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Ditzy female politicians - an asset for feminism?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:30 am    Post subject: Ditzy female politicians - an asset for feminism? Reply with quote

I'm being deliberately provocative with this thread title.

So. I'd say in the last year that feminism, sexism and gender have been more highlighted than they have in the previous ten. Anecdotally, at least.

Consider:
-- Hillary Clinton's run for the White House and some of the misogyny she faced, plus the galvanization of a lot of women in the USA. I don't think Clinton's ditzy, and I think she faced more misogyny than most. Related? Or not?

-- Elizabeth May hauling out the sexism card both in terms of how women are regarded in politics, and also most recently around being excluded from the debates.

-- And Sarah Palin. A "Feminist For Life" and she suddenly has the right to be complaining about sexism when she is (legitimately) criticised for all the many reasons why she is not qualified and is, let's face it, an asshole.

So I'm throwing this out there. What do people think? Chime in, please, no matter what your opinion.

Is this a boost for feminism, because it's being talked about, let's go further -- it seemed for a long, dry period that this was a taboo word? Or is it a travesty, because feminist principles are being co-opted to defend women who are actually rolling back feminist principles?

Personally, I think that it's a positive thing that women's rights are back on the radar. That's the one bright thing. But I'm appalled at some of the bizarrro language that's being used in defence of right wing female politicians.

And I think that Palin -> May -> Clinton count, in order of descent, as pretty damn right wing.

And yet. Woman politicians are either a) defended from all attacks by white knights or b) attacked from all sides because of their gender (appearance, toughness, lack of toughness, etc.)

Neither is, in my opinion, acceptable.

Please, have at it.
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Vundo Draxon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it especially grating to hear the feminist critique coming from the far-right of the GOP. They of the anti-choice, anti-equal marriage, anti-equal pay ilk have suddenly discovered phrases like "gendered attack." I can only imagine what those same people would be doing and saying if Clinton got the nomination.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactamundo. You can bet that if Clinton had won the nomination they wouldn't be complaining about gendered attacks. They'd be generating them.
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gunnar gunnarson
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What?

You mean Republicans can be hypocrites?

I'm shocked.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Or is it a travesty, because feminist principles are being co-opted to defend women who are actually rolling back feminist principles?


I'll go with that one.
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anne cameron
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually don't mind. I'm heartily sick of the "I'm no feminist but...." opening line. If having these rightist politicians call themselves feminist leads to an on-going examination of what feminism actually is (and isn't) it could be a good thing.

and, if nothing else, it gives feminists something to laugh about.

Right now it is, at least, forcing north americans to look, even briefly, at what the restrictions are, what the "glass ceiling" is all about, and what sexism means and can do.

A lot of people have never bothered to wonder why it is feminists challenge laws, attitudes, and even vocabulary.

If these rightists can cause even a bit of examination, then whether they want to do it or not, they might be doing us a favour.

(or not)
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ronb
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that if Palin becomes vp, she will have precisely the same effect on women's rights issues in the US as Clarence Thomas has had on racism. Which is to say, almost entirely negative.
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anne cameron
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I don't expect any progress in "rights" for women, Ron. I just think that at least some of the Bubbas will be able to hear a few words without having a knee jerk reaction.

Women's rights? ha.

And Clarence Thomas might have "won" and become a "respectable" person and...but people talked, people debated, people who had never given a seconds' thought to the subject became at least marginally aware and sexual harrassment protection actually managed to take root in what still is very poisoned soil.

It isn't the progress we want, it isn't what we deserve, it isn't anywhere near justice but we'll take whatever pathetic incremental progess we can wrest out of them.

Not everybody is as fair-minded as the folks who post here.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So we'll mark you down as an optimist, then, Anne?

Well, maybe. Could be that having Repugs howling about sexism might bring it more into the mainstream ... how often have we seen the word "sexist" repeated all across the mainstream media recently?

Salon has quite a scathing article: Zombie feminists of the RNC (I recommend reading the whole thing, it a pretty energizing article).

