Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yes. This.

I'm sure you know that I'm not a Palin fan (if you don't, it's probably because I haven't spoken to you, yet!) but this call by Campbell Brown that everyone -- the media, the Republican party, the McCain campaign, everyone -- start actually treating Sarah Palin as a real, live candidate is exactly what I've been thinking.
Tonight I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment," said Brown. "This woman is from Alaska from crying out loud. She is strong. She is tough. She is competent. And you claim she is ready to be one heart beat away form the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters... Let her have a real news conference with real questions. By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chain you are binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So let her act like one." [catch the video here]
I may not agree with Palin's policies or her ideas, but frankly, I've been unable to actually figure out what some of them are, since she's been so carefully cocooned from the press, hasn't answered any unscripted questions, and is pretty much kept under wraps and trotted out as the "token female" in the Republican party. Why? If she's up to the job, she should be able to handle it. What are they so afraid of? The more she is hustled off stage, the more the campaign demands that we show her "deference" (wtf? Is she the queen?), the less likely it is to me that she's actually capable of the job. I think she probably has something else to say, and she should be scrutinized and questioned and evaluated just like any other candidate. It's not sexist to question her abilities, it's not sexist to demand proof of her statements. It's not sexist to suggest that she is unqualified, or that she holds certain opinions any more than levelling that sort of question or observation about a male candidate would be sexist. That's just how we, the people, can vet candidates. Trying to parse any criticism as sexism is just bullying the public into shutting up and not asking any questions.

Women can do anything they want. A woman can be qualified for anything. So what's with the kid gloves and 'delicate flower' treatment? It does a disservice to her, and to any woman trying to rise to a position of power. It's insulting and patronizing-"oh, we have a woman on the ticket! Isn't that just too cute? Yeah, we're all equal-opportunity! See? She wears skirts, and she's a real, honest-to-goodness woman!" I'm really not getting the message that the conservatives are actually taking her seriously, and if I was her, I'd be pissed off. If there's some substance there, let's see it. Quit trying to shield her from the press, quite trying to make sure she never has to answer a tough question. I may not like the answers (I'm quite sure I don't so far), but damn, Republicans/McCain, at least show women in this country the respect of acknowledging that you really believe a woman can do the job instead of bringing her along like a trophy wife.

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