Palin Sexism Watch: VPILF Edition

As we noted over and over throughout the Democratic primary, it’s important to decry sexism against women in politics even if you don’t agree with them on the issues or endorse their candidacy. With that we’re depressed to note that the sexist bullshit against Republican VP pick Sarah Palin is cropping up so soon:

C’mon. Criticize her on the basis of her political record or experience. Don’t make it about looks.
(For those who don’t get the “joke,” this should explain it.)
UPDATE: And Jill points out another incident, too.

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68 Comments

  1. aliceinreality
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    i actually think it’s rather funny. i don’t think it’s meant to be sexist commentary. it’s an internet joke, and not a bad one at that.
    my only problem with feministing is how you guys seem to take obvious parody or jokes from 4chan and other similar places and think that they are putting this stuff out to oppress women.
    it’s just kind of too world-of-academia/pomo deconstruction of everything for me.

  2. Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s truly sad that this has already begun.
    Unfortunately, with the incredibly sparse record of Gov. Palin, many in the news media are having difficulty defining her.
    This election has to be about the issues, we can’t let ourselves get distracted by fluff again.
    Sarah Palin isnt Hillary Clinton, the two women vary greatly on the most important issues of this election.
    http://www.SarahPalinISNTHillaryClinton.com
    Learn the difference, vote smart.

  3. Livia_Augusta
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    It might or might not be funny – that’s not the point. It’s sexist and that’s the point. Racist and sexist jokes may or may not be funny, but that doesn’t make them any less racist or sexist and it certainly doesn’t make them any more acceptable. Both contribute to the overall white, patriarchal powerbase and status quo.
    She’s as bad for the country and for women/families/children/LGBTQ as John McCain is – and it’s not because she’s a woman and it’s not because she’s pretty.
    It’s because of her politics.

  4. -jro-
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    You’ve got it all wrong. It is not criticism- it is a compliment. Yes, I am serious. In the circle of republican guys I hang out with and talk to- VPILF is all I’m hearing and how excited they are to vote for a hot chick. Its not mud slinging democrats starting this talk- its the GOPers. The republican party is going to be very happy to vote for a woman they approve of- obedient, pretty, and through and through a conservative. Hold on to your hats….this election is going to be a doozy.

  5. rileystclair
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    gross.
    and yeah, what livia augusta said. funny or not, it’s sexist.
    and jro, i’m sure you are right about that. it’s like that picture that was circulating around with pictures of prominent female republicans and democrats proudly proclaiming the GOP had all the hotties.

  6. Cyprienne
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Ugh. Because people should really be voting for her because they think she’s hot. I wish the majority of this country would get their heads out of their asses and start caring about who they’re voting for.

  7. AgnesScottie
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    I have also seen comments from 3 republican guys about her “hotness” But either side its coming from, its still sexism.

  8. jamesneysmith
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Cyprienne:
    They do care. They just care about her looks.
    Oh and the fact that she hunts, has a son in the military and totally opposes roe v wade.
    It’s hard to rationalize the irrational.

  9. klompen
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I agree with jro that it could very well be meant as a compliment from conservative males, and that makes it all the more offensive and irritating. McCain’s ex-wife, current wife, and now his VP are all former beauty pageant queens. Reminds me of an old boss I had who promoted lots of women, some of whom were exceptionally qualified, some of whom were completely incompetent, but all of whom were stick-skinny and wore the most makeup.
    But just to play devil’s advocate, is it more offensive than/different from the sexualization of Barack in the “I’ve Got a Crush on Obama” video? Is the line “You can Barack me tonight” better than “VPILF” because it’s posed as a request?

  10. BROWN TRASH PUNK!
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    you know what bugs me? That a lot of people call her nomination “a great move for women” when it’s not.

  11. BROWN TRASH PUNK!
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    I am a feminist and I am not upset by “sexist” comments made toward her. Sorry, but Palin is a big threat to women’s rights.

