Archive for the ‘Flogs’ Category

Best Sentence XXXIX

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Lileks, commenting on Heather Mallick’s screed, funded by the Canadian treasury. Let’s set it up first. You saw our link to it here. Our neighbors to the North, of all political stripes, whether they like it or not, get to pay out of their own pockets for such well thought-out wisdom as this:

I assume John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential partner in a fit of pique because the Republican money men refused to let him have the stuffed male shirt he really wanted. She added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn’t already have sewn up, the white trash vote, the demographic that sullies America’s name inside and outside its borders yet has such a curious appeal for the right.

So why do it?

It’s possible that Republican men, sexual inadequates that they are, really believe that women will vote for a woman just because she’s a woman. They’re unfamiliar with our true natures. Do they think vaginas call out to each other in the jungle night? I mean, I know men have their secret meetings at which they pledge to do manly things, like being irresponsible with their semen and postponing household repairs with glue and used matches. Guys will be guys, obviously.

But do they not know that women have been trained to resent other women and that they only learn to suppress this by constantly berating themselves and reading columns like this one? I’m a feminist who understands that women can nurse terrible and delicate woman hatred.

I’m a blogger who understands that from that point onward, the Mallick bitch-fest heads downhill. Fast.

WhippedSo is James Lileks.

Consider the joy that would reign if someone wrote that “Democrats, racial guilt-mongers that they are, really believe that African-Americans will vote for an African-American just because he’s an African-American.” Of course Republican men don’t believe that women will vote for her just because she’s a woman. It’s surely a factor, but there’s the possibility that they will vote for her because she is not a woman like Heather Mallick.

Then he lays the smackdown. Yes, it’s more than one sentence; it’s an entire paragraph.

But how glorious it is. Richly deserving of the Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award.

You have to love the “Sexual inadequates that they are” line as well; if there’s one thing that’s amused me in the last two weeks, it’s the screechy distaste of Ms. Palin coming from men who embodied the Modern Alda Paradigm of masculinity, which is to say they are nervous around cars, think guns are icky, had their own Snugli, have wives in corporate jobs who make more money than they do, and still get dissed behind their backs because they can’t figure out how to make the bed. The Lost Boys, if you will. Now, some women can’t stand Sarah Palin for their own reasons, personal or ideological; same with men. Some men, however, are made deeply uneasy by her, because she’s the one who ignored the sensitive poet-guys in high school for the jocks, and didn’t seem to grasp the essential high-school truth that it’s cool to be a loser. But that’s rank psychoanalysis, and we won’t stoop to that.

And then…drum roll…he does. Well, not really. But he goes chasin’ after this meme that has been the elephant in the room, for a generation plus — some men aspire to become real men, other men go into politics. We haven’t been allowed to talk about it, and now we are. Lileks makes full use of the opportunity.

H/T: Buck, who adds:

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is world-class snark. Good snark. Great snark. Biting and oh-so-on-point snark. No one, and I mean NO ONE on Planet Gaia gets on a roll quite like Mr. Lileks. You’re truly missing something if you don’t read the whole thing.

Yeah…gonna have to go ahead and agree with you on that one.

Feminist Definition

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Becky brings to our attention yet another screed at Feministing. Highlights:

1. People are referring to Sarah Palin as a feminist and/or as a liberated woman.
2. This is distressing to Jessica Valenti, CEO of Feministing, because Sarah Palin is not a feminist.
3. It is even more distressing to her that the mainstream media is referring to Gov. Palin this way.

It’s become rather typical for the feminist blog, or flog, to fail to define for us why we should join the flogger in being outraged at something. But it’s a little unusual for the flogger to fail to intone why she is outraged at something. The crux of the complaint seems to be that there are attributes of definition for someone who seeks to be known as (or is proffered by others as) a feminist, and Sarah Palin is missing some of those. But even though the comment thread has grown to 57 items as of this writing, Valenti refuses to disclose what those items are or should be.

Seems to have something to do with abortion.

Can someone clue me in on how & when abortion came to be a feminist thing? Yeah women get pregnant and guys don’t, I get that…but abortion itself can be an anti-woman thing, you know. All it takes to stand the whole juxtaposition on its head is to start discussing societies in which babies are aborted because they’re girls — and suddenly abortion is related to womens’ rights in a whole different way.

Commenter nestra (#1) pointed things out more articulately than I think I could’ve…

So using a constructed title such as “feminist” requires that the person holds to every single one of a set list of beliefs (as defined by who?), but identifying as a male doesn’t require a y chromosome.

That’s an interesting way of changing the rules to fit your own ideals, Jessica.

But it wasn’t nearly articulate enough to penetrate Jessica’s bulletproof bubble of selective attention deficit disorder —

Huh? Nestra, I’m not sure what you’re saying here…

Yup, I’ve met my share of these folks. Selectively clueless. “I don’t see how what you just said, is related to my goal of forcing more people to agree with me!” Freakin’ timewasters. CBTA.

The question that remains is, is there some “set list of beliefs” for feminists? Jessica is on record as saying both yes and no, from where I sit, depending on what answer she can give that’s most convenient to the point she’d like to be making.

Maybe she should go think this out a little bit better. Some people do better thinking when they’re given something to do. Like, for example, go get me a cold beer and make me a samrich.

On Strong Female Characters

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

Via Miss Cellania we learn that now, after decades of cardboard-flat Strong Willed Woman (SWW) characters having been pumped out in cinema to placate the anger of our feminists who demanded them, and we’ve gone so many revolutions on that silly merry-go-’round that it’s long ago become a parody of itself…it turns out the feminists wanted something completely different. Or want something completely different now. Or something.

I think the major problem here is that women were clamoring for “strong female characters,” and male writers misunderstood. They thought the feminists meant [Strong Female] Characters. The feminists meant [Strong Characters], Female.

So the feminists shouldn’t have said “we want more strong female characters.” They should have said “we want more WEAK female characters.” Not “weak” meaning “Damsel in Distress.” “Weak” meaning “flawed.”

Mmm, hmm. I think I get it. Methinks the problem might not have been so much with the goal, as with the tactic. Write the characters this way…otherwise, we shall become very angry, and boycott your movie. Sticks instead of carrots.

Punishment-over-reward doesn’t work too well when your objective has something to do with precision. It works for ball-park stuff. Puppy should be housebroken, but isn’t, so he gets a whack. The point is, once the trainee puts some effort into meeting expectations, the punishment has to stop, because if it doesn’t the feeling of futility sets in right away. So does a feeling of confusion. A flawed female character? Like a female version of William Macy’s character in Fargo? Yeah. Find me a woman who likes that, I’ll find you two that hate it. Probably more than that. Literature already gives us MacBeth’s wife. Where are all the feminists slobbering all over this, wondering wistfully why she can’t appear in modern film? So I call bull doots on this.

Good luck on it though.

Meanwhile, anybody who wants to get extra-jaded on this whole “we have strong women because feminists demanded them” thing can just go watch an old Superman episode, and feast their eyes on what sort of Lois Lane Superman was saving. Thought that “tough enough to make it in a man’s world” storyline started with Teri Hatcher, didntcha? Nope, not even. Women who know their stuff, who are capable of making their own decisions, have been intoxicating — to both sexes — for a very long time now. An extraordinarily long time. It’s the way we’re built. Men don’t make all the decisions; they make all the decisions in some settings, women make all the decisions in others. Men do things that haven’t been done before. It’s quite silly to say “hold my beer and watch this” just before you do something someone else already did. Women, on the other hand, establish, maintain and enforce protocol.

That’s why feminism doesn’t work. It’s a mutation of womens’ instincts to establish, maintain and enforce protocol — but it deals with a protocol that experiments with relegating men to complete uselessness. And women, with very few exceptions, don’t want that. And, it promises to make things unpleasant for people if they don’t meet certain conditions; but promises nothing about the unpleasantness coming to an end, if & when the conditions are met.

Thing I Know #52. Angry people who demand things, don’t stop being angry when their demands are met.

On Feminists, and NeW

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Some afterthoughts about Cassy‘s profile of Network of Enlightened Women (NeW), and feminist complaint-blog Feministing‘s critique of same. It would be more appropriate, perhaps, to call them “late thoughts” compared to “afterthoughts” because I never did opine in any way on this. What inspires my late thoughts is the comment section under Feministing’s original post; it has been growing, at least throughout the balance of last week, and I think this gives us some valuable and educational insight into the feminist mind.

I’m not referring, here, to what we said about feminists when we invented the word Flog as a portmanteau of “feminist blog”:

Check out masthead after masthead after masthead on some feminist blogs if you have trouble envisioning this. You’ll see what I mean. The “author” is represented by silhouette, or by avatar, or by an actual photograph. There is no smile…not unless it’s been made up into some misshapen sneer. Read the actual posts — and the problem is more pronounced still. Time after time, the theme is left intact, unshaken, unwrinkled, unmoved.

It is this: Somewhere, something is, and it ought not be. That’s it. Overall, it seems the fem-blog hasn’t much else to say. Sensors have detected something somewhere that exists, that we think should be banished to oblivion. Can we get an “Amen” here?

No, not that thing. The other thing. The control freak thing. The control they seek to exert over objects that may be kept around…if only they change. They want to customize what they own; what they only partially own; what they don’t own; what is, really, none of their damn business. Every little thing they find done, contrary to the way they’d do it if they were the person doing it, is a battle cry — no exceptions.

They seem positively eager, lately, to prove what Cassy said, lest there have been any doubt:

With feminism, women don’t have a choice. It’s follow blindly, and agree with everything we tell you. Don’t think for yourself. Don’t think that men aren’t the enemy. We know all, and don’t you dare get a second opinion…[F]eminists seem to think that if anyone, anywhere disagrees with anything they decree, it automatically makes them sexist and woman-haters. They fail to realize that debate can be and is healthy, and constantly trying to stifle opposing viewpoints only serves to strengthen those opposing viewpoints.

There are now several posts under the Feministing comment section, making the point that conservatism as used by NeW is underdefined or undefined.

This is a worthwhile point, I think. I don’t believe it applies to NeW. I read posts like this one, and the values and principles are crystal clear:

It is the liberal tendency today for some Americans to criticize the nation’s status in the world. Instead of recognizing America for what it is: a beacon of hope, liberty, freedom, democracy, and principles; some look to the rest of the world to measure our success. How far have we fallen? We are a nation of independence, with every citizen possessing equal opportunity. With such an amazing reality, why should we ever be ashamed of our country? The President’s comments indicate his belief that America is a strong nation, and we must never forget this great truth.

Reminds me of sf4’s suggestion that I jot down my own conservative platform and let liberals comment on it. I’m still giving it some thought.

But getting back to the subject at hand…

It occurs to me that feminists have an awful lot of antipathy in store for an organization they claim stands for something they don’t understand. I mean, I know the feeling. I’ve had people try to draft me into things like Amway, L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology, Mormonism, etc., going on and on about some kind of wonderfulness without expounding too much on what exactly it was they were trying to say. Yes, I find it a little irritating. No, it doesn’t make me want to lash out with those kinds of feelings the feminists seem to have; indeed, seem eager to showcase. So I call bull-dookey.

It also reminds me of something Larry Elder said once:

Conservatives consider liberals well-intentioned, but misguided. Liberals consider conservatives not only wrong, but really, really bad people.

And in addition to that, it reminds me of something I said; specifically, Thing I Know #217:

Populism, according to the hard evidence that has managed to come my way, has a tough time staying positive. It seems there has to be a dirty so-and-so who’s due for a come-uppins, behind every energized populist movement. That might be because populism seeks to decide issues according to the satisfaction of the majority, and most of us like to feel our way to a decision rather than think our way through. Naturally, laying the smack down on an enemy feels a whole lot better than actually solving a problem.

The NeW/Feminist back-and-forth is explained completely, I think, by Elder’s observation. Or nearly so. I read comments on NeW and the worst they think about their feminist sistren, is that the feminists have either been hoodwinked or are hoodwinkers. The feminists think this about the NeW ladies — that, or much, much worse.

And they say so over and over again.

I wonder if “middle-of-the-road” people are as leery as I am, of people who have to show off over and over again what good people they are. Now there is something I’d like to see the whole country talking about — and it’s a much bigger issue than conservatism versus liberalism or NeW ladies versus feminists. If you’re a good person who does good things, and you damn well know it…you just…keep on keepin’ on, right?

On the other hand, if you’re a bad person and you know that, or you try to be a good person but you don’t feel very good about your success in being good, what do you do? You call yourself a “feminist” and make tedious and repetitious comments about what a bad person someone else is, who doesn’t believe in the same things you do.

When Do We Start Battling Our Ugly Stereotypes, As Opposed to Substantiating Them?

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Your defense is well-suited to any social meme that has developed a rugged exo- or endoskeleton. Feminism has neither. It’s been using a jellyfish-like form to wiggle out of trouble for quite awhile now with this “nailing jello to a tree” deflection-of-criticism approach.

That’s metaphorical for what some of our most prejudiced male chauvinists sometimes say about women overall, I would add: Women insisting on having everything their way, and then refusing to take responsibility for it. So if that’s a stereotype feminism wants to fight, it seems to me feminism could be doing a more efficient job of fighting it. From what I can see, feminism has almost been working to perpetuate it, and your “Not Our Fault” posting continues the trend.

My constructive criticism for this blogger — bloggrix, I guess — as she fisks away about supposed female privilege. The nearly-uniform spirit in each and every nugget is that any unintended consequence of the feminist movement is to be laid at the feet of something called “the patriarchy.” There is nothing bad about feminism and nothing good about patriarchy; everything about feminism is good, and everything bad that seems to result from it is that guy’s fault.

The truth is that feminists are individuals. And their movement is chock full of double standards — a relic of classic chivalry benefits men and diminishes women, it surely must be abjured from our polite society. But when another relic diminishes men and benefits women, the ambition within the feminist movement to polish that sucker off suddenly does a pratfall. Including women in selective service? Oh, we can certainly have a debate about that…as long as nothing ever comes of it.

There is a kernel of truth in what she’s saying. A lot of feminists will say “Yes! We want the responsibilities as well as the benefits!” This margin of legitimacy to the point she wants to make, ironically, is the very weakness of it. Feminism has done such a poor job of defining itself with regard to any conundrum that arises, within the “middle ages have actually been pretty good to us” family of conundrums, that it now benefits from an oozing, amoeba-like shape with neither form nor substance. What is the “feminist” take on women being required to register for selective service? We can go out looking for feminists who say one thing about it, and other feminists who say another thing about it. We’ll find plenty of both. The movement itself is agnostic about it.

Except it isn’t. Because here’s where the argument really breaks down. A feminist advocate retires from a position of leadership, and if she has two possible successors, the more militant one will win the spot. We’ve seen that happen for decades now, during which time feminism has become at certain times visceral and nasty. It shouldn’t have happened that way. To insist on equal pay for equal worth, is actually a pretty benevolent motive. But now we have feminist advocates pushing to get commercials taken off the air so that none of us dimwit men ever get the ideas in our heads that maybe our wives and girlfriends can bring us a beer from the fridge now and then.

And as I’ve pointed out garrulously, to excess, refusing to do nice things for someone, someone with whom you’re supposed to be sharing a life, is mean. Especially if you’re refusing just because he’s a guy.

But getting back to the subject at hand: The stereotype of a woman, in the mind of a true male sexist, is someone who insists on having everything her way and then when there are unintended consequences for this, she doesn’t take responsibility for it. If any individual wants to entertain that notion, he’ll have to figure out whether it holds water based on his history of the women he’s met. But what of the feminist movement itself, as presented by this fisking bloggress? The refusal to take responsibility for unintended consequences…

Again, this is the result of the patriarchy. The feminist does not see this as a privilege, but rather a ridiculous sexism, particularly because society deems the display of emotion to be bad. We are not privileged; we are ridiculed and dismissed as irrational for displays of emotions. Feminists believe that the expression of emotion is healthy, regardless of gender.

Again, patriarchy. Blame it.

Again with the patriarchy. Feminists do not believe that men should be measured by their violence, either. This is the pressure of the patriarchy.

Blame the patriarchal Abrahamic religions. Women did not come up with the idea of circumcision, and we certainly didn’t invent clitorectemies. This isn’t a privilege; it’s yet another demented result of the patriarchy.

Again! Blame the patriarchy, my male friends. It’s not the feminists that are holding you back.

Again, patriarchy. Women are expected to serve as the primary caretakers of children. If we didn’t, then fathers would have to work less, take care of children more, and then they’d have more of a role.

I wonder what happens when very young males, who are bright but far too inexperienced to have an opinion about feminism one way or the other, trip across such neurotic excuse-making. The natural and reasoned human instinct is going to be to say “well, if when all’s said and done anything that turns to crap is automatically my fault just because I’m a guy and part of this ‘patriarchy’…I don’t think I want to be around anyone like this.” Or, of course, if you do have to be around someone you anticipate won’t take responsibility for unintended consequences, you’re going to have to go nuts with insisting that everyone be done your way.

It reminds me of a broadcast of the Tom Leykis program I heard back when Braveheart came out. There was that scene where King Edward shoved his son’s boyfriend out of a third-story window, and Mr. Leykis had a guest in his studio who was organizing some kind of protest against this scene among homosexual advocacy groups.

A caller called in and posed a rhetorical question for which the guest could not come up with an answer. He said, (paraphrasing)

Isn’t this the stereotype about you people already? You go into these movies with your spiral notebooks, you probably don’t even know what the movie’s about and you don’t care, you just jot down some thing you can protest. And here you are bearing that out.

The devastating thing about that point is that you can demonize the guy making it to your heart’s content, expressing theatrical indignation about “you people” or hypothesizing about warped and bigoted intentions in some other way — but the point still stands. The advocate’s stated purpose is to enact cultural reform, toward a more tolerant society. And yet by choosing the tactics he’s chosen, even if he ultimately succeeds it’ll be two-steps-back-and-three-forward, because his first move is to organize, protest, point, condemn, mock, scold…and, generally, insist on having everything his way with no compromises.

Dictate how some other guy he’s never met and never will meet, is supposed to make a movie. If I was a gay man who was concerned about how the homosexual community is perceived within society overall, I’d have been very pissed about it.

Just as, if I was a woman or a feminist, I wouldn’t find this bloggress’ “defense” to be terribly helpful.

Thing I Know #8. It is hard to get people to argue about private matters, but easy if you can somehow turn them into public matters.

Memo For File LXXII

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Three Bitter Beers, Pretty Good!It’s Friday night and that means it’s time to find something worth discussing that doesn’t have anything whatsoever to do with him.

So how’s this…

Two weekends ago I showed up at a “company” picnic with some of the folks who used to be my work colleagues. My old boss’ boss is a big fan of fancy beers. Takes tours around Germany, drives down to San Francisco to buy up the imports and the indie domestics…always has interesting stories to tell. Loves to talk about it.

This isn’t the boss who died at home a few months ago. His boss.

Anyway…I brought over a 750ml wine bottle of my famous homemade barbeque sauce, and bartered it away for three of his best, which were ice-cold. That July day was especially hot, and I gulped down all three the minute I got home. All three had that bitter, Bite You In The Back Of The Tongue taste.

It was a good outing, including some folks who hadn’t been in the office in years. Gathered before 11:00, didn’t say our good-byes until almost three in the afternoon. As for the beer brands, they’re plenty good enough to jot down for future shopping excursions, at my local spot as well as online.

Now you know too. And tomorrow’s Saturday.

You’re welcome.

Update: You know, there’s an interesting segue on this theme of beer, because earlier this evening I was screwin’ around on Google looking for beer-related things…and what did I find? Yet another “Can I Get An Amen Here” screed at feministing. What are we being directed by our feminist matriarchs to find reprehensible this time? (This time, it should be noted, was eleven months ago…but…)


(Cymbals clash!)

A commercial about a mechanized women producing ice cold frosty delicious beer. Presumably, for a guy. Grrrr! Outrage!

You’ll be pleased to know there’s a thread under it with fifty-plus comments, mostly from slave-feminist, ass-kissing toadies. Oh, yes! We’ll be writing to Heineken right away, using out very angriest e-stationery!

I don’t know. I was single and available a few years back, at a fairly seasoned age for being in the market, and I had a sudden revelation about women, or rather, my feelings about them: After all I’d been through I wasn’t that interested in what I’d be able to catch, as what I’d be able to avoid. I didn’t want to filter out any quality material, but somehow I just knew if I could ask exactly the right questions, I’d make a much more successful match than most single people in their late thirties. And that’s exactly what happened.

My scoring system wasn’t exactly a simple thing, but basically it distilled down to this:


A. Bring it. Max points!
B. Bring it, provided I say “please.” Just as many points as A.
C. Bring it, but expect me to bring you things when you ask me too. Yes, just as many points as A and B. Really. Yeah, what a chauvinist knuckle-dragger, huh?
D. Bring it, but only if it’s your “turn,” after keeping careful track of who owes what to who. MAJOR loss of points. Down to almost zero. No interest, whatsoever, in being in a relationship like that ever again.
E. Don’t bring it, because your identity has come to be attached to not doing things like that. Negative points. Sure you’ll make some other dude happy. See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.

Feminism, to me, has come to be a bunch of women who are “E.” People keep telling me I’m wrong about that, and then I see fifty comments in a row like what you’ll find under that post.

Who’s the target market for this ad? Really, really misogynistic futurists?

How much beer does Heineken think Newt Gingrich is going to buy?

Yep, and this commercial is supposed to appeal to women too. Because it is, after all, all about the menz. If you drink this beer, it shows that you are willing to put up with this shit, and maybe a little of the sexxxay robotness will rub off on you. Hooray, instant approval from men! Just what you always wanted.

The robot is clearly designed to look like a woman in order to play into the stereotype that the primary female role is to be a server/hostess, both in the household and out. That is why it’s misogyny.

