Kathryn Jean Lopez announced this week she is stepping aside as editor of National Review Online.
I’ll still be contributing to NRO with ideas and content, and if you are an author or reader you might not notice much of a change. I’ll probably still be bugging you for pieces if you’re an author and I’ll still be traffic-copping the Corner. But I will be moving my primary base of operation in the fall from New York to D.C., and will no longer honcho NRO on a day-by-day basis.
Unable to contain their nasty barbs for long, two liberal bloggers offered prime examples of the assumption that liberalism offers a sure-fire defense against accusations of bigotry.
Exhibit A: The Ethnic Slur
In response to K-Lo’s statement that she will “no longer honcho NRO on a day-by-day basis,” Firedoglake blogger TBogg wrote:
Since “honcho” is not a verb, we consulted the Urban Dictionary to see what crazee ways kidz are using “honcho” these days, but to no avail. We did find “hincho“:
a person of latin american descent with poor taste in fashion, music and speaks with a heavy accent
….so, we’re thinking typo.
Exhibit B: The Sexist Photo Manipulation
The Sadly, No blog is keeping feminism alive by portraying Lopez as an out of work prostitute:
What strength and courage it must take to use gender and ethnicity to attack your ideological foes. Are you as blown away as I am?
Hat tip: Ann Athouse
David Letterman feels entitled.
Maybe you saw it on one of the highlight reels, one awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game. During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.
The hardest part of her visit [to New York] was keeping Eliot Spitzer away from her daughter
He’s entitled to use a class and gender based slur to demean the most popular sitting governor in the United States.
[Sarah Palin] bought makeup from Bloomingdale’s to update her “slutty flight attendant” look
And he’s entitled to smugly repeat his rank insults while delivering a non-apology to Sarah Palin in painstakingly choreographed deadpan, milking each sexist remark one more time to the delight of a fawning audience.
What gives Dave Letterman license to repeatedly troll the gutter without ever dirtying his Worldwide Pants?
Didn’t you realize? He can’t be sexist, he’s a liberal. He’s no misogynist – he votes Democrat. Like all liberals, Dave will tell you he loves women. He respects them. Isn’t he pro-choice? Isn’t he sufficiently appalled by breast cancer? Doesn’t he joke all the time about those brutish southerners who beat their wives with Confederate flags? Haven’t you heard? He’s a card carrying liberal. Liberal, I tell you. Liberal!
Among his liberal buddies, Letterman can get away with pretending that he intended to insult Sarah Palin’s 18-year-old daughter Bristol, not her younger child Willow. But Willow was at the ballgame, Bristol was thousands of miles away, and Letterman is the skeevy guy in dress shoes and a tan trench coat who bares it all to a 14-year-old girl on the subway, then swears to the cops, “But I thought she was 18,” as he’s being hauled off to jail.
“Look at my record,” Dave told his audience as he clarified his remarks about Willow. What he means is he’s on record as being liberal. He knows the secret handshake and everything! And as we all know, liberal men are inherently sensitive to sexism in our society.
You see, liberal identity is a bubble that protects those inside from accusations of sexism, racism, and other forms of bigotry. It’s considered a nearly unassailable defense against the indefensible. It’s a free pass, a blind eye, and a Get Out of Jail Free card all rolled into one.
Racially and sexually charged jabs are still acceptable in liberal circles because it’s mutually acknowledged that they know better. It’s not like they’re conservatives – you know, the real sexists – so they can say and do as they please without inviting the same consequences a conservative would incur.
And if the target is a conservative woman, well, even better because there’s no chance those pesky feminists will get their panties in a collective bunch. Melissa Clouthier explains why:
Women on the Right, are not considered women. Period. They are considered gender traitors. There simply can be no honest disagreement. This is thought policing and fascistic thinking at it’s worst.
