Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sarah Palin

McCain's vice-presidential pick has vowed to pop a virtuous cap through the very glass ceiling Hillary could only swat using the hammer of popular appeal and the sickle of dirty politics. Yet the RNC's strategy certainly smacks of a Laura Croftian approach to advancing women in power: construct an oddly-proportioned female avatar attractive enough to men -- namely, one that never challenges their world view and, even better, reinforces their prejudices -- and even they can be brought round to the feminist cause!

In the early 1990's, Laura Croft shattered the glass ceiling for ample-assed video game heroines with munificent mammaries, in the title Tomb Raider. She wasn't like those cock-hating, neo-nazi militant -- probably lesbian -- feminine characters like Princess Zelda, who were forever sending one out on endless errands with little to no prospect for conjugal reward, and who worst of all, with the exception of her ears (and who cares about those), insisted on being drawn to scale. I remember reading interviews with gamers at the time who confessed they didn't mind assuming the role of woman whose default orientation towards the player was always buttock-first except in sequences where a wandering teat might block the view.

As it is with the gelatinous adolescent gamer, so it may be with the contemporary conservative male. Here is Sarah Palin, a woman after their own hearts: a former beauty contestant and pseudo-businesswoman turned politico-familywoman; a self-proclaimed Christian firearm enthusiast who eats red meat and sees patriotic petroleum as the answer to the global eco-energy catastrophe. I have to commend the Republicans for depositing some excitement into the final lap of an increasingly somnolent campaign season, even if it amounts to little more than a dolled-up version of their own erotic fantasies -- in this case featuring a live human female. Congratulations.

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