Pitbull in Lipstick, or Chihuahua on a sparkly golden leash?
By zchamu on September 10, 2008
Am I the only one who's disturbed by the way the Republican party is marketing Sarah Palin?
What's the implication here?
That she's not soft. She's not weepy. She's tough, sharp, a bitchy, edgy
woman. That she will fiercely bully you out of her way if you're in it.
That she's someone to be afraid of. That's she's not a typical woman.
The ability to create fear in your opponents is what counts, then. Not
experience. Not levelheadedness. Not trustworthiness or intelligence or
any of a hundred things that people usually look for in politicians.
No, Palin is to be respected because she's a "pitbull in lipstick".
Yes, we know she's beautiful and looks great on camera but don't worry -she's a bitch. That's important, because the only way anyone could think a woman could get along in the cesspool that is DC would be if she is a bitch.
And the whole thing is terribly troublesome.
Because, underneath this whole message? There's a disturbing undercurrent of
sexism. John McCain and his staff are propping her up and creating this image for her, this image of her being this vicious, scrappy bitchwoman. They call her a barracuda and a pitbull and they get a wide smile on their faces, because they like the characterization. They think that saying it will make their opponents cringe in fear. But you get the sense that they really don't believe she's a barracuda at all. Rather, you get the sense that they think the whole thing is.... cute. That they don't see Palin as a pitbull, but rather a chihuahua on John McCain's sparkly golden leash, doing her tricks and baring her teeth for the GOP, trying to look vicious just like the crowd wants her to.
And I wonder how many women at the GOP convention that heard Palin utter the words "I'm a pitbull in lipstick" and cheered outwardly while cringing inwardly. Because that image, that woman as vicious dog in heels impression, hurts all of us. We've gone far past that 80s stereotype, that you have to "grow a pair" and "become a man" to get ahead in this man's world. Or.. have we?
I also have to wonder if Palin herself even likes this kind of characterization? Or would she prefer simply.. being a candidate and leaving the lipstick out of it?
I'll leave you with an excerpt from the lyrics to the song Barracuda by Heart. They're actually far more apt for John McCain's campaign and VP pick than I think even he knows.
If the real thing dont do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick