Hot Post: Meghan McCain: Victim of Sexism or Busty Nitwit?


A million years ago, when I was in middle school, we had a few true gems among our prepubescent arsenal of schoolyard insults.  One of the most popular was, “Act your age, not your shoe size,” or, for the true eighth-grade intellectuals, “Act your age, not your IQ.”  I also recall certain male classmates, who hadn’t yet grasped the details of such things, embracing the ever-witty and hilariously inaccurate, “Act your age, not your bra size.”

This week, I find myself wondering if anyone ever uttered these witless words to Meghan McCain.  Perhaps they did, and a correlation was formed between intellect, maturity, and other intangible assets, and certain other very tangible assets.

Let’s just put aside for a moment the fact that Ms. McCain has promoted herself as the voice of young Republicans everywhere, and let’s ignore her blatant arrogance and hypocrisy in calling Christine O’Donnell “inexperienced” on “This Week”; let’s also overlook for just a second the embarrassingly inappropriate, to say nothing of unprofessional language she demonstrated when she referred to Ms. O’Donnell as a “nut job.”  And speaking of language, let us not focus on Ms. McCain’s utter butchery of the English language during this segment when she said, “no matter how many lack of experience you have.”  (On that note, I’ve gotta ask: are all of your experience belong to us?)

In any event, when Ms. McCain was criticized for all of those points, this young woman–a voice for a generation of young Republicans everywhere, remember, or so she likes to remind us–did not do the classy, mature thing.  She did not apologize for speaking rashly; she did not acknowledge her hypocrisy; she didn’t even bat an eyelash at her grammatical flub.

Nope.  What did she say?

Well, she didn’t actually say anything.  But she did tweet the following:

apparently  if I were an a-cup my comments about Christine O’Donnell would have been a lot less offensive, didn’t we do this 2 years ago?

Now, moving beyond the embarrassing punctuation abuse (commas and semicolons are your friends, guys, seriously), I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what it is she’s trying to say here.  Granted, some might argue deconstructing Meghan McCain’s tweets isn’t the very best use of my time, but still, I wondered.

First: What the hell does bra size have to do with anything?  Unless she’s literally speaking through her boobs, what cup size she is has absolutely no bearing on what comes out of her mouth.  A woman’s breasts are in no way a byway between the brain and mouth, and as far as I know, the brassiere does not double as a brain/mouth filter, no matter what its size.

What this 26 year old Columbia graduate appears to be doing — aside from comma splicing — is invoking an age-old stereotype: the large-breasted, voluptuous woman is vapid, empty-headed, and not to be taken seriously in comparison to her small-breasted counterpart.  By invoking the stereotype in this way, Ms. McCain is trying to establish herself as a victim of that stereotype.

In short: Meghan McCain is calling her critics sexist.  Because, you know, she’s smart and stuff and if we can’t see and appreciate that, it’s because of our own prejudices, not because she spoke thoughtlessly.

Um, no.

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