come up with for the attacks against Sarah Palin is that the people behind a number of the feminist groups going after her are no longer interested in feminism–that is, they are no longer interested in promulgating gender equality–but are interested in political power, and use the feminist group as a rallying flag for the naked accumulation of that power.

    They rely upon the phenomenon first outlined in George Orwell’s “1984″ of “doublethink” (brilliant book; highly recommended): the idea of holding two completely contradictory ideas in one’s head at the same time as if they were both completely true. Thus, we can support a womanizer President (President Clinton) while simultaneously opposing a patriarchal society which promulgates womanizers in power. Thus, we can support advancing women of all beliefs–and yet use some of the most vile sexist remarks to attack an individual woman leader. Doublethink was vitally important to Ingsoc to help the Party maintain power: it permitted the members of the Ministry of Truth to rewrite the newspapers recorded history of Oceania’s wars while simultaneously believing that recorded history was never changed. “Who controlled the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

    The sole goal for many who seek power is to seek power for its own sake, not because they serve a higher goal or seek to improve the world. It’s obvious to me that many in the Feminist movement who sought to destroy Sarah Palin did so because she represented a threat to their power–which, by extension, suggests to me their only goal is to seek and accumulate power for its own sake, using the banner of feminism as a fig leaf to their raw ambition.

  134. madamab says:

    I never thought these words would leave my mouth: I agree with “Assistant Village Idiot.” LOL

    Seriously though…I think most people, especially the young ‘uns, do not know how to think critically anymore. I think that a lot of the defunding of the arts that has been going on since Reagan, has caused people to be unable to think outside the box. Tapping into one’s creativity awakens something in the brain that cannot be awakened any other way. Then, of course, there is the fact that most public schools are being forced to use rote memorization (No Child Left Behind) in order to get much-needed federal funding.

    I see this in the kids under thirty who temp at my office. They are smart, but they do not know how to solve a problem by isolating it into its components and eliminating each cause until they hit upon the right one.

    There are plenty of people who could understand the injustice of American society towards women and recognize the horrendous misogyny that women in the public eye must face on a daily basis. But all they know how to do is absorb received wisdom, rather than creating it.

  135. Classism « The Apostate says:

    [...] Posted on July 5, 2009 by apostate I was thinking about Reclusive Leftist’s post on feminists’ hatred of Sarah Palin and told her that my reason was simple, and equally [...]

  136. mango says:

    @Apostate: Though you hate Republicans, Christians, and pro-lifers enough that you wouldn’t save one of their lives if you had the opportunity, a hugh majority of them would still go out of the way to save yours. I certainly would.

  137. Kat says:

    Good heavens, this thread is so engaging, I can’t stop reading. Violet, thank you for starting this. I’m struck by different posters saying in various excellent ways that Palin subverts the narrative of what feminism can be, at least for those feminist bloggers who consider themselves the owners of “true” feminism.

    I agree that a great deal of it is elitism. She’s redneck trash and feminism doesn’t belong to trailer trash women, poor women, religious women, working class women, Republican women, anyone outside Whole Foods Nation. That she seems so darn happy with her life and her choices only seems to make the bloggers more furious. Aren’t Subhuman Women Like That supposed to be miserable, damn it?

    I also think there’s a lot to Lori’s point about trashing Palin as cultural ritual, as a means to get into the magical Obama circle. And, in Gayle’s #95 post, I learn about “Town House” and I finally realize why I often feel like I’m reading a staged, astroturf-fest on so many of the so-called progressive blogs… like I’m seeing the same things over and over and over.

    Something Carolyn said above is sticking with me, too:

    …The desire to be part of the “group” means that every one who is “other” must be destroyed. It’s like some really crazy autoimmune disease where we turn on ourselves out of fear and are willing to stoop to such lows to preserve what we think is our special status.

    So much to think about here.

  138. GM Roper says:

    As a rag-tag, arm dragging, neanderthal I salute you. I absolutely don’t understand the vitriol of the majority of the left vis-a-vis Sarah Palin – were the same words used to describe any “lady parts person” (gadzooks, I love that term) running for office from the left or as a Democrat, the lefty blogs and Vanity UnFair would be up in arms.

    Great post, I’ve just decided to add you to my blog roll as one of my two leftish links (Marc Cooper) is the other and I’ve linked this and another piece of yours in a comment there where the pseudo-pundits are ripping “Lady-parts” Palin to shreds.

  139. slythwolf says:

    I do think it is that many feminists hold women to a higher standard than men. They seem to feel a sense of betrayal when a woman isn’t a perfect feminist, because “she ought to know better”, “she’s supposed to be on my side”.

    I do the opposite.

    I don’t think a woman has any kind of responsibility or obligation to be a feminist at all. It is not women’s job to be feminists and dismantle the patriarchy. We don’t have the power to do it anyway, and most of us are too damn busy surviving under the heel of its boot to do anything about it.

    Men, on the other hand, absolutely have an obligation to stop being oppressive assholes and fix the mess that they created that we had nothing to do with. That is why I won’t vote for them anymore unless they demonstrate to my satisfaction a commitment to cleaning up the mess that is the patriarchy.

    But many feminists of my acquaintance don’t see it the way I do. They do feel like women have an obligation to be perfect feminists. I also think some of it is projection of their own insecurities with the knowledge that they are not perfect feminists themselves, which no one is because it’s impossible. This is also why feminists in the blogosphere tend to pile on one another whenever someone does or says something less-than-perfectly feminist.

    At least that’s my take on it.

  140. Tomecat says:

    Sameol:

    Good point about Palin speaking to McCain’s weaknesses. I didn’t mean to imply that there were no positives in the choice of Palin, but I think we’re both projecting our own ideas onto the decision making process. My guess is that we’re both right (and probably both wrong on some points). *

    The great thing about this discussion is that most of the people here seem genuinely willing to alter their views in light of new information, and desirous of some way to work together for our common goals. If only it were like this in the public sphere.

    * Although I will go so far as to say that I never suggested that it was a good strategy, just that it was likely part of the thinking :)

  141. Mister Snitch says:

    “. These people don’t hate Palin because of the lies; the lies exist to justify the hate.”

    That’s about as profound an insight into human nature as you’ll find in one sentence, anywhere. It’s implications go well beyond Palin – hell, you could write a book on this premise. (I’d even help you.) Well done, Dr. Socks.

  142. no pasaran says:

    Apostate says:

    “I dislike her [Palin]as strongly as I do because she is anti-choice”. “And oh, I hate male Republicans, especially if they’re anti-choice…..”

    So, Apostate, what do you think of Tim Kaine the anti-choice DNC chair and about Obama installing him in this high profile position?

    I can make no sense of the numerous vicious chain letters forwarded to me (mostly from women) blasting Republican Palin for being anti-choice but have yet to hear from anyone(!) being concerned about Democrat Tim Kaine being anti-choice.

  143. Calvin says:

    What’s alarming is that the need for a female Hate Receptacle exists, even with feminists. But that would explain why Palin haters are so reluctant to give up hating her. It would explain why they’re so resistant to the truth. They don’t want to find out that the lies are lies; they don’t want to be disabused. They need a hate receptacle, and so they need Palin to be the sum of all things they fear.

    This is a direct consequence of political correctness. When the walls start moving in on people’s ability to express themselves, even when their opinions are rubbish, it’s only natural for all of this pent up energy to seek a lightning rod. When there’s one designated lightning rod, and nowhere else for the clouds to dump their electrons, you’re going to see a lot of amps going through that one rod.

    See: scapegoat

  144. 2Brixshy says:

    First time reading this blog- outstanding, thought provoking post. The comments, with a couple of odd exceptions were up to the accomplished level of the post.

    Have been voting for going on 30 years now, and thought I’d seen it all. But the blistering ferocity with which Palin was attacked left me stunned. Still scratching my head over it, and thanks Dr. Socks for your take on the whole sordid tale.

    Little Isis said:

    “Average women, heck, average Americans-really like Sarah Palin. The same way they really liked Bill Clinton.”

    Exactly correct. I really didn’t care for a lot of Clinton’s policies (conservative male here), but dang I was positive he’d be a whole lot of fun to go get drunk and hang out with. I think there’s a lot of that appeal in Palin as well.

    Another similarity between these two- Clinton was the last politician I can remember who was truly an outsider before he won major office- he was nobody’s darling, he came from some hick state, his wife was a “nightmare”, blah blah blah. But he won. Twice. Palin too is self made- clawing her way up from PTA committees to the Governorship of a state.

    Lori:
    “Trashing Palin is a cultural ritual, an identifier that you are one of the superior beings. That’s why it is clung to so desperately.”

    Oh yes- live in Chicago, and at many parties had to listen to self proclaimed “feminists” say things about Palin that would have rightly got me kicked right between the legs had I said the same about any of the “feminists” doing the screeching. Sad to say, this has not subsided since the stuttering Zero took office- in some cases it has gotten worse- or, as you said “clung to desperately.”

    Tomecat:

    “…the problem in my mind is that Biden doesn’t have the burden of making white men look competent. His failures will be seen as his own. Any failure that Palin might have experienced would have been seen as those of all women.”

    Extremely insightful point.

    Joe is a pathetic clown (his latest “humpty dumpty” foreign policy statements the latest evidence), but as you say he rides solo in his clown car.

    With Palin- any stumble whatsoever, and all women politicians are indicted. Think the same thing holds for Hillary. It’s completely unfair, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

    Apostate:

    “And oh, I hate male Republicans, especially if they’re anti-choice but even if they aren’t, even more, if that’s possible.”

    As a male Conservative with pro-choice beliefs, I find your “open mindedness” uh, notable. Odd- I don’t feel the need to hate in return, just feel a little sad for you. Actually a lot sad, if that’s possible.

    Again, Dr. Socks- thanks for the brilliant post, well done.

  145. Sue says:

    It is because she is a Republican. A real woman – as defined by most feminists – can only be a Democrat. If she was a Pro-life Democrat, then it would be all sunshine and roses. It’s the pesky little R after her name that brings on the hatred.

  146. chuck says:

    I would posit that this sort of hatred is part of what we are as humans down at the tribal level. But the culture at large can encourage or repress it. I think it is encouraged at the present time. Back in the 80′s I noticed humanity leaking out of the visual arts to be replaced by irony while the human element disappeared from the cinema and comics could get laughs with the single word “sucks.” Think Letterman vs Johnny Carson. These developments were accompanied by the celebration of expressing yourself and the virtues of uninhibited emotion, anger in particular. Yet I believe civilization depends on the suppression of many impulses, children do not become decent adults without training.

    I am reminded of a friend of mine who served in the navy. After I had seen “The Last Detail” I asked him if he had ever escorted a prisoner to the Portsmouth Naval Prison and he said yes, he had escorted a man who had murdered his wife and that the prisoner had his hands manacled to his legs so he had to bend over. I opined that that sounded unnecessary and cruel. Well, he said, if you have a fight with your wife you get a motel room, you don’t shoot her. In the last analysis, I think that is what civilization comes down to.

    Now why have these developments come about? I know many here disparage religion and I am an athiest myself. Yet my grandfather supported civil rights, women’s suffrage, and prohibition. In Texas he was smuggled into a black meeting in the bottom of a wagon in order to preach and was stoned out of another town. Folks tend to forget how big a role religion played in civil rights and the advancement of women. Now religion has pretty much gone among educated people, but the need remains, so what has replaced it? A whole hodgepodge of things, but one of them is a left wing world view, and the left has in addition to its idealistic side a violent tradition full of hatred, revolution, war, terrorism, and mass murder. Hatred and scorn of the “evil” people is encouraged. Those “evil” people might be religious people, capitalists, wreckers, non conforming artists and thinkers… pretty much anyone who disagrees with the prevailing rules. There is no counterpart in Marx of the Parable of the Good Samaritan and its simple, yet basic, message. So I think that is part of the problem.

    Now my father is a socialist and cast his first vote for Norman Thomas in the 1940 election. Many are drawn to the movement, as he was, by the ideal of service and uplifting the poor. He was raised poor himself, born between the railroad tracks and a whore house in West Virginia. And that desire to do good is easy to understand, but there is also a dark side to the movement, a side that celebrates hate and dismisses tolerance and love as ineffective. And that side comes easily to the fore. I think we seeing a good bit of that side.

  147. Apostate says:

    I don’t understand your intense hate, Apostate.

    It isn’t “intense hate.” It’s merely strong dislike. My blood pressure goes up more if I have to hear Bush or McCain or Cheney speak than Palin, although it does with her too, when she spouts common Republican talking points/lies. Which she does very often.

    When men are anti-choice, I want to see them dead. When women are anti-choice, I merely want nothing to do with them. I certainly would never vote for an anti-choice politician, and Kucinich lost major points with me after I learned that he had once been anti-choice because of his veganism. Even though he changed his stance, I never got over it that he ever held that belief.

    Yes, I’m a bit of a nut on this issue, because to me, it’s tantamount to enslaving women.

    So, Apostate, what do you think of Tim Kaine the anti-choice DNC chair and about Obama installing him in this high profile position?

    I wasn’t even aware of his anti-choice stance or that he is DNC chair. But now that you tell me, I guess I think he’s scum. I am not a registered Democrat and am in fact far to the left of the Dems and heartily disapprove of Obama’s equivocal language on choice and all sorts of other policy missteps.

    But if you are trying to show how I would forgive a man the same views for which I dislike Palin…I wouldn’t. I don’t. I hate all those librul boy bloggers who keep their sexism when they convert to progressivism and my very outspoken feminist blog is by no means designed to curry favor with them.

  148. dlc says:

    When I was in high school there were horrible rumors spread about a beautiful, popular, smart, and very nice Christain girl. The girls just loved trashing her with the most vile comments they could come up with. I think it was because they were jealous and this girl broke the mode. Weren’t pretty girls supposed to be stuck-up and stupid? I think this girl made all of the other girls realize just how badly they compared to her so they tried to even the playing field so to speak. I think the same dynamic is happening with Sarah Palin. The women who are comfortable with who they are are not threatened by her regardless of what they believe politically. In fact, they admire her for having a career and a happy family life. Isn’t that what we were all told that we could do if we wanted to?

  149. Violet says:

    Now my father is a socialist and cast his first vote for Norman Thomas in the 1940 election. Many are drawn to the movement, as he was, by the ideal of service and uplifting the poor….that desire to do good is easy to understand, but there is also a dark side to the movement, a side that celebrates hate and dismisses tolerance and love as ineffective. And that side comes easily to the fore. I think we seeing a good bit of that side.

    Okay, but here’s the thing: Obama supporters and Palin haters aren’t socialists. They have no connection at all, either intellectually or philosophically, with classical socialism or Marxism. The “creative class” Whole Foods shoppers are as much capitalists as anyone, and we saw in the last election that even the Democratic party’s traditional ties to labor and the working class have been completely severed. These people want to privatize Social Security, for chrissake.

    I am a leftist, and I even used to be married to a Marxist. The Obamabot kids have nothing to do with traditional leftist philosophy.

    You actually think the people who read Jezebel are socialists? Jesus !

  150. Neshobanakni says:

    This is all amazingly eye-opening for me (a man). I stopped halfway thru the comments (life is so short). I’m a former leftist who’s now very conservative – you know, age and all that. I don’t know that I’m a feminist; never thought about it much. Grew up in a matrilineal society, though, and am married to a professional woman and an executive who makes more than I do.

    A few of you spoke of tribalism, and made great sense. It will always be around. When you meet someone on the rez, the first questions are; “Who’s yer mamma, who’s yer daddy?” Likewise, in Chicago (our president’s stomping grounds) it’s “Who sent ya?” both are attempts to place you into a known hierarchy. Outsiders are suspect and must go to extraordinary lengths to prove themselves. Thus Sarah Palin’s lack of Ivy League bona fides means she cannot be taken seriously, and might even be a threat.

    Once again, I don’t agree with y’all politically, but I feel my brain growing just a little bit by reading you.

    Just my two cents.

  151. mary martha says:

    The next time there is a round of feminists all asking “Why aren’t all women feminists?” They should reflect on how the feminist establishment treated Palin and her supporters. All women aren’t feminist because feminists are not for all women.

    I used to explain to people that even though I am a single professional women with a couple of graduate degrees I am not a feminist. The basic reason is because of my opposition to abortion – which in feminists eyes means I can’t join the feminist club. I always said it was a shame, because in many other ways I agreed with feminists but so be it – abortion is the litmus test.

    Since the vicious treatment of Sarah Palin and her supporters in feminist circles for the last year I now say that I am anti-feminist. Sarah Palin ripped off the mask that feminists had worn where they claimed to be for all women… now it’s very clear that they are only for some women. Women who are outside of their club because of their position on abortion, or political party are there to be viciously attacked and destroyed.

    I want nothing to do with people who would viciously and falsely attack a woman like that. In fact, I will stand against them in their continuing effort to define what a ‘real woman’ should believe or do in her life in order to gain their approval. I never had the approval of feminists and it always made me a bit sad that I was divided from them… now I wear the ‘hated by feminists because I like Sarah Palin’ badge with pride.

  152. DN says:

    I would like to suggest another guess.

    Palin treatens not only the bureaucrats in DC but the very way of life of the cultural elite, just by showing that you can be smart, happy and successful without becoming part of political machine and, correspondingly, not being in debt to her. This will mean that you can become POTUS without paying them: pork to senators, interview to MSM, approrpiate laws to interest groups etc. (this last list also includes some feminists, they chose to advance the cause by playing politics in DC, necessarily making moral compromises, and Palin’s success will show that the dirt they get in was unnecessary).

    Palin currently is the only politician about whom we can be sure that she is clean: after one year of full-force investigation, 15 ethic comlaints etc. nothing worth mentioning came out (who else survived such exam?). She can make people believe there still exist honest politicians. This will automatically throw away all current politicians on the very next election, MSM thriving on their sins and selling access to their bodies, in short, will simply ruin current political machinery a la Chicago as we know it.

    More important, by her very life story she forces them to ask themselves if all the dirt they did in their life was necessary: usually you justify it by the achievements, but she has better acheivements without sacrificing her principles.

    At least this is the image they subconsiously fear, a honest successful politician outside of the current political machinery, and this is what they fear to find in Palin.
    Thus they say to us (for them this is a way to convince themselves) that she is as corrupt as they are, or, at least, so dumb/slutty/uneducated etc. that she cannot be considered a success.

    And we believe, because otherwise, our past choices on elections become awfully wrong: we chose corrupt and sometimes successful when there exist not corrupt and still successful.

    I do not say that Palin is indeed such an angel, it is not important, what is important is how they see her, or, rather, what they fear to see in her.

    P.S> Here is a sentence which I think you should amend:
    ” I’m no godbag and I personally wish that Christianity would evaporate from the face of the earth, but I still recognize that not all Christians are alike.”

    This is no better than:
    I’m no godbag and I personally wish that Judaism would evaporate from the face of the earth, but I still recognize that not all Jews are alike.

    or

    I’m no godbag and I personally wish that Islam would evaporate from the face of the earth, but I still recognize that not all Muslims are alike.

    or the same with atheists.

  153. Carmonn says:

    “were the same words used to describe any “lady parts person” (gadzooks, I love that term) running for office from the left or as a Democrat, the lefty blogs and Vanity UnFair would be up in arms.”

    No they wouldn’t, the lefty blogs and VF did the excat same thing to Hillary. Every lady parts person is the same to them if she gets out of hand and doesn’t accept her designated supporting role, Welcome to the Democratic Party.

    I think Apostate deserves an enormous amount of credit for her classism piece. That was really honest. And I think if the other feminist women who have such hate for Palin were equally honest, they’d say almost exactly the same things overall.

    Apostate supported Clinton so this doesn’t apply to her, but I think that many Obot feminists are put off by women like Clinton for very similar reasons, as well. Why can’t they hang up their birkenstocks and pay more attention to their clothes and hair, if they were really so smart they’d get their noses out of the book and pull themselves together. Same basic underlying sentiments, different day.

  154. JDB says:

    When I pointed out that Governor Palin was a fellow hockey fan like us to my liberal Democratic pal, he insisted that she wasn’t, that she wasn’t even a “real” hockey mom–it was all contrived by the McCain campaign.

    I’m totally serious.

  155. Paul R says:

    This post said exactly what I have been trying to say for so long! You nailed it, perfectly! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    BTW, I’m a libertarian and we probably disagree on quite a bit. But you really nailed it with this one! I have forwarded this on to all of my “liberal” and “feminist” friends who have been hatefully bashing Palin since the election.

  156. Violet says:

    This is no better than:
    I’m no godbag and I personally wish that Judaism would evaporate from the face of the earth, but I still recognize that not all Jews are alike.

    or

    I’m no godbag and I personally wish that Islam would evaporate from the face of the earth, but I still recognize that not all Muslims are alike.

    “No better than”? But I think those things too. I think patriarchal religions are a blight on the world.

    Of course I believe in freedom of religion and the right of all people to worship as they please, etc. But the religions themselves — I wish they would evaporate. I would much rather they be replaced by The Church of the Holy Trope.

  157. myiq2xu says:

    I have seen lots of people claim they hate Sarah because she is a conservative. When challenged they claim they hate other conservatives too, but if they do then they obviously don’t feel the same intensity of emotion that they feel for Sarah.

  158. gradstudent says:

    In my experience feminist = socialists.

    In academia, all of the “feminists” I knew were socialists / leftists first, and “feminists” second.
    The Marxist/socialist/radical/Democrat Party tradition was much more prominent in their reflexive world view than pro-female rights concerns.

  159. Carolyn says:

    Wonderful thread, Violet! One last thought. The “ravening” of Sarah Palin is not only symbolic of a disturbing cognitive dissonance on what true feminism means, e.g. celebrating and encouraging women to develop and pursue their dreams, but it also is setting a very dangerous tone and puts women at risk everywhere.

    The celebration of the verbal wishes of violence are being acted out on the world stage. Any serious and concerned person has to take into account what this tells the whole world about who we have become as a people. We are one step removed from what we consider barbarism and by tolerating it, and participating gleefully in it, we are destroying hope for women around the world, and enabling their destruction.

    The way we treat our women says everything about what we will turn our backs on. And everyone knows it, include many who are guilty of it.

    It is very, very sad.

  160. Violet says:

    Since the vicious treatment of Sarah Palin and her supporters in feminist circles for the last year I now say that I am anti-feminist.

    If you believe in the full humanity of women, if you believe in the equality of the sexes, then you are a feminist.

    Feminism is a philosophy, not a club.

    Even if every feminist in the world besides me suddenly started acting like a total sexist asshat, I would still be a feminist. Because being a feminist means espousing feminism.

    The feminist movement in America right now is going through some rough times. I think it’s up to the wiser heads among us to try and help the movement get back on track with some reminders of what our core philosophy is about.

  161. mary martha says:

    “If you believe in the full humanity of women, if you believe in the equality of the sexes, then you are a feminist. ”

    But there’s the rub… I believe in the full humanity of ALL women and the equality of the sexes – from conception. A position that is NOT welcomed in the feminist world.

    I find sex selection abortion and the killing of women in utero just be cause of their gender to be horrifying and something that as women we should work to end. However, all feminists I know have made it clear that to be opposed to abortion is to not be a feminist.

    Feminism may have been a philosophy, but it is now a club. The treatment of Sarah Palin showed that very clearly… if you aren’t in the club then you are a target of those who are card carrying feminists.

    It is something that frustrates me about feminists who claim to speak for and represent all women and fight for their rights. Truly, they only fight for the rights of women who are born, and who are liberal and agree with them. If you are in utero then you can be killed for your gender and the feminists won’t blink. If you are Religious you can be mocked and reviled and the feminists won’t blink. If you are a Republican you and your family (daughters especially) can be viciously mocked and reviled and the feminists won’t blink.

    Young women are watching this and learning that they can either choose to be a self described feminist and participate in the hating, or choose not to be a feminist and be amoung the hated. Feminists today have created a world where everyone has to make that choice… I would rather be hated than hate. Even more, I will stand up to the haters. I never liked bullies, and as this whole Sarah Palin thing has shown us – many feminists are just that bullies against those who have different positions than the ‘approved’ feminist ones.

  162. JadedByPolitics says:

    I think you could take Liz Trotta on FOX and get a feel for the absolute jealousy of Sarah Palin from women on both sides of the aisle. She thinks Sarah “deserved” everything she got in the media. I think it’s time to DROP those old bitter bitties who have not achieved what they wanted in life and are now holding a beautiful wife, mother Governor to a distorted view of their “vision” of feminism. I look forward to the NEW Wave of feminism and saying bye bye to NOW!

    OBTW I am a 43 year old mother of 2 who LOVES to work daily for brain energy and I have been married 21 years this past May…so I don’t know where that puts me in the scheme of those who respect Sarah and those who don’t but there it is for anyone who wants to try to figure it out. I am also Conservative/Libertarian and that was quite a bending from a full on Liberal until 9-12!

  163. anne says:

    I’ve got to say Apostate I’ve read your piece on classism and Sarah Palin and it doesn’t sound so much of a mea culpa as another excuse to call her white trash.

    Also being faintly disgusted with the number of children a woman has or criticising her hair and make-up are still closely intertwined with sexism, not just classism.

  164. Gayle says:

    “Since the vicious treatment of Sarah Palin and her supporters in feminist circles for the last year I now say that I am anti-feminist.”

    Come now, Mary. You’re on a feminist blog right now discussing this very issue. . . with feminists.

  165. femina says:

    mary martha — I hope you have read comments here written by feminists who do embrace and defend Palin from the sexism and attacks. In two weeks, July 20th, Terry O’Neill takes over at NOW and I hope will open up that organization to all women — conservative or liberal, pro-choice or pro-life, and so forth.

    The kind of feminism I believe in includes and welcomes you. Do give NOW and The New Agenda a second chance.

  166. Brad says:

    Well said! I have a friend, who is extremely intelligent and skeptical, who nevertheless uncritically swallowed virtually every myth about Sarah Palin. It’s bewildering.

    Also, I think one of the earliest commenters was definitely on to something with the theory that the hatred was based upon fear.

  167. Nancy says:

    I’m so glad you wrote that. It articulated things that hadn’t even burbled to the surface of my brain yet.

    Thanks for grappling with it, whatever it is.

  168. Drawohm2 says:

    .. reading mary martha and being reminded of laughing to myself, sitting in the back of the Rosa Luxemburg SDS meeting .. in the old days .. the springtime burning of the banks in Harvard Square .. oh .. those were the days ..

    This Sarah Palin is such a welcome arrival. The intellectual lightweights who can’t handle the notion of their own herd mentality .. the “belongers” who yearn more for acceptance and identity than for equity .. these folks need Sarah.

    My compliments Dr. Socks. Very provocative essay.

  169. femina says:

    Palin screams white trash — you’ve got to be kidding me, Apostate.

    Like Anne, I too read your classism post at your blog. You are a snob and I regret responding to you.

    petty, petty, petty

  170. TubbyHubby says:

    Wow. This has been an incredibly enjoyable read.
    “These people don’t hate Palin because of the lies; the lies exist to justify the hate.” – that’s the line that hooked me into reading all the way through. Not realizing that single point was, I believe, the true reason this entire Palin episode has had me so perplexed. There have been some excellent theories posited as to why this is so, and I will mull them over and look elsewhere for corroboration. But, ultimately, I was so concerned about the darned trees I was completely missing the forest – maybe now I have a shot at picking the right route through this mess.

  171. RickZ says:

    Violet, thank you. And thanks to all you ladies in the comments, too.

    Believe me when I say, as a man, that the attacks on Gov. Palin are misogynist, jealousy-filled, mean-spirited, and downright envious.

    It is class warfare. Elites vs. the rest of us. GOVERNOR Palin inexperienced? Like D’Obama had any executive experience? D’Obama is one of the “Ivy League” elites. He’s one of THEM. The Fellatio Media will cover for him because he is one of their own, and any negative that accrues to D’Obama accrues to them. No offense, but why does everybody think the media focuses on the First ‘Lady’s’ arms, how toned they are? They are being polite to another elite, as her toned arms are the best thing they can say about her.

    But a woman who worked her way through college, then the political system starting at the school board level up to the governorship of one of our 50 states, is somehow stupid, and unworthy of simple and basic respect? As the son of a working mother, I am not only offended, I am pissed. Just who the f*ck do these elites think they are that they think they have the right to judge our lives, our families? If feminists aren’t pissed at the way Gov. Palin has been treated, and do not vote for her in any possible future campaign, well, all I can ask is: What’s that parchment look like that you signed your souls away to the Devil look like? Because, when you sell out one of your own for no discernable logical reason, you sell out your own life, and any impact you hope to make. You’ve made a deal with the Devil, and all women will pay. I’m sure my great-nieces thank you, if they only knew.

  172. Mitch says:

    My hypothesis: politics has come to resemble political fundraising. If you don’t make them hate or fear, the suckers won’t write checks. Imagine a fundraising letter that said “We don’t agree with Gov. Palin on everything, and we have some doubts about the depth of her experience, although Sen. Obama has some vulnerabilities there, too. She might be OK, but we think Sen. Obama would be better. Please send money.”

    No sale. You have to make them fear the apocalypse – women chained to the stove except when delivering babies, compulsory school prayer, poor people shipped off to concentration camps, etc. Or make them fear the anti-Christ who will bring this all about. This is nothing but the secular version of fire and brimstone preaching, with the flock repeating the nonsense they’ve been taught.

    It’s not just feminists, it’s not just the left, it’s not just the right. It’s every one of us who drinks the Kool-Aid, no matter what flavor. Wise up! We’re being taken for fools.

  173. Tomboys says:

    It is so wonderful to read someone else’s work that says exactly what I have thought all along. I was a lifelong (extremely left liberal) and was so turned off at the sexism towards Palin… Especially when so much of it was coming from other women. Women who claim to be feminists do a huge disservice to their cause with this on-going attacks. It makes them look petty and cut throat.

  174. spool32 says:

    I don’t have any answers for you, but I can tell you one thing. The “feminist” reaction to Palin has been the event that proved the Feminist emperor has no clothes, to moderate and conservative women (and men) all over this nation.

    Frankly, it’s too late for mary martha, and for the feminist movement. At least for ~this~ feminist movement… it’s simply no longer believed. Sadly, I don’t believe it’s even possible for people such as femina and others, or even our host Dr. Socks, to take back the movement. You are outnumbered and ignored, and the millions of moderates and conservatives who might align themselves with the feminist ideas can no longer align themselves with NOW and the “feminist movement”.

    They don’t support women – they support liberal democratic women. It’s a damned shame too, because they lose so much traction for women’s rights in their devil’s bargain with the left: nowadays, I could hand a list of women’s rights issue statements on a blank page to my conservative friends, and they would agree with some or perhaps even all of them. Put a NOW letterhead on that paper and they’ll simply throw it away.

    In a short few months, they have discredited your goals with nearly half the nation. What can you do to rectify that?

  175. Violet says:

    “We don’t agree with Gov. Palin on everything, and we have some doubts about the depth of her experience, although Sen. Obama has some vulnerabilities there, too. She might be OK, but we think Sen. Obama would be better. Please send money.”

    This made me burst out laughing. That is exactly how I think!

    Guess there’s no future for me in agit-prop.

  176. femina says:

    spool — We’re staging a comeback and we’re not asking for dipravin.

  177. Gender2010 says:

    Petty and cutthroat is true, Tomboys. I feel like I am watching an extended version of “Heathers.” The croquet mallets are aimed at the heads of any woman who dare run for president.

  178. Violet says:

    If feminists aren’t pissed at the way Gov. Palin has been treated, and do not vote for her in any possible future campaign, well, all I can ask is: What’s that parchment look like that you signed your souls away to the Devil look like?

    Feminists are under no compunction to vote for someone whose policies they oppose. Sarah Palin is a woman, but she does come with the Republican Party attached.

    I do, however, agree with the first part of your sentence: feminists should be pissed off at the way Palin has been treated. They certainly shouldn’t be contributing to it.

  179. Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian says:

    Dr. Socks,

    Thank you for your insightful essay. I agree, “These people don’t hate Palin because of the lies; the lies exist to justify the hate.”

    I also agree that #171-Mitch is onto something: getting people to hate or fear brings in the money in political fundraising.

    I only have one point to add to explain the hatred of Gov. Palin: the Down syndrome baby is the boogey-fetus that converts abortion fence-sitters into the pro-abortion camp. The Down syndome boogey-fetus is what brings in the fundraising dollars. If Gov. Palin and her family succeed in raising Trig in the public spotlight, they will de-mystify and de-demonize the Down syndrome boogey-fetus. This could stop the money coming in to the coffers of feminist organizations, which now seem to me to exist primarily to continue to exist and tangentially to fight for the right to choose. Therefore Gov. Palin and her family, especially Trig himself, are targeted for destruction. The irony is that in countries like India and China, the boogey-fetus almost everyone wants to kill is the perfectly healthy female.

    I spotted the link here on Instapundit, but was too sick of Palin hatred to click until Smitty at The Other McCain asked me to read your post and tell him what I think. I have a recent post giving the opinion in this comment, so I hope you don’t mind if the post I write to answer Smitty quotes this post liberally.

  180. Sameol says:

    Spool, many of the feminist bloggers who attacked Palin with sexism also either attacked Clinton with sexism or just stood by watching others do it and could barely bring themselves to speak out. It’s not a liberal/conservative issue. While there are conservative women who hate Palin’s treatment but still take sexist jabs at Democratic women and liberal women who hated how Clinton was treated and then started spreading every sexist smear of Palin, there have got to be enough of us on both sides who object to this regardless of the target.

  181. Dan says:

    Carolyn (41): I did a little search and found this (among other posts) about Obama:

    http://sixthcolumn.typepad.com/duckwalls/2009/05/does-obama-have-narcissistic-personality-disorder.html

    I think you’re correct, the discussion about narcissistic personality disorder was all about Obama for a couple weeks and suddenly now it’s all about Sarah Palin.

  182. JackieV says:

    Sarah Palin is a lightning rod for all the “isms” that plague us. Classism, sexism, ageism. She’s not rich, has no nanny and her kids go to public school. She’s a happily married mother of five. She’s middle aged too. She’s cheerful, sensible, well meaning, hard working and self-deprecating. How boring can you get? She’s exactly the kind of woman we’re used to overlooking and taking for granted. Why doesn’t she know her own place?

  183. SweetSue says:

    Do you think some third wavers have Sarah Palin confused with Mrs.Duggar?

  184. Dan says:

    Sister of ye (54).. as for dismantling America’s war industry.

    The war/defense industry is about the only Constitutional thing our government is doing.

    As an example, more than half of every budget of every state in the union goes to education… and are our kids getting a good education? Not to mention the huge education and department of education budget out of Washington.

    At least we do have a world class military.

  185. octogalore says:

    I can identify with the classism issue to a degree. I’ve never felt dislike towards anyone for that reason, but if I had a reason to dislike them, that used to exacerbate it, back before I hit maybe 30.

    I come from a family that put a high priority on education. We didn’t have a lot of money and I worked through high school and was on my own at 17, but it was always understood that I would go to college, and with that understanding and a home with an academic focus, doing what it took to check the right boxes wasn’t difficult. This wasn’t class privilege from the money standpoint (although certainly we had more than some), but more from the cultural capital standpoint.

    Someone like Sonia Sotomayor is a better example — she has said her mom inspired her to be a judge from a very early age, placed a huge priority on education, and gave her the Ency. Brittanica very young.

    It’s hard to tell whether Palin had the cultural capital privilege, but I would guess she didn’t.

    That’s the kind of thing that, in my 20s, when most of what I’d experienced was academia, I would’ve looked down on, possibly without acknowledging this.

    This is generalizing, and of course there are exceptions, but I think in ones 30s, one tends to look around and notice that the folks with the Ivy League backgrounds, Law Review, the hot clerkship, whatever, aren’t always the ones with the rapid-fire promotions or corner offices. Being in placement, there were a number of data points.

    For someone of elitist tendencies like me, it always took me a bit aback when I met that man or woman from that barely-accredited law school and realized that although he or she might not seem as polished in certain ways as the Yale types, I’d often hear stuff like “how much business do I have? Conservatively, around $5 million.” Huh? How did this make sense, when I had a Harvard candidate scratching around to claim $750K? Or that woman from my business school — the rest of us were wondering how she got in, coming from her undergrad and with her lackadaisical class performance — had launched a biotech startup, while the top performer in the class was still a wage slave at McKinsey? Had to be a mistake.. but nope, that was her picture in the alum mag, still with the oddly dyed hair, but hey, I’d take that hair with that gig any day of the week.

    I was also surprised when someone without the star-studded resume exhibited a confidence I never had. One woman, who has become a close friend (she is Cuban, bisexual and currently with a woman, pro choice, votes Republican, went to lower-tier schools, and her client list looks like a marriage of the Fortune 500 and Sand Hill Road), seems never to experience the kind of uncertainty that accompanies many of my decisions.

    I don’t think a knowledge of the classics and some classy pieces of paper up on the wall are bad things. They are certainly good indicators. But they’re not the direct line connection to success, whether political, entrepreneurial, legal, whatever.

    Sometimes it takes awhile to figure that out. I hope a few of our young third wave friends do, in time.

  186. RWGibson13 says:

    I dunno if a lot of the sexism aimed towards Palin might not be a function of us men not being able to see it as clearly as women do. Take the latest example from Paul Begala and the post by Ann Bartow:

    http://feministlawprofessors.com/?p=11783

    Was Begala simply playing to a kind of Huffpo “pile-on the vagina” crowd with what Bartow sees as sexist wording or was it unintentional on his part?

    Now I have to admit that I think Begala has always been sorta creepy with that plastic Joker smile (think John McCain Jr), but finding a recent GOP resignation that did NOT have something to do with a sexual thing might have been something his research skills simply weren’t up to.

    That said, I read the piece soon after he wrote it and have to admit my personal testosterone-poisoned sexism detector didn’t go off. I just figured he was trying awfully, painfully, vainly hard to be witty.

    BTW, nice article. Might have to stop by here more often.

    RWG (nice to see a thoughtfull comments section for a change)

  187. RickZ says:

    Violet,

    Thank you for the response.

    Gov. Palin most certainly does come with “no compunction to vote for someone whose policies they oppose.” And yes, “Sarah Palin is a woman, but she does come with the Republican Party attached.”

    Be that as it may, my question to you is, if Sarah Palin were your daughter, or mother, or grandmother, would you be proud of her? Or would her being toward the conservative end of a very weak Republican Party cause you angst? This is a successful woman we are talking about here, one for whom I would be proud to work in a New York minute. No offense, but can you say the same thing? Or is that sexist, too?

  188. Gender2010 says:

    When I stop and think of the joke about “knocking up” her 14 year old daughter and the mean-spiritedness of making fun of their infant son, I can only shake my head in disbelief.
    As a progressive I know these things are so wrong. And liberals attacked.

  189. elby says:

    Once again, great post Violet! I have always been baffled by the feminist criticism of Palin. I certainly didn’t expect all feminists to become Republicans or throw all their support behind the McCain ticket. I knew most would continue to support Obama. But I certainly didn’t expect some feminists to become so vicious! And about the petty details like her looks and her speech! And of course: FIVE KIDS! FIVE KIDS! How dare she have FIVE KIDS!

    And I’m really bothered by the disparaging comments about her speech and intelligence. Why are so many people quick to judge Palin as unintelligent? I generally don’t think too highly of any politician, but you can’t be stupid and make it to a political office. Politicians say and do stupid things all the time, but I don’t consider them to be unintelligent.

    And I have yet to figure out what is sooo great about Obama’s speech. I’ve heard his speeches and I’ve never been brought to my knees. I’ve heard his interviews — “aannnddd” “uuuuummmm”
    What’s so great about that?

  190. dpwiener says:

    As a man I obviously cannot empathize on a visceral level with the overwhelming concern about abortion which seems to define many women. I’m a libertarian who used to be fully pro-choice, but now am only about 2/3 pro-choice. After much thought, I have developed serious philosophical doubts about late-stage abortion where the fetus is potentially viable outside of the womb.

    It seems to me these issues should be subject to extensive intellectual debate, not shut down by emotional hysteria. It’s sad that some people on both sides are reduced to shrieking hatred and name-calling, and find it impossible to respectfully engage those who may disagree with them.

    I have strong differences (on different issues) with both liberals and conservatives. It is terrible to see the extent of the acrimony and lies which extremists resort to as ways of advancing their agendas. Is it a mental illness, and if so why has it become so widespread? Or has it always been this bad throughout our history and we just don’t realize it due to lack of firsthand knowledge?

    It was bad when Bill Clinton was President, a smooth-talking Southern populist about whom opponents spun elaborate conspiracy theories (e.g., the murder of Vince Foster). It got much worse under George Bush, a fairly straightforward run-of-the-mill politician who was painted as evil incarnate. But Palin Derangement Syndrome quickly eclipsed Bush Derangement Syndrome in its falsehoods and vituperation.

    My own guess as to the psychology behind PDS is that for some people political goals trump everything, and hence anyone who threatens those goals deserves to be demonized. Sarah Palin was a fresh face who initially generated a huge lift for the McCain Presidential campaign. The fact that she was a woman was secondary to the political danger she represented, i.e., a potential Republican victory.

    Hence she became a target for everything her opponents could throw against her. Nothing was off limits, nothing was beyond the pale. Women did not hesitate to attack her in ways which would normally seem an anathema to feminist principles, because political victory at all costs was more important.

    And not much as changed. Sarah Palin still remains a political threat. Maybe her resignation has destroyed any future Presidential ambitions, or maybe it has enhanced her prospects. We don’t know yet. But her opponents are taking no chances, and taking no prisoners. Personal destruction remains the modus operandi.

  191. Violet says:

    Be that as it may, my question to you is, if Sarah Palin were your daughter, or mother, or grandmother, would you be proud of her?

    Yes, even though I disagree with her politics. You’re not a long-time reader here, but if you were you’d know that I’ve said a number of times that Palin reminds me of some of my own relatives: small town can-do Republican women, some of whom even went into politics.

    I come from a big family, which not only has a working class base (though in my generation it’s more middle-class and up), but is also diversified culturally, politically, religiously, and racially. I love all my family dearly, and am proud of their accomplishments — even though some of them are on the opposite end of the spectrum from me religiously and politically.

  192. tinfoil hattie says:

    were the same words used to describe any “lady parts person” (gadzooks, I love that term) running for office from the left or as a Democrat, the lefty blogs and Vanity UnFair would be up in arms.

    Aaah, would that this were true, GM Roper. The “lefty” newspaper columnists, television talking heads, and blogs were full of hatred and vitriol for Hillary Clinton from the moment Barack Obama stepped onto the scene. Actually, from the moment Bill Clinton stepped on the scene in about 1991. (except bloggers, of course)

  193. Rob says:

    David Foster Wallace wrote an essay about 15 years back regarding how irony was becoming our cultural norm. The thing about irony is that it is purely destructive, a ground-cleansing, but it is singularly unuseful in creating anything to replace the hypocrisy it exposes (A great example of this can be found on The Daily Show and the like). Carried over time, irony ‘is the voice of the trapped who have come to enjoy their cage.’

    Implicit in our irony is the notion that none of us really mean what we’re saying, and we’re rubes for believing it anyway. Try asking an ironist what they really mean after one of their quips; you end up looking like the fool. And this is what institutionalized irony leaves us: we can now interdict the question without attending to its subject; this is just another description of tyranny.

    I add this to supplement many of the incisive remarks above about the reasons for the violent reaction to Gov. Palin. With irony as our cultural norm, it has become easy to tear down those we find threatening, etc.

  194. gxm17 says:

    As usual, I think it’s all about the narrative. We are inundated with the idea that women talk too much and “enjoy” talking more than men. Which is bullshit. The truth is that men have monopolized the cultural narrative and drowned out female voices for as long as recorded history. However this millennia-old bullshit meme has succeeded in doing two things: Provide cover for the patriarchal narrative and marginalize female voices. And, in addition to suffering from an excess of male voices, American (popular) culture is addicted to the superhero myth. Yes, it may be true that female superheroes exist, but they exist only in fiction and they serve at the whim of their masters.

    The so-called “feminist” attacks on Palin (as well as “conservative” attacks on Hillary) reveal how tethered to the underlying patriarchal ideology some women are. I think what we may be seeing is that this line of feminism has not been able to disengage from the narrative that a woman’s voice is not, intrinsically, as meaningful as a man’s. A woman’s voice is only tolerated within its given ideological structure, something akin to Irigaray’s obscure commemoration. And so for some feminists a female voice is allowed and valued in the “feminist” sphere but not outside of it. An unconventional yet traditional female voice like Palin really messes up their tiny world view. To use your water metaphor, while they may be aware of the surface currents, they are unaware of the deep ones that are dragging us down.

  195. spool32 says:

    @Sameol:

    There was plenty of ugliness during the Democratic primary, but all that was forgotten once Obama won.

    While I’m sure you’re right that there were and are female hypocrites on both sides, I know of no conservative feminists who took sexist potshots at Clinton. The reverse cannot be said… the number of liberal feminists who attacked Palin are legion.

    Even so… my point remains. The perception among moderates and conservatives of both genders is: The feminist movement has ethered itself as a thing which acts in the interests of women. It is a thing that acts in the interests of Democrats, and does so in a virulently sexist manner rarely ever to be found among intelligent conservatives.

    The best, and perhaps the only way to rehabilitate the movement is to officially support some Republican women. Of course, that the idea is so laughable is precisely why so few moderate Republicans believe the women’s movement is about equality for women.

    ———–
    I’ll put forward my own theory:

    Given the following “truths”:
    1) Republicans hate, and wish to oppress, women.
    2) Palin is a successful, admirable woman.
    3) Palin is a respected Republican politician.

    Some action must be taken to reconcile this apparent contradiction. If Palin can be a woman and a Republican, loved and admired by conservatives and still supportive of nearly every feminist core issue… how can #1 be true?

    It cannot… therefore she must be de-feminized, and dehumanized, immediately and with prejudice. Her existence threatens to expose the dishonesty at the heart of the feminist-Democrat alliance and she must be annihilated to prevent an episode of cognitive dissonance.

  196. Dan says:

    Tomecat (72): I thought you were making an example of yourself… but see you backed off a bit.

    I don’t think there’s any evidence for the motives you ascribe to McCain in Palin’s choice… or to Bush I in Quayle’s choice.

    In fact, the ridicule of Quayle (who was and is a fine, smart man) should be thrown into this mix. The caricature of Quayle is male version of what’s being done to Palin today. This makes me think it is the product of a pissed off media giving cues that’s it’s acceptable to use this person a “hate receptacle”

  197. wisetrog says:

    Do you recall reading posts on some blog a couple of months ago talking in detail about narcissistic personality disorders, and some pretty interesting articles that were linked showing how much Obama fits that description?…

    All of a sudden, Sarah Palin has a narcissistic personality disorder…

    Carolyn, I thought of that exact same thing when I read the VF piece.

    There are more examples of this. The day after the NRCC dinner brouahaha, Tina Brown went on TV and slammed Sarah for being Nixonian. That didn’t make sense except that a couple of days before, conservative blogs were calling Obama Nixonian for getting rid of his IG.

    Also, the before her convention speech, there was a method in a lot f thing that were said about Sarah but these were things that were said about Obama or feared would be said about Obama.

    They said Mccain campaign didn’t vet Sarah. Demonstrably untrue. You can check the video of Culvahouse, his lawyer who did the vetting. But this was exactly what Hillary had been saying through the primaries. She’d been vetted by Republicans and Obama wasn’t. So, they laid that on Sarah.

    They said she had no experience when she had more executive experience than the rest of the three combined.

    The baby Trig trutherism is actually a complement to Obama’s lack of birth certificate. Remember how Andrew Sullivan asked, and still does, for proof of mothering Trig. The fact is several on right wing fringes were asking for Obama’s birth certificate and Andrew is just mimicking them.

    So on and so forth. Sarah to them is like a pin doll on which they can project whatever is true of Obama and then feel good about it. She’s a wax figure which is used as a substitution magic; if you have an ailment, you get a wax doll and transfer your illness to that wax doll. Same here. transfer whatever is true of Obama on to Palin and those things will go away.

    PS: First time poster here, so don’t know how to use quote tags.

  198. JadedByPolitics says:

    N.O.W. is DEAD they made their liberal only bed and must now lie in it but the FEMINIST movement is STRONG and with women being 51 percent of the vote we are unstoppable when we STOP beating each other up over political parties….it benefits none of us to give our all to any one party because they will lie to you to get elected and then do NOTHING for you however when in the heat of battle for our candidates WE SHOULD NEVER beat up each other to give the idiots the cat fight they are always dreaming of. I believe we women are smart enough to win an election on idea’s without tearing down other women and if that is what politics has wrought than we MUST smack it down and disallow it.

    I would be proud to stand with any woman who is strong and happy and willing to battle the misogynists in our society whether they be male or jealous females. WE deserve respect and we have earned respect now lets go TAKE IT!

  199. SC Mike says:

    What a great blog and stupendous thread! And the phrase “designated Hate Receptacle” fits and works.

    I’ve not seen anyone note what is certainly among the top three reasons the maverick McCain selected Palin — and it’s one of the attributes that made her attractive to conservatives, whether GOP members or not — is that that she took on the corrupt Republican hierarchy in her state and won, earning her credentials as a maverick by collecting the scalps of the chair of the state Republican Party and a Republican former Attorney General. Arguably her role in making those complaints, along with her electrifying speeches, is what keeps her in good stead with conservatives. She’s a tea-party kind of gal…

    Further, pm317 was the first, I believe, to identify elitism and fear / jealousy as the motives for Palin’s designation as the hate receptacle. Not only was she was not the product of an Ivy League institution, she had to work her way through several colleges, going so far as to compete in a beauty pageant to win a scholarship! Unspeakable horror, no?

    That she married, had kids — including a “’tard” as some like to say — has a supportive husband, etc. only fuel her critics who bemoan her accomplishments. A big difference between Palin and Hillary is that the former accomplished much with the support of a spouse out of the limelight, while the latter’s accomplishment is in part attributable to the spouse’s trailblazing. It’s that difference that makes Palin more dangerous in the eyes of some; it does not diminish Hillary’s accomplishments.

  200. RickZ says:

    Violet,

    You are correct in that I am new. Your post was put in the comments of a conservative blog’s thread about Palin (Gateway Pundit). Your post was intriguing, and a pleasure to read. I’m sure we disagree on many, oh, he11, probably most things, but the one thing I am is a man not afraid of women with power. I judge any person by their capabilities.

    BTW, I agree with you most wholeheartedly about Gov. Palin being the second woman on a major presidential ticket. I remember very well when Rep. Ferraro got the Dem VP nod in ’84. I heard nothing like what I heard this past year, to this very day, actually.

    But I still don’t get why her so-called political differences, which you pretty clearly debunked, are a stumbling block. D’Obama is a commie rat-b*stard, while Palin is not. I honestly can’t see the Republican Palin appointing over 20 czars that bypass Congressional approval. I can’t see the Republican Palin taking over the auto, the banking, and soon the medical and enenrgy industries. Why does the ‘R’ bother you, and so many feminists, so much? It is because you’re afraid of her religion? Of her beliefs? You think she’s worse than D’Obama who attended a racist church for 20+ years? Oftentimes, our choices are limited. We have to make compromises. Are you telling me that because Palin has that dreaded ‘R’ after her name that that trumps any other reality?

  201. Amy K. says:

    So to sum up: The irrational, emotional part of human nature was the problem. Power, tribalism, fear, hate.

    Feminists are human and they behaved wretchedly. Unfortunately, they refuse to admit the depths they fell to and so cannot remedy the problem. So, we’re just going to keep getting more of the same.

    I only single out the feminsists because this is a feminist blog. During this past election season, I pretty much saw the same thing everywhere. Which doesn’t bode well for most of us.

  202. Sameol says:

    Spool, I agree that the number of prominent liberal feminists who attacked Palin is huge, my point is that most of them also attacked or did not defend Clinton, it’s not like they go to the mat for liberal Democratic women and then savage Republicans, for the most part.

    I don’t know about conservative feminists per se, but I can’t read most conservative boards because of the number of comments I saw by women and men defending Palin and angry about the sexist double standards but also making ugly, sexist comments about Democratic women. Much like I couldn’t go to the liberal boards without reading ugly sexist attacks from women and men on both women. To me, Republicans seem to do more of the in-group out group thing, we like ours but hate yours, while the Democrats are more into hating all women regardless of party affiliation.

  203. the15th says:

    The “feminist” movement has, for a while now, while saying they believe in choice, looked down on women who choose to be married and have children.

    But these Palin-hating feminists have been effusive in their praise of Michelle Obama, whose image is almost exclusively defined by her role as wife and mother. I’ve been reading third-wave and liberal-dude sites for years, and they are universal in their denunciation of feminists like Linda Hirshman. Palin doesn’t have a nanny — but having a nanny, or any kind of domestic employees, is fraught with wrenching liberal guilt in these circles, so I don’t think that can be it either. The liberal dudes hate women, the third-wavers want to appear less threatening to them, and with Palin they have a chance to join in on some woman-hate and show what good sports they are.

    Why don’t anti-racism groups have Colin Powell or even Michael Steele as much as these feminists hate Palin? All I can think of is that feminism is seen as some kind of Western imperialist plant among some leftists. Third-wavers have pretty much conceded the point by making a point of fighting for every social justice cause before women’s rights. A conservative woman who is not actively antifeminist is the embodiment of the right-wing imperialist straw feminism, and she must be attacked.

  204. Carolyn says:

    I am really enjoying reading all of the great insights that this post has stimulated. I would like to add my thoughts on this perceived truth that Sarah Palin is a white trash hillbilly.

    I think both of her parents were teachers, so she probably had a little more money growing up than I did, but I hadn’t realized that teacher’s children and people that attended public school were automatically trash. How many here are teachers? How do feel about this view of your students (or your parents or grandparents)? How do you feel about this view of your children? Where is the outrage from the teacher’s union?

    She was a great athelete who credits Title IX for giving her the opportunity to learn what she was made of. Where are the people that fought for that legislation to applaud the success of one of their students?

    She went to State schools. Where are the State University professors? Do they agree that people that attend their classes should be trashed simply for trying to make the best of their lives?

    She started out with the PTA…where are the parents? She worked for the city council…where is the SEIU?

    She was elected governor…where is outrage from former and sitting governors, of any political stripe? The National Governor’s association?

    Where are the flight attendants who were also slandered by Dave Letterman? Do they feel that they look trashy? Do they think Sarah does? I mean the woman could hardly dress more modestly…and as for her makeup…where are the people who sell cosmetics?

    Where are the professional atheletes who were insinuated to have molested an underage girl? Aren’t they offended at all by this suggestion? Is this an image that they like associated with professional sports?

    I recall reading something, where a character realized that they weren’t being targeted because they were bad, but because they were good. Does that resonate?

    Where are the people who fought so hard for the passage of the American’s with Disabilities Act?

    I can tell you, the rest of the world is watching, and if no one thinks they aren’t drawing conclusions about what we REALLY think of them, we are kidding themselves.

    I live in Pennsylvania. I have found myself feeling increasingly protective of working class people that dig the coal out of the ground that produces 50% of our nation’s electricity, and are maligned for their reliance on the scriptures to help them find comfort in their lives and some measure of statisfaction. I am offended that they are mocked for hunting when it puts food on their tables and there may not be a whole foods nearby.

    I didn’t grow up with money, and an awful lot of other people didn’t either. I laugh when I hear about Obama or Sotormayer’s efforts to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They don’t know what hardship is not to mention a bootstrap.

    If you take all the people that went to “elite” schools and add them up, they represent a tiny proportion of the people in this country…and speaking for myself only, I think it is high time that we considered having someone representing us that has a clue what life is life anywhere other than Whole Fools Nation, or Harvard Law.

    I also think we do a great disservice to the men of this country to assume they are all part of the elite patriarchy…come on people! They are in the same boat we are and I suspect a lot of them think a lot of Sarah Palin, and not just the ones that want to violate her.

    I think she is respected by men and women all over this country for what she has accomplished, for her devotion to what is right, her servants heart, and heck, she hunts and fishes too. If you have watched her speak, you can see the kindness and compassion she has for all people. I think we are all ready for a little of that.

    Are the elite threatened? You betcha!!!

  205. AniEm says:

    Once again, please turn this into a book. Every comment is worth further exploration. Some of the comments should be etched in stone, as an antidote to the sheer cruelty and stupidity that is going in our country.

    As I posted on Cinie’s Blog, we’ve witnessed the subliminal versions of women being burned at the stake, stoned to death, gang banged and there has even been a resurgence of McCarthyism in the treatment of both Clinton and Palin and their supporters. Ridiculing a child with Downs Syndrome is an excursion into Nazi-land and, with every passing day, these tactics become more loathsome and more disturbing.

    Washington is so incestuously corrupt that it cannot be disentangled. Politicians and their media hacks can only preserve the mess they have created by destroying any politician who is remotely populist or exhibiting the dreaded sign of “integrity”. What Obama supporters have offered us is a noxious diet of misogyny, elitism, and even the media cannibalism of a babe in arms. I don’t even think Nixon’s legacy can match this.

  206. Violet says:

    D’Obama is a commie rat-b*stard

    Oh for heaven’s sake. See, that kind of thing is just ridiculous.

  207. the15th says:

    I don’t think the fact that she didn’t go to elite schools is a root cause of the hate — rather, it’s part of “the lies that exist to justify the hate” (well, even though it’s not a lie.) If you spend any time in (some circles of) elite liberal culture, you’ll notice that going to an elite school is something you’re supposed to be a little embarrassed about. You’re supposed to oppose honors programs for K-12 students, express horror at high school students competing academically to get into the colleges they want, and evince disdain for the idea that where you went to school is important in any way. Those who went to state schools or community colleges wear it as a badge of honor. It’s a really weird kind of anti-intellectualism, and it’s — coincidentally, I’m sure — getting worse as girls excel more and more in academics. (I went to grad school and lectured at a state school — I’m NOT suggesting there’s anything non-intellectual about these universities or their students.)

  208. Violet says:

    I only single out the feminsists because this is a feminist blog.

    Exactly the point of the post. I’m not asking why the world hates Palin, because I know why. We live in a misogynist patriarchal world and she’s the designated hate receptacle. Commence head-shaving.

    My question was why feminists are doing that. And I still think that in most cases, it’s what I already suggested: that even for most feminists, their feminism isn’t as strong as their patriarchal brain-washing. So they join in the Palin hate.

    The attacks on Palin don’t prove anything about feminism; what they illustrate is the lack of feminism. They show that the people doing the attacking are thin on principles.

  209. Violet says:

    I don’t know about conservative feminists per se, but I can’t read most conservative boards because of the number of comments I saw by women and men defending Palin and angry about the sexist double standards but also making ugly, sexist comments about Democratic women.

    Exactly. For years now, public misogyny has been a staple on the right. Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, all of them. Hideous, deeply sexist and offensive jokes about Chelsea, Hillary, Madeleine Albright. Coulter referring to Democratic women as “hirsute pie wagons.” And I don’t know how any self-respecting woman can even listen to Rush Limbaugh.

    Basically, the sexist left is now demonstrating that it’s no better than the right. And that means women are nowhere.

  210. octogalore says:

    The15th, I disagree. In liberal arts programs and careers, there is a reverse elitism of sorts about brand name schools. In business, it’s a factor but not the only one or even most singificant. Not so for law, from which many politicians stem. The profession, and the ones that follow from it are quite elitist.

    Also, top women whether in business, law or whatever, are usually expected to have better credentials than their male equivalents. Witness HRC, Meg Whitman, Kristen Gillibrand, Carly Fiorina.

    Nobody seems to care that Biden lied about being in the top third of his law school class, when he was really in the bottom half. But darn tootin’ Palin’s mediocre college career, a generation ago, comes up in many third wave “feminist” discussions of her.

  211. octogalore says:

    PS — The15th, I do agree with you that it’s not the root cause of the hate. But it’s one factor.

  212. the15th says:

    octogalore — It’s true, I’m not a lawyer, and Washington law culture is probably very different than the kind of “elite liberal” culture that I’m familiar with. Palin’s detractors inside the political world probably have a different perspective than those outside.

  213. Michael Whelan says:

    Watching the American elections from afar, I was fascinated by the vitriol poured onto Palin, of all the candidates she was the only one to answer the questions put to her. McGain seemed fuzzy or incapable, Obamha outright refused and Biden appeared not to know if he had been asked a question. In your country as in mine, women are the worst enemies of women politicians.

  214. octogalore says:

    I must admit to a shoddy lack of precision in discussion of Biden’s class rank — apologies.

    Instead of the over-general “bottom half,” I should have specified that he was 76 out of 85 in his class at Syracuse (a decent, though not highly-ranked, school).

    As partial explanation (though not a defense) of this lazy reporting, I do not recall seeing this stat in the MSM. Of course, we’ve been deluged with evidence of Palin’s lack of Ivy cred…

  215. Kat says:

    Carolyn says:

    Are the elite threatened? You betcha!!!

    Carolyn, this entire post was amazing.

  216. chuck says:

    I don’t listen to Rush, but I think he hit another nail on the head here:

    “‘Nobody knows nuttin’ about why, but Beltway Democrats and Republicans alike are still scared to death of this woman.’”

    I hope so. For several years I have had visions of tumbrels carrying their well coiffed loads to Place de la Révolution. Unfortunately, we elected these suckers, so I guess the rest of us would have to follow soon after.

  217. gxm17 says:

    the15th said: I don’t think the fact that she didn’t go to elite schools is a root cause of the hate…

    ITA. It’s just one cord (of many) on the whip.

  218. Modem X says:

    Great first post, wisetrog. This was well said:

    “Sarah to them is like a pin doll on which they can project whatever is true of Obama and then feel good about it. She’s a wax figure which is used as a substitution magic; if you have an ailment, you get a wax doll and transfer your illness to that wax doll. Same here. transfer whatever is true of Obama on to Palin and those things will go away.”

  219. octogalore says:

    Oh, but wait!

    Biden received an F in a class in which he plagiarized a law review article for a paper he wrote.

    But! He claimed that he simply “misunderstood” the rules for citation. It was an accident! And just an amusing coincidence that he’d also been caught using material from others’ speeches without attribution.

    So he got to retake the class and the F was stricken from his record.

    So two questions:

    1) where would he have been in his class if he’d been, for example, a woman… would he still have gotten the benefit of the doubt?

    2) If Palin had plagiarized a paper, wouldn’t we all know every last detail at this point?

  220. donna darko says:

    “I have seen lots of people claim they hate Sarah because she is a conservative. When challenged they claim they hate other conservatives too, but if they do then they obviously don’t feel the same intensity of emotion that they feel for Sarah.”

    Where is the fever swamp against Romney, Gingrich, Bush, Cheney, Norquist, Kristol, Jindal, Steele? It’s not the same. Romney is much worse on reproductive rights and perpetually running for President. In fact, Romney or any male right-winger thread at TGW got a tepid reponse and a few comments while Palin threads regularly generated 50+ comments. So that takes away the Republican, pro-life excuse.

    She’s a threat to Obama. Again, that’s sexist because so is Romney or McCain last year. Where was the fever swamp against either?

    She’s “hot”. This is sexism again and the juvenile male response, “I can’t have her so I hate her.” Are liberal women jealous?

    She’s “white trash”. So was Bill Clinton and there was never a fever swamp against him.

  221. Vanderleun says:

    I don’t have anything to add to this brilliant post and the even more impressive thread of comments it has stimulated.

    I read a LOT of pages and blogs every day and have for years, but I cannot remember ever reading one post and associated comments that are as deeply felt, intelligent, and insightful as this one. It not only makes me happy that a discussion like this can take place, it also, to quote Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets, “Makes me want to be a better man.”

  222. Tim J. says:

    See, as a hard-core conservative watching all this, the answer seems pretty plain to me: these people are not feminists, they’re Democrats. Had they been feminists and Democrats, there’s a good chance they still would have opposed Palin, but in an honest, non-hateful, and non-sexist way. But as soon as the feminism posed any threat to Democratic electoral prospects, they ditched it and went in hard for the hate. This pretty clearly proves where their true loyalties lie.

    Many of them probably believed that they were feminists, but their actions have shown that in reality, that was only a way of justifying support for Democrats.

    Sadly, this is the state of mainstream feminism. Good luck reforming it. I really do mean that.

  223. Toonces says:

    Violet, I agree with you that it’s lack of principles when feminists find a way to justify using sexism against women simply because they feel that those Bad Women are patriarchy colluders, but I wouldn’t know that Palin didn’t single-handedly hunt down every rape survivor in Alaska to make them pay for their own rape-kits if I hadn’t already been reading here because you were one of a handful of feminists who were saying what I was thinking about Obama. Blogs have been shown this election season to function as high school gossip mills, and I do think that’s part of the problem.

    I don’t feel that I can rely on basically any news source consistently (Fourth Estate death rattle, anyone?) but I often find more in-depth and better news coverage/discourse on blogs, so I rely on them for information. I don’t think that makes me an ignorant asshole (I might be one, but not because of that). I do try to check my facts before I repeat them, however.

    I guess for many it was easy to believe anything about Palin, and I think at least a small part of the blame for that was because she was courting the same constituency that Bush did, and to a lot of people that base seemed utterly, hopelessly ‘batshit’, so if she was pandering to them, she must be ‘batshit’, too. If some of the lies about Palin were actually true, I can’t say I wouldn’t feel some of that hate towards her. I’d still defend her against sexism, though (and her kids against all the insane, ‘batshit’, hate directed at them).

  224. SweetSue says:

    So was Bill Clinton and there was never a fever swamp against him.
    Donna, did you miss the Ken Starr investigation?
    The one where Ken’s minnions pawed through Hillary’s underwear drawer?
    The time when President Clinton’s grand jury testimony was played on every TV in America?
    Grand jury testimony is supposed to be super secret unless your last name is Clinton.
    Palin has suffered a lot but nothing compared to the Clintons.

  225. Alwaysthinking says:

    Someone at Murphy’s place described the bashing of Palin as “Venus Envy.” Perhaps that is some of it for some men — that is, she can do it all and do it well. (Same thing with Hillary, only Hillary took the early brunt of the “stop intelligent women” forces.) (And, as has been said here and elsewhere, Palin, like Hillary, is a threat to some in the power structures.)

    As for women, perhaps there are those here who remember well that we once were told we could do it all — and many of us did — career, family, and more. It wasn’t perfect and it was often extremely frustrating. We had our ideals, having come of age in an idealistic era, but we soon learned how pragmatic we had to be to survive, while at the same time fighting the routine intimidation we faced in our professions just because we were women. We also had to make a living for our families, whether we had a husband or not.

    And we also endured criticism from the stay-at-home wives of our male co-workers. Nevertheless, we couldn’t hate them because, really, they didn’t know better. They hadn’t been forced to make the economic decisions that some of us had to make. We also couldn’t hate men, because not only were they our bosses and co-workers, they were our husbands, fathers, brothers — and, most of all, our sons. We couldn’t just harshly dismiss them as do some feminists. So, for feminists to attack Palin for not being just like them is not much different from a paper exercise. We women do not live in a vacuum.

    So we lived with many dichotomies. We got some respect for our work but we also were routinely backhanded with male gossip (and sometimes female gossip) and elevator giggling about the “gals.” As long as we stayed in our place and did not become terribly “wild-eyed liberals” like those radical women at NOW, we were tolerated. But we were shut out when it came to the topmost tier of the organization.

    But, don’t you see, what Sarah Palin is doing today is really what millions of us already have done — taking care of work and family and, often, graduate school or civic and professional volunteer work (and, yes, for some, church work)?

    Yet, she had the audacity (the real audacity), as an ordinary family person, to run for a national office — the top tier. And there are the usual suspects trying to shut her out. She is the personification of what American women long have been — she has complex views on various subjects. Also, it wasn’t that long ago that “working” women routinely had large families and also ran the farms or became country doctors.

    But there are bigots out there who don’t allow for a person to have views that differ from theirs — or even lives that are different from theirs. Women have different decisions to make within the realities of their lives. I wonder sometimes if we have examined our own bigotry when it comes to women. Most men, I suspect, have not. Many, many women apparently also have not. That rigidity is helping no one. Sarah is a real live person (as is Hillary) who did not fit a certain mold for women that some people had formed in their own minds (either from a conservative or a liberal stance).

    Also, she doesn’t proclaim to be a messiah — just a real hard-working, complex yet simple, American woman. I don’t agree with all her positions but I never had to make the decision she had to make about Trig. (I know people who have, however.) If Sarah Palin were in my lunch group of good, long-time friends (who also worked together as professionals — some single, some married, with or without children), would I declare I hated her because she disagreed with me? No. I would probably enjoy her company.

    I might not vote for her (although I did last year because I thought it the lesser of two evils given the shut-out of Hillary by the Democrats.) And it was my protest vote against the barnyard/outhouse obscenity that pervaded the media, including the Internet.

    In some ways, Sarah is just like the “ordinary” women that we see in the office every day, except she had the audacity to run for national office. Naturally, most men (and some women) often don’t know how extraordinary their female co-workers have to be to manage work, home, and perhaps getting graduate degrees, etc., simultaneously.

    Sarah is playing our role(s), as is Hillary, in front of the whole world. We should help both of them. Of course, in a New York minute (as we say in Texas), I would choose Hillary first, were I given that opportunity.

  226. CW says:

    Here is my take, People who believed the lies spread by the Obama camp and other Democrats were stupid. They were also offended that Republicans made such a big step as to put a woman on their national ticket because they want to believe that only Democrats will do that and not now but far, far off in the future when the “simple” among us can accept a woman on the ticket. So Republicans took the Dems thunder and they did it right after the despicable treatment the Dems heaped on Hillary. What these simple minded Dems including most feminists do not get is that Democrats are not going to do anything to ensure abortion or reproductive rights for women because if they do they lose the issue which they manipulate women with. Dems do not treat women like other voters, they seek to threaten them with loss of their freedom so they can take our votes for granted. They do not spell out how they will make our lives better and then act on those promises. I hope Sarah runs as an independent, she’d have my vote.

  227. Spartan79 says:

    I’ve always been amazed that feminists swooned over a candidate who disparaged female reporters as “sweetie” (twice) and reviled a candidate who pulled herself up by her bootstrap from PTA to mayor to governor of our largest state, all the while supported by a husband willing to stay at home and raise her children. The last 11 months has been nothing if not surreal.

  228. John says:

    I have loved Sara Palin since I first learned about her, why? She reminded me so much of my mothers best friend from college, Kathy G, from Rhinelander WI.

    She kicked her asshole drug dealing husband out of her life, raised a handfull of good kids, found a man she could rely on, and went deer, bear, and duck hunting every year to make the food budget work out based on a teachers salary.

    She was also about five foot nothing, or so, and would get a deer every season with a bow and arrow.

    How can that not be a feminist option?

    So, yeah I’m a guy (and gosh, white, middle class, and a grandfather to boot….did I mention I live in Israel?)

    and I have this image in my mind from when I was 12 years old of this woman who looked the world in the eye and did her own thing, with strength and confidence. Maybe this warped my idea about just what feminism ought to be….

    Am I wrong, isn’t Feminism about each women being able to try and accomplish their own dream/desire without the bonds of some external/patriarchal/whatever-you-call-it/limitation?

    whatever…

    but it seems to me that the label “feminism” is past it’s ‘Best Buy’ date. There is a compost heap out back, or heck feed it to the goats.

    Then maybe we can get on with the idea that every human being has the right, but not the priviledge, to aim as high and as wide as they like.

    John

  229. donna darko says:

    Sweet Sue, no there isn’t the same intense hatred and vitriol we see in leftist blog comment sections. Leftist blog comment sections! What has the left become? We are no better than the right when it comes to feminism.

    Congrats, Violet. This blog post made it to the top of Memorandum.

  230. hilary g says:

    Violet, I just began reading your blog a few months ago and I’m absolutely fascinated.

    I want to comment on this post as someone who formerly harbored the irrational hatred for Sarah Palin that you refer to in your post. For me personally, I thought McCain’s decision to pick her as a running mate was his way of pandering to democrats, women, feminists, his way of “diversifying” his campaign to compete with Hillary and Obama’s historically significant campaigns. I was terrified that this would give him the necessary edge to become president, thereby resulting in another Republican presidency. I automatically assumed, like many others, that feminism and Republican ideology were incompatible, and so between McCain choosing her for the fact of her sex (my assumption) and Palin milking the “hockey mom” feminist thing, I was horrified that they were going to beat us at our own game, under the guise that they were ideologically fit to play. In the wake of the Bush presidency, McCain’s choice of a female VP seemed like an audacious ploy to differentiate his campaign from Bush’s, to redeem the Republican ideology by distancing itself from the Bush presidency. The idea that this (Republican) woman could throw the whole election somehow gave me every incentive to hate her, to believe everything I heard about her, to brand her “one of those women that make other women look bad.” She was definitely a hate recepticle. McCain wasn’t a hate recepticle, despite his Republicanism, because he was a man. I thought, Palin should know better. Someone said in the comments that feminist women judge other women more harshly, and looking back, I totally agree. It was a personal, intense hatred, because Palin didn’t represent all of my feminist sentiments. I thought she gave feminism a bad name, a bad look. I didn’t like how she winked; she was trying to be cutesy. I didn’t like what I heard about the amount of money she spent on her wardrobe. It seems so silly to me now, but I hated her because she appeared too feminine. I didn’t realize at the time that what I was partaking in was blatant misogyny.
    Also, it was the hip thing to do. I’m twenty two years old, I attend a very liberal university; in this environment, Palin-bashing constitutes some kind of bizarre camaraderie, like she’s a joke that everyone’s in on. In retrospect, really bizarre, and really embarassing for the fact that I jumped on the Obama bandwagon to hell.

  231. donna darko says:

    And then any intense hatred and vitriol was really directed at Hillary at the time and less at Bill. Then we saw intense hatred and vitriol aimed at Hillsry throughout 2008 and 2009 but none of it matches the insanity in comment sections against Palin.

  232. paper doll says:

    Great post

    Which brings me to my first puzzlement: why don’t people bother to find out what Sarah Palin really believes? I don’t mean people as in the usual sexist freaks; I mean feminists.

    Hey I wonder why some of the same people never bothered to find out what Obama really believes either. I think the answer is the same: It doesn’t matter to them. They are told who’s “good” and who’s “bad” and they are unthinking robots. We have robots on the left too.

  233. Lori says:

    You can’t attach rational reasons to irrational behavior. The fact of the matter is that this is 21st century and everyone in America knows that reducing someone to their gender is wrong – even though they do it.

    The irrationality is a product of the con game that the Obama camp has bought into – namely, that Obama is a competent, accomplished, liberal politician who is going to sweep out the old ways of doing business and bring in the new. Clinton/Ferraro/Palin got treated the way they did (and do) because narcissistic exchanges reduce everyone to either beatific/heroic or evil. If you’re opposed to the beatific, then you are evil. And all the stuff about rape kits, and evolution and bimbo-hood, is just proving you’re part of the gang. You’re in the know. You can talk the talk. You’ve bought into the same reality as the people whom you admire.

