Archive for the politics Category

In other news, Pope Catholic, Clay Aiken still gay

Posted in politics on September 10, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

From the “who didn’t know this?” files: a study based out of North Carolina State University proves that parenthood makes women more politically liberal and men more conservative.

“Parenthood seems to heighten the political ‘gender gap,’ with women becoming more liberal and men more conservative when it comes to government spending on social welfare issues,” says Dr. Steven Greene, an associate professor of political science at NC State and co-author of the study. Greene and Dr. Laurel Elder of Hartwick College used data on the 2008 presidential election from the American National Election Studies to evaluate the voting behavior of men and women who have children at home. Parents who have grown children were not part of the study.

“Basically, women with children in the home were more liberal on social welfare attitudes, and attitudes about the Iraq War, than women without children at home,” Greene says, “which is a very different understanding of the politics of mothers than captured by the ‘Security Mom’ label popular in much media coverage. But men with kids are more conservative on social welfare issues than men without kids.” Men with kids did not differ from men without kids in their attitudes towards Iraq.

Again, this shouldn’t be news to anyone, and it’s fairly easy to see why.  Having a child really opens your eyes to how rarely conservatives take women and children’s needs into consideration.  Not to say that women who don’t have children aren’t afforded the same knowledge, but after years of hearing the right-winger blather about “family values,” which suggests that they hold mothers in high regard, it’s a bit surprising to discover how many basic conservative platforms–anti-abortion, anti-welfare, anti-health care reform, anti-childcare vouchers, anti-public school funding increases–work in direct opposition of women with children.  Oh, if your child is still in the womb, they care about it, provided it remains there to full term.  After that, anything you may need in order to properly take care of your child, whether it be affordable health care or daycare is your problem, and hey, if you can’t handle it on your own, maybe you shouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place.  To paraphrase George Carlin, when it comes to conservatives and children, if you’re pre-born, you’re fine, if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.

I certainly won’t deign myself as speaking for all women when I say this, and it may sound weird, but it wasn’t until after I had a child that I truly understood the need for safe, legal abortion.  When I was a teenager (and, probably not coincidentally, a practicing Catholic), I maintained a wishy-washy, pompous “Well, that’s fine for you but I would never do such a thing!” mindset in regards to abortion.  That changed when I became a mother, and I discovered that having a child is a lot of work, it’s expensive, and more often than not families are left on their own to manage when things get rough.  Also, postpartum depression really, really sucks, but that’s for another post.  Let me point out that my child was planned.  I was twenty-five years old at the time, married, and both my then-husband and I had decent jobs.  Even then, though, I was turned down for coverage by my employer’s health insurance provider, because my pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition.  Also, my maternity leave was unpaid.  We managed, and I don’t regret a second of it, but what of women whose pregnancies are unplanned, teenage girls whose birth control failed, or who were never taught about proper birth control options in the first place, those who don’t have the means to care for a child? The conservative answer (not to mention the Libertarian answer) is, of course, “Not my problem, she shouldn’t have been having sex if she wasn’t prepared for the possible consequences.”  Be that as it may, let’s stop pretending that insisting a woman should carry a pregnancy she doesn’t want to term is anything other than good old-fashioned, Puritan-style punishment for having sex, and that accomplishes nothing except making a small handful of smug, self-righteous windbags feel good about themselves.

As for men becoming more conservative when they have children, I’d hazard a guess that it’s specifically when they have female children.  Men get weirdly protective of their daughters, and often they buy into the conservative paranoia that results in such myths as “Liberals and feminists are encouraging our children to have underage sex” and “Virginity is the most important thing a young woman has to offer, it must be protected at all costs!”  They get convinced that, with Democrats in charge, illegal immigrants and other men with darker skin colors than ours will be allowed to run around unmonitored to rape our daughters and murder our sons.  If this is ridiculous to read, believe me, it was even more ridiculous to write, but if you think I’m exaggerating, look at the reaction to Obama’s speech to schoolchildren earlier this week.  There were people who were actually convinced that his speech, which, after all that commotion, turned out to be about the importance of working hard and staying in school, was going to “indoctrinate” young people into some sort of socialist agenda.  One woman was filmed literally weeping, claiming that she was terrified of what Obama might say to her children.  We could simply wave these people off as maladjusted nutjobs who get all their news from WorldNetDaily, and that’s probably true, for the most part, but I’d be willing to bet they weren’t quite as unhinged before they had children.  Parenthood makes you paranoid, and it makes you wary of the world around you, believing that danger awaits your children around every corner.  Conservatives know this, and they tap into it with finely tuned precision to win and keep constituents.  Conservative pundits like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck are even better at manipulating that kind of paranoia, they just do it for ratings.

