Saturday, 25 July 2009

Sarah Palin and No End

Over at Webster's, Terry Morris asks:
There's a pretty good discussion on the topic at VFR in which several posters posit their own theories on what is the source of this irrational visceral hatred of someone as real and genuine, and non-threatening (personality wise) as Sarah Palin.

So, what do you think? Why do the Sarah-haters hate her so much?
It triggered off a very interesting discussion, part of which I put up here:

The_Editrix said...

Palin is both, reviled and revered for the wrong reasons. All that was discussed at VFR as well when she entered the political stage. But the hatred with which she is met now is not simple run-of-the-mill inflated criticism of a political opponent. I think it is very simple. Months ago, after the lost elections, I wrote: "Did they really think a woman like Palin would get them the women's votes? Don't they have the first idea about the female mind? Specifically about the American female mind? Could they really assume that an American female voting public, raised in a culture of sexual envy, a voting public that has undergone the gruelling experience of proms and "beauty pageants", would vote for a slim, pretty and markedly FEMININE looking woman like Palin? Couldn't they anticipate that everything about Palin, her looks, her relative youth, her husband, her children (HER FERTILITY!) would be the cause of intense jealousy? ... That Palin comes across as (at least to me) totally unbitchy, may have added to all this." Also, her good looks are not of a sort I (as a foreigner) would easily associate with AMERICAN looks. She hasn't got the blonde, toothy, big hair good looks of the American beauty queens who look (to me) all the same. She is SPECIAL. If I see that another strikingly goodlooking woman, Ilana Mercer, who has criticized her politics harshly, is justifiedly praising Palin's looks, I see that as a case in point for my theory that there is mainly simple, sheer and undiluted grudge behind that hatred. Whatever one may think of a woman and mother of X children in politics, Palin is a feast for the eye, seems happy, radiant and healthy and that is too much for only too many (mainly women) too bear. Grudge, jealousy, envy and spite should never be unserestimated when women are around.

I'd like to write about it at my anti-feminist blog, but as a foreigner I feel a bit out of my depth here.

July 22, 2009 1:31 PM

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chiu_chunling said...

I have to agree that a pretty good chunk of Palin-envy has to do with her unabashed femininity. But it's not just women who hate her over it. The fact that she's married to her (almost ridiculously manly) high-school sweetheart, while it can't do much to assuage the feelings of inferiority among women, also doesn't leave a lot of room for most men to view her as remotely 'attainable'.

Or even unattainable. She's a woman who's already been attained by a real man. Ouch.

July 23, 2009 12:58 AM

The_Editrix said...

"The fact that she's married to her (almost ridiculously manly) high-school sweetheart, while it can't do much to assuage the feelings of inferiority among women, also doesn't leave a lot of room for most men to view her as remotely 'attainable'.

Or even unattainable. She's a woman who's already been attained by a real man. Ouch."

Exactly! I couldn't agree more. From whatever angle we look at it, it's a strongly sex-charged topic. Thus the fascination. It just occurs to me and maybe I am overdoing it now: Such a sexually attractive couple together with the infant on stage was BOUND to evoke thoughts of how it came into being. Maybe that is the reason for the ridiculous accusations that the baby (I seem not to be able to remember the fatuous names of the Palin-children) was the eldest daughter's, and not Palin's, child. Women of both sexes can't STAND the thought of Palin having sex.

I'll say again what I've said before may times, although probably not here: I am under the impression that there is an unhealthy preoccupation with sex within American society. I don't think we have less sex in Germany, but it is taken as a fact of life, not something around which the world revolves. Why that is so would be a good topic for an entirely different thread. But it is so and it does a lot of damage, at least so I think.

July 23, 2009 2:21 AM

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Terry Morris said...

Nora wrote:

I am under the impression that there is an unhealthy preoccupation with sex within American society.

From my point of view that statement qualifies to be among the top five or so understatements of the year. But thanks for showing reserve in your criticisms of American society at an American owned blog.

In my neck of the (American) woods, we tend to keep the bedroom stuff, well, inside the bedroom more than does the larger American society as a whole. But we still have our sex related problems here nonetheless. I hear tell, for instance, that certain 'ministers' of the gospel make it an occasional point to 'instruct' their congregations on the proper and acceptable ways of having sex, to include positions and whatnot. I won't go into any more detail on that particular point.

Anyway, so the consensus is that Sarah Palin is a sex object to most Americans, and because she's not a slutty sex object engaged in all manner of self-destructive, debasing behavior, Americans are insulted by her? Hmm. Yeah; I can see that to an extent.

Nora,

After reading your comment about not recalling the Palin childrens' names, I wondered how many of them I could recall. Here's what came to me:

Trig is the name of the baby. Piper is the little, self-confident cutie that spit-shined his hair on national tv at the RNC. Bristol is the eldest daughter who was pregnant with Levi's child during the campaign. The other two I can't recall offhand. One is a son who is a military member as I remember, the other is a daughter of about 13 years old I think.

July 23, 2009 6:57 AM

The_Editrix said...

"But thanks for showing reserve in your criticisms of American society at an American owned blog."

Thank YOU for acknowledging it. As I said, it would make an excellent topic for further discussion, however, it doesn't quite fit into any of my blogs and it isn't really up to me to start anything like that.

Yes, the names of the Palin children! I remember "Willow" because it's such a pretty word, but I always thought that the cute little one was called that and now you say she's Piper. Since the advent of the grandchild I remember Tripp and Trig. I think this confusion is only natural and part of the problem. Do you think we'd suffer the same amnesia with names like David and George, Caroline and Victoria? By giving them such oh-so-original names they have rendered their children, in a way, faceless, and that when their goal was clearly the opposite.

