In all the furor over the Obama “pig” quote, commentators forgot to examine his entire attack:
“You can put lipstick on a pig. “It’s still a pig.”
“You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.”
When read in the entire context you can see what he seems to mean with his dual animate male/female references and why he probably evoked two metaphors: most would think that Obama is talking about both on the ticket and his anger how each has expropriated his change motif.
So in that sense he appears both to insult the 72-year old McCain as the “old fish” that is still going to “stink”, and to refer to Palin, who had famously evoked the metaphor of lipstick in a nationally televised address, as still the pig despite the lipstick.
The fact that he used two metaphors to attack the two, and used expressions referring both to age and Palin’s recent use of “lipstick” don’t seem to be accidents and that’s why the cooing crowd got the old fish=McCain;lipsticked pig=Palin immediately.
I’ll leave it to others to deconstruct the historical use of pig as a sexist term in the recent climate of generic attacks on Sarah Palin.
PS. The VP nominee was just announced and already Biden has called her “good looking” and now “a step back for women”; most know what he intended, but like most Bidenisms they come out wrongly and confirm a popular perception that he suffers from logorhhea and that there is a different standard of reference applied to Palin due to her sex.
Someone in the campaign has got to manage the ex tempore carelessness.