Raw, adjective: 6. ignorant, inexperienced, or untrained: a raw recruit.

Tom Perrotta - beloved of Election and Little Children - had a great piece Friday over on Slate about Sarah Palin and the phenomenon of the Sexy Puritan.  (A big thanks to B for the heads-up on this one.)

Perrotta writes:
"Caribou hunting aside, Sarah Palin represents the state-of-the-art version of a particular type of woman—let's call her the Sexy Puritan—that's become a familiar and potent figure in the culture war in recent years. ....

Sexy Puritans engage in the culture war on two levels—not simply by advocating conservative positions on hot-button social issues but by embodying nonthreatening mainstream standards of female beauty and behavior at the same time. The net result is a paradox, a bit of cognitive dissonance very useful to the cultural right: You get a little thrill along with your traditional values, a wink along with the wagging finger. Somehow, you don't feel quite as much like a prig as you expected to."
Perrotta goes on to encapsulate so many of the hot issues swirling around this MILF candidate: culture wars, gender politics, conservative Christianity, and the bizarro newish dichotomy that is nubile young things shilling for abstinence.  It's a fascinating melding of the fundy anti-sex mentality with pretty politically-savvy methods.

This is, in large part, why this Palin choice has me so tied to the coverage.  A million different culture/religion issues going on here.  Whew.


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