I probably couldn't get through this election if it weren't for Salon. When I find myself speechless, incredulous and just plain angry, someone at Salon writes something that I wish I'd had the clarity to write myself.
Reading Rebecca Traister's Zombie Feminists of the RNC (9/11/2008) my heart began to race. Funny how adrenaline and all that physiological stuff works. My heart might be racing if I had a girl crush on Sarah Palin... but this morning it's racing simply because I wish she would just be crushed. Figuratively, of course. I don't want to shoot her from a helicopter, I just want to see her called out for the wolf in sheep's clothing that she is.
Every time I think I've moved from horror and denial to acceptance that Sarah Palin is really in this race, and that I need to "let Palin be Palin," I read or hear something else that makes my blood boil. Making victims pay for their own rape kits?! That sounds like something that would happen in places that the U.S. loves to occupy and force to do things "our way." (Kind of like the book banning query she posed to the Wasilla librarian.)
The fact that Donny Deutsch (The Donald II) would say what he said about wanting Palin next to him in bed shows how ridiculously superficial this race has become. How sexist and disrespectful can you be?
A huge part of Palin's appeal is that, as my father might have said, she's easy on the eyes. I accept that. It is more American than mom and apple pie to hold women to the beauty queen standard. Unfair? Of course. Unreasonable? Not by model slim, smooth complectioned, silky haired, bleachy smiled American standards. Sure, pundits joked about John Edwards' hair, but you don't generally hear female commentators talk about taking a Barack Obama to bed. At least I haven't heard it.
News flash: Voting for Palin or Hillary Clinton because they are women is just as bad as not voting for them because they are women.
I feel like I'm in an altered universe where people have forgotten that tokenism not feminism. Now that The Woman in the spotlight is a conservative, there are double standards at play. I feel quite sure that if the Democrats had chosen a female vice presidential candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter and an infant (let alone one with "special needs"), the so-called "Christian" Right would be up in arms. They'd be saying she should stay home with her baby and should somehow have managed to keep her daughter's legs crossed. You can bet that if a 17-year-old Chelsea Clinton had turned up pregnant, there'd have been hell to pay.
As a mom of two teenagers, I would never have shoved either one of them into the international spotlight as poster children for a pet cause. As a matter of fact, if I had a pregnant teenager and an infant at home, that's where I'd be--at home. Sarah, they need you more than we do.
As Mom used to say: Pretty is as pretty does.