Quetsions to ponder

2_61_clinton_mccain.jpgI’m a little late on this due to the holiday but thought I’d post anyway. From Friday’s Chicago Tribune:

So,” the woman asked, “how do we beat the bitch?” And Sen. John McCain laughed.

It was, he said, an “excellent” question. Yes, he went on to express respect for Hillary Rodham Clinton, to whom the woman referred. But not once while answering that question at a campaign stop in South Carolina recently did he suggest that it wasn’t appropriate to call Clinton a “bitch.”

Can you imagine if the Democratic front-runner were Sen. Joe Lieberman and the woman said, “So, how do we beat this Hebe?”

Can you imagine if it were Gov. Bill Richardson and the woman said, “So, how do we beat this spic?”

Can you imagine if it were Sen. Barack Obama and the woman said, “So, how do we beat this coon?”

I guarantee you, McCain would not have laughed and if he had, we would now be writing his political epitaph. But the woman asked, “How do we beat the bitch?” and McCain did laugh and now shrugs off any suggestion that he should have done more.

He’s wrong. [source: CT]

From viewing the video, McCain was clearly uncomfortable and a little embarrassed during the interaction and seemed at a loss for what to do or say. The question is whether he should have been responsible for doing more or whether the reaction expressed in the article is political correctness gone too far. Does the author of the article have a point about the use of “hebe”, “coon”, and “spic” being equally offensive as “bitch” or is “bitch” in a different category that doesn’t require the same level of reproach? A more fundamental question has to do with why female political leaders are commonly viewed as cold and calculating “bitches.”

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1 Response to “Quetsions to ponder”


  1. 1 SL November 25, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    I find it interesting that someone in McCain’s position wouldn’t comment on how inappropriate it is to call anyone a “bitch.”
    I think, however, that our society has sent a clear message that while racial slurs are inappropriate, it is okay to refer to powerful, intelligent, or seemingly “loose” women as “bitches.”
    It has always bothered me that you cannot say “shit” on tv. or radio, but it is perfectly appropriate to say “bitch.” Just because the word “bitch” is actually found in a dictionary and refers to a female dog, we should not feel entitled to use it in a different context, which by the way everyone understands, to degrade and disempower women.


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