Another not entirely surprising finding from the study concerns America’s favorite political disaster Sarah Palin.

Greene also notes that, “despite media speculation that Sarah Palin, given her status as a self-proclaimed ‘Hockey Mom’ and working mother of five, would be effective at attracting the votes and admiration of parents, especially mothers, the research showed no evidence of a ‘Sarah Palin effect’ (between parents and non-parents), even when looking exclusively at Republicans.” Greene explains that this means there was no difference in how parents viewed Sarah Palin versus how non-parents viewed Sarah Palin.

Again, I was saying this months ago, and I was hardly the only one making such an observation.  Sarah Palin being sold as a typical working mom with the needs of other working moms at heart rang hollow from the very start, especially since it was apparent that, part and parcel with identifying as a hardline, Christian conservative, she was working directly against them in several ways.  The image only grew flimsier when, within barely weeks after Palin publically declared that she would support no other sex education for children but abstinence-only,  17 year-old Bristol Palin became pregnant.  Instead of letting the overly polished, unruffled “super mom” mask drop for a moment so we could see and perhaps embrace some shred of humanity, Palin insisted that she and her husband were “happy” about their unmarried teenage daughter accidentally getting pregnant while still in high school.  Recall how quickly babydaddy Levi Johnston and his family were shut out and cut off when he and Bristol broke up and see how “happy” Sarah and Todd really were about the situation.  The point is, a lot of other women besides me could see right through the “she’s just like you” bullshit from the very beginning, and the more obviously phony that got, including but not limited to the infamous $150,000 clothing budget, the more she and her handlers dug their heels in and insisted it was true.  Then it just became insulting, and when you insult potential voters, even those on the fence, they tend to go and vote for someone else.    The best thing that can come out of that particular debacle is that maybe politicians will stop with that patronizing, “just a working class Average Joe/Jane” shtick.  Coming from humble beginnings, sure, that’s still plausible, but if you’re running for an office any higher than, say, city councilman, you’re already given up any claim you can have on being “average.”


With fans like these…

Posted in politics, pop culture on July 29, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

anniewilkesTed Casablanca of E! reports on just one of what must have surely been dozens of squicky, inappropriate moments at last week’s San Diego Comic-Con, this one during a panel for Twilight fan fiction writers.

So the head of a fanfic site was asked if she was bothered by stories posted that are violent or that border on sexual assault. The answer, offered loudly by a fan in the room?

“If it’s Rob, it’s OK.”

The crowd then erupted with laughter.

Um, that’s so not funny.

Now, the erotic-themed pieces are called deep genre, and one audience member asked about where to draw the line between harmless role playing and scary sexual stuff. One mom-author-fan responded that it’s all kosher when Rob is involved and emphasized that, “Twilight [fanfic] is a place where fans can speak freely.”

Somewhere, my high school creative writing teacher is weeping helplessly into his hands over the fact that people who are committing what only just twenty years ago was called plagiarism are now getting widespread acclaim, even their own panel at a convention where they’re interviewed like any other author.  I’m sorry, Mr. B., I don’t understand it either.  Now, I don’t usually use gossip sites as a source of reliable information, but I judged this story plausible enough to discuss, mainly because there is recorded footage of it available and also because I don’t put anything past Twilight fans.  I haven’t read any of the Twilight books, nor have I seen the first movie.  Romantic vampire sagas are not my cup of blood, and even if I did have some interest in giving the series a try, I wouldn’t now because it’s been tainted for me by its fandom.  You see, Twilight fans are fucking crazy, and the mere mention of them at this point makes me recoil in fear.  Every time I offer proof that its fans are cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, such as physically attacking not only critics of the series but each other over who’s the more devoted fan or, I don’t know, writing stories in which the characters are violently raped, someone pipes up that that’s not representative of typical fan behavior, they merely just draw attention to themselves.  You’ll pardon me if that’s not exactly reassuring.

