Here is the winner for the worst tweet from a so-called “liberal” today:
There are a lot of things wrong with this tweet, but here are just a few:
- Comparing Hamas to a “crazy woman” is demeaning to both. Hamas is an extremist group within a community that has been oppressed, attacked, kicked off their land, and terrorized for years. Are they themselves guilty of violence? Of course. But, their actions are a reaction (albeit an extreme one) to what has been done to them. And calling a woman “crazy,” even the hypothetical woman in this tweet, perpetuates the stereotype that women are irrational or overly emotional, as opposed to people like Bill Maher, who theoretically has his shit together (though one would question his “craziness” after tweeting this nonsense).
- Advocating violence as a practical solution to either Hamas or your hypothetical woman is merely a continuation of problematic behavior that has already proven to be of no use. Again, the actions of Hamas are a result of what has been done to them, including being “slapped” by Israel. And saying that hitting a woman under any circumstances, even if she is “crazy,” is inexcusable. Misogyny like this is exactly what women have been trying to bring to light with the #notallmen and #yesallwomen trends on social media. For anyone to advocate violence against women, but especially a so-called liberal like Bill Maher, shows that women sadly still have a long way to go in their fight to be treated as equal members of society.
- Trying (and failing) to make a joke about either the atrocities in Gaza or violence against women belittles the struggles that Palestinians and women face on a daily basis. A lifetime of oppression can make people act in a way that privileged people like Maher may see as “crazy.” But, this just means that he needs to open his eyes to the reality of the world around him. There are horrible things happening out there, and making jokes about them just makes it easier for Maher and other people like to him to ignore them.
I have generally been a fan of Bill Maher, and I have watched his shows for years. But, lately, I watch far more for the guests than for Maher himself. His anti-Muslim and misogynist views are getting harder and harder to ignore. I get that he is a comedian, and that he is “edgy” and deliberately provocative. But, this tweet, and comments like it are not funny or edgy. They are offensive and potentially harmful. Maher is in a position to have his voice heard by a very large number of people, to change minds, and influence attitudes and behavior. To waste that opportunity by spouting garbage like this is a shame.