I saw this link when I went over to RedState in search of something to mock this morning (because I'm in that kind of mood today). It's an interesting piece because it discusses the sexism that Sarah Palin has faced since she accepted the Republican VP nomination, but it also has a couple of problems. It starts out strong:
I realized this when I saw a 20-something male student who attends a class in the community college where I teach, wearing a T-shirt that read, "Sarah Palin is a C-." He wore it in public, in broad daylight, and without shame or even consciousness of what he was doing.I would do the same, if I saw that. I think a shirt like that contributes to a hostile learning environment and I'm within my rights to remove a disruptive student. I consider that disruptive.
I took the time to advise him of the "error of his ways" and informed him of the consequences if he wore it to my class.
Helen McCaffrey also discusses a number of other instances where, sadly, people who call themselves progressive have engaged in sexist and misogynist attacks not only against Sarah Palin but also against Hillary Clinton, and they're horrible stories to read. They shame me and my fellow progressives. But this:
I thought Americans would be proud of her nomination, whether we agreed or disagreed with her on the issues. Was I in for a shock.This is just disingenuous. If you're going to complain about the very real sexism that came out during the Democratic primaries, you can't honestly say that you thought it had been eradicated and expect us to take you seriously, especially when the example you're saying everyone ought to be proud of comes from the party that stands against pretty much everything feminism stands for.
The sexism that I believed had been eradicated was lurking, like some creature from the black lagoon, just below the surface. Suddenly it erupted and in some unexpected places.
I also have to admit that I don't get why I should be proud of the Republicans for nominating Sarah Palin, unless I'm giving them credit for simply nominating a woman. The recent stories about Palin going "rogue" and "acting like a diva" (note the sexism in that term) show that the Republican party and particularly the McCain campaign didn't nominate Palin for the depth of her policy knowledge, but rather so she would excite the base, and Robert Draper's piece on the McCain campaign says explicitly what many of us assumed--that Palin was chosen in part to appeal to disaffected Clinton primary voters. I guess I can see that the Republicans' willingness to use gender in a cynical way to try to get votes is at least an acknowledgment that women ought to be pandered to as much as any other group, but I'm not sure how much of a step forward that really is.