Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Naomi Wolf: Who Is Sarah Palin?

Love her or hate her, Sarah Palin is going to be around a while, and she’s set to be a force. That’s according to Naomi Wolf, a noted feminist writer and author of The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. But there remain a lot of unanswered questions. Was she a puppet of the Right? A telegenic but empty-headed Evita? A Trojan horse for more of the same Bush and Cheney policies? Or something more?

And does she have a serious political future? Naomi Wolf asks the question in this article from the Times Online.

Who is Sarah Palin and why is she making everyone so crazy? Here in Manhattan, with the carefully orchestrated release of Palin’s memoir Going Rogue: An American Life hitting bookstores this week, we are in the midst of what a colleague has called “Palinmania”. Some quarters are in a rage; some are laughing; some are defending and some are inspired. No one is neutral.

There she is on the cover of Newsweek, in short shorts and running shoes, smiling coquettishly; there she is on her Facebook page, denouncing the Newsweek cover (from an image shot for Runner’s World) as being taken “out of context” and as sexist. Here’s her alternatively charming and whiny Oprah interview; there’s the book cover itself, stacked at Barnes & Noble at the top of the bestseller list, showing her in Gainsborough-type heroic portraiture convention, positioned before a glowing blue sky. When I went to my local chain bookstore, I asked the manager how the book has been received. It was attracting crowds, he said, but they were “the gigglers”, not buyers. “It’s the West Village,” he noted drily. He said with a half-wink that he was planning to release the book in a package with the forthcoming Playgirl issue that features revealing pictures of Levi Johnston, the former boyfriend of Palin’s daughter, Bristol, and therefore the father of Palin’s grandchild. “Levi did an interview with Michael Musto,” he said, mentioning a campy gay journalist.

“That’s an odd choice,” I said foolishly.

“Is it?” he asked, arching an eyebrow.

I too have found myself swept up in the furore she is causing, having braved a Larry King episode on her on Tuesday in which four women from both sides of the aisle — one from the McCain campaign itself — spat venom at one another on her behalf. And I was soon back for another oestrogen-soaked Larry King venomfest about her on Thursday. Her critics, on reading her book and watching her rolling out her own brand on her own this time, not handled by the McCain professionals, are calling her self-serving, naive and dangerous; her supporters — and I have to hand the right wing credit for this: they are scarily on message — are spinning her wildly as a “real American”, “down-to-earth”, “genuine”. But no one can look away.

She is like an itch that the nation needs to scratch, and I have watched popular culture long enough to know that, when a country can’t get enough of reviling or scrutinising or sexualising or exalting a woman, something is going on that has less to do with her and more to do with the way our collective unconscious projects on to certain women contemporary fears, hopes and anxieties from deep within.

Read the whole article here.

 

Related Articles:


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..