In Which Feminism Finally Bends Over And Eats Itself From The Ass Up

Sunday, November 16th, 2008 · 185 Comments »

That was the title of a post at the Insider last summer, prompted by the notorious TV interview in which a couple of Jezebel editors — allegedly feminists — made drunken jokes about rape and other hilarious topics. It could serve as the theme of 2008.

(By the way, the Insider was behind the curve on that one. Jezebel has always been a place for indulging in patriarchy-approved woman-on-woman bashing, and the fact that anyone there thinks this behavior is “feminist” is a sign of how degraded the concept of feminism has become in this country. It was at Jezebel where an editor raged that “women suck” after the New Hampshire primary, it was at Jezebel where Hillary Clinton was ridiculed and demeaned non-stop, it was at Jezebel where another editor announced she wanted to “murk that cunt” — the cunt being Sarah Palin.)

But back to the topic at hand: what the hell is going on with feminists this year? How did feminists turn into such a bunch of ravening misogynists? I feel like I’m trapped in an endless playback loop of the final scene of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Donald Sutherland’s mouth forever open in that hideous scream. Pod people, everywhere I turn.

The latest is this absurd business with pod person Rachel Maddow. Remember the video of Sarah Palin taking on the cheeto dicks? About damn time, I say. The lurid smears about Palin and her daughter that emanated from Cheeto Dick Central (DailyKos) were an appalling example of public misogyny. No feminist in her right mind could fail to see the sexism inherent in reducing a woman candidate to her uterus.

And yet here we have Rachel Maddow standing up for the misogynist cheeto dicks — and the twits at Feministing cheering her on. Yay, cheeto dicks! Yay, sexism! What the fuck?

But I suppose what these Third Wavers are really defending is their own role in smearing Palin. Feminist bloggers were front and central in spreading noxious lies about the Governor: the one about her being anti-sex-ed and anti-contraception, the one about the rape kits, the one about banning books. By the way, has Jessica Valenti issued a retraction yet? Didn’t think so.

Meanwhile, representing the Second Wave we have good ol’ Ellen Goodman, still ridiculing Palin for the grievous sin of having a rural lifestyle and an Alaskan accent. I read this crap and I feel physically ill. I’ve spent my life spreading the message that feminism is for all women, that it isn’t just the preserve of avant-garde radicals or East Coast intellectuals. Thanks a lot, Ellen.

Goodman is celebrating the fact that women were turned off from voting for Palin — which is to say, she’s celebrating the success of the propaganda campaign waged by her and other feminists (it hurts to write that) to depict Palin, wrongly, as a bimbo, an idiot, a rube, a far-right extremist. Say, has Goodman issued a retraction yet for her false claim that Palin thinks sex ed should be abstinence-only? Didn’t think so.

Or how about Goodman’s theme that Palin’s balancing of career and motherhood, replete with stay-at-home husband and equal marriage, is somehow anti-feminist because…because…oh, who the fuck knows.

We need to build a new feminism, but at the same time we need to figure out what the hell happened to the old feminism. What is wrong with these women?


I need a hug.

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185 Responses to “In Which Feminism Finally Bends Over And Eats Itself From The Ass Up”

  1. atheist woman says:

    Unfortunately this is nothing new. Women have always found it fashionable to hate women, as have men. As a woman who is no longer my friend once told me, “I don’t like women, everyone knows they’re just bitches.”

  2. Lisa says:

    Apropos of this post, if you haven’t read this article at NewAgenda it is very good:

    http://thenewagenda.net/2008/11/14/cant-we-all-just-get-along/

    But how do we get through to these raving lunatics that claim to be feminists? I say we travel in packs, tackle them, sit on top of them and not let them up until they start making sense.

  3. Violet says:

    Lisa, you know I am the editor of The New Agenda website, yes?

  4. Yanni Znaio says:

    Once again, you nailed it.

    And if you take hugs from guys, then consider yourself hugged.

    YZ

  5. Lisa says:

    Yes Violet I know. Was that a faux pas? Sorry.

  6. Yanni Znaio says:

    Wow. It didn’t take much time for that long post of mine on that other thread to be approved.

    Did you really read all of it that fast?

    Have to start calling you “Violet Wood”.

  7. Violet says:

    Lisa: no on faux pas. Just thought maybe you didn’t realize the connection.

    Yanni: mostly just has to do with whether I’m at the computer. I saw your last comment right when it came in.

  8. Yanni Znaio says:

    lisa says:

    But how do we get through to these raving lunatics that claim to be feminists?

    It Isn’t My Job to determine who is or who isn’t a feminist. That sort of thing reminds me of the medieval theologians who debated about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, and frankly, it makes my eyes glaze over sometimes.

    I look at it in terms of people who are holding good ideas vs. bad ideas, and see the battle in terms of displacing their bad ideas with better ones. And that isn’t done by name-calling or labelling, but rather by reasoned discussion. (what to do when trying to have a reasoned discussion with one who lacks the ability to reason is another question altogether, and very close to the one you just asked.)

    It is an old axiom that conservatives see liberals as people who believe bad ideas, and that liberals see conservatives as being bad people.

    I don’t believe it for a minute (all generalizations are false), but it kind of makes my point.

    YZ

  9. Yanni Znaio says:

    What I asked you was- did you take the time to read it?

    I was trying to seriously address what jennforhillary was saying in down-to-earth terms.

  10. coolaunt says:

    Is that you in the photo? Whoever she is, she has fabulous hair.

    What I think is that there’s not really been some huge change all at once in feminism or feminists. What’s been huge and sudden is the realization that feminism and feminists, even the ones you thought you knew well, have been swallowed up by and converted to simply liberals, Leftists, Democrats and, now, progressives. This conversion has done to feminism and feminists what playing with the patriarchs by their rules always causes to women: we lose our identities and collective identity as women and humans. Feminism devolved, returning to the patriarchy, and it did so slowly just as evolution did/does.

    I really didn’t see it happening or know the cause, but I had noticed in recent years that conservative women have been open game for ridicule and sexist commentary in many feminist circles. (One of the things that have made me fond of Heart is that she doesn’t allow that kind of talk at her blog to go unnoticed; she’s not the only feminist who treats conservative and religious women and humans and women, she just comes to mind first.) I also noticed how defensive and even insulted radfems become when accused of being aligned with the right for their anti-porn POV and activism. Yes, radfem anti-porn reasons are opposite of the right’s reasons (woman love as opposed to woman hate and shame) but still, that that accusation causes such defensive reaction…

    Anyway, I’m glad for this sudden realization among reasonable feminists (to borrow from Yanni). It’s time for feminists to stop being solid votes for a political party that blew us off after Roe, except during elections when Roe is used as a threat, and become feminists again. Let the parties court us for a while. And if neither will do what we want and need from them, let’s start our own political party or try to bring together the many women’s third parties to one large one. Now feminist women are recognizing and admiring the feminist qualities of women who up until a few months ago weren’t counted as feminists because of their pro-life (anti-choice) beliefs and/or their identification with the Republican party. (I heard Dick Morris say on tv news last week that it seems that what separates a feminist from other women is abortion rights and nothing more. When even he can see that, it’s gotten bad.)

    As you posted here a few months ago and I’ve linked to numerous times since, conservative women aren’t evil nor are they enemies to feminists/feminism and that if we allow ourselves to be blinded to the humanity of those whose views we oppose, we aren’t truly liberal or tolerant. That’s so true. Conservative women as a group (I’m not, of course, speaking of certain individuals among them) are not bad or anti-woman, anti-feminists. They’re women, too, and many of them, such as Palin, are living lives that appear to be very feminist, and it seems that their differences from liberal feminists are much fewer than their similarities. And little by little, I’m seeing feminists meeting in the middle from both sides of the liberal-conservative, Democrat/Republican divide meeting in the middle to discuss and commiserate what’s best for women.

  11. Polly styrene says:

    I’m just glad I live over here and don’t have to vote over there…..

  12. Northwest rain says:

    There was another time that women testified against women — giving evidence that the women on trial were “witches”.

    The records are there — carefully preserved from the witch trails in Europe. I was learning to real historical records in the original handwriting and stumbled across the Scottish witch trial documents. It was chilling to read the stories invented by women against other women. Of course men were also eager to give testimony. These are records of mean gossips trying to eliminate uppity women — or perhaps someone who was just a bit different, a bit odd who didn’t like to conform. Women on women bashing is ancient. Hillary and Palin would have been hung (or worse) back in the middle ages.

    Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts by Anne L. Barstow (1995)

    The Author begins with current events and then draws parallets to the Witchraze era. She went to original source material — and looked at the way male historians sort of ignored what was really happening.

    So . . . how will male historians try to sweep under the rug the horrendous misogyny that Obama has unleashed in this nation and perhaps the world? And will women allow males to rewrite history AGAIN?

    NOW has rendered itself totally and completely irrelevant — as if that organization really had any contact with working women in the first place.

  13. Yanni Znaio says:

    coolaunt:

    You borrowed from me?

    I am honored, ma’am.

    YZ

  14. Polly styrene says:

    Oh I should add that I’ve now got a link from some idiot accusing me of homophobia because I say Rachel Maddow is a ‘self proclaimed butch dyke’

    I’m a ‘self proclaimed’ (non femme) dyke you ninny. As you’d find out if you bothered to read my blog before linking to it. The quote comes from a Guardian article I got when I googled her, which I have now helpfully linked for you. The phrase struck me as funny – that’s all. The reason I don’t love her is that I live in the UK and have never heard of her before.

  15. coolaunt says:

    Northwest rain says:

    There was another time that women testified against women — giving evidence that the women on trial were “witches”.

    The records are there — carefully preserved from the witch trails in Europe. I was learning to real historical records in the original handwriting and stumbled across the Scottish witch trial documents. It was chilling to read the stories invented by women against other women. Of course men were also eager to give testimony. These are records of mean gossips trying to eliminate uppity women — or perhaps someone who was just a bit different, a bit odd who didn’t like to conform.
    US history has the Salem witch trials of the – o h crap! – the 1500s, much smaller scale but similar to the Scottish witch hunts that you describe. And you can bet that some of those women, especially from among those women who were really just girls of, say, 12 to 16 years old, came up with some of their best accusation stories to win the favor of Teh Menz.

    Some things never go out of style.

  16. Violet says:

    Vis-a-vis the witch trials: the thing is, women vs. women is actually the norm in a patriarchy. It’s a feature, not a bug. Feminism attempts to subvert that divide-and-conquer strategy by bringing women together, raising our consciousness of our shared condition, etc., etc.

    But the feminist movement exists within the matrix of patriarchal society, which means that feminist women are always pushing back against the dominant narrative. What I’m wondering is if that pushing back doesn’t create pressure — the pressure of trying to be sisterly to other women, the pressure of trying to resist the woman-hating that seeps into every aspect of culture. So that when feminists do give in to the woman-hating they’ve been resisting, they really give in to it. Like a boiler exploding.

  17. slythwolf says:

    When you talk about women testifying against each other during the Burning Times, you do also have to recognize that many of those women were giving their testimony to save their own lives after horrible torture. This was not always the case, but it was in many situations.

    I think you may be right about the pressure, Violet.

    It may also be that it’s so ingrained in us to criticize everything women do, that we–you and I–think that what these antifeminist feminists are saying and doing is worse than it actually is. Don’t mistake my meaning; it is egregious. I just think it’s interesting that we feel so much more betrayed when we hear that a woman has used a sexist slur against another woman, than when we hear that a man has beaten and raped a woman. I have said it myself: I would expect this kind of behavior from a man, but for a woman to do that to her sisters…

    But really, it isn’t any different. Men and women both grow up in the patriarchy, are brainwashed from birth in its ways, chief among which is misogyny. Of course women hate women. Hating women is the thing to do.

  18. Sis says:

    It’s BDSM foreplay. It’s fluffing the boys.

  19. Violet says:

    But slythwolf, it’s the fact that these are feminists, and their attacks on Palin are frequently presented as being in the name of feminism. That’s what’s so astonishing.

  20. Apostate says:

    Violet, has it occurred to you – just for a second – that perhaps we dislike Palin because well, she is a pretty horrendous politician and belongs to the anti-woman party?

    Have you given that a moment’s thought?

    Or have all feminists, including Robin Morgan, for heaven’s sake, been co-opted by the patriarchy now? Have all us Hillary supporters, all us strong feminists who have no interest in appeasing men, all us feminists who don’t hate women, have all of us lost sight of reality? Is that easier for you to believe than the fact that Palin doesn’t really inspire much confidence in most thinking people and it really doesn’t have anything to do with her gender?

    I am one of those people who are astonishing you so much and seriously, I am spending far less time attacking other feminists (including you/PUMAs) than you are spending attacking other feminists.

    If this is your Big Tent, your new feminism, it’s not going to go very far without the majority of feminists on board, who happen to be people you’re attacking.

    Do you think this is productive or useful and not just another internal fight with people who are mostly on your side? Do you think it’s different from all the other factional in-fighting that feminists have seen over the years?

  21. djmm says:

    Very thoughtful post — and fabulous pictures of beautiful animals!

    Women obtain approval from (some) men and from authority figures (religious leaders, party officials, even “cool blogger dudes”) by attacking other women. They are then in sync, in harmony with such people. It takes efforts to reason through such things and reject them. I was astonished at the number of feminists I know who believed every lie about Governor Palin (even after they knew about the lies against Senator Clinton). I guess it was easier for them to believe.

    Disagreement over ideas or over goals or means — sure. But we must learn to make misogyny unacceptable — first and especially from women. How do we reach them? Write stories showing them it can happen to them? I thought that was part of the point of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery (no accident that he person who dies is a woman). Boycotts? Attempt to engage them in rational conversation? One thing we need is allies — and I think women on the right have begun to see the problem.

    djmm

  22. Foxx says:

    It is very distressing. As distressing as seeing all these “progressive” “feminist” women falling for Obama’s lying image and not seeing who Hillary is. My conclusion is that most people, icluding most women, feminist or not, are naive and willfully ignorant. Not to say stupid. I ruminate about this far too much.

