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Guys? You're not helping (Palin sexism watch)

 
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 07:53 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
And if you see the Reno joke as being just about her alleged ugliness then I think you are being quite blind.


Then shine the light.
Foxfyre
 
  3  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 07:58 pm
@ehBeth,
I really do have a good movie to watch.

Again, how do you KNOW he said it? Because people who don't like him say he did? Salon would say that Sister Theresa had sex with the Pope if somebody dropped that rumor on a blog somewhere. The Newsmax piece was a hit piece by somebody dumping on McCain. So was the Phoenix News Sun piece and both reported it as hearsay, not first hand. I didn't see the AP piece. But again, since it was NOT picked up and smeared all over the MSM, I have to believe it was not as big a deal as some of you seem to desperately want to believe. Do you honestly think Hillary would have quickly forgiven him and called him her "bud"? Does that sound like Hillary to you? Do you think Reno would have slapped him with a huge lawsuit over something like that as was reported in one account? Ridiculous.

Until there is somebody who says that they heard him say it and it was in such and such a context, I will reserve my judgment that it is as bad as some of you want it to be.

And I will continue to think that if he did say it, even as a private joke, he should be ashamed of himself.
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:08 pm
@ehBeth,
ehBeth wrote:
I mean, those Hoosiers for Hottie buttons at the RNC. <shudder> I muttered to Set about it at the time, and posted somewhere here. I thought that disgusting and sexist - and that was Palin supporters.

Yep - some of the sexist appraisals of Palin have come from her own, Republican supporters - perhaps not entirely surprisingly.

Just like there's apparently a market for those "drill, baby drill" t-shirts, after all, there's also apparently a market for these (also highlighted on Shakesville):

http://img150.imageshack.us/img150/3061/vpilf2jz9.png

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/5118/vpilfdd1.png
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:15 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:

Kudos to Shakesville for showing some integrity of conviction instead of being slaves to ideology--I know a few 'progressive types' myself who demonstrate such integrity as do you, yourself. [..]

But the big guns such as NOW, American Assoc of University Woman, Feminist Majority Foundation, et al [..] would have been all over anybody treating a Democrat as Sarah Palin is being treated and they would be championing her right to reach for the brass ring. So where are they now? Either stunningly silent or feeding the gossip and innuendo that it isn't seemly or proper that a mother of young children should aspire to high office.

FWIW:

Quote:
California NOW: FYI - This is What Sexism Looks Like

For everyone out there who seems to think that criticizing Palin on the issues, or suggesting that maybe she doesn't have the experience to be VP, is sexist, here's a look at some real sexism for you. And yes, we oppose sexism directed at Sarah Palin, and will continue to defend her from it. Read this post at Feministing for a great breakdown on why the sexism directed at Palin is just the flip-side of that faced by Hillary Clinton.

[Snipping the examples they presented: several of the images I posted here already, and several others in addition]
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:19 pm
@nimh,
Why is it sexist to say Palin is hot (not that I agree with that assessment)? You gave kudos to Cyclo for naming hot American politicians (and he included her) in your attractive politicians thread.

You said it was frivolous and vacuous back then, but was it also sexist?
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:19 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
Again, how do you KNOW he said it?

He admitted to saying it. He sent an apology to the White House fer chrissakes.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:22 pm
@Robert Gentel,
It is sexist when it is used to diminish her importance.
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:25 pm
Here's that post from the Feministing site that the California NOW referenced:

Quote:
Feministing: Palin Sexism Watch, Sexist Stereotypes Edition

For the record, asking questions about Sarah Palin's record, experience, or policy positions is NOT sexist. But selling/wearing T-shirts with designs like this certainly is:

[images snipped]

The real sexism against Palin, like the designs above, has been the flip-side of the sexism against Hillary Clinton. A sadly perfect illustration of the Catch-22 women face. You're either a scary, ugly, old, mannish harpy. Or a ditzy, perky, fuckable bimbo. You're either cracking nuts between your thighs or dressed up like Britney Spears.

The sexist remarks about Clinton and Palin are like our hate mail ("you ugly man-hater!" followed by "gimme a blow job!") writ large. It doesn't matter that, in reality, neither Hillary Clinton nor Sarah Palin fits these stereotypes. Both are attractive women who have made their fair share of political enemies. But reality doesn't matter much in terms of how they're portrayed.

Which is why it's (almost) hilarious to see someone like David Brooks declare that feminists' problem with Palin isn't based on her anti-woman stance on the issues, but that she's "not a real woman because she doesn't hew to their rigid categories."

