Thursday, October 2, 2008

Gender and the VP Debate

As a good friend of mine said... Sarah Palin had a serious case of the "white womans" in the debate tonight...

From the outset she referred to Senator Biden and Senator Obama as "Joe and Barack," while both of them have always courteously referred to her as "Governor Palin."

She also never found it necessary to actually answer any of Gwen Ifill's questions directly. For all of the questions on the economy she continued to instead talk about Alaska energy. Her answer to the question on gay marriage was disingenuous and blatantly false. She attempted to imply that she agreed with Biden on civil unions, but when directly asked about it by Ifill she was unable to answer.

She constantly tried to play into stereotypical ideas of womanhood by smiling coyly and winking at the camera. She would giggle and say things like "well I'm not one of you guys but..."

She both played into her white privilege and stereotypical ideas of what it means to be a woman simultaneously!

But most notably, I think the sexism of the McCain campaign becomes more and more apparent. As I have said in other posts, McCain's pick of Palin illustrates his sexist feelings that any woman will do regardless of qualification.

Her consistent under performance in her interviews and in tonight's debate continues to show the rampant sexism in their campaign. It was clear that they gave her no policy preparation what so ever. She was completely unprepared to answer the majority of the questions asked (apparent in her unwillingness to answer them), and when she did answer it was completely filled with rhetoric and devoid of any substance.

For the McCain campaign, having Palin get up on stage, smile, wink, be cute and say catchy one-liners is good enough. Its amazing to me that she actually said that she would like the powers of the vice president to be expanded, because the McCain campaign has made it very clear that she will have no real part in the administration should they win. Her function for McCain is an expanded version of the first-lady, she smiles, waves and occasionally says something funny.

One other note on gender and tonight's debate. I found it very powerful when Biden became emotional speaking about his family. Particularly when he said "I have a serious problem with the argument that just because I am a man, I can't understand what it means to be a single parent." I thought that pointed out the way in which Palin has attempted to monopolize whatever capital there is to be gained from having family centered values. It also brought to the fore an important and [absent] discussion about the changing demographics of American families.

Anyway, I will leave the rest of the debate nit-picking to the people who actually make some money doing it! *smile*


p.s. can we also just note that if Barack Obama gave a "shoutout" all [racial] hell would break loose?!

1 comment:

MikeAnthony said...

I STRONGLY concur, my dear Alex. I think it is a travesty that the McCain campaign is using Palin as a puppet of pandering and diverting attention from the true facts of what makes a leader credible and fit to govern.

It is disgusting that she said she has only been at it for 5 weeks, yet, what employer hires anyone with little to no experience. The media had not focused on that important fact. but has been wrapped up in the insignificant ridiculousness of "energizing the base" claims. What about having a knowledgeable and able leader.

If I were an employer, and I am as a voter, she wouldn't make it to the interview, her resume would hit the round file before I read past the cover letter.