Opening Some ‘Weapons Grade’ Hate

There’s an article in Time, written by Belinda Luscombe, that has had me swearing for a few hours now.

In her piece “Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin” she comes to the conclusion Palin is disliked because we’re all catty bitches who act like it’s high school, or something like that.

Me? A catty bitch? (photo by Micah)

The problem here is this is not the first time I’ve heard this sort of argument. In fact, it seems to be the new way to fight all the criticism directed at Palin “Oh, you just don’t like her because women love to hate other women.”

Luscombe writes:

1. She’s too pretty. This is very bad news. At school, pretty girls tend to be liked only by other pretty girls. The rest of us, whose looks hover somewhere around underwhelming, resent them and whisper archly of their “unearned attention.” So, if everyone calls your candidate “hot,” you’re in a whole mess of trouble. If the Pakistani head-of-state more or less hits on her, well, yes, she’ll get a sympathy vote, but we’re in Dukakis-in-the-tank territory. It’s an admiration vaporizer. (Of course a candidate can’t be too ugly, or it will scare the men, who are clearly shallow as a gender.)

2. She’s too confident. This also bodes ill. Women have self-esteem issues. But they also have other-women’s-esteem issues. As almost any woman — from the head of the Budgerigar Breeders association to Queen Elizabeth — can attest, it’s almost impossible to get confidence right. Too timid and you’re a pushover. Too self-aggrandizing and you’re a bad word unless it’s about a dog, or Project Runway’s Kenley. Or Michelle, my best friend until 9th grade, after she won that debating prize and got cocky.

3. She could embarrass us. History is not on Palin’s side. Every time a woman gets a plum job, be she Hewlett-Packard’s ex-boss, Carly Fiorina, or CBS’s Katie Couric, there’s always that whispery fear that people will think she got the job just because she’s a woman. So if things don’t go well — and a couple of YouTube clips have suggested that they’re certainly not going well for Palin — women are the first to turn on her for making it harder for the rest of us to louse up at work.”

Not only do I call bullshit, but I also smell a rat.

McCain picks Palin to obviously court female voters, female voters say “who? really?”

Female voters educate themselves on Palin (yes, we do that…).

NONconservative female voters revolt.

McCain team scratches head. (and balls)

Palin starts to tank.

McCain spin machine realizes sell to “Moms” and “average women” isn’t going as planned, paints Palin as victim of “gotcha journalism, evil media, catty women.”

Let’s be clear here. I will admit women operate differently then men, however we certainly are not attacking Palin because she’s “pretty” or “confident.” In case this writer missed the memo, here are MY reasons for not voting for and fighting against Palin with everything I have in my arsenal:

#1 She’s against abortion in all circumstances including rape and incest.

#2 She would like creationism taught in public schools.

#3 She hoped the Iraq war was a task from God

#4 She denies that global warming is man-made.

#5 She served As Director Of ‘Ted Stevens Excellence In Public Service’ 527

#6 She believes it was ‘Gods Will’ to build a gas pipeline in Alaska

#7 She dismisses alternative energy

#8 She opposed expanding hate crime laws

#9 She supports denying benefits to same sex couples

#10 She supports abstinence only policies

Those are just 10 reasons I have some “weapons grade” hate for Palin, none of which have to do with her hair, her clothing, her confidence, or her ability to “embarrass” my gender (even though WOW she’s good at that one).

I didn’t even touch on her lack of ability to handle the media, her willingness to lie to the American public, her lack of knowledge on many subjects including the rest of the GLOBE,  or the total blatant and obvious way she’s been chosen to try and sway ME to vote McCain.

No, no…you see…as it turns out, we’re not the mean girls, as Luscombe suggests. It turns out we’re just SMART girls.

*special thanks to Think Progress for their Palin Digest

**Pretty, confident, nonembarassing women WE LOVE:

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Late Gov. Ann Richards, Michelle Obama, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Shelly Berkeley, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Claire McCaskill, Mary Landrieu, Hilda Solis, Indira Ghandi, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Mikulsky, Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Betty Sutton, Loretta Sanchez, Elizabeth Edwards, Golda Meir, Benazir Bhutto, Donna Brazile, Gabby Giffords, Marsha Blackburn, Cathy McMorris Rogers, Arianna Huffington, and even Hillary Clinton when she’s not using the GOP playbook to win primaries. I will also throw in Condi Rice, because she is smart and qualified, even if we don’t agree on issues.

Add your “pretty, confident” favorites to the comments. Because we all know women actually do support other women, and we’re not falling for this load of crap that Palin is now the victim of some gender conspiracy. She’s the victim of her own incompetence and being on the wrong side of issues we other women are actually knowledgable and passionate over.


