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High balls 

Put on your tallest hat and burn a box of contraception; I’ve got a confession to make.

You might know me as an outrageous figure, prone to name-calling and vitriol. But I’ve still got a few skeletons tucked away in my closet, nuggets of pure bigotry and machismo. It hurt that I couldn’t share it with anybody, but our cultural and political climate was always too tolerant to weather my secret. But I know I’m safe now, in the folds of heated rhetoric and shameless name-calling that would make Ron Burgundy blush.

I hate women. And if you’re a proud American, chances are that you do, too.

I don’t mean this in the harmless, cutesy “he-man-women-hater-club” kind of way. I mean that I want to turn back the clock 50 years, chain them to ovens and ironing boards, strip them of their right to make choices about their own reproduction, and publicly shame them when they fight back. And then when people gasp and shake their fists in outrage, I’ll say something sassy about my rights to free speech and saunter away with my harem of stay-at-home uteruses trailing behind me.

I know you’re probably wondering where I found the courage to say what we’ve all been thinking.

Two words: Rush Limbaugh. And if you’re looking for a nice fat—I refer, of course, to the quality here, not Limbaugh’s girth or the size of the prescription pills he tosses back like Skittles—dose of putting women in their place, you can get it locally from KVEC weekdays between 9 a.m. and noon. You were probably worried that local program directors wouldn’t have the fortitude to stick by a guy who alienated half of the population in one fell misogynistic swoop. It takes balls to stick by someone like that, something KVEC has in spades.

In case you doubt my word, here’s the testicular line up: Program Director Mark Mitchell—check. News Director King Harris—check. Regional Vice President Ron Roy—check. Not an ovary in sight. But I’m sure they think women are very important, and certainly make an effort to broadcast their voices as well. I mean, women can call in and talk to Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Dave Congalton, and Jerry Doyle.

But before we start high-fiving Limbaugh or low-fiving his testacular radio station, let’s turn our gaze in another direction where rabid anti-intellectualism and low journalistic standards have turned what might have been a story about a troubled cop and leader into a sexist witch-hunt.

I refer, of course, to Paso Robles Chief of Police Lisa Solomon, who, amid a series of county-wide cop scandals, has somehow managed to inflame public sentiment so far beyond reasonable discourse that I have to scratch my head—after I run to Beverly’s to purchase the thread for the scarlet “A” we’re going to embroider on her forehead, of course.

Public consensus seems to be that she’s stepped in it, though nobody seems to be quite certain what “it” is. And that’s fine. When a chief of police screws up, I’m first in line to haul off her or his badge to the recycling station.

But a lot of law enforcement agencies have had problems lately; if you don’t believe me, just look south to Arroyo Grande, and farther south still to Santa Maria. And none of them have been subjected to the same gleeful bloodlust as Solomon. For that matter, many of the allegations against her had nothing whatsoever to do with her skills as a cop. Instead, they’ve lingered over juicy non-sequiturs that she had a child “out of wedlock.” I had been under the impression the last term was reserved for Harlequin romances.

The fact of the matter is that her private life is her own. By confusing her private life—real or imagined—with her conduct as a cop, Solomon’s detractors have made it impossible for any reasonable, rational dialogue balanced by facts. And smearing sexual innuendo all over public comment boards has done little more than damage their own credibility as reasonable human beings capable of elevating themselves above giggly childishness. Worse still, they’ve made it more difficult for female law enforcement officers to be taken seriously. Apparently, the male chiefs of police slide by with minimal ruffle while the women get publicly flogged about anything and everything. Arroyo Grande Chief Steven Annibali might want to send Solomon a thank you letter for diverting the public eye from his own scandals.

Since I’ve seen the light—again, Rush, I can’t thank you enough—I can’t seem to see anything but testicles in high places. Take the board of supervisors. Five men. That’s 10 balls and more Y chromosomes than I can count. Makes sense to me, anyway. Women don’t really belong in the political sphere. All those decisions to make. All that god-awful thinking. Blech.

If you’re wondering what all of this adds up to, well, here you go:

It’s not a crime to call a woman a slut and a prostitute for wanting birth control to be accessible. It’s not a crime to exclude women from the airwaves, or to only include them as occasional guests. It’s not a crime to reduce a chief of police to her sexuality and subject her to greater scrutiny than her male counterparts.

But is this the best we can do?

Shredder shreds equally. Comment at shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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