Posted on | October 21, 2014 | 127 Comments
Monica Lewinsky: I was ‘in love’
with President Clinton
— New York Post
Monica Lewinsky: Drudge Ruined My Life
— Truth Revolt
This raises a subject long overdue for discussion. The Internet is merely a tool — a very powerful tool, but still just a tool. For Monica Lewinsky to depict herself as “Patient Zero” in an epidemic of “cyberbullying,” as she has done, inspires several questions: Was she genuinely a victim? What does the phrase “cyberbullying” mean? How innocent must a victim be, in order for their victimhood to be genuine? In the context of online disputes like #GamerGate, how do we determine who is the victim and who is the bully? Is it possible that our prejudices, including the set of prejudices we call “political correctness,” may prevent us from accurately assessing responsibility for these conflicts?
Here’s the thing: Monica Lewinsky committed perjury.
Perjury is a crime and a very harmful crime. President Clinton’s personal attorney, Vernon Jordan, prepared a perjurious affidavit, which Clinton certainly knew to be false, and Monica Lewinsky signed that affidavit knowing it to be false. The purpose of that perjured affidavit was to deny justice to Paula Jones, who had filed a lawsuit accusing Clinton of sexually harassing her. Clinton’s harassment was a violation of Jones’s rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and Jones, as the plaintiff, was entitled to true testimony from Lewinsky, who had been subpoenaed to testify in order to establish (as courts have determined harassment plaintiffs may do) that Clinton’s behavior toward Jones was part of a pattern of behavior by the defendant.
Instead of providing truthful testimony, Monica Lewinsky lied.
She perjured herself by signing that false affidavit and, in doing so, became part of a conspiracy to obstruct justice, to deny Paula Jones the remedy prescribed by law. Whatever we think about the concept of “sexual harassment” and the 1991 law that enabled Jones’s lawsuit, the law is the law. And both plaintiffs and defendants in lawsuits have a right to truthful testimony. Your sympathy for one of the parties in the suit cannot justify your lying under oath as a witness in an attempt to “help” them. Perjury is a crime, and conspiracy to obstruct justice is also a crime. It is possible that Monica Lewinsky did not understand the full legal consequences of her crimes, but (a) she damned sure knew she was lying, and (b) Bill Clinton is a graduate of Yale Law School, who was subsequently disbarred as a result of his own admitted perjury in the Jones v. Clinton case.
Because this is a very important story, it’s important to get it right.
We cannot allow the media to propagate myths about history, and Monica Lewinsky’s attempt to re-write her own part in recent history — to depict herself as a victim of cyberbullying, rather than as a criminal perjurer who attempted to deny justice to Paula Jones — should not be shrugged off or treated as one-day humorous punch line.
Because readers will want to comment on this story, I’m going to go ahead and hit “publish” and then come back to extend this little essay and aggregate reaction from other commentators.
UPDATE: How quickly we have forgotten the truth! Does anyone else remember that Clinton tried to claim that, once he became president, he could not be the defendant in a lawsuit for torts he had allegedly committed prior to taking that office? The Supreme Court ruled unanimously — 9-to-0 — in the landmark 1997 Clinton v. Jones decision that the president enjoyed no such immunity.
Also, have we forgotten how the Democrat-Media Complex, including Clinton henchman James Carville, viciously defamed Kenneth Starr, depicting that honorable man as the Torquemada of a 20th-century Inquisition simply for carrying out the duties of his office?
“[Ken Starr is] a sex-obsessed person who’s out to get the president. . . . He’s concerned about three things: sex, sex, and more sex. . . . It’s about sex. . . . [Starr] plants a story, he goes down by the Potomac and listens to hymns, as the cleansing waters of the Potomac go by, and we are going to wash all the sodomites and fornicators out of town.”
— James Carville, quoted in The Death of Outrage by Bill Bennett (1998)
Well, yes, Mr. Carville: A sexual harassment suit is necessarily “about sex,” and it was a Democrat-controlled Congress that passed the Civil Rights Act of 1991, under which Paula Jones brought her federal lawsuit against the man who harassed her. Your attempt to change the subject, to portray Ken Starr as “sex-obsessed” and make him the scapegoated villain in the story, was dishonest in the extreme, sir.
You are a liar, Mr. Carville, and Bill Clinton is a liar, and if you think honest people cannot see what a reprehensibly dishonest creep you are, you have another think coming.
Everyone who assisted Clinton in the Lewinsky scandal — everyone who tried to exculpate that guilty liar — covered themselves in immortal shame. After all was said and done, and Bill Clinton settled out of court with Paula Jones, paying her $850,000, that worthless son of a bitch’s hired liars kept lying on his behalf:
Robert S. Bennett, Clinton’s chief attorney in the case, said the president still insists Jones’s allegations of a crude proposition in a Little Rock hotel suite seven years ago “are baseless” but agreed to make the payment in the interest of finally putting the matter behind him.
“The president has decided he is not prepared to spend one more hour on this matter,” Bennett said. “It is clear that the American people want their president and Congress to focus on the problems that they were elected to solve. This is a step in that direction.”
All decent and honest people must recoil in horror at the way in which Democrats and their media allies, in their politically motivated project of covering up Clinton’s guilt, relentlessly smeared Paula Jones, Ken Starr and everyone else who told the truth about Clinton.
Let me tell you something, Mr. Carville and the rest of you hired liars on Team Hillary: Do you think honest people will believe that Monica Lewinsky’s timely emergence, with this carefully scripted tale of her “victimhood,” was merely a coincidence?
Like I said, you have another think coming.
You want to try and re-write history? OK, I’m going to invite readers to study the true history of the Lewinsky scandal. OK, I’m going to direct them to Bill Bennett’s book The Death of Outrage and to the official “Starr Report” of the investigation.
What part of “fuck you” don’t you understand, Mr. Carville?
UPDATE II: Have we forgotten how “that woman, Ms. Lewinsky,” has become a very wealthy woman as a result of her victimhood?
Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern whose affair with then-President Bill Clinton paralyzed the nation, has been shopping a memoir for several weeks, and according to the New York Post, she has apparently sold it for $12 million to an unnamed publisher. . . . Lewinsky . . . already cooperated with celebrity gossipmonger Andrew Morton for a 1999 book called Monica’s Story . . .
Yeah, here’s another book you should read:
No One Left to Lie To, by the late Christopher Hitchens. Welcome to the Internet, which is the enemy of lying cocksuckers.
The phrase “lying cocksucker” applies literally to Monica Lewinsky, and also to many in the media, literally or metaphorically.
— Undine (@HorribleSanity) October 21, 2014
UPDATE III: Readers will please forgive my use of Anglo-Saxon words to describe these lying cocksuckers, but “mendacious fellatio performers” doesn’t have quite the same rhetorical force. There is something admirably powerful about plain English words when we are speaking the truth about a lying cocksucker like Monica Lewinsky:
Sixteen years ago, fresh out of college, a 22-year-old intern in the White House — and more than averagely romantic — I fell in love with my boss in a 22-year-old sort of a way.
(The “22-year-old sort of way” that people fall in love, she wants us to know, involves [a] fellatio, and [b] mendacity.)
It happens. But my boss was the President of the United States. That probably happens less often.
Now, I deeply regret it for many reasons.
(Including the many millions of dollars in my bank account.)
Not the least of which is that people were hurt. And that’s never okay.
But back then, in 1995, we started an affair that lasted, on and off, for two years. And, at that time, it was my everything. That, I guess you could say, was the golden bubble part for me; the nice part.
(Lying and sucking cock? “The nice part”! She’s still a Democrat, you see.)
The nasty part was that it became public. Public with a vengeance.
(Because she perjured herself.)
Thanks to the internet and a website that at the time, was scarcely known outside of Washington DC but a website most of us know today called the Drudge Report.
(Reminder: Drudge got the story because Newsweek magazine spiked the story by investigative reporter Michael Isikoff. As a result of this — the Newsweek spike and then Drudge learning about the spiked story — there were days of media speculation until, on Jan. 21, 1998, the Washington Post finally broke the story on their front page. But yeah, Monica, you just keep on blaming it all on Drudge, you lying cocksucker. Don’t even mention Paula Jones or your own perjury.)
Within 24 hours I became a public figure, not just in the United States but around the entire globe. As far as major news stories were concerned, this was the very first time that the traditional media was usurped by the Internet.
(“Usurped” is a word that has a definition, an actual meaning. To “usurp” is to acquire authority wrongfully. What actually happened, as opposed to what the lying cocksucker Monica Lewinsky wants you to think happened, is that “the traditional media” had for many years been abusing their authority, so that as soon as the Internet permitted others to challenge that authority, the authority of “the traditional media” was exposed as illegitimate. There was a revolution against “the traditional media,” which forfeited its authority by using its authority in wrongful and dishonest ways. We now return you to the self-serving victimhood mythology of the lying cocksucker Monica Lewinsky.)
In 1998, as you can imagine, there was a media frenzy. Even though it was pre-Google, (that’s right, pre-Google). The World Wide Web (as we called it back then) was already a big part of life.
Overnight, I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one. I was Patient Zero.
The first person to have their reputation completely destroyed worldwide via the Internet. . . .
This is what my world looked like: I was threatened in various ways. First, with an FBI sting in a shopping mall. It was just like you see in the movies. Imagine, one minute I was waiting to meet a friend in the food court and the next I realized she had set me up, as two FBI agents flashed their badges at me.
Immediately following, in a nearby hotel room, I was threatened with up to 27 years in jail for denying the affair in an affidavit and other alleged crimes. Twenty-seven years. When you’re only 24 yourself, that’s a long time.
Dispensing with the italic fisking format — you can go read the entire dishonest transcript — let me note how Monica Lewinsky has transposed events and, in the process, shifted responsibility.
She was the one who (a) sucked the cock of the President and (b) lied about her cocksucking in a false affidavit, which was intended (c) to deny justice to Paula Jones, a previous victim of Clinton’s predatory sexual habits, and (d) secure for Monica Lewinsky the assistance of Vernon Jordan and others in providing her, the lying cocksucker, with employment in New York City. As I recall, there was both a quid (“sign this false affidavit”) and a quo (“we’ll get a job with Revlon, whose CEO is a Friend of Bill”), but as always in such situations, it was difficult to prove the “pro” part of this quid pro quo arrangement.
Without checking the timeline of the scandal, I distinctly remember (because I was involved in editing daily news coverage at that time) how the revelation of the Revlon job in New York and Vernon Jordan’s role as Clinton’s personal “fixer” brought into stark relief exactly how the Clinton Scandal-Control Machine operated.
The object of the game, in Ms. Lewinsky’s case, was (a) to get her out of Washington, D.C., (b) to put her in a respectable job where she didn’t feel disgruntled and could tell friends it was a step up from her White House gig, and (c) thereby to provide her with a plausible pretext for claiming, in her perjurious affidavit, that her duties at her new job in New York made it impossible for her to appear and be deposed as a witness in the federal lawsuit Jones v. Clinton.
This was the game. Everyone following the story at the time could see why it had been crucial for the Clinton Scandal-Control Machine to get Monica out of D.C., because if Paula Jones’s lawyers had gotten the opportunity to depose her in person, they were prepared to confront her with sufficient evidence to force her to admit the truth about her relationship with Clinton. Remember, testimony about Clinton’s predatory sexual habits was being sought by Jones’s lawyers as evidence that what happened to her was part of his pattern of behavior, and one key element of this pattern — i.e., Clinton’s preferring to have women perform fellatio, as opposed to normal intercourse — clearly could have been confirmed by Monica, if she had been willing to tell the truth under oath. Instead, she signed that perjurious affidavit and took that cushy job at Revlon headquarters in New York. Quid pro quo.
And also quod erat demonstrandum, you lying cocksucker.
UPDATE IV: In the comments:
Sworn to secrecy, she only told 11 people (including an erstwhile squeeze, one of her high school teachers who was 33 years old and had been married right along).
People forget so much so quickly, don’t they? Bill Clinton wasn’t the first married man Monica Lewinsky had sex with and, indeed, her own narcissistic compulsion to tell people about her sexual exploits was the proximate cause of her becoming a public figure:
Monica Lewinsky’s former high school drama instructor said yesterday that he had a long-running affair with her that began in 1992 during her college years in Portland, Ore., and continued until last year, throughout much of the time she reportedly has alleged she had an intimate relationship with President Clinton.
In an account questioning Lewinsky’s credibility, Andy J. Bleiler, 32, said through an attorney that Lewinsky had called him as often as four or five times a day after coming to Washington in 1995 as a White House intern, and that she talked obsessively about sex, including boasts that she was involved in a sexual relationship with a “high ranking White House official.”
Standing beside Bleiler and his wife at a news conference outside their home in Portland, attorney Terry Giles said the Bleilers “would both describe Monica as having a pattern of twisting facts, especially to enhance her version of her own self-image.”
So, Lewinsky’s former teacher (and former adulterous lover) says she has “a pattern of twisting facts, especially to enhance her version of her own self-image.” Did I mention she’s a Democrat?
Hmm. Nothing yet from @AceofSpadesHQ on this Lewinsky thing? Either (a) he's working on a killer post or (b) he's in a Valu-Rite vodka coma.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) October 21, 2014
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) October 21, 2014
UPDATE V: Let’s talk more about this quote:
Does anyone else notice the helpless passivity — “It happens” — with which Monica Lewinsky attempts to deny her own agency?
If you study psychology, you know that good mental health is characterized by a sense of personal agency, that is to say, a psychologically healthy person thinks of himself as the agent, the active force in his own life. He is in charge, he is “the subject of the sentence,” as it were. Even though unpleasant or unfortunate things may happen to anyone, people with healthy minds do not think of themselves as helpless, passive objects to whom things merely “happen.”
A healthy-minded person, finding himself in a predicament for which he is not responsible, immediately thinks: “What can I do? What are my options? How can I exercise agency and regain control over my own destiny, rather than to allow the continuation of this circumstance in which others are exercising control over me?”
This sense of agency requires an ability to look at your situation objectively and, if you are unable to obtain that objectivity, it impairs your ability to learn from your mistakes. Here is the thing: It is very common for people to find themselves in a situation where, in some sense, things seem to “happen” to them through no fault of their own. However, in such a case, it becomes necessary to ask yourself, “What did I do, or fail to do, which has made me vulnerable this way?”
Problem: Your job is a stress-inducing nightmare. You are underpaid and treated poorly. Your boss is a jerk, and your good work is repeatedly sabotaged by a handful of selfish, lazy and dishonest co-workers who are envious of your superior ability. No matter how hard you work, or how clearly you explain the problem to your boss, the mistreatment does not end. As a matter of fact, your assessment of the problem and attempts to rectify the situation are counted again you. You’re labeled a “troublemaker,” and the people who are actually causing the problem (who for reasons of seniority or favoritism or company policy are in some sense protected) escape the consequences of their sabotage. Never mind the harm their sabotage does to you, personally, but by impairing your ability to do your job, these selfish and dishonest co-workers are doing harm to the company’s productive efficiency.
It’s really that simple. The only reason those sons of bitches are able to make your working life a Hell on Earth is because you let them do it.
If you’re not willing to quit — just tender your resignation and walk out the door — then you are choosing to continue the problem. There are few situations in life where we are truly helpless, except where we have put ourselves into a bad situation by our own unwise choices.
Considering the lifelong series of bad choices that preceded Monica Lewinsky’s alleged “victimhood,” she has no legitimate cause to complain. Jeff Dunetz at Truth Revolt:
Ms. Lewinsky wasn’t a victim of cyber-bullying; she was a victim of having sexual relations with a person at or near the peak of power. She became news just as Donna Rice, Elizabeth Ray, Fanne Foxe and many others had before her.
Matt Drudge didn’t ruin her life just the same way that the Miami Herald did not ruin Donna Rice’s life. Drudge simply reported a huge news story.
If she wants to place the blame for the personal attacks she received, Ms. Lewinsky would be better served to look toward the “Clinton Machine,” whose history of destroying reputations is well-documented.
You hit the nail squarely on the head, Jeff: Monica Lewinsky deliberately chose to associate herself with people who were (and still are) dangerously dishonest and cruelly unscrupulous. If you lie down with Democrats, you’ll wake up with corruption.
