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.