There, see what I mean? They’re talking in circles about “sexxxay robotness” but the robot got herself in trouble simply by doing something for a man; something about a “primary female role.”

That’s how you make the leap. From Do Not Establish An Identity That Has To Do With Helping A Man — to — Establish An Identity That Has To Do With Not Helping A Man. They set out in their feminist endeavors to cleave down a single silk hair the long way, and the intellectual tool they use to do it is not a scalpel, or a butter knife, but a sledge hammer. Naturally — they fail. Before you can say “Can I Have A Beer?” they’re chiding each other for even thinking about getting a man a beer, never mind if he just rescued them from a bad part of town with a flat tire, opened that darn pickle jar for them that just wouldn’t budge, adopted their half-dozen whelps they had by some long-forgotten high school scumbucket, saved their favorite kitty from a starving pit bull, or…said “please.” None of that matters; you’re simply not supposed to do nice things for a man, period.

Supposedly, it’s more complicated than that. I don’t think so. I really don’t think so. There is no surgical precision here. Any & all enthusiasm along the lines of pitching in and helping out, to live life in a spirit of true partnership with one another…is out the window. Pitched overboard. Tossed into the wood-chipper. And along with any true commitment to living life together, as a twosome, you can forget about anything that really matters to you. Domestic tranquility. Being a father to your kids. Buying groceries fewer than four times a week. Vacations you really enjoy. Hanging on to your money.

Hey PrincessAnd having a cold beer. It’s an unpleasant truth of life: A woman who refuses to bring you a beer, probably won’t be that crazy about you grabbing one for yourself either. “Get your own damn beer” doesn’t mean what you might think it does.

I hope no one gets the idea, from comments like this, that I place a lot of priority in judging a woman’s character on whether she’ll bring me a beer or not. That would be barbaric and primitive.

But, I certainly do appreciate a woman who is inclined to go ahead and do it for me. Or for any man. I get the distinct impression that the number of years I have left on the planet, is derived rather rigidly from how many minutes I spend around women like that, in whatever capacity, versus how many minutes I spend around those “E” types. “Can You Get Me A Beer?” has become a reasonably accurate litmus test to figure out if a prospective long-term enchantment has a problem with her goddamn attitude, and Lord knows how much money and grief it can save a younger stud approaching the age ripe for dating seriously. It’s very much like what young ladies do with us, when they keep an eye out for how much we tip the waiter — you know, that timeless advice handed down from mother to daughter, however we treat “The Help” is probably how we’ll treat our wives. I think that’s a fair test, and an accurate one too. So is the “ask for a beer” test. Be classy and polite as you can possibly manage, but toss the question out, keep your butt anchored to that chair, and see what happens.

How different things would be, if I tried that with my ex-wife.

Update 7/26/08: This one definitely goes in, because…

1. It’s loaded with nostalgia. The pull tabs, the “wet look,” the sideburns, etc.
2. Her knights rescue her from the dragon, and she does what a decent princess does. Fits right in with our theme.
3. It’s my old stomping grounds.
4. She’s a product of the feminist movement’s “growth spurt” phase, right after it got going. When it was feelin’ it’s oats, so to speak. And yet, she’s just a sweetie. LESSON…LESSON…for certain people who need it…but might not absorb it…
5. Cross-eyed cat??

Let’s just stop beating around the bush: As it’s been pointed out before around these parts, beer is a wonderful beverage for human companionship — even if it’s substandard beer that tastes like deer piss. It is the ultimate social drink. The taste is not the point. The point is getting together and appreciating each other, when we would otherwise have not.

And there really is no more pathetic creature than a woman who resents a man who’d like a beer brought to him. These fragile biddies, the trouble with them is — the guy who demands that it be brought to him, versus the fellow who’d simply appreciate it, they can’t tell ’em apart. Those two dudes are exactly the same, in their eyes.

And that’s a very sad thing to see in a woman. It’s like a guy who can’t drive a stick-shift. Men should know how to work a clutch, and a woman should know how to recognize grace and good manners when they’re right in front of her. Now, the guy who can’t tell who’s being nice to him and who’s being something of a dick, or the woman who grinds gears, I can cut them both some slack. But each one of the sexes has an area in which mastery is to be expected, and I think what’s above in this paragraph, nails that down pretty well.

If she doesn’t, and if she acts like those sourpusses over on feministing, snarking away when she catches wind of guys who like to have beer brought to them…you know what? She is being (wait for it, here comes the ultimate insult) — economically foolish. Really. That’s the unsung wonderful thing about us guys. A beer is an adequate, I say abundant, almost excessive, thank you. No matter what. This is what our less enlightened and less pleasant females can’t grasp about us. They, for their own advantage, really should figure it out, sooner rather than later.

We buy you a beer, you buy us a beer.

We hold the door open for you, you buy us a beer.

We throw our fine suit jackets in the mud puddle so you can walk across ’em without dirtying your precious feet, you buy us a beer.

We haul your five tons of crap and your cross-eyed cat up two flights of stairs, you buy us a beer.

We rescue your five children from a burning building at three in the morning, and then adopt them and pay their way through college, you buy us a beer.

In all those situations, and many more, the beer is more-than-adequate payment. It isn’t even payment, it’s gratuity. You’ve just surpassed all our expectations. Guys are so easy that way. Black men, white men, red men, yellow men, Republican men, democrat men, redneck men, urban men, old men, young men — you’ll never hear any one of us, ever, say “oh, a beer, what else are ya gonna do for me?”

You bring us a beer, and it’s all good. More than all good. We’re like the puppy you just fed. Friends for life.

Explicit Threat of Rape

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Jessica at Feministing is none to fond of the newest Goodyear ad…

My mistake. She’s actually searching ancient dusty archives in an effort to get herself pissed off. And succeed she does…

Is it just me, or…

*Sigh* When people who call themselves “feminists” begin a sentence that way, I just know this will end well.

Is it just me, or is this commercial telling women that they might get raped if they don’t buy Goodyear tires? (I know there’s no explicit rape threat, but the woman walking alone in a scary dark alleyway says it all to me.)

The makers of a product are demonstrating the advantage of their product and using visuals to illustrate why said advantage is desirable. A good chunk of the household budget can be justifiably spent on keeping the females within it warm, safe, comfortable and dry, and cannot be justifiably spent to keep the gentlemen that way, because that would be silly.

It’s called “having a good thing going on here.” And feminists are known for not appreciating it.

Let’s give Jessica some credit, though. Things don’t spike on the absurd-o-meter, until you get into the comments, at which time the ad is torn to shreds for failing to prop up the late seventies stereotype of the ass-kicking woman who knows how to kick ass, ride motorcycles, and change a tire as well as any man.

This is a classic illustration of how feminism died. We men didn’t do it. These brittle biddies would never admit it, but the way they’re applying their movement, it stands for — among other things — the notion that a woman’s place is down on the ground reefing on rusty, corroded lug nuts with a tire iron, scraping her knuckles on the pavement. Like I said, they’ll never admit that; but the ad dares to say otherwise, and look at all the rotten vegetables they’re throwing.

Could someone let the feminists know we didn’t have cell phones yet in the 1960s. And, back then, yes a lot of women appreciated having “a man around.” In fact, some women do today. Deal. Also, it looks like sexism of all kinds has been permanently resolved, since feminists need to go digging through 45-year-old archives, imposing their modern-day social mores on what they find beneath the dust and cardboard, in order to reach the emotional state most desirable to them: PISSED OFF.

Just like vampires that have run out of humans and are forced to dine on rats.

I tremble for the seismic activity that shall ensue when the feminists discover Shakespeare.

Question For Feminists

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

What does having sex with lots of people have to do with promoting equal rights for women?


Friday, July 11th, 2008

Wow, talk about link spaghetti. Let’s try to keep it all straight.

Male privilege came first — compiled by, among others, Amp at Alas who explains:

In 1990, Wellesley College professor Peggy McIntosh wrote an essay called “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. McIntosh observes that whites in the U.S. are “taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” To illustrate these invisible systems, McIntosh wrote a list of 26 invisible privileges whites benefit from.

As McIntosh points out, men also tend to be unaware of their own privileges as men. In the spirit of McIntosh’s essay, I thought I’d compile a list similar to McIntosh’s, focusing on the invisible privileges benefiting men.

Due to my own limitations, this list is unavoidably U.S. centric. I hope that writers from other cultures will create new lists, or modify this one, to reflect their own experiences.

Since I first compiled it, the list has been posted many times on internet discussion groups. Very helpfully, many people have suggested additions to the checklist. More commonly, of course, critics (usually, but not exclusively, male) have pointed out men have disadvantages too – being drafted into the army, being expected to suppress emotions, and so on. These are indeed bad things – but I never claimed that life for men is all ice cream sundaes.

And so the list of male privileges commences, and what a Pandoras’ Box it has become.

Some folks like me will tactfully suggest that there, lies a lesson for us all. Anyway, here are the first five:

The Male Privilege Checklist

1. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.

2. I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true.

3. If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.

4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities.

5. I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers are.

ballgame at Feminist Critics points to a creative destruction, and then responds with more than a few articles of Female Privilege.

His first five…

As a woman …

1. I have a much lower chance of being murdered than a man.
2. I have a much lower chance of being driven to successfully commit suicide than a man.
3. I have a lower chance of being a victim of a violent assault than a man.
4. I have probably been taught that it is acceptable to cry.
5. I will probably live longer than the average man.

This is then cited and linked by David Thompson, who points to a couple more interesting tidbits. An unbelievable article linking violence with maleness; yet another feminist take on male privilege; and, a hodge-podge of more bullet points for the female-privilege list:

Brandon Berg offers a few further points to mull, including:

If I marry, there is a very good chance that I will be given the option to quit my job and live off my husband’s income without having my femininity questioned.

If I become pregnant, I and I alone choose whether to terminate the pregnancy or have the baby. As a result, I can be reasonably certain that I will never be held financially responsible for a child I didn’t want to have, and that I will never have my unborn child aborted without my consent.

Because I am not expected to be my family’s primary breadwinner, I have the luxury of prioritising factors other than salary when choosing a career path.

Although I am every bit as likely as a man to allow my sex drive to compromise my judgment, I will never be accused of thinking with my clitoris.

Sweating Through Fog also shares some checklist possibilities:

I’m entitled to the benefits of a safe, orderly society, but no one expects me to risk my personal safety to maintain it.

When I find myself with others in a terrifying, life-threatening situation, I have the right to be evacuated first, once the children are safe. Others can wait.

If I see someone else being attacked, I’m not expected to risk my own safety to defend them. It’s okay for me to wait for others to intervene, and it’s also okay for me to criticise others if they don’t.

And this is linked by Ace, who is then linked by Maggie’s Farm, where I found it.

As an intellectual exercise, each side of this list-building is only useful to me insofar as it helps to peg down how much jealousy and resentment there is out there. That, and once again the feminist movement has been nailed the same way it usually is: It organizes for the purpose of calling attention to what females are supposedly missing, never once pausing to contemplate the surpluses that are packaged with those deficits. The unmistakable moral, which I ordinarily would not deign to repeat, is the one from John Badham’s War Games (2003) — but since that’s from twenty-five years ago I suppose I should go ahead and pop it up.

Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

The one from Teddy Roosevelt seems even more relevant…

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Memo For File LXIX

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008


Former work colleague Deanna Troi (not her real name) writes in with a triple-threat of an idea:

Three world problems solved……your thoughts and hey maybe info for your blog

Ok here goes ~~

1. The plastic floating in the ocean

2. The melting Polar Ice Cap

3. The increasing unemployment

MY PLAN….WELL………..of course you know its a combination of all three…….

Take all the plastic garbage and recycle it into a large plastic blanket…….in sections………..put it over the ice, melting ice, former ice at the Artic Pole…….this would create a large pool cover, blocking the sun from melting by insulating it .

This would generate jobs to gather it, create/manufacture it, and maintain it.

Ok….I know it sound silly and simple but……it “could” work……don’t you think…..?

Later Gator

Well, my initial thought had to do with something I’d been noticing for a long time: People in positions of authority, at some time or another, tell just about everyone you care to name to (to be polite about it) FECK OFF. John McCain’s said it to conservatives plenty of times, and Barack Obama just did it to our buddy Glenn Greenwald, to Greenwald’s great annoyance. But never environmentalists. Nope, environmentalists, who exist for the purpose of stopping things and making nothing go (except environmental movements), pretty much get every little thing they want, all the time. Big things, little things, in between things. Nobody in a position of authority ever tells a tree hugger to FECK OFF. With gas up toward five bones a gallon, there is more pressure now to show ’em the heave-ho than there ever has been…it might happen…but it hasn’t just yet.

And so it occurred to me that ignoring environmentalists would, directly or indirectly, address all three of these. Like Samuel L. Jackson said in The Incredibles, why don’t we do what we told our wives we were gonna do, just to shake things up a bit? — Why don’t we tell environmentalists to stick it where the sun don’t shine, just for a change of pace?

Another Item!

Gerard saw the clip we linked of that extraordinarily impressive montage of “I’m Not Here To Make Friends”…and he had an idea very much like Counselor Troi’s…

Could somebody please raise the money and gather the will to put all of these pathetic assholes in one single location and call in an overwhelming napalm strike on it? Please?

We’ll keep that one in mind.

Yet another Item!

Jessica over at Feministing, long an advocate of the hyper-populist “Can I Get An Amen Here” brand of feminism, which is nothing but a long procession of bitter hostile trial balloons sent up by feminist individuals for the endorsement of feminist groups along the lines of “I think this should be screeched at, can I get some help???”

Well. Jessica would like to let loose the dogs of “Can I Get An Amen Here?” feminism, upon some of those who practice it. Especially the ones who have been drinking before appearing on live and televised interviews.

For those of you who haven’t already been following it, here’s what went down.

Moe and Tracie appeared on Lizz’s show drunk. Very drunk, it seems. You can watch the whole video here, and the more controversial clips here and here. I was pretty much appalled by the whole interview. But it was the commentary about rape, abortion and birth control that have garnered the most criticism…The gist of it is Moe and Tracie said some extremely offensive and uninformed things – especially about rape – that they’re now being taken to task for. (They were later said to be jokes, but no one in the audience laughed.)
Here’s the short version for those who don’t feel like reading this monster of a post: 1) Whether or not you say you represent feminism, when you write about the subject to a ridiculously large audience, openly identify as a feminist, and make appearances to talk about feminism – you are taking on responsibility for the way feminism is portrayed. 2) It’s awesome to use irony and humor as a tool – but if you’re not using it in a way that hurts women, is it really worth it?

This ties in, because I think Counselor Troi’s concerns about the floating plastic are an apt metaphor for the feminist movement. In the same way you can’t viably entertain any sort of plan that involves sticking a sort of giant pool-cleaner tool into the Pacific Ocean and bundle up all those tiny bits of plastic, you can’t nail down what the feminist movement is all about either. You find a feminist who gets caught unabashedly, unapologetically and unashamedly hating men…you raise the concerns this gives you about the feminist movement to another feminist…and you get back this doe-eyed innocent look, Oh no, I’m not all about that, I just want equal pay for equal worth!

And it is this kind of nail-jello-to-tree-ism that has given the feminist movement enormous benefit throughout the decades. They have been able to advocate the most hardcore, borderline-insane nonsense — like, for example, we need to believe Anita Hill over Clarence Thomas because “women don’t lie about this stuff” (That’s one of the worst examples, but there are others). Patently absurd positions like that one, are owned when it is convenient, and then jettisoned when convenient. The feminist movement ends up being a rather hodge-podge, disjointed, undefined pastiche of floating debris, just like the Great Plastic Soup out in the ocean. It can’t be criticized because it can’t be defined.

And now poor young Jessica has realized it is this lack of a endo- or exo-skeleton that has landed the feminist movement in trouble, so she seeks to lay down some rules about “taking on responsibility for the way feminism is portrayed.” Sorry, sweetie. You’re trying to close the barn door long after the horse has left. Feminism, in 2008, is about intellectual lawlessness. It is about extending the indestructible umbrella of political cover of “Equal Pay For Equal Worth” over the rigid, hardcore extremist types who don’t deserve such cover…the “All Men Are Potential Rapists” brand of feminists. They are, by design, all part of the Great Plastic Amoeba of feminism that has no shape, has no structure, has no rules, and therefore cannot be faulted. What dear Jessica is trying to do, is roughly akin to making a pet out of the world’s largest jellyfish, and trying to saddle it up.

Another Bear on a PipelineSo Counselor Troi…here are my thoughts.

1. Scoop up the Great Plastic Soup for those bits, as best you’re able;
2. Make a giant plastic bulls-eye out of it;
3. Take it to the Arctic where all the ice is supposed to be melting down;
4. Put our drunk feminists on the bulls-eye along with the environmentalists who won’t let us build any power plants or drill for oil;
5. Add to those, all the reality show contestants who “aren’t here to make friends”;
6. Like Gerard said. Napalm the sucker. That takes care of the plastic, the drunk feminists, the enviro-Nazis, and the vapid silly contestants.
7. And the ice.
8. Jessica will be much less stressed-out, too.
9. Plus, the contestants won’t make any friends, which they didn’t want to do anyway.
10. Check back in a year, I’ll betcha there’s plenty of ice, and plenty of polar bears to go with.
11. I got a feeling our population of brain-dead cliche-spouting reality show contestants will also have replenished (although I’m not sure about that).
12. And jobs galore. Especially if we make an annual habit out of it.

I just love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Defending Feminism…Lamely

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Via Kate:

Unambiguously Ambidextrous raises some issues (Part 2) with the historical record of feminism, and what it has done. Which, of course, is the same as attacking it because feminism is sort of an “endangered species” in the world of the politically correct. What you might call a “sacred cow.”

The result of the rise of feminism in western civilization has been a double-edged sword, affording Canadians the luxuries of an increase in income and wealth, at the expense of outsourcing population growth and rapid demographic shifts from the mainly European settlement population. Added to this is the destruction of the nuclear family, high divorce rates, leading to psychological problems, increased crime, and higher rates of poverty. As the economy evolves to reflect the status quo of one man and one woman working all the time simultaneously, it becomes more and more difficult for Canadians to live in the traditional role where the woman stays at home and has children.

Canadian Cynic defends feminism. Kinda. Not really. Actually, Canadian Cynic attacks Unambiguously Ambidextrous with sarcasm, which is an effective technique of derogating something without putting forth an actual position of what it is you’re trying to say.

Feminism is the cause of everything bad that has ever happened since men made the monumental mistake of giving women the vote.

And when I say something like this:

My article was written in good faith in an attempt not to gain recognition, but to engage in a dialogue about feminism.

I actually mean that I’m right, you’re wrong and things would be so much more civil if you just admitted it and then shut up.

Broadsides attacks the entire topic. Actually, she Godwins it, saying that anybody who attacks feminism is a Nazi. I think. Actually, Broadsides is using sarcasm too, so it’s difficult to impossible (by design) to try to figure out what it is she’s trying to say.

Which is maybe a good move. The one time Broadsides veers her broad side away from sarcasm, is the one time she makes the least sense:

Never mind that, for many women, the nuclear family where the wife/mother stayed at home was a psychological, if not physical, prison which led to, among other things, depression and prescription drug abuse.

Uh…so staying home and taking care of your kids is a sure path to prescription drug abuse?


Wow. So many problems with that, I don’t know where to begin. Why bother.

But I’m more than fascinated to learn of this debating technique used by Broadsides. If you want to attack someone’s lifestyle, all you have to do is come up with some stories about someone tripping out on prescription drugs…or just one. Ah screw it, just make it up if you have to.

Come to think on it, I think Broadsides herself is living in a “psychological, if not physical, prison.” Let’s watch her closely.

She Doesn’t Like Rush Limbaugh

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

Language AdvisoryAmazingly, you have to wait a MINUTE AND A HALF before this “feminist” unloads on Rush Limbaugh with any specifics. Up until then, the main point of her video is that Limbaugh — and by extension, anybody else who says “irresponsible” things — needs to check with her first before being allowed to communicate with any significant numbers of people.

What’s irresponsible? Whatever she doesn’t like. As I said…you have to wait a minute and a half before she goes into detail. The detail in question…that bit about feminism being started so ugly women could get dates. (“Access to the mainstream of society,” Undeniable Truth of Life #24.)

Wow, how ineffective. If Rush was wrong, you could simply debate the point and squish him like a bug. This feminist chose not to do that…opting, instead, to argue as persuasively as she could that Rush must not be allowed to say what he says, or that others must not be allowed to listen to him. So there must be something to it.

That’s the problem with basing your WHOLE argument around “I don’t like this, can I get an amen here?” — opining away, then moving on to the next issue, lather, rinse, repeat. It atrophies aggressive thinking, and in some measure it validates the opposition. But that’s just stating the obvious. I feel a little silly even having to jot it down. But tragically, “feminist” is coming to be a word that describes people who somehow can’t catch on to this. Especially in colleges, which is where young people are supposed to go to learn how to noodle this stuff out.

Just saw a nice fireworks display, for a great price. Free. So I’m feelin’ all big & into free speech. Let’s take a minute or two to study someone who wants to take it away. They’re definitely out there.

P.S.: What’s up with the snotty overlay messages? This clip was linked directly from Feministing, and apparently someone there didn’t realize there are all these subtitles that don’t seem to have been inserted by anyone terribly sympathetic with the feminist’s message. Oh well, that’s their problem not mine.

The Worst Double-Standard

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Jessica Valenti, owner chief operating officer cook & bottle-washer of, got an interview and thirty-nine seconds therein she said something I thought was amazing:

Given her opportunity to pick out “the worst double-standard” between geese and ganders, she chooses “the one on the cover” of her book. And that would be He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut.


Not that spellbinding until you think of all the other answers lovely Jessica could’ve provided as the worst double-standard.

