Minnesota Feminists Speak Out!

The unofficial blog of Minnesota NOW

Letterman, “Humor” and The Palin Girls

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As I’m sure everyone is aware, there’s a lot of to-do about David Letterman’s sexist comments about Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter(s) getting pregnant while in New York City. Letterman’s latest apology included the explanation that he didn’t mean 14-year-old Willow Palin but rather 18-year-old Bristol. He says he made sure that she was a legal adult before making the “joke”.

Now I’m not the biggest fan of Sarah Palin (actually make that a serious opponent of her policies and not particularly fond of her personality), but these comments by Letterman are in ridiculously poor taste. He appears only as a wildly sexist pig who has a remarkably sick sense of humor, and he also manages to make Sarah Palin a sympathetic figure. It’s harder to make logical arguments against her when you get lumped into the same category as people who make these comments.

Why can’t we get substantive criticism about policy, or even the number of Alaskans angry that their state is being ignored while their Governor unofficially runs for President and present this in a humorous way? Why does everything have to be about the objectification of girls and young women? And why on earth are the children of politicians fair game? They didn’t chose this life and I’m sure neither Palin girl appreciates being made fun of in such a sexist way on television.

I’m not even going to go into how mad these “I’m sorry but don’t blame me” apologies make me. Suffice it to say that the Palin girls deserve to be left alone by any comedy show, particularly ones with such sexist intent. They already have a mother who wants to take away their right to choice and who simultaneously capitalizes on people’s feelings that women are treated unfairly and forces rape victims to pay their own medical expenses. Don’t these young women have enough on their plates without Letterman’s sick attempts at “humor”.

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