Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Why So Frantic, Heather Mallick?

Mallick comes unhinged at Sarah Palin's ascension to Vice Presidential candidate

In the ongoing American Presidential election, one of the unfortunate epithets flung at Republican Presidential candidate is that of "crazy".

But what is one to make of such epithets when those so prone to flinging it themselves act "crazily"?

Thus unfolds the sad episode of CBC online Columnist Heather Mallick's "analysis" of John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate.

In the course of her column, Mallick comes across as frantic, vicious and generally unhinged as she vents all of her left-feminist rage at a woman who clearly refuses to be prodded into the cookie-cutter identity laid out for so-called "liberated" women.

Palin isn't the first target of Mallick's seemingly intractable rage. When the Ottawa Senators "Better Halves" accepted the First Place Pregnancy Centre as one of the beneficiaries of their Christmas tree raffle, Mallick had this to say:

"I hate picking on women. We're born at a disadvantage and in our wild flailing to stay afloat, we make such easy targets. But really, do the wives and girlfriends of the Ottawa Senators have to dress up in matching pink team sweaters and call their ad hoc union "The Better Halves?"

It's bad enough that these women have hooked up with bruised artist-athletes with careers of inevitably brief span, sold by hockey corporations as if they were cans of Spam, shipped around the continent without notice, thus dooming their wives' careers from the start.
Her condescension for these particular women, who apparently offend Mallick's left-feminist ideology, she lashed out at them for the inexcusable crime of dating or marrying a hockey player.

Apparently, Mallick imagines that hockey players the world over should remain permanently single just so the world's women can appease her disturbingly authoritarian view of feminism.

She admits openly in the article that she doesn't know any of the Senators Better Halves. She certainly doesn't know why any of them chose the companionship of a hockey player, yet having done so transformed them from women into outlets for her contempt -- supporting a charity that doesn't fit neatly into the ideological camp supporting Mallick's pro-abortion agenda was apparently merely the icing on the cake.

So imagine that a woman accepts the Vice Presidential nomination for the Republican party. In doing so she would become the first female Vice Presidential candidate in American history. One would think that a so-called feminist like Mallick would be encouraged by that.

But, no. Apparently not. Instead it seems to be, as the kids say, on:

"I assume John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential partner in a fit of pique because the Republican money men refused to let him have the stuffed male shirt he really wanted. She added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn't already have sewn up, the white trash vote, the demographic that sullies America's name inside and outside its borders yet has such a curious appeal for the right.

So why do it?

It's possible that Republican men, sexual inadequates that they are, really believe that women will vote for a woman just because she's a woman. They're unfamiliar with our true natures. Do they think vaginas call out to each other in the jungle night? I mean, I know men have their secret meetings at which they pledge to do manly things, like being irresponsible with their semen and postponing household repairs with glue and used matches. Guys will be guys, obviously.
Which is a rather curious way for a self-described feminist to open a column about the aforementioned first female Vice Presidential candidate in American history.

Apparently, Palin could only appeal to the "white trash vote". In no way could she possibly appeal to women.

In fact, Mallick suggests, Palin isn't even a woman at all:

"But do they not know that women have been trained to resent other women and that they only learn to suppress this by constantly berating themselves and reading columns like this one? I'm a feminist who understands that women can nurse terrible and delicate woman hatred.

Palin was not a sure choice, not even for the stolidly Republican ladies branch of Citizens for a Tackier America. No, she isn't even female really. She's a type, and she comes in male form too.
Apparently, in Mallick's fevered mind, Sarah Palin isn't a woman at all, as if she had somehow simultaneously sprouted a penis the second she accepted the Republican VP nomination, and apparently by simple virtue of not holding a lifetime membership in the Bra Burning Brigade.

No. In Mallick's mind, Sarah Palin -- despite everything she accomplished despite being a woman "born at a disadvantage" is nothing more than pure white trash:

"John Doyle, the cleverest critic in Canada, comes right out and calls Palin an Alaska hillbilly. Damn his eyes, I wish I'd had the wit to come up with it first. It's safer than "white trash" but I'll pluck safety out of the nettle danger. Or something.

Doyle's job includes watching a lot of reality television and he's well-versed in the backstory. White trash — not trailer trash, that's something different — is rural, loud, proudly unlettered (like Bush himself), suspicious of the urban, frankly disbelieving of the foreign, and a fan of the American cliché of authenticity. The semiotics are pure Palin: a sturdy body, clothes that are clinging yet boxy and a voice that could peel the plastic seal off your new microwave.
If that particular passage doesn't seem shrill enough, just take a look at how Mallick follows it up:

"Palin has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favoured by this decade's woman, the overtreated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression. Bristol has what is known in Britain as the look of the teen mum, the "pramface." Husband Todd looks like a roughneck; Track, heading off to Iraq, appears terrified. They claim to be family obsessed while being studiously terrible at parenting. What normal father would want Levi "I'm a fuckin' redneck" Johnson prodding his daughter?

I know that I have an attachment to children that verges on the irrational, but why don't the Palins? I'm not the one preaching homespun values but I'd destroy that ratboy before I'd let him get within scenting range of my daughter again, and so would you.
Just to ratchet off a tirade about how the first female VP candidate in American history so utterly offends Mallick's feminist sensibilities, why not accuse her of dressing herself up like a hussy?

Hell, don't even stop there. Take square aim at the woman's daughter, too. And let's drag her pregnant teenage daughter's relationship with her boyfriend -- himself also a hockey player -- through the mud while we're at it.

