The Taming of the Blovitard

November 28, 2009 § Leave a comment

Now most times I think Ol’ Ed Brayton is doing a decent job with his I’m-outside-the-game-and-can-criticize-everyone schtick. I mean sure, I tend to have evolved past this adolescent antiestablishment conceit into the side-picking of the responsible and moral adult who has concern for family, society and future.

And I will admit. Oh yes, I will admit. The trainwreck that is the candidacy and ongoing media celebrity of one Sarah Palin is tempting. Sorely tempting.

But you can’t do this without losing your highground Ed. You can’t call her a shrew.

Well, it worked. America woke up to the possibility that such an unhinged shrew could actually be in the White House – and prevented it from happening.

PhysioProf objected. Ed defended hisself.

I disagree. There is nothing misogynist about calling a specific woman a shrew, just as there is nothing wrong with calling a specific man an asshole or a dickhead. If I thought that all women, or most women, were shrews, that would be misogynist. But Palin’s obvious shortcomings are no reflection on other women at all.

Here’s how I see that particular defense. Gee Ed, and there is nothing racist about calling a specific black person a “nigger”, right? Especially if they are acting like one. I mean, sure, if I called *all* black people niggers, that would obviously be racist. But the shortcomings of the relatively few niggers are no reflection on other black folk.

I can do the ones for ‘faggot’, ‘dyke’, ‘Jew’, ‘feminazi’ if required but I’m sure you take the point.

There’s a fantastic post over on Neurotopia that contrasts our groupthink on the Shakespeare plays Othello and Taming of the Shrew. It makes essentially the same point. Why are Jewish “archetypes*”, as Ed puts it, so obviously off-limits but the ones directed against women are not? Why is this so hard to understand?

*And really, does Palin really fit the shrew archetype? I don’t really see her public persona in this way at all. So not only do we have offensive to women but inaccurate to boot.

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