Quote:
... Perhaps it's because the ground has shifted so quickly under my feet, leaving me with only a slippery grasp of what the basic vocabulary of my beat -- feminism, women's rights -- even means anymore. Some days, it feels like I'm watching the civics filmstrip about how much progress women made on the presidential stage in 2008 burst into flames, acutely aware that in the back of the room, a substitute teacher is threading a new reel into the projector. It has the same message and some of the same signifiers -- Glass ceilings broken! Girl Power! -- but its meaning has been distorted. Suddenly it's Rudy Giuliani and Rick Santorum schooling us about pervasive sexism; Hillary Clinton's 18 million cracks have weakened not only the White House's glass ceiling, but the wall protecting Roe v. Wade; the potential first female vice president in America's 200-year history describes her early career as "your average hockey mom" who "never really set out to be involved in public affairs"; and teen pregnancy is no longer an illustrative example for sex educators and contraception distributors but for those who seek to eliminate sex education and contraception.

... But while the Republicans would have us believe that Palin can simply stand in for Hillary Clinton, there is nothing interchangeable about these politicians. We began this history-making election with one kind of woman and have ended up being asked to accept her polar opposite. Clinton's brand of femininity is the kind that remains slightly unpalatable in America. It is based on competence, political confidence and an assumption of authority that upends comfortable roles for men and women. It's a kind of power that has nothing to do with the flirtatious or the girly, nothing to do with the traditionally feminine. It is authority that is threatening because it so closely and calmly resembles the kind of power that the rest of the guys on a presidential stage never question their right to wield.

The pro-woman rhetoric surrounding Sarah Palin's nomination is a grotesque bastardization of everything feminism has stood for, and in my mind, more than any of the intergenerational pro- or anti-Hillary crap that people wrung their hands over during the primaries, Palin's candidacy and the faux-feminism in which it has been wrapped are the first development that I fear will actually imperil feminism. Because if adopted as a narrative by this nation and its women, it could not only subvert but erase the meaning of what real progress for women means, what real gender bias consists of, what real discrimination looks like.

... For while it may chafe to hear Rudy Giuliani and John McCain hold forth on the injustice of gender bias, what really burns is that we never heard a peep or squawk or gurgle of this nature from anyone in the Democratic Party during the entire 100 years Hillary Clinton was running for president, while she was being talked about as a pantsuited, wrinkly old crone and a harpy ex-wife and a sexless fat-thighed monster and an emasculating nag out for Tucker Carlson's balls. Only after she was good and gone did Howard Dean come out of his cave to squeak about the amount of sexist media bias Clinton faced. That may not be pretty to recall, especially in light of the Grand Old Party's Grand Old Celebration of Estrogen. But it's true. And it's also true that if there hadn't been so much stone-cold silence, so much shoulder-shrugging "What, me sexist?" inertia from the left, if there had been a little more respect (there was plenty of attention, of the derisive and annoyed sort) paid to the unsubtle clues being transmitted by 18 million voters that maybe they were interested in this whole woman-in-the-White-House thing, then the right would not have had the fuel to power this particular weapon.
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Cartman
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect many people think that it is impossible not to be sexist given these candidates. Hopefully, anne is correct and it leads to greater thought and discussion about what is and is not sexist.
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Hephaestion
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this article fits in this thread, even moreso than the US election one:

Brent Ledger: What I learned from Michelle Obama's convention speech

Quote:
Obama's wife was there to do just one thing: un-scare scared US voters and reassure them that the Obamas are just like them. Not the way Americans actually are — Jerry Springer and family meltdown — but the way they're supposed to be — the Brady Bunch and 1950s fantasy. In short, we were back in family-values wonderland.

Now, there's no way you can blame Michelle Obama for selling this stuff. She has a role to play and she played it. The Obamas won't be elected if she doesn't. Nor do I think anyone could have done a better job of selling this hokum. Short of putting her kids to bed on stage, I doubt she could have come across as more of a loving mother, doting daughter and devoted wife. And she did it with passion, dignity and class.

But lord, it was hard to watch this obviously intelligent woman pander to yobs by boxing herself into a stale and self-limiting role and pander not just with the debasement (read "softening") of her own personality, but with a collection of clichés that were invented generations ago to keep working people in their place, women in the home and gays in the back alleys, clichés like hard work, family values, no complaining.

Her father had MS, she said, but he never complained, as though that is some sort of achievement. Well, people who don't complain often don't get treatment. As for hard work, it doesn't get you very far if you're being paid minimum wage or your job's been outsourced.

The richest people don't work at all; they live off other's people's work and call it investing. And while most of us derive some solace from our various "families" — I have no doubt that Michelle Obama dotes on hers — the mere fact that she felt she had to say what others might take for granted suggests a particularly bald piece of political calculus.

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anne cameron
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most people with MS don't complain: there's a kind of euphoria comes with the advancement of the disease. People often become very witty, tell jokes almost constantly, and are , in some cases, able for the first time in their lives, to express affection and to tell people I love you.

