Sweet fancy Moses, I effing hate Sarah Palin.
I know, hate is a rather strong word, but she really does represent everything that is wrong with modern government, from the hypocrisy to the outright lies about her opponents to the glorification of lack of intelligence as being "one of the people." So yes, I hate her. But what I REALLY hate about her is the idea that her nomination is somehow a historic moment for women, something my niece will someday view as a transformation for women in politics. Sarah Palin is a step back for women because she has no idea what sexism actually is as she demonstrated yesterday on the campaign trail with View hostess/professional nitwit Elizabeth Hasselback.
Now I realize that this is not terribly surprising for a variety of reasons. What can we really expect her to know considering that she is STILL unaware of the constitutional mandates on the job to which she aspires? And, can we really expect her to understand sexism when her running mate votes against equal pay for equal work (see Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act)? It probably is raising expectations a bit high for the governor. So, in an act of generosity and civic duty, here is a bit of advice and education for Ms. Palin.
1. Having Elizabeth Hasselbeck stump for you is not a good move, even if she does make you look like a genius by comparison. Surely you can do better when looking for young enthusiastic female conservatives than someone who is famous for losing a reality game show and losing arguments with Whoopi Goldberg. Call CNN contributor Amy Holmes, or perhaps that nice Kennedy who used to be on MTV. I bet she isn't busy at all.
2. If an interviewer asked Joe Biden about Darfur, then turned and asked you who did your hair, that would be sexist (though I daresay you'd do better on the hair question). If GQ put you on their hot woman list while talking about the policies of Obama, that would be sexist. However, if you paint your opponents as elitists, portray yourself as Joann Six-Pack, and then spend $150,000 of campaign donor money on clothes and hair, it is not sexist to point out that you are a hypocrite. It is just being honest. No one is focusing on your clothes...well, no one except the mouth-breathers on right-wing blogs who are hot for you. They are focusing on how your clothing expenditures do not jive with your campaign statements. This is not a complex concept, even for you.
People hold women in politics to a completely different standard of appearance without a doubt. Some turn it to their advantage in a positive way (Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuit was without a doubt the best line Hillary had the whole campaign). Some ignore it and work for the day when it no longer exists, creating opportunity to raise women up. Palin has chosen to use it to her advantage in a negative manner by claiming it where it does not exist. Crying sexism every time her political and personal choices are questioned is a pathetic attempt to deflect attention from all the things she does not know, and it is far more harmful to equal treatment of women than the lambasting of feminists that she spouts every chance she gets.
This is all also proof that I clearly should not have CNN or MSNBC on while I'm trying to read for class.