  12. KBZ
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    On the other thread she was called a “political blow up doll”, “stroke material for the rabid right” and “batshit crazy” (for not staying home with her down’s syndrome child).
    I expected sexist attacks from the left — I just didn’t expect the sexism to come from this very blog.
    Apparently feminism is now defined as “the radical idea that progressive women are people too.” Conservative women are fair game. Pathetic.
    kbz

  13. Fair'sFair
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s not just the men.
    As I and several other women I work with congregated in the office kitchen to listen to the Palin speak, several said, “Oh, isn’t she pretty.” “I heard she was a Miss Alaska runner up.” And more approving oohs and aahs about her appearance, and comments on her speech giving focusing on–you guessed it–her appearance.
    It was bad enough when I heard women say they liked Cindy McCain because “isn’t she so pretty,” but this conduct over the VP pick is just too much for me.
    She’s no Hillary (in more ways than one), but on a certain group of women, the tactic of picking her seems to be working. It’s depressing to me.
    She does, however, come with her own little brewing scandal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121746477267499109.html?mod=googlenews_wsj . I hope that once people get past the superficial, and find out how she feels about the issues (“Drill! Drill! Drill!” “Polar bears aren’t endangered!” “Creationism should be taught in all schools”) people will form deeper opinions.

  14. rootedwillow
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Okay even though she isn’t pro-choice, or equal wages, or anti-war, or anti- drilling in Alaska or whatever….she is still a woman. We can’t let comments like this slide, just because she isn’t someone we would vote for. Its kind of like calling a black republican the “n” word and saying its okay because we disagree with his views. It’s not fair because it is a personal attack instead of an attack on their policies or whatever it is that bothers us about them. Its just not fair. I don’t like her but I would not like to see her exploited like that either. Just like I wouldn’t like to see anyone exploited.

  15. Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I agree it is entirely wrong to take her attractiveness into account, either as a pro or a con, as relevant to the political decision to vote for her. And in her case, there is more than enough to argue against her on political grounds.
    However, finding her attractive is not sexist, and that is ultimately what the ILF label is about. It may be a blunt or even offensive phrasing of it, but at the core, there is nothing wrong with wanting to have sex with someone in the abstract. One might generally prefer that someone wants to have sex with them than not.

  16. KBZ
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ve recently come to the conclusion that many “feminist” men simply adopt the “feminist” label as a means to attack conservatives. They’ll play gotcha. They’ll say “Aha! You conservatives are sexist!” when conservatives say something stupid about Hillary Clinton. And then they’ll pull the exact same shit with Sarah Palin, Margaret Thatcher, Ann Coulter, Laura Bush, Jenna Bush, Laura Ingraham, or various other conservative women.
    Feminism is not merely a means of beating conservatives over the head (though they certainly deserve it). Sexist epithets or humor are unacceptable regardless of the ideology of the female recipient.
    We fight for respect for ALL women here. We fight for the acknowledgment that women are sovereign beings, free to make up their own minds about abortion, gun control, foreign affairs, taxes, or any of a thousand other issues. Women are free to be conservative, and should be free to do so without threat of sexist assault.
    kbz

  17. metabonbon
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Bondo. We do not live in a world of the abstract. You can’t isolate variables like that. Sexism is real and it affects women directly.
    We live in a world where women are valued first and foremost according to their fuckability, where performance of femininity is both mandatory and crippling, and where the women who DO successfully jump over that hurdle get it thrown right back in their faces by being labeled fucktoys and bimbos. As a woman, I am sick to shit of it. Sarah Palin stands for everything that I hate, but I won’t stand by and let sexism slide, even if it’s wrapped in a joke. The constant repetition that our purpose in the world is to function as a sperm dumpster insults me and every other woman on the planet.

  18. James G
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    The BBC News story announcing her selection as vice president is entitled:
    “McCain picks female running mate”
    Which pretty much seems to reduce her down to her gender, something which would have been obvious from her name anyway. I realise that her sex is a significant factor in the choice of candidate, but I can’t help think it inapropriate to act as though a vagina is the only thing she’ll be bringing to the ticket.

