The AP Reporter and the Elephant

Sunday, April 2nd, 2006 · 37 Comments »

I’d barely emerged from my 24-hour Christian fugue state when I was gobsmacked this morning by a singularly clueless article on the Winkler murder from AP reporter Woody Baird. Mr. Baird’s ruminations are being reprinted all over the newspapers of the planet, seeing as how he’s an AP reporter and thus enjoys a premium subscription to The Truth.

Peruse, if you will, this peculiar load: Depression Hits Some Preachers’ Wives.

Mr. Baird has consulted the experts and learned that Bible-thumping preachers’ wives are under pressure and prone to depression. Well, no shit, as I observed a few days ago on this very blog. But there’s something strangely missing from Mr. Baird’s analysis. He explains that preachers’ wives may feel: a) isolated by the demands of leadership, b) trapped by expectations to be a role model, and c) overwhelmed by a multiplicity of duties.

Uh huh. Isn’t there something else though? Something about…hmmm…it’s on the tip of my tongue…sounds like…sub, sub, sub something, sub…submission! That’s it! Submission! You know, that whole thing about how women are fundamentally inferior and wives must be subservient and it is every Christian woman’s duty to submit to the will of her peanut-brained ape of a husband every fricking moment of her goddamn life? That thing!

Here’s a newsflash that apparently has so far escaped the AP and its cadre of crack reporters: women are human beings. When you have a social system that makes one class of human beings inferior to another class, that’s called oppression. Oppressed humans are apt to get a little antsy, a little bitter and resentful, even a little shotgun-in-the-backy when their grim sub-thumb existence closes in on them. That’s called human nature.

But since Mr. Baird doesn’t know that women are human beings, the plight of the preacher’s wife is a mystery of the deepest opacity to him. He’s like a reporter in apartheid South Africa who fails to observe that there is a certain difference in the status of whites and blacks, said difference possibly having some tiny effect on how the inhabitants behave.

Then again, maybe Mr. Baird does know, and just isn’t allowed to say so. After all, in the eyes of Godbag America, the only religion that is oppressive to women is Islam. No one (at least no one who matters, which excludes all feminist bloggers) is allowed to notice that fundamentalist Christianity is its own brand of sexist hell. Everybody is supposed to be nice to the Christians and respect their batshit crazy cult, and to refrain at all times from pointing out that any religion — not just the ones popular in the browner parts of the world — that dictates the inferiority of female human beings is, intrinsically and automatically, a humongous pile of horseshit flambée.

Fortunately I’m one of those feminist bloggers who don’t matter, so I don’t have to “respect” pointy-headed mouth-breathing fucked-upedness masquerading as God’s Revealed Truth. The tradeoff is that I get read by 87 people instead of a billion, but there you go.

[tags]Winkler[/tags]

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37 Responses to “The AP Reporter and the Elephant”

  1. Barbara says:

    87 readers? Why, compared to my blog, you’re a cybersensation! :-)

    Not sure if you’re interested (and I have no problem with it if you’re not), but there are feminist theologians out there. To cite a few names: Mary Daly (Beyond God the Father), Rosemary Radford Ruether (Sexism and God-talk), Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza (In Memory of Her), Carol P. Christ [how's that for a last name!!!] & Judith Plaskow (Womanspirit Rising).

    Needless to say, their message doesn’t get very far. These authors end up pretty much confined to the university community where there’s still some liberty of thought possible (until David Horowitz catches up with them:

    101 Most Dangerous Professors

  2. Violet says:

    Yes, I am interested in feminist theologians. In fact, Elizabeth Johnson’s She Who Is played a key role in my faux conversion to Christianity yesterday!

    I wish the feminist theologians well and would love to see their message permeate Christianity. My quarrel is with the great unreconstructed hordes who still believe it’s God’s will for the husband to be the head of his wife and all that nauseating stuff.

    Mary Daly has talked about getting beyond Christianity, getting to the point where you stop worrying about what Paul said because you realize that it’s all just some crap invented by men anyway (well, Daly probably said it better than that). That’s pretty much my personal view. But I’m sympathetic to women whose personal faith commitment impels them to try to reform Christianity rather than just jettison the whole thing.

  3. Paul Tergeist says:

    Colt firearms, circa 1850: “Have no fear of any man no matter what his size. When danger threatens, call on me and I will equalize.”

    What’s a flambee? Some sort of tiny winged dragon?

  4. Violet says:

    What’s a flambee? Some sort of tiny winged dragon?

    Perhaps a firefly.

    And that is a dandy ad slogan. What the hell has happened to advertising in this country?

  5. Paul Tergeist says:

    It has been taken over by women in business suits who think firearms should be outlawed, wouldn’t own one, won’t allow one in their home, think evil is a function of poverty or society, think they deserve to be equal but won’t protect themselves because they believe God will protect them.

    I advise all of them to get a gun and a dog, not a Pekignese or Pomeranian. I recommend a nice semi-automatic pistol and a Caucasian Ovcharka, but House-and-Garden Raid wasp spray will work in a pinch.

  6. Steve says:

    You’ve done it again Socks. Razor sharp prose that slashes the self righteous. If I am one of 87, im proud as poo poo flambee, a term used by a certain woman with sexy metal earphones.

  7. will says:

    87??!?

    Nope that is just me repeating myself.

  8. Paul Tergeist says:

    Prose? That’s not prose. This is prose:

    [KING] ALFRED [871-901]. Preface to St. Gregory’s
    Pastoral Care. [Transcribed and translated by John F. Tinkler]

    Aelfred kyning hateth gretan Waerferth biscep his wordum
    Alfred king bids greet Waeferth bishop with his words

    luflice ond freondlice; ond the cythan hate thaet me com
    loving and friendly; and to thee bids make known that to me comes

    swithe oft on gemynd, hwelce wiotan iu waeren giond
    very often into remembrance, what wise men once were throughout

    Angelcynn, aegther ge godcundra ge woruldcundra; ond hu
    English-kind, both godly and worldly; and how

    gesaeliglica tida tha waeron giond Angelcynn; and hu tha kyningas
    happy times then were throughout English-kind; and how the kings

    the thone onwald haefdon thaes folces Gode ond his aerendwrecum
    who then power had over the people obeyed God and his errand-

  9. gordo says:

    You have more than 87 readers. When you linked to my Hitler entry, more than 400 unique visitors hit my site, which was a hell of a lot more than I had before you linked. Sadly, my traffic is now falling back to normal levels.

  10. Alon Levy says:

    It’s not how many readers you have, but how much feedback they give you. UTI has on average 7,000 unique hits a day (I think), but the level of talkback we receive is very low.

  11. gordo says:

    It’s not how much feedback you get, but the quality of feedback. The trick to elevating the level of feedback is to lure Alon Levy to your site.

  12. Txfeminist says:

    Feedback is almost always nice. Intelligent feedback is best. Anyone whose blog becomes a salon is doing a great job.

    And I have a lovely Glock that has kept me “equal in size” for years.

  13. will says:

    TxFem is a gun toter? Wow. I never knew.

  14. will says:

    We need to have some disclosure on this site. And possibly some pictures. Transparency is good.

    All this time, I thought TXFem was old, hairy, and ugly, that VioletSocks was a woman, that Alon Levy was my son, that Burrow was a nice young college coed, that Steve was a high school gym teacher.

    My world is shattering!

  15. Violet says:

    Thank you everyone, but the 87 was just a joke. Clearly a lame, lame joke that should have just stayed in bed. My actual number for March was an average of 2000 page views a day. Obviously the ratio of visitors to commenters is pretty high.

    Will, don’t you teach a concealed gun class? Seems like both Tx and Will are on board with Paul’s feminism-through-firepower theory.

  16. foilwoman says:

    Wow, that AP reporter is perceptive! (sarcasm) I bet he even knows how to get out of bed.

  17. will says:

    I do teach a concealed weapons class. I had to do something to find chix. Blogging wasnt working very well.

    In all seriousness, I do teach it, but I do not actually own a working gun. You should come to Richmond and take the class. We have a lot of fun.

  18. Violet says:

    To Paul in #8: I’ve been tempted to post some lovely samples of OE with comparisons to West and North Germanic dialects, but I’ve held off for fear it would bore my readers. Now I’m emboldened to proceed! Thanks!

  19. Violet says:

    Will, what exactly is the syllabus for a concealed weapons class? I mean, what do you teach? How to hide your gun? Tips on how to be less obvious than a Secret Service agent?

