Friday, May 7, 2010

With Friends Like Elisabeth...

It should come as no surprise that I'm quite liberal on social issues. And while I should be tolerant of those with different views from me, I must admit, when I hear political pundits and others wax poetic about the glories of conservativism and the small-mindedness of those on the right, I get angry.

One person who angers me completely is Elisabeth Hasselbeck. But why she's currently on my s--t list has nothing to do with what I believe are her misguided political views. It has to do with her recent attack on ESPN sideline reporter (and erstwhile Dancing with the Stars contestant) Erin Andrews. Like most women on DWTS, Andrews' costumes have consisted of less and less, well, costume, as the show has progressed. But instead of remembering that she got her start on television wearing a bandana as a bikini top for weeks on Survivor, Hasselbeck chose to lash out at Andrews' state of undress, in light of the fact that she was a victim of a stalker earlier this year.

Said Hasselbeck:

"As inexcusable as it was for that horrific guy to go in and try to peep on her in her hotel room ... I mean, in some way if I'm him, I'm like, 'Man! I just could've waited 12 weeks and seen this--without the prison time!'"

Now, maybe Hasselbeck, in her move to what she perceives as the moral center, has decided that scantily clad women on television are somehow inappropriate. But to say that somehow Andrews needs to remain buttoned-up because she was stalked falls into the worst blame-the-victim philosophy out there, as if Andrews is somehow responsible for her stalker's actions. Women who have been raped often are reluctant to report the crimes against them because they feel as if they were responsible, or are afraid others will point the finger at them. But once these women were victimized, there is no reason for them to remain under the cover of darkness for the rest of their lives.

Of course, after the uproar over her remarks, Hasselbeck apologized to Andrews privately and, in a show of crocodile tears, on The View as well. And while that is supposed to make everything better, I'm sure it won't be long before she's criticizing some other woman whose behavior doesn't mesh with her ideals. But hopefully she'll think twice before venturing into this territory again. Or maybe she'll remember her bikini days...

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