“Have You Tried the Corn Dog?”
I’ve been revived from my summertime blogger’s-block doldrums by . . . what else? Â The Telegraph‘s hilarious photo of Michele Bachmann — the woman lawyer other women lawyers love to hate, and the winner (I still can’t believe it) of theÂ Iowa straw poll (Iowans! (the 4700 that voted for Bachmann, enabling her to claim the win) You’re making the country look bad!) — accompanying a blog post by Toby Harnden.
Okay, so apparently not everyone reacted to the photo by laughing cornflakes out of their nostrils (like I did). Â In fact, I was momentarily mortified to learn that there was somewhat of a feminist uproar, suggesting that the publishing of the photo might be a little, well, sexist. Â Mediaite blogger Frances MartelÂ posted the following criticism:
[W]ould the Telegraph have run a similar photo of a presidential candidate consuming an obvious phallic symbol if said candidate were male? Phallic symbols make for good comedy, sure, but theÂ Telegraph is notÂ Mad Magazine, and there appears to be no intent at humor here, only degradation. The image sends a clear message to any woman thinking about pursuing such high public office: we at theÂ Telegraph are unable to look at you as anything but a sex object, no matter what your qualifications for office.
First of all, does anyone really see Michele Bachmann as a sex object? Â I mean, really? Â Because I’d just like to say . . . I don’t really get that. Â Second of all, does anyone harbor even a shadow of a doubt that if Fox News could find a way to get their conservative little paws on a photo of Barack Obama ramming a larger-than-life hot-dog-on-a-stick between his perfectly presidential teeth, said photo wouldn’t become the long-overdue replacement to that retro klieg light logo of theirs? Â No phallic photos of Barack Obama — or Michelle Obama, for that matter — are published because they don’t exist. Â Which isn’t to say embarrassing food photos of Obama aren’t ever published . . . .
But my real issue with flying the feminist flag in protest over Bachmann’s corn-dog-fellating photo is this: Â she doesn’t deserve it. Â She doesn’t deserve the support of a movement that she is doing so much to subvert. Â No female politician I can think of (other than perhaps frenemy Sarah Palin) poses a more open and notorious threat to women’s rights than Michele Bachmann. Â She is Â an extreme social conservative in favor of submissive wives, abolishing reproductive rights, and de-funding Planned Parenthood — not to mention her political positions tangentially, if not directly, anti-woman (her open hostility to homosexuality and her rabid guns-for-everyone message spring immediately to mind).
So my view is, live by the sword, die by the sword. Â Anti-feminists who are hell-bent on undermining advances in gender equality that have taken our mothers and their mothers decades to achieve get no support from me, even when they are sexually humiliated with embarrassing photos of themselves eating phallic fair food. In fact, tip for Ms. Bachmann — next time you’re at the state fair, stop by one of those kiosks that sells those frozen chocolate-covered bananas — they are soooo good.