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September 12, 2008

My First Blog Take On Palin

So recent history is proving my thesis. Let me quote myself:

It seems that these are the two avenues to political power for women: align yourself with the political party that would most oppose having a woman leader, and become more hardcore than your compatriots (look at how Meir and Thatcher inspired frequent jokes among their conservative colleagues about their masculinity); or marry into, or be born into, a political dynasty and work your husband's/father's legacy hard.

... It's clear: women politicians are ... iron ladies who sacrificed their marriages and family life for politics, or privileged wives and daughters. Liberal or moderate women don't ascend to real power without the power of a political family behind them; they must be linked by flesh and blood.

"Iron lady" is already taken, so everybody's calling her "pitbull" and "moosehunter," but the implication is clear: it's not Palin's "femininity" that people are interested in, it's her masculinity.

And like Meir or Thatcher, Palin's husband, while masculine, is not a politician, so her success in politics doesn't compete with or detract from his career success.

God, the world is sooooo typical.


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You nailed it. Sigh.

Men are also held to these ridiculous standards of masculinity. Kerry was a sissy, Dukakis was a sissy, Edwards spent too much time on his hair, Reagan and Dubya were cowboys. Ahnold was the terminator. The obsession with masculinity definitely has its roots in misogyny, no question, but it doesn't stop there. It also makes it impossible for male, or female leaders to exhibit any signs of compassion, empathy, tolerance, patience, complexity, or any other traits that we really need in the White House.

Instead we've got macho men and women.

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