Whether below or above the 49th I'm feeling a tad disconnected, it's like watching some extended ongoing version of one of those "reality" TV shows (which I don't watch!), and when they've all had their turn at the karaoke machine and shown us the depth of their desperation to win and trotted out the neighbours signs of support, we all get to vote on who loses and has to go home. There's something about it that' s like the joke we have here "the winner gets a week in Toronto, the loser gets a month".
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TS.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hephaestion wrote:
Quote:
Or is it a travesty, because feminist principles are being co-opted to defend women who are actually rolling back feminist principles?


I'll go with that one.

I'm with Heph.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12 New Stomach-Turning Revelations About Sarah Palin.

Quote:
... But no matter how ridiculous or sensational Palin's attacks on Obama are, her venomous words cannot hide all the skeletons that keep pouring out of her unvetted closet. And these are the things that should give the American public cause for concern.

1. Palin's Fearmongering Attacks on Obama

... Jeffrey Feldman goes even further, asking of Palin's recent hate speech, "Is Palin Trying to Incite Violence Against Obama?":

2. Palin Lied About Darfur

During the vice presidential debates, Palin claimed to have helped spearhead a measure protesting genocide in Darfur.

... That's a noble stand to take. Too bad Palin wasn't the one who took it. Palin's administration publicly opposed the bipartisan effort to divest Alaskan holdings from Sudan. ... Palin officially changed her position in April. But by that time, the bill had died in committee.

3. Sarah Palin Hearts Dick Cheney

4. Sarah Is a Totally Down-to-Earth American (Who's Got More Than a Million Bucks)

... And she's milking that image for all it's worth by calling herself an "everyday, working-class American."

Too bad that's total B.S. The governor of Alaska gets paid $125,000 annually (a paycheck that isn't exactly working-class), and according to the AP, she and her husband's combined 2007 income and estimated property and investment values are worth at least $1.2 million.

5. Palin Doesn't Like to Pay Taxes

... One big issue that tax attorneys are pointing to is the fact that the Palins did not report as income the $43,490 that the state gave the family to cover travel expenses for Mr. Palin and the Palin children. Had the Palins reported these payments as income, the couple would have had to pay taxes on it.

The Palins also deducted expenses incurred from Todd's snowmobiling, claiming it as a business.

6. First Dude Had Extraordinary Power in Palin's Administration

Last time we checked, "First Dude of Alaska" was not an official government post. But you wouldn't know it from recent revelations that Todd Palin had an extraordinary amount of access and pull with top Alaskan officials. What did the first dude do with his (unconstitutional) power? He campaigned to get his former brother-in-law, state trooper Mike Wooten, fired.

7. "Wink! Wink! I'm Not Answering Your Questions!"

... Had a male candidate with a similar reputation for attractive vapidity made such a brazen attempt to flirt his way into the good graces of the voting public, it would have been universally noted, discussed and mocked.

One also wonders what conservatives would have said had Hillary Clinton brazenly tried to get out of answering debate questions by flirting.

8. "Look! I Can See Russia!"

... Here's a fun coda to one of the McCain campaign's most embarrassing ploys to whitewash Palin's inexperience: It turns out that Palin has never actually seen Russia from Alaska. The only place in Alaska from which Russia is visible is an island called Little Diomede -- an economically depressed town with a 40 percent poverty rate that Palin has never, ever visited.

9. Palin's Foreign Policy Experience: About 20 Meetings for About 12 Hours

10. Palin Used Oil Industry-Funded Scientists for a Global Warming Study Against Polar Bears

11. Palin Thinks Being Gay Is a Choice

In one of her many embarrassing interviews with Katie Couric, Palin made it clear that, though she doesn't judge, she thinks being gay is a choice:

Quote:
I have, one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years who happens to be gay. And I love her dearly. And she is not my "gay friend." She is one of my best friends who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made. But I am not gonna judge people. And I love America where we are more tolerant than other countries are. And are more accepting of some of these choices that sometimes people want to believe reflects solely on an individual's values or not. Homosexuality, I am not gonna judge people.


