The Radical Notion

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

Palin and Misogyny September 28, 2008

Filed under: Politics,Republicans,Sexism/Misogyny — theradicalnotion @ 11:01 pm
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If you don’t think Governor Sarah Palin has been inundated with misogynistic attacks since the announcement of her candidacy, you may be on the wrong blog. (Hint: Having trouble thinking of something? Go here for an enumerated list). It is of a different flavor, perhaps, than many of the attacks leveled at Senator Clinton (more shameless linkage: Hillary Clinton Sexism Watch. If you’re going to try to deny that Clinton faced misogyny, then you’re REALLY on the wrong blog). With Clinton, one was more likely to hear cable newscasters wax paranoid about how she elevated their castration anxiety, whereas with Palin it’s more about how bangin’ she looks in heels, and do those legs go all the way up? Zowee, once you go non-contiguous state, you don’t go back! And so on.

That is not to say, of course, that it is impossible to speak negatively of Palin without it being misogynistic (contrary to what the McCain campaign would like to pretend). If, for example one says that being mayor of a town with <10,000 people is less compelling governmental experience than, say, a term in the Senate, that is not misogynistic. And of course, in this particular case, there are many, many, legitimate reasons to dislike Palin as a candidate, and they have been well-articulated in various media (at least in media that I read). And the reasons that I dislike her as a candidate have nothing to do with, say, her children, or history as a beauty queen, or _________. So, you’d think I’d be happy that being as far away from the Palin Bandwagon as possible is the new In Thing (even among conservative women!).

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On bias September 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — theradicalnotion @ 6:59 pm
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The title and tagline alone of this blog should alert the casual reader that I make no claims of neutrality (fwiw, the tagline is tongue-in-cheek, paraphrasing a Pat Robertson quote, but the fact that I think it’s hilariously idiotic also betrays my not-moderate leanings). Clearly, I am not an Independent, nor anything close to conservative on, I would imagine, the vast majority of if not all issues. And I’m aware of this, and okay with it. It may be a tad difficult to pinpoint my political and social beliefs with complete precision, but something very left of center while not approaching, say, Communism would seem to be accurate.

So, as anyone who’s read some of my posts can attest, I view events through a certain lens. Inevitable bias creeps in, or stomps in sometimes. The psych major in me would like to point out that everyone looks at the world through schemata – specific preexisting criteria and beliefs that influence our perception of facts and events. Splitting, viewing things in complete ‘black-or-white’ terms, is a cognitive error seen in some mental illnesses (namely, borderline personality disorder) but is, in less extreme forms, a defense mechanism used by most people. It is easier, psychologically, to view things or people as all-good or all-bad, and more mentally taxing to have to think about subtleties and multiple truths and so on. One of the books I’m reading right now, (The Mismeasure of Women, by Carol Tavris), mentions that in periods of wartime, the general populace sees a decrease in mental illness, because it is psychologically beneficial to be able to focus on a defined ‘enemy’ and revel in patriotic solidarity with your fellow citizens, who might normally piss you off but at least aren’t Them.

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