Friday, March 9, 2012

Slut!


Condoleezza Rice, Laura Ingraham, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Malkin

The four women pictured above are leadership figures. One is a former Secretary of State. One is a talk radio host and television commentator. One is a former Governor. One is a new media entrepreneur.

Each of them has been characterized as a “slut” (or worse), and the language of each verbal attack is acceptable because the women are Republicans.

Michelle Malkin - who just launched twitchy.com - has a roundup of some of the comments. It is not pretty.

Why is this remarkable? It’s because our culture exhibits no outrage over attacks on Republican women.

Bill Maher, in particular, is celebrated! He is a comedian, and Americans consider his characterizations of Republican women “funny.” He makes a comfortable living promoting these conventionally accepted views.

With that background, please take note of the furor created by Rush Limbaugh last week. On his radio show, he parodied a young woman who appeared in a Democratic Party press conference.

Sandra Fluke, an unmarried 30-year old law student at Georgetown University, claimed to require help paying for her $1,000 per year contraception needs.

A typical woman might spend $100 per year on contraception products. Ms. Fluke claimed in the press conference that she needed ten times that amount. Mr. Limbaugh used his radio program to taunt her as being either a “slut” or a “prostitute.”

Cue the outrage!

We can assume that Ms. Fluke is not deriving income from her sexual practices, and therefore the word “promiscuous” might be more appropriate in describing her behavior.

Regardless, the parody stoked our cultural outrage. Mr. Limbaugh found that some of his advertisers (in a show of displeasure) terminated their spots on his show. In addition, the President of the United States called Ms. Fluke to encourage her to stand firm.

It was a spectacle.

Stepping back for a moment, consider whether this differential treatment of women is an instance of liberal bias. Does that characterization seem accurate?

As you might imagine, I believe the use of the term “liberal bias” dramatically understates the phenomenon we are witnessing.

I know, “Just keep moving. There is nothing to see here.”

UPDATE 3/11/2012:
Here is the collective view of Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan.  A quote that stands out:

This isn't political. While we disagree with Limbaugh's politics, what's at stake is the fallout of a society tolerating toxic, hate-inciting speech.
The idea that their intolerance is what is necessary to correct Republican shortcomings is what should cause concern.

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