Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin deserves a little respect

Nothing embodies the societal standard set for women better than the Enjoli perfume commercial from the 70s. In it, a gorgeous, seductive blonde sings, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan. And never, never let you forget you’re a man. . . cause I’m a woman.” I can still hum the tune.
Unfortunately, women in America are still judged by different standards than men.

Last week, Sarah Palin became the first woman to run on a national Republican ticket. She’s Christian and she’s pro-life. The assaults on her womanhood by the Democrats and the media have yet to cease.
Ms. Palin is the first female governor of Alaska – a triumph in its own right. As chief executive of the largest state in the country, Governor Palin oversees an $11.2 billion operating budget, 15,000 employees and some of the country’s largest energy reserves. She has negotiated, passed and signed legislation to begin the construction of a 1,715-mile natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to the lower 48 — a project that’s been languishing for years. She has an unheard of 84 percent approval rating in her home state.
Where’s the respect?
Instead of being lauded for her historic accomplishments, Governor Palin is being belittled for her good looks and judged by the conduct of her offspring.
Craig Ferguson, a late-night comedian, suggests she has a “naughty librarian vibe.” Mark and Brian, of KLOS morning-talk fame, think she’s “hot.” Even Rush Limbaugh, a huge Palin supporter, calls her a “babe.” Maureen Dowd calls Ms. Palin’s nomination a Cinderella story (Barack Obama’s isn’t?) and writes about her leading the country in go-go boots.
I find nothing more sexist, however, than the idea that Ms. Palin should stay home and take care of her “struggling” family rather than seek the vice presidency (barefoot and pregnant, right?).
How often have you seen a male politician ridiculed for seeking office rather than staying home to nurture his family?
Governor Palin’s presence at home would no more change her newborn son’s condition than it would her daughter’s. Additionally, in many American families today, the woman is the breadwinner and the man handles the child-rearing duties. Welcome to the twenty-first century.
In the name of equality, let’s examine Senator Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, under the same looking glass being used on Governor Palin.
He’s not “hot” by any stretch of the imagination and at 65 years old is grasping for his last chance at political stardom. Biden’s been willing to negotiate his beliefs to become part of the Democratic ticket this year. Prior to accepting the vice-presidential nomination, Biden was one of Obama’s biggest detractors, stating unequivocally that Obama did not have the experience to be Commander-in-Chief.
Senator Biden was forced to exit the 1988 presidential campaign in disgrace after it was discovered he was guilty of more than one instance of plagiarism. Apparently, 20 years later, his acts of plagiarism are irrelevant. (Todd Palin’s 20-year-old DUI should be irrelevant too.) The same year, Biden was hospitalized for two brain aneurysms that kept him out of work for seven months.
Senator Biden has served in the Senate for 36 years - 14 years longer than John McCain. Biden is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a long-standing member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although experienced, he’s a lifetime member of the “good ‘ol boys” network; hardly the outsider the party was looking for. Biden voted for the 2005 bankruptcy law that made it harder for distressed families to declare bankruptcy. The law is partially blamed for the subprime mortgage crisis.
Biden initially supported the Iraq War – opposing Obama’s stance - but didn’t support the surge. According to Reuters, his idea to partition Iraq into three regions based on ethno-religious divisions has made him unpopular overseas.
Biden was ranked the third most liberal member of the Senate in 2007 by the National Journal, a respected bipartisan publication. Obama was ranked number one. Biden is a pro-choice Catholic.
In 2006, he publicly stated that in his home state of Delaware, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking.” In 1987, he was caught on film telling a reporter, “I think I have a much higher IQ than you do.”
In addition to being egotistical, Biden is clearly vain: He has more hair on the top of his head today than he did in the 80s.
No one knows if Mr. Biden can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. No one expects him to so no one has asked. (I don’t want to know if he never lets you forget you’re a man.)
Democrats and the media have been pushing female equality for years. I’m not a Hilary supporter, but I’m sorry she didn’t get the nomination: She deserved it. She got overlooked for a man with less experience. What’s new?
Whether you like Sarah Palin or despise her, she has made history more than once. Her choices, both personal and professional, demonstrate that she is a woman who puts her money where her mouth is. The Democrats and the media should do the same.


raging pompador said...

She's an inspiration to all beauty queens and sports reporters. And polar bear haters. Oh yeah, and people who hate books. When she was the Mayor of Wasilla, she tried to get the library to ban books. The librarian refused, so Mayor Palin tried to get her fired. Ladies, Big Brother has a Big Sister. In the land of the free, not only is she going to tell you what you can do with your body, she is going to tell you what you can read too.

Anonymous said...

Despite being a family values advocate, the fact that Palin put her political ambitions in front of the interest of her family is suspect. Despite being a leader in a sectarian country, the fact that Palin has been video taped saying that American soldiers in Iraq are on a "task from God" is suspect. Despite advocating abstinence only sex education, the fact that Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant is an indicator that her position doesn't work but is being spun by her handlers in the opposite direction is suspect. I think she is an opportunist and more examples will come to light before November...

Anonymous said...

And on another note, please, please tell me that you know that "I'm a Woman" was a 1963 hit sung by Peggy Lee and not just an Enjoli ad...good grief!

Anonymous said...

Ugh. The lack of structure belies your lack of substance.

Anonymous said...

So Alaska is indeed the "largest state in the country" ... But who cares about land mass? More relevant is the fact that the City (not County) of Los Angeles has a larger population than the entire state of Alaska (3.8 million vs. 680,000) which ranks 47th population-wise in the nation.

And the 2008 operating budget of Alaska is closer to $6B, not $11B:

Contrast this to the City of Los Angeles' 2008 operating budget of approximately $7B.

I sense an attempt by Perry to exaggerate Palin's meager credentials.

little richard said...

Two white men, the renowned Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, wrote `I'm a woman,' but it was first recorded by Christine Kittrell in 1962, an African-American woman, not Peggy Lee.

jqb said...

To wave away criticisms of someone just because they happen to be a woman is deeply sexist, and to phrase it as "assaults on her womanhood" is obscenely so. Palin would be a terrible VP (or, shudder, P) regardless of her gender.