It was kind of a headscratcher when Susan Collins, a GOP senator, and Jane Harman, a Democratic representative, co-hosted a screening of Thelma & Louise earlier this week as a way of celebrating their unlikely but heartwarming bipartisan friendship. An even bigger headscratcher? That New York Times blogger Judith Warner saw the movie, got depressed and decided it was no longer relevant to make a movie muddling sexual violence and sexual politics because women are so much totally more liberated than they were in 1991 when all that Anita Hill crap was going on and it really doesn't happen anymore.
It's easy to forget now how vital and urgent the new focus on date rape and sexual harassment seemed, for a brief moment, back then. And yet it was, truly, transformative; the world of "Thelma and Louise," I think it's fair now to say, is not the one that we inhabit psychologically or physically today.
Which is such a fantastically absurd statement we found ourselves almost agreeing with crazy conservablogger Ann Althouse's crazy rebuttal.
Well, Judith Warner's cheery recounting of history has a gigantic glaring omission! What happened was that the Democratic President Bill Clinton got into trouble for sexual harassment, and those who had worked so hard for so many years to bring the subject of sexual violence and sexual harassment to the front of the national consciousness did a turnaround to preserve partisan power.
Hmmmmm, well "a" seems to be an understatement on the "omissions" front! Cause we might also incorporate into our history of the last fifteen years of feminism: the internet and digital photography, Myspace and amateur porn; the mass-manufacture of midriff-baring baby tees and thongs for seven year olds, "Girls Next Door" and the Suicide Girls, "Age of Love", the Bratz dolls and the Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears... feel free to add anything I may have glaringly omitted guys! All of which is to say, it's not just Iraq that has women falling all over themselves to forgive/forget Bill's lascivious ways these days. It's the fact that most of us would willingly endure a little uninvited Oval Office groping just to return to the days before femiladyism knew the likes of Joe Francis and Sam Alito. And while we're at it: all that institutional sexism shit early Real World cast members used to talk about: still a prob, Judy!