To the Writers and Co-anchors of Full Frontal
Apologizing to Ivanka Trump is the Most Offensive, Anti-Feminist Thing I’ve Witnessed Sam Bee Do;
But I don’t blame her and the country still needs (more of) her.
Not since the Dixie Chicks apologized to Bush for voicing the shame he brought upon us all, have I felt so betrayed and demoralized by another woman’s forced apology. I still have not forgiven Natalie Maines, perhaps mostly because I actually felt that she did owe an apology for her comments, but to Texans - for perpetuating the lie that Shrub is a Texan and not the pampered Connecticut Yankee that his birth certificate proves him to be.
The fact that the epitaph that Ms. Bee directed at Ivanka Trump was both accurate and warranted is in no way Ms. Bee’s fault. If anything, her use of the term served up a modest helping of catharsis to those struggling with the very real ethical and existential crisis that the separation of refugee families represents for our country.
The conflation of Ms. Bee’s comments with the racial slurs made by Roseanne Barr earlier in the week is the laziest, most cynical example of political posturing and is clearly designed to distract from this critical issue. A white woman calling a black woman an ape is racism. A white woman calling out another white woman for using her privilege and power to oppress women of color is refreshing. The transparent and misogynist outcry over a feminist’s righteous use of the word cunt to call out a total failure of a woman is a sad indicator of how far women still have to go. Ivanka Trump needed calling out. She needed to be stripped of her pseudo-feminist Laura Ashley Stepfordwife-daughter cloak and held accountable for betraying her gender. Feminists and only feminists can use the C word. It is theirs to wield. No one forces Dave Chappelle to apologize when he says the N word. But, then again, Mr. Chappelle is not a woman.
Though I am disappointed in Ms. Bee’s decision to apologize, I recognize that societal pressure for her to do so was greater than would have been applied to a man in an analogous position. Hell, even men who say way less defensible shit aren’t forced to apologize. When Steven Colbert made derogatory comments about Trump Sr. that were construed as homophobic – not only did his employer not force an apology, but they even lined up special guests to validate and defend him (i.e. John Stewart). I truly hope that TBS did not require the apology that was offered, but I would not be surprised to learn that they had. The double standards that this scenario reveals – the societal limitations placed on women holding their own accountable – are exactly the kind of bullshit that we need Ms. Bee’s wit and acumen to stand against.
Still, it is unfair to place the full burden on her tiny padded shoulders. The fact that there isn’t another Sam Bee out there to stand up for Sam Bee in this scenario illustrates how fucking much we need more Sam Bees. As I write this, I feel so helpless. Our hero is under attack and there is no obvious champion able to rise to her defense. When I read Megan Kelley’s ‘Love is love and hate is hate’ bullshit snow job comment on the situation, I yearned to see someone put her in her place. ‘Yes, Megyn, hate _is _hate, and Ivanka is hate!’ – maybe? The greatest tragedy of Ms. Bee having apologized is that she can’t slap down all the patriarchal bs commentary that we are having to endure in defense of that waste of X chromosomes.
So rather than editing this rant into an overly academic reflection piece and sending it off to HuffPo or the Guardian, I am addressing it to Ms. Bee’s writers and co-anchors. You are up. If she can’t respond to this bs y’all need to jump in front of some cameras. Defend Sam. Take down Ivanka. Keep the focus on the tragedy going on at the border. Tell Claudia Gómez González’s story. Hold CBP accountable. And – most importantly – become the next Sams. We need so many Sam’s that they can’t silence all of us by just silencing one of us. Sam speaks for the women of this country. She has been our megaphone. We are so grateful – but we need to replicate her voice and power if we are going to conquer this bullshit. We need a swarm of Sam Bees. If you get her back, we’ll have yours.
p.s. Also, please hug her. A lot.
p.p.s. Ivanka is a Feckless Cunt! – See, still so gratifying to hear, say or read. That’s solid writing. Keep it up.