Friday, October 7

Sure. I'm sure you respect all the women

I have so many words about the vile audio tape that was released today and the light it shines on the Republican nominee for president, and I'll get to them over the next few days, but right now, I want to talk about tonight's Real Time with Bill Maher. Usually, I don't watch this show. You see, I think Bill Maher is a bit of an asshole, and has a tendency to talk over his guests to get his jokes said on cue. But since Maher's program is probably the only show that will tackle the Trump audio tonight, and because he had Mark Cuban on the show as a guest, I took a shot and sat through the broadcast.
I find myself, at this moment, pissed at myself, and Bill Maher, for my momentary lapse in judgment. Of course, they did start the panel discussion with the newly heard audio of Trump and his pussy grabbing. But let's quickly take a look at the panel: Bill, Mark Cuban, James Carville, and some British guy I don't remember his name. All men; no women.
Of course, they were horrified by the audio. They were so disturbed by the contents and the words, and they were quick to assure all the women out there that celebrities do not act like that, and that they do not grab pussies.
And then they discussed Trump's attempts to seduce the married woman, and then they all laughed over how Trump thought that seducing a woman with furniture would work anyway. James Carville laughed and said something to the tune of, "Hasn't he heard of jewelry?" Maher suggested that women have gotten more expensive because a man has to buy an entire dinette set now to seduce them. And then they all had a hearty laugh again, about the married guy who tried to get a married woman to cheat on her husband and failed.
And then Maher defiantly pointed out that he was sure that every man on that panel, himself included, has never been anything but respectful to all women all their lives. I declare shenanigans on that with the loudest and most effusive snort ever. There is no way that all the men laughing around that table at the failed attempts of a pussy grabber, with no real gravitas regarding the sexual assault such a person has no doubt committed, could look back on their entire lives and not see a single moment or several when they've objectified a woman for her body or looks, or commented on her ass or breasts, or copped a quick feel when they thought she wasn't paying attention or wouldn't care, or thought, for real, that they could tap that if they wanted to. That "locker room banter" is way more pervasive than any of them will admit, and their enlightened stance right now is due entirely to the noise women have been making over the last few years, and how bad it really sounds out loud.
I've told Brian several times over the last couple years that Maher makes comments that are dicky and rude to women, and has very little filter for how his humor is misogynistic as shit more times than not when talking about a woman. (Tonight even, his New Rule statement about the teacher's looks, for instance, rather than commenting on her actions; and how the Muslim woman who posed in Playboy fully clothed is obviously not what the magazine is printed for; and also his side conversation with Carville about influencing Carville's wife/partner/person to change her political leanings. Now that I think about them, I could list you a billion examples over the years, which also include slut shaming. [Editor's note: The above post image is real, and a perfect example of Maher's"respectful" "humor."])
It's bothersome to me that this potentially important and, yes, respectful conversation, which could have been enlightening to some of the men who watch the show, instead devolved into a laughing chat about how not to seduce a woman who isn't interested in a man. There were four men on a national stage who could have made a difference in the tone of this horrible exposure today, but instead they laughed it off while demanding that we believe that they respect all the women ever.

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