Fireweednectar’s Weblog

Views from The Last Frontier

‘Sarah Palin is no Margaret Thatcher’… Really?

I’m going to have to disagree with Patterico, who was bothered by Sarah Palin’s response to the Pakistani president’s moronic fumbling for words once he set eyes on her.

“A little gravitas, please,” Patterico wrote. “I think Palin is bright, but she should model herself after Margaret Thatcher. In the unlikely event that some sexist jerk from Pakistan had praised her looks, Maggie wouldn’t have said “Tee hee.” Even if she had been pretty, she still would have found a way to cut the guy off at the knees.”

Ehem…excuse me? Cut him off at the knees? Sarah Palin seemed to know full well that such a reaction (as opposed to response) really would have served no purpose. I sense Zardari is in for some bit of mockery for having lost his focus in front of the world, and publicly shaming him would have done Palin no good. She knows when not to shoot herself in the foot.

I’m not suggesting that Sarah should engage in prostituting her charm or allow herself to be insulted in order to get her way. It’s practicality I’m talking about here. And for the record, “tee hee” is most definitely not the way I interpret her replies. Her body language and tone of voice convey a sort of respectful dismissiveness–but again, not too dismissive. At one point she waved him away with her hand, but the gesture was soft enough not to offend. And he appeared not to be put off by it because it looked to me like he wanted her to be comfortable–you can see how she sort of fumbled with her hands and tried to sit down but then realised she shouldn’t until invited–and gestured quickly for her to sit down.

And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but to some people a statement such as, “Now I know why all of America is crazy about you” is a compliment and nothing more. I’m sure some would see it as lacking the “deep” thought and I won’t be able to convince them otherwise, even when they find time to be critical of Margaret Thatcher’s looks. But I’m also not going to buy the line that the Iron Lady would have dressed him down. I think she too would have been bright enough to play it down as Palin did.

Feminism isn’t always about jumping down people’s throats. There’s a time for diplomacy and allowing people to realise their mistakes and cultural gaffes in private. Sarah has proven yet again she is one step ahead of those who are so eager, as are some in the media, to preserve offended antagonism over reaching mutual understanding.


Thursday 25 September 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment