Showing posts with label feminism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label feminism. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Remember at the last GOP debate, when Carly Fiorina described a Planned Parenthood video where evil abortionists threw living fetuses into a whirring blender, then drank it? Okay, so she described (as revealed by Sarah Kliff) some other bullshit that wasn't there. Anyway, to the rescue of her fantasy rides Jonah Goldberg:
And they have a point. The exact scene, exactly as Fiorina describes it, is not on the videos. But anybody who has watched the videos would find Fiorina’s off-the-cuff account pretty accurate. 
It's fake but accurate, in other words.
Most of the center’s videos involve hidden-camera conversations with current Planned Parenthood managers, as well as interviews with veterans of the abortion industry, discussing the selling of fetal body parts for research purposes. The video Fiorina probably had in mind included eyewitness descriptions accompanied by borrowed footage of a fetus dying in a metal bowl, its leg kicking, to illustrate the witness’s recollection of seeing precisely that in another case.
Probably! She might be talking about "videos of fetuses moving and kicking" that "were not shot at a Planned Parenthood clinic," which Fiorina's staff sent Kliff in her defense. But there's no need to nail it down, because we're looking at a wider truth:
That sort of juxtaposition might not fly on the nightly news, but it’s the sort of dramatic device used in documentaries all the time. It’s akin to a documentary maker interviewing a witness to Cecil the Lion getting shot, and using footage of another lion getting shot as an illustration...
I know how that is. There was that documentary where I was described as being an asshole to people (which I freely admit I have been at times, I'm not proud of it), followed by that famous clip of an South Vietnamese cop shooting a guy in the head. I tell you, I got some shit for that! More than a few people said they were with me until that scene.
The larger problem is that people are talking past each other. Fiorina’s remarks — and these videos — are really aimed at the abortion industry and its Achilles’ heel, late-term abortions. None of these videos would strike a chord if the only images were of blastocysts.
Likewise, Roy Edroso, Asshole, wouldn't have stirred much interest if it merely contained my drunken tirades and pathetic attempts at fisticuffs, but throw in a summary execution and we're cooking with gas.

On Goldberg goes till the Otteresque summation (the abortion lies of Hillary Clinton are "a far greater distortion of the truth than anything Fiorina said") and the traditional fartcloud, and we are left with the inescapable conclusion that abortion is gross and shut up.

UPDATE. From comments:

Well, I'm convinced. I mean, look -- they're right next to each other. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015


I see conservatives are excited for their female Presidential candidate who will never be President because she pimped the Planned Parenthood videos, describing a grisly scene that apparently doesn't actually exist, in hopes that, like misleading movie posters and doctored critics' quotes, it may steer voters to view the bloody images they do have, and get them so grossed out they'll say, "alright already, I'll do it myself with a coathanger and a bottle of Lysol if you'll just shut up."

But just because they're eager to turn stomachs doesn't mean they've given up on winning hearts and minds. At The Federalist A.D.P. Efferson tells us:
Some of my dearest friends are pro-choice, and some of my dearest friends are pro-life. I have known these women and men to varying degrees over the course of my lifetime, and I can say beyond doubt that regardless of their political leanings, none is even remotely a monster.

Despite the incredible popularity on social media of polarizing people according to ideology to punish them, I’ve never felt an urge to maliciously single out my liberal friends to publically castigate them, even though their beliefs stand in radical, stark contrast to mine. Nowhere is this contrast more glaringly evident than in the abortion debate, because there is no suitable compromise on terminating a life. Either the baby lives, or it is aborted. 
I have engaged in numerous thoughtful discussions with pro-choice women about abortion, some very heated ones...
I'll bet.
...but have yet to find common ground on the issue of the rights of a woman superseding the rights of the infant, because ultimately there isn’t any...
We'll just have to agree to disagree, my baby-murdering friends! Meantime let Efferson explain why good people might do such awful things:
Shedding light on this idea is Clay Jones from Biola University, who has spent the last several decades studying the psychology of genocide.
Not even kidding.
His research exploring human depravity attempts to answer the hard questions about humanity, such as: Who are these people who commit mass murders? How do normal citizens slaughter their own countrymen without so much as a second thought?
We'll just cut to the chase: Yes, Efferson actually believes her friends are committing literal genocide, just like they did in Nazi death camps and Soviet gulags. But she doesn't think of them as monsters because... well, she's not clear on that. She does mention that her pro-choice friends "love their kids, they volunteer at schools, they attend church," etc., but she also quotes Jones to this effect: "When you read genocide studies you find that most murderers also did many nice things: walked the family dog, baked cookies, gave gifts..." Maybe what she's saying she'd be pals with Hitler if he was as much fun to hang out with these gals are.

One wonders whether Efferson ran any drafts of this essay by her baby-killer friends. Now those are the secret videos I'd like to see!

Monday, August 24, 2015


There are a couple of quasi-Trumpers at National Review, but by and large they are embarrassed by him, which they naturally express with belligerent stupidity. (Here for example is Kevin D. Williamson, in a column called "National Fronts," tying the rightist-racist parties of Europe to Trump -- and Bernie Sanders, because National Socialist get it; plus, Sanders is racist against Mexicans because he complained the Koch Brothers want "all kinds of people" to "work for $2 and $3" -- which is the kind of stretch that, had it been employed by a black person as evidence of racism, would have spurred a National Review special double issue.)

Why embarrassed? Well, there's an election coming up, and when this whole Trump thing blows over they'll want the voters to remember that National Review supported sensible conservatism, such as that championed by their author David French. For example:

Not even kidding. (Actually, before they changed it the teaser read "Satanists Reveal the Abortion Movement's Rotten Core." See, they do too have editors!) Let's read a bit:
One story is interesting, two stories even more so. But six stories are a trend, in this case a particularly appropriate one: Satanists are become a leading public voice for abortion rights. In their mockery of Christianity they reveal the dark heart of abortion-on-demand: the radical worship of self.
You laugh, but I predict that "radical worship of self" thing gets a big cheer for some 5 pm speaker at the GOP Convention next year.

And what are these six Satanic stories? One, Wendy Davis supporters mocked some holy rollers with "Hail Satan." Satan and mockery -- that's SatanAlinsky! Then the Satanists cheekily filed suit against some anti-abortion laws... wait a minute -- are these all jokes French is complaining about?
And many on the Left gleefully passed around a Salon article declaring that a Satanic Temple spokesperson took Megyn Kelly “to law school” in an appearance over the Temple’s desire to place a statue of Baphomet at the Oklahoma state capitol.
Never mind Salon, that gag got coverage everywhere from Boing Boing to Bloomberg. The only thing worse than a joke about Satan is a popular joke about Satan, apparently. And oh wait, here comes a good one:
With the release of the Planned Parenthood videos, abortion sympathizers are upping their Satanic game. At a Chicago Planned Parenthood protest, speakers apparently located inside the clinic broadcast “horror music” at pro-life advocates in an effort to drown them out.
Horror music leads to Satan just like show tunes make you gay. Eventually French is reduced to sputtering:
[Satanists] also declare that man is “just another animal.” It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate set of doctrines for the rutting life of the sexual revolution, where restraint is evil, physical experience is king, and people are simply sentient mammals trying to get the best out of life. A baby is thus no more sacred — and often less — than any other animal. Just ask Cecil the Lion.
Cecil the Lion! Maybe I've been getting them all wrong, and National Review stories are all basically drinking games.

In some ways this is the best part:
While the vast, vast majority of abortion-rights supporters don’t identify with Satanists and would recoil from comparison with the Church of Satan, prominent Satanist involvement in the abortion debate does have a clarifying effect.
This is being said by the same guy who a few months ago was telling us why his love of the Confederate flag doesn't mean he's racist.

Maybe they should embrace Trump. It's their best hope of going mainstream.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015


Jonah Goldberg has had a fartful morning. At The Corner, he reacts to a feature about Chelsea Clinton -- first, by acknowledging that he wrongly characterized it as a puff piece without reading it  (for which he blames Twitter, no dog or intern being handy); then, by taking the opportunity to harsh on C. Clinton at length for -- well, for existing, it would seem, and for allegedly being a "total political mediocrity" which might mean something if 1.) the current GOP Presidential field did not exist as a point of comparison and 2.) C. Clinton were actively running for something. (She has said she's "open" to running for office in the future.) Also, she only got where she got to because of her family. "Are there many average people who can take inspiration from Chelsea’s 'struggle'?" asks Goldberg. "I doubt it." (To quote August J. Pollak, "PLEASE tell me Jonah Goldberg is whining about someone getting where they are because of their parents." Oh, here's a bonus.)

