Bill Maher is a cockroach


The pushback must be working because the cockroaches are scrambling for cover:

When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others. Who can keep up?

[…]

If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.

I have a better idea. Let’s have an amnesty — from the left and the right — on every made-up, fake, totally insincere, playacted hurt, insult, slight and affront. Let’s make this Sunday the National Day of No Outrage. One day a year when you will not find some tiny thing someone did or said and pretend you can barely continue functioning until they apologize.

If that doesn’t work, what about this: If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.

The answer to whenever another human being annoys you is not “make them go away forever.” We need to learn to coexist, and it’s actually pretty easy to do. For example, I find Rush Limbaugh obnoxious, but I’ve been able to coexist comfortably with him for 20 years by using this simple method: I never listen to his program. The only time I hear him is when I’m at a stoplight next to a pickup truck.

When the lady at Costco gives you a free sample of its new ham pudding and you don’t like it, you spit it into a napkin and keep shopping. You don’t declare a holy war on ham.


When the lady at Costco gives me a free sample that is contaminated with cockroach feces and it makes me sick to my stomach, I reserve the right to complain to management and the health department and if need be I might even file a lawsuit.

Let’s get a couple things straight. Bill Maher is not a comedian. Comedians are funny. There is nothing funny about calling women c*nts and twats. Maher is a shock jock. His schtick depends on being outrageous and offensive. It’s humor for the hate-filled.

Yes, there is a lot of posturing and fauxraging out there. Both sides look for excuses to pretend to be offended. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t valid reasons to get upset.

Both Maher and Rush Limbaugh are currently under fire for using misogynist epithets in referring to certain women. Both of them have long histories of doing similar things. These epithets are reserved for women on the “other side”. Maher goes after conservative women. Rush goes after liberal women. They both survive because of tribalism.

But if one or both of them were fired today they would be replaced tomorrow. That’s why I am less interested in focusing on these two obnoxious personalities than I am in changing the discourse.

The only epithet in the English language comparable to “c*nt” is “n*gger.” It may surprise you to learn that c*nt is older by nearly 200 years. One is the product of the patriarchy and the other is a product of slavery and Jim Crow racism. Both terms serve the purpose of designating sub-human status upon the people to whom they refer.

There is no doubt that if Rush Limbaugh publicly called President Obama a n*gger his broadcasting career would be over. No apology would suffice. The Republican party would abandon him to his well-deserved fate. But if Bill Maher referred to Justice Thomas, Condi Rice or some other black Republican using the same term he would be retired too.

That’s because we as a society have decided that the word “n*gger” is so toxic that it has no place in public discourse other than academic discussions. A number of synonyms for that word are also taboo.

So why can’t we agree to do the same with sexist epithets?

As the say in AA, “progress not perfection” is the goal. We won’t make the patriarchy go away overnight. But banning misogynist epithets is a doable goal. These words serve no good purpose. It’s hate speech that we would be better off without.

I’m not talking about government action. The first amendment protects misogynists as well as racists. But peer pressure is powerful. When I was a kid it was still socially acceptable to be openly racist in some parts of this country. That has changed.

Let’s work to make it socially unacceptable to be misogynist.


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18 Responses to Bill Maher is a cockroach

    • votermom says:

      I want to add – what BM is saying reminds me so much of Obama’s tactic after Tucson. Encourages his crew to scapegoat and attack someone, and when the backlash starts, makes a flipping speech about civility.
      What.An.@ss.

  1. myiq2xu says:

    http://www.livescience.com/13917-hated-baby-names.html

    I’m surprised “Barack” didn’t make the list. I wonder how many kids will go thru life hating the fact that their parents were Obots?

  2. votermom says:

    NYT article talks about “man camps” but the basic takeaway for me is: Drilling creates jobs.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/your-money/family-men-go-it-alone-in-north-dakotas-oil-fields.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

    Where’s the equivalent green economy jobs Obama promised?

