A couple of days ago Sandra Fluke spoke in primetime at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. I made a point of not watching the Fluke in action. I admit it, I’m tired of seeing and hearing about her and from her.
I’ve taken to calling Fluke ‘Mary Magdalene‘ America’s latest reincarnation of special womanhood. She can do no wrong – she must be defended 24 hours of day, 7 days a week and 365 days of the year.
Yet, there is something strangely patronizing about the Fluke bandwagon. She’s treated like a young girl who requires knights (male and female) to protect her from the mean, bad men. Seriously, this woman is over 30 years and just graduated with a Georgetown University law degree! I’m sure that she is able to defend herself without her unofficial squires running to her assistance.
Fluke’s infamous, remote dust-up via talk radio with that idiot RushLimbaugh (he called her a ‘slut’) galvanized American women in regards to their healthcare and the upcoming presidential election, which was a boon for the Democratic Party. Probably one of the few times a woman being called a “slut” is/was a good thing.
However, the happenstance of her celebrity combined with her limited work as a “women’s activist” (as she’s been described) makes for a strange combination that I find bothersome.
It’s kind of like a reality television star with little to no acting experience who wants to be viewed as a serious actor or actress.
Also, let’s be honest about the real issue surrounding Fluke’s celebrity. If Fluke was Black, blonde, had acne or big tits or looked like a cheerleader (god-forbid) we wouldn’t know who the hell she is. Limbaugh could’ve called her a host of names (feminazi anyone?) and that would’ve been it. The public and the media are very fickle over the types of women whom they hand out the ‘deserve to be defended’ crown.
I’m sure Fluke’s flunkies (as I sometimes call them) would say that I’m being mean, jealous or hateful towards such a ‘strong, dedicated woman.’ But the fact is women are viewed and treated differently based on their looks and ethnicity.
We can’t be ugly or no one wants you. Can’t be too attractive or no one will take you seriously. Fluke falls right in the middle, which has made for a perfect media and political confluence. Mary Magdalene indeed.
I just wish the media, politicians and others would keep in mind that Fluke is just one woman and that she doesn’t represent ALL women – though my cynical, pessimistic side sarcastically tells me “Good luck with that!”
Sigh – I guess we’re stuck with Fluke. Thanks a lot Limbaugh.
‘What if I was an alien about to visit the planet Earth what would I think about American white women based on watching network and cable television?’
This thought popped into my head when I saw another HBO advertisement pumping its latest show about women, the aptly named “Girls.” Whenever I turn on the television all I see are old and new shows about women, specifically white women. They are everywhere!
Over the decades the National Organization for Women and other pro-women organizations of similar ilk have been patting themselves on the back about the influx of female-dominated shows. Of course these same organizations overlook if not outright ignore the fact that most of these shows are created and/or produced by men AND that women of color are practically non-existent on television, but never mind that!
Oh, back to the alien and white women. Ahem, close your eyes and imagine a male alien (if they exist) attempting to prepare for his arrival on earth. He wants to learn about Americans, specifically American white women in order to find a potential mate. As part of his preparation he watched hundreds upon hundreds of hours of network and cable television shows over the decades (along with a bunch of movies and commercials for good measure) to learn about this species.
If I was that alien I would come to the following conclusions about American white women:
1. They are whiny and neurotic. The topics in which they whine and obsess about are endless, whether it’s their weight, when they will get married, their job, their husband, their family, their clothes, their breast size, their child’s education, the size of their house or whatever else that always seem to bother them. They will find things to complain about. They are never happy.
2. They need to be protected all the time. It’s because they can’t seem to fend for themselves. It’s usually their parents or their boyfriend or their husband or their grandparents coming to their financial, emotional or physical rescue. It doesn’t matter how old they are, their level of physical fitness/strength, emotional fortitude, financial independence or intellectual capacity – white women will always need help.
3. They all secretly want to be blondes. The hair commercials are dominated by blondes. Even when they have blondes, brunettes and redheads in the ads the blonde chick is always front and center. They will destroy their hair over and over again, stripping it of its natural color to become a blonde babe. Even if for some unknown reason they chose not to become a blonde they will still act like the stereotypical blonde airhead. Blondes may be stupid, but they’re sexy and all men seem to want them so white women want to be that woman.
4. They are pretend feminists. White women like to tell people that they are strong and independent and don’t need a man. They go mountain-climbing, kick ass as tough-talking attorneys in the courtrooms, become magazine editors, run bakeries and head-up Fortune 500 companies while listening to girl-power music. But they will chuck it all in a microsecond because their true goal in life is to get married and be a stay-at-home mom in suburbia baking gingerbread cookies while making sure their home is 99.9% germ-free.
5. They are super bitches until age 30. This phase usually kicks in during their high school years and continues through college. Once they graduate the bitchiness is turned down quite a bit as they try to navigate the job market because they’re not queen shit anymore. Once they turn 30 the bitchiness turns into paranoia about their looks, their ovaries reduced life span and everything else until they finally die. Note: The exception to this rule is if a white woman is in a high-level executive position then the bitchiness continues until they turn 40, then paranoia combined with desperation kicks in exponentially.
6. One BFF is never enough. They don’t know how to have one ‘best friend forever.’ White women have to have a group of best friends at all times so that they can hang out, cry and bitch to each other and share their shallow or deepest, darkest secrets while hunting for men in packs like wolves.
7. Sex must be kept on the downlow. They love to have sex (good or bad) and talk about it endlessly. But when it comes down to marriage they dole out the sex so as not to give the man the impression that they may be a slut because if they enjoy sex then they must be a slut. But in order to get a man interested in them they have to be sexual sluts. An infinite conundrum that has caused white women much internal grief.
8. They can afford expensive apartments/homes with low-paying jobs. Their jobs are mostly administrative in nature yet the size and design of their habitat looks as if its owned by a corporate executive. How they are able to manage this is a feat that must be acknowledged but never questioned.
9. Will always find a way to ruin a relationship. They simply talk and think too much about the relationship to their mate while the relationship is in progress. Once they get dumped they have emotional breakdowns and get plastic surgery to improve their self-worth all the while wondering why their latest soul mate has kicked them to the curb.
10. They’re great moms and always worry about their kids. White women as moms are innately the best moms in the universe because they know everything, just ask them. Simultaneously they’re always on red alert for diseases, drug use or stupidity that may impact their child’s development or social standing in parent circles.
11. Would rather be dead than fat. They are all skinny and in great shape. This is mainly because they are constantly dieting and/or complaining about their weight. They also complain about how hungry they are because they’re constantly dieting and/or complaining about their weight. Being overweight or fat is worse than being homeless, having a fatal disease or a nuclear holocaust that would annihilate the human race.
12. They are homicidal lunatics. This behavior especially comes into play when they are dumped by their boyfriend or husband for another woman, usually a more nubile, sexually adventurous woman. They are then consumed by rage and revenge. They’re not able to move on with their lives until their rival has entered the hereafter via a bullet, knife in the back, car accident or a “fall” down several flights of stairs.
Eventually the alien turns off his television set and leans back in his chair. His brain is totally fried from trying to absorb so much information. He wonders if he has learned too little or too much about these strange beings. Not surprisingly, the alien decides to visit another planet to get his groove on, thinking “American white women are just too fuckin’ unstable!”
Related YETBW Blog Post: Stereotypes and Learning About Black Women From Watching Television