Sexism, Barracudas and Pitbulls
Is Sarah Palin under attack or is she just setting the tone for the end of these elections? According to Jim Scarantino's article [Re: The Real Side, "Palin Drone," Sept. 11-17], she is a damsel in distress. Yes, sexism exists; I've felt it as well as prejudice growing up a Hispanic female.
However, as a woman, I am more outraged by Palin's self-comparison to a "pit bull with lipstick." This is an imposition on the image of all women who aspire to be leaders, implying they must somehow show attack-dog traits in order to be accepted and taken seriously. In Swift Boat Veteran style, one of the first things Palin did when she entered the national political arena was shun tactfulness and substance for aggressiveness and image. She purposely avoids addressing the issues in any profound way. Instead, she goes on the offensive with superficial, personal attacks on Barack Obama, looking pretty all the while.
As a woman, I find her bullying tactics offensive and her use of sex appeal more damaging to women and contributing to the sexist mentality than any of the media's questions of her. When it comes to leadership qualities, are women deemed inferior to men unless they exhibit aggressive or antagonistic behavior (often associated with men)? To take the edge off her vicious licks, she bats her eyelashes and smiles coyly while her Republican PR machine waits to attack anyone who questions her tactics as "sexist." Palin is proud of her strategy of beauty queen and killer queen all in one. As her nickname "barracuda" attests, she avoids any outward association with the emotions of empathy, caring and nurturing that are key to understanding the needs of citizens and healing the problems of our country.
By focusing an entire article on this Republican ploy to spotlight nonissues, Scarantino falls prey to their strategy and tactics and avoids addressing the real issues afflicting downtrodden Americans in the democratic process to pick an effective leader. So it took a cynical move by the GOP, pandering for the votes of women (finally choosing a non-male for vice president, 24 years after the Democrats) to open Scarantino's eyes to sexism?
By the way, Scarantino, racism is still going strong in the "Land of the Free": Maybe you can dedicate some time and an article to addressing stories of people like Obama and the uphill battle in this country for people of color. What media outlets are you watching? Sexism is the smokescreen in another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the voters and steal another election. To top it off, I find it hilarious that John McCain compared Obama to Britney Spears, when it's Palin who is setting the latest trends in clothing, shoes and eyeglass styles. To top it off, she has a pregnant teenage daughter to match Britney's sister, Jamie Lynn. Substance and relevancy, Jim, those are the keys to effective debate. Try to stick to them and maybe you can help contribute to genuine discussion of the issues affecting us all.