Mallick spends the next few paragraphs of her ill-concieved little frantic tirade to admit that she didn't really watch Palin's speech, and instead watched A Mighty Wind on Bravo.

Then she dropped this particular little nugget:

"I know that red states vote Republican on social issues to give themselves the only self-esteem available to their broken, economically abused existence."
Certainly, in Mallick's mind, the pitiful little mud people of the red states -- "white trash" as she herself so succinctly put it -- only vote for Republicans to build up their pathetic existence.

And as for the Republicans and their objections to the tax increases that, yes, Obama has practiced, it couldn't be an honest disagreement over whether or not the taxes in question are necessary (although, with the current state of the American federal budget, it's hard to imagine how they could disagree). No, instead, it must be racism. If not racism, then outright elitism:

"But surely they know Barack Obama is not planning to finish off the ordinary hillbilly when he adjusts tax rates. He's going to raise taxes on the top 2% of Americans and that doesn't include anyone at the convention beyond the Bushes and McCains and random party management. So why cheer Palin when she claims otherwise?

Is it racism? I'm told that it is, although I find racism so appalling that I have difficulty identifying it. It is more likely the dearly held Republican notion that any American can become violently rich, as rich as those hedge funders in Greenwich, Conn., who buy $40-million mansions unseen and have their topiary shaped in the form of musical notes.

When Palin and Rudy Giuliani sneered at Obama's years of "community organizing" — they said it like "rectal fissure" — the audience ewww-ed with them. Republicans dream of a personal future that involves only household staff, not equals who need to be persuaded to vote.

So I'm trying to imagine the pain of realizing, as they all must at some point, that it is not going to happen for them. It's the green light at the end of the dock. It's the ship that never comes in, gals, as Palin would put it. But she won't because the lie works for her. It helps her scramble, without compassion, above all those other tense no-hoper ladies in the audience.
No hope?

No hope, precisely, for what? It would be kind of pointless for Palin to run for Vice President if she had no hope for the future -- be it no hope for herself or no hope for the betterment of women in general.

It would be kind of pointless for all those "no hoper ladies" to support a woman for VP if they had no hope for the future. One simply has to wonder if Mallick so much as stopped to think for two seconds about what she was writing, or if she simply allowed her extreme ideological predispositions seize control of her while flailing frantically away at her keyboard?

In the end, it becomes immediately apparent. It isn't so much that Palin "isn't even female really" as she is the wrong kind of woman to be a Vice Presidential candidate:

"American politics isn't short of smart women. Susan Eisenhower, Ike's granddaughter, who just endorsed Obama, made an extraordinary speech at the Democratic convention (and a terrific casual appearance on The Colbert Report as Palin was speaking). The Republican party has already consumed nearly all of its moderate "seed corn," she said aptly. Time to start again.

Eisenhower, a scholar and journalist, has a point. Or am I only saying that because she's part of the thoughtful demographic that I'm trying to reach here? Think, Heather, think like a Republican! The Skeptics, shall I call them, are my base, and I'll pander to them as ardently as the Republican patriarchs tease their white female marginals.
So, in the end, what is it about Sarah Palin that Mallick finds so utterly repulsive?

It isn't that hard to figure out. Sarah Palin is a woman. Who is anti-abortion -- perhaps even shockingly so, as she once announced she would oppose an abortion "even if her own daughter had been raped".

Palin also supports absinence-only sex education in schools.

Both these positions have implications that are of obvious concern for feminists, and very well should be.

But perhaps Palin's greatest offense is being a member of Feminists for Life, a feminist group that opposes abortion.

Interestingly enough, Feminists for Life supports the establishment of support networks on College and University campuses for single mothers -- infrastructure such as on-campus daycare and appropriate housing facilities.

Feminists such as Heather Mallick should support and voraciously applaud such a policy position. But couple that with opposition to abortion, and suddenly all bets are off. "Feminists" like Heather Mallick seem to derive from this a bizarre need to strip women such as Sarah Palin of their "feminist cred", so to speak.

The message remains crystal clear: within the feminist movement, there is no room for disagreement on the topic of abortion. Even a hint of the wrong opinion on that particular topic, and not only can that particular woman not be accepted as a feminist, she can't even be accepted as a woman.

It's a bizarre tendency of the most extreme members of the left-wing feminist movement -- that any feminist possessing conservative political beliefs must not only be rejected as a feminist, but also thorougly re-gendered.

One could consider it a rather bizarre form of post-feminist feminist-chauvinism. Perhaps its the cognitive dissonance that makes Heather Mallick seem so utterly unbalanced.


  1. Heather Mallick hates women who don't think just like her. Reminds me of you-know-who...


  2. Sadly, I concur.

    To tell you the truth, I've found out a number of things about Sarah Palin that give me pause -- such as the whole abstinence-only sex education thing. I certainly agree that teaching about abstinence as an option has a place in sex ed, but so does teaching kids about birth control and STD.

    Knowledge, after all, is power.

    That being said, I think left-wing feminism has sadly been allowed to claim a monopoly over feminist thought. Certainly, right-wing feminists have their own ideas about how to improve women's position in society.

    Left-wing feminists should, in my opinion, accept debate within a broader feminist movement. Sadly, many of them never will.


Post your comments, and join the discussion!

Be aware that spam posts and purile nonsense will not be tolerated, although purility within constructive commentary is encouraged.

All comments made by Kevron are deleted without being read. Also, if you begin your comment by saying "I know you'll just delete this", it will be deleted. Guaranteed. So don't be a dumbass.