Bill Maher: Feminist Troll

[Trigger warning for misogyny.]

After calling Sarah Palin a twat and a cunt, and calling Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann bimbos, Maher was asked about his "controversial" comments on Hardball yesterday by guest host Chuck Todd, and Maher responded:
There's a lot of people in America who have, of course, nothing to do except look for something to get mad at. And I've been a frequent target, and I'm happy to provide that service. I always say, as I've said many times in these kind of situations, if I hurt somebody's feelings – I'm always sorry about that, I'm not trying to hurt somebody's feelings. But if you want me to say, "I'm sorry what I said was wrong" – no, sorry, I can't go there.
OMFG he did not just play the "feminists are just looking for things to get mad about" card.

If you want to understand the grim state of women's equality in the United States, here it is: One of the great liberal heroes of the left is approximately as sophisticated in his thinking regarding women as your average troll at a feminist blog.

Quite genuinely, it is laughable that anyone could suggest that women have reached some semblance of parity when we still cannot criticize the use of cunt, twat, and bimbo as casual slurs against a former vice presidential candidate without being accused of looking for things to get mad about.

Perhaps—just perhaps—it's not that feminists who object to the substitution of misogynist slurs for substantive criticism are too sensitive, but that Bill Maher is not sensitive enough.

Because if demeaning women with misogynist slurs isn't worthy of criticism, despite the fact that it is such "little things," such pervasive, ubiquitous, inescapable "little things," that create the foundation of a sexist culture on which the "big stuff" is dependent for its survival, I wonder what would meet Maher's threshold for our attention.

Not that I really give a shit, since I'm (shockingly) not of the belief that a straight, white, cis, able-bodied, wealthy, Western, undilutedly privileged man should be the arbiter of to what issues feminists and womanists should direct their attentions.

Particularly when, despite his claims to objectivity, he has a vested interest in having us direct our attentions elsewhere. Ahem.

In any case, I don't want an apology from Bill Maher. I don't care if he feels bad, and I don't care if he admits he was wrong, and I don't care if he says he's sorry or feels sorry or whatthefuckever. I just want him to stop using misogynist slurs.

It doesn't matter one tiny, infinitesimal speck to me whether he apologizes or not, and the fact that he evidently believes that this is all a big game of "Gotcha!" in which pretend-aggrieved people fake-complain in order to rack up some insincere apology on a scorecard, is further evidence of his utter lack of respect for women. And, yeah, I realize there are some conservatives who are playing that game, but there are also feminist and womanist women (and men) who are asking him, in good faith, to please knock it the fuck off because that shit doesn't exist in a goddamned void.

Of course, convincing himself that there's no such thing as good faith criticism, just people looking for things to get mad about, is a pretty neat justification to avoid listening to criticism altogether.

Doesn't change the fact he's contributing to a culture of sexism he purports to disdain.

And not only that, he's obliging other liberals to twist themselves into knots to defend his misogynist shit, thus more deeply entrenching the increasingly cavernous divides on the left between those who consider women's equality to be a centerpiece of progressivism and those who consider it a negotiable item.

New Rule: If you're not helping, shut the fuck up.

Oh, and by the way, Maher: Just for the record, I'm not offended; I'm contemptuous.

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