Prejean took a conservative stance. And in the cultural field guide, she is not what a conservative woman who puts her Christianity out there for public consumption is supposed to look like.She was gorgeous and conservative. What a shock!
She was not buttoned up. She did not look like an escapee from "Jesus Camp." Prejean looked like someone who enjoys a good cosmo.
Prejean's words landed like a sucker punch on many who thought they knew what the opponents of same-sex marriage look like.
[Elizabeth Edwards] has been subject to an inordinate amount of tsk-tsking for failing to articulate the perfunctory speech about the baby's innocence and how everyone needs to do what's in the child's best interest...Ha ha. EE is fat. Make no mistake: Givhan called her fat. "Figure devoid of sharp lines" — tee hee — use that on your female enemies. Anyway... so... get it? Pudgy, unglammed women who dare not to be squishy inside — shocking!
[T]his woman with the soft Southern accent and the maternal air has essentially said that the baby is not her concern. That is not the expected response from a woman whose figure is devoid of sharp lines and who always seems to be dressed for a parent-teacher conference.
But how was Wanda Sykes out of character? Here's where the essayist's challenge kicks into advanced mode:
Sykes, a petite black woman with a sassy mouth, had gotten pointed, political and a tad bit angry. It was as if everyone expected her to leave her opinions with the Secret Service and just dish out jovial, but mush-mouthed, commentary about being beleaguered and put-upon.Eh. I'm not seeing how Sykes deviated from what we'd expect from her. Givhan merely observes that she didn't modify herself for the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
Sykes is known for her sharp tongue. She's more Bill Maher than Bill Cosby. But there's an assumption that white male comics will speak their mind and risk being offensive to get the laugh. (When Stephen Colbert performed two years ago, the press knew he'd offend some in the audience, they just didn't realize it would be them.) If Maher had made the same comments, the audience probably would have been thankful that he didn't say anything really appalling. With Sykes, it was more like: Shame on her.
The essayist's task is not achieved. The parallelism is missing. The Sykes story is not about appearance and unexpected expression. Sykes was exactly Sykes, and she didn't rein it in.