    Just as conservatives in the 90s established how moral they were by how much they hated the Clintons, Obama supporters establish how enlighten then are by how much they hate Palin.

    That simple narcissistic exchange is the only thing going on.

  234. Sis says:

    Carolyn that was just an amazing post. It deserves broad readership. Maybe send it to some newspapers, as an op ed. And to the websites of the organizations you’ve mentioned. I hope.

  235. Tomecat says:

    Bravo Alwaysthinking! Wish I could express myself as well as you and Violet do. I worry that I have given a false impression of myself, as it’s hard to address a single issue without seeming to be one dimensional. Of course, on that note, I will continue the pattern…

    @ Dan:
    GHW Bush himself said that he chose Quayle, in part, because he was good looking and that he believed that would attract female voters. From http://www.focusdep.com/biographies/Dan/Quayle:
    “Bush selected Quayle as a running mate for several reasons: it was thought that Quayle, who bore a slight resemblance to actor Robert Redford, might help Bush with the “gender gap” the polls were warning him about—Bush was far more popular among men than women…”
    And I don’t think being a fine man means he is the best possible candidate for Vice President of the United States.
    From http://senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/dan_quayle.pdf :
    “Yet Quayle had a lackluster attendance record in the House, often skipping
    committee meetings and missing votes to play golf. People referred to him as a “wet head,” because he always seemed to be coming from the House gymnasium. The House never engaged his interest. “Almost as soon as I was in, I wanted out—or up,” he admitted.”

    Since Bush/Quayle won the election, I thought that the people advising McCain might have used a similar strategy. I see no evidence that any of us know the motives behind the choice of Palin from myriad possibilities.
    Also, my beliefs regarding the selection of Quayle and Palin as running mates do not reflect my personal opinions of the candidates. I never said that I thought that they weren’t smart. In fact, Sarah Palin has proven that she is a master of media manipulation, among other things. What I was trying to say was that both were likely selected to be used as pawns by their respective campaigns. Quayle spoke to Bush’s weaknesses without being a threat to him, because he was presented as something of a buffoon. Very much like Palin and, for that matter, Biden. I freely admit that I don’t like Palin’s politics, and that I was disappointed (personally) that she was singled out as the best of all possible candidates. That does not mean that I won’t defend her right to live her life as she sees fit, including running for office. I’ts just unlikely that I would vote for her.

  236. Papa Ray says:

    “If you believe in the full humanity of women, if you believe in the equality of the sexes, then you are a feminist.”

    Believe it or not, I read each and every comment here.

    But I won’t comment on any except the piece I posted above.

    Men of my generation don’t believe in the equality of women. I would say the vast majority believe that women are superior in almost every way except for physical strength and I can tell you from personal experience that they don’t really need that exception anyway.

    I’m not sure what is meant in this context by “humanity”. Unless your a mentally unbalanced or male narcissist or maybe a really fringe left or right nut, I think 99.9 percent of people believe in the humanity of women. Well, except for the males of the Islamic religion.

    Now talking about the present generation coming up (the 20 to 40 year olds) I would have to say from those I personally know- that they are more scared of women than my generation. But that fear makes them act out like little boys most times, either to protect themselves(they think) or to show their buds that they are not afraid (like dares when they were kids).

    Which brings up something else I have observed in the younger generations. Male and female. They are almost always in competition with each other over something. Either personal, professional or imagined.

    This is good to a certain degree but not like it is now. There is a point where it is self-defeating for both male and female.

    OH..I will say one thing about Palin.

    I think that she will become whatever she wants to be, but that she will always put her family first right behind her God.

    But I think that is the way it should be anyway for male or female. I’m so tired of the politicians (and have been for thirty some-odd years. I think politicians should be against the law and a single term is all any of them should get and they should not have the right to vote their own pay raises. A citizen government is the only one that will work, and our founders believed that and warned us what would happen otherwise.

    Just an ol’ man’s thoughts.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

  237. Boots says:

    This has been a fascinating hour, reading through all these comments on this ‘new to me’ blog….I rarely stay anywhere for all the comments, usually the echo chamber starts kick in.

    What Palin Derangement Syndrome brought to mind for me was the Shirley Jackson short story, “The Lottery”. By accepting the nomination for VP, she bought her lottery ticket, and Axelrod and the rest of the message makers went after her with bloody zeal. Men, women, children, all joined in the attack because she was the target, period.

    Shirley Jackson had a special insight into women, tribalism, superstition, violence, and scapegoating. I wonder if somebody in the Obama campaign took her ideas and put them to use?

  238. The truth about the NOW election « Donna Darko says:

    [...] June 25, 2009 · 2 Comments Violet Socks: Feminists and The Mystery of Sarah Palin [...]

  239. Violet says:

    I’m not sure what is meant in this context by “humanity”. Unless your a mentally unbalanced or male narcissist or maybe a really fringe left or right nut, I think 99.9 percent of people believe in the humanity of women.

    Papa Ray, the reason you’re not sure is because you’re a man. Your humanity is and has always been assumed. You’re part of the human race.

    I remember when I was a small child, reading the phrase, “The Greeks loved wine, women, and song.” If you’re a guy, you probably just blip right over that sentence. If you’re a girl, you stare at it. For a long time.

    The world is full of sentences like that, of assumptions like that. Even our language: mankind, the universal “he.”

    Superficial feminism (which is fine for a start) is about equal rights. Deep-structure feminism, or radical feminism, is when you realize that our whole society is built around human=male, woman=other. Changing that isn’t something you can do at the ballot box, but is a long-range re-shaping of society.

  240. Fence says:

    I live in Cambridge, MA. On the night of Palin’s convention speech last August, I attended a function full of Harvard Obama supporters chuckling with snide remarks about Palin. Near the end of her speech I had to leave and hailed a cab. A black west indian guy (Jamaica, Cape Verde?)was the cab driver and he was watching Palin’s speech on a tiny TV near his rear view mirror.

    This cab driver absolutely adored Palin and said the Obama voters were terrible tippers etc. Little slice of life from the People’s Republic.

  241. paper doll says:

    dd, I think you have to be too young to be aware of what the Clintons and Hillary went though in the 90′s. Palin has had it very rough, but Sweet Sue is quite right when she says nothing ( as yet) can compare to what the Clinions went though….please.

    The vile slings of blogs and TV pundits cannot compare to the GOP run fed government doing its all for many years to nail you on nothing…and I’m just speaking of what Hillary went though. Every week was another “___ gate” phony scandal talked of endlessly in the press….thier arrest was expected and speculated on hourly etc. Really the cable news as we know it was invented to punish the Clintons

    People asked how could Hillary handle the horror of the media etc. in 08 so well ? Well compared to the 90′s , most of a decade, it was a breeze. Since back then she endured everything The 08 press threw at her AND the fed government , with all its powers, gone amok. Many people’s lives around the Clintons were ruined , because Ken Starr and the GOP congress went after them, trying to find something on the Clintons. 700 FBI agents were in AR looking for anything to get on them. Ken Starr and the GOP congress spent 100 million tax 1990′s dollars trying to bring them down….meanwhile the Dems offred no support at all as far as I could see. Bush 2 got far more support from them in any two week period than Bill ever did in 8 years.

    I hope it never happens, but get back to me when Palin has had to endure a fraction of what the Clintons have.

  242. Lori says:

    Paper Doll,

    I think Sarah is starting to understand that. You know, Bill called her after the election. Oh, to have eavesdropped on that conversation. :)

  243. paper doll says:

    “The People’s Republic of Cambridge”
    lol!

  244. donna darko says:

    paper doll, I remember every minute of the media onslaught against the Clintons. It was eight long years plus all the years afterwards without blogs to vent on. The attacks against Palin seem to be more personal and sexual. More salacious. I could be wrong.

  245. Monday Catch Up « The Gender Blender Blog says:

    [...] take on Sarah Palin’s public declaration of her intention to resign.  More thoughts on that here, here, here and [...]

  246. paper doll says:

    Indeed Lori. No one could have better advice
    for Sarah than Bill. The elites hate them both for the same reason. They are seen as coming from the wrong side of the tracks. Really class is more important to “the Village” than party ever was….so much so, they refuse those who actully have it! lol!

  247. spool32 says:

    I’d have to say that the attacks on Palin are more egregious simply because, as Dr. Socks has pointed out, none of them are true!

    Whatever you may think about the severity of the offense, Clinton did lie under oath. Stolen FBI files, all concerning Republicans, did show up in Hillary’s office.

    The ‘get Clinton’ episode showed that Republicans only need a grain of truth to take someone down. The Palin episode showed that today, Democrats can do in in less than 1/8th the time, more thoroughly, and without any truth at all.

  248. paper doll says:

    dd , it was as bad on Hillary…but she was at least spared the blog horrors since they weren’t around then and she didn’t have as many targets, I mean children as Palin does. But oh yeah it was personal and salacious….It was bad . But really imo anything in the media can be endured….but the feds going after you , your friends and breaking every rule to do so on top of the god awful media….That trumps what’s going now for me. However we can agree it all stinks and is unfair and really says way more about the perpetrators than the subjects. Often the same people from the Clinton wars are the ones bashing Palin now!

  249. Violet says:

    Stolen FBI files, all concerning Republicans, did show up in Hillary’s office.

    Nope. Totally untrue.

  250. Darleen Click says:

    I apologize in that I have not read through all the comments but I do want to respond to the orginal post.

    As a woman who came of age in the 1970′s (I’m 55) I believe that the reason contemporary “feminists” are such Palin-haters is because contemporary feminism is a beard for Leftism. It is no longer about ensuring the opportunity for woman to compete equally with men or to choose how to live their lives, it is about marching lockstep in a Leftist ideology that eschews anything resembling traditional marriage, more than one or two children or even choosing to spend a few years as a stay-at-home parent. Palin backed into politics the way a lot of women are involved in their own communities – via the PTA. But somehow that is less honorable then eschewing family and spending years in the elite urban center of NY or DC rubbing with the politically correct and connected beautiful people.

    There is a reason a lot of practical, hardworking, “regular” Sallys and Sues refuse to call themselves “feminists” and it is because contemporary feminism pretends to include them and makes of them behind their backs.

  251. chuck says:

    paper doll,

    I voted for Clinton both times, but I can’t agree with you. What is going on now is worse, much worse, than anything that went down with the Clintons. Sure, there were nuts out on the fringes, but what is happening to Palin is mainstream, aided and abetted by the vast majority of the media. Clinton never suffered that, most of the media outside of talk radio was on his side. The whole Monica thing had to force itself through whole layers of disbelief before it made it onto the front pages. And then everyone I knew said it didn’t matter, it had nothing to do with Clinton’s fitness to govern. Most Democrats still say that. On top of that, Clinton and Hilary met at Yale, they got the right boxes checked.

    No, the only person I can think of that suffered anything near this amount of ridicule was Johnson. And he was the author of all those liberal programs, apart from social security, that form the basis of the current welfare state. Curious, eh. The most historically significant liberal of all time and the same sorts went after him.

  252. memomachine says:

    Hmmmmm.

    “Nope. Totally untrue.”

    They’re confusing FileGate with the missing files from HRC’s law practice concerning Whitewater.

    I think. It’s been a decade.

  253. Apostate says:

    I know of no conservative feminists who took sexist potshots at Clinton.

    This is total bullshit. The right has always targeted Hillary in the worst way, including what few conservative women are willing to use the f-word for themselves (not too many of those in the chattering classes). But conservative women? Sure. Always. Relentlessly. Clinton wasn’t even a woman to them, she was so mannish in her ambition and ruthless disregard for the fine art of cookie-baking.

    For the people who are saying that we don’t dislike various other conservatives even though they have the same or worse policy positions as Palin, well, two reasons the dislike might not be as vocal at all levels: visibility (most of them weren’t running for president or VP) and the fact that they aren’t women touting themselves as the feminists of the post-feminism era.

    I think Palin put a lot of traditional feminists, like me, on the defensive, because she actually claimed the title for herself (at first) and supported certain things that Republicans have not traditionally supported (like a woman working outside the house and Title IX), thus muddying the waters a little. We spoke up against her as strongly as we did to protect our brand of feminism and distance ourselves from her. I admit I feel threatened by her anti-choice stance. I also feel threatened by her brand of Christianity, and that she doesn’t come across as a thoughtful, introspective person.

    Just a quick aside: it’s rather anti-feminist to launch so many attacks on young feminists alleging they hate Palin because she’s attractive, married, has children or is successful. I mean, seriously, folks. The Jessica Valentis, the Jill Filopovics and the Amanda Marcottes are all attractive women who have the advantage of youth over Palin (if we really want to frame the debate that way), who are probably capable of ensnaring husbands and having children if they want them, and who are successful in their chosen professions. This is not about jealousy. Husbands, by the way, are not such a rare and desirable commodity that we should be jealous of each other for them (and yes, I have one, thankyouverymuch). Nor have all of us had half a dozen abortions each. So unfeminist to be repeating this sort of familiar accusation against women who may not like another woman for legit reasons.

    Here’s the thing that really puzzles ME: Why did so many feminists not support Hillary Clinton? Why did so many not only not support her, but were so hateful about her? Why did she provoke such mindless rage, opposite so much support for Obama, when her policy positions weren’t materially much different (but a little better) than his?

    That’s the real mystery for me. Easy enough to dislike any Republican, for a feminist, in my book.

  254. Carolyn says:

    Boots, your comment about the message makers is key to this. During the 2004 primaries and election season I really liked Howard Dean, which led me to DFA…’course from there I discovered Daily Kos, and others. For the longest time I believed everything I read there. The press was in the tank for Bush and I looked to these liberal blogs to get the truth. I even adored Keith Olbermann for awhile.

    But then it changed. The assaults on Hillary went way beyond the pale…every blog I read had some version of the same thing. I was disgusted. I discovered Riverdaughter by accident and felt like I had survived a drowning.

    Now I read The Confluence, American Thinker, Instapundit, Conservatives4Palin, Daily Pundit, Hot Air, Town Hall, Red State and No Quarter and of course now, my new very favorite, Reclusiveleftist. I even read Glenn Beck’s articles cause I think he is very funny and on target. Of course there is also Memeorandum. My point is that I finally learned that you can’t be too careful about what you read.

    Not everyone likes to read like I do. And they trust what they believe to be communities that they have grown attached to. The internet offers us these feelings of community and we don’t realize that not everyone is speaking from their heart.

    I don’t imagine most people realize that there are paid bloggers swarming some websites. Believe me it is a horrible thing to see, and I actually had the experience of posting a comment once on daily kos only to be swarmed and the post “hide rated” in a matter of a minute or two. I found that positively amazing. Poof! Dissenting opinion, as polite as it was, just gone, vanished.

    We have been had. I am very respectful of those who can admit that they were conned. It makes me blush to admit how much I admired and trusted Howard Dean and Al Gore, and how I cried after Kerry was defeated. Now, not so much.

    I don’t know how in the world we combat what is organized, intentional deception. I think calling it what it is will be a good beginning. We should all be outraged.

    Above a poster gave several examples of specific instances where something that Obama was accused of was “transferred” to Palin by the next news cycle. We remember hearing it before, but we don’t always remember that we heard it about a DIFFERENT person. None of this is accidental. It is then on everyone’s talking points list, the echo chamber picks it up, the original story vanishes into thin air, and suddenly we have a new reality. Most people wouldn’t even have the chance to catch the original before it is totally “re-attributed”.

    I wish there was someway we could get the word out. I think Americans have traditionally been a very trusting people. I feel sad to be losing my innocence at my age, but I guess it’s better late than never. I will be 58 this fall.

    This isn’t our parent’s America any longer.

  255. Sis says:

    Apostate, I feel threatened by James Randi followers. I don’t view them as ‘traditional feminists’.

  256. Violet says:

    Just a note: we’re not going to get into a rehash of the Clinton Administration issues. Threadjack.

  257. Carolyn says:

    err, I meant 2000 and 2004 but you probably concluded that…

  258. myiq2xu says:

    When comparing the treatment of Sarah Palin to the Clintons, keep in mind that Sarah has only been in the national spotlight for less than a year. There was no blogosphere back then, and the people who were attacking Bill and Hillary weren’t liberals and feminists.

    I remember the attacks on the Clintons quite well, and this witch hunting of Sarah Palin is not the same thing. Nill Clinton won his election and went to the White House. When he finally left office the attacks mostly stopped.

    Sarah lost and went back to Alaska but the attacks never stopped.

  259. Charlie (Colorado) says:

    Yes.

    I started keeping the Palin Rumors list figuring that gathering the facts would help. It iddn’t, and until I finally closed comments on it I was still gietting people passing along “rumors” that seconds of investigation proved to be false. Hell, sometimes I got rumors that were already in the list.

  260. memomachine says:

    Hmmmm.

    Just to update: I do not intend to offend anyone.

    I’m honestly puzzled. There seems to be such a vast disconnect between reality and what seems to be … a kind of accepted communal … reality. For Democrats.

    *shrug* oh well.

    Liberals think Conservatives are evil,
    Conservatives think Liberals are crazy.

    That’s been my observation at least. (I’m a Fiscal Conservative)

  261. Violet says:

    I think Palin put a lot of traditional feminists, like me, on the defensive, because she actually claimed the title for herself (at first) and supported certain things that Republicans have not traditionally supported (like a woman working outside the house and Title IX), thus muddying the waters a little. We spoke up against her as strongly as we did to protect our brand of feminism and distance ourselves from her. I admit I feel threatened by her anti-choice stance. I also feel threatened by her brand of Christianity, and that she doesn’t come across as a thoughtful, introspective person.

    This is an interesting point, and I’ve heard you make it before. It’s interesting to me because it’s so different from my own reaction.

    Seeing feminism spread to women like Sarah Palin makes me happy. It fills me with joy and hope. I mean that truly. I refer you to my comment #39 upthread. Or, for a much longer version, my post from last year: This is what a conservative feminist looks like.

    Your reaction is a little confusing to me. What are you trying to protect? For an analogy, I think of racism. If you’re an American in the 60s and you want to end racism, aren’t you happy to find some in the South embracing civil rights? Or do you think, “no! Unless they adopt everything I believe and vote the way I do, then I don’t want them to embrace civil rights! I want them to keep being racists! That way things don’t get muddied!”

    Maybe it’s because for me, feminism is a philosophy, not an identity. Women’s liberation is an abstract good, and I want it everywhere.

    P.S. I’m not trying to caricature your stance with that analogy — just trying to show how it seems strange to me.

  262. Amy K. says:

    I think Palin put a lot of traditional feminists, like me, on the defensive, because she actually claimed the title for herself (at first)

    Yes, what nerve.

    and supported certain things that Republicans have not traditionally supported (like a woman working outside the house and Title IX),

    Because conservatives have always been stay-at-home moms who hate sports and sew samplers all day.

    thus muddying the waters a little.

    The water is not pure. If you think it is, you will always be blindsided by anyone who is not your ideological twin.

    We spoke up against her as strongly as we did to protect our brand of feminism and distance ourselves from her.

    If only that is what had happened. If only they had spoken out strongly against her ideas. But that isn’t what happened, is it? This whole post and all the comments are about the misogyny and sexism that “your people” doled out.

    I admit I feel threatened by her anti-choice stance. I also feel threatened by her brand of Christianity,…

    You don’t even know what her brand of Christianity is. You only have the stereotype and propaganda put out by the media about her.

    Easy enough to dislike any Republican, for a feminist, in my book.

    Very instructive.

  263. chuck says:

    Carolyn,

    That is so true. I can’t find the link, but there was a thread on Democratic Underground where the whole Trig Palin rumor was cooked up soon after she was announced as the VP candidate. The whole thing was a conscious and deliberate deception. I recall that someone demurred that it wasn’t true, and was told that it was war and winning was all that mattered. The whole thing was completely amoral. Then it went to Daily Kos for a short stay, and the rest is history. Poor Andrew Sullivan, he swallowed the whole made up thing and has been obsessing about it ever since.

  264. First Time Reader says:

    I’ve struggled with feminist defenses of Palin since September. I try to figure out where the writer’s coming from, and look for claims I might have missed about why Palin is defensible. This is where you lost me:

    “I can honestly say that, aside from Nixon’s resignation speech, Sarah Palin’s address at the convention is the only Republican speech I have ever enjoyed.”

    If you don’t like Republican politics, as I trust you don’t, that’s just not believable. It was a generic speech that barely had anything to do with Palin. She was just the vehicle. It was an interesting cultural moment, but in itself it had basically no significance.

    I think old-school feminist defenses of Palin are either too simple: “someone called Palin a c— on the internet!” or too complex: “Palin is a very smart multi-faceted person who is subjected to misogyny because she represents our culture’s idea of Woman, or subverts our culture’s idea of Woman, or both.”

    I just don’t think Palin conforms to or subverts feminist narratives neatly, which leads to some frankly outlandish claims. She’s ambitious, and that’s fine, but her success is ambiguous at best. Whatever she may believe, she has not used her political power to advance anything but regressive interests. In fact, she’s hardly exercised political power at all. She’s not a working-class woman, as some commenters have suggested. And she may be savvy, but it is plainly a stretch to call her smart or informed in the way national politics demands.

    Probably plenty of people will disagree, but I think that Sarah Palin’s moment in the national spotlight just isn’t a teachable one for feminism.

  265. memomachine says:

    Hmmmm.

    @ Violet

    “Just a note: we’re not going to get into a rehash the Clinton Administration issues. Threadjack.”

    Sorry, my bad.

  266. SunGoodness says:

    Lot’s and lot’s of comments, but on the off chance you read them all I want to compliment your post. I appreciate

    They don’t want to find out that the lies are lies; they don’t want to be disabused.

    You can say that again. The FBI makes emphatic denial of an investigation and the haters say it proof that she is under investigation.

  267. apetra says:

    The Letterman rape jokes and Sarah Palin resignation comprise the moment when women in America were boxed into a mold like African Americans and Hispanics were long ago — when diversity in their political opinions were not only demeaned as illegitimate, but transformed into hatred of self. It is another tremendous loss of free discourse and thought, and another curtailment of democracy in this country.

  268. Violet says:

    “I can honestly say that, aside from Nixon’s resignation speech, Sarah Palin’s address at the convention is the only Republican speech I have ever enjoyed.”

    If you don’t like Republican politics, as I trust you don’t, that’s just not believable. It was a generic speech that barely had anything to do with Palin. She was just the vehicle. It was an interesting cultural moment, but in itself it had basically no significance.

    This makes no sense at all. And you’re saying you don’t believe me? You don’t believe that I enjoyed seeing her present herself with spunk and aplomb after the grotesque attacks, or that I savored the presence of a self-made self-described-feminist woman on the national stage?

    Probably plenty of people will disagree, but I think that Sarah Palin’s moment in the national spotlight just isn’t a teachable one for feminism.

    Oh, I agree. Teachable moment? More like a Rubicon.

  269. Toonces says:

    Just a quick aside: it’s rather anti-feminist to launch so many attacks on young feminists alleging they hate Palin because she’s attractive, married, has children or is successful. I mean, seriously, folks. The Jessica Valentis, the Jill Filopovics and the Amanda Marcottes are all attractive women who have the advantage of youth over Palin (if we really want to frame the debate that way), who are probably capable of ensnaring husbands and having children if they want them, and who are successful in their chosen professions. This is not about jealousy. Husbands, by the way, are not such a rare and desirable commodity that we should be jealous of each other for them (and yes, I have one, thankyouverymuch). Nor have all of us had half a dozen abortions each. So unfeminist to be repeating this sort of familiar accusation against women who may not like another woman for legit reasons.

    Thank you. I was trying to say that in an earlier comment. Every criticism of one woman towards another can/will be twisted into cattiness or jealousy by those who wish to see women as petty, petulant children.

  270. donna darko says:

    When I asked if liberal women were jealous I meant all women Obama supporters not the Third Wave or young feminists. They seem to hate Palin as a knee-jerk reaction.

    I was thrilled to think feminism will double its numbers, reach critical mass, get representation and pass feminist legislation. The conservative and centrist women I met this past year were more interested in feminism than Third Wave “feminists” and many on this blog were practically in tears because feminism did not accept them. It’s like the Second Wave when leftist and conservative women rebelled against sexist anti-war activists and raised consciousness of the entire society for decades to come.

  271. Carolyn says:

    “This makes no sense at all. And you’re saying you don’t believe me? You don’t believe that I enjoyed seeing her present herself with spunk and aplomb after the grotesque attacks, or that I savored the presence of a self-made self-described-feminist woman on the national stage?”

    Probably plenty of people will disagree, but I think that Sarah Palin’s moment in the national spotlight just isn’t a teachable one for feminism.

    (!!!!!!##@@!???!!!)

    “Oh, I agree. Teachable moment? More like a Rubicon.”

    Thank you Violet…it must be exhausting to read something like this and realize that the commenter hasn’t bothered to read anything you or anyone else said…and thank you for what has been the most stimulating thread I think I have ever read. I look forward to many more. Good night all.

  272. Sis says:

    Has you read Palin’s Facebook:

    “The response in the main stream media has been most predictable, ironic, and as always, detached from the lives of ordinary Americans who are sick of the “politics of personal destruction”.

  273. Amy K. says:

    Thank you. I was trying to say that in an earlier comment. Every criticism of one woman towards another can/will be twisted into cattiness or jealousy by those who wish to see women as petty, petulant children.

    I call ‘em like I see ‘em. If they want to wallow in stereotype, I can’t stop them. This is like that Larry Summers brouhaha. I remember the “feminist” who complained about him. I don’t want to get into anything Summers said, but her reaction made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

    To paraphrase: I literally couldn’t breathe. I got sick to my stomach. I thought I was going to pass out.

    WTF!!!!! Give the lady a fainting couch for hearing an opinion she doesn’t like. If a woman says something like that, then I say “embrace your Victorian mindset and quit calling yourself a feminist”

    If “feminists” want to behave toward Palin by screaming in rage and kicking trashcans, calling her sexist names, and ganging up on her like characters in the movie Heathers, then I say, “embrace your inner high school bitch clique and quit calling yourself a feminist.”

  274. Sis says:

    “Have you…?”

    (This thread has been so stimulating I can’t sleep. Or see.)

    So I’m wondering if anyone here is going to “follow” Palin’s Twitter? Do you have a Twitter, Vi?

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10231165-71.html

  275. Sameol says:

    Smart or informed in the way national politics demands?

    In that case, I wish someone had informed Bush, Obama, and Biden they don’t meet the demands of national politics, would have saved everyone a great deal of trouble. I guess I must have missed something that would make them defensible.

  276. Sis says:

    Amy I think you’re amazing. You have been part of this almost 300 post thread of mostly support for a woman, and you’ve failed to comprehend that.

    Not only that, your posts have consistently slammed women, right to the last.

  277. Amy K. says:

    Sis, I’m sorry you think that. I have been trying to answer the question as to why so-called feminists have turned on a successful woman and tried to destroy her. I thought that was what the post was about.

    I don’t slam women, I express disapproval of behavior. Please give me an example of me slamming women.

  278. Sameol says:

    Maybe Larry became an ignorant, sexist ass because he regrets not having more kids, or not staying home with the kids, or forcing a wife or gf, and he’s taking out his regret on people who make better decisions, actually understand the scientific method, and like to have at least a faint idea of what they’re talking about before they go shooting their mouths off in public and, indeed, in front of experts in the subject matter at hand.

  279. cellocat says:

    I think about some of the guys I knew in college, and I think that for some there’s a sort of titillation in having a romantic relationship with a woman who self-identifies as a feminist. It increases lefty-cred without necessitating any real commitment to true liberal philosophy. It has that exciting whiff of danger (one might be forced into self-examination in spending so much time with a person who challenges the patriarchy). But then, in order to avoid personal change, the guy in question winds up using the relationship as a means to attack the woman either outright or in more subtle ways of domestication. And then, bonus, he can dismiss feminism along with his partner.

    But the questions posited by the OP had to do with feminists, not men (most feminists are women, after all, though apparently many women are not feminists).

    I really believe that for many women the answer lies in their relationships with men, and the feeling that sticking to (and up for) feminism means giving up their connections to the men they love or need or want, and they aren’t willing to do that. I don’t agree; I think it’s possible to stay in a relationship and challenge one’s partner. In fact it’s necessary; after all, we all live in the patriarchy and we’re all affected by it, and we’ll all need to be called on ways in which we’re allowing it to sway us at one time or another.

    My POV is of course based in my own life and what I’ve seen around me. My mom let my dad undercut her with phrases like, “You’re just a prude”. My sister has allowed her husband to refuse to grow (imo, of course) in a way that’s caused her (and him too) enormous grief and excused it as just being a result of his cultural background (and therefore immutable).

    For much of my life I thought of having and raising a child as the most boring humdrum thing I could do, definitely had disdain for women who chose to stay at home to raise their kids. Mostly, I think that was based in fear: I didn’t want to become my mom, who seemed to me to give away so much of her power to my dad in a way that hurt both her and us, her children. Now I have a daughter, and realize that raising her will challenge me more than anything ever has in my life.

    One thing I don’t understand is how anyone who’s had a child could say any of the vile things that have been said of Sarah Palin and her kids. I don’t understand it with feminists, but I understand it even less with feminists who are also mothers. Anyone who’s faced the choices around whether or not to do an amnio, and if so, the choices around the results, should have a certain amount of compassion for anyone else in that situation, imo.

    And I think that the power of the in-crowd/social rejects dynamic cannot be overestimated or overstated. As soon as people form groups their collective mentality seems to descend to about the level of middle school. This is one reason why the caucuses must be abolished. Think about the really bloody groups of teenagers that have been created for the purpose of destroying a section of society. That is why Violet’s reminder that feminism is a philosophy, not a group, is so important. If one allows one’s perceptions of the members of a group to blind one to the virtues of a philosophy, then one is, imo, guilty of intellectual dishonesty, and that, too, is part of the problem. Saying, in essence, “I don’t like you, so I don’t have to listen to anything you say” is the opposite of thoughtfulness, the opposite of feminism. But an awful lot of people do it, in order to stay in good with their group.

  280. Femmostroppo Reader - July 6, 2009 — Hoyden About Town says:

    [...] Feminists and the mystery of Sarah Palin [...]

  281. SweetSue says:

    If you have the time, wander over to The Apostate’s blog and read her front page essay.
    It’s exhibit 1 in any discussion of how the Third Wave went so wrong and illustrative of what useful idiots for patriarchy these so called, younger “feminists” are.
    Apostate judges people by the accessories they sport or rather they can afford to sport and looks down on any woman who bears more than three children.
    She calls Palin “white trash” and says that anything she wears, even a business suit, will look slutty on her.
    It’s unbelievable and, to think, I used to admire The Apostate’s writing.

  282. Dan says:

    Tomecat (235): You refer to a focusdep biography of Dan Quayle to support that Bush selected him for his looks? Not a valid reference.

    I don’t go along with the “pawn” definition that bad Presidents pick a VP as a pawn to fill out their weaknessness while good presidents pick the best possible VP out there. — there is no such thing as “the best possible VP out there.”

    It’s OK that you don’t like Republican politicians… I don’t hardly like any politicians. I do think though that calling Palin a master manipulator of the media is really just saying that she’s able to speak to the people overtop of the media talking heads. Like with the Letterman incident.

  283. Drawohm2 says:

    … I’m willing to bet that Dr. Socks could use a really big cup of coffee ’bout now ..

    In a different time .. there was a parallel to how we see people treating Palin and the issues surrounding her .. a kind of hunger for ideological purity that could be demonstrated only by “eating the teargas”. Never mind that eating the teargas fed not one starving kid .. ideological purity is an end in itself .. and must be achieved.

    The practical issues of wage equity, equal treatment before the law, and so on, seem to me to be separable from the issues of reproductive rights. If there is a broad majority of opinion in this country in support of access to safe and legal abortion (and I think there is) then surely the differences of opinion as to the limits on abortion can be safely discussed. Even if that discussion is held only among women, it can be held.

    I don’t know how Sarah Palin became the “hate receptacle” Dr. Socks mentioned above. It is a mystery to me.

    I have read the many well reasoned posts above. I feel more informed, but no more confident that the discussion can move forward without some sort of agreement on boundaries. To dismiss Sarah Palin and her achievements over differences of opinion on the single issue of abortion is to demand a kind of ideological purity that has, famously, strangled other social movements.

    As to the commentary on the state of the MSM, it is important to consider that the “media” is who we decide it is. Nitwits like Andrew Sullivan are not the media any more than Rush Limbaugh is. They are entertainers in this sad comedy that we call a culture.

    I am glad for Sarah Palin. Glad that she has a strong marriage and nervy kids and an optimistic outlook. I can’t imagine why any woman would not be glad for her.

  284. britgirls says:

    Check out memeorandum. Your post is the second story from the top.

    Excellent post and commentary.

  285. leis says:

    Cellocat- I could not agree more. I think it is imperative that we challenge the people we are surrounded by. Sexism is so insidious that it is difficult to recognize sometimes, but continually calling bullshit when something is bullshit is critical. That’s why I love Violet’s posts on Sarah Palin. Even though I don’t support her politics I am stunned at the level of sexism aimed at her by Feminists and Liberals. I am gladdened that Violet along with a few other Feminist blogs are tackling it.

  286. The Mahablog » Projections, Hallucinations, and Sarah Palin says:

    [...] Dr. Violet Socks of Reclusive Leftist correctly notes that some on the Left are projecting all manner of things onto Sarah Palin that may have little to do with Sarah Palin. They ascribe opinions to Palin that Palin may not hold, or at least has not publicly expressed. I honestly don’t know where Palin stands on “abstinence only” sex ed, for example, and if Dr. Socks says Palin is in favor of contraception information in sex ed, I will take the doctor’s word on that. [...]

  287. octogalore says:

    Regarding the statements about jealousy and how it’s anti-feminist to allege that — I disagree.

    Both men and women experience jealousy.

    Moreover, the suggestions above of jealousy are not focused around young women, but on women who talk about Palin in a certain way. To claim that young bloggers such as Valenti, Marcotte, etc. cannot be jealous of Palin b/c they are young and attractive suggests that these are the only reasons women could be jealous of another. Men experience jealousy on other grounds — so do women.

    To claim these young bloggers, who run good-sized blogs, could not be jealous of Palin (who ran a state) on grounds of success, is quite odd. Most if not all of us here cannot rival Palin in terms of what is conventionally known as success. She was governor, she was up for VP, she was by all accounts a charismatic national figure. Even now, she can make millions on the speaking circuit, at the very least. I would find it hard to believe any of the named bloggers come close to fitting such a description, eminently capable as they are.

    I am not claiming they are jealous of Palin. I cannot back up such a claim. But neither can we assert unequivocally that it’s impossible.

  288. gxm17 says:

    Alwaysthinking said:
    Someone at Murphy’s place described the bashing of Palin as “Venus Envy.”

    “Venus envy” is a wonderfully apt and clever phrase. I don’t mean to take anything away from it but just want to give credit where credit is due, the pioneering theorist Karen Horney coined the phrase “womb envy” over half a century ago. Not to engage in pedantry, but as I’ve been clearing out my father’s library I find I’m doing more reading than clearing and have been astonished by the amount of women’s history and achievements that are simply not common knowledge, but should be. And this, I believe, is part of the problem we are know discussing. Most folks have heard of Freud’s penis envy, but few have even heard of Horney much less her theory.

  289. SweetSue says:

    Well said, octogalore

  290. Erin, aka Queenofspain says:

    Here are my reasons for NOT liking/supporting/caring about Palin. All policy related.

    My reasons are issue driven and valid and have zero to do with rumors or her hair.

    http://queenofspainblog.com/2008/10/04/opening-some-weapons-grade-hate/

  291. mary martha says:

    “Just a quick aside: it’s rather anti-feminist to launch so many attacks on young feminists alleging they hate Palin because she’s attractive, married, has children or is successful”

    ——————————————–

    But here is the thing…. The actions of self described ‘feminists’ towards Sarah Palin (and her family) have made me (and my friends) anti-feminist. I now wear that label proudly.

    It’s interesting, because though I wasn’t a self described feminist before this incident I at least imagined that those ho were had good motives. Now, with their actions towards the Palins I don’t believe that in the least.

    If standing up to the bullies in the ‘mean girls’ clique that has become feminism means that I will be accused of being ‘anti-feminist’ then FANTASTIC. I want to be ‘anti’ whatever led these women to attack a successful woman, her 14 year old daughter and her infant son.

    As a single professional woman with a couple of graduate degrees working in a make dominated industry. I am sure feminists think that I should be part of their ‘sisterhood’ but I do not want anything to do with their club of hate.

    Whoever first brought up the movie ‘Heathers’ was spot on. I think from now on that is what I will be calling feminists – ‘Heathers’ is just the right image (at least for women in their early 30s like me).

    ———————————-
    “She’s ambitious, and that’s fine, but her success is ambiguous at best.”
    ———————————–

    A word about the ‘feminists’ who are attacking Sarah Palin as somehow ‘unsuccessful’. Seriously??? What state are you governor of? When were you a VP candidate of one of the two national parties? WHat is it that leads feminists today to constantly move the goalpoasts and make it impossible for their fellow woman to be considered successful? Just because Palin is not successful in accomplishing what *you* would like a woman to do doesn’t mean that she is not a success.

