The Elephant In the Room

in which the Chicago GOP comes on to Culture Rover.

In some horrible marketing database gone awry, Culture Rover wound up on the mailing and calling lists of the Chicago Republican Party. Last week, I received the following email solicitation to join:

Chicago GOP Marketing

What struck me about it first was, “Yuck.” There is something disturbing and vaguely pornographic about the photograph of the young (how young?), scantily-clad woman holding the erect flag before her, loosely in her fingers, looking at the viewer with a sultry gaze. How much is enough? Eewww. So much for family values.

But the photograph also made me think about the strange, contradictory images of women that emerge from the modern Republican Party. From Ann Coulter to Sarah Palin, they are supposed to be sexy and chaste all at once, alluring and asexual, aggressive and passive, in charge and at home. It seems like an impossible role to fill.

The image shimmers with sexual ambiguities. Is the woman supposed to be a daughter of the revolution or a girl across the bar awaiting conquest? Is she playing soldier, arrived back home from the pages of some tattered porn magazine sent to Iraq months ago? Or is she the innocent girl watching the patriotic July 4th parade? Who is this person and why has she been chosen to ask me to join a political party?

Or is it a frat party?

Image: Chicago GOP

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