The Sexist

Sarah Palin’s Entire Existence Is Sexist

palinThis week's Newsweek cover story, which details all the ways that Sarah Palin is "bad for the GOP—and for everybody else," is accompanied by a compelling stock photo: Palin striking a sassy pose in a pair of well-fitting shorts, courtesy of the former Alaska Governor's August Runner's World photo shoot (thanks to thinkpinkradio for the tip).

How condescending is this photo? It's not the fabled (and fake) American-flag-wearin', gun-totin'  bikini photo that surfaced on the Internet shortly after Palin reached national fame, but it's about as close as Newsweek could get to the real thing.

I am generally in agreement with Palin supporters when they accuse the media of hurling sexism toward the former Governor. David Letterman's joke about Palin's underage daughter fucking Alex Rodriguez? Inappropriate. Ridiculing Bristol Palin for getting knocked up, while laughing it up with Levi? Sexist.

And I tend to agree with Palin's response here, too: Yesterday, Palin took to Facebook to denounce the cover's sexism. "The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now," she wrote. "If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention—even if out of context."

Is the Newsweek cover sexist? Yes. But let's put the photo back into context for a minute: Sarah Palin's entire existence is sexist.

Let's try to imagine, for a moment, the thought process that went into creating this Newsweek cover image : "We need to convey that Palin sucks really bad! Let's take some photo of Palin lookin' sexy, slap it on the cover of Newsweek, and then use her sexuality in attempt to draw attention to all the terrible things this woman has brought upon us."

Hey! That sounds kind of like what John McCain did when he chose Palin as his VP: Found an attractive lady, slapped her on to his campaign, and used her image as a sexy lady in order to distract people from her scant qualifications, her total lack of concern for women's issues, and her complete suckiness as a candidate.

Sarah Palin's very existence as a national figure depends upon people being sexist. It's not just the bad things that have happened to her that are a result of sexism—the mud-slinging about her daughters, the circulated upskirt photos, the intense scrutiny over her appearance and her clothes. But sexism tends to help individual women, too, and it has certainly helped Palin. Sexism allows women to earn insane amounts of money for simply taking their clothes off, and it allows women to earn an insane amount of political power for simply being a hot conservative lady with no particular skill at public speaking, reading comprehension, telling the truth, or articulating a single political view that makes any sense, ever.

At that point, can we really get bent out of shape every time we see the media reflecting the reality that Palin is a product of sexism in their coverage of her? We have crossed the Rubicon, people. Everything about Palin is sexist. When it comes to sexism, I'm a big advocate of hating the game, and not the player. But the game works both ways. And I am sick and tired of only having to care about it when that sexism means something bad for Sarah Palin.

  • whet moser

    Here's a deeper question for you: what the fuck is the Newsweek article actually about? I can't make heads or tails of it.

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    Anyone who saw this hideous creature winking during the "debate" with Biden cannot seriously argue that her entire phenomena is not based upon overt sexism. She's Barbie with a Bazooka - nothing more, nothing less.

    Only un-evolved Neanderthals find her attractive. She looks and acts like a $20 coke-head hooker on a Seattle street.

  • Katie

    @Comrade, I'm not sure calling her an ugly hooker is any vast improvement over whatever winking sexual antics she's responsible for in the past. The whole point, as far as I'm concerned, is that her looks have nothing to do with anything. Or they shouldn't. I really don't think she has "baited" sexist behavior. She's gotten it because she's a woman. She absolutely deserves criticism for being a ridiculous joke of a candidate, a recklessly misleading author, and a general nutcase.

  • Katie

    I meant to finish that by saying, she doesn't deserve criticism for being a woman who has legs and long hair and posed for a running magazine runner's clothes. I'm not saying that's what you're going for. But I don't think the answer to unnecessarily glorifying Sarah Palin is unnecessarily denigrating her.

  • Tom

    Im still trying to figure out how President Obama had more executive experience than Sarah....