Excuse me, our rigid categories? Last I checked, feminists were outraged at Palin being labeled a MILF and Hillary being labeled a bitch. Putting women in sexist little boxes is exactly what we're against. [..]
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:29 pm
@DrewDad,
Her supporters calling her a "hottie" is an attempt to diminish her importance?

I can see a case for frivolous and vacuous but not automatically sexist. I'm sure that people who are sexist might appreciate that kind of commentary but I think intent matters.

Sure there's sexist stuff out there, but there seems to be a notion on this thread that at least insults and in some cases just comments about a woman's appearance are necessarily so and I don't think there is a strong case for that.
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:33 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I suppose there's a difference between, say:

- Hey, this is a shallow question of course, but do you think any of our moderators are attractive? I think Jespah is very attractive myself!

and

- Hey Craven, you should make that hottie Jespah a moderator! Know what I mean? Corrr, she'd be one MILF (Moderator I'd Like to F..)!

Remarking on someone's attractiveness is one thing. Reducing someone to a lust object is another. The latter I'd call sexist.
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:36 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Sure.

a. It is NOT just about Reno...he manages to insult a child (Chelsea) at the same time.

Was Chelsea any more fair game than Palin's poor bloody kids are now?

b. What do you think he is implying about both Reno and Hillary? (Not that there's anything wrong with it.) Implying lesbianism ought not to be an insult, but I suspect it sure as hell is to a whole bunch of McCain's audience. Hilarious...they're both so ugly they can't be "real" women, can they? (Remember all the slime about Hillary being so unfuckable). Not to mention this being a pathetic shot at their both being powerful women....I suspect he was playing on an image of Reno being a "bull dyke".


I would guess you will think I am reading too much into it. So be it. I think that **** is there, all right, especially given the tone of so much repub sliming of Hillary. I didn't follow the trajectory of the anti-Reno stuff much...

dlowan
 
  3  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:39 pm
@Foxfyre,
Quote:
And I'm going to go watch a great movie. Anybody care to join me?


What proof do I have that you are going to watch a film?

Where is the evidence? I won't trust YOUR photos, you are biased.

I want photos of you watching that film from several objective sources.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  -2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:46 pm
So Palin can use her alleged "hotness" to brand herself (as she has done repeatedly) but other people commenting on her being hot and fuckable is out of bounds? Is this like the claim that blacks can call themselves niggers but no one else can???
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 08:55 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
a. It is NOT just about Reno...he manages to insult a child (Chelsea) at the same time.


That might make it more offensive, but how would it make it sexist?

Quote:
Was Chelsea any more fair game than Palin's poor bloody kids are now?


I said that I don't think that kind of insult has any place in politics so you don't need to argue to me whether it's fair game. My contention was that it wasn't automatically sexist.

Quote:
b. What do you think he is implying about both Reno and Hillary? (Not that there's anything wrong with it.)


That Reno looks like a man and that Hillary seems asexual seems to be the gist of it at least to me.

Quote:
Implying lesbianism ought not to be an insult, but I suspect it sure as hell is to a whole bunch of McCain's audience. Hilarious...they're both so ugly they can't be "real" women, can they? (Remember all the slime about Hillary being so unfuckable).


I wouldn't sleep with Hillary, but I don't think that is due to any sexism on my part. If I were to insult her appearance it might be mean but it wouldn't be sexist.

I think the humor comparing Janet Reno to a man was often pretty funny. Will Ferrell did it well and I don't think I appreciate it because it's sexist.

I'm sure a misogynist might appreciate those jokes but don't think that insulting a woman's appearance is sexist without the misogyny in the intent or appreciation of it.

Quote:
Not to mention this being a pathetic shot at their both being powerful women....I suspect he was playing on an image of Reno being a "bull dyke".


I think it really just came down to her appearance. I heard jokes about Janet Reno from kids who couldn't tell you what she did for a living but who thought that she looked like a man.

To me the Janet Reno jokes are more in line with say this Seinfeld "man hands" joke:



Quote:
I would guess you will think I am reading too much into it. So be it. I think that **** is there, all right, especially given the tone of so much repub sliming of Hillary. I didn't follow the trajectory of the anti-Reno stuff much...


To be honest I think most of the Hillary and Reno stuff is pop culture and not politics. I don't see it as inherently any more sexist than the Tom Cruise is gay gossip or the Lyle Lovett is ugly stuff.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 09:27 pm
@nimh,
nimh wrote:

I suppose there's a difference between, say:

- Hey, this is a shallow question of course, but do you think any of our moderators are attractive? I think Jespah is very attractive myself!

and

- Hey Craven, you should make that hottie Jespah a moderator! Know what I mean? Corrr, she'd be one MILF (Moderator I'd Like to F..)!

Remarking on someone's attractiveness is one thing. Reducing someone to a lust object is another. The latter I'd call sexist.


I guess I see the "Hoosiers for Hottie" buttons as more of the former than the latter. Thing is, I'd consider the latter uncouth and possibly sexist but not necessarily so.

Some of the T-shirt stuff certainly would qualify for me, but the T-shirt sideshow to politics isn't something I take too seriously. The bum rush to portray her as an airhead is something I think can be motivated by sexism as well, but some people may just think they are legitimately "vetting" the candidate.

I'm not a fan of the caricature politics on the whole because it simplifies politics into stereotyping the individual and I oppose these attacks for the same reason when they are part of the political process but I guess I just think ascribing it all to sexism is even further reduction of the cult of personality politics that I see as the larger problem.

In any case this is a nit I'd rather not keep picking, I still oppose the vapid personality politics regardless of the motive.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 09:29 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Well, I haven't seen too many jokes about a politician having ugly boys because he slept with Ronald Reagan, have you? Or having ugly boys at all.

Are they out there?

Do you not think that Chelsea's looks are picked on because she is female?

Not wanting to sleep with a politician is one thing.....constantly using her alleged unattractiveness to make attacks upon Hillary in the political arena seems to go well beyond anything that is happening to McCain, or Obama, for instance.

Do you contend that attacks based upon looks happen as much for men?

They certainly have their peculiarities exaggerated in cartoons and such, but are they consistently attacked in the political arena just for being ugly? If they are, there should have been a whole industry of sleaze aimed at Reagan being unfuckable, for instance...was there?

I can see your points, and I agree it is a fine divide...but is Lovatt attacked as a musician because he is allegedly ugly (he looks like an old friend of mine and I think he looks damn fine, but that is, of course, irrelevant.)?

The manhand thing kind of looks similar...but again there is a difference in that

a. It is fiction

b. The woman's hands are not seen as being something worth laughing at in terms of her ability to do a job.

c. I like Seinfeld better than I like the right wing. Wink


I didn't see the Reno stuff, as I said....so I am looking not so much at that, but at how an attack against her was used to attack Hillary and Chelsea.

The SNL etc. stuff may well have been very funny, and kudos to her for laughing at herself. I can't really comment on it otherwise.

I actually do find the Cruise is gay stuff very offensive and certainly homophobic....not sure that it is being used to criticise him as an actor, though?

I am kind of interested that, as far as I know, Obama is not being attacked for being gay (he looks wambly and is literate and educated and such) or for being a girly man......are such attacks occurring?

If not, I think that also shows a difference on what areas it is considered useful to slime politicians....Hillary gets slimed for being strong and man-like.

Mind you, given the stuff being thrown at Obama, I have probably just missed homophobic slurs.


Given that the "pop culture" stuff is being used as political assault ammunition, I am not really sure how you are differentiating the two in practice?


DrewDad
 
  4  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 09:52 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Her supporters calling her a "hottie" is an attempt to diminish her importance?

Yes.

I think it attempts to reduce her from an entire person, to a cipher with a single quality. IMO, it's a defense mechanism. Powerful women are threating to a large part of society, male and female, and it's a way of getting some imagined control over her.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 09:54 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I will add that I don't think comedy shows are relevant to this discussion. In particular, I think you missed the entire satirical jab of "man hands."
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 10:29 pm
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

Robert Gentel wrote:
Her supporters calling her a "hottie" is an attempt to diminish her importance?

Yes.

I think it attempts to reduce her from an entire person, to a cipher with a single quality. IMO, it's a defense mechanism. Powerful women are threating to a large part of society, male and female, and it's a way of getting some imagined control over her.


Actually, I think her supporters calling her a "hottie" is evidence of their stupidity, as well as there likely being an element of what you say.

I think they are calling her a "hottie" partly as a "she's a REAL woman...not like Hillary...so yah boo sucks to you librul effetes"...which is damned odd, because a lot of the fundamentalist/gun-nut base she is supposed to pull in would, I suspect, generally not be in favour of women in any leadership position at all.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 10:38 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:
Well, I haven't seen too many jokes about a politician having ugly boys because he slept with Ronald Reagan, have you? Or having ugly boys at all.

Are they out there?


There are certainly jokes and insults out there based on male politician's appearances. Obama is mocked for being skinny and portrayed as a wimp and McCain is mocked for having a lump on his face.

