Some people want you to believe that Democrats, and by extension Obama, are behind the sexist comments about Sarah Palin. The reason: if you believe that the Democratic Party and its presidential nominee are behind all the anti-women comments then you will be even more angry about sexism this election and hopefully too busy to check facts on Palin’s record or maybe even to come out and vote. The problem is that while some individual Democrats AND Republicans have made sexist comments about Palin, the stories about her cheerleading, beauty pageant participation, “sexy librarian” comments, and her children have all come from the media.
Let’s place the blame where the blame lies so that offensive shlock like the image to the right does not keep happening (complain about cartoon here). And let’s show politicians what is really meant by working across politics by working together against sexism in the media (when it is sexist) and against any party trying to exploit sexism to its own ends (ie calling everything the media says and every question they ask sexist and using that to insulate a candidate to help RUN THIS COUNTRY from legitimate scrutiny).
Here is what Obama said about sexist comments about Palin’s children and their reproductive choices:
“I think people’s families are off limits and I think people’s children are especially off limits. This shouldn’t be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin’s performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president and so I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories,” Obama told reporters after a Labor Day BBQ in Monroe, Mich. (WSJ)
Here is what Biden said:
It is off limits to talk about her family. Every family has difficulty as they’re raising their children. I think the way she’s handled it has been absolutely exemplary. (Oakland Press/ said originally on Fox News)
And when asked if he thought there had been sexism against Palin in general:
Yes, by you guys in the media. … When I heard that media response, you know, this coming from some of the right-wing guys, saying that, ‘Well, how can you be a mother and a vice president at the same time?’ … I mean, millions of women in America are going through exactly what she (is going) through. And guess what? They can handle it. (ibid)
He has also said repeatedly that he is interested in debating the issues “not her personality or personal issues.”
Don’t let anyone tell you again that the Democratic Party or the Obama campaign is being sexist against Palin unless they are actually quoting the candidates or describing the party’s behavior.
Those comments that have been floating around the internet and playing on the news have all come from media pundits and late night talk show hosts. (the origin of the “sexy librarian” comment for instance was Craig Ferguson before he even had citizenship and therefore could not vote. – and before she was VP candidate too by the way) They need to be held accountable. When we blame others we make it easy for the guilty to keep on keeping on. And sadly, in this case, that may cost us an election.
NYT Photo/ Brendan Smalowski
Shotgun Wedding. New York Observer. Cartoonist Matson.