Wednesday, April 11, 2007

You Can Call Me "Ho". Just Call Me.

Be prepared to be shocked:

I couldn't figure out why I had Baby's Got Back planted firmly in my brain. I was stuck on this line (and then the sound of a cracking whip like you hear in the song):

Knock-kneed bimbos walkin' like hos.

Then I associated that it must be because of the controversy surrounding radio host Don Imus.

I'm sure you've heard that Mr. Imus referred to the women's basketball team of Rutgers as "nappy headed hos". Not a very nice thing to say. But now I have learned that as a woman, I am supposed to be offended by this. And if I were a black woman, I am supposed to be outraged. I'm really glad that blogs, news sites, and television have told me how to feel because had they not instructed me, I might not have realized how pissed off I am.

Don Imus's show DOES go too far. I hate when one of his sidekicks does a very derogatory impression of Maya Angelou. I detest how he stereotypes Southerners as idiots. I loathe how he and his wife talk to each other. But... I like the show. I like how there is a man on TV who doesn't have every word he says scripted, who brings intelligent guests on his show and discusses relevant issues and who does say things that others won't. Some times they are not the things I would say, but I still find it interesting and entertaining. I find Larry the Cable Guy offensive, but strangely, I don't really feel offended by Don Imus, or Howard Stern, who makes a killing off of degrading women.

Much like Bill Maher, who once hosted Politically Incorrect on a network station, Imus has killed himself with his own poison tongue. I have really mixed emotions about this. No one should have the nerve to insult a group of college basketball players who did nothing, but should the public have the right to demand that the show be taken off the air? He said it. He has apologized numerous times. He deserves some sort of punishment. But these 3 words have outraged a nation. I've called people much worse and the difference between what Imus did and what I have done is that I said it to their faces and I meant it.

I wonder if the nation has a right to get mad or if this issues is between Imus and those ball players. I've listened to Imus for several years and although I sometimes find his comments tasteless, I honestly don't think that he's racists or a member of the He Male Women Haters Club. He was trying to be funny but was instead insulting. I do this quite a bit myself and am just glad no one has yet caught it on tape.

Wondering. I don't know the right answer.

I have a couple of gay guy friends. One of these guys is especially quirky and I love spending time with him. He gets my humor and I get his. We like a lot of the same things. He's thoughtful but tough, sensible but free spirited. His being gay is just part of his world and, thus, part of mine. Sometimes I'll say something like, "That messenger bag you're carrying is gay." Would someone overhearing that assume that I'm homophobic because I used the word in a "derogatory" way? His boyfriend finds those kinds of remarks offensive, but I will sometimes say them anyway. Get over it. I don't have a problem with you being gay but I do have a problem with you being hyper sensitive.

As a nation, are we acting like the boyfriend over this Imus issue? Again, I'm wondering because I'm conflicted. That's an unusual feeling for me. I usually have a stance but this time, I'm not so sure how to react or if reacting is even my responsibility.

Women are referred to as bitches and hos all the time. These words are insults in certain contexts and terms of endearment or simply terms at other times. I just don't know what to think.

I guess I'll watch HardBall with Chris Matthews tonight to find out exactly how I should feel. In the meantime, I have some planning to do. I'm long overdue for a "Bitches Night Out" and need to make some phone calls.


Mel Francis said...

I'm gonna stick my neck out there with ya. I do know what he said was inappropriate but he's apologized. And it was one of the most sincere apologies I've heard in a long time. He's being punished. Not only is he getting suspended, but he's having to face himself and his mistake everyday.

Give him a break. If he does it again, then fire him. But right now, he's apologized and I believe he's genuinely sorry. He knows he fucked up. So the public needs to quit reeling him in by the boys and move on.

Jessica said...

I am a bi-racial (nappy-headed) woman, and, um, yeah, I sorta have the same feelings.

Anonymous said...

wow, great conterpoint type thoughts to consider. I was on the condemnation bandwagon because I just think that he was stupid for saying what he did knowing that there would be people that would take extreme objection with him for doing so. I am mulling over your points and ideas and am conflicted likewise. Maybe it is a good thing in that it may provide a lot of dialogue and hence understanding regarding these issues.

Killer said...

