Just when you think the world has officially matured, and reasonable conversations and disagreements
can co-exist in the same Universe along comes an asshole like Taylor Bigler.
Bigler, who is the Entertainment Editor at the conservative website “The Daily Caller” (which means his paycheck is signed by another asshole, Tucker Carlson) became the latest Republican to launch an unwarranted and completely disgusting attack on actress and possible U.S. Senate Candidate Ashley Judd.
“We are used to knowing just about everything there is to know about serious political candidates. But will Judd be the first potential senator who has — literally — nothing left to show us? The actress has bared her breasts in several films and has had some raunchy sex scenes in others. According to MrSkin.com, which bills itself as “the largest free nude celebrity movie archive,” Judd has flashed just about everything on-screen. It seems like she was particularly liberal with nudity early on in her career…Judd did a lesbian sex scene in 2002′s Oscar-nominated “Frida” and has nine other films categorized as “sexy” by Mr. Skin, meaning that there is at least one racy scene in those films.”
The preemptive strikes launched at Judd by the likes of Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove which cast her as an out of touch Hollywood actress who had lost a connection with her Kentucky roots were silly given the fact that she has not even announced a run for McConnell’s Senate seat in 2014, but at least they were above board and the kind of attack a politician or a potential one could expect, man or woman.
This on the other was just low, low even for the likes of Bigler, Carlson, and The Caller. Also the notion of quoting Mr. Skin as if it is some sort of reputable site with a pristine background is laughable, why not just quote Larry Flynt.
Alyssa Rosenberg of Think Progress who’s column brought this story to my attention wrote that,
“Attacking Judd for her nude scenes is part and parcel of the right’s current strategy to discredit promising female advocates. Like Rush Limbaugh’s attacks on Sandra Fluke, the Caller’s attempts to impugn Judd as an exhibitionist are an attempt to make her seem less serious by impugning her sexual chastity (that this tactic remains in the playbook is a whole other world of crazy). But the evidence is even more specious and pathetic here. Fluke, who became engaged shortly after enduring nationally-broadcast attacks on her character, stumped for birth control access in the real world. Judd took her clothes off as part of fiction. The Daily Caller may not know the difference, but voters do. And Judd, who already knows a thing or two about the insanity of media scrutiny, is getting a real, and sadly valuable education in what you have to be willing to take if you want to be active in American public life as a woman.”
In the past week and a half we’ve seen a Academy Awards host make an ass of himself by playing to the worst most misogynistic toilet humor imaginable, a beloved satirical website losing almost all of it’s credibility by referring to a nine-year old black actress as the most vulgar and dehumanizing term any man could ever call a woman, and now another Hollywood actress who has always been nothing short of classy being “Theatrically Slut Shamed” in the words of Rosenberg.
From Susan B. Anthony to Gloria Steinem The Woman’s Movement in America has made great strides and we as men have made those strides in terms of our attitudes. The Archie Bunker type neanderthals of yesteryear aren’t nearly as strong in numbers as they were four decades ago.
That said there is still a great amount of tone deafness that exists among those of us in the testosterone possessing population. An inability to realize things that we either say or do or the actions that we put on display are completely and unobjectionable sexist.
David Corn, the great writer from Mother Jones caught my ear last week when appearing on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” by wondering aloud whether Hillary Clinton, who will be 69 years old in 2016 will be “too old” to pursue the highest office of the land. Corn somehow neglected to mention that Clinton’s chief rival for the Democratic Nomination could be current Vice President Joe Biden who is almost five full years older and would be 74 if sworn in as the Commander and Chief, no concern about his age David?
NBC Capitol Hill reporter Luke Russert drew the ire of many earlier this year when he question House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on her decision to remain in Congress rather than retire and raising the issue of her age. Pelosi responded by simply asking Russert had he “asked the Majority Leader John Boehner the same question.”
Certainly Corn and Russert should not be compared to the likes of Bigler and Carlson or the standard bearer of 1930’s misogyny Rush Limabaugh. Some people just simply are unaware of the life experiences of others if they haven’t went through those experiences themselves. Being oblivious however is no excuse and there complete unawareness of having said and believed something so utterly stupid is concerning.
Sexism like racism and homophobia is a complicated problem that society is still grappling with. The Quvenzhane Wallis-Onion episode brought to light the friction that exists at the intersection of race and sex, as a few black feminists felt that there weren’t enough of their white sisters taking the site to task, or dismissing the disgusting act as satire.
That however is a smaller problem that is easier to get a handle on when compared to the issues women still face from the one species that still calls most of the shots on planet. It is up to men to open our ears and eyes, to watch, listen and learn and to not make the same mistakes that we have made in the past.
A great number of us are willing to do so, here is hoping that the clowns who run The Daily Caller and men like them will get on board.