Wednesday, October 01, 2008

did eleanor gambol around in a tankini? no.

If I've not made it apparent by reviewing titles like Encyclopedia of Third-Wave Feminism, Bitchfest, or Female Chauvinist Pigs, I am all for women in the spotlight. I support gals doing just about anything they want to do: politicians, forklift drivers, top chefs, ship captains, anarchists in retail, architects, web nerds, CEOs, CPAs, MDs, beauty queens, whatever. Like I said, I'm all for it. Any of it.

However. There is always a however. I want you to appreciate that I have waited all my little life to see a woman vie--with a realistic chance--for White House digs. And while I did not vote for Clinton and sure as hell am not voting for McCain/Palin, I still believe given the gender ratios that this should have been an American era lit by at least a few heraldic moments of women inspiring women. Alas, my sisters of perpetual dismay, we do not appear to be in for such oratorial treats.

Instead, we relive the--I'm sorry to say it--total asshattery that has become the American political parade since Bush got out his fiddle and tinderbox. The bar of our discourse has dropped so low even the most spineless opportunists could not limbo below it as they recite jumbled soundbites. I'm sorry. But really. Can we no longer even name our newspapers, let alone determine whether we agree with what's in them? This is shameful. I feel I am having capsaicin rubbed into my eyes every time Palin gets on what she justifies my calling the boob tube, as if I've got stabbing ghost pains in what was once my hopeful heart. I am not entertained. I am not laughing.

Now I'm not saying a leader has to have nursed political ambition at her mother's breast, nor spied political destiny through the crib bars. Her political trajectory ought not trace back to age six when she first won a Merrick medal precociously debating the South African trade deficit in the Wee Model UN and tasted glory, later winning landslide support for the coveted Junior Statesmen Debate Director gavel.

No! What the hay, friends? Let's do things a little differently this time around. Let's go to the other extreme and elect a liberal-arts dabbler who has no idea what she's doing. That sounds fun--someone with a colorful background, with street creds, sure, and lots of different experiences--a little more attorney, governor, grassroots organizer, senator, or something-something-committee chair woulda been nice mixed in there somewhere, but hey, I'm easy--just assure me she's woven it into a singular vision, much of which we can feel represents our values and hopes and needs.

But even then, some things cannot be woven. Like bathing suits. And what I cannot brook--permit me redundancy for emphasis--what I will not abide, is a vice president who has strutted across the stage in heels and a red bathing suit. This is my limit.

I do not want to be watching a debate, all the while recalling another view of the candidate and considering how very different she looks from that fembot strut she did in the beauty pageant, the spitting (and sipping and smoking) image of Aunt Sandy on the Carnival Freedom cruise to Cabo, you know, with the flirtatious prance around the cabana boy on the lido deck and the downed martinis on karaoke night. Oh yes, you know the one.

Now bring me a sack to put over my head tomorrow, god damn it. I simply cannot stand much more of this.