After being called out by conservatives for refusing to speak to Fox News about Bill Maher’s vulgar insult of Sarah Palin, Lisa Bennett, Communications Director for the National Organization for (Liberal) Women issued a statement that failed to condemn Maher, and instead attacked conservatives for daring to notice their silence on the issue.
Her statement starts by asking progressives to “please” not use vulgar slang the way Maher did:
Listen, supposedly progressive men (ok, and women, too): Cut the crap! Stop degrading women with whom you disagree and/or don’t like by using female body terms or other gender-associated slurs. OK? Can you do that, please? If you think someone’s an idiot or a danger to the country, feel free to say so, but try to keep their sex out of it. Sexist insults have an impact on all women.
The remainder of her statement was nothing more than an attack on conservatives for noticing their overt hypocrisy:
We’re on to you, right-wingers:
a. You’re trying to take up our time getting us to defend your friend Sarah Palin. If you keep us busy defending her, we have less time to defend women’s bodies from the onslaught of reproductive rights attacks and other threats to our freedom, safety, livelihood, etc. Sorry, but we can’t defend Palin or even Hillary Clinton from every sexist insult hurled at them in the media. That task would be impossible, and it would consume us. You know this would not be a productive way to fight for women’s equal rights, which is why you want us stuck in this morass.
b. As usual, you’re looking for any way to discredit NOW. You claim we care and work only for liberal woman, but that’s a LIE. We have defended Sarah Palin and other conservative women from sexist attacks. Maybe not on your schedule, but we’ve done so. And by the way, all those laws we advocate for — we don’t ask that they include a clause saying only certified liberal women can benefit from them. Conservative women benefit from them, too! Just because we don’t open up a Palin wing on the NOW website doesn’t mean we don’t think that every single woman — right, left and in-between — deserves equal pay, full reproductive rights, justice in the courts, etc. So knock off the facetious whining that right-wing women are not represented by NOW’s work.
c. Prior to the emergence of Palin on the national scene: Where the heck were you when Hillary and Nancy Pelosi and other women were being demeaned in sexist ways? Did you speak up once on behalf of a woman politician before you learned the name Sarah Palin? Did you work toward equality for women in any way prior to August 2008? It would be nice to think that you’ve suddenly discovered sexism and are interested in joining us in the struggle for full equality. But this really smacks of the worst kind of hypocrisy: Folks with no history of working on an issue trying to discredit those who have been working for decades on the issue. Ridiculous.
That’s all I have to say on the matter. Now, back to business.
The statement, dripping with anger and hostility, never once takes Maher to task for his choice of words, nor does it demand an apology or a retraction from Maher.
NOW is the group that refused to speak to Fox News, and now they are playing the victim (no pun intended).
Where was NOW when Palin was being threatened with death, and viciously maligned in the media?
An article at the Daily Caller starts with the headline, “NOW defends Palin against Maher attack…” but one is hard pressed to find any defense of Palin whatsoever. If anything, Bennett is simply angry that so many conservatives noticed their lack of response.
And now, Bennett demands – angrily – that we conservatives should just shut up and go away.
Nothing in this statement comes close to statements made by other women’s groups:
“Widespread sexism in the media is one of the top problems facing women, and seriously affects women in politics. A highly toxic media environment persists for women candidates, and discourages all women – irrespective of political persuasion – from running for public office,” Yana Walton, Vice President of Communications at Women’s Media Center told FOXNews.com. “Despite the fact that women make up half of the population, we’re only 17 percent of congress. Bill Maher’s misogynistic comment about Sarah Palin hurts all women, not just Palin, and not just conservative women. By insulting her gender, rather than her platform or stance on issues, he insults women as a group.”
Couldn’t Bennett have issued a simple statement like this without turning her liberal nose up at Fox? If anyone’s to “blame” for any controversy, it is Bennett herself, not the conservatives who expect an iota of equal treatment from groups who claim they stand for equal rights.
Apparently, it is business as usual.
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Joe will discuss this issue – among others – with Craig Shaull at We Are America Radio Monday night at 7 pm Pacific time.