For the record, I hate when male politicians wink too. Someone in the Senate–it might even be Joe Biden (though he certainly didn’t do it last night), or maybe Chuck Schumer–does it, and it infuriates me that a politician would diminish his work by incorporating such smarmy body language into his shtick.
But it especially pisses me off that Palin did it.
It may not be fair, but as one of the trailblazers for women in politics, all women will be judged by the manner with which Palin approaches her campaign. And it is equally unfair, but a wink from a woman means something totally different than a wink from a man. From a woman, a wink is flirtatious. At best. To these commenters over at Reddit, it was far more than that.
I bet she gives awesome head.
She wants to sleep with me!
I believe that wink was aimed at myself. Which is why I immediately proceeded to masturbate.
Yes, it is disgusting that these slobs immediately made this sexual–but they were simply projecting a common connotation onto Palin’s gesture. Whether she intended that sexual connotation or not, she used a gesture that–particularly coming from women–has that connotation.
And so, from being a trailblazer that finally brought the Republican party to the place the Democrats were at in the mid-eighties, Sarah Palin has demeaned that trailblazer role, mobilizing all the tired notions about trampy women who will use sex to get power.
How dare you, Sarah Palin, take the responsibility you’ve been given and use it to cheapen the work that all female politicians do.
Update: Rich Lowry was definitely among those who was thinking of
blow jobs and masturbation "starbursts."
A very wise TV executive once told me that the key to TV is projecting through the screen. It’s one of the keys to the success of, say, a Bill O’Reilly, who comes through the screen and grabs you by the throat. Palin too projects through the screen like crazy. I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can’t be learned; it’s either something you have or you don’t, and man, she’s got it.