12. The Rape Kit Story: Not Getting the Media Attention It Deserves

OK, we've reported on the rape kit story before, so it's not exactly a revelation, but the fact still stands that this is a terrible story that deserves more attention, especially given very recent developments. Eric Boehlert over at Media Matters has discredited the claim (used as an excuse by many media outlets not to report on the story) that Palin's rape kit story has been, well, discredited:

.... Combing through Wasilla's budgetary documents, which are posted online, Alperin-Sheriff showed that Palin had clearly signed off on a fiscal-year budget that reduced by three-quarters the amount of money the town set aside annually for rape-kit costs and that the rape-kit reduction was spelled out before the fiscal-year 2000 budget was approved by Mayor Sarah Palin on April 26, 1999.


Long article from AlterNet that's been edited a lot ... so plenty more at the link.
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Cartman
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully, when it is all over, people just realize that McCain is one sandwich short of a picnic.
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Raos
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hehehe, "First Dude". I like it. Who do I talk to about spearheading a campaign for an official First Dude position in our federal government?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Hehehe, "First Dude". I like it. Who do I talk to about spearheading a campaign for an official First Dude position in our federal government?


Well, none of the current federal leaders is married to a man, so I guess we'll have to wait, eh?
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The Evil Twin
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well, none of the current federal leaders is married to a man, so I guess we'll have to wait, eh?


Well if "First Dude" were to refer to the Head of State's spouse, I guess we have two: the GG's husband (who's name escapes me at the moment) and of course, our official "First Dude", that Senile windbag Prince Philip. Shocked [/quote]
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ronb
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mean Gruppenfuhrer Mountbatten?
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anne cameron
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, see, I'm not well informed, I thought he was an Obergrupenfuhrer. Not to overlook the words "git" and "geezer".
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That useless twit? He couldn't obergrup a Sunday school picnic.
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anne cameron
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But I think you have to admit he'd try hard to micro-manage it.
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ronb
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the first while, until he lost interest.
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anne cameron
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, he'd probably wander off in his sweater and go look for a parade upon which he could rain.

drift drift drift drift warning

My grand daughter Emily attends Sunday School regularly and she loves the hymn/song "my god is an awesome god"...so one day she lets me in on a weather secret..."he reigns from heaven on high"...to her means he rains from heaven on high.

And she thinks we're very lucky in Tahsis because we get so much of Gods' rain.


Oh, yeah, I know, me, too, but she'll outgrow it and anyway she's only there for the singing and the snacks.
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bagkitty
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the more valuable question would have been to ask about reactionary female politicians... are they an asset for feminism?
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mean like Margaret Thatcher?

I don't think she ever called herself a feminist, though, did she?
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not take assertions of being a "feminist" at face value in a lot of cases. Frankly (brother of Shirley, have you met), I am not certain if Thatcher ever made a definitive statement either way. I tend to look at candidate's policy positions to determine the question. If their use of the word "feminism" is only used in relation to the glass ceiling they may have encountered in their own race for an office, I tend to discount it. If it is backed up with actions and policies backing things like equal pay provisions, then I take it seriously.

Colour me more concerned with what policies are implemented than who gets to sit in the big chair. I make my decision based on how the thralls handcuffed to the oars are going to be treated, not on who managed to get their hand on the tiller.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Sarah Palin has called herself a feminist.

Yup, same woman who doesn't believe women should be allowed to decide whether or not they want to be pregnant, even if they've been raped. And if they've been raped, they must pay for their rape kits.

But she calls herself a feminist, so she must be, no?

[This post is dripping with sarcasm, obviously]
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anne cameron
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah yeah, but anybody can call herself anything.

I, for example, my dear, am a tea pot.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She also claims to know something about international relations because one can apparently see a bit of dirt sticking out of the water that is Russian territory from some small part of the state she is Governor of. She falls into a category all of her own. Maybe she will get raptured out of the elections entirely. Mr. Green

My original point can be rephrased thus: just because I hear the word "feminism" I refuse to exhibit a Pavlovian response and rush to support the speaker.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Battenberg. The one who is constantly making variations of comments about "woggie" and the restless natives... Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once had a neighbour who was much like Sarah Palin. Uneducated, uninformed, lock-step Xian, and very opinionated. I didn't mind living next to her, could never have lived with her, and was often gob-stopped by what looked like absolute confidence. Then I realized it was simply that she had no idea how little she knew. She read a few paragraphs in one of those Homesteading For The Beginning Pioneer type books and, armed with nothing more than that, headed out to the barn to castrate piglets. The truly awful part was, none of them died so she figured she was an expert.

And Palin strikes me as being like that. If her pastor tells her the moon is not made of green cheese she will staunchly declare that it is not made of green cheese, obviously, it's made of yellow cheese.