  20. will says:

    How to hide your weapon in less than ample bosoms.

    Mostly, the law of self-defense or How Not to Go to Jail for Shooting Your Ex-Husband.

  21. gordo says:

    Will–

    I’m so glad there’s someone out there teaching people how to shoot someone without going to jail. Have you ever had a pupil who was so obviously evil that you refused to instruct him?

    Maybe a balding guy with an ugly sneer, who puctuated his remarks with frequent throat-clearing and phrases like, “big time,” “go fuck yourself,” and “there’s no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction”?

  22. will says:

    Gordo:

    I find that Republicans typically want to find out when they can shoot someone.

  23. Txfeminist says:

    I have very mixed feelings about gun ownership. However, it would be hypocritical to go into them, since I own one.

    I keep promising myself I’m going to sell it. And then somehow, I just keep on owning it.

    Ambivalent much?

  24. Txfeminist says:

    “the only religion that is oppressive to women is Islam.”

    Well, they have to have a foil, don’t they, or else how could they point to themselves as superior by comparison??? Neat lil trick.

  25. Violet says:

    Tx, it KILLs me the way fundapublicans (fundamentalists + Republicans) are now all hipped up on women’s rights and actually use that as a stick to beat Islam with. Jesus H., the last Americans who ought to be patting themselves on the back for their gender-equality are the fundapublicans. But like so much propaganda, this particular poison has multiple functions: in this case it also serves to remind the traditional Christian women of how good they’ve got it compared to those poor old burka-wearing ladies, praise the Lord.

    If this were a troll-infested blog (which I’m glad it’s not), I guarandamntee somebody would show up here at this point to say that Christianity is good for women and always has been, yadeyadeyade.

  26. Paul Tergeist says:

    Christianity is good for women and always has been. I used to teach a rape class. Not how to do it, but how to avoid it by killing or maiming the potential rapist. Most of the women who attended said “Oh, I could never do that to someone” and you wanted to tell them “you don’t have to worry about it unless you bump into a rapist with a white cane”. Eventually it devolved from a self protection class to a ‘don’t be vulnerable’ class which was probably a complete waste of time. I eventually recommended wearing a locked, steel chastity belt at all times, but this was in the 70s when high quality American made chastity belts were available, before McDonalds made them obsolete.

  27. Alon Levy says:

    To Paul in #8: I’ve been tempted to post some lovely samples of OE with comparisons to West and North Germanic dialects, but I’ve held off for fear it would bore my readers. Now I’m emboldened to proceed! Thanks!

    Well, I’m a reader who will definitely not be bored. Hell, I’m inventing my own diachronic languages; there’s no reason I won’t be enticed by reading about comparisons between Germanic languages.

    Tx, it KILLs me the way fundapublicans (fundamentalists + Republicans) are now all hipped up on women’s rights and actually use that as a stick to beat Islam with.

    It’s not surprising… it’s not a new thing that people who commit atrocities use similar atrocities committed by the other side for rhetoric (e.g. the Nazis and Dresden, every conventional army and rape). Western xenophobes’ harping on women’s rights is just one such episode. As I like to say, 95% of the people who criticize Islam’s misogyny don’t care for women’s rights beyond their use as propaganda against Islam.

    But like so much propaganda, this particular poison has multiple functions: in this case it also serves to remind the traditional Christian women of how good they’ve got it compared to those poor old burka-wearing ladies, praise the Lord.

    Interesting analysis… I guess Christian rhetoricians do that in part because it enables them to paint themselves as the sensible middle between the unreasonable extremes of Islam and feminism.

  28. Paul Tergeist says:

    To Violet in 18: Your readers might find it inacessible or boring, or that North German, like Arabic, sounds like something coughing up a hairball. But even if you don’t post it, please feel free to email it to me.

    To texfeminist in 23: You should be no more concerned with gun ownership than with sticks or rocks. It isn’t the medium, it is the will and intent of the person wielding it. The only person in the world who is even marginally safe is the President and that is because he isn’t allowed to play with the Vice-President..or outdoors at all for that matter.

  29. Paul Tergeist says:

    from 27: I’m inventing my own diachronic languages..
    -Alon Levy

    Do tell.

