... Todd and Sarah Palin... have emerged as powerful new symbols of a revived contemporary feminism. That the macho Todd, with his champion athleticism and working-class cred, can so amiably cradle babies and care for children is a huge step forward in American sexual symbolism.Paglia says the anti-Palinists have "behaved like snippy jackasses." Snippy jackasses! Don't you hate when jackasses get snippy?
... During her vice-presidential debate last week with Joe Biden (whose conspiratorial smiles with moderator Gwen Ifill were outrageous and condescending toward his opponent), I laughed heartily at Palin's digs and slams and marveled at the way she slowly took over the entire event. I was sorry when it ended! But Biden wasn't -- judging by his Gore-like sighs and his slow sinking like a punctured blimp. Of course Biden won on points, but TV (a visual medium) never cares about that.
The bourgeois conventionalism and rank snobbery of these alleged humanitarians stank up the place. As for Palin's brutally edited interviews with Charlie Gibson and that viper, Katie Couric, don't we all know that the best bits ended up on the cutting-room floor? Something has gone seriously wrong with Democratic ideology, which seems to have become a candied set of holier-than-thou bromides attached like tutti-frutti to a quivering green Jell-O mold of adolescent sentimentality.Quivering green Jell-O mold? Is that what Obama had behind his ear? (Transcript: "Now, Sen. McCain suggests that somehow, you know, I'm green behind the ears and, you know, I'm just spouting off, and he's somber and responsible.") Or what McCain was trying to nail to the wall? (Transcript: "Well, you know, nailing down Sen. Obama's various tax proposals is like nailing Jell-O to the wall. ")
Back to Paglia:
And where is all that lurid sexual fantasy coming from? When I watch Sarah Palin, I don't think sex -- I think Amazon warrior! I admire her competitive spirit and her exuberant vitality, which borders on the supernormal.Paglia must be overjoyed to have a real-live political figure who fits her theories so well. After 2 decades of analyzing Madonna, she must be ravenous for this new subject matter. No wonder she's sick of the media elites serving up candy-tutti-frutti-Jell-O. Finally, a full-course meal.
Paglia speculates that Sarah Palin may be part Native American and savages the people who think Palin might be dumb. I'll skip some of that and get to the part about feminism:
The next phase of feminism must circle back and reappropriate the ancient persona of the mother -- without losing career ambition or power of assertion. Betty Friedan, who had first attacked the cult of postwar domesticity, had long warned second-wave feminists such as Gloria Steinem about the damaging exclusion of homemakers from their value system. The animus of liberal feminists toward religion must also end (I am speaking as an atheist). Feminism must reexamine all of its assumptions, including its death grip on abortion, if it wishes to survive.Well said.
The hysterical emotionalism and eruptions of amoral malice at the arrival of Sarah Palin exposed the weaknesses and limitations of current feminism. But I am convinced that Palin's bracing mix of male and female voices, as well as her grounding in frontier grit and audacity, will prove to be a galvanizing influence on aspiring Democratic women politicians too, from the municipal level on up. Palin has shown a brand-new way of defining female ambition -- without losing femininity, spontaneity or humor. She's no pre-programmed wonk of the backstage Hillary Clinton school; she's pugnacious and self-created, the product of no educational or political elite -- which is why her outsider style has been so hard for media lemmings to comprehend.
In a similar vein, here's what I said about why Palin is great for feminism:
[F]eminism is something that transcends party politics. Women have interests that the parties should have to compete for. I want a vivid debate about what is good for women. Sarah Palin represents one argument, and her feminism will require Democrats to improve their argument and not take women for granted. Sarah Palin brings feminism to a lot of people who've been scorning feminism -- because feminism has seemed like a strand of Democratic party politics.