Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ground Rules

Now that there's a woman in the campaign, I would like to request that the media, bloggers, politicos and others observe a little decorum in the upcoming presidential race.

1. Do not focus unduly on her husband. Even though he's a man, he does not tell her what to do in her job. Treat him the same as you do Michelle or Cindy.

2. Do not focus on her looks. I'm sure that many men will have strong opinions about her sex appeal, but it's inappropriate to talk about it in a political forum. Do not go on and on about how she's a "beauty queen". She was in one small-town beauty pageant a great many years ago. It's irrelevant.

3. Lay off the misogynist pejoratives. Whenever a woman emerges in politics, she gets labeled a bitch, a whore, frigid, a ball-breaker, a castrater, a man-eater, submissive, dominating... Don't act out your rape fantasies in demanding that she grovel, give lap-dances, whatever. And please lay off the references to women becoming unstable during their periods or menopause: they don't; and it's offensive.

My last point is just a request. When people do all of the above, as they will, please speak out against it. It is only going to make women support her if they perceive another misogynist gang-up on a female candidate.



Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more, Yappa. Let Ms Palin rise or fall on her own merits as a politician and a legislator. That's all, and everything feminists have EVER asked for in a female candidate. However, did you see her stumbling interview on Youtube? She says that Ms. Clinton shouldn't have called attention to the sexism and the misogyny in the campaign, that everyone knows it's there but you have to move beyond it. Was this Hillary's biggest mistake, letting the guys know how offensive they really are? While Palin's way is to play the "little woman."

Oh, I know I'm a bad old cynic but really, Yappa, there always was an enormous difference in gender equality and quotas--and Ms Palin's appointment falls into the second category, filling a spot as the quota demands. No, OK, I know it's not that cut and dried, but it's implied anyway.

Anonymous said...

No abortion, for rape or incest, She was going to sue the Federal government for making the Polar bear an endangered species. She, like Stockwell Day believe the earth is only 6000 years old, she is anti Gay.. A woman in Politics should take it like a man, or she won't be any better than any of us.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your ground-rules in general, but do have a serious question.

When the candidate herself has embraced her former high school nickname of "barracuda," as she apparently has during her brief stratospheric rise to power, isn't she inviting some rather snarky remarks?

I'm being serious. What if a male candidate adopted his old sport nickname as the Tiger?

I'm always a little put-off by people who feel the need to define themselves with a label so its instinctive with me. But perhaps it fits under your category 3.

Liked your review of Mamma Mia, btw. I haven't seen it yet.


Anonymous said...

Watching Jimmy Kimmell on Friday he did a monologue piece on Palin. They showed a fake nude photo of her riding a moose and Kimmell quipped "Talk about drilling in Alaska!"

I thought it was a bit much considering she is a mother of 5 and a Governer. I guess it was the best Oprah's writers at ABC could come up with on short notice. I'm sure they were still in shell-shock after McCain's announcement.

The Mound of Sound said...

"Rape fantasies?" I think you're really reaching when you go that far.

Yappa said...

Hi mound of sound -

The rape fantasies thing is something I've been noticing in comments section on political forums. It's out there and it's pretty ugly. I haven't kept a record of these things, and I wouldn't quote the most offensive examples in any event, but I have mentioned a couple on this blog.

I quoted an example last December 9 during the James Moore affair. To recap, MP Irene Matthyson made a complaint about MP James Moore showing pictures of his girlfriend's bikini-clad butt in parliament. In my post on the topic I quoted some bloggers on the issue: "A disturbing theme that ran throughout the men's attacks was that Irene Mathyssen and Karen Redman should be humiliated. Like this one: "They should both have to give lap dances to Peter Milliken."..."

Another example I have blogged on is photos of Hillary with her mouth open with an arrow pointing at it and the caption "Insert here". That photo was widely circulated and appears in a video about sexism in the campaign that I posted.

In fact, that photo was so widely circulated that you probably saw it. I suspect the difference in our opinions is not that you haven't seen this stuff, but that you dismiss it as unimportant.

Yappa said...

One other thing on my reply to mound of sound -

The male response to discussions of sexism is too often defensive, and the defensiveness leads to denial.

Talking about sexism is not a complaint against men. Sexism is not something that men do to women. It's systemic, and it affects all of us. I'm in the process of writing a post on this issue so I'll leave it there for now.