This Week on The Palin Update with Kevin Scholla: Hillary Clinton supporter Anita Finlay defends Sarah Palin! The author of Dirty Words on Clean Skin talks to Kevin about the sexist treatment endured by both Clinton and Palin. Meantime, Governor Palin thrills the crowd at the Right Online conference in Vegas! Also, prayers for Robin Roberts. Plus, Palin recognizes Flag Day and wishes a special happy birthday to the U.S. Army! It’s all on SarahNET Radio ON DEMAND!
Sexism and Misogyny Rampant in Both Parties
Anita Finlay starred as Dr. Nora Thompson on The Young and the Restless for seven years, and worked on network TV shows such as 24, Gilmore Girls, and Judging Amy. Finlay wrote Dirty Words on Clean Skin about the poor treatment of women during the 2008 campaign. Though the book is primarily about the candidate Finlay supported, she devoted a large chapter to defending former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Indeed, many of the women angry over Clinton’s treatment refused to unite behind Obama. They were called PUMA, an acronym which means, “Party Unity My A–.” Many PUMAs went on to be some of Gov. Palin’s fiercest and most dedicated supporters.
Finlay said that sexism runs rampant in politics – in both parties. “I could not be a hypocrite. I could not defend a Democratic woman against misogyny and let a Republican one put up with it. I don’t think that’s correct or fair. You need to speak out against this no matter who the source is and no matter who the target,” she said.
The book also contains a chapter on Michelle Obama, who is a victim of sexism according to Finlay by being cast “in a sweater set as sort of a ’50s mom, so that she does not appear so threatening.” She said in news reporting, men’s opinions outnumber women’s four to one and when the subject is women’s issues, the ratio increases to five to one.
Finlay recounted how the release of some 25,000 of Gov. Palin’s emails was portrayed as a smear. Nothing untoward was found in the entire stack. Rather, it proved that she was a hard-working executive. But, reporters pored over the emails in a fishing expedition hoping to find a smoking gun. Finlay said it would not be fair of her to pretend that did not happen. Scholla’s email correspondences with Gov. Palin were part of the stack. He said her emails to him demonstrated leadership and normality.
She said conservatives and Democrats should get together on correcting this issue.
Finlay said Democratic elders’ desire to elevate the neophyte Senator Obama to the Presidency – “to make him a president by proxy” was at the root of their maltreatment of Hillary Clinton. The focus she said was on non-issues such as her ankles. “Shrill,” and “shrew” were among the milder and non-vulgar names she was called. Finlay said, Hillary Clinton had a firm grasp on the economy and as Clinton herself put it, “apprenticed for eight years in the White House.” Finlay said Clinton was “was in the room the with the most powerful decision-maker in the world.”
What Finlay found “shocking is how long the sexism had been bubbling beneath the surface.”
She said, whole notion of Obama making history by being elected did not make sense, “as if the first woman after 43 men would not make even greater history? Are you kidding me?”
Scholla noted that Ann Romney was condemned for “not working a day in her life,” and Finlay noted that Gov. Palin was called a bad mother, because she was working. “The working mommy is no good and the stay-at-home mommy is no good. The media narrative is flexible and adjustable, like the Goldilocks Syndrome. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, but it’s never just right,” Finlay said.
“She Who Must not be Named: A Look at Sarah Palin”
The chapter describes how women’s groups such as NOW, who are supposed to fight for all women tend to be mute when the woman is a Palin or someone like Michele Bachmann. “I could not join the daily lynching,” Finlay wrote in that chapter. Scholla asked, “why have others not been able to resist ganging up on the governor?”
Media Friendly to Gov. Palin till she Got in the Way of “The One”
“Well, I think that she was very threatening. You have to remember Julianne Moore, the actress who played her in that movie, Game Change on HBO – she even admitted it. She said, ‘look. We were afraid as Democrats we were not going to take the White House. She was an electrifying presence.’ I think she summed it up in a nutshell,” Finlay said.
She continued, “when she was elected governor, she was rather a liberal darling at the time. She took on corruption in her own party, took on the big oil companies and won. So, the media and NewsWeek actually wrote something nice about her, where I point out she was willing to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats…so they were a little more friendly to her until she got in the way of The One.”
Hillary Clinton was maltreated for the same reason. Finlay noted that S.E. Cupp’s likeness was used in a doctored photo in Hustler Magazine to “punish her for her political views.”
“I don’t recall too many conservatives jumping up and down to decry the treatment Hillary was getting either,” Finlay said.
Shifting back to Gov. Palin, Finlay said that she was often portrayed as a “reactionary and a loony.” During the 2008 campaign, Gov. Palin, then Sens. Biden, McCain, and Obama were all united in being against gay marriage. “If you don’t like a woman and want to take her down, do what you’ve gotta do, but be honest and stick with the issues, and leave the personal out of it,” Finlay said. She referred to an article about Gov. Palin attending a barbecue in 95-degree heat and how it focused on her “open toed sandals and her red toenails.”
Women of Both Parties Treated Equally Bad
Shifting to Hillary Clinton, Finlay said she had done so many things for women in the United States and around world, for the past 40 years that have gone unreported – for instance fighting to stop women from being used as “prizes of war.” Letterman, who infamously cracked the sexist “slutty flight attendant” remark about Gov. Palin also used to target Clinton with sexist remarks about her pant-suits.
Finlay said she wrote Dirty Words on Clean Skin, because this has to stop. She said she took a risk because she is an actress. “We don’t want to raise our children to believe that – no matter what your politics are – that we should talk about women this way. This is not about women superseding men. We are in a coed universe and we’re all here to work together, but I think we empower each other by respecting the skill sets each one of us brings to the table,” Finlay said.
Finlay in her book highlighted the hypocrisy about Howard Dean running small Vermont being acceptable, but Gov. Palin running Alaska was not. She defended Gov. Palin on the “see Russia” comments, and the wardrobe debacle.
Politics Should Not Break Up Families and Friendships
Scholla said that Obama has broken up friendships and families. Finlay had run-ins with friends over him. She said, “What I think is kind of odd is that you would trust a politician who is being handled and who is being conducted as large theater, who you’ve never met, who you don’t know from a hole in the wall; you’re only believing media hype over somebody you know to be sane, sober, reliable person.”
She said, “we have to stop denigrating each other. We have our dividing lines – it advantages politicians who want to fill their coffers by stoking your fears. It’s not something that’s going to help our economy or help us have equal rights.”
She said the establishments of the GOP and the Democrats came down on Gov. Palin and Hillary Clinton, because “these women are threatening.” She said jealousy and “sour grapes” on the part of both men and women may be a factor too. But, Finlay said, “you don’t get to where Gov. Palin is by being a moron….it’s not possible, especially not for woman.”