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  1. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable July 16, 2010 at 6:08 pm |

    If I wrote the article on what I wish Rachel Maddow would say to David Vitter, it would just say, “Go fuck yourself.”

    I’m probably a little less classy than you and Maddow, however.

    PS, super kudos on pointing out that if this is pandering to his constituency, it’s because he thinks they vote on hate and bigotry. Very true. Love this point.

  2. Hausfrau
    Hausfrau July 16, 2010 at 8:14 pm |

    Or maybe instead of playing into Vitter’s gendered binaries, Maddow should just point out that she does look like a “woman.” Since, you know, there’s no homogeneity to what women actually look like. We’re diverse like that. She shouldn’t end with Vitter-the radio hosts with whom he was speaking with are part of the problem as well. The right wing media has too long been the fuel the the fire of hatred and bigotry.

  3. Republican
    Republican July 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm |

    […] …Huffington Post (blog)Happy Hour Roundup: Vitter apologizes to MaddowWashington Post (blog)What I Wish Rachel Maddow Would Say to David VitterFeministe (blog)all 11 news […]

  4. Samson
    Samson July 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm |

    Could you not compare shaming of cis women for stylistic choices and “tomboyishness” to transphobia?

    It’s erasing of the differences between transphobia and femininity-policing, and appropriates experiences of trans women.

    I may “read” as queer, but I still have cis privilege that INCLUDES my relative level of safety, no matter how masculine I’m dressing. My lived experience of gender policing is very different from that of trans folk.

  5. Gerald L. Kelly
    Gerald L. Kelly July 16, 2010 at 11:14 pm |

    What happened to HONOR? Certainly it has been trampled by Senator David Vitter of my home state, Louisiana. Family Values do not include cheating on your wife and supporting prostitutes!!!!

    David Vitter can never have the honor that Rachel Maddow shows each and everyday because he is tarnished beyond recovery!

    Long live women like Rachel, and my descent lady friends in Louisiana and I am sorry all of you ladies have to be dishonored by this creep.

  6. JeninCanada
    JeninCanada July 17, 2010 at 12:11 am |

    Wow, way to hit it right out of the park. *applause* I hope Rachel picks this up somehow and says it word for word.

  7. Ducky
    Ducky July 17, 2010 at 3:57 am |

    I could totally hear every word of that coming out of Rachel Maddow’s mouth. Altogether, great job!

  8. sonia
    sonia July 17, 2010 at 6:31 am |

    Given Vitter’s predilections a simple answer could be “That photograph of yours has to be recent, because you look like a baby with a poopy diaper”

  9. Mark Adams
    Mark Adams July 17, 2010 at 8:32 am |

    Exactly the kind of response I would expect from Rachel. Are you sure you don’t write for her?

  10. GrrrlRomeo
    GrrrlRomeo July 17, 2010 at 10:06 am |

    I actually don’t expect Rachel Maddow to even mention it beyond where she accepted his apology. She may say something sarcastic in pass on her show where only the people who already know about it would get it. And I absolutely understand if she doesn’t want to make her appearance a topic. It’s annoying to have my gender expression picked at by people around me…it must be worse to get be picked by thousands of people on the Internet plus a Senator.

    I would hope folks know the difference between “tomboyishness” and butch, or “fashion” and gender expression.

  11. Butch Fatale
    Butch Fatale July 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm |

    A trigger warning for descriptions of homophobic & transphobic violence would be appropriate for this post.

  12. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin July 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm |

    I think, for some, there will always be a belief that seeing gender in anything less than sharp distinctions is the quickest route towards complete anarchic chaos. And it’s easy for those who don’t understand to think in these terms. But if these people were honest with themselves, they’d recognize that they don’t fit neatly into the boxes that they insist everyone else must, either.

  13. libhomo
    libhomo July 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm |

    I feel like making a snarky comment about it being a long time since Vitter acted like an adult, but I doubt that he ever did.

  14. Hugo
    Hugo July 17, 2010 at 4:02 pm |

    As Ducky said, it has Maddow’s rhythm and sound perfectly. Brava, Shelby.

