Friday, September 12, 2008


Camille Paglia in Salon
Pow! Wham! The Republicans unleashed a doozy -- one of the most stunning surprises that I have ever witnessed in my adult life. By lunchtime, Obama's triumph of the night before had been wiped right off the national radar screen. In a bold move I would never have thought him capable of, McCain introduced Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his pick for vice president. I had heard vaguely about Palin but had never heard her speak. I nearly fell out of my chair. It was like watching a boxing match or a quarter of hard-hitting football -- or one of the great light-saber duels in "Star Wars." (Here are the two Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, going at it with Darth Maul in "The Phantom Menace.") This woman turned out to be a tough, scrappy fighter with a mischievous sense of humor.

Conservative though she may be, I felt that Palin represented an explosion of a brand new style of muscular American feminism. At her startling debut on that day, she was combining male and female qualities in ways that I have never seen before. And she was somehow able to seem simultaneously reassuringly traditional and gung-ho futurist. In terms of redefining the persona for female authority and leadership, Palin has made the biggest step forward in feminism since Madonna channeled the dominatrix persona of high-glam Marlene Dietrich and rammed pro-sex, pro-beauty feminism down the throats of the prissy, victim-mongering, philistine feminist establishment. . .

It is certainly premature to predict how the Palin saga will go. I may not agree a jot with her about basic principles, but I have immensely enjoyed Palin's boffo performances at her debut and at the Republican convention, where she astonishingly dealt with multiple technical malfunctions without missing a beat. A feminism that cannot admire the bravura under high pressure of the first woman governor of a frontier state isn't worth a warm bucket of spit.


OBloodyHell said...

> A feminism that cannot admire the bravura under high pressure of the first woman governor of a frontier state isn't worth a warm bucket of spit.

So that would be a Democratic Feminism, then, those two notions being synonymous...?


I have to say:
Paglia Gets It.

bobn said...

Paglia is just hot for Palin.

Just kidding. ;-)

OBH, those 2 terms may have been synonymous before, at least in MSM - I think Palin changes things. There have got to be a lot of people who favor equal opportunity for women, while hating abortion. I'm betting there's a lot of women who didn't even think they were feminists, because they weren't liberal dems. That's never gonna be the same again.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

My framing of this is that traditional feminism was heavily an Arts & Humanities academic exercise, and so was strongly influenced by marxism and various PoMo strains. Women in business and science don't have a lot of patience with that, and have been migrating to a different feminism for years. Palin is simply an illustrator of that, not a cause.

Anonymous said...

Palin was terrific on Saturday Night Live too. It's about time that physical attractiveness is the major criterion for election to the Presidency and Vice Presidency! I forget what criteria were used in the election of this Bush who is President while the USA is melting economically and politically.