when all else fails, scream slut!

the american public saw an important example of the rules of public discourse recently, namely that there are ways to get your point across:

1.     make a measured and intelligent argument

2.     reframe the argument

3.     scream slut 

nothing is more effective than name calling.  and if you’re a man up against a topic that involves women where women are speaking out for their own best interests, revert to the most base kind of name calling.  

i felt like i was back in high school last week.  not just because of the immature and prurient attitudes surrounding the topic of women’s healthcare (yes, healthcare.  yep, discussing control of our ‘lady parts’ with our doctor is something we need), but because the kind of talk i was hearing harkened back to the early 1970s when i was in high school.  (of course even the 1970s were nothing compared to earlier eras)  few people thought anything of the kind of attitudes and insults that were a part of everyday life for women not that long ago.   

every woman i know remembers facing this kind of gutter talk, often in retaliation for being smarter, more reasonable or more accomplished than a fellow student or co-worker. to watch it play out on a national stage over forty years later is shocking, unbelievable, frustrating and sad.  the fact that those in political prominence, who court the good graces of a drug addled radio bully, don’t speak out against the base insults he screams, speaks volumes.    

i’m speechless to witness how some here would invite the kind of religious fervor at the same time that our soldiers are dying in nations where the freedoms of citizens (especially women) are severely limited by religious fervor.   

i have mentioned to C many times over the past decade how it seemed that younger women don’t quite understand how playing into certain kinds of chauvinistic attitudes harms themselves.  it’s also been clear that many young women are too far distanced from the days when their futures were severely limited by the fact of their gender to understand that kind of prejudice continues (albeit to a lesser degree thanks to the power of law) today.  

there’s a successful radio show on during morning drive in the philadelphia market whose focus is essentially ‘let the frat party live on’.  (full disclosure: i listen to the show sometimes because the stuff on there that’s hilarious is when they make themselves the butt of the joke)  it’s bothersome enough to listen to them celebrate so called gentleman clubs, strippers, porn and the like, (this from fathers of little daughters) even more disturbing to hear women clamor to join in on trips to these same clubs for  lap dances from the women who work there.  i guess being one of the guys is always cool (even if you’re not a guy).   

C is fond of telling a story about our trip to universal studios.  they were requesting volunteers from the audience to get strapped into a harness and ‘fly’ in front of a blue screen.  the caveat to being a volunteer was that english had to be your native language.  the reason?  when people are in a panic situation they revert back to their native self.   

the language of the drug addled radio host (not name calling, just using descriptive language) showed his true self.   

but then, you knew that already.  

my hope is that younger women (and men) with take note of this moment and refuse to continue the wholesale dismissal of others by the swipe of vile name calling.   

oh, and that they put enough pressure on sponsors so that there is no funding for loudmouth drug addled radio hosts.  (not likely, but a girl can dream)

 

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