Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Palin - Feminine Power with No Clout

This is an amazing article by Rebecca Traister of Salon.com.

Here are a few really insightful excerpts, and I hope it will make you want to read the whole article and forward it to your friends:

What Palin so seductively represents, not only to Donny Deutsch but to the general populace, is a form of feminine power that is utterly digestible to those who have no intellectual or political use for actual women. It's like some dystopian future ... feminism without any feminists.

Palin's femininity is one that is recognizable to most women: She's the kind of broad who speaks on behalf of other broads but appears not to like them very much. The kind of woman who, as Jessica Grose at Jezebel has eloquently noted, achieves her power by doing everything modern women believed they did not have to do: presenting herself as maternal and sexual, sucking up to men, evincing an absolute lack of native ambition, instead emphasizing her luck as the recipient of strong male support and approval. It works because these stances do not upset antiquated gender norms. So when the moment comes, when tolerance for and interest in female power have been forcibly expanded by Clinton, a woman more willing to throw elbows and defy gender expectations but who falls short of the goal, Palin is there, tapped as a supposedly perfect substitute by powerful men who appreciate her charms.

But while the Republicans would have us believe that Palin can simply stand in for Hillary Clinton, there is nothing interchangeable about these politicians. We began this history-making election with one kind of woman and have ended up being asked to accept her polar opposite. Clinton's brand of femininity is the kind that remains slightly unpalatable in America. It is based on competence, political confidence and an assumption of authority that upends comfortable roles for men and women. It's a kind of power that has nothing to do with the flirtatious or the girly, nothing to do with the traditionally feminine. It is authority that is threatening because it so closely and calmly resembles the kind of power that the rest of the guys on a presidential stage never question their right to wield.


To all of my friends out there who are women, lawyers, future lawyers, moms with daughters, moms with sons who want more from our culture - is this really what we stand for, what we are willing to have represent us just to see a woman in the White House? I think NOT.


Monogram Queen said...

Agreed - i'd sure like to see a woman in the White House (other than in the role of First Lady) but not just "any" woman and certainly not Mrs. Palin.

Lynilu said...

Yet another scary truth.

I'm glad you and Casey are busy passing these things along. Too few of us are doing so!!

(In)Sanity Gal said...

Thanks for posting this! I'll definitely pass it along.

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...
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