    But the women’s movement was always very messy, made up of women whose understanding was flawed in one way or another.

    Still, at the core of every woman, is the desire to be strong and free. That is what we must ignite, that is what fueled the first and second waves (the third wave was just a backlash, may it rest in pieces).

    I don’t think we need to spend time trying to figure out why these feminists have lost their way. We need to shine a light for them.

  23. yttik says:

    Violet mentions a boiler exploding, like when feminists attack other women, it can be the result of pressure building.

    I see it a similar way, when women feel weakened, they attack other women. We just spent months watching Hillary get bashed down and many women were just reeling from it. Then along comes Palin. I think some women attacked her in an attempt to regain their sense of power. And some cheetoh eaters certainly patted them on the head for it. You go from being an outcast to getting all this approval for bashing Palin.

    I remember Gloria Stenheim wrote her article praising Hillary and people said “put her out to pasture”. She past her time, she’s outdated, and there were implications that she was racist. Then a few months later she wrote an article criticizing Palin and all of the sudden the same people decide Gloria is relevant once more.

  24. song says:

    Dear Dr. Socks

    Well Dr. Socks, I believe woman and men who express misogyny are probably less evolved. I think they didn’t leave the caves for
    at least 2000 years after you did. (maybe longer)

    Have a nice day.

  25. Violet says:

    Violet, has it occurred to you – just for a second – that perhaps we dislike Palin because well, she is a pretty horrendous politician and belongs to the anti-woman party?

    Has it occurred to you that just because Sarah Palin is a Republican, that does not make it okay to demean her with sexist attacks and misogynistic smears, does not make it okay to slander her and spread lies about her record and her beliefs? Does not make it okay to ridicule her in sexist terms and distort her record as a woman and as a politician, and to do all that in the name of feminism?

    Feminism isn’t some game where you use the tools of patriarchy to tear down women you don’t like.

    You need to figure that out.

    As for “infighting” — hardly. I’m embarked on trying to re-start feminism, and one of the problems we need to come to grips with is the utter breakdown of public feminism this year. We need to understand where we are before we can go forward.

  26. Anna Belle says:

    I don’t think there’s much we can do about kool aide feminists, except to remind them every chance we get that Alice Paul was never stupid enough to be a partisan for anything but women. And also that they owe every vote they cast to her.

    What we have to do is get to these girls as they are coming up, change that world. Today’s high school freshmen will vote in four years. We’d better start now.

  27. Anna Belle says:

    M comment went to moderation for some reason, ftr. I didn’t even curse! :)

  28. Violet says:

    I think the filters just do that from time to time to play with my head. God knows what the hell they’re thinking. They’re like HAL. One day they’ll take over the blog.

  29. Alwaysthinking says:

    At the moment I am cogitating discussion on another site regarding goals and priorities for the future of Pumas. I note the same debate there that has been pointed out here before — that when it comes time to determine whether a major goal/effort should be made on behalf of women, there are some who, perhaps unintentionally, see it as secondary.

    They point to the importance of a larger goal and/or to other equally important goals. In other words, there is nothing new under the sun even after the misogyny experienced this year! The goal of equality for women is just not seen by some as deserving top billing.

    Meanwhile, I am looking forward to some brilliant solutions to help change perceptions of feminism and how it is so fundamental to a better society.
    We have a lot of work to do.

  30. Yanni Znaio says:

    Violet:

    Your #16.

    Sharp observation.

    Yet another instance of me saying “I love your brain.”

    YZ

  31. Yanni Znaio says:

    Foxx: Your #22-

    But the women’s movement was always very messy, made up of women whose understanding was flawed in one way or another.

    If you’re nonreligious, please dont’ take umbrage.

    We are all God’s cracked vessels, to paraphrase a Biblical quote.

    YZ

  32. Apostate says:

    So, Violet, are you accusing all feminists who aren’t fans of Palin (which includes most feminists) of being misogynistic and sexist towards her?

    Because if you are saying that – and I don’t know that you could have any other defense for attacking so many feminists in such a snarky way – then you’re on pretty shaky territory.

  33. Yanni Znaio says:

    Sis says:

    It’s BDSM foreplay. It’s fluffing the boys.

    Speaking as a straight male who adores intelligent women:

    Y’all deserve better.

    We *all* deserve better.

    YZ

  34. Yanni Znaio says:

    For crying out loud, everybody!

    Quit arguing about what shape the hopscotch should be laid out in, or what color the chalk lines should be, how the numbering should be done, or how many squares there should be!

    Find common ground, which is how to change society and further the acceptance of women as equal human beings.

    All else is, if you’ll excuse the term, masturbatory.

  35. Apostate says:

    And there is also stuff like this, as I’m sure you know. It’s not like Obama’s supporters have cornered the market on violent thuggery.

    Why pretend the Republicans are innocent any more than the Democrats are sexist assholes? The majority of this country is made up of idiots who want to hurt women. Why do you seem to have lost sight of this? All of a sudden, people have discovered the word “cunt” and feel free to assault women? Guess what – that’s always been there.

  36. Violet says:

    Apostate, the feminists I’m referring to are the ones who are doing the things I mentioned, a point which I should think would be obvious. Feminists who have engaged in sexist attacks on Palin, who have indulged in misogynistic language and smears, who have spread lies about Palin and her record. No, this post is not about feminists who haven’t done the things which the post is about. Is it really that hard?

    You might also read this.

  37. Violet says:

    Why pretend the Republicans are innocent any more than the Democrats are sexist assholes?

    You should probably direct questions like that to people who do, in fact, pretend that Republicans are innocent.

  38. Yanni Znaio says:

    My personal take as a small-l libertarian is that the Democratic and Republican parties are both snakes.

    The stripes are just different colors.

  39. Kat says:

    I don’t know, I keep thinking back to that Sarah Palin speech you posted, Violet, here.

    I’m still shocked that any vice-presidential candidate would have given such a strong speech advocating women’s rights. That speech really spoke to my life and the lives of the women I know — “bread and butter issues” that resonate with what I see around me. The single biggest issue affecting the women I know right now seems to be elder and/or Alzheimer’s care, for example.

    I don’t understand either why there seems to be such a sneering, smug contempt towards any women who are not perfectly pedigreed in a certain feminist tradition or method. The women in my workplace, my colleagues, are blue collar and they love Palin (secretly, they have to keep it quiet). A lot, though not all, are Republicans. Do they get to be feminists too? Or are they not allowed to join? Heck, Sarah Palin’s background is more distinguished than mine — would exclusionary feminism (I don’t know what else to call it) mock my accent or my parent’s politics or religion and my commuter school, too? I’m guessing I likely wouldn’t get a membership, especially since I expressed admiration for Palin’s speech.

    If I’m honest, it wasn’t until I saw Clinton and Palin during this election, and connected their treatment with my world around me, that I understood that I could be a feminist too.

  40. cellocat says:

    Apostate –

    I have friends who are feminists who supported Obama and were strongly anti-Palin and who never stooped to the awfulness about which we are talking here. Then there are people I know who delighted in wondering about the parentage of her children, laughed over the violations of her privacy, and over her being called a c**t and a w***e, etc. Those women, who call themselves feminists, are violating what I’d consider to be the principles of feminism. It’s fine to object strongly to the policy stances & record of a politician. To be gleeful while insulting her life, sexuality, identity, etc, is, depending on the nature and degree of what is said, sexist or misogynist, and feminists who indulge in such behavior should be ashamed of themselves.

    I’d think that was pretty obvious.

  41. Keri says:

    It’s also comparable to what happened in the first wave with Victoria Woodhull. Elizabeth Cady Staton has a good quote on that I posted a couple of times on my blog during the 2008 campaign-

    Women have crucified the Mary Wollstonecrafts, the Fanny Wrights, and the George Sands of all ages. Men mock us with the fact and say we are ever cruel to each other. Let us end this ignoble record and henceforth stand by womanhood. If Victoria Woodhull must be crucified, let men drive the spikes and plait the crown of thorns

  42. wethepeople says:

    thank you, dr sox, for the brilliant analysis of where feminism stands today. robin morgan and now, etc, are truly clueless and shameless defenders of the basest, most sickening form of anti-feminism. what I want is ACCOUNTABILITY. who on earth elected these toadies as spokespeople for feminism? these suck-up sell-outs sure as hell don’t represent me. We need a term for a female quisling.

  43. soopermouse says:

    oh great, a concern troll.
    Apostate, if you feel that any woman deserves to be smeared and called a cunt for any reason whatsoever, please be so kind to get the fuck off my planet.

    “Cunt was always there” fine. But it wasnever before used by alleged feminists against other women. And yes I will use alleged. When you attack a woman because she has different political opinions than you, when you approve or her smearing and dragging through the mud, you are whatever the fuck you want to call yourself, but not a feminist.

    “But the other part did it too” is not a valid answer unless you’re under 5. Adults ( category which does not include “feminists” who feel the urge to post seminaked pics of themselves on their blogs in order to get approval from the Patriarchy) need to make cogent arguments, and you failed to make any. The red herrings and strawmen do not work here.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have our contestant no.1 right here. She is a feminist who is OK with calling other women “cunts” is a strong believer in self objectification (http://apostate.wordpress.com/about/) and decided that the best thing she could do was to come thread waters significantly deeper than she should. She also needs to be explained that this line “all us strong feminists who have no interest in appeasing men,” and posting seminaked pics of oneself on ones blog are two incompatible actions.

    And why? Because she got to Violet’s blog and felt that our beloved Dr Socks hit very close to home.

    Apostate, being a woman does not necessarily make you a feminist. There is a feminism 101 link on the sidebar, I suggest you go do some serious reading. Violet might be significantly kinder and more polite than me and she might allow you to get away with utter hypocrisy, but you should grow up enough to realize that whatever you are, feminist it ain’t.

  44. Zee says:

    Apostate says:
    Violet, has it occurred to you – just for a second – that perhaps we dislike Palin because well, she is a pretty horrendous politician and belongs to the anti-woman party?

    Have you given that a moment’s thought?
    ==========================

    Why am I not surprised that someone comes huffing in with capital-A attitude, and not only doesn’t understand that the barrage of attacks against Sarah Palin were *false* but then accuses others of being “snarky.”

    And, btw, Apostate, when you decide to come down off your high horse and face reality, Palin is not a “horrendous” politician. She not only fought corruption in her own party, but she also listened to Democrats’ concerns. That’s why she had astronomically high favorability ratings. Because people on both sides who actually experienced her in office appreciated the work she was doing.

    Or, have it your way. Refuse the shot of reality, and continue to gallop around feverishly shouting the false memes you’re infected with.

  45. Briar says:

    What is wrong with these women? They live in a patriarchal society and they have absorbed values, attitudes and modes of expression which are structually misogynist, so much so that they can’t see it themselves.

    I assume this is apostate’s problem since s/he can’t see the difference between opposing Palin’s policies and doing so through sexist means. *How* you do something is effectively *what* you do, whatever your stated aims. As “defending America” using illegal war and torture makes Bush a war criminal, not a defender of America, attacking Palin using sexist language makes someone a misogynist, not a feminist.

    It’s simple enough: the medium is the message. A sexist medium is a sexist message.

    And speaking of the institutionalised misogyny of our society, what about Obama’s preening “I won!” interview just broadcast, with the embedded mother-in-law jokes.

    It’s so cool to fall in with the “I’m afraid of my bitch mother-in-law” joke, isn’t it.

  46. Polly styrene says:

    Apostate – I doubt from what I know of Palin’s policies that I would vote for her(Academic since I’m not in the US). I don’t agree with voting for a woman simply because she’s a woman. However I am alarmed a)by the mindless Obama worship of a lot of the UK liberal media and b)the consequent refusal to a- acknowledge their hero may have any faults whatsoever and b)the refusal to realise not only the misogyny towards Palin but generally to recognise a lot of the misogyny and sexism that’s sneaked in when everyone was focussed on Obama.

    For example the normally leftist, liberal News Quiz on BBC Radio 4 featured jokes about the columnists saying that Palin was sexy and they’d like to sleep with her. Would they do jokes about how Obama was sexy and they wanted to sleep with him? I very much doubt it…

    Or the normally excellent feminist journalist Kira Cochrane in the Guardian writing a gushing post election piece about ‘Obama’s women’ -ie his mother, grandmother, sisters, stepgrandmother and daughters. WTF? They are just handmaidens of the great man are they? Would Cochrane do a piece about ‘Bush’s women’ or ‘Clinton’s women’?

    When I dare to point some of this out I am accused first a)of homophobia (the person who made that booboo has now changed their mind and said the sentence was ‘incoherent’ – well why did you link to it saying it was homophobic then,if you couldn’t understand it?) and then racism.Oh dear.

  47. myiq2xu says:

    I think we need to throw out all the labels we use except two: Stupid and Not-Stupid

    Right now the Stupids seem to be the majority.

  48. goesh says:

    Well, maybe it’s time to stop calling these women feminists and start calling them PeePees
    - puppets of patriarchy – that’s what they are and the term “PeePee” is a rather nice analogy to what they are doing for women, symbolically peeing on them

  49. Lisa says:

    I remember being a young feminist, even one that went to an all girls school that required 2 credits of feminist study, and having Apostate’s attitude. If you aren’t old enough or “studied” enough to really internalize the struggle- and the shaky ground you are priveleged to tread on because of the work of women before you, it is easy to attack and to assume.

    There won’t be any way to bring all feminists together. We just have to hope I guess that enough care about the cause of women in general to quit sniping about their own political agenda.

  50. myiq2xu says:

    “You should probably direct questions like that to people who do, in fact, pretend that Republicans are innocent.”

