Monday, January 19, 2009

Sarah and Sexism

I noticed on the Conservatives for Palin website a note stating that Governor Sarah Palin would be on Fox News today with Glenn Beck. Governor Palin is Glenn Beck’s first guest on his new show.

It got me to thinking about the question that I really wanted to ask when I was at the Waukesha town hall meeting with Senator McCain and Governor Palin. I had a very specific question for Governor Palin but I never got a chance to ask the question..

I will get to my question that I sent in momentarily. In fact, since I have a day job and will not be able to watch the Glenn Beck show, someone watch for me and let me know if I get lucky and the governor is asked the question that I pose here today.

There is a giant pink elephant, dressed in a Hillary pantsuit, wearing Sarah stilettos and covered in lipstick that we all managed to completely ignore during this election cycle.

The giant pink elephant’s name is Sexism. For the purpose of this article I am generally defining sexism as “a belief or attitude that one gender or sex is inferior to or less valuable than the other”.

Now we can go on denying that sexism exists in our country, or we can finally fess up to it and deal it. The good news is on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day is that we have finally faced up to one of this nation’s most closely held vile habits in racism and tomorrow the first African American president will be sworn into office.

As far as sexism is concerned, let’s look at some evidence before everyone immediately launches into denial.

Hillary and her supporters spent months complaining about sexism and the double standard created between her and Obama. When Hillary would question Obama on just about anything, Obama would whine about “divisive politics” and “politics as usual” and the media would launch into Clinton with such fervor for questioning Obama.

Then we move on to August. The day after Obama’s coronation complete with the Greek columns and fainting supporters, John McCain took the winds out of the Obama sails by selecting Governor Sarah Palin.

That is when the real sexism started. Now, a bunch of folks will get defensive and claim what they did was not sexism…Governor Palin should be expected to answer questions. Yada, yada, yada.

Stop a think for a moment the types of stories that were written about Sarah and what type of questions were asked of her. Within 24 hours of her being named to the ticket, Sarah Palin’s motherhood was being questioned. Was she really Trig Palin’s mother? 24 hours after this, her daughter’s pregnancy was revealed. Was she a good mother? Shouldn’t she be home teaching her kids some values? And on and on…

From there things quickly deteriorated. The way she hugged John McCain became an issue. Governor Palin’s wardrobe, her hairstyle, her glasses, her shoes, her children, her intelligence and what newspapers she may or may not read all became issues.

She was called Caribou Barbie, Redneck Barbie, a bimbo and names that my Christian values will not allow me to state here. Even Obama got his digs in with the lipstick and the pig comment.

The blatant sexism against Governor Palin could not have been more evident.

Now, if you stopped and thought about it…what man running for elected office has ever had to deal with these types of questions? Certainly not Barack Obama. How much did his campaign pay for his clothes, his wife’s clothes and his children’s clothes? These types of questions were off limits, as well they should have been.

To make matters so much worse, this sexism was generated and propagandized by the media. They could not help themselves. They had to keep the pressure up, before and after the election.

So obviously, the nasty side of sexism chose 2008 to once again rear its ugly head.

To be completely fair, it isn’t just the men that have issues with sexism. Probably two of the worst cases of sexism were Tina Fey’s degradation of Governor Palin and Katie Couric’s obnoxious gotcha questions. Two women, who instead of celebrating the advancement of a woman to a national ticket, chose degradation over a celebration.

Certainly neither of these women should have voted for the McCain/Palin ticket because a woman was on the ticket, but was it really necessary for their support for Barack Obama to turn into hatred and sexism against Sarah Palin?

It was not only liberals that played the sexism game, there are some conservatives that pushed the “she is stupid” propaganda. For example, Kathleen Parker, a conservative writer no one had ever heard of until she started slamming Sarah Palin, felt the need to further the sexism crime against the governor. Shortly before the election, Parker finally admitted that her husband had the hots for Governor Palin and felt that she was too attractive. Basically the green-eyed monster reared its ugly head and came out in Parker’s writings.

So where do we go from here? How do we deal with the sexism that became clearly evident during this election? The many advancements made over the years for woman were destroyed in a few short months on the campaign trail and in the media. How do we get that back?

This is for certain, the so called modern day feminists who were part of pushing this propaganda of sexism against the governor, are of little use in fixing the sexism problem we are currently having. Who knew that these are the same women who went from burning their bras in the streets of San Francisco and now they are terrified of a tube of lipstick.

There was a time that Susan B. Anthony carried the charge of equal rights and suffrage and somehow Gloria Steinem is now the face of modern feminism. Instead of being about equal rights for all Americans, apparently the liberal women deserve to be treated with respect and conservative woman are not worth fighting for. Feminism became about politics instead of people.

I think the way forward has a lot to do with Governor Sarah Palin. Over and over again I listen to political pundits say that she should just take the sexist remarks. If she complains then she is just whining.

I am sorry, I disagree with this. If she tolerates this type of treatment then woman after woman coming up behind her with political aspirations of their own like myself will be fighting the same battle. I know that I am just a lowly alderwoman fighting to give a voice to the people of Kenosha Wisconsin, but that is where she started also. She became the voice of Wasilla and has moved her way up to the woman she is today.

Now I am not looking for raving lunatic feminists like we see on the liberal side of the aisle, but we need a reasoned approach to regaining the dignity and respect that all woman of every race and religion deserve.

This battle is not just for conservative woman, but we need the conservative men to help us. This is very much a team battle we are fighting. We need to join together and not only fight the racism that exists in this country, but fight the sexism also. We can all clearly see now that sexism is alive and surviving in this country and the media are the most guilty party of all in the propagandizing this issue.

That is the question that I posed to Governor Palin- Sexism is alive- Where do we go from here?

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