Thursday :: Apr 10, 2008

Incapable of Admitting

by Turkana

Joan Walsh put it very well:

I never intended to spend so much time on this blog arguing that Hillary Clinton has faced sexism in her historic presidential run because it's so self-evident. It doesn't mean that without it, she'd be defeating Barack Obama; it doesn't mean she is without flaws; it doesn't mean Obama doesn't face racism; it doesn't mean she deserves to be either the Democratic nominee or the president. It just means sexism is one of the unfair disadvantages Clinton has had to deal with. It's just a fact.

The idea that so many people are so incapable of admitting that blows my mind.

And that paragraph perfectly encapsulates the truly inane level of discourse to which this campaign season has descended. Because she wants to make a simple statement of fact, but spends the bulk of the paragraph preemptively explaining what she doesn't mean. Because it is truly impossible to write anything factual or rational or objective about this campaign season and not have to deal with adolescents spewing shrill simple-minded bumpersticker talking points. One can write the most well-considered arguments, with plenty of supporting links, and receive in response such brilliant juvenilities as: "Give it up!", "Your candidate sucks!", "You (X) supporters are so pathetic!", etc., etc. If you write anything that doesn't fawn over one or the other candidate, the stupid comes out in all its naked glory.

Walsh then added a link to a video that documents some of the blatant media misogyny. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that it's but a small taste. And as she points out, in an update, the second half of the video is really an unofficial Hillary ad; but the first half could not be more clear. As Walsh says:

I'd urge people who are minimizing the sexism Clinton faces, or who are trying to argue that racism against Obama has been just as public and disabling, to make a YouTube video that's comparable to this, and that features media stars -- not Clinton surrogates, not Obama critics, but guys paid by major news networks -- using comparable slurs against Obama. Maybe it's possible. I doubt it, but maybe. If anyone succeeds, I promise I'll post it here!

Both campaigns have been fighting dirty, and people associated with both campaigns have engaged in race-baiting, although I've seen flatly dishonest compilations of alleged race-baiting by one or the other campaign that include allegations that have been completely debunked; but all of that is about the campaigns. Walsh is talking about the corporate media. Should anyone in the corporate media make racist comments that were at all comparable to the sexist comments leveled at Clinton, they'd be fired. Which is a good thing. That they can get away with so much blatant misogyny, however, speaks for itself. It's something that everyone should condemn, but too many partisans simply appreciate the political advantage it bestows on their favorite. And some, I guess, probably refuse to see it because misogyny is so much more subtly acceptable in our society that people still take it for granted. As Clinton supporter Elton John observed:

I'm amazed by the misogynistic attitudes of some of the people in this country. And I say to hell with them ....

It would be nice if even those who don't adore Hillary Clinton had the honesty and integrity to say the same.

Turkana :: 3:49 PM :: Comments (27) :: Digg It!