Wednesday, January 13, 2010 0 Responses
SE Cupp, a Fox News Contributor, wrote a piece in the NY Daily News: Sarah Palin's Victorian critics
According to the Los Angeles Times, Republican strategist David Carney seemed to question Palin's constitution, suggesting that the less she has to do, the better. Limited appearances are "probably safer . . . than a daily show where she'd have to come up with something innovative and entertaining and provocative for 42 minutes, five days a week."
Only in the glossy, rarefied and coiffed world of television is 42 minutes of thinking considered a challenge.
Nonetheless, David Wallechinsky also seemed to fear for Palin's stamina in a Huffington Post screed. Like Carney, he took comfort in knowing the little lady wouldn't have to carry a program all by her lonesome: "Okay, she won't be having her own show - that's probably too darn hard for Palin." Washington Post blogger Jonathan Capehart worried, too, that the television gig would test Palin's mental mettle, discharging some heartwarming advice: "Palin will learn how to think on her feet. She should get used to getting to the studio thinking that she's going to talk about one thing only to find out that she's talking about something else."
Horror of horrors, anything but that.
Excuse me, but what century are these guys from? The idea that a former governor, a seasoned politician and a mother of five from Alaska isn't capable of chiming in every now and then on issues with which she is already intimately familiar is downright archaic. It's also preposterous. When did television punditry become the vaunted decathlon of the political Olympics? As a pundit myself, I can tell you it's a job Sarah Palin can more than handle. In fact, it's a job at which she can excel. But this kind of hyperventilating over Palin's skill set isn't just antiquated and uninformed. It's also sexist. Back in the 1800s, female hysteria was a common medical diagnosis for a wide range of symptoms - from nervousness to stress, insomnia and irritability - thought only to manifest in women. Hysteria itself comes from the Greek word hustera, or uterus.
Until Freud came along and reclassified most hysteria diagnoses as general anxiety disorders, women were treated as fragile, delicate, temperamental creatures who couldn't handle the rigors of life as aptly as men. In 1873, Harvard physician Edward Clarke even suggested that educating women would physically overwhelm them - creating women with "monstrous brains and puny bodies."
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