  292. Sis says:

    Mary Martha, if you ever were a feminist, it’s not showing. I don’t see anything to choose from between you and the feminists were talking about, which are feminists who do not understand the philosophy of feminism. You and they have a lot in common, in that, and in how you thoughtlessly attack other women. And whoeee. It’s all here, on the record.

    I’m very suspicious of people like you who turn up on a feminist board using an addy such as you have, posting the women hate that you do.

    I’m old, and my time if both limited and valuable. I don’t suffer fools, even for someone I respect as much as I do Vi.

  293. yttik says:

    I think one reason some of us perceive the attacks on Palin as being more intense than those directed at Hillary is because of the obscenity, the graphic, violent, and vile things being said. And the way these graphic gender specific attacks are allowed to stand, are tolerated. With Hillary they would call her frigid, they would call her a bitch. With Palin they flat out say in mixed company, “somebody should staple that cu&ts labia shut.” Then they pass photoshopped pictures of exactly that around. The amount of violence being suggested and absolutely reveled in is astounding.

    What concerns me the most is that we now live in a culture where saying something like that in front of other women is viewed as socially acceptable. Nobody even has the decency to be ashamed. The consequence of this is that every woman who participates in politics, including discussions on the internet, can now be subjected to vaginal comments, to graphic sexual attacks. I survived Hillary’s career without ever having graphic threats made against my body parts, but since the primary it’s become standard operating procedure. The sexual violence behind what is being said about Palin is frightening.

  294. leis says:

    Mary Martha-
    I certainly hope you were speaking up for Hillary and Chelsea when they were (are) the ones getting trashed. In case you hadn’t noticed this is a FEMINIST blog speaking out against the unfair treatment of a woman most of us don’t agree with politically. Jesus Christ wake the fuck up people. This thread is full of the same old slanders against women that you are all outraged about when it’s done to Sarah. How about doing a little critical thinking?

  295. Tomecat says:

    Dan,
    I don’t want to derail this thread by going too much deeper into Quayle, good/bad presidents etc.
    You and I are probably not all that far apart (I don’t like many politicians either), and I didn’t make an argument that any of the above-mentioned strategies were good or bad, just that they were used. Yeah, that reference was weak, but it was the first one I found. I do remember hearing Bush I talk about his reasons for choosing Quayle, and it stood out in my mind at the time.
    As my comment relates to this post, of course there’s no one best candidate. The difference for me, as a feminist, is the way the first woman to get to the white house will be scrutinized and used as a stick to beat all women with. For that reason, I think it’s important that we (as in feminists) work to support the strongest, best prepared woman we can find, whatever party she represents. I can dream that that person won’t find it necessary or even expedient to demonize women of the opposing party, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

    As far as Palin and the media are concerned, she has turned negative after negative into positives for herself. For example, who else in recent memory has been able to turn a late night joke made in poor taste into a week long national discussion? She’s good.

    This post exists because of Sarah Palin, and it’s the first time I’ve been involved in a discussion where lefties and righties and everyone in between are speaking to each other without resorting to ugly attacks. There may be hope for us yet.

  296. donna darko says:

    Feminism is a philosophy. I proudly call myself a feminist, liberal, progressive, leftist and reclaim these words for myself.

    The class factor makes it less likely establishment feminists will be jealous of Palin and I was talking about older women Obama supporters to be blunt.

    I see larger patterns at work. Saudi princes think it’s time to bomb Iran right when the clerics say Khameini is illegitimate, Obama thinks it’s a good idea because Saudi princes are the Big Daddy financially and geopolitically, they’re the only ones Obamabows down to literally and figuratively, women were behind the protests and women’s uprising may even be the reason they cracked down on the opposition to the election, the left was hysterical about Clinton and Palin and took them down. As Violet makes clear here, it’s all about the patriarchy and fear of women’s power. It’s important liberal, conservative, American and Iranian women join together and defeat the patriarchy. The world depends on us.

  297. femina says:

    I agree, sis. mary martha is sounding to me more like a sexist/misogynist, of whatever gender, the more she/he comments. (Troll alert, may be in order here.)

    mm — You haven’t been fair to feminists’ efforts, for example, to call Letterman out with his Palin joke, which indicates to me that you are not well-informed nor reasonable, and have come here with other motives.

    I’ve seen your modus operandi many times before: come on a feminist blog and write an edgy first comment for attention then try to take over the blog. Aint going to happen.

    Because you’re busted!

  298. madjuana says:

    As complicated and convoluted as it all seems, and however much we might like to blame Obama and company for creating an atmosphere steeped in misogyny, I feel that women are totally responsible for permitting the hate against one of their own. Your garden variety Third wave feminist has not a clue about consciousness-raising, women’s history past and recent, and cling to single-issues like abortion because they lack the context of feminism. Lesbians and second wave feminists have a history of activism, from escorting women to abortion clinics under extremely volatile conditions for organizations like NARAL, supporting the plight of breast cancer surviviors, have been active in AIDS demonstrations, marched through city streets in Take Back the Night rallies, to name a few. 21st century feminists have a lot to learn and a lot of standing up for others. I have not heard or seen them stand up for me and my partner of 30 years when Obama’s Justice Department compared my relationshop to pedophilia and incest. Why? Is it the same reason why they can’t comprehend that a strike against one woman is harmful to all women, thinking that calling Sarah Palin Caribou Barbie is funny and not denigrating. We need some serious CR work here, without it we’re doomed. I’m sick to death of aborton being the litmus test—how self-serving and narrow is that? As long as we accept the patriarchal terms of feminism, or political correctness, we will always be divided and easily conquered.

  299. anne says:

    Hilary G, thank you very much for your post and being big enough to own up to misogyny and provide us with some insight into it. Most people do not have the characters to do that.

    It is fascinating the things that set people off about Palin, like when you talk about her wink:

    “I didn’t like how she winked; she was trying to be cutesy.”

    It really did offend a lot of people, a response which I am struggling to understand. It’s interesting that you felt like somehow she represented you therefore her behaviour would reflect badly on you. Sorry this isn’t to single you out, it’s just such a strong reaction to a very small thing, and you aren’t at all unique in feeling it.

    The other thing that interests me is people’s reactions to Palin’s appearance, calling her slutty or white trash or whatever. Now I’m a radical feminist so I shouldn’t be paying attention to fashion, but it was hard not to notice that Palin actually dressed and presented herself very well indeed. I don’t think there is much she could have worn that would have improved on her campaign wardrobe. It seems however, like everything else about her, the hatred and lies come first and then they just get tagged on to her – true or not. So if Palin is “white trash” then of course her wardrobe and hair must be “slutty” and “lower class” too. It doesn’t matter that she was wearing some very nice tailored power suits in colours that really suited her, or that her hair looks to me like “power hair”, the kind that rich or powerful women very often have particularly the right wing kind, apparently if it’s on Palin it must be straight out of the trailer park. That’s why I’m also not convinced that Apostate has really gotten to the bottom of her feelings about Palin because what she describes and what we see of Palin are actually two different things.

    I know that very sexually attractive women do sometimes get accusations like that thrown at them, just because people do find them so appealling that they don’t look at their clothes and simply assume they must be dressing in a provocative way, even if they aren’t. Then again maybe it’s the pornographic lens that so many people see things through these days. Palin looks like a conventionally very good looking woman, dressed conservatively, but according to the pornhounds, she looked like a porn star (and thus could be treated and talked about like one). They couldn’t see her any other way. Certainly the sexually violent sadism and rape imagery that Yttik mentions would point to that explanation.

    (Violet, this is a brilliant post and discussion you created. I know it’s a complete cheek of me to ask but would there be any chance also to have a thread to discuss men’s reactions to Palin. After all the 3rd wave fauxminists and blogger gurlz are only following their lead.)

  300. Sis says:

    We’ve all been pretty much ignoring them anyway.

  301. AM says:

    Although he begins with: “She should have said no.”, and does sort of blame her for not doing better, Ross Douthat’s op-ed piece in today’s NYT

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/06/opinion/06ross.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper

    does finger some of the lies For example:

    “(And no, gentle reader, Palin did not insist on abstinence-only sex education, slash funds for special-needs children or inject creationism into public schools.)”

    and does name the real issues:

    “All of this had something to do with ordinary partisan politics. But it had everything to do with Palin’s gender and her social class”.

    [snip]

    “Sarah Palin is beloved by millions because her rise suggested, however temporarily, that the old American aphorism about how anyone can grow up to be president might actually be true.

    But her unhappy sojourn on the national stage has had a different moral: Don’t even think about it.”

    Ah, the class thing. I was very impressed with the anthology Working-Class Women in the Academy: Laborers in the Knowledge Factory, published by U of Mass Press in 1993, a collection of articles by working-class women on their experiences in academia. Lots of interaction details. Amazon has it. Well worth the read.

    In the early days of the Womens Liberation Movement, some of the small groups had members who were working class, middle class, and upper class. It was my observation that the working class women and upper class women had more in common with each other than either class had with the middle class women. For one thing, they both knew where the bottom line was.

  302. Toonces says:

    No one said that it was anti-feminist to say that women could be jealous of Palin. It’s anti-feminist to suggest that the true reason some women have reacted with such scorn for Palin is because she’s prettier than them and can get a man when they can’t, rather than anything more complex or substantial. At least one of the bloggers mentioned lives in NYC, model capital of the USA (at least), where if she flew into an uncontrollable rage every time she encountered a woman more attractive than she is would have garnered the headline “Feminist Blogger Murders Model” by now. There’s just no reason to assume that this is all based on ‘that bitch is prettier than me!’, other than projection, perhaps.

  303. sister of ye says:

    If there is evidence of Palin being “anti-choice” politically, I haven’t seen it. In fact, I believe she stated (as have many male politicians) that she opposes it personally, but respects the law. If you have credible specifics contrary, please enlighten me.

    MM & others, you can be opposed to abortions for yourself, and allow other women to make their choices according to their beliefs and consciences. You believe that a fertilized egg should have the same legal rights as a fully formed person. Fine. Don’t force your opinion into law for people like me who think that is an absurd position scientifically and theologically (which I’d explain, but too off-topic here).

    I also find interesting the supposed dichotomy between “working women” and “ordinary,” lower-class stay-at-home mothers. People are so unaware that history is not the 1950s, where union-won higher wages and FDR’s social-economic programs enabled lower-class women to stay home with their children.

    Most women thru history have worked like hell, in the home and outside. Those new-fangled “working women” so many are programmed to resent have the audacity to want the freedom, prestige and even power that men earn thru the same work (sometimes – see old boys network).

  304. Dear Pro-Life Community: We Don’t Trust You. That’s Why. « Oooh, nuance! says:

    [...] Violet Socks’ place, there is an incredible discussion going on regarding why mainstream feminists trashed Sarah Palin so viciously, and even made up lies about [...]

  305. Lori says:

    Having spent many years as a Democratic party activist, women within the party have always been confident that the men, while imperfect, basically supported feminist goals and thought of themselves as pro-feminist. I think that assumption was at the basis for women aligning themselves with men inside the party against Clinton. Some women were eager to prove that they weren’t going to vote on the basis of gender. And because we have always assumed that the Democratic party genuinely supported the goals of mainstream feminism, I think it made it easy for women who were not thinking to pick up the anti-Clinton/anti-Palin talking points and run with them.

    Obama and his campaign have done a tremendous amount of damage to our cultural discussion. I’m betting that there are a lot of qualified women that are looking at the buzz saw that Clinton and Palin walked into and are thinking, “no way am I running for office”. I know that Clinton knew what she was getting into, but even I was stunned by the tsunami of hatred that came her way from within the party. Over at DK, the constant cry was that she was a pro-war hawk that was going to bomb the world into oblivion – as if anyone could legitimately look at her record and find anything that could justify any of that. Next, she was pro-corporate whore who would sell the nation out and turn us into a fascist/corporate state. Then she was a racist. Then she was a fucking whore. Palin came along and the machine was so revved up that they just went at her full bore. The hate was and is stunning.

    I don’t know how we walk back the rhetoric that Obama himself has legitimized. There is a tremendous amount of education that needs to be done. You say to people that reducing women to cunts is no different than reducing african Americans to niggers and long time liberals will tell you that they only call Palin that because she deserves it.

    I understand the vituperation that Coulter provokes because Coulter advocates violence and even death against people she disagrees and rhetorically strips people of their humanity but Palin doesn’t do any of that stuff – indeed, she is a fairly moderate Republican in a party almost completely lacking moderates. The left has assigned Palin political positions that she does not hold in order to justify their behavior against her. That’s bad.

    But women are getting angry. There are three women in my building who were big Obama supporters who are now furious at what is transpiring. One of them went so far as to strip her Obama bumper sticker off her car.

    I hear the thunder. It’s a hard rain a gonna fall.

  306. octogalore says:

    Toonces, I did a word search on jealous here to see what commenters may have stated “the true reason some women have reacted with such scorn for Palin is because she’s prettier than them and can get a man when they can’t, rather than anything more complex or substantial.” I cannot find this argument, perhaps you can help me out.

    Also, are you seriously arguing that no woman in NY can have jealousy as a (note “a” not “the”) motivation? Because we would know it if she did? If you are that perceptive, you’re wasting your time in bloglandia.

    Finally, I agree with you that if anyone were (as I don’t think anyone is) arguing that jealousy were “the true reason,” it’s a bad argument. It would take dislike and resentment added on. I am frequently jealous of both other women and other men who have things I want. It rarely if ever affects how I talk about or deal with them. I imagine the same is true for others.

  307. alwaysfiredup says:

    Oh Dr. Socks, I really, really love your blog. Even when I leave irritated I keep coming back. There’s nothing else like it on these intertubes.

    Lori said: “Some women were eager to prove that they weren’t going to vote on the basis of gender.”

    I hear this a lot. I liked Hillary and when Palin came out I liked her too. Friends criticized me saying that I would support anyone with lady parts. Why is it such a bad thing to support a woman who is a viable candidate for high office on that basis alone? I was neither surprised nor offended that Obama won what, 98% of the AA vote? Of course he did. It helps prove that black men can do anything white men can do, and that’s great. I’m ready for tangible evidence that women can do anything men can do, what is wrong with that?

  308. SweetSue says:

    What concerns me the most is that we now live in a culture where saying something like that in front of other women is viewed as socially acceptable. Nobody even has the decency to be ashamed. The consequence of this is that every woman who participates in politics, including discussions on the internet, can now be subjected to vaginal comments, to graphic sexual attacks. I survived Hillary’s career without ever having graphic threats made against my body parts, but since the primary it’s become standard operating procedure. The sexual violence behind what is being said about Palin is frightening.

    You know, back in the day, we old style feminists, by which I mean actual feminists, had “take back the night” marches against violent pornography and rape. Maybe we should start some kind of “take back the blogs” action.
    Of course, many have by leaving Daily Kos, Eschaton, etc., and starting their own gathering places.
    I sure do love it here.

  309. gxm17 says:

    Lori said: I hear the thunder. It’s a hard rain a gonna fall.

    Thank heavens! Don’t know about anyone else but I’m ready for a good soaking.

  310. Apostate says:

    If there is evidence of Palin being “anti-choice” politically, I haven’t seen it.

    She calls herself pro-life. To be “pro-life” personally, but not politically/legally has another name – “pro-choice.” If I say I’m pro-abortion, does that mean I personally stand ready to have an abortion? No. I’ve never had one and hope I never have to. I’m pro-choice because I want every woman to make that decision for herself. Palin is pro-life, which has a very clear meaning in our politics.

    Violet, to your point about why it should make me nervous when a woman like Palin calls herself a feminist. It’s an interesting point. In theory, I would’ve thought I’d be glad too – I want the movement to have broad-based appeal. I think there was a sense that she was diluting our principles, perhaps. If she’s a feminist and Republican men of the most misogynist stripe like and admire her, then they hate my type of a feminist for a reason, and not because they have anything against women’s rights. Do you see what I mean?

    Let me explain that more. You and I know that misogynist/sexist conservative men hate feminists and feminism because they hate what we stand for. But they like to pretend they hate us for legit reasons, like we don’t like families, we don’t like men, we want to restructure society so that we can victimize men and kill babies at will, etc. Getting a Sarah Palin to pit against us gives them a great defense whereby they can pretend they have nothing against powerful women, or women’s rights, they just don’t like insane man-hating bitches like those liberal feminists.

    In my world, Palin enables conservatives to co-opt and use against us a philosophy that conservatives have done little to advance. We STILL come out looking like the bad guys, even if she agrees with some of our principles.

    There is also the whole dynamic in which conservatives LOVE women, but only if they fit a certain pattern, except that they make exceptions when it’s one of their own. So they get to champion a Palin, but if she’d been a liberal, I bet they would’ve criticized her for not staying home with the kids. As it is, they still did, but it was muted, because there is an unspoken understanding among conservatives that if the woman accepts your premises without question (husbands and families are paramount, Christian values are supreme, etc.) then she should be basically to do what she wants.

    But even if us liberal feminists do the same things as a Palin, we are demonized because we don’t accept their premises as true.

    Do you know what I’m getting at?

    Basically, they end up using a woman to prove to us that we are dried up man-hating unattractive harridans who subscribe to feminism not because we’re strong, but because we like to play victim and can’t get a man.

    And so my immediate reaction is, well, she isn’t “more” of a feminist than us, and STFU. It pisses me off, the whole conservative attitude around women and feminism. It’s poisonous. And I want it to stay away from my movement, which enabled the Sarah Palins of this country to get ahead, but who will not acknowledge that her party is the one that stood in the way of every feminist advance while the other side fought for it.

  311. Apostate says:

    SweetSue, please stop lying about what I said. Others can read for themselves. I certainly never would call anyone but myself a slut, for one. And why are you pretending you liked my blog? You’ve never read me before.

    I wasn’t, by the way, expecting commendation for my classism. My blog is a very open and honest blog where I often admit horrible things about myself. So I’m not perfect. Big deal. It’s my space for introspection.

    The classism discussion is separate in my mind, since that is not the *basis* of my dislike of Palin, it just makes it even easier to other her. My real beef is with her politics, which is what I’m trying to discuss here. God knows her politics are a weighty enough matter all on their own.

  312. DQ says:

    Thanks for this article. Most of my political views are staunchly liberal, and while I don’t agree with Palin’s politics, I can’t help but admire her as far as at least being a successful woman goes. Yet I feel if I am to admit that to my friends, the way they respond, I may as well admit that I eat babies and strangle kittens, and I’m sick of feeling like that.

    Personally, as some others have alluded, I think the hatred of Palin ties in with bi-partisanship. Politics is now something where we apparently “take sides” in, and root for “our team”–NO MATTER WHAT. To her detractors, Palin’s political party defines her, not her actual words or deeds. BECAUSE she is a Republican, she must hate women and non-whites and punish rape victims. They re-write the truth to fit their image of what a Republican is, because they are the Other Side, certainly not a human being with personal, individual views and values.

    And BECAUSE the Democrat party must apparently be the “feminist party,” then Sarah Palin being presented as a feminist must therefore be faulty, and they must invent everything they possibly can to disprove that fact. Because if Sarah Palin really is a feminist, but they disagree with her, then their own identities as Democrats and feminists are threatened, and they will fight beyond all rationality to preserve the integrity of their own heavily distorted sense of identity, even if it means re-inventing a woman out of whole cloth to do it. To them, feminist and Democrat are shallow labels to cling to, rather than having any deep substance or meaning. As long as they’re secure in their own political identity, who cares if some hard-working policy-maker and mother gets screwed?

    TLDR: Excessive hatred of Sarah Palin exists to boost the self-esteem of some Democrats’/so-called feminists’.

  313. mary martha says:

    “Mary Martha, if you ever were a feminist, it’s not showing.”
    ———————–

    Of course I was never a feminist. As I said in my first comment I was never welcome in that particular club. In the past I respected feminists and I believed that they were people of good will who did want women to succeed. With the treatment of Palin (and her family) I no longer think that.

    ——————————
    “You and they have a lot in common, in that, and in how you thoughtlessly attack other women. And whoeee. It’s all here, on the record.

    I’m very suspicious of people like you who turn up on a feminist board using an addy such as you have, posting the women hate that you do. ”
    ——————————

    I am sorry – where did I attack other women? I have only said that I will now stand up to the mean girl, bullying and hate that many people call ‘feminism’.

    I don’t hate. I don’t have the time for that. Rather, I have come to realize that it is up to me (and the other women like me who feminists claim to speak for) to stand up and say ‘No the feminists do NOT speak for me!’.

    I read feminist blogs because I find them interesting. I agree with much of what they say. I rarely (if ever) post in the comments because I know I am not welcome in the feminist club (no deviation from feminist orthodoxy allowed). I just couldn’t resist responding to this really great post and super interesting comment thread.

    You can dismiss me and call me a troll (not very kind thing to call a woman) if you would like and hope that will shut me up. However, you should know that for many women the actions of feminists towards Sarah Palin and her family have changed things. They have changed how we view feminists, and at least for me they have finally given me the courage to stand up and say this is not right.

    ——————-
    “Mary Martha-
    I certainly hope you were speaking up for Hillary and Chelsea when they were (are) the ones getting trashed.”
    ——————

    I absolutely, positively was. I also spoke out against the attacks of Hillary Clinton during the primary. I may not agree with the positions of Hillary Clinton but I would rather discuss the ISSUES I disagree with her about than get dragged into the cesspool of attacks that were aimed at her for things other than her positions. I also spoke out against the HORRIBLE treatment of Janet Reno in the 90s. She was savaged but that seems to have been forgotten.

    I really think the difference is that the attacks in the 90s were from people who you expected to attack women who were outside of the box. I *knew* that they were the enemies of women’s advancement. With Sarah Palin the attacks have been all the more disturbing because they came from those who claimed to be for women… but Palin showed that they are only for *some* women.

    The great quote in the original post put it perfectly “it’s like the NAACP sponsoring a lynching. The mind boggles.”

  314. Toonces says:

    I don’t have time to go through the entire thread but here are some of the comments that raised flags for me:

    She was everything they wanted to be and beautiful too, but without getting dumped by her boyfriend when she got pregnant, without being convinced she had to get an abortion, without being serially emotionally abused by men who “weren’t really that into her.”

    An awful, awful lot of those Jezebel typw feminist women with a completely irrational, incandescent rage toward palin had the same rage toward H. Clinton. Hell, a lot of conservative women who like palin had that same completely irrational incandescent rage toward Hillary. Was that because they were filled with resentment for making the wrong life choices and envy her beauty, too?

    Yes. That, and both Hillary and Sarah have really hot husbands :P

    Palin is white, heterosexual, happily married, a mother, not a member of the academic elite, and not someone who owes existing power mongers in the faux feminist establishment structures and coalitions for her position. She’s not in the clique; she’s the same-old woman-competitor, the target of catty envy.

    When did young feminists become so much like freepers?
I hate to say this but is it possible that the phoney feminists hate Sarah Palin with such frenzy because she’s truly beautiful?
That’s not the whole story, of course, but it can’t be dismissed when analyzing the knee jerk vitriol.
Of course, that’s an answer that the patriarchal males would love–catfight!-but I have the uncomfortable feeling that sexual jealousy is part of the answer.
Great post and great comments. This is fast becoming my go to virtual community: so much food for thought.
I too am childless and very much regret that but I blame no one(including myself) and nothing for that pain, well, dull ache.
    JULY 5TH, 2009 AT 6:22 AM EST

    I think it’s jealousy, pure and simple. Sarah Palin is more of a threat than Hillary because she’s younger, she’s beautiful, she apparently has a happy marriage, she has five children, and she became governor on her own merits, without having a husband or other male relative in politics to campaign for her.

    I was going to say that maybe there is an extra special ingredient of sex involved in the Palin attacks with the young 3rd wavers – that they are jealous that their boyfriends want to fuck Palin, but then I remembered that 3rd wavers hated Hillary because their boyfriends *didn’t* want to fuck her. They are women who have been trained to see everything through a male lens, and unless they do some serious work on themselves and apply a bit of thought and feminist analysis, they will continue to act as the boys’ cheerleaders/executioners of uppity females.

    I also think it’s ‘interesting’ that men who have intense dislike or even hatred towards male politicians aren’t reduced to being ‘juss jeluss!’

  315. gxm17 says:

    Mary Martha,

    I shouldn’t need to point out to you that there are feminists (right here on this board) who are trying to combat the misogynistic attacks on Palin, or any other woman seeking political office. Please don’t lump all feminists in with the women who feel free to heap abuse on Sarah Palin because she is “conservative.”

    All women, whether conservative or liberal, young or old, pretty or plain, are targets and we will all need to stand together if we’re going to make strides against the vile sexist attacks that have, sadly, become the norm.

  316. octogalore says:

    Aside from the “pure and simple” comment, Toonces, I think the ones you quoted are more nuanced than you give them credit for. The discussion is primarily about jealousy or resentment being one factor in many. I don’t hear any statements that this isn’t also true for how men react to men; it’s just that the subject right now is a woman.

    Additionally, none of us like this, and it has nothing to do with inherent inequality. But, patriarchy encourages women to compete against each other for long term relationships with men, more so than vice versa, as women are confronted with ideals to meet in terms of appearance, and also on average, more economically vulnerable than men. So acknowledging that there is a different dynamic at play is not anti-feminist on the part of the speaker(s) but in fact revealing of a deep understanding of the anti-feminist environment we all find ourselves in.

  317. Barbie76 says:

    Paperdoll wondered why people didn’t bother to find out about Obama.
    People did.
    People found that he voted for the worst piece of environmental legislation in history-dick cheneys energy bill.
    People found he promised to filibuster Fisa- then voted for it.
    People found his political mentor for 19 years went to prison (during the primary) for pay to play politics.
    None of these facts could hold a candle to Palin hate.

  318. SweetSue says:

    This is the response to Apostate’s meditation on classism which she would not publish on her site.
    Well, hell, it’s her blog and I’m all of a sudden, banned.
    Why did you remove my comment? That was a first.
    What I said was that judging people by their accessories ( I mean, really, sunglasses??) is a character flaw that requires you to do some serious work on yourself.
    I ‘m sad to see a young woman whose writing I have admired sink to calling another woman slutty “white trash” and objecting to the very personal decision to have more children than you deem acceptable.
    Back in the day, we had sayings like “Sisterhood is powerful” and “Sisters don’t trash sisters.”
    Perhaps you could bone up on your history,
    I don’t know what your concept of feminism is but you have more in common with Perez Hilton than Gloria Steinem.

    I’m no blogstalker and, if you think I was harsh, I invite anyone who’s interested to read her original piece. It’s quite an eye opener.
    I don’t include a link because she on the blogroll.
    BTW, this is a wonderful conversation.

  319. Apostate says:

    Since my comments are in moderation while other people are free to spread lies about me, I won’t be participating in this conversation any further. This thread is full of conservative women who measure their worth by Jane Austen standards.

  320. thistle says:

    “As a single professional woman with a couple of graduate degrees working in a make dominated industry. ”

    We seem to have a similar background. I am proud to consider myself a feminist. I would not be working in a male-dominated position (and probably you neither) if it wasn’t for feminists.

  321. Ellen D says:

    I recently saw an old interview with a woman after the Police force began to take women. She was convinced it would put every husband in danger.

    There’s no way to fight these irrational women except to support Hillary and Sarah no matter what they decide to do and drown them out with our supportive voices.

  322. Toonces says:

    It was clear Carmonn, I was quoting the hot-husbands part but needed to include what it was in reply to. Although, I’ve never thought of Hillary as unattractive. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I spoze.

  323. Carmonn says:

    Oh, I felt bad about that aspect the minute it was posted, I think Hillary is gorgeous, personally, but so many have such a reflexive, irrational hate for her they look at her and don’t even see a human being. :)

  324. london gal says:

    First off I should say congratulations on an interesting blog – and this is my first post so if I violate any etiquette then apologies in advance.

    Since you seem refreshingly genuine in your attempt to understand an opposing point of view I thought I’d offer up my own feelings on this. I can’t shed any light on the more violent feelings you mention as I don’t “hate” Palin. For the record, I completely agree with you that violent or sexist attacks on anyone (especially on their children) are abhorrent. I can’t comment on what motivated any such attacks, being over here in London I haven’t heard/read them, but if they’re anything like you describe I’d guess that the authors of such attacks have some serious psychological issues to deal with. But I have read plenty of commentary attacking Palin and what she stands for in an emphatic but non-violent way, which is pretty much my own opinion so I’ll try to explain why I feel that way. While I don’t hate her as a person, I do intensely dislike what she represents.

    I am a feminist and a liberal (even by European standards, which probably makes me a “radical” on the US political spectrum). However, I was happy to see Margaret Thatcher elected British PM and Angela Merkel as German Chancellor, even though they’re both conservatives and I oppose most of their policies. I preferred Obama, but would have been just as happy to see Hillary Clinton win the Presidency last year. I’d love to see a woman become US President or VP – but not Sarah Palin. I’d support virtually anyone running against her. Hell, I’d vote for George Bush rather than Sarah Palin.

    I’m not jealous of her looks – I’m not unattractive but I’d be a very busy bee if I were going to be jealous of any woman better looking than me!

    I don’t resent her ability to attract a man, having a very tasty one of my own, and one who has interests more in line with mine than salmon fishing and snowmobiling (and that’s not a snide criticism – each to their own).

    I don’t envy her success either, since I’m progressing well in the career I’ve always dreamt of.

    Nor do I resent her combination of children with career, as so far I have never felt the slightest inclination to have kids. My partner and I have discussed it and might at some stage either adopt or foster, but neither of us want to do even that right now.

    I even agree with Palin on her abortion stance – I don’t think it should be illegal but wouldn’t have an abortion myself. I’m ambivalent about the moral rights and wrongs of abortion and I don’t think that automatically disqualifies me from being a feminist. I also think it’s admirable that she chose to have and care for a child with a disability, and anyone making fun of her for this (or making fun of the child) is despicable.

    Sorry for the (IMO unnecessary) personal details, but these seem to be the reasons why some commenters here think people dislike Sarah Palin – out of some kind of latent jealousy. I must say I find that assumption not only simplistic but unworthy of any feminist. Plus, to make it stick logically, you’d have to demonstrate that people who dislike Palin are equally hostile to the plethora of other good-looking, successful women out there. Hillary Clinton for example, who is attractive, has both a husband and a daughter, and has far more impressive political achievements to her name than Sarah Palin.

    I know some people here have said that Clinton also attracted the kind of hostility now directed at Palin – perhaps that’s true in the US (though I haven’t seen evidence of it), but here in Europe it’s like apples and oranges. Sure, a lot of people don’t support Clinton’s political stances, many even dislike her personally (same as with any politician), but she never attracted the universal contempt from all sides of the political spectrum that Sarah Palin does. For one simple reason: Hillary Clinton has a brain and isn’t afraid to use it. Same with Margaret Thatcher. I disagreed with most of her opinions, but at least I knew she’d thought them through.

    What is so offputting about Sarah Palin (for me) is that she seems to glorify ignorance. Now there’s nothing condemnable about ignorance – we’re all ignorant about many things. But when someone sees nothing wrong with it, even sees it as a positive attribute, and seems to think that a lack of knowledge understanding is no impediment to making decisions, that’s truly disturbing. It leads to the classicly simplistic black-and-white with-us-or-against-us world view that is another of Palin’s hallmarks. It’s also what made George Bush such a laughing stock and characteristics that are good comedy material in normal life become actively dangerous when they belong to people in positions of power.

    The absence of any evidence that she is able to consider different points of view, to look critically at herself or at the foundation of her own opinions, is what makes her seem so dangerous to me. I find the idea of a Sarah Palin presidency terrifying, much as I found the idea of a George Bush presidency terrifying (and nothing in the ensuing 8 years changed my mind on that one!). And Sarah Palin makes George Bush look like an intellectual titan – an impressive feat in itself.

    As I said, I’d love to see a female US President, but if the 1st ever woman president were Sarah Palin I think it’d be a disaster for feminism, because she personifies many of the reasons why sexists claim women aren’t capable of handling power. Just like I would have despaired at the idea of Jesse Jackson being the 1st black president, because he fits too many of the “angry black man” stereotypes, and thus would be a gift to racists who would spend the next 4 years pointing at him saying “see, this is why you shouldn’t elect black people”. However idiotic George Bush made himself look, nobody would point at him and say “this is why you shouldn’t elect straight white men”.

    That’s why I’m so relieved that the 1st black president is someone who seems intelligent, calm and level-headed. And that’s why I think the first woman president has to be someone like Clinton who is evidently intelligent, rational and stable. Anything else will just reinforce the old stereotypes and do more harm than good, IMHO.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post and hope some of it is useful to the debate!

    As for quantum entanglement, I can’t be much help but I do remember my first quantum physics lecture at university, where the lecturer quoted Richard Feynman: “Nobody understands quantum mechanics”. It’s one of those subjects where if you ever think you actually get it, you’re almost certainly wrong.

  325. tinfoil hattie says:

    I think it’s jealousy, pure and simple. Sarah Palin is more of a threat than Hillary because she’s younger, she’s beautiful, she apparently has a happy marriage, she has five children, and she became governor on her own merits, without having a husband or other male relative in politics to campaign for her.

    This presupposes that feminist women all want husbands and babies, and that we all strive to be beautiful. And, we all have/had the chance to be young, so I don’t understand that point at all.

  326. Kali says:

    I believe I said she should demolish his argument and not swoon. Demolishing an argument doesn’t connote enlightening him or shutting the f- up.

    It’s been done to death. There were several people who tried to educate Summers, citing studies he ignored repeatedly. He wasn’t interested in learning and did not come prepared before spouting off. There are too many people demanding that women work tirelessly to educate men who are not interested in learning. Enough already.

    It’s interesting how Hopkins, an award-winning scientist with amazing contributions to medicine and science is held up as irrational vs. the alleged paragon of rationality, Summers who is not even a scientist and has made extremely stupid statements which would have derailed his career a long time ago if he had been a woman.

    Regarding Palin, I think most people, feminists included have this idea of the ideal woman based on the patriarchal idea of the ideal woman, all-sacrificing, self-effacing, without sexual agency, always putting others before herself. To be in politics, or to be in any kind of powerful position requires the opposite of that. That is why women seeking power are hated whereas men seeking power are seen as just doing the natural thing. That is why any kind of imperfection in a powerful woman is seized upon to beat her down with whereas the same imperfection in a powerful man is accepted easily. There is a visceral hatred at the very idea of a woman with power. It may be OK for an abstract perfect woman, but not any living, breathing human woman.

    In some patriarchal countries like India or Pakistan women politicians have been able to overcome this (e.g. Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto) because there is a very strong parallel ideology of the Head of State as a father/mother figure looking out for the interests of their “children”. It is not a coincidence that Indira Gandhi was called the “Mother of India”. In USA most people don’t view politicians as being benevolent parent-figures. So it doesn’t work here.

  327. femina says:

    45 years ago last week, LBJ signed into law the Civil Rights Act. And here we are…sigh.

    From the days of women as chattel, all the rights and privileges you enjoy have been fought for you by *feminists.” “Women’s Rights” was added to the CRA (1964) as a joke by Howard Smith (VA-D)at the urging of Alice Paul. This addition caused gales of laughter as it was debated. (By the way, Smith didn’t believe this legislation would pass, so what would it hurt to throw in gender.) Liberal feminist Congresswoman, Martha Griffiths (MI-D) support made possible the inclusion of gender as a protected category in the bill.

    It.was.added.as.a.joke. How about that?

    **************************************************

    I believe, Violet, younger generations of women are ignorant of the struggle and the fragility of women’s equality and rights. They, on the most part, haven’t had to work for it; they haven’t known the years pre-1964. They don’t know who the hell Patsy T. Mink is. They “appear” to think only about themselves and not women as a group, a political group, a group that can march together against violence against women, and for economic/political parity, 52% congressional representation, and so forth.

    I’m about to go kicking and screaming into third wavers blogs. But I can tell you this: we need to lay out what a feminist looks and acts like and spell out clearly what feminism IS because there are too many people who don’t know and don’t care. I care, individuals on this blog and other feminist blogs I frequent care, and there are women who depend on us to make women’s lives better.

  328. oldfeminist says:

    Wow.

    I don’t like Palin at all. I was pro-Hillary. I think there’s a huge difference between the two. So I don’t know if I count as a wackjob to y’all.

    I think opposing abortion is anti-feminist.

    I think many GOP positions are anti-feminist, and that makes me wonder why a feminist might be in the GOP. It doesn’t automatically disqualify her, but it raises questions in my mind.

    Those questions didn’t get answered very affirmatively for me.

    I think the interview where she could not name a single periodical she reads indicated just how UNready she was for the vice-presidency. Her statement about Putin rearing his head, that she’s experienced in international matters because Alaska is physically close to Russia, was absurd. She just wasn’t ready.

    And don’t forget she went on the offensive — whether that was her choice, or the campaign’s choice, her “dismissive voice” doesn’t sound strong to me, it sounds snotty.

    Palin seems to me, above all, to be excessively self-absorbed and self-congratulatory. She really doesn’t seem to have perspective. Everything anyone says about her, she takes totally personally. If Hillary acted like Sarah, she’d have gone home crying after hearing them crack on her cankles.

    I mean, come on. To claim that a picture of her holding her baby with someone else’s face shopped in is making fun of her baby? That’s just framing things to both deflect from the real target (her) and imply the critics are jerks who make fun of Down syndrome people.

    To think that her not having an abortion of a Downs baby is an accusation that pro-choicers (it’s pro-CHOICE not pro-ABORTION) find uncomfortable? That those who did abort a Down syndrome baby think this is the answer for everyone, full stop, and are upset because, I dunno, Saint Sarah “proved” them wrong and they’re embarrassed because they are evil for killing teh bebeh?