Goldberg then tries a few carom shots to get at Hillary via Chelsea ("she is also a total political mediocrity. In this sense she takes entirely after her mother," "she certainly didn’t get her dad’s political chops. This is pure Hillary," etc.), but this hot mother-daughter action isn't really doing it for him so eventually he just unpantloads:
As for the bit about her being the closest thing America has to a princess, well, when you think about it for a second, I think that’s right. The problem is that the closest thing to a princess in America is very, very, very far from an actual, you know, princess. We don’t do royalty here very well. The thing that makes her most princess-like is that she really doesn’t seem to know what to do with herself except get caught up in the lie of her family business. What I mean is that she may actually believe that the Clintons are a kind of secular royalty and a dynasty. No doubt she’s been told that a lot. No doubt her parents don’t loop her in on the seamier side of how the Tudors of the Ozarks operate. She probably thinks the primary purpose of the Clinton Foundation is philanthropy rather than extending the Clinton brand and empire, in much the same way descendants of the original medieval robber barons believe their family has always been about public service. Bless her heart
There is no coherent meaning to the paragraph other than "Are you proud of me now, Mom?" In the ancient tradition of Goldberg's less-connected colleagues coming to his rescue, Jim Geraghty tries to hand Goldberg a much stronger case against C. Clinton -- that she's been promoted beyond her competence in the media world due to her celebrity -- to which Goldberg responds that he entirely agrees "about the broader phenomenon of Chelsea Clinton, which is why I assumed that Contrera’s piece was just another one of these insipid sweeteners." Well, Jim, you tried.

Goldberg also has an anti-Planned Parenthood article that starts with the kind of bloody fetus prose-poems that have become his movement's new lazy-man equivalent of clinic protesting, and proceeds to what I'm sure he thinks is a brainstorm:
...It was Thomas Jefferson who wrote, “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” 
It was at least partly on these Jeffersonian grounds that proponents of removing the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s statehouse grounds won their argument. The statehouse belongs to everyone, and forcing those who abhor that flag to pay for it, even symbolically and even if many of its supporters meant no offense, is still sinful.

Well, if you don’t believe that a fetus with arms, legs, a face and a brain is an actual human life worthy of protecting, or at least deserving of a level of respect greater than a hangnail, it’s doubtful anyone will ever persuade you otherwise.  
But maybe you can still accept that other people disagree with you. Abortion is not simply a symbolic act, but perhaps it would help to see it as one. And, if you can muster that much imagination, maybe you can also understand why those truly offended by the practice don’t want their tax dollars subsidizing it.
In other words: Look, be fair -- we took down our tributes to the Confederacy, the least you can do is enact the Hyde Amendment what you already did well no uh because fungible did I say that right and in conclusion  farrrrrrtttt.

Friday, July 24, 2015


My favorite version. (Explanation.)

   Maybe you saw that story about a drone with a gun on it, and maybe you didn't think that was awesome because you're not 12 or a conservative. But Hot Air's Taylor Millard negs to differ:
Government, others freak after CT teen makes cool flying gun 
The government and others are going nuts over a Connecticut teen’s pretty cool invention: a drone with a gun. Austin Haughwout posted YouTube video on July 10th, showing the drone firing a semiautomatic handgun. 
Cue government outrage. Clinton police are up in arms (pun intended) over Haughwout’s invention, with one officer saying it’s obvious technology is surpassing legislation. They’re now actively trying to figure out if they can charge the teen, even though the gun was fired on private property...
The ACLU of Connecticut, the organization that claims to want the government to stop using drones in surveillance, is now calling on the government to push through comprehensive regulations for drones.
They don't want freelance assassins or the government to shoot people by remote control -- What a bunch of hypocrites!
People need to remember drones are amoral tools. They can all be used for good or evil, depending on how the person operating said tool acts. South Park had a pretty good episode on drones last year....
Yeah, we could stop paying attention right there, but it's Friday, let's give him a minute:
Those wanting to seriously regulate drones, armed or not, are forgetting how they can be used for good. Ranchers can use them to patrol their fields. Hunters could use them on tough to find predators. People who prefer not to go outside at night could use an armed drone to detect prowlers.
Hi, our car broke down, is anybody BLAM!
Plus, there’s always the simplest solution: take a shotgun to the offending drone. Problem solved.
This is what their ideal world looks like: Everyone tiptoeing around locked and loaded, like Elmer Fudd in search of Bugs Bunny. Only with lots of blood.

