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Why on earth is the President talking to *women*?

By Amanda Marcotte
Thursday, July 29, 2010 13:58 EDT
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Once again, I’m forced to question if conservatives are capable of remembering that they gave women the vote nearly a century ago. The new faux scandal on the right is that President Obama is going on “The View”, and the reason that this is supposedly a disgrace is pretty blatantly argued as “bitches ain’t shit”. For all the right wing romanticizing of housewives, it’s pretty fucking interesting that they object so strenuously to the President taking time out of his schedule to speak directly to housewives, who, last I checked, have the right to vote. But to make the whole thing even more obviously about straight-up sexism, the way the “scandal” is being debated involves pitching a show aimed at a female audience against the Boy Scouts. Glenn Beck, CNS, Fox News, Laura Inagraham, etc.—they’re all faux angry because the President is speaking to adult women about politics instead of to male children.

I honestly can’t think of a better example of the conservative attitudes towards women than anger that the President appears to believe that adult women are more adult than minor children who happen to be male.

It’s an interesting sign of modern conservatism that some of the people are themselves women that are pushing this idea that boys are a more important audience than grown women. S.E. Cupp and Laura Inagraham are mentioned on Media Matters. Broadsheet quotes Antoinette Kuritz using female names to emphasize how silly “The View” is:

“Being on ‘The View’ trivializes the President and the office. Does he go on before or after Brittany, Paris, or Lindsay? Or even Julia? Does he sit between Joy and Elizabeth and bait one while pandering to the other?”

Did I mention that there are people named Sally, Mary, and Ann in the audience? Do you detect a theme of unseriousness here? Do we need to spell it out for you? (V-A-G-I-N-A-S.)

This is why I can’t take conservative “feminism” seriously in the slightest. The main theme of conservative “feminism” is, “Most women are too stupid to breathe, much less have rights. And you can trust me when I say this, because I’m a woman.” As logic, it’s self-contradictory, but it’s emotionally satisfying. It says that the truth of female inferiority is so obvious that even some women have to admit it. And the women who argue this get to feel good about themselves because they’re at least smart….for women.

“The View” can be a very silly show, but no more so than any other political talk show that encourages “fair-and-balanced” over smart and factual. That they do celebrity coverage shouldn’t change this—so do all the supposed hard news networks. Fox is particularly egregious in calling the kettle black on this one, since they openly reject real news for scandal-mongering and stories about how sexy ladies are bringing down society. “The View” has different segments, some which don’t even pretend to be hard news. So what? The NY Times has a Style section. At least “The View” doesn’t do what the NY Times does, and relegate important political stories about feminist issues to the Style section. A lot of the ongoing outrage over “The View” is that it dare exist at all, since the premise of the show is that its intended audience—mostly female, mostly staying at home (at least during the day)—is interested in political talk and actual debate and even sometimes analysis. Hell, I think if Obama decided to come on to a show purely about homemaking so that he could condescend about his wife’s decorating preferences while avoiding all political talk the squawkers wouldn’t be raising a peep.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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