  1. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

    While I do have to admit that I find myself embarrassed as a woman to have her as one of the more visible “examples” of our gender, that really has nothing to do with why I oppose her candidacy and am appalled at the idea that she might be our next Vice President. My list of reasons for that looks quite a bit like yours, and if those statements were describing a candidate who happened to be male, I’d oppose him just as strongly as I do Palin.

  2. AMEN!!!!!!!!!!all the way to the voting booth, sister!

  3. Okay, well I think that Belinda the Bitch might have a point. It’s obvious to me that Sarah Palin hates Katie Couric, the pretty, smart, confident journalist who turned her every which way but loose. I read that she was whining about how Katie didn’t give her a chance to attack Obama and his policies. She’s totally clueless that these interviews were to learn more about her.
    I think Kay Bailey Hutchison is a stunning woman, although we don’t share the same philosophy. Sheri Henry from the Clinton administration is also a beautiful, smart woman.

  4. I resent Belinda’s argument that I would be against a candidate or a woman in power just because she’s pretty and confident. It’s a disgusting and unfair generalization forced onto me. God forbid Belinda consider that the reasons I dislike Gov. Palin are rational or based on facts, of course it’s gotta be a girl thing.

    Fact is I don’t like a person (man OR woman) who doesn’t believe in my right to choose. Who doesn’t believe in my daughter’s right to choose, or even learn that she has something to choose. I don’t believe in a person who wants to deny rights to gays because of who they love. I don’t believe in a person to be invested in diplomacy and international relations when they think that proximity to a foreign country is enough experience.

    I don’t care if you look like a basset-hound or if you look like Carmen Electra, I want the leader (and second in command) to be the smartest cookie in any room, to be open-minded and to hear both sides, to understand the delicate shades of gray in the world and to base their decisions on real things, not because “God told me so” or because someone tried to hurt my Daddy. I don’t want a VP to get cosmos with or get mani-pedis with, I want a VP who’s gonna step in when it matters and take charge in a way that doesn’t deny my rights as an American and alienate the rest of the world in the process.

    It doesn’t matter if you stand or sit when you go to the bathroom, what matters is a leader who will lead. Maybe Belinda never left high school, but some of us have and we’re smarter for it.

  5. Excellent reply to the article. I really can’t believe that is the thought out there as to why we disagree (I don’t want to use the word hate, I don’t know Sarah Palin enough to say that) with Sarah Palin. That article is an insult to the intelligence of women as was McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin. I am totally surprised and shocked it was a woman who wrote that article.

  6. Texas is full of them!

    TX House of Reps: Paula Peirson, Vicki Truitt, Veronica Gonzales, Ana E. Hernandez, Donna Howard, Ruth McClendon.

    Sen Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, perfect attendance since 1987, 42-year marriage, education advocate, kick-ass white bob.

    Senator Letecia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio). Kick-politician, pharmacist for 28 years, mother of 6, grandma of 1. Pretty.

  7. Happy to throw Gloria Steinem’s name in the ring too. And boy, that article got my goat.

    Policy differences aside (and lord there are tons), I think that women, as all people, do vote on factors besides policy. They see in Palin a weaselly politician, a two-faced liar, a ruthlessly ambitions woman who put her job ahead the life of her unborn special needs baby (if indeed she was in preterm labor leaking amniotic fluid before delivering a speech 12 flight hours from home as she claims); and someone wholly unprepared for the job that she seeks.

    Meanwhile her debate opponent tears up over a story about his family tragedy and she doesn’t even blink. So add uncompassionate to the list.

    Personality does count with women. And hers stinks. Doesn’t matter if she’s “pretty” or if she had a weight problem, a hump, and a goiter on her neck the size of the deficit she left to Wasilla.

  8. Aung San Suu Kyi
    Dolores Huerta
    Christiane Amanpour
    Mary McAleese

  9. Suki Fuller says:

    How unfortunate that article was written and by another woman. Nicely formulated and well laid out argument.

  10. No one could have said it better. Srsly.

  11. That’s so ridiculous. And so is Palin.

    Angie (from over at

  12. AngieNwxtDoor says:

    I would like to add the BEAUTIFUL Naomi Wolf and Naomi Klein to that list.

  13. I would add my mother to the list.
    Because she indeed put her family first after my dad died. Supporting two young girls while suffering through a major illness. Putting aside hopes for a personal life and career advancement. She woke up early, worked all day, came home, cooked and cleaned, made the money, paid the bills, made teeny tiny dresses for my Barbie dolls, helped me try and learn math. She was a math wiz. And she died much too young at 53. She never saw the fruits of her labors, never knowing her youngest granddaughter or will know her great-child due soon.
    I don’t want a trophy candidate to go with a trophy wife. When the first woman gets elected- let her be real with substance and please dear god keep her from winking and getting other bloggers all hot and bothered. Darn I am pissed off.