   Oh yeah, Mytheos Holt:
At the time, my thesis was mocked by liberals, some of whom even thought the article might have been a stealth parody. After Pao’s resignation [from Reddit], I expect these people don’t think this idea is quite so funny.
On the contrary! I mentioned last week the idea that a website owner controlling the content on his own site equals censorship is ridiculous, and it remains so. Holt also says the "Left hates Internet freedom," in defense of which proposition he expands the definition of the Left to include the U.S. Department of Justice and major movie studios, and portrays Gamergate, that rat's nest of harassment and crap writing, as proof that conservatives love internet freedom. (Remember when The Well was the poster child for the power of internet freedom? Sigh, me too. And I don't recall the members driving anyone out of her home, either.) I hope Holt can promote this POV sufficiently that some Republican debate moderator has to make Jeb Bush prove his right-wing bona fides by agreeing Anita Sakeesian had it coming. In closing, here's my favorite paragraph:
Even social conservatives have changed from being smugly self-assured about their own “Silent Majority”-style dominance to an embattled approach personified by Rod Dreher’s “Benedict Option,” while blatantly anti-political correctness neoreactionaries like Pax Dickinson and Curtis Yarvin are being cast less as cranks and more like brave, countercultural heroes. One can quarrel with the wisdom of this iconoclastic turn, but no one would ever accuse today’s Right of being defined by its reverence for established pieties.
That'll light a prairie fire, alright. The people will march, just as soon as you explain to them what the hell you're talking about.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Carly Fiorina did a short video for BuzzFeed in which she turns around popular sexist tropes in an office setting -- e.g., "How do you walk in those shoes?" "I didn't know men could be funny," "Does your wife help out with the kids?" It's a little over a minute long, totally innocuous, and of a genre that goes back to George S. Kaufman's If Men Played Cards As Women Do, at least. If anything the effect is to make Fiorina seem like a good sport, and not just the woman who nearly destroyed Hewlett Packard and thinks that was a good stepping stone to the Presidency.

Yet Amy Miller at Legal Insurrection thinks the video is worse than bad. While admitting through gritted teeth that "humanity goes a long way when it comes to connecting with voters and gaining trust on a more personal level," she says,
Carly is funny, engaging, and smart—but she used that power for evil. She walked into a young, modern, progressive venue, and threw her own womanhood under the bus in an effort to pander to a base that will never vote for her. 
Fiorina has defined herself as a businesswoman, CEO, and force to be reckoned with; she should not have to—and should never (NEVER)—have to play into the hands of liberals who work every day to manufacture divides in our society. 
This isn’t effective outreach; it’s Stockholm Syndrome.
Maybe she thinks gender reversal jokes are the first step toward gender reversal, Caitlin Jenner, and dogs and cats living together. Sadder still is Ashe Schow at the Washington Independent Examiner, who admitted "that I laughed multiple times throughout the video" before she got her mind right and "concluded that it was just another attempt to divide people" through the dark art of humor. Schow even explained why some specific sections did not meet her standards for minute-long internet joke videos. For example, the "men talking over women" gag:
This one I've experienced. Maybe it's sexism, maybe I didn't speak up loudly enough. I've had people steal my ideas — and my jokes — because I wasn't heard and they were.
I'd love to know what ideas of Ashe Schow's somebody stole, and what workplace they were worth stealing in.
One example of this occurred at one of my previous jobs — but I can't conclusively say that it was due to the fact that I am woman and not, say, the fact that I was new to politics and knew very little compared to the people around me (I definitely lacked confidence due to that).
You've all been there, right, ladies? Some man talks over you and then steals your idea, and you think, hmm, maybe I'm to blame for this, but one thing I'm sure about is that it has nothing to do with institutional sexism. also happens to men. Certain bosses take credit for their subordinate's ideas, regardless of whether the subordinate is a man or a woman.
Also, in prison men rape other men, so I don't see why everyone makes such a big deal about women getting raped. On the joke about women getting asked about work and family more than men:
The difference here reflects poorly on both sexes. When women are asked this, the implied question seems to be: "Why don't you spend more time with your children?" At the same time, not asking this question of men comes with the undertone that men don't need to be there for their children, or simply don't need to care about them.
I bet men really suffer from this one. No one asks if I'm spending time with the kids. I feel so -- not-validated! 

They have a female candidate who's pretty conservative and the minute she acknowledges the experience of many, many women voters it's like she turned into Germaine Greer. They're really asking a lot of their white male base in 2016.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015


You may have noticed the snit libertarians had over "vagina voters" who weren't giving us menfolk a chance at the presidency because misandry. The term had been used by assholes before ("Thanks, vagina voters. Thanks a pantsload. Enjoy your unregulated vaginas..."), but Brendan O'Neill's article at Reason spread the usage till it reached the attention of Rush Limbaugh, emperor of its natural constituency, who did what you'd expect with it ("you know me, just trying to stir the pot out there" ah shaddap).

