A Few Important Defenses of Sarah Palin

The Sarah Palin presented in the media certainly has problematic ideas, but a few, and very important, words need to be said in her defense.

For some time now, I have been deeply disturbed by the images and stills used in articles about Palin. (Photos below as evidence-not to perpetuate such photos.) They are all deliberately “bad photos.” No one enjoys seeing bad photos of themselves, especially deliberately bad photos. So-called liberal news sites are particularly guilty of using bad photos. These clearly off-putting photos add–psychologically speaking–to the degree to which we’re automatically not supposed to like and/or trust her and even “have permission” to dismiss her ideas and laugh at her. Words and actions, not digital constructions of light supposedly representing a person, should form our perception. The media should use nice, reasonable photos and stills to give her a more equal chance (male privilege already limits her possible platform). 

Such photos harm all women and all men. Women and men, boys and girls need positive, realistic images of women in the media. Having such “bad photos” available and everywhere en masse is distinctively a phoneme of the Internet. Before, such photos had no audience, per se. So-called liberal-leaning websites that seemingly promote the best for women in other circumstances need to remember Sarah Palin deserved/deserves a fair chance and the consequences of such for all women.

I also wonder if the degree to which the media and the status quo gives Palin the attention it does to distract from other issues and/or to make all women look bad or questionable: And this is problematic. (Added July 8, 2015, 10:52 PM – we need to ask why Palin and not other women get such media attention. It’s not in the power structure’s best interests, per se, to give fair, frequently attention to women calling for en masse equality, for example.) 

Additionally, we must remember that Palin is a daughter, mother, grandmother, friend, and so on.

We shouldn’t so throughly dehumanize Palin (her ideas are products of society, after all) and by extension, if we apply semiotics to these Palin texts and rhetoric, all women.      

Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

Tags: , , ,

14 replies

  1. Good article! 🙂 I suggest everyone to watch the documentary “Miss Representation.” It is on Netflix.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “Additionally, we must remember that Palin is a daughter, mother, grandmother, friend, and so on.”

    No more than we must remember that for other cultural figures trying to impose ideologies and theologies on unwilling people. Though it’s hard, since she constantly uses her family relations and personal life as a rhetorical club: how can we forget?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have no idea what that question means. I’m talking about her self-presentation, her political rhetoric, her attempt at a reality-entertainment career. How is that ‘media-controlled’ when she’s the content provider, producer?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I’m thinking of aspects the media has controlled as far as her and her daughters etc. They criticize her in ways they wouldn’t necessarily or at all or to a much lesser degree if she were a man. The media gives her air time. And aspects that are her self-presentation still relate back to what the “media” has created.


    • That’s a huge, expansive, possibly useless definition of “media” you’re using.


  4. I have a slightly different opinion. I feel that dehumaninzing photos are ultimately in effective because they may appeal to people who don’t like her already, and automatically turn off her fans and those who may be neutral.

    I almost always use official photos – those that a person has chosen for themselves. When I then attach to it an exact quote (carefully chosen, to be sure) that demonstrates their poor judgment or worse, it attaches that negative message to their positive image. The intent is to taint that positive image so that even when fans of hers see it, they associate it with the negative message.

    This is not to disagree with the article’s larger and morally better message to avoid dehumanizing this one person in particular and, by extension, people in general. It is a good message, and true. But for those for whom that message does not resonate, I suggest my alternative.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. “Just making fun of the political system” (and other waiting room observations) – Andrew Joseph Pegoda, A.B.D.
%d bloggers like this: