I continue to be perplexed by the extreme popularity of Rachel Maddow. Yes, she is intelligent. Yes, she is snarky and sarcastic. Yes, she is funny. Yes, she is bringing new visibility to the lesbian community, which is always wonderful for me in a deeply personal way. But people seem to think that she is this unique voice that the world has never seen. And even those in my beloved, dramatic community are fawning all over her.
But come on. Really? Rachel Maddow has all the ingredients of your typical, over-education, east coast lesbian. The only novel thing about her is she’s on TV. I think the problem is, while people know gay men, most people in this country just don’t know enough lesbians to see how completely typical Maddow is. Let’s break it down
1. Maddow is really, really into politics
The New York times praises, “Ms. Maddow has the character and political passion; what she doesn’t have is a worthy opponent.” I agree, she is the type who justwon’tshutuplikeever about politics. But to find a worthy opponent, just bring her over to any New York lesbian dinner party. There’s a reason afterellen.com said a reality show they’d like to see is “Dyke Survivor,” where the challenge is:
“Around the clock, alternating contestants will read blogs and news aloud from the internet while giving their opinion on every subject. The other contestants must remain completely silent.”
2. Maddow is self-deprecating and kind of boyish
The Guardian describes Maddow as “eminently likeable – self-deprecating, quick to belly laugh, unfailingly polite, chummy even.” and “she doesn’t look like all the other cookie-cutter women on television. She is 6ft tall and boyish.”
Again, agreed on all the self-deprecation. But find me an east-coast lesbian that isn’t. Didn’t Ellen’s sitcom character bring this to the national media’s attention? And I don’t really think I need to talk you through the boyish bit . . . .
3. Righteous? Check. Indignant? Check. Libtard? Double check.
Back to the New York Times for one final point: “Her commentary is usually wry, sometimes righteously indignant and always unapologetically partisan.”
OK, really. I am about as conservative as lesbians come, and let me tell you, I am GRILLED for siding with libertarians, and it has never won me points in a bar that I have worked on Wall Street for the last five years. Lesbians are liberal, we LOVE our opinions, and we will not shut up about how awful Corporation HonkaTonka/Republican Senator CraigeyCheeks/Radio Personality FuckFace is if you let us. So yes, Maddow is all of these things. Because Maddow is a lesbian.
Now, I am not trying to be your usual, woman-sees-another-woman’s-success-as-threat woman. I am merely perplexed. I also find it incredibly encouraging. If being political, opinionated, chummy and indignant are going to get us places, girls, now is our moment.
Let’s go shake some shit up.
Filed under: diversions, icons, LGBT, media, politics, television | 6 Comments