So, recently, Kos ran an ad for TBS’ new reality show, the Real Gilligan's Island, and some women were unhappy with his decision to run the ad, as it featured two sexy women throwing pies at each other.
I saw the ad over the weekend at other places, too, and I didn’t click on it, because I didn’t feel compelled to do so (probably because it wasn’t really designed to catch the attention of someone like me, now was it?). Anyhow, most of the regular Shakers know I’m not exactly uptight or humorless about this stuff—but I’m also not remotely unsympathetic to women who get genuinely upset by it. Even for a woman like me, who doesn’t begrudge a guy the enjoyment he gets from such a thing, it’s not particularly easy to watch without feeling that pang, that sense of what I can only describe as a discomfiting exposure, something like but not exactly embarrassment. Getting it isn’t the same as being unaffected by it.
In any case, whether one opposes or sides with those raising concerns at Daily Kos about the appropriateness of liberal sites running ads for shows that promote the exploitation of women (or something damn close to it), surely people on either side of the debate can see the value in a discussion about it. Raising the question with liberal bloggers, who ostensibly support women’s equality, is a fair one, in my opinion. Kos, however, disagrees:
Apparently, having two women throw pies at each other, wrestle each other in a sexy, lesbianic manner, then having water splashed on their ample, fake bosoms is degrading to women. Or something like that.
Whatever. Feel free to be offended. I find such humorless, knee-jerk reactions, to be tedious at best, sanctimonious and arrogant at worst. I don't care for such sanctimony from Joe Lieberman, I don't care for it from anyone else. Some people find such content offensive. Some people find it arousing. Some people find it funny. To each his or her own.
But I am not Lieberman. I won't sit there and judge pop culture and act as gatekeeper to what I think is "appropriate", and what isn't.
And I certainly won't let the sanctimonious women's studies set play that role on this site. Feel free to be offended. Feel free to claim that I'm somehow abandoning "progressive principles" by running the ad.
It's a free country. Feel free to storm off in a huff. Other deserving bloggers could use the patronage.
Me, I'll focus on the important shit.
If women who read Daily Kos didn’t have something to be upset about before, they sure do now.
Asking why the most influential liberal blogger is running an ad promoting something that is generally anathema to liberal women is not the same as being a culture-vulture like Joe Lieberman. There’s a big difference between seeking to ban content, and questioning whether that content is in alignment with the objectives of those who profit from it. This distinction seems patently clear to me, but apparently it was easier for Kos to assume to sanctimonious and arrogant tone of which he was accusing women of having in order to scold them for gettin’ uppity, rather than address the actual issue—whether he had chosen to either overtly or covertly condone the exploitation of women.
Kos has a right to disagree with the sentiments of women who are offended by his decision. He also has a right to be condescending…
Apparently, having two women throw pies at each other, wrestle each other in a sexy, lesbianic manner, then having water splashed on their ample, fake bosoms is degrading to women. Or something like that.…dismissive…
I find such humorless, knee-jerk reactions, to be tedious at best, sanctimonious and arrogant at worst.…insulting…
And I certainly won't let the sanctimonious women's studies set play that role on this site.…egotistical…
Feel free to storm off in a huff. Other deserving bloggers could use the patronage.…and demeaning…
Me, I'll focus on the important shit.…every right to be all of those things. (As do his merry band of groupthink wankers, many of whose own sexism is put on display in the comments thread associated with the main post). And I have the right to declare him a wanker and remove him from my blogroll, which I’m sure would give him a good laugh, considering I’m a Lilliputian to his Gulliver. But damn it, I won’t stand for that shit. Someone’s gotta stand up to those on our side who would continue to relegate us to the margins, treating our concerns about fairness and respect with mockery and scorn. The liberal sphere is a not a place where strong women should be branded as hysterical or over-reactionary for being concerned about the possible appearance of support for the denigration of their gender, even if there are those who disagree. Disagreement is not the same as ridicule. It’s thoughtless, and worse than that, it’s bad politics.
With friends like these, who needs Republicans?
(I should add that since this was originally written, Kos has apologized for lumping together everyone who’s ever taken a women’s studies class, saying that it was “a poor choice of words that cast the net far too wide to cover the people that have, in fact, pissed me off,” but noted that he stands by his original point that to raise the issue is the same as exhibiting the sanctimoniousness of “people like Lieberman, Dobson, and the Family Values Coalition.”)