Thursday, November 19, 2009

"News"Week's Sexism Shows On The Cover

Have you seen this "News"Week cover? Never mind the title of the article, excuse me, the EDITORIAL, that goes along with the cover:



Holy smokes. Needless to say, there has been a LOT of discussion about this photograph, and why Newsweek would choose to run this particular photo. Taylor Marsh - former Clinton supporter now Obama water carrier - wrote a piece at Huffington Post on this, "What Was Newsweek Thinking?". Media Matters had a post by Julie Millican, "Newsweek Should Worry More About How To Solve Its Problem With Sexism" (h/t to Bronwyn's Harbor), though many of the comments would lead one to believe it is find and dandy to be sexist to someone if they are a Republican, and Palin's an idiot anyway, so what's the big deal?? (That was SNARK on my part, but sums up the sentiment there.)

Sarah Palin weighed in on the photo, too:
Palin denounced it—and us—to her million-strong Facebook following last night. "The choice of photo for the cover of this week's Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this 'news' magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant," she wrote on her fan page, adding, "The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now." She also told ABC's Barbara Walters that she found the cover "a wee bit degrading." Others, like CBN's David Brody, said our cover was a new low: "biased and sexist at the same time."

Well, yes. Out of all the photographs available out there, why choose one from RUNNER'S WORLD?? This was the excuse, I mean, reason, given by the editor:
Today, NEWSWEEK's Editor Jon Meacham has responded to critics. "We chose the most interesting image available to us to illustrate the theme of the cover, which is what we always try to do,” Meacham said. "We apply the same test to photographs of any public figure, male or female: does the image convey what we are saying? That is a gender-neutral standard."

Well, if what they were trying to say was that they are a bunch of sexist patronizing sanctimonious assholes, they succeeded!

They could have chosen, oh, say, this one:

(September 3, 2008 - Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America)

Or how about this one:

(October 31, 2008 - Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images North America)

It took me less than a minute to find them. I would think Newsweek could take that long to find another image - if they had wanted to, that is. But they chose that one for a reason, and that reason is SEXISM.

Speaking of the photograph, it seems the photographer who took it, Brian Adams, engaged in a bit of premature, um, opportunism. He had a contract, you see, that did not allow him to sell this image until August of 2010. Oops!! Don't you just hate when that happens? Anyway, kinda makes you wonder just how Newsweek got it, and it wasn't from Runner's World.

And then there's the HEADLINE: "How Do You Handle a Problem Like Sarah? She's Bad News For The GOP - And Everyone Else, Too." Um, well, golly gee - that kind of sets the tone from the get-go, doesn't it? I don't even think one needs to read the damned thing to get where they are going with this.

It makes me wonder where they are getting their information. You may know that Governor Palin was on Oprah earlier this week. I don't know about you, but I was wondering, just out of curiosity, what the ratings were going to be for that show. Care to hazard a guess? If you went by the headline above, you'd guess not very high. And you would be very wrong. Oprah's show had the highest rating it has had in over TWO YEARS. Dang, that Palin is just TERRIBLE for EVERYBODY!!!! Never mind all of those cheering crowds turning out for her book tour - Palin is just terrible for them! And the GOP! And the WORLD!!!! Ahem.

Again, I disagree with a lot of her policies, but I do appreciate her honest, down to earth bearing - those are characteristics sorely missing among politicians today. Does she possess brilliance on a par with Hillary Clinton? No, I don't know anyone in politics who is on Clinton's level. She is heads and shoulders above (which is, no doubt, why they drug her down and stomped all over her). Apparently, though, those of us who consider ourselves to be liberal cannot like Sarah Palin at all in any way for any reason whatsoever without being chastised, criticized, demeaned, and belittled. Because we couldn't POSSIBLY have been marching for Equal Rights for someone like SARAH PALIN, who, by her own admission on Oprah says her relationship to her husband is one based on EQUALITY. Surely, SHE doesn't count, which has been the recurring theme about her by so-called liberals and "feminists." Apparently, only Democrats are worthy of having equal rights according to a lot of these folks - many of whom were not marching, or fighting, or accompanying women to Planned Parenthood for abortions like a number of us did (including myself), but they can, with incredible sexism and elitism, denounce Palin for being an "idiot" and unworthy of respect ("she hasn't done anything to deserve respect" was one comment I saw at Media Matters), despite all she accomplished for Alaska. Yet, Obama with his paper thin resume, and his throwing women under the bus, backing up, running over them again, and again, and again, somehow does deserve their respect. Wow.

Speaking of Obama, shockingly, in a recent Quinnipiac Poll, though Obama has now dipped below 50% approval, women approve of him by 52 - 37% while men disapprove of Obama by 47 - 44%. Why do women still support him after all of the ways he has dismissed women and our issues?

As for Sarah Palin, I am amazed by the amount of animosity directed at her by men, but women, too. And it amazes me how quickly people are willing to believe whatever rumor or half-truth comes down the pike about her. It is sad, really, but it also undermines their arguments against her, so there's that.

