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March 21, 2008

White House Barbie Says Thinking Is Hard

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino joins the Dumb Bitch Parade:
Some of the terms I just don’t know, I haven’t grown up knowing. The type of missiles that are out there: patriots and scuds and cruise missiles and tomahawk missiles. And I think that men just by osmosis understand all of these things, and they’re things that I really have to work at — to know the difference between a carrier and a destroyer, and what it means when one of those is being launched to a certain area. (Video is at Think Progress and great comparison to Teen Talk Barbie is at feministing.)
Interesting theory. It's certainly plausible that due to the phallic nature of missiles, men would inherently have a better...wait, no, this is just a dumb comment that makes no sense and makes all women out to be too stupid to understand all that complicated sciencey military stuff. (And this is really where the whole concept of the Dumb Bitch Parade comes in--as a general rule we're not fans of calling other women dumb bitches, but we think there are times when it makes sense to do it 'ironically' to highlight women who say and do things that actively drag other women down with them.) What exactly she's talking about, we haven't quite figured out. Maybe she's under the impression that G.I. Joe action figures were a lot more educational than us girly girls ever considered.

We have a couple of suggestions for Ms. Perino. If you find certain defense-related concepts too difficult to understand, try remembering that you work at the White House. Find somebody who does understand (we get that in the current administration this might be more difficult than normal, but we're confident you can find somebody) and have them explain it to you so that you can, you know, do your job. Or, if that's too challenging for you, just say that you have trouble understanding certain concepts because you personally are either too stupid or too lazy to figure it all out. Don't drag the rest of us down with you, 'kay? Thanks.

And then there's this:

“I was panicked a bit because I really don’t know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis,” said Perino, who at 35 was born about a decade after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown. “It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I’m pretty sure.”

So she consulted her best source. “I came home and I asked my husband,” she recalled. “I said, ‘Wasn’t that like the Bay of Pigs thing?’ And he said, ‘Oh, Dana.’ ”

Okay. Maybe I would have skipped over this whole thing if I hadn't spent time yesterday writing about Abigail Adams. She worked so hard to educate herself as much as she could, and it pained her that she didn't have access to the same formal education as men, and she hoped for and spoke out for positive change and new opportunities for future generations of American women. So on her behalf I'm extra pissed off that the White House Press Secretary would pull this 'tee hee, I'm just a girl, it's so hard for me to know stuff' routine and think that it's funny or charming or cute or at all acceptable or fair to other women.

Dana, since your job requires you to spend so much time opening your mouth, maybe you should try some equal time opening a book or two and opening your mind.


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