The old Saturday Night Live philosopher Jack Handey once said that before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in her shoes. That way, when you do criticize her, you’ll be a mile away and you’ll have her shoes. That would never work for me and Sarah Palin, because if I had to walk a mile in her shoes, I would break my neck.
You know how I know? Because Associated Press photographers cannot get enough of the Alaska governor’s legs.
Last week, Newsweek‘s cover photo was in Sarah Palin’s face, quite literally. The folks at Fox News had a fit over the picture, shouting sexism to anyone who would listen. Newsweek denied the charge, saying that it does not alter political photographs. If it was a man, they’d happily let readers have a look at his wrinkles, they said.
While Fox and Friends were having a raucous debate about the magazine photo, I was rolling my eyes — because there are some much better pictures for making that case than the Newsweek cover.
Photos like this:
In fact, after doing a little research, I found AP photos of Palin’s legs from every national debate and convention thus far.
A quick search of Twitter confirms that I am not the only person who has noticed the trend of Palin leg photos.
Here’s a sampling of random Tweets:
Someone even has a Flickr set devoted entirely to Palin’s legs. (Currently, there are 155 pictures in the set.)
The Associated Press has documented Palin’s legs’ effect on little girls:
On hockey moms:
And on frat boys:
The only corresponding photos of the male candidates’ legs are when they manage to wander into the frame with Palin’s heels.
Is this just an artful way of looking at Palin’s candidacy? A juxtaposition of femininity in what has always been a man’s game? Or are these photos simply shrewd sexism?