Taking the two together is a sad, sad commentary on where we are. The bottom line, as we saw so clearly this past election season, is that sexism is most definitely alive and well in the United States, spurred on by our media, and our politicians. There is too little comeuppance for those who engage in sexism on a national level, like the cover of Newsweek above. I am glad that some women are speaking up as noted, but too many people are willing to engage in massive amounts of sexist commentary against Palin simply because she is a Republican and a conservative. Their hypocrisy apparently knows no bounds.

Sexism is sexism. We must be willing to apply the same standard across the board and political spectrum. Until then, we will continue to see national publications like "News"week engage in blatant sexism toward a former governor and former Vice Presidential candidate with too little outcry. And we will continue to see so-called liberals engage in blatant woman-bashing under the guise of "politics." That is an excuse used by cowards and misogynists, and must not be excused any more by anyone. Call it by name: Sexism.

"News"week
, you owe Governor Palin, and all women, an apology. We're waiting...

16 comments:

SFIndie said...

I’m already seeing here in LOTO (Land Of The Obots) extreme Sarah-hate. On Facebook, I recently became a fan of Sarah’s, and immediately got a response from a (male) friend saying, “I’m guessing there’s more to this than meets the eye”. My response to him was that while I disagree with many of her political views, I admire her as a woman. She took on her own party to fight corruption; she took on the big oil companies; she’s a working mom who’s got the support of her husband; she’s worked hard for what she has; she appears strong and independent and fearless. She stands up for what she believes in; with Sarah Palin, you know what you’re getting.

Another (female) friend posted yesterday on Facebook, “Is anyone listening to Sarah Palin anymore?” with a lot of negative comments about Sarah. Of course, I had to put my 2 cents in again.

There’s blind acceptance of The One, never any criticism or debate or questioning. But Sarah with an R after her name is fair game. The sexism displayed by both sexes in LOTO is really quite amazing.

And I certainly agree Sarah is no Hillary, but then Hillary’s had 20 more years to hone her skills. It’ll be interesting to see where Sarah is in 20 years. I have a feeling that one thing they both have in common is their toughness and perseverance...time will tell!

About that poll? I don’t understand why women are so supportive of Obama and have so much animosity towards Sarah. It makes no sense at all. And I just can’t get an honest answer or opinion from anyone here in LOTO. Obama = great, Sarah = idiot. Just because.

And Newsweek....what a shameful display of sexism and stupidity. I'm sure women will get an apology, that flying pig will drop it in our laps. Yeahhhhh, unh hunh, sure.

heavy sigh

nazareth priest said...

Good for you, Rev. Amy! Good for you.
I saw this video from "Fr Ted
several weeks ago and died laughing.
It's not sexism, but "racism" that they are dealing with but I think it connects..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a6hRXafW5w&feature=player_embedded
Your honest and sincere writing is refreshing in comparison to the dumb-a** pundits who don't give a rat's a** about anybody but themselves. Bless you.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, SF -

I had an experience like that recently, too. A friend of mine asked who cared abt Sarah Palin and why didn't she just go away, like she isn't the former Gov. of AK, or the former VP candidate.

As I mentioned, so many of the commenters abt her fail to admit/acknowledge ANY of her accomplishments at all, like the percentage of energy independence of her state (I'mALindatoo mentioned that at NQ), or her handling of the very complex budget of Alaska. Everyone acts like she was just handed the job, and did nothing once she got there.

That's Obama's MO, not Palin's.

And you are so right - they are more than willing to heap accolade after accolade on Obama, even though he has really accomplished very little in his political career. What is wrong with these people?

Btw, everyone always attacks Palin for being anti-choice, but she DOES support the morning after bill, and birth control. In fact, an anti-choice group is going to be protesting against her for not being anti-choice enough for them.

But you would never, ever know that from the hyped up misogynistic rhetoric thrown at her.

I feel similarly - I disagree with some of her positions, but I appreciate her achievements. I like her - what can I say? I like that she is clear, doesn't mince words, is pretty funny, and down to earth. What I also like is her willingness to actually discuss things with people with whom she disagrees. She doesn't just write them off, she engages with them.

One of my biggest frustrations as a lefty liberal type all these years was how mealy mouthed, flip floppety, and spineless so many people on the left could be. I have long said I prefer someone who speaks up for what they believe even if it is different from what I believe because then we can TALK abt it. It's very hard when someone agrees with you one minute, and the next person right after you...

Oh, friend - you need a break from LOTO!!!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Nazareth Priest, thank you for the lovely compliment. I truly appreciate that. Thank you! :-)

And thank you for the hilarious Father Ted video - that was fantastic (and it's a great show, though I haven's seen it in a while). You are quite right - it works just as well for sexism.

Mary Ellen said...

Rev. Amy- Why do women still support him after all of the ways he has dismissed women and our issues?

