In Defense of Sarah Palin’s Sex Appeal

October 22, 2010

Sarah Palin - Making Politics Chic

Sarah Palin - Certainly Making Politics Chic

Making Ignorance Chic” is among the most emailed articles this week at the New York Times in which Maureen Dowd addresses an everlasting female dilemma: choosing between “intellectualism and sexuality”. She describes the “false” dichotomy in which women are rarely appreciated for both simultaneously. And by describing this phenomenon as “persistent”, I interpret it’s become progressively easier to pursue heightened sexuality than intellectualism. Dowd takes us back to 1950’s America reminiscing that “dumb blonde’s” like Marilyn Monroe made it seem fashionable to at the least, attempt to appear intellectual, while today’s personalities like Sarah Palin are “making ignorance chic”.

And it sounds convincing to cite a time when beauty icons like Marilyn were asked to pose with token history books and married intellectuals versus Sarah Palin who prides herself on being anti intellectual, or who Dowd is actually describing is of “average” intellect.

But does this make Marilyn any more intellectual in and of itself? Did Marilyn give females more reason to aspire to be intellectual while Palin makes ignorance chic? I don’t think so. If anything, it’s the other way around. If both cases reflect a societal and ultimately self-imposed choice for beauty over brains, Palin should be perceived as more empowering between the two.

Did Marilyn Monroe Make Reading Chic?

Did Marilyn Monroe Make Reading Chic?

Because while both represent sex before intellect, at least Palin comes complete with autonomy; which is a function of time and space.

Dowd describes Marilyn marrying intellectuals, or posing in “tight shorts” with books on Goya as evidence that it was somehow more chic to be intellectual then, albeit in an apologetic tone. But despite Palins sometimes absurd thoughts, she is not prided by advocates for being absurd or sexy; she’s lauded for what she has accomplished.

Unlike Monroe, Palin has very tangible intellectual achievements to show for as governor of Alaska, per opportunities afforded to her as we’ve progressed as a society in trying to level the playing field for women since Marilyn’s time.

So there are system level differences making it misleading to compare to what degree their individual impact was on perpetuating ignorance as chic. But if anything, Marilyn, and I’d say females in that time had less opportunity and incentive to pursue intellectual routes than we do in Palin’s America.

Simply put: Palin was governor / Marilyn merely married the author of Death of a Salesman.For what it’s worth, looking then just to sexuality: it’s further telling that Marilyn had to show far more skin than Palin in setting any standards for chic. Point being, it’s not significantly less sexy to be intellectual now than it was in the 50’s.

So Dowd’s piece is slightly off target. It’s partial to Marilyn (heck, deep down I am too) and that era. The article would be correct in a more general sense: it’s remained diametrically chic to be sexy rather than intellectual. And that route is often more immediately convenient too (females are aware of this every waking second, and very early on).

The catch is, pursuing sexuality at the expense of intellectualism is disastrous long term strategy (girls are rarely fully aware of this), and that’s the real lesson both Marilyn Monroe and Sarah Palin demonstrate.



  1. she is really amazing girls as she have grabbed our donkey president asif ali zardari … somewhat shah mahmood qureshi is also seeking opportunity to get close of her … what a peer sahab … he given prayers to peoples at his multan residence … and shake hands in European and western ladies …


  2. ..well Sarah is right, because if she got intellectual she couldn’t be able for a politician!..


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