March 17, 2009 at 8:56 pm (feminism, Pop Blitz, Uncategorized, Writing/Language) (abortion, abstinence-only, ad hominem, Alabama, Ann Coulter, Ann Coulter fired, Ann Coulter plagiarism, blonde, body, contraception, Dana Perino, feminism, Feministing, footnotes, Full Frontal Feminism, George Bush, GOP, green, hazing, immigrants, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Valenti, Jesus, Laura Ingraham, lauraingrahamsucks.com, law school, logical fallacy, masturbation, media, Meghan McCain, MSNBC, MTV, naughty bits, Obama, Peggy Noonan, plagiarims, plus-size model, podcast, pro-life, pundit, Rachel Maddow, radio host, red herring, Republican, right wing radio, sex, sex education, sexuality, sorority, St.Patrick's Day, stem cell research, sushi, Terri Shiavo, Times Online, Twitter, unattractrive bottle blond, Valley girl, vibrator, virginity pledge, WIC)
If you didn’t know who Meghan McCain was last week, you probably do now. And it’s probably because of Laura Ingraham, a right-wing radio host who does not want anyone to hear McCain out. But the ironic thing is, she has drawn mega attention to McCain by calling her, among other things, a “useful idiot” who is being used by the media. Ingraham is trying to convince people that they shouldn’t be listening to Meghan McCain because she is young (a “Valley-girl gone awry”), attractive, and not thin, but in doing so, she has helped McCain get more TV and Internet exposure than she had during the whole Presidential campaign! (Hey, I would never have written a blog entry about Meghan McCain if it weren’t for Laura Ingraham).
Ingraham hasn’t attacked McCain’s ideas, because that would make sense and doesn’t follow the m.o. of the radical right; rather, she has attacked McCain’s physical characteristics and age: Yes, in addition to that Valley girl comment, she called her a “plus-size model” hoping to be picked for an ”MTV show.”
Is Meghan McCain considerably more attractive than Laura Ingraham? Yes, but not that it matters. Is Laura Ingraham thinner than Meghan McCain? Yes, but not that it matters. Is Meghan McCain younger than Laura Ingraham? Why, yes, by over 20 years. But not that it matters. I’m not quite sure what Ingraham hoped to accomplish, but I’m guessing it wasn’t the actual result: a bevy of articles and blog entries like this one, where their photographs are placed side-by-side:
In response to McCain’s request over Twitter that Ingraham stop talking about her body, Ingraham said: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the punditry business.” Next time, just for fun, Meghan should pretend that she’s had a change of heart and is now a pro-life conservative. Then she’ll really see how the Mean Girls treatment feels” (Times Online).
Being a pundit means people get to critique your body all they want? Awesome, that means we’re allowed to call Rush Limbaugh a big, fat idiot– Sweet! Accurate as it is, I’ve grown a tidge bored with the “hypocritical druggie” bashing I’ve stuck to for a past couple of years.
Or is Laura just hazing the new girl into the GOP’s Blonde Pundit Sorority? Did Peggy Noonan inflict a harsh, secret initiation ritual on Dana Perino? Hot! If only the GGW cameras had caught that moment!
Or is Ingraham saying that since she’s been blasted by the left, it’s perfectly okay for her to attack Meghan McCain? I don’t know that Jesus would approve. Plus, isn’t that like saying that I am justified in stealing a car if mine is stolen first? When I insult the likes of Laura Ingraham or Ann Coulter, it’s because they’re hypocrites, not because they’re unattractive, bony, bottle blonde, old, or shrill. Nope, it’s because they went TO LAW SCHOOL and GET PAID TO TALK, oftentimes railing against feminism, when without feminism, they wouldn’t have been able to attend law school. Without feminism, they wouldn’t be paid to talk for a living. Without feminism, Ann Coulter wouldn’t have had the chance to be fired not only from MSNBC, but The National Review, too. Without feminism, Laura Ingraham wouldn’t have an “addictive” radio show or a podcast!
I’ve noticed a propensity with these types to fabricate and even invent statistics when it’s convenient*. I’ve never insulted Meghan McCain, and it’s because I haven’t heard bullshit from her. In fact, the other day when Rachel Maddow asked McCain if she agreed with her father about the economy, she said she didn’t know enough about economics to judge. IMO, some honesty from a Republican is a refreshing change. No wonder why the others are attacking her– “I don’t know” isn’t supposed to be in the GOP lexicon.