    That’s irrational.

    None of her failings make it okay to use sexist slams against her or “retard jokes” about her family. Every time I’ve seen those on a blog where I normally comment, and no one’s responded, I’ve commented against them. Check Pandagon for example.

    There are plenty of misogynists in the Democratic party. That doesn’t mean that all the women in the Democratic party are too busy giving them blowjobs to think for themselves.

    As for why people would do such a thing? Do you wonder who would think it’s okay to use such elementary school stylings in public discourse?

    Check out Rush, and Fox and Company, and get back to me.

    @SC Mike: if you think the bell curves for men and women in math were generated out of identical environments, you’ve got another think coming. I’m an original SMPY participant and I can tell you just how equal my math and science education and that of the male participants was not. From most reports it still isn’t. There’s a book coming out, “Still Failing At Fairness,” you might want to check on.

  329. Violet says:

    Good lord. I do not fucking believe this. I come back to the blog to see that this thread has degenerated into an absurd debate over Larry Summers. Or rather, an absurd defense of Larry Summers.

    What Summers did at Harvard was precisely equivalent to standing up in front of an audience of black scientists and saying that the reason there are so few tenured black professors at Harvard is mysterious, but that he thinks it’s down to (in order of importance): 1) innate difference, 2) possibly that blacks are more interested in dancing than in hard work, as he’s observed from the two black kids in his neighborhood, 3) perhaps a tiny bit of historic bias or prejudice against black people, but that’s likely unimportant and we should focus more on nailing down those innate differences.

    Except to make that analogy really precise, we would have to add 1) an abundance of research showing bupkiss on innate differences but tons of racial bias in hiring, and 2) a pattern at Harvard during Summers’ administration of fewer and fewer black professors even being offered tenure.

    What Nancy Hopkins did was stand up and walk out in protest. Every other woman in the room should have done the same. And Summers should have been fired the next day.

    End of story.

    Now, I have about a hundred comments in the filters from today that I need to sort through. This thread has gotten so badly off track that I will only approve comments that substantively contribute to the topic at hand.

    Also, Amy K.: if you can figure out why you personally feel so compelled to curry favor with patriarchy by embracing Larry Summers — despite the facts and the science — then maybe you can help figure out why other feminists feel so compelled to bash Palin. Send us a note when you do.

  330. Violet says:

    Since my comments are in moderation while other people are free to spread lies about me, I won’t be participating in this conversation any further.

    Apostate, it may surprise you to realize that the filters don’t know you from Eve and don’t single you out. There are a hundred comments in moderation. Even if you’ve already posted in the thread, sometimes a word or simply the length of your comment or several comments in succession will trip the spam filters.

    This kind of “I’m being singled out!” thing is just whacked. I should think you would know by now how blogs and spam filters work.

  331. Carolyn says:

    I think Violet pointed out earlier that we should be aware of thread-jacking. Seems to me that is what has been going on for the last 30 or more posts and it is a detriment to the excellent work that had been done before of careful and thoughtful analysis about the mystery of hate for Sarah Palin.

    Amy K, is IMHO today’s designated troll, and to engage with her is to do a disservice to the excellent work Violet and all the thoughtful commenters have done here and to diminish the value of all the links that have been made to this site.

    Enough said.

  332. Sis says:

    Sorry Carolyn. Everyone.

    I should have done sooner what I finally did. Went out and bought broccoli. Who would have thought?! So calming.

  333. Beatrix says:

    Until the comments went off the rails over the Larry Summers thing, I found this post and the comments to be the most refreshing thing I have read in ages. Thank goodness there are still women who don’t just call themselves feminists but who reflect on what it means and then try to act honestly on their thoughts. Thank goodness there are “leftists” who are willing to be introspective and, when necessary, self-critical about political ideology and who don’t feel a reflexive need to hate those with whom they disagree.

    I’ve been so discouraged about the future of our democracy for the past year or two — but if many of the voices here are in any way representative, it’s long past time I got my optimism back. Thanks.

  334. Hugo says:

    For clarity’s sake, let me be clear that I have never advocated making abortion illegal or making it more difficult to acquire. I am pro-choice, and though I have more sympathy for some pro-life arguments than many (and even call myself “pro-life”), I am also resolute in my commitment that women ought to be sovereign over their own bodies. I never suggested otherwise.

  335. Sis says:

    Well Beatrix, we don’t take abuse lying down either, just because we’re feminists and it’s being delivered to us by other (ostensibly) women. In fact I think that was one of the feministy defining moments for me back in the ’60s, when I found a community of women who didn’t contort themselves into pretzels of accommodation when they were being abused.

  336. huzzlewhat says:

    Going back a few posts, I was struck by the comparison of Palin and Clinton, Bill. It has seemed to me that they posed threats of a similar nature — they could be seen as traitors to the group that they were supposed to be (according to tradition, identity, and common knowledge) politically aligned with.

    Clinton was a white working class southern male; his rise (along with that of Al Gore) threatened the Republican party’s hold on the south. If Clinton was able to get his foot in the door and get the “New Democrat” concept to stick past his own elections, the southern bloc would crumble. By virtue of his background and identity, to the view of many conservatives, Clinton should have been a Republican. That he wasn’t not only threatened the Republican party’s present and future hold on the south, but made him a traitor, and subject to the peculiar resentment and contempt with which people view traitors. (I would imagine that much of that resentment veered off course to Hillary, who may have been seen as being responsible for yanking him “off course.”)

    Palin is in a similar situation from the opposite side of the political spectrum. She proudly calls herself a feminist at a time when so many liberal (or “progressive”) women are downplaying the label; and yet is a Republican. Feminists are supposed to be liberal (ultra-liberal) Democrats, and so she was a traitor to her supposed base. As with Clinton’s success allowing any “New Democrats” who followed him to break up the Republican claim on the white south, what would happen if Palin could break up the Democrats’ claim on the feminist vote?

  337. Violet says:

    I have removed the extensive Larry Summers threadjack. My apologies to those commenters who provided excellent ripostes to Amy K. But the whole thing was just a complete trainwreck and seriously disrupted the thread of discussion. Given that so many people are interested in this post and are actually reading the comments thoughtfully, I decided it was a disservice to everyone to leave that ridiculous threadjack in place.

  338. Violet says:

    What is so offputting about Sarah Palin (for me) is that she seems to glorify ignorance. Now there’s nothing condemnable about ignorance – we’re all ignorant about many things. But when someone sees nothing wrong with it, even sees it as a positive attribute, and seems to think that a lack of knowledge understanding is no impediment to making decisions, that’s truly disturbing…

    The absence of any evidence that she is able to consider different points of view, to look critically at herself or at the foundation of her own opinions, is what makes her seem so dangerous to me.

    I think this falls into the category of, “didn’t you read the post?”

    Where is the evidence that Sarah Palin glorifies ignorance? Where is the evidence that she is unable to consider different points of view?

    It sounds to me like you’re basing your assessment of Palin on the same gossip and ridicule that the rest of the haters are.

    If you bothered to investigate, you would find that Palin is an avid reader who reads several newspapers a day, is well-informed on issues involving Alaska, etc., etc.

  339. broad says:

    Sarah Palin in anti-choice, therfore I am anti-Palin. P.E.R.I.O.D.

  340. Stacie F. says:

    Great post, and right on. I am no longer going to drive myself insane over the idiotic hatred about her, I am going to work hard to make sure she becomes our President.

  341. alwaysfiredup says:

    “she seems to glorify ignorance…when someone sees nothing wrong with it, even sees it as a positive attribute, and seems to think that a lack of knowledge understanding is no impediment to making decisions….”

    There’s a lot of “seems” in there. Which makes it sound to me like you are projecting things onto her. Sarah believes in education and in no way is proud of being ignorant about anything. I challenge you to find a single quote from her that indicates she does no value education.

    This is the biggest problem with the sexist treatment of Palin IMO. Everything flows from the premise that she is “not smart”, a classic misogynist criticism. Since she is “not smart”, she must value ignorance in order to think she is qualified to be VP. Since she is “not smart”, she must be using her looks to get ahead. Since she is “not smart”, it is okay that I call her a barbie doll because barbie dolls are not smart, either. And on and on and on.

    I therefore submit that asserting that she is “not smart” is actually sexist in and of itself. (and I refuse to accept Katie Couric as “evidence”, I could make you look like an idiot too if I asked one question and then posted a video clip of you answering a different question.)

  342. Violet says:

    I think the interview where she could not name a single periodical she reads indicated just how UNready she was for the vice-presidency.

    Another example of the double standard. If Obama had faltered on a question like that, would you conclude that he doesn’t read?

    Palin is an avid, even voracious reader. She reads several newspapers a day, as attested by those who have traveled with her (including people I trust, like Elaine Lafferty). In the interview with Katie Couric, I think she was stunned by the question.

    Couric asked her, in condescending tones as if speaking to a slow child, “Can you tell us the names of any newspapers you read?” If it were me, I would have said “are you fucking KIDDING me?” and walked off the set. But Palin didn’t do that. The expression on her face looked like she was trying to figure out what Couric was really asking, like “what is the hidden question here?”

    And don’t forget she went on the offensive — whether that was her choice, or the campaign’s choice, her “dismissive voice” doesn’t sound strong to me, it sounds snotty.

    So, can I take that to mean that you’ve felt a similar burning contempt for all the previous vice presidential candidates who have also gone on the offensive (that’s their traditional campaign role) and had voices you didn’t like?

    I mean, come on. To claim that a picture of her holding her baby with someone else’s face shopped in is making fun of her baby? That’s just framing things to both deflect from the real target (her) and imply the critics are jerks who make fun of Down syndrome people.

    Right. And I’m sure you would make this exact same argument if people started photoshopping images of Sasha or Malia in stripper outfits or walking the streets as prostitutes.

  343. Sis says:

    Of course it’s her they are after, but does that mitigate what Obama supporters did to digitally alter that photo with some creature’s face, to spur laughter, to make Trig a creature, a monster. This is ravening. Can you imagine being somewhere and waking in the middle of the night, worried about your child back home, that some unhinged person bent on glory to his/her deified politician did to him what happened to Dr. Tiller?

    I think this kind of thing happens directly because of Obama. He can whistle, call at the dogs now all he likes. There out there, doing his bidding. This would never be done to his children. The nation would not tolerate it. I can’t even, for the life of me, think that Mr. McCain would fold his hands and look the other way as Obama has if it was done to Obama’s chidren. Obama wears this.

  344. Eric says:

    **I think the interview where she could not name a single periodical she reads indicated just how UNready she was for the vice-presidency.**

    Oh, with regard to the interviews. When Katie asked: “What do you read in AK?” Palin should have smiled sweetly and said the interview is over–the same with what’s-his-name with the glasses perched on the end of his nose. That kind of behavior would have left me speechless too. It was deliberate, as was the editing.

    It brought back memories of moving to PA from IA. I was asked: “What language do the speak there?”

    On the other hand, ask how many states there are to Obama. His gaffes add up to far more than those two interviews. You should note that there were interviews from her run for Governor of AK available, but none were referenced or played during the debacle. Goering couldn’t have done better with the misinformation and nuance which was used to attack her.

    Yes, you can infer that I dislike “ducking-sniper-rounds-Hillary”. Her Presidency would have been a disaster, but not because of incompetence or any of the other spurious attacks against her. Hillary Clinton had infuriated the bureaucrats in DC–that would have resulted in a Nixonian Presidency.

    The bureacrats of DC are a touchy bunch, and if they are miffed bad things happen. Nixon refused to restaff the White House and sewed the seeds of his destruction. Bill Clinton refused for about a year, didn’t he? When he replaced certain people in his administration the whole impeachment and investigation thing just sort of went away; didn’t it???? Think about it.

  345. Adnauseum says:

    Violet,

    You wrote:

    I personally wish that Christianity would evaporate from the face of the earth

    You know, those of us clinging to our Bibles (and reading them) know that you will get your wish one day, Violet. Here’s hoping you’ll come along for the ride, when that Day comes. :)

    Nice job on the article, by the way.

    p.s. I don’t think the Democratic National Committee would have thrown Hillary Clinton under the bus like they did if she had been a man, do you?

  346. Sis says:

    Like I’ve posted many times, politicians primarily get their news summarized every morning, by their staff, either handed to them, or read to them, while they take phone calls. I know. I’ve been one of the summarizers.

    Can you imagine how dumb that sounds to say you believe a politician with a journalism degree doesn’t read newspapers?

  347. Toonces says:

    I think the ‘not smart’ thing has a lot to do with classism as well. And I think that part of the reason Palin is a ‘whore’ to so many is also partly because of classism, as someone stated up-thread. Rich girls/women, no matter what they do/say/wear, can escape that ‘trash’ label to a greater extent. Working class girls/women are sluts/stupid/dirty no matter how they conduct themselves. It’s innate, dontchyaknow.

  348. Anne says:

    @ Apostate:

    You are not pro-choice if you do not allow women to make their own choices. You would impose your own choice on them — and isn’t that just what you would fight against should the shoe be on the other foot? And you won’t participate in a bone marrow drive on the very off chance that you would help someone of a different religion or point of view? What are the odds you’ll even know who that person is or what they believe? I think you need to just accept that you don’t agree with women who have certain views, and leave it at that. You’ve allowed your pro-choice label to turn into a reason for hate.

  349. Sis says:

    It’s a full-time job here keeping up with the corrections of what anti-Hillary and anti-Palin posters are sure they know. After all, they read/heard it in some news segment bought and paid for by Obama. (One way or another).

  350. Susan Lee says:

    “Basically, the sexist left is now demonstrating that it’s no better than the right. And that means women are nowhere.” (Violet #209)

    NO!! Women are always free to reinvent themselves!! Other people both male & female will try to classify and categorize you and try to mak you believe it… You don’t have to accept their evaluation. You can’t be held down unless you want to be (or are afraid of risk?…)

    I’m a veteran of the feminist wars in the 60′s. I enjoy Sarah Palin greatly, since she did it like I did – only MUCH more successfully. She went to some no-name schools, married a great guy, had the baby I aborted, all the things I was confused by and struggled with, she sailed right over. I am as proud of her as if she is the daughter I didn’t have. I sacrificed in the ’60′s so Sarah could be what she is today. It’s Great!!

    Susan Lee

  351. Toonces says:

    LoL, Sis, too true. The fact that Hillary really went to the most dangerous place on the planet, as First Lady, when she didn’t have to, is trumped by what? She didn’t get her days right? But hey, the Omedia ran with it, so it must be big NOOZ.

  352. Oh, bother says:

    My eyes began to cross at #152, so if I’m repeating someone’s pearl of wisdom, please accept my apology. I came here by way of neo-neocon. Amazing blog and commenting community.

    I think they instinctively hate Sarah Palin because she is not afraid.

  353. octogalore says:

    It’s tough to know what was going on in the Couric interview. She didn’t simply ask Palin what sources she read, but which “shape your world view.” Palin may have, not unwisely, assessed this as a “gotcha” question to which there might not be a correct answer. Any source she might cite could disenfranchise a potential voter group. And she may have been given guidance by the McCain team to avoid taking certain kinds of positions. In retrospect, it probably would have been safe to mention NYT, WSJ, WP, but it may have been unclear at the time what Couric’s real motivation was.

    Or, as Sis suggested, she got a distilled report from her staff, rather than sifting through irrelevant pieces to get the meat. I would imagine Obama gets such a report. So it’s difficult to know which “world view shaping” articles come from where.

    I would have a hard time answering that question. I read a wide variety of sources, and while I get my major news from the usual three sources above, the word view shaping comes mostly from blogs discussions such as this one.

  354. Gayle says:

    “p.s. I don’t think the Democratic National Committee would have thrown Hillary Clinton under the bus like they did if she had been a man, do you?”

    Oh hell no, they wouldn’t have. If Hillary Clinton had been Henry Clinton, Bill’s theoretically overachieving brother, he would have had it all wrapped up by Super Tuesday.

  355. ugly kid joe says:

    i’m male, social/fiscal conservative, prior military…

    linked here from a right wing blog and i don’t have anything substantial to add to the discussion, but would like to say that this is without doubt the most enlightening and entertaining thread i have ever had the pleasure to read (all 350 @ this point)…hats off to each and everyone of you!

  356. donna darko says:

    I see Obama propaganda about Palin in comments that just isn’t true. She has a grounded, intellectual understanding of feminism from age and experience the Third Wave lacks. She’s a very competent executive and is known for her ability to balance state budgets. I mostly appreciate the many timed she bypassef normal channels to criticize sexism in our culture something Democratic women are too afraid to do.

  357. Sis says:

    She’s Twittering.

    http://twitter.com/AKGovSarahPalin

  358. Carmonn says:

    So Palin is worse than Bush because it’s horrendous to be willfully ignorant. He, of course, is willfully ignorant by any standard, but it would still be preferable to choose to vote for him over her, because some forms of willful ignorance are worse than others in some unspecified way. And Barack Obama, who bemused so many in the debates with his lack of policy knowledge, inability to answer basic questions, and apparent refusal to put any study in despite flailing on occasion after occasion, is clearly highly intelligent and knowledgeable despite appearing willfully ignorant. In fact, he’s actually preferable to Clinton, because being willfully ignorant is horrendous, but being incredibly knowledgeable and wonkish is far worse. Or something.

    Good thing that’s cleared up, I actually thought it all boiled down to sexist double standards, and was reminded of something Gloria Steinem said about how any female who showed up with Obama’s credentials would be laughed out of town (or possibly compared unfavorably to Bush).

  359. AniEm says:

    @Susan Lee. #347 Thank you for your truly inspirational words. Women define themselves. Period. End of discussion. I believe that words like liberal and conservative; pro-choice and pro-life are as confining as corsets and Chinese footbinding. There is an entire continuum here that has to be recognized.

    @Apostate. Jane Austen? Why is Jane being thrown into the mix? Has someone offended your ‘sensibilities’? WTF?

    @londongal. Let’s see. Palin has a history of attacking and cleaning up the snake-”oil” salesmen within her own party in AK. I think she has brains enough. Personally, I can’t think of one male politician in the U.S. who can make a claim to cleaning up anything. Perhaps they haven’t the intelligence of Palin; or perhaps they are so devoted to wallowing in the mire. Palin is both bright and knowledgeable, but she was operating with characteristic decency in a political environment where intelligence equals deviousness and obfuscation.

    Meanwhile, many of us are still outraged because Hillary Clinton had the intelligence of FDR combined with the gutsiness of Truman. Despite qualities akin to the two foremost Democratic presidents, she was dumped in favor of the hologram currently in the White House. If Obama SEEMS intelligent, etc., it’s because he was packaged that way. To quote Gertrude Stein, There’s no there there.

  360. octogalore says:

    Carmonn — good point. People seem to forget that Obama’s early debates with HRC were more along the lines of “what she said.” When the bar is showing up, it’s not hard to overachieve. (Who can forget (well, I err, apparently many can) all those “present” votes. Nope, it wasn’t a deal with NOW; many from NOW acknowledged that the main goal was for Obama to keep open a presidential run and appear sufficiently moderate. Other similary situated Senators in less progressive areas didn’t work out such “deals.”)

    Obama’s performance improved along the way. Similarly, Palin’s preparation by the time of her Biden debate had improved significantly from the Gibson/Couric interviews and her learning curve had substantial upside from there, which didn’t have the length of time Obama was afforded.

  361. Finally says:

    As a conservative pro-life Christian female I cannot tell you how amazed I am to discover one feminist who finds what has happened (and continues to happen) to Sarah Palin appalling. As you indicated, it is only her pro-life belief that hard core feminists should disagree with. I would have thought there would have been a touch of outrage by the women’s movement about the sexism that is so overt over Palin.

    Yes, I agree with her views, but that is NOT the reason I found her appealing. Even at her Governor salary, her family is truly middle class and I’m tired of Washingon, both sides, playing games and following the money.

    And unfortunately now we are subjected to every newscast,right and left trying to figure out why she resigned,and most of them all slamming her.

    All I can say is she has more restraint than I do if I happened upon some horribly photoshopped picture of my Down-Syndrome child.

    But mostly, I want to thank you for illustrating to me that there are some women with views different than mine that call it like they (and I) see it. I’ve read alot of liberal/left blogs and not found one didn’t attack her.

  362. london gal says:

    I think this falls into the category of, “didn’t you read the post?”

    Yes, I did read it and thought you made some good points, but none of it changed my perception of Palin as either a politician or a potential feminist rolemodel. My opinion of her wasn’t based on gossip from other feminist or pro-Obama blogs etc. I listened to her nomination acceptance speech, her media interviews and her VP debate against Joe Biden.

    But to justify my position I’ll run through the list of things you argue were falsely claimed about her:

    made rape victims pay for their own kits

    I’ve never heard this allegation before, so it didn’t affect my opinion of her in the first place.

    is against contraception or sex ed, believes in abstinence-only

    No, but believes abstinence should be encouraged. However, this is a “moral” opinion that has nothing to do with her logical capacities, so I wouldn’t count this against her (although I do disagree 100%).

    thinks the dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago

    Actually, before reading your article I didn’t realise anyone actually thought that! I then looked it up and discovered otherwise – thanks for depressing me… Seriously, I never thought Sarah Palin was a “Young Earth” Creationist. However, I did think (correctly) that she’s an “Intelligent Design” adherent, and has stated that she believes “we have a Creator”. I agree this isn’t quite as loony as some of the “young earth” sites I spent half an hour gawking at earlier, but it demonstrates either ignorance of basic science or rejection of basic science.

    doesn’t believe in global warming

    “I’m not one who would attribute it to being man-made”
    Yes, she later backed away somewhat, saying maybe humans “could be contributing” to it, but given that her main area of expertise is supposed to be energy policy, sounding at best confused and at worst blinkered on this issue is a shocking indictment of her competence. Since she does at least recognise that environmental change would have a major impact on Alaska, you’d think she could spare the time to read the science on this one topic. I have to say that even if I had no other complaints, her comments on climate change alone would speak volumes to me.

    doesn’t believe in evolution

    “Teach both. Don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”
    Yes, I know she didn’t implement this as policy when she was elected Mayor/Governor, but we’re discussing what she believes and what it says about her rationality (or lack thereof). The fact that she thinks there could be a “debate” between facts and belief is what I mean by accusing her of “glorifying ignorance”. What is the point of using our powers of thought and logic to uncover evidence and find out the truth about any question, if all the facts in the world can be outweighed by what someone has decided to believe, regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

    is stupid and can’t read

    I’d be surprised if anyone has claimed she’s actually illiterate. But given her opinions on the above issues, she either a) hasn’t read the science, b) has read it but has found a bunch of anti-science blogs or religious teachings more convincing or c) has read the science but decided it doesn’t matter because her much touted “common sense” tells her otherwise. a) would make her willfully ignorant on some pretty important topics, b) would imply she’s unable to discern between legitimate science and myth-based propaganda and c) would make her either unbelievably arrogant or a textbook example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Throw in the belief that the Iraq war is “a task from God”, opposition to rights for same sex couples, opposition to stem cell research, telling people to pray for her gas pipeline to be built… I could go on but the picture that emerges is of a female version of George W Bush. Most of whose presidency could usually be summed up as “who cares about the facts when I’ve got my gut feelings, oh and don’t worry god told me what to do”. I have the same contempt for his attitude as I do for Palin’s but the crucial difference is that Bush was not the first ever male president. If he were running as such, and if I were campaigning for equal rights for men, I’d be appalled at his candidacy (even more than I actually was, that is). He’d be the last person I’d want as my poster child and the idea of him as a rolemodel for other men would horrify me. Ditto Palin, who unlike Bush actually is being paraded as a rolemodel for her gender.

  363. Sameol says:

    London gal, okay, you don’t live here, you saw no evidence of the misogynistic hatefest Hillary Clinton had to endure from liberals and leftists. It happened. And, here’s the problem, it worked. So now that it’s been proved an effective tactic, it’s going to continue and get worse. We’re already seeing a shift in society where more and more open sexism is being tolerated and fewer are objecting.

    So do you really think that it would cause less harm to the cause of women to acquiesce in this development and watch more women torn to shreds for the crime of being women and hope that the day actually comes when we find a woman so miraculous that she’s actually accepted by the political establishment? Any woman who becomes President will be savaged as a horrible representative of women and an indication women can’t lead, regardless of how well or poorly she governs (and frankly, it’s not like we’re going to start electing women on a regular basis, if we manage one in the next hundred years it’ll be a miracle).

    African-Americans understood this. Obama is a bit of a dolt, but he’s a dolt who had a chance to win. The symbolism to little kids who can now grow up feeling they have greater opportunities far outweighs the benefits of spending years finding the most transcendentally perfect candidate who will be our nation’s greatest President.

    It’s bad enough we’re held to these double standards by others, we need to stop pandering to racists and sexists and imposing them on ourselves. Obama and Palin’s deficiencies don’t reflect poorly on anyone but them.

  364. Violet says:

    has stated that she believes “we have a Creator”. I agree this isn’t quite as loony as some of the “young earth” sites I spent half an hour gawking at earlier, but it demonstrates either ignorance of basic science or rejection of basic science.

    Unfortunately, you will not find any major figures in American political life who are atheists. Or at least none who will admit to it.

    Barack Obama believes we have a creator, as does Hillary Clinton, as has every other president and candidate for president.

    No, but believes abstinence should be encouraged.

    She believes abstinence should be discussed with kids, not as a substitute for contraception but as a life option for teenagers. If you disagree with that 100%, then I’d suggest you’re not aware of the ongoing feminist issue with young girls and women being sexualized and pressured into precocious sexual behavior. Girls need to understand they have the right to say no.

    Yes, she later backed away somewhat, saying maybe humans “could be contributing” to it

    “Later”? Okay, here’s how it works: if you want to do an honest job of understanding someone’s point of view, particularly a politician who’s spoken on a topic a number of times with varying degrees of detail, you try to pull together all the relevant quotes.

    What you don’t do is what you’ve done here, which is use a partial quote and then create the impression that “later” she amended it.

    Sarah Palin’s opinion on global warming is that it is happening and is a problem that needs to be dealt with. She believes the causes are unknown with certainty, but attributes them to a probable mix of human factors and long-term earth cycles, including glacial swings (which she grew up hearing about from her father the science teacher).

    “Teach both. Don’t be afraid of information and let kids debate both sides.”

    There you go again. Cherry pick the one comment out of context, ignore all the other statements in which she clearly states that evolution is accepted scientific fact and should be taught as such.

    How does it work in your mind, when you’re looking up these quotes and consciously selecting only certain ones and ignoring the others? Do you imagine you’re doing something worthwhile?

    Throw in the belief that the Iraq war is “a task from God”

    No, she said we should pray that the plan is from God, which is how Christians pray that they are on God’s side with whatever they’re doing as opposed to undertaking something evil.

    If he were running as such, and if I were campaigning for equal rights for men, I’d be appalled at his candidacy (even more than I actually was, that is). He’d be the last person I’d want as my poster child and the idea of him as a rolemodel for other men would horrify me. Ditto Palin, who unlike Bush actually is being paraded as a rolemodel for her gender.

    Well, that explains it: you’re not a feminist.

    Feminism is for all women, not just the perfect ones. As I think Gloria Steinem said, feminism will be a success when a mediocre woman has as much chance as a mediocre man.

    As long as you’re out there tearing down any woman who doesn’t meet your personal standards for perfection, we’re screwed.

  365. Sis says:

    I too believe abstinence should be encouraged. For girls. (I wish I could find that post from yttik. Yoo hoo!?)

    Basically, she said girls should be encouraged to be abstinent because our rape culture is teaching them they are fuckbunnies from the age of five or so.

    I am sick to death of young women, girls, being raised to think of themselves as having to be constantly available. The way it is, it’s a crime for a girl to say NO this is my body, and you are not coercing me into letting you use it.

    Did you see those stories on nine-year old girls giving blow-jobs in their school playgrounds in the wealthiest area of Toronto, and how casually they tried to be cool about it. Oh yah. Sex is great. Who the hell was having sex? Not them. The boys were. What were the girls having? STDs, throat HPV, infections, a couple suicides.

    Bring in abstinence for girls. Let the nine-year old boys go rape a knot hole in a tree. Save our girls from STDs, self-hatred, pregnancy, cervical cancer and feeling used before they old enough to menstruate. And in the meantime, teach them what sex isn’t.

  366. Sis says:

    LondonGal we’ve been told discussion about Larry Summers is out of bounds here.

    “(…)unable to discern between legitimate science and myth-based propaganda and c) would make (him) either unbelievably arrogant or a textbook example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

  367. Concerned about Society says:

    The problem is elites, political parties and people who want to govern and their sycophants.

    All this name calling and everything is the theater surrounding the modern crime of rich elite elections.

    It is time to elect people that don’t want the job and no parties involved.

    Something like an updated Athens style blackballing, Jury Duty and a representative proportional election combined.

    The first point is that anybody that wants a position should always be suspect as either a crook or mentally ill!

    Next, recent history has shown us that the choices parties provide are worse for the nation than a random Joe or Jane off the street.

    So, let’s have a lottery that randomly chooses say 8 or 10 people for each elective position. Then say that they can’t get out of it for any reason. This is the pool of jurors.
    Now use the web, gov doc tax docs everything known about these people and make it public!
    Now have a proportional election where you vote first choice, second. etc…
    The poor jerk that wins has to govern even if they don’t want to.

    Much better than the current crooks and mentalists of all parties.

    Oh and to make it more interesting have term limits for aides and randomly move the government agencies around without a moving allowance for the government employees.

    Now we are getting somewhere…..
    Oh and nobody is going to rave pro or con about a person who doesn’t want the job.

  368. Sameol says:

    Not only are half the positions you object to publicly endorsed by most American politicians, a lot of them are shared by Obama. Teach creationism in schools? Obama. Not supportive of rights for same sex couples? Obama also attends church, where, even in mainline Protestant denominations, things get blessed on a fairly consistent basis. I can’t say for sure but I doubt he’s ever declared “To hell with abstinence!”

    Once again, you disagree with her positions but you can’t explain how they’re any worse than those of most Republicans and many Democrats except you think women should be held to a higher standard. The Magic Penis theory?

  369. Gender2010 says:

    Violet wrote:
    “As long as you’re out there tearing down any woman who doesn’t meet your personal standards for perfection, we’re screwed.”

    And this is where we are now. For many leftist feminists (or establishment feminists who think they own feminism) Senator Clinton was not good enough and for many on the feminist left/establishment Governor Palin was just awful.

    Who do the leftist feminists consider a “good enough” woman to run for president?

  370. leishman says:

    Thanks to Violet and to all of you for a fascinating spectrum of shared thoughts and feelings. I’m a 60 year-old (straight, Midwestern, conservative, professional) guy who has yet to understand women in general and sois-disant feminists in particular. The slavering rage and brutal insults against Gov. Palin and her children, particularly Trig, make more sense to me, now that I see how much projection and displacement her personhood and womanhood engenders. I particularly liked the Conway and Siegelman reference and the classism theme. My conclusion: People who are comfortable with themselves have less hatred of the Other–be they men, spiritual folks, or Sarah Palin. Kudos to you, Violet.

  371. london gal says:

    @ Sameol

    I stand corrected about Hillary if that’s really what happened to her. From over here it looked like she came close to winning the nomination and that what mostly hampered her was a hangover from Bill Clinton’s presidency, which was too centrist / right-wing for a lot of the Democrat grassroots. That combined with the impression that she was assuming her nomination was inevitable so she didn’t build as effective a campaign machine as Obama.

    If she really was targetted in a sexist manner then I’d be interested to see some examples (I’m not being sarcastic, in case it sounds that way). This would be a more salient example for me of the question of feminist sexism and what might motivate it than Sarah Palin. I continue to agree with oldfeminist and others that there is a huge difference between the two and while I can see plenty of reasons why feminists would dislike Palin, I can’t see many why they wouldn’t support Clinton.

    And no, I’m not advocating that women should wait for a hypothetical “perfect” female candidate, and I take your point that the best is the enemy of the good. But that doesn’t mean I’d go for the first woman with a shot at winning either. If I were black I would never vote for someone like Jesse Jackson or Rev Jeremiah Wright, because I think 4 years in the full glare of presidential publicity would do more harm in terms of cementing the negative stereotype than good in terms of showing it’s possible for that minority group to succeed. Success doesn’t stop with getting elected – if you really screw up once you’re in power that’s no use either. Whereas George Bush could screw up royally and sound like a babbling idiot without impacting on the prospects of other white men (except possibly those sharing his surname).

    So yes I agree we shouldn’t wait for some mythically perfect woman, but there’s got to be a better option than Sarah Palin…

  372. JSF says:

    I’m a former Liberal and now Conservative Republican 9switched in 92), first let me say, I am enjoying this discussion. Well said, everyone (and to the propriater here: Good blog).

    My feelings (as a Palin supporter and Conservative)are this:

    1) When the NAACP doesn’t defend Justice thomas from attacks and NOW doesn’t defend Gov. Palin, doesn’t that mean your orginization doesn’t really stand for all, but for one side of the political line? You lose influence when you do that.

    2) I grew up in NYC during the 70′s. I’ve always dated strong, independent women. Women who think and do for themselves. Why? I support people (and this ties in with my political philosiphy) that see the world as their oyster, not as a wall to whine against. I’ve been lucky in whom I dated, i hope I get that same sort of luck when I decide to settle down.

    3) People like The Apostate turn me off from your cause. People who despise people because of their views? Wouldn’t even donate a bone marrow because they hate their views? Substitues “Jews” (I am jewish) for those statements and you have an anti-semite. It damages the Body Politic when people like the Apostate who knows no one who disagrees with her, judges people. That is called stereotyping. It is horrible when anyone does it.

    Otherwise, great discussion. But Palin shouln’t have been martyred to get it going.

  373. Alwaysthinking says:

    Maybe the subject has been beaten to death, but have we come any closer to answering the question of why Sarah Palin is being treated the way she is by some feminists? There are so many fascinating thoughts, beliefs, and opinions being uncovered here, but often they get down to simple prejudices about how a woman should behave. But why is this in a world that has taught us to be more tolerant of different ethnicities?

    One of the most frustrating things to fight in any context is people’s deep bigotry on any given subject. We have not taught our children well on the subject of sexism. Why were so many people willing to forgive and overlook the failures and weaknesses of a male candidate, regardless of class or education or beliefs, and readily gullible about the falsehoods regarding the female candidate? This pattern also played out during the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill debacle. There was no rhyme or reason for people’s conclusions. They just “knew” they were right.

    I was a first-hand witness (before Atwater, Rove, Axelrod, and Reed) to political strategists’ use of people’s own bigotry to get them to accept a falsehood about someone. Amazingly, it was a simple task and the manipulators did not have to make actual accusations. They simply had to hint and their “wise” audience just “understood.” I was amazed that they were so gullible — and that they never knew how wrong they were.

    Someone mentioned earlier — I believe it was GXM17 — that Horney’s theory of womb envy had not made it into the modern mainstream. I also am amazed when I do historical research that there is nothing new under the sun. I typically uncover great wisdom from women along with great ridicule.

    Still, I cannot truly grasp why women are treated the way they are in our society. This last year just blew my mind.

    Is it familiarity? Does familiarity breed contempt? Does seeing someone like your mother in a high public office somehow annoy a young woman who might think she doesn’t want to be like her mother? Does it embarrass her? Do men fear seeing someone like their wives or mothers in public office? Does it threaten their image of their masculinity? Do men fear that they will lose control of women (men often used to condemn a man who couldn’t “control” his wife.)? Or does the slander and nonsense we have seen hailed at Hillary and Sarah just boil down to the fact that the perpetrators couldn’t think of any other creative way to oppose them?

    Even as gender attacks are vilely used to stifle women in public affairs, we often disrespect women’s traditional work or take it for granted – as seen in the familiar words, “bitter knitters,” “iron my shirt,” or “make me a sandwich.” We want women to do things for us, but only if they behave like rote machines and keep quiet about their own needs and rights.

    Oh, well, it’s late. Here’s a funny from an old newspaper, The Standard, in the mid-19th century when women were first attempting to go to medical school.

    “…just suppose yourself a forlorn sick bachelor, in the upper story of some noisy boarding house, deciding whether you will die or get well. Then — suppose just as you are at the last gasp, the door opens, gently, and admits not a great creaking pair of boots, containing an oracular, solemn M. D., grim enough to frighten you into a churchyard but a smiling, rosy-cheeked, bright eyed nice little LIVE woman doctress, hey?

    “Well, she pushes back her curls, throws off her shawl (Venus, what a figure!) pulls off her gloves and takes your hand in those little fingers. Holy mother! how your pulse races! She looks at you so compassionately from those soft blue eyes; lays her hand on your forehead, and then questions you demurely on our “symptoms.” (a few of which she sees without any of your help!) Then she writes a prescription with those dainty little fingers, and tells you to keep very composed and quiet (just as if you could!) smooths the tumbled quilt –arranges your pillows — shades the glaring sunlight from your aching eyes, with an instinctive knowledge of your unspoken wants; and says, with the sweetest smile in the world, that she’ll call again in the morning,” and so — the last fold of her dress flutters through the door; and then you crawl out of bed the best way you can — clutch a looking-glass to see what the probabilities are that you have made a favorable impression; inwardly resolving (as you replace yourself between the blankets) not to get quite well as long as she will come to see you! ….

    “FOR MYSELF, I prefer prescriptions written by a masculine hand; shan’t submit my pulse to anything that wears a bonnet!”

    [This was written by a woman, Fanny Fern, aka Sara Payson Willis, a widely read columnist who lived a non-traditional life, addressed equality of the sexes, made fun of men, criticized religion, and much more.]

