Sunday, September 17, 2006

Following up on the Most Important Subject Ever

There was so much discussion of Althouse's antics yesterday that I don't know where to start or how to organize this. I'll just throw out some things that came up, here and elsewhere, that got me thinking.

Civility:

A commenter here expressed disgust with me over some of the slurs I hurled at Ann Althouse:

>lying, spiteful sack of shit.

>that brainless crone

>This is Ann Airhead we're dealing with.

>a vain, petty old scag like Ann Althouse.

>who's being a total fucking retard?"

>this useless dimwit

>your wilted crumpled self

>you fetid old bat.

A lovely post, Ilyka. I don't want to hear another word from you criticizing the tone of right-wing bloggers. NOT ANOTHER WORD.

No, really. Not one word.

You don't like Ann Althouse. WE GET IT.

I've seen this issue come up on other feminist blogs, so it was only a matter of time before it came up here. This is how I work it out: I don't have a problem with someone suggesting that if you're against demeaning and objectifying women you should, in fact, walk the talk. That criticism is valid, and it's one I see feminists make of each other regularly. From Amanda's post on Breastgate, commenter Crys T:

. . . the number of messages I’ve read in this thread–many of them apparently written by women–that basically say that Althouse’s real problem is she’s a dried-up old bag who’s just jealous of the Sweet, Nubile Young Thang that is Jessica* makes me think that it’s not just Althouse’s misogyny we need to be criticising here.

. . .

Being one of the tragically over 40, I can’t tell you how fucking annoying and dehumanising it is to be constantly reading about how any woman my age is clearly on the rubbish heap of sexuality, never to attract another potential bonking partner again, because god knows that no man would ever have to lower himself to fucking me when he’s got all those vibrant 20-somethings to go after. And of course, any criticism a woman my age might make of a younger woman CLEARLY comes from “jealousy” and could never have any other explanation. Right?

And this reasoning is from the “feminists”???? Someone explain to me exactly how this differs from mainstream patriarchal woman-hating, because from where I stand, it looks like the exact same thing.

Pay attention, now: In the abstract, I agree with her--in the abstract, as a general rule. The problem with applying it to this particular instance is that it doesn't hold up. There is enough evidence that Ann's motive for not backing down from her tasteless (and tiresome) Lewinsky jokes stemmed from spite and jealousy to safely call her out on it. See Lindsay Beyerstein's thorough timeline here, including:

I agree that, initially, Ann wasn't judging Jessica by her looks. For the most part she and her commenters were just using her picture as fodder for cheap Clinton/Lewinsky laughs.

But when Jessica confronted her, Ann felt compelled to justify her trash talking. After all, Ann Althouse doesn't engage in idle trash talk. No, she's a serious intellectual. There must be a principle at stake.

According to Ann, Jessica deserved the Monica jokes because of her wanton "posing" and her willingness to stand next to Bill Clinton. Jessica's presumptuous complaining sealed her fate. Ann explains that this was when she decided to punish Jessica by judging her for real.

"Provoked, I decide to actually give her a small dose of the kind of judgment for brains she seems to demanding," Althouse writes in her second post.

This isn't a hypothetical 40-something woman about whom people are making unfounded assumptions. This is a specific instance in which the shoe fits, and I say she may as well wear it. Especially once she lobbed this:

Ann Althouse:
But I certainly think that to really do a great comic performance, Jessica should have worn a beret. Blue dress would have been good too.
12:51 PM, September 15, 2006

On, then, to my problem with the "you've got no call to complain about civility on the right when look what you said, ooh, hypocrisy" critique, which is that it disingenuously ignores vast differences in degree between the treatment of women on the left versus the treatment of women on the right, for one; and for two, feminism isn't Christianity. It doesn't obligate anyone to turn the other cheek and it certainly doesn't obligate anyone to pretend things are any other way than the way they are.

And this is the way things are: Misogyny and sexism run free and unbridled throughout MOST of the best-read right-wing blogs. Not some, not just a few cranks; MOST. And don't kid yourself that they spare Althouse from it. A lowlight (there are others) from a thread about her at Little Green Footballs:

Does this dumb slut realize the left is well represented at OSM?

I guess not. Typical ill-informed invective from a Berkeley house whore.

Because calling her a slut was really relevant to addressing her criticisms of Pajamas Media. We can't evaluate Ann's criticisms until we've established that she has a lot of sex, probably with multiple partners; this is important to stipulate.

