From a NationalJournal writeup:
Meg Whitman, a McCain adviser and the former chief of eBay, told Fox News that she thought the press was pursuing legitimate questions about Palin
If Palin takes on the traditional role of No. 2 candidate as attack dog -- and she flirted with that role in her speech -- it might seem as though she was trying to provoke sexist attacks in a culture that is still uncertain how to assess aggressive women.
An inescapable question is whether the Republicans are playing the sex card the way they sometimes accuse black Democratic politicians of playing the race card. The answer is no more straightforward with gender than it is with black-white relations. Some measure of outrage at what Palin is facing is clearly genuine; some measure of political calculation is just as real. The two don't have to be mutually exclusive. And an emotional charge like an accusation of sexism can be a powerful distraction in a campaign.
Deborah Tannen, a Georgetown professor whose book, "You Just Don't Understand," was a best-seller, said yesterday that on some level women can't escape their gender identity. Male politicians can be "neutral," but female politicians will always be "marked" as women in people's minds. The consequence of that, she said, is that "anything you say [as a woman or about a woman] is going to have extra meaning in it, and is going to get someone's back up."
Because the world is the way it is, there are no clear lines to guide political discourse. "Is it sexist to talk about women's clothing? Yes. But it tells us something about them. And the same with their hair."
They will use this issue up until voting commences in November...take it to the bank.