Women Are People Too!

I didn’t really need to say that, did I?  I mean, you already knew that simply decency requires refraining from calling women disparaging names in public.  Bill Maher’s mother and father apparently forgot to school him in this matter, as he used a phrase to describe Sarah Palin that defies any standard of decency in public discourse.  (Decorum precludes my repeating the word here.)

Let us first stipulate that we all probably lump the opposite sex into unflattering categories from time to time in private.  My wife, in good company with many other women, finds the male of her species less than endearing on occasion.  She doesn’t really think we are all knuckle-dragging, single-minded simpletons, I’m pretty sure, but living with a husband, two sons, and three male pets has dulled her restraint.  She frequently descends in a flash to language that would embarrass Patton.  Had Maher thought such a thing while shaving and elected to keep it to himself, we would have nothing to say about it.  He didn’t.

Bill Maher’s first mistake was in indulging his worst inclinations on the air.  He is, of course, free to do that.  We are also free to call him on it.  There is no reason for anyone to use that kind of language when discussing politics.  Maher has apparently not developed the kind of restraint that comes of being an adult.  What he claims as boldly stating the truth is in reality a childish clamoring for attention.

His second mistake was adding to the first by suggesting that Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin are “bimbos” who belong on Gilligan’s Island.  Maher is clearly more interested in generating notoriety than promoting fruitful discourse, a trait shared by the Left and Right equally.

What is not equal is the indignance of the Left toward misogyny.  Witness the overwhelming silence in response to Maher’s insults.  It took the National Organization for Women four days to respond, and even then the reply was tepid.  Had such a thing been said by a conservative, NOW would have responded faster than a rattler on meth.

Sarah Palin is questionable as a Presidential candidate.  Bachmann is as well.  Each has some things right and a lot of things wrong.  Nonetheless, they deserve to be confronted on the issues, not their anatomies.  If the Left were true to its stated principles, it would rise above its disagreement on the issues and refuse to tolerate vulgar personal attacks.  We’re waiting.


Terry does not drag his knuckles.













About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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1 Response to Women Are People Too!

  1. GuyS says:

    I used to watch Maher when his show was on late night, years back. He was smarmy then, but at least for the six months or so, the interesting “guests” and patter kept it watchable. It got old rather fast, and haven’t given him or his corrupted form of entertainment the time of day since.

    And you are correct about both Palin, and to a lesser extent, Bachmann. Though the bigger (and perhaps more correct) statement might be, there are no perfect presidential candidates in the offing on any side of the political spectrum, regardless of gender. All have their faults and shortcomings. That Maher would use such a pejorative in describing Palin (or mix and match invective to any political individual) speaks not only to the complete lack of civility on his part, but to the “one trick pony” nature of his talent (?), and his own ego-centric concerns.


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