Yeah, it's a double standard…but do we have to tell?
On Thursday, September 25, “CBS Evening News” broadcast a conversation between anchor Katie Couric and Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The interview would soon become the stuff of internet and TV legend. By now most of us are familiar with Governor Palin’s musings on Alaska’s proximity to Russia, on “The Bush Doctrine,” and other topics. The broadcast, like Palin’s ABC News interview that preceded it, will be remembered most for exposing the Vice-Presidential candidate’s wet-behind-the-ears entrance into national politics. As amusing as some of the Governor’s interview responses were, perhaps it is just as profitable for sociologists to consider as well the unique pairing of Palin and Couric on TV that September night: two women who, albeit in different ways, have recently transitioned into deeper professional waters and confronted all the gendered inequality and complexity that come along with such a shift. If we are leftists and also feminists, should we not consider whether the pillorying of Governor Palin – about her hair, her kids, her mannerisms, her accent – has something to do with her sex? And wouldn’t it be so interesting to know Couric’s own feelings about this stuff, as she alternates between the roles of condemned and executioner!
I agree wholeheartedly. I have viewed the Palin candidacy as the ultimate form of sexism, which she seems to blindly accept. Palin, like many women, has submitted herself to the usage of McCain and his anti-woman agenda. In this sense, blaming the media and those who lap up her ridicule (self included among the guilty), is like blaming the victim. For me, poking fun at Sarah Palin is simply the result of her capitulation to patriarchy and the inevitable backlash.