Am I blind to sexism?

Deborah Siegel decries sexism towards our most prominent female Presidential candidate and possible female Presidential candidate:

Palin, of course, has been characterized for some time now as ambitious, devious and none-too-bright. Bachmann takes hits for her brightly colored attire and “unhinged” statements. Such charges just don’t stick to men in the same way.

I don’t know that I’ve heard Bachmann criticized for her outfits. I’m sure it’s happened, but I don’t think it’s going to be a campaign-ending problem. (Also, I bet if Mitt Romney wore a bright yellow suit, people would talk.)  As for “unhinged statements”, there are men who’ve been criticized for unhinged statements. (Barry Goldwater.)

As for the Palin allegations, lots of male politicians have been considered too “ambitious” (Barack Obama, and almost every other candidate–it’s a last resort) “devious” (Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton) and “none-too-bright” (Dan Quayle, George W. Bush)

I’m sure there are people who hate Bachmann and Palin because they are women. There are, alas, bound to be misogynist attacks against them. I don’t doubt that. But none of the things Siegel lists for Palin and Bachmann seem to qualify. This is all the more interesting because, in the preceding paragraph, she lists several insults against female politicians that do qualify, so it’s not like she doesn’t know how to find them.

1 Comment

  1. The Rethugs sexually harrassed Hillary Clinton the entire eight years she was First Lady, while in the Senate and while running for President. If she had won the nomination they were geared to dump a mountain of mud on her.Seems like the charge of sexism on Palin and Bachman are projection. Then again the Rethugs have always been able to dish it out, but can't take it.

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