When it comes to Bill Maher, I straddle the fence. On one hand, I think he's intelligent, well-spoken, and I agree with a lot of his views. On the other, I think he's a raging misogynist. So there's that. His latest comments about how his calling Sarah Palin a c**t is way different than Rush Limbaugh's calling Sandra Fluke a slut have me leaning one way more than another, though. Guess which way?
Thursday night, Maher told ABC News' Jake Tapper that Limbaugh's comments weren't fair because Fluke isn't a public figure (among other reasons). He said: "[Limbaugh] went after a civilian about very specific behavior, that was a lie, speaking for a party that has systematically gone after women’s rights all year, on the public airwaves. I used a rude word about a public figure who gives as good as she gets, who’s called people ‘terrorist’ and ‘unAmerican’."
Maher called Palin the C word, as well as saying she's a "dumb t**t" in his stand-up routine. And, you know what? He has a point. At the end of the day, the two situations are different -- one was in front of a small audience, the other on a national scale; one was about a public figure (who are fair game), the other about a private citizen. But still, all of these words are completely unacceptable and totally hateful towards women. These words certainly don't "bridge the gap."
Bottom line is using some of the most derogatory language out there about women -- particularly in front of other people -- isn't cool. It doesn't matter how sane or insane your political beliefs are. It sends a terrible message, and it speaks volumes about the kind of person you are, and how you really view women.
Maher may be all for women's rights, and think Rush Limbaugh's a crazy windbag like most of us do, but, in a way, his language says otherwise. His language says that it's totally okay to call women c**ts if you don't agree with them. And that doesn't seem progressive at all.
Do you think Bill's comments are different than Rush's?
Image via david_shankbone/Flickr