Over at PJ Media (aka "Roger L. Simon's Tax Write-off"), Susan L.M. Goldberg ("a writer with a Master's in Radio, Television & Film") asks "How Will the Republicans Combat Vagina Politics?" After complaining that today's sheeple "don’t know a thing about [new AG Loretta] Lynch beyond the fact that she is black and a woman" -- not like in the dear, dead citizen-scholar days of Alberto Gonzalez! -- Goldberg prescribes:
In an increasingly visual culture, what candidates will the Republicans proffer to fit the demographic bill? Even Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are too white and too male for this tough crowd. If they took a few lessons from Sofia Vergara they might stand half a chance. You know, jazz up that accent, tease the hair, get loud with the wardrobe, be ethnic. Sure, it was a strategy that kept your demographic out of office for the past 200 years, but times have changed. Race is in. Desi Arnaz would stand a better chance than these family values-laden dudes.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Other conservatives focus on the racial mixture of the Freddy Gray defendants, which appears to prove to them that there's no racism except against Whitey. The best exemplar is neo-neocon:
But I can’t help but reflect that this case might have gone down differently if this information about their races had come out earlier.
But although their names were released early on, their races were not.
Yes. How?
Not only that, but most of the speculation I read prior to learning their races indicated, or at least hinted or guessed, that they were all white. Typical is this article that appeared in the April 22 Atlantic:
And she gives us a quote that says lots of Baltimore cops are black -- that is, it implies the opposite of what she says. Maybe she's not actually trying to make a point at all, just... well, effusing would be a polite word for it.
...I also wonder what would have happened had Freddie Gray been white, with the same set of fact circumstances otherwise.
You mean if White Freddie Gray got killed? Not much chance of that.
Would there have been much of an outcry? 
Or what if all the officers had been black; would that have defused the protests entirely? Or would it not have mattered?
Or what if all of the officers had been white...
And so on, into "who would win in a fight, Bon Jovi or a blade of grass" territory. Anyway, neo-neocon finally tells us how mad she is that black Baltimoreans were happy to hear about these indictments ("something like a reverse OJ Simpson phenomenon") -- though I don't know why, given the mixed racial composition of the defendants; maybe she assumes the citizens don't know about that, just like they don't know Loretta Lynch's credentials -- and eventually starts calling these citizens a "mob" (four times in two grafs! I hear neo-neocon's a shrink in real life; wonder if she'd consider that some sort of a tell if a patient started doing it?).

Personally, I don't see how they have any choice now but to nominate Ben Carson.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I can't even tell if they're kidding anymore. Paula Bolyard at PJ Media:
What is it going to take for voters to turn on Hillary? I suspect it’s not going to be Benghazi, Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater... But fear not, all is not lost. I do think there is one thing that would be guaranteed to sink Clinton in our shallow, cult-of-celebrity culture: Pictures of Hillary doing those “yoga routines” she said were in the emails she deleted from her servers. 
Imagine a picture of a sweaty, haggard-looking 67-year-old Clinton in yoga pants appearing on every Facebook feed, mobile device, and news outlet in the country. It would be a devastating blow to her campaign. (Think I’m exaggerating? See: Dukakis in the tank, Nixon in the first televised debate, and Howard Dean’s Rebel Yell for other examples of campaign-ending memes.) 
But this raises some questions. If you were in sole possession of the hypothetical picture of Hillary in yoga pants, would you leak it to the press and/or her opponent’s campaign? Is all fair in love and war — and campaigns?...
I just can't tell. It has some of the characteristics of irony, and it's possible the is-it-moral question is Bolyard's way of tipping us off that she's not serious. Or maybe it's only morality she's not serious about, because at the end she solicits reader input, and gets the sort you (and doubtless she) would expect ("You don't need yoga pix. The ones on the beach are just as good..").

It is difficult to escape the conclusion, uncharitable as it is, that her premise is actually, boy if we could get our hands on those yoga pictures that would be the end of Hitlery Klintoon!

Elsewhere at the same site:

For the time being I'm going to assume they're not in control of any rhetorical apparatuses, and are just free-associating ancient slurs in a kind of Tea-Party Tourette's.

