Friday, August 12, 2011

The Little Candidate Who Cried “Sexism”

Or: Sexual Harassment is where you find it.

I will make this brief because I’d much rather be watching TV right now, or writing about The Boy’s last day at preschool. Instead, Tea Party Dingbat-Like-A-Fox-News-employee Michele Bachmann has got my dander up.

I watched a little bit of this week’s GOP primary debate. Ron Paul, as usual, sounded mad as a hatter even when he was saying things with which I agreed. Rick Santorum got in a good one when he asked Paul if his Libertarian ideals were so broad as to encompass, say, polygamy?

Booya! I know somebody must have fed him the question, but it was a beauty. I was shocked Fox didn’t go with a Mitt Romney reaction shot.

Anyway, I missed the question Michele Bachmann was asked that has caused such a stir [Moderator Byron York of the Washington Examiner asked Bachmann about her 2006 remarks that she studied tax law because her husband told her to, even though she hated the idea. Bachmann said at the time, "But the Lord said, 'Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.'" York then asked, "As president, would you be submissive to your husband?"].

But the moderator was only asking about one of her own dingbat quotes from a couple years earlier. Having gone on the record that her faith requires her to subjugate her will to that of her husband’s, the questioner reasonably asked the candidate if she would continue to remain the good Christian, submissive wife, should she gain the White House.

Now if a male politico had gone on the record that his religion made him run every big decision past his wife first, it would be considered fair game to publicly revisit that questionable decision-making process should he decide to run for the highest office in the land.

How is it any different if another candidate has stipulated that his or her religion required all decisions to be subject first to their spouse’s approval?

That’s the thing that Bachmann has said, and even posed in gender-neutral language, it is stupid on the face of it.

Bachmann is essentially saying that if elected, America is going to get a two-for-one deal in the Oval Office. You may recall how well America responded to that proposition when Bill Clinton floated it in his first presidential campaign.

So the topic was definitely fair territory for a political debate, where the moderator’s questions are usually framed around statements the candidates have previously made for the record. It was in that context that the “offending” question was asked.

Calling any question they can’t two-step their way around “sexist” is just a load of crap that is very popular with the Right’s female candidates right now. The GOP has long been seen as the party of Old White Men until just the last couple of election cycles, and now that they are finally fielding viable female candidates for high office, they find they can wield the liberals’ own rhetorical club to bludgeon them, and are doing so with glee.

The real issue, the one that is actually kind of important and is being completely, successfully obfuscated by all the hew and cry about sexism, is that the Republicans have a handful of serious presidential contenders who swear their first fealty to the Bible, not the Constitution.

That is a fucking problem.

All this sexism bullshit is just a smokescreen, and the mainstream media is too cowed by the fact that a huge majority of their audience considers themselves Christian to call the candidates on it. For instance, if the media truly were sexist, they would have made much more of the fact that Bachmann alone, of all the candidates, left the stage during every commercial break to get her make-up touched-up, even after being asked by Fox to stop fleeing the stage every time they threw to commercial. If one of the male candidates had done the same, I doubt seriously he would have been given the same free pass by an admittedly bloodthirsty mainstream media. Remember John Edwards, caught on-camera fussing with his hair? Everybody ran with that.

Gee, maybe Bachmann is benefitting from “reverse” sexism. She doesn’t seem to have any complaints about that, however.

The real problem doesn’t have a damn thing to with supposed sexism by the media. I didn’t buy it when Hillary was hollering it in the last Democratic primary election and I buy it even less now.

The real problem is Bachmann’s adherence to an ancient set of writings that specifically and repeatedly place her entire gender in a secondary role to that of her male counterparts, wholly on account of the simple fact that she was born a woman.

It’s not the media that is sexually harassing Ms Bachmann, it is her religion.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is just whiny sexism, ask Rachel Madow the same question and she would go batshit nuts as well

1:34 PM


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