Sunday, September 07, 2008

Phyllis Schlafly Sexism Watch

Inspired by the multiple sexism watches for Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton that have been running over at Shakesville, here's mine.  On Point Radio has a post on a call made about Ms. Schlafly's comments calling Democrats as 'pro-abortion' as opposed to pro-choice, and saying that all democrats would abort a child if it had Down's Syndrome.  The host didn't call her out for this, but an hour later a caller did.  Phyllis' reasoning was that there's a 91% abortion rate for children with Down's Syndrome in the USA, but of course this statistic doesn't say what the political affiliations of the women having the terminations are.
Now there are a lot of things I could say about Schlafly.  She is anti-choice, anti-feminist, opposed to the Equal Rights Amendment and a firm believer that all women should abandon any thoughts of careers and stay home making babies, unless those women happen to be her (she is a lawyer, editor and activist).  She shouts down the very movement that fought for the privileges she now enjoys.  She will also support a woman in a public role if they happen to have almost exactly the same views as her, as shown in her support for the ultra-conservative Palin.  She is, in short, the kind of person I despise.  HOWEVER!  That doesn't mean that the following comments are valid or warranted:

Phyllis Schlaffly [sic] is an ignorant, bigoted slut - a total warrior whore for the Republican party.

I'd say she was ignorant and bigoted, both descriptions are as justified as they are harsh.  But... 'slut'?  'Whore'?  Translation: Oh hey guys, there's a woman, and the worst thing a woman could do is have sex with people.  For money, no less!  Let's denigrate women everywhere along with the subject by demonising female sexuality and equating prositution - something that millions of women worldwide suffer through every day and try to escape from - with 'women saying things I don't like'.  And you know, a male politician saying the same thing would not have such gendered insults hurled at him.  Criticise the remarks and context, criticise the politics and speaker, but do NOT insult her gender - it has nothing to do with what she said.  Insults like this show possibly as much ignorance as Schlafly's comments.

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