  14. Add: Shirley Chisolm, Bella Abzug, Madeline Albright, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and while we’re at it — Katie Couric.

  15. I read that article too and I was fuming. Thank you for putting my anger into a coherent argument.

    Please add Queen Noor of Jordan to your list. She has established, chaired, and supported many organizations for the betterment of children and women around the world. And she is one of the most beautiful women on the planet.

  16. You forgot: Erin Kotecki-Vest; Angelina Jolie

  17. Word to your mutha.

  18. Excellent post. I’ve been scratching my head and swearing about that article since yesterday. Thanks for taking Time to task and calling BS on the whole “Mean Girls” argument.

  19. The late Benazir Bhutto. Beautiful, powerful, Muslim. Such an important leader. And she died “in the line of duty”, as they say.

    Thanks for your post. I couldn’t agree more.


  20. jcunwired says:

    Great stuff Erin. You’re great when you’re angry!!

  21. I don’t claim to know all about any candidate, never have and never will, but I support many of the above issues in the list that you find wrong, (even before I knew that Palin existed). Opposing views defiantly make life more interesting. :o)


  22. Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan. She is actively bringing in jobs to Michigan, especially in Wind Power and believe it or not, the movie industry, I can’t tell you how many movies are being shot in MI now, pretty cool. She even played “Palin” for Joe Biden’s mock debates, ha, would have loved to have seen those 😉


  23. I support YOU.
    I have spent my life supporting other women, from my two daughters, to women entrepreneurs, to women artists. I am currently supporting a woman entrepreneur who is a cheerleader for the Arizona Cardinals (which is a lot easier than supporting the cardinals themselves. That article is bullshit and thank you for calling it.
    I don’t support 1)ignorance of important issues 2)hypocrisy, 3) lies. And i’m not particularly fond of women who trade on their womanhood to advance themselves (wink).

  24. Add Andrea Merkel and Tzipi Livni to that list (though they’re American).
    Great post!

  25. I saw that article the other day. I almost thought it was a joke, but sadly, she wasn’t trying for irony.

  26. make that -“though they’re NOT Americans”. More sleep for me one of these days…

  27. Why would a woman not support Gov. Palin? Let me count the ways.

    Because she thinks the answer to problems with public education, crumbling infrastructure, a declining economy, and Americans dying for better health care is for “government to just get out of the way.”

    Because she is against reproductive choice and would eliminate that option through her supreme court picks, even as she answers the question “what would you tell a 15 year old rape vicitm pregnant with her father’s child?” with “I would counsel her to CHOOSE life.”

    Because her interpretation of “fiscal responsibility” was to drop property taxes and impose a new sales tax on groceries.

    Because she doesn’t believe that global warming is man-made, even as reports come out that it’s advancing much quicker than anyone thought and we are facing a catastrophic (as in, the end of us all) 11 degree temperature increase in the coming century unless aggressive, immediate action is taken.

    Because her highest level of education is a BA in journalism and she demonstrates a dangerous lack of understanding of key legal issues, combined with an oft-expressed belief that government should not be involved with economic and social matters, and could be in a position to select justices that could set the clock back to before the 1930s.

    ….I could go on, but this comment is already really long. She does make me ill, on a visceral level. But not because she is pretty, or because I am jealous, or have some kind of residual trauma from high school. I hate her because she is dangerous. To me, to my girls, to the future of the humanity and the planet. I think that’s enough to justify a little “cattiness,” don’t you?

  28. Awesome, as always. You’re so good at calling them right out on the BS.

  29. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of us don’t look at physical appearances first. When I first saw clips of Palin when McCain announced her as his VP pick, I was not struck by her beauty. I listened to what came out of her mouth and was pissed that McCain thought women were stupid and easily manipulated. the same way white male politicians used to assume that a black face next to them, even if it was the janitor from his office, was all it took to win black voters over. (I wonder if Alan Keyes’s name was tossed around as potential running mate. Oh, wait. The Republicans abandoned real hopes of attracting black voters a long time ago. They’re going for the lower hanging fruit.)

    After I saw how many people were referring to Palin as “hot,” I took a closer look at her physical appearance and thought, “Oh. I see. Yeah, she’s got that beauty queen look to her.” I knew some people may be influenced by that because there are people who vote FOR candidates based on looks. I don’t think being attractive generally loses votes for a candidate.

