Friday, May 23, 2008

Gender trashing

There would be absolutely no point in denying that the Clinton campaign has brought out, in depressingly vivid detail, just how openly sexist many, many people in our society are still willing to be. More than that, how "respectable" sexism still is.

Sure, the Obama campaign has also brought to the fore no small amount of lingering racism. (That West Virginia idiot who said he wanted the president to be a "full-blooded American" is merely the most quotable example.)

But you don't see many "respectable" talking heads on cable spouting openly racist drivel (at least not against black people). We've managed to make that a taboo. Anyone with a brain knows not to say it on television even if they're thinking it. I'll probably get e-mail from people listing counterexamples, and I won't deny it occasionally happens, but I still think it's nothing compared to the smug, open sexism we apparently still find acceptable.

I mean, Republican hack Roger Stone still gets invited on TV even after he founded an anti-Clinton group called Citizens United Not Timid. Ha ha ha ha ha. Does anyone really think he'd keep getting invited on TV if he'd started an anti-Obama group called Nationally Interested Good Guys Entirely Republican?

But, let's step back and really look at this. Yes, Clinton, the onetime Dem frontrunner, has been getting gender-trashed to a shocking degree.

Except it's only shocking if you've forgotten recent political history. And therein lies the key point I want to make.

Hillary Clinton is not being gender-trashed because she's a woman. She's being gender-trashed because she's a Democrat.

It comes out as sexism because she's a woman and that's the most direct way to gender-trash a woman. But make no mistake, a male Hillary Clinton would not get treated any better. It would just sound somewhat different.

It would sound more like how they treated John Edwards or Al Gore or John Kerry.

Yeah, they make fun of how Hillary dresses, calling her things like "Hillary Clinton, D-Pantsuit" and feigning a fainting spell if she wears any clothes that don't hide the fact that she has breasts. Remember 2000, when Al Gore got endless shit for wearing "earth tones" and suits with too many buttons on them? And the (false) story about how he got fashion advice from Naomi Wolf grew into a story about how he "needed a woman to tell him how to be a man"?

Gender trashing.

Yeah, there are those Hillary Clinton "nutcrackers," and that's inexcusable. But more inexcusable than Ann Coulter being handed platform after platform to call John Edwards a "faggot"? Or Maureen Dowd--an alleged liberal, with a column in the New York Times--smearing Edwards as the "Breck girl"? Peggy Noonan declaring that George W. Bush should beat John Kerry because, unlike that flaccid, flip-flopping eunuch Kerry, Bush "has two of 'em"?

Gender trashing.

Ah, you will be saying. But, Eagle, why then has Barack Obama not come in for the same amount of gender-trashing? Surely that's sexism.

Actually, no, I don't think so. In 2000, Bill Bradley got a bit of a free pass because the press hated Al Gore so intensely and wanted someone to beat him, and Bradley looked like the only shot. I think Obama benefits from a bit of the same. (Do you honestly think the press hates Hillary any more than they did her husband?) But you can already see the general election narratives taking shape. Obama is a sissy girly elitist who can't bowl like a real man.

Monica Crowley, on McLaughlin: "If [Obama] is this prickly, he is way too much of a girly man to be president of the United States."

Kathleen Parker, for some reason allowed to spew this drivel in the Washington Post: "Well, at least they didn't kiss. I was bracing myself for the lip lock Wednesday when John Edwards endorsed Barack Obama....Obama and Edwards make an attractive picture -- Ultra Brite cover boys of youth and glamour united against old men (and women) who worship the status quo. Obama -- the man who makes Chris Matthews feel a thrill up his leg..."

Maureen Dowd, who should be fired from the New York Times immediately, got out ahead of the game, and has been calling Obama things like an "anorexic starlet" and a "desperate debutante" for months now.

The pattern is clear. Big Democrats are all sissy girly women, except for big Democratic women, against whom that slur wouldn't work, so they're emasculating bitches, which is just the other side of that coin.

Is it a problem that sexism is still so shockingly acceptable in this society? Hell yes. Is it the problem in this election? No, no, it's so much bigger.

So, hey, mainstream media Kool Kids. Speaking as a genuinely gender-confused Democrat who nevertheless feels she has the same right as some macho tractor boy or some pretty rich bitch to have political opinions? Go fuck yourselves. And after that, start reporting on actual matters of policy and give up on all this Democratic gender-trashing. It's not 1% as clever as you seem to think.

Hosted by KEENSPOT: Privacy Policy