Saturday, October 4, 2008

Wolf on Palin (that's not an Alaskan wildlife reference - the article is by Naomi Wolf)

By Chloe Angyal

Fierce feminist Naomi Wolf argues in a column today that Sarah Palin's appeal, and particularly her appeal to women, is class-based as well as gender-based:
“…when Palin is escorted into the media limelight, she becomes the symbolic revenge fantasy of many of those silenced, exhausted factory workers and secretaries. To see a working-class white woman be picked to serve a heartbeat away from the US president resonates powerfully. Think of the appeal of films such as Thelma And Louise or Working Girl, in which the leading character is a gutsy, exploited secretary who, trampled by a snooty female Ivy League boss, manages to end up with the dream job, the dream guy, and the corner office.”

Wolf continues:
“That said, Palin's sinking approval ratings show that, while such women thrill to symbolic validation, they are not fools. They have begun to notice how Palin is trotted out like a model at an auto show to be introduced to heads of state as if they are local car dealers, and how the media are allowed to take pictures but not ask questions ("That's me with Henry Kissinger!").”

My guess is that Wolf is right, and that the McCain campaign figured all this out long before she did. So was last night's excessive down-hominess, with its gosh-darn-its and Joe Sixpack references, an attempt to play on the class divide that apparently makes Palin so attractive to some women?

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