In the (Entertainment) News – 9/5/08

Hello, everyone! It’s been quiet lately, or I’ve slept through any entertainment kerfuffles.

I hesitate to bring this up for fear of launching a tug-of-war. Politics is not entertainment for me, but for many it’s something they can’t turn away from. Here in the States, the political arena is gearing up fast and furious. It’s a time I really can’t stand – regardless of party affiliation, I end up feeling like if I vote, I’m voting for the candidiate I think will inflict the least harm. That’s neither here nor there, really.

From a feminist standpoint, Republican candidate John McCain naming Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate has sent the media into a tailspin. Some of it’s about politics, but often the commentary is littered with sexism. FCOL, CNN just used the term ‘hockey mom’ in a headline. The meat of the article might focus in a less gender-biased way, but jeez. From The Wall Street Journal‘s opinions page:

Imagine watching Sarah Palin, the gun-toting, lifelong member of the NRA, the PTA mom with teased hair and hips half the size of Hillary’s, who went … omigod … to the University of Idaho and studied journalism. Mrs. Palin with her five kids and one of them still virtually suckling age, going wham through that cement ceiling put there exclusively for good-looking right-wing/populist conservative females by not-so-good-looking left-wing ones (Gloria Steinem excepting).

Elsewhere on the internets, we’re seeing advice for Palin to stay at home to take care of her babies, commentary on her pregnant teen daughter and about a million other news tidbits focusing more on her personally than politically. Please feel free to share.

Shoot, even people I’m surrounded by have uttered the “I don’t like the sound of her voice” bullshit we’ve discussed here before. Yesterday a male coworker commented that he thought Palin was super hot.

Love Palin’s politics or hate them, it’s incredibly disheartening to see people focusing on things which are not entirely relevant or necessarily important versus keeping their debates about her political stance.

(I do have to link to The Daily Show, though, because sexism in politics certainly isn’t new. I’m afraid my bias might be showing, that’s dang funny.)

On what I think is a much less loaded topic, Beyonce calls weight gain “so much fun” and bemoans “I had to lose it,” she laments. “I was so angry with myself. I was like, ‘D’oh! Why do you have to go through this?'”. Oh, dear.

Alas, I lost the link to where female star salaries were again compared like a competition. Fail, SBG, fail. I was going to mention it, only because I can never seem to recall if ranking by salary gets done for male stars. Even if they did, can you imagine doing a side-by-side comparison? It might reveal too much…

What have you all been buzzing about that I might have missed?

Comments

  1. Ariadne says

    Alas, I lost the link to where female star salaries were again compared like a competition. Fail, SBG, fail. I was going to mention it, only because I can never seem to recall if ranking by salary gets done for male stars. Even if they did, can you imagine doing a side-by-side comparison? It might reveal too much…
    I did some number crunching from the Forbes Celebrity 100 the other day – the 43 women earned an average of 33 million, whereas the 54 men (there were a few groups on the list) earned an average of 45 million. (So, that’s 72% of what the men earn)

    It’s even worse if you strike JK Rowling and Tiger Woods off the top – the women get 26 mil, which is 62% of what the average men make.

    And it’s reasonable to say that they’re equally good at their jobs, since Forbes also takes press coverage, etc, into account when making the list.

  2. says

    Oy. There are so many legitimate reasons to love or hate Palin, but if we focused on those it would be like women are actual political candidates and not cattle we’re appraising at an auction.

    Oh, they won’t DARE rank male and female actors’ salaries side by side. Women are always lucky to get half what the men are getting. The reason is that stars are paid according to what their last film grossed, and since women are never handed movies that have the potential to make much – whether because the movies aren’t great, they’re too niched, or they’re under-marketed.

    But you know, sexism is harmless. Hey, it’s not like anyone really needs more than the several million a top female star can earn per film, so it’s okay that they’re prevented from earning what men earn. It’s not like we’re taking minimum wage away from someone who’s desperate, right?

  3. says

    Well, Palin herself has been using the term “hockey mom” as a boastful epithet – it’s a dogwhistle to suburbia, a “One of us!” signal, though whether it will work among the actual working-class hockey moms is a good question, I’ll have to keep my ears open at the laundromat since I live in hockey country myself – and claiming that her having five children *is* what qualifies her to govern, that being able to take proper care of her five children has given her the necessary experience to run a city, state, or country in and of itself.

    So it’s not irrelevant, especially given that she’s running on a Traditional Patriarchal Values platform including abstinence-only sex ed and reduced social safety net. The hypocrisy of a Phyllis Schlafly II needs to be pointed out – but they’re counting on using “chivalry” and ye olde conservative legerdemain of “No, you’re the REAL racists/sexists” to avoid any accountability on the reality of their Chastity & Obedience puppet.

  4. Izzy says

    bellatrys: Very true. It’s been mentioned elsewhere–and I haven’t seen the TV footage to confirm one way or another–that Palin is also trying very hard to present a conventionally “feminine” image. Styled hair, lipstick, etc. Very “I’m a REAL woman, not like those OTHER female politicians.”

