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October 3rd, 2008
05:16 PM ET

Why Some Women Hate Sarah Palin

Belinda Luscombe
Senior Editor, TIME Magazine

Some polls are suggesting that after gaining an initial bump, McCain's campaign is being hobbled by Sarah Palin's vice-presidential candidacy. The voters who are deserting her fastest, some of whom are even calling on her to withdraw, are mostly women.

Ah, women, the consistently, tragically underestimated constituency. What the Democrats learned during the primaries and the Republicans might now be finding out the hard way, I learned at my very academic, well-regarded all-girls high school: that is never to discount the ability of women to open a robust, committed, well-thought-out vat of hatred for another girl.

Women are weapons-grade haters. Hillary Clinton knows it. Palin knows it too. When women get their hate on, they don't just dislike, or find disfavor with, or sort of not really appreciate. They loathe — deeply, richly, sustainingly. I do not say this to disparage my gender; women also love in more or less the same way.

When men disagree, the steps to resolution are reasonably clear and unsophisticated. Acts of physical violence are visited upon one another's person or property, and the whole thing blows over. Women? Nu-unh. We savor the discord. We draw it out. We share our contempt with our friends, like a useful stock tip, or really good salsa. And then we all go hate together: a mutually encouraging group activity for when the book group gets quiet.

The hatred women have for Sarah Palin, and others had for Hillary before her, is not necessarily about politics. Anybody can run the numbers on how many people Palin's pro-life, pro-gun, socially conservative policies will seduce and how many they will alienate. Rather, the test that the McCain campaign failed to put her through was the Abbotsleigh Ladies College test. (Named after my high school. Go, green and gold!). It's a simple three-point pass-fail exam: Will the other girls like her?

Here's why Palin doesn't make the grade:

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Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. robert cremone

    So you women (look at the names) hate Palin, do you? Five weeks into a campaign and what a quick study. She's for counseling before an abortion. How novel! She's a "Barbie!"...guess beautiful women really don't have brains except when it suits your liberal views. She's not for gay marriage...who is? She's for drilling...all the other methods would not give us 4% of our energy needs...put a windmill on your car and in every yard. Wind is stringest at night – when we don't need it. I say Sarah knows a lot that the rest of you don't.

    October 5, 2008 at 7:14 pm |
  2. MIKE LAKE WORTH FLORIDA

    Palin is setting women in politics back decades with her winks, nods and cutesy comments. Cindy from GA ., get a grip. You as a woman should be appalled and embarassed at Palin's tactics.

    October 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  3. s smith

    Sarah is a modern woman who will bring conservatism- true conservatism back to Washington. Bush acts like a liberal the past two yrs. in spending.

    Sarah Palin actually gave money back to the taxpayers; not in the same way that GWB did, but because they had a surplus. That means the state she governed (YES, Obama, I said "governed") had surplus funds. Imagine what she can do for the US taxpayer.

    October 4, 2008 at 7:52 pm |
  4. Brooke

    It's scary to think that she will be a step away from President, and America's hands will be in that administration, If McCain is elected. This isn't a game, and John McCain is playing it like it's no biggie who he picks for his vp. Before you start talking about who is not ready to lead the country, don't go pick a vp that has a major in journalism, didn't get her passport until 2007, and was governor for a little over a year of a state that has the population of a place like Memphis, TN.

    I completely agree with this article.

    October 4, 2008 at 10:05 am |
  5. Tina

    I somewhat agree that women are generally passionate haters of other women for one reason or another, but I also believe that when it comes to Palin, a woman who seems to me to be more motivated by great ambition and a strong need to force her personal views and "crusades" on the country than to just serve her country, it's hard not to be wary of her manipulative ways, like repeatedly calling herself –ad nauseum–a "maverick" (since when is being a rule breaker such a good thing, especially since it's a close relative of law breaker?) and a "soccer mom" (since the real soccer moms give 1st priority to their children, not pass most of their duties to their husbands because they're "putting the country first") and winking several times during the VP debate as if making a joke of the whole process. But the thing I find the most offputting about her is that there's something like a Stepford wife about Palin, someone who seems to be able to juggle being wife, mother, Governor and now VP candidate without much trouble when many other women have a tough time handling just being wives or mothers or career women.

    October 4, 2008 at 8:37 am |
  6. Kay

    While I have some things in common with Palin, (I'm 43, have a journalism degree, am a mother, fairly attractive, etc.) none of these characteristics qualify me, or Palin, to be VP. Sarah Palin is disliked by me because her cutsey behavior is unprofessional, her "mother of the year" photo ops are artificial, and her canned, unoriginal slogans reflect low levels of intelligence and confidence. (She does have ambitioni, but that's not the same as confidence!)

    Palin appears to be a self-centered woman who uses her children to create a persona as mother-of-the year who can do it all and still look decent. But what loving mother takes only 3 days off after the birth of a child, especially one with Downs Syndrome? It appears her pregnant teenage daughter also needed more of her mother's time and attention. And what smart, strong woman has to bring her husband with her to work everyday?

    Palin is certainly not a good role model for today's young women. She would be even worse as VP.

    October 4, 2008 at 5:05 am |
  7. Zadie Be

    My mother taught me to never hate anyone for their looks, color, sex or religion. However, on that note I know that many women will not vote for Palin because she is a woman. I have a niece who will let all her boyfriends guys friend hang out over there all day but, when one of them brings a girl with them she wants everyone to go home. That is for real that women simply are jealous. I do not care that Palin is a woman I like her for her freshness. But, most women will vote Obama just because he is a man and a good looking man even when he is not as experiences as Palin.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:59 am |
  8. Dave

    I am a man who manages a healthcare organization which of course has a 98% female workforce. This article now backs up everything that I have found to be evident about a female workplace. It is sad but TRUE.

    October 4, 2008 at 1:52 am |
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