There are times in this political climate when you tell yourself that you have to choose your battles, and simply let things go. Then there are moments when you have to say something in the hopes that others will at least take your opinion under consideration. After recent online comments from two male friends of mine, I have determined it is time to take a stand.
The first revolved around Republican Senator Cindy Hyde, who recently became the first woman in Mississippi elected to Congress. Controversy surrounded her during the campaign, including the unearthed fact she attended a segregated school growing up and her apology for saying she’d gladly attend a public hanging. She was running against Democrat Mike Epsy, who too would have made history as the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the Senate since Reconstruction.
A straight, African-American friend posted a picture of Senator Hyde to show how ugly she was. He even made the comment, “she ugly enough to Trick or Treat on the telephone.” I understand he was disappointed with her and how the election was going, but instead he decided to vocalize that by commenting on Hyde’s beauty, or lack thereof. This is something so called-liberals have criticized our president for, yet it’s okay for them to do the same?
The second comment came from a gay white friend of mine, who posted a picture of the First Lady amid her crimson-colored Christmas trees newly erected at the White House. He changed the photo to include Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway and stated that the White House had been transformed “into a Whore House for the holidays.”
Let me point out how incredibly ignorant and sexist both men sound, as do the many others who mimic the same behavior. In this era of #MeToo and its evolvement into treating women with respect and equity, here is evidence that the message isn’t sticking and old bad habits take over. Even worse, both these men consider themselves social activists and would crucify the same commentary if given about women they cared about.
Do I agree with any of the women aforementioned? Many times, no. However, I am aware enough to criticize them on their actions and not their looks. I judge them on their behavior and decisions, and not associate either judgment with their gender. Do these men, and plenty of women alongside them, see how hypocritical they are? How these simple actions continue to perpetuate the idea that women’s physical attributes, whether it be beauty or purity, are the greatest assets she will ever have? That deep down, people continue to believe terms like “ugly” and “whore” are also the greatest weapons to use against a woman?
For those who claim to be intellectually or socially advanced, I think it’s time to take a good, hard look at yourself and make sure you really are. Or are you simply attuned to your own “cause,” and are willing to throw others out the window when you have reached your lowest level of patience? The point of any cause is to bring more people to the table, not take others away. That means you ultimately have to break bread with those you didn’t like before.