Thursday, October 23, 2008

Campbell Brown attempts to set women in politics back to Stone Age


In case you do not know who she is, Campbell Brown is a commentator on CNN and CNN.com. Today, she published an opinion piece, which can be found here in which she defends the expenditure of 150k in the last two months on Sarah Palin's wardrobe, by dropping this nugget of wisdom on us:

Women get scrutinized based on appearance far more than men. And look, I speak from experience here. When I wear a bad outfit on the air, I get viewer e-mail complaining about it. A lot of e-mail. Seriously.

When Wolf Blitzer wears a not-so-great tie, how much e-mail do you think he gets? My point is for women, unfortunately, appearance is part of the job.

If Wolf or Anderson Cooper shows up on the air without makeup, you think you would even notice? I show up without makeup? Trust me, you'll notice.

This doesn't just apply to TV. All women in the public eye deal with this issue. And it is for this reason that I think the RNC should help Palin pay for clothes, hair and makeup. It is part of the job.

Now, Campbell tries to blunt this stupidity at the very end by saying that she has raised many questions about Sarah Palin, but that the questions were of the "right" kind:

I, myself, have raised plenty of questions about Sarah Palin, much to the annoyance of the McCain campaign. But those questions have been about her qualifications and experience, never her appearance. Let's keep the focus on what really matters here.

Ah, Campbell. So stupid. You simply don't understand, do you? You cannot have it both ways and every which way. I'm not just talking to you, Campbell. I'm talking to you, women of America. You see, you cannot enforce a double standard and fight it at the same time. Either women should be treated differently or they should not be treated differently. End of discussion. Frankly, we men don't care. Just let us know which way you'd like it - but the trick is you've got to be consistent. Either women are different creatures and should be looked at, evaluated and judged differently than men, or they should not. At home, at work and in politics.

However, don't get into a twist Campbell. You see, Campbell, the funny thing is that you're wrong EITHER way on this one. So rest easy. Your decision is irrelevant - you're still incorrect.

If women should be treated equally to men, an expenditure of $150,000 on clothes in times of economic crisis by a candidate of either sex should be seen as pure madness. It's excess to a degree that is almost unfathomable. And from a candidate running on the GOP ticket of reduced spending and financial conservatism, it's laughable.

But the funny thing is that if women should be treated differently than men, she's still wrong - and so are you, Campbell. If being attractive is part of Sarah Palin's "job" description, she and the GOP are still in lunatic territory with spending 150 large on clothes for her. She's running on a campaign of reform, reigning in spending and small town values. Looking good does not mean lavish spending. Lots of women have to look pretty on a shoestring budget. They're called "the rest of America." They succeed in varying degree, but I assure you that many do look fabulous on less than $150k per eight weeks. Thus even if you judge her differently than a man, she and the GOP are still wrong and out of touch in having spent so lavishly on her. Even if her looks matter, they don't matter THAT much. Or do they...

Unless...

Unless it is acknowledged, brazenly and openly, that her only job responsibility is looking good, and thus no expense should be spared because she brings nothing else to the table. As Lieutenant Weinberg aptly states, he has no responsibilities here whatsoever. Perhaps Palin has none with the exception of being hot.

At this fringe position, any expenditure is justified because all she brings to the table is her looks, and, as such, lavish spending is not only justified but necessary. However, at this fringe point, shouldn't McCain just choose Halle Berry and dispense with the pretense that his running mate is anything other than attractive? (come to think of it - Halle Berry might actually be a better choice for McCain at this point than Palin) And when we've reached that station, where Palin's looks aren't just part of the package but, in fact, the whole enchilada, shouldn't we just acknowledge that women are to be seen and not heard and banish them from politics altogether? I mean, what are they bringing to the table? Hey sweetheart, be a doll and fix me a martini while the big boys talk.

Thus, to bring it full circle, Campbell, you're an idiot. Your looks matter because you bring nothing else to the table (as we clearly see). You read off a teleprompter. The fate of the free world will never, ever be in your hands. You, Campbell, need your looks (and yeah, you're attractive) because that is where your bread is buttered. Your looks are the skillz that pays the billz.

Sarah Palin's looks, whether they matter or not, are not supposed to matter. Her savvy, smarts and experience are what is supposed to matter. That's what mattered with Geraldine Ferraro. With Golda Meier. With Margaret Thatcher. That's what mattered with dozens of other women in government over history, both in this country and around the world. To suggest otherwise as you do, Campbell, is to suggest that looks somehow played a part in the ascension of these remarkable women. And, as a man, let me tell you: they didn't.

But now apparently these things called "qualifications" that used to be important aren't anymore. Now we've regressed so far, thanks to you and others like you, Campbell, that Sarah Palin's looks are crucial. So crucial, in fact, that we should ignore her and/or her party's lavish spending on her looks and what that says about her and/or her party's position on useless and extravagant spending while they contract themselves by talking out of the other side of their mouths about reduced spending and small government. We should ignore any of these implications, Campbell, because looks are just more important for women, and thus no expense should be spared nor contradiction discussed.

Shame on you Campbell. You just set your gender back fifty years.

6 comments:

Warm Apple Pie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warm Apple Pie said...

And they say I'm the windy one. I love your post, Captain Pithy, but it ain't short. You shouldn't throw stones.

I find it conspicuously odd that you didn't list Hillary Clinton in that triumverate of Meir, Ferraro and Thatcher. Not sure if it was intentional.

Pat Bateman said...

Suck it, WAP. Next time I'll just hyperlink and grunt audibly. This is quality cock-and-bull we're providing here.

I left Hillary off intentionally. The comparisons with her and Palin have been flying fast and furious and I wanted to remove her from the equation. This is not a partisan issue. It's a human one.

Warm Apple Pie said...

Go murder a hobo, Patrick Bateman. You know you want too. He stinks. Stab him.

He who hath not bombastically sinned on the page . . . that's all I'm saying. Look at my pithy "outlier" post - you hacks have beaten the creativity out of me.

But isn't Hillary necessary to your subject matter. I mean Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Suit was definitely taking advantage of the 50% off sale at Target for the Spring collection. And that's why Brown is so miserably, unforgivably inane - Hillary didn't have to be glammed up, nor was she desexualized. She was proficient, capable and on par with the best male politicians of her day.

I remember a Drudge post asking if America was ready to watch a female president age in rapid progression due to the rigors of the office. My gut reaction was absolutely.

And I beg to differ with Brown on the makeup point - you strip away Lou Dobbs powder cake, it ain't going to be pretty.

Pat Bateman said...

I agree with your view on Hillary. But because my partisan views are well established, I was stripping MY partisan politics out of it by leaving her out. I think putting Palin next to Hillary makes the situation even more eye-poppingly absurd because they follow so closely one on the other. Hillary, the career woman with power suit and power haircut and taking sheit from nobody... followed immediately by Governor Barbie. Act now and the Governor Barbie Anchorage Igloo Mansion set comes free!

But I think this can be addressed without reference to Hillary because she is such a polarizing figure to people, and I don't necessarily think it needs to skew as far in the Hillary direction. To make that comparison suggests possibly there is no middle ground to tread between the pantsuit wearing ball-buster and the you-betcha-wink-winker from Wasilla.

Selina Kyle said...

Hello! I've enjoyed catching up with your blog over the last few days, but there were times where I thought your posts could use a dose of estrogen. Like here. So my comment to this post actually turned into an article/blog. Just a little too much to say for a comment - so here's the link: http://catgotyourtongue-catwoman.blogspot.com/2008/10