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) October 21, 2014
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) October 21, 2014
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) October 21, 2014
UPDATE VI: Because there is other news happening on which I wish to comment, I will wrap this up. Here’s the point: Monica Lewinsky was/is externalizing responsibility for her problems.
This is a classic symptom of the narcissistic personality. A narcissist will ruin his own life and, rather than recognize his own self-harm, will irrationally transfer blame to a scapegoat.
Pick up a psychology textbook and look up “defense mechanisms” or “rationalization.” Nobody likes to admit error. Nobody wants to recognize their own worst tendencies. However, if we cannot be objective about our problems, we can never solve our problems. It is difficult, and perhaps in some ways impossible, to be objective about yourself. But if you find yourself in a bad situation that seems to resemble the last bad situation you were in, and if you keep finding yourself in similar situations, you have to recognize that you are a major cause of your own problems. In other words, it’s not them, it’s you.
Earth to Monica Lewinsky: You have a wounded ego.
This is the key to understanding narcissism. Somehow, narcissists suffered an injury to their ego, so that they are unable to cope with negative feedback. They cannot accept that they are wrong, because they can’t handle the shame. By contrast, a healthy person understands the sense of shame as useful feedback. If you feel ashamed of your action, this is a clue you did the wrong thing. If you are merely feeling tempted to do the wrong thing, your sense of shame at your wrongful urge is also a good thing. The narcissist, however, cannot cope with shame because their ego is damaged. And so, in an attempt to defend itself against criticism, the narcissistic ego begins to engage in rationalization, including blameshifting, minimizing and scapegoating.
Irresponsibility and narcissism go hand in hand. So the narcissist will blame-shift (transferring agency for their wrongful action to others), the narcissist will minimize (diminishing the harmfulness of their wrongdoing) and the narcissist will scapegoat, magnifying the harm (perhaps wholly imaginary) done to them by someone (perhaps entirely innocent) in order to justify their own irrational anger.
The narcissist’s choice of scapegoat is always significant. Consider, for example, Hitler’s scapegoating of Jews. What happened to Hitler was that he applied to the academy of art in Vienna and was rejected. Hitler inarguably had some artistic talent. However, he applied to the Vienna academy at a time in the early 20th century when “Modern Art” was all the rage, and it happened that Jews (including some members of the Vienna academy) were very much involved in the Modern Art trend. Now, there was a pre-existing tradition of anti-Semitism in Germany, and there was also a pre-existing tradition of romantic nationalism in Germany. However, the crucial factor was Hitler’s damaged ego. He had apparently developed at an early age a grandiose concept of himself (a classic narcissistic overcompensation for the damaged ego), and had invested this grandiosity into his artistic ambition. Being thwarted in that ambition because of his rejection by the Vienna academy, he blamed Jews for his failure, and spent many years thereafter developing his paranoid conspiratorial anti-Semitic ideas into an all-encompassing worldview. At the root of the problem was not the Jews, of course.
The root of the problem was Hitler and his damaged ego, his inability to accept his failure. Hitler could not cope with this shame — the sense of unworthiness which his rejection by the Vienna academy caused him — and his grandiose messianic dreams of becoming a World-Historic Leader made him the most infamous case of narcissistic personality disorder in history. Hitler’s entire career from the 1920s onward could be seen as a classic revenge gesture of the thwarted narcissist who, failing to get what he wants, decides to vindicate himself by a grandiose act of destruction. This quest for vindication, you see, is necessary for the narcissist to prove to himself that he was wronged, cheated out of what was rightfully his, so as to exculpate himself for his own failure and thus purge the stigma of shame.
Obviously, Monica Lewinsky is not Hitler. But she is doing the same minimizing/scapegoating thing, trying to vindicate herself, to evade responsibility for her own disgrace, and to make Matt Drudge and the Internet the scapegoat in this mythical drama she’s scripting for herself.
It’s sad to see people do this, and it would be even sadder if, with such an example as Monica Lewinsky in front of us, we did not take the opportunity to learn the lesson of her sad fate.
UPDATE VII: OK, just a couple more final points:
- I didn’t make clear the difference between blame-shifting and scapegoating. Blame-shifting is a defensive move, to avoid responsibility for your failure by saying others are actually at fault (or, at least, more at fault than you are). Scapegoating is an offensive move, turning someone else into a target of your vindictive rage. The scapegoat becomes, in the mind of the narcissist, a hated symbol of the wrong which (in the narcissist’s unhealthy ego-damaged mind) he has suffered. Think about a guy who cheats on his girlfriend, who then breaks up with him. The guy blame-shifts (saying that the girl he cheated with was actually at fault for his cheating), but if he then becomes obsessed with the ex-girlfriend who broke up with him, she’s the scapegoat. She hasn’t done anything wrong, except in the mind of the narcissist who scapegoats her. However, in many cases, the targeted scapegoat has little or nothing to do with the narcissist’s rage. In the throes of his irrational paranoia (which is often a side-effect of narcissism out of control) the thwarted narcissist may focus his rage on utterly innocent people. Rodger Elliott’s shooting spree in Santa Barbara was such a case. The people he shot had done him no wrong, but in his twisted mind, they were symbolically to blame.
- Notice how Monica Lewinsky can’t distinguish between “falling in love” (i.e., a subjective emotion) and the wrongful acts of sucking the president’s cock and committing perjury? Unhealthy minds are impulsive in this way. Their actions are out of control and irrational because the damaged ego produces such strong emotion that the person feels they must act on these emotions. Monica’s fixation/obsession with “The Big He” (as she nicknamed Clinton) is a typically symptomatic trait of the damaged ego. Their emotions run out of control and become fixed on some object — a person, an idea, an ambition, an activity — and the obvious dangers of their irrational behavior are ignored.
Exit question: Why are crazy people usually Democrats?
Posted on | October 21, 2014 | 26 Comments
Left to right: Andrea Dworkin, Teresa de Lauretis, Diane Richardson
“We want to destroy sexism, that is, polar role definitions of male and female, man and woman. We want to destroy patriarchal power at its source, the family; in its most hideous form, the nation-state. We want to destroy the structure of culture as we know it, its art, its churches, its laws . . .
“We are born into a world in which sexual possibilities are narrowly circumscribed. . . . We are programmed by the culture as surely as rats are programmed to make the arduous way through the scientist’s maze, and that programming operates on every level of choice and action.”
— Andrea Dworkin, Woman Hating (1974)
“[T]he seductiveness of lesbianism for feminism lies in the former’s figuration of a female desiring subjectivity to which all women may accede . . [T]he erotic charge of a desire for women . . . unlike male desire, affirms and enhances the female-sexed subject and represents her possibility of access to a sexuality autonomous from the male. . . .
“Some women have ‘always’ been lesbians. Others, like myself, have ‘become’ one. As much a sociocultural construction as it is an effect of early childhood experiences, sexual identity is nether innate nor simply acquired, but dynamically (re)structured by forms of fantasy private and public, conscious and unconscious, which are culturally available and historically specific.”
— Teresa de Lauretis, Lesbian Sexuality and Perverse Desire (1994)
“[C]entral to radical feminist perspectives is the belief that if sexuality is socially constructed then it can be reconstructed in new and different ways. . . .
“[H]eterosexuality is socially instituted and maintained, creating the prescriptions and the conditions in which women experience sexual relations.”
— Diane Richardson, in Radically Speaking: Feminism Reclaimed, edited by Diane Bell and Renate Klein (1996)
Most people speak of “sexual equality” as if that phrase can mean something other than what Andrea Dworkin said it meant, i.e., the destruction of our culture, including family and religion.
The abolition of “role definitions of male and female, man and woman” is necessary to “destroy sexism,” Dworkin explained 40 years ago, because “sexual possibilities are narrowly circumscribed,” as people are “programmed by culture” according to those roles. What Dworkin advocated for, what she offered as the antonym of “sexism,” is androgyny — a social condition in which sex roles do not exist, where male and female are essentially identical and interchangeable.
Sexual equality = androgyny.
It is actually that simple, you see, and when people call themselves “feminists” — when they declare themselves advocates for “sexually equality” — the question is, do they realize what this entails? Would they want to live in the world that would result if their egalitarian principles were enacted? Ideas Have Consequences, as Richard Weaver explained, and what are the consequences of feminism’s ideas?