Granted, this WAS in response to Ann's joke that Open Source Media = Open Sores Media, which set the bar of taste low to begin with; but if you can't see the difference between criticizing, however juvenilely, a business versus calling an individual a slut and a Berkeley house whore, then you know what, you've failed to grasp everything I have ever said on this blog and I must firmly suggest that you read something else.

The short version of my position on civility: When I see any evidence at all that the right is taking steps to police itself on the issue of sexism--I don't even demand that they do it as rigorously as Crys T or any other left-leaning feminist, just that they acknowledge the problem and do something to rein it in--then I will consider a commenter's outrage at remarks like "fetid old bat" with the respect it is due. Until then, that commenter is comparing apples and oranges, and holding me to a double standard, and I ain't down.

Clinton:

I basically decided yesterday that I'd rather have a feminist apologist for Clinton in my corner than a "Mine is the One True Feminism" nutbar like Althouse. But I realized also that I've never said much about Clinton, or about Clinton and feminism, or anything like that. Here is all I have to say about it:

While I largely agree with arguments like Scott Lemieux's yesterday, that politics is about policymaking, and that therefore a feminist might support Clinton for his policies without endorsing some of his personal behavior, I nonetheless wince at statements like this one:

What he did with Lewinsky is potentially open to criticism on (genuinely) feminist grounds (and he received some), but again--it was not only consensual but initiated by Lewinsky. It is sexual harassment only under an extremely broad definition of the term, and isn't "groping" (which in context implies a lack of consent) at all.

I am tired of hearing how Lewinsky "initiated" the relationship. "But she did!" you say. "Yes, she did," I agree with you, "but he was her boss, he was married, he was older, and he should have known better."

I don't like "but Monica started it!" because the implication is that, well, gosh, Bill couldn't help himself, what with her throwing herself at him like that! And to that I say bullshit. I don't object to Bill having scored on the side in the White House, I object to Bill having scored on the side with a woman with whom he was so obviously not on equal footing. Bill didn't bang a sophisticated, 45-year-old D.C. attorney, people, he banged a 22-year-old intern. I think it's an abuse of power regardless of who initiated what. I can't approve of it, and before someone brings this up, I don't care that "every other president" did it, too.

Besides I figure defenses of Bill on the grounds that Monica started it are counterproductive, because all it means is that the next time an Althouse shrieks about how quick! The gender feminists are! To make excuses for Clinton!, I'm going to have to admit, grudgingly, that she has a point. And I hate doing that.

The Overton Window:

"The what?" you ask. "The Overton window," I answer, "as explained by ├╝ber-dork Tacitus to thereisnospoon, a diarist at My Left Wing. Here," I say, giving you a link, "read it. If you've already read it before, read it again, because tomorrow I'm going to tackle how it relates to Instapundit and the right-wing blogosphere in general." "Did you just say blogosphere?" you shriek. "Yes, I did," I say contritely, "and I am so sorry."

UPDATE: Belledame has more on civility here:

It's not about ideology, particularly. It's not about never swearing or never getting passionate or even never personally insulting anybody.

It's about: can you, ever, in any circumstances, meet the other person halfway? A quarter of the way? A tenth of the way?

Are you capable of grasping nuance, even a little bit?

Can you, even partially, even grudgingly, ever admit, in any circumstances, that you were wrong? About anything?

Would you, once in a great while, be willing to put aside your overwhelming need to have the last word?

Yes. Ultimately civility is about such nebulous concepts as attitude and good faith, which makes it difficult to classify dialogue definitively as civil or uncivil. Though for the record, I do think my post about Althouse was uncivil; my point is that it's difficult for me to care about that, because I don't see any evidence that Ann approaches these issues with any of the qualities Belledame lists. Asking me to meet an opponent 100% of the way--which, since Ann concedes NONE of her opponent's points, is what I'd have to do to be civil to her--is asking too much of me, or of anyone. It's . . . uncivil.

A VERY PEDANTIC UPDATE: Thanks to Auguste for pointing out that the Overton Window thing was actually a discussion between Josh Trevino and thereisnospoon, not Maryscott O'Connor. I've corrected the attribution. I just hate goofing up things like that for I, too, am a pedant. AND A HYPOCRITE! Let's stone me for it.

51 comments:

Jan said...

Oooh the dreaded Little Green Footballs comment thread. I'm sure you'd just love to have your blog judged by any random post in a comment thread.

