With Ike moving eastward and our chances of rain diminishing and even our evacuees canceling on us, I feel I have to return to a burning question that never quite gets solved: What is wrong with men?
Last night, I watched Charles Gibson’s interview with Sarah “I’m Ready to Serve, But Not Ready to be Interviewed” Palin. I sat, chin in hand, glowering at the TV, then exchanging IMs with my daughter during the commercial breaks.
“She looks completely incompetent!”
“She didn’t even know what ‘hubris’ meant.”
“I’ve got a lot more respect for Charlie Gibson. He’s asking some tough questions.”
“Notice how impatient he is with her? His foot is tapping all the time.”
“She can’t pronounce ‘nuclear.'”
“She’s a disaster!”
“Don’t you love that line about being able to see Russia from Alaska? Like it gave her foreign policy credentials!”
“Why does she keep using his name over and over? She sounds like a used-car salesman.”
“And that accent! It’s so grating!”
You get the drift.
After my husband got home, I very helpfully filled him in with the absolute disaster that was Sarah Palin during her TV interview. He listened and nodded while I paced and shrieked. Sheer incompetence! An insult to womankind!
We watched more of the interview during Nightline. He just sat there while I stewed and brooded. Finally, it was over.
“You see what I mean?” I demanded triumphantly.
He shrugged. (Shrugged!) “I didn’t see anything that would change most people’s minds,” he said. “If you’re liberal, you still don’t like her. You think she’s scary. If you’re conservative, you still like her. I don’t see anything that changes that.”
He was, he told me, trying to be objective. Trying to look at the interview from the point of view others might have. (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate objectivity?)
“You didn’t think she was awful?” I asked.
“I think she’s scary,” he said.
I sat and brooded some more, disappointed with his unflappability. Tomorrow, I thought, I’d talk with my women friends and my daughter. We would rant and rave. I would quote Joan Walsh’s column in Salon about how Sarah Palin seemed just about as articulate as Miss South Carolina trying to explain why Americans couldn’t find their country on a world map. (http://www.salon.com/opinion/walsh/election_2008/2008/09/12/palin_mccain/)
Then we’d go back to the burning question about what is wrong with men, anyway. But it occurs to me that there’s another question afoot that I can’t quite answer: What is it about Sarah Palin that drives women insane — and why doesn’t she affect men the same way?
(Copyright 2008 by Ruth Pennebaker)