David Letterman is also no stranger to bigoted, elitist one-liners about the Palin family’s middle class roots, and by extension, all people of average means. In addition to the “slutty flight attendant” slur, Michelle Malkin dug up the following examples of Letterman’s oh so enlightened commentary about Sarah Palin:
“You know, she reminds me, she looks like the flight attendant who won’t give you a second can of Pepsi. No, you’ve had enough. We’re landing. Looks like the waitress at the coffee shop who draws a little smiley face on your check. Have a nice day.”
“She looks like the dip sample lady at Safeway. She looks like the nurse who weighs you and then makes you sit alone in your underwear for 20 minutes. She looks like the Olive Garden hostess who says, ‘I’m sorry, your table isn’t ready yet.” She looks like infomercial lady who says she made $64,000 a month flipping condos.”
“[S]he looks like the lady at the bakery who yells out ‘44! 45!’ She looks like a real estate agent whose picture you see on the bus stop bench. That’s who she looks like. She looks like the lady who has a chain of cupcake stores…”
But don’t forget, liberalism absolves Dave from responsibility for the classism he perpetuates when he derides Sarah Palin by comparing her to working class people. Everyone knows liberals are sensitive and open-minded, and that entitles him to say what he wants without ever expecting to be raked over the coals.
As many writers have observed, the feminist silence on Letterman’s sexually inappropriate remarks about Sarah and Willow Palin is predictably deafening. The unwritten rule is that feminism stands for liberal women – authentic women – not conservative women who are, by virtue of their conservatism, anti-woman.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) and Ms. Magazine both declined to send representatives to be interviewed for an On The Record segment about Letterman’s sexually derogatory treatment of the governor and her daughter. Instead, NOW opted to release a statement as critical of conservatives as it was of Dave Letterman.
NOW hopes that all the conservatives who are fired up about sexism in the media lately will join us in calling out sexism when it is directed at women who aren’t professed conservatives.”
NOW also managed to miss the real thrust of Letterman’s remarks about Sarah Palin:
Letterman also joked about what he called Palin’s “slutty flight attendant look” — yet another example of how the media love to focus on a woman politician’s appearance, especially as it relates to her sexual appeal to men.
Yes, the media focus on Sarah Palin’s appearance often delves into sexist territory. But what about the use of the word “slutty,” NOW? Slutty doesn’t speak to “her sexual appeal to men.” It reinforces the belief that by being attractive and fertile, Sarah Palin invites attacks on her virtue as a woman. It says, you can’t be a beautiful woman, a good wife, a loving mother, and a career politician. Pick one.
The response that NOW should have given was instead delivered by a fledgling feminist organization called The New Agenda.
“Letterman’s apology talk last night was cheap,” said The New Agenda co-founder and President Amy Siskind. “True contrition would not invite the Palin’s on his show after publicly humiliating them and their 14-year old daughter. If Letterman’s apology is authentic, he should show it by devoting part of his show to address the national crisis of the sexualization of our teenage daughters.”
The New Agenda was also happy to publish my recent piece on Playboy’s conservative rape fantasy article.
Feminists, that is how it’s done.
Amy Siskind, founder of The New Agenda, took her message to The Huffington Post yesterday in a piece called, “Sexism Against Conservative Women Is Still Sexism.” Think it would be hard to argue with that simple concept? You’d be wrong. Here’s a tiny selection of what the HuffPo commenters had to say about Sarah Palin and sexism:
propitiousmoment: ” She wants to use her sexuality to advance her agenda … might I say, the classic definition of a bimbo.”
andyboy: “To defend a woman from a sexist attack simply because she is a woman is actually the essence of sexism.”
voltaireinexile: “She played the pretty-sexy-mama card all along, undermining what many women have fought so hard against –the objectification of women”
arnray: “Palin and the rest use their sexuality to numb the senses of the dullards and then cry foul when someone throws it back at them.”
Gainsbourg69: “When a woman wants to be considered more than just a sex object she should take steps necessary to avoid being labeled a sex object. Simple.”
Wilson201: “Palin marginalizes her own opinions by dressing the way she does just as Prejeans opinion is by posing barely clothed. If they wish to be taken seriously, then they should dress and behave properly.
Amy’s piece also attracted a host of comments insisting there’s nothing sexist about calling Palin a “slutty flight attendant” if the shoe fits. Right. Palin was practically begging for Dave’s insults just like Michelle Malkin invited the Playboy rape fantasy. Is it any wonder where conservative writers like Kathleen Parker, trying to curry favor with the media elite, pick up ideas like this:
I also think it’s out of line for a woman to sexualize her candidacy, which Palin did. Just ask Rich Lowry, who wrote that he had to sit up a little straighter when she winked during the vp debate. So, maybe when you play the flirt and invite males to see starbursts bouncing off the walls (Lowry again), then maybe you invite the sexual punchline.
It’s clear that sexually demeaning the women with whom we disagree is more mainstream than ever. It’s a cancer that’s metastasized throughout media, politics, and entertainment, rubber stamped by the liberal sentiment that calling oneself a feminist makes it so. And conservative women aren’t the only targets. Just ask Hillary Clinton, who discovered liberal-approved sexism firsthand during her campaign for the Democratic nomination.
Sexism, racism, and all the other -isms aren’t any more acceptable if you happen to dislike or disagree with the target. This shouldn’t need to be said. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a comedian or a liberal. Sexism always matters. And no political affiliation gives you license to hurl sexually inappropriate insults at women and girls without fear of consequences.
Outing one’s ideological opponents is classless, nasty behavior.
It’s wrong when it’s gay Republican politicos being outed by a vicious liberal filmmaker. And it’s wrong when it’s a pseudonymous liberal blogger being unmasked by a conservative bully who got his widdle feelings hurt.
Ed Whelan, blogger at Bench Memos and The Corner, prompted an intense blogospheric kerfuffle over the weekend when he performed a juvenile stunt as part of his escalating blog war with the liberal blogger known as “publius.” Chafing at publius’ snarky criticism and semi-catty jibes, Whelan decided to shut down any hope for civil debate by yanking down publius’ virtual pants and exposing him to the world. Just a quick click on the “publish” button, and publius’ pseudonymity was permanently undermined.
Outing has three main goals: to inflict pain, to undermine credibility, and most importantly, to silence the target.
Whelan thought that revealing publius’ true identity was a trump card that would send publius running for the hills, effectively silencing him and punishing him for that most ungodly of offenses: being irritating. Vindictive and entirely lacking in common decency, Whelan elected to reveal publius’ name and place of employment even after publius made clear to Whelan via email that he valued his pseudonymity for both personal and professional reasons. See Instapundit, The Moderate Voice, Right Wing Nut House, and Little Miss Attila for more on the firestorm that ensued.
While publius could not have reasonably expected his identity to remain a secret indefinitely, that doesn’t justify Whelan’s shameful behavior on this matter. He could have disengaged from the debate by ignoring publius or he could have continued to defend his position. Instead Whelan chose to kick class to the curb.
Commenting on Barney Frank’s use of the word “homophobe,” Ed Whelan recently wrote, “It’s intended to cut off serious discussion, not to promote it. It doesn’t belong in public discourse.”
Kind of like outing an opponent against his wishes, Ed?
Update: After two days of being skewered by bloggers from the left and right, Ed Whelan offers his apologies to publius.
From a New York Times Magazine piece on how the recession is taking a toll on freelancers:
In April, Lisa Feuer sent me another message from her iPhone: “I’m at the food-stamp office now, waiting.” For months, she had been putting off this trip.
Maybe next month they can save her the trip by texting the food stamps to her iPhone.
And when was the last time the New York Times devoted this many column inches to old school food stamp recipients? You know, the kind who don’t tote around the latest technological accoutrements.
A first year creative writing student couldn’t have devised a more painfully obvious instance of foreshadowing than this September 2008 statement by journalist Bonnie Erbe.
Women can be sexist, too, you know, just like persons of color can be racist.
Yes, Bonnie, we know.
