I am in sunny southern Italy for a family wedding. I've been really enjoying the food, the gorgeous weather, swimming in the Adriatic, being with my husband's wonderful family who all live here and whom we see too little of, and just getting away from it all. Sort of. Even here, you can't really unplug yourself. One would have to go to the moon for that these days. Or beyond.
So I was catching up on the news from home when this odious piece landed in my inbox, and until I comment I won't be able to eat another lucious scamorza fresca, a fioroni fig, or anything else until I get this off my chest. My niece's wedding is in about 8 hours, and even on this special day, I'm thinking about the state of women and sexism back in the United States.
Joan Walsh needs to resign her position at Salon-----or they need to fire her. Seriously. I'm a little late to the party about her (my friend K is constantly surprised that I give this woman any credibility), but I thought that at least for a woman to have ascended to the helm of one of the most successful internet magazines, she must have SOMETHING going for her. Lately, she has become SHRILL-------------hahahahahahahaha. Sorry, I just couldn't help myself. I know it is horrible to call a member of the sisterhood shrill. But it is meant as a deep insult. Sorry again.
It drives me out of my mind that neither the right nor the left can cut Sarah Palin any slack. The left has concocted this ridiculous meme about her (and anyone white I might add). Palin has become a totem of everything that the left has hatred about. That subject is a moving target, and if you read the piece referenced above, you will see the faux outrage of the moment. You know the drill------anyone who disagrees with Obama or the lefties is a racist, all of the people who don't hold their views are subhuman, blah blah blah. And Walsh has become an agile spokesperson for this particular craziness that has infected the Democrats and the left. You can practically hear her foaming at the mouth and projecting spittle everywhere she goes. For someone who thinks she is an intellectual, she's really just a petty bigot. But she dog whistles the left on this racism thing, a thing that in itself has become racist. You know----if your skin is white and you aren't agreeing with her on everything, you must be a racist. Or stupid. Or dangerous. Or anti-American. We have the age of Obama to thank for this crap. And really, if you hold those points of view, it is YOU who are racist and anti-American. And dangerous. People are entitled to their opinions in this country----everyone. If you choose to quash any POV but your own, you are being un American imho. Etc.
So the "not one of us" meme carried to its extreme drives me nuts. But pile a heaping dollop of sexism on top of it will make me interrupt my vacay because I can't enjoy a darn thing here, and this tirade requires my command of English, not my middling Italian.
I see sexism at every turn in the insanity that Palin seems to inspire. First off, let's begin with Walsh and her ridiculously scornful comment that Palin is using her "trademark sex appeal" to have a platform. I smell jealousy of the visceral sort. It's an old story that for some women who are insecure about themselves that if someone does better than they do and they are pretty, that she must have gotten there because she was prettier. That is a low blow coming from someone who is supposed to be smart. That's as crude as if someone said that man X is better than man Y because he has a bigger dick. Although that may be true in certain instances (both the male and female examples) it is beneath Walsh to even go there. But of course her audience is insane, completely off their rocker when it comes to Palin. If anyone had said that about one of their own, they'd be apoplectic and on the war path. But somehow it is ok to drop that on someone they don't like. Hypocrites of the highest order. And Walsh shows that she couldn't care less about women getting ahead. If she did, she wouldn't be using that kind of example which only perpetuates sexist memes. And that meme is one of the worst.
Another reason I am nuts, is that the lefties have fed themselves a false narrative about Palin-------completely false. They like perpetuating the idea that she is stupid, unaccomplished, etc. All of them sexist stories that entrap women and prevent them from breaking glass ceilings in any significant numbers. You may not agree with some of her positions, fine. Argue those. But to say that Palin believes in stuff that her record indicates she doesn't and then to go after her for it, well, how would they like to be treated that way. NOT!! Palin actually has a considerable record of accomplishment standing up to the establishment of her own party and winning, an astounding feat if there ever was one. Try accomplishing THAT Joan Walsh!! And Palin had a very good record in many areas as governor. She appointed Supreme Court justices who were prochoice because they were good candidates, and really I could write a dissertation on this subject, but I'll stop here.
But equally troubling is the deafening silence from the right. Where is the outrage at the sexism against one of their own? What I am seeing is that the right is also scared of her potent appeal and they want to quash it. And it seems that the best way to do it is to let the left do the dirty work. As usual I come around to my unfortunate fallback conclusion and that is that BOTH parties are incredibly sexist and that neither party wants a woman at the top. And the end result is that if women want power, they will have to grab it like anyone else. And Palin is an interesting example of how to grab it. Wherever Palin ends up, she won't let the sexists cow her. If anything, it brings out the best in her, and we can all learn from her boldness. Kudos to her for that.
Finally, my friend J brought to my attention that somehow it was ok, according to Walsh, that Jeb Bush made that "fertility" comment, but trashed Palin for going after him? So he gets a free pass and not her? What is the reasoning there? I guess it must be because Palin is a woman and thus it is ok to trash her and not the actual perpetrator of the comment, a comment that on its face was ridiculous and sexist.
So there is sexism everywhere you turn. Left, right, everywhere. I am a proud Independent. I call it as I see it. And although my position might be a bit radical and unattainable, it would serve everyone, male, female, left, or right, to try to be more attentive to their sexism. It is corrosive.
Hopefully I have vented enough to get back to the pleasures of my vacation which is coming to an end. Screw the Palin haters. Bring on the pasta!!!!