There’s the draft. If we do have one, it’ll apply to the guys and not the gals. Jessica could’ve unleashed her righteous fury upon that one.

Family court, by tradition, presumes that children are “better off with the mother” and it takes phenomenal circumstances — you don’t want to ask what — to get those in charge to even consider slacking off on that particular double-standard.

A guy is kind of normal, more-or-less, if he downloads an exciting application and then starts fiddling with it day and night, to the point where his paramour sees very little of him for days at a time apart from the back of his head. We put a tremendous pressure on our gals that they shouldn’t behave that way; they’re encouraged to be precocious little gab-goblins, at all hours of the day, even if they don’t feel like it.

There’s the pay gap. I’m still told, often, that that’s supposed to be important especially to people who call themselves “feminists.” Apparently that’s not quite accurate.

Mothers waltz into doctor’s offices and order up diagnoses for learning disabilities — for their sons. When they don’t understand how the sons are supposed to mature into men. And why should they? They’re women. Fathers, no less confused about how girls become women, don’t do that with their daughters. Huh, there’s a double-standard.

You can easily round up a hundred prime-time television commercials for headache medicine that have little or nothing to do with each other…each one of which involves a married (apparently) couple. The husband will be using — all hundred times out of a hundred — Brand X. The wifey will be using the correct product, and in so doing, be availed of a coveted opportunity to correct him. All hundred times. That looks like a double-standard to me.

How about the television shows that are justified by those advertisements? Family show. Father, mother, kids. She is a gorgeous, albeit weary, central character and he’s just a stupid chuckle-head who lucked out the day he met her. He spends his days making messes and nervously trying to figure out how not to tick her off (worse). She spends hers trying to keep him from burning the house down.

Movies for families, are no better. The Mom’s role is to lend a soft shoulder to the teary-faced sad little moppet, after he kicks the winning goal in the soccer game and glances up into the stands to see — horrors! — Daddy isn’t there! That unreliable Dad broke his promise…it’s a constant father-child predicament that bubbles up…and you know why. Because he spends too much time at his job. No issues with Mommy spending too much time at work. No issues with Mommy breaking promises. There’s a double-standard.

With all that, Jessica’s idea of a truly deplorable double-standard is that the sluts aren’t given props for screwing around. They jump so many bones, end up pregnant and don’t know who the father is…and they can’t get their applause from the rest of us. They aren’t elevated to a pedestal, like us pimps, for creating ruined lives and paternity suits.

Except — they are.

There’s more than enough shared and individual blame to go around. Miranda repeatedly acts like an idiot, catalyzing the catastrophic meltdown of Mr. Big that sets the plot (such as it is) in motion. Charlotte abets Miranda by helping her cover up her misdeed. And even relatively sensible Carrie withholds her disapproval of how Miranda treats her amazing, if imperfect, husband, Steve. This movie makes you wonder whether unconditional love is a good thing. It also makes you wonder what men see in these damaged, egotistical and judgmental dames.

The main characters and actors, so amusing as semi-stylized, semi-real vessels of contradictory urges and appetites on TV, look stranded or, worse, terminally self-absorbed here. You start looking forward to Cattrall’s Samantha, who at least retains her snap. With her id wasting away in Los Angeles while she serves as manager and homemaker to her adoring yet work-occupied beau, she grows obsessed with the stud next door – and brings more comic heat to her throttled desire than the others bring to their Cinderella-like or Murphy Brown-esque fantasies. (Candice Bergen does a disposable cameo as a Vogue editor.)

We’ve got all the slut-worship a twenty-something know-it-all could ever want. Like their male counterparts — the sluts sleep around, in truth and in fiction, breaking hearts, earning the condemnation of some and the sick hero-worship of others. It’s about as symmetrical as a “double-standard” can get.

I do remember about the time Ms. Valenti would have been born, when there was a double standard. I was taught to think of it as elevating women to a higher pedestal, and in hindsight, it seems to me that’s exactly what it was. Girls were thought to be more disciplined and cultured — guardians of our society’s decency. But the previous generation of Jessica Valentis sounded the alarm.

They fought for the “rights” of women to pick up all the worst habits of the dudes. Mission accomplished. Now we have a postmodern culture filled to the brim with sluts. It seems to be the one double-standard we worked the hardest at equalizing, and Jessica Valenti is still unhappy about it because she wants our women to screw around some more.

I don’t see how this helps the feminist movement.

Think about those other double standards. If you wanted to more even-handed treatment of men and women in family court, you could rally for reform in…our family court system. Valenti’s slut-double-standard, on the other hand, can only meet “reform” through some method of policing the thoughts private citizens have in their hearts and minds.

I’ve never understood this about feminism. Throughout my life, some among us have harbored suspicions about it, thinking of it as perhaps unbecoming to a free society in which private citizens have a sacred right to the thoughts and emotions between their own ears. Feminists, throughout that time, have screeched at us that no it’s not about that — it’s about equal pay for equal worth.

But then when it’s time for feminists to assign priorities, their hunger is to encroach on the private thoughts. Reforming articles in the public domain, such as public statutes, public jurisprudence, draft policies, and the like…that doesn’t seem to fascinate them much, even if such articles show demonstrable, destructive, gender-based bias. Every time I see the movement crusading for change, it’s crusading for that change in a private dominion — transgressing on thoughts and value systems that rightfully belong to individuals.

So it’s interesting to me that Ms. Valenti is given the opportunity to name one especially odious double-standard, and she names that one — the one that has traditionally looked on women, and seen some shred of nobility that the more primitive dudes might not have. This is the one she’d like to eradicate before all others.

With apologies to Arsenio…that’s a real Thing That Makes You Go Hmmm, right there.

Update 6/18/08: Without rushing out to buy the book, it seems one of the most complete summary listings of double standards listed therein, that may be acquired, would be this preamble posted at Google Books:

Double standards are nothing new. Women deal with them every day. Take the common truism that women who sleep around are sluts while men are studs. Why is it that men grow distinguished and sexily gray as they age while women just get saggy and haggard? Have you ever wondered how a young woman is supposed to both virginal and provocatively enticing at the same time? Isn’t it unfair that working moms are labeled “bad” for focusing on their careers while we shake our heads in disbelief when we hear about the occasional stay-at-home dad? In 50 Double Standards Every Woman Should Know, Jessica Valenti, author of Full Frontal Feminism, calls out the double standards that affect every woman. Whether Jessica is pointing out the wage earning discrepancies between men and women or revealing all of the places that women still aren’t equal to their male counterparts—be it in the workplace, courtroom, bedroom, or home—she maintains her signature wittily sarcastic tone. With sass, humor, and in-your-face facts, this book informs and equips women with the tools they need to combat sexist comments, topple ridiculous stereotypes (girls aren’t good at math?), and end the promotion of lame double standards. [emphasis mine]

I have to admit my curiosity is aroused; I suppose you could scold people into replicating your feminist beliefs about women deserving equality in the workplace, courtroom, bedroom or home, but I have no idea how you’d force people to grow into middle age the way you want them to.

Waitaminnit — courtroom??? Women don’t have enough equality in the courtroom yet?

What inequality do women suffer in the courtroom? Really. Too much eagerness to keep ’em “in the lifestyle and manner to which they have become accustomed”? Too easy to gain custody of the kids?

Are they being denied justice somehow? And if that’s the case, how is that less important than the double-standard that confers a stigma for sleeping around indiscriminately, on oversexed little tarts who sleep around indiscriminately?

Ah…I’m going to have to zip on out and pick this puppy up. It takes some real balls for feminists to insist women are suffering inequality in the courtroom. I gotta see this.

Update: Thing I Know #52 was scribbled down, in haste, in a coffee shop early in the morning a couple years ago, on my Treo smart phone, along with about five or six other things I know. It has turned out to be a prominent and important Thing I Know that describes much of what goes on in the sphere of human endeavor today…and a great deal, out of that, that fails.

I have never been pleased with the way it’s been worded…

Thing I Know #52. When angry people make demands, the ensuing fulfillment never seems to bring a stop to their anger.

Just the way the nouns, verbs and adverbs stack up against each other, which ones are strong, which ones are weak. “Ensuing” is wrong. As a single sentence, it’s hard to read. That would be alright if it was conveying an idea of great complexity. But it isn’t.

And so in honor of Ms. Valenti I am re-wording a Thing I Know, for the first time — Thing I Know #52, the Valenti Thing I Know. This Thing I Know deserves another polishing, another sanding, another cleaning and another coat o’paint. It is critically important. It has had it’s own category here. Something that becomes pertinent to our discourse so often, should be polished down a whole lot better.

As Yul Brynner would say — thus it shall be written; thus it shall be done.

Thing I Know #52. Angry people who demand things, don’t stop being angry when their demands are met.

Uh Oh, They Found The Urban Dictionary

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

This flew under my radar. The floggers over at Feministing found out about the Urban Dictionary Entry for the word “feminist” and their reaction was…well…not good. Cassy Fiano, in turn, found out about that, and in turn did exactly what we did. Laughed her cute round little ass off.

I don’t want to speak for Cassy as to why she found this so amusing. But I know why I do. It has to do with how I defined the flog, a whole year ago almost to the day.

The feminist blog is not like the political blog. Surely you’ve noticed by now — a conservative blog, and a liberal blog, will make it a point to highlight what is to be deplored, and what is to be adored. Permanently. On the masthead. In the sidebar. Someplace that won’t move. This guy’s a fool…that other guy is a hero. Three cheers for so-and-so…boos and hisses to such-and-such. And the positive stuff will always at least be somewhat present. Usually, it’s an invitation to join a webring, hosted by like-minded people.

Not so with the feminist blog. These are not out-of-computer feminists, who on occasion at least pretend to like things or people. No, in Internet-land, the feminist blog is a decidedly negative fountainhead of bile. It exists to find things reprehensible, and to broadcast such findings frequently, voluminously, and with grandeur and gusto. The feminist blog is like the siren luring Jason and the Argonauts to certain doom, with tones screeching rather than dulcet. All other purposes are secondary.

This is a meaningful transformation. In my lifetime, orthodox feminism has clung to a veneer of plausible deniability — never straying far from the “Who, Me?” motif. Every insinuation that feminism had something to do with caustic things…even legitimately cynical things…was invariably answered with a peevish counterinsinuation — hey, no, we’re just here to assure fair play. No man regards us as an attack or a threat — no man has any need to — unless he is somehow “insecure.” A level playing field is all we’re about. Like what, you got a problem with that?

The Internet feminist labors under no such motif. Chalk it up to the sinister, anti-socially shading effect of the Internet itself. The cyber-feminist is a decidedly darker version of her flesh-and-blood sister. She is acrimonious, jaded, angry, petulant. She makes no apology for being so. Not only that, but if a day is spent and no nastiness has managed to bubble to the surface, it seems the day has been a waste. It’s part of the identity. The kitty has claws — or else she’s not worth the trouble of being.

