Sunday, October 28, 2007

This Week in Bill Maher

Is this going to be a weekly thing, me posting about bullshit that happens on Real Time with Bill Maher? This entire segment was a disaster. I don't consider myself an uptight person. I mean, I joke about shit all the time, but it's not funny when you turn oppression into a joke. It's also a good idea to put guests on your show who know what the fuck they're talking about. Let's get to that first.

Andrew Sullivan was on Real Time on Friday night and the panel got to talking about Laura Bush's recent trips to the United Arab Emirates to meet with two breast cancer suvivors and increase awareness about breast cancer in the region. Breast cancer is very seldom checked for, diagnosed, or treated in the Arab world for several reasons. One is that Muslim women can't expose their breasts to a man who isn't her husband, and there aren't very many women doctors in Arab countries. Andrew Sullivan surely didn't think of that before he said this:

What I find amazing is that she's going there to talk about breast cancer! She's talking to women covered [from] head to toe as if breast cancer is their fundamental issue! It's like going to antebellum South and saying that the big problem with Blacks in slavery is that they have sickle cell anemia!

As you can hear in the video, throughout Sullivan's exclmations Bill Maher is trying to shut him up for half a second to explain why breast cancer is a fundamental issue, which he eventually got to do later. Women in that part of the world aren't getting diagnosed and treated for breast cancer for the same reason they're wearing burqas. Then General Wesley Clark had to chime in.

I don't find any fault in Laura Bush talking to the women in burqas. Those women over there, the majority of those women, they've done opinion polling many times, and basically those women like that society . . . . Aren't we the people who say that we oughta respect people despite their differences? Don't we believe that people have the right to choose the way live?

Because in countries where "the women in burqas" can't vote or drive cars or leave their houses without their husbands are going to tell a pollster (most likely a man) that they don't like their oppressive society.Yes, I'm going to believe that. That's basically the point Bill Maher said in response. That's nice. Good job, Bill.

Oh, I almost forgot what Bill said right after that.

We should talk to people in burqas, And luckily, we have some today because -- You're in for a treat. We have been chosen here at Real Time to host the 5th Annual Fall Fundamentalist Fashion Show, and you are gonna love this. Can we have our first model, please?

Then Bill went on to describe the outfits of several women wearing the same black burqa. Lovely. Let the victims be the butt of the jokes and let the men who established and enforced that oppressive society get off free.

Dress it up for midday prayers or dress it down for midnight stonings this one says My mullah brings all the boys to the yard . . . It's first class clothing for second-class citizens . . . .


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