Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Follow up, more thoughts on Oprah

I was listening to Mike Gallagher this morning on the way to work and it seemed like his overall impression of the Oprah interview was that it wasn't fair and Oprah was biased and sexist. I disagree. I know that Oprah is biased, all corrupt media is biased. I wasn't surprised at any of the biased elements of the interview; I was actually expecting it to be much more biased.

The question that Gallagher didn't like was the one where Oprah asked how would Palin have handled five kids, a husband, and being the VP all at the same time. Let me explain how I perceived that: That question was asked a lot during the campaign and it is an extremely sexist anti-progressive question to ask any woman at any time. Because the corrupt media and the McCain advisors refused to let Palin answer it truthfully during the campaign, I think Oprah asked it to allow Palin to respond in her own words. I don't believe for a millisecond that Oprah actually believes that Palin, or a woman with five kids, could not be VP. Just because an interviewer asks a question doesn't mean that she/he agrees with it. I know she could have phrased it differently such as "There was a ridiculous question going around during the campaign about how you could handle taking care of your family and also be VP, how would you like to respond to that now?" That would have made Oprah look more female-empowering or whatever you want to call it. But the fact that she prefaced it with "this question never gets asked to the men" means she is cognizant of the inherent sexism in it and wanted to give Palin the opportunity to explain how she feels in her own words. I didn't perceive it as a "challenge" in any way, or that Oprah was accusing her of not being able to handle it and forcing Palin to prove that she could. I absolutely did not get that perception at all.

Oprah is a woman who chose not to have a husband or children and decided to focus all her energy on her career. She kind of represents the "old school" feminist thinking that preaches that you can't have it all, you can either have a career or have a family and that's it. Palin obviously crashed through that limited thinking and said she could have it all so she set her mind to it and did it. I think Oprah is a bit intmidated by it. Heck, I think a lot of people are intimidated by it. Palin herself said in the interview she's kind of an anomaly with her family and career situation. I think she's inspirational and is ushering in a new kind of "feminism." I think Oprah and others like her are opening their eyes to how damaging old school feminism is to women.

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