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Sexism? What sexism?

The picture above is NOT A PARODY, it is the actual cover of Mother Jones magazine, a periodical named for a feminist icon:

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones (August 1, 1837 – November 30, 1930), born in Cork, Ireland, was a prominent American labor and community organizer, who helped co-ordinate major strikes and co-founded the Industrial Workers of the World. Her activities were done under the moniker of Mother Jones, after which Mother Jones magazine is named.

But it’s all good, because two women (Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery) came up with the idea and another woman was the illustrator:

It’s not that there aren’t enough clues on the cover of the new issue of Mother Jones—the headline, for one—but since you (well, a couple of you) asked: Yes, that is a full-throated homage to the B movie classic Attack of the 50-Foot Woman. If you’re like us, your knowledge of American cinema doesn’t encompass the full plot of this 1958 gem, but suffice to say that it involves a wealthy heiress, Nancy Archer, who after an encounter with an alien is found on the roof of her pool house and soon grows into a giantess. She goes searching for her no-good husband and his mistress, Honey Parker (!), and mayhem ensues. We liked the image because of the subtle historical echoes and… oh, who are we kidding: We liked it because the poster is awesome. (The echoes, though, are there: 1958 was an election year, in a recession, that dealt the president’s party a big string of defeats and launched the Senate careers of, among others, Gene McCarthy, Robert Byrd, and Edmund Muskie.)

MoJo’s creative director Tim Luddy encouraged illustrator Zina Saunders to follow the poster out the window in tone and feel, tweaking only the landscape to look more suburban. Saunders, who by the looks of her gallery has been mildly obsessed with Sarah Palin (to terrific effect) took the assignment very seriously, at one point sending a picture of Palin in her beauty-contestant days to confirm that she’d gotten the proportions right.

So what if they portrayed the most popular female Republican in the country as a monster in a miniskirt? When women do it it’s okay.  Besides, they got the proportions right.  That’s what really matters.

Continue reading

Palin Derangement Syndrome


From Real Clear Politics:

While reading his top ten list Monday night, “Late Show” host David Letterman said Gov. Sarah Palin bought makeup from Bloomingdale’s to update her “slutty flight attendant” look. Palin was in New York over the weekend.

It gets worse:

VH1 comedian Chuck Nice appeared on Tuesday’s “Today” show and compared Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to the sexually transmitted disease herpes. He mocked, “But, Sarah Palin to the GOP, this is what I’ve got to say, she is very much like herpes, she’s not going away.”

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

*Failbot troll prophylactic:

This is not about “supporting” Sarah Palin.  Neither of the two statements above have anything to do with any legitimate criticism of Governor Palin’s policies or record.

They are examples of misogyny.




It’s even worse that I originally thought:

That would be Willow Palin, the 14 year old daughter that accompanied Sarah and Todd to New York.




Misogyny is a bipartisan effort:

Sarah Palin has begun to get on the nerves of Republican senators who say the former GOP vice presidential nominee is taking her own White House aspirations entirely too seriously.

Yeah, like anyone would ever vote for a stupid girl.



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Sam Donaldson manages to disparage Carly Fiorina, Cokie Roberts, Kirsten Gillibrand – and David Paterson – in one fell swoop

[cross-posted at Founder’s Blog, 51 Percent; h/t to friend M.M. for drawing my attention to the clip from This Week with George Stephanopoulos]

Watch this. Set aside the matter of whether being a woman helped or hindered Ms. Kennedy’s bid for Secretary of State Clinton’s Senate seat. Pay attention, careful attention, to Sam Donaldson. Notice that the minute Cokie Roberts and Carly Fiorina even mention broader issues of gender parity, and more particularly, when Roberts notes that in the November general election that only 36 percent of the electorate were white men, Donaldson cuts her off, with an assist from George Stephanopoulos, and launches into a into a combination whine (“please try to continue to do it without us”) and pompous bloviation (Governor Paterson has, by defying the New York powers-that-be “shot himself in both feet” by “blundering” into appointing Kirsten Gillibrand.)

Scared, Sam?

I agree with with the commentator at The New Agenda: “The patriarchy is especially threatened by our push for equal representation….”

So scared that blustery old men like Sam Donaldson cannot even hold back from a move familiar to any woman who has ever partaken in a profession “round table” or meeting. The minute a woman starts pressing a significant and weighty point that a man does not want to hear he starts talking over her. Rather than the male moderator – in this case Stephanopoulos – telling him to pipe down so Roberts could at least finish her sentence, the male moderator tries to gloss over the moment of sexist rudeness (no, not just rudeness, sexist rudeness) with a lame joke (“at least you asked [before seamlessly launching into your interruption]”). As with racist put-downs, this sort of joviality in the face of sexist rudeness compounds the problem. It certainly does not put in his place the original sexist interrupter, who could not even bear to hear out the comment being made about proportional representation.

With four men (including Stephanopoulos himself) and two women at the round table, there is not even 51 percent representation on This Week, at least this week. But I would love to get a careful breakdown of the speaking time of the four men and the two women: if Stephanopoulos and his producers cannot produce a panel of 4 women and two men or at least three and three, then it would useful if Stephanopoulos careful made sure that the two women get close to 51 per cent of the air time. It would be better if this were achieved by having 3 or 4 women on the panel, because that would further the more tangible goal of 51 percent women in every public sphere, and because it would not require deviation from with ingrained norms (albeit ill-fitting in this case) about speaking time being roughly alloted per person (assuming that is the norm on talk shows like This Week). But listen again to the clip and imagine if Fiorina and Roberts had had 51 percent of the air time. Whether you agree with their specific views or not, how might the overall conversation have been different? More representative of a range of views and ideas more likely to be held by women than by men?