Palin Performing Gender

From Carrie Rentschler at Liminalities:

Sarah Palin makes visible a political form of right-wing “hetero butch” that amplifies, unlike most butch performance, female feminine coding rather than female masculinity. For many commentators trying to make political sense of Palin, her sporting and sexual body has become the grounds on which to figure her out—a political mystery to be solved at the level of sex and gender performance. Maybe it’s a northern Midwest thing, but I always assumed butch women came in all kinds of packages, and sexualities—at least they did in Iowa and Minnesota where I grew up. Straight butches, like lesbian butches, bear several of the overt signs of “butchness” or female masculinity as defined by Gayle Rubin and Judith Halberstam, but even more “feminine-appearing” women can belong to a category of “hetero butch.” In “Of Catamites and Kings,” for instance, Rubin describes butch as existing along a continuum of looks and sexual practices; I suggest these looks and practices cut across the borders constructed in our thinking between hetero- and homosexu-alities.

Read the whole thing here

via wood s lot

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