[UPDATED] The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

On C-Span 2’s post election Presidential Election Analysis Panel by the Smithsonian Associates. That's how Howard Dean put it. See below.

Some key quotes from the video:
“Washington doesn’t get it. They always get it last. This is the most underwritten story of this campaign… by the press… by the media.”

“Women my age, in my generation felt this really acutely. Because they were the ones that suffered all of the indignities that you suffer when you fight to win the battle for equality. As they did.”

“Nobody understood the agony that women, particularly of my generation, were undergoing about this…issue…and to this day, it has been swept under the rug and been forgotten because she didn’t win.”

"We thought we were past all this stuff and we weren’t. We weren’t surprised about the degree of racism or lack of it or whatever, that was endlessly examined. We did not examine the fact that we didn’t get, we haven’t gotten nearly as far ahead as we thought we were about equality between the sexes. And that ought to be revisited as a result of what happened.”

"and it happened to Sarah Palin too. All the stuff that happened to Sarah Palin, and I know God knows I don’t have a lot of sympathy for her political points of view, but a lot of the stuff that happened to her, as she pointed out, would not have happened had she been a man.”

Do you think an honest discussion of this topic is possible yet?

Update [2008-11-23 19:0:49 by canadian gal]:It seems oddly disturbing that one would need to make this kind of update on a website of this kind - but there you go. Please stop latching on to Palin, racism, and all other kinds of excuses why sexism is acceptable. This diary was meant to open up honest dialogue about sexism rather than to talk about Palin's boobs (or whether she is worthy of being a victim of sexism) or Clinton's cackle or whether or not racism is a problem - it is - that's just not the topic of this diary.

Tags: clinton, Media, Palin, sexism, Women (all tags)



howie.... the bestest.

by canadian gal 2008-11-21 05:20PM | 0 recs
The sexism during this campaign season was
appalling! What was most disturbing, however, was that while it was happening, many progressives seemed to be in a state of denial about it. In hindsight, I don't know if supporters of other candidates brushed off the sexism in order to to support their own candidate, or if they actually didn't see it happening. You are right. We have a long way to go. I think this election, however, was positive for women's equality. We now can see exactly where we are and what attitides still need to be changed.
by Sandy1938 2008-11-23 03:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The sexism during this campaign season was

many 'progressives' were the ones doing it! that's the worst part - -

by swissffun 2008-11-23 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The sexism during this campaign season was
Yes. And these so called 'liberals' are still doing it. Disgusting and shameful. First it was Hillary and then it was Sarah. Same crap, different target. They believe lies and pass them on - as long as a woman is the target, it doesn't matter.
Question that? Just read the comments below.
by Marjoriest 2008-11-24 02:47PM | 0 recs
Exactly, and why it was so unforgivable!

by suzieg 2008-11-25 01:45AM | 0 recs
Re: howie.... the bestest.

I agree for the most part, except for this:

"..the stuff that happened to her, as she pointed out, would not have happened had she been a man."

Two words: Dan Quayle

Both Quayle and Palin clearly lacked an acceptable level of readiness to take over leadership of the govt. in an emergency, and that is what drove the subsequent narrative for each, imho.

by phoenixdreamz 2008-11-23 05:08AM | 0 recs
Thank you, CG! n/t

by psychodrew 2008-11-21 06:27PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

I'll fully agree with every word about Hillary Clinton, particularly because when he talks about people who didn't get it, I was one of them. I didn't see how bad it got until I saw it accumulated in a Daily Show clip. Partly because I didn't pay enough attention, partly because I had an image of her in my head already that went back to when I was a teenager. When Hillary cried, I saw it as a cheap ploy. I watch it now and feel ashamed of myself.

But I understood the feelings of her supporters long before then. I still remember this one woman at the convention just completely broken down in grief after Hillary spoke and she realized she wasn't going to get her as the next President.

However, Sarah Palin didn't suffer because of sexism. A male Palin would have been laughed out of the room. Pictures of a man holding a gun wouldn't mean anything, knowing he hunted moose wouldn't mean anything, learning he had an autistic child wouldn't mean anything. In fact, he might be accused of forcing his wife and daughter to have children they didn't want.

I hope plenty of little girls found someone to look up to in Hillary. But I don't think having Palin as a role model is good for anyone. The lesson kids learned from Palin is that you don't have to be smart to be President, you just have to wear nice clothes and be flirty.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 07:58PM | 0 recs
well we'll have to half agree then.

i dont have the stomach at this particular moment to explain why sexism played a disturbing role at both female candidates this cycle, but im glad we agree about clinton though.

perhaps the thing that troubled me most, was that in the progressive blogosphere and really the following proves that it is anything but - that sexism displayed was as bad if not worse than in the MSM.

by canadian gal 2008-11-21 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: well we'll have to half agree then.

I'd still like to hear all your arguments about Palin and have a discussion. You have always been such a hardcore defender and I just don't understand where she deserves a defense or why her problems had to do with gender and not universal principles like knowledge and ethics.  I would really like it if you could try to help me understand.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 08:19PM | 0 recs

here and here for starters.

by canadian gal 2008-11-21 08:32PM | 0 recs
Re: check...

We might agree about how sexism was involved with Palin's campaign, looking at that second link. At every turn, she was judged about her appearance and she just took it and used it to her advantage.

Is your PoV that the media was incredibly sexist and it is their own problem, it's just that she is clever and shameless enough to exploit their bigotry?

If so, the area in which we disagree might be about the way she dealt with it. I think if it is easier for a woman to get to the White House, it's in spite of Palin's candidacy, not because of it. Palin's message seemed to be that if you play dumb, smile and look pretty, you'll go far in life.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 09:04PM | 0 recs
Re: check...

Or maybe not. Thinking about what I just said, I can't state with any real conviction that she sent that message or tried to portray it. It's hard to really examine what is right in front of your face. It's more difficult to pinpoint with Palin because there are so many other aspects of her personality that I find horrifying. I think her attacks on Obama and liberals were despicable, I think her lack of intellectual curiosity is a terrible trait in a leader, and I think she's completely self-absorbed. I didn't like the way she drug her kids around with her everywhere and put them on display, especially her baby.

But where does my bias start? Might it be in thinking she was trying to push her physical attractiveness? I just don't know. But I'd like to hear what you thought of Palin beyond the sexism. Not what you thought of her treatment, what do you think of her qualifications? When you look deep down inside and ask yourself whether you would defend her if she was a man, what do you say to yourself?

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 09:30PM | 0 recs
Re: check...

I guess the Obama's bringing out their kids on display is okay -- unless a double standard is justified here.

by trixta 2008-11-21 10:10PM | 0 recs
Re: check...

The Obamas did that maybe two, three times. And when school started, they were right back in there. Obama went out of his way to make sure they lived as normal a life as possible. Palin threw her young ones on a stage as often as she possibly could and didn't even make an attempt to let them live their own life.

Fuck your double standard and fuck you for backhandedly calling me a bigot.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 10:17PM | 0 recs
Re: check...

Wow!  Your anger is astouning!  And this from the side that "won"!    

I'm just stating a comparison -- which apparently you don't think is valid.  So what?  We have different opinions and interpretations of the matter.  I guess that justifies name calling though from your POV.  


by trixta 2008-11-22 08:32PM | 0 recs
Your history of trolling

strips your argument of any claimed sincerity. That's the bed you've made for yourself: deal with it.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-22 09:49PM | 0 recs
Re: check...

There's no comparison between the two, unless you're trolling.

by Dreorg 2008-11-22 05:00AM | 0 recs
Did you use the same reasoning

to justify your attitudes towards Clinton before you reconsidered?  If so, I would try to go through the same process with Palin.  My concern is that your transformation re Clinton has more to do with her supposed political redemption (stumping vigorously for Obama) than with any chanage in attitudes towards women.

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Did you use the same reasoning

And my concern is the premise of your concern: impugning sexism where it doesn't exist.

It's likely that many of those now favorably predisposed towards Hillary were, in fact, encouraged by her loyalty and her team spirit. So why the insinuation that this implies a general problem with one's "attitudes towards women" that needs changing?

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-22 09:46PM | 0 recs
Re: well we'll have to half agree then.

I agree with you on Palin.  I detest her political philosophy, but the shopping spree meme was calculated to trivialize her as a profligate flaky woman, ditto for Caribou Barbie, lipstick on a Pig, and the "she came out wearing nothing but a bath towel" sensations.  

by BPK80 2008-11-21 09:51PM | 0 recs
Re: well we'll have to half agree then.

I disagree about "lipstick on a pig", but I'll go along with the rest. That said, the shopping spree should not and cannot be thrown off as sexism. It is grossly important that we come out of this election understanding what was right and what was wrong. And although to some, the shopping story might have been about women, to me it was about a politician that thinks nothing of using other people's money for her own benefit. I got pissed off about McCain's makeup artist, too.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 10:10PM | 0 recs
Re: well we'll have to half agree then.

Agreed on the spending aspect of the shopping spree, but I think it was no accident that it made her look frivolous in a way that mirrored certain female stereotypes.  "All she wants to do is go shopping!"  etc.

by BPK80 2008-11-22 02:07AM | 0 recs
Re: well we'll have to half agree then.

The bizarre thing is, by all accounts I'm aware of, a lot of the spending spree, came-out-wearing-a-towel stuff came from McCain's own camp (especially after the election.) I think I'm with Campbell Brown on this one - the difference between Hillary Clinton's campaign and Sarah Palin's was that some of the people in Clinton's campaign actually believed in her, and the McCain team acted in an extremely condescending way towards Palin.

by Exhausted Pennsylvanian 2008-11-22 03:23AM | 0 recs
Re: well we'll have to half agree then.

The problem is that there is no real reason to support Sarah Palin for a national campaign at this moment in time. She just wasn't anywhere close to ready. She could be if she works hard and studies up, and I think that's what a lot of people are tapping into. But for now? It's just crazy.

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 04:20AM | 0 recs
Re: well we'll have to half agree then.

I doubt Palin will ever have the intellectual wherewithal to be a good president, no matter how hard she works at it. Complicating that picture is the impression that she really isn't into studying up, evidenced in her infamous Couric performances - made worse by then trying to blame Couric for "gotcha questions". Right.

On the other hand, Dubya made it to president - twice. There's yet hope for her.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-22 09:59PM | 0 recs
Re: well we'll have to half agree then.

Of course, the vice-presidential debate where Palin at least TIED Biden isn't ever considered. And all Biden's stupid gaffes are just swept under the rug. (Saying that - maybe it wasn't much of a feat to beat Joe.... - but he is supposed to know what he is talking about - after all he's a man.)

by Marjoriest 2008-11-24 01:43PM | 0 recs
The shopping spree incident

was also classist.  Why are you so concerned that the campaign paid for her wardrobe?  Unfortunately, we expect our politicians to look like celebrities in the guise of "looking presidential."  I think of the warbrobe as costuming.  The campaign pays for meals and transport and lodging.  Isn't really a big deal for it to pay for a wardrobe for a not wealthy candidate?  Granted, they didn't need to shop at Needless Markup.  Remember as well that there was incessant talk of Clinton's pant suits.  The focus on Palin's wardrobe was, in my mind, both sexist and classist.

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

The Palins are worth over a million dollars.  I don't understand where classism comes in here.

You're also accepting the most benign, and also the most ridiculous explanation of it - campaigns pay for clothes all the time, but it never runs them over $150,000.  That's just a ridiculous amount of money for three or four media appearances and a few dozen rallies.  The issue was that she was dipping into campaign money to enrich herself: something that she's done in public office before.

If she had used it to add another wing to her house, would you still be defending it?

by Jess81 2008-11-22 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

class isn't money, it's who you identify with.  Sarah is a small town girl, and she didn't fit in with the sophisti-cats.  She'd never have 150K to spend on one's season's clothing.  The response to her in the smarty-pug groups was the same horror felt when Bush nominated Harriet Meiers, and they even recycled the same jokes.  

by anna shane 2008-11-22 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

That may be, but did you see her wearing a burberry scarf during turkey slughter incident?  I thought she was giving that stuff back - but keepng it would go more in line with the self enrichment argument. The clothing in my view was led more to undermining her claim that Obama was an elitist, but I personally didn't care about the clothing expenditure (and yes it was a large sum of money), there were far greater concerns Americans should have been worrying about.

I personally don't think Palin suffered from sexism as a hindrance to her run, rather if there was sexism, it was to her benefit.  I think all of the criticism that befell her was due to her utter lack of global knowledge or yearning for learning, her exotic religious practices, her desire to rally the masses to bigotted hatred, and a penchant for executive abuses.  She was fail, and if she were a he, he was fail.

by KLRinLA 2008-11-22 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

the sexism came from the press, who were delighted to find a girl that 'deserved' contempt.  And from McCain's group, who are the ones that leaked the data and made it possible for false links to seem credible. Who cares if she's wearing an expensive scarf, in my opinion she should keep all the clothes, they hired her for a beauty contest, or to model or whatever, thinking women are so dumb we won 't notice she's unqualified (and there's the real sexism!).  She's too dumb to realize she's been used and cast aside.  To me that's just sad.  She can't help being who she is, but they had no business throwing her to the lions.  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

I disagree with your first line, the press wasn't looking for it in a girl, they found it in a girl.  Big difference, but that is not the fault of the press.

The rest of your post is dead on.  I think she had something to do with that, though.  She seemed to revel in her winks and sexy sass and I would find it hard to believe that she was completely programmed by McCain's campaign to do that, against her will.   But yeah, I think McCain picked her because she as a hot piece of ass to rile of the white male ignorant base.  I am not sad, I am glad that she is being left in the wind, I don't want her anywhere near the reigns of our country.  

by KLRinLA 2008-11-23 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

she's just dumb, she did what she does which is why she was picked in the first place. A big fuck-you to working women that they wrongly thought would bring on Hillary's voters.  I think using a dumb woman is even meaner and more sexist than using a smart one. She just fell into everything.  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 02:50PM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

well I don't think that is sexist, dumb men get roped into stuff all the time and it's not sexist.  It is mean, exploitive, and predatory for sure, but I don't think that is automatically sexist.  I don't feel bad for her, she is not so dumb and helpless - she has plenty of money, a big family, and is wildly popular in Alaska. She should stay up there and enjoy it.

by KLRinLA 2008-11-23 02:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

i mean, she was a kind of innocent, they picked a babe in the woods, a right wing unpleasant one for sure, but still just a babe and threw her to the wolves.  I think the pugs were the sexist ones, the ones that picked her and then smeared her when she didn't bring in Hillary's voters.  The press certainly played into it, they ought to have been smearing John and his team, not her.  I dislike just about everything she believes, I see her as the mean girl from seventh grade who delighted in forming exclusion-cliques (although I guess she wasn't like that when she was really a seventh grader.).  But she ought never to have been shoved onto the world stage, they ought to have known that she's the girl bush and could not win them votes, and that their own right wing would smear her like they did Harriet Meirs, and that she would become a national joke.  She didn't blink? That's how dumb she is.  She ought to have run and hid.  

Pick a dumb woman to run as VP, what does that tell you about how they view women (we're all the same).  Now that's fundamentally sexist.

by anna shane 2008-11-23 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

You speak the truth there, on that front indeed McCain's campaign deserves all the blame for their pick and mostly for the cynical reasons behind it.