At no point in any of the actual LGF posts was Ann Althouse described in that way.


Difference between treatment of women on the left and the right? Wake up. Women are treated the same on both sides of the aisle because ideology is just a veil for the real attitudes underneath.

On both sides women have a leash and that leash snaps back the moment we step out of bounds or stumble onto a wannabe alpha male who divides women up as eye candy or bitches.

ilyka said...

At no point in any of the actual LGF posts was Ann Althouse described in that way.

I'm tired of that argument. I've been hearing Charles' defenders explain away the filth in his comments by claiming he doesn't have the time to monitor them for literally years now, and it doesn't hold up. He's had people volunteer to moderate them; he never takes them up on it. I know a Zionist blogger who hates getting Little Green Footballs links because she knows it's only going to mean more time spent cleaning up her own comments threads.

On both sides women have a leash and that leash snaps back the moment we step out of bounds or stumble onto a wannabe alpha male who divides women up as eye candy or bitches.

If that's so--and, actually, I agree that it is--perhaps you could point me to what you're doing to combat sexism on the right?

Say, do you hear crickets? I'm totally hearing crickets.

Anonymous said...

In reference to your comments about Clinton; if there is one thing I despise about our culture, it is the insistence that men cannot help themselves in the presence of a woman (read: vile temptress). Isn't that the road to burkas and veils? Men are such animals that if they see female flesh they will be utterly helpless to do anything except immediately unzip and start humping? Is this not where the idea that a rape victim "asked for it" comes from? If we accept the "men are animals" theory, then those of us raising sons must recognize that they are, undoubtedly, future rapists and abusers of women. I cannot look at either of my sons and see anything other than a human being who can be taught self control and morality, or I might as well start advocating that we abort all male fetuses. Of course Clinton sexually harrassed Monica Lewinsky. The fact that she didn't mind isn't the point, because policy isn't made for individuals who don't know any better, it's made for society as we try to achieve our betterment. Finally, Ann Althouse plays right into that misperception when she suggests that the very ownership of a set of breasts in the presence of Clinton was even remotely a sexual action.

ilyka said...

Damn, anonymous commenter, I ought to just have you write the posts from now on.

Isn't that the road to burkas and veils? Men are such animals that if they see female flesh they will be utterly helpless to do anything except immediately unzip and start humping? Is this not where the idea that a rape victim "asked for it" comes from? If we accept the "men are animals" theory, then those of us raising sons must recognize that they are, undoubtedly, future rapists and abusers of women. I cannot look at either of my sons and see anything other than a human being who can be taught self control and morality, or I might as well start advocating that we abort all male fetuses.

That's everything I don't like about "Monica started it" right there.

Hey, I know it's wrong to pry, but are we, um, neighbors? Like do you live in a funny little town with a funny little college that has the losingest football team ever and has a funny little mountain with an "A" on it?

belledame222 said...

That is a fine anonymous point. Damn. Well put.

y'know, on a somewhat different note, after one of the -other- blowups where a number of POC bloggers (among others) expressed anger at the demands for "civility"--as in, let's all play nice, no swearing, no personal attacks-I thought about it and came up with my own code. shrug.

http://fetchmemyaxe.blogspot.com/2006/06/some-fleeting-thoughts-on-civil.html

Lesley said...

I feel precisely the same way about Clinton as you do. Yes, yes, yes, Monica Lewinsky came onto him. So, are we simply to accept his behavior as, therefore, acceptable? He was in the ultimate position of authority over her, more mature, and married. He owed it to her and his wife to be the adult and refuse. If, in our corner of blogtopia, entire discussions revolve around criticizing women who consensually give their partners blowjobs, why do critiques Clinton's behavior towards Monica Lewinsky so often get shut down with a "it was consensual, and besides she started it." She gets the lion's share of the criticism, and he gets pretty much let off the hook.

So yeah, what you and anonymous said!

belledame222 said...

mostly I just think:

GET. OVER IT.

I mean, seriously. Three or four DECADES from now, where we're all back to bashing each other with sticks and rocks over who gets the last can of food in the fallout shelter, are some of these assclowns gonna, what, croak out of their second or third mouth,

"Bill...Clinton! i...blame..youuUUUUU!"

(but, huh, huh, BLOWJOB, huh, huh, cough, expectorate vile blackish substance, expire, still twitching and smirking to self)

ilyka said...

