Recently one of my friends, politically an independent with a serious streak of libertarian, posted on Facebook a link to this article by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone (here’s JoshuaPundit’s take on the piece). I couldn’t make it completely through the article because it suffered from too! many! exclamation points! that have infested poorly written Lefty screeds since the Paris Commune, but the gist of the article is “this woman is a religious nut!” I broke one of my rules about Facebook: Never post about politics on Facebook because most of my Facebook friends are politically left of center, and Facebook friendships aren’t strong enough to debate politics, nor is the medium conducive to thoughtful discussion. But I posted a response, pointing out that Taibbi’s was just a hit-piece by a magazine whose best years were decades behind it, and that Republican women were the only women men could still denigrate and not look like sexist troglodytes.
Consider Sarah Palin. An objective outsider would find it difficult to believe that Sarah Palin was an ex-governor of one of America’s smallest states (population-wise) who didn’t complete a full term and held the #2 spot on a losing ticket. Hundreds if not thousands of articles have been written about her, nearly all demonizing her, criticizing her for mistakes she didn’t make (she never said she could see Russia from her backyard, Tina Fey playing her on Saturday Night Live did, to mention another media enterprise whose best years lay decades in the past). Most recently the Palin emails inspired such a media frenzy that one would have thought that she must have wielded great power. It was like a Wikileaks operation complete with countdown until they were released. Imagine that happening to Obama or even Clinton; I can’t even though those men ruled over 40x more people for 5x longer. The anger directed towards Sarah Palin and the focus of journalistic hit jobs by Andrew Sullivan (who still believes that her son Trig is in fact her daughter Bristol’s – even though the odds of Bristol having a Down’s baby are about the same as Andrew Sullivan writing something that doesn’t mention his homosexuality, while Sarah’s odds were 1 in 10), to editor Bill Keller’s fixation with her at the New York Times, is unprecedented. There is even a term coined for it: Palin Derangement Syndrome.
Now Rolling Stone has begun creatively editing and twisting Bachmann’s remarks, questioning her intelligence, making fun of her appearance all with a hip attitude. If Bachmann star ascends over the coming months one can bet that the mainstream media’s obsession with Sarah Palin will switch to Bachmann and someone will have to coin another term: Bachmann Derangement Syndrome.
Rolling Stone was simply the opening salvo. As Pat Caddell, former pollster for Jimmy Carter noted in a recent interview, the media refuses to compare Bachmann to anyone but Sarah Palin, refusing to acknowledge her own accomplishments in office or her own ideas for changing the country. Washington Post columnist Colby King called Bachmann “Barbie with fangs,” continuing the objectification
Afterward I got to thinking and it just amazed me how every woman I could think of on the Right had been demonized by the Left – going all the way back to Phyllis Schafly and even Anita Bryant. Every. Single. One. It is creepy the way any woman who comes out on the Right is immediately leapt upon and portrayed as crazy or at the very least shrill. There is a certain amount of that directed towards men on the Right, but nothing to the degree that has been thrown at women.
Given the treatment of Hillary Clinton by conservatives, treatment that I personally believe was sexist too, I know there would be plenty of evidence to support the broader contention that sexism still exists regardless of the political leanings of the attackers. But due to the 2012 presidential election, the focus for now must pertain to conservative women.
To best examine this sexist attacks on conservative women, Lexis Nexis searches could be conducted using the names of prominent conservative women partnered with derogatory and inflammatory words, then compare it against the names of prominent liberal women and the same terms. Unfortunately, I do not have access to this tool and so cannot support my hypothesis that this bias statistically exists. Instead I have to rely on Google searchers which leave me open to cherry picking the results; I would recommend that anyone believing that is what I have done should try such Google searches for themselves to see that if I am indeed cherry picking the data, there are whole “orchards” of “cherries” to choose from on Google.
Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona. Salon: “This week in crazy: Jan Brewer.” San Francisco Chronicle: “Jan Brewer kills ethnic studies, proves racism.” Youtube: “if i ever meet that C*ntessa Brewer b**ch,i’ll kick her right in the Vag.” Phuckpolitics: “Jan Brewer is one dumb c**t.” PoliticalArticlesNet: “Ugly Quivering Witch, Governor Jan Brewer Meets With Obama.”
Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina. DemocraticUnderground (in a sexist two-fer): Bachmann schedules batshit crazy “private sit-down” with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. Wonkette: “Another South Carolina Republican Dude Claims He Banged Nikki Haley.” Wonkette pt 2: “LATEST NIKKI HALEY SCANDAL: Did You Know She Isn’t Even WHITE??” SouthPawBeagle: “Two Men Who Have Not Slept With Nikki Haley Captured Today in South Carolina”
Delaware Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell. Huff-Po: The Craziest Things Christine O’Donnell Has Ever Said. The Guardian: “Christine O’Donnell ‘seen as nut job’, says John McCain’s daughter.” LiberalValuesBlog: “GOP Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell Is Something Which Rhymes with “Bitch””
This doesn’t even touch the surface of the vitriol that has been unleashed against Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin – the latter of which has not only been the target of sexist attacks, but as with Nikki Haley racist ones as well.
Again, I don’t argue that there have been sexist attacks against liberal women. But such attacks should not take away from the garbage being thrown by those who should know better at Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and every other woman who dares to question liberal orthodoxy.