Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Attacking Not Just Conservative Women

But all women, in my humble opinion. That is what David Letterman did with his sexist comments regarding Governor Palin and her daughter (and it doesn't matter if he meant the OLDER one - not that much difference between 14 and 18, ya know). Here is Conservative pundit Andrea Tantaros discussing this issue with Megyn Kelly on America's Newsroom Tuesday morning (and the clip includes Letterman's apology, hence why it is not linked above):

Tantaros was taking off on a post she wrote on this very issue, Attacking Conservative Women. Even though she is a Conservative, she makes a lot of good points. And I say this as someone who actively fought for Equal Rights for Women, who ran in the Seneca Falls to Houston Run way back when, carrying the torch, who helped found a chapter of NOW. Because this was what was NOT part of all of that work - that it was only for liberal women. No, we were fighting for ALL women, and that is why these kinds of comments are so offensive, whether they are about Sarah Palin, Bristol Palin, Hillary Clinton, or Chelsea Clinton: because they are WRONG:
A growing trend seems to be emerging. From Perez Hilton to Playboy’s “Conservative Women Hate List” to David Letterman’s lewd comments about Sarah Palin, it appears that attacking women – specifically conservative women – is not only all the rage, but oddly, acceptable.

The more acceptable it becomes to express violent, crass language against women in the public arena the more you can expect our country to fray at the seams.

I’m not talking about attacks from bottom feeder leftist blogs either. Notable mainstream brands like the Miss USA Organization, “The Late Show” and Playboy magazine have all lost their sense of humor and their sense of decency by allowing conservative women to become a punching bag — and a punch line — for the left. Forgoing all boundaries, a party that once used to claim to own the violence against women issue has embraced it and let their politics run them when it comes to the issue of misogyny.

On its face, this isn’t even a political issue. It’s a women’s issue –- a human issue that transcends politics (emphasis mine). But why, when it comes to the most serious and sensitive attacks against women the National Organization for Women spokeswoman warrants a missing person’s report?

That's EXACTLY it - this is a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE. This kind of language would never be tolerated if it was directed at any other group (okay, maybe at "The Gays," as Kathy Griffin calls us, but that's it), and it sure shouldn't be tolerated against the largest minority in the world.

Tantaros continues:
Carrie Prejean was called the most offensive four and five letter words by Miss USA judge Perez Hilton’s after she expressed her traditional views on gay marriage. Was he scolded by one of the organization’s owners, Donald Trump? Hardly. Trump actually expressed willingness to allow Hilton to judge at next year’s competition.

And that’s just the beginning. Playboy magazine published a vile, incendiary list of conservative women it would like to engage in hate sex with, and it was only after public outcry that it pulled the article. Its response was watered down, to say the least. Where was that writer’s editor? (And that editor’s mind, moreover?) It doesn’t take an expert to know that the first stage of violence is thinking about it, then expressing it, then actually doing it.

Again, about Prejean, she said NOTHING that OBAMA and BIDEN hadn't already said. Yet, Obama got voted in (more or less), and Prejean was put on trial - for saying the same, exact thing.

And the Playboy piece was despicable.

As was this:
David Letterman made a disgusting joke about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin’s underage daughter and he didn’t stop there. He continued to make an off color joke about the Governor’s appearance making many want to invoke slaps but not against their knees.

Palin is apparently more popular than Letterman. Thanks to growing pressure from viewers Letterman offered — not one — but two — mea culpas. But where was CBS from the start? It was only after the public got involved that the comedian began to react with some seeming sincerity.

For the record, Palin should never appear on his show. Protests calling for his resignation should continue with a larger message to the general population and television executives everywhere: distasteful behavior against females will not be tolerated.

The only reason for Palin to ever appear on Letterman's show is to demonstrate that she takes the high road, and is a MUCH bigger person than he is. I used to watch Letterman's show, by the way, before he took every opportunity to trash Clinton - both of them (I mean, really - it has been a long damn time since the Monica Lewinsky issue, and Letterman STILL takes digs at Bill over it - there isn't ANYTHING else going on in the world about which he could joke? That's just lazy. And in very poor taste.)

Here's the kicker:
The United States, a champion for women’s rights throughout the world, will have a tough time wagging it’s finger at countries that are less than progressive in their attitudes toward women and crimes against women all over the world when we tolerate hate speak at the expense of the American female, for a few laughs or fame, no less.

The First Amendment protects free speech but there is no reason that we, as citizens and consumers, should buy it. When it comes to those who want to disrespect any woman, we can take it to their bottom line and not only speak out, but also boycott their business.

Violence against women is wrong, no matter what party affiliation, not to mention it’s just not funny. The more acceptable it becomes to express violent, crass language against women in the public arena the more you can expect our country to fray at the seams.

Amen, Sister Tantaros. We may differ politically, but on this issue, I am standing right with you. We have seen the open season that was declared on women last year, we have felt the effects of it, and we still are. But it is UNACCEPTABLE to decent people. And we are decent people.

As is Dan K. Thomasson, who wrote a very good piece on this issue, "Letterman's Remarks Symbolic of National Coarseness." Now I realize this might date me some, you know, that I expect some level of decorum and decency and all, but so be it. (I'm also a Southerner, so what do you want from me already? That was supposed to be funny, just so you know.) I think Mr. Thomasson has it right in this post, and highlights that it isn't just women who are upset by this level of discourse:
One doesn’t have to be a fan of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her family to be offended by David Letterman’s utterly tasteless, senseless remarks about her trip to New York City. Somewhere in there may be a clue as to why NBC picked Jay Leno instead of Letterman to replace Johnny Carson on the “Tonight Show” all those years ago.

