According to the most important of sources, the political cartoonist, the most hated politicians today are women, and because people aren't imaginative at all in 2009, of course people had to ask if sexism was involved in that.
The four women listed were House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, and Sarah Palin.
Now I'm not gonna say that sexism doesn't exist in politics. Let's be real: Politics has historically been a closed-door club run by rich white men. Claiming that politics is sexism free would be giving these men entirely too much credit. The political arena is about as sexism-free as it is racism-free.
But when you're looking to hand down charges of sexism, can't you come up with better examples than these four? It's like using Glenn Beck as your reason for why we should listen to conspiracy theories.
Yeah, women are always judged on a different standard than men. During the election cycle, Hillary's hair and clothes were commented on, like we were preparing for the swimsuit competition. And being men, we don't like for our women to come off as combative or challenging to our manhood. Is that sexist? A little bit. Having politicians doubling as sex kittens never works, or else we would have seen the John Edwards/Stormy Daniels ticket in 04.
But to claim that sexism is the reason why people don't like these women is like claiming that we don't like Rush Limbaugh because he's addicted to pain pills. No, my friend, Rush gives us all the ammunition we need to hate him on his own merits.
Look, Sarah Palin is an idiot. For all of that talk about her "energizing the party," it doesn't change the fact that Katie Couric tripped her up by asking her what newspapers she read. I don't care what she does for the rest of her life, she'll always be "that lady" to me. Sure, it's an old story, but no one can put a positive spin on that one. And the idea that she came as close as she did to being Vice-President is horrifying.
Michele Bachmann only gets in the news for saying something insane. I don't have to give examples. Just Google her. She has never made headlines for making sense.
As far as Pelosi and Clinton go, I've just never liked the look of either of them. Even when she was still First Lady, Hillary Clinton just seemed shifty to me. Like she was up to something. That has nothing to do with sex, because it's the same reaction I had to George W. Bush when I saw him for the first time, and that reaction turned out to be the correct one. Pelosi comes off like a nag, and no one likes listening to a nag. I've cut off friends for that.
Some might look at that as being sexist. I look at it as hating a perceived quality in a person. While it might be unfair to see Nancy Pelosi as "shrew-like," I also see Dick Cheney as a "soulless demon from the depths." No one ever says that I'm generalizing old white men. They just say, "You know what, you're right."
Better yet, people judge male politicians all the time for cheating on their wives, like that has anything to do with job performance. I'm of the mindset where I expect them to lie about cheating on their wives, because we don't live in a society filled with people who are honest about their infidelities. Some people aren't even honest about condom size, so I'm not gonna hold politicians to some moral standard about this.
The idea that we're even discussing this is a double standard. It's always been said that in politics, people have to develop a thick skin, and in my time paying attention to politics, I haven't heard anything that I'd consider "sexist." I haven't heard anyone telling these women to "get back in the kitchen" or to "know their place," although I won't rule out that Rush Limbaugh probably has.
My point is, aren't we doing women a disservice to constantly come to their defense with these "gender issues" that aren't really there? Is that any different than when people supposedly "play the race card?" Even Sarah Palin said that this is a bad practice that doesn't help women gain acceptance and we all know how much credibility she has.
Then again, there's big money in victimization. Just look at the Republican Party.