Friday, September 28, 2007

In case you were wondering, Chris Matthews is still a sexist jerk

By Michael J.W. Stickings

He may have massive crushes on the disreputable Judy Miller and the reprehensible Ann Coulter, but, for the most part, Chris Matthews and his balls of steel are scared shitless of powerful women, what with their feminism and sisterhood lunches, their unwillingness to play along with his chauvinism.

After the Democratic debate at Dartmouth on Wednesday, Matthews asked Chris Dodd whether he finds it "difficult to debate a woman". A stupid and blatantly sexist question, to be sure. One wonders why he didn't also ask the senator whether he finds it difficult to bring a woman to orgasm, whether he finds it difficult to deal with a woman's menstrual cycle, whether he finds it difficult not to smack a woman's ass when he finds one to his liking.

For Matthews, what this question really amounted to was this: Do you find it difficult to treat a woman with respect, to take a woman seriously, to consider her an equal. You know, because feminism has really fucked things up. The women of Matthews' perfect world ought presumably to be on their hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor, or whatever else Matthew would have them doing in that position, Miller and Coulter included.

Later, as if to reinforce with viewers the sheer magnitude of his sexism, Matthews said this to debate moderator Tim Russert:

Let me tell you how short Hillary's leash is. She was asked by you, sir, about whether we're going to get full disclosure of contributors to presidential libraries. And she did not feel that she had the latitude in her husband's absence to give you an answer. She said, you'll have to ask my husband, as if you're a guy going door to door trying to sell someone and says you’ll have to wait for my husband to get home.

Yes, that's right, his view of Hillary Clinton, one of the most powerful women in the world and possibly the next president of the United States, is that she's on her husband's leash, presumably also on her hands and knees, unable to speak for herself, nothing without her dominant man. Forget her many accomplishments, her intellect, her character, her very individuality. Like all good women, according to Matthews, Hillary is very much the embodiment of the weaker sex. She may have her feminism and her sisterhood lunches, but, when it comes right down to it, she's a submissive, subservient object.

This was offensive enough -- so offensive, in fact, that I cannot do it justice here -- but, as Think Progress notes, it was also grossly misleading:

[A]s Media Matters points out, Clinton said that she had "co-sponsored legislation that would have sitting presidents reveal any donation to their presidential library." She could not answer whether or not the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Library would "voluntarily" make such donations public in the absence of such legislation because she does not control those entities.

I have never been an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton, and I do not support her now, but I respect and admire her and, with some concern, would support her in the general election. But this is not about Hillary, it's about the perception of Hillary, and of women generally, and especially of strong and powerful women, by a sexist fool with his own media platform on MSNBC, a sexist fool who frequently spews such offensive abuse.

Why he still has a job, let alone his own shows on a major cable news network, however pathetic, is beyond me. I can only conclude that his bosses are content to continue to provide him the platform to spew not just offensive abuse but political commentary that is often ignorant and misleading, riddled with bias and distortion.

If anyone needs a leash, it's Chris Matthews. But, then, maybe that would turn him on. Who knows what dark and demented fantasies lurk in that sexist little soul of his?

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