You know...I've been wondering the same thing. I wonder if it is that women are less inclined to admit when they are wrong? I mean, in our current society, in order to succeed, women have to do twice as good as a man at her job. If she shows weakness by admitting she made a mistake, she comes out looking a lot worse than the man who made the same mistake. Maybe this mindset has been too ground into the psyche of women?

...just a rambling thought.


OOO! word verification: "cattlike". Yup, that's me...stealth. :-D I don't think my dog will like that, though.

SFIndie said...

I know, Rev, I like her too! How can you not? She's smart, funny, strong, down to earth. She stands up for her beliefs, and yet, as you said, is willing to discuss them with those who disagree. She puts actions to her words; she knows how to work for a living. So like our current Whiner In Chief...NOT!

As far as her being pro-life, so are half the Dimwitcrats in Congress!

I'd love to sit down and have a chat with her. How amazing would it be to sit down with both Sarah AND Hillary! Whoowee, now THAT would be unbelievable!

Yes, I DO need a break from LOTO! I'm going down to spend time with my siblings (in Southern CA) next month...but they're all Obots too. But at least they love me! :-)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, ME -

Well, that could be. Frankly, that might be a more acceptable reason, not much, but more, than them worrying abt what men might think of them. In my head, I see that young woman hanging out with the young men all wearing that despicable Sarah Palin t-shirt...

It really is disturbing though.

LOL abt your word for the day! Poor puppy - but I gotta say, my cats sure know what you mean! ;-)

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, SF!

I assume you heard Hillary say she'd be happy to have coffee with Sarah? Oh, to be a fly on that wall - I would LOVE to hear their conversation!

You are so right abt the Dimwitcrats - I keep trying to tell people that. Look at Stupak, for pete's sake! Heck, even Reid was anti-choice until just recently when he started mincing his words abt the whole issue. Oh, and Tim Kaine, the new head of the DNC is opposed to abortion. So, there's that...

LOL - well, I am glad they love you,and that you are getting out of LOTO for a bit. You need to come down here where you are away from those people! (I may have mentioned a friend of mine, in response to my asking if she liked Obama, stating, "Not even a little bit." Right there with her!)

nazareth priest said...

Rev Amy: Glad you enjoyed the "Fr Ted" video...
Just keep on, keepin' on, you are right on so much.
God bless you!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Thanks so much, Nazareth Priest! I appreciate that.

Btw, do you watch other British comedies, too?

I appreciate the support, Nazareth Priest, and your comments, both here and at Nunly's!

nazareth priest said...

Rev. Amy: Being of English/Irish background, I LOVE the English/Irish comedies on the PBS Channel, when we can get them...nothing like good old English parody or Irish sarcasm...we have to laugh at ourselves, no? Other wise we go fecking crazy!!(Which I try to remind the Germans in my midst on aq regular basis...sheesh, I'm the only one who tries to laugh around the constant s*** of life. "Am I goin' crazy, yeah?"

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, Nazareth Priest -

Oh, there are so many good ones! And the dramsa, too, like "Ballykissangel," or "Robin Hood," though sadly its season ends in 3 more episodes (I love BBCAmerica).

AbFab - what a funny show - anything is with Jennifer Saunders in it, and "The Vicar of Dibley" - hilarious!

You are so right - we need to laugh in the midst of this insanity. Just like that very poetic song at the end of "Life of Brian," "Always Look On The Bright Side of Your Life"! :-)

blogoffire said...

I fail to see anything sexist about this picture. She should be proud of it.

I do, however find it amusing that someone decrying sexism would then state they "admire Palin as a woman."

How about admiring her as a person?

If this picture was a man, no one would call it sexist. We would call it an example of athleticism, strength, accomplishment, health and even (gasp!) beauty.

But all you folks see are her legs, and all you can think about is sex. That's a shame.

I do not care for Palin's policies, and for her to object to a photo that she posed for has only brought my opinion of her lower. Especially since she looks great! I mean, oh shut up Sarah!

I look forward to the day when "feminists" start talking about being human instead of harping on their own sex all the time. It's boring. I would surmise that much of women's squawking about how men supposedly view them is very telling only of how those particular women see themselves.

We will not rise above the detriment of thinking of beings in terms of what group they belong to (race, gender, class, team) while we continue to think of beings only in terms of what group they belong to. The more other women harp about their sex in the media, the more likely people I encounter will see me only in terms of that classification.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Seriously? Well, I haven't seen ANY photos of any men on her level depicted like this on the cover of a national magazine, much less the sexist pictures INSIDE the magazine for this article.

But if you can't see it, that speaks volumes...

blogoffire said...

I had to look at Obama's bewbs for 3 months during the campaign, and I don't recall a single complaint of objectification.

It's from a running magazine. She's dressed to go running. What is sexist about that? If I can't see it, then explain it to me.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Because they would never show a man of her stature (former governor, former VP candidate) like that for a serious article that had nothing to do with running.

And I think the reasons have already been explained in other comments here.