UPDATE. Yeah, I know, if I go collecting lame anti-Hitlery stories we'll be here all day, but I am compelled to note this entry from William A. Jacobson of Legal Insurrection:
Hillary has an Elizabeth-Warren-Like Family Lore Problem
Contrary to stump speeches, only one of Hillary’s grandparents was an immigrant.
Gasp! It's #Gen-ghazi! Heritage is a big deal for Jacobson: You may recall his whole ugh-how-woo-woo-woo campaign against his previous hard-on, Elizabeth Warren. During Warren's 2012 Senate race, Jacobson was constantly frothing over her claims to Native American heritage. Warren somehow overcame this brilliant strategy, but Jacobson sticks at it to this day: See his April 6, 2015 post, "Jeb Bush is more Hispanic than Elizabeth Warren is Indian." (I think he just likes to take any excuse to think and talk about her, which may be why he was telling his presumably perplexed readers last December that Warren was a shoo-in to beat Clinton for the nomination.)

Really, if you're throwing the kitchen sink 18 months before the election, what will you have left to throw next fall?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


What is Rod Dreher Whining About Now? Some literary types have taken a vacation from reading white male writers:
The internet has been abuzz recently with debates over reading lists and reading habits. Writer K. Tempest Bradford caused a bit of a stir when she challenged readers to stop reading straight white cisgendered male authors for a year. Sunili Govinnage generated her share of outrage when she reported on her year spent deliberately not reading white authors.
As a normal person, I say: who gives a shit? Read whatever you like, free country, and as long as Dan Brown or his seasonal equivalent draws breath white male writers will still have a Place at The Table. But Rod Dreher -- well, to give you some idea, he reads this part of the Gawker story...
Many of the responses generated by these articles and initiatives have been supportive — even from those white male authors ‘targeted’ for exclusion.
...and responds thusly:
Of course. Dhimmis.
Eventually Dreher explains the moral imperative behind his condemnation of other people's choice of reading material.
You would scarcely believe the money and effort going into promoting my upcoming Dante book. Maybe it will pay off, but chances are it will not. The competition is unbelievably stiff. 
And even if a book does get a lot of media attention, that guarantees nothing. My 2006 book Crunchy Cons got a lot of favorable press and Internet discussion. There were good reviews in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, a front page Washington Post Style section feature, and an All Things Considered essay from me, related to the book. And yet the book never made back its modest advance, and almost certainly never will.
Who says there's no God? Dreher goes on and on about hard it is for Rod Dreher to sell a book, till finally he gets down on one knee to tell us that when you buy a Rod Dreher book, you're striking a blow for freedom:
So, if you are one of the people willing to spend money on books, I say God bless you, no matter whose books you buy. Every writer who is not Stephen King or Danielle Steele or in that category is in the 99 percent. I hope you’ll buy good books, and I hope you will buy my books. But I’m glad you are buying books.
See? He's for inclusiveness, and those monsters who encourage you to buy Roxane Gay instead of him are for dhimmitude! The choice is clear, particularly if you're the type who buys books not to read but to leave about the house as identity signals.

This has been What is Rod Dreher Whining About Now?

Sunday, March 08, 2015


The Wall Street Journal announces that Emily Zanotti has joined their staff. alicublog readers will know her as E.M. Zanotti, and perhaps recall my review of her culture-war work ca. 2007. Highlights from one Zanotti post at National Review:
There seems to be a degradation of the concept of art that starts around the Enlightenment. Naturalism was a rejection of the spiritual art that came before it... Somewhere along the way, [art] became less about making a visionary artistic statement, and more about making a statement that was "counter-cultural" (the Dada movement, for example) and meant to shock the collective consciousness... what fit this qualification often garnered an artist fame in his own community and an increase in his paycheck...
Modern art, whatta racket amirite? You may wonder how National Review let this one get away: Her last post for NR, filed from the 2008 Michigan GOP primary, contains this:
McCain has added difficulties of his own making as his Michigan campaign winds down. His sudden affinity for plaid dress shirts has ensured visually painful clashes with the blue backdrops at press briefings.
We also learned from this valedictory post that "good hair and rolled-up sleeves are in the Romney blood."

