Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Palin’s (Inadvertent) Contribution to Feminism

 "Republicans have taken over the word 'feminist'  ... and left its content behind.”          

I start off with a quote on US election 2008 from an appalled feminist whose name I don’t recall at the moment , and Google's not cooperating. I agree with her. So it it may sound like an oxymoron but I also happen to think  the Republican Vice Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, has left a few marks on feminism. Note that I state it in past tense because I don’t expect she’ll have any relevant contributions in the future. 

Here’s what I think Palin has done (or done onto her).

 Yardstick of Success

 Conventional wisdom had it that if you’re female, you’d to be much better than your male counterparts to hold the same position in the work place.  A while back another feminist had said that the struggle of feminism in the United Sates had shifted from giving qualified women equal opportunity as men, to letting mediocre women have the same opportunities as mediocre men. 

Well, here it is folks! A woman who out-mediocres all her male counterparts actually managed to get nominated to a VP position. Feminism may now go back to being defined as ‘equality between the sexes’, this time in support of men

 Gender Bias (or Lack thereof)

 The theory was that women would vote for women. Regardless. That was what they said about Hillary Clinton. That was what they thought would also be true about Sarah Palin. 

I was very upset during the primaries, and despite some of Hillary’s awkward moments (like the imaginary shooting incident), I was a dedicated supporter because I thought the media and men around me were unduly critical of her. The more they told me I was for her simply because I was female, the more I defended her. 

The bottom line was that Clinton and Obama had almost the same policies. It shouldn’t have been shocking to support one or the other. However, it was acceptable to mock a female for supporting a female candidate while almost nobody would dare to openly argue that a black person was only voting for Obama simply because he or she was black. So Hillary took the one sided flack. And. It. Got. On. My. Nerves. She was dismissed her as ‘Bill’s wife’. She was called ‘catty’ for defending her positions, etc.

Enter Palin.

In the beginning people were actually excited about Palin, probably including left leaning women who were rubbed a little raw by Hillary's mistreatment. Personally I was pissed off from the get go. The news headlines on the day of the nomination accross the board, including B-fu**ing-BC, read something like, 'McCain picks female for Vice President'. It was evident from day one that 'who' wasn't the quiestion, 'what' was. And when we finally dug up 'who', it was some ex-beauty pageant religious bimbo, whose bimboness was evident even before she started describing the view from her house. That, to me as a female, was so offensive.

Anyway, the moment Palin opened her mouth and started spewing nonsense unto Couric, women rejected her at a higher rate than men. Feminism can check this in it’s to-do list: women’s movement has matured enough to reject BS when it sees it, regardless of the packaging geneder. If Palin hadn't come by, Clinton's near nomination would forever have been tainted with  irrational women-for-women vote. I think we can now safely say that women don't just want to symbolically break the symbolic glass ceiling. They want to break the symbolic glass ceiling with substance. 

Thank you, women across America. Thank you. 

So now, this begs the question: has black people’s movement in the US matured enough to rejecta a bullshiteous black candidates?  Barack Obama has over 90% of the black vote, and the media keeps saying the black vote is going to carry Obama through. Give me a break.  The black population is only 12% of the US, so chill the fuck out. And there is no question thatn an overwhelming majority of black poeple in the US would benefit from Obama's policies, so it's hardly surprising they're pro a Democratic candidate. After all Bill Clinton was known as the first black president.  

So my question, I don't think, has ever been answered ... and one day it will have to be, in affirmative. 

Long Hair

Yup. Long hair. Look at Clinton, Pelosi, Albright, Rice, Thatcher … any powerful woman (ok, pictures of Cleopatra don’t count). Either short hair is the trademark for women above 40 (umm, not! Now look at Michelle Obama, Cindy McCain, etc), or they all suffer from a touch of the Lady Macbeth syndrome.  Political women have deliberately taken out the feminine in them to be taken seriously in the public eye. Since none of them ever dared to try long hair, nobody used to know if it’d affect them. 

Enter Palin.  And her weird coiffure. 

I think we can safely say that nobody gives a damn. 

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