Thursday, September 20, 2012

Romney and the Five Sharped -Tounged Women of 'The View'

After a tape was released revealing Romney's absolute disrespect of 47% of the American populace, he had to go on damage control.  To be honest, I really don't understand how what he said could possibly come as a surprise to anyone; however, being the flipper that he is, Romney needs face time in front the cameras to explain why he spoke in such an "inelegant manner".   So now, Romney has to find a show that will be welcoming to him and allow him to tell yet another round of lies.

First, Romney nixed Letterman believing that Dave was not a fan of his, due to the fact that he been on Leno more than Letterman's show. He then cast his eye towards SNL and quickly dismissed that as an option, believing that slapstick and presidential do not go together.  I think that as far as SNL goes, Romney is far too stiff to even remotely pull of a good show and because the format is scripted, it would not leave room for him to creatively tell his tall tales.   Romney then settled on ABC's The View and will appear some time in October.  Even this choice, which should have been easy, largely because Barbara Walters reigns in any potential misstep by making potentially controversial interviews all about her,  and cutting off comments from Whoopi and Joy repeatedly, made Romney feel secure but he still felt threatened.
He said “The View,” ABC’s daytime talker, “is fine.” But then, appearing to think better of that, Romney said “The View” is “high-risk, because, of the five women on it, only one is conservative, and four are sharp-tongued and not conservative.”  [source]
Thankfully Sherri spoke up:
“This is the preseason,” Sherri Shepherd, one of the Sharp-Tongued Ones, said, making a football analogy.

“If you can’t handle four sharp-tongued women, how are you going to handle the country?”
Sherri is absolutely right, if he cannot have a conversation with five women and keep cool under questioning, he's not qualified to be president. There isn't a president who didn't very visibly age while in office and though the president is often called the most powerful man in the free world, such a label comes with constant scrutiny and stress. If being on The View is too hard for Mittens, how is he going to handle trade negotiations, or deal with hostile regimes?

I have to admit that I pretty much watch The View every morning, though I am often offended by what the ladies have to say.  With Sheri, her homophobia and transphobia are downright disturbing,  Hasselbeck has a habit of conveniently twisting facts, Barbara is a control freak, Joy is far too enamored of calling women poutana and Whoopi is a rape and race apologist, who I long ago determined to be proper ignorant. These are legitimate criticism to make about the panel and far removed from Romeny's comments.

You would think that with an election coming that the Republicans would put their war against women under wraps, but instead, recently they have amped up their anti woman comments and Romney, their choice for president, simply continued this trend with his sexist language. Calling the ladies of The View sharp-tounged, very heavily implies that Romney believes women should not be expressive or speak their minds freely.  He absolute meant to shame the ladies for not performing womanhood in the manner he deems appropriate.

Women who are loud and opinionated have always been socially disciplined because good womanhood has been constructed as weak, quiet, meek and submissive.  None of these adjectives apply to the ladies of The View and this is why Romney finds them threatening. This sort of quiet passive, and idealized version of womanhood has been uplifted, and cemented into the social psyche, simply because it benefits patriarchy.  Rather than own up to the fact that he wants a platform to be able to spin his yarn without interruption, he used sexism to shame the women into compliance. Quiet submissive women don't speak up and they most certainly wouldn't challenge someone like Romney.  As a White straight, able bodied, cisgender male, of extreme class privilege, everything about Romney reeks of power and privilege and this is why he had no problem using sexist language. He has been told from birth that behaving in this manner is acceptable.

Though Sherri did speak up, in the end Barbara Walters said:
“One, as a member of ABC News, I do not give my political opinions,” Walters began.

“I don’t think most people know what party I’m from,” Walters continued.

“I don’t go to fundraisers and so on, and I think — at least I hope — I have tried to be balanced. But whatever it is, Governor, we would be delighted to have you on in October, and we know that you can handle us.”
She all but assured Romney that she would hold the reigns tightly and give him a softball interview.  This was Romney's intention from the very beginning with his statements. It disappoints me that Barbara is so willing to comply.  She couched her submission behind journalistic integrity, but there are plenty of male journalists who have no problem asking tough questions and even downright yelling at their guests.  I am not suggesting that Barbara yell and cause a scene in the way that Bill O'Reily would, but I am suggesting that it is the job of the journalist to ask the tough questions and not allow an interviewee to evade the questions.  If The View is supposedly about women expressing their opinion on current events, entertainments, politics and lifestyle issues, then by agreeing to Romney's sexist conditions, they have directly compromised the very purpose of the show.