  15. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps July 17, 2010 at 5:26 pm |

    Wow this was nice. I totally pictured her saying this. I’m forwarding it to her facebook for you.

  16. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve July 17, 2010 at 7:29 pm |

    I agree with GrrrlRomeo that Rachel will ignore it and move on. Though I would think that is not because she has a thin skin and doesn’t want to ‘make her appearance a topic,’ rather that David Vitter is a thoroughly unpleasant individual and she would like to have as little interaction as possible with him.

    Also, she has more to lose than we do- I agree with all of Shelby’s sentiments and more people should be criticizing Vitter’s coimments in that vein. However, unfortunately if Rachel says something similar, she looks like she’s being biased against someone who joked about her.

    Believe me, she WILL have the last laugh, as he will soon do something that will cause him to lose his job. He’s too much of a dick not to.

  17. Elinore
    Elinore July 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm |

    Coming out of lurk to echo the sentiments of Samson and Butch Fatale. Not warning was wrong, cis-entitlment showing, etc.

    Very effective, though, and well written! I hope she sees it.

  18. sophonisba
    sophonisba July 18, 2010 at 12:57 am |

    Could you not compare shaming of cis women for stylistic choices and “tomboyishness” to transphobia?

    I don’t think she’s making a comparison so much as an identification — I don’t think it’s mistaken, either. Bigots are frequently wrong or confused about the identity of their victims, but that doesn’t change their the reason for their hatred. Like when straight women who dress in a certain way get beaten up by homophobes who assume they’re lesbians — doesn’t mean they’re not still straight with all the attendant privileges and assumptions, but it’s still homophobia motivating the outrage.

    People like Vitter make a very direct mental equation between lesbian = looks like a man = wants to be a man. They don’t understand trans men to exist outside of that imaginary construct; if anything they think they’re the logical end of that straight line. So I don’t think it’s really possible to disentangle the sexism from the homophobia from the transphobia and pretend that only one or two of them is at play here.

    If Vitter didn’t think there was something risible and wrong with having someone’s physical appearance depart in any way from the norms associated with their stated gender identification, his comment wouldn’t have made sense either as a joke or as an insult. Gender theorists and feminists might be able to note a subtle distinction between that kind of gender policing and flat-out transphobia — but I would bet money David Vitter couldn’t. Noticing what he’s doing isn’t appropriation — he’s the one who can’t be bothered to properly calibrate his bigotry to the identity of his target.

  19. Ostien
    Ostien July 18, 2010 at 11:10 am |

    (OP please disregard/remove my last post attempt)

    I think OP nailed it. The conception that trans folk are somehow just “super gay,” a conception that allowed for this “joke” to be internally consistent, is very prevalent and needs to be challenged on both the grounds of homophobia and transphobia. I see OPs statements to be a positive opening of this discussion, if it is to continue or just fade away.

    I would like to point out that Samson’s concerns are valid and would wish for any such discussion to include these distinctions and varied experiences. However, trans can include experiences other then trans-women and trans-men, trans is also often used inclusively with genderqueer and other gender variant identifications. Thus any gender vareint presentation can fall under transphobia and as sophonisba pointed out violence against it can still be motivated by a misplaced homophobia because it is conflated. So both transphobia and femininity policing along with homophobia can fall into the same overall discussion because of the context it is viewed with by many.

    But I think that OP is full aware of that:


  20. Ostien
    Ostien July 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm |

    humm I tried to post this as a quote to the end but I screwed up:

    “I’m addressing you because your type of hate impacts the lives of thousands of Americans who do not, without regard to their sexual orientation or gender identity, fit into capricious standards of what it means to look “male” or “female.” It’s time to toss these standards out the window because they are meaningless, destructive and sometimes, deadly.”

  21. where is your line? » Blog Archive » No Thanks- I’m a Lesbian!

    […] And that anger is on the same continuum with rage.  The kind of rage that kills women like Sakia Gunn, a fifteen year old queer woman of color who was stabbed to death for rebuffing the advances […]

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