Zanotti kept her own blog for a while, too, where she tackled head-on and without a helmet issues like "If [abortion] IS a killing, why don't you just throw everyone who has one in jail?!"
To answer the question outright, if its a life, then taking the life is murder. We have no problem with that assertion, and frankly, believing it to be a life makes even their arguments easier. Its hard to stand on stable ground when your fundamental argument involves a distinction you cannot prove, but allowing, for a moment, that the fetus is a human could present a wealth of not esoteric but legal defenses...
[Blah blah, Margaret Sanger, the Spartans, Peter Singer, murder, etc.]
That said, its not as though making something illegal necessarily makes it punishable. Widespread recognition of the dignity and worth of human life by making it a crime to take one isn't something we brought into being by majority vote. Its a long-standing tradition. Some might call it the "natural law." Whether humans punished it was up to them...
On and on through thousands of words of point-dodging, but nothing resembling an answer; those who hung on till the end, however, got some nice anti-feminist insults ("everything short of unfettered access is totally unreasonable to Anna [Quindlen], though she'd never care to admit it"), and were probably satisfied.

Then came years of banging out boob-bait for outlets such as the American Spectator; last week, while other outlets were covering the recent Department of Justice report on Ferguson with headlines like "DOJ Report Condemns Ferguson Police Department's Practices" (NPR) and "Ferguson Officials Suspended After DOJ Report Have Resigned, City Confirms" (NBC), Zanotti's Spectator dispatch was headlined "DOJ FERGUSON REPORT VINDICATES OFFICER DARREN WILSON." She has also served as a "strategic partner" at Republican consultant bullpen Hynes Communications, and occasionally goes on Catholic sites to bitch about "the stretch pants ladies’ substituting Maya Angelou poems for Gospel readings." Can't say she hasn't paid her dues!

Zanotti seems to have calmed down, or at least gotten hungry enough to send in better first drafts. Her first offering for WSJ is a thumb-sucker on the Chicago mayoral election -- did you folks know that progressives are dissatisfied with Rahm Emanuel? Zanotti characterizes the contest as "two unappealing candidates who are battling for the measly one-third of the electorate that hasn’t checked out completely," which may seem a strange way to describe Chuy Garcia, an activist who came out of nowhere to win 34% in a primary against a standing mayor, but Zanotti huffs that Garcia's "a man who has many progressive dreams and no idea how to pay for them," and though she currently lives in Chicago she really wants to move away (presumably to some conservative oasis like Fritters, Alabama, to serve as the village strategic partner), and what else do Wall Street Journal editorial page readers need to hear?  I predict a bright future, for Zanotti if not America.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


You'd think the most amazing thing about Tom Blumer's rant at PJ Media about a "smear" of recently-deceased anti-abortionist John C. Willke would be the long and bizarrely intense display of anger toward the Cincinnati Enquirer with which it begins ("recruiters often appear in local grocery stores, desperate to almost give away three-month 'trials'... This once respectable full-throttle newspaper, which now looks as if it was cobbled together and produced at FedEx/Kinko’s on the fly..."). But then Blumer starts to pick apart the alleged smear. He quotes the Enquirer:
Willke’s view on abortion didn’t come without criticism. Willke, who was a retired general physician, believed the stress of rape caused the female body to inhibit conception. Former Missouri congressman Todd Akin also touted that idea, saying victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant. The 2012 comments caused a media sensation and national debate on the subject. 
Willke first put forward that theory over 30 years ago and in 1999 he said rape “can radically upset (a woman’s) possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing a pregnancy.”
So, Willke didn't say this, and shouldn't be associated with Akin's famous disaster? Oh, no:
Willke didn’t just “say” it in 1999. He fully documented his reasoning in an April column that year. Emilie Eaton and others obsessed with diminishing Willke should actually read it. Using a set of reasonable assumptions based on data available at the time, the doctor estimated that there were perhaps 450-740 potential instances per year of forcible rape-related pregnancy (as opposed to instances involving statutory rape) nationwide.
You think at first it can't be happening, but --
Willke’s (and Akin’s) naysayers often absurdly assert that there are 32,000 “rape-related” pregnancies per year, over 100 times greater than Willke’s midpoint estimate... The correct number, if it could ever be determined, is far closer to Willke’s [450-740] than it is to 32,000.
If it could ever be determined?
...Akin’s comments didn’t spur a national debate. They spurred a national smear. Almost no one is any smarter on this subject as a result of the press’s coverage of Akin’s failed 2012 U.S. Senate campaign. More than a few people, though they feel really smart, are instead quite a bit dumber.
So, Blumer's argument is: Todd Akin was right. The dream will never die!

