Sunday, September 7, 2008

Unleashing the Bitch

The other day I happened across an exchange on television between Omarosa and Wendy Williams. I can’t remember how I chanced upon this show, as I happen to like neither woman. I was nevertheless transfixed and watched the entire episode, much in the same way that it becomes difficult to avert ones eyes from a train wreck, in this case featuring two fake-breasted, loud-mouthed trannies.

Omarosa was supposedly on to promote her new book. But she never really got a chance to say much of anything about the book because she started things off by confronting Wendy on her desire to straighten her out. Wendy shot back that her intent was actually to smooth out Omarosa. Things went speedily downhill from there. Wendy tagged Omarosa as a stereotypical Angry Black Woman. Omarosa retaliated that she would rather be an ABW than a buffoon. Neither woman seemed to realize that both labels represent negative stereotypes that do nothing to uplift the image of Black women anywhere.

This particular episode of the Wendy Williams show was apparently a smashing success. But for me it remains a low moment in Black female television. And then along came Sarah Palin who helped me to realize that the bitch stereotype is not unique to Black women at all. White women are also quite well represented in this category.

I now think of Sarah Palin as the White bitch who has been unleashed on our television screens with the specific agenda of helping John McCain become President the United States. Like many bitches, Sarah Palin masks her lethality in tones of saccharine. At the Republican Convention, she attacked Barack Obama ruthlessly. One television pundit later described her behavior as “unseemly”. I know what he was trying to say. He was implying that she had been a complete bitch.

I have been intrigued by this strategy for helping McCain win. It suggests that Hilary’s Pied Piper movement with its 18 million female followers has been reduced to her having been a successful bitch. So if Hilary could be a bitch, well then Sarah Palin will be the bigger and better bitch. And so far, she has delivered.

This stands in stark contrast to Obama’s studied nice guy stance. He has steadfastly refused to milk the opportunities presented by the steady drip of scandals emanating from the Palins' Alaskan household. He resolutely stated that his mother had had him at age 18 and he was therefore not going to criticize the out-of-wedlock status of Sarah Palin’s pregnant daughter. Part of me admires Obama’s tendency to aim for the higher ground. The other part wants to shake him and remind him that nice guys finish last – especially when facing an unleashed bitch who, despite the precariousness of her own family situation, has had the chutzpa to adopt a no holds barred position. The audacity of that bitch.

I was stunned to discover that John McCain had met Bitch Palin only once before selecting her. I was stunned because this seems so unlike the man I assumed McCain to be. I had expected him to select a long trusted friend for a running partner. He was practically begging Hilary Clinton to cross over to the dark side, and she was practically saying that it might be possible, what with her constant reminders to all and sundry that she and McCain have long been such great friends.

To me, John McCain just does not seem to be the type of man who is capable of placing his trust in a complete stranger. He seems too anxious, too controlling, almost too paranoid for that. Witness his close monitoring of her speech as Palin spoke at the convention. While everyone else was listening to and screaming for Palin, McCain nervously kept his eyes glued to the monitor, his fingers twiddling nervously at the front of his jacket as he read along beside her. One would swear that he was actually seeing her script for the first time. I would not at all be surprised if he was. He is no longer in control of this machine.

Sarah Palin seems to have been handed to McCain as the representative of that arm of the Republican Party that used to be called the Moral Majority. By revealing that he had previously met her only once, McCain seemed to be acknowledging that the decision to select her may have been taken out of his hands. He seems to have accepted her unvetted. Her public vetting by the media must be making him squirm. Old man McCain suddenly seems in over his head.

As I watched Mrs. Palin deliver her speech at the Republican Convention, I found myself thinking that she must not only have bought Omarosa’s book but she must have inhaled it cover to cover. The book is called “The Bitch Switch: Knowing How To Turn It On and Off”, and in it Omarosa aims to show women how to be assertive and aggressive bitches when they need to in order to get what they want. Sarah Palin could easily have written the foreword.

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