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September 2, 2008

5 Palin Statements We're Totally Over Already

We're reading and watching and listening to all of the Sarah Palin coverage and discussion and blogging and commenting and responding and whatevering that's going on. And it's slowly driving us crazy. Below are the top five repeated-over-and-over statements that we're the most sick of right now.

1. "If she can raise five kids, of course she can handle being VP, or even president if she has to!"

We have all the respect in the world for mothers. (Some of us are mothers.) And we think that the hard work of lots of moms out there is definitely unrecognized and undervalued in our society. But that doesn't mean that being a good mother automatically qualifies you to hold one of the most important and powerful positions on the planet. Listen, I watched the Olympics, and I love and adore Debbie Phelps and think she seems like a smart, insightful, awesome working mom. I'm just not writing her name in on my ballot in November.

2. "She's a former beauty queen!" [Also includes all versions of 'she's totally hot!', "she's a babe" (shut up, Rush Limbaugh), and especially 'VPILF'. That needs to die a quick death for so many reasons.]

Remember the campaigns of 2000 and 2004, when it seemed like every single mention of George W. Bush in the news opened with the phrase "Bush, a former cheerleader..."? No? Because it didn't happen, because Bush is a man. Remember all of the focus over the years on very important issues surrounding Hillary Clinton, like her changing hairstyles, and the dedication of the media during her presidential campaign to chasing the big story of her fondness for pantsuits? Yep. Because if you're a candidate, your looks are a very important issue worthy of discussion...if you're one of those Vagina-Americans. When it comes to Sarah Palin, or to any woman running for office, there's a lot to talk about, but the way she looks should not be anywhere on the list. That is, unless male candidates and the men in the media want us to all start talking about questionable comb-overs and hideous shirt/tie combinations. You know who you are.

3. Every variation on "just because she has a vagina..."

Don't get us wrong - we think all of the people who are saying that women aren't going to/won't/can't/shouldn't support Palin (or switch from supporting Clinton to supporting Palin) just because we're all vagina owners are absolutely correct. We're just sick of hearing the same phrase every three seconds. Our vaginas are tired! (Well, not really. They're total attention whores.) Let's at least get creative and use all of the womany body parts that are at our disposal. Let's start talking about how we're not going to support Palin just because we've all got Fallopian tubes. And how insulting it is that John McCain thinks that women are stupid enough to blindly support him now just because he picked a running mate who doesn't have an Adam's apple and neither do we. We're not voting with our ovaries!

4. "Even if you don't agree with her on the issues, all women should be applauding this historic moment!"

We've seen a lot of comments like this, and while we get the idea behind them, we think a lot of people are taking it too far. Of course, we recognize that the nomination of the first female Republican VP candidate is historic, and we hope it opens the door for lots more women to run for office and have their campaigns taken seriously. (Although we also hope that the Republican women who might choose to run are a little more moderate than Governor Palin.) But we just can't get behind some of the statements we've read about all women "celebrating" or being "thrilled" by this. If I'm a woman who believes that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin was little more than an act of pandering, and who further believes that Palin's positions on the issues make her a candidate who isn't going to do anything good for women if she does become VP, I'm going to have a hard time working myself up to "thrilled" for a candidate who stands against almost everything that I believe in. We think we can recognize the historic element here without celebrating any kinda of "victory".

5. To round out the list, we're going to go with the statement actually made by Governor Palin that we're most sick of, both because the news channels have replayed it 10 billion times and because it's ridiculous.

"Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."

No. Sarah Palin didn't run for president. She was chosen by a man to join his ticket. She didn't travel the country and campaign and debate and convince 18 million people to vote for her. Nobody outside of Alaska has voted for her for anything. Sorry, Governor Palin, but you don't get to take any credit for Hillary's work, and you don't get to invoke the glass ceiling when you've said in the past that Hillary shouldn't acknowledge the sexism that she faced in her campaign because you perceived it as "whining". You don't get to say that you are somehow going to finish the job that Hillary started, because you are not Hillary Clinton. Cut it out.

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Anne said...

Thanks for this. That glass ceiling line was driving me crazy too.

And VPILF? Ew.

ceirdwenfc said...

Well, I have a BS in educ/minor in poli-sci, MA in educ - Can I be your sec'y of Education or perhaps Health and Human Services? My only downside would be that I'm not a single mom, but some would say that dealing with the husband and three kids qualify me for some kind of governmental position.
What do you think?

Anonymous said...

my friends in nyc started this blog:


Includes thoughts from Vagina-Americans of all ages, from all over the country.


Thanks for the link!