  • anonymous

    she isnt the target of sexism. thats preposterous. just because shes a woman doesnt mean that the media cant post a picture of her wearing short shorts. how in the hell is that sexist?! she POSED for that shot for another magazine! remember the picture of obama shirtless on the beach? thats just as sexist as this is. and he was wearing less! she quit her job as governer (QUIT. that means shes a damned quitter.), she has all sort of horrible ideas for our country, shes the worst candidate for the president, and yet women will vote for her because shes a woman. not only will you vote for her, youll vouch for her shitty ideas BECAUSE shes a woman. not all women obviously, but enough. thats sexism. youre deciding something based on gender, and not on policy, intelligence, or anything useful. anyone who thinks palin is a victim of sexism is living a dream. every candidate is up to the public for intense scrutiny, regardless of race or gender.

    this article seems to misplace sexism though. a link to playboy?! there IS a playgirl you know. men get naked for cash too. oh, and she NOT hot. so you can ignore that whole sentence about sexism, that it "allows women to earn an insane amount of political power for simply being a hot conservative lady." its not her beauty, its her religion that gives her "insane amounts of political power".

    wait for a respectable woman to run for president. when she experiences the small amount of "sexism" she will inevitably experience, then you will have something justifiable to actually complain about.

  • Katie

    @anonymous...nobody used a picture of Barack Obama shirtless on a cover. Quitting a job doesn't mean she all of a sudden deserves whatever she gets, without limitation. Sarah Palin was selected for VP under the MISGUIDED assumption that women would support her just because she's a woman. For the vast majority of non-Republicans, that didn't turn out true, at all. I don't know what sources you're reading, but nobody is supporting her just because she's a woman. I am ONLY willing to support her in this one area, because she's being treated in a sexist way. Like I said earlier, she is a joke of a politician. The reference to playgirl is tired - it does not even have widespread female readership. Calling her ugly proves nothing.

    Oh, and that respectable woman candidate? Her name is Hillary, she DID experience sexism (no ironic quote marks here), and it wasn't so small. And, uh, we did complain.

  • Hugh Jass

    Like a chick could be president. Please.

  • Hugh Jass

    So when does Newsweek put out the cover with Biden wearing a speedo & a wifebeater?

  • Amanda Hess

    anonymous: Please read before commenting. "she has all sort of horrible ideas for our country, shes the worst candidate for the president, and yet women will vote for her because shes a woman. not only will you vote for her, youll vouch for her shitty ideas BECAUSE shes a woman. not all women obviously, but enough. thats sexism. youre deciding something based on gender, and not on policy, intelligence, or anything useful."

    That IS sexism. And that is exactly my point.

  • Former Staffer

    Did you have to Amanda. This puppet's 15 minutes are up. I bet she resigns from the book tour before she reaches Iowa.

    Seriously, we have much more substantive issues to confront, a hyper-partisan hack is not one of them.

  • Big Stretts aka the Doo

    The author makes a very keen observation: Palin loves to throw the sexism flag with every chance she gets (rightfully so in many cases)...BUT, if it wasn't for sexism to begin with she never would've made it to the national political stage! Using your MILF'y ass to rally political support is using sexism in your favor.

  • Former Staffer

    BSatD - Her ass isn't MILF'y. Her political values alone make everything about her repulsive. Using the term MILF is in itself sexist, because it reduces her to her physical shell. It's her lack of a brain that's repulsive.

  • Big Stretts aka the Doo

    FS- that's not what the article is about...

  • Emily

    @Katie "@anonymous…nobody used a picture of Barack Obama shirtless on a cover"

    I have do disagree with you. The Washingtonian did, and put "OUR NEIGHBORS ARE HOT" on the front cover. Very controversial cover.

  • Amanda Hess

    that cover was terrible.

  • Katie

    AH! Ok...I'm not from there and didn't hear about that. Fair enough. I guess I should have said, I didn't know of any national "news" publications that used that photo.

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    I don't get it. Palin herself used the fact that she was a woman to have people sympathize with her. How many times did she stump on the trail using various images of "hockey mom" and "pitbull will lipstick". This wasn't seen as sexist. Yet ever freaking time she opened her stupid mouth and someone pointed out that she also happened to be a woman, they're sexist. It's a convenient way for her to cop out because she's too stupid to handle it on her own.

    Hilary Clinton did a marevelous job, but reverted to the sexism talk when it was covenient. I thought it was bullshit. She even fucking cried because the media was tough on her. What the fuck, isn't that playing into the hype.

    Palin, like Bush, is simply a moron who is utilizing an image to advance her bottom line. Bush used Jesus, Plain, her vagina.

  • Boris Bear

    A point also overlooked in the article: in order to achieve the office of governor, she had to run in a state where the ratio of men to women is 9:1. In another state, where she could have been scrutinized more on qualifications and political platforms, she wouldn't have made it onto the ballot. Moreover, remember the biggest liars yell, "Liar!" the most at everyone else, so it seems her constant accusations of sexism shows she's thinking of the uses of sexuality in self-promotion. She has minimal qualifications, keeps pointing to the measly experience she has, and so tries to press the idea she's smart, but she comes off like Fredo Corleone in Godfather II, screaming, "I'm smart! I know stuff!" The conservative excuse for her poor performance in the Katie Couric interview was, "Well, she wasn't prepared." We would hope a contender for president could think on their feet, and so that excuse only serves to sink her ship.

