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...