In a week that saw the launch of a funded, organized, coordinated effort to help us get at the roots of sexism (check out Name It. Change It), we also get Sarah Palin demonstrating the carelessness with which she’s accused many others in using sexist rhetoric. From CNN Politicalticker:
“Those who are impotent and limp and gutless and they go on their anonymous – sources that are anonymous – and impotent, limp and gutless reporters take anonymous sources and cite them as being factual references,” Palin said in her criticism of the press. “It just slays me because it’s so absolutely clear what the state of yellow journalism is today that they would take these anonymous sources as fact.”
It would never be okay and we would absolutely slam any political figure who used frigid or barren in an analogous context. When Sarah Palin says things like this she is giving permission for frigid and barren to be used as well. And let’s not forget her use of cojones.
Seriously – I thought we were trying to stop this kind of ridiculous lazy language that demonstrates a failure to come up with substantive attacks rather than buzzwords and sound bites. People who write about women’s rights and gender parity should be noting how these incidents compound the difficulty in breaking down and getting past barriers. Palin is in fact reinforcing the strength of those barriers for women to get ahead when she uses this kind of rhetoric.
How long will people let her play the victim of sexism rather than recognize that Sarah Palin invites it with her use of it and continues to lag in taking action to defeat it? You know what I’d rather she call impotent, limp and gutless? The Young Guns program and book that does nothing but feature stereotyped machodom. Where’s Sarah’s criticism of that campaign’s paucity of women (which leads to the paucity of women down the pipeline)? Where’s her critique of the fact that because Republicans are challenging Democratic women with men, rather than with women, the number of women in Congress may go down significantly? The Los Angeles Times directly connects that possibility to the GOP’s Young Guns failure to include more women.