I was slightly debating you on a different level (that just because a dumb person is female doesn't make criticsm of her sexist, in general) but specfically yes, you are spot on, it was sexist and horrendeously denigrating to women for his camp to believe that they could just toss up "any ole' girl" and the "Hillary girls" would vote for her.  Luckily our democratic Hillary supporting women are just as intelligent and understand the issues just like men...wow, like, who'da thunk it!?!?! F'n McCain, just goes to show how out of touch he is, I mean, for most of his life women couldn't vote, so I guess that would explain his ignorance

by KLRinLA 2008-11-23 04:15PM | 0 recs

well said!!!

by anna shane 2008-11-23 05:04PM | 0 recs
Yeah, she's so dumb she got herself elected as

governor - poor dumb Alaskans who gave her 80% approval, I guess they're just not as elitists as you are at judging people's intelligence such as you voting for a man who promised change in Washington but is still appointing Washington insiders and basically will govern as a third Clinton term, something "the one" railed against during the primaries.

by suzieg 2008-11-25 01:57AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

good point, the fact that they needed to dress her up to make her look like a successful career woman speaks to what they think the people want to see.  And that a new wardrobe tempted her and made her give up her old 'look' speaks to classism.  But the big point was she was picked because John misunderstood sexism and thought he could scoop up Hillary's female voters with any other woman, and that his own team saw her in sexist terms, had no respect for her because she was a woman positioned to smear Barack and not a real qualified vice-presidential candidate.  The whole affair was shameful.  That she doesn't mind how she was used and then thrown away, that she doesn't get it, isn't any excuse for the rest of us.  

by anna shane 2008-11-22 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

I think she gets the way she was used. She's never been unaware of sexism, she exploits it. That's admirable on one level, despicable on another.

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

she thinks so too, but she doesn't really get it.  She's used no one, she's lost support in her home state, and she'll be a joke line for the rest of her life. For what?  She'll be blamed in her party for helping John lose, and she'll be a sign that that party can't use unqualified women to bring aboard female voters, that they may generalize to qualified women too.  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

If it was her wardrobe, I would probably buy the concept that it wasn't her choice. But it was stuff she bought for her entire family. She bought underwear for Piper, even.

Stop. Think about that.
She bought underwear for Piper.

If this were just about looking good for cameras, why would she do that? If it wasn't her idea, why would someone do that for her?

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident

And this from those who want to make Michelle Obama out to be another fashion icon like Jackie O.  What a double standard!

I wonder how much was spent on the Obama family wardrobe?  Obama's suits actually looked pretty well tailored to me.  Hey, that's okay -- he was running for president after all.  Hillary also had her pant suits tailor made.  So what?  They had to look good on camera.  Big deal!

If Sarah had worn cheap clothes she would have been skewered.  As it is, she and her family were attacked for being "white trash."  Come to think of it, Bill and Hillary have always been attacked as "white trash" too.  

Face it, the Left has a lot of soul-searching to do after this election cycle -- that is if it can even find a soul.


by trixta 2008-11-22 08:42PM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident
It's amazing that you don't see the wrongness of spending $150,000 on a few months worth of clothes when $15,000 or even $20,000 would have done quite nicely.
As an example, at the conventions, Michelle's dress cost less than $200. Cindy McCain's outfit was $300,000.
That and the ridiculous expenditure by McCain's campaign on Palin's clothes tells me one of the parties was out of touch with the reality of what people are going through in this country wrt this economy, and that was not the Democrats.
by skohayes 2008-11-23 03:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The shopping spree incident
To my mind the wardrobe issue wasn't so much the clothes, but that it blew up the everywoman image they were trying to construct.  
The vast majority of Americans cant fathom spending what amounts to multiples of their annual income on clothing...in a couple of weeks.
Their was great hay made of a 400.00 haircut for Edwards.  
by thoughtfully ebullient 2008-11-23 12:46PM | 0 recs
You do realize that most of that came

from McCain insiders, don't you?  The shopping spree itself came as a leak from disgusted McCain insiders, and it had to become a distraction because it ran totally contrary to McCain's "back to conservatism" fiscal conservatism anti-bookmark cost-cutting campaign stump speech.

The Lipstick on a Pig pseudo-scandal was totally manufactured by the McCain campaign, as well, in a ludicrous attempt to make Palin a feminist martyr.

The most destructive thing to Palin wasn't either of the above, but, I think, the very valid issue of the Katie Couric interview.  Can you imagine any other candidate, male or female, at that level, being able to survive such a profound display of ignorance?  I can only think of George W. Bush.  She was meant to appeal to the same populist social conservative element that Bush appealed to, that group that thinks that homespun, folksy, likeable but ignorant people make good presidents.  That can't sell in an economy like ours.

by Dumbo 2008-11-22 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Well, I don't mean to say Sarah isn't smart, because I don't know one way or the other. Instead, I'll say kids learned that qualifications don't matter.


Afterthought to the last post:
Have we determined that sexism still IS a problem? Had Obama lost the last few primaries, the story would have been that racism is still a big deal, but we now know that isn't true. If Clinton had run a better campaign (and Newsweek shows how piss-poor it was), she would have won.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 08:11PM | 0 recs

that is the whole reason for this diary.  how clinton's campaign was run, or how smart palin is irrelevant.  so is who won or lost.

the purpose of this discussion, to me - and i daresay dean, is the hope of discussing the role sexism played in this election campaign.

by canadian gal 2008-11-21 08:19PM | 0 recs

But is it really something that actually will cause an impediment for her or future women running for President? That's what I'm asking.

Look, you want honesty, and I am being NOTHING but honest. I've fully admitted my own bias and shame. But would I have voted for Hillary if I had it to do all over again? Probably not.

But here are a couple of things I'll throw your way. First, Hillary's media troubles were not because she was a woman, they were because of her reputation that she had had for years. But that reputation was deeply rooted in sexism. If you want to trace this, you have to go way further back than this campaign. The sexism started in 1993, not 2008. By this point, those stereotypical perceptions of her had lost any sexist connotations for a lot of people, particularly people like me who just grew up with that reputation already established.

Secondly, I'd ask where the sexism is. Is there a problem that is spread throughout society or is it something that comes from old white men with wealth and power? Was it more prevalent in the South or the North? Where did Hillary lose votes due to sexism? What groups have the problem that caused Hillary so much trouble among Democrats?

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 08:41PM | 0 recs

It is certainly complex because of the generational issue, but the gender bias amongst those under 40 years of age is very disturbing. In fact, "Palin is a CUNT" T-shirts were donned by young women of this demographic.  

Oddly, some "feminists" of the old guard also joined in the bashing of Palin based solely on her gender (i.e. she's a bad mother, she's pretty but dumb, she shops, etc.).  Also, I visited a Gender and Women's Study class at a high profile university right after the election and nary a word about the gender issue -- it was all about the racists who opposed Obama.

The stories about HRC the monster, etc. were begun by the Right wing, and the Left just picked up where the Right left off.  It was really horrible to watch and live through.  But the damage has been done.  Gender politics and women's rights have been set back 40 years.  IN fact, I think the number women in elected office this election cycle is already down from the last election.        

by trixta 2008-11-21 09:54PM | 0 recs

I called her that name, I've called other women that name. You know why I don't care? Because I've called guys dicks, assholes, and worse. Because I don't preach and study equality, I live it.

And I've admitted my bias towards Hillary and then I explained it. I opened myself up and spoke like a human being. Why don't you try the same and drop the polemic. Because until I see you have an honest discussion with me about why some criticisms of Palin were correct, I know you are lying to me on some level. And I have no use for it.

I will not put feminism before equality. I just won't do it.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 10:33PM | 0 recs

Gah, I'm sorry for screwing up your diary with this stuff, CG. I tried to be good and then I got mad. Hide rate anything that offends you.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 10:43PM | 0 recs
Language is important

Using derogatory terms towards women helps perpetuate sexism.  It is not mitigated by using epithets against men.  Do you call your black friends n*** because you call your white friends honky?  I would guess not.  Now, I do not believe in linguistic fascism, but it is important to appreciate that certain words carry a history of hostility/violence and your use of those terms carries the history with it.  You may want to believe you live in a "post-misogynistic" world, but you don't.  I would recommend you try being more sensitive about how you use language.  

by orestes 2008-11-22 08:04AM | 0 recs
Reality is more important

Palin is loathsome in many, many ways.  Before you go all Ari-Fleischer-watch-what-you-say on people, you should weigh the cost of hurt feelings for a few against the cost of a fucked-up country for all.

by username 2008-11-22 11:16AM | 0 recs
You completely miss my point

I was asking the poster to consider the misogynistic history behind words used to define women negatively.  How you get to the Bush admin's view that you shouldn't say anything against the govt is beyond me.  I did not threaten vcalzone about his choice of language.  S/he indicated that s/he was interested in discussing the issue of sexism.  You, apparently, have a differnt agenda.

by orestes 2008-11-23 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Language is important

I don't use ethnic slurs period. Racial epithets are not curse words and I don't really see them the same way. If you're thinking that's hypocritical, you may be righht.

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 12:20PM | 0 recs
Fair enough

I would ask you to consider that hostile terms used against women carry the same impact as racist terms.  

by orestes 2008-11-23 06:14AM | 0 recs

not just now though. There had been gains made by women in managerial positions that are now going the other way. when women get into powerful jobs, and people in higher income brackets get used to answering to a woman (already there is practice in lower-income jobs) then more doors will be open to women.  It's been being set back, a trend of perhaps ten or more years, only, no one's cared enough to make an issue of it.  

by anna shane 2008-11-22 10:16AM | 0 recs

Just a question, do you actually have the faintest idea what women's rights were 40 years ago?

Are you claiming that because a woman nearly won the Democratic presidential nomination and, in the process, some people pedalled sexist bullshit about her, that businesses will go back to listing the gender on job positions in the classifieds, that (as Dean mentions) we will go back to having completely lack of equality in sports in schools? That Roe v. Wade will be repealed? That the thousands of Domestic Violence shelters will disappear?

Clinton's treatment in this election was often shitty, and shitty in specific ways, but her run was a positive step in the battle for equality. Casting the sexist treatment she got as an apocalypse for women's rights is both insulting to Clinton and ridiculous on its face.

by letterc 2008-11-22 04:41PM | 0 recs

Having women shit upon, as it were, with sexism and misogyny does not signal advancement for women.  On the contrary.  It was to Hillary's and Palin's credit that they took it and stuck it out, despite the bias.  

The point is that this kind of hostile environment toward women does NOT encourage women to run for national office.  I think it sends a chilling message for any woman who may want to run for elected office at that level.  

For some reason, having a woman president or VP was not seen as historic.  I don't get it.  The presidency has always been a men's club -- and that hasn't changed this election.

by trixta 2008-11-22 08:57PM | 0 recs

Getting shit on doesn't signal success, but getting shit on is an inevitable part of the process of advancing equality. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they shit on you, then you win. Clinton came within a hairs breadth of winning. If her campaign had been a little better at the start, or if Obama's campaign hadn't been the best run campaign ever, Hillary Clinton would be president-elect.

Succeeding in that would have been a blow for equality, almost succeeding was a blow for equality.

Either way, the shit she was giving for being a woman nearly getting the nomination for the presidency is a reminder of how far we haven't come yet, but I don't think it is a set-back.

by letterc 2008-11-23 05:20PM | 0 recs


And there are more women in Congress now than last cycle, FYI.

by Skaje 2008-11-24 03:09PM | 0 recs
Working on social justice issues is far less about

working on behalf of traditionally oppressed groups and far more about working on ourselves; breaking down our own inherited biases and preconceived notions.

While we in this country have (theoretically, at least - the Republicans, not so much) predicated our civil discourse on the idea of civil debate, that process of civil discourse achieves very little for us when it comes to the emotionally based process of our biases and prejudices. It's why debating homosexuality with religionists never works.  It's why, way back when, debating slavery with religionists never worked.  Religion, like prejudices, are emotional while civil rights are rational constructs.  Logic and never successfully debate emotion.  And yet logic is foundational to our civil discourse.  And it often fails.

So it is with social justice.  Social justice is based on listening.  Simply listening.  Listening to the real experiences, the real pain of those who are less privileged; letting their reality wash over us, trying to imagine ourselves in their place.  But it's typical for us to do just the opposite; to try to debate, to throw up every point, every 'yes but' we can muster, based on our own reality, not the reality of those less privileged.  And why not?  It's the way we've been taught - it's civil discourse.  But it doesn't work for social justice issues, and that's a part of the problem; our process of civil discourse, based on reason, logic, polite discussion solves some problems but not others; it's become a part of the structural barrier of our society.  

I'd encourage you to stop debating and just start listening.  Resist the impulse to throw out your point-counter point.  Social justice work is hard work, but it's hardest on ourselves, because we have to deconstruct ourselves and re-construct ourselves in a way that our society does not yet value.

We may despise Sarah Palin for her politics and her practices (dragging her children on stage at every opportunity, her blatant, flirting winks at the camera, but Sarah Palin is a woman, and her lived experience being raised as a woman in this male-structured society, and the way she was treated the last few months by the male power structure is fundamentally no different than the way Hillary Clinton was treated.

Please, instead of telling people to fuck off and denying the possibility of having applied double standards (as in a comment above) just stop and listen.  

by aggieric 2008-11-22 04:31AM | 0 recs
I don't mean to be unyielding

The people I've told to fuck off don't want me to listen, they want to prove a point, their point, and don't care that it's misleading. Most on here I am really interested in conversing with, which is why I get frustrated when people post who have no intention of starting a real dialogue.

I am in the process of learning and try to learn whenever I can. This cycle and this site has definitely provided a learning experience. I am willing to listen to anyone who is willing to put up with me and answer me back. One of the reasons I like MyDD is because it is easier to converse with that sort.

But regarding the double standard in the way they handled their kids, my standard was set by how Obama handled it! We haven't had young kids in the White House in a very long time. When Obama said that he wouldn't let the kids do another pictorial, I respected the HELL out of that. Then Palin steps onto the stage and not only takes her children on tour without a tutor (which makes roughly a full year of high school that Bristol has now missed), but she takes Trig, only a few months old, on stage not once, but MULTIPLE times, even when it's not a major appearance. Forgetting his disability and the political exploitation, is it safe to take a baby to political rallies on a regular basis? Wouldn't he/she suffer hearing problems from the noise?

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 04:48AM | 0 recs
People who are unwilling

or unable to listen

... always have to make their point
... always have to have the last word
... always have to justify their opinion
... seldom walk away thinking about what they hear

I'm not trying to tar you with that brush, but what I see of you in this diary is what I see playing out over and over in every social justice seminar I've ever participated in or led.

You're welcome to respond, and I'll acknowledge it with a rating, but these things take years of hard work to change, so I'm going to walk away.

by aggieric 2008-11-22 05:01AM | 0 recs
Re: People who are unwilling

I don't always have to have the last word. I've just spent enough time with a certain sort on here to know what will happen. If you think I'm not paying attention, you are wrong. I'm looking for information, and constantly look for things that bring more clarity and logic to life.

My opinion of Sarah Palin has adjusted from this blog, but I can't believe something without having a logical base for it, i.e. reconciling the unfair criticism with the fair criticism.

You are right that you can't reach in and change my mind, but I would still listen to your opinion and it wouldn't be wasted.

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 05:10AM | 0 recs
Re: People who are unwilling

this is a v. difficult issue for many.  i half do not want to stand up for palin because i dont agree with her politics - but then i wouldnt be a v. good progressive would i?

but make no mistake she was treated differently.  and when a pattern emerges, where female candidates are treated differently no matter who they are, or what they stand for....  well - you get the picture.  an interesting op-ed put it this way:

But, we are invariably told, surely there are enough women moving through the "pipeline" of lower offices so that someday, some woman from somewhere will win the presidency or the vice presidency. Well, here is how things stand: Eight women will serve as governors in 2009, the same as this year. The proportion of women serving in statewide elective office actually has dropped since it reached a high of about 28 percent in 2000; it is now about 24 percent, according to the center.

