Liberal-Conservative Political Statement or Misogyny?

October 27, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Apparently someone in West Hollywood decided to decorate for the Halloween parade by hanging Sarah Palin in effigy. I’m not keeping up with current events as well as normal lately, so I’m not sure if this story is all over the MSM or is a LT. Nixon scoop. I left a comment on his post, but want to write a bit more about the issue here as well. I’m actually trying not to write novels in other blogger’s comments sections these days.

In his post, LT. Nixon focused on the liberal-conservative aspects of the display stating:

“…with a complicit media heavily favorable towards The Obama, expect displays like this to continue well beyond Nov. 4th to anyone not buying into the Democrats’ Higher Purpose. By this time next year, most people who aren’t self-professed liberals are probably going to be charecterized as cretinous morlocks, cooking up meth in trailers and railing on about c’untry first.”

While I don’t disagree that the political connection is part of what is happening, I think there is more to it than that. Although the display also includes an effigy of Senator McCain, his mannequin is coming out of a smoking chimney. The placement of the two mannequins and the “props” used with them have undertones of more than just political leanings. I can’t help but feel that if this display was just political commentary or protest McCain would have been the one with the noose around his neck. He is the person the Republican party has nominated for President. If this display was purely about liberal-conservative, they would have both had nooses around their neck or neither would have a noose. That isn’t what happened though. This homeowner singled out Sarah Palin as the target.

I think that one thing reactions to the campaigns of Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton have shown us is that misogyny is alive and well in the US, and is also socially acceptable among the supposed “enlightened” and progressives in a way that racism is not. Hanging/lynching is an act of subjugation that is intended not only to cause physical harm, but to humiliate. There is a quality of debasement to hanging. If this display had been in Alabama or any other Southern state and Obama had the noose around his neck instead, I don’t think that local law enforcement would say that it wasn’t a hate crime but that it might be a crime of bad taste like they did with this one. Disgraced Columbia Teacher’s College Professor Madonna Constantine believes that she was targeted both for being black and for being a woman when a noose was hung around her office door. But a noose around the neck of a mannequin dressed as Sarah Palin…apparently just in bad taste.



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  1. Mixed reaction from West Hollywood’s gay community

    Hmm, WeHo is very liberal and progressive, but it’s not San Francisco style Maoist crazy or anything. I was surprised to hear about it.

  2. Thanks for the link to the video. Some of the statements in it by the homeowner touch on what disturbs me about the incident. He said, “The image of a hanged black man is a lot more intense than the image of a hanged white woman”. This makes me even more convinced that selecting the white female candidate as the one to hang rather than the white male candidate was intentional. Even if it wasn’t, hanging someone in effigy is just plain wrong (yes, I know it’s a strange position for someone whose religion has different “levels” of sin). The whole argument about it being Halloween and in the spirit of the season is BS.

  3. Even if Nixon jumps on me for using the M word again, I must chime in with my two cents on this argument. This is no doubt in bad taste, but I tend to lean toward not so much on this one. It’s pretty bonehead and childish to hang or burn anyone in effigy in my opinion, but they did use McCain in the display. Do you think maybe Palin is more iconic, in that her “look” is easier to spoof than some old white dude, so they chose to put her out front? Palin is definitely proof that misogyny is alive and well in America though. I literally grate my teeth when McCain goes on and on about how proud he is of her. I’ve never heard other candidates talking about how proud they are of their male running mates. Is he so proud because she has a vagina? Is she a small child to be talked down to? Mentally slow? A pet? And don’t get me started on all the shit about how hot she is from everyone. I know you see that with the male candidates too, but it seems disproportionate to females who are in the public eye. Also let me reiterate how completely insane this is by supporters of both political parties that we seem to be feeding off so much hate and nastiness.

  4. I agree with you on the hate and nastiness Ms. K. I didn’t notice too much of it until some recent travels though- NJ didn’t get too many of the election commercials as it was firmly in the “Blue” camp. Too much of what I saw/heard in battleground states during the last few weeks of the election while traveling just made me sick.

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