    Bottom line, I’d made up my mind before I noticed she was “cute” and based my decision more on all the scrambling Republican spokespeople were doing trying to convince us that she had experience. For instance, I was in Memphis, having evacuated New Orleans for Hurricane Gustav, and saw the Tucker Bounds interview with Campbell Brown. Republican talking points about her executive experience and her being a “commancer-in-chief” were enough to stop my ears. And if I think on it, I realize that her looks say more about McCain’s view of women than it does Palin herself. There are more qualified Republican females he could have chosen. Why did he choose her again?

    The more Palin spoke and the more the McCain camp tried to shield her from the media, the more convinced I was that my initial assessment of her first words and her record were correct. She’s bad news because of her views and that’s that.

    The only one stuck in high school on this issue is Belinda what’s-her-name. I first wrote “what’s-her-face” and then realized how the phrase could damage her self-esteem.

  30. I mentioned this on Twitter, but the women who came immediately to mind are Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet and Florida CFO Alex Sink, who is arguably the most competent person in Florida state government (and is rumored to be planning to run against U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, a Republican, in 2010).

  31. I cringed a bit when you included Condi Rice in your list. As a counter-weight, I would like to include Constance Rice.

  32. Lara Logan, while not a politician, is smoking hot, incredibly talented and very, very confident.

  33. Palin is appalin’ + pallin’ with ’em mavericks. *wink*
    Cool blog.

  34. Thank you so much for being able to put into words the thoughts that have been streaming through my head and just don’t seem to come out so eloquently. Thank you for making the point that women don’t hate Sarah because she’s a woman, as a matter of fact hate isn’t the word, we don’t agree with her and we’re making it known!

  35. I think way too many people credit her with way too much confidence or even intellect! Any fool can memorize talking points and look cute for the camera!

    I don’t feel in the least bit embarrassed by her – I am secure enough in my own self esteem to know that she could never represent or even misrepresent anything that I see as positive in myself!

    The sad and truly frightening thing is that so many people are too lazy to educate themselves on the issues and where the respective candidates stand on those issues. Too many people are caught up in the celebrity culture that prevails in the media and are swayed by her cutesy, folksy ‘she’s just like me’ appeal she seems to have. And TOO MANY damn fools will vote for her and McCain in November and that truly terrifies the absolute shite out of me – not to put too fine a point on it!

  36. Great post.

    I’m kind of surprised that Barbara Boxer was mentioned and Dianne Feinstein, her partner in the Senate and the senior senator of California, was not yet.

  37. Queen of Spain says:

    Dianne Feinstein would totally be on the list. Thanks for adding her. And for everyone else’s wonderful ideas

  38. VERY gorgeous post, Erin! Also wanted to add the late Molly Ivins to the list of beautiful, confident, intelligent women.

    McCain is counting on America to be numb enough to be taken in by Palin – flying on a wink and a prayer.

  39. It diminishes women by saying that we make our decisions based on catty instincts rather than making an informed decision. We don’t have to support someone based on their gender or race, women are very capable of choosing whether or not to support a candidate based on their beliefs and positions. Anyone who says otherwise is doing a large disservice to women and the progress we have made in the last 100 years.
    I would like to add Margaret Thatcher and Barbara Walters to the list

  40. I’m with you. I don’t care what she looks like. I just disagree with her politics.

  41. Queen of Spain says:

    I LOVE how big the list has gotten! Whoo hoo!

  42. It’s been two years since we lost a great woman, and it still brings me to tears to think of the loss of Ann Richards. I wish she were here today. If she thought that “Bush was born with a silver foot in his mouth”, what would she say about Palin?
    In the spirit of the great and last appearance she made in a for our beloved Alamo Drafthouse, I bet she’d take her ass out.

  43. Just when you hope women are smart enough not to be “dumbed down” by Ms. Six Pack you read Belinda Luscombe’s article and realize Palin is not as stupid as she makes out, it is all just an act, and she really is quite a manipulator and dare say, great at it. I can be a catty bitch at times, but that has nothing to do with my like or dislike of a person with such a horrific views! Bring me a purple hermaphrodite that makes women pay for her own rape kit, I won’t like “THAT ONE” either!

  44. I don’t dislike Sarah Palin because I’m a catty bitch.
    I dislike her because she’s a dumb bitch.

    It’s so not the same.

  45. Yeaahhhh….the thing with the fingers,is taken at a bar? not mean girls huh? Sooo,if I say Sarah Palin is awesome, has a beutiful family,and is not swearing and cursing, spewing hatred,and I respect her acting like a lady,then no one here will be mean to me and call me a dumb bitch? Sorry,but I just dont think any of you have the ladylike qualities for me to stick and find out. Just wanted to make a point to ya. Keep those fingers up, looks real ladylike. Opposite of nice. (that means mean)for all you smart girls. Elementary 101-Brood of vipers.

  46. leendaluu says:

    amen, sister!

  47. Nice blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my sites but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?


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