Friday, June 12, 2009

Are You Sitting Down? I Agree with Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin and I disagree on almost everything -- except I do think she is correct in her criticism of jokes David Letterman made recently. I think it is inappropriate to make "rape" jokes about young girls. I think it does feed a culture that thinks it's okay to demean women and girls. And I think we need to call it out when it happens.

I disagree with Sarah Palin on most social justice issues, but on this matter I think she is right.


CDP said...

Thank you. I've been waiting for just one fellow liberal to say that, too. I don't really care if she really thinks that the joke was about Willow or not...Letterman has a pretty big staff, and someone should have known that it was she and not Bristol who was in NY (not that the joke would have been OK, it's just that the fact that Willow's 14 adds a dimension of creepiness). It might sound silly, but all I can think of is how I felt at age 14 or so when a man old enough to be my father or grandfather made a sexual comment at me or my just feels profoundly creepy and icky.

Nan said...

I wonder what happened to the poor schmuck of a writer who wrote that particular piece of tripe to begin with -- standing in an unemployment line this week while muttering "but it got a laugh in rehearsal"?

Creepy said...

"One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez."

From my interpretation this is not a joke about rape; women are "knocked up" regularly without being raped. See Bristol Palin.

And as the older daughter was the one who was pregnant it seems obvious to me that's the one he was referring to.

Why would he make a joke about an underage child being raped? He's been on the air forever, all of a sudden he's going to cross the line?

BAC said...

Non-consentual sex is rape, regardless of whether it's Palin's 14 year-old daughter or her 18 year-old daughter.

It was an inappropriate thing to say. And yes, he did cross a line.


Dr. Zaius said...

It wasn't a rape joke, nor was it about non-consensual sex. The phrase "knocked up" does not mean rape. It means accidentally pregnant.

It was a completely insulting, unfunny and inappropriate comment to make nonetheless. There are no two ways about it.

On the other hand, Palin's ongoing overreaction has been pretty funny too! I love to blog about Palin, and I had a couple of blog post ideas, but I thought "no..." I haven't blogged about it because I didn't want to glorify Letterman's foolishness.

BAC said...

I'm still amazed that I do agree with Palin on this. Heck, it wasn't even a consensual joke! Technically you are correct, but given the context I do think Palin has a point. And David Letterman should give whoever wrote the jokes a time-out for not even knowing which daughter was at the game.


Dr. Zaius said...

The way I see it, the joke was insulting, unfunny and inappropriate because it was foolishly and blatantly demeaning to women without being funny. The first is very bad, the second is far worse.

To me, it's not about non-consensual sex or rape or which daughter was at the game or even the age of the two girls. All of those subjects have caveats and excuses. Even a joke about an unwanted pregnancy can be funny in the correct context.

For me it was not the content, but the context. The joke was **not funny** - and was thus merely mean spirited. The entire joke was told to merely be cruel. There was no "aha" moment, or reversal, or any other normal humor device.

The joke was entirely that a famous girl that had unintentionally gotten pregnant in the past got unintentionally pregnant again in an unlikely set of circumstances.

The funny part is supposed to be the unlikely set of circumstances (the ball game), but the dig is against the famous girl that got pregnant in the joke - AGAIN! Not funny. Not even close. The point is merely to be mean. Where is the funny part?

I know that doesn't sound like much, but for me that was the crux of the joke's mistake.

You can tell jokes about cancer or atomic weapons or homelessness, as long as it is told in the right way and in the right context.

It is the spirit of Letterman's words that I found offensive. They were just mean spirited and cruel and demeaning, and not funny.

And I don't blame the writer of the joke. Letterman told the joke, regardless of who wrote it. Who is a bigger idiot, the writer or the guy who told it to millions of Americans?

Creepy said...

Wow, have we grown uptight as a society.