The above charming video appeared on the Washington Post yesterday. The premise was funny; lampoon the over-exposed “Beer Summit;” Obama’s effort at healing relations between Henry Louis Gates and Sgt. James Crowley. But the skit went way too far when Dana Milbank said “And we won’t tell you who’s getting a bottle of ‘Mad Bitch” after which we are shown an image of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And the strategic placement of a six pack of HoeGaarden adds just the right classy touch.
This is exactly the kind of instance where it’s easy to let the sexism slide–”it’s funny” they say, “it’s all in good fun.” Well, it’s all fun and games until two of the nation’s most visible political journalist wink and snicker as they imply that Madame Secretary Clinton, one of the most accomplished women in the world today, is a “mad bitch.”
Forgive me for going on a bit of tangent here, but I was accused yesterday of not being a good activist because I chose to take a few moments out my day to spread the message that sexist speech by two of the best known political journalists in the country is not okay. Never mind the presumption on the part of someone who knows what I do with less than 10% of my day, the accusation shows an unfortunate ignorance about the benefits of online activism when it’s combined with boots on the grounds action. And that makes me want to say a few words about what some call “
Slacktivism is a pejorative term used by some to describe “lazy” activists who sign internet petitions, wear wristbands, and send email but never make the leap to boots on the ground activism. There has been a lot of
And so I’ll continue to use online tactics when it makes sense and on the boots action when it makes sense and combine the two whenever I can. Every activist should have a toolbox full of different tactics that fit many situations. For instance, Twitter can be used to build online momentum that’s easy to translate to influential members of the media (not to mention fellow activists) for press coverage while “call your legislator” campaigns are a more direct approach to impacting legislation. However, online tools have increased the potential of traditional campaigns and vice versa. To run either kind of campaign in isolation without using all the tactics available to you–online and on the ground–doesn’t make sense any more.
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