Oh, Laura, I haven’t seen this many logical fallacies since my last batch of freshman essays. Of course, there’s ad hominem (that’s fancy Latin for attacking the person instead of the argument). Basically, Meghan McCain asserted that the Republican party could do better in reaching out to young people. McCain said that extremism (like that of Ann Coulter) is not good for the party. Since Ingraham had nothing of substance to contribute in rebuttal, she responded by remarking on McCain’s body, looks, and age.
Ingraham has created a red herring– she’s trying to make the discussion about whether or not a 24-year-old can have anything to say about politics. Or if someone that pretty (and, I have a hunch, naturally blonde) can have an opinion about politics. Or if someone who has curves can have an opinion about politics. And Ingraham is reinforcing what feminists have fought against for a very, very long time, but we’ll never get over until clueless monsters like Ingraham knock it the fuck off— It’s the idea that, ladies, to a large portion of the population, we are bodies. Nothing more. Thus, we should have no say about our bodies; if our bodies are kept up front and center they do not belong to us. And women’s bodies are some pretty good real estate. (Actually, I’m not exactly sure why the religious right wants ownership over other people’s bodies. It’s an interesting question. It must be related to their obsession with sex. For an interesting discussion about the difficulties in developing healthy sexuality in such an anti-feminist environment, see the terrific book Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti of feministing.com ).
Abortion? Emergency (or any, for that matter) contraception? Not about the sweet little unborn babies. It’s about women’s bodies. (If the issue really were the children, the right wouldn’t have such a spaz attack about providing health insurance for children, WIC, or food stamps). The fact that selling a vibrator gets you thrown in jail in Alabama doesn’t have anything to do with . . . morals? Hey, what is their justifcation for making them illegal, anyway? Well, anyway, whatever the fake reason is, the real reason is to try to maintain some ownership of women’s bodies. The mere idea of a woman getting herself off and owning her own sexuality is terribly frightening to these sex-obsessed right wing radicals. And I’m not sure why. What is the religious right’s obsession with sex all about? Maybe if they got over it, they wouldn’t transfer the obsession to their kids and then the teen pregnancy rate could drop. Just sayin’.
This whole war on science, yeah, it’s about women’s bodies. Take stem-cell research. It’s not about the “sanctity of life” or any other such nonesense. If it were about life, creating the embryos would be the sin, not the using-of-the-stem-cells part of it. If it were about respecting life, not using advances to help people with things like spinal cord injuries or Alzheimer’s would be the sin. If the war on stem-cell research got canceled, the religious right would lose just a tiny bit more of their hold on women’s bodies. And remember all those people fighting over what should happen with Terri Shiavo’s body? In 2005, George Bush even interrupted his vacation to sign some legislation to keep her body on life support. Did he do that to save Terri Shaivo’s life? Of course not; she hadn’t had a life in years. She’d been in a vegetative state for 15 years at that point. Her body was some sort of pro-life symbol for the religious right, and the real victim was the husband, whose life was on hold. And at the time, I remember thinking if Terri had been a man, it wouldn’t have meant so much to the right.
The religious right voice their desire to own our bodies by policing our reprodution and by calling us fat or hot (or not) when we get the crazy idea in our heads that we’re smart, have something to say, and deserve to be heard. They voice their desire to keep ownership of our bodies away from us by calling for abstinence-only programs instead of actual sex ed. They voice their desire to own our bodies by encouraging girls to sign virginity pledges and to even have ceremonies with their dads. (Yeah! How creepy is that? A ceremony in which a girl says her body belongs to her father until she gets married, when it becomes property of her husband. Icky. For something disturbing and funny, see Valenti’s take on Jessica Simpson’s virginity pledge in Full Frontal Feminism).
So my desperate cry to Laura Ingraham is a plaintive “come on, sister!” We already get this crap from everywhere around us. Don’t contribute to the old-school tricks of reducing women to our naughty bits. Stick to your inane links (on
) about the entrepreneurial spirit inspired by Obama (“Obama Sushi: You’ll Come Barack For More”). Keep up the good work in keeping Middle America terrified of and pissed off at immigrants (“Illegal Aliens Get Creative”). And kudos on your hard-hitting and immensely useful reader polls (Hold onto your hats– at the time of this writing, 51% of Ingraham’s homepage visitors report to wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day! However, we are told firmly that the poll is not scientific, so do not use that statistic for anything official, or really, anything at all).
*Laura Ingraham is notorious for lying, especially about her “two week” trip to Iraq in 2006. In fact, the observant folks at
are keeping a running list of Laura’s lies, including recent false information she gave about Obama’s stimulus plan. As for Ann Coulter, she has been busted more than once for plagiarism and inventing footnotes.