Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Icky Palin T-shirts

While Ann at Feminsting and Tracie at Jezebel said pretty much everything on those disgusting Sarah Palin t-shirts, I was struck by how I just don't get it. Palin is pretty much the opposite of feminist on nearly every issue. Isn't that was misogynists out there want? All the feminists to just shut up and follow the Palin model? But instead these sexists go ahead and target Palin with the same disgusting behavior they try to use to denigrate feminists.

Women are just sex objects, no matter what their actual role in life. So then it occurred to me: it doesn't matter if Palin reinforces the virgin/whore stereotypes that misogynists thrive on -- you piss them off just by virtue of your having a vagina. In other words, even though Palin has been working really hard to placate these ridiculous people, there's no way she can ever placate them. She exists in life as a woman, and that is enough.

1 comment:

Tom said...

I think you're misreading misogyny as a deliberate attack, something done with explicit malice. I don't think that's right. The guys who made those shirts probably think they're funny, or titillating, or both. They don't understand that anger at and hatred of women forms the foundation of those attitudes.

Consequently it makes no sense to treat their actions as deliberate gambits in a political battle. They're not looking for capitulation or compromise or even retreat. They're just angry, in a way they can't coherently express, that women exert power over them -- a situation that is exacerbated by the realization of feminist ideals, but one that would exist even without them.

So I guess I think you're right when you say that Palin "exist[ing] in life as a woman" is enough to earn her scorn. But asking "isn't this what misogynists out there want?" doesn't make any sense. They don't really know what they want.

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