Feminist? Hey, she's not. But at least she gives those of us who are the opportunity to say See, obviously men and women are so born equal...there are women who are assholes, too.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't realize they castrated piglets. Having participated in "creating" steers myself I shouldn't be surprised, but.... poor little piggies.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems they don't fight as much. Left uncut the little buggers can rip each other to shreds. Most pig farmers pull the little tusk buds, too, for obvious reasons.

I've seen newborns, mere minutes old, actually fight for a teat. It's survival of the fittest in a piglet litter, I guess. So they castrate them as soon as there's something there to work on.

But I only know from visiting other farms and watching. I didn't raise pigs because I get all emotionally tied up in them. They're so smart, and so sociable and so willing to be buddies that I decided early on I wasn't going to raise them because, of course, the final goal is roast pork with applesauce.

Cows on the other hand don't bother me, I can raise them for meat and not get ridiculous about it.
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Tehanu
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarah Palin doesn't actually read the news. We kinda knew that because she wasn't able to name one of the many newspapers she claims to read, when Katie Couric was interviewing her. But apparently her staff limit her access to media, because it makes her depressed.

She has no difficulty talking at fundraisers, though. She has a lot of difficulty sounding coherent. Hence I posted this story in this particular thread.

Quote:
... During a fundraiser here that raised $800,000 last night, Palin admitted that her aides often dissuade her from tuning into televised coverage of the presidential campaign.

"So North Carolina, I appreciate you all so much, who are here who already get it. You know, maybe I'm preaching to the choir a little bit here, but being here encourages me because I know that I'm not alone and I'll send this message back to John McCain also. At those times on the campaign trail when sometimes it's easy to get a little bit discouraged, when, you know, when you happen to turn on the news when your campaign staffers will let you turn on the news," she said, prompting laughter from the group. "Usually they're like 'Oh my gosh, don't watch. You're going to, you know, you're going to get depressed.'"

... "But yeah, sometimes you do get depressed watching what it is that they're reporting and the spin and some of the distortion of what our message is and what we stand for. Sometimes that, that gets draining," she continued. "But it's at events like these and our rallies that we are so energized and inspired and we know that we are not alone. We feel your strength and we feel the power of prayer, so many of you tell us that you are praying for us and praying for our country and that's why we so appreciate you being here."

... But Palin paid homage to one new mainstream media star -- Joe Wurzelbacher, the plumber John McCain repeatedly referred to during Wednesday night's debate. The Alaska governor mentioned Joe the plumber during both her public rallies yesterday, but she confessed at the fundraiser that even she was sick of mentioning him. Then she proceeded to talk about him at length.

... Palin also made a point of mentioning that she loved to visit the "pro-America" areas of the country, of which North Carolina is one. No word on which states she views as unpatriotic.


Lots more nauseating detail at the Washington Post.

Honestly, makes misspelling "potato" seem like small ... well, you know.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First I thought she was deliberately dumbing down her speech to appear one of "the common folk" (a common GOP tactic). But now it's clear she's an absolute moron who can't even string together a sentence which makes sense. Bush has trouble with sentences too, but we generally know what he's *trying* to say (for example nukuler = nuclear). But with Palin, a lot of the stuff she says wouldn't make sense even if you corrected for spelling and sentence structure.

She reminds me of some uneducated (or partly educated) people I've known who'll insert some big words into their sentences to make their half baked political theories seem plausible (bar room philosophers like Cliff Claven on Cheers are an example of this - I've known a few IRL).

The funny thing though is that Palin IS educated. Okay I know the University of Idaho isn't exactly Ivy League, but they must have at least minimum standards, no? Just how did this dummy get a BA??? Shocked
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
... Palin also made a point of mentioning that she loved to visit the "pro-America" areas of the country, of which North Carolina is one. No word on which states she views as unpatriotic.

ROTFL The next time someone brings up anti-Americanism, I will mention this because even the Americans are anti-American!

We are very different in this country in this regard. Quebec wants to separate, Alberta wants to leave, Newfoundland has questioned why it ever bothered to become part of the country in the first place, and now Ontario is saying they are the Province that is getting screwed over. In our political debates, we included the leader of a party that has elected nobody and a person who advocates separation. I think it is anti-Canadian not to have thoughts of splitting up the country. Mr. Green
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vancouver Island never joined up with the mainland...it joined up with us. Similarly, we never joined Confederation, youse guys joined up with us and if ya don't smarten up, see, we're , like, you know, going to give you the word. Furthermore if ya wanna know about anti-Americanism, you just pay attention out here because we can top both north and south carolina.