It’s as if Feministing read about my definition, and decided someone should put some effort into making sure the prediction comes true. Especially with what comes next:

Check out masthead after masthead after masthead on some feminist blogs if you have trouble envisioning this. You’ll see what I mean. The “author” is represented by silhouette, or by avatar, or by an actual photograph. There is no smile…not unless it’s been made up into some misshapen sneer. Read the actual posts — and the problem is more pronounced still. Time after time, the theme is left intact, unshaken, unwrinkled, unmoved.

It is this: Somewhere, something is, and it ought not be. That’s it. Overall, it seems the fem-blog hasn’t much else to say. Sensors have detected something somewhere that exists, that we think should be banished to oblivion. Can we get an ‘Amen’ here? [emphases mine, in the hear-and-now]

We should be fair with those angry bitter feminists because this isn’t a “chick” thing. All populist movements eventually dissolve into this kind of ooze. “Somewhere something is, and it ought not be…Can we get an ‘Amen’ here?” And see you tomorrow when we tell you what else you’re supposed to hate. Why did this target earn our scorn? That’s seldom mentioned on the flog. Very seldom. You’re just supposed to get it.

Well it’s a little tough to just see that with the Urban Dictionary definition of “feminist” — today’s object of scorn.

Despite claims by some moderate (and misled) feminists to the contrary, feminism is not a movement for the betterment of men and women. If it was, it would be called humanism.

Feminists are not concerned, for example, about the fact that four times as many men commit suicide as women or that fewer and fewer boys attend college or graduate from high school.

Feminists demand that we treat men and women as exactly equal unless it suits women to differentiate between the sexes.

For example, a typical feminist will see no irony in arguing on one hand that women need more protection from domestic violence, rape and sexual harassment but on the other hand that women are just as good as men at construction and fighting crime, fires and wars.

Call it a human-rights movement or a political movement. Whatever suits you. It’s on the down-and-out. This is undeniable, because if it still found purpose and existed for constructive purposes, the feminists would come out of the woodwork and police their own to see if there was any legitimacy whatsoever in the criticisms above.

That didn’t happen. They came out of the woodwork, alright — but more like fire ants emerging from a mound. “All right girls — attack!” seems to be the rallying cry.

Not my idea of a meaningful productive dialog. But, like I said before about that word

Multiple times a week, now, I hear the word “discussion” being used to propose something that isn’t a discussion at all. The word “dialog” is abused more feverishly, recklessly, and sadistically. I see it in Barack Obama’s call for a “dialog on race” — did anyone, anywhere, think a genuine dialog had anything to do with what he was requesting of us?

And that’s what feminism has become, I’m afraid. It goes through the motions of being a productive, back-and-forth dialog. But it has nothing to do with what that word is really supposed to describe.

How it got here, is explained in detail in Feminism, A Play in Ten Really Short Acts.

How Come There Aren’t More Male Nurses?

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Proving much of what was in the post previous…don’t miss this fascinating exchange between sidebar resource Ross of Rossputin, and Nancy.

Nancy wants to know Why Women Don’t Run.

The statistics are grimly familiar. Just 24 percent of elected statewide officials and state legislators are women. Only 18 percent of the nation’s governors are women, 16 percent of members of the U.S. Congress and 10 percent of big city mayors. And the reason why, say authors Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox, who surveyed thousands of male and female qualified professionals, “There is a substantial gender gap in political ambition; men tend to have it, and women don’t.”

Ross responds.

If I informed you that (based on the last data I could find) fewer than 6% of registered nurses are men, would that be “grim”? What about 9% of American elementary school teachers being men? Is that “grimly familiar”?

Nancy responds to Ross, saying…

You also never explain why men aren’t nurses or elementary school teachers, although you imply it’s because they just don’t want to be. But is that because they wouldn’t like the work or because these jobs traditionally have been held by women and therefore are undervalued?

Ross responds again.

First, the numbers are at their all-time lows; there used to be more men in both fields. Second, the idea that a job is “undervalued” because it’s “traditionally been held by women” strikes me as the same old feminist claptrap without foundation. What do you mean by “undervalued”?

Life imitates art…which was written by me to imitate life in the first place. In Act II, Diana Goddess of Womens’ Lib storms the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, demanding to know why there aren’t more women in positions of authority and power. By Act III, she’s storming a passenger jetliner back in the present time, wanting to know why there aren’t more men in subservient and subordinate positions. After all, there won’t be any room for female jetliner captains if you don’t force some of the existing male captains into early retirement, and bust some of the other ones down to male-stewardess.

It starts out trying to help people, and looking like it’s trying to…not too many pages have to be turned, before suddenly it’s all about destroying people. That’s the reward for all of us, for championing coercion and bullying, placing it on the altar of “You Have To Support It Too”…and calling it “choice.”

Feminism In Ten Acts

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008

Here’s what makes feminism tough to explain to a ten year old: When you’re that young, you’ve missed out on all the big events. Another thing that makes it tough is, I happen to agree with it. The parts of it, anyway. The high-minded ideals. The goals. The intents.

Devil WomanIt’s the implementation that has been all wombat-rabies bollywonkers crazy. And that isn’t just my idea, it’s everybody else’s idea too. Or a lot of other people, anyway…

Maybe it could have been carried out better. Maybe it was doomed from the start. Maybe — in my opinion, this is a probably — the flaws that existed in feminism, had to do with the placement, over time, of the feminist personnel within the feminist occupations. The hardcore militant types were the ones who rose to prominent positions within the advocacy groups. So the timeless recruiting phrase, “it isn’t about bashing men, it’s about equal pay for equal worth” — had, throughout the entire lifespan of feminism, a grain of truth to it. But if you were inside the movement, and you really thought that way, you didn’t get far.

The spokesperson-and-above positions…the positions that had real power to them…went to the dedicated types. The acrimonious types. Feminism became brittle…and then it shattered.

They’re all very heady concepts to explain to the fourth or fifth grades. But maybe my play can help. After it’s sanitized from where it is now, that is…

Misogynist Hot Sauce

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Nice!I was just thinking Cassy Fiano‘s critique of the bitter feminists, who are bitching away cantankerously — this time about Taco Bell’s virtual bikini model campaign — was deserving of, ahem, some more exposure.

The feminists are complaining about Taco Bell’s new ad campaign, called “Direct Daniella”, in which they’ve partnered up with Sports Illustrated to give some lucky customer the chance to be the photographer in a Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition photo shoot.

They are, of course, offended and simply OUTRAGED!:

One of our readers sent us an email recently, rightfully confused as to why Taco Bell’s hot sauce packets are now printed with a website that leads you to perhaps the creepiest ad campaign ever. “Direct Daniella” has the user follow around a swimsuit model, taking pictures of her in a weird stalkerish webcam way.

Reader Karlen wrote, “What this has to do with lousy ‘Mexican’ fast food is beyond me.” Indeed. So I did a little digging. Turns out, Taco Bell has joined up with Sports Illustrated to promote the magazine’s swimsuit issue.

Exotic, huh? It’s like a big ole chalupa of sexism and grossness wrapped in some fetishization of women of color. De-licious.

See, folks, not only is this campaign steeped in sexism, but there’s also some racism, fetishization, and all around creepiness.

Because Taco Bell is letting a regular Joe photograph a supermodel rather than a “professional”.

Last time I checked, wasn’t the entire point of modeling to, uh, have your picture taken? Am I missing something? I’m female, and I’m pretty unoffended by this.

Well I’m not female, I’m a straight male and I happen to like looking at beautiful women in bikinis. Anybody got a problem with that…well…it just makes me curious. It is the Peeve That Has No Name — so many people willing to say there’s something wrong with men ogling women, so few people willing to say exactly why.

Commenter BelliButton, the ninth out of (as of this writing) 86, makes a decent attempt:

First time posting. Still a little nervous, what with being a Baby Feminist and all.

I can see where it -could- be harmless. I like my boy-eye-candy at times. The problem is that so often it doesn’t stop there. Some men (and I suppose this could be a trap for some lesbians too) become so wrapped up in the package that they impress these ideals on others, which most people can never fufill. It’s a lose-lose for everyone, since unrealistic requirements will lead to frustration on both ends and no one ends up happy. That’s why expectations for the physical exclusively tend to suck so much in the long run.

As a fantasy, harmless. As an ideal? Painful for both sides.

I remember Rush Limbaugh was vilified for pointing out “Feminism was established so that unattractive women could have access to the mainstream of society.” Seems to me we have some evidence here that he was absolutely right from the very beginning. How can this be taken any other way? BelliButton, a baby feminist, “like[s] [her] boy-eye-candy.” The problem being that “so often it doesn’t stop there.” Okay…so we have guilt-by-association on my side of the fence — she thinks she’s made an argument for somehow obstructing the view of good-lookin’ women in bathing suits, from those so inclined to view — but not a single word about how her boy-eye-candy might end up in the “lose-lose for everyone”…and don’t bother waiting for one.

And really, is there any need to mention that side of it? When’s the last time you heard a man belly-aching away about how Daniel-Day Lewis is raising the bar too high? How Fabio instills fantasies in women that are impossible for any real man to fulfill? That he’s worried his wife is thinking about James Van der Beek during moments of carnal bliss? That it’s impossible to ever, ever, no matter what, ever get my midsection as flat as Brad Pitt’s (which, they tell me, is true, and I haven’t bothered to find out for sure)? No man, not even the most pussy-whipped male, is going to be grousing away about this stuff. That’s because there is no “Masculist” movement. Rush is right. This brand of feminism is all about altering the economics of the meat market. It’s about giving you options when you’re a female and you don’t look that good. And it’s about doing that — not by eradicating outdated cultural taboos — but by imposing some brand new ones.

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that my most fundamental and profound individual liberties are inextricably linked to my freedom to look at good-looking women in bathing suits. Whenever & wherever I can do that without someone waggling a gnarled bony finger in my face, or cluck-clucking at me, filling my eardrums with tired cliches in a hostile nasally-rich voice that makes them bleed, I’m probably free to do whatever else I want to do that really matters. Maybe I can make a phone call to Osama bin Laden without the feds listening in, and maybe I can’t — that seems to be nothing more than a red herring. But if I can ogle some babes, I’m probably free, and if I can’t, I’m probably not. It is a far superior litmus test for real freedom. I know that sounds silly, but experience has shown it to be true.

The Deafening Silence of Feminists

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Becky Makes Sense TodayBecky is on a tear about the National Organization of Women and their bitching about toys instead of…oh, I dunno…Becky suggests saying a few words about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto? Seems like a reasonable idea to us. But NOW disagrees, apparently…

‘Tis the season for abundant toy advertising and shopping, so naturally the NOW office has been abuzz about the ubiquitous “Rose Petal Cottage” TV commercials. If you haven’t seen these ads, count yourself lucky. Honestly, if I didn’t know better, I would think they were beamed in from 1955, via some lost satellite in space. Or maybe it’s a deeply subversive parody that a clever (and rich) band of feminists snuck onto the airwaves in heavy rotation.