The Senate will add one woman next year, bringing the number of female senators to 17. Ten newly elected House members are female. This means that as the class of 2008 enters the Capitol's marble halls, it will include less than half the number of women who first won office in 1992 -- the so-called "year of the woman."

Including incumbents and newcomers, a record number of women will be serving in Congress, but still only 17 percent of its members will be female. This is where that record places us: on a par with the legislative representation women have achieved in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. The United Nations, which tracks women's global political advancement, says that at this rate, it will take women in the developing world 40 years to reach parity with men.

How long will it take us? We already are well into the fourth decade since the contemporary women's movement of the 1970s spawned a generation that sought to claim an equal place in the halls of power.

Those who watched the media's sexist hazing of both Clinton and Palin often rationalize this treatment as the result of these two candidates' particular personalities and the legitimacy -- or presumed illegitimacy -- of their campaigns. But Barbara Lee, whose Boston-based family foundation has conducted extensive research of gubernatorial races involving women, routinely identifies the same undercurrents in state campaigns. Voters demand more experience of a woman candidate, and judge her competence separately from whether she is sufficiently "likable." Male candidates typically must clear only the competence bar to be judged...

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 05:38AM | 0 recs
Thank you again

Not just for this diary but for your consistent ability to bring out the facts; for doing it despite some of the angry and ridiculous rationalizations of some of the so called progressives.

Despite the fact that Palin angered me as a woman (using her looks as a way to cajole and entice), despite the fact I did not agree with her on issues,  does not translate into "there was no sexism."  If Alan Keyes was treated with derision, insulted on his lack of understanding with an afterthought of "but what can you expect, he's a black man" would progressives ignore the racism because he is a neocon????

I think the most eye opening, saddest thing I learned in this campaign, primary and ge, is that so many people, men my age, younger men and, disappointingly, younger women, still do not get it, do not see sexism and how it affects women worldwide.

I spent a large chunk of my teaching career trying to show young people how we ALL needed to be a part of the struggle to overcome racism, sexism and all kinds of biases. Sadly, the lesson remains incomplete.

by Jjc2008 2008-11-22 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you again

i guess that is the perfect way to put it, 'would they ignore it if?'

i think this is one of the things that bothered me the most about palin, in that the feminist 'movement' abandoned her because they dont agree with her politics.  not that they should have endorsed her - but at least decry the savaging.

when paglia is the only feminist on your side - something is v. wrong.

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 06:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you again

well, some saw her as playing for the other team - the male-only one. She played into it, and that maybe made it seem harder for feminists to defend her, but still quite a few bloggers defended her.  

by anna shane 2008-11-22 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you again

Shakesville ran a sexism watch for Palin, so she wasn't completely abandoned by non-Paglia feminists.

I agree with you that Palin's treatment was sexist. Hell, I'm not particularly convinced that she was less qualified and informed than our sitting president (not a high standard in any way, but it does put the lie to the idea that Palin was so badly treated purely because she was obviously completely unqualified - Bush was obviously completely unqualified, and never got a tenth the hostile treatment that Palin did, more's the pity).

Palin deserved to get laughed out of town, but not much more than Bush did back in 2000, and one of them did and one of them didn't, and somehow it magically happened that the completely unqualified woman raised a red flag, but the completely unqualified man didn't.

by letterc 2008-11-22 04:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Thank you again

You are so right, Canadian Gal.  For once I agree with Paglia and her criticism of the Feminists who attacked Palin (See Salon.com).

Imagine, Paglia once wrote that if women had been in charge of society (instead of men), we would never have achieved civilization and that we'd all still be wearing grass skirts!

by trixta 2008-11-22 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Working on social justice issues is far less a

We may despise Sarah Palin for her politics and her practices... but Sarah Palin is a woman...  Please, instead of telling people to fuck off and denying the possibility of having applied double standards (as in a comment above) just stop and listen.

Can we go back to pointing and laughing after that?  She's intolerant, incurious, and ignorant.  Her being a woman has nothing to do with it, except in so far as she was able to use good looks to gain power in a mostly male power structure.  And yes, anyone who thinks that I find Sarah Palin an incompetent disaster of a politician is invited to fuck off.

Hillary Clinton was qualified, and if she hadn't had an extraordinary opponent she would probably be President-elect.  But she's not, and cutting Palin slack because Clinton lost is just pathetic look-in-the-pants politics.

by username 2008-11-22 04:50AM | 0 recs
Edit (dammit)

...disaster of a politician because of her gender.

Teach me not to preview...

by username 2008-11-22 04:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Working on social justice issues is far less a

The problem is that I'm not at all convinced that she attained her position in Alaska because of her looks.  Did they help?  Maybe.  But saying that she "use[d] good looks to gain power" makes it sound like her looks are the main reason she got there.  I happen to think she got there because she's a vicious and assertive politician who knows what Wasillans and Alaskans want.  I disagree with her on almost everything.  But she didn't get to be Governor of Alaska by winking and lifting up her dress.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-22 06:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Working on social justice issues is far less a

It wasn't just her looks, but the existence of vpilf.com at least suggests that they play a big part in her success.  I challenge you to say that "maybe" with a straight face.  What's the difference between Palin and Shaheen, Napolitano, Snowe, or Collins?  The latter are competent; the former is hot.

by username 2008-11-22 06:40AM | 0 recs

The sexism towards Clinton started with her comment during the 1992 campaign that she would not be baking cookies as first lady.  From there it snowballed to two for one (how dare his wife not sit still and keep her mouth shut).  

I find it odd and a bit disturbing that you cite the fact that Clinton was subject to sexism for so long that it somehow was no longer sexist!  That's not only wrongheaded, but precisely why sexism is such a problem in our society.  You absorbed the hostility towards Clinton without even reflecting upon it.  Well, that's precisely how prejudice gets perpetuated,by absorbing and acccepting prejudicial attitudes.  You jumped on the bandwagon because it is what you were taught.  It's no different than people who hold racist views because it's what they were taught.  The point is to challenge those perceptions, not excuse them because you didn't know any better.

With regard to your second question, in my view, all prejudices are societal ills.  They are not the province of "old white men with wealth and power (how recherche), but attitudes designed to keep order (yes, that may benefit rich white men) at the expense of groups.  Thus, to me, we are all sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. because we were raised in a society that perpetuates these ills.  Our job as a society (and progressives) is to work towards diminishing these ills.  We do that by engaging in discussions like this one (thank you, canadian gal) and challenging our own views.  For example, am I more willing to dismiss claims of sexism than other ills?  Do I respond differently to women being assertive or aggressive than I do to men?  Why?  There are far more subtle questions that we need to ask ourselves as well.  For myself, when I was younger I did have certain expectations of my female peers (they would be more agreeable, willing to compromise, as consensus builders).  These expectations were based upon my upbringing and societal training.  I had to recognize that and recondition myself because it wasn't fair to make assumptions about women when I did not have these same expectations of men.  

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:54AM | 0 recs

No one seems to remember the full story behind the "baking cookies" controversy.

What happened was that Jerry Brown accused Bill Clinton of directing government projects to his wife's law practice during a debate.  Bill Clinton responded by saying "You can say anything you want about me: don't you DARE talk about my wife", and the audience erupted even though Jerry Brown hadn't attacked his wife at all.

A few days later, Hillary Clinton was asked about the government contracts issue, and she responded by saying "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies..." and thus the controversy changed from "corruption" to "sexism".

I find the whole episode to be really interesting, because she was immediately attacked and defended along culture war lines, and you had a national psychodrama play out that completely blew away what the original issue was.

By the end of it, Hillary Clinton had to come out with a cookie recipe to show that she was sufficiently humbled.

by Jess81 2008-11-22 08:33AM | 0 recs

the one i like to recall is travelgate. The head of the wh travel agency was rather incompetent( my opinion).   Hillary was critical and it got blown up into her interfering in white house matters and trying to get rid of good people to install her own team.  And it was investigated and found that the travel group was doing some very goofy things and not even being particularly good at what they were supposed to be doing.

And now that competence is the theme of the day and out with hacks and cronies and in with professionalism and experts and even bringing back retired military and diplomats to help clean things up, that travelgate affair now seems like a  refreshing observance from a first lady.

I certainly to hope Michelle doesn't check her own big brain at the door, and her own observations, I hope she speaks out when she sees any hackness, any heck of a job brownies in charge of anything and I also trust that she'll be thanked for her input and not smeared.  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 10:56AM | 0 recs

Eh, I started to write an answer, but failed. Only replying because I think that you have good points and you are correct.

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 12:46PM | 0 recs

I agree with much of your article, but had to comment on your closing remark. Gender discrimination is of course wrong - but why the visceral reaction to women being merely perceived differently from men?

To press the point, my experience in the workforce has taught me that most (but not all) women are better consensus builders. If even a sliver of this impression were to factor into, say, my preference of a woman over a man for a task where consensus is important - is this a cardinal sin? Why?

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-22 10:40PM | 0 recs
There's a difference

between recognizing that a particular woman is a good consensus builder, thus a good candidate for a specific task.  However, to assume that a woman qua woman will be a consensus builder creates the pigeonholes into which women are continually placed, particularly in the corporate world.  Notice the departments within corporations in which you tend to find women in power- HR, support services, training, etc.  This is part of the phenomenon of the glass ceiling.  

by orestes 2008-11-23 06:28AM | 0 recs
Re: There's a difference

There are many aspects factoring into the choice of  a candidate, and rarely can one predict with 100% certainty how that choice will turn out. A candidate's personality and demeanor displayed during the interview, for example, is all you have to go on in determining whether they're a good emotional fit. Their social, cultural, and generational background will certainly factor into that personality - so why the dogged insistence that gender has no bearing at all?

The conclusion you've drawn are interesting. Yes, departments like HR or training tend to have a higher concentration of women in power. But that simply implies to me that those departments have a high concentration of women employees, period - not that there's a glass ceiling limiting female authority to those areas alone. To support your theory, there'd need to be an equivalent conspiracy that compelled women to register for HR college courses in overwhelming numbers. Do you believe this is an artifically imposed pre-disposition as well?

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-24 06:43AM | 0 recs
This is not a chicken-egg conundrum

All departments were run by men back in the day.  When corporations recognized that they needed to be more inclusive, they opened up certain departments to women- HR being the most obvious.  I do not think that this was done because there were more women in lesser roles in the HR dept, but rather because HR involves a degree of customer service and is one of the least powerful depts in a corp.  I don't see it as a mere coincidence (which I think is your point).  My opinion is based upon my 20 years of experience in corporate settings.  

by orestes 2008-11-24 12:28PM | 0 recs
Well said, aggieric

Hear!  Hear!

by orestes 2008-11-22 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Clinton couldn't have won because the DNC changed the rules and the MSN wanted OBama, just as they had wanted GWB in 2000 & 2004.

HRC and OBama were virtually tie in pledged delegates by the end of the primaries (and HRC had won the popular vote); nevertheless, an honest roll call vote was not allowed at the Convention.  In other words, the Super Delegates -- who were supposed to cast their vote -- didn't have to weigh in, since there was no Roll Call vote to speak of.

by trixta 2008-11-21 10:00PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

As pointed out earlier - stop this bullsh*t if you want to be taken seriously.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-22 10:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

just DON't even go there regarding less-qualified people during this election. re: Palin, this is totally disregarding the fact that she was smart enough to become the first female governor of Alaska, and beat out very entrenched men to do it. i doubt kids will take any such lesson away from her nomination as VP.

by swissffun 2008-11-23 09:08AM | 0 recs

id love to see that daily show clip if you can dig it up vcalzone.

by canadian gal 2008-11-21 08:38PM | 0 recs
Re: btw...

I think this might have been it.

If you can't see it in Canada, I'll try to rip it from their site and make a version you can see.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 08:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Sadly, you still don't get it.  Sexism hit both Sen Clinton and GOv Palin hard, but especially Palin.  That her children were attacked too was beyond the pale.  (It's too exhausting to go through it all and explain what seems obvious sexism and misogyny against both women, but check out Riverdaughter's blog THE CONFLUENCE for some articles, Camille Paglia on Salon.com, and blogger's Uppity Woman and Dr. Kate.)

After this neanderthal year, I don't think many qualified women will want to put themselves out there for national office.  

by trixta 2008-11-21 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

I won't read The Confluence. I've seen their hateful shit and I won't partake in it. They were dead fucking wrong about Pennsylvania and PUMAs voting McCain, why would I look for insight there?

Look, if you want me to cry for Palin, you can't come here promoting the sort of stuff that has been saying awful things about Barack Obama for months and did everything they could to put a Republican president in office.

And I want you to tell me why I should support Sarah Palin. Reasons that go beyond her gender and that don't just dismiss her lies.

Goddammit, I want a discussion with feminists that treats her like a real person and not just a woman!

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 09:46PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

See what you made me do? I've been trying to listen and be respectful to CG because I know she's a smart, thoughtful and even-keeled poster, and you go and post that shite and make me fly off the handle.

But I mean it. In one day, a whole section of Democrats switched from supporting a hardcore liberal Democrat to a hardcore conservative Republican and they have the fucking audacity to pretend it isn't because of ONE THING. I'll tell ya this damn much, if Obama wasn't nominated, black Americans wouldn't have thrown their full weight behind Michael Steele.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 09:53PM | 0 recs
just ignore trixta

S/he's citing Camille Paglia, crazed sexist Hillary-hater, for Chrissake.

by JJE 2008-11-21 10:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

I didn't tell you to "support" Palin.  I know y'all hate her--- that is clear.  I'm saying that regardless of her ideological differences with the left, she was targeted and attacked specifically on the level of gender.

by trixta 2008-11-21 10:03PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

And I was asking you to defend her on reasons that have nothing to do with her gender and don't just blow past the criticisms as being automatically unfair. I ask a lot of people to do that. Nobody ever has anything to say after I bring it up.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 10:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Palin was selected and defended specifically on the level of gender too.

Both the PUMAs and the McCain campaign (herself included) kept trying to compare her to Hillary Clinton. The only common characteristic between these two? The gender.

There existed sexism in both sides obviously. There always exists -ism in both sides for any variety of -ism. But the Republican sort of sexism is embedded in Palin's own policies. City of Wasilla charged rape victims for their own rape kits.

And while Clinton acted as a mature person (regardless of gender), Palin flirted and winked at the audience like a teenage schoolgirl, shamefully attempting to use a sexist stereotype to her favour.

At some point, when Palin so very clearly tries to use sexism to her favour, she loses the right to complain about it when other aspects of sexism work against her.

by Aris Katsaris2 2008-11-22 05:42AM | 0 recs
There are some people

able to have a reasonable discussion about this topic.  You are definitely not one of them.

by JJE 2008-11-21 10:31PM | 0 recs
Re: There are some people

I would love to have an actual conversation with these people. As far as I can tell, Kos has been a thousand times less nutty since they left.

by vcalzone 2008-11-21 10:36PM | 0 recs
Stick to talking to CG

that's my advice.  Trixta is just doing some drive-by trolling.

by JJE 2008-11-21 10:55PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Troll rated for citing white supremacists.  I'm surprised you didn't mention everyone's second favorite racist, Texas Darlin', as well.

by Dreorg 2008-11-22 05:11AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Except that we're only half racist because your guy is only half black.

by trixta 2008-11-22 09:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.


by Dreorg 2008-11-23 05:51AM | 0 recs
Dr. Kate?