  19. Andie
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I think this picture is a little insulting (and irrelevant to her politics). At the same time, it’s not as if the same treatment isn’t possible when directed toward men (I’m thinking John Edwards in 2004, perhaps? I know a lot of my friends thought he was super-attractive, and talked about it similarly.). However, it is undeniable that women are judged according to their appearance much more than men. There are really two problems I see, then, that this is indicative of: that there is entirely too much of an emphasis on sexual image and appearance in our society, and that women bear an undue amount of this.
    That being said, I think there are going to be many more, and much worse, examples of sexism directed toward Palin than this joke. Just this evening, Pat Buchanan couldn’t stop referring to her as “this gal” and “girl.” (Chris Matthews actually called him out on it.) The way he was talking about her, that it was great that she was a traditional woman and a beauty queen, was so insulting. Because we should care about women no matter what her politics. Letting such treatment go by unchecked does harm to us all.

  20. Logrus
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    In terms of what she has to offer the Republican party ticket the only thing she has to offer is her vagina and her looks. Since Sen. Obama has been criticized for his lack of both political and life experience. So this VP nominee who has less of both (she’s 44, BO is 47) it may be impolitic to talk about either, but it’s the only thing she has going for her, and barring some revelation about her being a psychic with the ability to predict he future and fix the economy then she has nothing else to talk about.
    She’s FOX-News style eye candy.

  21. _Maeowin_
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    FOR THE RECORD i do not believe MILF is an “internet joke”
    It became a widely popular after the American Pie movies. And its origin (oh yeah, i looked it up after seeing that first comment), is widely disputed as many people have claimed to have invented it “years ago.”
    So this term is not in the ranks of Noob (newb), or in the ranks of “internet jokes” like the Darwin Awards.
    AND THATS NOT EVEN THE IMPORTANT PART, this is sexist, and not OK, despite who she is or her politics.

  22. KBZ
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Far be it from me to defend Palin. For policy reasons, she absolutely won’t be getting my vote. But, the first female governor of Alaska, a very popular female governor of a largely male state is hardly mere “eye candy”.
    I may disagree with her positions, but she’s not much less experienced than Barack Obama. She has been Governor of Alaska for 20 months — Barack Obama had been a Senator for 25 months when he announced his Presidential campaign in February 2007. Five months … whoop-de-doo. Including time on City Council and as a Mayor, she’s been in elective office since 1992 — Obama has been in elective office since 1996. No one is declaring that Obama is on the ticket as “eye candy” or a “token”.
    And, she has 20-months more executive experience than McCain, Biden and Obama combined.
    We may not agree with her opinions, and she may not salvage the McCain campaign … but to underestimate her is a mistake.
    kbz

  23. Carver
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I think the sexist comments directed towards Palin will probably help her Politically. Hell if Mcains not a president you would have a beer with he at least has a VP you can masturbate too. This is so twisted, feeling obliged to defend her from sexist comments that mostly benefit her. So I’m going to Defend Palin right back into Obscurity.

  24. Louise
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm. I’m divided on this. I wouldn’t be offended if a similar picture of an attractive male VP candidate popped up, so I don’t feel justified in being offended by this. But it is rather demeaning.

  25. composergirl
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t super enthusiastic about Hillary Clinton (although, don’t get me wrong, I like her WAY better than Sarah Palin and would have voted for her in a heartbeat if she had gotten the nomination) but that didn’t mean that I, unlike some supposedly “feminist” friends, put the pictures on my Facebook that called her a “cunt” and such other awful things.
    This is exactly what the Democrats don’t need, anyways. The more focus that is put on Sarah Palin’s looks, the less focus on her anti-feminist record. Just like the more focus that we put on non-issues regarding McCain (like how old he is and his war experience), the less people get to know his horrible arch-conservative voting record.

  26. Morgan La Fey
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ve already heard people commenting on her “hot daughters” as well. Makes ya sick.

  27. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Gag. I have already had it up to here with the whole “MILF” thing. The concept that middle aged women are actually proud to be considered “MILFs” and putting significant money, time, and energy into obtaining that status is disgusting. I really hope by that point in my life I have something more worthwhile and fulfilling to spend my energy on. I’m not irate over this “joke” but it isn’t funny either and I just wish the whole MILF thing would die.

