Senator Barbara Boxer: Well, why has it been delayed?This is a scene from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works earlier this week, at which was being discussed the restoration of New Orleans' still-damaged levee system. Though it might look to untrained eyes to be video of a woman asking to be addressed by the appropriate title in a professional space (or even a clever little bit of gameswomanship), it is actually hilarious evidence of what an uppity bitch Senator Boxer is (and, by extension, liberal/womanist/feminist women are).
Brigadier General Michael Walsh: Uh, ma'am, at the LACPR—
Boxer: You know, do me a favor, could you say "Senator" instead of "ma'am"? It's just a thing—
Walsh: Yes, Senator.
Boxer: —I worked so hard to get that title, so I'd appreciate it. [giggles and mumbling in background] Yes, thank you.
Walsh: Yes, Senator.
Jimmy Orr, at the Christian Science Monitor, asks: "Ever wonder what Eric Cartman might sound like if he was in Congress? Wonder no more…" Cartman, for those who don't know, is an inhabitant of South Park—an adolescent sociopath who routinely demands in abject futility: "Respect mah authoritay!" Animated asshole Eric Cartman and respected Senator Barbara Boxer: Like two peas in a pod.
The visceral reactions to this in various threads have been extremely informative. Echidne calls her post (recommended reading) "Senator Cuntface," an epithet she snagged from the YouTube comments on this video. Along with every other variation on "Senator + Misogynist Slur," I've seen her called "Barb," "Barbara," "Mrs. Boxer," "Senator Dirtbag," "Madame Dingbat," and dozens of other monikers that are not Senator Boxer—which illustrates precisely why a woman in her position might insist on being called by her proper title: Because not using it is often a sign of deliberate disrespect.
Ultimately, the exchange was nothing more than a woman politely asking a man to treat her respectfully, and that man politely agreeing to do so. There's absolutely nothing controversial about it, aside from the fact that it still drives lots of people bonkers to see a woman stand up for herself in public and demand the respect she's earned.