I have this wacky solution to the problem: I don't read Firedoglake, and I don't link to it.
Gerard Vanderleun has a different solution: Make fun of Jane's breast cancer. Really:
Even the leering coarseness of [Vanderleun]'s arch sexism ("Am I not being taken seriously because I am a woman? Jane, I assure you that if you were indeed a woman you would be taken seriously as one...") and his undisguised loathing for female corporeality doesn't quite brace the reader for the sheer ugliness of jibing at a woman who's battled breast cancer, "Jane's been in a perpetual state of peeve since she caught a dose of BDS* and it metastasized into the implants."
Sexism thrives on the right because of the myth of exceptionalism it hawks to right-wing women. It goes a little something like, "Oh, sure, I'll call Cindy Sheehan a cunt; but I would never do that to you, dear conservative female blogger, because YOU are a TRUE LADY."
Or: "Yeah, I just barfed up a 2500-word-essay about how inferior female bloggers are to male ones, but I didn't mean you, my precious pumpkin, because YOU are an EXCEPTION."
And so on, and so on, and so on. So when you try to float the idea to women on the right that sexism is kind of a problem, you get back, "Oh, but he's never done that to me. He's always been such a perfect gentleman*."
It works beautifully: The men don't get called on shit they ought to be called on, and the women get to feel special--"a creature unlike any other," to bum a phrase off The Rules.
Whether any of these exceptional, rarer-than-the-rarest-gem creatures unlike any other ever wonder if perhaps their exceptionalism is conditional, to be bestowed upon them by men and just as capriciously withdrawn, like bribes to children for good behavior--that I cannot tell you. I think it is unlikely, however, because I have been criticized for noting that this conditionality exists in the first place, because by so noting, I am misunderstood to be saying, "You're not actually exceptional."
This is not, of course, what I am saying, but it doesn't prevent the inevitable, which is that I then get a bunch of shit about how I'm attacking right-wing women for being right-wing, about how I'm nothing but a backstabber, and blah blah, and it feeds right back into the loop; it encourages right-wing women to rely on their men to back them up, to support them, to say, "Of course she's juat a bitter little bitch; didn't I tell you? Didn't I try to tell you? Thank goodness that, unlike her, YOU are a TRUE LADY."
Shoot the messenger remains a perennial favorite game of human beings everywhere, in case you were wondering.
So thanks, Gerard. Thanks for making it crystal fucking clear that the problem isn't me, or any other woman who complains about the way male "A-list" bloggers behave on the right, and certainly not any woman who can't help noticing that the boatloads of ostensible respect you have for women is really nothing more than boatloads of noblesse oblige doled out sparingly to those women who support and agree with you, and only those women, and only on those terms. Or shall I remind us all what happened to Ann Althouse when she criticized Pajamas Media?
Don't ever leave the ballroom, fair damsels, lest we piss down the backs of your gowns as you go.
It's not that women on the right can't be, or aren't, in fact, exceptional. While I don't find much to agree with them about these days, I remain committed to the belief that right-wing women can be exceptionally talented, and indeed many of them are. No, the absence of exceptional ability is not the problem. The problem is that to a large extent, women on the right have not embraced their inherent abilities that have nothing, nothing, to do with traffic from A-list conservative male bloggers.
And don't look all smug there, feminists: If most of the positive feedback you ever got was for attacking other women, other women who are also exceptional (in that they are so very, very unladylike, unpatriotic, unintelligent, unhinged, and uncouth), you'd have a hard time acknowledging and owning your power, too. You might even have a hard time seeing that The Exceptional Woman Who Is Exceptionally Lovely, Gracious, and Kind, and The Exceptional Woman Who Is Exceptionally Nasty, Vituperative, and Ugly, are in fact merely two sides of the same damn coin**.
I'll know right-wing women will have begun to figure out The Difference That Isn't when they're able to call Gerard's post for what is: Repulsive, misogynist vitriol; the bitter, bilious words of a bitter, bilious man. No more, no less.
Stay single, buddy.
*True story time: I was informed of exactly this when I criticized one such "perfect gentleman" for linking to my blog on the now-defunct Fucked Company message boards and applying Ye Olde C-Word to me there. But, you know, he's always been simply delightful to her, so clearly, misogyny is not the issue. And don't I need to just quit being such a cunt already, anyway?
**Coin motto: "We hate women, except you, whom we love, and her, whom we hate even more than usual."
UPDATE: I'm normally both rude and vain (in the sense that I figure I don't have to thank anybody for liking what I write; either they like it or they don't, right?) about thanking people for links, but let's face it, here: I hit the feminist jackpot today. So many thanks to Zuzu, Roxanne, Amanda, and Lindsay for sending lotsa readers this way.