    Bigotry is bi-partisan.

  51. soopermouse says:

    I found apostate’s blog quite enlightening. I have a comment on that in the queue… my mind is still utterly boggled

  52. Lisa says:

    I haven’t had any coffee yet, so excuse any grammar or spelling errors which are bound to occur….

    I find it ironic that Apostate trashes this website and attacks Violet and the New Agenda on her site because their/our idea of Big Tent Feminism is too political in her eyes (she is mininterpreting individual’s opinions for a group opinion), and exclusive of others. But somehow she ISN’T being political or exclusive by not only trashing Reclusive Leftist on her site, but by actually coming over here to argue.

    I find it ironic that a woman that sings Obama’s praises on her website is angry if anyone sings the praises of Palin- but she isn’t being partisan and dividing women.

    I find it ironic that a woman that says in her post on Big Tent Feminism, “I’m not writing this post to bash on these women.” and then she spends the entire time doing just that.

    I find it ironic that a woman will call another very qualified and capable woman a “pretty horrendous politician” just because she doesn’t like her politics. I don’t find that supportive of the 30 % solution that Apostate supposedly agrees with, and I am wondering how in the world she considers her “horrendous”?

  53. soopermouse says:

    let’s see

    “Many of these people seem to have voted for McCain – the Republican, the anti-feminist party – and frequently say alarmingly racist things. They also seem to hate younger women. And women who believe in the right to an abortion and may even have had one, are derided. What particularly stings this young woman – who frequently tells male commenters to screw themselves and has never giggled and gone along with her debasement as a woman to be part of “the club” – is the accusation that my dislike of Palin is coming from the desire to be accepted and liked by men. ”

    [comment edited by Violet to remove objectionable material]

  54. votermom says:

    Why women turn on women:
    During the Spanish Inquisition, it was the New Christians or conversos — the Jews who had converted to Christianity, who were the first targets. And it was fellow conversos who offered the most damning testimony and most eagerly assisted the inquisitors. After all, they were the ones who had to prove their purity and faith.
    It must be a similar thing — to be accepted by the chauvinists in charge, women try to prove their loyalty by being enforcers.

  55. votermom says:

    I am in moderation with no alpacas to hug — save me, Violet!

  56. soopermouse says:

    http://alpaca.com/alpacas/alpaca_search.cfm

    ER for alpaca withdrawal suferers

  57. qaz says:

    Apostate: Why did you support a man that is disliked because well, he is a pretty horrendous politician and belongs to the anti-woman party?

  58. votermom says:

    LOL soopermouse, thanks.
    Btw, great posts on your blog.

  59. qaz says:

    Of course typical Obama supporter, comes here to stir up trouble and leaves.

  60. CoolAunt says:

    …it’s not going to go very far without the majority of feminists on board, who happen to be people you’re attacking.

    This is a twist of something that men, so-called progressive men in particular, have been saying to feminists who get too noisy with their disagreements and demands. If they’re Dems, they’ll tack on something about how we need them and if we don’t cooperate and do it their way, we jeopardize Roe.

    I submit this as evidence that feminism has become simply another name for liberalism.

  61. soopermouse says:

    Bullshit?

  62. Sis says:

    I really resent young women who present themselves as you do Apostate. You make it dangerous for all women when the boys you are shaming yourself to impress take you as norm. I doubly resent it when you play fey about what it is you’re doing. Don’t ask me to respect you, or not call it out. I won’t abuse you or be silent if anyone else abuses you, but when that’s done, I turn away from you. I don’t hear you.

  63. Greenconsciousness says:

    Well I have tried to put this topic out on “feminist” blogs to get feminist talking about it but generally feminists have refused to publish it, so once again I come here Violet. I hope you see its’ importance.

    All through the election the status of women as a serious subject has been taboo. Even the loss of Equal Pay for Equal Work did not penetrate the celebrity news orientation of the blog-sphere and MSM and that orientation is always sexist.

    Some women attempted to get the candidates to speak about the State’s Dept.s efforts to work on the global status of women in relation to USAID and the secularization of Islamic society in the interest of equal rights for women.

    But most women following their Dear Leader were only interested in bashing women candidates and supporting opposition to the war, not validating the need for women’s leadership to elevate the status of women in the theocracies.

    I am worried that Condi Rice’s efforts and the efforts of the Office of International Women’s Issues to support the liberation of women under the Islamic theologies will be undone by BO’s state Dept. I think women need to mobilize to prevent that from happening. Bush is talking about building coalition with the Taliban as the military did with the Sunnis in Iraq. But the Sunnis accept secularization and the Taliban throw acid at girls when they try to attend school.

    So I am both excited and afraid of Hillary’s appointment to Sec of State, replacing Condi Rice.

    I think Hillary has been an inspiration to those of us who needed an example of correct movement behavior. But the wisdom of her decisions will not be known for years.

    Hillary may be appointed SoS so that BO will have the pleasure of demanding she wear a headscarf when representing the US in the middle east as C Rice refused to do.

    BO may force Hillary to preside over the abandonment of women’s rights in Iraq and Afghanistan and dismantle the 17 regional women’s centers and women of courage networks established by Condi Rice out of the Office of International Womens Issues in the State Dept.

    Women here will suffer as the usual feminist groups who opposed the war tell us to get over it while we watch Hillary don the headscarf.

    These women will tell us there was never any hope for Muslim women, Muslim women do not want equality and the US only made it worse for them by invasion. These “feminists” will say Things are just as bad now as under the Taliban and Hussein. And then BO will make it so with Hillary as a cover. This is how bad it could be. And as it WAS under Madeline Albrecht.

    And of course any discussion of rights for Muslim women is met with cries of racism and xenophobia by the well financed Muslim Rights Groups and their academics (mostly male)who populate the think tanks and universities. How can women fight Saudi money? BO holds these people on the male left as his friends and supporters yet he has said that trafficking needs to be a priority and gives lip service to women’s equality and abortion rights.

    Or Hillary might be as brave, woman identified in her policies and proud as Condi Rice.

    And BO may fulfill his promise in ways that surprise and please me. He may work for the secularization of Muslim countries and the separation of religion and state. BO may pass a decent health care initiative and help workers as well as Wall St.

    However, Biden has already introduced legislation S.3061 to weaken the anti-trafficking laws and BO has exhibited sexism so I am doubtful.

    With Biden as VP maybe his bill S.3061 opposing the House anti trafficking Wilberforce bill HR3887 will die naturally from his absence as the entire anti trafficking coalition opposes it.

    Maybe Biden’s IVAWA will replace the Office of International Women’s Issues. But then will he prevent Hillary from using it to support Muslim women’s efforts to gain equality in the face of threats and murder? In the name of cultural relativism?

    These are important questions and feminists, are not forcing their discussion.

    These are what we should be asking Hillary to consider as she considers the SoS position, not the dominance submission tripe which passes for intellectual discussion on most other blogs. But discussions about the status of women globally and the relationship to equal rights US values is silenced. Even on blogs that I consider feminist. Why?

  64. Shane says:

    This discussion is reminding me of another of the continuities between Dubya and Obama, or at least their more dangerous supporters; absolutism. Ironically for as much as these people go on about how freaking nuanced Obama is, they have a very binary view of things going on. You can’t just support some positions or whatever, you have to be FOR or AGAINST, and you have to say so as bluntly as possible to avoid getting ‘misunderstood’ and denounced, as a terrorist or unpatriotic in the Dubya case, or as a racist in the Obama case. And of course, needing to say they hate Palin as bluntly as they can so they still have approval, these ‘feminist’ types resort to sexist/classist imagery because its a shortcut, and easier than making an actual argument, because hey, they’re getting the approval they need to appear acceptable. So besides being bigoted and ultimately counter-productive, this type of criticism is intellectually lazy.

    And its not like you can’t criticise Palin at all, just do it in a decent way. I thought Hillary Clinton’s response to Palin was the right way to do it—commend the selection as representing something important and good, but at the same time emphasise that a lot of her actual (i.e. not fake ones) policies aren’t very good. But then, even not totally bashing her is taken by some as implicitly supporting her about everything. In other words, its you’re with us or against us all over again. Its not surprising that the people with this attitude take an authoritarian view of their preferred leader either. Ambiguities don’t exist, leaders are good or bad, those pesky gender issues aren’t really that important, and that’s that.

  65. CoolAunt says:

    …the Republican, the anti-feminist party…

    Yep, the Republicans are so anti-feminist that their presidential candidate chose a woman for his running mate. The feminist-loving Dems, otoh, selected as their candidate and then elected into office a misogynist who utilized sexist attacks and voter fraud to steal the candidacy from a woman who was also the country’s most qualified, willing contender for the office of the president.

    Lisa, may I add this to your list of ironies?

  66. apostate says:

    Violet, are you going to let your new commenting community, who are unaware of my history of support for your blog, trash me like this?

    I don’t wish to argue with you when it’s obvious it’s not going to go anywhere (don’t know why I keep trying), but my point, stated very briefly, is that you are coming across as bashing an awful lot of feminists, and your silent exclusion of those of us who are not supporters of Palin but who don’t hate her because of her gender, is invisible. You come across as using a pretty broad brush. This is not going to help your cause of building an inclusive feminism.

    That’s all I’m saying. I’m sorry it’s not coming through.

  67. votermom says:

    They’re not feminists, they’re fauxminists.

  68. apostate says:

    BTW, way to go with the slut-shaming.

    Violet, I’m astonished at you. I know you moderate comments. Is this okay with you?

  69. Anna Belle says:

    Don’t forget, CoolAunt, that the supposedly anti-feminist Republican party was the first party to name a female 4-star general as well. And that viciously misogynistic Republican named Eisenhower named the first woman ever to a cabinet position.

    Women have been stupid in general to buy into the bipartisan trap. I was stupid. But I’ve woken up.

  70. Anna Belle says:

    Partisan trap, not bipartisan trap. Sorry

  71. octogalore says:

    Is it possible for folks to disagree with Apostate’s characterization of why or why not the Big Tent feminism concept as outlined here makes sense, without invoking material on her site out of context?

    I believe strongly in the idea of a bipartisan and inclusive feminism as discussed here and at TNA, and believe it’s critically needed. That should also include women with different views as to discussing and presenting sexuality. And being familiar with Apostate’s site, the comments about the Anais Nin movie and the concept of the pictures are taken out of context here. The point of both of these is not to cater to men, and in the case of the pictures, actually the opposite.

  72. sister of ye says:

    In the end I voted for the man (’cause that’s the choices we were stuck with) who I felt personally was more confortable with feminist principles.

    Candidate A: Used sexist language and gestures, ran a covert campaign of non-stop misogyny while while publicly pretending innocence, has a wife who made a big deal about how she’d be staying home with their kids, and actually once went with his wife on her job interview. He has few women as advisors, especially top advisors, and pays his women staff 83 cents to the men’s dollar.

    Candidate B: Chose a female vice presidential candidate, is comfortable with a wife who runs her own business affairs, and didn’t know how many houses “he” had because most of them are his wife’s business investments. He had more women than men in top advisory positions, and paid his women staff $1.04 to the men’s dollar.

    Just from this desscription, who would you assume is in which party? What would you expect of them once they got into office?

    I never thought the Dems were perfect, but I though they were at least better. I can’t believe that anymore.

  73. soopermouse says:

    octo
    no offense, but I’m not buying the “I fight the patriarchy by posting pics of me naked” concept.

  74. soopermouse says:

    and the “my feminism is radical ” stuff is so awesome I spilled coke on my keyboard in fits of laughter.

  75. Violet says:

    STOP THE PRESSES.

    I went to sleep last night thinking of alpacas and get back to my computer today (it’s 1:40pm ET) and see all hell has broken out.

    Apostate, I do not moderate all comments. I have several filters set up, and comments from regulars that don’t trip any of the filters (spam words, etc.) go straight through and don’t get hung up in moderation.

    I’ve now released all the comments that were in moderation, so we have now the full record. I’ve only skimmed the thread, but I’m seeing Apostate referred to as a concern troll and an Obot, etc.

    That is not true. Apostate is (or used to be) a friend of mine and a regular on this blog. She is apparently upset about my defense of Palin, and obviously we disagree on that. But she’s a perfectly fine person and I don’t want to see her attacked.

    Now I have to actually read the thread. However I AM VERY BUSY TODAY and may not have time to respond to everything.

  76. Lisa says:

    Apostate, you come over here and attack, make big sweeping comments with a “big brush” as you say, and then get all upset when we don’t agree?

    I have been reading your blog today. I won’t be going back. As far as I can see you are quite opinionated about everything and everyone yourself. You talk much and listen little.

    I am a liberal, and a pagan. I am not a republican or a right wing christian. I have had an abortion. I am adamantly pro-choice. I am also a mother and I voted for McCain. I would defend you against any sexist attack if we were together anywhere. But I won’t read your opinionated rants and tell you that you are right. And I don’t like your attitude that you are for the 30 % solution while you tear women candidates down.

    Why would you expect Violet to come to your rescue? You came to her site to criticize. If you give your opinion you have to be prepared to get our opinion in response.

  77. yttik says:

    I think in order for feminism to go forward, we need to rid ourselves of partisan steriotypes.

    The gay marriage thing in Ca over prop 8 is a good example of how complex things can be. Biden, a Dem, once voted for the defense of marriage act. Palin, a Republican once vetoed a bill that would have banned gay benefits. Obama, a Dem, does not support gay marriage. Arnold, the Republican Governor, supports gay marriage and has spoken out against prop8. The primarily Republican Ca. Supreme Court upheld gay marriage. It was primarily Dem voters in Ca who just shot it down.

    I’ve tried to point these things out many times when it comes to womens issues. For example, Harry Reid, powerful Senate Dem, voted to ban access to birth control for our troops. Sarah Palin has never supported banning birth control.Ever. Marsha Blackburn, R, spoke out against sexism towards both Hillary and Palin during the election. Our Dem president elect has still not addressed the issue.

