Well, Bill Maher really put his Twitter-foot in it.

He tweeted:

(and here’s a screen-cap, assuming that he wises up and takes it down and apologizes)

maher tweet

This poses so many problems. To start with the least of them, any tweet that requires you to substitute “u” for “you” and “w/” for “with” in this ghastly fashion is a few characters too long. This tweet, in fact, is 137 characters too long.

Second, no. Just no. Violence against women, as a hilarious joke premise, went out of style somewhere between the passenger pigeon and the Pole joke. I would say that Maher can be forgiven for not knowing this because he hasn’t been on the air since the Clinton era, but it turns out that in fact he has been on all this time, in which case there’s no excuse. It is 2014. This is not “Outnumbered.” This does not fly. Like an ostrich. (See, there’s an analogy for you!) Or like a kiwi. Or, as Bill Maher would suggest, “like a crazy woman whom you have to slap.”)

Also, what is this comparison? How does this spring into his mind?

Other than the fact that this is a weird, sexist, unfunny analogy that doesn’t make any sense, this is a great analogy. It makes me tremendously grateful that Bill Maher was not around on Twitter to grace us with his weird sexist insights during other foreign conflicts in history.

(“Dealing with the USSR,” Cold War Bill Maher typed, “is like dealing with a woman: you don’t know how she thinks at all, but you want to hit her.”)

But why limit yourself to foreign affairs? Almost any situation can be turned into an analogy about hitting “crazy” women that makes no sense and angers lots of people!

“Dealing with the budget,” Bill Maher types into his drafts folder right now, “is like dealing with a hormonal woman: lots of ups and downs, and you can only take so much before you have to cut her.” (“Ha, that one actually makes sense!” he chuckles.)

See, I wish there were some way of pointing out how fundamentally absurd and unfunny this premise is that didn’t involve making more analogous Maher-style jokes about violence against women, because it’s really not a funny premise, and I feel dirty inside, like a — thing that is dirty. Or, as Bill Maher would say — well, no, we don’t have to go there again.

I’m sure that by the time this sees publication, he’ll have gone into the usual apologetic song-and-dance of the misguided joke tweet, but — wow. This is both “too soon” and decades too late to think this is a good premise.

Dealing with this Bill Maher tweet is like dealing with — well, something: It isn’t funny and it shouldn’t still be happening in 2014. You decide what it reminds you of.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.