    Which…y’know, if she just looked feminine, that would be fine (and out of bounds for comment, I think) but if she’s trying to project a certain appearance, much as Dubya attempted to look Manly in various contexts, I think that puts it out there.

  5. Patrick says

    What drives me crazy about the gender-related focus on Palin is that is draws attention away from the fact that, politically, she’s a pretty scary candidate. Experience issues aside, she’s anti-choice, anti-equal marriage rights, and has multiple connections to dominionist groups.

    Thanks for the Daily Show link. It’s a perfect summary of why I despise contemporary politics. The jock culture mentality of “when we do it, it is good, when they do it, it is bad” drives me crazy.

  6. sbg says

    I did some number crunching from the Forbes Celebrity 100 the other day – the 43 women earned an average of 33 million, whereas the 54 men (there were a few groups on the list) earned an average of 45 million. (So, that’s 72% of what the men earn)

    But there’s no such thing as a glass ceiling anymore, right?

    Oy.

  7. sbg says

    Oy. There are so many legitimate reasons to love or hate Palin, but if we focused on those it would be like women are actual political candidates and not cattle we’re appraising at an auction.

    I’m cynical. I can’t help but think Palin’s nod was some incredibly adept stunt casting. Even the Republican outcries for everyone to stop focusing on her personally seem disingenuous.

    I’m leery of all politicians.

    But you know, sexism is harmless. Hey, it’s not like anyone really needs more than the several million a top female star can earn per film, so it’s okay that they’re prevented from earning what men earn. It’s not like we’re taking minimum wage away from someone who’s desperate, right?

    Sure, as long as you can pretend it doesn’t happen out in the real non-Hollywood world. I think some people probably can do that without batting an eyelash.

  8. sbg says

    Well, Palin herself has been using the term “hockey mom” as a boastful epithet – it’s a dogwhistle to suburbia, a “One of us!” signal, though whether it will work among the actual working-class hockey moms is a good question, I’ll have to keep my ears open at the laundromat since I live in hockey country myself – and claiming that her having five children *is* what qualifies her to govern, that being able to take proper care of her five children has given her the necessary experience to run a city, state, or country in and of itself.

    I love my mother, but her raising 11 kids does NOT qualify her to help run a government.

  9. sbg says

    What drives me crazy about the gender-related focus on Palin is that is draws attention away from the fact that, politically, she’s a pretty scary candidate. Experience issues aside, she’s anti-choice, anti-equal marriage rights, and has multiple connections to dominionist groups.

    If I’m going to be honest, the McCain/Palin ticket sounds like it might be one headed straight for hell. But that’s just me. You’re right, though, I think it’s all a brilliant distraction.

    I don’t begrudge anyone their beliefs, but when they try to dictate that everyone else must adhere to those beliefs I get a tad tetchy. All the God talk also scares the crap out of me. God is fine or whatever, but goodness gracious, invoking the name of a deity to defend a war fought for oil (oh, wait, against terrorism) is terrifying to me.

    But I’m getting off topic. Heh.

    Thanks for the Daily Show link. It’s a perfect summary of why I despise contemporary politics. The jock culture mentality of “when we do it, it is good, when they do it, it is bad” drives me crazy.

    They also had a segment with a reporter trying to get RNC attendees to say Palin’s daughter had a choice when it came to her baby. LOL, they simply refused to use that word. HIlarious.

    I love The Daily Show.

  10. ACW says

    Speaking honestly? …I probably wouldn’t vote for McCain no matter who he picked as a running mate. If he has, in fact, picked Palin at the last minute, it has simply lowered my opinion of him (wait – hear me out). I’m certainly pro-female, but I’m not anti-male. It doesn’t seem like she has the experience I’d want in a VP, which leads me to believe she may not have been the best qualified individual on McCain’s short list. I get the impression that she was picked in part because of some of her extreme views, and in part because they hoped to sway the ‘moderate female vote’.

    The very idea that the McCain campaign assumes or hopes to win over Clinton’s supporters by naming Palin VP makes me want to scream. It seems as if he is saying, “women vote for women regardless of the issues”… I mean, what? I don’t have the mental capacity to form a valid political opinion? …sheesh…

    Basically, I get the feeling that – for his purposes – one woman would suffice just as well as another for VP, whereas I would much rather see a man in office who is looking out for women’s best interests than a woman in office who isn’t.

  11. Amy McCabe says

    I do not agree with Palin on most issues. I will not be voting for her. That said, I find the media coverage on her, by and large, to be distasteful and sexist.

  12. says

    As much as I’d like to see a woman in the White House, someone who thinks abortion is wrong even in cases of rape and incest shouldn’t be allowed near the White House, no matter his/her gender, until that person has been raped and impregnated by a close relative and forced to raise the chromosomally damaged offspring alone without insurance to pay for its expensive care, nor a job that will pay for daycare (thus forcing the parent to go on welfare even though s/he is willing to work for a living), nor insurance to pay for therapy, nor any court justice against the relative who committed the rape. Because maybe then I would think they’re not talking complete and utter fucking ignorant shit.

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