Tempest in a Lipstick Tube.

I'm usually among the first to jump all over people who criticize women based on their gender or their motherhood. (In the past few weeks, I've slammed the critics who've nastily labeled Sarah Palin a "bad mom" for having the nerve to run for public office when she has a baby at home and a pregnant teenaged daughter, even though her husband is caring for the kids.)


However, when faux claims of sexism are leveled against someone, they sap the power from the rock solid, legitimate claims of sexism (a la the Palin attacks). And that's not good for anybody.


You've, no doubt, heard that the John McCain/Sarah Palin campaign is calling Barack Obama a sexist for using the well-worn phrase "lipstick on a pig" in reference to the attempt by the GOP ticket to market itself as an agent of change, despite its allegiance to the bulk of the current administration's policies.


However, this past May in Denver, McCain himself invoked the "lipstick on a pig" phrase -- well before Palin likened hockey moms to pit bulls wearing lipstick -- in reference to Hillary Clinton's health care plan.


I wouldn't call McCain a sexist for using that phrase (he was, after all, criticizing Clinton's plan as an attempt to dress up an old, rejected proposal and call it new), nor would I call Obama a sexist for using the same phrase in the same way. Can't we just stick to the real issues and ignore the attempts to divert our focus onto abject silliness?
(By the way, the phrase in question is also the title of a book by a former Bush administration Pentagon spokeswoman. Is that GOP pol a self-hating feminist for using the phrase? I think not.)


Decide for yourself by looking at the Slate video with both men.




Cross-posted on the Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum blog




"Putting lipstick on a pig" is an old saying; so when McCain used it he was saying that no matter how you dressed up Clinton's health care plan it was still ugly underneath.
Obama used the phrase to deliberately insult Sarah Palin. I understand, he's intimidated by her, as he should be. She has more experience and is a smoother public speaker than he is. Take away his teleprompter and note cards and he stammers, stutters, and starts insulting everyday people like plumbers.


Listen to the entire quote. A week after Palin makes a memorable reference to lipstick, Obama uses that phrase, which, in the context of the week's headlines, draws obvious associations. However, it is a common phrase, one could argue that perhaps Obama just used unfortunate timing. A viable argument, EXCEPT when you listen to Obama's next line, something about "wrapping an old fish in newspaper." "Lipstick" - Palin. "Old" - McCain. If Obama really chose those two analogies completely randomly, he's not nearly as smart as his supporters would have us believe.

This entire site needs to step up to the plate and give up the pretense of being for all working women. Of the nine Palin articles listed, none are favorable, two to three might be neutral and therefore generally interesting to all working women, and the rest are rabidly hateful. Dismissing the millions of people who disagree with you on any specific issue as neanderthals reveals more about you than about your political opposition. It puts you right in the heart of your own stereotypes and ignorance, no better than those who do refuse to vote for someone because of their race or gender.