Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

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Pointing Out the Obvious: Criticism Does Not = Sexism

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My friend Justin is always so optimistic about politics, and he chastises me endlessly for my pessimism. But how else to react to things like this?

The McCain campaign, meanwhile, sought to portray itself as the victim of unfair smears and sexist attacks against Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin even as it pursued its own assaults on Obama. The rhetoric was echoed yesterday on conservative talk radio, the Internet and in the House, where Republican women decried Obama’s alleged sexism.

“The Obama campaign has decided that the way to get at Sarah Palin is through personal attacks and sexist insults,” Rep. Candice S. Miller (Mich.) said on the House floor.

On a campaign conference call last night, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) lumped together Obama’s reference to a female reporter as “sweetie” last May, his decision not to choose Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) or Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his running mate, and his use of the saying “lipstick on a pig” in comments Tuesday to denounce what they call a pattern of sexism.

The same people who practically imploded if Hilary so much as alluded to the fact that she had an X chromosome are now going to make every single thing anyone ever says about Sarah Palin (or not even about Palin, but about the Republicans in general, in the case of the lipstick on a pig comments) into evidence of unfair sexism. It’s disgusting. That’s their whole Sarah Palin strategy: send her out to attack and then cry sexism if someone so much as raises an eyebrow at her credentials, knowledge or experience, like the drunk girl in a bar who gets a little too liberal with her affections but then tattles to her frat-boy boyfriend as soon as someone gets a little fresh.* I have no stomach for this kind of politics.

* I am not calling Sarah Palin a drunk girl in a bar, I am calling the whole McCain campaign a drunk girl in a bar. To point out the obvious, since some people seem to have trouble distinguishing between legitimate attacks on the whole McCain campaign and personal and sexist attacks on Sarah Palin as of late.

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Written by Elizabeth

September 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Culture, Feminism

Tagged with , , , , , ,

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