This is what WaPo opinionator Jonathan Capehart said about Newsweek’s cover photo of Sarah Palin:
Folks want to be able to envision someone sitting in the Oval Office.
They don’t necessarily want to envision them in the pages of Esquire magazine’s “Sexiest Woman Alive 2011” or Maxim. She can’t possibly be taken seriously as a presidential contender dressed like that, especially since this is the second time she has graced Newsweek in a less-than-presidential pose.
(He does not mention that the previous Newsweek photo was stolen, without permission, from Runner’s World. Instead he goes on to say that she is “sputtering nonsense”, her policy statements constitute “lunacy” and her saying “I can win” is “laughable.” He ends his rant with:
Sarah Palin is not running for president. She is a star. And she is doing what stars do best when they feel the spotlight is drifting away from them. She’s trying to snatch it back by any means necessary.
Where to start? First of all, obviously, everyone needs to just shut up about what women running for office can or cannot wear in public. It is such an obvious double standard that we shouldn’t even have to talk about it.
Second, Capehart is an openly gay public figure, and he often gets ridiculed on tv for his fashion choices. Here is an list of some of the on-air bullying Capehart gets subjected to, with a video of Joe Scarborough being a jerk about Capehart’s flashy designer pants. One would think that someone on the receiving end of stuff like this would know better than to engage in sexist sneering, but sadly, it appears that Capehart has internalized the patriarchal bigotry of his bullies. I find that very common, actually, someone is fine with being kicked around as long as there is someone below them they can kick around in turn.
Which brings me to my third point. People who have experienced injustice, my heart goes out to them, and I support their efforts to seek redress and justice; but that does not give them any excuse to tread on the rights of others. If someone is a jerk to you, I can understand you being a jerk right back to them, but I don’t understand it when you go around being a jerk to everyone else. And that goes for Mr. Capehart and for Mr. Jerk-in-Chief.