On the matter of Sarah Palin, Newsweek magazine, and THE SEXISM, I think that the Washington City Paper's Amanda Hess has basically won the entire discussion.
Is the Newsweek cover sexist? Yes. But let's put the photo back into context for a minute: Sarah Palin's entire existence is sexist.
Let's try to imagine, for a moment, the thought process that went into creating this Newsweek cover image : "We need to convey that Palin sucks really bad! Let's take some photo of Palin lookin' sexy, slap it on the cover of Newsweek, and then use her sexuality in attempt to draw attention to all the terrible things this woman has brought upon us."
Hey! That sounds kind of like what John McCain did when he chose Palin as his VP: Found an attractive lady, slapped her on to his campaign, and used her image as a sexy lady in order to distract people from her scant qualifications, her total lack of concern for women's issues, and her complete suckiness as a candidate.
Real talk. As Hess points out, Palin has been subjected to a noticeable share of deplorable treatment. And I think it's absurd to suggest that Newsweek selected this photo from Runner's World magazine because they thought it would cast the subject of their cover story in a neutral light or elucidate the magazine's underlying point. I think that Newsweek made the choice they did to ensure that if they couldn't manage a discrediting of Palin on the merits, they could plant their discrediting through some cheap subtextual shortcut.
But Hess is correct when she points out that "the game works both ways." You remember that whole day of our lives that was given over to that riveting discussion over whether the phrase "lipstick on a pig," was a sexist slag at Sarah Palin? Because at one point, Palin had used the word "lipstick" in a joke? That bought Palin a whole day of media figures rising to her defense over something that was plainly nonsensical. Hess puts it like this: "I am sick and tired of only having to care about it when that sexism means something bad for Sarah Palin." But you know what? That, too, is "oh-so-expected by now."
Sarah Palin's Entire Existence Is Sexist [The Sexist]
PREVIOUSLY, on the HUFFINGTON POST:
I'm Officially Shutting Down This 'Lipstick On A Pig' Discussion