On Friday night, October 16, Bill Maher went on a rant about legendary NFL quarterback and perpetual teenager Brett Favre’s recent troubles regarding his alleged “sexting” to a female employee of the New York Jets.
But before too long he turned it into a disgustingly filthy diatribe against “white men” and the type of women they like. It eventually came down to an attack on his favorite target, Sarah Palin and other conservative women. He pompously posited that white men like these women saying, “my theory is that these women represent something those men miss dearly: the traditional idiot housewife.”
And it got me to thinking what kind of “housewife” the never-married Maher might like?
Perhaps it would be the phony ones on television.
I am referring to the series of shows completely mislabeled as the “Real Housewives of...New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, D.C. and the OC and Beverly Hills.”
These women have about as much in common with the real everyday lives of housewives as Bill Maher does with real everyday lives of ordinary Americans.
They are rich urbanites and sub-urbanites complete with lavish homes, fancy cars, closets full of designer clothes and shoes, boxes of jewelry and very bad breast implants. You’d think with all that money they could afford better plastic surgeons.
And that Salahi woman on the D.C. version is so dang skinny, I’ll bet she has to run around in the shower to get wet.
We get to see them scream and yell and argue with each other over nothing of importance. They spend money on extravagant shopping sprees, constantly flaunting their material possessions at the rest of us.
Their husbands are either weak-kneed metrosexuals or adolescent adults who the wives treat as ATMs—that is until they declare bankruptcy.
Their bratty kids are spoiled rotten and appear to have no discernible skills that will get them through life.
They drink wine in the middle of the day and then whine to each other about how difficult their lives of privilege are.
Well pardon me if I don’t feel sorry for them. And for your benefit Mr. Maher let me tell you about the lives of the traditional housewives you so despise and denigrate.
Recently I was in Idaho visiting with my good friends who are cowboys and ranchers. This time of year is for gathering their herds of cattle off the range in preparation for the hard winter that is to come.Work on the ranch is a family affair and everybody works—men, women and children.
But no disrespect or offense to the men, the hardest-working folks are the women. I call them the "Real Housewives of Idaho." Their names are Jenn, Jayme, Kassy, D.J. and Janis.
I knew these women before I even met them, since I was raised by someone just like them.
They don’t have their own TV show although it would be a helluva lot more interesting than watching the other “real” housewives and definitely better than watching Maher’s weekly ego fest.
They don’t wildly spend money on frivolous things at high-tone stores. They shop at Costco to feed the family and during gathering feed the crew. They are partners with their husbands. Their children are taught the lessons of work, faith and family from the time they can walk and as soon as they can walk they are in the saddle working right alongside their parents.
You don’t hear a lot of whining about how tough their lives are. They know life is tough but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
They don’t have weekends. Saturday and Sunday are just two more days to get the work done.
They don’t stab their female friends in the back when they aren’t around. They pitch-in to help each other and treat each other’s children as if they were their own.
They don’t hang out at Starbucks because they aren’t dumb enough to pay $5 for a cup of coffee and don’t have the time or the inclination to sit around and be neurotic and catty.
And they face adversity everyday and meet it head-on.
Last year we hadn’t been out gathering cows more than an hour when someone spotted a bull used for breeding stuck in mud wallow. It had died struggling to get out. I was riding with my friend Jenn whose bull it was.
As we sat there on our horses she calmly said, “Well, there goes $5,000." When the young cowboy who had found it asked, “Should we pull it out?,” she said, “Nope. No time. We’ll come back later to see what happened. We’ve got to keep going and gather the rest.”
No crying. No whining. No pointing fingers of blame. It happened and the only thing to do was keep going. And that pretty well sums up their lives—keep going.
These are the “mama grizzlies” Sarah Palin is talking about. They identify with her because she is one of them.
I think that Maher belittles them and makes fun of their lifestyle because he is afraid of them and what they represent.
They represent an America that is in resurgence vastly different from his warped and cynical view of the nation and its people. An America that has finally had enough of being ruled by a bunch of elite coastal snobs who push their version of what this country stands for at the expense of traditional values and morals. An America that still prays to God asking for spiritual guidance, unlike Maher who openly mocks religion. Maher better hope he’s right about there being no God or come Judgment Day he is going to be one sorry fella.
It is also an America that is tired of the cattle crap Maher would call entertainment, polluting the minds of their children. And an America that stubbornly believes that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are not just meaningless words from our past but meaningful words to guide our future.
When I got home from my trip, I saw a Facebook posting from one of "the Real Housewives of Idaho." Yes, they have computers and Facebook.
Jayme and one of her sons were helping Jenn and her family and her husband Matt and other son were working at their ranch. She wrote the following:
“Jackson and I have been gathering cows in Soda for Ellis ranch....just got back, now there is laundry to do, house to clean and back to school tomorrow, and driving bus again. Matt and Mattson were gathering cows on our place...its funny how life keeps us all happy and healthy...Great life we live!”
These are the women Bill Maher refers to as the “traditional idiot housewives.” They live on ranches and farms, work on factory floors, raise children and hold down two jobs and they sit around the kitchen table with their husbands each month worrying if they can pay the bills. And somehow they not only survive but thrive.
That is reality, not “reality” TV.
Here’s a piece of friendly advice, Bill. I would stay out of certain parts of America. These women would kick your ass from hell to Sunday, not to mention what their husbands might do.
Patrick Dorinson blogs at The Cowboy Libertarian. He lives in California and is just back from a trip to Idaho.