    As they say, go figure. And, who was seeing the “doctress” as a sexual object? The man or the woman?

  374. RKMK says:

    london gal, I was going to link you to this video that chronicled examples of the attacks, but ironically, the audio has been removed. (Quite literally, silencing the feminists. Sigh.) Here’s a post I wrote back when I came out of my 90s hangover (my teens were spent listening to Clinton Derangement, and I had a vaguely ambivalent attitude towards Hillary), and became conscious of a) what contradictory sexist bullshit was getting tossed at her, and b) what an awesome low-key badass she is.

  375. Petal says:

    Thank you Dr. Socks for posting this. I have so many thoughts still filtering about class in my head that I can really express them. But, I do think Palin was attacked for class reasons.

    I work at a think tank in DC and am generally stunned that I was ever hired when I listen to my boss pontificate about the “average person”. Palin didn’t know her place and therefore she must be destroyed. I think your post touches on this, but does not completely explore it. The excellent comments go more deeply.

    Sister of Ye at 301 really hits it. The 1950s were an aberration. I can’t tell you how infuriated I am when people talk about women entering the workforce for the first time in the 1970s. That was a middle class (since the 1950s) and upper class phenomenom. Farm wives and the wives of shop keepers always worked. They may not have been compensated separately from their husbands, but they certainly worked outside the home just as much as their husbands. Women very frequently worked for their own pay outside the home before then – the textile mills were often staffed with women.

    This is one of my biggest frustrations with third wave feminism – a lack of awareness of history. I also think they are far more concerned with combatting ableism, transgender phobias and really anything except issues that truly affect most women. Thank you thank you thank you for this blog.

    I apologize for the disjointed/incoherent nature of this post – it’s late.

  376. RKMK says:

    london gal, I have a comment in moderation, but there’s also an 111-part Hillary Sexism Watch series on Shakesville, if you want a detailed blow-by-blow of the crap that went down in 2008.

  377. london gal says:

    Sorry, I’m not keeping up here (probably because I’m waffling too much which is why I’d make a lousy female poticial rolemodel ;P).

    re. Obama and creationism / ID – I have never heard Obama espouse the teaching of either, in fact I’ve heard him say categorically that ID is not science and that it shouldn’t be used to cloud the teaching of science. He may have later backed away from this, and if so I stand corrected and would be deeply disappointed.

    re. belief in god – I wouldn’t hold that against Sarah Palin or indeed anyone. There is no scientific evidence to prove conclusively that there isn’t a god, nor ever will be I expect since it’s impossible to disprove an intangible idea. So belief in the existence of god, ghosts, or other popular supernatural entities doesn’t disqualify someone as being rational IMHO, as it doesn’t directly contradict our knowledge. However, there is plentiful scientific evidence to prove that species evolution was not driven by any “Intelligent Designer” and the “examples” and “factoids” that are spread by the ID community are mostly outright disinformation (polite way of saying they’re lying their asses off).

    Though on a side note I’m happy to say that the leader of my own political party in the UK – the Liberal Democrats – was the first ever leader of a major British party to say on the record he doesn’t believe in god. So I guess that’s a small amount of progress. But I digress…

    re. abstinence – I have heard Obama heavily criticise abstinence education, though I agree he probably never said “the hell with it”! As I said, I wouldn’t judge Palin one way or another on this as it’s more of a “moral” issue than a logical one.

    Though there’s a big difference between what you guys are arguing for – i.e. girls being taught they have the right to say no – and what religious / social conservatives tend to imply which is that girls should feel dirty if they say yes. Your version is empowering, the Christian version is denigrating. No, girls shouldn’t be pressurised into becoming prematurely sexual, but nor should they be taught that their sexual urges (yes, we do have them too!) are something to be ashamed of. I’m not necessarily lumping Palin in with this crowd (I don’t know enough about the nuances of her opinions on this), but she’s a self-proclaimed social conservative, outspoken on “fmily values” and is certainly worshipped by those that hold these views.

    I’m not just criticising Palin’s opinions because I don’t like her – I don’t like her because of her opinions and if Obama held the same views on creationism / ID / global warming / a host of other things then I’d be as appalled by him as I was by Bush / Palin. If the UK Lib Dem leader gave even a hint of believing just one of these things I’d leave the party immediately (I know it’s not really comparable, UK politics being so different, but still).

  378. Nancy says:

    Somebody emailed me this today. I think it’s supposed to be funny.

    I’m not the type to get kneejerk offended by things. I have a pretty ribald sense of humor and love a laugh more than a deep thought.

    But I found this just so offensive I can’t type straight. Thought it might be useful to this discussion.

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3b13fbada7/women-for-sarah-palin-from-onehottmess

  379. Violet says:

    No, girls shouldn’t be pressurised into becoming prematurely sexual, but nor should they be taught that their sexual urges (yes, we do have them too!) are something to be ashamed of. I’m not necessarily lumping Palin in with this crowd (I don’t know enough about the nuances of her opinions on this), but she’s a self-proclaimed social conservative, outspoken on “fmily values” and is certainly worshipped by those that hold these views.

    But it seems to me that you effectively ARE lumping her in. Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam back Obama, but that doesn’t mean it’s fair to call Obama an anti-semitic Muslim who believes women should stay home and obey their husbands. But notice that Obama also isn’t doing anything to discourage those folks from supporting him or voting for him. He’s a politician. So is Palin.

    I really think it’s unfair to not notice that Palin is actually pretty healthy about sexual matters. I’ve never even heard her say that she thinks sex before marriage is wrong. She had it herself, her daughter did, the rest of her family is the same way, etc. It’s possible to be a devout Christian and still be pretty modern on sexual matters.

    This is a woman who listens to Van Halen and AC/DC.

  380. Toonces says:

    One thing that impressed me about Palin was how she didn’t seem to be the one trying to make Bristol feel like trash for getting pregnant. I know conservatives like that IRL and liberals who aren’t. Go figure.

  381. MojaveWolf says:

    @london gal –

    As someone else who thinks there is a huge difference ‘tween Hillary and Palin, and has no intention of supporting Palin for the presidency, I have to say you missed a few things in the local coverage.

    I may not agree with Palin on a lot, but the way she has been hammered in the media relative to what she actually has done and said is horrific, and some of the things directed at her and her family would have been out of line if she’d been Cheney. She actually has quite an impressive, scrappy, pull yourself up by sheer willpower backstory, and seems like a very nice and capable person even if you don’t share her views on much.

    While I think there are more things to dislike about her policy-wise than most people here, she is certainly no worse than average for the republican party, and some of her views that I dislike are basically the same as Obama & Biden, with the difference being that her view on, for example, gay marriage, woeful as it is, puts her to the left of most her party, while Obama/Biden basically have an identical stance, which is well to the right of their base and at best is being completely gutless and lacking in leadership on their part. Obama and Palin are equally awful on environmental issues, etc. The main difference in how they are treated and perceived is press coverage.

    Won’t get off on a side tangent of why you prefer Obama to Jesse Jackson, when my own reaction is completely the opposite, but since what happened to Hillary is relevant to Palin, I think, I’ll repeat part of what I said on Octogalore’s blog Sunday morning .. . (she posted something on more or less the same topic as Violet at more or less the same time, about the reaction of many feminists to Palin) . . .

    “I’m inclined to go with the “absorbed a lot of patriarchal misogyny and unconsciously take it out on women they can ‘other’ ” theory,

    With Palin, add in that the media was already in a misoygnistic frenzy whipped up against Clinton when Palin appeared on the scene, and that most liberals don’t like most conservatives anyway and after the Bush administration this was already veering toward hatred and with Palin it was somehow more acceptable to really tear into her and that the Obama fan club was already geared to *hate* anyone who stood in his way, and, there ya go.”

    Let me also add that part of it is the change in American campaigning . . . Since 2000, the mainstream media has made it their mission to pick a candidate and make sure it wins, and so far this has been successful. Gore was constantly lied about and people believed it, as soon as Howard Dean looked like he could run on an unapproved platform they destroyed him in about two weeks in 2004, then aided and abetted lies about Kerry, then in 2008 (starting late 2007) tore into Hillary with a fury that dwarfed all the others put together, because our media is also deeply sexist. Added to this, the Axelrod-run Obama campaign is the first time a democratic campaign staff has deliberately used the sort of crap that Karl Rove pulled in 2000 and 2004 for Bush (who in 2000 went after McCain in the primary the same way Axelrod & Obama went after Hillary in the dem primary; the only difference was that McCain got ko’d early and Hillary still managed to get the most votes before they yanked the nomination away). Liberals proved just as easy to manipulate as conservatives, and a lot of our left-wingers were pretty indistinguishable from Limbaugh and Hannity, just with their follow-the-herd rage directed at a different target. So the Palin thing is a whole bunch of factors coalescing, but even if you don’t agree with a thing she says, please don’t take the general media portrayal of what she is like as a person as accurate.

  382. london gal says:

    “Later”? Okay, here’s how it works: if you want to do an honest job of understanding someone’s point of view, particularly a politician who’s spoken on a topic a number of times with varying degrees of detail, you try to pull together all the relevant quotes.

    What you don’t do is what you’ve done here, which is use a partial quote and then create the impression that “later” she amended it.

    Yes, “later”. The first statement I quoted about not attributing it to being man-made is from this interview she gave to Newsmax. Then in the VP debate she said:

    “I’m not one to attribute every man — activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man’s activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet. But there are real changes going on in our climate. And I don’t want to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is, how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts?”

    So first she “wouldn’t attribute it” to human activities, then she said they might have something to do with it but also goes on about “cyclical changes” and ends up by saying she doesn’t want to “argue about the causes”. Quite how you “positively affect the impacts” without knowing the causes is a mystery, but there you go.

    If you think there is room for this kind of confusion in the science then I would recommend you read the IPCC report. This isn’t intended as an personal criticism – I wouldn’t expect you, even as a clearly educated person, to have necessarily read enough about this issue to know what the science is, because you (presumably) have no professional responsibilities that require such background knowledge. A politician not only in a position to make decisions about energy resource, but one who talked up her energy expertise based on her management of Alaska’s oil and gas reserves, has such responsibilities, and there is absolutely no excuse for this level of ignorance.

    Based on my knowledge of her statements, I am not mis-quoting or mis-representing her views on this. If the articles I’ve (hopefully) linked to are mis-transcribing her words then I will be happy to apologise.

    Well, that explains it: you’re not a feminist.

    Feminism is for all women, not just the perfect ones. As I think Gloria Steinem said, feminism will be a success when a mediocre woman has as much chance as a mediocre man.

    Palin can be labelled a feminist in spite of calling abortion “abhorrent” (which many commenters here have said automatically disqualifies her), but I’m disqualified for saying I don’t want an (IMO) very objectionable woman held up as a feminist rolemodel? If you believe feminism is for all women, then you surely you can accept me as, in your opinion, at least a mediocre feminist?

    For the record, I do believe a mediocre woman should have as much chance as a mediocre man. But we’re not there yet, and IMHO will never get there by holding up people like Palin as examples. It is possible for people to believe in the same goal but have different views on how to achieve it. I don’t discount your committment to this goal just because your views on the means are different to mine.

    As long as you’re out there tearing down any woman who doesn’t meet your personal standards for perfection, we’re screwed.

    Yes, I agree and your point is well taken. But I wouldn’t tear down any woman. Hillary Clinton certainly doesn’t meet my personal standards for perfection. Margaret Thatcher’s policies appalled me most of the time. But neither of them embarrassed me as a woman whenever they opened their mouthes. Yes, I know George Bush was just as embarrassing as Sarah Palin, but sadly we’re still at the “rolemodel” stage where woman in politics tend to be considered representative of women in general. So yes, there’s a double standard but trying to wish it away won’t make it so. Idealism can sometimes hinder it’s own ideals.

    @ Sis – my bad ;) And I completely agree with you and Violet on that whole thing.

    @ RKMK – thanks for the links, I’ll take a look.

  383. Violet says:

    I can’t tell you how infuriated I am when people talk about women entering the workforce for the first time in the 1970s. That was a middle class (since the 1950s) and upper class phenomenom. Farm wives and the wives of shop keepers always worked. They may not have been compensated separately from their husbands, but they certainly worked outside the home just as much as their husbands. Women very frequently worked for their own pay outside the home before then – the textile mills were often staffed with women.

    I know. I’m descended from textile mill workers. All the women in my family have always worked. I wrote about that a few weeks ago vis-a-vis some classist insults of Palin:

    http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/2009/06/15/here-we-go-again-with-the-classism/

  384. MojaveWolf says:

    Another factor why Palin is perceived so badly, as other people have mentioned in less detail,is the McCain campaign strategy. To quote myself from last October, doing a post mortem on why McCain lost:

    The first boneheaded move was to hide Palin away from interviews and forums in fear that she would be edited to make her look bad (she was, but that wasn’t the biggest problem) and/or fear that she couldn’t hold her own. If the latter case, shouldn’t have picked her, but actually, she does as well as can be expected given some of the policy positions she has to defend in these things. The problem was that by hiding her so long, the McCain campaign allowed their opponents and a hostile media* to dictate her image, which led to a horde of people perceiving her every following action and comment in the worst possible light.

    This was a particularly woeful blunder in light of the fact that Palin, unlike McCain, *is* a good campaigner and a charismatic speaker, and putting her on a more or less equal stage with McCain (or even front and center for, say, 70% of the time–after seeing the initial reaction I would have actually let her be the point person, if I’d been his campaign, while portraying him as the wise authority figure in the background who really knew what was up, making it Palin vs. Obama while putting McCain on a pedestal above them) was his best chance to win this thing. As it was, she didn’t have a chance to defend herself against the “she’s scary” idea that was pushed into viralness, and her every mistake (or thing that could be taken as a mistake) was magnified, and all good points were ignored or distorted.

    http://mojave-wolf.livejournal.com/2008/10/09/

  385. KCL says:

    I have a liberal friend who initially supported Hillary. She despised Palin. My friend, who is childless and career-oriented, believed that Palin’s choices and failures as a parent nullified her to run for national office, even state office. As a mom with two children, I find this deeply concerning. If a man had a young disabled son and an unmarried teenager daughter who had a child, would anyone question if he should run? Did anyone question if Bobby Kennedy was competent enough to run for president with all those kids of his? Or was that Ethel’s responsibility? You can’t pick how your children turn out or make all their decisions for them. So a woman can only aspire to a national office if she only has a couple of kids and they’re perfect? I think what Palin really taps into is a feminist lie that we have to choose between children and career. That, and frankly a level of jealousy – Palin has a gaggle of beautiful children, an adoring husband, power and prestige. She’s pretty and wears a size 4. She doesn’t have an ivy league education and doesn’t care. I don’t either. You can’t swing a dead cat standing in the Metro Center station in DC at 5 pm without hitting someone with an ivy league degree. Big deal. No wonder they hate her. She’s deconstructed the prevailing feminist ideologies that so many liberal women accept as gospel.

  386. HeroesGetMade says:

    What an awesome and much-needed discussion! Thanks to all, and especially Violet, for having the huevos to broach the subject.

    My reaction to Palin’s GOP convention speech was similar to Violet’s – I thought she knocked it out of the park. She obviously went to school on the PUMAs, and spoke to many of the misgivings about himself having no substantive experience/long-term positions/goals. The only downside to her speech were the pre-programmed GOP talking points I’ve heard and disagreed with many times over, having grown up in a pre-Reagan GOP household but having gone off the reservation to the point of wanting to live in a social democracy, but not wanting to move to Sweden to get it done. (Maybe we can elect Hugo Chavez presidente when the Southwest corner of the US secedes:)

    But here’s the thing that stopped me cold when she was delivering that speech – her husband holding the baby while she was speaking. A deep and forbidden love of Todd Palin rose up in my lefty feminist heart at the sight of it. Until now, I don’t know exactly why that occurred, but I think it has something to do with Sarah being something of a modern-day matriarch. As others have alluded, she is a self-made successful woman who seems to have it all – political career, family, supportive mate, and most importantly – a village that she’s in charge of. I think it was Mr Iditarod holding the baby while the matriarch gave the speech that caused the minds of many small-minded elitists to explode. That sort of thing simply does not occur in Dude Nation, by design.

    Someone mentioned the feminist have-it-all/do-it-all conundrum – you can have it all if you can do it all, trouble is only Superwoman can do it all. Then along comes Hillary with the observation that it takes a village – no shit, but what if the village thinks you’re only good for scapegoating and cookie-baking in addition to the usual patriarchal roles? Somehow the Palins transcended all that, and I think it has something to do with being left to their own devices out on the Western frontier – they found out what works for them, but works for them has been demonized by Dude Nation and the Women’s Auxiliary, the Stockholm Sweeties. Doesn’t Mr Iditarod know that it’s emasculating for grown men to care for their own children? The anxious toxic masculinity says so, and the anti-feminist women agree, so it must be codified and rogues like the Palins must be whisked off the national stage forthwith!

    Someone said the jealousy/resentment thing was anti-feminist and therefore verboten, so let’s go there. I have observed more than a few self-identified feminists who can’t support That Woman (Hillary or Sarah or fielder’s choice) because she’s a monster because she’s successful in a man’s world without the help, advice, or permission of people like self-identified feminists who resent women who stand out and take the lead. Their natural inclination is to tear them down however they can – she should’ve left her philandering husband, it’s her fault she couldn’t keep her husband from predating all those helpless young women, she can’t be a good mother of five and a governor simultaneously and certainly can’t be a governor and leaking amniotic fluid at the same time. There’s so much resentment/projection/displacement intertwined in it that it makes my head hurt, but the bottom line is that these powerful, successful women who want to lead raise the bar and make them scared they’ll never measure up. The worst sin of all – despite there being a very real thing called patriarchy, it didn’t seem to stop them from achieving – so what’s your excuse? I think their success and undeniable power makes the insecure cling to their excuses/crutches/wounds even harder, and project their own mistakes with even more rage of elusive origin. I think when people know they are wrong, even if they don’t consciously know it, they are at their absolute worst, most especially when they press on in an uncontrollable rage. At least I hope that’s their absolute worst, because I don’t want to see worse than what we’ve already seen.

    As we’ve come to learn over the course of the recent unfortunate election, the liberal/progressive tribe had co-opted the feminist movement, such as it was, until it wasn’t worth warm spit. It seems the whole point of it was to make sex on demand a reality for Dude Nation, and whatever quasi-feminist goal that might serve that end was agreed upon by the dudes, and the women’s auxiliary then made haste to declare it empowerful and make it so. In the end, it’s a good thing it all came apart so something worthwhile might replace it.

  387. chuck says:

    One thing that impressed me about Palin was how she didn’t seem to be the one trying to make Bristol feel like trash for getting pregnant.

    I think that is perfectly normal among a lot of working people out in flyover country. I have a slew of religious relatives out in the Kansas area and I think they would handle it that way. Now, if the father were some douchebag player I expect some of my cousins would want to beat the crap out of him. But for the mother the family would be there and they would have no problem with the baby. They love babies, a new baby is always show and tell, born yesterday and already at the party for all to admire. It’s family first and a baby is family.

  388. Jamie W. says:

    I went out and read Apostate’s comments on Palin and Dr. Socks as well. As the SAHM of four and a half (one still processing), the descendant of white trash, a person from the South, and one who doesn’t give a hoot about clothing or labels or accessorizing — she was incredibly offensive to the point of being snobbish — the very definition of elitist. She is, in short, a perfect microcosm of the reason I turned against feminism — too many like her.

    I am glad (and I’ve said this somewhere else) that I found the RL blog — it has restored my faith in feminism as a philosophy that includes ALL women, not just those who look right or act right or come from the right background or school, or who believe in supporting every single women’s issue defined as a women’s issue. I, like many of the people coming here, hold 90% of traditionally feminist issues critically important, from the freedom to choose a career AND family to quality daycare, from the right to control how many children I have to the right to be paid equally for equal work.

    Conservative and liberal feminists — and there are, very distinctly, both — have so much to offer one another. They solve the same issues in different ways. BOTH sides could benefit from getting together and listening carefully and critically, without bowing to the dictates of outside controls — most specifically, the dictates of either major party. I hope that the Palin issue will lead to this in the near future, so that we can leave our sons and daughters a world moving forward rather than one that appears to be in full reverse on both sides.

  389. Sis says:

    I don’t want to put too much emphasis on it, but Todd Palin is native. Native men are softer, less aggressive, as a group. Todd seems to have been raised with one foot in each culture. By choice, he chooses to fish, by need, he works in the oil fields. I know as soon as I write that it sounds so wrong. But it’s true. It’s why native people have had such a hard time fitting into the modern world. They just don’t play the big game very well. They’re just not wired for it.

    I posted something about that in the other thread. They’re all wrong the Palins. Everything about them is wrong, according to what our present culture values and dictates.

    Palin isn’t Mr. Iditarod, by the way. That’s dog teams. He’s using snow mobiles. But I get what you’re saying.

  390. Violet says:

    London gal, what you’re doing is moving the goalposts. It seems to be common with people who have made up their minds about Palin. “she said X! oh, okay, she didn’t say that.. but she said Y! just as bad! No, okay, she didn’t say that, but..but…what she did say was still horrible!”

    At this point, I would be willing to bet that even a scientifically impeccable statement from Palin would nevertheless be construed by you as evidence of her inanity. Somehow: you’d find it.

    So first she “wouldn’t attribute it” to human activities, then she said they might have something to do with it but also goes on about “cyclical changes” and ends up by saying she doesn’t want to “argue about the causes”.

    That, of course, is sophistry. You’ve taken a single utterance and torn it apart as if it depicts Palin’s confused and changeable thought processes over time.

    Quite how you “positively affect the impacts” without knowing the causes is a mystery, but there you go.

    Not really. If we know that C02 in the atmosphere is increasing global warming, we can work on lowering C02 levels from those sources we can control, namely human activities. It’s not necessary to have a rock-solid explanation of all the factors causing the current rise in C02 levels.

    But of course you know this. Palin rules are different: no matter what she says, it’s evidence that she’s a stupid bitch.

    Yes, I know George Bush was just as embarrassing as Sarah Palin, but sadly we’re still at the “rolemodel” stage where woman in politics tend to be considered representative of women in general. So yes, there’s a double standard but trying to wish it away won’t make it so.

    Right. So the only thing we can do, as feminists, is continue to enforce that double standard. As viciously as possible. That’ll fix things!

    I’m disqualified for saying I don’t want an (IMO) very objectionable woman held up as a feminist rolemodel?

    I’m not disqualifying you from anything. I’m saying you don’t seem to me to have a feminist sensibility. It seems to me that you hate other women. Or rather, whatever feminist sensibility you have is not nearly as strong as your instinct to despise other women. EDITED TO ADD: I’m going to revise what I just said. I do think you’re a feminist, and I wouldn’t be talking to you at length like this if I didn’t. What I think is that you’re one of those feminists who is stuck in a double-standard knee-jerk hatred of Palin. It frustrates me.

  391. Sameol says:

    Sorry, I meant to say Obama, like Palin, is in favor of teaching evolution in school, not that Obama is in favor of teaching creationism in school. As far as I am aware, that’s one promise he hasn’t yet backtracked on. He’s in favor of funneling public money to religious institutions through the Faith Based Initiatives Office, I’m assuming she is as well. Neither is in favor of abstinence only sex ed. (The comments about both Palin and her daughter when she became pregnant on the liberal boards were extremely disgusting, not a whole lot of healthy support for young female sexuality to be found there).

    As far as religion goes, I am an athiest but I did find the media obsession with her religious activities a little odd. In religious institutions, religious people talk to their gods, they ask for blessings, I didn’t particularly see anything unusual or alarming.

    I don’t even know where to begin on Clinton and sexism. I guess maybe the Daily Howler might be a good place to start. What was the first blog to split, Allegre’s? You could go through a million hours of Msnbc, Olbermann, Maddow, Matthews, Cafferty on CNN, about a million hours of Air America, starting with Rhodes and Shultz. You could also spend the next 6 months going through the meltdown of the liberal blogosphere, daily kos, Democratic Underground, Booman Tribune, on and on and on. And since you mentioned being out organized, you might also want to look at some sites on caucus fraud. I know Dr. Socks here has worked on that, so she will be able to direct you to some of the testimony from women and what they witnessed and had to go through in order to (attempt to) cast their votes.

  392. Carolyn says:

    I think one of the most important points made here is that, if someone really wants to understand who Sarah Palin is, they have to make the effort to find out on their own, and I think reading this post and all of the comments is an excellent start.

    I cannot overstate the degree to which our media is compromised. There is no shortage of information available if you have a sincere desire to read and listen to everything she had said or done. IMHO, MSNBC, Andrew Sullivan, and Daily Kos are probably not your best choices.

    People must be open minded enough to look beyond the narrative that is being pushed by her political enemies and few seem willing to question the veracity of their current sources of information. Hopefully those of us who are able to see her value can begin to influence those who don’t, and those of us on both right and left can begin to see how we ALL are being manipulated to be divided. If we ever got together, we would be unstoppable, but that means we have to give each other a little room to be individuals, and to respectfully make the effort to understand each other’s points of view…not with an eye towards changing it, but as an geniune effort to accept each other.

    Who in this world doesn’t think maybe we should be worrying a little more about what young boys and girls face in this nasty, cynical, cruel world we live in today? If it doesn’t frighten you to read about the sexualization of our preteen girls, and how they are being encouraged to be “bad girls” you need to begin to pay attention. (I have no doubt that young boys are being crippled emotionally just as early).

    As much as I regret not having children when I could, I would be terrified to be bringing up a child in this toxic environment we have today. How to teach honesty, when all around us even our leaders demonstrate daily that they don’t practice it? How to teach compassion when all we see and hear is personal destruction? How to teach morality when there are no longer acceptable role models often even including their parents? How to teach them to value themselves and others as children of God, when God isn’t welcome in any conversation?

    I think other commentors on other boards have proposed that perhaps what happened with our sexual liberation in the 70′s is that we became the authors of our own exploitation. All the while we thought we were freer, we were being devalued. Whether conscious or otherwise, our sense of ourselves was diminished in some fundamental ways. None of us would want to admit that of course, so we continue in destructive relationships, rationalize all of our decisions and viewpoints all so that we don’t have to look too closely at our own broken hearts.

    Young boys and girls who are participating in sexual activity before they are mature enough to understand their value and worth, are being stunted in many ways. We need to teach them how incredibly special they are, and how they should wait until they are ready to have sex, that they should want it to be meaningful and undertaken with an understanding of the potential emotional and physical consequences. Who isn’t aware of the scars we carry when we have been badly used? The damage to self esteem, the decline in grades, the descent into depression. These are things we are vulnerable to as adult women. Imagine a child coping with all that complexity of emotion and fear…the talking, the realization that “he” didn’t mean it.

    We should be terribly afraid that our girls and boys are coming to be very comfortable with it…and the denial of what the cost truly is. Both are learning misogyny as children. If their lives are empty and they are apathetic and have eating disorders, maybe it’s because they are expected to believe that they are having fun and being cool when they feel dead inside.

    “Abstinence education”. It sounds so clinical and restrictive…like we are trying to keep something from them that they have every right to have. Perhaps we can find something new to call it…something that talks to the women and men they can grow up to be. For that to work, they need to have adults who demonstrate the qualities of toughness, self confidence, self respect, compassion, generosity of spirit, willingness to work hard, willingness to push themselves to be the best they can be…to look up to. It’s not completely about morality, but for many, a set of moral standards is the skeleton that the evolving person can be built upon. There are other ways to teach standards of conduct, and other things to call it besides morality. This is where the right and left need to extend themselves a little to understand that in many instances, their goals are the same…healthy strong children who will have happy fulfilled lives. Girls and boys will make mistakes regardless of what parents do, and have through all time. This doesn’t mean they have to accept something tarnished and depraved and be told that it is good.

    Imagine all that could be achieved for boys and girls, men and women, to have a couple like Sarah and Todd Palin in the White House? We owe it to our children and their children to not participate in this virtual stoning. Those two might just help bring out the best in all of us.

  393. london gal says:

    London gal, what you’re doing is moving the goalposts. It seems to be common with people who have made up their minds about Palin. “she said X! oh, okay, she didn’t say that.. but she said Y! just as bad! No, okay, she didn’t say that, but..but…what she did say was still horrible!”

    Er, no what I said was “she said X”. Then you said “no she didn’t, you’re taking it out of context”, so I pasted the full quotes along with links to the full context. If you’re not satisfied with that then I’m pretty much out of options…

    At this point, I would be willing to bet that even a scientifically impeccable statement from Palin would nevertheless be construed by you as evidence of her inanity. Somehow: you’d find it.

    Oh good grief – scientifically impeccable? I’d settle for half-way-plausible. She first said outright that she wouldn’t attribute global warming to humans, then in a later debate she slightly backtracked but still confused the issue with vague talk of “climatic cycles”. This isn’t “scientifically non-impeccable”, it’s a load of cr*p. Any half-way competent politician, let alone one claiming expertise in energy matters, should know that.

    Palin rules are different: no matter what she says, it’s evidence that she’s a stupid bitch.

    I think we’re going round in circles here as it feels like we’ve both said the same things several times over. I also appreciate that you’ve had to read through nearly 400 comments, but nowhere did I call Palin a stupid bitch, or any other kind of bitch.

    I did genuinely want to give you a sense of my opinions and feelings towards Palin since that is the question you originally posed, but I don’t think I’ve conveyed it properly so I’ll have one more go:

    I most certainly do not hate women. Nor do I hate Palin, as I have also stated several times over. It is possible to despise someone’s opinions without hating them as a person. I don’t even hate Rush Limbaugh, despicable though I find his utterances to be. On a personal level, I even sort of pity him – and Palin and Bush for that matter, but we’re not talking personal, we’re talking political.

    On a political level, I feel exactly the same animosity towards Sarah Palin as I do towards George Bush (of course neither of them even compares to Limbaugh!). I don’t feel more animosity to Palin due to some kind of perverse feminist sexism. I’m also not willing to excuse her more than I would excuse Bush, in some kind of inverse anti-sexism. He spent eight years being, IMO, an class A international embarrassment, and a dangerous one at that. Palin wasn’t elected to VP, but if she had been I believe she would have lived up to his stellar example.

    So as a person interested in politics I make no distinction between them, and have the same very low opinion of both.

    But as a woman interested in feminism there is a difference, because George Bush is not a woman and would therefore never be held up – either in the media or in blog posts like this one – as in some way representative of me as a woman.

    Perhaps an analogy from outside the touchy issue of feminist double-standards would help here. Both George Bush and Tony Blair went to war in Iraq, a war which I passionately opposed. Tony Blair at least gave a few sensible reasons for supporting the war. One of which was that Bush was going to do it anyway so by tagging along Britain might have some positive influence over the post-war strategy, using the British Army’s experience in Northern Ireland. I even kind of saw his point on that one. So why did I feel more animosity towards Tony Blair than towards George Bush? Because Tony Blair was the British Prime Minister, so even though I didn’t support him, didn’t vote for him and marched against the war with about a million other people, he still represented me in a way that George Bush did not. That’s why the most popular official banner on that demo said “not in my name”. People resent things more if they feel they’re being tarnished by association. As another example, isn’t that maybe part of the reason why you and some others here are more frustrated by people who consider themselves feminists disliking Palin than by random sexists disliking her? You, understandably, don’t want other people assuming you have the same opinion of her just because you’re a feminist too.

    I’m going to revise what I just said. I do think you’re a feminist, and I wouldn’t be talking to you at length like this if I didn’t.

    Thank you, I appreciate that. And sorry if I got unduly offended by your earlier comment. On that note, it’s nearly 10am here so I’d better get to work… Many thanks for a stimulating discussion.

  394. anne says:

    For someone who doesn’t hate Palin you’ve certainly spent a goodly number of blog inches expressing your dislike London Gal. There are a whole lot of male republican politicians I don’t like, I can’t imagine expending all that effort and all those words justifying the dislike though.

    “On a political level, I feel exactly the same animosity towards Sarah Palin as I do towards George Bush”

    Actually you don’t, you said that Sarah Palin made George Bush look like an intellectual titan, so clearly you hold her in more contempt than him, even though Bush is famed for his very public stupidity and ignorance whilst Sarah Palin’s alleged stupidity is an invention of sexists in the media and politics. If you are a feminist you should be able to spot these things.

    I find it interesting that what really bugs you about Palin is apparently how she reflects back on you. It certainly fits in with the narcissism that ran rampant through the election, both with Obama and with the narcissism that he appealed to in his supporters. Sarah Palin doesn’t represent you any more than she represents any other woman. She does represent a victory for women in that she is the Governor of Alaska, a job traditionally reserved for men, and she ran for VP on the Republican ticket, again a role that has always previously been reserved for men. Instead of being pleased about those achievements, which break glass ceilings for women and make it easier for women who come forward in the future on all sides of the political spectrum, you spend your time sniping at her because she doesn’t hold the exact same views as you do on you on global warming or religion. You do understand that the advancement of women doesn’t mean the advancement of women who agree exactly with London Gal do you? That feminism and women’s liberation means the advancement of all women, including right wing women?

    What’s interesting is that you compared your dislike of her to your dislike of Tony Blair, a man whose decisions as prime minister led to the deaths of thousands in Iraq, both British and Iraqi. Someone on Violet’s most recent thread said that people respond to Palin as if she was a war criminal and you certainly proved that point – mentally putting her in a box alongside Blair and Bush for that matter. I’m not sure what Palin’s crimes are – taxing the oil companies and trying to get a pipeline built and being a threat to Obama (the biggie)? Hardly the stuff of Nuremberg.

    I think all this depends on whether you seem feminism as a girls’ club full of crap about who likes who (“She doesn’t represent meeeeee!”) and policing either on appearance as Apostate did with her white trash hair and accessories, or as you did with your nit-picking at her answers to interview questions, or whether you see it as a movement to smash men’s stronghold on power and regain for women the power that has been stolen from us. Certainly fighting for political power and winning as Sarah Palin has done falls into the latter category. The fight that misogynistic men and their supporters are putting up against her shows that they know it too.

  395. donna darko says:

    I also appreciated that she took on the old boys club in Alaska politics. How many politicians do that? McCain. Anyone else?

    Exactly, Anne. Popularity and looks getting in the way of women’s collective power? What does that sound like? Patriarchy.

    Clinton, Thatcher and Palin aren’t good enough for her so is there a woman she would vote for?

    Many liberal women did not support Clinton because they were jealous of her career, success and marriage and many are jealous of Palin’s career and marriage too. Her husband is the model of the supportive, hands on, modern husband.

  396. RKMK says:

    I just wrote this is the newer thread, because the comment highlighted there started my thought process, but I suppose I should post it here as well:

    Y’know, I’ve been mulling this over since the megapost, because I’ve been trying to nail down the actual cause – and “they’re jus’ jellous!” and “they’re threatened by her!” don’t really pass the smell test – and this comment really helped elucidate it for me.

    Mainstream feminists are ashamed of themselves. They know they were wrong in supporting Obama – or rather, at least, in not supporting Hillary on feminist grounds throughout the primary, alongside The Chosen One. Maybe initially, they really DID think Hillary was a corporate-kiss-up/ war hawk; an embarrassingly post-sexual second-waver who was slightly dorky and awkward (and racist?), certainly not “cool.”

    But by the time Hillary finished up the primary season – both with her “18 million cracks” speech when she suspended her campaign, and her subsequent class-act performance at the Convention – they had a nagging feeling that Hillary Clinton: Media Creation and Hillary Clinton: The Person were two entirely different entities.

    And then McCain announced Palin as his running mate, and there, right in front of them, was a living embodiment of someone who was – in theory – the polar opposite of Hillary Clinton, So-Called Despised Politician. Clinton had been pilloried for being old, post-sexual, and “establishment” Washington. Palin was young, attractive, a fresh-faced outsider with limited experience (like Obama). Hillary was too educated, an intimidatingly smart know-it-all, a boring policy wonk; Palin was a folksy charmer, state-school educated, and (like Obama) didn’t overburden herself with such things as detailed policy. Republicans hated Hillary Clinton, she was “so divisive”; but Republicans loved Sarah Palin. Hillary Clinton was “cold” and “calculating”, her family values suspect; Palin was a warm and fuzzy mother of five.

    So when Sarah Palin came onto the national political scene, she stood there as a living embodiment – straight from central-casting! – of what the American public supposedly wanted in a female politician – and her very presence instantly exposed what bullshit the criticisms levied at Clinton had been.

    Hillary Clinton was brilliant and exceedingly competent; she knew her shit inside and out, and wiped the floors with Obama in the debates; she was demonstrably experienced and battle-tested, tough as nails, and was an avowed, solidly pro-choice feminist. She was exactly the kind of candidate the feminist blogosphere should have been backing throughout 2008, and nearly perfectly embodied the kind of person who “should” be the first female President of the United States. She was right there in front of them, and they took her for granted, or outright abandoned her – and Sarah Palin is the living reminder of their blind betrayal. And every day that Obama proves himself the inferior politician we all knew he was, the vitriol and ridicule spewed at Palin increases – because they can’t face their own responsibility in creating this situation.

  397. donna darko says:

    The pro-life Republican, attractive and threat to Obama reasons can be chalked up to sexism and her working class background was a way leftists could be sexist towards her by calling her a slut or whore.

    We should get back to the issue of violence against women and how it was used to silence Clinton and Palin. The left’s sexual violence and harrassment was worse towards Palin than Clinton. She quit because of the left’s sexism, sexual violence and harrassment.