    To try and assign womens rights to one party or the other is a trap people fall into. The result is that every four years the political parties play us. They jerk us along for 40 yrs with threats and promises about the equal rights amendment or Roe v Wade. Women become an easily dismissed demographic, tossed crumbs and empty promises by both parties. Womens rights are not talking points, they are non-negotiable demands.

  78. Ali says:

    Funny, I read this thread before taking my daughter out for the day and was disturbed by a few things but I didn’t have time to comment at the time.

    I think it is very unfair to attack Apostate on her bikini picture. So what? Are we going to shame women for their youth and beauty, just as the media did to Palin? If you read Apostate’s bio you will also find out that she comes from a conservative religious background and has rebelled against this. So her tasteful bikini photo especially makes sense in this context. Many conservative religions, particularly Islam attempt to cover up a woman’s body and some religious viewpoints find a women’s body and sexuality shameful. So she is showing her body with pride! Big whoop.

    Of course I disagree with Apostate in regard to her views on Palin, the New Agenda, etc. And I am sure we can continue to dialogue about this.

  79. Violet says:

    is that you are coming across as bashing an awful lot of feminists, and your silent exclusion of those of us who are not supporters of Palin but who don’t hate her because of her gender, is invisible.

    This makes no sense. It reminds me of the men who interrupt every discussion of rape with demands that the woman speaking constantly aver that not all men commit rape, and she’s not talking about all men, etc., etc., etc.

    I’ve written about the feminists who behaved in a very-unfeminist fashion by engaging in sexist attacks and smears on Palin. (This isn’t “bashing” by the way, anymore than calling out sexism is ever “bashing.”) And somehow in your mind this is unacceptable because I’m excluding the feminists who didn’t do that. What? That doesn’t even make sense.

    Would you be happy if in every post where I mention the attacks on Palin, I insert a caveat that “not all feminists did this”? I should hardly think that would be necessary, since I myself am a feminist, as are most of my readers and commenters, as are all the women in the other feminist communities I frequent — most of whom, like me, are in a state of consternation over the bad behavior of the Palin-bashing feminists.

    If you dislike Palin because of her stands on issues — her real stands, not the lies circulated about her — so be it. That’s your right. I disagree with her on most policies as well.

    But if you think your dislike of Palin entitles you to ridicule her in sexist terms, to spread misogynistic smears about her, to call her a bimbo and cunt and whatever else, to fantasize publicly about her being raped or (the latest) given a forced hysterectomy, etc., then you’re not living up to feminism.

  80. Sis says:

    I don’t know any society where there is no shame to behaviour. Not even bonobos.

    You came here shaming. Now, you want to exempt yourself?

    I am really tired of that silly assertion. I’ve seen it over and over used to hold someone hostage. However, the children usually get over that by about age 11.

  81. Kiuku says:

    No Violet you are right. It is more than clear who you are talking about. I don’t think Violet is being “snarky” at all and I think that is using irrelevant criticism to just circumvent the issue, even if you were being “snarky”. It’s highly dismissive.

    I think Violet aptly termed these people a few posts ago. They aren’t Feminists. They are honorary men*.

  82. Ali says:

    Forced hysterectomy?

    There’s also a controversy about lipliner….

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/30/is-sarah-palins-lipliner_n_130352.html

  83. votermom says:

    I’m not buying the “I fight the patriarchy by posting pics of me naked” concept

    The only real example I’ve seen of that is an online gallery of beautiful, artistic b/w photos of overweight nudes. It was beautiful and it was a good way to counter fat-phobia and the unnatural standard of beauty. Too bad I’ve lost the link to it.
    Anyway, completely OT, sorry for the digression.

  84. Kiuku says:

    Forced hysterectomy? This is just getting worse.

    Meanwhile we’ve got Greta from Fox News towing the line for Feminism. She is kicking some serious ASS. She is MY HERO right now. She just released a piece about SEXISM in the news media. She is calling it OUT!

    Go Greta!

    On top of this we now have The New Agenda which GETS IT!! And is kicking ass as well.

  85. octogalore says:

    Soopermouse, as Ali says, the concept of the posting pictures is, in fact, to fight the patriarchy. The patriarchy should not be able to control a woman’s body, period. Different women have had different experiences of what patriarchal control has involved. If someone had been pressured on to the cheerleading squad by a male coach and then set up a feminist blog with an unironic cheerleader picture, that would to me be problematic. If someone’s male-run society tries to prevent women from wearing bathing suits or leotards or whatever, then setting up a feminist blog with a bathing suit or leotard picture is indeed a feminst statement.

  86. Violet says:

    I have edited the comment upthread to remove the reference to Apostate’s photos. It’s inappropriate. Apostate comes from a society where women’s bodies are considered shameful and must be covered at all times, and for her it is an expression of liberation to post a nice picture of herself in her bathing suit. Please let’s drop this.

  87. apostate says:

    Thanks, Violet.

    Obviously, we disagree on tactics, but I do support your overall goal.

    With that, I’ll withdraw. I hope we all manage to come together. I hate divisions.

  88. Kiuku says:

    “By the way, ABC News probably has no clue that it made a woman governor who is prominent in a political party invisible in this string of soundbites (which is the problem…they don’t get it)…and I made the same criticism of FoxNews.com last week (scroll back) when the website put up pictures of the ‘rising stars’ of the Republican Party and showed pics of only men.”

    /gretawire.foxnews.com/2008/11/16/does-abc-news-hate-women/

  89. Sis says:

    I’d like to add that I haven’t seen any of the photos mentioned. My resentment comes from the copy on the blog, and what I think is disingenuous behaviour.

    I’m probably about as pro-choice as I am anti feminists who shore up the p*rn/rape culture, by their words and/or behaviour. Which is to say, move aside.

    I really don’t get hooked by this ‘cultural’ out for behaviour. Enabling women hating is not on, whether your white, Semetic or Cree.

  90. m Andrea says:

    I thought about not posting this, but dear fucking god… perhaps more feedback would be helpful to you.

    Apostate, you are using dishonest debating techniques, and then further grab guilt-trippy manipation as your last toy in your toybox when the first doesn’t work as intended.

    “How dare people! My fweelings are hurt!” “Other people do it toooooooooo!” “You never criticised X so you must be wrong about Y!”

    Are these the comments of an adult, or a child? I’m asking…

    my point, stated very briefly, is that you are coming across as bashing an awful lot of feminists, and your silent exclusion of those of us who are not supporters of Palin but who don’t hate her because of her gender, is invisible. You come across as using a pretty broad brush. This is not going to help your cause of building an inclusive feminism.

    Your assertion is that Violet is silent on the issue of those who are silent.

    What you want is a cookie for not bashing Palin or Hillary in a sexist manner, and for remaining silent while other people do.

    I only speak for myself, but what I see among folks in Obamination is an inability to recognize the hypocrisy within their own party. The DNC platform is SOCIAL JUSTICE. That isn’t a tiny faction of their political perspective, IT IS THE ENTIRE PLATFORM.

    That means that the constant sexist attacks originating from within is in direct opposition to every thing the DNC stands for. Their starting position is HYPOCRISY. Silence on such a fundamental breach of party policy either demonstrates an utter lack of comprehension, or silent complicity.

    What part of that is too complicated, dear?

  91. julia says:

    I’m a little late here, but I agree with everything on this post and I love the photo!

    Sister of ye, thank you for so eloquently showing how McCain practiced equal pay and shared some of the power.

    If Obama is smart he will make HC Secretary of State. That’s the very least he could do.

    Will someone explain to me how the ‘Dems are the party of women’? They sure don’t look like it anymore.

  92. TheOtherDelphyne says:

    Here’s the article with the mention of forced hysterectomy – it’s disgusting.

  93. Reader says:

    Catharine MacKinnon endorsed Obama for President. She also wrote the following in 1995 her review essay “Pornography Left and Right” she wrote the following:

    “Using “conservative” as epithet, in effect requiring that only women who first present liberal credentials can work for women, shows no respect for the process of consciousness and organizing that has defined the women’s movement, and no comprehension of the resulting politics of which the ordinance is a part. Downs is so dumbfounded at the “unusual alliance,” DOWNS, supra note 9, at 109, of women uniting against their common oppression that he simply cannot see the organizing of women as women that facing sexual violence as sex inequality makes possible. But then, he also misses the sexual violence and the sex inequality.”

  94. Sis says:

    I really wonder if it’s possible somewhere, to ask these feminists turncoats to defend this stance they taken? Steinem, MacKinnon, et al. In a blog where we could question them maybe.

  95. Violet says:

    Robin Morgan isn’t answering anybody. Gloria is floating around being an elder stateswoman, saying things I hear through channels but won’t repeat, but the general gist is we have to get behind the first black president no matter what. Why that requires the distinctly unfeminist sexist bashing of a Republican woman remains unanswered.

    I don’t put Mackinnon in the same category because as far as I know, she didn’t attack Palin at all (I pray that’s true). She endorsed Obama because she believes the Democrats offer a better chance to women overall, which is fine.

    I think the ideal feminist model in all this has been Hillary Clinton, who never once bashed Palin or stooped to anything ugly, and was gracious in complimenting Palin on her achievements. She just maintained that the Democrats offered a better plan for the women of America.

  96. Sis says:

    I agree that she behaved honourably toward another woman.

    But I also think she could be said to have been admirable in what happened with her philandering husband.

    There is more at stake sometimes, than one’s one owee. Her strategy of tying to get out alive, for her and her child, is in common to some degree for almost every mother who is also a wife betrayed. Shed no more blood.

  97. soopermouse says:

    well, octo and Ali, I don’t buy the cultural thing. Do you knwo why? Because her act of empowerfulment ( hat tip almighty Twisty) just happens to play oh so well into the paradigm of women as sex objects and women in the place where Apostate resides now have been fighting against for decades.

    So her empowerfulment at the cost of reinforcing the stereotypes and putting other women down? Bullshit. I live in a city with a majority of Indian and Pakistani women. I am yet to see any of them acting like her, so I am kinda not buying the cultural thing.
    I might have done it but you see, that “about me” page? They’re sexually suggestive pics posted gratuitously. There is no word there about her big cultural shakedown, which, you know, if that was teh purpose why didn’t she state it on the page where the pics are? Sounds like a made up excuse, which she concocted when she realized the pics didn’t fit with the image she wanted to project.

    fact is: she is doing this empowerfulment act in the USA where it hurts other women. On my planet we call people who do what’s good for themselves even if it hurts others, a lot of others… we call them assholes.

  98. Sis says:

    I wonder if Apolstate’s stance is painted as empowerfullmentalism by her partner?

  99. grasshopper says:

    Still, at the core of every woman, is the desire to be strong and free. That is what we must ignite

    This is beautiful. Reminds me of a quote from I forget where, that a woman just wants to grow into the world freely, “like any blade of grass, any shining stalk of wheat”.

  100. xenia says:

    “Gloria is floating around being an elder stateswoman, saying things I hear through channels but won’t repeat, but the general gist is we have to get behind the first black president no matter what.”

    I’m a refugee from the fat acceptance movement, and I see a similar development in our offshoot of feminism: women are expected to subjugate their fight for themselves to everything else. First encountered this articulated, ironically enough, in _Fat Is a Feminist Issue_ (which essentially ends up reading like a diet book).

    Women are expected to (and often do) give up food for their men and children. I think feminism is expected to give up fighting for women in order to fight for all liberal causes (with feminism coming last on the list). Same thing happened this year in the fat acceptance movement. We were expected to fight racism first; fat acceptance was second or lower.

    I don’t think many/any feminists would argue that anti-racism is not an important, vital fight. I do believe one has to pick her spots, though. I can be personally anti-racism while focusing my more organized efforts against fat discrimination and sexism. It seems to me the emphasis on intersectionality in liberal circles does not so much highlight the intersections as it ends up diluting them and then ranking which point of the intersection is “more important” than the others.

    @votermom:
    BTW, for fat-positive photos, see the Adipositivity Project: http://www.adipositivity.com/

  101. apostate says:

    Soopermouse, me wearing a bikini hurts other women? Would you rather I wear a burka? I did for ten years and I didn’t discern any improvement in the lot of Muslim women, but what do I know.

    And Sis, my partner gets to have no say in what I do with my body, including who I fuck, let alone what I wear.

    What’s your point?

  102. Sis says:

    See “About” on Apostate’s blog.

  103. apostate says:

    You know, the only other group of people who have gotten so riled up about what is after all a fairly demure picture of me are fundamentalist Muslims.

    Kind of odd, this “feminist” condemnation of me. To say the least.

  104. Violet says:

    Okay, everybody, remember my comment 86 where I said please let’s drop this? Remove the please. DROP IT. Just fucking drop it. I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Apostate’s bathing suit. This interrogation of a woman’s sexuality is EXACTLY what I abhor.

    If you want to argue with Apostate over her ideas, that’s fine, but it crosses the line when you start sniffing around her body and her sexuality — like people did with Palin. Get it? See how that works?

    Don’t make me get up out of this blog and come over there.

  105. apostate says:

    If people are interested in understanding my point of view, perhaps I can recommend this post of mine.

    I was a staunch HRC supporter and blogged against Obama during the primaries (and was relentlessly and misogynistically attacked by those people you call “Obots”). After HRC’s loss, I intended for a while to vote Green (I’m registered Green). But it was my first vote as a citizen and I couldn’t finally kid myself that a third party vote would be meaningful to me. I voted for Obama, and found peace in that choice only about a week from the election, largely because I figured – hey, at least it’s still a historic election.

    I’m still angry at the Democrats and I seethe about all the harm that women suffer and the way women’s concerns are ignored.

    So. Just to add some perspective, because I don’t feel I’m even being given the benefit of the doubt. Please reflect on why various people’s attacks on me here have been so harsh, knowing so little about me. It’s not very feminist to attack an ally like this.

