September 17, 2008

Your Turn: Pink, Red, Blue, Red, Mustard, More Red, Click

Ruby Slippers-1

… If a pic was ever worthy of a “Your Turn.”

Here’s the story.  I’ve been holding onto this shot for about a week now.  I’ve been completely transfixed by it, but am not sure how to read it.  I think there are two men in the shot, and the rest women.  Although there are three or four men in the shot, the women are highlighted.  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 don’t even know which links — out of the flood of words being invested on gender and the presidential race — to pair with this picture.  Rather quickly, there’s this morning’s rather schematic AP story about Hillary canceling an appearance next week that Palin was planning to attend (also noting how one of her major fundraisers, citing Obama’s “arrogance,” has jumped to McCain.  And then, playing off the image much more literally, there’s the Wall Street Journal slide show titled: “Buying Palin’s Shoes,” about how SP’s personal style has “sparked a buying frenzy.”  Then, there’s this piece from Reason titled: A Great Moment for Women: Why Sarah Palin is good for America along with a write-up from pollster Peter Brown titled:  “Palin Stokes Class War Among Women.”

What do you see and what do you think?

Update 9/18/08: The NYT includes this shot in its politics slideshow today.  This is turning into a theme.

(image: Stephan Savoia/AP. Sept. 10, 2008. Fairfax, Va. caption: A supporter of Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, keeps her eyes on her during a campaign rally.)

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Michael Shaw
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