According to the makers at Playskool, the Rose Petal Cottage is “a place where her dreams have room to grow.” And what might those dreams be? Well, baking muffins, arranging furniture and doing the dishes. The voiceover even declares that the toy house will “entertain her imagination” just before the little girl opens the miniature washing machine and says – I kid you not – “Let’s do laundry!”

Now, I’m not knocking the important work of housekeeping, but this commercial is aimed solely at females (there are two versions — one designed to entice little girls and one targeting their moms). Products like the Rose Petal Cottage and the marketing campaigns that accompany them perpetuate the notion that cooking and cleaning are women’s work, and girls might as well start getting used to that fact at an early age. C’mon Susie, this scrubbing and ironing look like fun!

Of course the message of the Rose Petal Cottage would not be complete without its flip side . . . the Tonka 3-in-1 Scoot n’ Scoop truck. This commercial states its theory right up front: “Boys. What can you say? They’re just built different!”

Why yes, National Organization of Hags, yes indeed they are! You’re just figuring this out? Well, sounds like you have aways to go before you’re convinced…forty years so far…maybe someday you’ll wake up.


Wow, when Becky makes sense, she really does make a lot of sense. A female former Prime Minister was assassinated by a band of weird crazy bearded men who are opposed to women doing…….ANYTHING. You know, in a sane world, you’d think that would get NOW’s attention.

Well, they’re on the other side of the fence on this question. Becky and I agree. I respectfully yield to the Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever in the effort to figure out the NOW mind, because I’ve kind of given up on it.

Becky…love it when you make sense, doll. At least sixty percent of the time.

We Agree With Feministing

Monday, January 7th, 2008

…one of the angriest, bitchiest flogs around, if indeed it isn’t on the very top of the stack. But now we see the uppity, screeching flog makes some good sense. Stopped clocks, twice daily, and all that.

The ultimate in victim-blaming?

Apparently President Pervez Musharraf thinks that the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’ was her own fault. Seriously.

“For standing up outside the car, I think it was she to blame alone — nobody else. Responsibility is hers,” the former general told CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Or, you know, the person who killed her. But I guess I’m just traditional like that.

President Musharraf has been described to me as a lesser-of-evils from the point of view of the USA — walking a fine line, presiding over a truly messed-up nation, trying not to lean too far in support of or in opposition to the terrorists.

These aren’t the words of someone walking a fine line. They don’t look like it. Not to me, and not at all. They impress me as the words of a real asshat.

I know in this post-atomic age there’s a lot of foreign-diplomacy stuff handled through meaningless gestures…condemning this, deploring that…the strongly worded letter and what-not. Secretary Rice, is this a good time to toss out another one? If not, why not?

Feminism Is Dead

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

My ten-year-old son was asking “How come my mom talks about feminism as if it’s something that is still going on, and you talk about it in the past tense?” I explained that feminism was supposed to be a set of rules. It started out with one rule, that women were to have all the rights and privileges men had, including equal pay for equal work, and then this gradually morphed into a whole bunch of things. It got to the point where if you so much as acknowledged there might be inherent differences between the sexes, a feminist would be comin’ to getcha, like a real flesh-and-blood political boogeyman. This was actually years before Larry Summers had his little problem. So basically, people didn’t leave feminism, feminism left them. But the real kicker, I explained, was when Bill Clinton got in trouble for mistreating some women. One of the women he mistreated wanted her day in court, and he used his position of authority to make sure she didn’t get it. This is exactly what feminists tell us we’re not supposed to tolerate…and they themselves tolerated it, because they figured so long as Bill Clinton remained a powerful President who could abuse and intimidate people, their political movement was better off.

But they were wrong about this, because when people saw the feminists were nothing more than a cynical political feeding frenzy of mob-rule sharks, they abandoned feminism in droves. And now it’s “dead,” in the sense it’s quite safe to say we’ll never see it have the cultural effect it had in the 1970’s unless there is some major reform, with a daunting public-relations task to make it truly effective. This would be a true reincarnation. So “dead” is precisely what it is. And that’s a good thing because without this massive re-definition taking place, everything good about feminism, is in the past. On the current trajectory, Starship Feminism is cruising at maximum warp into the galaxy of totalitarianism. Controlling what people think, telling people what to do, ending the careers of big people whose latest innocuous gestures and remarks cause bile to bubble up in the throats of little people. The right little people. It’s a means by which wretched simpletons with nothing substantial to say, can climb on to soapboxes and start issuing proclamations greater than their own intellect. Equal treatment amongst the sexes, hasn’t got anything to do with what we call “feminism,” and hasn’t had anything to do with that for a very long time.

When he repeated such comments to his mother…she changed her mind, and now she refers to feminism in the past tense too.

Now if anyone would like to call this into question, or challenge any of it, then a great place to point them as the discussion kicks into high gear would be right…about…here. At Feministing. One of my favorite flogs.

…to say that the “second shift” is because of women’s genetic predisposition to housework is just absurd. And it lets men off the hook. Rena might be satisfied to spend her adult life as the happy homemaker, but the vast majority of us are not. See, those of us who manage to part with our Swiffers long enough to venture outside for a paycheck know that, as Rena notes, there are indeed minute-to-minute unpleasant tasks in the work world. But they add up to a lot more than a sparkling toilet. They allow women to have influence in the public sphere — the world beyond the “little kingdom,” where important decisions are made about the direction of society, and where money and power change hands.

No matter how many times women like Rena tell themselves they are “renegades” for liking housework, the fact remains that they’re taking the path of least resistance with domestic gender roles. That’s all well and good if it makes them happy, but Friedan called this a “mystique” for a reason. Most women aren’t as happy in this role as they tell themselves they are. As Moe puts it, “There’s nothing zen about chapped hands and Brillo pads.”

There ya go. A screed lobbed up into the air, like a cluster bomb or a pineapple grenade, in a vicious melee taking place on the innernets. The catalyst of this holy battle: Whether women should find housework satisfying or not. Gosh…uh, is it completely out of the question to, y’know, kinda let the girls figure it out for themselves? You don’t see us dudes issuing these high-minded proclamations to each other about whether we should all like sports or working on cars.

Well, I mean, other than fathers like me telling their sons what talents the sons should be nurturing so they’ll be ready for adulthood. And every now and then, some career advice to dweebs like me that if we don’t like sports, maybe for the sake of getting our next plumb assignment, we’d better learn how to pretend. Both those things seem to fall far short of what “Ann” is carping about here. Her message is crystal clear: I don’t like housework, and neither should you.

She goes so far as to say if anyone comes along to prove her wrong…if any woman ventures forward and professes to enjoy the housework that Ann says leaves the “vast majority” unsatisfied…that woman is too brainwashed to know what makes her happy. She can’t make up her own mind about this, she must be told. Ann, sweetie, there seems to be something more than a little chauvinist about that.

Ann’s not alone. Read the comments. Here and there, someone will frown on applying some sort of “you must despise housework” litmus test to feminists, but the consensus seems overwhelming that any insinuation women might be better at it than men, is to be deplored. So there ya have it: You must choose between the adoration of feminists, and reality. Anyone who hasn’t lived alone his whole life, will understand this. A lady reaches the end of her tether much quicker than her beau, when there are stacks of crap lying around that aren’t being used, and ought properly be stowed somewhere. She has a keener sense of smell. One might say she is to the dirty, streaky windows, which he could ignore for decades if left to his own devices…as he is to lights being left on. Hey, that’s just the way things are. But Ann, plus several dozens of people, say no. To avoid our condemnation, you must join us in repudiating reality

Nor can Ann be accused of perverting the feminist message. She can claim — correctly, and indeed, she has claimed exactly this — that feminism has sought since The Feminine Mystique in 1963 to culturally separate the fairer sex from things related to dishpan hands and waxy yellow buildup. The big question though is, how far back does this “thou shalt not think” stuff go? Does that go to 1963? More than one feminist has informed me that feminism is all about choice, which would logically mean in 1963, it would have been all about liberating women from the sparkling toilet. In other words, here’s another alternative; go after it if you want to, and if you don’t want to, no biggie.

I wasn’t around in 1963, so I don’t know if that was the message or not.

But I know what I’ve seen since then. I’ve met many a woman who’d just as soon stay anchored to that sparkling toilet, thankyewverymuch. I’ve met many a woman who doesn’t want a single thing to do with a paycheck…other than that spending-it thing you do once you get it. I’ve met many a woman who will go to absolutely absurd lengths to make sure she doesn’t have to step into an office, punch a time clock, answer to a boss, keep her lunch breaks down to a manageable duration, or fill out a time sheet.

No, I’m not going to say women, as a group, are unfit for the workplace. But a lot of individual women definitely are. And as individuals, they want to stay unfit for it. It’s a world they have no interest in joining. None at all.

And in forty-one years, I have yet to see anyone calling herself a “feminist” say “well, if you don’t want to do things my way, no biggie.” Not even close. It has come to be…and there is more than a marginal possibility that it started out to be…all about coercion, intimidation, and force. Choice? It might have had some relationship with it. Maybe the false promise of choice was brandished as a recruiting tool. Indeed, nearly all of the people I met who decided to support feminism, did so because of respect for choice. But today, feminism and individual choice seem to be opposites. When feminists do their arguing, they are almost always arguing over what everyone must do.

They want me to think it’s about freedom of individual choice. Reasons why I should think this, amount to…that’s what they want me to think. That’s all. No other reason.

Don’t Hire Bloggers?

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Heh. Well, there’s a certain logic to it I must admit. And yet I have to wonder. Any employer who figures this out from a magazine article, said magazine article, itself, figuring it out from John Edwards’ little problems in the Spring of 2007…how long would they have been able to meet the payroll in the first place? Not exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Act One: In early February, the John Edwards campaign announces the hiring of two writers, Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, both fairly well-known in the hothouse world of political Web sites. Liberal bloggers swoon at this Web-savvy move by the erstwhile vice-presidential nominee, not to mention the attention paid to liberal bloggers.

Act Two: Persons unfriendly to Edwards quickly unearth blog entries written by the women at their personal sites before joining the campaign, which strike some observers as anti-Catholic screeds, and others as typically scabrous blog commentary. The story of the politically incorrect bloggers spreads from the Web to the traditional press; hay is made by political pundits. Edwards distances himself from the statements but does not fire Marcotte and McEwan.

Act Three: Marcotte and McEwan resign in order to halt the barrage of hostile e-mail and blog-posts, and to stop the bleeding for Edwards. Anyone familiar with the long memory of search engines and the gaffe-phobic culture of political campaigns wonders, what was the Edwards camp thinking? How could it have been caught so flat-footed by the inevitable reaction to the very public opinions of its staffers? It’s not as if this scenario is new anymore: In 2004, the John Kerry campaign Web site killed links to other blogs after critics pointed to the incendiary words of one of the linked bloggers, Markos “Daily Kos” Moulitsas.

The Edwards campaign is close-mouthed about the details of the whole affair, including the internal politics of the hirings and departures, as are Marcotte and McEwan. But at least some lessons are clear, for campaigns as well as companies that allow people to blog (or that hire people who may blog): Google is forever, so you need to know what your people have said in the past and be prepared to answer for it.

