Sarah Palin Sexism Watch, #26

[Trigger warning.]

And these are funny, why, exactly?

I won't link to the site whence they came; I'm sure you can find it if you are so inclined. You'll also find Terry tackling an effeminate man who says he isn't going to vote, which is just hilarious. Ahem.

I don't know that I'd find this amusing no matter who the target was, but I really don't find it amusing given that the target is a woman. Naturally, the defense will be, as it always is, that it's not Palin isn't being attacked as a woman, but as a politician—a defense that takes on a whole new level of absurdity when the attack is literal, and we're all watching a female politician (or, an effigy of a female politician) getting tackled by a man.

Let me just repeat myself, with topical minor edits: Ultimately, if one wishes to physically attack Sarah Palin, or use the illusion of a physical attack on her as the butt of a "joke," because of her political ideology, that's one's prerogative, but one ought to at least have the integrity to own it wholly, which means owning the entire context: Irrespctive of whether it's specifically because she's a woman, the desire to physically attack a woman necessarily carries with it particular cultural baggage, including, for example, that women are disproportionately victimized by domestic violence. That's the context of womanhood.

It's something of which I must be conscious, too—I am reluctant to use violent imagery generally, but extremely averse to using it when discussing women I don't like. Despite the distinct unlikelihood that anyone would mistake misogyny as my motivation, even a (metaphorical) attack within a culture in which women—particularly strong, opinionated women—have historically been silenced with threatened or actual violence borrows and legitimizes misogynist strategies. I don't have to like Sarah Palin's policies (and, for the record, I don't), and neither does anyone else—but, regardless of intent, representing her likeness as the victim of violence to shut her up summons an ugly history of physically silencing uppity women. And, no, the same "joke" directed at a man doesn't work quite the same way—care of the double standard brought to you daily by The PatriarchyTM.

(I feel pretty confident that I can safely say, on behalf of feminist women everywhere, we'll happily give up the disparity between threats to hit men and women in exchange for full equality. Just FYI, for any dudez who might be feeling the harrumph of unfairness.)

Here's the thing: Sarah Palin can't escape the context of womanhood by wishing it away, and we can't wish it away, either. She can't wave a magic wand and erase it to her benefit, and we can't declare it irrelevant while discussing how we want to pummel her—or making videos that look like we are. One doesn't get to pretend that's not the reality in which we live to declare one is assaulting "Sarah Palin the politician," not "Sarah Palin the woman."

Consider what it means, just for a moment, that we are still meant to regard those as mutually exclusive concepts.

(Thanks to Shaker Miss Led for the heads-up. Someone else sent it, too, and now I can't remember who; if you remind me, I'll update—sorry.)

[Sarah Palin Sexism Watch: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five. We defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we endorse her or her politics, but because that's how feminism works.]

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