Friday, June 12, 2009

Slutty Flight Attendant

"You need to understand one very simple foundational point: Women are evil. More than that, women are the ultimate source of all evil in the world.

Almost no one will admit the belief in this form, but this is what most people in the West believe, to one degree or another. Western culture is saturated with this perspective; it directs and finds expression in our films and television, in books, in our relationships, in business -- and in our politics. Whatever one may think of their political convictions (and I myself would never vote for either of them), Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin both represent historic candidacies. It is the belief that women are evil that underlies the blindingly intense hatred directed at them."
Arthur Silber

Silber is one point as always and the recent brouhaha over David Letterman's jokes about Sarah Palin and her family prove it. On his nightly Top Ten List Letterman thought it would be funny to joke about her daughter being "knocked up by (New York Yankee) A-Rod." He also mused that Palin went to Bloomingdales to "update her slutty flight attendant look."

He apologized, sort of, for the joke about the daughter, but he bragged about the slight attendant joke that gave me the creeps. Letterman and his writers gave us all an unwanted front row seat to observe their sexual fantasies. What is up with the flight attendant fetish anyway?

Ever since women were employed by the airlines and first called stewardesses and now the gender neutral but apparently still loaded flight attendants, they have been the butt of jokes and the subject of cringe inducing males fantasizing. I can recall the old commercials advertising the now long defunct National Airlines. The commercial showed young stewardesses singing "I'm National. Fly me." Even female comedians like Joan Rivers told offensive jokes about stewardesses. It wasn't funny in the 1960s and it isn't funny now.

It is difficult to defend a neo-con of any gender, but Palin makes it especially difficult. When her daughter Bristol first publicly discussed her pregnancy she stated the obvious. Abstinence only sex education championed by her mother and the rest of the right wing just doesn't work. More recently she went on a strange contrition tour with her dad and her infant son and then declared that abstinence only is the way to go. Palin used her own child to score political points with the republican base, and looks like a lousy parent and lousy politician in the process.

No matter. Men should not be allowed to make derisive comments about women without being criticized. I don't care if the woman in question is someone I think is very dangerous.

I must also say that Palin and McCain were no more dangerous than Biden and Obama. Joe Biden, given the kinder label "gaffe prone" is no smarter than Palin. He is just a man who has been on the national political scene for decades. He gets a pass for his dumb remarks. I never thought Palin was any worse than he was and I said so in my Black Agenda Report column. They all believe in maintaining the American empire and protecting its right to kill with impunity. Some are smart and slick (Obama) about it and some are obvious and not so slick (McCain/Palin).

To Silber's point, Palin is demonized in large part because she is a woman. Her credentials were no more lacking than many men who actually became president. She is working class and horror of horrors she is attractive. Much of the criticism directed at her was class based and sexist. No she didn't help herself any with her bad interview performance and obvious lack of desire to do her homework, but that makes her no worse than Ronald Reagan or George W. Bush.