Hallowe'en Eve Rant
You may have heard about West Hollywood window decorator Chad-Michael Morrisette decking out his house for Hallowe’en—an effigy of John McCain emerging from a flaming chimney, and Sarah Palin’s likeness hanging from the roof, a noose around her neck, her hands apparently tied behind her back. Morrisette said it reflects his view that McCain’s and Palin’s politics are “scary.”
This link (which somehow turned into a video) started out as a newspaper article reporting on the efforts of neighbours and the mayor to persuade Morrisette to remove the effigies. Morrisette had to be persuaded because his display violates no state or federal law, despite some people reporting it as a hate crime. The noose around Palin’s neck seems to offend people more than does McCain emerging from a flaming chimney, understandably so. McCain might escape his fiery torture chamber, but Palin's a goner.
I have trouble defending Morrisette’s right to show such a violent expression of a political view. But what equally disturbs me is something Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, said in an earlier article: that, if the same display had been made of a Barack Obama-like doll, it might be considered a hate crime. "That adds a whole other social, historical hate aspect to the display and that is embedded in the consciousness of the country,” he said.
I suggest to Mr. Whitmore that misogyny is likewise embedded in the consciousness of the country, if not the world. That violence against women is so commonplace it's accepted as inevitable. Why did Morrisette hang Palin and not McCain? Could it be she’s another “uppity” woman like Clinton who has to be shown her place? I find Palin’s politics scary, too, but I don’t want her hung in effigy or degraded in any other way.
I posted this article on Silent Girl Speaks about what Hillary Clinton experienced and the need for women to speak out. I hope Morrisette does the right thing and dismantles his Hallowe’en display sooner rather than later. And I hope he asks himself if it reflects not only his political sentiments but a hatred of women so deeply embedded in his consciousness he may not even know it's there.