The Radical Notion

Encouraging women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians

If McCain loses, will it have been my fault? He seems to think so. October 21, 2008

Why thank you, Senator!

McCain blamed the “feminist left” for criticizing Sarah Palin since he announced his choice for a running mate.

Again, interesting choice of words for the senator, there. I wonder if he thinks that everyone on the left is feminist. Because while they certainly should be [<— Liss’s classic “Important Announcement” post – a must read] – I think I can say, fairly definitively, that they are not. Not when I’ve seen “Drill, Baby, Drill” shirts with Palin on them that were not talking about oil. Not when I heard about the new Sarah Palin porno (and no, I will not link to it. It’s not even good). And absolutely not during the primaries, when I got to listen to Obama and (to a lesser extent) Edwards supporters be every bit as misogynistic and narrow-minded and hateful as Rush Limbaugh, only it was okay because they hated him too! Gag me.

Of course, as McCain disagrees very strongly with feminist tenets (as we determined in my last post) and with the left, he may once again be conflating the two. Or he may be speaking to a smaller segment of the left wing – the feminist segment – and saying that we’ve criticized Palin. We certainly have, but we haven’t spared you either, Johnny boy. And in case you haven’t noticed, EVERYBODY has been criticizing Palin. Republican, Democrat, Independent, women, men, sexist, feminist, old, young, black, white, rainbow (particularly the rainbow) – people from all of those demographic and political groups have had bones to pick with Palin. The only common thread between all of those populations is an unwillingness to put up with your bullshit, not to mention that of your running mate. Time for another hypothesis!

In fact, now that I think of it, you should be THANKING the feminist left (and the feminist right, if you want to go there. I myself do not.). For who do you think it is that’s been defending Palin against sexist attacks? The frakking feminists. As Liss at Shakesville says in her Sarah Palin Sexism Watch (which currently has 25 items now it has 26),

We defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we endorse her or her politics, but because that’s how feminism works.

(You’re welcome, Governor, by the way. Don’t thank us – just don’t enact the FMA).

Of course, to be fair, since Palin’s nomination, there have been many talking heads on the right quick to cry “sexism!” at the slightest sign of criticism of their candidate*. This heartwarming solidarity shows me two things:

  1. FOX News actually is familiar with some talking points of feminism; watching them talk about “double standards” and “the glass ceiling” only makes their embracing of bigotry for the rest of the year even more shameful.
  2. As fair-weather feminists, the majority of voices on the conservative side are mediocre, at best, at pinpointing actual instances of “misogyny”. It takes practice, people.

To wit – critiquing a female person is not always sexist. It can be, and I repeat – there have been sexist attacks made against Palin. Those are not appropriate in any situation. What are appropriate, however, are legitimate criticisms or questioning of her record, her positions, her qualifications, her speeches, or her actions. It’s just your shit luck that the ratio of the latter to the former is such a large number.

So while I’d love to take credit for your meteoric fall from grace in the country’s eyes (or for that of your running mate), I really wouldn’t be justified in doing so. It’s truly been a group effort among the blogging community, the media, which seems to be getting its act together (if just a tiny bit), the Alaskan Legislature, and people who got sick of your “maverick” tic.

But if you truly want to blame the feminist left, go right ahead. I’ll put it on my resum√©.

*Which, unfortunately, is more than a lot of people on the left did for Hillary. But I digress.

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