I’ve been reading reactions to Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg walking off the set after Bill O’Reilly said Muslims attacked us on 9/11. “I hate those bitches” “Their vocal cords should be cut out” “Dumb C-nts.” These are words from men AND women. What is happening? We are sickened by extremists who silence women, who make them cover themselves, and keep their mouths shut. We deplore stoning and violence, yet when we disagree with women in America we verbally stone them. Don’t speak freely for fear of the venomous repercussions, is that what we want? I have no problem with one disagreeing with Joy and Whoopi. I strongly disagree with how they handled O’Reilly, but isn’t there an intelligent way to disagree? Should your sister or daughter be called a C-nt or told she should have her vocal cords cut out when someone disagrees with her?
I was disappointed and angry that Joy and Whoopi walked. Like Barbara, the journalist in me believes it important to maintain a certain decorum and dignity when being met with opinions one doesn’t share. I find O’Reilly to be a blustering, ego-maniac. He was rude and condescending when he told Joy to shut up and she’d learn something (and maybe he’s right), but he was pulling her strings. And he was an invited guest on their show. Had he said that to me, I would have said, “Hey, I’d love to learn more from you. What really happened with that young woman you wanted to shower with?” Remember that story that quickly went away? Ok, so much for decorum. I would have said, “Hey, you’re on our show. Show respect and we’ll show it, too.” We hear from male hosts all day long – Bill, Rush, Sean, Joe, Keith, David, Jay, Jimmy, Jimmy, Craig. The View, like it or not, is one of the few outlets on television for women to share their points of view.
What Joy and Whoopi did by walking off was make it appear as if they can’t handle confrontation or views different from their own, and I know that’s not generally the case. One can’t ask others to listen to them and not do the same with those with whom they disagree. I wanted them to take O’Reilly to task on his point – push back verbally with their words and ideas, challenge him, correct him, embarrass him, make him uncomfortable and accountable, but unless he’s calling you a C-nt and chucking a shoe at your head, hold your ground. So yes, I am greatly disappointed that they walked off, but they are women giving voice to their opinions. Because you disagree with them doesn’t make them bitches or C-nt’s. Remember, every time you call a woman something disgusting or violent you are giving permission to others to call you or the women in your world the same, which I why hearing it from other women is so disconcerting.
I’d expect extremists from backward regions of the world to say women should shut up or have their vocal cords cut out, but I didn’t expect it from guys I could have gone to high school with or from women who should want better.