The Other McCain

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Feminists Offended by TV Commercial; Osama bin Laden? Not So Offensive

Posted on | May 3, 2011 | 8 Comments

This is National Offend a Feminist Week, and last night I checked in to see what was happening at Feministing, where Lori Adelman was profoundly offended by this commercial for Klondike ice cream bars:

Now, this is what we call a “joke.” The guy in the commercial is watching the game, and his wife wants to talk to him about something else — something greatly interesting to her, but of no interest to him, since he is watching the game.

The joke is dependent on stereotypes: Guys just want to watch sports on TV and aren’t good at listening to their wives. But there is a recognizable element of truth to these stereotypes, and certainly many married people — husbands and wives alike — will smile in recognition.

Adelman is offended, however: “Wives, of course, only talk about things like which color to paint the foyer.”

No, but whatever she wants to talk about while her husband is watching the game is, from her husband’s perspective, trivial. The point of the joke isn’t that wives only talk about trivial things. Rather, it is about the fact that women value communication in a way that most men don’t. (And guys value sports in ways that women usually don’t.)

Entire essays have been written on the subject of differences in how men and women communicate. This TV commercial oversimplifies these differences, and arguably does so in a sexist direction, but hey — it’s just a freaking commercial, OK?

Meanwhile, Feministing offers a guest-blog by a “race theory” professor, Falguni A. Sheth, who is enraged by the death of Osama bin Laden:

The assassination of Osama Bin Laden doesn’t signal a victory for Americans but rather a resounding alarm about the surreal state of affairs in which we Americans have landed, with President Obama at the helm, leading the charge to assassinate Americans and foreigners alike, and vicious beatings of all others who express dissent and stand in the way of the United States Government. We must finally set our sights on neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, but instead put our faith for hope and change in a third party who will kick these vicious xenophobic, racist, brutal plutocrats out of office, and send their banker and insurance friends packing as well. Shame, President Obama, on you and all your “Democratic” colleagues.

You really ought to read the whole thing, just to see how demented this woman is in her anti-Americanism. (You won’t be surprised to learn she is a Berkeley alumna.) But while the editors of Feministing permit Professor Sheth 1,000 words to denounce American “imperialism,” they offer just a brief and uncritical mention of this bit of news:

There are reports that during the attack on the Osama bin Laden’s compound yesterday, a woman was used as a human shield. The President’s chief counterterrorism adviser says that woman was one of bin Laden’s wives.

Not a peep of criticism there of Islam’s explicit endorsement of polygamy, nor any acknowledgement that, in fighting militant Islam, the West is confronting a belief system infinitely more oppressive of women than anything in that Klondike TV commercial.


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