You mean this Dr. Kate?  Yeah, I think I'll go for some evenhanded campaign analysis from her.  Good idea.

by Koan 2008-11-22 05:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

I agree that what Palin went through was different.  Self inflicted.  Similar to the treatment Dan Quayle received.  Both too light weight for the big stage and with an astounding ability to step in it by word and deed.  Overall I don't see the justification for claiming sexism in the treatment of Palin, although there was that one stupid discussion right at the beginning that dealt with Palin's role as a mother, essentially stating that a mother of 6, some very small, should not be aspiring to such a high-profile role, which had sexist touches.  After that, though, Palin provided tons of "Dan Quayle" material herself and she had ethics issues in her own home state to deal with.  Given all that, I think overall the negative impression the country got of Palin is the correct one.    

by devilrays 2008-11-22 04:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

With all respect to you, vcalzone, one does not become a governor or a serious vp candidate by being stupid.  You don't have to like her personal style or the way she carries herself to see that Palin is an intelligent person.

When Obama was debating Clinton, I saw many instances when Hillary would lay out an incredibly intelligent responce and Obama would reply with "What she said."  Would you apply the same standard to Barack that you just applied to Sarah--that you don't have to actually know the issues, just dress nice and talk smoothly?  I doubt that you would.

IMHO, Sarah's a smart person made one dumb mistake--she played along with the McCain guys when they gave her a bunch of lines to memorize.  She started coming off a lot smarter when she quit listening to them.  Both Palin and McCain were poorly served.  Ultimately it's their fault, but it doesn't lead me to call either one of them stupid.  Sometimes one poor estimate has reaching effects.

Finally, we would do well not to attempt to pin that label on her.  She's tough, intelligent, and cunning, and likely to be at the top of the 2012 GOP ticket.  I'd hate to see another Reagan, Bush, or Kerry phenomenon resulting from the first debate.

by SuperCameron 2008-11-22 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Obama went to Harvard Law School. He majored in International Studies (or something like that). He was never even close to where Palin was. She could not name what the VP did. She clearly was not following the Iraq war for a very long time.

It's not a matter of stupidity, it's ignorance, willful ignorance, and it's actually far worse. Do you honestly believe that she was unable to think of the fact that she read the New York Times? Because that is what she claimed.

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 05:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

"one does not become a governor or a serious vp candidate by being stupid."

Yes, that's the sort of faith-based argument that's completely cyclical. "This governor can't be stupid -- and how do I know that? Because no governors are stupid."

What I'd say instead is one doesn't switch six colleges in six years by being intelligent. One doesn't get to believe in a young-Earth creationism by being smart.

Palin's stupidity was considered an asset in conservative forums. "We don't need the intelligence of the intellectuals that created this mess, we just need some common sense." is a common comment I heard in conservative forums supportive of Palin.

And Palin played this aspect up. The only alternative to saying she really is stupid, is to argue that she merely pretended to be stupid. I'm open to the idea -- and if so, she pretended it very well indeed.

She kept winking and flirting. As a (male) feminist I am insulted at the "stupid teenage girl" persona she was impersonating.

Unless she really is that persona, in which case I'm insulted by the McCain campaign for picking her.

by Aris Katsaris2 2008-11-22 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

As always, I mean no insult to you when I say this.  It doesn't take a high intelligence to stay at one college until you graduate.  Frankly, any university will eventually award a degree to anyone who is sufficiently well funded and/or well connected.  It doesn't take much stupidity to switch colleges six times.  Just a lack of direction and a willingness to waste money.  It could also be that she just hated the college scene.  I can't blame her for that.

I also know many otherwise intelligent people who are young-earth creationists.  It's not hard to find them.  I disagree with them, but that doesn't make them dumb.  Very often people will identify with falsehoods when they think it's in their best interest to believe them.  

I wasn't arguing that all Governors are brilliant.  Just that the position is highly competitive, so the intelligence of the winner is virtually guaranteed to be above average. A person who is dumb or has just average intelligence is incredibly unlikely to be elected.  Of McCain, Obama, Biden, and Palin, all of them were clearly smart, but none of them impressed me with their intellect or understanding.

As to personas, every person has a different preference.  And most folks vote based on those preferences.  If people actually voted based on policy and logic, we would have a very different nation right now.

by SuperCameron 2008-11-22 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

There may be many reasons why Palin switched colleges, as many students do.  (I'm in academia so I see this a lot, more so with students who go to state colleges, rather than Ivy League universities.)

by trixta 2008-11-22 09:24PM | 0 recs
Try be more reflective

You acknowledge feeling ashamed at how you responded to Hillary Clinton during the campaign (after the fact), yet you have learned nothing because you make the same kinds of unreflective comments about Palin.  To paraphrase you- Oh, yes, I see how I treated Hillary badly well after the fact, but I do not treat Palin unfairly.  Try not to be so narrowminded.  If you can now see Clinton's tears as sincere, perhaps you can spend some time reflecting on your views of Palin.  Not her political views, but the way she was treated as a woman by the media- and you.  Just as you now seem to recognize Hillary was mistreated by you and the media.  Try to separate Palin's politics from her treatment.  You seem to understand that perhaps CLinton was mistreated, but that is only a post hoc conclusion.  The real key is to question your reactions/motivation when responding to women to unveil whatever misogyny lurks in your heart.  That is how we all learn and move pst our prejudices.  Also, it is a constant process- one, in my experience, can always fall prey to prejudice.  My intent here has not been to harangue you, but rather to ask you not to see your Hillary epiphany as an end in itself, but to use that as an opportunity to reflect upon why you went to a place inside yourself which now brings you shame in the first instance.

by orestes 2008-11-22 06:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Try be more reflective

I understand your intent, and it is very much appreciated.

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 01:09PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

The fact that Sarah Palin was even made the VP nominee was sexist - to think that having a 'woman' on the ticket would make all of us other foolish little women happy to vote for McCain!  How do you not get that?  Sarah Palin was not qualified, and I'm quite certain that those who selected her were aware of that fact - yet they still put her into the public arena, unqualified and unprepared. Pretty darn sexist!

by Mags 2008-11-22 06:28PM | 0 recs
The woman is a governor, why is she still being

belittled and not let say the governor of Rhode Island? Had he ran, would he have been skewed and ridiculed as she was?  I doubt it! It's just soooo easy to demean a woman - had she looked like Janet Reno, would she have been taken more seriously?

by suzieg 2008-11-25 01:50AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

With regard to Sarah Palin, Dan Quayle offers a reasonably close parallel:

He was a very unexpected choice when Poppy picked him 1988: he wasn't well known nationally; he was quite young (which was amplified by his strikingly youthful good looks; photos of him in tennis garb gave him instant sex symbol status - it was suggested that his physical appeal to women would help the ticket); he had relatively little experience; and his deep Christian conservative bona fides made his choice appear to be Poppy's attempt to shore up the Christian right base which had never warmed up to Poppy as it had to Reagan.  Of course Quayle famously seemed flustered by reporters' questions about his readiness during the VP debate. During his term as VP, his habit of making rather unintelligent sounding statements made him something of a national joke. In 1992, when Poppy was not doing well in the polls against Clinton, some GOP'ers were so convinced that Quayle was a drag on the ticket that they formed a "Dump Quayle" movement (I recall the leader of this group appeared as a guest on Larry King).  

by Rob in Vermont 2008-11-21 08:16PM | 0 recs
i agree. there were parralels.

however while interesting, im not sure how this relates to the topic of the diary.

by canadian gal 2008-11-21 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: i agree. there were parralels.

Sorry, I should have attached this to the previous comment about Sarah Palin (which now seems way way upthread but at the time I posted was right above me!) or I should have been more explicit that I referring only to Dean's remark about Sarah Palin, which struck me as (arguably) dubious - but the example of Dan Quayle seemed like a good starting point for examining how Palin was treated, i.e. we can establish that regardless of sex a VP or VP candidate who gives the appearance of lacking substance can expect to be the butt of a lot of jokes/criticism.  

by Rob in Vermont 2008-11-22 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: i agree. there were parralels.

I hadn't scrolled down far enough to see your post yet when I wrote mine, but I came to the same equivalency.  Dan Quayle was treated as a light weight and with bemusement because he was simply too light to serve on that stage.  Not because he was a blonde, or a young man.

 Palinators make the mistake of seeing every critique of her in gender terms when indeed she came across the same way Dan Quayle did.  For many of us gender had nothing to do with our amusement over the Palin pick, it had everything to do with the convoluted, stilted, and frankly insufferably arrogant way she chose to address the country via her interviews and on the stump.  

There are MANY Republican women, had McCain chosen any of them as his running mate,  who would have deftly dealt with the media in an intelligent and humorous manner, and with that they would have easily become major assets to his campaign.  I am thinking someone like Olympia Snowe or Christine Whitman.  

Palin made herself look bad with self-inflicted wounds that were unrelated to gender, mostly related to lack of rudimentary knowledge for the stage she was trying out for with a sprinkling of snotty attitude on top.  Dan Quayle redux.

by devilrays 2008-11-22 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: i agree. there were parralels.

However, I do not recall Quayle receiving the same level of disrespect that Palin endured.  She wasn't simply treated as an attractive political lightweight.  There was no discussion in the media of the cynicism of choosing him for his appearance and appeal to the right.  There was no discussion of his wardrobe.  There wasn't the same level of mockery that Palin endured.  It was appropriate for Palin to be criticized, in my view, for her political views and some of the statements made on the stump, but it went overboard in the same way the criticism of Clinton was- and continues to be- overboard.  I would argue that is because we are culturally much more comfortable taking pot shots at women.  And that is wrong.  

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:01AM | 0 recs
Re: i agree. there were parralels.

I just don't get this "clothes" thing.  Apparently Palin went on a huge shopping spree against the wishes of her campaign.  They thought 20k, she thought 150k.  If Quayle had wardrobed himself to the tune of 100,000 for the trials of tribulations - taking inflation into account - and we would have found out from the campaign disclosures, you can be damn sure that there would have been an incredible amount of talk about it.   Palin will still have RNC lawyers flying in to Alaska to take a full accounting of all the clothes that were garnered.   PLEASE don't try to insult our intelligence by claiming that a MAN would not have gotten the third degree for a major clothing shopping spree.  For crying out loud, we had PRESIDENT CLINTON receive tons of fire for a $200 haircut, Edwards for $400 hair cuts.  

by devilrays 2008-11-22 12:38PM | 0 recs
Palin is tricky

There is some stuff that iwas an obvious sexist double standard.  For example, nobody would ask if a male candidate with a young family and a special needs child should be running.  But there is other stuff that is a closer question.  For example, the $150,000 clothes flap is similar to the $400 Edwards haircut (and the haircut story from early in Bill's presidency).

Most of the blogosphere stuff is pretty straightforward.  A lot of leftish bloggers simply embarrassed themselves, both about Clinton and about Palin.  One interesting issue, however, is role that "positive sexism", for lack of a better term, played in Palin's candidacy.  Things like Rich Lowry's "little starbursts" weirdness and those "hottest VP/coldest state" buttons.  Some feminists think that it's ok for women professionals to use their sexuality to their advantage in the workplace on the theory that they may as well use every weapon at their disposal they have since they're already at a disadvantage.  Others think that kind of thing is a net harm to women's equality.  Palin is a good example of that kind of thing writ large but I haven't seen much written about it.

by JJE 2008-11-21 10:48PM | 0 recs
It was sexist that Palin was the VP pick

in the first place.  The republican choice to pick Palin was misogynist, sexist, cynical, manipulative, and ultimately terrifying, given the breadth and scope of her fringe-radical McCarthyist political views, corruption, incoherence,  ignorance, and incompetence.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-11-21 11:11PM | 0 recs
There's no doubt

It was a cynical choice based in part the assumption that women would vote on the basis of nothing but lady parts.

However, that didn't make it ok to attack her in a sexist way.  Two wrongs not making a right and all that.

by JJE 2008-11-22 06:21AM | 0 recs
Yes it was wrong.

But did it merit elevating her as a victim of sexism during the campaign, when she
(1) flirted and actively flaunted her femininity,
(2) perpetuated the worst stereotypes about women with her airhead performances in interviews,
(3) had a history of championing anti-women positions and legislation, and
(4) promoted the most hateful, shameful, anti-intellectual, anti-everything-else bigotry in her rallies?

That's really the question. I don't think the majority of repondents have a marked difference in being able to recognize sexism when they see it. The difference is merely in the degree of importance they were willing to assign to a particularly undeserving case such as Palin's.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-23 04:12AM | 0 recs
The criticism of Edwards' haricut

was equally inappropriate.  It was intended to emasculate him, to present him as too fey to be president.  The sexism re Clinton and Palin flows from the same sexist attitudes.

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The criticism of Edwards' haricut

This is incredibly true.  People use sexist frames to attack men in the same way.  A huge part of homophobia is rooted in enforcing gender norms.

by Jess81 2008-11-22 08:48AM | 0 recs
Good point

Totally spot on.  On a related note, is anyone else uncomfortable with the way that both men and women have increasingly begun using terms such as "grow a pair"?

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-22 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The criticism of Edwards' haricut

and left-handed sexist, he was too pretty to be president.  They feminized him which was a way of smearing him (when it should, my  opinion, be a compliment).  he's a cootie-boy with his pretty hair?  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 11:01AM | 0 recs
Palin's a poor standard bearer.

And therein lies the problem.

I don't dispute that some of the criticism she had to endure was sexist, especially in the early stages of her campaign. But there are far worthier cases to rally for the feminist cause. In a partisan election cycle where one couldn't afford to yield an inch, public sympathizing with a disastrously ignorant and vicious candidate made little sense when sexism was a tiny fraction of the reasons for her ill-repute.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-23 12:00AM | 0 recs
Let's rank oppression!

"We thought we were past all this stuff and we weren't. We weren't surprised about the degree of racism or lack of it or whatever, that was endlessly examined. We did not examine the fact that we didn't get, we haven't gotten nearly as far ahead as we thought we were about equality between the sexes. And that ought to be revisited as a result of what happened."


That quote is B.S.  Why do people need to talk about the problem of sexism by diminishing the problem of racism?  

Oh, yeah, we ALL expected republicans to think of the democratic nominee as a terrorist who deserved to be killed.  Totally expected.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-11-21 11:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's rank oppression!

why are you bringing up racism?  this was one sentence in a long speech about sexism.racism is just as bad, but obviously since obama won - this was discussed and examined and - people were honest about it...

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 05:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's rank oppression!

I appreciate this diary and we agree on more than I at first thought, CG, but come on.  "Since obama won...people were honest about [racism]."  That's not a logically sound argument.  People were undoubtedly more honest about racism and race than about sexism and sex, but just because Obama won does not mean racism is gone.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-22 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's rank oppression!

absolutely. racism is alive and well.  but one of the things i wanted to get away from in the diary was to bring back the competing isms.  i agree with what dean said in that sexism (omitting racism from this debate) was allowed and encouraged to flourish in this campaign.

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's rank oppression!

But that's what this diary is: you're (through Howard Dean) saying that racism has been thoroughly aired and discussed, and sexism has been given short shrift.  It's inherently putting one in a priveleged position.

One thing I find interesting is that everyone knows about the "Palin is a cunt" t-shirts.  By contrast I'm wondering how many people know about the "Nigger please - it's called the Whitehouse" t-shirts?  I'm assuming it would be much, much fewer.

By the same token, the Obama sambo dolls, or Rush Limbaugh's song "Barack the magic negro" got almost no media attention compared with "Iron my shirt" and the Hillary nutcracker.