Robert Pattinson, who of course plays romantic lead Edward Cullen in the movie version of the series, seems to be the unlucky recipient of most of the fan devotion.  Pattinson, who’s often criticized the quality of the books and clearly didn’t know what he was getting into when he signed his contract with Summit Entertainment, now seems alternately baffled, angry and terrified of the attention he gets from fans, even nearly getting hit by a car while trying to run away from a mob of them in New York City last month.  The majority of his more rabid fans, even the forty year-olds who should know better if only they weren’t powered by pure fucking insanity, seem incapable of separating him from his character in the movie, so he’s often approached by grown women asking him to turn them into vampires, stalked in airports and manhandled by those who consider him public domain and don’t know how to keep their hands to themselves.  Then, of course, there’s the fan fiction.

Fan fiction, if you have one of these things called a “life” and don’t spend much time on the internet, is when fans of a certain book series, movie or TV show, usually sci-fi, fantasy or horror, write their own stories involving characters from it.  More often than not the stories are pornographic, sometimes quite hardcore, and don’t always shy away from activities that are currently illegal, such as pedophilia and rape.  I know that fanfic isn’t a new concept; undoubtedly 25 years ago there were thousands of fevered masturbation fantasies starring Princess Leia in her slave costume written on notebook paper and then hidden under a mattress.  Now fanfic is a cottage industry, with many of its writers who don’t recognize the terms “copyright” and “intellectual property” developing fan bases of their own and even taking money for their work.  It’s not clear why fan fiction has been allowed to flourish to the point that some purveyors are profiting from it, my only guesses are that a.) it’s so widespread it’s impossible to monitor it, b.) most of the original creators of the work shrug it off as harmless fun for the fans or c.) when writers do complain about fan fiction they’re often met with a backlash, as though it’s a slap in the face to fans to ask them to stop stealing your shit.

Thanks to the internet, pretty much anything goes when it comes to fanfic, because everything is normal on the internet.  You could write a story about Severus Snape sodomizing Ron Weasley with a spiked dildo the size of a Hickory Farms summer sausage while applying jumper cables to his nipples, and for every person who tells you “Hey, that’s kind of messed up,” there’ll be an equal amount encouraging you to write more.  Such seems to be the case with Twilight fanfic, a disturbingly large amount of which appears to involve not just Edward Cullen, but Robert Pattinson specifically (though as mentioned previously many of his fans believe him to be one and the same) being violently raped.

Now, before I go on, let me say that I’m not judging anyone who’s into rape fantasy.  Whether you fancy yourself the assailant or the victim, as long as you know that it’s not an appropriate urge to act on in real life, that’s your business.  I also don’t believe in thoughtcrime, the notion that writing gruesome stories about violence and rape means that you’re going to act on any of it in real life.  My issue is the hypocrisy.  Let’s put it this way: what if it was a male audience member at the Comic-Con panel who made that “joke” about Kristen Stewart, who plays heroine Bella Swan in the Twilight movies? He would have gotten his ass handed to him, and rightfully so.  Women don’t get a pass on making rape jokes, and they definitely don’t get a pass on claiming that it’s “okay” to write stories involving an actual person being sexually assaulted, just because of who he is and because psycho fans believe they claim some sort of ownership on him.

Undoubtedly, most of the “real person fic” involving the rape of Robert Pattinson, particularly if the assailant is a woman, probably ends with his enjoying it, perhaps even falling for his victimizer, rendering the story not so bad in the eyes of the author.  However, isn’t that the most offensive stereotype of all when it comes to rape and sexual assault, that secretly the victim digs it? It is of course the basis for the relationship of Luke and Laura Spencer from General Hospital, probably the most popular couple in soap opera history, as well as a million trashy romance novels in which a virginal princess is kidnapped by a pirate or a sheik who tames her with his penis.  If it was a man writing this kind of garbage, he’d be labeled a misogynist and told to get his head examined.  Women, on the other hand, get to slide most of the time, for reasons I can’t quite fathom, especially if the rape scenes they envision involve a man being assaulted by a woman.  I can only guess it’s because the majority of society still believes that a man simply cannot be raped by a woman, so it’s less insidious.

I realize I’m making a big deal out of what was basically a joke made in poor taste by a member of a subgroup that probably isn’t nearly as prevalent as the internet makes it seem, but again, it’s the hypocrisy that bothers me.  Let’s be honest enough to admit that, despite the First Amendment allowing them to do so,  there’s something deeply twisted about writing fantasies in which real people are sexually assaulted, and it’s not any less twisted when it’s a woman writing them.  It’s not a fun, entertaining way to show your favorite actor how much you love him.  It’s just messed up, and for Robert Pattinson’s sake I hope he never crosses paths with any of these people.

Check out some other examples of “Rape is OK When It’s a Woman Doing It to a Man,” though be warned that once you enter the rabbit hole of TV Tropes, you may never return.

Cynthia Davis: “Let them eat cake.”

Posted in politics with tags on June 24, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

Found through Think Progress, State Representative Cynthia Davis (R-MO) questions if public school summer meal programs for impoverished children are a good use of state funds.

Is school the only place a child can get a nutritious meal? Parents have good reason to dispute the idea that their children will not receive a nutritious meal if they are not in a government institution.  Who should be the one to pass judgment on what defines a nutritious meal?

Ah, yes, how presumptuous of schools to assume that parents need extra services to feed their children, when all they have to go by is the fact that one out of five Missouri schoolchildren goes hungry?

This is not a discussion of how to handle the public orphanage.  These are children who have parents already providing meals for their children.  This program could have an unintended consequence of diminishing parental involvement.  Why have meals at home with your loved ones if you can go to the government soup kitchen and get one for free?  This could have the effect of breaking apart more families.

Of course! If children are getting supplemental meals from school, it keeps them out of the home for an hour or two a day, which could be damaging to the family unit.  Fuck proper nutrition, maintaining traditional family values is what’s most important, presumably so a strong front can be maintained in the ongoing battle against the gay Socialist uprising.

Davis seems to suggest that parents are being forced to use the summer food programs by bullying bureaucrats who want to stick their nose into everything, when they just should be left alone to provide for their children on their own, even if they’re flat-ass broke.  Who cares if all they’re able to provide is peanut butter sandwiches for dinner? Let these people have their dignity, Big Government, it’ll make their family stronger! Davis has a few “now why didn’t I think of that?” solutions for alleviating the problem, such as suggesting that hungry families should just grow a garden, even though it’s likely a large population of Missouri has neither the facilities or the know-how to grow their own vegetables, or, barring that, buy their food from the local farmer’s market, even though in the very next sentence she mentions that there’s no farmer’s market in her hometown of O’Fallon, one of the biggest cities in the state.  Apparently if you live in, say, Glenwood (pop. 203), you’re just supposed to drive God only knows how far to the nearest farmer’s market to buy your produce, because that’s somehow cheaper than getting it at the local grocery with money you don’t have in the first place.  Just don’t send your kids to school to get reasonably nutritious meals for free! It will tear your family apart!

But wait, you haven’t heard Davis’s “look on the bright side” approach to the issue.

The problem of childhood obesity has been cited as one of the most rapidly growing health problems in America.  People who are struggling with lack of food usually do not have an obesity problem.

People who are struggling with lack of food usually do not have an obesity problem.

People who are struggling with lack of food usually do not have an obesity problem.

People who are struggling with lack of food usually do not have an obesity problem.