  28. Posted August 29, 2008 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’ve observed that politicians tend to have very attractive children. Bush, Clinton, McCain, Obama, Biden, and now Palin (and certainly not limited to these). The question is, is using the word “hot” rather than “attractive” even though they are basically synonymous suddenly make it “sick?”
    When it comes down to it, people may talk a lot about “hot or not” when it comes to, well, pretty much anybody, but women more than men, I’m not sure it actually changes things. It isn’t like all the female politicians out there are former beauty pageant contestants. And politics has often been known as “Hollywood for ugly people.” Unless you can show that impression of physical attractiveness affects one’s vote choice (positively or negatively) it seems rash to overstate the problem. It would be interesting to see whether looks matters more for male or female candidates, and whether it matters more to male or female voters. I’d almost expect women take looks into account more in evaluating male candidates than men do for female candidates.
    Of course, this issue brings up a running concern. Feminism seems to deny the fundamental sexual nature of humanity…we are sexual beings and we will be interested in physical attractiveness. They’ve found that chimps act similarly. But that doesn’t mean that physical appeal is the only or even primary consideration. Saying someone is hot is not the same as saying they are just hot.

  29. Mama Mia
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I was curious about what was on facebook about Sarah Palin, and these are just a few of the groups I found. Several were positive, several opposed her politics, and then there was these crap groups:
    *I would totally do Sarah Palin.
    *I’d Bang Sarah Palin
    *sarah palin is way hotter than hillary
    *I would have sex with, but not vote for, Sarah Palin
    *Sarah Palin is a M.I.L.F.!!!!
    *Those who would like to sexually defile Sarah Palin
    *Sarah Palin – plz s3nd n00dz!!
    *Sarah Palin needs to either get on her knees or go make us a sandwich!

  30. Mama Mia
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and I would like to request that we stop highlighting the fact that she was a beauty queen. This is irrelevant and condescending. It is only used as an insult against a formidable woman (who happens to have terrible politics)

  31. idiolect
    Posted August 29, 2008 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I’d just like to point out, people, that our lives as outspoken and politically active feminists are going to be EVEN HARDER than they are usually over the next few months (hopefully not over the next few years). While I disagree with everything that Palin stands for politically, I will absolutely not remain idly by or sign off on any misogynistic commentary on her, no matter who it comes from. Let’s face it, it’s going to be hard to walk this line — our defense of her rights as a woman WILL be taken by many to mean political support. I don’t mean to say that I think we should back off from it at ALL — quite the contrary — but that we should be very careful. People need to know that we can be outspoken progressives who won’t stand for misogyny against our political opponents.

  32. Cicada Nymph
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    I don’t think feminism denies an interest in physical attractiveness at all. I know that I can only speak for myself but I enjoy fashion and beauty and need to find the person I date attractive. However, I do believe that there is a time and a place for physical appearance to be relevant and in politics it shouldn’t be. Politicians need to be judged on what they do and say, not what they look like. I have noticed that female politicians’ appearances are commented on much more than male’s which makes it a sexist issue because it implies that it is more important for women to conform to looking a certain way than it is for men to. The reason that calling politicians’ children “hot” or as in Chelsea Clinton’s past “not” is wrong is because nobody deserves to have their look’s critiqued publicly unless they “signed up for it” by being in the looks biz such as beauty pageant contestants. (which I realize Palin was, but she is no longer) I am not sure why Bondo states that “I’d almost expect women take looks into account more in evaluating male candidates than men do for female candidates.” I hope that it is not an implication that women don’t understand the issues.

  33. Katie
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Obviously, sexism is real and deeply entwined with American politics. But I agree with aliceinreality… there’s sexism, and then there’s mildly-off-color humor.
    “VPILF” seems analogous to the pictures of McCain next to “No Country for Old Men”. The best political humor is the direct, the punchy, and the inappropriate. And that’s how it should be!
    Personally, I think the VPILF is funny and poignant- it speaks to the sneaking suspicion that she WASN’T chosen for her politics, but for her gender. As has been said over and over here, any informed woman (or man) will realize the issues are more important than the GOP’s use of gender as a gimmick!