  398. Lorenzo says:

    Great post, with great comments.

    Being on the other side of the globe, I was somewhat bemused by the whole Palin hate-fest. Its speed, its intensity and its spread.

    The speed seemed to be directly connected to the surge of interest and energy from Palin’s candidacy and speech getting in the way of the Obama ascension. Since lots of people, including lots of people in the media, were obviously entranced by the prospect of a black Democrat President–particularly a highly photogenic, mediagenic, literary and academic black Democrat President–clearly Palin’s candidacy had to be discredited ASAP.

    So one reason why Palin became a “designated hate receptacle” (great phrase) was indeed defending the righteous rise of Obama.

    As to the highly personalised, truth-irrelevant hatred, equally clearly misogyny is part of the story, but not even close to all of it. For a start, the question is how did this misogyny get a “free pass” among folk who are supposed to be very sensitive to misogyny? Then there is the sheer personalised intensity, way beyond what successful women in politics typically suffer.

    Gov, Palin obviously affronted profoundly many people’s sense of how things should be. The various ways in which she did this have been covered in Violet’s wonderful post and various comments. The deeper issue is why so many people thought that such intense hatred was an appropriate response, why they apparently needed a “designated hate receptacle”. Political positions and persona have clearly become very much tied to many people’s sense of personal identity: a sense of personal identity that not only did not include Palin’s achievements as a feminist success but was clearly actively threatened by any sense of her having achievements.

    Why political positions and persona should have taken on that role is a much wider question, but Palin Derangement Syndrome cannot be fully understood without answering it. I suspect it is because political positions and persona have become markers of people’s sense of status–there is research which suggests that having a high sense of status encourages more spiteful behaviour. In attacking Palin, people were clearly defending their sense of status by their intense projection of negative attributes to Palin. So, the attacks should be read in reverse. Every attribution of what wrong with Palin reveals what the attackers thought was right about themselves or what about their sense of status was threatened by Palin.

    Conversely, if one does not have a sense of personal identity and status constructed in such a way, the whole thing becomes just a bizarre sociological phenomenon.

    The most wonderful thing about Violet’s post was its sheer articulate sanity. There is never enough of that in contemporary politics.

  399. donna darko says:

    Exactly, RKMK.

    As far as Palin touting herself as a conservative feminist, she did not do this until bloggers pushed her. She is a conservative type of feminist, very competent, successful, played competitive sports, shot guns, supportive, hands on husband. Someone made the great point Bobby Kennedy was not criticized for having nine (?) kids. Todd Palin was portrayed during the campaign as doing most of the childcare.

  400. anne says:

    “We should get back to the issue of violence against women and how it was used to silence Clinton and Palin. The left’s sexual violence and harrassment was worse towards Palin than Clinton. She quit because of the left’s sexism, sexual violence and harrassment.”

    I’m sure you’re right that the sexual hatred and violence directed at her and her children (her daughters and her baby – the only one who really got let of the hook was her oldest son) were what did.

    Liberals think that this is acceptable, that women in public life should just have to face this level of sexual hostility if they want to be centre stage. I don’t even think they realise what they are doing – they are so porn-addled that it’s acceptable to talk about any woman like this. They don’t see that they are in fact acting as sexual terrorists.

    It’s part of the problem I have with all these stupid 3rd wavers (before anybody gets up in arms I’m calling them stupid because their actions as so-called feminists are so deeply stupid) – they are so busy saying “well i don’t like this, this and this about her” that they ignore their hipster men friends standing right in front of them saying “I want to rape that bitch and film it to show to my buddies, har, har, har”.

  401. Richard Aubrey says:

    Lorenzo.
    As to projecting their own insecurities, to speak of Palin as being stupid is the speaker telling us how smart the speaker is.

  402. Tomecat says:

    Wow. While my brain has been contorting itself to accommodate all the conflicting thoughts I have on this subject, I finally have a new (to me) thought.

    I was/am a huge Hillary Clinton supporter. I voted for her in the primary and was genuinely thrilled about an election for the first time in my life—I thought she had a real shot. When Obama took the nomination, I was enormously disappointed, but since the country was/is in such turmoil, I largely ignored my disappointment and focused on the immediate issue; which candidate was the lesser of two evils. To many left-leaning people, McCain represented another administration taking us further in the wrong direction. Obama was an unknown, but at least paid lip-service to some of the ideals that were important to us. So at that point, my mind was already made up. I couldn’t have Hillary, but I sure didn’t want McCain.

    Then the VP selections came along. The more I think about it, the more I think that Palin might have been the only thing that could have saved McCain. And that terrified me. Not because of all the lies told about her (although I was too easily sold on some of them), but because it could mean McCain taking the white house, the Supreme Court becoming 80% conservative, the likelihood of new wars, etc. So to ensure that McCain lost, Palin had to be discredited. She is no better or worse than any other Republican that might have been selected, but she was a much easier target. I, for one, am ashamed that I got caught up in it at all. Do I suddenly like her politics? Nope. Still wish Hillary had won. In fact, Palin might have been treated very differently if Hillary had gotten the nomination. But now, looking back on it, I see how both of them were thrown to the dogs—just from opposite sides of the fence. Hillary was too experienced/hawkish/ballbusting/ivy-league/cold, Palin wasn’t enough. Palin was too sexy/friendly/folksy/motherly/religious, Hillary wasn’t enough. Sexism as usual. Lose-lose for women.

  403. Sis says:

    Why the sudden acknowledgment of the sexism? Is this so they can say they did speak out about it, and appear to have a conscience, and some feminist creds? Where were these so-called feminists for the past year, with the sickening, violent expression of women-hating toward Palin, and years before that, with Clinton?

    Were they so afraid of Obama’s goons to defend their sister, until she left?

    I will not forget who did, and did not, speak up about women-hating.

    http://womensmediacenter.com/wordpress/?p=845

    “WMC Statement on Recent Sexism in the Media Against Sarah Palin
    Posted by Carol on Monday, July 6th, 2009
    Filed in A Message From Carol, Media, Politics, WMC Advocacy · 1 comment

    On Friday, July 3, Sarah Palin announced she would be resigning from her post as Governor of Alaska, mid-term. Like all political figures, Palin’s record, policies and performance should be subject to rigorous and even withering media critique. However, The Women’s Media Center strongly objects to sexist media coverage focused on her appearance and reproductive abilities. Regardless of political stance or party affiliation, women should not be unfairly subjected to critique of their physical attributes, and as a non-partisan media advocacy organization, The Women’s Media Center objects to all sexist media coverage.

  404. james wilson says:

    Nothing should surprise us that should not cause us to first examine what is wrong in ourselves to have completely misunderstood something. To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. And to lose a few friends.

  405. Tomecat says:

    Sis, it’s not a sudden acknowledgment of the sexism. I did call out people on the ugly slurs. I’m just trying to answer the question posed at the beginning of this mess. Why did I feel so much stronger about Palin than I probably would have about another candidate? I’m not trying to excuse the behavior, just offer a possible explanation. This thread has turned from being a wonderful teaching/learning experience to one where anything but pure unadulterated praise for Palin seems to be getting attacked.

  406. m Andrea says:

    London gal, you appear to concerned that Palin (or any other conservative) isn’t 100% on the exact same page that you are, re: climate change. But while you’re focusing on the points where you disgree, I’ve been noticing for quite some time how those points have shifted among conservatives.

    I know some scientisty folks who are also conservative. Three years ago they would vehemently insist that cc was all due to natural phenomenea, and that humans needed to fix none of it. Three years later, they are all willing to admit that humans have caused at least some of it, and they also acknowlege that we need to address all of it.

    Frankly, I don’t care that they need an excuse to deal with it, I’m just glad that they are. And oh joy, I’m really excited about some of the things they are working on, since they have changed their minds.

    Another thing, about this “oh we need to wait til we get a perfect female, else an imperfect female will make all women look bad”. First of all, perfection isn’t possible. Every female politician will make mistakes and have flaws, just like every male pol makes mistakes and has flaws. Secondly, no male politician in the history of the world has ever held an opinion or made a policy decision which “everybody” agreed with, so expecting women to make “everybody” happy on “every” issue is — words fail me. Thirdly, we wouldn’t be scrutinizing and judging the few female politicians we do have with such impossibly high standards, if there were a larger percentage of them in high office.

  407. thistle says:

    RKMK: So when Sarah Palin came onto the national political scene, she stood there as a living embodiment – straight from central-casting! – of what the American public supposedly wanted in a female politician – and her very presence instantly exposed what bullshit the criticisms levied at Clinton had been.

    Not only that, but it made the Obama campaign look like neanderthals because the Palin announcement occurred days after Obama would NOT choose Hillary (18 million votes) as Vice President. Palin represents the anger the Obama campaign and supporters have against themselves.

  408. octogalore says:

    I am concerned about global warming and am in the camp of thinking human-created carbon dioxide contributes. But there are smart people who question its impact. Anyone who is prepared to denounce Palin on the issue should grapple with these folks as well.

  409. madjuana says:

    Sarah Palin is scary because she is Everywoman (i.e., not just a feminist). Men are especially terrified, along with young boys, who feel the primal threat waged by a woman who can best them in their own games, outrun them, outshoot them, outfox them, beat them at chess,etc. This upsets the power structure, wives, mothers, sisters must be pressured, intimidated, beaten down by existential arguments, the male-defined playing field where they always win because it’s their turf, and Sarah Palin has already figured that out on that primal level at which she excels. Think of how the true visionary women of ancient times were beaten, ridiculed, denied validity. This is nothing new. What’s new? Women in America, especially feminists, have sold their souls to the Male Security Agency that terrorizes and protects at the same time: marriage, the protoype for institutionalized oppression (& of course all the while denying same sex partner benefits choosing to define it as “marriage” as if that’s what we want), abortion rights (making “choice” a political issue, their issue, rather than a personal choice), voting for a black man over an exemplary qualified woman, all male-defined issues. Sarah Palin is working her magic and starting a dialogue that needs to be woman-centered. If the Central Woman happens to be Sarah Palin, then so be it and let’s have at it. What’s worse is we continue the dialogue from a position of why is this happening (hullo!) to how do we shake off the male baggage and start acting like woman-identified women.

  410. Tomecat says:

    What’s worse is we continue the dialogue from a position of why is this happening (hullo!)

    That’s the point. If we know why we behaved poorly, maybe we can prevent it from happening again. Before you jump all over me, I was NOT one of the woman making sexist comments or personally attacking Palin. But I did have a bad first reaction to her, and want to know why.

    I genuinely want to figure out how we can all work together. When we are backed into a corner, we all lash out, and trying to shame feminists who truly want to move forward for former bad behavior gets us nowhere.

  411. j.s. says:

    Isn’t it all about self-image?

    Obama is immensely appealing because he is, in some ways, the embodiment of the ideal self for the modern liberal. He’s multi-ethnic, Ivy-League educated, tall, smooth, athletic. He’s a lifestyle brand. You read the Sunday NYT, listen to experimental Jazz, take yoga, buy a MacBook, and vote for Obama.

    Palin isn’t the ideal self. She’s the unpleasant past you’re trying to run away from. The embarrassing mom who insists on meeting your friends. The bland suburban lifestyle that’s too happy and boring, and not ironic and cynical enough. Where people use Crisco (100% trans-fat!) in muffins because it tastes good. No asian-fusion with organic arugula salad, just caribou steaks and apple pie with spray-on whip-cream. People who can’t pronounce “faux pas”, “schadenfreude”, or “nigiri”.

    The Obama fanatics hate Palin and adore Obama because they are trying to kill their old self and be reborn as their ideal self. Good luck with that.

  412. ThomasD says:

    Having seen the Obama administration post election attempts to create, or at least capitalize upon various and sundry other receptacles for hate (Rush, etc.) I’d say you’ve hit upon the substance of the matter. She stood in the way of the One and, like Hillary before her, needed to be trashed.

    Maybe Obama isn’t an out and out misogynist, but he is a politician quite comfortable wielding the rhetoric of hate, and in the case of Palin it was the most effective tool he had so he and his minions went with it.

  413. Richard Aubrey says:

    madjuana.
    Can I presume, from the “a” at the end of your nic, that you are a female?
    Let me suggest you be somewhat more cautious about ascribing sheer terror to guys when facing Palin.
    Among other things, McCain got a lot of guy votes–couldn’t have come close without them–despite the supposed terror of Palin.
    Palin doesn’t scare me. Why should she? Among other things, I’m one of those who can shoot better–and more types of weapons–light weapons Infantry for a bit. Before the knees gave out, I was a pretty good runner.
    Thing is, guys think women who can do that stuff are HOT, not to mention handy to have around in case more comes down the pike than is manageable.
    We admire women like Palin. See them as partners.
    Zillions of guys like me, some of whom I met coaching youth sports, are infinitely more interested in helping women become top-class athletes (like my DIL) than Homecoming Queen.
    Decades ago, I was in a project in a dicey area. The management–loosely speaking–asked me to teach the female staff self-defense. At a reunion a couple of years ago, two of the women who’d been in our little class referenced the self-defense before so much as saying “Hi”. Or “You sure got fat.” Am I supposed to be terrified by such strong women? Come on.
    Being a guy, I claim at least some possibility of insight into guys.

  414. Puma for Life says:

    The hatred has not diminished. I was sitting out on my deck last night planning on reading something from my Thomas Merton daily readings book. My next door neighbor, a white male in I would say early 60′s, who is an Obama supporter was out on his deck having a very loud cell phone conversation with someone. The conversation turned to Palin’s resignation. This man spouted some of the worst, most vile lanaguage out about Palin; how there must be some scandal about to rip up her a-hole (I’m really sorry to repeat this, but this is what he was saying and I was apalled). It was so vile I got sickened listening to him.

    What really struck me was the hatred coming out of his mouth. I knew he was an Obama supporter but I had no idea he had this level of hatred for Sarah Palin. I have no idea why this man would feel this way about her. Overhearing this conversation, and there was no way I could avoid it, that’s how loud it was, has completely changed my idea about my neighbor. I do not think I will ever be able to speak to him again.

    I was a Hillary supporter who then supported Palin/McCain. I thought Palin was a brilliant choice. I respect her immensely. I think that many women in my age group (55-65) are sexists. Most of the women here I know supported Obama. They all say the same thing: I don’t vote for someone just because they are a woman. They think they are smart; but really they are stupid. They are being used by the patriarchy.

    From a spiritual perspective, I feel Palin bears a lot of light/power. If you have ever been in a healing situation or in a spiritual situation where the energy is palpable, you will note that the spirit/light draws out the dark in each of us; dark meaning negative thoughts/energy. Palin draws out the negatiives, which is very healing to the person releasing the negatives, but not a pretty sight. And Palin isn’t a minister so it’s not exactly her job to counsel these people on what is going on. So, they go around dumping “their stuff” (that’s the term we used in the prayer ministry I once worked in) on Palin and everyone else; they feel better and the rest of us get to walk around in their gook.

    Thanks for this thread.

  415. anne says:

    “This man spouted some of the worst, most vile lanaguage out about Palin; how there must be some scandal about to rip up her a-hole (I’m really sorry to repeat this, but this is what he was saying and I was apalled).”

    These people have the minds of rapists.

  416. Ignatz says:

    Visitor, here. It’s amazing and refreshing to read this thread. Lifelong libber, voted Democrat for years, have serious issues with them nowadays, though.

    The Palin phenomenon is something we really need to understand, and not particularly for her sake: much more for our own.

    I see an angle that no one has mentioned as of #145 (had to stop reading to post!). The Democratic Power Masters saw Sarah hit the stage, registered that amazing charisma, and immediately decided “this bitch must be destroyed.”

    Why? At least partly because they don’t want to lose the feminist vote. If we leave the reservation, they’re going to be too short on Indians to win the elections. Any chance that Palin-style feminism might pull some independent-minded women’s votes had to be crushed, immediately.

    How do I know this? well, look at the tack they took: “This woman’s selection as Veep is an insult to women, especially feminists,” they snarled. And that meme got pumped out there, repeatedly.

    Because most women would like to have a family AND a career. And Palin does. There was also the awkward bit that, although anti-abortion herself, she made no moves to outlaw or constrict it in Alaska (they lean libertarian and don’t like meddling).

    This was a HUGE threat to the men in power on the Left. Also the mindfuck that the Right had chosen a dynamic, appealing woman, and the Left had selected that brain-damaged gasbag Biden.

    It’s all about keeping us on the reservation. And we’ve been played like a Stradivarius by these boyos. They stroked every string they knew would resonate, and they knew them all.

    Let’s keep an eye on these guys and not get gulled so easily, shall we? Man, I always thought being liberated meant being able to make up our own damn minds about things, not being stampeded this way and that by the Power Masters.

    Remember, they’re ALL about POWER. Watch the deeds; ignore the words. Look at the Rezko mess in Chicago, for example, which Obama ignored when he was a state senator, despite his constituents’ cries for relief. But Rezko was doing him some huge financial favors, so screw the poor. Etc.

  417. Level Best says:

    Wow! I was on holida vacation (a stay-cation, actually) even from the internet Friday through Sunday night while this brilliant post and fascinating thread were in progress. It’s taken me through 1:10 pm EST Tuesday to finish reading it, and it has been an amazing journey.

    Last year and this year were horrors for women thanks to the incredible swell of open, maglignant misogyny that women candidates and their supporters were targeted with. I really feel like Dr. Socks’ analyses and commenters’ thoughtful reactions to them since have been a balm and an inspiration to hope we can all do better.

  418. madjuana says:

    The why will always be the same: Fear, pure and simple. What could be more damaging to a bright-eyed aspiring young women than to see another woman villified, dragged through the gutter, publicly humiliated, because she stands up for what she believes in? That’s a game-changer for a young questing mind. If I see a sister in distress I will instinctively move to help her, then maybe I can save myself. Right now, the things that make us rich make us poor. If women continue to accept the crap this culture offers us in exchange for our collaboration, our silence when our sisters are attacked, then we will continue to make “mistakes.” Courage vs. Fear. How do we get there?

  419. QuayBored says:

    This isn’t difficult. Sarah Palin reminds women of what they didn’t do with their lives. She raises the bar to a level they didn’t want to do the work to get to. She has a very decent and emotionally strong family. She blows all their excuses out the window.

    Then, there’s that really obvious part where sexists thought they ended this idiotic notion of a woman president when they pushed Hillary out of the running. Jeez, where the heck did this woman come from…and a Republican, no less!!! They decided to push harder and faster to get her image destroyed.

    One thing they cannot take away from Sarah is that she was only the second woman in history to be selected as the candidate for VP of the country. That must be driving the fools crazy.

  420. gxm17 says:

    It was illuminating to read a Palin-hater condemn Sarah Palin for being “willfully ignorant” due to certain perceived positions, but not hold the same contempt for Obama who holds similar actual positions. There is an incredible disconnect going on with these self-described feminists who can not value a woman who steps outside the hater’s ideological comfort zone. And the glee with which many join in the public stoning of Sarah Palin (and her family) is truly heartbreaking.

  421. Tamquam says:

    I have been puzzled by the events leading up to the 2008 election. It seems as if some ancient divine archetypes floated down and attached themselves to Obama and Palin just to make humankind mad. The deeply visceral reactions both these people have elicited goes far beyond the normal scope and range of human insanity. People of great notoriety normally attract a smallish number of folks who see them as either divine or demonic and react accordingly. In the case of these two the numbers of worshipers (in both the positive and negative sense) is greater by several orders of magnitude. I do not believe in archetypes as having other than mythological reality (Pace, Dr. Jung!), but I am reminded of my father’s admonition as a kid, “Whom the gods would destroy the first make angry.” The original Greek has, I believe, “would first make mad” (as in insane). This would mean, as I see it, we, as a culture, are in deep doo-doo not so much because of the actions of our national leaders, but because vast swatches of the population have taken leave of their senses.

  422. SunnyJim says:

    I stumbled across this site via American Digest. Fantastic post and incredibly interesting viewpoints. I am not well versed in feminism, but I am a long time (decades) student of media bias, spin and propaganda.

    From the perspective of a moderate-to-conservative 50 year-old white guy, who could not STAND Obama, Biden or McCain, but who voted for McCain SOLELY due to Palin, I have my own take.

    First, a correction to this: “Sarah Palin is scary because she is Everywoman (i.e., not just a feminist). Men are especially terrified, along with young boys, who feel the primal threat waged by a woman who can best them in their own games…” I assume you are referring to progressive men, democrat men, or Coastal elite RINO men. I have yet to meet a SINGLE politically conservative male who is not only NOT “terrified” of Palin in the least, but to the absolute contrary, is enamored with her. There is not a gun-totin red state hunter who would not be thrilled to go out moose-hunting with Sarah.

    Her “Everywoman” persona is what makes her APPEALING to me and tens of millions of other guys like me – rather than “scary.” Many aspects of her persona remind me of my own wife; my own Mom; my two sisters. Self made, hard working, successful women, who go out and DO stuff in life, while also managing to raise kids and keep a family together – - Palin is this – and she has been doing this WITHOUT being married to a rich and influential man with a last name like Dole or Clinton, or being a decendant or an heiress of a mulitimillionare with a name like Kennedy.

    Second, I respectfully disagree with the general theme I am getting here that the Palin hatred feminists have for her is connected to her looks, or her education, etc. I think that stuff is minor and it is mostly about the politics. The feminist movement has been completely co-opted, or subsumed (or whatever the correct word is) by Progressivism.

    With progressives, it is about power. It is all about the “narrative” spun in order to achieve it.

    You see, somebody pointed out that if Hillary had been instead named Henry Clinton, he would have won the nomination. Perhaps, although I think the Obama steamroller would have done a Joe Lieberman hatchet job on whoever the competition was.

    But…IF that happened, I believe that if only FOUR things were changed with Palin: 1) She ran against the GOP old boy system in Alaska as a DEMOCRAT; 2) She was pro-choice, or at least given a free pass by the media to be wishy washy on it, as they give to any Dem they like; 3) A faux practitioner of some harmless and innocous denomination of Christianity, like Episcopalian, so that agnostic and atheist liberals don’t get nervous – although this is of less importance; and 4) was then named as “Henry” Clinton’s running mate……

    Then, NONE of that other stuff would matter one iota to feminists. IMO. Not the hair, not the looks, not the clothes, not the multiple kids, not the state school education, not the moose-hunting, not the global warming stuff, not the evolution stuff, not the “ya betchas,”….NONE of it. Zip. Nada.

    If EVERYTHING else about her life was completely unchanged, including her personal life, her speech patterns, her positions on everything from economics to national defense….
    she’d be hailed as a heroine of the modern age. She’d be on magazine covers with bylines like “The New Face of American Women.” Newsweek or Time would run a fawning cover of her and Henry…”The One-Two Knock-out Punch,” with sub-byline “Can McCain-Romney Counter?” Katie Couric (probably a hallowed member of the Sisterhood) would be asking her puffball, fawning questions instead of ambushing her. You know, kind of like the questions Obama always got.

    She has been getting slimed, non-stop, from day one, because she is like Judge Thomas is to Blacks. An Uncle Tom feminist. Just as Connie Rice would have become an official American Icon if only her politics were correct – but instead she was shamefully and disgustingly slimed – and is viewed by the Academic Left (whose sympathizers now control the White House) as a “war criminal.”

    Oh but what about Hillary, you say? She got slimed too, so it can’t just be about the politics. My answer? Oh but it is. Once the Obama train got up a head of steam, Nothing, and I mean nothing, was going to stand in its way. She was just one more obstacle that had to be “thrown under the bus,” by whatever means possible. Her gender just gave them ammo. Had her name been Henry – well they would have had to unearth Whitewater documents, they would have gone after Chelsea, they would have had to play up the “warmonger” label, etc. The Progressives were not about to let their chosen one lose. Hillary stood in their way.

    Just my two cents.

  423. seattlegal says:

    This might explain the vitriol and hate, and why so many women cling to the projections and lies about Sarah:

    Carl Jung: (regarding anima and animus)
    Unconscious assumptions or opinions are the worst enemy of woman; they can even grow into a positively demonic passion that exasperates and disgusts men, and does the woman herself the greatest injury by gradually smothering the charm and meaning of her femininity and driving it into the background. Such a development naturally ends in profound psychological disunion, in short, in a neurosis.

    “Woman in Europe” (1927) In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P.245

    As Lexia mentioned in post #61, Sarah has and does remain an integrated, united whole psychologically, whereas these women who have this hate are disjointed–their own animus and anima don’t communicate within their own selves, so their animus will project its disgust outwards onto Sarah in an attempt to get their anima to wake up and behave in a conscious manner (and consider facts) rather than in a subconscious manner–(the propaganda at work.) If this projection is the only way the anima and animus can communicate, then no wonder these people cling to their hate!

  424. SunnyJim says:

    I should add a slight correction to my post (#423).

    I stated that the feminist movement has been subsumed by progressivism. That was improper of me. I should instead say that, it APPEARS to me, from the readings that I have done, (such as the writings of Tammy Bruce and others) that this is the case.

  425. Optixmom says:

    Violet, from the bottom of my life-long Republican heart I thank you for writing this (and believe it, Pubs do have hearts no matter what Huff Po or DKos will tell you). The beating that Sarah Palin (and her family) continue to take in the MSM and the blogosphere frightens me. Is this what a Republican woman will face in the future if she decides to run for public office, and Heaven forbid the Presidency? Will any woman have to endure what Secretary Clinton endured all of those years just to be a cheerleader for a politically inexperieced teleprompter hugger?

    Women need to see that what the media is doing to Sarah Palin and what they did to Hillary Clinton will only get worse the next time ANY WOMAN decides to rock the boat and run for President. Feminists forgot to read the memo regarding equality for all. It means all, the good looking and those with great personalities, the super tan and the porcelain, the mother hens and the independent spirits, all of us. When you start ranking equality for only individuals that fit a particular trait checklist, you will never achieve it EVER.

  426. Tony says:

    Violet,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your article, and I was wondering if I wanted to read the comments. I have found the commenters on other “feminist” blog to be nasty and hateful.

    I was pleasantly surprised at the high level of civility, thoughtfulness and careful articulation I found in this comment section.

    I have likes Sarah since before the election. I was made aware of her through reading a blog from an Alaskan woman. Throughout her life she has “taken the moose by the antlers” and did her own thing. She has accomplished what she has on her own, never compromising her principles to do it. She is secure in her femininity, motherhood and “wifehood?”.

    This male chauvinist pig would be happy to vote for her for President or any other elected office. :)

  427. madjuana says:

    SunnyJim, Sarah is Everywoman for all women, not for men. Tens of millions of guys may find her something else, probably idyllic. Women’s identities are complex because oppression is at the root of our existence. If we all can’t accept that than we may be at the root of the problem “why” women keep on doing what we do: turning our backs on our sisters. I wonder if Joan of Arc, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Day and other heroines would pass the political correctness test, could be pigeon-holed into pseudo-identities. I like the notion circulating of archetypes because it elevates the dialogue a notch or two out of the quagmire of politics and into the realm of the personal.

  428. seattlegal says:

    SunnyJim said in post #425
    —-
    “I stated that the feminist movement has been subsumed by progressivism. That was improper of me. I should instead say that, it APPEARS to me, from the readings that I have done, (such as the writings of Tammy Bruce and others) that this is the case.”
    —-
    The vitriolic haters are a bunch of Godbags whose religion is progressivism? O_o (Makes sense!)

  429. Andrea says:

    I second Optixmom. Thank you so much for laying all of this out. I live in Anchorage and happily voted for Sarah Palin as governor, knowing I didn’t always agree with her but that she was a positive, and very much feminist change for this state. Then suddenly she was running for VP and it was bizarro world outside. Almost a year later and it still hasn’t changed back. We all need to speak up like when we see everybody else lose their shit; I too often keep my mouth shut since the crazy people always talk over me anyway.

  430. Richard Aubrey says:

    madjuana
    ref Joan et al. It would depend on whether or not they were running against or otherwise opposing a progressive candidate.

    Some years ago, conservative blogs were loudly pushing Condi for POTUS. No caveats. That was in the first Bush admin. Then she went mushy–from the conservative POV–and was no longer being touted as a terrific candidate.
    This demonstrates that conservatives–most were men–are interested in policy. It can’t be that she was woc, since she was woc when she was hot and woc when she was not.
    I recall a picture of her going on stage at Ramstein to talk to the troops. The picture had half a dozen rows of the troops in stands. The boys and girls were coming out of their seats, applauding and widely smiling. And these are the folks at the sharp end whose actuarial prospects were directly affected by her views.
    She was hot, and then not, and only her policies changed.

  431. SarahG says:

    Sis, your post on abstinance actually made me cry.

    Fuck liberal and conservative. And fuck abortion. They’re playing us, you know. We have so much common ground.

  432. SunnyJim says:

    “SunnyJim, Sarah is Everywoman for all women, not for men.”

    But that is not what you said. You said:

    “Sarah Palin is scary because she is Everywoman (i.e., not just a feminist). Men are especially terrified, along with young boys, who feel the primal threat waged by a woman who can best them in their own games.”

    And that is what I responded to. Men (at least every single one I know) are NOT “especially terrified” of Palin. Who feel a “primal threat.” Who on earth are you talking about anyway? Metrosexual Nancy Boys who live in Manhattan? But they don’t own guns or hunt or ride snowmobiles anyway. I can assure you, with absolute certainty, that if Sarah Palin would show up at my local gun range, or at a local sportsbar, or at any other gathering of us flyover country males, she would be mobbed by guys of all ages who would want her autograph and who would heartily cheer her.

    Where you are getting this “men are terrified of her” stuff is beyond me. Every single male I know who voted for Obama instead of McCain/Palin, did so a) based on a belief that McCain represented a continuation of Bush; and b) based on the false bullshit propaganda the Obamedia spread about her alleged lack of basic intelligence, which the gracious host of this site, blew to bits. And NOT because she might be able to hunt or fish better than your average male. No, THAT aspect of her persona is instead considered somewhat “hot” by the average straight red-blooded American male of today, at least for those under the age of 60 or so. I’m 50. WE all (and those who came after us) grew up with girls who played h.s. basketball, and then went to state college alongside us, with a career in mind and not just to be there to land a hubby. Todd Palin is no dummy, but is instead one smart son of a gun, who other “real” men of today admire.

    Now, I have no idea what she may “represent” to many woman, not being one.

  433. Sis says:

    Tomecat I meant the women’s media site I linked, not you.

    (This thread is so long I can’t find anything anymore and for some reason my search doesn’t recognize numbers. )

    LondonGal I find your posts on Palin and global warming to be saying the same things over and over, and distorting what she’s said.

    No one, not even the pre-eminent global warming scientists know what all the components are. However, we, and Palin and DAVID SUZUKI all agree, it’s partly Co2.

    In fact SUZUKI says:

    “We know that carbon dioxide emissions, in large part from burning fossil fuels, are one of the biggest contributors to global warming. But we still have much to learn about the Earth’s mechanisms when it comes to regulating emissions and warming.”

    “One of the biggest contributors.”

    “Still have much to learn”.

    The Strait, Vancouver

  434. Richard Aubrey says:

    Sunny.
    That reminds me of when my kids were in high school.
    I went to see my daughter play soccer. Women’s soccer, being a spring sport, included a number of cheerleaders–natural athletes–since there was no sport for which cheerleaders were cheering in the spring.
    I was sitting not far from a couple of the boys’ varsity soccer players. I listened to their conversation. It was not “lookit at that hot babe”. It was discussion of the game, the tactics, and how one player or another was doing, or should have done.
    I dunno.
    The president of the varsity club was a girl that year, iirc.
    My son mentioned a varsity club “do” when some guys not invited tried to get in. They were stopped by a smallish female soccer player, and the interested gaze of some largish defensive linemen.
    It was not men vs. women, but the club vs. outsiders.
    There is something, though. When rules are relaxed–high school pool party or big, spontaneous snowball fight outside the dorm–women are going to find themselves attacked, dunked and held down, faces rubbed in the snow. Particularly the pretty ones. By, absolutely 100%, the dweebs, inadequate wimps and others of that ilk.
    Ordinary guys don’t do it.
    Always wondered why, and I kind of think that lineup might have some correspondence wrt Palinhate.

  435. sharon says:

    From Violet’s blogpost:
    ‘One other observation, and then I’ll quit: it is striking to me how much of the political discourse in 2008 revolved around people who don’t exist. The main players last year, if you recall, were Obama, the genius messiah whose perfection and purity would save the planet; Hillary, the evil racist lesbian who killed Vince Foster with her bare hands before plotting the Iraqi invasion and then attempting to have Obama assassinated; and Sarah Palin, a crazed dominionist who hates polar bears and personally arranges for Christian girls to be raped by their fathers just so she can charge them for their rape kits.

    None of these characters are real, of course. Yet, weirdly, people were much more interested in these fictional beings than they were in the real individuals who were vying for political office last year.’

    Me again: I totally agree with you. The nation became obsessed with the constructed images of the candidates, and the candidates themselves became subsumed by their images so that they pretty much ceased to exist as real people, much the way celebrities do. I think Britain started the whole constructed tabloid image thing so that celebrities became ‘real’ only through what we read about them (which was mostly made up) in the tabloids, and it didn’t matter if they were great humanitarians privately, they were whatever their tabloid image was.

    The image was more real than the person.

    This happened last year here in the election, and you’ve called it out. I blogged on it at http://sistersofsanity.blogspot.com/ because I think this is incredibly dangerous. Derrida was the one who said that this was a hallmark of post-modernism, where the images in advertisements became more ‘real’ than any property the actual product being pitched had. Think of the Axe commercials, for example. It’s deodorant. Yet it’s pitched a pheromone-loaded drug that will have women swooning to jump the lucky guy who sprayed it once. Sales have sky-rocketed. Yet, at the end of the day, it’s still just deodorant. But the image of what that spray is became more real than the reality of…deodorant.

    What’s a bright spot for me in this constructed reality thingy we’re going through is that people here, and on the Confluence, and other places started SEEING THROUGH IT, so maybe we are the front runners in whatever comes after post-modernism. Maybe it’s return-to-realism, or I don’t know.

    So keep pushing at the images, please. We need to start crumbling them, desperately.

  436. femina says:

    seattlegal — Yes, these women would be called “animus-possessed” in Jungian terminology. Listening to and observing such women, I have always felt like they are spewing furious judgments from on high.

    When I was watching Bill O’Reilly’s nasty interview with, more like an attack on, Joan Walsh some weeks ago, he was “anima-possessed” with all his little opinions. (I am not a Jungian psychotherapist, but these attitudes or states aren’t difficult to label.)

    Shadow-work could help many of these Palin haters take back their projections and find these “unacceptable” qualities in themselves. It’s some of the most disagreeable, but “golden”, work I’ve ever done to find out I’m not all that I present.

  437. Toonces says:

    Another reason the sexual jealousy hypothesis just doesn’t wash for me (and frankly seems like more of a way to turn young feminist women into children) is that if they went after any conservative woman just for being pretty, where are all the ‘murk that cunt’ comments about Meghan McCain? Isn’t she more of a sexual threat considering she’s in the same (assumed) age group as these feminists we’re talking about?

  438. JB says:

    For a long time I’ve noticed that people never hate what they fear. They hate what it is safe to hate. They only hate someone if there are no risks attached to that hate, if they know that person (or group) would never retaliate.

    Perhaps the level of hate directed at Palin is a measure of the level of fear generated by someone or something else in this society, someone or something that cannot be faced or acknowledged.

  439. anne says:

    Men’s sexual fantasies about Meghan McCain haven’t been plastered all over the liberal press and liberal blogosphere for the past 11 months or however long it is Toonces. Most liberals (both men and women) are unable to think about Palin without thinking of her in some kind of sexual way.

    The women we have suggested might be jealous have bought into the boys’ game, they’ve sold out their feminist principles for male attention and male approval (see their support of porn and prostitution for instance). Palin gets a huge amount of male sexual attention (a lot of it vile but in some women’s minds – particularly the 3rd wave kind trying to make a name for themselves in feminism – attention is attention). Why wouldn’t they be jealous?

  440. anne says:

    I meant to add, sorry, the 3rd wavers have decided to adopt and irrational hatred of Palin. It was never “Ugh, I’m definitely not voting for McCain and his running mate Palin or whatever her name doesn’t seem that great either”, it was: “Palin looks like a porn star”, “Palin deserves to be gang-raped in New York”, “I want to kick her in the uterus” along with repeating a whole list of lies that anybody with half a brain and a bit of political nous could have seen through immediately.

    When people are operating at that level of irrationality and misogyny, at that point it’s important to start looking for reasons and of course the reason are always going to be something ugly. Women do tear down other women because of jealousy and misogyy, it’s how patriarchy sets us up. Unless you take a positive stand against it and are aware of the mechanism it’s very easy to get sucked in, and unfortunately that’s what has happened to the third wavers. Men still need to take responsibility for the state of affairs though.

  441. thistle says:

    The ‘they hate me because I’m beautiful’ meme is insulting to all women.

  442. Sis says:

    Sarah it’s a re-arrangement of the thougts in yttik’s post, I tried this morning to search it on RL, but I get 0 everytime. I know it’s here. I used ‘yttik’ and separately, I used abstinence. Either way it won’t come up.

    It’s worth trying again. Maybe later. I am not answering my phone as I rush to meet a deadline. Due just before the giant post.

  443. Mike says:

    I can answer your question. What is about feminist who make shit up about Sarah Palin? Answer: They are more dedicated the religion of liberalism than they are to the religion of feminism. Sarah Palin is a conservative and must be destroyed. Facts don’t matter. Period.

