Thoughts from a Yellow Dog Democrat living in Olympia, in the great BLUE state of Washington

I am a liberal because it is the political philosophy of freedom and equality. And I am a progressive because it is the political path to a better future. And I am a Democrat because it is the political party that believes in freedom, equality and progress. -- Digby

Friday, June 12, 2009

Digby is so Smart!

Digby is so smart and luckily for me, quicker to post just what I'm thinking. I get to just link to her and say things like "Amen" and "Ditto".

I wasn't going to wade into the David Letterman thing because it seemed pretty trivial to me on the media sexism scale. But it's obviously a growing brouhaha, so I might as well.

First of all, Sarah Palin does not look or act like a "slut" and it's nothing more than a sexual fantasy to think of her that way. She married her high school sweetheart and has five kids. She's a born again Christian. She does not dress provocatively, and she has said that she put her hair up and wore glasses specifically to take her looks off the table as much as possible. She's an attractive 40 something politician, she's not a Playboy model (not that there's anything wrong with that) and it would be nice if she didn't have to put up with that stuff. She's not trying to "sex herself up" for the camera or anything else. There's enough to criticize her for.

The daughter thing was in poor taste. Leave the kids out of the jokes. The fact that he meant her older daughter is obvious, but that doesn't make it any better. She's a young girl who didn't ask for the limelight and doesn't deserve to be mocked by middle aged men. It's cruel and unnecessary.

...Having said that, this ridiculous accusation that he was talking about raping the 14 year old is over the top and disingenuous, to say the least. That clearly was not his intention and claiming it was really cheapens the validity of the complaint.

And making Palin into a feminist hero because of this cheapens feminism. This woman is defending herself and her own daughter, but as Governor she never quite finds the voice to defend other women who have average real life problems, like workplace discrimination, rapes or unwanted pregnancies. Her complaints are not coming from feminist principle but rather political opportunism.

And these right wing monsters like Limbaugh who are suddenly concerned about the treatment of women in the media is laughable. This is the man who coined the term feminazis, and called Chelsea Clinton the white house dog. His record of rank, violent misogyny is clear. If Palin repudiated him as quickly as she goes on television to condemn Letterman, I might be able to take her a little bit more seriously as a feminist.

The media are fascinated by Sarah Palin, at least partially because of her camera friendly appearance and her colorful family life. That doesn't mean they can call her a slut and use her teenage daughter as the butt of crude sexual jokes. But it also doesn't mean that she and her politics aren't reactionary and anti-feminist. Having some feminist principles are required for that and Sarah Palin only seems to develop them when it involves her.

A big "ditto amen" from me!

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