Letterman told his television audience that Palin, her husband and daughter had attended a New York Yankees game where the daughter had been “knocked up” during the seventh-inning pause by Yankee star Alex Rodriguez. He also insulted every hard-working airline crewmember outside the cockpit by describing Palin’s own appearance as a “slutty flight attendant look.”

Let me note here that as the father of one daughter and the grandfather of four young ladies, three of them teenagers, and the father-in-law of a former longtime flight attendant who missed being on one of the ill-fated 9/11 planes by one day, I was particularly outraged by these mindless remarks.

To her credit, Palin ignored the assault on her own person, realizing her political ambitions have made her fair game. But what parent, even one who understands that in this country politicians can expect rough treatment, would not be angered by the gratuitous off-color assault on her teenage daughter? The Palin daughter at the game was 14-year-old Willow. Palin called the remark “sexually perverted,” which seems an apt description for one who apparently thinks the suggested rape of a child or a teenage pregnancy are laughing matters.

Letterman said he would never say that about a 14-year-old. Well, that would indicate at least he knows the consequences attached to an assault, verbal or otherwise, on an underage girl. He said he was referring to Bristol, the 18-year-old who is an unwed mother but who was not at the game — an obvious cop out. But either way, of course, he was out of line. Just because this former TV weatherman hails from the Indiana farm country (as do I) doesn’t mean he should be bombarding us with pig dung in the guise of barnyard “humor” that most Hoosiers on either side of the political aisle would consider unfunny.

Like I said, I don't think it is any funnier if it is about an 18 yr old, either. What a pathetic excuse that is, and in no way minimizes the inappropriateness of that "joke." And extra credit if you figure out how old Obama's mother was when she had HIM.

Thomasson continues:
Furthermore, this smutty dialog is not fit for national television. Aren’t we getting a bit tired of those who feel somehow their lofty positions give them immunity from the social restraints and standards of good taste and decency that govern most civilized Americans? It is safe to say that had Letterman’s remarks been made with any sort of racial overtone, his job would be on the line. There really is no reason for it not to be now if one subscribes to the notion that a baseless suggestion of immorality about any one no matter their color should bear some consequences, First Amendment guarantees notwithstanding.

Letterman’s remarks may have been written for him, but the responsibility is still his. He has complete control of his own material. It is puzzling that after all these years, he has not learned the difference between fair comment and satire and vicious disparagement. What may be more troublesome in all this is that it furthers the incivility of today’s politics, that its nastiness moves us just that much closer to the hate line at the expense of innocent bystanders — in this case children.

Liking or disliking Gov. Palin has nothing to do with this. Those who find her politically unsettling should be as appalled as those who are her biggest supporters. Her daughter’s pregnancy and decision to keep the baby does not make her a legitimate target for scurrilous public bathroom scribbles from morons. Mothers all over the world should be offended. It may be too late for a Letterman apology, but it isn’t for CBS officials to issue a strong disassociation with his remarks. After all, he violated most of the unwritten but understood rules that have protected minor family members from such unfair attacks. They have fired people for less. What this whole matter says about our direction is downright disgusting.

Yes, it does say a lot about our direction, and it sure as hell is disgusting. We saw a whole lot of that kind of behavior throughout the Primary and Election campaigns, too. It has all been well documented here before, the shirts, the actions, the horrible comments by the MSM, Obama's supporters, and the enabling by the DNC of the sexism or coarse discourse.

Oh, and Dave? It's not the PERCEPTION of what you said. It is WHAT YOU SAID. Just to be clear. We didn't misunderstand you. We heard you loud and clear. And we didn't like what we heard. Because what we heard, what you SAID, was offensive to women, and children. Enough of the deflection masquarading as an apology. We heard what you said, Dave, and it was offensive.

Maybe the third time is the charm - maybe Letterman can make a REAL apology without pushing it off on his listeners, or claiming he was mixed up, or whatever BS he comes up with next.

And maybe, just maybe, women will start to turn him off, and others of his ilk, who demean, belittle,castigate, and sexualize us, and our children. Now THAT might be a message clearly understood by everyone, Dave included.


Mary Ellen said...

Well said, Rev. Amy!

I am so disgusted with Letterman. Like you, I stopped watching his show and Leno's show a long time ago because of their misogynistic remarks about Hillary. I also quit watching Jon Stewart. They all seem to be cut from the same cloth.

I'm so glad to see those who fought for Sarah and forced CBS to make Letterman give another that had a small semblance of sincerity compared to his first. Personally, I think he should have been fired. However, that still can be done if his ratings drop. I refuse to watch anything on that channel anymore.

The way things are going in the media, I might as well get rid of my TV! :-D

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, thanks, ME - I appreciate it!

I know - sure can't watch MSNBO. And now, ABC has become All Barack Company. It is truly disturbing. Those are OUR airwaves, and they use them on OUR behalf, not as a propaganda arm of Barack Obama. It is disturbing in the extreme.

And yes, it is not too late for Letterman to get fired. One can hope, right?

You are SPOT on - those three men are DEFINITELY cut from the same cloth...

Good thing there's Netflix, right??