Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Sexists behaving badly (as usual)

Emma Watson makes a speech saying that gender stereotyping hurts men two, so both sexes should work to end it. So some 4chan users vow to release nude pictures of her online, to teach the Evil Feminist Bitch a lesson. And no, allowing nude photos of yourself does not mean you asked for it. (Update: It’s a hoax put on by some anti-4chan group).
•The Boston Globe provides a quick guide to the events that had gamers freaking out and making rape threats this summer.
•Missouri now requires a 72-hour waiting period before abortion because—well, because they don’t want women getting one. And a Missouri politician is arguing that if Hobby Lobby can deny employees birth-control coverage, then his daughters (two of them adult) shouldn’t be able to get birth control from his insurer.
•Rush Limbaugh’s take on the recent NFL spousal abuse case: Maybe the wife thought being married to a rich and famous guy was worth being hit. A lot of other right-wingers are busy explaining how it’s all liberals’ fault.
•Men are more likely to get flextime requests than women.
•A recent article argues that men actually get harassed more online than women. Echidne takes a closer look.
•A miscarried fetus is found in a school bathroom. Police investigate because dammit, you can’t have girls miscarrying those precious babies! In Iowa, a woman falls down the stairs, then gets charged with feticide because she admitted she was uncomfortable about having the baby, so maybe it wasn’t an accidental fall, eh? Apparently the charges were only dropped because she was in her second trimester, so even if it was intentional she wasn’t a criminal under Iowa law. I’ve covered this topic before.
•In the same vein, a woman faces 18 months in jail because she bought her daughter an abortion drug.
•Here’s an oldie: Marriage counseling columns from the pre-feminist days when everything was the wife’s fault including loneliness and abuse. Which is an era I’ve blogged about here. On the plus side, domestic violence has declined since that era.
•A Brazilian woman goes to a skeevy illegal clinic to get an abortion. It appears she died and the doctor burned the body.
Now an upbeat ending:
•California makes affirmative consent a standard in campus sexual assault: people need to have “affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity,” though it can be nonverbal.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Body hair, hating men and other undead sexist cliches

•The Bloggess responds to a new Tumblr, Women Against Feminism. The Tumblr consists of photos of women holding up signs saying they are not feminist BECAUSE…
Some of them certainly have valid complaints, such as dealing with racism in the feminist movement. No question there are racist feminists and I’ve read several complaints about feminism not showing enough concern for non-white women. Though I agree with the bloggess, that’s not a reason to reject feminism as a movement rather than specific feminists.
Another woman posted that feminism is bad because feminists assume all women or all true women share their personal experiences. This one, I don’t buy. A lot of feminism isn’t about personal experience, it’s about statistics, politics, policies, rights: I’ve never had an abortion, I’ve never been sleeping with someone who got one, but I still believe in the right to abortion. I think it’s a right women should have, and I think giving the fetus equal rights invariably takes them away from women.
And then we get into cliches that were common back in the early 1970s. Like feminism is all about not shaving body hair (one poster says she doesn’t shave hers, but she’s not feminist because she’s not doing it to make a statement). More than one talks about relationships and says since they want a happy relationship with a man, therefore, they’re against feminism (and “all your lies about empowered sluthood and rape culture and evil men.”).
Same old, same old. “Feminists hate men” or “feminists are just pissed off because they can’t get a man” have been staples since the late 1960s. And the fixation on body hair is popular too, plus more generally that feminists are objectionable because they don’t look good, don’t dress to attract men and just aren’t womanly enough. As with the undead sexist cliche that feminists are too serious and humorless to be respected, this is not a standard applied to other activists. But the idea women’s worth is in their looks is deeply engrained.
As for feminists hating men or believing all men are evil … as someone who’s known a lot of feminists, bullshit (I could give a more reasoned answer, but I’m tired). There are some extremists who go there, but they are an extreme.
And of course, we have the inevitable complaints about feminists having a “victim complex.” Because pointing out victims exist and that some of them are worse off because of their gender (or race or faith) is just objectionable, especially when American women are so well off.
I can’t help wondering how many of the posters actually subscribe to a feminist viewpoint—like believing they should be paid equally for their work, have the same rights as a man and judged on their merit, not on their gender. I’ve known more than a few women who are very feminist, but they recoil from the name. Either because the name’s been associated by 40 years of right-wing shrieking with “ugly man-hating women who don’t shave” or because they honestly don’t think there is any sexism to fight (as I’ve mentioned before, it’s easy to think that if you don’t remember the pre-feminist era).
But if you really want a good response to Women Against Feminism, this 2011 post hits it out of the ballpark even before those Tumblr posts existed.

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

No, the people threatening rape are the good guys, she said! WTF?

