Let up on Palin

My political slip is going to show in this post.

I stopped regularly following the election when we all realized Clinton wasn’t going to get the nomination. Obama is fine, I just don’t think he is experienced enough. That’s all.

However, I am kind of a media junkie. From my work comptuer, I log in to a news site about every 10 minutes to check the weather, check facebook, check the news, check my email, and check more news. The internet is my primary source of news these days, along with the snippets of NPR we leave on for the dog blaring from an old clock radio in the bathroom. He will be the most informed yellow lab this side of the Mississippi.

And here is what I am seeing:

Palin! Palin! Palin!

Oy.

I have yet to see any smear campaigns about Biden. I barely know who Biden is. Except that he’s white and male.

And that’s probably the point.

Here’s what I know about Palin, and I haven’t even read a FULL NEWS STORY about her:

-She is a member of the NRA
-Her unwed teen dauther is preggers, but don’t worry, she’s marrying the dad;
-Another child has Down’s Syndrome;
-She has a grizzly bear pelt covering the couch in her office;
-She hunts and fishes;
-She claims not to know what a Vice President does;
-There are concerns that McCain doesn’t even really know her;
-The evangelical Christian conservatives are really excited about her
-She flip-flopped on the famed “Bridge to Nowhere.”

I am awaiting the headlines regarding her hair, her choice of clothing, make-up, shoe heel height, choice of eye glasses, and pictures revealing her status as a cheerleader in high school, or that she was involved in some unfortunately-named-pageant wearing a bathing suit and heels.

I know nothing of Biden. Except that he’s old and white.

Everyone’s up in arms about Palin. Oh, she sucks. Oh, she’s horrible. Oh, she’s dumb.

You know, I am in no way a conservative. I don’t own a gun. There’s no way I would have five children, let my 17-year-old get married, be excited that evangelical Christians were excited about me, or have a grizzly bear pelt within a 5 mile radius of my office. Palin and I? Far more different than alike.

But all the crap she is getting?

It’s pure sexism. If she were a man, no one would give a fuck if she hunted, fished, had an unwed pregnant teen daughter, had a kid with a developmental disability, or belonged to the NRA.

That she does all of those things and is now up for the Vice Presidency challenges our assumptions of what a woman is supposed to be doing.

She reminds me of Clinton in a certain way.

Clinton did her own thing too. She had her own career. She didn’t give up her life to Bill. She had shit to do, and she did it. And while I prefer Clinton to Palin a million times over, both were, are, will continue to be victims of the institution of sexism.

Because any man — any white man — that is up for vice presidency — will not have to face questions about why he decorates his office the way he does, about why he is a member of the NRA, about why he wears pants suits, about why he didn’t give up his career when his husband ran for office, about why he let his children get so out of hand. He is given the privilege to do whatever the fuck he wants, whenever he wants, and no one ever questions it.

That is why I am a feminist. Because people like Palin and Clinton should be able to run for office without the world having to devolve into a discussion of hair and pantsuits.