The fact that a black person got elected to office doesn't mean that racism is over, or that sexism is greater than racism, or that sexism played a bigger role in the campaign than racism.

by Jess81 2008-11-22 08:42AM | 0 recs

so let me get this straight, we cannot have an honest conversation about sexism without bringing in racism?  mmmm - okay.

and btw - i was quoting dean about racism, not bringing it up.  the fact of the matter is - this is what so many progressives did during the primary.

the minute sexism was decried or people yelled 'foul' to the media fails, someone would walk up and yell - but racism is worse!

both are equally bad - it just so happens that this diary is about sexism.  why not write another diary about racism if you want to discuss it.

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: wha?

Wait -why did you quote Howard Dean if you didn't want us to discuss what he was saying?

Anyway, of course we can have a conversation about sexism without someone bringing up racism.  You've called for one a number of times, which is why I don't understand why you keep... bringing up racism.

by Jess81 2008-11-22 07:42PM | 0 recs
Re: wha?

sorry jess - but im not bringing up racism - you are.  and i agree its wrong, bad - awful,  just because obama won doesnt mean its gone.

but that is not the topic of this diary

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: wha?

we disagree.  Anyway it hasn't distracted from what either of us want to talk about, which is good.

by Jess81 2008-11-24 01:03AM | 0 recs
I don't read that statement

the same way you do.  I think the point is that the potential of racism was openly and frequently discussed during the campaign, but the impact of sexism was not.  That does not mean that one is being privileged over the other.

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't read that statement

That may be true.  I know a lot of people who were upset by the focus on things early on in the primaries that seemed barely or not at all sexist: sweetiegate, fingergate, periodically.  I think that led many people to roll their eyes and decide that nothing was "really" sexist and that it was all just about political correctness.  And I think it resulted in a lack of focus on truly sexist issues that came up in regards to how Palin was treated.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-11-22 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

There are many things that make this a difficult topic to discuss. One being that people tend to have wildly divergent definitions and understandings of sexism.

For instance, I was once very close to a feminist who claimed the NFL (and those who supported it) were misogynist because it promoted a completely and totally anti-woman conception of the human body, of competition, and so on. She was intelligent and quite serious and if you were to discuss it with her in person (with anything resembling an open mind), she made a very good point.

The gist being, however, that for some feminism is not just about treatment of women, but about how society perceives and perpetuates gender roles, gender stereotypes, etc.

In that light, I can see the flap over Edwards's haircut as being misogynist - he was a 'girly' man for caring so much about his hair. Hair isn't something 'real men' are supposed to care about, so his 'masculinity' and 'sexuality' were called into question.

Was Edwards the victim of sexism in this case?

The flip side of this is that political campaigns in the US (especially for president) have been vicious, cynical, and nasty since the dawn of our political system. Candidates on both sides have been personally attacked in any way their opponents saw as an advantage - via their education, their cultural heritage, their sexual relationships, their age, and their race (look up the whisper campaign against Warren Harding).

So a question might be, how much of the 'dirt' thrown at Clinton was a question of sexism, and how much of it was a question of hard-fought campaigning?

This is a difficult question to answer because of my first point, that people define sexism differently. There's no doubt in my mind that the US is still horribly affected by sexism, which bubbles up in countless, often undetectable, ways.

But was questioning Clinton's crying in New Hampshire sexist? If I recall, much of the flack about it was not of the 'look at the girl crying' nature, but of the 'was that real or a cheap trick' nature. There is a distrust of the Clintons among some on the Democratic party - her supporters should accept this, even if they don't like it or can't understand it. So for a lot of Obama supporters at the time, her crying was a trust issue, not a gender issue.

But coming to a conclusion about what happened is difficult because it depends on: one's understanding and belief about what happened that day; one's interpretation of media coverage BASED ON one's understanding of what happened; one's interpretation of the Obama campaign's (and others') reaction to what happened based on one's understanding of what happened. All of those things are variables and for any one individual to disagree with another's final interpretation and then claim that that person is anti-woman or a raging feminist doesn't advance dialogue. It just keeps people angry.

And that's just one event.

Was the media really in the bag for Obama? And if so, why? Was it strictly a question of sexism? Then how to explain the media being in the bag for previous candidates when there wasn't a woman candidate? And so on.

There is a great deal of sexism in America and I'm sure that sexism played a role in this campaign. But I'm not sure how easy it is to make a simple correlation between American sexism in general and the sexism in the campaign because, first of all, there are different interpretations of which actions were sexist, and second, some of the actions that could be described as sexist may be more realistically described as typical of the dysfunctional nature of American political campaigning.

Sorry for the long post.

by vadasz 2008-11-21 11:37PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.
In that light, I can see the flap over Edwards's haircut as being misogynist

This seems paranoid to me -- anyone who spends minutes primping his/her hair the way Edwards did in that one video clip would be mocked as a narcissist.  And Narcissus was a dude, after all.
by username 2008-11-22 12:15AM | 0 recs
Yes, but it wasn't just narcissism

There was also a clear strain of homophobia/misogyny.  I.e. "What kind of man spends $400 and primps that way?  A feminized man, that's who!  Lolz what a sissy boy!!1!"

If you check out any wingnut blogs where they call him "Silky Pony" the girly-man theme is pretty obvious.

by JJE 2008-11-22 06:30AM | 0 recs

First, they're not the same thing.  Sure, you can call a homosexual "effeminate," but I suspect homophobia is more a matter of discomfort at a man acting concave when he should be convex than his acting like a woman.

Second, narcissism is self-love, not femininity or pure obsession with appearance.

Third, why should anyone care what wingnuts say?  They also say we'll be raptured within my lifetime, but I'm still an atheist.

by username 2008-11-22 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: "homophobia/mysogyny"

Yes, they are not the same thing, but they are interrelated in that they both spring from societal gender roles and male fear of being emasculated.  The Edwards incident was homophobic and sexist in that tried to paint him as a girly boy (ie, gay, unmasculine)- ie, not a real man.    

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:19AM | 0 recs

What do you mean by acting concave instead of convex?  Isn't this the same as saying:  acting like a woman instead of a man?  

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Concave/convex

Sorry, I was pretty oblique there.  What I meant was that homophobia seems to be about someone being something they aren't rather than someone being like a woman.  That's why you get bigots like yellowdem1129 comparing homosexuality to bestiality around here -- it's not that he has something against animals, but that he has something against men standing in for them.

by username 2008-11-22 07:49AM | 0 recs
I'm not persuaded

that that's a distinction with a real difference.

by JJE 2008-11-22 08:23AM | 0 recs
I have to agree

It seems like a basic self-other dichotomy, which in the case of homophobia would have to be man- not man (aka woman).

by orestes 2008-11-22 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm not persuaded

It makes all the difference in the world when you're trying to put "sexist treatment of Hillary," "sexist treatment of Sarah," and "homophobic treatment of John Edwards" in the same pile.  There's this weird movement afoot to stifle all criticism of female candidates as "sexist" in the interest of genital equality, and I'd like to prevent it from spreading.

by username 2008-11-22 11:10AM | 0 recs
you're kidding right?

There's this weird movement afoot to stifle all criticism of female candidates as "sexist" in the interest of genital equality, and I'd like to prevent it from spreading.

is this how you characterize the media coverage of boobies, clothes, fitness as a parent and much much more of BOTH female candidates?

i have and continue to be shockingly troubled by so-called progressives toeing this line and willful ignorance.

im sorry - if you look at the article i cite above - studies show that female candidate are far from reaching parity and are continual held to different standards than men.

yay - for the third wave of feminism!  so v. effective it is.

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 11:27AM | 0 recs
No, serious username is serious.

I try not to be serious, but here I am.

is this how you characterize the media coverage of boobies, clothes, fitness as a parent and much much more of BOTH female candidates?

And of Barack Obama when he dared to wear a swimsuit while on vacation in Hawaii?  We like our celebrities, and our politicians, to be pretty.

You seem smart, but as long as you ignore that Sarah Palin is an unqualified, ignorant idiot and shelter both Our Girl and Our Sarah behind the girl shield, I don't see how we can have a reasonable discussion.  Our Sarah has nothing to recommend her other than her boobies and clothes; as long as you throw her in with qualified, intelligent woman politicians, you cheapen feminism and engage in the most repulsive sexism.

by username 2008-11-22 11:48AM | 0 recs
ah - the third person argument ;)

our sarah?  our girl?

no idea what you are talking about.  however i am im not ignoring anything.  im simply hoping that on a progressive website people might be interested in discussing - with honesty - the vile behaviour witnessed in recent months.

and im not sure what 'nothing to recommend' means either - but i do find your comment about palin (and clinton?) disturbing at best and quite sexist at worst - that is if that's what you are talking about.

and lastly - i find it laughable that some are suggesting that i am cheapening sexism by attempting to discuss it in this context - if one cannot see how discussing the physical attributes, parenting skills or clothing of FEMALE political candidates, but not the men - well then there's nothing more to say about it.

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: ah - the third person argument ;)

"Our girl" is just a reference to the crazy Alegre faction's idolization of Hillary Clinton.  I'm never sure whether I'm talking to a rational person or a PUMA around here.

I didn't mean to throw Clinton in with Palin.  I just meant to suggest that Palin be judged on her merits, and i don't see that she has any merits other than being sexy.  How has she distinguished herself as a governor?  Speaking as a subject of the Governator, I understand that appearance matters, but can't we at least recognize that fact?

Frankly, I don't see sexism as all that important.  Hillary Clinton would probably have won if she had been up against the '04 field.  She was able to run as a conventional "establishment" candidate, and she lost as one.  There may or may not have been sexism in the campaign coverage, but she lost on the merits, and there are too many people who supported her then and are shouting "sexism" now.

I'm not sure how best to distinguish between feminism and Pumasm, but a good first step is separating legitimate, qualified female politicians (Clinton, Sebelius, Snowe, Collins, Napolitano) from airheads like Palin.  You obviously think sexism is a much more serious issue than I do.  One way to earn the respect of people like me (if you want to do that) is to separate qualified and unqualified female candidates.

by username 2008-11-22 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: ah - the third person argument ;)

Look, Palin has more qualifications than being "sexy". But she has no qualifications to hold federal office, and arguably no qualifications to serve in the Senate. If you could run the world without knowing that (I'm going out on a limb here) Scandinavia is not a country or that Deutschland is not where Dutch people come from, then she might serve adequately after some time.

But her candidacy is based on being a highly skilled political assassin and on appealing to the worst instincts of social conservativism. When you win a mayoral election by promising that your town will finally have a Christian mayor (the incumbent's name was Stein and he was Lutheran), you're not going on looks.

by vcalzone 2008-11-22 04:30PM | 0 recs
Re: ah - the third person argument ;)

did you read the article i lined above?  not that i necessarily agree with what you said, but for example look at schwarzenegger - the point is made - and i agree with it, is that there would never be a completely unqualified female accepted into any political position.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 11:09AM | 0 recs
yes .

clearly you do not think that sexism is a serious issue.  which i disagree with you and i think that you deeming certain candidates worthy of defense and others not illustrates this.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: yes .

I just don't think that sexism is as important as experience, intelligence, or competence.  As long as my statements that Sarah Palin is a moron are met by cries of "sexist!" I will continue to laugh at the criers.  Incompetent candidates deserve no defense.

by username 2008-11-23 01:53PM | 0 recs
They are all in one pile

at a high level of abstraction, they are all criticisms stemming from the critic's conception of what is appropriate behavior for women and men based on their gender. That is all I was saying.

At a less abstract level, of course they are different.

I don't think I'm a part of the movement you're trying to keep from spreading.

by JJE 2008-11-22 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: They are all in one pile

Fair enough.  I still think it's important to make the distinction -- we may be uncomfortable with women acting masculine (or men feminine), but we should accept both masculine and feminine people as politicians, scientists, etc.  

by username 2008-11-23 02:23AM | 0 recs
I agree with your point

that we all may view misogyny differently.  That is why a public discurse on the issue is important when misogyny rears its head.  But that discourse did not occur and still has not occurred.  It appears we are not willing- even in the left blogosphere, sadly- to have that dialogue.  We will never all agree on the sexist memes in this campaign, but if we engage, we can come to mutual understandings, just as you were able to with your feminist friend.  Unfortunately, the prevalent response has not been, I see your point, but rather, there was no sexism here.

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with your point

I agree with you to a certain extent, about the 'there's no sexism here' reaction. But part of that is wrapped up in the defensiveness and point-scoring that both sides engaged in - if I admit to sexism, I'm somehow denigrating myself, my candidate, my movement, so it behooves me to explain to you that the racism in the campaign was much worse. I can best do that by downplaying the sexism and hammering home the racism.

It goes both ways and neither side is close to being ready to reconcile their own roles in, to a certain extent, selling out Democratic and progressive ideals in order to WIN. So feelings stay hurt and people stay angry.

Oh, and to some of the other posters . . . intimating that Edwards is a girly man because he cares about his hairstyle IS misogynist because it implies that hairstyles are unimportant BECAUSE they are something only women care about, then it uses that notion to denigrate him for being LESS THAN a man, in other words, a woman.

It's far different from accusing him of narcissism. What American politician isn't guilty of some narcissism?

by vadasz 2008-11-22 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with your point

holy crap.  major mojo - you, for the first time ever gave an explanation for why some people have been doing what they have been doing.

not that i agree with it, but at least you have shed some light on the why.  

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 05:47PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with your point

Thanks. I think it's difficult to talk about this stuff with an open mind because the deep emotional connection makes a lot of us take things personally that aren't meant to be 'personal attacks' but serious observations and questions.

I don't 'agree' with the behavior, either. But it's there (and, try as I might not to engage in it, sometimes I couldn't/can't help myself).

by vadasz 2008-11-23 12:38AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

That rant by Howard seems forced somewhat. In either case I am VERY disappointed that he felt he had to defend Sarah "Palling around" Palin. She basically called our nominee a terrorist and someone that would diminish the role of the presidency (wonder why? was it her hidden racism?) and yet she has to be treated with kid gloves. its politics, if you don't know what you read, cant name a supreme court case, not know Africa is a continent and act as a small town hockey mom close to everyday people but spend 150k on your cloths I don't care what your gender/race is you should be in for MAJOR grilling by everyone.

And about the "C" or "B" word, we have similar word for guys (Asshole, dick, fag etc) that people used everyday to describe the male gender (and male candidates for that matter, I know I always called McCain an A-hole), not recommended for sure but it is not gender specific... It is called profanity which transcends genders.

by YourConcernsAreNoted 2008-11-22 12:33AM | 0 recs
The misogyny against Palin

I think McCain campaign treated Palin poorly.

If she was a man,  they wouldnt muzzle her and call her a diva or lie on her ignorance of geography or dress her up like a doll, etc.

by jasmine 2008-11-22 05:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The misogyny against Palin

And Senator Clinton was made fun of (by comedians and the MSM) for wearing pant suits, for her cankles, for being masculine.   Gov Palin was (is) criticized for wearing attractive clothes, for being pretty . . . .

What would be acceptable attire for women in politics?  What kind of look (stylistically) should women politicians have?  What is the correct demeanor for a woman politician?

by trixta 2008-11-22 09:52PM | 0 recs
Re: The misogyny against Palin

She wasn't criticized for wearing attractive clothes; she was criticized for skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars from her campaign.  

Because it was clothes, you're attempting to make it like people are criticizing her for what she's wearing.

by Jess81 2008-11-23 12:12AM | 0 recs
Re: The misogyny against Palin

Oh, but besides Hillary Clinton, you want to know who was attacked for what she wore constantly?  Michelle Obama.  But since you and your white-supremacists friends were doing the attacking you won't want to talk about it.

by Jess81 2008-11-23 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: The misogyny against Palin

uprated - this particular comment doesn't seem to me HR worthy, sorry. no reflection on the other shit trixta has posted. but hey, trying a carrot on this one.

by swissffun 2008-11-23 10:48AM | 0 recs
help me to understand

First of all I agree with the panelist's comments about women of all kinds looking to Hillary the same way that AA's looked to Obama. My girlfriend is by no means a fan of Hillary (foreign policy issues) but I could tell that even as she supported Obama she had a lot of respect for Hillary, hoped she would be chosen VP, and was excited to see her as SOS.

