Waterboarding, Baptism and the Dilemma of Women in Politics

1398707253422.cachedSarah Palin’s statement while speaking at the NRA Convention this week “if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists (as quoted in this article from the Daily Beast) once again shows that she is not a person given to connecting brain to mouth.

Yet, I also wonder, given how she phrased it – and her followup comments: is the underlying motivation for these thoughtless and harsh words because she does not want to be perceived as “soft,” per a common stereotype for women?

This is a charge often leveled against women in political office: Are they tough enough?  Are they capable of actually making hard decisions?   Are they the person you’d want to have in the Oval office when a crisis is at its’ peak?  We’ve seen such language and accusations used against not only Palin, but also Hilary Clinton, Wendy Davis, and even (for those of us who remember the early 1970’s) Shirley Chisolm.

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