Thursday, March 01, 2007

We'll See How Long This Lasts

Resolution of the day:

I will not return to that timesucking Feministe thread. I will not return to that timesucking Feministe thread. I will NOT return to that timesucking Feministe thread.

You should read the post, though. The post is very good.

Just don't get sucked into the comments. I mean, don't let ME get sucked into the comments. Because, you know, sometimes? In the comments? I get a little hysterical.

I can't help it. It's the vagina. And the fat. The fat vagina, that's what it is. Making me all hysterical.

And the political correctness. Can't forget the political correctness. I hate political correctness; it makes it harder for people who are not that funny to get away with being not that funny.

19 comments:

Sniper said...

I can't stay away from that damned thread. I think the latest cycle is another round of "You guys are wasting time on stupid shit. Fatties!" Or maybe by now they're back on "You said I said this!"

Ugh. But Piny is totally right.

Lesley said...

Dude, I know! It was giving me a headache before. Well that and the sinus infection. OK, just the sinus infection. But the comment thread totally wasn't helping.

So anyway, I was thinking of you earlier in an "Ilyka would so know what new fresh hell this comment thread is" kind of way.

gennimcmahon said...

My vagina gives me the worst hysteria. Just the other day I was all, like, shrill and shit, just because some dude got a mistrial after admitting he killed his baby daughter. Jeez! Why won't my vagina let me relax?

Rob said...

I skimmed that 300-page book about halfway through last night and picked it up again this morning and now it's a 500-page book. People still entering thoughtful, lengthy comments at 500+. Amazing. As piny said: "I hate to break it to you, but we’re nerds.)"

Hubris said...

It's an interesting topic--as someone who often resorts to ridicule, it made me think. You put it well with your DOES/IS distinction vis-a-vis what's appropriate, but isn't there sometimes a blurry, soft line between the two? Sometimes what we are (including our appearance) is a reflection of what we do and think. If I got a toupee, in my estimation it would be more than fair to make fun of my vanity, for example.

Anonymous said...

534 comments so far. The 300+ I scanned yesterday didn't improve my opinion of certain bloggers who try to be funny but come off as mean spirited wankers much of the time.

Anonymous said...

Kill me now.


Zuzu

piny said...

Oh, but you cannot escape the clutches of the blogwar!

ilyka said...

Sometimes what we are (including our appearance) is a reflection of what we do and think.

I think that's fair to an extent. It's still something I'd shy away from because I think piny has it right when he points out (more or less--please, please let me paraphrase rather than review a nearly 600-comment thread) that there's nothing subversive, or progressive, about reinforcing a stereotype.

Right now the point I'm most sympathetic to is the one about Ann Coulter: She tries to work the blonde bombshell thing and walk all over other women, so isn't it fair to point out that the blonde bombshell thing isn't really working? She's horsey-faced, emaciated, and has a prominent Adam's apple.

All true, but it also implies that these attributes are negatives. The counter I can see to that is, "No, they're negatives only in the this particular context, in the sense that they note specific ways in which Coulter's blonde bombshell persona fails."

And the counter I can see to the counter is this: Once you go there, you cannot depend on everyone reading it to keep the same context. A lot of them are going to head off on how much they hate skanks generally--or at least, that's how I've seen it go down in most Coulter's-an-ugly-dude threads.

Now it's about how much skanks blow, not how much Coulter does.

Still thinking over a lot of this, though. Because I am a huge nerd. So far, the comment that offers the best counterpoint, in my opinion, is this one:

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2007/02/28/go-fuck-yourself/#comment-90261

But see above for why I'm not sure I'm down 100% with it.

ilyka said...

Hahaha! It cuts off. Well, it's the post link followed by:

#comment-90261

Mark S. said...

re: Coulter

That reminds of what someone wrote a couple of years ago when it was revealed that Bill Bennett had a gambling problem. It was something along the lines of if Bennett were just an ordinary pundit, making fun of his gambling problem would be sort of in poor taste, but since he's a moral wag who's constantly spouting off on the vices of others, his vices are fair game.

The same with Coulter: she doesn't wear skirts up to her vagina for the hell of it; she's doing it to make conservatism seem "sexy." So if people counter that she isn't really sexy, and actually quite manly, I don't have a problem with that, as long as they don't go too overboard. And she doesn't have any problem calling her opponents sluts (as well as traitors), so she's opened herself up to it.

Also, I really, really, hate Coulter, but that's not really news to you.

Lesley said...

And she doesn't have any problem calling her opponents sluts (as well as traitors), so she's opened herself up to it.

The main problem I have with that is I think attacking her on those issues plays right into her hands. It tacitly concedes that she's right that being "slutty" is a bad, bad, shameful thing and that being conventionally attractive is an important hallmark of value. I get stuck at an impasse here, because I'm not sure what the best way to attack her is. I just think tacitly conceding her points might not be it.

piny said...

So if people counter that she isn't really sexy, and actually quite manly, I don't have a problem with that, as long as they don't go too overboard.

Aha! I think I've figured out why this doesn't work for me.

There's no objective unsexy. Personally, I think that skinny women with lantern jaws--and adam's apples--are totally hot. There are mainstream conventions around what's sexy in a woman, and there are things that individual men find attractive. So what these men--and they're usually men--are saying is actually either, "You're failing to perform femininity to spec," and, "I don't want to fuck you."

I think it would make sense to point out the strategy of draping Ann Coulter over the slouching beast of neo-conservatism like a model in a mechanic's calendar. But when you rate her ability to appeal to your libido, you're not challenging that. You're just telling her that her ass is too bony for your tastes. It'd be a deeply flawed strategy even if you did think she was a beautiful woman.

ilyka said...

You're just telling her that her ass is too bony for your tastes. It'd be a deeply flawed strategy even if you did think she was a beautiful woman.

QUIT CALLING SADLY, NO! WORSE THAN HITLER!

Oops! Sorry. Wrong thread. Anyway, right on and exactly, and to clarify what I said earlier, it makes the point "Ann Coulter is bad because I do not want to have sex with her," not "Ann Coulter is bad because she sows hatred." (Or whatever--Ann's list of sins is too long for me to list here.)

I just got back from Genni's and she added that the implication naturally following is, so, what--if you did want to have sex with Ann Coulter, she'd be less bad? As thrilled as I would be to say "obviously not," I do recall a thread from That Blog That Is Worse Than Hitler about Pam, the Atlas Shrugged blogger, in which some fool commenter opined, "Bend that hottie over and boink her in the butt!" You know, she's crazy and bigoted and murderous and everything, but she sure does have a nice ass!

It was something along the lines of if Bennett were just an ordinary pundit, making fun of his gambling problem would be sort of in poor taste, but since he's a moral wag who's constantly spouting off on the vices of others, his vices are fair game.

Agreed, of course; it's the hypocrisy angle that makes that work. But speaking of hypocrisy, that's another problem I'm having with Dafydd ab Hugh, Fatty as a humor device: If (and I am a lot less certain of this now than I was before the monster thread) a core progressive value is inclusion and diversity, then the hypocrisy of ridiculing someone for not meeting the body ideal lies with progressives, and just personally I think that way dwarfs any hypocrisy along the lines of "ha ha you think you are a warrior but actually you are fat."

So why Bennett/Coulter comparisons fail here is simple: Coulter isn't being a hypocrite. Progressives who claim not to uphold or support the het cisgendered male beauty ideal and then laugh at how much Coulter fails to live up to it are the hypocrites.

adbrad said...

I wouldn't wade in here, but the coulter bit cuts a bit close to home. If you want to say progressive hetero guys should stop offering our opinion on the desirability of Coulter, well.... you're right.
In my mild defense, when one is unkind to her in more conservative quarters a frequent line of attack is "you're bitter cause she'd never sleep with you".
It's not that I think whether I'd sleep with her is relevant to her opinions, but that discussion of her appearance has been made part of discussion of her. You're right in that it's wrong to fall into that, but it's not fair to imply moral failings for doing so. Sometimes people make innocent mistakes, and bringing them up politely is the most effective way to help them learn.

ilyka said...

In my mild defense, when one is unkind to her in more conservative quarters a frequent line of attack is "you're bitter cause she'd never sleep with you".

Yeah! No, listen, I know I've just read that somewhere--Instapunk? Was that the place? Mr. "Cussing is Wrong and Bad but War and Death Are Awesome," right?

You and my man need to hang out, because that bugs him too. Not that it's hard to see why:

Liberal: I am so tired of Ann Coulter.

Conservative: You're just jealous that you'll never be able to have sex with her!

Liberal: What?!? No. No! She's not even attractive! She looks like a man!

Conservative: Haha, im in ur blogz telling your gurlz that ur sexist!!

That would drive me insane if I were in your shoes. That aspect, I get.

ilyka said...

Should probably be "homophobic" where I wrote "sexist" in previous, although I think both can apply. Oh well. Stupid blogger comments.

blondie said...

I already said my Coulter-stuff over at IBTP; so I think it would be in bad taste to repeat it here.

Besides.

I have to say that there's just something about the phrase "fat vagina" that I love.

Normally, from a purely aesthetic sense, I don't particularly like either word standing on its own. The vowels are too flat or emphatic or something. But, together, they are more than the sum of their parts. Like, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" or "Fire and Ice" or "red spruce butter rum" (I just made that last one up, but it's cool ain't it?)

And who wouldn't want to have a fat vagina (okay, not a gay man, but who else)? It's just more of a good thing.

belledame222 said...

I try not to go after AC's actual physical attributes. I do have enough "go fug yourself" in me to think that, say, wondering aloud if she's -ever- going to send that eternal Little Black Dress to the cleaner's is fair game.

not that it has anything to do with the fact that she's a walking pile of toxic vomit just barely held together by the thinnest of skins;

just, you know, sometimes it's fun to be petty.