Now, with all due respect, if the Hillary campaign had been more knowledgeable and efficient and she won the primaries and then the presidency, would we be having this conversation? Dr. Dean mentioned to the effect that we are not as far along in gender as opposed to racial equality, and that the race issue got much more attention. But the fact of the matter, and it is irrefutable, is that if the Hillary campaign had simply contested in the caucus states, spent money more judiciously, and had a clear strategic plan, then all of this would be moot. We would have celebrated a President Hillary Clinton and everyone would be talking about how far we've come in gender equality.  

by highgrade 2008-11-22 05:49AM | 0 recs
Re: help me to understand

i agree.  but she didnt win and thus this topic, as far as i am concerned has not been discussed as someone said above, without the emotional and bias infiltrating the conversation.

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 05:57AM | 0 recs
I wish I could believe you

But my experience in a caucus state says otherwise.  Yes, Hillary's team could have done better here, but in reality, the sexism  I experienced out here in our democratic ranks started long before the primary.....

by Jjc2008 2008-11-22 05:58AM | 0 recs
I disgree

she would have won despite the sexism tossed about during the campaign.  And that would have been a step forward for women and, hence, all of us.

by orestes 2008-11-22 07:14AM | 0 recs
Re: help me to understand


I think there's been a tacit agreement where we're supposed to never discuss the racism that went on in the primaries ever again, in exchange for... originally it was just to smooth things over, now it's just a bygones-be-bygones sort of thing.

Had Hillary Clinton won I have no doubt that you'd be seeing the reverse happen.

by Jess81 2008-11-23 12:17AM | 0 recs
short answer, no

as long as the issue of sexism, that sells, panders and titillates is mixed in with all forms of discrimination, there will be no chance to discuss what it's really about.  I was recently censured for trying to start by teasing out the problem, using history, and psychology, and sexual difference, and purposefully misunderstood and called names.  It was weird.  

But the solution is the same, the more women in power positions, the less all women experience work-related sexism, the only form we have any chance of changing.  When women are protected by laws, we can stand up for ourselves pretty well.  

by anna shane 2008-11-22 07:52AM | 0 recs
I couldn't agree more.

Could you provide a link to the discussion you referred to? If it wasn't on MyDD, I'd love to see a reprise here.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-23 05:13AM | 0 recs
I agree with everything anna wrote here..

... except the part where she's rewriting history as to why she was called out.

I was recently censured for trying to start by teasing out the problem, using history, and psychology, and sexual difference, and purposefully misunderstood and called names.

Riiiiiight. That's what happened.

I was not getting in this conversation but I will not let insinuations and false accusations go without responding.

Here is what went down.

You read the comment and decide for yourself what confused people. Take note that it was a reply to a respected female blogger who differed with some of anna's positions. Mixing in cheapshots and attacks on the person being replied to with great points doesn't not justify a comment.

It would be hard to find a person of color who denies racism exists and quite easy to find women who deny sexism. They're not the same thing, there has been sexism from the beginning of time, since human males valued their sexual organ as a sign of the phallus, the one, and devalued females, the minus one, as lesser humans sometimes or often meant to serve them.  Slavery is nearly as old, conquered people could become slaves, and the masters lived in fear of retribution, but racism was mainly about strangers, the 'look' didn't matter. Only think of the Bosnian war, those people looked exactly alike, they came from the same genetic tree and it was nonetheless racism.
It wasn't until black slavery that racism became what it is, with the advent of colonialism, when the colonists in seeking to subject had to degrade the local people and take their dignity, and 'own' them to the extent some could be bought and sold. that sort still goes on.  The horror of slavery here was that it was both, sexual slavery and buy and sell slavery. But, the look could rarely be missed, there was no way to escape because no where to escape too, and there were few or no ways to earn or win freedom.  

But most slavery by far is sexual slavery, forced prostitution it used to be called, and now it's called by its proper name: slavery.  

Not all men are overtly sexist, but most people, males and females, harbor sexist ideas.  how many times did we hear that Hillary has a shrill voice?  As if that's something worthy of comment?  She was judged by having been married to a president, as if she were erased by her marriage.  It's assumed she has 'bitchy' qualities and she can't be trusted. it's assumed she voted for the war authorization bill because she wanted to act like a hawk and get elected president, and her explanation, made at the time, that she wanted teeth in demanding inspections everywhere to settle the question of whether or not there were WMD is discredited as if it's a facile lie.  

We can see sexism in the media (and in consumers) by the unseemly interest in some twenty-something schoolteacher babe who's weird enough to fall in love with a male kid.  Tends of thousands of girls are 'seduced' by older male teachers without any unseemly press about it. How about that exotic dancer who was mauled by the drunk frat boys?  How smeared was she?  How about that Kennedy guy who date raped a woman and got away with it. And how about Teddy, out at 2:00 with a teenager girl, drives off a bridge into a river, gets himself out but leaves her behind, hides out for ten hours and then goes home to call a lawyer and confer with his family and he's not even cited for reckless driving, and he gets elected to the Senate,  How is it that this man is now seen as the great statesman?  Had his son or his own daughter been with him, would he have thought about the passenger or left the passenger in the water and hid out?  

There are multiple causes for sexism, and there is the fact of misogyny.

If you look at your own life, and you've been fortunate, and the men you know have always been nice to you, and if you think that a lot of women are pretty stupid, or that abused women are partially at fault because in their situation you would not xyz, then you miss the real horror out there for some little girls and some women.

The fact is that girls need to be protected from predatory males, and if they do not have a smart and active mother (or caregiver) who knows something about what lurks in the hearts of perv's. they're in danger. Something like a third of all females has been molested or raped, and that would be higher if women who've been abused didn't blame themselves.

Hillary won the sexist war though - she was smeared, but she won the tried and true way, she was prepared and she asked for votes.  She did it the prepare first and show what you can do method of job interviewing, and she got 18 mil votes. That's a sign that the people are ahead of their leaders and pundits.  Of course she had to be Hillary Clinton to do it, but Hillary she is, a smart cookie.  

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-23 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with everything anna wrote here..

thanks spacey, you made my point.  Why indeed was that comment and all the ones coming after, including the complaints and my explanation/apology for the misunderstanding, deleted?  In a diary that asked us to check censorship at the door?  Since the blogger in question seemed to accept my explanation, which clearly could never have referred to her or really to any identifiable individual (it was quite impossible, I know really nothing about her personally and thus could make no assumptions about her, which would anyway be weird) I assumed that the problem was my point of view about the roots of sexism and the signs of sexism.  Not everyone agrees with me on signs of sexism, specific or general. Maybe someday it'll be possible to have such a discussion, and have disagreements, and even ask for explanation, to correct misperceptions before anyone decides they've been 'attacked.'  Maybe.    

by anna shane 2008-11-23 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with everything anna wrote here..

"Hi there Mr. Strawman!"

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-23 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: I couldn't agree more.

no, and not just because it'd been deleted, but because I'm not trying to start wars or keep them going if someone else wants to.  But the text no longer exists.  There were some purposeful misunderstandings, such as that I was personally referring to a blogger, when I used the word "if you" rather than "if one," which I explained and apologized for when the person who thought I was taking about her protested.

But the point was that this was a blog that said 'no censorship,' and I expected questions and discussion and different opinions, but did not expect the link to be hidden, must lest deleted.

So, can we talk about sexism historically, psychologically, in the context of real life events, and statistics?  Maybe, but from my point of view seems unlikely to bring on conversation and more likely to bring on rage and misunderstandings. Oh, well.

by anna shane 2008-11-23 09:09AM | 0 recs
It was not deleted.

no, and not just because it'd been deleted, but because I'm not trying to start wars or keep them going if someone else wants to.  But the text no longer exists.  There were some purposeful misunderstandings, such as that I was personally referring to a blogger, when I used the word "if you" rather than "if one," which I explained and apologized for when the person who thought I was taking about her protested.

You're the only one bringing it up.

See? You write things and then contradict yourself.

Then, you act like you're being "unfairly" attacked.

C'mon anna.

But the point was that this was a blog that said 'no censorship,' and I expected questions and discussion and different opinions, but did not expect the link to be hidden, must lest deleted.

So much for not "starting wars" or "keeping the conversation going".

What a joke.

A big difference between smears and attacks on other commenters and "different opinions".

That blog has only h'rated 3 comments in 3 months.

I wonder what kind of reaction you'd get if you posted your Ted Kennedy diary here.

http://www.motleymoose.com/userDiary.do? personId=177

Great quotes from that one :

Back when Ted Kennedy was too drunk to ask for help when he drove his car off a bridge into some very deep water and a girl ended up dead, it looked like his political future would also die.  His hometown constituents forgave him and he didn't even go into recovery.  Then he became a voice for the progressives, and it seemed like, hey, he's made up for it.  


It seems Ted won't allow Hillary to work on health care reform.  I wonder why? She'd put in universal health care, which is less than single payer, something Barack would like to see, but more than universal access, which is less than I'd like to see.  And less than Paul Krugman thinks can actually work.  

How small and petty of Ted, to take his last days to keep a good girl drown (I mean down?).  Hillary's plan would have sucked the huge profits out of that industry and led to the real possibility of single payer.  

I hope Barack isn't too respectful toward the dying to say something to Ted about his refusal to share.   The primary is over, she helped Barack win, but no, can't let that girl have anything she wants. Ted doesn't want her cooties fooling around with his committee.  

We all know how wrong you were on that one.

It's a pattern you've established. Write inflammatry diaries and comments and then backtrack (and smear a blog) when called on it.

I was wrong for thinking I was wrong about you.

Coming on another blog to badmouth a blog which permitted these kinds of diaries from you, even after you actively worked and smeared Obama from Alegre's  is the definition of ...

The Petty Department of Very Very Small.

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-23 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: It was not deleted.

what's with you? I didn't name any names or name any blogs, just mentioned my personal experience.  You named yourself.  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: It was not deleted.

There you go doing it again.

"I'm innocent! I haven't done anything!"

Sorry anna.

I'm not playing.

Unlike you, I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything.

I let your words and actions speak for themselves and let people come to their own conclusions.

You can't rewrite history on blogs. Your words are there for eternity (or google cache--heh).

Accuse me of what you want, and act all innocent if you please, but this response isn't even for you. I could care less what you think.

I'm making sure both sides of the story are out there.

When you feel the need to explain yourself, it usually means you're not telling the whole truth.

This is CG's diary and I understand I'm kind of jacking it (sorry CG).

If you want to continue to have this conversation, you are more than welcome to go to the "opressive blog" you're trashing and do it there...

So this is my last response here.

by spacemanspiff 2008-11-23 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: It was not deleted.

I'm guilty? Of what?  Not everyone agrees with me, so?  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 10:13AM | 0 recs
favor spacey

I went to your link and my thread is gone, and I've looked for it in deleted comments and it's not there, which is why I say it's been deleted. but since you said it might be in google I looked, and I can't find that thread. I'd like to read it again, it's nice that you found my first post, but I'd like to read the whole thread, so if you have a link, please give it?   You have my first comment, so maybe you have a link to the entire thread?

As far as your suggestion that if I need to explain I'm not telling the whole truth, I remind you I was accused, and so an explanation was in order.  My comment didn't seem unclear to me, and down-diary the woman in question mentioned her fear that I could start an anti-war meme that would be harmful to the troops, so I figured maybe that was her motive in pretending I'd personally attacked her. Plus, she hadn't said anything directly to me in her post, just presented an idea that I was responding to.  but some of the other comments, in my memory, went after the idea of speaking of sexism historically.    

Anyway, no harm no foul, you all could have just asked me to stop posting, I'm not that hard to get rid of, I mean, right after my comment was deleted I stopped posting.   Still, it was interesting and I'd like to read it again.  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 12:26PM | 0 recs
Re: favor spacey

Anna. I don't comment here anymore, but I will make an exception here for a point of information

Nobody wanted you to stop commenting on the Moose. People disagreed with your comment about Kennedy, and if you check replies to your comment saying 'shall I go then?' - the replies were a resounding: no, stay.

One comment was hiderated (only the third time this has happened in three months) but not deleted. As long as you sign in you will see it and the thread it generated here.

http://www.motleymoose.com/showDiary.do? diaryId=689#8924

Diverse opinions will always be welcome on the Moose, and I hope you post there again soon. But obviously, certain comments will get mojo'ed or hiderated according to the opinions of the other bloggers.

by brit 2008-11-24 04:39AM | 0 recs
Re: favor spacey

I couldn't read any of them because the one that was hidden was first, and all the following ones left with it.  And it was just gone, it wasn't in hidden comments, and I looked for it a few days later and the line was still gone, so I don't know what happened with that, but thanks to this, I was able to go and it was there, not in hidden comments but marked as hidden, and I could then reply to those posts.   I personally prefer to not be chewed out, I like disagreement but I don't like being chewed out and/or called names.   And I prefer discussion to hiding comments.  There was nothing hide-worthy about that comment.  And down line it generated some discussion.  I don't like being misunderstood, purposefully or accidentally, I prefer people asking questions rather than assuming something unpleasant about my motives or to responding to what one 'reads into' something that wasn't specifically in the text.  I greatly dislike censorship.  

by anna shane 2008-11-24 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: It was not deleted.

just for the record, since you're smearing me (why?), I never smeared Barack anywhere. That's why I wasn't always welcome, anywhere, during the primary.  I really wish this stuff would be over, but if wishes were roses, or noses, or whatever.  

by anna shane 2008-11-23 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: It was not deleted.

I like your posts, anna, and I'm sorry to hear that you have stopped posting at the Moose.  But I think your claim that you've never smeared Obama isn't quite true.  You've consistently argued, here and elsewhere, that Obama deliberately and methodically used sexism and misogyny to torpedo Clinton's candidacy, motivated by his own personal sexism and misogyny.

That sexism was a subjective factor in the primaries: sure.  That gender issues distorted how the media portrayed Clinton: absolutely.  That the Obama campaign crossed the line once or twice in trying to appeal to latent Hillary-discomfort in the electorate (periodically, claws out): granted.  But I consider any allegation that Obama personally and systematically used sexism to destroy Clinton, because of his own personal misogyny, a smear.

Anyway.  My intent is not to relive the primary.  I do hope you'll keep your distinctive voice here and at the Moose--I, for one, will always welcome you there.

by Koan 2008-11-23 04:52PM | 0 recs
not if you read me

that's how I got into difficulties with a few of my fellow Hillary bloggers.  I called him out, but not by smearing him.  I said he didn't invent misogyny, but that he profited from it.  I thought he missed an opportunity to be a gentleman, when she was smeared, but i didn't hold him accountable for sexism.  I called him out more for his character stuff, like she couldn't be trusted because she took donations from special interests, but he said things carefully and it was mainly a battle between equals.  I didn't like her mocking hope, cause she had to first misread what he meant by hope, and I didn't like her xerox for change line, because that had to misinterpret change.  

I also think she was not defeated by sexism, I think he ran a brilliant tactical campaign, i thought the sexism didn't work against her with real people, who are ahead of Washington on both sexism and racism.  He got the party insiders behind him.  

She was running differently, on policy she was brilliant, she was first to respond to everything, her most professional team were her policy advisors, but of course she'd been working on that for years.  

I think he won fair and square, that's obvious.  

Ah, but the sexism that was exposed, and in our elected representatives, and those licensed to broadcast on our public airwaves, wow.  This will be the stuff of scholars for generations.

by anna shane 2008-11-23 07:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

The anger I have left in me, that I am trying to release (but still can't), is with the media and their treatment of BOTH Hillary and Sarah Palin.

The sexism aimed at Hillary lasted longer because she was in the race much longer and has been around for so long. When Hillary started her campaign, there were pages and pages of sexist pictures and websites against Hillary - even a movie (that the Supreme Court will hear to see if it should be released) called "Hillary - the Movie". These right wing men that put up these websites ala Dick Morris have hated Hillary from the day she set foot in D.C. with Bill as First Lady because she was not a "normal" First Lady.

The media jumped on the band wagon from the beginning of the campaign to make Hillary "irrelevant". "When Hillary speaks, all men hear is 'take out the trash'" was a typical comment made by a newscaster.

They could not attack her for being "dumb and inexperienced" as they did Sarah Palin so they attacked her for being "divisive and irrelevant" - "who does she think she is for staying in this race?" was a typical comment.

In the case of Palin, they attacked her for being "dumb and inexperienced" - yet she is a Governor, in fact a very popular Governor - so how would she have been any more "inexperienced" than let's say the Governor of Rhode Island?

The fact that the media has consistently attacked Palin from everything from her family to her clothes is a slap in the face to ALL women and the sexist treatment they received.

As I move away from the election and release my anger over the Obama/Clinton drama, I find that I cannot and will not sit quietly on the sidelines over the two issues that continue to surface are are fundamentally WRONG:

#1) Prop 8 where a fundamental right was stripped away from a few that have been discriminated against, and

#2) The sexism in the media and the treatment of women.

by nikkid 2008-11-22 08:07AM | 0 recs
Palin was governor

for all of 18 months.  And Alaska is a small state.  It's perfectly legitimate to question her experience dealing with national issues that are the purview of the Federal executive.  People questioned Bill Clinton's experience on the national stage back in 1992 as well.

I don't know if Palin is dumb, but she certainly appeared ignorant in the few interviews she was willing to give.

Casting legitimate criticism as sexist obscures genuine grievances.

by JJE 2008-11-22 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

"The fact that the media has consistently attacked Palin from everything from her family to her clothes is a slap in the face to ALL women and the sexist treatment they received."

Sorry, not to me, so not ALL.

Women are allowed to have different opinions, and expecting all of us to think like you is the ultimate form of sexism - "if you have a vagina I speak for you"

by lolo08 2008-11-23 12:46PM | 0 recs

One thing that I have not seen discussed much in this thread is what the appropriate response is when a line of attack may both be legitimate and may also be advanced by some people on account of illegitimate reasons.

Case in point: the spending of approximately $200,000 to outfit the Palin clan using RNC donations.  I view this as akin to embezzlement and it therefore raises significant ethical issues in my mind, which I think is a legitimate issue worth exploring when we are talking about a politician who is running for an office over which the politician may preside over almost unlimited funds, and additionally that candidate is running on an anti-corruption platform.  Were it to come to light that Obama had used DNC donations as a personal slush fund, I have no doubt that I would feel the same way.  That said, I am willing to agree that some people treated the story as a "woman gone wild at the mall"-type event, which is clearly sexist.  However, that reaction does not represent the full range of responses to the issue, and so simply labeling discussion of the issue as sexist does foreclose legitimate debate.  

Therefore, my question is whether discussion of such issues should be foreclosed entirely, because certain people will view them through a sexist lens, or what the parameters of the debate should be if some discussion is permissible.

by rfahey22 2008-11-22 05:08PM | 0 recs

interesting point.  but i would say that any attack/observation/comment that arises from illegitimate reasoning is wrong.

and FWIW - the line of attack you cite is a perfect example of it.  

by canadian gal 2008-11-22 06:07PM | 0 recs

I am sorry CG, I understand yourpoint but politics is rough sports. people will streyotype you if you flinch and thats the reality. Obama was called directly or indircetly a terrorist, an Arab by high profile people and some media fed the narrative of his "Otherness" (eps fox).Obama took these unusually harsh attacks on and won. Those are way worse than some pundits laughing over a pantsuit Hillary wore or stereotyping her crying (idk if that happened ) etc. , hopefully he can make politics more civil (hopefully not completely dull though, since that decreases intensest in politics) in the future but that is how it is right now.

by YourConcernsAreNoted 2008-11-22 08:22PM | 0 recs
I don't understand this

"politics is rough" shouldn't keep us from criticizing racist attacks on Obama, and should keep us from criticizing sexist attacks on Clinton or Palin.

by JJE 2008-11-23 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: I don't understand this

you beat me to it ;)

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 11:27AM | 0 recs
But you didn't correct me!

That last should should be a shouldn't.

by JJE 2008-11-23 11:35AM | 0 recs
There are two lines of attack

on the clothes flap.  One is "Silly woman cares too much about clothes".  That is obviously a sexist attack that people who claim to care about equality should not make.

But there is also another line of attack: "Corrupt self-centered politician uses campaign funds for personal benefit."  This is a perfectly legitimate criticism, and is particularly salient because Palin has a history of abusing her political position for personal gain, e.g. troopergate and the per diem issue.

So it is not accurate to say that any criticism of Palin arising from the clothes issue is sexist and wrong.  It is important to analyze more closely and see which point is being made.

by JJE 2008-11-23 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: There are two lines of attack

i see what both you and rfahey are saying, but i just dont buy it.  this particular line of attack (meaning clothes, money on clothes, etc) was reserved for the female candidates.

once this story blew up, some reporters must of thought - hmm - maybe we should look into what some of the others are spending.  i believe they looked only at obama (who incidentally has $1500 suits) but neither mccain or biden.

which begs the question - why dont we know how much all the other candidates spent on clothes, or where the funds are coming form to purchase said clothes - we dont.

i think this comes from what i said above, a line of attack that may have some legitimacy, but due to the fact that it is cloaked in sexism makes it null and void.

but dont you find it strange that so many are obsessed with palin.  this diary meant to look at sexism, particularly at clinton - and people have latched on to palin, racism etc which seems to me - a deflection.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 10:22AM | 0 recs
The media did look into Obama's clothes

As you point out, there was not much there, so no story.  A review of similar records for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee turned up no similar spending.

Recall also that there was a minor controversy about McCain's expensive shoes, do it is not true that the media never talked about the clothing expenditures of the male candidates.

a line of attack that may have some legitimacy, but due to the fact that it is cloaked in sexism makes it null and void.

This is unpersuasive.  A legitimate criticism doesn't become illegitimate because other aspects of it are motivated by illegitimate biases.  That just means you should be careful to focus on the legitimate aspects and criticize those who focus on the sexist aspects.  Drawing such distinctions is the key to good analysis.  It doesn't render the whole thing a sexist exercise.  In fact, when someone is unwilling to acknowledge such distinctions then nobody will listen to the critique of the sexist aspects because it looks like the sexism charge is being used to silence legitimate criticism.

by JJE 2008-11-23 11:17AM | 0 recs
let me put it another way.

for lack of a better example (unless anyone can think of another?)

were the inquiries into bill clinton's sexual affairs legitimate?  or rather the information discovered as a result of said inquiries?

to me - absolutely not.  therefore what came after - while unfortunate and disappointing - were none of my damn business to comment on.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 11:24AM | 0 recs
which one?

Clinton was a deponent in a sexual harassment suit and was asked about his sexual behavior.  A judge ruled those questions were relevant.  I don't see what's illegitimate about that.

People can disagree about whether we should care about a politician's sex life, but it's certainly news.

There wasn't an inquiry into Palin's clothes expenditures.  The RNC (foolishly) released its expenditures, and reporters noticed that a very large sum had been spent on clothes for the Palin family.  If I were an RNC donor I would want to know that my money was going to buy (among other things) underwear for Palin's children.

by JJE 2008-11-23 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: which one?

again - not our business - unless of course we are RNC campaign contributors (which i assume we're both not).

and btw - most fashion writers have stated that this sum is not excessive to clothe a presidential candidate for several months of campaigning.

but for me, i do not want to defend this (i agree somewhat that its a lot) rather to acknowledge that this line of questioning to the female candidates is wrong.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 11:35AM | 0 recs
fair enough

I see your perspective even though mine differs on this particular issue.

by JJE 2008-11-23 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: which one?

I would agree with this.  People sometimes forget that the basis of the impeachment charge was that Clinton allegedly committed perjury.  Bush has completely redefined executive malfeasance, of course, but Clinton's escapades were an almost unavoidable political issue for politicians during that period.

Again, I understand and respect the argument that coverage of the incident was sexist, and perhaps it largely was, but to me the items purchased were irrelevant - they could have bought a boat, put a down payment on a house, etc.  As I understand it, the spending was largely unauthorized and was used on personal items for the entire family, and therefore similar to theft.  And, while that is an issue between the Palins and the RNC, it's not necessarily irrelevant to voters - after all, no one would hire a thief to guard a bank vault.

From my perspective, then, I guess the solution would be to frame these stories in ways that avoid sexist stereotypes, and/or to insist that the other candidates receive similar scrutiny.

by rfahey22 2008-11-23 04:23PM | 0 recs
your sollution is perfect!

however from what i have seen impossible.  have you read some of the comments here?  anyway - major kudos to you for even thinking of an effective way to combat this.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 04:50PM | 0 recs
Re: your sollution is perfect!

Yes, there is much work to be done.  I think, though, that during the campaign season people have to focus on the high-value targets - mainstream media and any other outlets that could affect people on a macro scale - there will always be anonymous bloggers, rally-goers, etc. who act offensively.  The problem with elections is that, while they might bring certain problems to light, it's hard to use them to address larger social issues because everyone has a stake in the outcome, everyone has a different view of what is and is not legitimate criticism, and many people believe that the ends justify the means.  That's why it wasn't very surprising to me that the politicians themselves did not take very firm stands on sexism, racism, etc., especially as applied to their opponents.

by rfahey22 2008-11-24 11:39AM | 0 recs

I referred to this up-thread. Many respondents to this diary start with the premise that the sexism against Palin wasn't recognized, when in fact it wasn't acknowledged, because she was regarded as particularly undeserving of any sympathy.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-23 04:31AM | 0 recs
Once again I ask

who decides one's "worthiness" against injustice?

Seriously can anyone truly describe themselves as progressive, or liberal, or open minded, or even fair, when one deems that justice should NOT be blind?

If a particularly obnoxious male who happens to be a minority is trashed with racial/ethnic epithets should we all say he deserved them?
Can I use homophobic slurs against Andrew Sullivan and feel good about it, because I think the jerk is a sanctimonious hypocrite who publicly supported Bush and Bush policies?  

I cannot believe someone on this site believes that sexism is OK to use against someone if you happen to dislike their belief system.  Do you also believe racism is an acceptable way to attack Justice Clarence Thomas??

by Jjc2008 2008-11-23 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Once again I ask

i think you and sumo just touched on the crux of the problem.


i believe so many abandoned clinton and palin with regard to sexism because they felt they were illegitimate women/candidates etc.  each for different reasons of course, but your point about thomas sums it up perfectly.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Once again I ask

Sorry CG, but the point about Thomas was a straw man.

And this is the crux of the problem. Jjc has happily conflated actively attacking another with the lack of motivation to sympathize.

Being undeserving of sympathy is not the same thing as being undeserving of justice.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-24 07:10AM | 0 recs
Spare me

You're ranting up a storm of straw men, a line of argument I'm not particularly fond of.

This is not a matter of "worthiness against injustice", or "justice being blind", or of ill-treatment being "deserved". Those are your constructions, not mine. Show me where I encouraged sexism, racism, or homophobia - or defended it. There's a world of difference between doing what you've alleged, and simply not feeling motivated enough to be blowing steam over it.

Now, you tell me whether you've personally championed every form of discrimination that you've ever known to have occurred. No? Then you, like everybody else, have priorities. Championing the cause of a particularly vicious and hypocritical opponent was not a priority for the rest of us. QED.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-24 07:01AM | 0 recs
personally championed

the fight against every form of discrimination, I meant.

by Sumo Vita 2008-11-24 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Really important diary. The default is so many cultures, regions and minds is for women to be property or things to be guided and possessed by men that until we can change entire institutions as well as individual minds, the discussion has to be had with kid gloves so as not to offend any man. Because men do and believe they are entitled by nature to at least have women to rule over as part of their domininion as some simplistic argument that they are physically stronger. certain cultures have a really deeply ingrained belief in this regard.

by Jeter 2008-11-22 05:10PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

I am never going to agree that Obama's campaign was sexist. I just didn't see it.

She didn't lose because she was a woman and in fact she arguably played Obama out to a stalemate.

People who want to focus on sexism would do better to look at other reasons (Clinton's pathetic campaign ceding caucus states, Clinton's vote authorizing Bush to go to war if he felt it was necessary, etc.)

This election was not defined by a few jokes about pantsuits or cackles (and she did cackle! that laugh at the Iowa debate was a cackle).

Again just don't see it.. And if our society is so sexist why is everyone thrilled about her getting the most prestigious cabinet post. If anything emerged out of this its that Hillary is a really tough smart person fully capable of being our first female president. Her loss was not due to her being a woman but to other circumstances.

by obama4presidente 2008-11-23 06:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

By the way I'm not trying to say there is no sexism in our society. Of course there is and we must work to end it (when women make less money than men for doing the same job that is sexism).

by obama4presidente 2008-11-23 06:35AM | 0 recs
And some people

honestly don't believe Chris Matthews is a misogynistic pig; they also don't believe that multiple men in the media (Barnicle, Buchanan, Matthews, T. Carlson) on several occasions compared Hillary to a nagging wife or to the ex outside of probate court, or the wife yelling at the guy to take out the garbage.  
Of course maybe you just laughed along with those guys and tittered and giggled like a middle schooler.

Maybe you think that even though women are 50% of the electorate, their 0% record of occupancy of the WH is insignificant.  Maybe you believe that 50% of the population only having less than 20% representation in government, in financial leadership power, in any kind of power does not smack of sexism.


by Jjc2008 2008-11-23 07:08AM | 0 recs
Re: And some people

Huh? Maybe you don't read too good.

by obama4presidente 2008-11-23 07:12AM | 0 recs

Maybe you don't write well.

by Jjc2008 2008-11-23 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Huh???

Why are you so nasty? You responded to something I never posted.

Try reading it again and don't get so excited.

by obama4presidente 2008-11-23 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

this diary is not meant to discuss who won or lost, why they won or lost or more clearly - caucus states.

what it is meant to bring forth is discussion about sexism in the campaign.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 10:55AM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

Look I think your point with this diary is that sexism played a big role with both Clinton and Palin.

I don't agree that it did...

I'm a feminist myself but I just don't see it having played a role.

Doesn't mean there wasn't the ocasional mysogynist or sexist comment.

But was sexism a big story in as far as the 2008 presidential campaign was concerned? I don't see any evidence of that..

by obama4presidente 2008-11-23 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: The Underwritten Story of the Campaign.

But hey maybe I am wrong..wouldn't be the first time.

by obama4presidente 2008-11-23 12:31PM | 0 recs
What was sexist was McCain's choice of a

completely unqualified veep candidate with the object of manipulating "women" (as a variable/voting bloc) to select his ticket.
And if he got some men to vote for her, by showcasing her looks - well that was an extra benefit.

What was sexist was that Sarah Palin, knowing herself to be unqualified, leapt at the chance.
Women are capable of manipulating sexism.  Sarah Palin is a politician first, a religious wing-nut in a sexist fundamentalist patriarchal evangelical structure second and a white "faux" working class female third.