  34. kid_lightning
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    “finding her attractive is not sexist, and that is ultimately what the ILF label is about.”
    “i actually think it’s rather funny. i don’t think it’s meant to be sexist commentary.”
    “You’ve got it all wrong. It is not criticism- it is a compliment.”
    “The question is, is using the word “hot” rather than ‘attractive’ even though they are basically synonymous suddenly make it ‘sick?’”
    How is it that people who read this blog can actually explain away any sort of “-IFL” as a compliment, or even as something that’s not offensive and sexist?
    Is it so hard to grasp that calling someone a “MILF” –or a “VPILF”, as it were– makes the person referenced no more than an object.
    People who call her this aren’t thinking of her as a person, and I’ll tell you why: it’s because they’re not thinking about a conversation, a willing back and forth where they get to know the person she is, nor are they thinking about her participating in anything at all, they are simply thinking about possessing her sexually. She as a woman, her experiences and beliefs, her aspirations and intellect have nothing to do with it. It’s all about her body, and her body is merely an object.
    MILF is not a compliment.
    I could write more, but I’ve had a bad day and I’m choking down rage and expletives.

  35. merfyt
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    The problem with this is that when it comes to women politicians, we’re ALWAYS talking about their looks. Whether it’s Hillary’s haircut or Palin’s “hottness”…we’re still talking about their looks instead of their policies. So while I’m sure the good old boys of the GOP *really* mean it is a compliment…barf…it’s still sexism at its finest.
    and idiolect…I agree completely

  36. Goanna
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    Sorry KBZ I completely agree with you, but I’m not sure why you posted 3 different comments which don’t seem to be responding to any of the other comments on the blog – I understand you want to get your viewpoint across, but all of your comments essentially say the same thing, just several different times and in different words.
    I always found the MILF thing in American Pie to be one of several parts which I always found myself having to hold my mouth shut during so as not to “ruin” the film by getting upset verbally. Saying you find someone attractive, and saying you want to fuck them, are two different things. I can find a lot of people attractive, but the idea of “fucking” (not even ‘making love’ or ‘taking her out’) someone has a VERY dominant/possessing connotation to it. In a slightly-related manner, I’ve found that with all my serious boyfriends, the quality of the relationship has had a negative correlation to how often we used the word “fuck” instead of “sex” or “make love” – the more we referred to “fucking each other”, the worse the emotional connection was. Not because I have a problem with the word per se (I say it too!) but just because sex wasn’t about appreciating each other anymore once that word came into play. I think the same general philosophy can be applied here.

  37. idiolect
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    Even regardless of whatever analysis you want to give the word “fuck” (vs. other sexual words), even regardless of whether you want to read a whole bunch of male privilege into the use of the “ILF” label (and I think I do), everyone has got to admit that it’s inappropriate to be calling sexual attention to Palin in this context. Even if you think that some pointed humor is warranted to satire the obvious pandering of the GOP, I have to wonder about people who are so comfortable satirizing something gender-related by defaulting to “fuckability.”

  38. deebauchery
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    i also just found this funny, considering what a cheap and callous move this appointment is on the part of team mccain. is reducing a candidate to their looks sexist? sure. but how many women or gay men who support obama have also commented (positively)on his looks? if this image were the beginning and the end of anyone’s consideration of palin, that would be sad. but my impression of this joke was that it was just calling attention to mccain’s deliberate choice of a female candidate who fits right into the conseervative ideal of “powerful” women.

  39. idiolect
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Again, the issue is not whether or not we should satirize the GOP for pandering. The issue is this: Why is it that satirization with regards to gender automatically defaults to “fuckability”? Unacceptable.

  40. SaraLaffs17
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 4:16 am | Permalink

    Bondo: calling Palin’s daughters “hot” is sick because they’re 17, 14 and 7 years old. Sheesh, do I really have to explain this to you?

