White women, no way / Once pro-Obama, but now swoon for McPalin? Who the hell are you?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Friday, September 19, 2008
Every white woman I know is positively horrified.
Wait, that's not exactly true. It's more accurate to say that every thoughtful or liberal or intuitive or open-minded white woman I know worth her vagina monologue and her self-determination and two centuries of nonstop striving for equal rights and sexual freedom and exhaustive patriarchal unshackling is right now openly horrified, appalled at what the addition of shrill PTA hockey-mom Sarah Palin seems to have done for the soggy, comatose McCain campaign -- that is, make it not merely remotely interesting and melodramatic, but aggressively hostile to, well, to all intelligent women everywhere.
Truly, among women in the know and especially among those who fought so hard to bring Hillary Clinton to the brink of history, nausea and a general recoiling appear to be the universal reactions to Palin's sudden presence on the national stage, stemming straight from the idea that there's even a slight chance in hell such an antagonistic, anti-female politico could be within a 72-year-old heartbeat of becoming the most powerful and iconic woman of all time.
They say: You've got to be kidding me. They say: This is what we get? This could be our historic role model? Two hundred years (OK, more like 2000) of struggle, only to have this nasty caricature of femininity try to hijack and mock and undermine it all?
It cannot be true, they say. The universe must joking, would not dare dump such a homophobic, Creationist evangelical nutball on us, this anti-choice, God-pandering woman who's the inverse of Hillary, this woman of deep inexperience who abhors birth control and supports abstinence education and shoots exhausted wolves from helicopters and hates polar bears and actually stands for everything progressive women have resented since the first pope Swift-Boated Eve.
But now, the truly bizarre part. Despite this defiant outcry, a great many pundits and reports have suggested that, just after the Palin VP announcement, a sizable chunk of predominantly white women nevertheless abandoned their tentative support for Obama and leapt into the lyin' arms of McCain, presumably simply because of Palin's gender and PTA momhood.
And thus did the harrowing wail go out: WTF? Could it be true? Are cadres of formerly Obama-leaning white women really so enchanted by Palin's gender and motherhood status that they openly ignore the fact that she basically wants to shove women's rights back about five decades? Can it be so simple, crude, sad?
Let us analyze. Let me, being a straight white male and therefore only capable of gazing in awe at the spectacle that is the indecipherable female intuitive response, foolishly attempt to decipher some of it anyway, and explain why in hell some women might jump to Palin, despite the fact that she essentially hates them. Shall we begin?
"She's one of us." This was the resounding quote from many deer-in-the-Palin-headlights fans, a bizarre, dangerous sentiment that echoes the blue-collar Midwest's blind love of George W. Bush, simply because he came across as the kind of simple-minded aw-shucks guy you'd want to have a beer with, never you mind that giant silver spoon sticking out of his mouth or that giant daddy's-boy chip on his droopy shoulders.
Is this all it is? Does "one of us" merely mean white women really believe Palin could, if McCain didn't survive his first term, effectively lead the most powerful, flawed, complicated nation on the planet merely because she's a hard-workin' mom with moxie, that she's managed to raise a gaggle of strangely named kids who hunt and don't believe in evolution and get pregnant before they're old enough to buy a pack of Marlboros?
Or does it mean they agree with Palin about not giving a damn for equal pay, or honest sex education, or separation of church and state, or alternative energy, or a woman's right to choose, or their own daughters' rights if they get knocked up after being raped or incested? Nah, that can't be it.
Maybe we're just not used to seeing the female voting demographic depicted this way. Truly, it's usually men who are the knuckleheaded ones, who will flip their vote merely over a single inconsequential issue ("I like everything about Obama except he supports gun control, and I love my guns, so I guess I gotta go for McCain"). Women, according to the eternal mythology, are no such dupes, and choose more wisely, from deeper intuition, instinct. Right?
Wrong. Maybe this is our simple summary, the blaring headline we should be reading in the wake of recent events. "Easily duped Palin supporters prove: Some white women are just as dumb as men." Is that all it is? Maybe so.
Ah, but there is good news. It appears the bloom is already off the McPalin rose, the baby bump she gave McCain is already gone, as everyone from here to Wasilla is sick to death of hearing about her. Every day that goes by it comes clearer that the Sarah juggernaut is no juggernaut at all but merely an increasingly disturbing PR stunt, and a bit of a disgrace for John McCain himself, whose once-noble aura of integrity and class has essentially vanished.
A potent backlash is coming fast. Actually, it began almost immediately, just after the Republican National Convention, when the GOP cheerfully announced they'd raised a whopping one million bucks in the 24 hours following Palin's speech, so inspired was the heavily drugged conservative base by her teleprompter-reading skills (she didn't write a single word of her own speech, of course; it came from a former Bushite, well before she was the VP pick).
Well, gosh. Really? A million? Wow.
But then Obama's campaign issued a statement of their own. Turns out they'd raised a bit money in the exact same time frame, a rather impressive outpouring of cash from all those on the left who could be heard screaming "oh my God no way in hell" to their TV screens as Palin's finger jabbed at the heart of all that's right and good with the world. The amount Obama raised in the same 24 hours? $10 million. Well now.
How much of that staggering amount came from the newly galvanized, infuriated female populace from the left who see right through Palin's shrill charade and damn well recognize an imposter in their midst, it's impossible to tell. But I think it's a damn safe bet to assume, they are legion.
And let me tell you, they are pissed.
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