The XX Factor

Nancy Pelosi, Demon of Choice

Yes, Nancy Pelosi is turning into the new villain of choice, as Irin Carmon at Jezebel writes. Protesters this weekend had pictures of her-not Obama-with a Pinocchio nose growing out of her face. The Republican party has turned her into their fundraising demon-almost literally-in this Photoshopped picture that places her in the pit of hell . And this photo in the New York Times today, which makes her look unbearably smug and unattractive, does not help matters.

The question I can’t answer yet is: Is this sexist or is it a sign of feminist progress? The fact that there is a casual assumption on the part of the American right that a woman was pulling all the strings seems like forward movement. Feminists could do worse than have a woman stand in as the next Ted Kennedy. But it might be, if you dig a little deeper, that you’ll find some Salem lady-hatred under the surface, some notion that beneath the mask of controlled perfection there lurks some kind of witch.