Sarah Palin. Obama. Testicles.
So I was trying to look up a comprehensive list of things Sarah Palin has said about Obama. To meet that goal. I went to Google of course.
Try typing in Sarah Palin Obama. At least four of the suggestions will have something to do with testicles. Cajones. Balls.
Anyway. My mom and I watch Dancing with the Stars. It’s shameful, I know, but it’s filler in between House and Castle. As most folks know, Bristol Palin is a contestant on the show. This bothers me on so many different levels. First of all, Bristol is doing her best to perpetuate and exacerbate a problem she, herself, ran into during Palin’ VP run. When she is introduced on the show, the announcer generously bestows the title of “teen activist” upon her. So, if she’s an activist for abstinence, why is she on a television show doing dances like the rumba, the tango, and other various sexualized dances in revealing clothing?
Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not a prude. That is not the point I am trying to make. I do not think Bristol Palin is a “slut” and I do not think that she should not be “allowed” to wear these sorts of outfits. She can do what she wants.
My problem stems from the fact that she has become a corporeal version of the double-bind dichotomy. Bristol Palin is a walking, talking, living, breathing sexualized virgin (yes, even though she’s publicly not a virgin). The problem is that she is perpetuating the system that got her an unintentional pregnancy. you can speak in front of groups of young women at conferences if you like. You can tell them that “abstinence is a realistic choice” as much as you want. But she didn’t talk the talk before she got pregnant with Tripp, and she’s not walking the walking now considering her strut on the dance floor.
Tonight she did her tango to Britney Spears’ “Gimme More”. I thought that was entirely appropriate. Britney Spear encountered the same problem Bristol did. Women are meant to appear to be sexual. They must be sexy and seem sexually available, but when push comes to shove (which in a rape culture, it might), they shouldn’t actually consent to sex, lest they be socially punished. Bristol spoke about that tonight on the show during a personal interview. She mentioned that people called her trashy once she announced her pregnancy.
Well, Bristol, maybe if people didn’t value women for their virginity only, that wouldn’t have happened to you. Please don’t follow in your mother’s footsteps of being painfully oblivious to sexism until it happens to you, and then being unwilling or unable to call it what it is and discontinue your participation.
The thing about Bristol is this. I don’t think she’s as conniving as her mother. I might just be taken under by reality television trying to make me like her, but I don’t like her. I still think she’s irritatingly ignorant and a bad influence on young women (and for precisely NOT the reason most other people would think so). However, I feel like she just may not know any better BECAUSE of who her mother is. She recognized that the sexism and misogyny she faced when she announced her pregnancy was wrong, so if only she could put two and two together, she could be redeemed.
We’ll see I guess.
In the meantime, let’s raise our hands if we think it’s inappropriate that a prominent political figure is putting her face all over any and every television network that’ll take her?
Yeah. That brings me back to what originally got me talking about Sarah Palin, Obama, and balls. I was checking to make sure Sarah Palin was actually one of the conservative blowhard nonsense spewing fearmongerers that actually tried to claim that Obama only got elected because he tried to be a celebrity outside of the political realm. Ah yes, here’s a recent example of her “slamming” Obama for going on The View (gasp!). I guess the right answer would have been for him to resign from the presidency, endorse candidates while getting paid by a “news” organization, getting your daughter on Dancing with the Stars, and then starting your own reality show. WHILE STILL ENDORSING POLITICAL CANDIDATES.
Right. Sarah Palin. Obama. Testicles. It makes more sense than the fact that the American people are swallowing all of this down like Palin’s actually Mary Poppins with a spoonful of sugar.