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NOW chides Bill Maher for Sarah Palin slur

After initially declining to comment on the matter, The National Organization for Women issued a statement on Tuesday in response to Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a "dumb twat" on his Real Time show last Friday. Published on, NOW communications director Lisa Bennett said, "Listen, supposedly progressive men (okay, and women, too): cut the crap! Stop degrading women with whom you disagree and/or don't like by using female body terms or other gender-associated slurs."

Let's face it, whatever you think of Sarah Palin as a politician, talking head, outdoorswoman, or author, the ad feminem attack is uncalled for. She's still a mother. NOW had to respond. But we also know that Maher will never apologize, and probably loves having NOW on his back. Bennett also wrote, "You're trying to take up our time getting us to defend your friend, Sarah Palin. If you keep us busy defending her, we have less time to defend women's bodies from the onslaught of reproductive-rights attacks and other threats to our freedom, safety, livelihood, etc."

Yana Walton, Women's Media Center VP of Communications, was more than willing to bring down the hammer on Maher, telling

"Despite the fact that women make up half of the population, we're only seventeen-percent of Congress. Bill Maher's misogynistic comment about Sarah Palin hurts all women, not just Palin, and not just conservative women. By insulting her gender, rather than her platform or stance on issues, he insults women as a group."

Commentarium (28 Comments)

Mar 23 11 - 11:44am

I kinda agree with NOW. Calling anyone a dumb twat is lowbrow.

Mar 23 11 - 11:57am

..........yeah.....its just that, in this case, ..................she is a dumb twat!!!...........oh!....and by the way.....add greedy ignorant whore to that........

Mar 27 11 - 4:36pm

Thanks, PJ. Good to know that ignorance and intolerance go hand-in-hand. Back of the line for you.

Mar 23 11 - 11:55am

Twat/dick/asshole, they are all non-gender-specific slurs. NOW reminds me of my 7th grade teacher who used the word 'boner' to mean a dumb mistake.

Mar 23 11 - 2:07pm

Yes, but that used to be the actual definition for the word boner. The fact is there are a lot of other names. Asshole is a good one. We all have an asshole. Dick and Twat are definitely gender-specific. That's why Maher didn't call her a dick, or a dickhead, or a pecker, etc. You can still insult people without using derogatory gender-specific words.

Mar 23 11 - 7:45pm

I would argue the opposite - I've heard many women called dicks...usually by other women.

Mar 23 11 - 7:47pm

Also, you're proving my point. twat used to be the definition of the female body part. It can now be used for any obnoxious and idiotic person.

Mar 23 11 - 11:23pm

I have to say that I don't hear those terms used interchangeably. I hear them used very gender specifically. And I don't hear Maher calling Glenn Beck a dickhead or a twat.

The notable exception is the Brits who use the word cunt as a derogatory term for everyone, male or female.

As I like to say when someone uses a word like twat to describe someone like Sarah Palin, that is an insult to my twat.

Mar 27 11 - 4:38pm

Really, jmh? So you'll just redefine terms that are misogynistic? Amazingly clueless. Fluffy - you are completely on target. Don't let the closemindedness of jmh get you down. Stupid is as stupid does. And in this case, "stupid" is spelled "jmh."

Mar 23 11 - 12:28pm

Fuck NOW. I don't condone beating, rape, murder or of women, But it's not misogynistics to call some one a twat or a cunt. Bill Mayer makes fun of ever one. Just because he calls one women a cunt, oh I'm sorry a twat, doesn;t mean he hates all women. He didn't come out and do a fuckinf monologe that went,
" So women, I know right fellas, there a bunch of useless twats. Unless we're fucking them in which case their serving a purpose."
I could see that being anouther story, in which I would agree that he's misogynistic. God forbid a man ever says anything about a women. I guess these cunts at NOW have select hearing though, seeing as how he insults guys al the time as well.

Mar 23 11 - 2:09pm

They didn't say it meant that he HATES all women. They said that it DEMEANS all women. Geesh. This is the quality of debate you want to have--and you can't even distinguish between the non-offensive phrases.

So dickhead peckerwood how do you like being called a stupid dickwad? Is that ok? I'm not demeaning you, am I, peckerhead?

Mar 27 11 - 4:38pm

Thanks, sowhat. It's good to see that hateful people often combine that hatefulness with stupidity.

Mar 23 11 - 12:54pm

Can't he just say "dumbass?" Dumbass and asshole ought to be considered all purpose non-gendered insults. It's not Sarah Palin's vagina that's the problem. It's the stupid shit that comes out the other end of her.

Mar 23 11 - 1:45pm

her vagina did push out that twat bristol though so....

Mar 27 11 - 4:41pm

He could say "dumbass," Judah but that he obviously intended to demean her gender as well. Tvblows emphasizes that point. It is not sufficient to argue against her positions, she must be demeaned as a woman as well. The openminded left strikes again.

Mar 28 11 - 10:07pm

I am a total moron. Please excuse my earlier posting. I'm almost too stupid to breathe.

Mar 23 11 - 1:01pm

Twat, Cunt, Asshole, who cares? They're just fucking words. How thin skinned are you when you let what some words said by a tv pundit bother you. Of course, this is NOW we're talking about. Non-gendered insults? Really? Well a cunt is a cunt and an asshole is an asshole.

Mar 28 11 - 10:08pm

And I am both a cunt and an asshole. Wow, am I cool or what? What I lack in wit, I make up for in expletives. I'm sure you're all jealous.

Mar 23 11 - 1:02pm

" So women, I know right fellas, there a bunch of useless twats. Unless we're fucking them in which case their serving a purpose." Exactly!

Mar 23 11 - 1:38pm
Vinegar Bend

It was a dumb thing for Maher to do. But if Maher did nothing at all...and he actually does give voice to intelligent and accomplished women on his show ... he would be a far greater pal to women than Sarah Palin is. Of course NOW, which is so sick of being called leftist, doesn't wish to acknowledge this.

Mar 27 11 - 4:42pm

(Some) intelligent and accomplished women with whom he agrees politically. If he disagrees with them, he will use gender-based slurs. Truly the mark of the witless and unintelligent.

Apr 16 11 - 11:52pm

I'm with Publius on this one. Maher needs to knock it off. He's lowering himself to the level of Palin, O'Donnell, and the other Republican women who have fired up their own gender-insult generator, making endless snide remarks about male politicians' sex: "man up" "lace panties" "limp" "cojones" and so forth. These "family-values" women have brought a level of crudity to our public discourse that Maher only matches on late-night cable.

Mar 23 11 - 2:00pm

This is an insult to dumb twats everywhere and that's who Maher should apologize to.

Mar 23 11 - 3:35pm
The Baltimoron

Yes, let's all try to be more sensitive to the people we're trying to insult. Can I call Jeff Mills a dumb twat? Because he is. A dumb twat. What organization will defend him, now?

Mar 27 11 - 4:43pm

Any organizations think you're significant enough to contradict, Baltimoron?

I didn't think so.

Mar 23 11 - 5:01pm

First things first: Sarah Palin is a dumb twat. I'm surprised there's any kind of discussion about that. Second, were she male and Maher called him "numbnuts" would there be any outrage or simply general agreement? NOW wants equality. Good. Who doesn't? If you're going to give lumps, you must take them, too. After all, it's only fair.

Mar 28 11 - 10:06pm

I, on the other hand, am also a dumb twat. I like being a total idiot because it makes me edgy and, oh so cool. I also like to make sexist comments and then belittle people who aren't cool enough to understand how amazingly avant garde I am. In short, I'm a left-wing moron.

Mar 24 11 - 11:21am

I'd like to draw a tangent to this oh-so-enlightening conversation to congratulate Jeff Mills on "ad feminem attack." That made me LOL.

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