The other day I was reading Kathleen Parker's pleadings for the Republican Party to get rid of Sarah Palin on some blog that had reproduced it and scrolled down to the comments on the piece. One of the first ones was this:
At least we still have some women who can think. For some reason I thought Palin was the best ... this country can produce when it comes for educated woman.
When Parker later wrote about the horrible e-mails and comments her anti-Palin piece got from Republican partisans I wondered how she'd rate comments like the one above. My guess is that she's been getting a whole lot of them throughout her years of woman-bashing but that she took them as compliments about her own excellency. After all, it's great fun to be the only woman who is deemed capable of thought.
Why am I singling out that one (rather funny) comment? Because I suspect that part of the great glee some liberals and progressives express in their Palin-bashing has to do with the freedom her opinions and statements give them to release that tiny little misogynist and still stay a good progressive. Because usually The First Woman* in some new field is picked carefully (just like The First Black was in professional baseball, say) and usually she's far superior in all sorts of characteristics to your average woman or man. That Palin wasn't picked that way goes without saying, but one can still pretend that she's the best women can offer. Or the best conservative women can offer. Such fun and games.
*She's the first Rebublican female vice-presidential candidate.