Mean Girl

Sarah-palin4Frank Rich’scolumn in Sunday’s Times had me scratching my head. It was noBroder-esque droolfest, mind you, but Rich still seems to be giving Palin wayyyyyy more credit than she deserves. What is it with these guys? Broder I can understand being led around by his shriveled 2-inch dowsing rod, but Frank Rich? (Yes, she’s talking about Broder in this pic…)

Cunning? Seriously? Don’t get me wrong–I get what Rich is trying to say. But really, how much can Palin do with even the 1/3 of Americans Rich says like her? Hell, even52% of REPUBLICANS think she’s unqualified to be president! She can back loony right-wingers like Rubio, sure, but what good does that do? AskDoug Hoffman. They still have to close the deal, no matter how much Sarah brings to the table.

Here’s the thing about Palin for me. I know her. I’ve known her since sixth grade. She’s the girl who pulled down the sleeves of my elastic-topped peasant blouse in the middle of the lunchroom to show everyone I wasn’t wearing a bra yet. She’s the girl who stole my best friend’s boyfriend just because she could, not because she really wanted him. She’s the girl who all the teachers (especially the male ones) seemed to adore, even though every girl in school knew she was Satan in jellies and Jordache. (I feel strangely old suddenly…)

There’s a great book calledOdd Girl Out by Rachel Simmons. A good friend gave it to me, and I highly recommend it if you ever experienced a moment in your teen years where a mean girl took you out at the knees with a cutting comment or a cold shoulder. It won’t help you deal with it when it happens now (and yes, they still do that as adults, trust me–it’s just one of the many reasons I’ve been MIA lately), but at least it’ll make you feel less alone. But I digress…

Non-Teabagging women know Palin far too well to really like her (which is one reason I think Rich’s 1/3 of Americans assessment is way off). We know that girls* like Palin have a major Achilles’ heel: they can only stay Queen Bee as long as theylook like they can stay Queen Bee. The moment they show vulnerability, the sycophants will turn on them. It’s only a matter of time before Ann Coulter gets tired of Sarah being the right-wing female flavah-of-the-month and starts to recognize that there are enough disenchanted Sarah fans that she can go after Palin. I think the bloom is already off the rose for Palin, as witnessAthenae’s riff on Digby’s post. The bemused guy quoted in the C&L article as saying, “I just wasn’t motivated,” may not know why he isn’t motivated by her any more, but I do. The Mean Girl is starting to feel the pressure of staying on top, and being the object of David Broder’s “affection” can only be fun for…no…no, wait, sorry, that just wouldn’t be fun, not even for a millisecond. Ick.

*I use the term “girl” deliberately–this kind of woman is trapped in teenage behavior.

11 thoughts on “Mean Girl

  1. Buggy, I was on Twitter during Palin’s Tea Party speech and there were several people who noted that Palin’s attitude was right out of “Mean Girls,” the Tina Fey movie.

  2. She’s a textbook case, V-tex. I never saw her as Tracy Flick–Flick worked too damned hard. The mean girl wants everything, including power, and will tear everyone apart to get it, but once she has it, she doesn’t want to do any of the work associated with it. Which is exactly the situation I’m dealing with right now.
    And lest anyone think I’m being sexist, I have known male mean girls. They’re a little less common, but they do exist.

  3. she’s cunning at getting what she wants. $$$ and camera time.
    hmm. i guess i was too far outside and not needy to get the mean girls attention. i knew of them, but i guess um, i don’t know. wallflower protection? too smart to pick on? i is confussed.

  4. i had encounters with the mean girl as a kid, too, and i think you are spot on about palin. i actually had a run-in recently with a grown-up mean girl and it was alarming to me how much it affected me. women who hone that skill are scary to tangle with, especially if you are a sensitive type who hates confrontation (like me).

  5. It still hurts, doesn’t it, The Dol? And trying to stop it is like fighting smoke. They never hit you out in the open, when they could be called on the behavior. It’s always behind the scenes, or if it’s in the open, it’s done in such a way that they can feign innocence. Either way, if you call them on it, they can make it seem like you’re overreacting.
    For what it’s worth, after re-reading Odd Girl Out in the midst of my recent mean girl run-in, I started re-reading Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, and I’m finding it surprisingly helpful in coping. I always find something new in his writing.

  6. BuggyQ I feel for your Mean Girl situation. What is especially interesting is when you actually get back at them they go into victim mode in a blink of an eye.
    M elanie M organ attacked Cindy Sheenan viciously. Then when I turned around and pointed out to the advertisers the nasty thing she said and ended up costing her money she lied about what happened and cried about me impacting her livelihood. The thing was that I wasn’t going after her directly. I was pointing out to her bosses boss the bigger problem. With a little bit of investigating they figured out who was the problem, and got rid of her.

  7. Men can do it out in the open. It is usually dismissed as “boys will be boys”, only being cracked down on in rare cases. Women learn it early and just don’t seem to snap out of it, even in adulthood. Reading the reviews of “Odd Girl Out” reinforces that the cycle never ends once girls who behave that way supposedly “grow up”. And the victims of those girls still need help in coping with the girls’ stealth guerrilla tactics.
    If they just won’t change, send these women put to break down serial killers or mass murderers or something. That’s about the only “good” they can really do at this point. A hypothetical session of Sarah Palin working Hannibal Lecter over would probably have Hannibal the Cannibal screaming vows of veganism for the rest of his fictional life.

  8. She’s notjust the typical female bully; never, ever get that impression. I went to high school with a bunch of embryonic Sarah Palins, and don’tever forget that funnymentalist Christianity is one of the biggest sticks they have. When you add funnymentalist Christianity into the equation, it stops being normal female-bully dynamics and starts being something much, much worse.
    The grown-up form of the hyper-religious female bully is the Church Lady, who is outwardly sweet and pious, which conceals the fact that she has a mind like a nest of vipers and constantly iscertain that everyone but her is engaging in horrible sinful behaviour, and so her job is tomind people to make sure that they’re notgetting away with anything. I’m willing to bet that Sarah Palin isextremely dictatorial to people in her immediate circle; she strikes me as being a richer and somewhat more right-wing version of about a dozen of my high school acquaintances’ mothers.
    I’m not entirely sure that the teenaged Sarah Palinwould have stolen someone else’s boyfriend just to prove she could, but she’d go on and on at length in front of you about howshe was a virgin andshe was saving it for marriage, and how everybody knowsyou’re a dirty, dirty slut…and she’d then go on tomake sure everyone in the whole school knew just exactly how much of a dirty slut you really were — making up shit out of the whole cloth, if necessary (and it usually was). Bonus points if she could somehowalso insinuate that you were a lesbian.
    All this while clutching dramatically at the Bible she ostentatiously carried with her everywhere she went.
    I lived that reality for five very long years… I can tell you more about people like Sarah Palin than I wish I knew.

Comments are closed.