'Game Change' Movie Was Terrible For Women in Politics

HBO's much anticipated movie Game Change aired Saturday night. The film, depicting the 2008 Presidential election and allegedly showing the "true" Sarah Palin and John McCain will probably end Palin's political ambitions once and for all. But was it a fair depiction of Palin and all her shortcomings?

If the film, which was adapted from the Mark Halprin and John Heilemann book of the same name, is telling the truth, then we came dangerously close to having a raving lunatic "one 72-year-old's heart beat" away from the White House. Because that is how the film depicted Palin: Stupid, mentally unstable and dangerously ignorant on all things relating to our national interest.

Even for those of us who don't like Palin anyway, the film was skewering. She did not know North Korea and South Korea were separate countries? If the film had been fiction, it would be hard to believe.


If the film is "historical fiction" as Palin says, then it is sexist in the extreme. Palin is depicted as being even more incapable and unintelligent than first assumed. She only cared about Alaska and how the state felt about her. More than that, she did not even know what the Fed was. And this woman could have been leading our country?

Further, the depictions of her mental instability were perhaps the most insulting of all. It is already so hard for women in politics to be taken seriously. In every realm. We are seen as hysterical, not as smart as men, too emotional and, worst of all, we are seen as "mommies." Palin got all that and more in the movie.

If the book, which was written by two men and almost entirely about men (except for one woman who was semi smart), is true, then fine. But if it is not, it is wrong.

One does not have to be a fan of Palin (I am not) or even think she is intelligent to see how bad it was for women. If the film's events are true, then McCain and his staff were cynical and sexist in their decision -- they wanted a woman on their campaign and did not care who she was, what she stood for or how smart she was. If not, then the book's writers were. Either way, women lose.

There ARE smart women in Washington and in politics. Nancy Pelosi and Hilary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice all come to mind. But Palin is not one of them. The more we focus on her and the more we understand the way she came into Washington, the more disgusted women should be with politics.

If the movie was true, we are hurt and if it wasn't, well then we are hurt then, too. Either way we lose.  We have a long, long way to go ladies.

Did you see Game Change? Did you think it was fair?


Image via HBO

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