  444. femina says:

    Sis — I know yttik and will ask her to give you the abstinence link. I can’t quarantee when she will read my comment, but it’s worth a try.

  445. Richard Aubrey says:

    toonces
    A good many conservatives don’t think Meghan McCain is a conservative. If she isn’t seen as a right-winger, she doesn’t get the stuff.
    Many conservatives think McCain himself has one foot in the democratic party.
    Besides, McCain was going to Nowheresville until Palin came along. It wasn’t McCain who was the threat to Obama. He was the top of the ticket, but he wasn’t the juice and wasn’t in a position to make the difference.
    I say again, he wasn’t the threat and by extension neither was his daughter.

  446. Palinpalooza 2009 « The Confluence says:

    [...] biggest mystery of all is why some “feminists” hate a successful, self-made woman who identifies as a [...]

  447. oldfeminist says:

    Me: “I think the interview where she could not name a single periodical she reads indicated just how UNready she was for the vice-presidency.”

    Violet: “Another example of the double standard. If Obama had faltered on a question like that, would you conclude that he doesn’t read?”

    Wow, way to go with the assumptions. I didn’t conclude she couldn’t read.

    “Palin is an avid, even voracious reader. She reads several newspapers a day, as attested by those who have traveled with her (including people I trust, like Elaine Lafferty). In the interview with Katie Couric, I think she was stunned by the question.”

    Why should she be? What a person reads does tell you what they think and what they know.

    I would have been surprised had Obama or Hillary reacted badly to the question.

    “Couric asked her, in condescending tones as if speaking to a slow child,”

    Wait a minute, it’s okay for you to not like Couric’s tone of voice, but it’s not okay for me not to like Palin’s tone of voice?

    ““Can you tell us the names of any newspapers you read?” If it were me, I would have said “are you fucking KIDDING me?” and walked off the set. But Palin didn’t do that. The expression on her face looked like she was trying to figure out what Couric was really asking, like “what is the hidden question here?””

    The “hidden question” is what are your influences. And it’s not hidden. Couric explicitly explained why she was asking the question. Here’s the transcript:

    Katie Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious: what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?
    Sarah Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.
    KC: But, like, what ones specifically? I’m curious.
    SP: All of ‘em, any of ‘em that have been in front of me over all these years.
    KC: Can you name a few?
    SP: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where, it’s kind of suggested and it seems like, ‘Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C. may be thinking and doing when you live up there in Alaska?’ Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

    It was Palin who defensively suggested that Couric was asking because she thought people in Alaska are ignorant. Note too how Palin could be read to imply that people in Alaska aren’t ignorant like people in foreign countries.

    Maybe what she meant to say was you don’t have to be in Washington to know what’s going on in national politics. But that didn’t come out very well, did it?

    If someone asked you what you read, would you be unable to answer? That’s what it sounded like. Couric could have asked this of anyone and 99 out of 100 would not assume it was asked out of an assumption of ignorance on the subject’s part. Why did Palin make that assumption?

    And while it’s quite forgivable that you might blank out in the middle of a hot and heavy campaign with a question you didn’t expect, there’s no reason for Palin to continue to refuse the question.

    It all sounds too much like “How Dare You,” the game where a question you don’t want to answer is treated as offensive so you don’t have to answer it. It works when you’re bigger than the people who are asking you, or you have power over them. I remember adults using it on me when I was a kid. It doesn’t work here.

    Me: “And don’t forget she went on the offensive — whether that was her choice, or the campaign’s choice, her “dismissive voice” doesn’t sound strong to me, it sounds snotty.”

    Violet: “So, can I take that to mean that you’ve felt a similar burning contempt for all the previous vice presidential candidates who have also gone on the offensive (that’s their traditional campaign role) and had voices you didn’t like?”

    If they were snotty, I’d characterize them as snotty.

    And thanks again for the assumption, characterizing my dislike of Palin as “burning contempt.” If not liking her political positions, thinking that some of them are not feminist, and thinking she’s got a chip on her shoulder is “burning contempt” then I must be on fire, because I see similar problems with a lot of people in politics.

    Me: “I mean, come on. To claim that a picture of her holding her baby with someone else’s face shopped in is making fun of her baby? That’s just framing things to both deflect from the real target (her) and imply the critics are jerks who make fun of Down syndrome people.”

    Violet: “Right. And I’m sure you would make this exact same argument if people started photoshopping images of Sasha or Malia in stripper outfits or walking the streets as prostitutes.”

    No, because no one took Trig’s face and photoshopped it onto anything offensive. Or photoshopped a picture of a dog’s face onto Trig’s, for example, to imply he’s a “lower animal”.

    The photoshopping of *recognizable* other people’s faces onto Trig’s was implying to me that she loves those people like she loves her baby, like anyone loves her baby, unconditionally.

    It was making fun of her. Not her baby. Had it been a stuffed animal or her husband it wouldn’t have been mocking the stuffed animal or her husband, it would have been mocking her and her object of affection.

    And please note that this was on, what, fark? 4chan? How would that be representative of feminists who find her political positions untenable?

    The major problem some people seem to have with feminists not liking Palin is that some folks think that feminism means “yay women women should win every contest.”

    This isn’t boys versus girls in a Trivial Pursuit contest. I want policies that are good for women, not women at the top of a regime that still fucks women up.

  448. Sis says:

    The same way it was representative of feminists (so-called) who found other women’s positions ‘untenable’.

    And destroyed their blogs, websites, years of archived feminist discussion (herstory), threatened and stalked them and their families, caused unbelievable terror.

    Those feminists worked with four-ch*n.

    You probably don’t know about it because you aren’t a feminist, just like the offenders weren’t. And because we who know don’t mention it very often, to protect our sisters lives, our sisters who have retreated, in fear for their own and their families selves.

    We keep the light on though. And we recognize it when we see it again, for another woman who dared to speak truth.

  449. gxm17 says:

    This isn’t boys versus girls in a Trivial Pursuit contest. I want policies that are good for women, not women at the top of a regime that still fucks women up.

    The way I see it, we’re going to have a regime that fucks women up regardless of party affiliation since America has, for all intents, a one party, the corporate party, system. So given the choice between Obama, who is IMO a deeply troubled misogynist, and Palin who identifies as a conservative feminist and is clearly not a misogynist, I’m going to have to go with Palin.

    As a feminist I believe that the only way we’re going to really change things, especially issues that matter to women, is to put more women into office and if that means voting for a Republican woman then I’m going to do it. As far as I’m concerned, Palin’s stance on abortion is no different than Virginia Governor Tim Kaine’s stance and I voted for that jackass. Progressives complain about voting for a woman just because she’s a woman but they don’t have a problem with voting for a man just because he has a “D” by his name. At least I’m making my decision on the firm belief that women’s voices matter and we need to hear more, a lot more, of them coming from a position of political power.

  450. Sis says:

    I wonder how those women who voted for Obama view his appointment of an anti-abortion advocate to one of the top health positions? (Not talking about Kaine.)

    Really. Just wondering. The silence is deafening.

  451. gxm17 says:

    Sis, considering that so many call themselves feminists you think they’d have at least a few choice words about it. They are truly lost souls. I almost feel sorry for them.

    ****

    To clarify my previous post, I hope it’s clear that I deeply regret voting for Kaine and it ain’t gonna happen again. I will never again vote for a man just because he has a D by his name. Any male Democratic candidate is going to have to be a raving pro-choicer before I consider giving him my vote.

  452. Sis says:

    I got that.

    I have never had to make the choice about whether I’d vote the woman or the party. I almost always get the two together.

    Twice when it was all men, and the incumbent got back in, I destroyed my ballot. I couldn’t abide any of them, and voting for any one of them would not have unseated the incumbent.

  453. Puma for Life says:

    (443) oldfeminist:

    I believe that the portion of the interview with couric before the question on what do you read was edited out. My understanding is that couric badgered and attacked palin throughout the interview,and by the time this question was asked palin was fed up and disgusted.

    There were other photoshopped pictures of trig created: one had a picture of a coat hangar with scratches on trig’s face.

    “If they were snotty, I’d characterize them as snotty.”

    Never heard of a man called snotty, but if there ever was a man who deserved that title, it’s obama.

  454. myiq2xu says:

    This has to be the biggest RL thread ever

  455. Sis says:

    No I think there’s one bigger. It was on the subject of prostitution and pornography. Sam vs. Cicely. Over 100 Word pages when I copied it over. (To an extinct hard drive).

  456. John M. says:

    Enjoyable thread and interesting issue. I think the answer is almost purely cognitive dissonance along a couple of lines:

    1. Gov. Palin is a successful woman who’s (more or less) conservative. Most feminists have a perceptual bias that successful women should be/need be liberal (perhaps if only in gratitude for earlier generations, etc.).

    2. Gov. Palin is bright & savvy, sure, but not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. I think most feminists believe women in such a high-profile position should be the best-n-brightest. I think there’s significant dissonance in seeing somebody succeed whom the haters think isn’t as bright as they are.

    3. Insecurity, too? There may be the perception that “if somebody who’s not-so-bright can make it THIS far, does that make my life a failure?” That’s a certain recipe to make the haters come out.

    Finally, thanks for writing that interesting article.

  457. Kat says:

    anne says: I think all this depends on whether you seem feminism as a girls’ club full of crap about who likes who (”She doesn’t represent meeeeee!”) and policing either on appearance as Apostate did with her white trash hair and accessories, or as you did with your nit-picking at her answers to interview questions, or whether you see it as a movement to smash men’s stronghold on power and regain for women the power that has been stolen from us.

    Heh, it might be late in this thread to have any new epiphanies, but it occurs to me that hating Palin is in one sense the flip side of support for Obama. Both are consumer choices that broadcast a certain lifestyle. When those choices are threatened or challenged, it becomes necessary to attack viciously. Because it was never about governance, it was only ever about them and the glistening reflection in the mirror. There is more than a little hard truth (I’m being kind) about the smugness of Obamaphiles and Palinphobes.

    “I’m the one I’ve been waiting for — it’s all about meee!”

  458. SweetSarah says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for your thoughts on this issue. As a conservative/libertarian woman it becomes rather tiresome to be told that I could not possibly be a feminist or that it’s not possible to be female, attractive, smart, and *gasp* conservative all at the same time. I viewed most of what happened involving Hillary during the primary as absolute sexism and see many attacks on Palin in the same light. My honest opinion is that the men attacked both because the idea of a woman in power is much more frightening than a man of any color being in power. Further, I believe women who attack her so hatefully are, well, jealous. You can disagree with someone’s politics and not be consumed by hatred for that person. I know it sounds crazy, but I promise it’s true. Anyway, I’ve heard so much venom from the left and I wanted to say thank you for being honest and reasonable and restoring my faith in the possibility of civil discourse.

  459. Concerned about Society says:

    re: Apostate

    I was getting quite upset at Apostate’s posts – but looking at her web site and seeing that she is a traumatized refugee of Islam – this man can start to understand her anger.

    I just hope she can understand how my anger against the same set of folks makes it easy for me to take Uncle Sams money and design nasty toys for him to use in that setting.

    She’s conflicting lots of stuff from that awful background.

  460. octogalore says:

    Toonces, re: “Another reason the sexual jealousy hypothesis just doesn’t wash for me … is that if they went after any conservative woman just for being pretty, where are all the ‘murk that cunt’ comments about Meghan McCain?”

    Again, I don’t see anyone claiming it’s sexual jealousy period end of story.

    Let me tell you a story in which I look like an idiot. I was having a conversation with a young feminist friend. We agreed that we should know better, but often compare ourselves to other women. We will first see if we are the (conventionally) best looking in the room, then if not, if we are smarter than those who are better looking, then if not, if we are more successful than those who are smarter and better looking. We then self-servingly agreed that we could usually cut it off there.

    From talking with other women, while many are much more evolved than I and my friend above, there are others who do fall prey to this sad little comparison game. I’m sure many men do, as well, using whatever societally prevalent characteristics are relevant to them.

    Now, with that in mind, can you honestly put Meghan McCain alongside Sarah Palin and claim that one would pose the same issues as the other with this kind of methodology (which, please note again, I am not defending)? I may be missing something, but I am not aware of Meghan McCain running a state, successfully breaking with establishment Republicans in the state to press through reforms, accomplishing a bill to transport natural gas, or being on a U.S. presidential ticket.

    I will add that on a personal level, I don’t “hate on” women based on this kind of thing, and it typically doesn’t affect my thinking about them at all — it’s a Type A way that I judge myself.

    I will repeat as it may have been unclear before: I don’t think anyone else treats Palin badly due to pure sexual jealousy, either — nor do I think folks above suggested that. But I do think this kind of thing is one factor among many others, yes.

  461. oldfeminist says:

    Puma for Life:

    I believe that the portion of the interview with couric before the question on what do you read was edited out. My understanding is that couric badgered and attacked palin throughout the interview,and by the time this question was asked palin was fed up and disgusted.

    When it’s presented out of context as if it was the first time she was asked, it’s supposedly representative. When I present it in context, that’s not enough context.

    Okay. Here’s the most context I could find, right from the CBS news site:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4490713n

    This is more than one interview, mashed together. In the interview with this question, conducted while walking, there was one lead-in question about whether it was chancy to make an issue about Joe Biden’s age when she had a 72 year old running mate. She answered that just fine.

    Then the newspaper thing.

    I think she probably did just draw a blank, but when asked more than once, decided she was being “picked on” and started focusing on some perceived “Alaska is a backwater full of uneducated rubes” rather than just answering. the. question.

    Sorry. That is not the kind of person I want representing me and my country. I don’t want someone getting her back up and getting defensive about an easy question. There will be other situations where a response will be demanded and she can’t just decide she’s not going to respond because she doesn’t like the way someone asked her.

    This isn’t a conversation over coffee where I can just ignore it if you ask me why I voted for X or didn’t spend money on Y. She will have to be accountable to the public. There isn’t much room for a “none of your business” attitude. It is our business. And the question was an easy one!

    Now before you tell me you think Obama is just as bad, not answering questions he doesn’t want to answer — imagine I agree with you. How does that make her behavior any better?

    There were other photoshopped pictures of trig created: one had a picture of a coat hangar with scratches on trig’s face.

    Then that’s a disgusting picture. I didn’t see it. Just the ones with McCain and the Alaskan senator who got in trouble and I think a “shoop the whoop” and some other people photoshopped in.

    Again, not sure how what a bunch of sexist jerks at 4chan did is representative of the feminist community. Even the “third wavers.”

    Sure, a lot of them are oblivious to how they get used by male fauxgressives, and not a few are feminists in name only (FINO?). Like any other young movement, there are people in it who really believe it and people who are just joiners or who see an opportunity to hang out with people marked “cool” and maybe get laid.

    So why was I not just unhappy with but actually kind of mad about the whole Palin thing? Because women are not fungible objects. People telling me that Palin is as good as Hillary have never convinced me.

    Even if her personality was less “stop asking me these rude questions,” I still couldn’t get with her policy.

    The reproductive rights positions the GOP espouses do not help women. The Dems are not perfect, but they are better.

    She refused to say she was not going to attack abortion rights; she is at least pro-contraception, though she wavered on the morning-after pill, and in fact did say she was against “Partial Birth Abortion,” a procedure most often used to save women’s lives when there’s a fetus that can’t survive anyway. Not when a woman decides in her ninth month that a baby won’t go with the new draperies.

    I don’t think it’s silly to put reproductive rights high up on my list of concerns. If you don’t have the right to control your reproductive life, you have lost a great deal of your autonomy right there.

    She also had a “let’s not revisit the past” Lilly Ledbetter position. As if women who’ve been paid less for 20, 30 years should just “suck it up.” Nice if your pension and standard of living aren’t dependent on such a policy.

  462. Violet says:

    Sorry. That is not the kind of person I want representing me and my country.

    As opposed to Joe The Talking Donkey Biden.

    Or Barack “let me eat my waffles” Obama. Barack “57 states and my grandfather liberated Auschwitz” Obama.

    Nope, no double standard here.

  463. Violet says:

    The major problem some people seem to have with feminists not liking Palin is that some folks think that feminism means “yay women women should win every contest.”

    Bullshit, and if you’re really an old feminist, you know it.

    Feminism means giving women a fair shake. It means saying good riddance to the double standard.

    When feminists engage in the double standard, when they use sexist tropes to attack a woman, when they hurl misogynistic insults, then they’re not doing feminism.

    That’s what this post is about.

    It’s not about “gee, why don’t some feminists like Palin?”

  464. Sis says:

    The state of journalism now, there’s not one newspaper worth reading. They’re all staffed by the print version of Katie Couric, nothing happening there but re-arranged press releases.

  465. serr8d says:

    From a post in your sidebar there…

    Why the hell are pollsters so frigging polite? Here are some words I wish they’d asked people to rate Dubya on:

    * Stupid
    * Ignorant
    * Moronic
    * Sadistic
    * Evil
    * Incompetent
    * Petulant
    * Vicious
    * Incoherent
    * Delusional

    And those are just the polite ones.

    Your epiphany, it practically gleams.

  466. octogalore says:

    Strawargument alert:

    “People telling me that Palin is as good as Hillary have never convinced me.”

    That wouldn’t convince me either, nor would it convince most here.

    The only people making the “fungible” argument were those women who was sure Republican strategists were trying to get disenfranchised HRC supporters’ votes. But even were that true, and I am sure it was part of Culvahouse’ calculus (I’ve dealt with him indirectly in a business setting), even those strategists, if you asked them, would not be likely to claim they thought there was an equivalence.

    Meanwhile, I notice that nobody is (substitutions in brackets made by me) “actually kind of mad about the whole [Obama] thing? Because [black men] are not fungible objects” when Obama and his campaign, many times over, deliberately invoked MLK and timed the convention on the anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Curious that.

  467. Sameol says:

    I can’t think of a better way to achieve female friendly policies than to elect raving misogynists. It’s Political Leverage 101, the more they realize that they absolutely own our votes and don’t have to deliver anything policywise or pretend to think we’re human in order to get them, they more incentive they have to deliver.

    Or, maybe not, but at least we’ll know we did the rational thing and voted against that high-pitched voice of hers.

  468. Mark says:

    Perhaps I can provide an alternative interpretation. Forgive my rampant generalization; imply a “many” or “most” or “typical” wherever you think it would help, understanding that I omit them for brevity’s sake.

    She’s conservative. She was a symbol of everything that liberalism came to hate about Bush conservatism. Lower-class, large family with a background not particularly pretty, religion, certain mannerisms of speech, Republican ticket: she was a symbol of the conservative base. Liberals HATE the conservative base, and every illiberal, odious trait (racist, misogynist, ignorant, stupid, crass, jingoistic, hypocritical, and arrogantly proud of all of it) they imagined about the stereotypical conservative rube was projected onto her.

    If feminists hate her more, it is because they saw a woman representing the position they knew only as anti-feminist caricature, and accordingly felt their cause had been betrayed. Historically, traitors have always drawn the most hatred.

  469. anne says:

    One third wave feminist who led the charge against Palin, Amanda Marcotte, has given her reasons for her hatred over at Feministing. Palin reminds her of her sexist big-haired teachers at school:

    http://www.feministing.com/archives/016552.html#comment-275434

    The big hair does seem to be a part of it.

  470. thistle says:

    Most people don’t think republican women are feminists because for years they have blamed feminists for every ill in society.

    It’s only now that they need the feminists support/votes that all of a sudden Palin and conservative women want to be seen as feminists.

  471. thistle says:

    3. Insecurity, too? There may be the perception that “if somebody who’s not-so-bright can make it THIS far, does that make my life a failure?” That’s a certain recipe to make the haters come out.

    Okay, now this is getting similar to the “they hate me because I’m beautiful’ silly theme.

  472. gxm17 says:

    SweetSara said: My honest opinion is that the men attacked both because the idea of a woman in power is much more frightening than a man of any color being in power.

    Absolutely. It’s less threatening, and much shrewder, for the white male power structure to cede a little power to black men. Black men make up only about 5 or 6 percent of the American population. There’s room for black men at the table because they take up so few seats. But women make up 51%. It’s just like owning a business. No business owner, in his right mind, gives up a 51% share. Men are not going to hand over women’s fair share, we’re going to have to take it.

  473. Sis says:

    Why drag that shit over here?

  474. Richard Aubrey says:

    Sis.
    Which S… dragged in?

  475. octogalore says:

    Thistle, perhaps you can give some examples of when the Republican women in Congress who voted for Ledbetter “blamed feminists for every ill in society.” No worries, I’m patient.

    Newsflash, the Coulters and Flanagans who are paid to be controversial don’t speak for an entire group, just as all liberal feminists don’t. Girls Gone Wild a feminist event, anyone?

  476. SunnyJim says:

    #470 and #472.

    With all due respect, IMO that stuff is off the mark. Which is an opinion apparently also shared by some of the other visitors here – at least the male ones. (see, e.g., 434, 443, 445, 468).

    This whole, white conservative males have to keep the little women down – keep ‘em in the kitchen, stuff. Because the thought of a woman in power is sooo “scary” and “threatening.” Bah. In what imaginary universe?

    As Richard(?) pointed out, there was a point in time a few years ago, when conservative republicans would have come out in DROVES in support of a Condi Rice presidential run. There was a point in time when conservative republicans were BEGGING Colin Powell to run. I know that doesn’t fit the narrative, or the convenient and comfortable stereotype, but that is reality.

    Again, this is about the politics. The mysogny attacks were merely a TOOL – a political TACTIC -used against Hillary, when it was decided that the tidal wave known as The Won needed to be swept into the WH, and NOTHING could stand in the way. NOTHING. If that meant bringing down the opposition BY WHATEVER MEANS IT TOOK, that is what needed to be done. This is the Leftist playbook. Have you ever stopped to consider the reality, that it is the Leftist and not right-wing student groups who scream and shout down a speaker with opposing political views in order to PREVENT him from speaking at all? “Whatever it takes.”

    Think about it.

    A political power play tactic, cynically used, in order to destroy an opponent so that the chosen one could win – and not emanating forth because of an undercurrent of “fear” over her lacking a penis. Just one person’s opinion.

    Palin? The attacks have NEVER stopped. Because she is still a political threat. Palin is a conservative. Successful conservative women do not appear to be welcome in the exclusive feminist clubhouse, which appears to have a doctinaire leftist ideology. And so, if Misogyny and sexist attacks have to be used as a TOOL or at TACTIC to isolate and marginalize her, so be it. Palin’s “big hair” and funny accent, and supposed lack of intellect, and lack of an Ivy League degree, etc, etc. are just lame excuses for denying her a seat at the table because she is NOT a liberal, pro-choice, pro global warming alarmist, pro-gay marriage, “lite” christian, etc. Her politics are all wrong, especially (exclusively?) on abortion; so -in accordance with the playbook, ANY attacks are justifiable. She must be destroyed.

    And with the MSM firmly in the tank for The One, the public’s ignorance of the truth will continue. BY DESIGN.

    Example: I have read 4-5 different MSM reports this past week on her resignation. From so-called “news” sources. Like the AP. Every one of them mentions her “ongoing” or “numerous” ethics complaints. That is the extent of the news people like my parents and I’m sure millions of others got about those complaints(who don’t go on the internet or listen to a.m. talk radio, but only watch the alphabets nightly news, and read their paper with its AP reports).

    NOT ONE of the news articles mentioned anything else about the ethics complaints….

    Such as that they were without merit, were filed as a political TACTIC, and have been dismissed. And have cost Palin and her family to incur $500,000 in legal fees to fight.

    She has been successfully turned into Dan Quayle for those old enough to remember the defamation bullshit narrative created for him. Lies piled upon lies. He was a young, good looking, good resume, up and coming with a bright future, CONSERVATIVE too, once upon a time. And therefore a big threat. Now – he is remembered as having been our Official National Village Idiot. Checkmate – victory to the lying slimeball propagandists.

    If Palin is not neutralized and consigned to the Tea Party crowd, country fair, speaking circuit – but is still a conservative POLITICAL (as opposed to being an unwelcome to the boys club female) threat – the intensity of the sliming, and defamatory attacks, will increase.

  477. Violet says:

    This whole, white conservative males have to keep the little women down – keep ‘em in the kitchen, stuff. Because the thought of a woman in power is sooo “scary” and “threatening.” Bah. In what imaginary universe?

    In the universe I live in, where the Republican Party made opposition to the ERA and abortion rights part of its platform. Where Hillary Clinton was reviled and ridiculed as a man-hating murdering lesbian dominatrix from the moment she set foot in Washington. Where Rush Limbaugh called Chelsea Clinton the White House dog, ridiculed Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s thighs (!), claimed that women who want equal rights are “feminazis” and that feminism is just a plot for ugly women to get power, and said the country doesn’t want a woman president because it doesn’t want to have to watch a woman age. Where Limbaugh and other commentators refer to Hillary’s “testicle lockbox,” compare her to “everyone’s first wife,” and call her a castrating bitch. Where Ann Coulter says women shouldn’t have the right to vote and makes fun of “girl generals.” (Nope, no sexism there.)

    If white conservative males are suddenly discovering their inner feminist, it’s solely because Palin is on their team. If Palin were a Democrat they’d be calling her a porn star and an air-head fuck bunny who needs to shut up or die, just like the Democrats are now.

  478. SunnyJim says:

    Ann Coulter and her kind is about as much as spokesperson for all conservatives as the Kos Kids or D.U. is for all liberals. But I won’t lump you in with them.

    “If white conservative males are suddenly discovering their inner feminist, it’s solely because Palin is on their team.”

    SOLELY? SOLELY? I suppose it is more convenient and fits the narrative better if you ignore, e.g., conservatives views on Condi Rice. And I recall, there just maybe have been a couple of other females (Sandra Day O’Connor? Libby Dole? Maggie Thatcher? etc.) who magically awoke white conservative’s inner feminist too, and who conservatives strongly admired and supported. But let’s ignore them. We’re neanderthals who just like Sarah because she is a gun-totin jeebus lover.

    “If Palin were a Democrat they’d be calling her a porn star and an air-head fuck bunny who needs to shut up or die, just like the Democrats are now.”

    Yeah, no doubt we do have our fair share of haters on our side of the aisle who engage in that kind of nastiness when it comes to politicians on the other side of the spectrum. No denying it. But the revelation that the election of 2009 brought to light is that vile and intense nasty hatred and viciousness is….TA DA…..NOT the exclusive domain of those mean right-winger white men – but that the ‘party of compassion and tolerance’ is anything but.

    Today, now, Sarah Palin is the one being instructed, on no uncertain terms, to “shut up or die.”

  479. gxm17 says:

    SunnyJim,

    With all due respect, you’re totally missing my point. I never singled out “conservative” men. It’s pretty clear that “progressive” men have a very deep problem with women in power and I fully realize that political affiliation is not a good indicator of sexist or misogynistic attitudes. Regardless, I’m referring to the power structure. The average white guy may benefit from the power structure but he’s just a cog not a big player (though many may fancy themselves to be). And while I do blame the patriarchy, I’m more of an IBTN (I Blame The Narrative) feminist.

    I completely agree with you that the personal attacks continue on Palin because she’s a political threat. And I am delighted that there are Republican men who support her and would vote for her. It warms my heart to hear men say they aren’t afraid of giving women our fair share. (And as Violet mentions, that would mean supporting the ERA.)

    As for the MSM, they are no longer practicing journalism and appear to have abandoned any pretense of it. They are a mouthpiece for those in power, nothing more than Orwell’s Ministry of Truth. It’s sickening, but this is what our great democracy has degenerated into. The MSM attacks against Palin tell us but one thing: She hasn’t sold out. (And I hope she never does.) And, FWIW, I think Palin has much more appeal, genuine charisma and political savvy than Dan Quayle. But that’s just my humble opinion.

  480. Sis says:

    The whole post from one of the hater blogs. Linking is bad enough, but I guess some people think it’s good to know about it. I could live without it, and I don’t need to see it in it’s entirety here.

    Instead of the thoughtful conversation that’s been going on here, we then get into the same kind of threads they specialize in.

    With sites that have ads, every hit onto the site is counted and ups the blogs revenue. You don’t even have to post. So when we post a link or story that leads us back to them, the blogger makes money. I would say, do it judiciously. If you don’t read at that blog anyway, don’t even hit the link.

  481. SunnyJim says:

    “And I am delighted that there are Republican men who support her and would vote for her. It warms my heart to hear men say they aren’t afraid of giving women our fair share.”

    I can tell you that she had overwhelming support from conservative republican men. Most of whom could not, and to this day can not STAND John McCain. Millions of us voted FOR her, and not for McCain – who was unfortunately also on the ticket. I even knew several fellow cavemen who even wanted to try to scrape his name off their McCain/Palin bumper stickers.

    gxm17, one of the false propaganda narratives which has been in play since the election, which I think people on the “other side” of the political spectrum but yet still more or less sympathetic to Palin, need to be aware of, is the repeated proclamation that Palin being on the ticket “hurt” McCain’s chances.

    This is simply one of the countless false propaganda talking points being used to further discredit Palin. It is going to be repeated over and over again until it become an accepted historical truth. In addition to the Ministry of Truth repeating it, it has been shamefully perpetrated by the egotistical morons from the McCain camp, who must find a scapegoat for their running the most incompetant campaign since John Kerry’s, if not even worse than Kerry’s.

    The actual truth of the matter is, if you would have visited any conservative political website from the primaries up to the Palin pick – there was nothing but dismay and disgust over McCain and a TOTAL lack of any sort of enthusiam. But then Palin absolutely energized millions of people – male and not just female.

    There’s probably not a single male republican politician who could draw 100 people at a GOP political rally right now. Palin will fill up a stadium. Whatever her appeal is – whether it is we neanderthals finding our “inner feminist,” (in between grunts and scratching ourselves) or what -she is a phenomenon – the likes of which we may not have seen on our side of the aisle since Reagan.

    The inside the beltway, big government, cozy GOP country club heirarchy knows this. She is a threat to them as well as of course being a threat to Obama if she can pull votes in for candidates in the 2010 mid-terms. And they can’t stand it.

    But here’s the thing. And I may be completely wrong….I really don’t think it is because she is a woman. I just don’t. I think it is because of what she stands for, in contrast to the porkulus lovers and status quo types in her own party – or at least what her supporters BELIEVE she stands for: Essentially – - it is ethical, honest, common sense, practical, no-nonsense, responsible, government.

  482. nyght says:

    I will probably never agree with you on much of the political spectrum, being that I would classify myself as something of a “Southern Conservative” (What’s wrong with opening a door for a lady? I do it for men too. It’s about being polite, not trying to put someone in their place or because I think that they might not be strong enough to open it themselves… I’m reminded yet again that the age of chivalry is dead…).

    I did not, however, come here to get into any kind of political debate along those lines.

    I just wanted to thank you for writing a well thought out, reasoned article on the subject of Sarah Palin. Too many times, there are just too many pointless barbs, baseless rumors, and pure, blind rage in articles I read dealing with her.

    Ok… one political response… Because, after reading the article, this irks me…

    Violet wrote:
    “If white conservative males are suddenly discovering their inner feminist, it’s solely because Palin is on their team. If Palin were a Democrat they’d be calling her a porn star and an air-head fuck bunny who needs to shut up or die, just like the Democrats.”

    This kind of stereotypical response is all too common in the political debates of today. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. You have no idea why I like or don’t like Sarah Palin. You have no idea what goes through my head, nor how I reach the decisions I reach. You don’t know my life experiences, nor my reasons for disliking Hillary Clinton (which have much more to do with her study under/belief in Saul Alinksy than what resides between her legs). You automatically toss everything you believe into that sentence, and paint me with it simply because it fits your point.

    It would be just as easy for me to tack you in with the most of those over at the HuffPo or the Kos Kids. I hadn’t, because of this article.

    Judge Limbaugh by what he says. Judge Coulter for her views. Don’t judge me because I am a white, conservative, male. Don’t assume because of a racist and sexist classification that you know everything about me.

    If I like Sarah Palin, or ANY politician, it is because of the actions that they took. I like the fact that Sarah Palin sold the private Jet. I like that one of the first things she did a Mayor of Wasilla was to cut her OWN SALARY as well as property taxes. These are examples of things that you and I as citizens (not of Alaska, but of the US, when you apply these to politicians at the federal level) are compelled to pay for.

    To me, getting elected does not entitle you to charter flights, private jets, tax breaks, extra cars, house renovations, etc. Most of those people have done NOTHING that I agree with, and yet I am compelled by law to support their largesse. They are allowed to spend my money without me saying how it should be spent. I certainly don’t get to vote myself a raise every year for doing as piss poor a job as those in Washington do.

    I am against Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Chuck Schumer, Barney Frank, Maxine Watters, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, John McCain, etc. because I do NOT see the Government as an entity to force equality upon me. I do not see Government as a provider. I reject the notion that some beaurocrat I will quite probably never meet, who spends most of his time hundreds, or even thousands of miles away from me, knows what is best for me. To the point of rejecting the notion that I know what is best for myself.

    The human race is rife with inequity because we are NOT all equal. Some people are smarter than others. Some people are stronger, more attractive, better speakers. Some people understand math without needing to work at it. Some people are good with language. I reject this notion that the human race is some sort of collective. And even more so, I reject this notion you have that we must all be classified.

    It makes no difference if it’s race, sex, religion, etc. We will NEVER get over the problems inherent with stereotypes, class inequality, class envy… We will never truly be equal until we stop breaking ourselves apart into groups.

    You focus on feminism. Al Sharpton focuses on race. Assuming that your goal is true “equality”, you will never reach it so long as you emphasize the DIFFERENCES rather than the SIMILARITIES. Strip it down, and we are all human. By pushing for equality in the form of “We must bring black people and white people together” or “We must make WHITE CONSERVATIVE MALES pay for all the INJUSTICE that they have committed against women!” you do a disservice to that goal. You push for equality by emphasizing the DIFFERENCES. If that’s not a paradoxical argument, I don’t know what is.

    Like I said, I don’t know you at all, so, because of that, I would wish to reserve judgement. However, with that one statement, you managed to pigeonhole me in with people who MAKE A LIVING making controversial statements!

    I’m sorry, but there is no better example to me of the sort of rhetoric that will straighten my back, raise my hackles, and make me wish to dismiss you as some sort of kook. I don’t want to do that, simply because you took the time to write a well reasoned article on a controversial subject that I wanted to read, and after reading, to thank you for.

    The article impressed me enough to want to leave a comment. Seeing comment 477 (especially the end of it, because I will not try to argue the validity of your gripe. You have some valid points in the first paragraph of the comment) made me want to roll my eyes and turn away in disgust.

    Rush Limbaugh, Stephen Colbert, Sean Hannity, Jon Stewart, Eminem, Sacha Baron Cohen… They are all entertainers who get paid for being controversial figures. And paid well. I am not them. I sometimes listen to them, and sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t, but regardless, I am still an individual, capable of my own thought, and my own reasoning. I do not consider myself to be some sort of “collective” where the only views are my views.

    … Sorry for the rant. I just don’t like being so casually tossed in there like that. Simply because I have conservative values.

    You ask where my “feminist” values were before Palin? My values are those of equality, and maximizing individual freedom so that all may succeed to the point that they will themselves to. I don’t want to bring anyone down to my level. I want to get to the top. But I want to do it on my own, and because of what I am capable of. If I were black, I would be insulted at the idea that I was given something that I didn’t deserve to fill a quota based on the idea that we must force equality of outcome. If I am an employer, I want the best person for a job.

    Where is my inner feminist? It’s right there with my inner black, my inner latino, my inner indian, my inner person. I see you all as people. To be judged on your actions, not your appearance or some group you identify with, or happen to fit the bill for.

    All that said, wonderful piece, and thank you again for writing it.

    The article comes closer to the points I just made than the comment I also chose to respond to. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and choose that the article is the “real you”. Because I could go down a line of plenty of sexist/racist/classist statements that the Dems have made too, and pigeon you in with them, but I MYSELF choose not to.

    P.S. – If the “violet” I was responding to was not “Dr. Violet Socks”, then I apologize for assuming that the 2 are 1 in the same.

  483. Jillian C. York says:

    I didn’t go spreading the lies, but I will tell you this…I hate Sarah Palin for two valid reasons:

    1. She is against abortion.
    2. She wears fur.

    I think that’s plenty.

    But then again, I don’t really call myself a feminist.

  484. Violet says:

    However, with that one statement, you managed to pigeonhole me in with people who MAKE A LIVING making controversial statements!

    If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it.

    SunnyJim asked “in what universe” conservatives are sexists, as if this is something unheard of. As if there is no history of conservatives opposing feminism and of conservative pundits ridiculing women. It was a frankly ridiculous question, but I answered him. My comment wasn’t about pigeon-holing all conservatives or Republicans.

    You focus on feminism. Al Sharpton focuses on race. Assuming that your goal is true “equality”, you will never reach it so long as you emphasize the DIFFERENCES rather than the SIMILARITIES.

    Good lord. Feminists focus on gender because for thousands of years men have insisted that women are different, a class apart. Civil rights activists focus on race because for centuries, whites have insisted that blacks are different, a class apart.

    It boggles my mind how conservatives can turn that around. “Why do you emphasize the differences? Don’t you understand we’re all human?” Jesus H. Keerist.

    And on that note, I think this thread has run its course.

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    [...] you haven’t been to Violet’s lately, please go and read Feminists and the mystery of Sarah Palin and all the comments.  Violet tries to wrap her head around the Palin-hate from the so-called [...]

  486. What lies beneath « Blue Lyon says:

    [...] you haven’t been to Violet’s lately, please go and read Feminists and the mystery of Sarah Palin and all the comments.  Violet tries to wrap her head around the Palin-hate from the so-called [...]