bargainjewess

Posts Tagged ‘Hilary Clinton’

Palin Appeal- The Power of Femininity

In Politics, Women on September 17, 2008 at 3:10 pm

It’s an interesting thing. John Mccain announces his running mate, Sarah  Palin and gains in edge in the polls. It got me thinking, what is it about Sarah Palin that has conservative Republican women-who normally would not want to see a woman with small children in the White House- cheering her on? Even further not only are women cheering her on but they are emulating her. Trying to look like her and copy her fresh, wearable, style.

I think there are two things that appeal to the women backing Sarah Palin that makes them go so far as to support a candidate whose views differ from theirs.

  • Sarah Palin is the every mom. She has 5 kids, she has normal struggles. A pregnant teenage daughter, a child with down syndrome…while these might be the extreme of normal we all know people with similar albeit different situations and can therefore relate. She also seems to be supermom but doesn’t come off as intimidating. She doesn’t discuss her struggles to balance work and kids, she just does it. That’s part of her appeal. That we see her as this very normal woman who has very normal responsibilities. She seems like a woman who can commiserate, a friend even, and because she is a working class woman she appeals to women of the working class everywhere. Women can see themselves in her. In a woman like Hilary Clinton with her Ivy league education and her desire to act like one of the boys, downplaying her femininity worked as a strike against her. Many women did not identify with her. This leads to my next point.
  • Sarah Palin is likable because she is a woman. I don’t mean that in the literal sense we all know she’s a woman. But she is a feminine woman. A woman who has style and isn’t afraid to wear red peep-toe pumps with a 3+ inch heel. If you notice something Palin is always in a skirt always coiffed and groomed. Not too stylish and pretty for other women to put off, but stylish and pretty enough that women identify with her and her struggle as a woman to be a woman while working in the same world as the boys. Other women have downplayed their femininity, in attempts to blend and to show male voters that they are just as qualified as the boys. Sarah Palin is doing the opposite she is using her credentials as a woman and a mother to say that she is just as qualified if not more so than any man. That women do not have to compromise their femininity in order to get the big jobs and titles. That is a powerful message to women everywhere.
  • Many women love the movie Legally Blonde. Elle Woods a beauty queen sorority type, puts her mind to becoming an attorney and get’s into Harvard, graduating at the top of her class. She smacks down sexual advances offered as a way to climb her way up the corporate ladder, outdoes the boy who dumped her and looks glamorous throughout. Looking at Sarah Palin many can say that she is a real life Elle Woods. A former beauty queen who exemplifies the edict that women can be stylish and attractive and still do anything. Whenever the media makes a comment she deems sexist she decries it, and although we don’t know of any boys who dumped her, it seems that the boys are just trying to keep up with her.

Sarah Palin has in many ways created a new playing field. One that uses feminine wiles and actual femininity to gain approval and solidarity. It seems that it just might be working. For me none of this is a quantifier or qualifier of voting for Mccain-Palin but I can certainly say that I admire the woman; she’s smarter than many of her critics seem to think.

For More Info check out the following Links:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122116644864624975.html?mod=googlenews_ws

For perspective: http://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB122143727571134335.html

http://www.alternet.org/reproductivejustice/98651/’sarah_palin_feminism’_more_like_sarah_palin_sexism/

PS: I love how the term Rovian has become part of our collective colloquial speech to indicate anyone who lies…as if no one lied before Karl Rove.

Here’s to great political Debate.

Bargain Jewess.