Friday, September 05, 2008

Gender Wars Gone Wild

Sarah Palin's arrival has sent the sexism debate into a cuckooland where Pat Buchanan is defending her womanhood and Gloria Steinem is attacking her credentials.

According to Steinem, "Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with [Hillary] Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for--and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, 'Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs.'"

The courtly Buchanan, on the other hand, defended Palin in an on-camera attack on Chris Matthews. "What's your problem with strong women, buddy?" Buchanan asked. "The MS in MSNBC should not stand for misogyny."

In the real world, the Obama people are mobilizing to deal with it all by ignoring Palin's gender, raising questions about her inexperience and possibly stepping up Hillary Clinton's role in the campaign.

“Anyone who was inclined to support Hillary Clinton," says one of her former staff, "typically did so because of her focus on middle-class, bread-and-butter issues. Her message for Barack Obama on those issues could certainly help the Democratic ticket at the ballot box.”

Meanwhile, the new topsy-turvy gender politics will be making some strange bedfellows indeed.

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