Tags: shakesville

Tracee Hutchison comes late to the party in noticing that some of the criticism and abuse of Sarah Palin is pure and simple sexism. Better late than never. But there is no excuse whatever for the way she ends the article.

Why aren’t we similarly learning about the price of Barack Obama’s suits? Or what it cost to deck out Michelle and the kids in those colour-toned matching outfits at the nomination acceptance? I’d estimate $25,000 for the four of them on that night alone — minimum.
It is plainly absurd, but the stories of Palin’s clothing extravagances squeezed her and Cindy McCain back into jeans this week as a counter-blow while Obama spent millions of dollars on a single ad.
And just why has Palin become such juicy fodder for comedians when comment on Obama’s race and colour are completely off limits? Clearly it’s OK to pillory women but it’s not OK to pillory people of colour. Why? I’m not sure. America, after all, has a proud history of burning white women at the stake so it’s not as though discrimination and recrimination have been exclusive to colour.
It would just be uncool to make fun of black people, so let the woman take the hit. Clearly. I don’t like Palin and the thought of her in the White House terrifies me. But playing the woman — once again — as political sport is even less attractive to watch.

Seriously, Tracey, have you been asleep through this whole campaign?

13 Oct 2008, Comments Off on How amusing.

How amusing.

Author: Helen

A story from Yahoo News, via Shakesville:

In an upstate New York county, hundreds of voters have been sent absentee ballots in which they could vote for “Barack Osama.”

This was reported in the AGE.

Where? On the front page.

Good. Because we need to report that kind of stuff so the whole world knows about how Obama is being dog-whistled by some people. (That post was Shakesville’s Obama Racism/Muslim/Unpatriotic/Scary Black Dude Watch part 92.)

Where on the front page?

The Odd Spot.

The ODD SPOT? (that tiny section for little info-bites on cute, weird, pratfalls and two-headed chickens?)


Good one, Fairfax.

15 Jun 2008, Comments Off on Ad Nauseam: No man likes a feminine sandwich

Ad Nauseam: No man likes a feminine sandwich

Author: Helen

Shakesville has a series on bad advertising, or badvertising, too, called Assvertising. Here’s a post on the Hungry Man series in the US, picking up on the very real problem of girly food turning big manly men into girly-men!

Just as an aside, it intrigues me that American ads often seem so much hammier and badly written, or produced, than the Australian mini-sagas. As a reader of US blogs I really can’t blame a lack of graphic, film or writing talent, and the population base is so much larger, it’s a mystery. Anyway.

The Hungry Man ad reminded me of the Australian Four ‘n ‘Twenty pies “rabbit food” ad, where two overalled building blokes discard their healthy lunches in favour of hot greasy takeaway. Note they ask each other “what did you get”, so clearly someone else, we assume a wife or girlfriend, has packed these grown mens’ lunches for them.

The message is clear:

Real men eat lots of meat and fat and lard!
Things that pertain to women are inferior and bad! (See also: Girl Cooties).
Women in the twenty-first century still pack mens’ lunches.

The US ad, though, goes a step further and implies that eating food deemed to be girly, e.g. salads, yoghurt and things like that, will actually cause you to assume female secondary sexual characteristics or behaviour. (Speaking of US ads being clumsier, you have to love the tagline “it’s good to be full”. Buuuuurp!) That American tomay-to can not only give you salmonella, but make you all wimminised, too.

Now perceptive readers will be saying, “But what about the line we get from antifeminist polemicists that one of the major indicators that men are really the oppressed class is that they die earlier? Here we’re seeing blokes whose women partners are clearly trying to keep them alive longer, but they deliberately decide that eating food associated with the despised female class is just not on and they must eat red meat and fat and lard in order to preserve their very identity. Or rather, the mainstream food and advertising industries are trying to push this way of thinking, and last time I looked they weren’t exactly a hotbed of matriarchal conspirators. Isn’t there something of a contradiction there?”


The quote about the “feminine sandwich” comes from this, which I discovered while googling to see whether there was any relationship between the ad companies running the “Hungry Man” campaigns in the different countries (it seems there isn’t). Stodge and manliness have had a long history together.