  41. Posted August 30, 2008 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Sarah Palin just can’t stand Hillary Clinton’s whining

    Could McCain have found a woman in politics who’s more different from Hillary Clinton in his transparent attempt to nab Hillary Clinton Democrats? I posted yesterday about how she’s a homophobic, corrupt, creationist, anti-choice zealot… but that doe…

  42. Logrus
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic: I’m kind of shocked at the number of people expressing some sense of personal outrage when they view “American Pie”. It was a teenage sex comedy, ala: “Porky’s”. I can’t see how such a film, depicting teenage boys who are both literally and figuratively immature, would be improved by making them enlightened socially or politically. Certainly there are some very cool, very sensitive kids out there, but they are not in the majority and the kind of humor they generate isn’t “teenage sex comedy” fodder.
    The insensitivity of these characters is a full half of the equation to the humor formula particular to that genre (the other half being ignorance). Anyone who went to see this film w/o realizing the predicate, and thus found themselves incensed by the kind of humor that was inevitable is pretty ignorant. This is like getting angry at sit-coms because of the number of “big misunderstandings” that take place; or being pissed off when you go the a museum and see nudes, or getting mad because most gay-male sex comedies make fun of “dykes” at some point.
    If you’re a vegan, don’t go to a BBQ joint, duh.

  43. a.k.a. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    “The insensitivity of these characters is a full half of the equation to the humor formula particular to that genre (the other half being ignorance). Anyone who went to see this film w/o realizing the predicate, and thus found themselves incensed by the kind of humor that was inevitable is pretty ignorant.”
    Being offended by offensive jokes does not make one “ignorant”. Rather, it makes one sensitive (and I actually mean that in a neutral sense).
    Okay, this type of comedy is quite common, as you point out. Where are my comedies that have teenage girls objectifying and degrading boys and men, eh?
    I actually find it rather ignorant of you to come on a feminist website and then act surprised/indignant that we are critiquing pop culture…

  44. Logrus
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    a.k.a. Ninapendamaishi:
    Ignorant, as in “It’s a teenage sex comedy”, how can you view one without knowing that it’s going to be asinine and offensive?
    If I stick my head in a port-a-john and emerge complaining about the smell then I must have been ignorant as to the nature of a port-a-john, and I shouldn’t feel entitled to have my complaints taken seriously or to justify them with ” Well I have a sense of smell.”
    Okay, this type of comedy is quite common, as you point out. Where are my comedies that have teenage girls objectifying and degrading boys and men, eh?
    The “good ones” meaning more on-par with their male counterparts are few and far between now that Tatum O’Neil has grown too old to play a teenager, but they are still out there. Look for nearly any movie with a 20-something female pop singer playing a teenager, releasing between May and August.
    I actually find it rather ignorant of you to come on a feminist website and then act surprised/indignant that we are critiquing pop culture…
    I’m not shocked at the critique, I’m shocked that people bother to be offended by a product designed to appeal to the prurient interests of late-teen/early 20 boys. Like I said, it’s like complaining about a toilet stinking. It’s a toilet, that’s what toilets do. It was a movie that featured a guy fucking a pie “OMG it was offensive!” guy. fucking. a. pie. If you’re going to have a criticism taken seriously then it should be based on some elemental understanding of context.
    Now if you wanted to critique why Hollywood produces such crap, and what kind of social impact it has then I’m right there with you.

  45. NicoGrrl
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    “On the other thread she was called a “political blow up doll”, “stroke material for the rabid right” and “batshit crazy” (for not staying home with her down’s syndrome child).
    I expected sexist attacks from the left — I just didn’t expect the sexism to come from this very blog.”

    Yes. And it always dismays me when women like Sarah Palin (or the classic case, Ann Coulter) are trashed through a sexist frame by presumed progressives. Referring to Palin as “stroke material for the rabid right” is too simplistic and too easy and too drive-by. But does it not… nevertheless… at some level… speak to some thread of the logic behind her selection? That’s not to defend either the selection or its characterization, but to acknowledge that Palin’s meanings are complex. How will feminism absorb, transform, reflect, deflect, and redeploy those meanings for its own ends? That is the question.
    As for sexualizing, VPILF-type humor, sometimes…well… it just might be inescapable. For example, this bit straight from the NYT:
    “James C. Dobson, the influential conservative Christian leader who said in the primaries that he could never vote for Mr. McCain, said the selection of Ms. Palin had won him over. If he went into the voting booth today, Mr. Dobson told the talk radio host Dennis Prager on Friday, “I would pull that lever.”
    I mean, really now!!!
    The headlines and t-shirts practically write themselves….. :)
    Full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/us/politics/31campaign.html?hp

  46. Posted August 30, 2008 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    There’s a lot online about how Palin “owes” McCain a blow job. I’ve also seen some comments stating that he picked her because she’ll give him a BJ “with a smile on her face.”
    !!!!!!!!!!!!
    I just wrote a post on my blog about some of this and the beauty queen issues: “Is Sarah Palin Ready for Her Close-Up?”
    Check it out at http://sublimefemme.wordpress.com/
    Thanks so much for this much-needed discussion.

