Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Parallels

This is pretty interesting:
[Margret] Thatcher’s first sin was to be resolutely middle-class, thus earning her the scorn of the Tory grandees and liberal upper-middle classes. Baroness Warnock spoke for the latter when she talked about Thatcher’s “patronising elocution voice [and] neat well-groomed clothes and hair, packaged together in a way that’s not exactly vulgar, just low. [It fills me with] a kind of rage.” But I always thought the most interesting insult was that she had “the mentality of a housewife” – like all insults, of course, it says far more about the attackers than the target. What makes it fascinating to me is not just the political stupidity of it (there are lots of housewives, and they vote!) but the mentality it reveals. There are plenty of negative stereotypes of women, but a housewife is probably the most positive of all stereotypes in the popular imagination – that she was actually attacked for coming across as thrifty, domestic, stable and down-to-earth demonstrates how large was the gap between the Liberal Establishment and the popular mindset in the 1970s.
Remind you of anybody?

So is Palin a new Thatcher?  Who knows?  But the reaction by the bien pensants mirrors the reaction to Maggie.  So at least let's be honest, and call it what it is: class warfare.

4 comments:

Jim said...

I don't know how much of a role model Thatcher is for Palin, but she would do well for such an example.

Jim

kdzu said...

Maggie had more class in the cuticle of her left little finger than the whole lot of English and American liberals, including that Fop Prince Charles, together.
We could do worse than have someone like her replace presbo. Whether it could be Palin is up for debate.
Personally, I'm rooting for Herman Cain.

DirtCrashr said...

There's a theory or notion - perhaps a truism - in Anthropology called the Pursuit of the Elite. It's a concept of circular motion or mobility, where the High Status group is forced to continually move (away) as wealth among the Low Status people is acquired and the High Status Symbols (literally) that the High Status People use to designate their position are adopted by Low Status people seeking to emulate and insinuate (literally) their way into a High Status position.
It's appearance-based since the symbols are rather obvious, visual cues, and scorn is a shield-weapon against Low Status people which must be constantly engaged to defend against them.
It was quite a fantastic flip-flop that the British Elites managed in the turn of the 20th Century, to dress their footmen and servants in the clothing of the 18th Century Elite while dressing themselves as threadbare bums.
While the Housewife stereotype might be positive to Little Jimmy who loves his mommy, and a rock-steady place to warm the cockles of your heart and hearth, it's not an elite status-symbol or image since it's subordinate.
Even today, Elites with children such as Gwyneth Paltrow eschew the housewife stereotype for the Independent and Bold Woman image.

Blue said...

Excellent comparison between Mrs. Thatcher and Mrs. Palin.

On the plus side: the Libs are terrified of Palin. That's worth something in and of itself. :)