  106. pacific-cali says:

    “Has it occurred to you – just for a second – that perhaps we dislike Palin because well, she is a pretty horrendous politician and belongs to the anti-woman party?”

    Apostate, you were, in fact, the one who introduced snarky to this thread with that first line.
    I’m sorry your feelings got hurt, but hey, don’t dish it out if you can’t take it.

    “horrendous politician”? – THATS where you lost all credibility. Think about it.

  107. Lisa says:

    Okay not to change the subject, (well… yes, to change the subject, I don’t want Violet rummaging around looking for her shoes and her keys so she can come get us all). Here once again is a link to the article from that vile man who wrote the article about how Palin should get a hysterectomy.

    Murphy over at PUMA posted the email addresses of this guy’s editor so that we can all write letters and request that he lose his job immediately.

    Philadelphia Weekly

    Adamma Ince, editor: aince@philadelphiaweekly.com

    Liz Spikol, executive edtor: lspikol@philadelphiaweekly.com

    215.563.7400 * Fax 215.563.0620

  108. apostate says:

    Pacific-Cali, fair enough. That was specifically addressed to Violet, who is the one I was most interested in addressing anyway, and she was able to respond to me despite the snark, which was my frustration showing. Frustration at what I see as her putdowns of decent feminists.

    Yeah, horrendous politician. But that’s a matter of opinion. My point was that some people do have legitimate reasons to dislike Palin, just as they have legitimate reasons to dislike and criticize McCain and Obama (neither of whom have escape criticism at my blog, by the way).

    I’ve thought about all this plenty.

  109. AM says:

    The Women’s Building in San Francisco is a non-profit corporation created in 1971.Its publicly stated purpose is to help women and girls, but its incorporation papers say that its purpose is to fight racism.

    And by the way, OT, you will never, in my experience, see a non-profit corporation referred to by itself, or a newspaper, as a corporation. It’s always ‘a non-profit’–since when did that word become a noun–or a non-profit organization. Corporations are patriarchy’s children, whether for profit or not.

  110. Violet says:

    My point was that some people do have legitimate reasons to dislike Palin, just as they have legitimate reasons to dislike and criticize McCain and Obama (neither of whom have escape criticism at my blog, by the way).

    That’s a straw argument. If your message to me is that people do have legitimate reasons to dislike Palin, then you’re telling me something I already know. I disagree with Republicans on virtually everything.

    I have not once, ever, said that there are not legitimate reasons to dislike Palin. What I have said, and will say again, is that political disagreement is no excuse for sexist and misogynistic attacks. Furthermore, for self-described feminists to employ such means is the height of hypocrisy, and as someone who has been involved in the feminist movement for 37 years, it is exceptionally painful for me to watch.

    The attacks on Palin have been analogous to what horrible racist attacks on Obama would look like. I dislike Obama and don’t trust him politically, but that doesn’t give me the right to call him a n***r or a coon or a spade, or indulge in ugly racist stereotypes to demean him.

    On top of that is the damage that is being done to feminism in the name of attacking Palin. Forty years of progress have gone out the window while self-described feminists, eager to attack Palin on any grounds possible, have reviled her for being from a small town, for having a rural accent, for having children, for wearing her hair up, for any goddamn thing they like. It’s appalling. Establishment feminism has committed hari kiri in public this year and it’s a fucking disaster. It’s like the NAACP sponsoring a lynching.

    I am frankly annoyed that you keep pretending that this argument is about whether or not it’s okay to disagree with Palin politically. That’s bullshit.

  111. Sandra S. says:

    I’m totally baffled by this conversation about bathing suit pictures. It’s called the Madonna/Whore DICHOTOMY. Women get screwed on both sides.

    I’m all for women expressing and exploring their own sexualities, and doing so in whatever way works for them. An individual’s sexuality lies so close to the bone that it is extremely hard to change how it manifests. Sex therapists and psychologists working with sex offenders encounter this every day.

    For many women, the message still is that good girls don’t. Women’s bodies are still cast as shameful, we are still told that we inherently seek love and intimacy, not sex, that men are the sexual initiators and we are the sexual gatekeepers. This is oppressive. It IS feminist for women to claim their own sexuality and pleasure and bodies as being good and their own and not shameful. To deny that our sexualities belong to men. And that statement can manifest in any number of ways, including the posting of pictures of oneself without shame.

    Similarly, many women feel oppressed by the societal demand that they be pretty, and sexually submissive, and tireless sex brats, all for the benefit of men. These women need to be free to wear comfortable shoes and work towards their own orgasms, or to abstain from sex if they choose, and to free themselves from the need to scrabble for male approval of their bodies.

    Both of these needs are legitimate because both forms of oppression exist. It’s a CATCH-22. We’re damned if we do, and we’re damned if we don’t. As such, I think that women need to stop policing the actions of other women on this, to stop being a circular firing squad. No woman wins when we do this, and we only reinforce these forms of patriarchal oppression.

  112. Sandra S. says:

    Sorry Violet, I wrote that comment before/while yours showed up. Delete mine if you think its inappropriate.

  113. Violet says:

    I’ll leave your comment up because we cross-posted. Besides, what you said is good.

    BUT NO MORE ABOUT BATHING SUIT PICTURES.

  114. Sandra S. says:

    To address the original post, there was research done which found that among Hillary Clinton’s birth cohort, Feminist ideals were widely accepted, well-defined, and that women who agreed with those ideals were likely to identify as feminist. Later and earlier birth cohorts had a much less clear idea of feminism and were less likely to identify as feminist, even though they mostly held the same ideals.

    Perhaps what we need to do is some good old-fashioned consciousness-raising, to make it once again clear what feminism IS and IS NOT. The term has been adulterated and now we need to clarify in simple terms who and what we are.

    Maybe the older feminists who jumped on the anti-feminist bandwagon this year just need a booster shot of this kind of clarity and they’ll get back on board?

  115. the15th says:

    Violet and Apostate are my two favorite feminist bloggers…other than that I don’t have much to contribute here. I found Apostate after reading her brave comments in one of the “privileged feminist” self-flagellation threads on Feministe or Feministing earlier this year, and she was the first one who made me feel like I wasn’t alone in feeling alienated from an increasingly spineless third wave.

  116. Gayle says:

    “I think the ideal feminist model in all this has been Hillary Clinton”

    Oh, yes!

    “Apostate is (or used to be) a friend of mine and a regular on this blog. She is apparently upset about my defense of Palin, and obviously we disagree on that.”

    I disagree with her assertion that the Republican party is the anti-woman party only because the Dems have shown themselves to be yet another anti-woman party, the misogyny just manifests in different ways.

    I don’t have a party anymore. Maybe that’s why I’m willing to cut Palin some slack. *shrug*

    Anyway, I’ve been reading both blogs for a while now and I hate to see either attacked.

    [edited by Violet to delete reference to FORBIDDEN TOPIC]

  117. Sis says:

    I believe most comments were in response to Apostate’s ideas. I read some of your copy Apostate, and followed a few links, just like I’d do if any other person posting as you did showed up in a blog where we defend women’s rights.

    My point? I found answers to who you are in your links.

    Gawdalmighty.

    [edited by Violet to delete reference to FORBIDDEN TOPIC]

  118. Gayle says:

    Oh, Crap! Sorry! You can delete my post, if you like. I don’t want to keep something negative going. That wasn’t my intention at all.

  119. Gayle says:

    “I found Apostate after reading her brave comments in one of the “privileged feminist” self-flagellation threads on Feministe or Feministing earlier this year, and she was the first one who made me feel like I wasn’t alone in feeling alienated from an increasingly spineless third wave.”

    It was Feministe. And yeah, that too!

  120. Sis says:

    So. How about we get back to the topic, which was I think faux-feminists and others so willing to make their rent on bashing a woman? Bashing is such easy coin for the has–beens and never-wases–not on her issues, not on any facts, but whatever they read on wire service that morning.

    Where’s The Onion when you need it?

  121. Iridescence says:

    “It’s like the NAACP sponsoring a lynching.”

    Violet totally nails it as usual. Striking contrast to me how so many blacks supported Obama. I doubt they all agreed with him politically 100% on everything, but I’m sure almost none of them would consider using racist language and untrue racial stereotypes to demean him. If they did but still called themselves anti-racists I think they’d have a lot of people to answer to about it.

  122. Sis says:

    I know several other older feminists who wouldn’t do what G(i)BER (ish) did. And why? We’re part of an online community which actually talks about what being a feminist means. Are active off-line. Walking it and talking it.

    Women’s Space/The Margins phpbb2 is another, for the OP above who only knows two blogs. Many others, linked there, and for that matter, over on the left here.

  123. Sis says:

    Oops. Dropped coffee cup on keyboard…

    So I’m putting out a call to some of those older feminists: to Lucky, to mAndrea, to Delphyne, to WitchWoo, to Mary, to Rain. Come on over. Bring friends.

  124. Sis says:

    Snort. This nails it. A commenter responds to Dick Cavett’s take-down attempt on Sarah Palin. I dunno if it was intentional. But it’s reeeeel good.

    “Sir/Ms:
    I like Sarah Palin. I agree with Mr. Cavett–her English grammar isn’t the best. But she is not a graduate of Vassar, Sarah Lawrence, Bryn Mawr, or Wellesley, or any other elitist school in the northeast. Neither am I. She is not a big city girl, as Mr. Cavett is. Neither am I. Mr. Cavett obviously is not a hunter, and she is. I appreciate the sport. So I, and millions of other Americans, can identify much more readily with Sarah Palin than they can with elitists such as Mr. Cavett or Barak Obama. I have nothing in common with them; I have much in common, except our grammatical abilities, with her. So that is why her star is rising.
    David C. Crai MD
    Henderson, TX

  125. Gayle says:

    “Women’s Space/The Margins phpbb2 is another, for the OP above who only knows two blogs. Many others, linked there, and for that matter, over on the left here.”

    I read all the same blogs you do, Sis. What’s your point?

  126. Shane says:

    Striking contrast to me how so many blacks supported Obama. I doubt they all agreed with him politically 100% on everything, but I’m sure almost none of them would consider using racist language and untrue racial stereotypes to demean him. If they did but still called themselves anti-racists I think they’d have a lot of people to answer to about it./cite>

    Right. But then the difference is that people supporting Obama because of his race aren’t challenged so much because its considered acceptable or even noble, and people supporting women politicians on basis of gender are considered selfish or ignorant, so these people are acting in a different climate, where the only choice that gets applauded by a lot of ‘progressives’ is one that in part requires putting down women. Not to mention that the absolutism I mentioned earlier made it very difficult to support other politicians (particularly H.Clinton) without that support being taken not as a positive statement about them or what they could do, but purely as a negative statement against Obama. (As a Simpsons nerd, I see it as Poochie Politics: even when Poochie isn’t in the room, everything must be about him.)

    Identity-based support isn’t so bad itself—it makes sense with Obama as a historic first and I wouldn’t deny that for many people it was a powerful symbolic statement. Its just that as is the situation represents a very large double standard, where basing support on racial identity is lauded and basing support on gender identity is denounced. And that difference is telling.

  127. Sis says:

    I was trying to be helpful. My point? Here’s some other blogs that have similar posters/postings that you and others who post here may not know but sounds to me might like.

    I don’t recognize your name.

  128. Gayle says:

    “I don’t recognize your name.”

    That’s cool. I read more than I write, which is probably just as well.

  129. Anna Belle says:

    I like Apostate’s blog too. I learned a lot about what it’s like to be a feminist former-Muslim woman when I clicked around there a few months ago. And I got to see firsthand what she puts up with idiotic trolling men from her culture.

    Even though Violet has already said it, I wanted to add my agreement with her that the bathing suit issue was bizarre and inappropriate to say the least. It’s a perfectly innocent picture! I think it’s important that we take up for other women when they’re being unfairly subjected to judgment, which is why I’m speaking up.

  130. CoolAunt says:

    SandraS, what is a birth cohort?

    Iridescense and Shane, your points about race-based voting vs sex-based voting are good.

    And Shane, this whole thing about people wanting to label others, particularly politicians and leaders, as either saint or sinner with no in-betweens is something that I’ve thought about a lot during this past year, mostly due to the way that I saw most everyone paint the various politicians this election cycle in those two extreme ways. One of the many problems with this way of thinking is that it allows those labeled as saint by the majority to duck accountability for their mistakes, hypocrisy, lies, etc. This is something that needs to brought up and talked about more often as it isn’t doing any good for anyone and it causes harm for many.

  131. Sandra S. says:

    CoolAunt-

    A birth cohort is the group individuals who were born at approximately the same time in the same area or culture. The research I was referring to studied a sample of baby-boomer women, as well as a sample of approximately third-wave women (born in the early 70s) and a sample of women born in (I believe) the late 30s, all from three major US cities. I believe the samples were drawn from NOW membership and then a group matched for SES, level of education, etc.

    Basically, the findings were that feminism as a meme is strongest among second-wavers. But the research is probably twenty years old.

  132. soopermouse says:

    so, apostate comes here to shit in the sandbox and when taken to task about it- and various and sundry including some rather bizarre stuff at her blog, she gets to vry off to mommy because her feewings got hurt.

    Maybe she should consider sitting in her own sandbox, and in her run after putting one more “ist” in her self description she might consider learning what the “isms” stand for first.

    Or are we just going to reward her for not really having a problem with women being called “cunts”?

  133. okasha skatsi says:

    “Establishment feminism.”

    There’s the whole problem, right there. Once a counter-cultural movement becomes “respectable,” it claims a place in the power structure and devotes itself to preserving its influence at the expense of its constituency. NOW’s endorsement of Obama is the perfect example.

  134. Ali says:

    I’d love to know what Apostate thought of your response, Violet. You said it very well.