  47. Posted August 30, 2008 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get it. Men are also judged on physical appearance when running for office. That’s why we haven’t elected a bald President since Eisenhower, or a fat one since Taft -who was also the last one with facial hair. Gore gets attacked for being fat and Edwards for his hair and for being a pretty-boy or a “Breck Girl”. Gore was attacked for the color of his suits, for fuck’s sake!
    I also remember back in the 90s, when quite a few women said they’d gladly jump Bill Clinton’s bones. So I don’t see why a post on a site specializing in satire taking notice of the “hotness” of a candidate is cause for concern. I think it’s funny as hell.
    It’s shallow and stupid, but hardly sexist.

  48. a.k.a. Ninapendamaishi
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    “I’m not shocked at the critique, I’m shocked that people bother to be offended by a product designed to appeal to the prurient interests of late-teen/early 20 boys. Like I said, it’s like complaining about a toilet stinking. It’s a toilet, that’s what toilets do. It was a movie that featured a guy fucking a pie “OMG it was offensive!” guy. fucking. a. pie. If you’re going to have a criticism taken seriously then it should be based on some elemental understanding of context. ”
    Port-a-johns and toilets serve a useful (some might even say necessary) purpose in society. Movies that at best get some laughs, and at worse reinforce young men’s feelings of ownership towards women’s sexuality and their ignorance of their privilige? Not so much.
    “I don’t get it. Men are also judged on physical appearance when running for office. That’s why we haven’t elected a bald President since Eisenhower, or a fat one since Taft -who was also the last one with facial hair. Gore gets attacked for being fat and Edwards for his hair and for being a pretty-boy or a “Breck Girl”. Gore was attacked for the color of his suits, for fuck’s sake! ”
    The language is different, Newbomb, and reflects are patriarchal culture. When Bill Clinton was running, sure, I heard women saying they’d like to do him. I also have many times heard they’d like to give him a bj. Do you hear that about Palin? How much guys would like to please her? I think the word “fuck”, while it doesn’t necessarily have to, does most often, when a man says he’d like to fuck “so-and-so” imply that the woman is passive and that the man is the one getting the most out of the deal. So to me it isn’t so much the fact that sex is involved, it’s the way that sex is conceptualized that’s the problem…

  49. Posted August 30, 2008 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Bondo: calling Palin’s daughters “hot” is sick because they’re 17, 14 and 7 years old. Sheesh, do I really have to explain this to you?

    Doesn’t that depend on the age of the person making the comment? It’s perfectly normal for teenagers to lust after other teens of the same age (give or a take a couple of years) group. That’s what hormones do to them.

    I’ve found that with all my serious boyfriends, the quality of the relationship has had a negative correlation to how often we used the word “fuck” instead of “sex” or “make love” – the more we referred to “fucking each other”, the worse the emotional connection was.

    “Make love” sounds too Harlequin Romance for my liking. I’m partial to “shagging” or “boinking”.

  50. Newbomb Turk
    Posted August 30, 2008 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    The language is different, Newbomb, and reflects are patriarchal culture. When Bill Clinton was running, sure, I heard women saying they’d like to do him. I also have many times heard they’d like to give him a bj. Do you hear that about Palin? How much guys would like to please her? I think the word “fuck”, while it doesn’t necessarily have to, does most often, when a man says he’d like to fuck “so-and-so” imply that the woman is passive and that the man is the one getting the most out of the deal. So to me it isn’t so much the fact that sex is involved, it’s the way that sex is conceptualized that’s the problem…

    So if the jokers at Sadly No! had run a caption under the picture stating their desire to give her an orgasm it would have been better? Please! Besides, not everyone is talented enough to guarantee results in bed.

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