I’ve written before about how some men target women for online harassment, for example because the woman criticized a comic-book cover. It’s particularly unpleasant to be a woman and discuss sexism in videogames. Case in point, Anita Sarkeesian, who’s been the target of death threats, rape threats and an online game that showed her being beaten up.
And now we have Christina Hoff Sommers who likes to style herself as a feminist (as opposed to an anti-feminist special snowflake), but a real feminist, not one of the ones who complain about sexism directed at women (she has written a book about how feminism has made it a living hell to be a boy). In a Tweet last week she declared that “I always expected other liberal-minded scholars to join me in exposing 3rd wave feminist lunacy.Never happened.But now the gamers r here.”
So apparently as long as they’re standing up to feminists, they’re the heroes. Even if they’re threatening rape or divulging personal information online. Or insisting that nope, all those death threats never really happened.
Even for an anti-feminist, that’s embarrassing. Or it should be.
The link above also discusses a set of articles on National Review on how women should be more understanding about sexual harassment and catcalls: Don’t they know the guy is deep down hoping that the woman will treat him the same way? Aren’t they flattered? And besides, she asked for it dressing like that!
I wonder if National Review would say the same thing if straight men were the regular victim of unattractive women (as opposed to fantasy catcalls from Scarlet Johanssen)? Or gay men? Oh, wait, I don’t wonder at all.
Echidne look at this in more depth.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Sunday morning linkage

A look at how much Tea Party groups spend on fundraising vs. what actually goes to candidates.
•RIP Aero. The company that planned to deliver broadcast TV over the Internet lost against the broadcasters (who claimed this violated copyright) and now failed to get itself reclassified as a cable company.
•Jim Fallows looks at the parade of Iraq “experts” who were completely wrong about the merits and outcome of attacking Iraq before, but are still taken seriously as worth of consideration. Case in point, William Kristol and Fred Kagan, who insisted back in 2002 that “The Iraqi threat is enormous. It gets bigger with every day that passes.” No argument with Fallows here—I’ve mentioned before how pundits almost never suffer (at least in terms of being taken seriously by their publishers) for being massively wrong.
•Best way to keep women virgins until marriage: Make ‘em marry young. Courtesy of defeating the dragons.
•A place in Europe where crossing borders is fun!
•LGM argues (as it has before) that Obama is indeed the most liberal president in recent history, and discusses the difficulties in shifting the “Overton Window.”
•Increasing discussion of campus rape has some male students worried asking a woman out will get them tarred as a rapist/harasser. This is actually an old, old bugaboo—as one student says, better training about consent and harassment and which is which might help a lot.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

My new And column and a couple of other links

The new And column is up, on the claims that talking about sexism, racism, homophobia etc. is “divisive,” except when you’re in favor of them.
•Roy Edroso looks at the right-wing reaction to the Ferguson shooting and subsequent violence. You’ll be fascinated to know that when cops shoot blacks on the street, it’s Obama’s fault.
•Hobby Lobby may be strong for its own religious rights, but it’s fine with preaching to school kids.
•A suicidal 18-year-old rape victim in Ireland asks for an abortion when the fetus is two weeks along. Although Ireland allows abortion in that situation, it took the authorities 17 weeks to decide she had to get a C-section instead. Because nothing’s better for suicidal rape victims than carrying their rapist’s baby for four months.
•From a few years back, a violent encounter between a young black man and cops (the violence being all on the cops’ side).
•To escape all the liberals on Facebook, try Reaganbook!
•Tyler Cowen, a libertarian who thinks mandatory vaginal ultrasounds are a great idea and that there’s no logical reason employers shouldn’t have the right to demand employees have sex with them also thinks the problem with the poor is they’re not moral enough, so they should try, say, converting to the Latter-Day Saints. Paging David Brooks, the dude’s on your turf!

1 Comment

Filed under economics, Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Art is lost the conservative said, let us weep for the soul of man.

Apparently John C. Wright’s claims liberals were anti-beautiful art fits neatly into the current right-wing zeitgeist. Here we have one conservative seething that liberals are destroying beauty in art because we left-wingers can’t separate art from politics. And rape apologist Rod Dreher explains that conservatives make better art because great art requires drawing on archetypes and archetypes are traditional and therefore conservative. Or something like that.
Of course, complaints about modern art and how liberals demand art be politically correct have a long pedigree, so perhaps it’s coincidence all these posts show up fairly close together.
•Another long-standing tradition is predicting that libertarianism is finally about to catch on. Roy Edroso links to an NYT piece trotting out the usual cliches: libertarians are contemptuous of both Republicans and Democrats (this is often taken as a sign of independent thinking in the media). Young voters support legalizing pot and gay marriage which shows they want government out of their private lives, just like libertarians, and they don’t like either party’s handling of the economy. Is this the hour of libertarian triumph?
As Edroso notes, the article hardly touches on economic policy, which is the truly big issue for libertarians: they want regulation on business gone, dead, pushing up daisies (as I’ve mentioned before, the real reason libertarianism misses it’s moment is that most people realize this would suck for everyone who’s not rich or a corporation). For a fair number of them, social libertarianism (get the government out of the bedroom) is not part of the deal or at least a minor one. One of the interviewees in the NYT story says that of course she thinks government should get out of deciding who can get married … which means changing the law to let gay people get married is wrong. And Rand Paul (held up in the article as the Great Libertarian Leader Who Can Win!) is willing to support a federal gay marriage amendment (he fuzzes his position a little here). And then there’s libertarian Bryan Caplan, who argues women were freer in the 1800s than today because the lack of regulation far outweighs the legal restrictions on women.
As the blogger Digby has pointed out, there was a lot more libertarian support for Republicans than Democrats in the past couple of elections (if someone has counter-statistics that prove me wrong, feel free to do so). Yet Repubs are more aggressively interventionist on war issues than Dems and very, very anti social libertarianism. The only libertarian issue where they overlap is deregulation. So apparently that’s good enough.
Slacktivist has noted many times that Roe vs. Wade was no big deal to most Protestants, including evangelicals, when it first hit. Then over the years, it became a flashpoint, a fundamental issue. And now the push against birth control shows the same trend as sexist theocrats—oh, I’m sorry, deeply religious people concerned that using birth control isn’t “openness to life”—push to establish anti-birth control as an issue for Protestants too.
•However you here far more complaints from feminists than right-to-lifers about discrimination against pregnant women.
•The right continues crying that culture is left-wing and conservatives must take it back somehow!
•A black woman writes about a shopping trip to Best Buy. She says she’s used to being asked for her receipt but even that wasn’t good enough, and an employee wouldn’t let her leave until a salesperson vouched for her.
•This profile of gun activist Larry Pratt is striking because Pratt seems to embody so many conservative aspects. For instance, when the government is crushing left-wingers he’s all for it but when it infringes on gun rights, it’s Satan incarnate. He emphasizes the absolutist radical-left approach (no deviation from ideology!) that I’ve mentioned before. And he’s apparently fine attending white-supremacist and anti-semitic conferences as a supporter.

3 Comments

Filed under economics, Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Drugs, birth control, police brutality and other links.

•The FDA has asked drug companies to stop selling antibiotics to fatten livestock. Consumerist concludes the unimpressed reaction from the stock market is a sign of how toothless it is.
•Digby reminds us that despite right-wing claims all women who use contraceptives are slutty, more married women use birth control than singles (mostly because as a group they’re more sexually active).
•A court has approved a company’s request to subpoena Amazon reveal the names of some anonymous reviewers. The company in question says the reviews are part of a negative campaign to discredit it.
•We have an infrastructure that’s aging and breaking but politicians aren’t willing to maintain it.
•This Ruthless World says no, motherhood is not “the world’s toughest job” because it’s not a job in any definition of the world.
•A new religious exemption for businesses—this time against allowing workers to unionize.
•Tumblr says someone posting footage from an illegal toilet-cam isn’t grounds for taking down the site.
•Whistle-blower Edward Snowden says checking out the occasional private explicit video is a fringe benefit for the patriots in surveillance. This is not surprising: I’ve heard the same thing about cops and IRS agents abusing their surveillance powers (checking out exes or daughter’s boyfriends for instance).
•I’ve posted here about the GOP’s sudden eagerness to deny its war on women. Here’s one tactic for having the cake and eating it too: push legislation reaffirming women’s right to birth control while supporting the right of employers not to have their insurance cover it. Which is close to the anti-abortion tactics: don’t outlaw it, just make it harder and harder to get (as I’ve mentioned before, some employers now claim even signing a form to say they won’t provide coverage violates their rights). Case in point, Ohio legislator John Becker favors a)a bill that won’t let women pay for abortions with their insurance and b)a bill that won’t let women who have Medicaid or public-employee insurance use it to cover IUDs. On being told IUDs don’t call abortion, Becker’s brilliant explanation was that “I’m not a doctor. That’s just my opinion.”
•A police officer puts a man selling bootleg cigarettes in a chokehold. He dies. It happens with chokeholds, which is why cops aren’t supposed to use them. Right-winger AJ Delgado tells readers that police brutality was fine when cops beat up liberal protesters, but that was then and now cops have a union, so that’s bad. And modern cell-phone video makes it impossible to ignore the violence (as noted at the link, the only way to ignore the violence against civil-rights protesters was to close your eyes, which some conservatives were happy to do).

Leave a comment

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches