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A Disgrace

Finally someone has come out and exposed something that has recently been on the minds of countless women throughout the world: Sarah Palin is a “disgrace to women” [afp.google.com] It took a foreigner—French actress and activist, Brigitte Bardot—however, to proclaim it publicly. Her decry of the Republican vice-presidential candidate has been syndicated throughout the globe, not because Bardot has a say in American politics, but because her feelings toward Palin resonate unsettlingly well for many of us, myself included.

On Tuesday Bardot wrote: “By denying the responsibility of man in global warming, by advocating gun rights and making statements that are disconcertingly stupid, you are a disgrace to women and you alone represent a terrible threat, a true environmental catastrophe.”

When pundits have attempted this argument, they have been called sexist. If Hillary Clinton were to make such a statement, she would further inflate the image of her as a sore loser. And of course, who are Barack Obama and Joe Biden to assert what disgraces women? Michele Obama and Jill Biden are genetically poised to make the claim, but politically they risk making their husbands campaign vulnerable to the sexism attack. Then of course there are Bardot’s American counterparts, such as Susan Sarandon and Angelina Jolie, to say, “I hope you lose these elections because that would be a victory for the world,” might be a bit too incendiary, even for them.

For some time now, political correctness has cultivated an American culture and ethos that on the one hand, has modified the framework of our thinking to allows people like Barack Obama to run for president. It has also, however, disabled us from having a discourse necessary in a democracy. Bardot’s comments and the ripple it has made throughout the international media attests to this idea that Americans cannot claim to be living in a post-politically correct era. Instead we must embrace the substance of a politically correct message, but do away for its form when it is inhibits a truly substantial message—such as Palin’s digrace to women and her threat to the world—from emerging within our borders. That would be a true disgrace.

–Jamie Wong