Well, #GamerGate, among other contemporary phenomena. Last month, Robert Mariani wrote about the Left’s “intellectual bullying”:
The tactic of dishonestly re-framing a viewpoint into something outrageous in an attempt to discredit those who hold the viewpoint is known as intellectual bullying. . . .
With enough voices dishonestly insisting that someone holds all those beliefs that everybody hates, the person in question will either be shamed into silence or suffer from character assassination. . . .
A lot of of the tactics of the anti-GamerGate intellectual bullying campaign were famously codified in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.
Read the whole thing. You see how feminists have made the accusation of “sexism” one of “those beliefs that everybody hates,” so the accusation that someone is “sexist” is an attempt to discredit them — to engage in character assassination in an attempt to effectively silence them — and no one even bothers to explain what “sexism” means or why it is so bad. This is remarkable, when you think about it.
What does “sexism” mean? It means to hold the opinion that men and women are different, that “masculine” and “feminine” describe natural qualities, and that these innate differences have social significance.
“Sexism” does not mean “says rude things to women.” Many sexists are extraordinarily courteous and mild-mannered. In fact, many sexists are female because — hello! — contrary to what feminists would have you think, men do not have a monopoly on sexism.
Sexism is not a synonym for “male chauvinism,” a term popular about 40 years ago that now sounds quaintly old-fashioned. Male chauvinism is (or was) a belief in the general superiority of men, particularly in matters of intellect and temperament. There are very few educated men nowadays who are (or who will admit to being) male chauvinists, but I think sexists like me are far more common than most intellectuals realize and (to repeat) many women are also sexist, i.e., they believe in natural differences between men and women.
My wife, for example, is a sexist. She was raised in a family with three bothers and three sisters, and she is the mother of two girls and four boys and she knows from direct experience that boys and girls are different. They simply are born different, naturally.
Not all males are equally masculine and not all girls are equally feminine, but in general boys are masculine and girls are feminine.
Quod erat demonstrandum.
That boys and girls are different does not mean that one sex is superior to the other, but yet their differences actually matter. To try to wish away these differences, or to create political, legal and social incentives to impose an artificial equality on the sexes, well . . .
“Believe me, sir, those who attempt to level never equalise. In all societies, consisting of various descriptions of citizens, some description must be uppermost. The levellers therefore only change and pervert the natural order of things; they load the edifice of society, by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground.”
— Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France
Political and legal coercion — including the use of lawsuits to punish corporations and public institutions that do not hire or promote women in sufficient numbers to satisfy feminists — can indeed bring about greater equality between men and women, but these measures “load the edifice of society,” as Burke said. This artificial equality, imposed by quotas and other coercive incentives, distorts the social structure in ways that produce results that are in many ways ironic without necessarily being unpredictable.
A sort of Newtonian principle of equal-and-opposite reactions can be observed. Under a regime of coercive equality, many men will actually become more rudely hostile to women — more “sexist” in the vulgar usage of that term — and many women will actually be much less happy than they were when women were less “equal.” And yet, because intellectuals are committed to the abstract ideal of equality, these “smart” people will not be able to figure out that it is the pursuit their cherished ideal that is causing the harms they denounce.
Instead, when men react badly and women are less happy as the result of greater equality, these harms will be blamed on “sexism,” so the answer to any new problem is always the same: More equality!
People forget where feminism began. They forget (or never bothered to learn) what feminists advocated when the Women’s Liberation movement started in the late 1960s. How many people, when confronted with an angry feminist, ever bother to ask her whether she agrees with Andrea Dworkin? Trapped in the present tense — where only the latest outrage is discussed — we let feminists get away with a lack of ideological clarity. Do you, ma’am, want to destroy the family, destroy religion, destroy culture, destroy the nation-state?
“Well, that’s not fair! Dworkin was a radical extremist!”
Yes, but this 1974 book of Dworkin’s I’ve quoted bears cover blurbs by Audre L0rde, Kate Millett and Gloria Steinem. Does our contemporary feminist — while denouncing Dworkin as an extremist — also want to repudiate these other feminists who praised Dworkin? I doubt very much that any 21st-century feminist would denounce Audre Lorde (who has been beatified by the Women’s Studies cathedral), yet Audre Lorde called Dworkin’s Woman Hating “much needed and long overdue.” So, does the 21st-century feminist wish to accuse Audre Lorde of bad judgment or does she want to attempt to defend Dworkin’s book that Audre Lorde praised?
Hint: Woman Hating is indefensible.
Feminists are never challenged that way. Why? By calling themselves “feminist,” they have declared their allegiance to a political ideology that has a canon of books outlining ideas that are taught at universities by professors of Women’s Studies, and this ideology — including its extremist expressions by radicals like Dworkin — is what feminists are enforcing when they accuse the videogame industry of “misogyny.” So why aren’t these dots connected? Why aren’t these latter-day heiresses of Dworkin’s legacy asked if they agree, inter alia, that “sexuality is socially constructed [and] can be reconstructed in new and different ways,” as Professor Diane Richardson explained?
Isn’t that relevant? After all, what does Amanda Marcotte mean when she declares that #GamerGate “is a full-blown reactionary movement aimed at preserving male dominance”?
[Deadspin's Kyle] Wagner explained that #GamerGate is driven by angry young white men who are threatened by demands that gaming be inclusive of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people, and who are lashing out in an attempt to keep the white male dominance they enjoy. . . .
[I]t’s quickly shaping up to be a potent way for conservatives to reach out to previously apolitical young men and turn them into devoted, hardened misogynists.
Accusations of “all those beliefs that everybody hates,” you see. But what does Marcotte mean by “male dominance”? What is a “hardened misogynist”? These terms are never defined. They are merely epithets hurled at demonized enemies. Also, while we’re at it, what are these “demands that gaming be inclusive”? How are these “demands” formulated? Who is “threatened” and how?
Isn’t it a fact that these demands are part of a larger effort, as Dworkin said, to “destroy the structure of culture as we know it”? And aren’t these demands also an attempt to shake down a multibillion-dollar industry, to get some of that money into the hands of self-described “Social Justice Warriors,” and to change the (hugely successful market-driven) gaming culture into something acceptable to the tastes and ideology of the arbiters of political correctness?
Feminist authors whose books surround my desk declare that “male dominance,” to use Marcotte’s phrase for what others call “male supremacy” or “patriarchy,” is part of the “heterosexual matrix” of the “sex/gender binary,” as Judith Butler called it. Nearly all of these feminist theorists are lesbians, and they insist that “compulsory heterosexuality” (Adrienne Rich) is integral to women’s “oppression” under patriarchy — to which sexists like me answer, “So?”
We need not argue that radical feminists are wrong about these connections — between sex roles, male supremacy and heterosexuality — in order to say that they are wrong to attack these (necessary and natural) elements of our civilization. Normal women are heterosexual and feminine, and these heterosexual feminine women prefer masculine men. Normal women prefer also that their male mates be able to provide a sufficient income to support the women (as wives) and their children (procreation being the biological purpose of sexual dimorphism in mammals). So here we having the hugely lucrative videogame industry, where reportedly males are 78% of the employees, under attack by feminists: MISOGYNY!
Is this targeting of the allegedly misogynist videogame industry coincidental? Is there any male-dominated institution in our society which has not been attacked by feminists in this way?
The attack on “male domination” — the attempt to lower the social and economic status of men — will have the effect of making it more difficult for women to find husbands and making it more likely that marriages will end in divorce. Women’s happiness will be diminished, and when these women complain about the dissatisfactions of their lives, feminists will say . . . MORE EQUALITY!
Feminists are quite specific about what they don’t like about videogames. They complain that depictions of female characters are examples of heteronormativity and the male gaze, i.e., the female characters are conventionally feminine and sexually attractive.
Christina Hoff Sommers asked an obvious question: “If playing violent videogames doesn’t make people violent, how does playing sexist videogames make people sexist?” But wait! What feminists are saying about videogames is that cultural representations produce in real life what they depict? Doesn’t this sound like every social conservative criticism of pop culture, ever? I mean, remember when jazz music turned us all into degenerate heroin-addicted sensualists? More recently, gangsta rap turned us all into ghetto thugs.