  3. DeniseVB says:

    Media Matters is all wee-weed up over Rush. I think going too far,

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/03/23/Detente-sucks

  4. driguana says:

    Couple of gems this morning…your post was one. No, Maher is NOT a comdedian. I tried to watch him a long time ago but couldn’t get beyond a couple of minutes. I felt sorry for him. It was as though he was trying to make up for some of his own primordial short-comings. But it made me think this morning about the whole notion of “what is funny?” and “what do people laugh at?”. Ethnic jokes and racial slurs have probably been around since Cro-Magnons made fun of Neanderthals. Every ethnic group, as far as I can tell, has jokes about itself. Having grown up in Pittsburgh in the late 50s and early 60s, a veritable ethnic melting pot, I can guarantee you there were lots of ethnic jokes and many of them emanted from their own ethnic group. In thinking about what makes some comedians funny, to me, Johnny Carson always comes to mind. He was funny. He was funny because he made fun of foibles in a gentle but prodding way. He never lashed out. Maher lashes out. That’s not funny.

    The other gem this morning appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican but I suppose it was nation-wide: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-13/the-specter-of-sarah-palin-haunts-romney-s-campaign.html.
    I remain amazed how people think Sarah Palin is stupid because of some things she said, to which there are direct, parallel comments that Obama has made….and yet, he is brilliant and she is dumb as a box of rocks. She was unfit to be president, yet Obama, somehow…..and I guess this is where comdey comes in again….was full of experience. Mostly when these things come up among frineds, it’s always…oh well, it was a teleprompter mistake! As a lover of the Imagist poets, who stressed the uniqueness in that we all see things differently, I wonder how we have gotten to the point where we, in fact, see things so radically different.

    Wondering how the concept of “being conservative” has become so negative in some people’s minds when, in fact, it runs through all peoples lives…..being conserviative with forest lands and historic places, being conservative with your own money and personal resources…

    When did we get it in our heads that certains things are right and others are not?????

    • Oswald says:

      It’s one thing to poke fun at people as long as it’s not mean spirited.

      What Maher does is like kids in junior high trying to tear down anyone outside their clique.

  5. WMCB says:

    New video of media misogyny is out on Breitbart’s site. For once they included the attacks on Hillary as well. Maybe someone over there is getting a clue that it’s not just about conservative women, it’s about ANY woman who gets in their way.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/03/22/Will-These-Liberals-Be-Chased-Off-Air

    • votermom says:

      Tweeted it. God they make my blood boil.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I used to be a big fan of Maher, Letterman and Olbermann, but something went terribly dark since 2008. It’s definitely a woman problem as they all seemed to attack the same strong, attractive women (Palin, Clinton, Bachmann).

      Of course they wouldn’t dare attack the Obamas, yet the Clintons and Bushes were never off limits.

      I’m glad this is all coming out, I thought I lost my sense of humor 😉

    • bluestate says:

      they feel this way about all women, but they direct it at “the other side” because they know they can get away with it that way.

  6. WMCB says:

    All of this has brought up very painful memories of 2008. One of the things I will never forget is the violent filth that got posted on Obama’s own website about Hillary. This was not some random blog, this was his OFFICIAL website, run by his campaign staff.

    There was a thread postulating that she get taped up with duct tape, stabbed to death, and stuffed in a trunk. There was a thread where others opined that she should be forced to her knees and made to “suck Rev. Wrights big black cock”. That was an active thread, with much approving comment and laughter and elaborations on the theme.

    Now one could say that “he can’t control the commenters”, but I personally spent two weeks calling the Obama campaign, telling them what was there, and demanding it be taken down. I called every fucking day. The response ranged from amusement to smugness. The filth and violence stayed up. It never went away to my knowledge. It was very obvious that they knew it was there, and had no intention of removing it.

    That was the point at which I realized that violent, hateful, dangerous young men had taken over my party – and I wanted nothing to do with these people ever again.

    • Oswald says:

      What disturbs me even more is the women that go along with it.

      • driguana says:

        yes….and even more disturbing is why…I don’t know this for a fact but I have read that Gloria Steinem was on the Bill Maher show when he called Sarah Palin the “c” word….and she said nothing…if that’s true, that’s deeply disturbing…

        • bluestate says:

          i don’t know if she was, but her behavior recently has been in line with this idea that you don’t call out misogyny in your own party, only on the other side. and it’s damaging both the democratic party and women in general. with her very famous name, she could be speaking out against all misogyny and making a difference right now. so much for her legacy. i’m ashamed of her.

  7. bluestate says:

    maher, letterman, limbaugh, matt taibbi et al. they all need to be fired. that’s how you send the message that hate speech is unacceptable.

  8. driguana says:

    love the lovely picture of Maher that you posted, though….certainly looks just like him…

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