Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Who Let The Dogs Out?"

Apparently a GOP district in Minnesota as evidenced by a video created by some knuckle-dragger who thought it would be, gosh, I don't know - funny? membership recruitment? cool? - whatever this webmaster person thought he was doing when he created a video highlighting how much better looking Republican women are than Democratic women. Only he didn't put it that nicely. And yes, he used the song, "Who Let The Dogs Out" in it to describe the Democratic women.

Well, one of the alleged Republican women depicted in the video, supermodel, CEO, and chief designer, Kathy Ireland, took exception to the depiction of women in this video in a BIG way. In this AOL News opinion piece, Ireland spoke out:
There are so many warning signs that negativity is devouring honest political discourse in our country, and one of these recently made me a very unwilling part of it. When misogyny becomes part of victory at any price, our democracy is embarrassed and endangered.

Here's what happened, and here's why I'm angry and why I feel any American of whatever party or gender should be furious too.

Suddenly it was widely reported on the Internet that a GOP political blog in Minnesota had posted a disgusting video that proclaimed Republican women -- candidates and supporters -- are attractive and that their Democratic counterparts are, in the most disturbing and distorted photo presentations in their video, just the opposite. This vulgarity and flat-out misrepresentation of all women identified as Democrats was to the accompaniment of the rock song "Who Let the Dogs Out?" That shows the level of maturity.

The more appropriate question is, "Who in the Minnesota Republican campaign let these people near a computer?" Everything about this sordid business was vile. But the most awful fact is that it is absolutely representative of the tastelessness and negativity that is now the American political landscape.

I had become personally involved in this low point of political conniving because these bloggers identified me by name and photo (in swimwear, of course) as one of the "Republican babes" about whom they were boasting. My assumption is that my open position on the life issue has caused the video makers to place me in a Republican box. I'm too odd-shaped to fit into any neat little box. I vote for integrity, character, leadership and policy, regardless of party label. [snip] (Click HERE to read the rest.)

Dang - you go, Ms. Ireland! You tell 'em! And did she ever as she continued:
But my fury derives from the way these "leaders," and a bipartisan collection of other political negativists on both sides of the aisle, are debasing our democracy and the essential exercise of our privilege to vote our leaders in or out. Political candidates of every stripe are responsible for holding their supporters and campaign teams to their own ethical standards, or else we have to assume that these excesses (whether their prejudices are misogyny or any other form of ignorance) represent what the candidates stand for. [snip]

Snap!!! You said it (and click here to read the rest). You betcha - this kind of thing is indicative of how a candidate, a politician, sees women. Like when Obama's Chief Speechwriter, Jon Favreau, now his White House Chief speechwriter, had a photo taken of him groping the breast of a Hillary Clinton life-size cutout, which he put on his Facebook page, and was still able to keep his job, it told us EXACTLY what we needed to know about Obama. Not only did he keep someone who clearly had a disrespect for women, but disrespected his future Secretary of State, that said it all. Not that those of us paying attention needed any more proof. We had seen plenty enough misogyny spewed Clinton's way from Obama, his team, and the DNC long before this disturbing incident.

Good for Kathy Ireland for calling this what it is - misogyny. I appreciate her speaking out in no uncertain terms about what this looked like, and felt like, to her. She really nailed it on the head, and was absolutely right to call people to account for this kind of video.

I should add, the Minnesota GOP was none too pleased with this video, as this Atlantic article acknowledges, "Minnesota GOP Not Pleased With Sexist Video":
[snip]The video was released by a Republican Party unit, akin to a county committee, in Senate District 56, and the Minnesota Republican Party is quick to point out that this is NOT their doing. They are, in fact, none too pleased with it.

"It was down before we even knew it was up, and obviously it's wrong and obviously it's inappropriate," Minnesota GOP spokesman Mark Drake said.

"I think some people from the party have been in touch with them," Drake said when asked if the state party has called the Senate District 56 Republicans to scold them about the web ad. "I don't think anyone's pleased that it was up." [snip] (Click HERE to read the rest.)

Good for them for making that clear. So did some of the Republican women candidates.

And how about the guy who made the video, Randy Brown? What does he have to say about it? I bet you know what's coming. It was just humor, people.

Um, no. It wasn't humor, and it wasn't funny. Kathy Ireland said it all: it was sexist and misogynistic. Maybe Brown thinks that's funny. I sure as hell do not.

One last note, and this is to John McEnroe, who felt compelled to demonstrate his sexism once again in this NY Post article, "Tennis Loudmouth John McEnroe Says Women Players More Fragile Than Men," please stop talking now. Yes, he said it:
Tantrum-prone tennis bad boy John McEnroe hit a smash shot at the ladies Friday, saying women players aren't tough enough to compete in as many tournaments as men.

"They should be required to be in less events. There should be less events for the women," McEnroe said on a CBS Sports conference call about its coverage of the U.S. Open, which starts Monday in Flushing Meadows.


"You shouldn't push them to play more than they're capable of," McEnroe said of the female players.

"It seems it takes an actual meltdown on the court or women quitting the game altogether before they realize there's a need to change the schedule." [snip] (click here to read more.)

Do I even have to mention that former pro player, Mary Carillo, and current tennis announcer with McEnroe, was not amused? Especially since she won the 1977 French Open mixed doubles championship with him. I am sure, beside Carillo, most of the pro women weren't either. I'd love to see him say that to Serena Williams face, wouldn't you?

John, here's a little tip for you - put a tennis ball in it, you sexist pig. Oh, and you have a call - it's from Kathy Ireland.

No comments: