DADvocate points us to the Reluctant Leftist's academic examination of feminism and Sarah Palin. The post is a long one, and the comments section is off the chain. My favorite comments examine the three make-believe characters we examined (Palin, Obama, Clinton) during the election cycle, and comparisons between feminism and racism. I was about to bloviate on DADvocate's comment section about this, so instead I'll just mull it over here.
A few thoughts now that I've had a chance to read the whole link (and I mean all 350+ comments at this point):
First of all, I was fairly sold on Obama before Palin even showed up on the scene. When she showed up on the scene, it was under the geas of the organization that had presented George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to the world over the last 8 years. Not a lot of credibility to be had in the "good government/fiscal conservative/sound foreign policy" arena.
Even having been a McCain fan for years (and constantly telling folks on both sides that either way the election went, we would be better off - which I still think is true), when Palin showed up and made appearances, her words cast her (in my ears) in the same mold as George W. Bush. If she was either intellectual or common sensical, it did not translate as she was reading from a sub-par script that played to the most base emotions of what I considered the bad parts of the Bush years. The real America? Again? After Bush, it didn't take much for me to get my liberal = traitor hackles all up.
There is also the fact that I apparently live in a completely different world than most people, as far as my information intake is concerned. First of all, I was teaching and had less time to keep up with the news drama of the day (my drama was much more localized). I don't watch a lot of TV news. I don't watch a lot of late night TV. I get most of my news from online sources like Slate and newspapers, and blogs - not even the "major" bloggers, but from sites like DADvocate, the Classic City & NOLA blogospheres, and items they link to. One thing I do listen to daily is radio - which has an extremely conservative bent where I am.
(In retrospect, this is almost the exact opposite of how my parents filter information, as Fox News is on all day at their house, and they rarely listen to talk radio. It makes some sense that their view of the world is completely different than mine.)
So that's me, not tuned in to whoever it was "attacking" Sarah Palin, and constantly listening to very visceral attacks on Obama. When I would read things about Palin being attacked constantly, I'm forced into a skeptical view because I was seeing the response first and not the slight. When all I see is someone (and her defenders) complaining about how awful people are, and then I listen to an Obama speech, I wonder what in the hell Palin and her defenders are talking about.
Hence the Sarah "Media Hate Me" Palin figure I blogged about during the election. I came of age watching hip-hop music destroy itself into rap music, and nothing sells records in that genre like a manufactured controversy.
The persona she allowed her handlers to market may or may not have been who she really is. I don't know. What I do know is that Obama's speeches during the election cycle were spot on to things I believe (the speech on race and the nomination acceptance stand out). Since the election, his continued speeches (Notre Dame, Cairo) and his response to the Iranian crisis have been, again, spot on to what I wanted to see from this presidency. Have their been missteps or mistakes? Absolutely. The "gifts" for PM Gordon and HM The Queen are embarassing, but even those were reported in the MSM, blogs, and made the Daily Show - all things that happened to GWB.
At the same time, Palin has continued to attract attention due to controversy. True, some of it was not her making (Letterman is an asshole as are Washington insiders who lose Presidential campaigns and need a scapegoat). Some of it was (are you really speaking at a GOP fundraiser? Resigning as governor?).
So I feel quite justified in my decision not to support Sarah Palin. If she was a man behaving in the same way, I would respond in the same way.