Fast forward to June 2009, and we find Erbe weighing in on Playboy’s list of conservative women deemed worthy of a good hate f***. Erbe offered an obligatory condemnation of the Playboy article and six perfunctory words of support: “I am supporting these women herewith.” But unable to contain her seething disdain for at least one of the targeted women, Erbe couldn’t resist pointing out that syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin had invited the Playboy rape fantasy with her viper-like tongue.
I also want to note that at least one woman on the list is so venom-spewing, she unfortunately invites venom to be shot back at her: Michelle Malkin.
That’s right, she was asking for it.
The other conservative women on the list were given a pass by Erbe. Apparently, her lukewarm support is only available to mildly disagreeable women who hold their tongues and say nothing to offend Erbe’s sensibilities.
Erbe was prompted to address the Playboy piece by Smart Girl Politics co-founder Teri Christoph.
Knowing that Bonnie Erbe, a blogger at USNews, was a passionate defender of liberal women (such as Nancy Pelosi), I wrote to her in the hope that she would use her pulpit to rally to the defense of her right-leaning sisters. Instead of refuting the noxious ruminations of Cimbalo, Ms. Erbe piled on with more of her own.
Upon seeing Erbe’s response, Christoph asked, “This is feminism?!”
But lest we forget, Bonnie Erbe is the same woman who referred to the Alaskan governor as “Sex Kitten Feminist Sarah Palin.” She once proposed setting up a new gender for women she doesn’t like so “normal women don’t have to share anything in common with them.”
A feminist role model Erbe is not.
Erbe is an opportunist with no qualms about excusing rape fantasies when she thinks it will generate hits to her blog. She’s from the “controversy creates cash” school of entertainment journalism, and hopes to build her audience by being as outrageous as she can possibly be, principles be damned.
Bonnie Erbe is the sort of woman she once contemptuously described like this:
Anti-women women have existed since time immemorial. Another way of putting it is, women have been smart enough for decades to make their living by telling other women to stay home …
Pot, I see you and kettle have already met. No introductions necessary.
A few months ago, I wrote about the movement to apply a pro-choice litmus test to OB/GYN residency applicants. The theory is that there aren’t enough doctors willing to perform abortions because Americans are too tolerant of conscientious objection in the medical field. Conscience protections ought to be thrown out the window to make way for practitioners who are more accommodating of women seeking to terminate their pregnancies.
This week, following the assassination of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, comes the disturbing suggestion from Hilzoy (via Megan McArdle) that we “[r]equire training in late-term abortion techniques for Ob/Gyn certification.” The idea is to mitigate the risk of violent action against late-term abortion doctors by increasing their numbers, “ensuring that no one person has to take on him- or herself the risks that militant anti-abortionists want to subject them to.”
Hey, while we’re at it, why not launch an Inquisition to purge pro-life doctors from the medical profession?
It’s essential that we continue to train doctors who identify as pro-life, as well as those who are passionately pro-choice. Here’s what I wrote in my original piece on the subject:
A woman should be able to choose a doctor whose moral compass points in the same direction as hers. Families should know that their doctor shares their values and will remain faithful to them, especially in a life or death situation. Revoking conscience protections would revoke patient choice, a violation that would offend more pro-choice liberals if they were, at the very least, concerned with being consistent.
Most liberal feminists would balk at receiving gynecological care from a dedicated pro-lifer. Shouldn’t pro-life women be able to choose a doctor who doesn’t engage in professional practices they find morally objectionable?
There is, without a doubt, a demand for abortion providers in America. There is also a demand for doctors whose work is informed by a pro-life perspective on abortion, contraception, sterilization, and end-of-life decisions. It is not the government’s role to decide that one of these categories of professionals should be phased out because it is less valuable than the other.
When did it become acceptable to ask the government to facilitate the subordination of a pro-life patient’s dignity to a pro-choice patient’s dignity?
Mandating that OB/GYNs be able to provide late-term abortions would be a frightening assault on patient choice and dignity. It’s doubtful that it would save the lives of abortion doctors, but it would most certainly leave millions of pro-life women (and the many pro-choice women who find late-term abortions appalling) without access to medical care that meets their psychological and moral needs.