Thanks, BD, I've updated the post with a link to that.

Anonymous said...

Now, Ilkya, I know how you value your privacy, so I would never make reference to my smallish hometown, with its lettered hill, fascinatingly shaped mountains or failed attempts at downtown revitalization. Nor would I refer to how goddamned refreshing it is to find that there is actually a feminist intellectual lurking amongst the vacant faces of most of our populace. You might think it was outing or something....

Bender3000 said...

So if Charles is held accountable for all of the 3,125,493 comments on his page, I guess we can hold you accountable for every comment on your blog too.

Auguste said...

I'm still chuckling over "any random post in a comment thread."

At LGF? Really? You think it's just a post here or there? Fascinating.

Auguste said...

So if Charles is held accountable for all of the 3,125,493 comments on his page, I guess we can hold you accountable for every comment on your blog too.

Is there really a question out there, a valid, non-grasping-at-straws question that LGF comment threads are universally - and non-partisan objectively - cesspools?

Note that I am not implying that every comment is a negative one. I am simply saying that, unlike in many other threads including Ilyka's, the LGF self-policing is undeniably in favor of extremism. Moderating voices are shouted down over and over again.

Unless I've been reading a different LGF.

ilyka said...

What Auguste said, for one. For two, it's unfathomable to me that venture capitalists would fund a site that rivals only Free Republic for lunacy and hatred. For three, Charles could have choked up on the leash early, BEFORE he had however-many-millions of comments, and that would have set the tone back when the problem was still manageable. For four, when your own readers say, "Hey, looks like you could use a hand with the moderation!" and you say "No thanks, I got it," at that point you've assumed responsibility.

And for five, fuck off. The whole "Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy!" crowd, all of you, fuck off. I say you shouldn't call women whores and I don't, nor do I allow anyone else to do it. There's no hypocrisy to point out. I run this blog in a manner consistent with my stated values--not with yours.

Bender3000 said...

"My gut feeling: When a woman objectifies herself as, I think, Pam does, she lets herself in for a certain amount of derision based on that. Thus, "How My Titties Saved Eretz Yisrael." (Plus I'm inwardly twelve, so I just always laugh at "titties," in nearly any context.)"

Hypocrisy much?

http://ilykadamen.blogspot.com/2006/07/youve-come-long-way-baby.html

Bender3000 said...

So you've decided Atlas lets herself in for a certain amount of derision. Ann decided Jessica lets herself in for a certain amount of derision.

The difference is of course, the political sides you're on.

ilyka said...

Correction--I don't mean to imply they funded LGF. But that anyone would give that man money for anything based on his work at LGF is depressing. And don't even start me on how he treats his business partners, either.

ilyka said...

Pamela cheerfully draws attention to her tits in every conceivable context, whether that's shaking it in her vlogs or vlogging from the beach or photoshopping her head onto someone else's Barbietastic body. She doesn't seem to mind doing it and doesn't seem to mind people poking fun at it.

Jessica stood for a picture.

You can keep banging that "you're a hypocrite!" drum all you like, Gower/Jan/Bender3000, but it doesn't make the two things any more similar, and they aren't similar.

Bender3000 said...

I repeat you have no problem with objectifying female bloggers with tit jokes so long as you feel they did something to deserve it.

You feel Atlas did something to deserve it. Half the planet who looks at the picture of Jessica posing three quarters against Bill Clinton with her boobs thrust out as if she's getting ready for a wet t-shirt contest, thinks the obvious joke is damn funny too.

The reason you think Atlas deserves it and Jessica doesn't is the political line you're standing behind. Just the same way feminists were outraged by jokes about the way Hillary looked but thought jokes about Lucianne Goldberg and Linda Trip's appearances were just fine.

That's the way it goes. The people on the side of the enemy 'always' deserve it. And you can always find excuses why.

Q.E.D.

Auguste said...

Half the planet who looks at the picture of Jessica posing three quarters against Bill Clinton with her boobs thrust out as if she's getting ready for a wet t-shirt contest, thinks the obvious joke is damn funny too.

That's because half the planet are sexist fucks. Oops! Swore.

Just the same way feminists were outraged by jokes about the way Hillary looked but thought jokes about Lucianne Goldberg and Linda Trip's appearances were just fine.

Name one, please.

Auguste said...

Q.E.D.

Shouldn't there be some sort of Godwin's Law corollary for people who say this and mean it?