So now ya now, eh?

Honestly, the woman would seem pathetic if I didn't feel she was so damned dangerous. Obviously, she has a scary number of supporters, all of whom seem more than ready to tell the rest of us how we have to live our lives. Or else, eh?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be careful what you say about her Anne....she's not scared of Putin since she can see Russia from Wasilla. You think Gordo Campbell would scare such a geo-political genius? I'm sure she can see BC from Alaska too. What if she comes after you with her Moose Rifle and skinning knife?? ROTFL
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'll just start running. And she can chase me if she wants but I can tell you ahead of time, her feet will slip in what I leave behind as I race off scared shitless!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must say, I'd like to see Sarah Palin try to stand up to a proper feminist, Anne. I think you could take her with one good acerbic comment. She's surrounded by sycophants, she'd be easy prey.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yabbut, there's no fun in shootin sittin' ducks. Or fish in a barrel. Or... I'm trying to come up with some "folksy" "down to earth"...y'know?
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TS.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anne cameron wrote:
Yabbut, there's no fun in shootin sittin' ducks. Or fish in a barrel. Or... I'm trying to come up with some "folksy" "down to earth"...y'know?

Wolves from a plane?

Oh, wait...
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lagatta
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

er cartman, but North Carolina actually DID secede from the US...
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Palin's husband belonged to a group which wanted Alaska to secede...

I'm hoping we find a way for CANADA to secede from the US...
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katha Pollitt at The Nation rocks. And she sees the silver lining, always an admirable trait. (Read the whole column, it's worth it!)

Quote:
... [Sarah Palin] was also a gift to feminism. Seriously. I don't mean she was a feminist--she told Couric she considered herself one, but in a later interview, perhaps after looking up the meaning of the word, coyly wondered why she needed to "label" herself.

... So the first way Palin was good for feminism is that she helped us clarify what it isn't: feminism doesn't mean voting for "the woman" just because she's female, and it doesn't mean confusing self-injury with empowerment, like the Ellen Jamesians in The World According to Garp (I'll vote for the forced-childbirth candidate, that'll show Howard Dean!). It isn't just feel-good "you go, girl" appreciation of female moxie, which I cheerfully acknowledge Palin has by the gallon. As I wrote when she was selected, if she were my neighbor I would probably like her--at least until she organized with her fellow Christians to ban abortion at the local hospital, as Palin did in the 1990s. Yes, feminism is about women getting their fair share of power, and that includes the top jobs--but that can't take a back seat to policies that benefit all women: equality on the job and the legal framework that undergirds it, antiviolence, reproductive self-determination, healthcare, education, childcare and so on. Fortunately, women who care about equality get this--dead-enders like the comically clueless Lynn Forester de Rothschild got lots of press, but in the end Obama won the support of the vast majority of women who had supported Hillary Clinton.

Second, Palin's presence on the Republican ticket forced family-values conservatives to give public support to working mothers, equal marriages, pregnant teens and their much-maligned parents. Talk-show frothers, Christian zealots and professional antifeminists--Rush Limbaugh and Phyllis Schlafly--insisted that a mother of five, including a "special-needs" newborn, could perfectly well manage governing a state (a really big state, as we were frequently reminded), while simultaneously running for veep and, who knows, field-dressing a moose. [...] Thanks to Sarah, ladies, we can do just about anything we want as long as we don't have an abortion.

... Finally, Palin completed the task Hillary Clinton began: running in different parties across a single political season, they have normalized the idea of a woman in the White House.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another semi-optimist, Vivian Gornick, about the effect of having high profile women in the American election.

Quote:
For a second-wave feminist like myself, this election year has been a roller-coaster ride: exciting, and sick-making, and yet again exciting. We have seen an eminently qualified woman contend for a presidential nomination and fail, at least in part because she was demonized as a dragon lady; then we have seen a shamefully unqualified woman handed a vice presidential nomination, at least in part because she was a walking advertisement for Mrs. America. Taken together, such unforeseen events have been remarkable, especially insofar as they remind us of where we are, as a culture, in the centuries-long struggle to normalize equality for women.

