Everyone from Jezebel contributor Rich Juzwiak to GLAAD is taking Perez Hilton to task for calling Will.I.Am a "faggot" — and well they should. But where has this outrage been over the years that Perez has spent crudely slamming women?
Perez says he called Will.I.Am a faggot during an altercation because it "was the worst possible thing that thug would ever want to hear." GLAAD's Rashad Robinson responds,
For someone in our own community to use it to attack another person by saying that it is 'The worst possible thing that thug would ever want to hear,' is incredibly dangerous. It legitimizes use of a slur that is often linked to violence against our community. And it sends a message that it is OK to attempt to dehumanize people by exploiting antigay attitudes.
Robinson's absolutely right, and we applaud everyone who's criticizing Perez for using a slur in a decidedly non-reclaiming way. However, Perez has also spent his entire career dehumanizing women by exploiting sexist attitudes — with little repercussions. We used to tackle his bullshit in Missdemeanors, but that's on hiatus, so Intern Katy looked through Perez's posts from the last seven days and came up with these examples of his crimes against womanity:
• Calling Katie Price old, and an alcoholic: "The former glamor model pAArtied the night away at Boho nightclub in a gold lamé onesie, looking like the hot mess of the century. Remember: you're 31, not 21!"
• Calling Nicole Kidman old, and a ho: "The ice queen turns 60 today, and in celebration of her natal feat day, check out THIS pHOto gallery of the Botox beauty." Capitalizing letters to say rude things is so witty — if you're in eighth grade.
• Mocking Brooke Hogan (and, implicitly, Britney): "What's the first thing a famewhore does when she goes to Los Angeles? Hunt for paparazzi on Robertson! Shop at Kiston! Show some vadge!"
• Describing LeAnn Rimes as a "homewrecking ho" (what, no HOmewrecking?) and a "country hoochie." He also draws a big X over her face, thus stooping to second-grade wit levels.
• Blaming Aubrey O'Day for getting robbed, and she is a "dumb blonde" who had the nerve to enter an alleyway.
And Katy says this has been a pretty tame week for Perez, perhaps because he's on good behavior after the Will.I.Am incident. His behavior was far from good, however, throughout his feud with Carrie Prejean. After she was stripped of her Miss California crown, for instance, he called her a "dumb bitch" and drew a dick shooting cum on her face. Presumably, Perez is aware that his site looks like a middle school health book marked up by sharpie-wielding twelve-year-olds, but why hasn't anybody thought to call him on his slut-shaming, "vadge"-dropping, generally intelligent-insulting misogyny?
Andrew Sullivan seems to maybe sort of try, but he gets it very wrong:
The gay language police are after Hilton. It does strike me as rich that someone who called a woman a "dumb bitch" because she respectfully offered an evangelical view of marriage equality should use the word "faggot" in lambasting an assailant.
Really, Perez's behavior isn't inconsistent. His views on gay marriage (which, for the record, support actual equality as opposed to "an evangelical view of marriage equality") don't preclude him from being a thoughtless jerk who uses crude language to demean people. And what Sullivan calls "the gay language police" (aka people who fight against hate speech directed at historically persecuted groups) are very right to criticize Perez. We just wish the feminist language police had gotten on his case a lot earlier.
Why didn't they? Why did NOW speak out against Letterman when he made fun of Sarah Palin, but never against Perez? Maybe because serious feminists don't want to be seen as stooping to his level (it is tough to argue with a guy whose idea of political critique is drawing a dick on someone's face). Or maybe because we're so used to misogyny in the gossip world that we barely notice it anymore. Even non-dick-drawing gossip-mongers like the tabloids present women as little more than bodies to be endlessly critiqued for their imperfections, or as characters in a sexual morality play whose actions are fair game for our judgment. Maybe we've just accepted that to people like Perez, women are dumb sluts who exist so we can look at their vadges. But the longer we accept this from Perez and his ilk, the longer we'll live in a world where it's okay to call a woman a bitch when you don't agree with her, and to call her a ho whenever you feel like it. And that world sucks not just for celebrities, not even just for women, but for everybody.
Update: Newsweek's Kate Dailey rightly says Perez didn't deserve a beating, and wrongly brushes off both his "faggot" remark and his general misogyny.
He Who Must Not Be Paid Attention [FourFour]
Perez And The Petard [Daily Dish]
Prejean & Miss California May Battle It Out In Court! [Perez Hiton]
John Mayer, Perez Hilton, And The Politics Of Victim Blaming [The Human Condition (Newsweek Blog)]