Why Does Sarah Palin Bring Out The Mean Girls In Us?

Any female who’s survived the treacherous battleground of a junior high school slumber party knows that no one can bring a girl down harder and faster than another girl. Slumber parties from my past always included as many crying jags, jabbing insults, hurtful gossip, and broken friendships as they did romantic comedies and popcorn balls. So is it any surprise the people who are most aggressively pushing for the immediate downfall of Sarah Palin are other women? In recent interviews, Palin’s comes across like a nervous beauty pageant contestant, and many of us grownup women can’t throw her bra in the freezer fast enough — metaphorically speaking, of course. So what is it about Sarah Palin that brings out the Mean Girls in us? Why are women — smart, savvy, sophisticated women — the first to use sexist tactics to bring a woman down? Some women fear someone like Palin, who opposes gun control and a woman’s right to choose, who questions the existence of global warming and supports censorship, will affect not only women’s roles and rights in society, but the health and progress of our nation in general if she’s elected Vice President of the United States. Looking to oppose her politically, we use whatever dirty tricks and high-powered artillery we’ve got in our bags to shoot her down. For a lot of us, that means objectifying her in a sexist way that only another woman could. We make fun of the way she speaks, question her parenting skills, mock her “sexy secretary” look, deem her a redneck, and laugh at her beauty pageant past — and we do it all in the name of “political consciousness.” Many women would rather see Palin crying in the bathroom than governing in the White House. Ignoring the issues, we turn into nasty female attackers to assert our political ideals. Maybe some women think desperate times call for desperate measures. But if Palin ends up a loser, and she’s the one throwing a tantrum behind a locked bathroom door this time, will we be happy knowing our mean tricks and mean girl ways played a part in keeping her out of office?