I may be a liberal, but I’m no faggot!

28 Feb

Why is the only feminist on Air America a dude? I’ve been listening to Thom Hartmann lately in the shower (mainly because my schedule this semester allows me to sleep until noon, when his show starts) and I’m really amazed at how often I hear him bringing up the misogyny Hillary Clinton has been faced with throughout her campaign. I say that I am amazed because almost no one has discussed this issue with any kind of clarity or in any kind of depth, and I’m glad to hear at least one person bringing up the 600-pound gorilla.

I generally think Air America sucks and is an embarrassment to the liberal cause. I mean, choosing Al Franken, possibly the least funny man in the world, as the network’s big star was a terrible idea, and Sam Seder and Rachel Maddow notwithstanding, the other hosts have been either brain-numbingly boring or irritatingly incoherent. Or worse, too conservative. But that isn’t my main beef with Air America. The real problem with Air America is that, despite the fact that each host has his or her own pet issues, some of which are fairly fringe-ish or kooky in some way or another, NO ONE talks about women’s issues with any kind of regularity or seriousness, and that includes the female hosts. When it comes to women’s issues, Randi Rhodes, the station’s most well-known female voice, is nothing but a sell-out (not to mention a total fucking embarrassment in general).

This lack of feminist voices on the only mainstream liberal radio network in the country brings up the larger issues of the role of feminism within the liberal community and the disregard for women’s issues in the liberal media (what little of it exists). There seem to be two problems keeping women’s issues out of the spotlight. The first is that, for some insane fucking reason, women’s issues are considered “fringe” issues that do not warrant inclusion in mainstream political discourse. I suppose that means that satanism is a fringe issue for Slayer.

The other problem is that men dominate the liberal media and generally come in one of only two types: the type who generally avoids discussing women’s issues, and the type that actively displays his misogyny. The number one example of this last type has to be Bill Maher, who I wouldn’t mind seeing have a bungee-jumping accident, closely followed by Alan Colmes, who, besides being terrifyingly boring, frequently makes use of the air time he’s allotted on Air America to discuss such gripping topics as his enthusiastic sanction of breast implants. Even Keith Olbermann, who I normally want to kiss on the cheek every week for blessing us with his clever anti-Republican invective, has been known to say a piggish thing or two, which is uncool even when it does have to do with Paris Hilton.

I think the characterization of liberal men by conservative sexist homophobes like Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh as candy-ass closet homosexuals has everything to do with both of these phenomena. I won’t get too academic here, but we all know that the reason unreflective straight men hate gay men is that they see them as having consciously chosen to take on a feminine role, which threatens the very foundations of the value systems these renobs hold so dear. Insinuating that liberal men are gay is insinuating that they’re like women, and who the hell would want to be one of those in a patriarchy such as ours? The result of that line of thinking is that even the most liberal of men are running around waving their arms over their heads yelling, “I’m a liberal, yes, but I’m no faggot! I think women ought to shut up and be happy to be sex objects!” There’s really no escape from this quagmire; liberal women in the public eye avoid women’s issues like the plague for fear of being accused of identity politics, and liberal men just aren’t meeting the challenge in any serious way because they’re afraid of being called nancy boys.

I’ll have much more to say on this later, but for now I’ll just congratulate Thom Hartmann for being man enough to speak out on women’s issues.


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7 Responses to “I may be a liberal, but I’m no faggot!”

  1. Anonymous February 28, 2008 at 7:34 AM #

    Don’t you know sexism is the only ‘ism’ not only allowed, but condoned? I’ve turned off Olbermann (I think he’s scared of smart women, in general) but Dan Abrams includes women in discussions, and is generally fair.

  2. syndicalist702 February 28, 2008 at 2:30 PM #

    Oh noes! I can’t call myself a feminist. People might think I’m a woman.

    I’d rather be compared to a woman than an animal that rolls around in mud all day. We males need to step up if we’re feminists and stop worrying about what the Alpha Pricks might think about it. F*ck them – at least those who can’t be convinced that women are *gasp* human beings rather than toys. I tend to think it takes a stronger man to give up power than to act like a big jackass and do whatever he can to hold on to his privilege.

  3. Nine Deuce February 28, 2008 at 4:47 PM #

    Anonymous – You are right, unfortunately, about the fact that sexism is the last “ism” that is permissible in this culture of ours. I’m loathe to give up the special comments, but I may have to start harping on Keith Olbermann more. I’ll check Dan Abrams out.

    syndicalist702 – Word. It takes a lot more intelligence and courage to face reality than to uphold an unjust status quo. I’m just glad to find out there are a few men out there besides the two or three that I know who are doing so.

    • Inari April 2, 2009 at 8:55 PM #

      This post is brilliant. But I do have one issue, and not with the post itself. I don’t believe that sexism is the only ‘ism’ still permissible. Just as sexism change form, becomes more subtle, and leads others to believe that it is dead, so does racism. It is condoned in various forms, even by the liberals. Furthermore, ageism is just as alive as ever (Jeunism in particular). I don’t mean to be contrary, but I honestly believe that all of the constructed prejudices in our society are related to one another, and that issues of gender are always raced, and issues of race are always gendered, if that makes sense.

  4. Aletha June 12, 2008 at 7:30 AM #

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, but you might want to reconsider your congratulation of Thom Hartmann. From his site: http://www.thomhartmann.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=638&Itemid=1
    Thom Hartmann in Hustler Magazine on GOP Double Speak

    Hartmann says in a comment on that page:
    “WRT Hustler, I remember when Larry Flynt put the “woman in the meat grinder” on his cover. He was agressively attacking the tobacco industry with full-page ads, and also ridiculing the porn magazine industry with that cover – it was meant to be ironic. But a lot of people took it wrong (even though his editorial was pretty explicit), and he was shot. Last month he had Greg Palast on the cover, every month he features a major progressive author or speaker in the magazine. Even if you’re offended by porn, the reality is that this magazine has become a major progressive voice and is reaching a lot of men who used to be called “Reagan Democrats” and are now becoming “progressive Democrats” because of Larry’s heavy, heavy progressive editorial content.”

    Yeah, right. Does that word progressive mean anything? As I noted on my blog, the Los Angeles Air America station has this peculiar tag line, “Progressive, the new mainstream.” It appears Mr. Flynt qualifies for both progressive and mainstream these days.

  5. Nine Deuce June 12, 2008 at 3:05 PM #

    Well, another one bites the dust. Thom Hartmann is out.

  6. Andy July 29, 2011 at 1:37 PM #

    I’m a liberal and a man and am also proud to say that I’m a “Nancy Boy”!

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