Monday, October 06, 2008

The sexism just keeps coming...

I've read quite a few articles in the media that I've taken issue with as far as sexism during the course of the primary and now the presidential election season. One of the worst articles I've seen from not only the words used, but the image selected is this one The Sexy Puritan written of course by a white male who lists on his website as his bio for 2007:

2007—Tom publishes The Abstinence Teacher, a novel about sex education, soccer, and the Great American Culture War; has hours of fun googling the phrase, "Hot Christian Sex." Reverend Ted Haggard pronounced "completely heterosexual" by fellow minister.

In my reading of a variety of articles about the candidates this year, I don't recall a time when in the same article about a presidential or vice presidential candidate, mention was made of such things as anal sex, fisting and masturbation.

Before some of you even attempt to justify this, this issue is larger than just the sexism directed at Palin, while I understand and support the letter sent out by The New Agenda part of the reason there is such a lack of respect for our nation and our elected officials is articles like this.

Some of you decry the lost of standing that the United States has lost in the world, that we are no longer respected or considered a super power, is it any wonder? The sexual objectification that created the whole Obama Girl who practically drools over "wanting Obama" sending the message that what matters is the sex appeal further confirmed by the Rush Limbaugh's out there calling Palin a "hot babe" as well as his comments that people would not want Hillary to win because they wouldn't want to see a woman get old before their eyes as President. The labeling of Palin as a MILF or a VPILF, t-shirts of Palin on her hands and knees with McCain behind her with his pants down with the caption "Drill Baby Drill" and we wonder why other nations or even some of us have no respect for the office of president.

The partisan insults that degrade the office extend beyond a mere disagreement based on ideology, how can any of you who insult one side expect if your candidate wins to restore that respect? When you then include the additional rampant sexism that has increased rather than decreased, if we don't start doing something soon as far as saying enough is enough, how much lower will this go?


The News Writer said...

I'm afraid it's going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. So far way too many people are going blithely on their way spewing out all kinds of garbage with no thoughts at all to what it means.

There is no justification for the article you cite. None. Whatsoever.

And honestly, it's been years since we actually respected the office of the president.

Lisa Renee said...

I agree it's been years, and it has gotten much worse. I wish you were wrong about it getting even worse than it is now, but I know you aren't.

Alex said...

I actually think that the article cited raises interesting questions about tactics and political device.


"Sexy Puritans engage in the culture war on two levels—not simply by advocating conservative positions on hot-button social issues but by embodying nonthreatening mainstream standards of female beauty and behavior at the same time. The net result is a paradox, a bit of cognitive dissonance very useful to the cultural right: You get a little thrill along with your traditional values, a wink along with the wagging finger."

The author assumes intent on behalf of the Right, which can be challenged. However, throughout the article, he cites examples, including "Christian Nymphos" from which the quotes about anal sex, etc. are taken, that go to prove his contention that Gov. Palin's selection was strategically calculated to capture the "energy" being described in the article.
The image, then, that you take exception too, makes sense within this context.

The author’s assumption about intention raises several questions for me, not the least is the intuitive distaste of degrading Gov. Palin to the status of “sexual object.” However, if the author is correct, this reduction in value is the result of Right wing strategy, not the author’s opinion. The question then, is: Is the author correct?

Lisa Renee said...

I disagree with women being used in the manner the author describes and I don't think that is the reason Palin was selected.

I'd explain it this way, similar to the statement that Barack Obama is not a black presidential candidate but merely a presidential candidate who happens to be black...Sarah Palin is not an attractive vice presidential candidate but a vice presidential candidate who happens to be attractive. Neither his or her appearance race or otherwise should be the primary motivation. If it is? We are in even more trouble as a nation when it comes to the decisions we make as an electorate.

I also take issue with the "fisting" and the rest of the additional items added to the article. Then, the picture selected as well as the issues raised in my post that went far beyond just this article, the objectification done by our society where appearance somehow makes a difference over substance.

The objectification of Palin in cartoons and other materials has been demeaning to our gender as it sends the message that we are only sexual objects and not worthy of respect.

Alex said...

I agree with your thoughts. However, if the authors premise is true, your issue is not with him - as a member of the "biased" media - but with the political party that strategically employs Palin as described within the article.

Lisa Renee said...

He wrote the article and made the assumptions that I don't agree with as well as the references to anal sex, fisting and other items that had nothing to do with Palin.

So, my issue was with him as well as the other areas addressed in the original piece.

Alex said...

The references you mentioned went to prove his premise. Therefore, they need not be directly related to Gov. Palin herself.

In the end, as you believe he hasn’t proven his argument, and therefore, in your opinion, his premise is false, you merely have a formal disagreement with him. You do not, however, it would seem, have any claim to “sexism” on his behalf. Or, at least, you haven’t proven it; you’ve assumed it and worked backwards.

Lisa Renee said...

Alex, I can't for the life me understand how after reading the Slate article you could feel that was not sexist and demeaning to more than just Palin.

You can't prove that I'm wrong in stating he's wrong. Show me evidence that the McCain campaign picked Palin based only on her looks. The previous existence of sexism in this election and previous elections by the media is not working backwards, it's pointing to a repeated pattern. That is the whole's a pattern that needs to stop.

This post was more than just about that one article, that was one piece of this issue.

Alex said...

Again, your dispute is with his premise. You reject the evidence he presents to prove his argument, therefore, you disagree with him on the merits. I tend to agree with you.

My only point is to challenge, as I have done before, your automatic label of "sexism". If he made his argument without any support, I would agree with you because it would be him - not the RNC - using "sex" and gender bias as a political strategy. As he did not do that, however, I think your claim is baseless here. You are generalizing again, which is fallacious.

Lisa Renee said...

I'd be interested then in your reasoning as to why the article and the image selected for the article are not sexist. The article was used not as the primary focus of the blog post but as one example, article and image as one of the worst I've seen thus far, specifically because of the tone and connecting Palin to fisting, anal sex, etc., and the whole "sexy librarian" mantra that objectifies women.

Out of the 419 word original post, the first 148 words mentioned this article but also mention the previous pattern.

I don't feel that this post or any of my comments are deceptive or misleading, even when taken out of the larger context of what the post was about as you are doing.

There is no proof that Palin was selected based on her looks, it's also not possible to state this is something new yet claim Bryant did it. The article as repeated more than once, was an example of the sexism, partly related to the image that has been a problem in this presidential election.

As stated in the original post:

I don't recall a time when in the same article about a presidential or vice presidential candidate, mention was made of such things as anal sex, fisting and masturbation.

While the author tries to then say, "oh I didn't mean to imply" that's exactly what he was doing, it'd be like me writing about Nazi's and Obama and then say, "but I didn't mean to imply". The Christian Nympo part of the article was exactly an intention to imply and not very creatively done at that.

Which should be expected from someone who openly states they enjoy searching online for "Hot Christian Sex" he seems to be a bit obsessed with the idea that Republican/Conservative Women enjoy sex. Which that being a surprise is a whole different issue that is also sexist, they are women and I'm sure just as many Democratic women love sex, there are also probably Democratic women who don't and that also exists in the Republican world as well.