Title

SARAH PALIN AND GENDER NEGOTIATION: A HIGH-HEELED ENDORSEMENT OF HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY AT THE 2010 NATIONAL TEA PARTY CONVENTION

Presenter Information

Julie Hamilton

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Since making history in 2008 as the first woman listed on a Republican presidential ticket, Sarah Palin has become one of the most watched, analyzed, and controversial women in politics in recent times. Palin’s political prominence enables her to potentially have a major impact on national understanding and acceptance of women in politics. Already, the implications of Palin’s celebrity on the meaning and popularity of modern feminism is a topic debated among scholars and non-scholars alike. Using the definition of feminine rhetorical style advanced by Campbell (1989), this essay reveals how Palin negotiates both feminine and masculine traits and speaking styles to connect with her specific audience and be recognized as powerful without blatantly violating gender norms typically embraced by conservatives. An analysis of Palin’s address at the 2010 National Tea Party Convention exemplifies Palin’s negotiation of gender expectations and supports the ultimate argument that, while blending feminine and masculine speech, Palin routinely devalues the feminine in favor of hegemonic masculinity. This essay cautions that Palin’s construction of “real Americans” as those who, like her and her Tea Party supporters, endorse masculine ideals as essential to good politics may hinder the recognition of women and other marginalized groups as valuable actors on the national stage.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 4:00 PM Apr 15th, 4:20 PM

SARAH PALIN AND GENDER NEGOTIATION: A HIGH-HEELED ENDORSEMENT OF HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY AT THE 2010 NATIONAL TEA PARTY CONVENTION

UC 331

Since making history in 2008 as the first woman listed on a Republican presidential ticket, Sarah Palin has become one of the most watched, analyzed, and controversial women in politics in recent times. Palin’s political prominence enables her to potentially have a major impact on national understanding and acceptance of women in politics. Already, the implications of Palin’s celebrity on the meaning and popularity of modern feminism is a topic debated among scholars and non-scholars alike. Using the definition of feminine rhetorical style advanced by Campbell (1989), this essay reveals how Palin negotiates both feminine and masculine traits and speaking styles to connect with her specific audience and be recognized as powerful without blatantly violating gender norms typically embraced by conservatives. An analysis of Palin’s address at the 2010 National Tea Party Convention exemplifies Palin’s negotiation of gender expectations and supports the ultimate argument that, while blending feminine and masculine speech, Palin routinely devalues the feminine in favor of hegemonic masculinity. This essay cautions that Palin’s construction of “real Americans” as those who, like her and her Tea Party supporters, endorse masculine ideals as essential to good politics may hinder the recognition of women and other marginalized groups as valuable actors on the national stage.