Thursday, April 12, 2007

You Can Call Me A Whore...

...just don't preface it with a racial slur cause then it's not acceptable. I can bet you, oh, say my house, that CBS would not have fired Don Imus from his radio show if he had merely called the Rutgers Basketball Team "ho's", a term I hear from radio, TV, and movies on a daily basis. That is because there is no women's issue leader ala Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson, to invoke public outrage on behalf of women that can sway the likes of Procter & Gamble to pull advertising from the likes of Imus, Leykis, etc.


This could be because we as women are ambivalent about the use of derogatory terms used in the mainstream media to describe women. In fact the overt misogyny in mainstream media may have something to do with female appropriation of the language of the oppressor--an ideology that become very popular in the 90's. Perhaps as we became more comfortable as women referring to ourselves as dirty whores, bitches, pussy posses, and even cunts (I have to admit it felt pretty powerful to deflate these words through usage) we also became more comfortable hearing them from the media to describe us--now are we doubly bruised?

Furthermore, women's groups tend to be, like I am, intensely pro freedom of speech. Having fought so hard for our voices to be heard and accounted for, it is antithetical to the women's movement to squelch others. However, public opinion does have the power to dictate public discourse and I often wonder, where is our Al Sharpton, our Jesse Jackson...would anyone have heard this Imus comment or cared if he had said "viking ho's" or "giant bitches"?

3 comments:

folkrockgirl said...

You echoed my sentiments exactly. Also, the show brushed over their regularly scheduled guest, Steve/Susan Stanton who was fired as Largo's city manager for being transgendered, to cover a more highly rated topic. While I'm thankful for the Sharptons and Jacksons, where are all the human rights representatives?

Fianna said...

Thank you. I think that Imus was inappropriate in the same way I am inappropriate at most times of the day.

Using loose language, not caring about those hypersensitive idiots that might be listening. I fully agree, he used an inappropriate word that allowed the race card to be thrown everywhere. Bad Imus, now get over it!

I am glad to see a bit of backlash, from (of all freaking places) Rosie O'Donnell and others, but I sure would hire Imus if my great Aunt Joan would just give me a radio station or a TV station or something. And let him talk all kinds of smack.

havemycake said...

this whole senario is SO ridiculous. bet we won't hear much about it now that the media has the VT thing to chew over. Everything is so sensationalist, and if there is a dry spell, you make sensation. Which is, I have to say, preferrable to real sensation. This whole VT thing is too sad to express, and it keeps getting worse. when I was in college, I felt like high schools were pretty unsafe...I was occassionally worried for my little cousins still in high school. Now those cousins are about to enter college and guess what? they're not safe their either. Not that any of us are, anywhere, but the thought that someone can chain the doors to the building of your 8am whatever class is beyond frightening...