So now, according to feminists, playing videogames are making us all misogynists? Isn’t this tantamount to an admission by feminists that Disney’s Frozen is a plot to turn our daughters into lesbians?
Two can play this Culture War game, you see.
How did boys ever learn to become violent misogynists before we had videogames to teach them? #GamerGate
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) October 21, 2014
My teenage sons were going to be meterosexual Obama voters. Then they started playing videogames. Now they're misogynists. #GamerGate
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) October 21, 2014
Someday, we'll tell our grandkids about the Golden Age of Sexual Equality that ended when the videogame industry started. #GamerGate
— Robert Stacy McCain (@rsmccain) October 21, 2014
The trend in our culture and society desired by the intelligentsia is toward more “equality” and more acceptance of homosexuality, and we are not supposed to notice now closely this reflects the analysis provided by feminist gender theory, where women are oppressed because they’re heterosexual, and vice-versa. If, as feminists insist, male supremacy depends on the “heterosexual matrix,” then what is the opposite value system? The derogation of men, the deliberate stigmatization of masculinity and especially the demonization of male sexuality. Notice how, in the quote above, Teresa de Lauretis says that lesbian “desire for women . . . unlike male desire, affirms and enhances” women, by offering them “a sexuality autonomous from the male.”
In other words, lesbian supremacy — men bad, lesbians good.
Professor De Lauretis is a renowned feminist credited with coining the term “queer theory,” and I am waiting for Amanda Marcotte to denounce her — but of course, she won’t. You see my point?
The lesbian feminists are constantly derogating males and heterosexuality, while a heterosexual feminists like Marcotte is ranting about “white male dominance,” despite the fact that (a) Marcotte is white and (b) her boyfriend is a white male, so that in effect, Marcotte is denouncing herself and her own lifestyle. Yet never once is Amanda Marcotte required to address the whole argument — i.e., that male sexuality is inherently oppressive and lesbianism is therefore the key to women’s liberation — which has been the underlying message of feminist ideology for 40 years!
“Hey, Amanda, what do you think about Teresa de Lauretis? Why are you still tolerating your white male boyfriend’s oppression?”
These questions are never answered because they are never asked, just like nobody asks a feminist, “What do you mean by ‘sexist'”? Does “sexism” (or “misogyny,” as a synonym) actually mean what Andrea Dworkin said it meant? That is to say, are the basic “role divisions” of male/masculine and female/feminine your target? What is wrong with these roles? Are women oppressed by their femininity? Is male heterosexual desire for women inherently offensive and degrading? Does Amanda Marcotte want to “destroy patriarchal power at its source, the family”? And if not, why not?
Feminism is a journey to lesbianism, I keep saying, because it’s true. If “sexual equality” means androgyny (which it does), and if male sexuality is the source of women’s oppression (as all feminists say it is), then why on earth would any feminist be heterosexual? In the feminist future where “male domination” has been eliminated and sex roles have been abolished, wouldn’t all women in this androgynous future society prefer the (superior) female partner to one of those pathetic XY chromosome carriers, the males?
After five decades of activism, feminists are still losing their war on human nature (97.7% of Americans are heterosexual). What feminists have accomplished is to make more women as unhappy as feminists are. Making us all equally miserable is the real goal.
Posted on | October 20, 2014 | 7 Comments
#WendyDavisWontSay how she got over Macho Grande, when all others are stymied.
— 'Teahadist' h/t@DMat (@smitty_one_each) October 20, 2014
#WendyDavisWontSay whether or not it's true that she went noodling, and a catfish bit her and died.
— 'Teahadist' h/t@DMat (@smitty_one_each) October 20, 2014
#WendyDavisWontSay whether or not she'd give Al Gore a massage, if that's what it took to win the election.
— 'Teahadist' h/t@DMat (@smitty_one_each) October 20, 2014
#WendyDavisWontSay whether she at first thought ebola was waving a smart phone at pins in an alley.
— 'Teahadist' h/t@DMat (@smitty_one_each) October 20, 2014
#wendydaviswontsay what she did with Joan Walsh's brain. Granted, if it were pot, the brain wouldn't trigger an arrest in most jurisdictions
— 'Teahadist' h/t@DMat (@smitty_one_each) October 20, 2014
Posted on | October 20, 2014 | 17 Comments
An attempted armed robbery suspect who was shot by a Maple Street store clerk remained hospitalized at a Chattanooga hospital late Sunday, according to Rome police officials.
Micah Wood, 24, of Rome — listed as a suspect in the early morning robbery attempt at the One Stop Shop, 2107A Maple St. — was airlifted to Erlanger hospital, according to Rome police authorities. His condition remained unknown late Sunday.
Two customers who inside the store — Robert Grant Stinson, 43, and Tina Louise Davenport, 51, both of Rome — were also injured and taken to Floyd Medical Center.
Stinson was listed in satisfactory condition late Sunday, while Davenport had been treated and released from the hospital, FMC Public Relations Specialist Bill Fortenberry said.
Meanwhile, investigators said they are still looking for a second suspect.
According to multiple Rome police reports:
Officers were called to the scene shortly before 2 a.m. by store clerk Gregory Ticas, who said someone had been shot. . . .
Ticas told officers that two black men wearing masks had walked into the store. One of them held up the customers in the back at the game machines and the other pointed a gun at Ticas and demanded money.
Ticas gave him money but was unable to comply with the next order, to open the safe.
“He stated the male told him if he did not get the safe open he was going to die,” the report said.
Ticas managed to get a gun from the counter and began to fire, striking one of the men police later identified as Wood.
While one of the officers was checking the extent of Davenport’s injuries, a call came on the radio about a man with a gunshot wound on East 20th Street near the CVS and Rite Aid stores.
The officer ran over to find Wood — who appeared to be shot in the head — lying on the pavement, covered in blood and wearing only boxer shorts and a large gold watch.
Wood was incoherent and it was unclear what had happened to his clothing. The description of his watch, however, made him a suspect.
Rome police Lt. Gary Clayton said nothing was taken from the store and that the clerk was not hurt.
“The suspects had taken the money, but dropped it in the store during the shootout,” he said.
Reports described the other man as a shorter black man weighing approximately 200 to 250 pounds.
it is not clear from the report whether the two wounded customers were shot by the robbers or were wounded by stray shots fired by the clerk. What is clear is that if the clerk had not had a weapon, the robbers might have killed him and all the customers. My advice to law-abiding citizens is, arm yourselves. My advice to criminals is, stay the hell away from Rome, Georgia. People there will shoot your ass.
Posted on | October 20, 2014 | No Comments
– compiled by Wombat-socho
Better late than never…
New Pivot In Ebola Protocol
Also, SecDef Hagel orders formation of multiservice team to assist civilian medics
Did CDC laxity on one infection help spread another?
Ebola contacts in US may number up to 300
US Finally Airdrops Weapons, Ammo To Kurds Defending Kobani
Turks are gonna be pissed
Activists Retake Streets In Hong Kong
Clashes reported with police in the Mong Kok district
Wasserman-Schultz claims Obama and the Democrats “have America’s back”
THE ECONOMY, STUPID
Asian Crude Stagnant On Weak Demand, Glut On Market: WTI $83.22, Brent $86.33
Japan Stocks Lead Sharp Asian Rebound
Boston Fed’s Rosengren: Don’t Expect More QE
Pay Raises Rarer Despite Strong US Hiring
Investor Group Aims To buy Adidas’ Reebok Unit
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Plan To Ease Lending
IBM Paying Globalfoundries $1.5 Billion To Take Chip Unit Off Their Hands
Snapchat Plunges Into Advertisements
Microsoft Soon To Unveil A Wearable
Apple Pulls All Bose Products From Its Online Store
Kickstarter Suspends Anonabox Campaign
“HALO: The Master Chief Collection” Is Mythic Value
Stays alive in the hunt for the NASCAR championship
FAMOUS FOR BEING FAMOUS
Will Jena Malone Be Playing A Female Robin In “Batman Vs. Superman”?
You know, if the presence of Carrie Kelley as Robin means they’re basing this on Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, I might actually be willing to see this in a theater.
