Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Either Tracy Flick or Elle Woods

Posted by Teresa at 3:27 PM

I covered this topic somewhat already. But here's an interesting
article delving more into the issue. Quote from the article:

In the grand Passion play that was this election, both Clinton and
Palin came to represent—and, at times, reinforce—two of the most
pernicious stereotypes that are applied to women: the bitch and
the ditz. Clinton took the first label, even though she tried valiantly,
some would say misguidedly, to run a campaign that ignored gender
until the very end. “Now, I’m not running because I’m a woman,”
she would say. “I’m running because I think I’m the best-qualified
and experienced person to hit the ground running.” She was highly
competent, serious, diligent, prepared (sometimes overly so)—a
woman who cloaked her femininity in hawkishness and pantsuits. But
she had, to use an unfortunate term, likability issues, and she inspired
in her detractors an upwelling of sexist animus: She was likened to
Tracy Flick for her irritating entitlement, to Lady Macbeth for her
boundless ambition. She was a grind, scold, harpy, shrew, priss,
teacher’s pet, killjoy—you get the idea. She was repeatedly called a
bitch (as in: “How do we beat the … ”) and a buster of balls. Tucker
Carlson deemed her “castrating, overbearing, and scary” and said,
memorably, “Every time I hear Hillary Clinton speak, I involuntarily
cross my legs.”

My question is: Why do we buy into the stereotypes? I think even
women buy into the stereotypes. Even I, a conservative, found Sen.
Hillary Clinton by the end of the campaign to be "likeable enough"
(as President-elect Obama once put it). I thought she showed a great
natural sense of humor throughout the campaign that really goes
against the narrative that she's "cold," which the media propagated
throughout the primary.

I also question the media narrative of Gov. Palin being a dumb ditz.
Yes, she made verbal gaffes in some of her interviews. It's not like
our incoming Vice-President hasn't made any verbal slip ups. I still
have trouble believing that the Governor of Alaska is as ditsy as the
media made her out to be. I've seen interviews were she talks about
energy and she's extremely knowledgeable about the topic. I also
thought she performed quite well in the Vice President debate with
"foreign policy expert" Joe Biden. I know. I know. The left blogosphere
said "Even my dog has learned to high-five" about her performance.
I don't think even with a serious amount of prepping a ditsy person
could have performed as well as she did. And she debated with such
charisma too!

How about we stop putting women in politics into the archetypes
often shown in Reese Witherspoon movies; where she's either
Tracy Flick or Elle Woods.

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