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US Presitential commentators continue to be stupid
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Everyone here has heard the old saying "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig", right? Yes? Age-old, in fact.

So in a speech, Obama lists a bunch of the ways in which McCain's policies are the same as Bush's, despite McCain claiming to represent "reform" and "change". Then, after talking about these unchanged Bush policies, he invokes the lipstick-on-a-pig saying. Everyone knows how that saying works, right? It's a metaphor for taking something unpleasant and stupidly thinking you can make it pleasant just by saying so or doing something else superficial.

Of course, Republican commentators are dumb as a bag of sticks and insist that "pig" + "lipstick" = "Sarah Palin", so Obama is being sexist. That really says more about Republicans' views on Palin specifically and women generally. Who with a modicum of respect for women instantly thinks that any comment about lipstick must be a straight-forward reference to women? Maybe it's just the intense sexual segregation conservatives love so much that makes them take any reference to feminine markers as being a simple reference directly to some actual woman. Maybe it's that their thinking is as deep as a puddle and they believe the concrete signifiers of language are more important than the metaphorical ones.

That stupidity aside, how much misogyny is there actually in that old saying about a pig? Personally I take it to just mean that dressing up a pig doesn't make it less a pig, but do any of you feel different? Does the fact that it's lipstick carry an additional layer of message that equates women to pigs, or maybe equates women and unfair standards of beauty, that I'm not tuned into?

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Interesting... no, I've always enjoyed the lipstick on a pig idiom, not as something feminine, per se, but something ridiculous. I don' think it would work as well to say "you could put a well tailored armani suit on a pig and it would still be a pig" because the image isn't quite as ridiculous. But close. Also, because there are no precise equivalents for men as women getting adorned/done up... I suppose you could put cologne on the pig or give it a shave, but it's not quite the same silliness.

Doesn't "pig" generally refer to a couch-potato style beer-guzzling, (American) football-watching guy? Or a cop?

There's no misogyny there, excepting when it will generate controversy and press for you. It makes for a rather annoying news day, I'm betting.

I've been reading the same posts on Shakesville and Pandagon as you have, apparently :) (Monkey is into hour 2 of a nice long nap so for a rare change my Google Reader is actually clear.)

I'm getting pretty hypersensitive about misogynist language usage, but even so, after watching the video I have to agree that there's no way he was referring to Sarah Palin as a pig in lipstick. He was obviously referring to McCain's policies as a pig, the act of dressing them up as "change" being akin to putting lipstick on said swine.

You're slightly underestimating the cynical realpolitik of the Republican party. They know he wasn't talking about Palin; they also don't care. It's all part of their gleefully Machiavellian (and unfortunately entirely accurate) belief that plenty of American voters are dumb enough to fall for the most shameless lies and distortions.

I'm never quite so embarrassed for my country as I am during election time...

"That really says more about Republicans' views on Palin specifically and women generally."

I actually think it says more about the Republicans' views on public gullibility. I'm sure no one took it as a sexist remark until someone told the media to let us know that it was a sexist remark..

I don't even think it's sexist even if he WAS talking about her (clearly though he wasn't). Rude yes, sexist no.

*wanders off to start up a, "Pigs in drag R hot" community* BRB.

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