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Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’

I’ve been listening to a lot of the media coverage of Sarah Palin’s resignation and it occurred to me that, in a very odd way, Palin has broken the glass ceiling more completely than Hilary Clinton. Palin is a crazily unrealistic candidate for president; I suspect the leaders of the Republican Party will do everything possible to keep her from running. But what I’ve realized is that no one, either for or against her, is talking about her gender.

Whether reporters or pundits are discussing why she resigned, what she’ll do next, whether or not she’ll run for president, and who would vote for her if she did, gender is not a factor. Even the few mentions of her family are phrased in gender-neutral or even masculine ways (she resigned because she can make more money as a speaker and thus better support her family, a trope for men rather than women).

Most of the media coverage agrees that Palin is a divisive figure, that she has no chance at a viable presidential run, and that she’s pretty much off her rocker. But none of this is because she’s a woman. In fact, the question of her gender isn’t even raised to be dismissed. It simply isn’t part of the discussion.

How refreshing. Reminds me of that old feminist cliché that equality is when mediocre women are promoted as often as mediocre men. Do mavericks count?

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I agree with Professor Bean’s post about Sarah Palin and the media; I was bemused by the constant question “Why don’t liberals like Palin?” when the answer was obviously “She’s stupid and arrogant about her stupidity.” It’s one thing to not be sure what the vice president does, another to announce that fact on national television after being tapped as McCain’s running mate. I never saw it as a question of gender or sexuality, but just flat out fear of what she would actually be like as a VP.

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Edit/Note: An anonymous reader/poster has pointed out that the Sarah Palin Vogue cover photo below is a fake.  Apparently I wasn’t the only person fooled by it.  I found the image on dozens of web sites–including some newspapers–and all of them accepted it as authentic.  Still, I should have searched more carefully to confirm that it was a real cover.   The public’s (myself included) credulity about this image, I think, reinforces my central point.  I also think we could substitute Palin’s spread in Runner’s World for the faux-Vogue picture with less dramatic, but similar, effect.  Nonetheless, I apologize for not doing my “homework” here, and I thank the reader who pointed it out.  I shall endeavor not to make this kind of mistake again.  I am presenting my article in its original form.  I’ve learned a public lesson, and I’m not going to gloss over my error.

Original post:

During Sarah Palin’s resignation press conference, she chastised the media, saying “The response in the mainstream media has been most predictable [and] ironic.”  Putting aside the unlikelihood of anything being both predictable and ironic, can we say that the media’s coverage of Palin was either?

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