... An incontestable piece of evidence that high-level sexism persists in the United States was the astonishing treatment meted out to Hillary Rodham Clinton throughout her tortured campaign to win the Democratic Party's nomination for president. She was trashed all over the country -- in the papers, on television and on the Internet -- solely, repeatedly, insultingly, not as a Washington insider, or as a senator who endorsed the Iraq war, or as a member of a would-be political dynasty, but as a woman.

... Another indisputable piece of evidence that sexism is still very much with us was the nomination of Sarah Palin for vice president on the Republican ticket: a piece of cynicism that was truly an insult to all of us, women and men alike. Palin was chosen, with an ugly wink at the country, because she was a sexy, cheerleading fundamentalist. It was as though the conservatives felt free to say, "You want a woman? We'll give you a woman" -- as they trotted out a parody of American politics that could have been invented by Thomas Pynchon.

At the same time, it has been thrilling to see thousands upon thousands of women (and men too) rise up in righteous anger against the sexism inherent in both Clinton's defeat and Palin's ascent. The twin event has politicized people who, until that moment, did not think they had feminist politics. The spectacular protest is a true measure of how far American feminism has actually come -- how much deeper it has penetrated the shared sensibility of the body politic than we have generally realized -- and how far it has yet to go. This aspect of a hardly credible election year has been a joy and a high for many of us, and a salutary reminder that the struggle over women's rights remains one of the longest and most resilient on human record.

... It is, I think, safe to say that the question of equality for women, each and every time around, has opened a Pandora's box of fear, hope and confusion that is existential in its very nature and has made its resolution even more recalcitrant than the matter of equality for people of color. In short: Behind the idea that it is natural for women to take an equal part in the world-making enterprise lies an internal self-division -- a conflict of social will -- that, at this moment, is far from clarified. Someday, perhaps, it will be, but today is not that day.

However, an election year such as we have just had in the United States should make every feminist in the country eager to press on.


LA Times.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And a pessimist, Amanda Fortini, writing in New York Magazine (note that I was a bit prescient with this thread title!). Recommended to read the whole article, it's good.

Quote:
The “Bitch” and the “Ditz”
How the Year of the Woman reinforced the two most pernicious sexist stereotypes and actually set women back.


In the past few weeks, Sarah Palin has been variously described as a diva who engaged in paperwork-throwing tantrums, a shopaholic who spent $150,000 on clothing, a seductress who provocatively welcomed staffers while wearing only a towel, and a “whack-job”—contemporary code for hysteric. Worse, she was accused by a suspiciously gleeful Fox News reporter named Carl Cameron of not knowing Africa was a continent, of being unable to name the members of NAFTA, indeed of being unable to name the countries of North America at all. (“But she can be tutored,” Bill O’Reilly told Cameron, as though speaking of a small child.) More significant than the dubious origins of these leaks, or the fact that the campaign that cried “sexism” at every criticism of its vice-presidential nominee was engaging in its own misogynistic warfare, is the fact that all of the allegations were so believable. After all, Palin had earned herself a reputation as, in the words of one Fox News blogger, “something of a policy ditz.”

... In the grand Passion play that was this election, both Clinton and Palin came to represent—and, at times, reinforce—two of the most pernicious stereotypes that are applied to women: the bitch and the ditz. Clinton took the first label, even though she tried valiantly, some would say misguidedly, to run a campaign that ignored gender until the very end. “Now, I’m not running because I’m a woman,” she would say. “I’m running because I think I’m the best-qualified and experienced person to hit the ground running.” She was highly competent, serious, diligent, prepared (sometimes overly so)—a woman who cloaked her femininity in hawkishness and pantsuits. But she had, to use an unfortunate term, likability issues, and she inspired in her detractors an upwelling of sexist animus: She was likened to Tracy Flick for her irritating entitlement, to Lady Macbeth for her boundless ambition. She was a grind, scold, harpy, shrew, priss, teacher’s pet, killjoy—you get the idea. She was repeatedly called a bitch (as in: “How do we beat the … ”) and a buster of balls. Tucker Carlson deemed her “castrating, overbearing, and scary” and said, memorably, “Every time I hear Hillary Clinton speak, I involuntarily cross my legs.”

... Palin was recast as the charmer, the glider, the dim beauty queen, the kind of woman who floats along on a little luck and the favor of men. In a recent issue of The New Yorker, Jane Mayer recounted how a handful of conservative Washington thinkers became besotted with Palin during a trip to Alaska and subsequently began to promote her in Washington: The National Review’s Jay Nordlinger described the governor as “a former beauty-pageant contestant, and a real honey, too,” Bill Kristol called her “my heartthrob,” and Fred Barnes noted she was “exceptionally pretty.” While it’s obviously not Palin’s fault that men find her attractive, it is fair to criticize her for campaigning on a platform of charm rather than substance. In what Michelle Goldberg called a “brazen attempt to flirt [her] way into the good graces of the voting public,” she waved and winked and smiled—even during the debate—and called herself “just your average hockey mom.” (Never mind that it’s impossible to imagine a male candidate mentioning fatherhood as the source of his readiness to be the nation’s second-in-command.)

... By stepping into the spotlight unprepared, Palin reinforced some of the most damaging and sexist ideas of all: that women are undisciplined in their thinking; that we are distracted by domestic concerns or frivolous pursuits like shopping; that we are not smart enough, or not serious enough, for the important jobs.

... And so, here we are, nearly two years after Hillary Clinton declared her candidacy. While it’s true that societal change comes in fits and starts and the Clinton campaign went a long way toward helping voters imagine a female commander-in-chief, I can’t help but think that our historic step forward was followed by more than a few in the opposite direction.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long article about "Sarah Palin Feminism". Ouch.

Quote:
... Palin gave viable political form to a "free-market feminism" that until now was largely championed by a few intellectuals and pundits based in conservative Beltway think tanks. As the GOP regroups in the Obama era, it may find this kind of feminism useful as a means of softening the culture war crusade that is so off-putting to moderate Republicans and independents alike.

"For such a long time, the powerful women in Washington were all touting pro-choice as pro-woman. People like Sen. Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were the role models," says Emily Buchanan, the young executive director of the Susan B. Anthony List, which seeks to elect anti-abortion women to office. "[Palin] embodies the American woman. She's independent. She speaks her mind. But she also embodies the traditional values that are so important to Americans."

... To them, Palin's attraction is that she is "normal," a word heard as often in interviews as "traditional." She wears makeup. She is pretty. She is an evangelical Christian. She is anti-abortion. She's a white, "all-American" mom.

Palin's campaign revealed a surprising transition in what conservative Christians (including both evangelicals and Roman Catholics) mean by traditional woman: not a stay-at-home mom, but someone who believes in a heterosexual nuclear family and conservative "family values."

... Powerful "traditional" women balancing work and domesticity are no big deal, says Joy Yearout, Susan B. Anthony List's legislative and political director. Yearout explains the continued enthusiasm for Palin following the Republicans' defeat: "She doesn't see gender as something that is victimizing. She doesn't see it as a barrier."

This suggestion that progressive feminists peddle victimology is a popular position on the right, particularly with the free-market feminists at the Independent Women's Forum. The IWF staff do not all identify as feminists, although director Michelle Bernard does so and states there can be such a thing as a "limited-government" or "red state" feminist.

... "We are in the midst of third-wave feminism," argues IWF Director Bernard. "Young women look at it very differently than Gloria Steinem. Feminism was about women's right to choose the way they want to live." "Equity" or free-market feminists like Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute support women's right to be treated equally in the workplace and schools, while opposing affirmative action, family-leave laws and other government programs that ensure that equal treatment occurs in fact as well as in the law. Like other conservatives, they see it as up to the individual to compete in the market, no matter what background or resources they bring to bear.

... Where this new energy takes them is anyone's guess. But with red states lagging in the number of women in elected office, and the GOP's white male complexion now recognized as a problem by some of those white men hoping to win back national power, the free-market feminists might find some support from the top of their party in the coming months.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gloria Steinem is pissed off at Sarah Palin for continuing to refer to herself as a feminist. As I think Anne said a while back, we shoulda copyrighted the term.

Quote:
... In an interview with [Katy Couric], Steinem argued that a woman who chooses not to have an abortion can call herself a feminist, but “you can't be a feminist who says other women can't have an abortion."

... Palin, who is strongly anti-abortion, reignited the debate over who could call themselves a feminist and what that means in a May 14 speech for the Susan B. Anthony List, a PAC for antiabortion female congressional candidates.

Using grizzly bears as a metaphor, Palin seemed to imply that feminism need not apply only apply to liberal supporters of abortion rights. Conservative PTA moms can be empowered in their positions as well and can call themselves feminists, she argued.

“The mama grizzlies, they rise up,” Palin said, adding that such women “can give their child life, in addition to pursuing career and education and avocations. Society wants to tell these young women otherwise. These feminist groups want to tell these women that, 'No, you're not capable of doing both.'“


LA Times.
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