Frantz Fanon writes about "colonized mentality" and it applies equally to self-hating blacks as it does to self-hating women.  Sarah Palin hates feminism.  She will do anything in her power to "become one of the Dudes" playing their game.  A willing participant in the quest for reactionary power.

She will opportunistically use her family, ethnic relationships (promoting her husband as Eskimo when she has worked against indigenous interests), use her children (hence Trig as Cabbage Patch prop) guns (phallic symbols) as weapons in her arsenal.

I have neither sympathy nor empathy for her.  

Was there sexism directed at Hillary from the time she stepped on the national stage?  Yes.
Did it stop her? No.  Did she lose? Yes.  Because of sexism?  No.  Will she go on to triumph in the political arena as Secretary of State, and possibly as the next President, after Obama serves two terms?  Yes, I certainly hope so.

Had McCain selected a qualified veep candidate of either gender we wouldn't be discussing Palin.

The trolls posting here who hang out at the Confluence and Puma Central should crawl back under their bridges.

I am a feminist activist/community organizer. What that means to me is that as a feminist, I cannot accept nor condone anyone who uses any "isms" to gain power - racism, sexism, ageism, homophobism or classism.

Sarah Palin is like a Vichy collaborationist.  I put her in the same category with people like Clarence Thomas.  Dangerous, as the tools of those who truly hold power.

As an activist it means I don't just blog, I actually work in communities where poor women (and men) suffer, under this system of multiple oppressions.  

And yes, I've read Melissa McEwan's critique's of the media, left and TM, response to Palin.
I disagree with her premise and it is pointless to post there, since anyone who disagrees with her rather facile idealized idea of feminism is given short shrift.  

Yes, there have been gross, sexist photoshopped pictures of Sarah Palin spread around the net.
Along with gross photo-shopped pictures of John McCain, Cindy McCain, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama...Hillary and Bill, John Edwards...Joe Biden...such is the gutter nature of our poltical discourse and what passes for "wit".

But those photos and puerile satires are not what defeated Sarah Palin and John McCain.  Sexism didn't undercut her appeal to the large chunk of the electorate that voted for her.  It is disturbing to me each time I look at the number of people who did.  I won't write one word in defense of Phyllis Schlafly, Sarah Palin or Ann Coulter.  Those who do - well, so be it, but imho it's an intellectually slippery slope.

They were defeated because enough people saw her, and her mentor as wrong.  Not because Mccain was too old or Palin too stupid.  Just wrong.

It didn't work.  And the loud cries of how sexist all we leftists and media types are ring hollow.
For any of us to now echo and co-sign those plaints is a waste of time, and ultimately not moving the real battles against sexism forward.  

by NeciVelez 2008-11-23 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: What was sexist was McCain's choice of a

Outstanding comment, DV.  After reading through the diary, and very long thread, I was overjoyed to finally read your post.  I couldn't agree more.

by fogiv 2008-11-23 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: What was sexist was McCain's choice of a


by spacemanspiff 2008-11-23 10:14AM | 0 recs
Re: What was sexist was McCain's choice of a

while your comment is great and has some excellent points, i think that is said above a response that seems to be influenced by a visceral emotional response.

photoshopped pictures?  um - if as you say you read shakesville, you would have seen that there was certainly MUCH MUCH WORSE sexism thrown at palin.

as with mcewan (and dean) - while i disagree vehemently with palin politics that is irrelevant.  so is who won or lost.  

I am a feminist activist/community organizer. What that means to me is that as a feminist, I cannot accept nor condone anyone who uses any "isms" to gain power - racism, sexism, ageism, homophobism or classism.

i commend you for the above - but your comment above seems to deflect the topic of this diary in order to make a point about not defending women with whom you disagree politically.

what is important is why sexism is tolerated in our society not whether YOU deem a certain kind of woman worthy of equality.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: What was sexist was McCain's choice of a

or rather worthy of defense.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 10:53AM | 0 recs
There was no need to repeat

Shakesville, people are quite capable of reading her remarks - and you provided a link.  You seem to doubt I've read it, by the use of "if you say".

I have a problem with "theys" and "thems" as if there was some massive TM response to Sarah Palin that was negative - and or sexist.  My memory is quite different than yours perhaps.  Since the Traditional Media is heavily weighted to the right, the coverage of Sarah Palin was if anything "effusive".  Reporters and pundits who should know better were salivating about the pick.  There were dire predictions of landslides - of PUMAS rushing to vote for McCain.  Of hockey moms and white workers she would sweep off their feet.  Of "family values" folks.  "Knockout speech" at the convention was a phrase repeated ad nauseum. If anything - poor aging McCain was given "new life and vigor".  If I had a dollar for every mention of the approval rating for Ms. Palin in Alaska mentioned in both print and on the tube I could retire happily.  

What happened next goes back to my original point - the McCain Campaign had selected (with her unblinking co-operation), what we call on the street "a ringer".  "Chum".  A fake. She couldn't sustain the facade built with a telepromptered well crafted speech.  Even then, she was cut more slack than anyone in recent history.  Why?  Because much of the right press hates Hillary - for a host of reasons.  So, Palin was to be the anti-Hillary, the proof that a "fresh" "maverick" woman, Republican woman (not one of those awful "un-womanly feminists") would upstage all of us and sweep McCain to victory. She got a free pass because of sexism - that was used for her, not against her.

But it didn't work.  The cracks in the facade began to  become evident - and those who weren't blind, deaf or terminally stupid began her unraveling.  Sexist?  No.  Those pundits who wanted to retain even an iota of veracity in front of the viewing public had to state what was patently obvious - the woman was not Hillary, or a shadow of Hillary, or even vaguely literate.

Some wingers continued to weave fantasies.  What IS sexist is that she was not held to the same standard as any other intelligent woman in politics.  But when the mask slipped by the time of the Couric interview, cries of "sexism" began  - and where from?  The sexist right-wing, and delusional former Hillary supporters "clinging" to  an  obsession conflating sexism with critique, to advance multiple agendas.    

ME deeming "some woman" unworthy of equality?  Don't make me laugh.  Equal to what?  I've fought for the last 45 years for women to be judged as equals - by men and women.   Defending women with whom I disagree politically has nothing to do with Sarah Palin.  She needed no defense from me - she had the entire phalanx of talking heads weighted in her favor.  She blew it, or more accurately, the McCain campaign blew it, by selecting her, un-vetted.  

They then cherry picked feminist rhetoric to shape  their responses to each reported gaffe -  and we were inundated with endless loops of lipstick on a pig discussions.  If it wasn't so tragic I'd be rolling on the floor laughing - right wing Republicans attempting to sound like Gloria Steinem.

I didn't agree with Hillary politically, and still defended her against sexist remarks - you can check the HR's I've handed out on DKos.  I voted for Hillary here in NY, but never agreed with her vote for the war, nor did I agree with some of the tactics her campaign used in the primary.

Sexism is "tolerated" in this society because it is built into it structurally.  You seem to forget that both men and women are sexist, and that many men and women are loyal supporters of the status quo.  

Back during the first wave of feminism  a powerful group of women helped defeat the vote for suffrage  in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Association Opposed to the Further Extension of Suffrage to Women (MAOFESW)

http://www.masshist.org/findingaids/doc. cfm?fa=fa0121

That Organization spread.  Were they sexist? Yes.  Were they women - yes.  Were their arguments sexist - hell yes.

I would no more defend Sarah Palin than I can defend those women, though I do teach my students that they were victims of the patriarchy. They were also classist, and racist.

Do I think people attacking Sarah Palin's children was wrong?  Yes.  Did she manipulate her children for political advantage? Yes.  

Sure - the internet is full of hateful sexist/racist you-tubes, and sniggers and trash - but it will be  no matter who is running for office or in the public eye - female or male.  

To be honest I am far more concerned with the rise of hate crimes, and the threats against the POTUS elect and his family (whipped to a frenzy by La Palin).

What I'd like to ask you - since you take issue with my response, is why all these alligator tears , now, for Sarah Palin?  Where was the outrage when the attacks were leveled against Michelle Obama, who wasn't even running for office?  Double standard methinks.  

I'm more concerned with the thousands of women being raped in Alaska, a majority of whom are Inuit.  I'm worried about women who don't get egual pay for equal work, and a Republican Party that would like to keep it that way, and destroy the few unions we have.  

I'm more concerned with the rising rates of HIV infections of women in my community.  

I have no time to spare for Sarah Palin.  I've wasted enough here in these comments.  

I'm off to cook my turkey.  And I'm delighted that Sarah Palin's goose was cooked - by the voting public.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Keep that in mind.  


by NeciVelez 2008-11-23 12:05PM | 0 recs
Re: There was no need to repeat

i like your comments, long - full of great points - lots of thought given.  its unfortunate however that you didnt really address my points.

that said - your accusation of alligator tears is unfounded as most here will attest. and since you pointed it out, please feel free to see my diary history here where i have plethora of diaries about sexism with michelle obama starring as the main character.

but thank you for your response.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 01:07PM | 0 recs
It's actually comforting

I was so happy to see that policians and the media will use anything they can to smear a candidate, regardless of gender, and candidates are liberated enough (no matter their gender) to engage in dirty politics.

There was a time here, and there still are places, where a women like Clinton or Palin were literally beaten or killed for their presumptuousness.

Get back to me when we're talking Benazir Bhutto-levels of gumption.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-23 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: It's actually comforting

im not sure if that's snark.  if it isnt - im stunned.

by canadian gal 2008-11-23 01:39PM | 0 recs

I'd say 40% snark, 60% just being tired of the fact that we're still talking about this after just about everyone agrees that both Palin and Clinton were beaten fair and square, and that their defeats can be traced to their opponent running the best campaign in modern politics.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-24 04:37AM | 0 recs
Re: [UPDATED] The Underwritten Story of the Campai

I think that the drama of the primaries made everyone too emotional to look at the way either side was treated from an objective viewpoint.

In hindsight I see more clearly the sexism that Hillary supporters were upset about.  It wasn't OK that the media frequently made comments about their appearance and Palin's family obligations.  I can't imagine that a man would have been called shrill or have been likened to a harpy.

The thing is though, that at the same time that they were hurt by their gender, both Hillary and Palin tried to use it to their advantage.  They both openly talked about their roles as groundbreaking and historic.  You can disagree with me, but at times Hillary's emotional appeals struck me as false and a bit contrived.  Palin was a mess and an embarrassment to our gender in more ways than I can count.  It irked me when both chose to scold the media for sexist bias.  I respect Hillary because of her strength, complaining about the way the media treated her lessened her stature in my eyes.

There were plenty of racially motivated attacks thrown at Obama (mostly by Republicans) and he didn't have the option of discussing it openly.  He basically had to pretend that there was nothing historic about his candidacy throughout the entire election because he was already being attacked as "presumptuous".

by Renie 2008-11-23 03:53PM | 0 recs
Re: [UPDATED] The Underwritten Story of the Campai

Sarah Palin deserved every ounce of the scorn from the shopping spree incident, because she ran as a "reformer," an honest gal who says "thanks but no thanks" to handouts.  The fact that she had $150K worth of dresses and handbags from Saks stuffed in the belly of her airplane was just further evidence that she is a consummate phony and fraud.  These things are important to know and the unmasking of Sarah Palin as Just Another Corrupt Republican had little to do with sexism in my opinion.  

by JK47 2008-11-24 06:32AM | 0 recs
False Test

This election is not a fair test of sexism in America. Get a female candidate who is not either a) the wife of a former president or b) a complete mindless buffoon, and then we can talk sexism.

Both Clinton and Palin were there in large part because of their gender. So I don't think we've learned much about sexism over this campaign.

by Metrobot 2008-11-24 12:36PM | 0 recs
A Real Discussion?

Not sure that you really want a Real Discussion(tm), but I'll give it a try anyway.

"Washington doesn't get it. They always get it last. This is the most underwritten story of this campaign... by the press... by the media."

You're posting this to a blog, because only Washington reads blogs?  No, wait.  Let me have another guess.  You're posting this so that anyone who doesn't already "get it" will be included in that group that "gets it last".

Heeeeeyyyy!  That's a good one.  A subtle ad hominem, but without looking like it.  Very clever!  I'm getting impressed.  You've got a future in this business!

"Women my age, in my generation felt this really acutely. Because they were the ones that suffered all of the indignities that you suffer when you fight to win the battle for equality. As they did."

When I was little, I wanted a pony.  No really.  (Hey, stop laughing!)  (I MEAN IT!!!) ok...anyway, I really REALLY wanted a pony.  I held my breath.  I stopped talking for a whole day.  I gave up desserts.  I mean, I S..U..F..F..E..R..E..D...

And, then...what was I talking about?  Oh yeah.  I felt really bad, and I blamed everyone else for not making me feel better.


"Nobody understood the agony that women, particularly of my generation, were undergoing about this...issue...and to this day, it has been swept under the rug and been forgotten because she didn't win."

I'm really sorry that I brought up that whole 'pony story' thing.  It makes me sad just to think about it.  I really DID want that pony.  I even knew what the pony looked like...

In fact, I'll bet my parents might read this.  I STILL HATE YOU MOM AND DAD FOR NOT GETTING ME THAT PONY!!!!  <holding b r  e   a    t     h>

"We thought we were past all this stuff and we weren't. We weren't surprised about the degree of racism or lack of it or whatever, that was endlessly examined. We did not examine the fact that we didn't get, we haven't gotten nearly as far ahead as we thought we were about equality between the sexes. And that ought to be revisited as a result of what happened."

Ummmmmmm.....because I didn't get a pony, YOU are to blame for all of my problems.  Trust me.  I've talked about it (A LOT) with my therapist.  I thought I had gotten past the whole 'pony thing' and that time in Cancun with Cindy and Mark, and the "college insecurities" and workplace domination thing, plus all of that chocolate and....<ahem>.....ummmm.  Also.

and it happened to Sarah Palin too. All the stuff that happened to Sarah Palin, and I know God knows I don't have a lot of sympathy for her political points of view, but a lot of the stuff that happened to her, as she pointed out, would not have happened had she been a man."

My best friend (a few years ago, because I have a new best friend now...) also had this thing about ponies.  Except, it was when she was, like, 13, and it was, like, a totally sexual kind of thing, you know.  Well, she told Samantha about it one time, and she blabbed it all over the school. So, that's why I never told anyone about my 'pony thing'.  SO.....If you know what's good for you, DON'T YOU DARE SAY ANYTHING ABOUT MY 'PONY THING'.

Now, be nice to me and don't respond to anything that I wrote that might be stupid or mean or ridiculous.


by Sully Fick 2008-11-24 05:25PM | 0 recs
You realize of course

You are responding to things said by Howard Dean.

by iDemocrat 2008-11-24 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: You realize of course

Actually, I'm responding to a diary of quotes from someone who chose the quotes in a transparent attempt at reviving the primary wars.

by Sully Fick 2008-11-25 05:05AM | 0 recs
That post was deserving of HR, canadian gal?

Zoot Alors!

by Sully Fick 2008-11-25 06:51AM | 0 recs
It Appears

People are incapable of discussing this issue save for how it impacts their view of the primary.

I also find it funny that the diarist is being confronted for something that was said by Howard Dean.

To be clear, I don't think it's possible here to disagree with the diarist without also disagreeing with what Howard Dean said in the video.

by iDemocrat 2008-11-24 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: It Appears

thank you for putting it so succinctly (and giving me a good giggle) at the absurdity.

by canadian gal 2008-11-24 08:06PM | 0 recs


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