The feud between David Letterman and Governor Sarah Palin has ended for now with an apology from Dave on his show and an acceptance by Ms. Palin in the press. Score round one to Palin. This win marks a triumph not just for the Governor but for women and girls across the country.
It has heartening to see liberal NOW feminists and the ladies of The View as well as conservative women stand up for Palin and her daughters. Maybe it was the motherhood element as expressed by Joy Behar on The View.
Whatever it was, it was a victory for the female sex. Letterman and other late night comedians will think twice now before telling tasteless, sexist "jokes" that demean females. I never liked that term "knocked up" thinking it was degrading, implying that women are sex objects to be used by men, regardless of their age.
Let's hope it is the beginning of evolution for men as Palin referred to in her acceptance of Letterman's mea culpa. As women, it is up to us to call out sexism wherever and whenever it occurs. The fight against racism has been long and difficult and still has a ways to go, but the revelation of so-called "code words" has been very valuable in the struggle.
We need to point out sexist code phrases and we can begin with Letterman's "knocked up" and "slutty". I also felt Perez Hilton was wrong to call Carrie Prejean (the ex Miss CA-USA) a "dumb bitch" on his website after she came out for "opposite sex" marriage. It was sexist. Who cares if it came from a gay man? I am a lesbian and for gay marriage but the remark was demeaning. How would Hilton like being called the "f" word for being a gay man?
I never thought David Letterman should be fired, just called to task as Don Imus was when he made his racist (and sexist) remarks about the Rutger's women's basketball team. (I didn't feel Imus should have been fired either.)
I am all for freedom of speech, but I'm also for decency. Racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks are "hate speech", plain and simple. Sometimes they are disguised as humor. I and many others don't find them funny. In fact, they can be very damaging. It doesn't matter if you are liberal or conservative, people should be treated with respect. This goes for men too. It is just as sexist to call a man a "male chauvinist pig" as it is to call a woman the "c" word.
If we can learn anything from the Palin-Letterman feud, it is that speaking out for the rights of all people is not just a freedom but our responsibility. Seeing all the unrest and oppression in Iran puts everything in perspective, and I for one am glad to live in a country where we can even have this conversation.