I’m always up for a figurative orgy of conservative pundit-bashing, but this Playboy piece is after something a bit more literal. Author Guy Cimbalo counts down the top 10 most fuckable conservatives, from Michelle Malkin to Laura Ingraham -- though don't worry, he hates them, too. Cimbalo managed to get one or two guilty smiles out of me, but the overall effect is beyond creepy. Cimbalo seems to think he’s shielded himself from obvious criticism by wildly overshooting the target. If bashing conservatives makes sexism okay, irony makes it even more so; Cimbalo can’t be a genuine misogynist if his jokes are so hep, dig?
Of TownHall columnist Amanda Carpenter, Cimbalo writes, “The Hate Fuck Rating: This foul temptress is a walking, talking Faustian fuck bargain.” Michelle Malkin is a “highly fuckable Filipina” and a “Beelzebabe.” And "The View"’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck is just begging for defilement: “She’s the clean-cut American sweetheart who elicits our filthiest thoughts. Endlessly perky, this golden goddess probably has her Catholic school uniform still in the closet, and she wouldn’t mind putting it on before taking it off for a session of sweaty, anti-American hate fucking.”
Usually, I don’t go in for declaring certain jokes off-limits, but at some point, this passes from gross into vile. Cimbalo is also playing right into the hands of the conservatives he claims to hate, becoming not so much a critic of Michelle Malkin's reactionary ideas as an accessory to them.
It’s no coincidence that conservative punditry is full of women who give Cimbalo sort-of-guilty ideas about using sex as punishment. Nobody makes Michelle Malkin dress up in a cheerleader outfit. The style of conservatism she and her ilk espouse feeds directly off men who are unwilling to view them as equal citizens. Ann Coulter -- possibly the original “conservative pin-up girl” of this generation -- loves to talk about repealing women’s right to vote. And if that half-joke, coming from her, is delightfully sinful to certain men, it’s because she, “Limbaugh in a miniskirt,” is sending the message, “Remember what women are for.” (Hint: It's not voting.)
Cimbalo’s conservababes are parasites on the body of feminism, free-riding on its gains to denounce its goals. The image of Coulter or Malkin in a miniskirt denouncing, say, the Equal Rights Amendment is supposed to thrill us with its irony: the whole point is to elicit exactly the kind of response Cimbalo offers up so willingly. Rather than deign to respond to the awfulness of their ideas, Cimbalo’s article echoes their irony, practically screaming, “I’m a liberal, but what these crazy bitches need is a good fucking.” And though these pundits shouldn't be taken especially seriously, the mockery they deserve is the same kind that Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly deserve. Trying to mask a degrading fantasy behind a thin sheen of would-be cool, liberal kidding around isn’t anywhere near convincing. And, ultimately, not really that funny, either.
UPDATE: Playboy has since pulled the article.