In Which One Headline Manages to Perfectly Epitomize the Stupidity of the Media

Women vs. Oprah. Did you catch the problem?

If not, let me give you a hint: Oprah is a woman.

Okay, that wasn't really so much a hint as the answer.

There's this idiotic game the media constantly plays, which first of all presumes that any demographic is a monolithic group with the same wants, needs, and interests, as they try to figure out what, for example, "women" voters want. As if I'm going to want the same thing as Ann Coulter in a presidential candidate. (All indicators point to "Um, no," given that the candidate for whom I chose to chose to work is, as it happens, the same candidate she famously called a faggot.)

As if anyone should even presume that Kate Harding and I are certainly going to go for the same candidate, despite being essentially of the same race, age, class, sexual orientation, political persuasion, religious bent, and general cultural philosophy, living within a half hour of one another, and frequently finding the same shit infuriating, inspiring, and hilarious (especially after a few drinks). Funny thing, though—we're still two different people with separate, independent minds and ergo might come to disparate conclusions. Zany!

It's not just that the presumption that two women will vote the same way just because they're women is insulting (although it is); it's that the presumption is also totally inaccurate—and, of course, predicated on the refusal to acknowledge that there are people who fall into more than one demographic group, which is why you end up with the media talking about "blacks, gays, and women" (for example), as if there is no cross-over among those three groups. (Media, may I please introduce you to an Angry Black Bitch?) But the "you can only be in one box" bullshit is a necessary narrative in order to be able to talk about "women" (or "blacks" or "gays") as a monolithic group.

And yet, when it's convenient, the media will talk about a specific woman as if she is not a woman at all—as in "Women vs. Oprah."

Women are All the Same, except when This One is Different.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus