Friday, March 7, 2008

"Real Time with Bill Maher" is Real Time for Hillary Clinton

Just finished watching Real Time with Bill Maher and though I'm really not into the "vote for the Black guy because I'm Black or vote for the woman because I'm a woman" meme, one thing I know is true - we women have lived in a patriarchy all our lives in America and I'm sick and damned tired of it. Bill's guests tonight were actor Adam Goldberg, NPR's broadcast and digital media journalist Farai Chideya (whose show, "News & Notes" I absolutely love!), Joe "Morning Joe" Scarborough, Real Time correspondent Jeremy Scahill and via satellite, Clinton campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe. As I watched the panelists and Bill discuss the election and Iraq (great clip and insight from Scahill on this), I bristled every time Farai tried to make a point. Though she had been invited, presumably because she had something of value to offer to the conversation, the men acted like she did not even exist. On several occasions, she tried (to no avail) to politely interrupt Scarborough's patronizing lecture about what was happening in the election or what was going on in Iraq, by saying over and over again, "Excuse me, I just have to say..." - at least, not until she finally said forcefully to Scarborough, "No! You listen!" at which point Adam Goldberg dryly interjected, "I was told at the pre-interview, there would be no yelling." I could not help but equate what I was seeing to the Democratic race for the nomination. Like Sen. Clinton, Farai is an engaging, talented and intelligent woman. Like Farai, she's often forced to say, "No! You listen!" to the patriarchal, condescending American media (which, by the way, includes a sprinkling of women like Maureen Dowd or The Washington Post's insufferable, guest columnist, Charlotte Allen who feel they have to grab their proverbial "balls" and insult other women in order to be "one of the boys" or work out some deep, Electra complex childhood wounds) and even Sen. Obama himself. I totally agree with essayist and author, Katha Pollitt in her rebuttal (to Ms. Allen's self-hating opinion piece in the Post), "Dumb and Dumber: An Essay and Its Editors" In it, she said, "Misogyny is the last acceptable prejudice, and nowhere more so than in our nation's clueless and overwhelmingly white-male-controlled media. . . ." Sen. Clinton is repeatedly lambasted by both the mainstream media and Obama supporters whenever she holds her ground or actually goes on the offensive against the senator from Illinois. It seems she's damned if she does, damned if she doesn't. I'm sure she's sick and damned tired of it too.

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