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Maureen Dowd and “White Bitch Month”

Bob Somerby alerts us to the fact that Maureen Dowd has gone all concern troll over the sexist treatment of Hillary Clinton by the media.

No, it’s not April Fools:

Like you, we did a double-take at the start of this piece. Was she serious? Dowd seemed to be writing about the problem of “misogyny” in the coverage of Hillary Clinton! In fact, no one has done more than Dowd to introduce various forms of gender-loathing into our political discourse. For that reason, we were surprised by her choice of topics. But we thought, once again, of mental disorder when she offered this clownish account of this vexing problem:

DOWD (2/13/08): Many women I talk to, even those who aren’t particularly fond of Hillary, feel empathy for her, knowing that any woman in a world dominated by men has to walk a tightrope between femininity and masculinity, strength and vulnerability.

They see double standards they hate—when male reporters described Hillary’s laugh as ”a cackle” or her voice as ”grating,” when Rush Limbaugh goes off on her wrinkles or when male pundits seem gleeful to write her political obituary. Several women I know, who argue with their husbands about Hillary, refer with a shudder to the ”Kill the Witch” syndrome.

Really, you’ve got to be kidding. Maureen Dowd? The ultimate poison-penned Heather who lives to stomp down on on the jugular of any woman who aims too high with a vicious overpriced boot heel? Give me a fucking break.

And true to form, Dowd can’t even get through the column before she’s compulsively at it again:

In a webcast, prestidigitator Penn Jillette talks about a joke he has begun telling in his show. He thinks the thunderous reaction it gets from audiences shows that Hillary no longer has a shot.

The joke goes: ”Obama is just creaming Hillary. You know, all these primaries, you know. And Hillary says it’s not fair, because they’re being held in February, and February is Black History Month. And unfortunately for Hillary, there’s no White Bitch Month.

Is Chris Matthews really worse than this? Is it any better because the New York Times has some acid, waspish harridan who is putatively female saying it?

MSNBC’s gyno-bashing problem does not occur because there are no women on the network; rather, it’s because — as Somerby has long noted — the only women who are asked back are those who flatter the hosts and won’t call them on their disfunctional, sexist remarks. Since there are no women in a position of power free to say what they really feel without fear of being shitcanned on the network, we have to settle for Andrea Mitchell, Kate O’Beirne and other women who are willing to get their face time in front of a camera by attacking other women.

Neither they nor Dowd represent "equal time" for women. They’re just rubber stampers, repackaged sexism, happy to have the misogny outsourced to them due to their willingness to give it the good gyno seal of approval.

(photo by doublespeak with peter and matthew slutsky)

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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