Sunday, October 05, 2003

Dear Media

Please stop pretending you can't tell the difference between consensual and nonconsensual sex acts. Please stop pretending thinking allegations might have some bearing on whether someone should be elected is the same thing as thinking similar allegations (or not similar) justify forceably removing someone from office. Please stop pretending all of the allegations about Arnold are about events from thirty years ago.

And for the males in the media, please, please, for the sake of your wives and daughters if nothing else, please stop conveying the idea that their breasts are public property.



Or, as Katha Pollitt says:

Instead, reaction as been strangely subdued. Thursday night's "Hardball" was typical. Chris Matthews, who chose the curiously sweet, rather affectionate word "fondling" to describe Mr. Schwarzenegger's behavior, seemed mostly interested in getting Senator Dianne Feinstein to compare the actor's grotesqueries to Mr. Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. The senator was so intent on being statesmanlike that she didn't even point out that Ms. Lewinsky — unlike the the women in The Los Angeles Times article — volunteered herself.


Why is it so hard for commentators to come right out and say: here is a man who seems to have a long history of contempt for women, who uses his celebrity to get away with sexual humiliation — why does he belong in public life? Would that sound too square, too P.C., too, um, feminist? From the newsstand crammed with leering lad magazines like Maxim to all-male, all-the-time talk radio to the self-congratulatory misogyny of "The Man Show," aggressive male chauvinism is back in style, and Mr. Schwarzenegger is its standard-bearer.

Shorter Atrios: Hey, Chris Matthews, are your wife's breasts real? They sure feel real!