Saturday, September 20, 2008

Less Dorothy and More Like the Flying Monkeys

Our friend and fellow blogger, Michael Shaw over at Bagnews Notes has a great post up this week that I thought might be of interest to folks here since we have had a lot of in depth sometimes heated discussions about gender during this election season.

Bagnews is a blog about analyzing images in the corporate media.

The one in the last week that struck me was this;

Stephan Savoia/AP. Sept. 10, 2008. Fairfax, Va.

What do you think of this image? What do you think the AP is trying to say by running this one? Michael had some interesting comments,

The camera fascinates me. I wonder about the "demographics" of the audience members in this Fairfax, Virginia crowd and wonder how representative they are. (Class has definitely been on my mind as I've thought about this image, especially as the newswire has filled up lately with more pictures of enthusiastic women at Palin/McCain rallies. In that regard, what I find actually atypical about this image -- which should be good for an email, or two -- is how much younger and somehow "less-Republican" looking these women appear.) Of course, the shot is so sexually charged. And yet, I look at those shoes and I keep thinking: the Ruby Slippers. But then, I hate the analogy because I see Palin as more of a wannabe.
I see less Ruby-Slippers/ Dorothy and more Flying Monkeys carrying away all the sensible sane governance of America and throwing it in a dungeon somewhere. (in Alaska perhaps?)

The choice of imagery shown with Palin stories also reminds me that a lot of the narrative about gender and the direction that the narrative has taken has been trumped up and manipulated by the media.

One story from early on in the Gov. of Alaska saga really struck me. When people were questioning her decision to run as VP when Palin has a pregnant teen and a new baby with downs syndrome; the media screeched that no one would ask these questions of a man.

That is utter bullshit.

As you know I was a big Howard Dean supporter in 03-04. Well early on, Howard's son was in a drinking and theft situation, and the media and GOP right wing blog types were yelling from the rooftops about how if he could not manage his family and help keep his kids out of trouble why in the world was he thinking of running for president?

Now that is not to say that sexism has not been a huge issue in politics. But I do remind myself, and am reminded by stories that run the picture above, that much of the narrative is manipulated by corporate media to sell advertising and get viewers eyes on their message. It would take a ton, not grains of salt to have a proper filter to view this stuff.