I was sickened yesterday when I read a post by pseudo-liberal blogger John Aravosis calling Senator Pat Roberts, who'd acted in a cowardly way, a "big girl." Now I see there were plenty of others who felt the same way, though you wouldn't know it by reading his blog comments—he deleted most of them.
I expect Aravosis is feeling some heat, but hey, he's a big girl, he can take it.
See? There I go using the term for what it really is—a compliment.
I've been a parent to two little girls, who are now big girls. We used to tell them, when they did things like use the potty or tie their shoes, "You're such a big girl!" It was never, ever, a phrase that implied they were cowards, or acting like a senator who was willing to trade civil liberties for a safe life.
It's because I've raised two girls I'm especially sensitive to language that attempts to put them in their place. Even though one competes in basketball and track, all the while maintaining straight A's and a wicked sense of humor, her gender is being used to imply that a cowardly senator is less than "a man".
And my comments to that effect are deleted.
And worse, other commenters decide we should just shut up already. "Move on." We're "in the minority." We "have become increasingly nasty and shrill."
When someone uses sexist language to make a point—a point that a leading Republican Senator is a coward—those of us who object are told to shut up and get over it. Our issues are, perhaps, valid, but not that important when there's a bigger picture to be painted.
Bullshit. I can talk, chew gum, and kick ass at the same time. The use of sexist language "all for a good cause" is not okay. Just because we aim our guns at the same target doesn't mean I'll keep silent when your behavior is offensive. And those who tell me I should do so—well, they deserve pie in the face.*
I can't respond by removing AmericaBlog from my blogroll, because it's not there, but I did have it bookmarked. I used to enjoy reading the posts from Chris in Paris—he kept the same hours I do—but I can get my Euro news elsewhere.
I just hope the next time Aravosis calls someone a "big girl" it's because she's just used the potty. Otherwise I know some really big girls who'll give him the shit he deserves.
*A reference to the famous Kos "pie fight" that began when women objected to an ad at DailyKos depicting Ginger and Mary Ann in a pie fight. The resulting put downs of women and their "unimportant issues" caused many a blogger to de-blogroll Kos. (See? Us liberals can actually think for ourselves without help from our blog daddies!)