Last week, Time Magazine‘s Belinda Luscombe grasped at why Sarah Palin has been on the receiving end of apparently derisive and vitriolic criticism, namely from women. It’s not because her resume about qualifies her to be the vice president of some holy hair removal company that runs late night infomercials on TBN, but it’s because she’s pretty. The article was called "Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin." I read the thing hoping to find some inkling that the piece was tounge-in-cheek. Alas, all I could find was glamor mag-level drivel mincing about as real humor.
According to Luscombe,
When men disagree, the steps to resolution are reasonably clear and unsophisticated. Acts of physical violence are visited upon one another’s person or property, and the whole thing blows over. Women? Nu-unh. We savor the discord. We draw it out. We share our contempt with our friends, like a useful stock tip, or really good salsa. And then we all go hate together: a mutually encouraging group activity for when the book group gets quiet.
I’m not even going to start thinking about how silly I feel to imagine sitting around a chip-n-dip, speculating with my lady friends while stuffing our faces with medium-spiced Ortega salsa. I do think it’s presumptuous that Luscombe, though she claims not to "disparage my gender," tends to think of men and women in such dichotomy, and in such an unoriginal dichotomy at that. The nuanced ways that adult men and women express discord can’t and shouldn’t be reduced to the primordial bogs of teenage diplomacy (Luscombe explains how she’s expert on the subject of lady-hate relationships because she attended a "well-regarded all-girls high school"). And certainly even Sarah Palin is deserving of a little more effort put into the investigation of why people hate her. Or maybe she isn’t. Perhaps there is no sophisticated satire to be had, and countless pop-culture columnists will be left with no other choice than to treat her like the simple celebrity she is. I mean, look at this article. It practically has the same title, and breaks down why women hate female celebrities like Keira Knightly and Jennifer Aniston (hint: they are skinny).
I want the record to show that I do not hate Sarah Palin because she is a pretty lady. All her attractiveness serves to do is disarm me, which I find scary (the familiar queasiness I get when I look at this guy isn’t there, and I don’t know what that means). I don’t even know if I can say that I hate her. I would hate it if her running mate won the election and she became the vice president. I dislike her because I think she is dangerously distracting, and because she provokes articles like this one that some people may confuse with responsible and smart cultural analysis.