I don't know of any specific insults about any of them sleeping with Ronald Reagan or even about having ugly boys but that may just be because of how specific the insult is. I don't personally know of any other jokes about having kids with Reno either.

Ugly offspring jokes are common though, I do remember Bill Gates ones off the top of my head.

Quote:
Do you not think that Chelsea's looks are picked on because she is female?


For some maybe, but I think her being ugly (more so when she was younger) had more to do with it. Making fun of ugly people is pretty common and I tend to see more of it directed toward men. Like this meme:

http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/176/uglyob0.jpg

Fugly isn't a joke that's limited to women or even predominantly applied to women in my experience.

Quote:
Not wanting to sleep with a politician is one thing.....constantly using her alleged unattractiveness to make attacks upon Hillary in the political arena seems to go well beyond anything that is happening to McCain, or Obama, for instance.


But that might have to do with them not exuding asexuality.

Quote:
Do you contend that attacks based upon looks happen as much for men?


In general I think men are made fun of a lot more for it. I see a couple of meme's a month about ugly men but not many about ugly women.

Quote:
They certainly have their peculiarities exaggerated in cartoons and such, but are they consistently attacked in the political arena just for being ugly? If they are, there should have been a whole industry of sleaze aimed at Reagan being unfuckable, for instance...was there?


I don't think Reagan had that effect on many people. John Kerry might be a better example and the cjhsa-level folk made a lot of fun of him (see here: http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/John_Kerry ).

Quote:
I can see your points, and I agree it is a fine divide...but is Lovatt attacked as a musician because he is allegedly ugly (he looks like an old friend of mine and I think he looks damn fine, but that is, of course, irrelevant.)?


I don't think the people who make these kind of insults about politicians use them for any political strategy, it's just a way they express hate.

If Lovatt ran as a Democrat cjhsa would make daily cracks about his looks.

Quote:
b. The woman's hands are not seen as being something worth laughing at in terms of her ability to do a job.


The Reno and Hillary jokes didn't try to say anything about their jobs though. And when they do I think it is a better case for sexism. For example, Rockhead's thread about beauty pageants bothered me because he asks what Palin has learned from being in one as if that's the sole basis for her qualification.

The beauty pageant being dropped in the serious press is something I'd see more along these lines because there's an attempt to use her looks to portray her as stupid and therefore unfit for office, but cjhsa saying Hillary is ugly is no different to me than when those guys would call Kerry a horse. They aren't trying to make an argument about their qualifications, they are just applying their shallow minds to their politics and trying to get the other side angry.
Quote:
I actually do find the Cruise is gay stuff very offensive and certainly homophobic....not sure that it is being used to criticise him as an actor, though?


Maybe you saw a Hillary connection to her job that I just didn't see. I've seen it with Palin in the attempt to use her appearance to portray her as stupid, but I've never seen anyone use Hillary's lack of mojo to indict her ability to do her job.

Quote:
I am kind of interested that, as far as I know, Obama is not being attacked for being gay (he looks wambly and is literate and educated and such) or for being a girly man......are such attacks occurring?


Yes. He's been portrayed as effeminate just like Kerry was. Huckabee is the one who used it most prominently in the political process when he joked during a speech: “That was Barack Obama, he just tripped off a chair, he's getting ready to speak,” said the former Arkansas governor, to audience laughter. “Somebody aimed a gun at him and he dove for the floor.”

Quote:
If not, I think that also shows a difference on what areas it is considered useful to slime politicians....Hillary gets slimed for being strong and man-like.


Well I think Hillary tried to cultivate this when running against Obama herself. She started shooting guns and talking tough while hinting at the Obama is a pussy theme.

Her false bravado may be condemned for many reasons other than sexism.

Quote:
Mind you, given the stuff being thrown at Obama, I have probably just missed homophobic slurs.


Indeed. Larry Sinclair is a guy who claimed he had sex with Obama and did drugs with him and started giving press conferences to speak out. He justified it with the drug use allegation pretending to set the record straight about Obama's past drug use but the real smear was trying to portray him as gay.

Quote:
Given that the "pop culture" stuff is being used as political assault ammunition, I am not really sure how you are differentiating the two in practice?


In practice I don't use them as differentiating factors in determining sexism. I use them as differentiating factors in what is important political dialogue.

The level of offensive stuff in this thread is par for the course in the pop culture sideshow to the political process. I don't think digging up T-shirts is relevant in most cases unless the meme extends beyond that fringe.

The sexism I'm worried about in regard to Palin is the more rabid "vetting" being done by journalists and I just see that as more noteworthy than offensive T-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons. Those things have always been quite vapid.
0 Replies
 
 

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