  • Typical DC BS

    Yes, Palin is woefully unqualified for any job involving the upper echelons of government. Sort of like our current president, OBA MAO. Selling us out to the Chinese even more than the Bushwhacker ever could have.

    We are all morons in this country.

  • DIck

    For those of you that think that is in any way a sexy photo........ get a life. Isnt it a shame an attractive and smart woman has to deal with such stupidity. You go Sarah.

  • http://Yahoo Ronny Dunn

    Wouldn't it something if all these ugly nasty mouthed people stopped blowing hate at Palin and actually listened to her. While i beleive initially I was sexest male I was prejudice against her because she was a woman. Then I actually listened to her.
    Guess what she is exactly what we need in the white house. She actually has morals which are basicaly non existant in our women leaders today.
    She has political savy when it comes to peoples rights.
    I am now a convert and if you actually listen to her and compare your needs and thoughts to what our country needs you will also become a Palinite. She wants us out of the wars, she wants a balanced budget, she wants health care, she wants womens rights she want equality in the work place , she wants to redo NAFTA and bring jobs home she wants care for the elderly, she wants, a strong army, she wants fair treatment to ndocumented workers.Jesus she wantswhat most of us want. Put aside your sexist attitude and all you not so georgeous womenstop hating her because she is beautiful. So are you in your own way. Look beyond the beauty and you will find a mom that is happy, a wife that loves her husband and a governor that prospered for her stat.e

  • http://Yahoo Ronny Dunn

    Wow! You pitiful uninformed masses are a bunch of vendictive ill informed touts.
    I'll bet most of you were interviewed by Jay Leno on the street and asked who the vice president was and you couldn't get it right either.
    Women are a viable attribute to our society and if you haven't looked around lately in the house and senate i suggest you sit down and get educated. There are a lot of them and more each year. Trouble is most of them are down right ugly. But they have people savy and thats what we need . We need to get all these lifers out of congress and the senate and get new blood in the white house. And we need a person who can give an address without a teleprompter, or insuring we the audience only ask the scripted questions.
    I am going to have such a great time watching you people start yelling when you get your health tax bill.

  • The Truth

    Gee, Ronny - how about you pull your pants up, squeegee clean your Sarah Palin poster, and get back to work?

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Ronny- Listen to her? Are you fucking retarded? Have you really listened to her? She makes Bush sound like Churchill at times. It's beyond painful. Haven't you fucking fundies Christos realized that Bush is not like you guys and neither is she. They played a part and tricked morons like you all into believe that they are "good Christian people".

    There is an innate contracdiction in what she's promoting. She doesn't hold the same values as you, she's lying. All the fundies values she claims, has she really lived up to them? No. People are more concerned with her fugly ass than what she really stands for.

  • Stacey

    If Palin ever got in office, it would be a sad day. But I guarantee you she will never make it. She's made a fool of herself, and she's not stable enough to be our leader.
    I remember that whole thing about her "praying for the gays" at her church. Jesus Christ... *facepalm* Of all things to worry about... When there are so many things you CAN change in this world, that need it, she goes off to "pray for the gays" (to CURE them)... I don't want someone like her in office. I believe women are just as smart, if not smarter in some case (and vice versa) than men, and just as capable of being in office. But she is making political women everywhere look terrible.
    And Ronny, if it was true that she wanted what we all want, then she would have said so during elections, and if she did, obviously, she wasn't what we wanted. So no, that's not true. And have you ever "LISTENED" to Obama?
    All Palin is doing now is trying to get more attention and probably more money for more clothes. She's just drawing on people's panic and fear about the economy and the issues going on right now. I'm willing to bet she would do a far worse job than Bush...

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    Palin is just the working class version of Dan Quayle, only Quayle was cuter. How he ended up with that horse-faced wife, who knows. At least he wasn't as vulgar as Palin.

    Palin's whole public existence is based on being attractive to working class white men. Is it sexist to use sex to denigrate a person whose very existence depends on sex? Answer: No.

  • Bapril

    Great article...I thought the exact same thing when I heard her complain about the Newsweek cover. So it's okay for her (and the Republican Party) to use her sex/gender to their benefit, but it's off limits to everyone else?

