Thats a bit of a straw man. I dont think anyone has argued that whoever, whenever calls Palin a hottie in any context is sexist.
T-shirts or bumper stickers saying McCain/MILF, VPILF, or Hoosiers for the Hottie, however, are.
What I'm saying is to assert that those comments are invariably
sexism ignores that there are other reasons people might display them and projects your own.
Just using a "Hoosiers for Hottie" button simply doesn't have to involve the reduction you claim it does. You are projecting things that are possibly there but possibly not there at all. This is just political correctness at it's most pedantic and if you actually listen to what they have to say it would be much harder to portray them as sexist.
For example I looked it up to see who was wearing them, and it sounds like women came up with the idea and just plain reject the notion that they are reducing her to a sexual object.
"Being a hot chick, strong fun and capable all go together," said Koch, who said she wouldn't see anything sexist even if a man were to don the button.
Lawrence Mayor Paul Rickets wins the award for political correctness.
"She's a very hot lady in terms of her intelligence, her abilities and she's a very nice looking lady. I think she fits the bill very very well," he said.
They take Palin as politician and presidential candidate and reduce her function as such to being a mere sex symbol.
As long as you project your own meaning it does. That clearly isn't the meaning that the people wearing it intended. This is why I argue that you are ascribing to sexism what may just be vapidity.
It's the equivalent of McCain/Dumb Blonde, or McCain + The Bitch, or McCain/That woman I want in my bed.
Well I guess it might mean that to you, but it doesn't mean that to me and the people wearing the buttons claim it doesn't mean that to them either.
I also think that automatically assuming that calling a female hot is to call them dumb perpetuates that sexist stereotype. Some of the people sounded like the were wearing it to counter that stereotype of looks being incompatible with competence. Saying that calling her hot automatically reduces her to dumb is to buy into it.