By Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy on October 16, 2010 at 7:00 PM in Barack Obama, California, Campaign Gaffes, Current Affairs, Daily Show, Gender Bias, Greta Van Susteran, Hillary Clinton, Keith Olbermann, Media Bias, Media Handling of Story, Misogyny, NBC/MSNBC, Sexism
… is when someone tells me that I am flat-out wrong on a statement of fact, not even entertaining for a second that I could be right, and when shown proof positive, still acts skeptical. Or having my personal experience as a woman (or lesbian) discounted precisely because I am a woman (and a lesbian). Oh, yes. That is just one of my all-time pet peeves, and it came up recently with my physical therapist.
My physical therapist doesn’t know that I dwell in the world of politics except when recovering from major surgery (and thanks, everyone, for your support and concern. More on that below…). At my last visit with him, he brought up politics. First, he bashed Fox News, and anyone who would watch “such trash”, claiming they make up news to suit their points, not report the news. I mentioned to him that Bret Baier routinely has someone from NPR on for the discussions at the end of his show (since he mentioned he likes NPR), and that Fox routinely has Democrats on. He said they were only the wimpy ones, though, not tough ones. Hmm. So, you know, they don’t count. Like the current head of the DCCC, Chris Van Hollen, I suppose. Okay. Whatever. Let’s find a way to not let facts influence our opinions. (I might add, before 2008, I had the same opinions about Fox, having never watched it. I believed the spiel from the DNC, Jon Stewart, MSNBC, and others. But they (Fox) were the only ones who treated Hillary Clinton with a modicum of respect, especially Greta Van Susteran, so I started giving them a chance. Turns out, they are not as horrible as the Democrats made them out to be.)
Meanwhile, my PT thinks MSNBC is just fine, naturally, and really only operates to counteract the vileness that is Fox. You know, they are performing a service, see, lest people fall under the spell of that horrible Fox machine. Misogynistic rhetoric by Keith Olbermann directed at Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Campaign was not something my PT noticed, but if there was anything, he suggested that I probably just noticed it since I am a woman. He couldn’t think of any instances in which he heard anything misogynistic from Olbermann at all.
I am not kidding. He said all of this with nary a thought that he could be making an ass of himself, or that he was being just a tad sexist his own self by minimizing my saying something was sexist because I’m a woman. (I wonder if a person of color says something is racist, does his/her saying so automatically mean they are just being too sensitive? Or is this something left more for us little ladies when we cry foul on sexism?)
That set the tone for what came next. The PT insisted that I was completely, flat out, absolutely, completely, couldn’t possibly be right, wrong when I said that that Obama stated there are 57 states, or that he said the Great Lakes are in Oregon, or that his parents were inspired to have him because of the March On Selma, even though that event occurred 4 years AFTER his birth, unless this information came solely from Fox News. You know how we women folk don’t really know nothing and all. Well, I quickly found him an article from the LA Times, “Barack Obama Wants To Be President of These 57 United States,” and asked if THAT was sufficient for him, even reading him this quote:
At a later stop Obama was talking with reporters and expressed concern he’d also mis-stated the number of potential cyclone victims in Burma. He said, “”I hope I said 100,000 people the first time instead of 100 million. I understand I said there were 57 states today. It’s a sign that my numeracy is getting a little, uh.” At that point, an aide cut him off and ushered journalists out. Before he could mis-speak again?)
I asked him if the LA Times would suffice. His response? He would have to look it up for himself. He is sitting there, seeing the LA Times masthead on my computer, but even that was not sufficient. Yeah, whatever, dude. Not only did he refuse to acknowledge any of the above instances of Obama misspeaking, but also blew off Obama’s claim that Hillary Clinton won Kentucky because it borders Arkansas, apparently, not understanding that Kentucky borders Illinois’ Southern border. His explanation? That for the people there, at least, it was a “psychological” closeness, so it made sense they would go for Hillary Clinton. Huh?? Wow. Oh, and I mentioned to him that the MSM did not do its job vetting Obama, that had Bush or ANYONE else, said these kinds of things, they would still be talking about them. Seems maybe MSNBC didn’t provide him with as much information as he thought it did (or Jon Stewart, whom he mentioned as one of the people from whom most young people get their news). Ahem.
And you know what his immediate response was to the litany of “mistakes” Obama made? One thing – Hillary and Bosnia. Right. Her exaggeration of one story is equivalent to all of the misstatements and flat out lies of Obama’s. Gotcha.
But here’s the thing – that example cam tripping right off his tongue, but he knew NOTHING about Obama’s gaffes and lies. That is telling in and of itself, isn’t it?
But that is just one guy. We know there are so many more who don’t notice the sexism because they are not women (according to my PT’s logic). For instance, how about California gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown denying that a woman being called a whore is as bad as a racial slur? Not only did he deny it, he dismissed it out of hand. He sure does know how to win a woman over, doesn’t he?
I can make it a bit more local. Our SC Democratic nominee for the US Senate, Alvin Greene, was apparently just trying to flirt with a young woman when he showed her pornographic photos for which he has now been charged with a felony. At least that seems to be what his attorney was saying in this Washington Post article when the attorney said this:
“He was attempting to flirt with a young lady who had no interest in him,” Eleazer Carter told The Associated Press. “While the charges are very serious, I think it boils down to, when a lady turns you down, has it reached a criminal offense?”
That’s all it was, people – why is everyone making such a big deal out of it? Sheesh, c’mon, already – you little women need to stop being so sensitive.
Which is apparently what the California chapter of N.O.W. thinks in terms of calling women derogatory names. Yep – turns out they think it is A-Okay. You know what I mean – the Jerry Brown “hey, baby, being called a whore ain’t such a bad thing,” from the recent debate with gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. WTH??? Add to that Alvin Greene’s “just flirting” assertion, and I just had to share this recent experience. Holy Moley.
And speaking of physical therapy. I am still pretty busy with my daily regimen of physical therapy and dealing with high levels of pain (so, um, that’s my excuse if there are any typos or anything. The PT did say this is what happens when your bone and muscle are cut. It hurts, like being hit with a police baton right on the tibia over and over 24/7 for 6 – 8 weeks. Yep, sounds about right.). I have missed our conversations, but also haven’t been in a place where I can give the time I would like to fully engage. So, thank you again, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers. It means a lot to me. I am working up to writing more regularly, I promise.