  30. Paul Tergeist says:

    Is it considered the mark of a successful, freed feminist to never write anything without inserting a surfeit of crudity? Do you kiss your momma with that mouth?

  31. Violet says:

    Is it considered the mark of a successful, freed feminist to never write anything without inserting a surfeit of crudity?

    Me? My swearing has nothing to do with feminism. It’s just because I was raised by sailors. I can’t help it. Fuckin’ A.

    Alon, for what purpose do you plan to use these invented languages? I’m inventing a language for my sci-fi book, which is one of the many reasons I’ll never finish the goddamn thing.

    I’ll start posting on OE for Alon and Paul. Soon you two will be my only visitors! It’ll be cozy that way.

    Call me crazy, but somehow I don’t think putting more guns into the hands of the citizenry will lead to a reduction in violence.

  32. Paul Tergeist says:

    to 31: If you KNEW that the woman you were about to accost had been certified with firearms in high school and probably has a permit to carry a concealed firearm, and might well be trolling for pervs, would you think twice?

    Hey! Good news! Pat Robertson speaks out on feminism!

    “We can’t just blame the hijackers. Their actions were despicable, but they were just under the possessed influence of their false Satanic moon god. True responsibility for these crimes rests with the homosexuals, feminists, abortionists, pagans, Buddhists, masturbators, pop-music listeners, internet users, Kurt Vonnegut readers and the American Civil Liberties Union, for stripping this nation of the protection of the One True God that it formerly enjoyed.”

    Honestly, that guy cracks me up!

  33. Paul Tergeist says:

    to 17: “Chix”. By that you mean women? And you have fun teaching them how to take a life?

    Lookit, pal. I honestly believe that EVERY citizen of average intelligence and no criminal record, who can qualify and pass a psychological and drug screen should be REQUIRED to learn about firearms in high school. I further think they should be REQUIRED to spend two years in some national service, during which time they must have the opportunity to live and work in a third world country, not necessarily in a military role. Then I think they must live and work in a national park for 6 months to learn about the OUTSIDE of a building and commune with nature.

    THEN they should be allowed to qualify with, and carry a concealed firearm if they wish to. Military personnel should be allowed to keep their issued weapon upon their release from active service, including automatic weapons, and should be given a mandatory training session twice a year.

    Simply put, I believe that every American should have the training and hardware necessary for them to protect themselves in the situations commonly encountered in America.

  34. Alon Levy says:

    Alon, for what purpose do you plan to use these invented languages? I’m inventing a language for my sci-fi book, which is one of the many reasons I’ll never finish the goddamn thing.

    Yeah, me too (only I put the sci-fi on the back burner for a while because the first draft’s horrendous and I procrastinate editing it so much that since I finished it I’ve written a whole new book). Honestly I never knew you were a conlanger – I guess you don’t come off as nerdy enough for that…

    Lookit, pal. I honestly believe that EVERY citizen of average intelligence and no criminal record, who can qualify and pass a psychological and drug screen should be REQUIRED to learn about firearms in high school.

    Hey, I don’t really care, as long as people like me have a way of repeatedly cutting class.

    Simply put, I believe that every American should have the training and hardware necessary for them to protect themselves in the situations commonly encountered in America.

    And I believe gun control can help make the situations guns might be useful in less commonly encountered.

    If you KNEW that the woman you were about to accost had been certified with firearms in high school and probably has a permit to carry a concealed firearm, and might well be trolling for pervs, would you think twice?

    In such a society I’d probably have a gun, too; and possessing the advantage of surprise, I’d be able to confront the said woman far more easily.

  35. Txfeminist says:

    “… all hipped up on women’s rights and actually use that as a stick to beat Islam with.”

    The ultimate hypocrisy. Ginmar had a great post on this issue a while back.

    Paul, 32: Did he really say that, or are you just playing? With Pat Robertson, nothing surprises me.

  36. sybil says:

    Everybody is supposed to be nice to the Christians and respect their batshit crazy cult YES! well-said. say it loud and say it often: members of a Cult. Thanks Wikipedia for A group that exploits members psychologically and/or financially, typically by making members comply with leadership’s demands through certain types of psychological manipulation, popularly called mind control, and through the inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders. F’ing godbags.

  37. Paul Tergeist says:

    to 32: http://fuck-the-skull-of-jesus.mit.edu/fanatics.html