Ann Coulter, enraged right-wing demagogue, is an easy target, as are Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, enraged right-wing demagogues. They all trade in saying outrageous, infuriating, and intolerable things, and then basking in the outraged, infuriated, and often intolerant responses. However, because Coulter is female, she gets a whole different range of responses than the two comparable men.
A couple of weeks ago, Lindsay Beyerstein at
Majikthise blogged a defense of Coulter by “liberal” Elspeth Reeve in The New Republic. Beyerstein does a fine job of pointing out the rather twisted angle from which Reeve is defending Coulter, and finishes with the marvelous “Win the argument about reproductive freedom and suddenly a New Republic writer is talking about your ass.”
The point gets illustrated again not very far down the comment thread on the Majikthise post, when commenter Davis says, “Let’s get something straight: Ann Coulter is not attractive. (But you are, Lindsey, for what it’s worth)” As Alan Bostick (who also referred this post to us) points out in the next comment, now we’re talking about Lindsay’s ass.
Yawn. If you’re talking to a woman, you have to bring her attractiveness into the conversation. If you’re talking to a man, you never do that. So what else is new?
Well, this t-shirt (link not safe for work) may not be new, but I just learned about it this morning. I’m trying to imagine a comparable t-shirt with Rush Limbaugh’s name. I can’t imagine who would wear it. Hardly any woman will wear a shirt that says “Will somebody please fuck [this man]?” because it will sound like she’s volunteering. A man, however, can wear a shirt that says “Will somebody please fuck [this woman]?” because a) everybody has known since the 1920s at least that “the cure” calms women down; and b) if he was volunteering, he’d be a stud, not a fool. More yawn.
What makes this worth writing about? For me, the biggest point is this. Ann Coulter can rave and rant and carry on with as foul a mouth and as nasty an attitude as anyone else in the right-wing camp … and it doesn’t protect her one bit. It doesn’t protect her from comments about her ass in The New Republic, and you can be sure it doesn’t protect her from comments about her ass in the halls of power in Washington, D.C. No matter how out there she is politically, she’s going to be treated as a woman first and a barking-mad commentator second. And there’s nothing she can do about it. No wonder she’s angry. Hell, I’m angry on her behalf, and I can’t stand her.
The best thing we can do for Ann Coulter is the best thing we can do for each other — respond to words and not chromosomes. If her enemies did this consistently and respectfully, who knows what would happen?