BJP Sweeps Haryana, Maharashtra
Widodo Inaugurated As Indonesian President
Japan’s Justice, Trade Ministers Resign Amid Scandals
Hong Kong’s C.Y. Leung Claims “External Forces” Involved In Protests
Indian Diesel Prices Deregulated As Modi’s Government Fuels Reform
Swedish Military Sights Russian Sub Off Stockholm Coast
Koreas Trade Gunfire Across The DMZ Amid Continuing Tensions
Downing Street Rejects Barroso’s Criticism
Spanish Ebola Nurse Appears Clear Of Disease
Israeli Hospital Treats Daughter Of Gaza Hamas Leader
Catalans Rally In Barcelona, Call For Early Elections
Australia Sending Special Forces Troops To Iraq
Polls Show Opposition With Slight Lead In Brazilian Runoff Election
BLOGS & STUFF
First Street Journal: In The End, Only Results Matter, And The Results Of Liberal Economics Are Failure
The Quinton Report: Anthony Brown’s Gaffe – Refers To “Frederickstown” Not Frederick
American Power: Where Is The Anti-War Movement?
American Thinker: America In Crisis – Sorry, Blacks, You Can’t Sit This Out
BLACKFIVE: Why The Guard And Reserve? Why Now?
Conservatives4Palin: The Virginia Senate Race Gets Interesting
Don Surber: Why Believe The NAACP?
Jammie Wearing Fools: Obama’s Ebola Czar A Big Fan Of Crackpot Lefty Bloggers, Lena Dunham, And Other Human Debris
Joe For America: Mexico Schools Obama On Handling Ebola
JustOneMinute: Mickey Kaus Scores Again
Pamela Geller: 2007 Video On Savage Muslim Rape Gangs Not Used Amid Fears Of Appearing Racist
Protein Wisdom: It’s Come To This – Government Tells Christian Ministers To Perform Same-Sex Marriages Or Face Fines, Jail
Shot In The Dark: Trulbert! Part XVI – Between Heaven And Richfield
STUMP: Illinois Election Shenanigans – WTF Is Going On?
The Gateway Pundit: 101st Airborne Not Getting Full Protective Gear For Ebola Mission In Africa
The Jawa Report: Sandcrawler PSA – How And Why Jawas Pray
The Lonely Conservative: Feds Spending Millions Of Dollars On “Truthy”, A Project Studying “Social Pollution” On Social Media
This Ain’t Hell: Utah Guard Probes Risque Video
Weasel Zippers: Teachers In Wisconsin Leaving Union In Droves
Megan McArdle: Ebola’s Greatest Threat – A Third World Pandemic
Posted on | October 20, 2014 | 79 Comments
Dani Colman (@DirectorDaniC) is both a feminist and a good writer, a rare combination in an age when the repetition of gender-theory jargon and a hatred of Republicans are considered sufficient qualifications for any woman to be hailed as the Next Great Feminist Intellectual. While I was attempting to find another article, I instead stumbled onto Ms. Colman’s fascinating Medium.com essay, “The problem with false feminism (or why ‘Frozen’ left me cold).”
Now, in case you missed all the hooplah over Frozen, it’s the feminist propaganda cartoon that can make the nipples of a Bryn Mawr College Women’s Studies major become erect with ideological arousal. To read the orgasmic feminist praise for Frozen, you would imagine that the script was written by Katharine MacKinnon, based on a novel by Andrea Dworkin. The enthusiastic encomiums that feminists heaped on Frozen convinced me that Karin Martin and Emily Kazyak must have been hired as script consultants (see “Feminists Worry That Disney Movies Are Making Girls Heterosexual” if you didn’t get that joke). At last, it seemed, Disney had made a film in which patriarchal oppression and the male gaze had been replaced with androgynous egalitarianism.
What gay girls can get out of “Frozen”
A Queer Perspective on Disney’s Frozen
— Daily Kos
When a conservative Mormon grandmother criticized Frozen as an example of “the gay agenda,” she was widely mocked, but even those who mocked her agreed: Frozen is gayer than the first four rows at a Melissa Etheridge concert. How gay is it? It’s gayer than a Bette Midler Fan Club fundraiser for the Tammy Baldwin re-election campaign.
Frozen‘s metaphysical gayness is not an opinion, but an objective fact. The difference between the conservative Mormon grandmother’s view of Frozen and the LGBT-friendly media’s interpretation of the film was simply a matter of whether you are (a) a liberal who thinks a gay/feminist propaganda cartoon for kiddies is a good thing or (b) a sane normal person who thinks this is a bad thing.
I have made absolutely no secret of how much I disliked Disney’s Frozen. I hated it. I spent most of the movie alternately facepalming, groaning, and checking my watch . . .
It was, therefore, a huge surprise to me just how many people loved Frozen. Not just loved, but slavered over it. Critics have been downright competitive in their effusiveness, calling it “the best Disney film since The Lion King”, and “a new Disney classic”. Bloggers and reviewers alike are lauding it as “feminist”, “revolutionary”, “subversive” and a hundred other buzzwords that make it sound as though Frozen has done for female characters what Brokeback Mountain did for gay cowboys. And after reading glowing review after glowing review, taking careful assessment of all the points made, and some very deep navel-gazing about my own thoughts on the subject, I find one question persists:
Were we even watching the same film?
You can read the whole thing, but notice what Colman says, just before listing a scoreboard of romantic endings in Disney films:
I’m now counting out every feature with a love story that ends in a happily ever after. A traditional, heterosexual happily ever after, I should qualify, though it’s not like Disney is likely to actually attempt a same-sex love story any time soon. Or ever. [Emphasis added]
I’ve heard the theory that Elsa’s “Let it Go” is subtly intended as a coming-out anthem of sorts, but there’s no confirmation from Disney of that, so I’m inclined to believe it’s one of those convenient Disney moments the LGBT community can adopt with pride whether Disney wants them to or not (something of which I wholeheartedly approve, by the way). And yes, Elsa doesn’t end up with a man of her own . . . but if not ending the film with a heterosexual romantic interest is supposed to automatically out Elsa as a lesbian, then frankly Disney’s just doing it wrong.
These are just short excerpts from a long essay — please, don’t think I’m trying to distort her meaning by selective quotation — but after reading the whole thing, I was like, “What exactly is she saying here?” While acknowledging the obvious significance of the heroine’s manlessness, Colman seemed to be expressing resentment that Frozen‘s message was neither gay enough nor feminist enough.
As I say, Colman is a good writer, and she obviously put a huge amount of work into her analysis of Frozen, justifying her hatred of it. However, she cannot hate Frozen more than I hated American Beauty (except for a certain scene with Thora Birch, which I enjoyed in a very bad way) but I didn’t feel the need to rant endlessly against American Beauty. It is sufficient condemnation to say that American Beauty is an anti-bourgeois/anti-suburban movie; anyone who sees it and doesn’t recognize the movie’s core message — the normal life of a normal middle-class family is an unworthy life — just isn’t paying attention.
If I do not need more than a few sentences to explain why an evil movie is evil, what’s up with Colman’s multi-thousand-word reaction to Frozen? It seems that she felt feminists were too happy that it cleared a minimum threshold, as she concludes:
I don’t want Frozen to be good enough. I’ve spent more than enough words explaining why I think it spits in the face of what we should be thinking of as feminism, and how, like a schoolyard bully, it ennobles itself by mocking its predecessors. I don’t want to think that, when I perhaps have daughters some day, this is what I will be able to take them to see; still less do I want to think that the older, more progressive features will have been deemed irrelevant in favour of the new, Frozen-style model. I applaud the attempt to broaden the range of multi-faceted female characters in animation; I appreciate the intent of having two women in prominent roles instead of the usual one, but I want to see better. And the more effusive praise we heap on a movie that shouldn’t even be good enough, the less likely it is that better will ever happen.
Of Ms. Colman’s hypothetical future motherhood — “when I perhaps have daughters some day” — I’d wager $20 against that “perhaps.”
Like so many other feminists, Ms. Colman is eager to tell us what is appropriate for our children, and to denounce us for disagreeing, but she considers her time and talents far too precious to be squandered in the ordinary business of parenthood. The feminist contempt for motherhood is a variation on how progressive intellectuals, who have careers, hold a special contempt for those of us who merely have jobs.