Yes, I had to read it a couple times to make sure I was comprehending it too, but it does appear that Cynthia Davis is saying, in not quite as many words “Sure, your kids may be going to bed hungry at night, but at least they don’t have to worry about getting fat!” This is sort of like telling someone who just lost a leg, “Hey, at least you don’t have to worry about buying shoes!” Nevertheless, incredibly, her staggering ignorance goes one step even further when she suggests that teenagers who are going without the proper amount of food should go out and get one of those jobs that are all over the place right now.

Anyone under 18 can be eligible?  Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16?  Hunger can be a positive motivator.   What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals?

Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break.

I…just don’t even know where to begin.  “Hunger can be a positive motivator”? Really? This is the message we want to send out to young people? Funny, that sounds like something a dictator would say to get a bunch of peasants to build him a house.  With millions of adults out of work, with even Wal-Mart turning away applicants, her solution is “get a job”? What kind of bubble has this woman been living in for the past two years? And wait a minute, what happened to “if the school feeds children, it will break apart families”? But your kid being forced to work for minimum wage just so he can fucking eat won’t? Finally, “McDonald’s will feed you for free”? Didn’t she just say in the paragraph immediately before that one that hungry people won’t contribute to the obesity problem? Now she’s suggesting that teenagers work at fast food restaurants and rely on the burgers and greasy fries they can get for free? At what point did Davis just give up on trying to say anything comprehensible, still wrong but comprehensible at least? Instead, she seems to be playing a game with herself, “How Ignorant and Hypocritical Can I Get?” It seems to be a game a lot of Republicans enjoy, perhaps they can put out a board version of it, with cards reading stuff like ‘Uh Oh, You Got Caught Sending a Racist E-Mail, Go Back 3 Spaces!” and “Congratulations, You Got Photographed With a Black Person, Advance 2 Spaces!”

You’ll note that on the Think Progress page there’s a picture of Cynthia Davis wearing a cross around her neck.  This is both amusing and maddening.  As much as I genuinely dislike tainting an entire group of people with the same brush, it seems that if someone, particularly a politician, makes “what’s best for the poor” statements that involve cutting funds and taking programs away from them, the more likely they are to identify him or herself as a Christian.  There’s a new breed of Christian, those who seemed to miss the day in Sunday school when they were taught the Seven Works of Corporal Mercy: 1. feed the hungry, 2. give drink to the thirsty, 3. clothe the naked, 4. shelter the homeless, 5. visit the sick, 6. visit the imprisoned, 7. bury the dead.  Those come right from the Bible, that same Bible that conservative Christians like to thump and invoke when they’re speaking out against gay marriage and a woman’s right to choose.  I’m an agnostic and I don’t claim to know more than the most familiar of Bible stories, but even I know that Jesus Christ was a big fan of charity.  That’s also from the Bible, from 1 Corinthians: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”  If Christians are having a hard time figuring out why their numbers are dwindling, they’d do well to take a good, long look at people like Cynthia Davis, who practice a special sort of Christianity, one that allows you to judge and condemn without compensating with compassion.

The comedic stylings of G. Gordon Liddy

Posted in current events, politics on May 29, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

rottentomato“Let’s hope that the key conferences aren’t when she’s menstruating or something, or just before she’s going to menstruate. That would really be bad. Lord knows what we would get then.”~~convicted felon G. Gordon Liddy, on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor

Get it?? Because you know how broads are, they’re moody, especially when they’re dealing with that period nonsense every month.  It doesn’t matter that Sotomayor is in her fifties and is probably postmenopausal, all these chicks are the same, especially when they’re on the rag.  This is a joke nobody has ever made before when it comes to women in power, G. Gordon Liddy is a comedy pioneer.  Maybe she’ll need a soap opera and bon bons break every day, and will demand a recess because she’s feeling fat.  Or she’ll have to stop in the middle of a judiciary briefing because she heard there’s a sale at Macy’s! Heyoooo!

In the mere three days since the announcement of Sotomayor’s nomination, there’s been such an astonishing, depressing amount of racist, sexist “criticism” about her, covering everything from pronunciation of her last name to her enjoyment of the foods of her culture to the fact that she’s a member of a group dedicated to Hispanic interests clearly means she’s dedicated to oppressing white males to this tired, old “women can’t be trusted because they have emotions” shit, that I’ve been considering disconnecting my internet, selling all of my possessions and moving to a cave.  I should have expected that no matter who Obama nominated, it would have been criticized by conservatives, in the most demeaning, childish way possible.  He could have nominated Judge Dredd and conservatives would have fought it.  Arizona senator Jon Kyl threatened to filibuster the nomination before anyone was even nominated.  The majority of Republican Congress members seem determined to dig their heels in and fight Obama on every bill and proposition that comes their way, apparently so he won’t be able to accomplish most of promises he made during his election campaign and Republicans can prove what dirty lying liars Democrats are.  It doesn’t matter that the needs of the people aren’t being met, they have a point to make, goddammit!

Nevertheless, insisting that Sotomayor isn’t an appropriate nominee for the Supreme Court because her last name is foreign (as opposed to Antonin Scalia, who’s clearly the ancestor of proud Irish immigrants who came over to the US in the 18th century–oh wait, I meant his father was born in Sicily), she likes weird foods like pig’s feet and rice and beans instead of all-American hot dogs and hamburgers, she cares about other people of her own ethnicity and, of course, being female she’ll constantly be bitchy and/or crying over nothing is so beneath contempt that I feel a little dirty just repeating it here.  The fact that this is honestly the best they can come up with is so pathetic it’s a little amusing, and yet it’s not because if people like Rush Limbaugh and the increasingly mentally unstable Glenn Beck keep chugging along on the “Obama is actively working against the interests of middle-class White America” trip, it’s going to drive a further wedge between already shaky at best race relations in the country.  I know and most likely anybody reading this right now knows that Obama isn’t working on a plan to herd hard-working, salt of the earth white people into a compound somewhere in Wyoming, turning the rest of the country into Welfarevania, but there are a few Joe the Plumber types who do, and that’s a few too many for my comfort.

But Joe, Republicans only like you as a friend

Posted in current events, politics with tags on March 20, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

McCain 2008 Joe the Plumber

“God, all this love and everything in the room…I’m horny.”~~Samuel “Joe the Unlicensed Plumber” Wurzelbacher, speaking at the Media Research Center “Dishonor Awards,” 3/19/09

Eeeeew.  To quote Patton Oswalt, “God, I wish my fingers emitted Mace.”

Keep it up, conservatives.  Continue inviting  this human bag of sand to speak at public events as a representative of “real American values,” and you’ll manage to dig your own holes.

Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out

Posted in politics on January 19, 2009 by Gena Radcliffe

Before I go on, let me cover my own ass by saying I absolutely do not endorse doing this to anyone you dislike for real.  This is strictly a symbolic gesture, I repeat, THIS IS STRICTLY A SYMBOLIC GESTURE.  Cops tend to frown upon such things, even if they happen to agree with your opinion.

That being said, Lisa at My Ecdysis has named tomorrow, January 20, Bush’s last day in office praise be to God, Throw Your Shoe at Bush Day.

I figured I’d get an early start.


Again, this is a symbolic gesture, I don’t expect it to have much more of an effect than when everybody (Yr. Pal included) took pictures holding signs reading ‘WE’RE SORRY’ after the 2004 election.  Still, there’s been much debate recently over how public opinion on George W. Bush will change over time, that history will prove he really wasn’t as incompetent as he seemed to be, despite that 22% approval rating as his presidency ends, the lowest since they started recording such a thing.  I’m willing to bet at least half of the people in that 22% have been spending the last two years floating around on a yacht off of St. Lucia, without access to newspapers or television that shows what a horrendous mess he’s made, so I’m not even really counting them.  I doubt schools or airports are going to be clamoring to be renamed for a president who seemed determined to go against the will of his constituents as often as possible.  Oliver Stone’s W. is probably as sympathetic a portrayal as we’ll ever see of the man who to this day refuses to take any responsibility for the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina.  The most heated debates will likely be over what disasters were his direct responsibility, and what can be blamed on his corrupt staff.