I've never really listened to Imus much. I know you always said it was good, but I just never really got into it.
I don't think he should be fired for saying it, but he is losing a lot of his biggest sponsors, so money talks, and will likely be his downfall.
I really do feel sorry for the Rutgers team, their interview made good points about them being hounded and cheapened by the media, just as much as Imus' comments.

Wavemancali said...

There is no way that Imus should be fired. I personally think Imus is a dick and an idiot. I've never liked him. But here's the thing, they are now taking a man's livelihood away for an off the cuff remark that he's made. He apologized, he was punished with a two week suspension. Move on.

I know the man is not hurting for money, he'll get by. He will probably retire in comfort actually, but he was a very philanthropic fellow. He's given away millions of dollars to children's charities. Now that the righteous do gooders have gotten the "evil racist" off the air they can march over to Bobby's bed and explain to the dying child why there's no money to send him to the ranch now. Bravo do gooders.

One of the basketball players actually said the words, "I think I'll be scarred for life". Wow, someone is scarred for life by being called a name by someone she doesn't know. Please if anyone know these women let that particular one know that I think she's a melodramatic c*nt. Maybe she can have matching scars.

Sorry for the novel in your comment section Killer and Liz but this bull really pisses me off.

Churlita said...

I'm not an Imus fan, but I detest censorship. I do think it should be one of those things where, if people don't like him, they can choose not to watch or advertise with him.

heather said...

this was a topic on one of my shows with bice the other night and i'm still a bit annoyed by the whole thing. i don't think he intended to insult the ladies, he started out making a joke. it went to far that's all. do i think he should be fired over it? no. but i ~do~ think that he is a grown man who should have known better.

Roadchick said...

We live in the United States of the Offended.

Is Imus an asshole? Sure is.

Is the 'chick offended by this?

Nope, not at all. She knows lots of assholes. She even is one at times. Most people are.

He should've apologized privately to the team and that should've been the end of it. It's not anyone else's business.

fringes said...

Those messenger bags are cool. I've wanted one for about two years now. The Coach messenger is about $385, so I must wait for a gay nappy-headed ho to buy one for me.

Liz said...

I am proud that I can type these questions and express these views and not be considered an asshole, a racist, or a bitch for not know if there is a clear right or wrong answer in this.

Thanks for YOUR open minds and hearts- and for the joke, Fringes!

You guys rock! Even if you are a bunch of hot-air spewing sluts.

I would like to sincerely appologize for that comment. It was a joke that went too far. I will enforce my own 2-week suspesion (and firing?) and meet you back here mid-April.

heather said...

hey you guys! i've just tagged both of you with the thinking blogger award. congrats! :-)

LC said...

It bothers me that it's become an issue of who is calling who what.

Rap songs like you stated here with what is considered nowadays a very mild one say even worse things than this, but as long as someone who is saying such things is a person of an equal race, or not even that, but of a similar background, then it's fine.

I am not saying he was not at fault, I will admit that I didn't even know this guy existed until now, but I do agree with you Liz.

Michael Richards apologized, gosh, even supposedly Rachael Ray with her shiny smile once made some racist comments that were made of public knowledge.

It's all odd.

And I am with you, Liz, in the sense that sometimes we do want to voice out our opinion without being judged, when it's not even about taking sides, but just...Where is the freedom of speech?

There is one thing about having said something out of line, but what they're making him do, and the way this is being handled by the media, it's getting to the point where one better be careful before saying something that could ruin their career.

I am ranting. I shall stop now.

I love all people. That is all.

Natalie said...

I have to say the "people say it in rap all the time" argument really bothers me. A ho chillin on the block knowing she's a ho is not the same as a college educated athlete who has probably worked hard not to be called a ho. It’s also different to be “Happy to be nappy” and someone telling you that you look like shit with a nappy ass head. That being said, I think the comment was mean, and a little racist. That being said, I know if I made consistent racist comments at work I would be fired. Why, because unless you are employed by a bunch of racists, you should keep your mean and slightly racist sentiments out of the public sphere. I do realize his job is to shock but there are some things some people just shouldn't say. Do I think he should be fired? Personally, I don’t care. But if his bosses do, let them fire him.