    Reminds me of the pornographic joke that my brother-in-law once told. It was a Michelle Malkins joke that evoked “Girl’s Gone Wild” imagery, frat boys and subsequent gang-banging. Now, my brother-in-law majored in American studies at a very liberal college and is all over anything racist, homophobic, etc. He once was visibly shaking when my husband used the 7th grade insult “that’s so gay!” (which with brother-in-law’s influence husband stopped using.)

    Well, my brother-in-law could not figure out for the life of him why this Michelle Malkins joke was sexist. When I told him that I was offended he responded with a smile “oh, come on. You’ve seen her, right?” I said, yes, I have seen her and she’s very beautiful and her politics are despicable. So what? It’s sexist, not to mention a racial stereotype of Asian women – there to sexually serve white men. And then his eyes lit up. Racist! Oh, no! He did not mean that!

    So we live in a day and age when racism is a well-known offense and we’ve all learned the “script” to stand against it when we see it. But we do not have this script for sexism, and neither does my very liberal, well-educated, American studies major, brother-in-law.

  135. Yanni Znaio says:

    Violet:

    If you ever feel the urge to create Yet Another Blog, FORBIDDEN TOPIC would be one helluva name for it.

    YZ.

  136. votermom says:

    Xenia, thanks for the link!

  137. apostate says:

    I am frankly annoyed that you keep pretending that this argument is about whether or not it’s okay to disagree with Palin politically. That’s bullshit.

    Okay. Listen. I agree with you that the sexist stuff is inexcusable. However, please believe me to be sincere in saying that it does seem as if there is simple *adoration* of Palin in the PUMA camp. This adoration is not in keeping with your stated disagreement with most of Palin’s platform.

    Plus, at least half of your commenting community sound like Republican women to me. I may be wrong about this, but such is my impression. After a certain point, your commenting community begins to define the tone of your blog.

    One blog that was able to stay unambiguously liberal while defending Palin against sexism is Shakespeare’s Sister. So if they could do it without me getting confusing signals from them about their political leanings, I do think it’s not ALL me when I find your blog alienating.

    I understand what you are trying to do – Octogalore has been explaining the deliberately unbalanced coverage to me. It makes sense, if you’re doing it to offset the imbalance that is out there everywhere else. There is very little mentioned in the way of caveats, and some caveats are important from time to time (and no, I don’t mean it in the sense that men mean it when they want you to make exceptions for all the men who aren’t assholes). The reason I think this, is because with other feminists, you have far less to quarrel about than with the larger community of the Left and the Right. It’s only right that in the smaller and mostly decent feminist community, you go a little bit more out of your way to be inclusive, especially if your purpose is to build a larger feminist alliance.

    And the tone of your blog is alienating to almost everyone who doesn’t adore Palin. And I do mean *adore.* Considering her politics, this is unfortunate for a left-liberal-feminist blog.

    Sorry I’m having so much trouble communicating this. I keep saying I’ll stop, only to find that I haven’t done a good enough job explaining. I’ll just ask that you give a little bit more thought to how you are attacking feminists, if not in terms of content, then at least in terms of tone.

  138. Kali says:

    So we live in a day and age when racism is a well-known offense and we’ve all learned the “script” to stand against it when we see it. But we do not have this script for sexism, and neither does my very liberal, well-educated, American studies major, brother-in-law.

    Your brother-in-law reminds me of my room-mate. She’s liberal, has taken women’s studies courses, calls herself a feminist, but she has a very negative attitude towards women. She went on and on about how her colleague was a racist b**ch for questioning why blacks should consider race in voting for Obama, but has herself stated several times that just because Hillary is a woman, that doesn’t mean she would be good for women. Even after I pointed out the double standard to her, she didn’t get it. According to her one has to be blinded by priviledge not to see the historical significance of a black man’s candidacy. Fine, I agree, but what about the historical significance of a woman’s candidacy? She just gave me a blank look and continued with her diatribe against that “racist b**ch”.

    I think part of it is learning the “script” about sexism, but I think there is something beyond that. My room-mate is well versed in the “script” of feminism – and uses it to speak out against FGM, female foeticide, rape and the most brutal practices that oppress women. But her feminism stops there. She has a lot of class and race resentment, but it seems to be directed specifically towards women. I have never heard her complain about rich, white men (even gets very defensive when I point out men’s exploitation and abuse of women) but she expresses a lot of resentment against rich, white women. Even female infants are not exempt, being declared spoilt for simple things like playing with a toy in a TV ad. Male children (and even adults) are called cuties, even when they are being obnoxious to their sisters (or others). I think this double standard comes from a deeply internalized, patriarchy-induced view of women as “less than”, i.e. less deserving of pleasure and riches. I think this view leads to even feminist women pulling down other women at/near the top. It is seen as good to pull up the most downtrodden women (without blaming men, of course) but not OK to push for parity at the top.

  139. donna darko says:

    For the 16 years Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye, I shut out 99% of media coverage and focused on the 1% that was positive. It turns out that 1% was right as Clinton supporters learned this year. She exceeded the expectations of that 1% with her class, graciousness, professionalism and skill.

    They did the same thing to Sarah Palin. I pay attention to the 1% that is true and some of that 1% can be found on posts and videos on my blog in the last couple months. Don’t believe the sexist propoganda. From that 1% that is true, I find her an effective politician, a great feminist and very intelligent.

    PUMA is incredible. It was a revelation to encounter a few Republican women who never talk about abortion unless you bring it up. Then they tell you they are pro-life for themselves but pro-choice for everyone else. In other words, they don’t want Roe v. Wade overturned. It’s some crazy men in their party who want to do that. It was amazing to be opened up to half the women in this country I used to be prejudiced against. They are just like me and want what I want.

  140. Yanni Znaio says:

    donna darko:

    As I get older, I increasingly find that life is painted with finer brushes than I ever imagined possible.

    YZ

  141. Lisa says:

    amen to that YZ

  142. Violet says:

    Apostate, your comment 136 about people “adoring” Palin reminds me of an old and horrible phrase: “nigger-lover.” That used to be what racists called white people who committed the sin of not sharing in the racism of the day. If you refused to join in the slurs, if you stood up for the simple humanity of a black person, if you tried pointing out his or her qualities and abilities, you weren’t seen as being just or decent; you were a “nigger-lover.”

    It is a sad commentary on the zeitgeist that by simply refusing to engage in the bashing of Palin, by standing up for her as a person, for trying to see the real woman, for treating her with basic dignity and honesty, I’m “adoring” Palin.

    As for the “everyone” you refer to who interprets this as adoration, that is an artifact of your circumstances. From what I know of you, the only feminists you come into contact with (online and in real life) are exactly the same lemmings who have engaged in the kind of sexist Palin-bashing I’m describing. The mostly young feminists online have devolved into a caricature; I’m embarrassed by them. Planned Parenthood allowed the Obama campaign to use its mailing list to send out a smear email about Palin.

    The women in my circle, in real life and online, are long-time feminists who are deeply disturbed by what has happened.

    By the way: I usually like Shakesville, but the last time I was there they were uncritically repeating the rape kit smear. I haven’t been back since.

  143. m Andrea says:

    Only when the correct question is asked, can the correct reply be given.

    I believe Violet has been complaining that “feminists” bash other women in a sexist manner; noting also that sexism is just as nasty as it ever was, if not worse. Violet wants to know the reason for this.

    I believe the consensus is that most folks don’t understand the basics of feminism, with many solutions being proferred.

    You forgot to ask HOW it was possible for an entire generation to get off track in the first place.

    Please please please entice folks to discuss, Violet.

  144. Ali says:

    Apostate,

    Sarah Palin took a lot of bullets for all of us. This is why I like her – despite my former democrat self ( I no longer see democrats as progressive so I revoked my membership. I am presently “no party”. I can see why you went green, though).

    So if you do see a few comments in the vein of “You go girl!” or “I love Sarah!” – I am sure a few of the commenters are indeed republican. And I am sure many, many more view her as I do – someone who carried the weight of misogyny during this election along with Hillary, someone who is an extraordinarily accomplished, self-made woman who married the hot stay-at-home dad (who isn’t jealous of that???) and someone who in many ways embodies the feminist lifestyle, despite her pro-life views which I am strongly at odds with.

    And funny, I have to say, how the “R” word keeps on getting thrown around as an accusation – ya know, to keep us women in our places.

    Another blogger that I just love, Lisa Nuss of “How Dare She” was accused of just that by one of her readers. Hillarious! She voted for Nader! But for some reason, if any of us decide not to step in line with the democratic party and support a mysogynistic African American candidate, then we must be R*****! If any of us dare to admire impressive traits in a Republican female candidate, then we must be R******! As Violet said previously, STOP THE PRESSES!

  145. apostate says:

    Oh come on. There’s a huge difference between simply defending Palin from sexism and adoring her – said adoration coming in the form of, “she’s a rockstar!” type of commentary on your blog (of which there has been plenty). Also the almost complete absence of acknowledgment of very substantive criticisms against Palin, such as her corruption in Alaskan politics, the fact that she didn’t even hold a press conference (the first candidate ever to not do so), that she lies about things big and small, that she has less than savory deeds in her past, including asking for the marriage certificate of her opponent in the mayoral race because the opponent’s wife didn’t take his last name, her really incompetent performance in interviews, etc.

    The nigger-lover charge is so strange, I don’t even know how to respond. You would have some basis for suggesting this if I didn’t ever find myself capable of supporting ANY woman. Surely my support for Hillary absolves me of the “anyone-but-her” sexist stance that many people took towards both Clinton and Palin. But yeah, I draw the line at nigh-uncritically supporting a politician like Palin, man or woman, black or white.

    I would have you know that during the primaries, I ended by stopping reading all major feminist blogs except Shakesville and Echidne. I read a few minor feminist blogs, most of them more personal than political. So I’m not really coming into contact with any of these “lemming feminists” (this is an example of what I find poisonous in your writing about other feminists) and my view is not colored by them. In real life, the feminists I know are diverse and with most of them, I have not discussed these matters in any detail (for fear of ruining the relationships, frankly).

    As for PP, well, you know what I did with my vote on the Obama endorsement. Still, I’m not ready to write off all feminists, including PP, unless they get it right every time. I’m also not happy about publicly lambasting them. God knows they have enough enemies as it is.

    Shakesville – as far as I know, their coverage of all the anti-Palin charges has been fair and thoroughly examined. Even if they did get it wrong about the rape-kit issue, to me that indicates there being some doubt as to the facts, not that they are reflexively repeating lies because they hate any woman running for office. Why wouldn’t you give them a little credit instead of writing them off despite their hard work in defending women, day in, day out? Isn’t that an impossibly high standard? And if you really think they are so mistaken, but value their efforts for feminism, why not send an email to Melissa? I have found her to be extraordinarily scrupulous and very responsive to such requests.

  146. Sis says:

    Shakeville is totally about the men. William Whatever, write a couple long posts out some ‘hoax” without ever once calling it what it was: misogyny, women-hating, rampant sexism, lies , malicious, and that it would never have been tolerated if it had been directed toward Obama or any other black man in the race. I correct myself there; it wouldn’t have been tolerated toward any black women either, but still then, would not have been called anything but racism.

    Shakesville? A feminist blog? My ass. The sexism is all over the place there; cloaked in sophistry.

  147. Sis says:

    I’m not only not Republican, I’m so left you don’t even have a party I’d vote for. I consider ALL Americans way too right-wing. Even Democrats would be too right wing for most Canadians. I am a supporter of 30 per cent solution though. If ever there is no woman running in my riding for the so-called commie party (called that by Americans) I promise to scan the women running, find the next most left party rep, and vote for her. Fortunately it won’t be hard. All the parties here are left compared to the U.S.

  148. m Andrea says:

    Apostate, no offense all due respect, etc, I think you still miss the point — and it’s pretty fricken huge to miss.

    Someone who claims to be a feminist yet denigrates Palin or Hillary in a sexist manner is not feminist. Nor would a genuine feminist remain silent while others do so, or defend that type of behavior in any way. It appears that what you are asking is that Violet include those clods.

    Think of feminism as a clubhouse, and the secret password is recognizing sexism when it’s right under your nose. If you can’t see it, then you’re not feminist, and no, you can’t expect all the others who do recognize the sexism to accept you as one of their own.

    Before the door is unlocked to you, you must see the sexism. Otherwise, we’re going to keep talking about you behind the door and occassionally run out and tell you why you’re mistaken.

    I only know of you what I see here, and that’s a woman who claims to be a feminist, and yet DEFENDS HYPOCRISY. Please think about that for a moment.

    You assert repeatedly that “Violent is excluding folks” and further assert that “this is not very feminist behavior”. Your assertion is valid only if you consider misogyny to be feminism — which is exactly the thing Violet has been complaining about.

    We’re going in circles here, and in order to move foreward I suggest you clearly identify your assertion as an assertion and then provide some actual evidence. Otherwise, you are just trolling.

  149. Sis says:

    Where do you get your feminist stance Apostate? Who is it with whom you discuss, argue, toss around feminist theory? Who is your primary confidante, for intellectual discussion? Is it a man?

  150. apostate says:

    Ali, I’m not throwing the “R word” around to keep anybody, lease of all women, “in their places.” I’m throwing it around ONLY because many regular commenters of this blog in fact voted for the Republican ticket.

    Sis and m Andrea, you’ll both forgive me if I ignore you after your appalling behavior upthread. Just saying this so you’ll save your breath before you write more criticisms in expectation of a response.

  151. Sis says:

    Oh I’ll have to say I think it is a man, because your feminism sounds like the type that is a sexist’s idea of feminism.

    A feminism of convenience, for men.

    That’s my assertion.

  152. Violet says:

    Apostate, this is turning into a fruitless dialogue that seems to be more about your obsessive concerns with this blog than with the larger issue I raised in the post, which is about the breakdown in feminism this year. But I will answer a few of your remarks.

