Sniff. Sob. Red State's cute li'l Streiff does not love us anymore. And I always wanted to make snugglebunnies with this particular sweetums.
Many moons ago, the inestimable Thomas Crown wrote
Should the entire American Left fall over dead tomorrow, I would rejoice, and order pizza to celebrate. They are not my countrymen; they are animals who happen to walk upright and make noises that approximate speech. They are below human. I look forward to seeing each and every one in Hell.
That is my philosophy moving forward from today.
Gosh. So. No smoochies, then?
What a dramatic U-turn from the Civility Policy that has hitherto governed right wing discourse.
But, of course, there has been Provocation. Why, some Liberal Leaders, like Bill Maher, who is in charge of the Democratic Party, have been... sexist.
No one called Fluke a derogatory Anglo-Saxon term for female genitalia as Bill Maher did Sarah Palin. And no one on the Left condemned Maher or even expressed mild consternation. Lefty politicos still trample each other in eagerness to appear on his obscure television program. Had someone on our side called Nancy Pelosi that, or even Bill Maher whose picture appears in the dictionary beside that word, we would still be getting demands to denounce it from the Left.
No one on the Left! I called Maher an "asshole," myself. Maybe others did too. Who knows.
Anyway, the Basic Moral Point in play here would appear to be Don't Be Sexist, a lesson that streiff has taken to heart, except in the sense that Bitches are Fronting.
If there is one good thing that has come out of this dust-up over the bovine Sandra Fluke and her insatiable need for free contraceptives (I’ve seen the pictures of her and her boyfriend, so I have my doubts) it has clearly exposed what Dr. Fish is talking about.
True, Fluke, who interjected herself into a public policy debate with 1) no expertise at all in the subject area outside a second X chromosome she arguably possesses and 2) hysterically spouting wildly implausible stories about the difficulties facing a Georgetown Law student in obtaining birth control pills not paid for by someone else, was roughed up a little. However, it was nothing compared to the abuse heaped upon Sarah Palin and other conservative women as a matter of routine.
Liberals and their "moral relativism" when it comes to misogyny. Shocking. Exterminate all the brutes. Because, see,
These people are trying to destroy Christianity itself.
That's some Jesus ya got there.
This Red State emanation was provoked by this typically fatuous Stanley Fish gibberish. Fish represents "The Left" even less than does Maher.
I hope I don't startle anyone unduly, but the feminist left criticism is not that certain words are "bad" in some sort of FCC sense. A word is a word is a word.
The true issue is to do with attitudes towards women's agency and independence. I know more than a few foulmouthed feminists; MollyI's portmanteau "twatwaffle" is, you know, funny.
Maher has long struck me as a smug prick who has lots of trouble with women who dish it back but don't take it. He's also often glib and lazy. When he calls Palin a "cunt," that's the problem -- it's an annoying failure to think through and and call out real problems as regards gendered power relationships. That he used a four letter word is beside the point.
This has nothing to do with his free speech. Say "cunt" all you like! Even call women "cunts"! But if you really care about women's cultural and social equality, contextualize that motherfucker and show some thoughtfulness. I mean, that's all you have when it comes to Sarah Palin? Someone who manages to do all the satire for you? To the extent that all Tina Fey has to do is put on some glasses, and you're out of breath laughing at an absolute gobshite?
But there is a key difference between Maher and Limbaugh -- Limbaugh is actively cheering on policies that would make women's lives worse, and in the process he smeared in the most intimate and revolting manner a woman who did nothing but publicly state a viewpoint he disliked.
The similarity between Maher and Limbaugh is that they both went to misogyny as a glib attack mode. Well, fuck them.
The difference is that Limbaugh was and is advocating a truly reprehensible, totally incoherent argument, and doing so in the service of a policy recommendation that would result in a lot of harm to a lot of women.
If all employers were to be allowed to exercise "conscience rights" as regards their employees' healthcare, that would be massively fucked up. And women would in this case merely be the first victims. Everyone with employer-based healthcare would be potentially screwed.
It's policy that matters -- not words. What words are permissible in what contexts -- such struggles indicate deeper attitudes that can have profound impacts on peoples' lives, so hence it's worth paying attention.
But still. The reason Fish is a jackass (reason number oh, I lost count, long ago) is that it escapes him utterly that the Left may be genuinely motivated by concerns for what happens to real women in the real world.
It's about the right to contraception. It's easier to pretend that it's about the words "slut" and "cunt," and who can and can't say them. And while that stuff matters... at the end of the day, it's much more about contraception. And, yes, abortion. And a woman's rights regarding her body.
It's not like there is nothing to the Maher/Limbaugh shit.
But it's still a sideshow.
A brutally effective one. Sticks and stones can break our bones, but Arizona's legislature is fucking crazy. And they ain't alone.
Bill Maher is in no direct fashion relevant to the war on women. The war on women is the war on women. Limbaugh is fighting it.
Oh, and I know I said long ago that I wouldn't talk about this asshole anymore, but it came up on Memeorandum, and it illustrates a basic truth: anyone who preens themselves on being a "classical liberal" is almost certainly a douche who has no problem with using the power of the state to compel women to undergo pointless medical procedures. How Jeffersonian, etc.