When Jimmy Fallon’s little band played the beginning of the song, “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” from Fishbone as an overture to Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann’s entry on the stage, it was an intentional act to shame her. The Roots, Fallon’s show band, has routinely played songs as a kind of commentary on the guest’s perceived moral or personal fitness. It was all in good fun to insult pop stars or reality show wannabe’s. However, when it’s used as a sub lingua commentary on a presidential candidate and sitting member of Congress, there is more to it. There is a rising attitude in this country which suggests if a conservative is a black person, a woman, a gay person, or some other ‘minority’ group, it is open season on them. The Hollyweird Left believes it can demean, belittle, and smear a conservative with impunity. However, it is time to hold the Left’s feet to the fire and hold them to the same standards they demand of us.
Were Jimmy Fallon and his band of misfit tools misogynistic to Michele Bachmann?
Historian and feminist Cheris Kramarae coined the phrase that "feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings." This idea that women are not extensions of men or accessories, but complete individuals with their own thoughts, experiences and feelings arose out of the existential feminist theories of the 1960’s.
"A myth invented by men to confine women to their oppressed` state. For women it is not a question of asserting themselves as women, but of becoming full-scale human beings." Simone de Beauvoir from ‘Second Sex.’ These ideas drove the establishment of a kind of moral measuring stick for behavior toward women. If a man disrespected or dismissed a woman’s right to assert her own prerogatives, it was deemed sexist, chauvinistic, and by logical extension, misogynistic. If a man didn’t accept women’s inherent right to having human reactions that differed with a male perspective, he necessarily ‘hated’ women. This is the club that has been used against conservatives for the past forty years. Since conservatives were predominantly male and therefore fundamentally their viewpoint was masculine, it followed that misogyny against women was a given. But what about liberal men?
So, let’s set the scene. Michele Bachmann is asked to appear on Fallon’s show. As she walks onto the stage, unbeknownst to her, the band plays the beginning of a song, “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.” She greets Fallon who asks questions and jokes with her. He never really challenges her views about things. He never confronts her on the truth of her statements. Fallon just uses Bachmann as a prop meanwhile grinning like an idiot over the joke they just played on her.
First, Fallon’s band played the song referring to Bachmann as a ‘bitch.’ As we know from feminist theory, calling a woman a ‘bitch’ is simply a way for men to diminish her moral authority about an idea. While men would be commended for being assertive, novel, and strong-willed. Women are routinely demeaned for the same qualities summed up in a hateful suggestion she’s just a female dog in heat.
Next, Fallon never respected Bachmann enough to confront her on her ideas and allow her to defend herself. His use of the song without her knowing was as a juvenile. But, instead of letting her respond, he robbed Bachmann of her individual humanity and turned her into his own shared private joke with the audience. She wasn’t treated as a full member of the human race, but as his own little prop.
Finally, instead of soberly realizing he was at fault. Fallon continued with his dehumanizing jocularity. He wrote on Twitter that ‘Questlove is grounded.’ This has the continued effect of pouring salt and lemon juice on the wound by pretending a mere woman, especially a conservative one, isn’t as important or completely human as his very male employee.
Let’s consider the reaction if the shoe were on the other foot. Let’s say Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was invited on Bill O’Reilly’s show. O’Reilly had his minions play “Fat Bottomed Girls” as Clinton was being introduced, without her knowing. He then peppered her with some easy questions, smirking like a pimply sophomore boy in high school.
Can you imagine the enraged reaction the feminist community would have? Can you hear the shrieks and feel the fury of the Left. The lame-brained media would have an on-air conniption. Tingles Matthews would bust a blood vessel. There would be calls for O’Reilly to be lynched by Democratic congressmen. Gloria Allred would run for the nearest soapbox. The cacophony would be deafening and it would be noted O’Reilly did this because Clinton was a woman. He did it because he wanted to demean her and belittle her.
I ask you, is what Jimmy Fallon did any different? Why isn’t the outcry just as thunderous? Where are the accusations of his misogyny? I’ll tell you, because misogyny can only occur on the right. On the Left, it’s called community organizing. But, the principles remain the same. Time to apply them equally.
We don’t have to hold them to our standards. We can hold them to their own.
And watch their feet burn.
Crossposted at Looktruenorth.com