Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I too am an honorary girl

If there is one aspect of partisan political rhetoric that I find truly and deeply entertaining, it's the pattern of blatant hypocrisy emanating from a good portion of those on the left, when it comes to cultural patterns, sensitivity, and marginalized groups. In noting how rampant ageism had taken hold of the left, with regard to Clint Eastwood's performance at the GOP Convention, I discussed the outrage and calls of racism provoked by Romney's use of the words "anger" and "angry," with regard to Obama and the Obama Campaign:
Then, just recently, there was the kerfuffle over Romney's use of the word "angry" in reference to the Obama campaign. MSNBC contributor Touré (what's with the one name? Is this Brazilian soccer?) argued that the words "anger" and "angry" were "racial coding," that they represented an attempt by Romney to "niggerize" the President. And though Touré ultimately apologized, his views were accepted--by and large--by the mainstream media as worthy of consideration, if not wholly accurate.
I also touched on Sandra Fluke and the outrage once again among the left that was sparked by some of the criticism directed at Ms. Fluke. Most of that criticism came from Rush Limbaugh who--to be fair--was most definitely trying to provoke a response. But it's worth revisiting the specifics. What Limbaugh initially said that started the ball rolling:
What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke [sic], who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex.

She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps.
Obviously, Limbaugh was engaging in hyperbole to make a point, namely that contraception costs are not something everyone has some sort of "right" to have another pay for, be that other an insurance company, an employer, or the Federal Government. Fluke had argued contraceptive costs for college students--like herself--were simply too high for the typical student to manage:
Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy.
That's a big number, $3000 for three years or $1000 a year. When this story became big news, some intrepid people did a little digging and discovered that a Target store near Georgetown (where Ms. Fluke went to school) sold  a month's supply of birth control pills for $9 for people with no insurance. That's $324 for three years, no where close to $3000. If condoms are the "protection of choice," $3000 would suffice to buy some 5000+ condoms, enough for 4.5 acts of sexual intercourse per day for three years. And these numbers are valid for 40% of the female student body? Hyperbole in response to hyperbole? Sure looks that way.

That said, calling Fluke a "slut" is certainly sexist on its face and I guess in that regard, I can understand the backlash provoked by Limbaugh's comments. To an extent. Because it wasn't enough to just note this and move on for left-leaning commentators (not to mention Democrat politicos). The issue was beaten to a pulp, over and over again, with story after story, op-ed after op-ed. Like this one, where WaPo writer Jamila Bey dissects it into a case of "slut-shaming" and an overt attempt to silence all women:
What Limbaugh did - and does frequently - is “slut-shaming” and it’s no less hateful and derogatory than racial slurs. Any woman who dares admit that she is anything other than a virginal “Madonna” is rebuked and intimidated into silence and shame. And this tactic is profoundly dangerous in this context of helping to insure women’s health...

This is hate speech. There is no excuse for it. And it must be called out at the moment it is uttered...
Fluke was gentle in calling such language “beyond the acceptable bounds of civil discourse.” 
All because a woman dares to hold an opinion.
Yeah, okay. Perhaps it wasn't so much that a woman dared to hold an opinion as it was that Fluke was peddling nonsense. Note that since the time of this incident, there's been no attempt by major media fact checkers to justify that $3000 figure, especially with regard to 40% of a female student body.

But the larger issue here is--again--the blatant hypocrisy on the left. Want to hear some more seriously sexist language choices? Look no farther than the erstwhile James Carville, who--in speaking about the current President in November of 2010--offered the following bit:
If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama, he’d have two.
Was there outrage among the same leftist, elitist media? Nah, that was just a little joke. Nothing to see here, move along, move along. Of course if Romney tells a little joke about his birth certificate, that's racist.

And in the "slut" category, we have Ed Schultz referring to Laura Ingraham as a "right wing slut" in July of last year. Big Ed still has his job, though. Some in the media argued that the Schultz issued died because Big Ed apologized. But so did Limbaugh. Yet the Fluke controversy lives on, mostly because the left is pumping it for all it is worth. Fluke will even be a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention.

More recently--as in yesterday--we have this little sexist gem from the left, from John Walsh, the chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. Part of his remarks to the delegates:
We've also experienced Scott Brown. We've got to say a few good things about him: He handsome, right? He’s still got the coat. He's still got the truck. He’s a regular guy. I mean, he spent a couple million dollars folding towels on TV to prove he's an honorary girl. We appreciate that.
Wait, what? Brown is an "honorary girl" because he folds towels? Really? Walsh has already apologized, but I have to ask--in true leftist fashion--so what? Doesn't the fact that he even made the remark indicate a deep misogyny on his part? The implicit assumption by Walsh: laundry is women's work. His apology doesn't change Walsh's true mindset, anymore than Limbaugh's apology changes his--as many leftist commentators have insisted--so he needs to suffer the same kind of beat down Limbaugh, Schultz, and Carville suffered...well, the same kind Limbaugh suffered, at any rate.

So here I sit, eagerly anticipating the flurry of op-eds from left-leaning commentators demanding Walsh's resignation as chairman of his State's Democratic Party. Oh, and for the record I'd like to note that I spent part of the holiday weekend folding towels, as well. And underwear. If there's some sort of plaque or certificate being offered to mark one as an "honorary girl," I'd like mine.

Cheers, all.