Stupidity can be forgiven.  Arrogance cannot, not without an apology, which I doubt we will ever get from Bush directly.  The truth is, he’s not that stupid.  An apology can be construed as an admission of guilt, after all.  So I’m making this albeit somewhat silly gesture as an acknowledgment that I’m not going to forget, that time isn’t going to gloss  things over for the Bush Presidency, that hopefully this will be the worst it will ever get for American leadership.

If you want to participate in the shoe throw, post a picture of your footwear of choice on your blog, then link to it at the post at My Ecdysis.  Singing ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’ or ‘Hit the Road, Jack’ is optional but encouraged.

Palin, she’s so hot this year

Posted in current events, politics with tags on November 10, 2008 by Gena Radcliffe

Glamour, without whom women would never get to read such hard-hitting journalistic endeavors as ‘Pale Lips vs. Red Lips’ and ‘The Cutest Puppies Ever!’, apparently has a bit of a girl-crush on former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.  Editor Cindi Leive positively gushed over her at an election night party with the kind of enthusiasm seventh graders reserve for their new BFFs.

Personally, I think she is a gifted politician. She’s a great communicator. She’s a magnetic personality. I don’t see how you can discount that.

Leive also doesn’t quite understand what all the fuss is about over Palin’s “pay for it yourself, whore” stance on rape kits.

It’s anti-women, if you’re a feminist…It doesn’t seem anti-women to her. I don’t know. I’m not any more offended by her having those views than I am by any man holding those same views, and in the end, I think it’s a good thing to have more women out there with alternate political views. I just think that expands our ideas of what women are capable of.

Watch the point as it bounces gently off of Leive’s head like a brightly colored beach ball before being carried off by the wind. So because Palin believed that it wasn’t anti-women made it…not anti-women? I’m not really sure where Leive was going with this, other than seemingly declaring herself not a feminist, which isn’t surprising when you consider she edits a magazine where one half of it is dedicated to “dressing thin” and the other half is devoted to tips for landing a man. I’m not sure it’s all that revolutionary for a woman to have “alternate political views” that are just sexist and male-pandering, Camille Paglia’s been spouting that kind of garbage for years. The only difference is that she’s upfront and honest with her own misogyny, while Palin pushed it with a wink and a smile at the camera.

Leive, probably after tossing back a couple more mojitos, then pulls the “OMG UR JUS JELIS” card to explain why Palin didn’t connect with a lot of women, comparing her to another favorite American homemaker.

The glee with which some women are jumping on her demise kind of turns me off. It reminds me of Martha Stewart…Back in the day when she first had her TV show, there were a lot of women who just loved to hate on Martha Stewart. And on some level it always seemed like they were feeling put down by her choices. Here’s this woman who’s stenciling her mantle. It makes you as a woman feel like you’re not woman enough if you’re not stenciling your mantle. A man encounters Bob Vila and he doesn’t think, ‘Who is this A-hole rebuilding his deck? I don’t have time to rebuild my deck! How dare he tell me to do that!’ A guy would just turn the channel, you know. And women should be able to do that, too. Why do you feel like that’s a referendum on how you live your life? Women take Sarah Palin’s choices really personally.

While they were both hyped by the media as the “perfect woman,” poised, graceful and always putting family first with nary a hair out of place, it’s a bit of a reach to compare dislike over Martha Stewart’s decoupage and wallpapering skills to the rancor felt for Sarah Palin wanting to relieve her fellow women of the ability to choose whether or not to have an abortion, or penalizing rape victims before they even get a chance to see the inside of a courthouse.  I suspect that women are going to be chided over our Mean Girls-like treatment of Palin for months, perhaps even years to follow, as pundits insist that under the noble gestures and goals of feminism lies a veritable snake pit of hypocrisy and self-righteousness.  They’d be right, to a certain extent–feminists are some of the biggest hypocrites you’ll ever meet, particularly in the areas of parenting and religion, and I consider myself a feminist.  Criticism of Sarah Palin for working in every way possible against the needs of women isn’t “jealousy” or self-righteousness, however, it’s simply looking out for each other, and it doesn’t get more feminist than that.