Saturday, October 18, 2008

Men love Palin!?!

Read this New York Times story about how a majority of those showing up at Palin rallies are men. According to Mark Leibovich's story, dateline Bangor, Maine, the male Palin groupies are known as Sarah Dudes. Here's an excerpt:
“You rock me out, Sarah,” yelled one man, wearing a red-checked hunting jacket as Ms. Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, strode into an airplane hangar here on Thursday. He held a homemade “Dudes for Sarah” sign and wore a National Rifle Association hat. Kenny Loggins’s “Danger Zone” blared over the loudspeakers, and the man even danced a little — yes, a guy in an N.R.A. hat dancing in a hangar, kind of a Sarah Palin rally thing.

I wonder what the attraction is.

1 comment:

Meredith Wallis said...

This article is a good example of what most of the mainstream commentary surrounding Palin ignores (as here), glosses over (primarily by referencing "hockey moms"), or misidentifies (by conflating working-class men and middle class women), namely, class. When I read this NYTimes article, I found it to resonate more as a resurgence of the "Nascar vote" narrative from the last two Bush elections than as a simpler objectification narrative. (Not that it isn't that also.) The Republicans are marketing Palin as the ubiquitously middle class, non-elite, non-academic, non-professional, and this seems to be the largest part of her continued popularity in some circles. This is what commentary like the one comparing her to Elle Woods gets almost offensively wrong. Reading Legally Blonde as a can-do tale for all women that is part of what makes Palin appealing is an embarrassing misread which demonstrates in large part the privilege of those mobilizing this rhetoric. In Legally Blonde, the protagonist is the child of West Coast nouveau riche parents who goes to Harvard Law School to try to rekindle the flame with her East Coast, old money boyfriend, who has dumped her to find a "Jackie" instead of a "Marilyn" and whose brother married a Vanderbilt. In essence, this is a tale about the different kinds of upper-class and the two coasts they are identified with. After the last two presidential elections, there was a lot of talk about how Democrats had ignored class and misread the importance of Republican’s symbolic rhetoric about being the party of the ordinary people. Here we go again.