July 23, 2009 12:37 PM

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chiu_chunling said...

"Women of both sexes"...heheheh.

I guess that a peculiar obsession with sex is the natural result of the increasing disjuncture between sex and love.

It is (probably) not the case that Americans have too much sex, but that they suffer from a lack of love, both given and received. Of course, one cannot overstate the role of birth control, both prophylactic and abortive. When the sex act becomes inextricably bound to some expression of contempt and rejection towards one's own progeny, it is certain to diminish love rather than increase it.

This has its fallout in the increasingly brutal objectification of the sexually attractive. They exist in the popular mind to be denigrated and abused, stripped of fertility and personality. Americans, fed on an anti-progenerative idea of sex, are inclined to feel disgust at the thought of having children.

The same thing happens in societies where children are valued only for their utility, of course. To think of one's children as nothing more than slaves is just as exclusive of love as to think of them as...tumors. Either tendency will serve to make sexual interaction an expression of contempt for weakness and vulnerability.

Humans instinctively seek after sex to feel love, love for and from children and a mate. A society fundamentally deprived of both these primal sources of love will seek sex all the more aggressively, but when the sexuality which society promotes is inimically hostile to such affection...it's vodka to a man dying of thirst.

July 23, 2009 7:20 PM

The_Editrix said...

"It is (probably) not the case that Americans have too much sex..."

Oh Chiu, you've got me wrong! I do not think Americans have too much sex, I think they are obsessed with it because they have too little. And although your theory regarding loveless sex (and the rejection of one's own progeny by birth control) is excellent and certainly worth further discussion, it is beside my point. I was talking about sex and sex only, without the love aspect. The sniffing in bedrooms by certain clerics (Terry mentioned it) or, even more influential, more vicious and more damaging, feminism, are answerable to that. Now to the differences: German husbands and fathers have "men's rights" websites as well. However, it's more about their children and their right to be fathers, not so much about being blackmailed by the owners, controllers and peddlers of sex (women) with their merchandise, which suggests that they are getting it at least somewhere.

Then you have the intensely sex-conscious prom- and beauty pageant culture, which is designed to breed jealousy and contempt between women. And again, we have that ridiculous (and I think dangerous) contradiction: On one hand, those girls, a lot of them very young, are strutting their stuff like expensive hookers, on the other hand it is emphasized that they are "honest", even chaste. If I'd show you pictures of the beautiful, lively, spirited teenage daughters of my friends, you wouldn't think that they come from the same breed.

"An amusing "Demotivator" reads "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent...but you'd be a fool to withhold that from your superiors." A comical statement, but also a fundamental truth recognized by all rational beings. If someone is really better than you in some way, the obvious logical response is to acknowledge one's inferiority."

So true! Everybody is inferior to somebody in some respects and not to acknowledge it is a sign of deep-rooted insecurity. Don't we all know the sad nitpicking losers who obsessively dissect those who are OBVIOUSLY better in every respect than the nitpicker? Another female (although not exclusively female) trait. By the way, Ilana Mercer, who is very critical of Palin's political persona, has a lovely appreciation of Palin's looks somewhere at her blog. It's related to that article in the running magazine Auster quoted at VFR too. Well... Mercer is no dog either, which I consider a case in (my) point.

July 24, 2009 4:13 AM

The discussion then went astray do a different (interesting) topic.

Should my theory why Sarah Palin is disliked so over-proportionally be true (and I think it is), how much substance remains to support women's suffrage?

6 comments:

Female Misogynist said...

The American obsession with sex also has to do with the fact that it's a predominantly Protestant country. Catholics seem better able to reconcile this world with the next. Protestants are more prudish.

The_Editrix said...

Without any doubt! Americans would faint if somebody told them the pre-wedding habits of God-fearing Catholic Bavarians centuries before "sexual compatibility" became an acceptable topic in polite society.

Grim said...

A big part of people's hate towards Palin is her prole roots. America likes to pretend anyone can become president, but only people who go to ivy league schools and know the right people are allowed. She got too uppity and the ruling class (both left and right) smacked her down.

The last prole president was Harry Truman and the the so called intellectuals hated him with a passion.

The_Editrix said...

Yes, I can understand that. She tickles my snobbish instincts as well, but snobbery can be extremely counterproductive for the greater good. Granted she'd be a good choice in all other respects, the slight whiff of trashyness should be the last thing to worry about.

Alligator said...

Grim has it right. Sarah Palin was not a millionaire, not an Ivy-leaguer, and not an angry feminist. She was easy to look at, home spun, and advocated a traditional family. She shot and skinned moose and she worked on a fishing boat. And worse, she is a practicing Christian.

So she was clearly the wrong material for the intellectually elitist Republicrat/Demican club in Washington DC. And the fact that the media still hammers and hounds her and family (I just listened to snide remarks yesterday)tells me more about the collapse of journalism than it does about Sarah Palin. Say just one negative thing about Michele Obama, Hilary Clinton, Sonia Sotomayor or Janet Napolitano, just one of the many nasty things said about Palin and see what happens. Double standards rule!

The_Editrix said...

It is difficult for a foreigner who hasn't lived in a country for many years to recognize the more subtle social boundaries, so I needed that information (I think it was Grim who was the first to post it) to understand my own instictive reaction to Palin as what it was.

You are right. While all those other women are sacrosanct, it's open season for Palin-bashers. The fact that she is so extraordinarily good looking and, in a way I can not quite pinpoint, special, has women of both sexes lashing out at her as well. I have seen so far, very little FAIR criticism of her.