Monday, November 22, 2010

Is the "B" Word the New "N" Word?

In one week I heard Joy Behar of "The View" call GOP Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle a bitch and Sharon Osbourne of "The Talk" call Marie Claire columnist Maura Kelly the same word. For what reasons? That shouldn't matter.

If any of the Joy or Sharon were men their self expression would have been met with protests and most likely firings. Instead, Behar and Osbourne were met with enthusiastic applause by mostly female audiences. I smell a double standard. If a woman calls another woman a bitch is it somehow acceptable? In their defense, would Joy or Sharon use the same rationale that some black people use when justifying their use of the "n' word? The whole "we"-can-say-it-but-"you"-can't mentality doesn't work for me. When they tv hosts spit the word out I cringed in the same way I would if a man had said it. I don't know why the audience applauded.

I don't think girls or women should call one another bitches. I think it makes it easier for boys and men to call girls and women bitches. We don't need to make it easy for them.

And if a woman is critical of another woman's behavior than I think they should get articulate and use words that actually dissect the behavior, pinpoint their issue with it and offer a thoughtful counterpoint. There is no dialogue after someone smacks a label on another person. Nothing can be gained except the temporary satisfaction that comes from getting a feeling off your chest.

Women, don't let other women call other women bitches. It's a bully tactic. We have to be better than that.

Take Palin's Show and Shove It

I have a confession to make. I watched the debut of that Sarah Palin show on TLC. To be honest I watched it as one might watch a car accident. With Sarah Palin I find it hard to avert my eyes. The first episode introduced beautiful Alaska (which I had never thought twice about) and a somewhat human side of a person I had fairly or unfairly reduced to robot status.

By her own design, Sarah Palin has turned herself into a caricature of herself and this show helped undo that for about an hour. Granted whenever she addressed the camera directly, she was the same old persona that was born the night of her first debate with Joe Biden. (Remember,"Can I call ya Joe?" only as a set up for "There ya go, Joe.") But when the cameras caught her at home focused on the computer rather than her teenage daughter's male friend sneaking upstairs, or her genuine panic when she attempted to scale the side of a mountain, she came across as a woman I could actually tolerate. For example, if she was one of the Mothers of my daughter's preschool classmates I could manage some small talk while we waited for them to be dismissed without having to bite the sides of my cheeks in order to force myself not to roll my eyes. Maybe. I watched for that hour and thought, "Huh, Sarah Palin. Huh."

Cut to the second airing of Sarah Palin's show on TLC. This episode followed Sarah and Bristol Palin as they joined some commercial fisherman angling for Halibut. I appreciate Sarah Palin's love for the outdoors and her willingness to try anything. I appreciate it in the same way that I appreciate any outdoorsy-types because it is so unlike me. I proudly consider myself an Indoorsman. I love the indoors and I don't apologize. But I don't appreciate watching Sarah and Bristol clubbing the caught halibut between the eyes in order to ensure that the skin isn't bruised (which would diminish their value) as they flopped around on the bottom of the boat. I don't appreicate the footage in the "coming up" preview that showed the fisherman cutting the halibut's throat and chopping it's head off. It was gross and pornographic in it's graphic nature.

Yes, I eat fish. Yes, I am aware that a fish have to die in order for me to eat it. What bothers me the most is the detachment and glee Sarah Palin displayed. It bothers me even more because Sarah Palin has the right to edit anything out of the program she wishes. She is fully in charge of the message so it makes me question why she wants to send a message like that.

I suspect Sarah Palin is not interested in me. I suspect she is interested in people just like her. "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on TLC is no recruitment video. She doesn't seem to care who she disgusts; literally or figuratively. Her take-my-life-or-shove-it attitude is what made me roll my eyes in the first place.

Sarah Palin, huh? Huh.