Monday, December 1, 2008

Hey Doll Face, Who Loves Ya? - Sexism and The Palin Mystique


This post is in response to the current kerfluffle over whether Tina Fey was "mean" and "sexist" when she portrayed Palin during the election, as one TV reporter has charged. Elizabeth Snead's reporting on this and public comments in the LA Times blogosphere can be found by clicking on the title above "Hey Doll Face...etc."


Sarah Palin is a walking, talking, winking joke of a public official. There is no way she would have walked into the bright lights of national politics with her pecadillos, her past and her personality and not been the butt of comedians' humor and late night patter. It comes with the territory, and she practically demands to be spoofed. If not Tina Fey, then another would have done it. Sarah Palin has twice tried to punitively fire people she had power over - and was twice denied. If she ever gets into real power, I would not put it past her to spend a great deal of time and effort trying to get Tina Fey fired somehow - third time is a charm, right?

By the way, it is on record that Tina Fey was at first reluctant to play the part and also not looking to return to Saturday Night Live. She already had a very well established and lucrative career in film and prime time television. This portrayal was successful, but did not "make" Tina Fey's career by any means. It exposed her to a lot more Republicans basically, who probably did not become fans - sour grapes.

Those of you who feel that a doll-like version of Sarah Palin should sail through the political process untouched by satire are in effect, true sexists. Sarah Palin, for all her foibles is by all accounts a confident and radiant person. She has chosen a professional path that is characterized by media scrutiny. Those of you who believe she should get special kid glove treatment in her chosen profession need to re-examine who/what you are supporting. Perhaps you are cheerleading a dream or an idol, rather than a real politician very much involved in the gritty world of real politics.

Sarah Palin is a public official who saddled a small town with millions of dollars of deficit spending which they had not recovered from when she left as Mayor. She is an irresponsible leader whose only public works project - a hockey stadium - was begun on land that was not legally obtained, and was over-budget and mired in legal troubles from the start - another big mess. She is a lady Governor who spun heads with the unprecedented levels of government pork she fed on and she is NOT someone who believes in lean government if you go on her record, not her speeches. Palin is an idealogue who tried (unsuccessfully) to ban books and fire a small town librarian - and the town demanded that the firing be reversed, which it was.

Why does Palin get a free pass as far as answering for these events? I call it "The Palin Mystique". Male politicians don't want to be perceived as beating her up on her record. Also, she can be beaten without having to really go to the mat. Face it folks, Palin really is a lightweight with some incredibly heavy baggage. And I'm not even going to bring up "$150,000PopulistGate" There's too much other important material to cover.

For example, if Palin believes in the tenets of the church she professes to, she believes in teaching young children to fight Muslims through "spiritual warfare". I find this a perversion of spirituality and a disgusting world view. Palin is enough of a politician that she managed to lie her way calmly through her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. But she's still quite an amateur - during the campaign she created so many personal enemies in the McCain camp that the phrase "thrown under a bus" has enjoyed a new renaissance in the English language.

Wake up from the "Sarah Palin My Dollface Leader" dream folks. Please.

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