My shirt looks good on you

You know a political nerve has been pinched when Rush Limbaugh apologizes for comments he made on his national radio show.

Rush’s outrageous comments about Sandra Fluke ignited a deafening outcry from women’s groups and reproductive rights advocates this week, and several of his advertisers are now distancing themselves.

Because this is a presidential election year; and because Rush is an unabashedly conservative pundit, his comments are being used by Democrats to underscore the notion that Republicans are waging a war against women.

Nothing like a bit of hypocrisy just a few days before Super Tuesday.

Check the cheering and applause that HBO talk show host Bill Maher received when he described Sarah Palin as a “dumb twat.”

A few nervous giggles, but applause nonetheless…

So, if a Republican commentator demeans women with vitriolic commentary we gather the pitchforks and demand his head on a stick.

But if a liberal commentator does the same thing, we laugh or just look the other way. Is that how it works?

Make no mistake, both Rush Limbaugh and Bill Maher are pigs, and their outrageous comments should be condemned by everyone with a pulse, regardless of political affiliation.

California Governor Jerry Brown, a former presidential candidate, apologized for comments that were attributed to him and/or his staff, describing Republican opponent Meg Whitman as a whore during the gubernatorial campaign.

From my perspective, an apology doesn’t cut it.

George Will got it right when he said the word “inappropriate” is far too tame for describing Rush Limbaugh’s comments.

“Inappropriate is when you use your salad fork for your entrée,” Will quipped on ABC’s Good Morning America, saying Republicans are too tepid in their response and afraid of Limbaugh and his massive audience.

Violence against women begins when we give ourselves permission to demean them with our discourse.

As the father of two young men, I have an inherent obligation to speak out about the pervasive nature of gender violence and misogyny.

As an amateur pundit, I just wonder why it’s somehow funny when Bill Maher calls a woman a twat, yet outrageous when Rush Limbaugh infers that a woman is a slut.

Dean Scontras, the Republican who challenged Chellie Pingree in the 2010 First District Congressional race, is also bothered by the crystal-clear hypocrisy.

On his Facebook page, Scontras said that until those who sympathize with the left express equal outrage over Maher’s remarks about Palin, they should remain silent about Rush Limbaugh’s comments.

I disagree.

Although I despise the hypocrisy, remaining silent about Rush Limbaugh’s vile  commentary just because Bill Maher was equally (or arguably more) offensive, only serves to amplify and allow a very real war against women to fester – – if only beneath the surface.

Thus, it is now time for my own public apology.

Last week, I penned a post entitled I’m Done Sharing My Wife.

Although I am confident that people who know me understand the context of my satirical commentary, my words were immediately thrust onto the stage of public discourse via the power of the internet.

A very wise woman once told me that words are like toothpaste. Once you squeeze them out, it is virtually impossible to put them back in their container.

So, I will not edit or delete that post. I will leave it where it remains as a constant reminder of my own hypocrisy.

And, hopefully, my willingness to at least acknowledge my own boorish behavior will serve as an example for how not to behave.

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5 thoughts on “My shirt looks good on you

  1. Is the hypocracy so clear cut? Whether Palin is dumb is actually a revelant and appropriate political discussion. While twat indeed is clearly mysogenistic, a gender-neutral synonym such as a-hole clearly describes someone so willfully ignorant who has made a living attacking those who don’t align with her fairy tale version of American-ness. Sarah Palin is a terrible person based on her words and actions (hateful and small). She has said awful, awful (and sometimes mysogentistic) things about many people. On the other hand, calling all women who would like their insurance to cover things their doctors perscribed sluts and prostitutes seems to be a different order of magnitude. Twat is a sexist term. Saying women (and only women!) in general should learn to keep their legs closed and then tarring a person who thinks otherwise doesn’t seem to be the same thing. At all. Long story short: Maher chose the wrong word. Rush chose the right words to describe a mysogentists point of view.

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    1. Hey Tawk,
      Thanks for commenting. Your narrowing the discussion to Sarah Palin, not surprising given her polarizing effect. That said, you conveniently forget that the hypocrisy extends far beyond Palin…please note Jerry Brown’s descrition of Meg Whitman as a whore. Some people call for civility but then throw civility out the door when discussing someone with whom they disagree. On a final note, I would caution you in describing others as “dumb” when your own post contains several misspellings, including the word hypocrisy…is that irony? More likely, it’s laziness. I can refer you to a great free-lance editor if you like.

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      1. Sup. The law requires that pointing out spelling mistakes will result in spelling mistakes (descrition). I don’t think you’re dumb. But spelling equals clarity and I’m afraid my point got lost.

        The issue is not whether someone calls another person a bad word. Its why they did. Was Meg Whitman a whore for being “slutty” (mysogentist) or was she being called that for engaging in transactional politics (not so much mysogeny unless you think people shouldn’t be called whores even if they are literally having sex for money because its a fundementally mysogentistic term)? Context matters.

        I wasn’t narrowing, I was saying the specific thing you believe is hypocrisy, isn’t. Let’s not relitigate every mean thing said by people paid to say mean things. I believe you made a point about that.

        This next comment is more helpful advice to shock comics and bloggers: I try to keep the habit of not calling women bitches. When you call someone a bitch, you, saying “I have a problem with women.” When you call someone an assshole, you’re saying “I have a problem with this person.” Twat is the same as bitch here, just more fun to say, but offensive nonetheless and distracts from the actual point of the criticism.

        How how the hell do I spell check this thing? Screw it. I’m too lazy.

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      2. Tawk:

        Looks like we need a beer summit to sort this all out, but I suspect that we’re much more aligned than opposed in our view on this subject. That said, please allow me to clarify:

        1.) no one is denying Rush Limbaugh his freedom of speech. Rush if free to say whatever crazy, vile thought pops into his head. But there are consequences for that action: the risk of termination, loss of income, loss of respect, friends, etc.

        2.) I think “asshole” is less offensive because it is gender neutral.

        3.) This subject could be applied to several recent hot-button topics. On a local level, the term “Biddo’ can be inferred as either offensive or endearing; and although it bugs the living crap out of me, i choose to censor myself and do not use the infamous “N-word” simply because I do not want to deal with the ramifications, even if I only use it to make a point about context.

        4.) With freedom comes responsibility. I think there is a huge difference between criminalizing words and being offended by certain words. We are all free to use whatever words we choose, but we must be willing to accept the consequences of using them.

        5.) The hypocrisy is NOT between Rush and Bill Maher or anyone else. The hypocrisy lies within the reaction generated and how that reaction fluctuates wildly depending on the political stripe of the source.

        6.) The media pays little to no attention if the offending voice is liberal or Democrat in context; but let a Republican say the same thing and BOOM! Look out!

        7.) Of course, the public and media hypocrisy extends far beyond this subject. For example, when President Obama sends missiles into Yemen, our nation yawns or sighs, “friggin terrorists, they had it coming.” If President Bush does the same thing, he is a war-mongering fanatic.

        I doubt we can ever erase hypocrisy; honesty runs contrary to human DNA. That said, i think we owe it to ourselves to at least think and discuss hypocrisy, especially within the realm of our political discourse.

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      3. Let’s see… by ignoring points 5-7, I totally, completely 100 percent agree. About points 5-7 I will say this: I believe “The Media” as I’m guessing you define it, is completely unhelpful in moving the national discourse. Its quite pathetic how invested they are in personalities at the expense of actual substance. The distractions are the story. Whether and to what extent they play favorites is besides the point: it is ALL unhelpful.

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