    Oh come on. There’s a huge difference between simply defending Palin from sexism and adoring her – said adoration coming in the form of, “she’s a rockstar!” type of commentary on your blog (of which there has been plenty).

    She is a rockstar. So is Obama, for that matter. So is Bill Clinton. She has charisma — look at the crowds she draws in. The problem is that you are so hostile to her that you are unable to assess her honestly as a person and a politician, and furthermore, you don’t want anybody else to assess her honestly either. Sarah Palin has a lot of charisma and a folksy charm that is reminiscent of Harry Truman. This is true regardless of whether one agrees with her politically.

    As for my personal feelings about her, I’ve said several times that she reminds me of a couple of my cousins. She seems like a nice person and the kind of can-do Republican woman I know very well from my own extended family. Except she’s actually more liberal than most of my small-town, Republican, Christian relatives.

    The problem appears to be that you are almost desparate for me to join in the Palin-bashing. Why I don’t know, though I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with your youth.

    Also the almost complete absence of acknowledgment of very substantive criticisms against Palin, such as her corruption in Alaskan politics,

    You’re repeating uncritically a smear started by her opponents, with no facts to back it up.

    the fact that she didn’t even hold a press conference (the first candidate ever to not do so),

    The choice of the McCain campaign, an obvious mistake in hindsight considering how well she handles herself in press conferences.

    that she lies about things big and small,

    You’re repeating uncritically a smear started by her opponents, with no facts to back it up.

    that she has less than savory deeds in her past, including asking for the marriage certificate of her opponent in the mayoral race because the opponent’s wife didn’t take his last name,

    You’re repeating uncritically a smear started by her opponents, with no facts to back it up.

    her really incompetent performance in interviews, etc.

    Actually her performance in interviews was comparable to most other candidates’, and the interesting thing — the thing I covered — was the way her interviews were edited to make her appear ridiculous.

    The nigger-lover charge is so strange, I don’t even know how to respond.

    That’s because you don’t understand it, as the rest of your comment shows. Think about it some more.

    So I’m not really coming into contact with any of these “lemming feminists” (this is an example of what I find poisonous in your writing about other feminists)

    What I find poisonous is the behavior of so many of my sister feminists this past year. Poison isn’t even the word for it. Maybe you’ve never grasped that feminism is a political philosophy, not a membership club. It’s a movement, and one I’ve dedicated my life to. I’m not going to stay silent while women destroy the reputation of feminism. You’re goddamn right that when women publicly engage in grotesque misogyny and claim they’re doing it in the name of feminism, when women abuse their public position to claim that “feminism” is incompatible with being any kind of woman but them (rural small-town women with husbands and children can fuck right off), I will speak out. I don’t give a good goddamn about the “club.”

  153. apostate says:

    this is turning into a fruitless dialogue

    Yes, it is. It was likely fruitless to begin with. I doubt you will have much success with the new feminism, but good luck.

  154. Cyn says:

    apostate, I can assure you that I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Republican woman. I don’t adore Palin, but I do respect her.

    Violet, it appears you are gifted. The title for this post is “In Which Feminism Finally Bends Over And Eats Itself From The Ass Up” and it appears that is exactly what is happening.

  155. apostate says:

    I do have to speak in my defense against two of your charges, though, just because they’re so unfair – whether or not you believe me: the youth charge, which is absurd in light of your past accolades of me being able to see beyond the youth-paradigms of current feminist thought, and also in light of my support for HRC; and second, that I want you to bash Palin. That’s never been my desire. I merely wanted you to be reasonably balanced.

  156. Violet says:

    the youth charge, which is absurd in light of your past accolades of me being able to see beyond the youth-paradigms of current feminist thought

    apostate, you are young. That is not a crime. And it’s not a ‘charge.’ I think in many ways you are very mature for your years. But you’re still young and sometimes that comes through. I think that’s the case now, but of course that’s only my opinion. I do think you’re basically a good-hearted and well-intentioned person. (ETA: I realize that’s probably infuriating, since when I was 25 I certainly didn’t like people telling me I seemed young. But it is what it is.)

    and second, that I want you to bash Palin. That’s never been my desire. I merely wanted you to be reasonably balanced.

    I can only say what my impression is.

  157. Violet says:

    Furthermore, I will add that I’m sure I seem young and relatively immature in some ways to my mother. That’s life.

  158. Sis says:

    I too have admired your posts when I’ve read them, I think, on Women’s Space. Although as with Palin, I find there’s a lot I disagree with. At least as much as I what I admire.

    When you tell someone their point of view isn’t balanced, you’re throwing your bias onto one of the scales.

  159. song says:

    Dear Dr. Socks, (here are portions of stuff I wrote yesterday)

    I believe American feminism of the mid 1900’s to the present was a nationalistic movement based solely on the perceptions of a few women among a diverse nation of many women. Since its inception it has notably failed to participate in transnational feminism issues relevant to 3rd world nations as well as incorporate female members of opposing political beliefs into its ranks.
    —————-
    American Feminism was based on its post-colonial understanding of the condition of women so by its very nature and development it was limited by perceived nationalistic goals. The American feminist movement for the most part was then developed and established not with forward looking paradigmic ideologies, which by its nature would be less structured, but instead within the limits of its members perceptions of what “feminism” as a nationalistic movement would become.
    ——————-

    As a movement, American feminism developed only hierarchies of acceptable behaviors but feminist identity did not include varied realities among women within their own borders. By the nature of its development last century’s feminism was an impositional structure rather than a open and wholistic system and in being thus, it was and is among the reasons for exclusion of some women within its own borders
    .
    The recent American election shows this more clearly in the “feminist” rejection of Governor Sarah Palin. Although some American feminists would see it as the opposite, the fact that they “represent” American feminism, undercuts the core set of values they seek to propagate. Some current American feminists acting through their belief as entitled jurists seek to impose a rigid belief system on all other members of its group. This totalitarian and colonial way of thinking will continue to undermine the current feminist movement, in America and globally.
    —————————-
    American feminism did not recognize that consensus is not always possible given the many presocial conditions of women throughout the world or in their own country.

    Hence, American feminism was a reactive structure operating only from and through nationalistic conditions which in and of itself is “patriarchal”. In trying to become a structural entity, feminism, tried to create itself as an institution rather than democratic and incorporative therefore less highly structured model.

    Because American feminism failed to accept presocial identity—and differences among the loosely connected societies of women nationally and internationally it aligned itself with one party within a two party system, refusing to incorporate, or understand the varied realities existing among its own societal members. However, not only did American feminism refuse to adapt itself to “non-party” members, it also refused to actively participate in the even more diverse global population of women; preferring to express within a patriarchal and nationalistic domain its authoritative viewpoint.

    This authoritative viewpoint did not, and still does not allow for flexible interactions among all women.
    The old model of American feminism needs to reevaluate its egocentric need for consensus and understand the diversity of all women.

    In lieu of imposed consensus, the ethics of feminism must be redefined, choosing as its ethics nonexclusionary principles; by understanding and allowing multi-local identities such as “personal” story-lines by women to be viewed as political.

    It is not for American feminists to impose their view on other women. The new American feminism should not allow their political definitions to create a collective identity of feminism; and should become less structured and more organically and locally based, as an active force within the current world structure.

    well…that’s the best I can do today..

  160. Carmonn says:

    “I’m throwing it around ONLY because many regular commenters of this blog in fact voted for the Republican ticket.”

    So? How many people do you think vote straight party line all the time? Not many, I’ll tell you that. Most of the Obama worshipping men I know would be Republicans by that standard, and as for the blogosphere, 90% of the Obama worshippers are or were Republicans (kos, Marshall, Huffington).

    What the Democrats have done here is destroyed the party identity of some of their most loyal voters. Not turned them into Republicans, but turned them away from identifying with a second blantantly misogynistic party. If casting my first Republican vote makes me a Republican–so be it. That doesn’t make me want to fling misogynistic garbage at other women or gush over misogynist Democrats to prove myself to them–they need to prove themselves to me if they ever want my vote again.

    If Palin’s inability/unwillingness to answer tough questions makes her a pathetic joke unfit to be #2, what besides the magic properties of his genetalia makes his inability/unwillingness to answer easier questions makes him a marvelous choice for #1? I do understand why feminist women would vote for Obama (reluctantly), based on the proposition that despite the disgusting tactics and frat boy atmosphere the Democrats might tend to be slightly better on policy. I get that. What I don’t get is the long laundry list of personal faults which they both share (her alleged corruption–ewww, his alleged corruption–awesome!!!) which apparently taints her and sanctifies him. People who are opposed to Palin’s policies have come to admire her as a person because she, like Clinton, has had to deal with the burden of these ridiculous double standards where women get raked over the coals while men get a free pass for the same transgression, even by feminists. Sorry, but don’t tell me Palin is disqualified for being sleazy or a liar and then expect me to approve of Obama, the irony gets to be too much.

  161. CoolAunt says:

    I voted for the major party who had a woman on the ticket. That only the Republican ticket provided me that option is the Democrats’ fault, not mine. If the Democrats were truly my party and wanted me to vote their party, they would have put a woman on their ticket. To think that I’m not a feminist because I voted to put a woman in the number 2 position in the White House is completely backward thinking.

    PS: I adore Palin. I’ve long admired Condi Rice. Until she stumped for Obama, I thought Clinton could do no wrong. I thought Ann Richards was the best thing since sliced bread and believe the world lost a little piece of greatness when she died. As it turns out, I’m neither Dem nor Rep; I’m a feminist.

  162. cellocat says:

    apostate –

    earlier you said that you didn’t like division. Perhaps this is why the conversation is fruitless. You say you don’t like division, but then you won’t accept the point of view and opinions of the various posters here as valid. That seems to imply that an absence of division means we’ll all agree with you.

    And just FYI, I’ve been way left of center all my life, so don’t go making assumptions about my political affiliation because I’m refusing to trash Sarah Palin (different from *adoring* her).

  163. Sis says:

    Nothing said to you here Apostate equals what you’ve said and implied about women.

    Some may excuse you for age. I won’t because part of what you’re doing is thoughtlessly mouthing the ideas of women-haters. I’m not going to say you’re clever for doing it.

  164. JudyR says:

    “she’s celebrating the success of the propaganda campaign waged by her and other feminists (it hurts to write that) to depict Palin, wrongly, as a bimbo, an idiot, a rube, a far-right extremist.” I don’t know how these “feminists” can look themselves in the face. To destroy a woman just because she personally doesn’t believe in abortion. Many women just can’t get that we need to learn to circle the wagons–like men do!

  165. Apostate says:

    Carmonn, I don’t expect you to approve of Obama. I don’t approve of Obama.

    You can’t be serious about this: what besides the magic properties of his genetalia makes his inability/unwillingness to answer easier questions makes him a marvelous choice for #1?

    Obama is an intelligent person and he has a firm grasp on policy. I admit I would take HRC over him, but there is absolutely no rational and objective justification for asserting he was unable to answer simple questions. I have heard him address very complex questions with ease and fluency.

    CoolAunt, relax. Nobody is suggesting you aren’t a feminist. I have no interest in even taking Sarah Palin’s feminist label from her. As I see it, there’s far more parsing going on on this blog about who is or isn’t a feminist than anything I’ve said.

    Cellocat, you said, “but then you won’t accept the point of view and opinions of the various posters here as valid. That seems to imply that an absence of division means we’ll all agree with you.

    Not at all. I absolutely do accept your opinions as valid. Also, divisions are impossible to avoid, but an acrimonious tone can be avoided. The contempt that is dripping from pronouncements on other feminists is what I took issue with, among other things. But Violet has explained why she feels her tone is appropriate and justified, so there it is.

  166. soopermouse says:

    “If you don’t agree with me you’re being divisive and exclusive” is not a particularly valid point, Apostate. Frankly, here’s the thing: nobody here needs your approval.Violet didn’t ask for it, and I’m pretty sure nobody else here did.

    You seem so extremely desperate to find someone that agrees with you on the Palin bashing here, that I am starting to think this applies to you :

    “in this framework, the conservative woman was a very interesting thing. She was either the monster- Michelle Malkin, Anne Coulter, Phillys Schafly, or a rather dim stepford wife who, if she knew what we know would make the same choices we did because our choices are the best.

    There is much self reinforcement to be gained from watching people make the same choices you do. We are social animals, and the opinion of the majority does matter. Especially when you do question your own choices, knowing everyone else did the same thing and is equally miserable will make you feel better.

    This is why these feminists felt threatened by Sarah Palin. She was the conservative woman who did not fit into their narrow weltanschauung of conservative women. She was successful and making choices that were contrary to theirs. Which meant that their choices were not the be all end all. Which meant that they were not infallible. The whole paradigm was falling on their heads with a threatening thud.

    So what did they do? They tried to fit Sarah into the generally accepted standard of conservative woman. Frst they tried to push the meme that she was just a puppet for her husband. That didn’t work beause it is about as fake as Amanda Marcotte’s feminism.

    So when that didn’t work, they tried to make her the monster. She charged victims for their rape kits.
    She burned books. She fired people.
    She was evil. She believed in ID, she forced her daughter to have a child, she cut funding for teen mothers, she believed in abstinence only.
    All of the above ( in case you are a stupid fuck who can’t possibly check its own facts) are lies. Lies easily debunked.

    But debunking them caused the same problem- if Sarah is not a monster then those who attack her are. Who would want to regard themselves as monsters? Nobody.

    While trying to portray her as evil, in generally over the top fashion of fanatics, they decided to also paint her as being stupid. The obvious irony of “what does the vice president do ” because “she doesn’t know what the veep does”. Here’s a clue: unless the veep is Dick Cheney, he/she/it does fuck all. It attends state funerals and boring events that No 1 doesn’t feel like attending.

    Amagad she didn’t know what the “Bush doctrine” is. Fuck you. Bush himself doesn’t know what the alleged “Bush doctrine ” is. Everything Dumbya did in the past 8 years falls somewhere within Bush doctrine you sad wastes of protoplasm.