Bender3000 said...

That's because half the planet are sexist fucks. Oops! Swore.

So is everyone who thinks those same jokes about Atlas are funny, also sexist fucks?

Or does that only go for women who someone decided 'deserve it'

Talk about privilege, right there.

Lesley said...

"Bill...Clinton! i...blame..youuUUUUU!"

Yes, OK, now you're talking about a separate issue, which is the ludicrous blaming of Clinton for everything wrong in the Western World. Since I didn't do that, however, I'm not sure how your response is relevant to what I did write. I'm speaking very specifically about his treatment of Monica Lewinsky, and I'm speaking about it in a feminist context. It seems to me that in a lot of progressive discussions about Clinton and Lewinsky, she comes in for a huge heaping of derision, while he gets let off. That is precisely the dynamic described by anonymous. It's another version of "She asked for it" and "Men can't control themselves." If that isn't good fodder for a feminist discussion, what is?

That is also how I felt about the entire blowjob critique that occurred a couple of months ago. Let's make women feel crappy about themselves some more! Yay! Pointing out that we give them consensually was castigated as "You can't really understand what you want or enjoy," whereas when it comes to a discussion of Clinton, the consensuality of it all is the key factor for many progressives. So we can criticize women for doing something consensually (women who give blowjobs, Monica Lewinsky), but not men. Yes, I find that to be buying into the patriarchy in the extreme.

ilyka said...

I repeat you have no problem with objectifying female bloggers with tit jokes so long as you feel they did something to deserve it.

Yes, that's all you DO: Repeat, repeat, repeat, like a broken fucking record. And I repeat, repeat, repeat that there is nothing about the way Jessica Valenti is posed that "asks for" any such treatment, your idiotic wet t-shirt remarks to the contrary. Jessica is busty and she's in 3/4 profile so that people can fit into the frame and so that people can see the main person of interest, you know, that guy who used to be President? If I turn in 3/4 profile, guess what? Unless I'm wearing a damn SACK, you're gonna notice some tits. It's just the way it is.

You may be right that I shouldn't pick on Pam (what a pity it is, then, that I can't seem to post about anything else! Oh, wait), but I think this might be the point at which I mention that I don't run Atlas Juggs.

Just the same way feminists were outraged by jokes about the way Hillary looked but thought jokes about Lucianne Goldberg and Linda Trip's appearances were just fine.

For the record, I don't make those jokes, I don't know personally any feminists who did make those jokes, and I don't endorse them. But I don't mind saying that Lucianne is a reactionary lunatic and if Linda Tripp had done to me what she did to Monica, she'd have a lot more to worry about than jokes about her looks.

Bender3000 said...

Sometimes it takes repetition... repetition... repetition to get things through.

You don't oppose jokes objectifying female bloggers based on their bodies. We just enstablished that.

You only oppose it when 'you' decide they didn't deserve it. In your judgement Atlas deserves it. In your judgement Jessica does. What that really comes down to is arguing that female bloggers who act 'slutty' deserve it.

Then it becomes all about defining 'slutty' behavior and that ends up destroying any pretense at feminism as women get judged on how they present themselves.

You can try getting up on a high horse over Jessica, but the horse is lame and limping to the boneyard when we look at the fact that you have no problem with it when it's a right wing blogger.

Then you wind up having to argue,

'she's asking for it with her behavior,'

How feminist.

Bender3000 said...

...and don't even try riding the high horse of how you condemned comment X or Y. It's not about what you do condemn, it's about what you don't.

Lesley said...

BTW, let me clarify that I realize that none of the commenters here jumped on the "let's make women feel crappy for giving blowjobs" train. I was just caught out by the fact that some people who did appear to give Clinton a pass for the consensual nature of the relationship.

Tom's R said...

The real story is where Bill's looking

http://tinyurl.com/e7dzj

JackGoff said...

Heh, tom's r, in the original, it's defintitely apparent that Clinton is looking elsewhere, i.e. another camera.

JackGoff said...

defintitely

HAHAHA! Freudian slip!

ilyka said...

You don't oppose jokes objectifying female bloggers based on their bodies. We just enstablished that.

Oh we did? I said I was inclined to laugh at "How My Titties Saved Eretz Y'Israel." I attributed that inclination to two things:

One, that the blogger being parodied is most known for her look-at-my-tits behavior; if you're gonna parody, you have to parody accurately, which means you have to make fun of something your subject actually does. To parody Atlas and NEVER make mention of her boobs would destroy the parody, in the same way that I couldn't possibly parody Ace of Spades without making reference to the "Ace of Spades lifestyle" or parody Glenn Reynolds without mentioning nanotechnology.

Two, that I think the word "titties" is usually a hoot. That isn't the same as saying I "don't oppose" jokes objectifying women. Try again.

You only oppose it when 'you' decide they didn't deserve it. In your judgement Atlas deserves it. In your judgement Jessica does. What that really comes down to is arguing that female bloggers who act 'slutty' deserve it.

Now you're strawmanning me to death. I am not arguing that Atlas "deserves" anything. I'm saying you'd have one hell of a time parodying her without at some point alluding to her appearance, because her appearance is HALF HER CONTENT.

But I'll agree with you that framing the issue with "was the harassment earned?" puts one on a slippery slope. Maybe, then, you could quit framing it that way? Because this post isn't about Pamela. It isn't about my ostensible hypocrisy. It's about what I think of the events of yesterday.

Now you can either weigh in on what I wrote or you can fuck off, because I'm through with this charade in which you cry crocodile tears for Pamela. You don't mean them; you just want to put me in my place. Unfortunately for you, my place isn't up to you to determine.

Anonymous said...

There are number of rants of mine that my friends and family can probably recite word for word, and one of them is my indignation that any action/statement/decision on the part of a woman is framed by most in terms of her looks . Does the general public really know if Janet Reno was any good at her job or do they know that she was funny looking? Do we debate the morality of Linda Tripp's action or do we say, look at that hair?! Pam Anderson, in accepting the notion that she is important and worthwhile merely for her ability to attract the attention of men with her body, is a sad example of what our culture does to women. Am I angry that she's bought into that limited perception? Yes. But if she got a PhD and wrote a brilliant discourse on geothermal trends or something, I doubt that I'd be inclined to evaluate it in terms of her cleavage. However, she isn't presenting a paper, she's presenting her breasts! It seems the underlying issue here is the meaning of being able to SEE a woman's breasts--should we all wear sacks? Where does that get us? Back to burkas and veils.

Bender3000 said...

All your argument comes down to again is claiming that Pamela deserves to be objectified and have her body made fun of and Jessica doesn't.

That's a purely subjective opinion that gets us back to ranking female bloggers by how 'modest' they act. If a female blogger talks about her breasts, does she now 'deserve it?'

Who decides? See the problem.

I'm not crying crocodile tears or trying to put you in your place, wherever that is. I'm showing that your attack on Ann is hypocritical and that your position is no different than hers. Maybe all those conservative ties of yours haven't worn off yet.

Meanwhile here's Jessica's blog profile photo which is in no way revealing.

http://feministing.com/jessica.html

And two dozen of her posts which in no way contain the words, breasts, pussy or dick.

I repeat again, who decides?

Anonymous said...

I absolutely don't understand your point of view. Pamela Anderson (and many other women) make a living by revealing their bodies, which they present as being desirable. If I comment on the product they are selling, am I hypocritical in being disgusted with Althouse because she insulted someone for being in a picture, in professional attire? Jessica was not revealing her body, she just happened to have brought it with her to meet the president.

belledame222 said...

>Since I didn't do that, however, I'm not sure how your response is relevant to what I did write.

That post wasn't actually a response to you, particularly; just riffing on the general uh theme that seems to be developing in the uberthrash. Sorry about the confusion.

belledame222 said...

> I absolutely don't understand your point of view.

Assuming for the moment it isn't just more partisan trollery, I'd venture this: that just an awful lot of people seem to have glommed onto the term "objectifying" and decided it is apparently synonymous with "talking dirty" and/or "mentioning or displaying sexy body parts." Which, well, no; but then, so many words and concepts here which they don't mean what some uh people think they mean...

I mean, I don't know, honestly haven't been following the Pamela whosis thing; I did notice some people talking about now feeling vaguely creepy about participating; but--well, I suppose I'll check it out before bringing the verdict on that one (what a notion, right?)

But yeah, I do not understand the mentality that leaps from "Jessica says words like 'tits' and 'pussy' and 'dick' and maybe even displays or acknoweledges her sexuality in some other context, like, ever" to "Open season on Jessica!!!"

If Pamela whosis is saying, "please stop," then well, it's creepy if people don't, sure. Jessica DID say "please stop" and not only did people NOT stop, they pushed -harder- and -nastier,- which is always a trait I find oh so very charming.

But yeah. It doesn't matter if she said "yes" elsewhere. She said "no" here. She said, "you're hurting me," here. Very very explicitly and directly. And still y'all kept going; and keep going!

You -do- understand the difference between the problem with -that- and "hey, so and so has said in so many words that it's okay to, or at -least- (yea, can be dicey, but) hasn't objected to people talking about her body, so okay we talk about her body?"

oh. right. well. um. moving right along, then...

belledame222 said...

...and, okay, I have now looked at Jessica's profile photo, and, what is WRONG with your sorry ass? She's very pretty, yes, and she's wearing a scoop-neck T-shirt, which is as far down as you can see.

and here I was thinking it must be I don't know a picture of her in her weekend burlesque outfit, all prepared with a speech about how creepy and unevolved it is to get from "look! here's her lookin' sexy! that means it's okay to call her a streetwalker (like it's a BAD thing) in a totally unrelated context!"

...and now it turns out that it isn't even THAT, and I repeat: what is WRONG with you?

is this what "rapist's mentality" is?

i guess maybe.

"I find her attractive; therefore, she was asking for it. Whatever it is. Even when she said -very clearly- NO STOP YOU'RE HURTING ME."

gross.

Bender3000 said...

A rapist's mentality?

Get hold of yourself. No one has been raped. It's internet blogwars which go on endlessly and mainly exist to give the most annoying people traffic.

I'll repeat again, if it's wrong to attack one female blogger in that way, it's wrong to attack another.

Ilyka had no problem when it was Pamela, but she gets all self-righteous when it's Jessica because according to her Pamela deserves it because of the way she acts but Jessica is an innocent lamb.

It's called hypocrisy.

Bender3000 said...

And what is it with the 'Did she say stop?' line of argument Belle is picking up?

That's exactly a rapist's argument.

Does she have to say 'stop' for you to know a behavior is wrong.

If one blogger keeps calling another blogger, 'fag' does the other blogger have to tell him to 'stop' for it to be wrong?

ilyka said...

Ilyka had no problem when it was Pamela, but she gets all self-righteous when it's Jessica because according to her Pamela deserves it because of the way she acts but Jessica is an innocent lamb.

Do you have no idea how stupid you look restating my arguments dishonestly when those arguments are right here for everyone to read for themselves? No idea? None?

Everyone else: Hands up, those in favor of my enabling comment moderation again until Bender/Jan/Gower finds something else to do with his or her time besides post the same debunked strawman bullshit over and over again.

ilyka said...

Fuck it, we're doin' it. I'm not having every thread derailed by the self-appointed hypocrisy police.

Auguste said...

I'll repeat again, if it's wrong to attack one female blogger in that way, it's wrong to attack another.

And I'll say for the first time, it doesn't matter how many fucking times you say something, that doesn't make it right, or even an honest framing of the situation at hand.

As for the blog profile photo of Jessica, the REAL problem from a feminist perspective is that she's in her kitchen!

IN HER KITCHEN!

The goddamned nerve! I bet she's not wearing shoes, either.

/snark

ilyka said...

I think Gower just made an oblique threat to out me. If that's how low you have to stoop to feel good about yourself, Gower, I pity you.

The Grouch said...

Great post, Ilyka.

For the record, many feminists DID criticize Clinton for the Lewinsky affair (which I agree was exploitative). And, ironically, most of the criticism came from the folks the right-wingers call "gender feminists"--i.e., the more radical feminists who are somewhat out of the "mainstream" and not strongly affiliated with the Democratic Party. For example, Andrea Dworkin harshly criticized Clinton. So did Barbara Ehrenreich. If you look around the less "mainstream" feminist blogs, you'll se plenty of Clinton criticism.

Scott's right to point out that the Lewinsky affair was consensual and therefore Clinton can't be called a rapist, but that doesn't take away the fact that it was wrong and EXPLOITATIVE. Consensual relationships can be exploitative. It's never okay to take advantage of someone even if they're letting you do it.

Helen said...

"but that doesn't take away the fact that it was wrong and EXPLOITATIVE."

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Now, I just tuned out most of the other stuff, but this is one argument I take exception to. Monica is a grown-up. Bill is a grown-up. Is it wrong because he was married, is that the wrong? Wrong because he was president and therefore should keep it in his pants? Exploitative because of that massive billboard he took out on Times Square saying "And we kept the dress!"