Gee, I’m a blogger who likes to work. So maybe my personal biases are at work here. But I think this is retarded. If there’s one thing to be learned from the Edwards affair it’s this: politicians who want to be provocative and smarmy, are no longer able to choose the audience in front of which they provoke and smarm. Thanks to the search engines, they put on their show in front of everybody or they don’t do it at all. That’s a good thing.

Think on it for just a second or two. It’s obvious. Without the massive memory of the innernets, John Edwards would have put Marcotte and McEwan front-and-center during his speeches to Move-On-Dot-Org, and then he would have turned around and buried them deep when addressing…not just Catholics…but any religious institution at all. And he would have gotten away with it. Thanks to Yahoo and Google, those days are over, or are on their way to being over.

Frankly, I wouldn’t mind seeing Ziff Davis eat a little crow over this one. Hey all you other bloggers. ZD thinks you are just like Amanda Marcotte. Is that an unfair characterization? I’d love to see them come out and say so.

KOS Demands To Know

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Internet Tough GuyWell, chalk this one up as a win. A giant triple-scoop sundae win, with a nutty sprinkling of humor…but also a drizzling of caution.

The Edwards campaign has accepted the resignation of blogmistress Amanda Marcotte, the potty-mouth anti-Catholic shill who writes for the hard-left-wing feminist resource Pandagon. It’s a story of the unsuccessful straddling of the chasmatic divide between blogging, in which the need to please everyone is non-existent, and politics, in which the need to please everyone is…well, everywhere.

What I find nutty and humorous, is the DailyKOS guy insisting on finding out what happened.

Which ’08 Dem doesn’t want our support?
by Kagro X
Fri Feb 09, 2007 at 01:30:51 PM PST

Just yesterday, I outlined why the response to the manufactured controversy over the John Edwards campaign bloggers was the responsibility of all Democratic campaigns, and not just Edwards’:

[T]he real power of this game is that it separates Edwards from the Democratic pack, and isolates him. It allows the other Democratic candidates — after mopping their brows and thanking their lucky stars that they’re not (currently) in the cross hairs — to do the right’s work for them by taking the path of least resistance and either watching silently from the sidelines, or actively distancing themselves from him.

That gives the right undue leverage on our side of the aisle. Leverage to which they are not only not entitled, but which is revocable at our say-so.

The loudest voices calling for Edwards to dismiss his bloggers are — and no one can doubt this — never in a million years going to vote for him, either in a primary or a general election. So why are they allowed to drive his decision-making? Not because they can withhold votes from him, but because they can cause Democratic voters to do so instead….

But to the extent that the netroots seek to demand a show of loyalty by Edwards, that same demand must be made of every Democratic campaign. Today, the target is Edwards. Tomorrow, should this vendetta prove successful, the target could be anyone.

This fight, if Edwards is going to be called upon to make it, must be everyone’s fight. If the other campaigns cannot demonstrate that they would have displayed the same courage we call upon Edwards to display, then they benefit from the right’s strategy of divide and conquer. And to the extent that they benefit, they give a pass to and encourage such attacks in the future, and are powerless to stop them when the next one comes. All they can do is hold on tight, cross their fingers, and pray they’re not the next target. And that’s no way to win anything. Certainly not the White House.

Well, it’s not yet 24 hours later, and guess what?

Someone just didn’t have enough respect for you:

Bloggers heralded the decision to keep them; the Catholic League was outraged, and a top adviser to a rival campaign took a shot: “Apparently they’re more afraid of the bloggers than they are the Catholics.”

Who did it?

I want to know.

You want to know.

And now, they’ll be desperate not to let you know.

I’m just a silly little blogger, but I have this advice for whoever did it: Don’t you ever let me find out.

Ha. I love this stuff. Bloggers…not just any ol’ bloggers, but the folks who make the plural into a pejorative, lacking the maturity to even acknowledge, let alone accept, that other folks might have disparate viewpoints on things. Bloggers, of a decidedly leftist tilt, who are just a bit too aclimated to the blogging environment — press some keys, the computer will do whatever you tell it to do. Along they come, swaggering into the barroom of politics, in which anyone sober enough to mount a barstool must be appeased. And they can’t handle it. They’re used to ruling the roost. Here in the setting not for the meek, power must be shared. It’s too much for them.

Heh. Heh. “Don’t you ever let me find out.” I just love that one. Hey Sparky…your ability to mobilize the masses with your vast power of bloggification, has been weighed. It’s been measured. It’s been balanced against the similar attribute possessed by those you seek to tick off, and your side has been found to be lacking.

You really want a rematch?

Anyway. Now for the caution. There’s this meme going around that Marcotte got sacked, and she got sacked because she uses the fuck-word a little bit too much. This is taking flight along the hardcore-conservative side, in which the fuck-word earns universally the derision it deserves in some situations…and giving rise to a sentiment that bloggers who use the fuck-word had better look out.

I can’t hop onto that bandwagon for two reasons: One, obviously, I use the fuck-word around here. Two, it wouldn’t be logical or effective. Let me expound on Two somewhat…I could, tomorrow, take an oath to never again use the word “fuck” on my blog. It fuckin’ stops right now, mkay? Answer me this, then. Toward what end? To show that my points are so good, so sensible, that I can make them without using the word fuck?

Yeah there would be a grain of logic in that. I’d be able to see it; the people who agree with me, would be able to see it. And to persuade others toward my point of view, sure, I can do that without using the word fuck. But — what then am I to say about people who still blog about fuck this, fuck that, fuck whatever…I must be superior to them now, right? I must. If not, there was no point to my oath to stop using the word fuck.

And there was a point. Therefore, I’m a lot better than they are.

So what happens next time someone else comes along, who agrees with my point of view, and is not so enlightened as to stop using the fuck-word. What of that? If I can sit on my high, squeaky-clean anti-fuck pedestal and look down about all the other bloggers still swimming in this filthy sewer of fuck-word slime…are my opinions not being derogated anyway, by my own logic, when they’re being sympathetically echoed by bloggers who still use the word fuck?

So my note of caution is this. Be careful about the moral of the story. Marcotte didn’t get sacked because of her potty mouth. She didn’t even get sacked; she quit. The lesson is this: Blogging is a method of communication. Nothing more. It opens a new doorway to things not tried before, because there are aspects of it inherently incompatible with the political arena. If that were not the case, bloggers wouldn’t be saying anything new, and if they weren’t saying anything new we wouldn’t be talking about them.

And so it becomes a logical necessity that there are contagions in the blogosphere that don’t fit into what we’re used to seeing. And it’s not just the fuck-word. It’s this practice of deliberately trying to tick off the Catholics just to get high-fives and pats-on-the-back from your liberal buddies…like Ms. Marcotte does. Or, for taking the time to point out things you’re not going to be told by anyone who seeks to promote and preserve a public reputation.

Politicians can’t back this stuff. They might think they can, but they can’t. Their mission is to make everyone happy; bloggers have a mission that is directly opposed to this. Especially on the left, I notice. Every leftist agenda, it seems, is somewhat fuzzy on what exactly it’s supposed to achieve or how it’s going to go about making such an accomplishment…and much sharper about which demographic it’s supposed to tax, slander, over-regulate, and to sum it up in general, cheese off and make unhappy. Every leftist agenda seems to have such a target. Parents, white people, men, religious people, people who sell stock at a profit, beneficiaries of an estate.

What do our liberal politicians do? They paper over this intentional injury with euphemisms. What do our liberal bloggers do? They advertise how much damage they’re going to do against the targeted class. Go on, read some liberal blogs for a few minutes. So the marriage between liberal bloggers and liberal politicians is doomed to unhappiness and divorce, I’m afraid. The similar marriage on the conservative side, for similar reasons, is doomed to a similar fate.

Rather fascinating to be living through this experiment and thus to be invited to attend the wedding reception. I’m just not going to be spending a lot on the gifts and I’ll not be hanging around the reception for very long. The Edwards/Marcotte falling-out is an inevitability that awaits all who initiate the same enterprise, regardless of political leanings…and a generation down the road, we’ll be looking back on the practice the same way we, today, look back on pet rocks.

Update: Bill O’Reilly doesn’t think the way I do. His arguments are filled with “you do this” and “you don’t do that” and such and such is “beyond the pale,” whereas I’m more of an if-you-do-this-that-will-happen kind of a guy. He works with commandments, I work with consequences. He’s Pillar III and I’m Pillar IV.

So we have the same sentiments about this whole thing but we have different ways of pointing it out. Those sentiments can best be summed up thusly: These women are loonies.

His segment can be found here. Embedded below.

Collaboration Is Needed

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

…amongst our friends on The Angry Left. I recommend some kind of big national convention, with an extra-extra-early first draft of the 2008 democrat party platform to follow.

They need to figure out what really cheeses ’em off. Something does. They need to direct their attention away from the lame duck President soon…which they might do. They might. They might not. They might keep President Bush at the center of their message, up to and past the point where he’s no longer relevant, leaving the electorate sucking air in pondering what a Democrat President would do from 2009 to 2013. They might go sailing right over that cliff. It seems clear to me that their success is tied to their ability to get the horse in front of this wagon.

Well, I do not want them to succeed. I want them to fail. But I don’t want it to be a cakewalk for Republicans, either. When a Republican wins over a strong Democrat, we get presidencies like…Lincoln’s. The current President’s first term. Reagan’s first term. Yes, Jimmy Carter is weakness personified, but he was the incumbent. When the challenger is mortally wounded before the contest even starts, or is a strategic weakling, the victorious Republican gives us leadership like…Nixon’s presidency. Reagan’s second term. Bush’s dad’s term.

So I want Democrats to give Republicans a run for their money. Not like John Kerry in ’04. That was a statistical squeaker, but Kerry was a weakling. Even today, nobody knows what the hell he was saying. And nobody’s more pissed at him than the average Democrat.

And so, next to Democrats who agitate the public with messages that are overly-simplistic and easily-digested, nothing irritates me more than Democrats who agitate the public with messages that are self-confusing and hopelessly-tangled. The message cannot be clear, if the reason for dissatisfaction is not clear. And I daresay in the annals of political dissatisfactions in American history, no grievance has ever achieved so much volume with so little definition or cohesion, as the one our Angry Left seeks to mobilize now…that they’ve been trying to mobilize for six years. It’s as if they themselves are wholely unable to answer the question: Why is it that you guys are so angry anyway?

To those who say there is no confusion about this, I offer the ramblings of this poor agitated soul over here. Something to do with “netroots and grassroots.” Having declared that he will not support John Edwards after the fair-haired one fired those two ditzy liberal female bloggers, he seeks to answer the mystified query from his peers:

This seems crazy to me. This is going to be your make-or-break issue? This? Not Iraq, Iran, health care? Nothing that could happen over the next 12 months could change your mind?

And he does have an answer. Or two. Or more.

I don’t understand any of it, myself. But I think you guys had better get together and put your house in order. You’re not yet ready to contend.