Friday, June 10, 2011

Joe McGinniss sexually demeans Sarah Palin

Here's how Joe McGinniss describes Sarah Palin in his forthcoming book:
Sarah Palin practices politics as lap dance, and we’re the suckers who pay the price. Members of our jaded national press corps eagerly stuff hundred dollar bills into her g-string, even as they wink at one another to show that they don’t take her seriously.
I'm no Sarah Palin fan, but McGinnis' use of sexual imagery to demean Palin is frankly disgusting. Is Sarah Palin a feminist? Not by my definition. But my definition of feminism precludes sexually demeaning a woman in any circumstance—not because she thinks the right things or even because she's embraces feminism, but because, you know, she's human. But you see this kind of sexism directed at Palin far too often from folks who are ostensibly allies of the feminist left.

Here's the truth: We have far more examples—some of them fairly recent!—of male politicians waving their genitalia at strangers. Yet for some reason, Male Politician Wang Showing doesn't tend to become the same kind of metaphor that stripping and prostitution—activities performed by females—is for female politicians. McGinniss sweatily envisions Palin in a g-string and it's not a surprise; but would anybody in the mainstream talk in terms of (say) Chuck Shumer baring his ass invitingly for Wall Street donors? Maybe Matt Taibbi, and he only barely counts. Sarah Palin isn't bad for America because she's a woman or because she's an attractive woman; demeaning her on those counts isn't just sexist and mean-spirited, it also misses the point.

No comments: