I have a new post up at Global Comment. Thanks Natalia. As always I will get you started and then you will have to go there to finish.
Last week, CNN reporter Campbell Brown called on Republicans to stop being sexist and expose Sarah Palin to the media for open questioning. What Campbell is calling sexism is the benefit of protection that docile white women receive from white men for performing their gender. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who stood firmly for women’s rights and was clearly an autonomous being, Palin stands for regressive policies that remove agency from women, thus affirming patriarchy.
Prior to the introduction of black women to America, white women were openly despised. In the theocratic culture women were blamed for the sins of man. It was the black female slave that resulted in the elevation of white womanhood, by allowing for another level of hierarchy. As long as white women supported white men, their lot in life was improved.
With the suffragette movement white women were again attacked by white men. The desire to vote and have a say in how the country was run was deemed threatening to patriarchy. They were called harridans, their femininity was questioned, and they were socially maligned.
Each time white women seek to achieve social equality with white men they are subject to slut-shaming and social discipline. As long as they are willing to accept their place in the social hierarchy, which is solidly beneath white male headship they are “protected” beings. This fragile wilting flower exists to uphold white male hegemony.
It may seem that Palin is thwarting the delicate flower ideology because she is seeking a position of power; however what must be understood is that her power is clearly subject to male control, whereas Clinton was seeking control in her own right.