    I have actually always liked John McCain and consider myself neither a Republican or Democrat so my vote is always up in the air, but, as a woman, I was extremely offended that the boys in the Republican Party thought they could throw any 'ole woman up there and all of us dumb females in the country would just fall in line and vote for McCain because of Palin.

    They seriously underestimated the woman of this country (well, at least the intelligent ones).

  • Chris

    This assertion that she was picked because she was attractive is bullcrap. I guess holding an elcted office EXECUTIVE position had nothing to do with it. I think her qualifications are more impressive than the marxist tool that is in office now.
    I love how you feminazis foam at the mouth when an attractive and intelligent woman who believes in Christian values is successful and popular.
    Stacey suggests that our "fears and panic" about the economy are baseless but if you look at the numbers it is easy to see that Obama and his policies have failed.
    Cloward and Piven strategy is what is going on here and while you fools want to bury your heads in the sand others have connected the dots and are about to take our government back.
    I enjoy watching and listening to liberals in full blown panic over a female politician that they have no chance of stopping.

  • Chris

    Seriously , you people who think Sarah Palin was picked as McCain's running mate simply because she was a woman need to stop drinking that koolaid and look at the facts.
    She is a conservative. He wasn't trying to win women voters as much as he was trying to bring conservatives onboard when he picked her. McCain was too centrist/moderate/McAmnesty ridden to appeal to many conservatives which is the main reason why he picked her.
    The cover of the Newsweek magazine was absolutely sexist. Think about it, the (perhaps)dozens of people who reads that rag use sexism , racism and victimism as tools to accomplish thier objectives so they were playing to thier audience. .

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  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Chris- You are a fucking dumbass. If you really believe McCain and his handlers chose Palin because of the depth of her experience, you're fucking delusional. She lost him any real chance of being elected because as we all saw, she's a fucking retard. I guess you need to suport your own, so that's undertsandable.

    And the swipes at Obama, who's been actually in office, for less than 10 months now and who inherited a royal fuckfest courtesy of Dub-ya, that really is telling. If I didn't care about what happens to this country, I would have wished McCain and her in office. Then who would all your fuck-nuts blame then?

  • Adrian Bent-Me

    Oh yeah, that great EXECUTIVE position she held in Alaska, she quit before accomplishing anything to go prostitute her family and temporary fame for as much money as she can make. Her future doesn't involve politics, it involves the pulpit, and she'll milk every one of you idiots of your money as she can.

  • Thinkfirst

    I am puzzled by some of Sarah Palin’s thinking.

    Sarah Palin poses for a series of pictures some of which were used in an article by “Runner’s World.”

    One picture of her that she posed for, in a provocative way, during the photo shoot, but not used by “Runner’s World” is then used by Newsweek on the cover of their magazine.

    Now she says that this was a “sexist” action. How can it be sexist now when Newsweek uses it if it was not sexist when she posed for it?

    She posed voluntarily. She certainly could have told the photographer while she was posing the she felt that it was a sexist pose and did not want to pose that way.

    That, combined with her winking and flirting during her debate with Biden does not provide me the kind of information that I need when evaluating the intellectual qualifications of someone running for a political office.

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  • http://patrick patrick

    The United States Goverment and Rest Of World Leaders.
    Countries Globely she would Be a Good Role Model Set a Good Example: Current Leaders would love their Country(s)
    Would start improving Life Of The way they Live,1) Take-Good Care of World Leaders Single-Family Wifes Childern
    ect.2) No More Complaints,3) Set A Good Example: LeaderShip,Reshape, Reform, Reorganization, Many Others on and on and on.... Sarah Palin Go For It...Vote For Her and the Poor will beome rich turn things around pancake rich people cannot help poor but poor people can
    help rich people. Life Would Improve With Sarah Palin.
    This is Real News The Law Of The Land & Water Belongs To Real People 1) Health Improvement 2) Education Improvement 3) Economy Improvement 4) WORLD IMPROVEMENTS on & on & on Continue Next Time SARAH GO FOR IT Its Not End oF THE WORLD YET.

  • Dev

    I don't even think this photograph is "sexy". Palin's face is attractive as ever, but she's only wearing running shorts here, not a bikini. Give a woman a break for wearing running shorts! Would Obama be said to be exposing if he's shown exercising in shorts?

    A non-American from a moderately conservative Asian country

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  • aj

    now that is super hot
    what a hot set of legs.