Tea Party and the Right  
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Conservatives' Big Hypocrisy: Turning Women Candidates (Who Are Anti-Sex and Anti-Woman) into Sex Symbols

The conservative right is happy for 'sexy' female candidates so long as they don't demand abortion rights, maternity leave, equal pay and equal sexual pleasure.

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Another “new” Republican woman is Nikki Haley, currently running for the South Carolina governorship. Following the well-worn steps of SC governor Mark Sanford, her campaign seems not to have been threatened by the claims of two men that she had out-of-wedlock affairs. Haley is a state representative and one of her accusers is a former assistant, Will Folks. As he insists, “the truth in this case is what it is. Several years ago, prior to my marriage, I had an inappropriate physical relationship with Nikki.”

Most recently, a SC lobbyist, Larry Marchant, claimed to have had an one-night affair with Haley. As he declared: “I had to ask myself the question, when I was watching the press statements going back and forth between Ms. Haley and Mr. Folks, I had to ask myself whether I would be able to look at myself in the mirror every day knowing what I know. If I did not say anything, if I stood on the sideline and watched this happen, could I face myself in the mirror every day? And the answer was no.”

Michele Bachmann is another “sexy sister.” This Minnesota Representative has repeatedly railed against the Obama health care plan, charging that it would set up school-based clinics encouraging promiscuous sexual behavior. One of her questions: “Does that mean that someone's 13 year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that night? Mom and dad are never the wiser.”

Although not a “sexy sister,” Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle is a Republican “new” woman and staunch Tea Party advocate. She’s come out against support for day care and accused Harry Reid of voting to use taxpayer dollars to pay for Viagra for convicted child molesters and sex offenders. Revealing the deeper ties between the Tea Party and Christian right, she opposes abortion even for a girl or woman subject of rape or incest: "You know, I'm a Christian and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things."

Another Tea Party “new” woman is Arizona governor Jan Brewer who, while decidedly not the least bit sexy, assumes the role of an independent-appearing woman, a hard-working official. This is the picture she promotes even though some accuser her of being a puppet for lobbyists, a historically male-dominated field.

Other non-elected “sexy sisters” who are seen as typifying the “new” Republican woman are: the blogger and radio show host, Jenny Erikson; the actress, Angie Harmon; the radio/video host and blogger, Dana Loesch; the writer/blogger, Michelle Malking; the politician Star Parker; and the author and beauty queen, Carrie Prejean.

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Betsy Reed recently pointed out in the Nation that the “sexy sisters” have greater appeal among white conservative men than among conservative women. Looking specifically at Sarah Palin, she noted: “Palin has a much larger gender gap than her ideological persuasion would predict: men are split 44 to 45 between those who hold favorable and unfavorable views of her; for women, the split is 35 to 58, according to a National Journal poll.”

Reed noted a report by political scientist Eric Ostermeier that in the 2008 campaign, Michele Bachmann “received support from 49 percent of men and 42 percent of women” and, this year, “she got the support of 56 percent of men versus just 39 percent of women against her new rival, Democrat Tarryl Clark.” In addition, Sharron Angle has a 64 percent unfavorable rating among women. [Nation, September 29, 2010]

 
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