in a nutshell. At the feminist (among other things) blog Reclusive Leftist, a man dared to speak:
Although I of course disagree with you on the Abortion issues you have a great point.For a long time you were warning people on the left that the only principle of the Obama administration was the glorification of the one and the destruction of those who stood in his way.The irony that people on your side had been warned from within and are only now figuring it out is frightening.Again I’m not with you on either issue but I hate to see people being played for suckers, it just isn’t right, much better a forthright foe who you can debate with.I have to say I admire you Violet, I say you are wrong but you are no sucker and you refuse to play the sucker. That makes you worthy of respect and your blog worthy of my time.November 12th, 2009 at 7:53 am EST tinfoil hattie says:
Oooooh, lookie! Violet’s blog meets with a dude’s approval! Even a woman-hating dude! Wow – you now have it made. Dude is going to keep visiting, because you are “worthy” of his respect!Wow. From way up on high there. If it were my blog I’d be just swooooooning.November 12th, 2009 at 8:28 am EST
Violet’s blog meets with a dude’s approval! A dude who not only approves, but likes to emphasize how much that approval mean by reminding us how morally superior he is to the baby-killing feminists in every thread!November 12th, 2009 at 11:11 am EST
There is literally nothing that datechguy could have done here that would not have been objectionable in the eyes of these commentators. Nothing. He pays the writer a complement; they take it as an insult. If he had said she was a lousy blogger, would they have been happy? He respectfully disagrees, but says nothing about morality, and they take it as an assertion of superiority. (Makes you wonder how confident they actually are in their ability to be equals, doesn’t it?)
Here’s the thing, Angry Feminists: Many of us women, who highly value our freedoms, our abilities, our intelligence, and our status as equals to men do have men in our lives that we like and respect. We have men in our lives who we want the approval of, because we like and respect them. Many of us have men who make our lives better by being a part of them, who we are grateful to share our lives with. Comments like this show that the commenter has no respect for ANY male, which means that they have no respect for my husband, my father, my brothers, my potential future sons. Which means they have no respect for me.
Those of us who are so blessed want nothing to do with sexist fools who would disparage all men simply for being male. And we don’t dare be confused for these people who wear the banner of “feminists.”
Update: Ace of Spades has a somewhat related discussion here (scroll down to the bolded “Actually”).
There is a lot of very unpleasant overcompensation among feminist thinkers, where it often suggested that “equality” means, somehow, utter dominance and total lack of any interest in compromise and give-and-take. That every compromise or gesture towards comity is somehow a betrayal of one’s womanhood. That strict mercenary self-interest in all things is somehow elevated to a virtue, and any deviation from that, a sign of weakness.
Again: I don’t understand why the feminist ideal should be acting like a total douchebag about everything.
Neither do a lot of us, Ace. And that’s why we reject it.
Megan McArdle asks:
Should defaulters feel bad? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. A number of people have made the argument to me that the credit system is morally neutral, at lest from the point of view of the debtor. The banks knew when they lent to you that there was a risk of default, and if you do, you pay the penalties. Why feel guilty? They don’t, for selling you the rope with which you hung yourself.
To some extent, I actually agree with this. Though I’ll also note that if you default, the worst thing that generally happens to you is that it’s hard to get credit. Yet, the way the credit card companies allegedly bring on your default is by giving you credit. I’m not sure that the argument that credit card companies should deny you credit, because otherwise you won’t be able to get any credit, really works too well.
But leaving that aside, why should you feel morally obligated to repay, at great personal cost, a company which feels no obligation to you? No particular reason, maybe, except that the belief in a moral obligation to repay one’s debts may be the only reason we can have both credit, and relatively light legal sanctions for overusing credit. If people really acted as if the choice to default were morally neutral, we’d either lose most of our credit system, or the legal rules would have to be much more punitive.
Look, I’m not going to spend a lot of time blaming someone who, through extraordinary bad luck, gets in a bad situation and finds themselves obligated to seek legal discharge. That said, I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard callers call into the Dave Ramsey Show with a story about how they bought some sort of lovely luxury with the full intention to declare bankruptcy directly thereafter. Morally reprehensable, yet supported by our system.
Personally, even if the debts are excused in the legal sense, if I legitimately spent the money, I think that one ought to do what one can to pay it back, even if it takes a long time. Of course, I’m the sort of person who is constantly hunting down the waiter to tell them that they forgot to charge me for that last drink, and making sure that cashiers didn’t give me too much change. If I were in an emergency situation, like a natural disaster, and found myself needing to “loot” from a store, I would probably send them a check a few weeks later to make sure we were square. So, that might just be me.
In the right locations links to a comment by Jess Thompson-Adams from the NYT:
I went to a conference on bisexuality about 15 years ago. A woman there said to me, “I wish you gay men would stop putting your energy into fighting homophobia and instead put your energy into eradicating misogyny. Because the problem society has with gay men isn’t that they’re with other men – it’s that they’re men who are “acting like women.” If it were ok to be a woman in this culture, homophobia would just disappear.” I think she’s right.
The writer says that, although she hasn’t thought about it in the past, it makes a lot of sense to her.
Personally, I’m going to have to say that that seems pretty far off to me. I agree that perhaps it is unacceptable (or at least, less acceptable) for men to act like women (although that has certainly changed of late- witness the wave of gay design shows a few years back), but I really don’t think that it is unacceptable to BE a woman or be feminine in this culture. If anything, I think that it is less acceptable to be masculine.
In my experience, what really disturbs people is the immorality issue and the “ick” issue of two people of the same sex being together. I have witnessed, for example, several occasions where a male friend displayed all of the most stereotypical signs of homosexuality, but when he came out, friends who were of conservative religious persuasions (I live in the South:) ) absolutely refused to believe it. This person was, after all, their friend, and thus, a good person. They had a really hard time reconciling those ideas with the friend being gay.
Moreover, the worst misogyny we have seen of late have come from people who are generally perceived as more gay friendly- witness for example Perez Hilton and his supporters’ shameful behavior regarding the Ms. USA pageant; Andrew Sullivan’s obsession with Sarah Palin’s youngest child, etc.
In other words, I really don’t think that misogyny is related to gay bashing (or vice versa).
By the way, you may note that I use the term “gay-bashing” rather than “homophobia.” I realize that homophobia is the accepted and expected term, and I’m sure that I’ve used it before, but it is one of those words that I attempt to avoid when possible. I simply do not think that it is an appropriate or accurate way to describe most (and please note that I am speaking generally) people who are opposed to homosexuality. Phobia is intended to describe “irrational, disabling fear as a mental disorder (e.g., agoraphobia)” It is the sort of reaction that would be accompanied by extreme anxiety and an inability to proceed (similar, for example, to the reaction that I have when I see a spider). It does not describe a mere opposition to something, particularly a moral, ethical, or public policy based opposition of the sort evidenced by most people who oppose homosexuality.
We simply cannot have a good conversation if we make up names and invent diagnoses for people. Let’s talk about the merits, not call names like preschoolers.