When comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a "dumb t—t" on his HBO show last week, few people were holding their breath waiting for the National Organization for Women to come to her defense. But as a matter of fact, NOW—the largest feminist organization in the U.S.—did. They just did it in a way that brings to mind the old saw, "With friends like these, who needs enemies?"
According to the Daily Caller, "NOW made it clear that their denouncement of Maher's sexist remark toward Palin is in no way an endorsement of her or conservative policies." NOW communications director Lisa Bennett said,
You're trying to take up our time getting us to defend your friend Sarah Palin. If you keep us busy defending her, we have less time to defend women's bodies from the onslaught of reproductive rights attacks and other threats to our freedom, safety, livelihood, etc. Sorry, but we can't defend Palin or even Hillary Clinton from every sexist insult hurled at them in the media. That task would be impossible, and it would consume us. You know this would not be a productive way to fight for women's equal rights, which is why you want us stuck in this morass.
Given Palin's position on "reproductive rights," it's hard to miss Bennett's swipe at the very woman whom her organization was defending against a sexist slur. Her statement carried this subtext: Pro-life women are less important than pro-choice women. Even without the mention of reproductive rights, the phrase "even Hillary Clinton" would have been a dead giveaway. Bennett's comment suggested that pro-life women are a disgrace to their sex, and if by some misfortune they need defending, then it should be done only under protest.
From what I've observed, this tone is all ...1
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