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Ed Driscoll

“Scratch A Progressive, And You’ll Find A Misogynist”

October 27th, 2009 - 10:54 pm

Last year, Kate of Canada’s Small Dead Animals blog wrote:

Right Wing News has a piece up on the abuse that is regularly levelled at female bloggers in the US.

For an insight into the phenomenon, check out the comments at Right Girl. (Language warning).

“Witch”, “bitch”, “c*nt”. “You need to get laid.”

The explanation is pretty simple, really – scratch a progressive, and you’ll find a misogynist. For all their faux support for a woman’s right to self-determination , they have zero tolerance for those “bitches” who refuse to think and behave precisely as they’re expected to.

Last year, the distaff candidates on both sides of the aisle in the 2008 presidential election were singled out for some remarkably vicious abuse from the left, as I wrote in June:

As we saw last year with Hillary, the left has made it very clear that there is nothing off-limits so long as it targets what’s perceived to be to the right of them, as Olbermann’s assassination fantasies of first Hillary Clinton — and only later Sarah Palin — highlight. There was also Randi Rhodes referring to Hillary as a “big f***ing whore” and Geraldine Ferraro as “David Duke in drag” (both within the same rant).  And author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron writing at the HuffPo that the Pennsylvania Democratic primary “is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women.”There’s little doubt that had Hillary ultimately won both her primary fight and the election in November, she would have dragged the country almost as hard to the left as President Obama already has. But she was perceived by Obama backers on the left during the primaries as being to his right, and hence deserving of the full hyperbolic ad hominem dehumanizing treatment the far left normally reserves only for those with an (R) after their name.

Flash-forward to today, where Bonnie Erbe of U.S. News & World Report, possibly inspired by “blue on blue” complaints by NOW, a long-favored organization in liberal newsrooms, writes, “Obama Not Comfortable With Women in Basketball, Golf … or Anywhere Else”:

President Obama drew heat last week for a story that surfaced outing his private White House male-only b-ball games. The story was that even though two female members of his cabinet were members of their college basketball

teams, they were excluded, as were all women, from this most private of male-only clubs. The story became a metaphor for how the president views women generally and threatened to reveal some inconvenient truths about the man.

Now we see reports that gender-insensitivity charges have resonated with the Obama White House. According to Politics Daily, the president dragged chief domestic policy adviser Melody Barnes to the golf course on Sunday, and she became the first female to join his golf foursome since he took office. The event produced a photo op of global proportions.

President Obama could invite Chamique Holdsclaw to the private White House basketball court and Billie Jean King to play tennis with him. I still wouldn’t believe he’s any more comfortable dealing with women or concerned about “women’s” issues than the dearly departed former Sen. Jesse Helms. [Strom Thurmond could not be reached for his opinion on bridging the gender gap -- Ed] President Obama talks the talk a lot better and a lot louder than Helms. But Jesse Helms was so rooted in his atavist traditions, he chose to remain true to his misogyny rather than pose for cameras with faux female golfing partners. President Obama must hide the side of his personality that is clearly uncomfortable with women because he needs their votes much more than Helms ever did.

Whether it was his treatment of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail (as in his condescending remark that she was “likeable enough”) or his clearly career-oriented mate who has been toned down and remorphed into a Stepford Wife, I just don’t get the impression this man is comfortable with women. Nor do I believe he cares about them beyond needing women’s votes. It’s an act and a thoroughly see-through, amateur one at that.

(Of course, there is some misogyny about which Erbe herself is willing to equivocate, but then, they’re not women, they’re Republicans, as the bumper sticker that made that rounds last year reads.)

Meanwhile, at President Obama’s Manhattan home away from home, “Former Female Staffer Alleges Sexism at ‘Letterman’ Office.” Gosh, there’s a shock:

It’s common knowledge that the comedy writing business is still a boys’ club, but a woman’s uphill climb in the writers’ room is more steep than you might realize. A new article in Vanity Fair, written by former ‘Letterman‘ staffer Nell Scovell, points out: “At this moment, there are more females serving on the United States Supreme Court than there are writing for ‘Late Show with David Letterman,’ ‘The Jay Leno Show,’ and ‘The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.’ Out of the 50 or so comedy writers working on these programs, exactly zero are women.”

Though many have dismissed Letterman’s conduct – namely, his admitted workplace affair with another former staffer – to be largely harmless on a professional level, Scovell remembers a sexually-charged environment further marred by discrimination and demeaning situations.

Scovell writes, “Was I aware of rumors that Dave was having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Was I aware that other high-level male employees were having sexual relationships with female staffers? Yes. Did these female staffers have access to information and wield power disproportionate to their job titles? Yes. … Did I believe these female staffers were benefiting professionally from their personal relationships? Yes. Did that make me feel demeaned? Completely. Did I say anything at the time? Sadly, no.”

As much as I love Mad Men, the hypocrisy of the entertainment industry lecturing the rest of America on interoffice interpersonal relations is pretty staggering. But as far as DC, Erbe’s MSM got the president they wanted — and having pronounced him the second coming of FDR, JFK and Lincoln, it seems a bit late to get cold feet now.’

Related: “Narcissistic Rage in the White House.”

Update: In “Obama and His Good Ol’ Boys”, her new essay at PJM HQ, Dr. Helen wonders why America’s most famous Community Organizer isn’t living up to his mentor’s Rules for Radicals.

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