The reason progressives are always proclaiming their devotion to “workers” is because progressives consider people who work actual jobs to be in need of the intelligentsia’s charitable sympathy. Feminists love to talk about “working mothers,” but feminists are generally neither workers nor mothers. It takes a Ph.D., faculty tenure and a six-figure salary to be able to advocate the interests of those grubby moms who are too dumb to know what’s good for them.
Once you see through the dishonest hypocrisy of the progressive intellectual’s pose, you consider their pity an insult to your dignity. What the liberal is saying to the (allegedly) oppressed is, “Oh, you poor thing! You need my help, because you can’t help yourself.”
To which anyone with a scintilla of self-respect must answer: “Fuck you. Hate me all you want, you arrogant snob, but I need no pity.”
Pitying a person is not the same as helping a person, and the liberal’s problem is that he doesn’t know why the difference matters. They would rather do “Fondue Sets for Namibia” — promoting some kind of do-gooder project to “help” a distant person whom they feel deserving of their liberal pity — than to actually do anything to help nearby people who are less exotically “oppressed.” If your car breaks down on the freeway three miles from the nearest exit, you’ll walk the entire distance, both ways, before a liberal stops to help. Liberals are without exception the most thoroughly selfish people on the planet.
#YesAllWomen are treated like they're broken if they don't want to have kids.
— Dani Colman (@DirectorDaniC) May 26, 2014
Which is to say, no, I don’t expect Dani Colman ever to take time away from her professional career to change diapers and read bedtime stories. She’s too busy explaining to the world “what we should be thinking of as feminism,” and I guess I was too dumb to figure out what she meant. Having spent a few months in a deep study of feminist theory (e.g., Natasha Distiller’s 2011 book Fixing Gender: Lesbian Mothers and the Oedipus Complex), obviously I know what I think of as feminism, but is it what I should be thinking?
So I poked Dani Colman on Twitter, hoping to elicit from her a clarification. And, wow, did she ever give me a clarification:
Let’s get this straight (pun so very much intended)
I’m going to preface this by pointing out that you are a vocal, self-identified conservative, and I am a vocal, self-identified liberal, so we are going to disagree on certain key points without much chance of ever seeing eye-to-eye. So I’m not going to try to convince you of anything, and I’d appreciate your doing me the same courtesy.
With that said, please don’t patronise me. I’m a professional writer, a trained storyteller and a rather competent linguist, so please take me at my word when I say I’m quite aware of the subtext of my work, and I don’t appreciate the implication that I don’t actually know what I wrote.
So your issue seems to be that, by using the word “heterosexual” twice in a particular context, I am “problematising hereosexuality”. Frankly I’m not sure whether to respond academically, or from the standpoint of being a straight woman with a very satisfying sex life, but since I’ve written about my own sexuality in other forums I’ll stick to the academic.
Disney has a long history not of “problematising” homosexuality, but of effectively effacing it. This comes from a long-ago decision by Walt himself to appeal to the broadest possible demographic, and if you want to know more about that you can read it on my tumblr. At the time it was a perfectly rational decision and one that certainly played a role in Disney’s early near-monopoly on the family entertainment market, but times have most certainly changed. Homosexuality is increasingly de-stigmatised, and positive adult non-heterosexual role models are beginning to be visible in mainstream media. “Orange is the New Black”, for example, has received much justified praise for placing gay/lesbian, transgender, multi-racial and lower-class narratives on the same footing as the narrative of white, upper-class Piper. It isn’t about overpowering or replacing heterosexual narratives: it’s about increasing the number of non-heterosexual narratives to match. Equality, not subjugation.
In children/family entertainment, those role models don’t exist, and this is a problem because there is an irrefutable correlation between exposure to positive relatable role models as a child and mental health (of the I-don’t-hate-myself variety) as an adolescent. It’s like the theory that the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh are stand-ins for different mental health issues: a child with no knowledge of depression can still tell a parent they feel like Eeyore. A young adolescent struggling with his/her sexuality benefits enormously from positive portrayals of the full spectrum as a child, because even if the adolescent in question ultimately determines that s/he is straight, that decision can come from an unbiased and egalitarian understanding of all the possibilities.
Disney is the world’s largest provider of family entertainment — more than that, Disney has (until recently) been the textbook in the question of what and what “isn’t” appropriate for family entertainment. That means that if a child were to reach into a barrel of DVDs of animated movies and pick one at random (discounting the collected works of Ralph Bakshi because let’s not be idiots about this), that child would have literally no chance of picking one with a protagonist who isn’t a zero-on-the-Kinsey-scale heterosexual. Heterosexuality isn’t a problem, but that is. Heterosexuality isn’t just the norm in animated entertainment — it’s the only. And the two times in my “Frozen” essay that I use the word “heterosexual” are, in fact, to point out that that is the case. In the first, I qualify that my table of “happily-ever-afters” only includes heterosexual relationships because those are the only ones available to include. In the second, I draw attention to the fact that certain “Frozen” fans use Elsa’s lack of any relationship as indication that she is a lesbian, and I rather lament the fact that that seems to be the best Disney has to offer its LGBTQ fans.
So it’s really a stretch to say that I’m “problematising heterosexuality”. A feet-behind-the-ears, Cirque du Soleil contortionist stretch, if I’m honest, because at best I’m not really saying anything about it. I’m saying that it’s a sad, sad situation that the largest provider of family entertainment in the role has such a dearth of positive role models for LGBTQ families and children that even a slight deviation from the established and *very* heterosexual Disney model is lauded as a breakthrough. On an entirely personal level, I have absolutely no issue with heterosexuality, though it would probably say something about my self-esteem if I did. I do have an issue with non-heterosexual individuals not being able to enjoy the same ability to relate to beloved characters that I do. It’s not fair, and frankly it’s bullshit. Pointing out — twice — that the Disney model is exclusively heterosexual isn’t “problematising” anything except the fact that it’s exclusive.
Now, if I’m still complaining about heterosexual narratives when there’s actual equality in media, feel free to call me on it then.
OK, briefly to reply:
- “Equality”? Ma’am, the most recent federal government research indicates that heterosexuals outnumber the gay/bisexual population more than 40-to-1 (97.7% heterosexual vs. 2.3% gay/bisexual) in the United States. What should “equality” of representation look like, under such circumstances? The combined membership of Southern Baptist churches probably exceeds the total LGBT population of the United States, but how many Southern Baptists are employed in Hollywood or at the major broadcast TV networks? On what basis, really, should we impose quotas in the media?
- Your offering of the “young adolescent struggling with his/her sexuality” as a presumed object of pity — “We must have more gay characters, so teenagers feel better about themselves!” — bears a near-zero resemblance to most actual gay teenagers I have known. At least three guys I went to high school with died of AIDS. Only if “struggling” is a synonym for “enthusiastically pursuing” could it be said that those dudes ever struggled with their sexuality. And don’t even get me started on the lesbians I knew in college. The idea that every homosexual is a helpless victim who is just one slur away from suicide is one of the most ridiculous myths that liberals have ever created, and they’ve created quite a few. But why even mention global warming?
- Is there “a dearth of positive role models” in the media for, say, hillbilly children? I mean, Disney hasn’t produced any movies about Princess Shonda who lives in a double-wide trailer and marries the King of Long-Haul Truckers. Exactly what kind of character qualifies as a representative role model for any particular child, and how close must the representation be before we assume the child can identify with such a character? I’m not Jewish, but I love Mel Brooks movies. I’m not British, but I love James Bond movies. The assumption that gay people can only relate to overtly gay characters in media is a theory that suffers from a shortage of factual proof. Common sense and anecdotal evidence suggest otherwise.
- Your emphatic description of yourself as “a straight woman with a very satisfying sex life” is rather at odds with what struck me, in your critique of Frozen, as your emetic aversion to screen depictions of heterosexual romance. Given your overtly anti-heterosexual tone in criticizing Frozen, what are we to make of your assurance that you “have absolutely no issue with heterosexuality,” and that your “self-esteem” would be at stake if you did? You insist that your criticism arises from a disinterested concern for “actual equality in media.” You have no direct personal interest in the representation of homosexuals. However, as a philanthropic humanitarian, you feel that they are victims of unfair bias. OK. As mystifying as your attitude is, I accept that you are sincere both in your (personal) heterosexual satisfaction and your (political) gay sympathy.
Have I been reading too much feminist theory? Have I misconstrued the meaning of what I have read? Or is it the case that for Dani Colman, as for many other women who call themselves “feminists,” this label means whatever any woman wants it to mean?
It does often seem thus. Whatever any woman is angry about, that’s “feminism.” If she gets stopped for speeding, the speed limit is a manifestation of patriarchal oppression. If her checking account is overdrawn, male supremacy is to blame. Sexism explains why her thighs look so fat, and if the service is too slow at Starbucks, that’s misogyny. Also, if a woman’s anti-male political principles seem to be at odds with her own very satisfying heterosexual life, it’s just right-wing hate when you sarcastically point out the contradiction.
An infinitely elastic definition cannot actually define anything. Feminism either is a definite political philosophy, or it is not.
But if intellectual coherence and consistent political principle are important to you, you cannot be a liberal. You can be a Marxist feminist or a lesbian feminist, but “liberal feminism” — what does that mean?
There I was, reading Dani Colman’s critique of Frozen and thinking, “Wow, she’s a hard-core feminist.” I figured her idea of an acceptable Disney cartoon would be to turn Monster into a musical comedy with Aileen Wuornos as the romantic protagonist. And yet somehow I totally misread Ms. Colman who, in fact, is so enthusiastically heterosexual that she could never be one of those pathetic lesbian weirdos like Lauren Morelli. While Ms. Colman has endless pity for helpless queers, she “absolutely” isn’t one of them.
Why would anybody want liberals to like them? It’s a mystery to me.
Posted on | October 19, 2014 | 3 Comments
– compiled by Wombat-socho
I admit to putting this off all day because frankly, I didn’t want to follow Stacy’s post this morning about Hannah Graham with Rule 5 Sunday; it seemed gauche and inappropriate at the very least. There’s a time and a place for everything, though, and this is Rule 5 Sunday’s. As usual, click not in times and places inappropriate for doing so, for many of the following links lead to stuff that is NSFW.
Animal Magnetism leads off with Rule Five Friday and the Saturday Gingermageddon, Average Bubba joins in with his own Rule 5 Friday, and Goodstuff chimes in with a very seasonally appropriate Halloween Ho Down. Ninety Miles from Tyranny chips in with Morning Mistress, Hot Pick of the Late Night, and Girls with Guns, and First Street Journal presents Strange Bedfellows.
A View from the Beach contributes Jessiann Gravel, Real vs. Fake at 240 FPS, I Need Proof, Fear of Spiders?, “Calabria”, The March of the Penguins, “Call on Me”, Gone Fishin’, Back Later, and Got Mud?
At Soylent Siberia, it’s your morning coffee creamer, Another Header for Irish, Monday Motivationer Red Dawn, Evening Awesome See-Through, Tuesday Titillation, Humpday Hawtness DDDamn, Falconsword Fursday El Fuego With Underboob, Happy Hour Hawtness, Corset Confabulation, T-GIF Friday Forget Stairmaster, Weekender Annalisa Greco, Afternooner Red Rocker, and Bath Night Foam.
Proof Positive’s Friday Night Babe is Emanuela de Palma, his Vintage Babe is Esther Williams, and Sex in Advertising is covered by Guess. Also, Flowering Curves of Beauty, Women of PETA XL, and the obligatory 49er’s cheerleader! At Dustbury, Meghan Trainor (no relation), Ann Dvorak, and Jedediah Bila kickin’ it Diana Prince style.
Thanks to everyone for their linkagery! Deadline to submit links to the Rule 5 Wombat mailbox for next Sunday’s Rule 5 post is midnight on Saturday, October 25.
Posted on | October 19, 2014 | 21 Comments
Virginia authorities have not yet officially confirmed that the remains found Saturday in Albemarle County are those of Hannah Graham, but it appears that suspect Jesse Matthew will be facing a murder charge in the case of the missing 18-year-old student:
The remains were found around noon near Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County, said Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo.
The area is less than 10 miles from where Graham, 18, was last seen. Longo said he “made a very difficult phone call” to Graham’s parents to share the discovery with them, but forensic tests need to be conducted to determine the identity of the remains.
The weekslong search for a missing University of Virginia student appears to have come to a sad end with the announcement by police officials that they have discovered human remains that could be hers.
Further forensic tests are needed to confirm whether the remains are those of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, but Graham’s parents were notified of the preliminary findings, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo told a news conference Saturday, shortly after the discovery was made. . . .
Longo said a search team from the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office found the remains Saturday on an abandoned property in southern Albemarle County — the same region where police found the body of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington three months after she vanished in 2009.
Last month, after arresting a suspect in Graham’s disappearance, police said they found a “forensic link” between the two cases.
Thousands of volunteers had searched for the 18-year-old Graham in the weeks since her disappearance Sept. 13. . . .
“Countless hours, thousands of hours, have been spent by literally hundreds of law enforcement, civilian volunteers in an effort to find Hannah,” Longo said. “We think perhaps today proved their worth.”
Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., 32, has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 4 on the charge. . . .
[After Matthew was arrested] Virginia State Police announced a “forensic link” to Harrington’s killing. That case, in turn, has been linked by DNA evidence since 2012 to the rape of a woman in Fairfax, Virginia, who survived after a passer-by startled her attacker, the FBI has said.
Following Matthew’s arrest, Christopher Newport University released a statement noting that he had been named in a police file involving a Sept. 7, 2003 sexual assault on the Newport News campus. Matthew was a student there from January 2003 through Oct. 15, 2003.
Matthew had transferred to CNU after three years at Liberty University, where he also was briefly on the football team.
When he was at Liberty University, he was accused of raping a student on campus. That charge was dropped when the person declined to move forward with prosecution, Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette said.
That’s at least two sexual assaults and one murder in which Matthew was suspected before Hannah Graham disappeared last month. Our justice system often fails in this way. A criminal gets away with one crime (a rape charge was dropped in Lynchburg) and gets away with another crime (he was a suspect in a second assault in Newport News, but not prosecuted), and the fact that he has escaped apprehension encourages him to continue pursuing his criminal habits. Then one day, usually after years of escalating his criminality, the petty criminal is charged with an atrocity that makes national headlines.
People say, “Were there warning signs? Were there clues that this person was a dangerous monster?” Yes, always there are. Why were the clues and warnings overlooked, so that the monster got away with his life of crime for so long? It’s simple: Most people do not think about crime and criminals in a realistic way. The reality can be expressed very simply: Who commits crimes? Criminals do.
True, any law-abiding citizen may decided tomorrow to stop obeying the law, commit a crime and so become a criminal. Yet in terms of law enforcement generally, a majority of really serious crimes — murder, rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault, armed robbery, grand theft — are committed by a relatively small number of lifelong criminals. These people are characterized by their general anti-social personality; the criminal’s contempt for decent citizens is expressed by his refusal to live by society’s law. The habitual offender gets away with many small crimes (petty theft, breaking-and-entering, narcotics possession, etc.) and this confirms his view that people who obey the law are just chumps, or cowards who lack the boldness to defy the law.
This anti-social worldview is at the root of the criminal’s persistence, and explains why some petty criminals continue escalating their criminality until they commit murder.
The good news is that law enforcement has in recent years begun to figure out how to apply this common-sense understanding of the criminal mind in a systematic way. Technology has provided very useful tools — video surveillance and DNA testing being the most obvious — and the development of nationwide database systems means that it is increasingly difficult for the persistent criminal to evade detection. Furthermore, our laws and our courts have become less tolerant of the repeat offender. Our prison population has increased because the criminal justice system is no longer biased toward “rehabilitating” the perpetrator of serious violence. Now, we understand (and act on the understanding) that the violent criminal must simply be kept off the streets, if we are to protect citizens against violent crime.
It appears that Jesse Matthew was able to evade apprehension for more than a decade from the time of his first serious crime until he committed the crime that made nationwide headlines. But law enforcement moves forward every day, and if not every crime can be prevented, we can at least hope that every criminal will be punished.
« go back — keep looking »