Someone keep this man off Twitter: Bill Maher's latest gross jab at women

No, Hamas is not like a crazy lady

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published July 18, 2014 2:24PM (EDT)

Bill Maher                       (AP/Janet Van Ham)
Bill Maher (AP/Janet Van Ham)

One of the ceaseless wonders of Twitter is how flawlessly certain figures manage to reguarly pack a world of awfulness into such a tightly constrained format. Just yesterday, Jason Biggs – who's something of an expert at offensive tweeting -- hit it out of the park with his ill-advised, tasteless joke about the Malaysian Airlines disaster. Now, it's Bill Maher's turn.

Sometimes I think I want to like Bill Maher, but then I am reminded that he's not-so-secretly a pig.

His latest: In a Thursday evening post, the 58-year-old part-time HuffPo columnist tweeted, "Dealing w/ Hamas is like dealing w/ a crazy woman who's trying to kill u - u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her." Bravo on that bit of trolling, and you even had two characters left to spare! It's the kind of statement that opens up so many questions regarding the mind of its author. Why does Hamas have to be like a crazy woman and not, say, just a crazy person? Why is slapping her a sensible gambit – wouldn't escaping someone bent on murder require stronger tactics? Logistically, is it even possible to hold someone's wrists and slap her at the same time? Is Maher writing from personal experience here? Finally, and most pressingly, what in the actual what is he talking about?

Unsurprisingly, Maher's tweet has already earned a torrent of disgusted replies – and several thousand apparently approving retweets. Oh, Internet, you are nothing if not predictable. Personally, I stand with the individual who sent out the most coherent response I've found yet – the tweeter who observed, "Bill is just an egoist who I believe genuinely dislikes women."

Maher's track record on women has never been spectacular – you may recall some of his twat-centric remarks on Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, as well as his truly bizarre issues with Hillary Clinton. Several years ago, he did a routine in which he decried the "feminization" of America, describing ours as a nation in which "Sensitivity is more important than truth, feelings are more important than facts." Women: Famously averse to truth! He also thinks men and boys who are sexually coerced by women are "lucky bastards." In short, he's super gross and this is just another example of him being gross.

Great satire taps into our darkest unspoken thoughts and makes us laugh in situations in which it seems impossible to laugh. There is no subject matter that is off limits, no topic that cannot be mined for comic effect. Maher has in the past said that "It is not anti-woman just to talk about women," which is entirely true. But it is anti-woman to make unfunny gags comparing them to Hamas and talking about smacking them. Hamas is not a crazy lady who needs to be bitch-slapped. But Maher appears to be a truly angry man who has continually made his animosity toward women part of his shtick. It's a sorry way to make a living, but you've got to give him credit for his knack for being so offensive so succinctly.

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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Bill Maher Hamas Jason Biggs Sexism Twitter