As a lesbian feminist, I am torn in my love for Alaska's Sarah Palin, the vice presidential running mate for yet another ugly old white guy.
One the one hand, she is a girlicious governor who somehow manages to fill the role of several stereotypical female sex fantasies, all of which appeal to the lesbian in me. For example:
This image touches on all the same nerves that Angelina Jolie does when she's in the role of Laura Croft. Sex "pistol" is clearly too small for this woman.
And apparently I'm not the only one who sees the connection with Laura Croft (or perhaps Areala, Warrior Nun), as this gun-toting action figure going on sale in the next couple of days indicates. Hard not to notice the distinctly librarian undertones to this doll, as well. Must be the glasses.
So the hot chick who looks like she might let down her hair, throw off her glasses and kick your ass at any minute, now memorialized in plastic (kind of like Cindy McCain has done to herself without the action figure profits), is very appealing to my inner and outer lesbian. I want a Sarah Palin pin-up calendar for Christmas!
But the feminist in me is on alert because the truth about Sarah Palin is that she's a Trojan Horse. (Never mind that her persistent pregnancies indicate she has no idea how to actually use a Trojan.)
She's a Trojan Horse because what you see on the outside -- a woman who's attractive to men, lesbians, dominatrix-librarians and the guys who star on Deadliest Catch alike -- is not at all what you find on the inside.
On the inside, it would seem there is a woman who hates the woman within her. I tend to think this about women who register and vote Republican in general. But Sarah Palin seems to hate herself with a peculiar vengeance.
Hates herself enough not to respect her own right to determine whether she reproduces or not -- EVEN IF SHE'S RAPED, and even if that rape is at the hands of a male relative like, say, her own father. Anyone who would insist that a survivor of rape or incest who ends up pregnant as a result of those crimes should carry the fetus to full-term is obscenely out of touch with what your average American thinks about a woman's right to choose.
As my friend The Florist noted the other day, it would seem that in addition to Lesbians For Sarah Palin following the woman around to her campaign stops, we might also reasonably expect to see Children of Rape For Sarah Palin. Not to mention Children of Incest For Sarah Palin.
And she seems to hate her 17-year-old daughter enough to wrangle her into a shotgun wedding with a teenage boy. Is this not the 21st Century? Haven't we gotten past the part where we force children to marry each other to hide the "shame" of premarital sex? Guess what, governor? We ALREADY KNOW your daughter did not take and uphold vows to "save herself for marriage." Don't pressure her to marry the dude, as well.
But then Gov. Palin is a woman who knows how to use a gun. So there's probably a reason the teen parents-to-be aren't protesting too much.
There are more political affronts Sarah Palin has made against women, lesbians in particular, but the final aspect of her Trojan Horse nature is her appeal to two other groups of voters who often feel disenfranchised in presidential campaigns. I'm talking about Gay men and suburban straight women.
Morocco Molé, keeping life queer in a central California farming community, admitted to me that he is "drawn in" and "charmed" by Sarah Palin. "I really like her style," he said. "I wouldn't actually vote for the crazy bitch, but I am grateful that there's finally someone in the Republican Party who can do glam without looking like Linda Evans with a hangover after a Dynasty cast party. Oh, did I *really* say that about Cindy McCain? Let's see. Mmmm-hmmm."
Similarly, a soft-spoken, cardigan-wearing straight female colleague of mine who lives in the suburbs, is having a hard time stabilizing her feelings about Sarah Palin. (We'll call my colleague Cookie Queen in honor of a gift she bestowed upon me last week.) So this is what happened last week when Cookie Queen overheard me talking to another female colleague about Lesbians For Sarah Palin:
Me to the colleague: I knew McCain was going to have to go with a woman or person of color to counterbalance Obama's choice of Joe Biden, another old white guy. But I thought maybe an Alberto Gonzalez type because the only Republican woman who comes to mind is Elizabeth Dole. I mean, who knew there was actually a hot young librarian birth-giving governor up in Alaska? Has there ever been a governor who's given birth in office before her? Did I mention, too, that she's HOT?
Cookie Queen, from across a few cubes in the office: "Hey!"
For a moment I think: Uh, oh. Busted for inappropriate sexual innuendo in the office. I look through a window in a cube wall and say, Yes?
Cookie Queen, or CQ for short, leans forward and stage-whispers: "You know what I don't get? All the talking heads on television -- and I mean ALL of them, most of them being men who are all talking over each other and driving me crazy with that -- are avoiding the subject, you know. They aren't saying anything about her looks. All they talk about on TV is how she made all these good points in her speech. Well, I listened to that speech, and you know what? She didn't make any points. All she did was talk trash about her opponents."
Me: Fancy that. Impoverished discourse about politics in our nationally broadcast media....
CQ: "I'm sorry but I've heard the guys talking ever since they saw that Sarah Palin on TV for the first time. You know what all of them are saying? 'Who wouldn't want to tap that?' That's what they're saying. Behind the scenes, it's ALL about her looks. So I don't believe those guys in the media for a minute when they talk about how she is with the 'issues.' Please. Look at her."
Me: If you think that, you might enjoy this blog I just started.
CQ gets up to look at this site, which is open on my colleague's computer. She sits down at the monitor and begins quickly scrolling through the first article, not reading it. She is only looking at the pictures.
Suddenly, she comes to a screeching stop at this photo. "Oh look!" CQ says excitedly, "she's wearing Burberry! I like that!"
I blink. Did I not just hear CQ critique the matter of how Sarah Palin-as-Sex-Bomb is being "overlooked" by the mainstream media? Can Burberry make a straight woman turn on a dime like that? Apparently, it can; it happened right in front of me.
Trojan Horse, I mutter. Trojan-fucking-Horse.
But damn, she's hot.