Friday, February 8, 2008

Sea Change on Sexism in Public Discourse?

With MSNBC suspending a commentator for making an offensive sexist comment -- saying the Clinton Campaign was "pimping out" Chelsea -- may represent a cultural milestone in ending polite acceptance of sexism. With Hilary Clinton's campaign and the commentary on the commentary their is now an awareness of the issue. In fact, the reaction to what Mathews and others said probably put Clinton back into the race in New Hampshire.

In the middle of all of this, Earl Butz died. As a precousious child in the mid-seventies, I remember Earl Butz (how could any adoloscent male not be amused by that name). For those who don't remember the aply named Butz, he was Ford's Secretary of Agriculture and he had to be fired in the middle of Ford's relecation campaign for telling an incredibley offensive joke about colored people. That in the mid-seventies someone as high as a cabinate offical could be fired for telling that kind of joke forever made those sorts of racist comments taboo in the workplace and polite society. It just isn't done anymore.

It will be interesting if this election ends up marking the same sort of moment.

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