Sorry, I didn't mean to contribute to the off-topicness, but this exploitative business is way off topic.

belledame222 said...

I am assuming "exploitive" because of "gross power imbalance." i.e. he's Leader of the Free World, she's an intern. Which really played out not so much in the relationship itself, i am thinking, but in the aftermath. For which, yes, I Blame the Flying Monkeys; but he really did kind of hang her out to dry, and for that...

well, if you don't want to call it "exploitive."

let's just say "really unethical and kind of creepy."

But no, that doesn't make it -sexual- abuse, much less rape, no.

belledame222 said...

So, no, for me, it's certainly not the adultery; it's not the unseemliness; it's not even the inherent nepotism assuming they hadn't been outed (i can't find it in my heart to fault Monica for wanting whatever she wanted out of that relationship--and it -seemed- like it was mostly good times and starfucking anyway, although presumably she would've been well placed for a good job somewhere afterward; not when there is oh so much MORE despicable nepotism going on all the time, for much higher stakes; grown men bartering their souls and the blood of their constituents for pork and an entry to the best putting greens and A-list tables in fine restaurants).

It's about power, yes.

and even so: he could've handled that much much better than he did;

at the same time, the spectacle of the VERY SAME PEOPLE who were feasting on her blood and shame trying to make out like their real concern was for poor, poor Monica, much less all the other women whom this -somehow- hurt--well, yes, i would say, in that you threw so much crap at the man that you effectively ground a lot of decent, genuinely helpful ideas he might've implemented to a halt, AND you wasted one fuckload of our tax dollars on basically one big wank book for your prurient, festering little souls--

but, yeah. It is to laugh. The outrage! The indignation! The not-even-thinly disguised leering under the show of upturned eyes and clasped hands! even now, SIX MOTHERFUCKING YEARS AFTER THE MAN LEFT OFFICE.

as i said elsewhere: Some People? Whatever the fuck it is? early toilet training, repressive religion, succubi hanging around and draining your precious bodily fluids--I don't care. Do whatever you need to do, just STOP frigging acting out your sexual hangups on the world stage, already; it's REALLY pathetic and infuriating and invasive, on so many levels.

The Grouch said...

Yeah, what belledame said.

I don't think it was an impeachable offense, mind you. And I certainly don't think the Republicans gave a shit about Clinton's treatment of women.

belledame222 said...

It's like: I probably would've been -more- sympathetic to at least hearing out peoples' complaints about his behavior in this regard if there hadn't been so many people acting like the entire frigging cast of Scarlet Letter on crank.

as it was: i was so disgusted by the whole thing that frankly i just. couldn't. care. less. forfuckssake. hey, unjustified wars, fucking around with the Constitution, those things are fine; but by God if there's one thing that's unacceptable it's HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH AN INTERN and then being skeezy about it when people sent the dogs baying after him, which, really, they NEEDN'T HAVE DONE IN THE FIRST PLACE, BECAUSE IT WAS NO ONE'S DAMN BUSINESS.

oh wait, right, i forgot: the point was because the likes of Ken Starr and Ann Coulter and all the flying monkeys howling after Bill and Monica and Hillary and her little dog too -cared so much- about those OTHER women that Clinton purportedly harassed or worse.

uh huh.

well, worse, like i said: if they wanted to make a serious case they completely and utterly fucked it up.

harassed: as we have seen just now, the actual harassment comes from the people who are HARASSING.

(hi, Ann!! hi, flying monkeys!!! hi!!!)

DamselD said...

Forget Monica, what about Kathleen Wiley? That was just two consenting adults too?

Auguste said...

Kathleen Willey?

You mean the woman debunked by your own beloved Linda Tripp, not to mention her own admission of lying to the FBI?

belledame222 said...

zzzZZZZZzzzz

god. pathetic.

"No, Clinton -is- BAD! i mean he's REALLY BAD!!!!11ONE1!!! Which totally and completely excuses every vile despicable disgusting thing -any- of Us -ever- does! Even when it's hideous misogyny and harassment and abuse of women, the very thing we keep bitching is what we despise about the evol Bill! ESPECIALLY when it's hideous misogyny and harassment and abuse of women!!"

People were defending -Jessica- here, fool; stop trying to make like this is all about -us- and -our- continuing obsession with Clinton.