    So yeah, the successful conservative woman had to be destroyed lest she showed these people that their “feminism” is an empty shell and their ideas of the world are utter crap. Calling yourself a feminist doesn’t make you a better person unless you already are one. ”

    I strongly believe this is your problem Apostate: the comments here hit home and you felt they applied to you ( your blog confirms it). So instead of acknowledging your mistakes ( you accuse Palin of asking to see an opponent’s marriage certificate ( I have’t seen this charge yet and since the rest of your alleged facts about it are bullshit I am taking it with a gram of salt) and don’t even notice your beloved idol Obama had an opponent’s divorce papers unsealed for the same purpose- how’s that for an invasion of privacy sweetheart?- you come here and try to bully us into changing our opinion so you feel better about your abhorrent behaviour ( smearing Palin with lies is abhorrent , especially from someone who considers herself a radical feminist. By the way, before you define yourself as such, go do some reading on it. That also goes for anarchist).

    Seriously. You need to stop making me laugh at you so hard, it’s far too early in the morning.

  167. Yanni Znaio says:

    Coolaunt, again, you *are* cool.

    I’d have given up a testicle to have seen Hillary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice mano a mano.

    (it means hand-to-hand, for those who are not familiar with the true meaning of the term.)

    Two brilliant women, neither of whom taks shit from anybody (well, except for Bill in Hillary’s case, but I really don’t care to discuss that.)

  168. soopermouse says:

    YZ

    MY opinion of Rice is not that stellar. Dunno why, but I have a hard time trying to see a Bush cohort as anything but, you know, a Bush cohort. The Georgia crisis this summer has made me seriously doubt Rice’s brilliance since, after all, she is an ex Soviet area specialist and the whole damn mess could have been handled better by anyone with a basic knowledge of Soviet and ex Soviet politics. And do NOT get me started on the Middle East mess. I think she has achieved great things for a woman of colour and I respect that. She is one of the most powerful women in th world, and while I abhor her politics, I have to salute her success. However, I do not feel that the comparison with Hillary is appropriate. Rice isa product of the system. Hillary is more of a product of herself in that regard.

  169. soopermouse says:

    in other news

    Britain takes a step further in the fight against woman traffic and forced prostitution. A measure is in the works that will see johns pay a fine and getting a criminal record for paying for sex with a woman who is acting “under someone else’s pressure and for someone else’s profit”.

    So how about we celebrate that?

  170. octogalore says:

    In a perfect world, all coverage of candidates would be factual and even-handed. In that world, it would be important for feminist blogs to cover all negatives about all candidates, and to caveat positive discussion of these candidates with the negatives.

    However, IMO, we’re not living in that world. Look at how much coverage there was of Palin’s less-savory political maneuverings – and there were a number in that category – compared to discussion of Rezko, Alice Palmer, Obama’s support of corrupt Chicago politicians over reformer former-friends of his (I’m too lazy to find link, but I recall this story showing up once, corroborated, and then vanishing), etc. Palin was torn limb from limb in the press. I, and I’m sure many feminists who don’t focus much on going over this stuff, was turned off by the portions of the reportage that seemed corroborated.

    Palin’s performance in the Couric and less so, the Gibson interviews to me was disappointing. I do not consider her “ready.” I also, as I’m sure do most here, disagree vehemently with her on social policies. Yet I don’t know how the interviews would go next year at this time with more federal experience. And also, I saw the transcript of Gibson’s earlier interview with Obama. There were no challenging questions, only softballs.

    So in a world that’s not apples to apples, I think reasonable feminists can disagree on how best to cover things. I think it’s legit to caveat praise of Palin. But I also think it’s legitimate to acknowledge that there’s a serious bias out there and not feel it’s necessary to do that.

    Finally, I’m not sure women here who voted for McCain are “Republican,” just as I’m not sure the Bruce Bartletts and Megan McArdles of the world are “Democrats.” A vote is the weighing of a number of variables – experience, feminism, social policy, economic policy, foreign policy. Personally, this is the first year I voted Republican, and as all know, I would have ecstatically voted for HRC this year. I’d say that 90% of the time for me, a Democrat will score high enough in enough of the categories to outweigh any Republican. This year, that wasn’t the case for me. Does that make me a Republican? Doubt it. I imagine that’s true for others as well.

  171. octogalore says:

    Along the lines of balance — and because I do think a Big Tent feminism can and should work — I don’t think it’s productive to respond to feminists who are asking questions with: “we’re going to keep talking about you” or suggesting they are unduly influenced by men. The point of a more inclusive, nonpartisan feminism should not be to exclude and refer to clubhouses and locked doors. Defining women who don’t completely agree as men or too-male-influenced is self-limiting, since many worthwhile women won’t agree.

  172. Violet says:

    As I see it, there’s far more parsing going on on this blog about who is or isn’t a feminist than anything I’ve said….divisions are impossible to avoid, but an acrimonious tone can be avoided. The contempt that is dripping from pronouncements on other feminists is what I took issue with, among other things.

    Apostate, your intellectual dishonesty is right on my last nerve. You are full of shit.

    This is what happened in the feminist world this year: Sarah Palin, a self-described feminist (conservative variety) was named to the Republican ticket. Feminists with public soapboxes proceeded to attack her in the most dishonest, sexist terms imaginable. They ridiculed her for considering herself a feminist. They said she was “the antithesis of everything feminism stands for” (though the only area where she disagrees with mainstream feminism is on abortion.) They said that because she had a husband and children and a career, she was an embarrassment to feminism. They ridiculed her speech patterns, her background, her education, her religion, everything — sending the clear message that feminism is only for urban atheist intellectuals, preferably of the single childless variety. They ridiculed her hair and makeup and called her a bimbo — while they themselves wear makeup, high heels, endorse pornography, and otherwise collaborate with the patriarchy in countless ways. They celebrated when Palin was called a cunt, hung in effigy, and made the object of public revenge-rape fantasies.

    This was feminists doing this, in public. Making a mockery of feminism. Using “feminism” as an excuse to engage in an old-fashioned stoning of an uppity woman.

    Considering the severity of this misbehavior and the damage it has done to the feminist movement, I’ve been pretty damn restrained about it on this blog.

    And yet you have the fucking nerve to show up at one post where I ask aloud what on earth has happened to these bad-behaving feminists, and accuse ME and my commenters of being “divisive” and “acrimonious” and of “parsing who is and who is not a feminist.”

    Go away. I’m fed up with you. You’re playing bullshit reindeer games and this blog is not going to be a forum for your crap.

  173. Violet says:

    And in case anyone is wondering, the comment above is what happens when Dr. Socks Finally Loses Her Temper. My patience is not infinite.

  174. Violet says:

    Palin’s performance in the Couric and less so, the Gibson interviews to me was disappointing. I do not consider her “ready.”

    What was disappointing to me was the way the interviews were edited by the news organizations to make Palin appear ridiculous. The unedited transcript shows that Palin is perfectly intelligent.

    What I think is far more shocking is that Joe Biden, who has been in the Senate since God was a baby, thinks that FDR was president during the Stock Market crash and that there was television then. And that’s just the latest of Biden’s almost unbelievably ignorant remarks. He is far more stupid and ignorant than Palin.

  175. Sandra S. says:

    Octogalore, I think you’re dead on, across the board. I love your insights and your pragmatism.

  176. octogalore says:

    It’s true that the O/B ticket has been given every break in a way that makes it difficult to do an apples-apples comparison.

    I think there’s something to be said for appearing credible and intellectual, and Obama accomplished that better than did Palin or McCain. Then again, parsing his comments, he often contradicted himself and the questions were not “gotcha” ones (except for his O’Reilly interview, which most didn’t pay attention to — and even there, he was treated as an adult). As a moot court veteran, not to mention a professional bullshit artist, I know there are tricks to answering questions in a seeming intelligent, yet substance-free way. There is value to this, but is it something Palin’s incapable of learning? I think she is a fast study.

    And Biden: certainly no genius, but then, nobody paid attention to that. I like the guy, personally. He had educational advantage in his family and his grandfather was a senator. He went to a non-name school and graduated 506th out of 688. Biden’s been accused of plagiarism twice (once in law school, he was accused of plagiarizing 1/3 of a law review article, and then later wrt a speech) and flunked some classes in law school. I have sympathy for people who say they want leaders to be smarter than they are, but for most of them, Biden wouldn’t qualify if we’re holding him to the same stardards to which Palin’s held.

    Thanks, Sandra S.!!!

  177. soopermouse says:

    To be very honest Octo: Obama ONLY appears intellectual when scripted. When not scripted, he slurs, contradicts himself and barely makes any sense. By that reasoning, that he makes good speeches, his speechwriter should have been elected.

  178. octogalore says:

    Actually, to be fair, soopermouse, he did fairly well in the debates with McCain (not with Clinton). Palin did well in her debate as well. I think the debates are fairly fail-safe for most lawyers or people well versed in memorizing and public speaking, however. There were no follow-up, trip-up questions, so all four candidates took advantage of maximum freedom to answer incompletely or in some cases, different questions from those asked. I have zero public policy or governmental experience and could probably memorize enough historical and policy info to seem competent, given enough ramp-up time, and believe me I’d be completely incompetent. This doesn’t mean Obama would be, just that debate performance to me isn’t the end all be all.

  179. Sis says:

    Octoagalore said:

    “As a moot court veteran, not to mention a professional bullshit artist, I know there are tricks to answering questions in a seeming intelligent, yet substance-free way.”

    :)

    I think Palin’s appeal and strength is she is *not* this.

  180. soopermouse says:

    Yeah, he did well against McCain. He did well against a guy who, let’s face it, is not a political capacity in any respects. Against those that were, he was a boring one trick pony.

    And even if he proves to b th best president that ever was, he will always be the guy who stole the nomination

  181. Carmonn says:

    “Obama is an intelligent person and he has a firm grasp on policy. I admit I would take HRC over him, but there is absolutely no rational and objective justification for asserting he was unable to answer simple questions. I have heard him address very complex questions with ease and fluency.”

    Well, apostate, I have to admit that I’m sort of astonished at the arguments you’re making as well, but I’ll just go ahead and assume that, as hard to believe as it is, you are serious and not waste time telling you you can’t be, if it’s okay by you. I’ll give you that much respect.

    I’m sorry, but while he may be a very intelligent person, I’m astonshed that anyone could assert that he has a firm grip on policy. Even his supporters will agree that he’s almost astonishingly weak on policy (but that was okay because wonkishness and experience were so old politics and irrelevant if not actively malevolent–until Sarah palin came along, and they became very imporatant albeit in a highly selective manner). “What she said” is not a policy position. I’ve seen him off teleprompter stumble through basic questions that didn’t come close to the kind of tough questions with followups that she faced.

    I won’t say there’s no rational or objective justification for thinking that Obama’s flailing and insipid bolierplate demonstrates policy expertise (although there’s a big difference between ‘fluency’ and ‘substance’) because it’s possible I missed all his brilliant performances (and well, because regardless it’s sort of ridiculously condescending and obnoxious to make such I-am-the-cosmos sweeping generalizations, not to mention untrue). However, you did chastise Palin for not being available to the press, when Obama had exteremly limited press availability compared to the other candidates. So once again, we’re back to he’s intelligent and capable just because and she’s not, just because. She has to prove herself to a level far beyond anything he’s held to, he gets full credit and praise just for existing. Fine–but not really my feminist flavor.

  182. soopermouse says:

    someone needs to make a T shirt:
    “Feminism is not about fawning over men and shitting on women”

  183. sharonevolving says:

    Wow, while I was reading Violet’s post, I got this sense of…grief. Grief that we have woken up to the knowledge that what we thought we had, we no longer have. What we thought feminism was…seems to now be a cesspool where women take turns beating up other women – a very patriarchal strategy. So, I feel the grief too, feel it profoundly. I can’t trust establishment feminism again, because they are against women like me. Now I know. My daughter knows. So maybe this is what we need to do: have a funeral for feminism as we knew it, on a massive scale. Give it the tributes, connect with the dreams dissolved, and really let our grief out into the open, on a massive scale. Really bury it once and for all. Why?
    Because feminism went through a death cycle this election. We failed to get a woman elected into the highest offices in the land. We had three to choose from. We have fewer women in federal elected office now than we did in 2000. We’ve lost ground, not gained it. And what we believed in, the leaders we looked up to…they sold us out.
    It IS the same as the NAACP staging a lynching. We lynched women. Shame on us. Shame on NOW. Shame on feminism. Shame on us for letting the patriarchy do us in.
    I want to cry, I really do. I am looking into my 11 year old daughter’s eyes, and thinking ‘it will likely be another 24 years before you get a shot at running, and may you rise out of the ashes that the feminists before you created.’
    It’s like leaving a bad marriage. You can’t go back once you’ve been abused. It will just happen again. You must move forward, but first, you need a moment to grieve the loss of what you thought you had. I am ready to do that grieving.
    I am going to a lunch with the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, where they’re going to dissect what happened in this election. They’re supposed to talk about misogyny. But they endorsed Lois Capps, my House Rep who endorsed…Obama.
    Betrayal on every front. Frienemies everywhere you turn.
    The movement is dead, a sham of its former self.
    Bury it, grieve for it, and construct something far better and stronger.
    That’s my path.

  184. Sis says:

    I just heard, on the CBC radio news, that Obama has offered SOS to Clinton. Will Hillary co-operate with Obama, or will she use this position to go her own way (something something) behaving the way she did during the campaign?

    Isn’t this something? They are already framing him as some kind of saint for offering this, and opining she’s just gonna do it again, be a troublemaker to him, and he’s taking such a chance with this person who does not deserve his generosity and pureness.

    Even, I, think I’m going to bard.

  185. Sis says:

    barf. barf.