By now you've seen it, read it, heard it on the news and have moved on to the next news cycle. Here is why that's wrong. Sexism is not a story and it's not something that can be forgiven. It is racism, bigotry, oppression and hatred all wrapped up in one big fat F**k You if you happen to be a female. Get over it, girls. It was just "bad judgment".
The life size photo of Hillary didn't just appear in that room. It was brought there with the intention to demean her. Let your mind wander about what would happen if the roles were reversed - if that was an Obama photo with a bunch of anti-Obama women. Or if it was a life size likeness of Obama's wife. Imagine that.
Riverdaughter's post is excellent. She writes about the woman in the photo:
Who is this woman hanging out with these swine? And what does she possibly see in an Obama administration if it is being run by creeps like this? How long will it be before they move from groping and humping a cardboard cutout to treating her like she’s just a stupid c&*t and a low level gofer? And did her beer buzzed induced transcendence get the better of her? Did she end up in bed with one of them? He’s full of Obama empowered mojo and she’s basking in the reflected radiance of the Lightbringer ‘cos he’s going to change it all!Conversely, Dissenting Justice just doesn't get it. Although he takes Campbell Brown to task, he believes this is a "feminist" issue. This is his response to my comment that the photo did indeed exhibit sexist behavior: DJF - I still believe that feminists could debate the matter. They are even split on whether "prostitution" (or sex work) is sexist, so I imagine this picture could receive similar treatment. Here is more from his post:
Finally, even if the picture is sexist, this does not mean that Clinton (or other women) have to respond to it the same way they would respond to other acts of sexism. People who face discrimination often develop a set of "coping skills" to deal with the situation without always mounting an explicit protest. Typically, when people encounter discrimination, they want to diffuse the situation and move on from the moment. During the primaries, for example, Clinton often ignored sexism and just kept campaigning.
Victims of discrimination learn to prioritize the battles they fight. It was very important for Clinton to challenge men in the media and Democratic Party leadership who failed to appreciate the significance of a potential woman president and who acted with blatant sexism in their treatment of her. Their power and influence potentially inflicted harm upon all women and was offensive to all persons who want a society that takes women politicians seriously. Although the "iron our shirts" neanderthals probably lacked power relative to Clinton, they shouted at her during a critical town-hall meeting. Her witty response was tailored to the situation.
This picture, by contrast, essentially involves a kid, far junior to her in the administration, behaving inappropriately. Given Favreau's relative lack of power over Clinton, he is probably crawling to her in order to apologize. They can simply deal with this matter on a personal level without heightening the situation through public verbal exchanges which the media would spin into an unseemly circus.
Sorry, Professor, I don't agree. I will never develop "coping skills" to handle unjust behavior. Women and men are entitled to respect. Ignoring inappropriate behavior won't make it stop. It's like rewarding your child when she acts up. Contrary to your view that this guy is just a kid (as in boys will be boys, wink wink), he crossed the line and that is more than just bad judgment. If Mr. Favreau isn't held to the high standards that his employment in the Obama administration demands, it hurts all of us. He was way over the line and he should be dismissed. If he isn't, it shows exactly what we can expect in the future from the Obama administration.
Feminism isn't a gender based exclusive female club. When men demand respect and equal rights for women, it enriches all of us. I know many men who call themselves feminists. I know that they will stand up with me and for me. Until the rest of society understands this, we will continue to have these conversations.
UPDATE: Read Heidi's post
The Grope Here
UPDATE II: The Groper Must Go by swedescott, via Heidi Li
UPDATE III: PUMA Action Alert