Sunday, March 01, 2015


What say we start the week with Rod Dreher crying Get ready! The Worr-uld is coming to an end! This time the big issue is trans people born one thing who call themselves the other thing. Normals say who gives a shit but Dreher sees the End Times, and he is especially disappointed in the liberals, who should after all understand why it's so important:
This is a principle that the American Left can see is terribly damaging when put into practice by those who clear-cut forests. But they are blind when it applies to human beings clear-cutting, so to speak, their own bodies.
It's a wonder we haven't got abortion clinic protesters putting in extra shifts outside practices that do gender assignment surgery. Maybe harrying scared pregnant women is a less daunting prospect than confronting someone like Fallon Fox.

Also, per Dreher, Dante put Ulysses in Hell because of his "corrupt desire to defy the gods in pursuit of his own will," and "this is us. This is the West. This is America, 2015," with our homos and test-tube two-daddy babies and space travel, too, no doubt -- imagine what Dante would have thought of that! Not to mention harnessing the power of lightning to run artificial brain-machines -- so the Saving Remnant better Get Ready:
This is not going to be stopped by us. But one day, it is going to stop. We know where this is going. The task of the traditionalist today is to live in such a way that truth and sanity survive the darkening of our collective intellect. That we not forget who we are, and what is. This is hard work, but as the Noah myth should instruct us, it is past time to start building that cultural ark.
The ark will no doubt be filled with VeggieTales, well-beaten Bibles, and Brother Rod's approved reading list, which will be fine until some passenger finds it insufficient and in the margins of some Flannery O'Connor paperback defies the Captain in pursuit of his own will. Then come the floating witch trials and the Aguirre The Wrath of God ending. Go with God, dummies!
It may well be that this civilization continues in relative peace and prosperity for some time. I certainly hope it does, because I live in it.
Also because he's about to fuck off on yet another foreign foodie vacation:
Really, though, Anthony Bourdain’s CNN show episode on Lyon, with Daniel Boulud, put things over the top. I’ve watched it three times on Netflix streaming. I want to go eat at a bouchon or two (or three), and I want to make a pilgrimage to Reynon the traiteur, and taste his saucisson à cuire. I think this must be the first time I’ve ever chosen a travel destination solely for the purpose of eating.
Been to Lyon? Where should we stay? Where should we eat? Talk to me.
How about you stay in a monk's cell and pray for a clue?

UPDATE. Comments are very good. Jeffrey_Kramer:
I'm not sure whether the literature to be preserved on the Cultural Ark would lean more towards the Autobiography of Saint Teresa or the collected works of Anders Breivik
And JayB, by coincidence, recently happened to be passing through Lyon himself:
Since Rod asked, I did come across a gay AND 'libertine' Sauna on the Croix-Rousse. I didn't partake, but someone with his hangups would surely find something a bit rogue going on. I'm sure he'll be there in a week with a camera, a notepad and a heart filled with angry curiosity. Bon champs, you dickhead.

Thursday, February 19, 2015


At National Review, Mary Eberstadt denounces "jailhouse feminism" -- that is, feminism acting all mad and pushy, you know, like guys. Her examples include Miley Cyrus and Lena Dunham NO DON'T RUN AWAY YET this is actually funny. Eberstadt starts with the feminist reclamation of  the world "slut," which inspires this Rotary-Club-dais-joke-slash-non-sequitur:
Of course this approach takes for granted the sexual revolution’s first commandment, which is that any such act ever committed by any woman is by definition beyond reproach.
Hm, I don't remember that one. Ladies, when did that go into effect? And when was it repealed?
...Even so, something deeper is at work here than ideological tussling over a word that no halfway-civilized person would use anyway. The promiscuous slinging of “slut” is only the beginning of the obscenity- and profanity-saturated woman-talk these days, from otherwise obscurantist academic feminism on down to popular magazines and blogs.
Previously the word was only used by fathers toward their daughters if they didn't like how they were dressed,  by accused rapists' lawyers in court, etc. But now ladies (even the obscurantist ones) are using it, and also "the b-word," which is grounds for concern.
The interesting question is why. A cynic might say it’s just smart branding. After all, sex sells; women talking about sex sells; and even women talking about women talking about sex sells, too. Everyone knows that slapping a salacious word into a title will pull more eyeballs to the screen or page. Maybe it’s time the objects of exploitation got some of their own back. Why shouldn’t enterprising modern women perform some commercial jujitsu exploitation, via the promiscuous use of “slut” and other rough talk, to sell their stuff? A play called “The Private-Parts Monologues” would have folded on opening night
Same thing with Slutwalk. You think it's about preventing rapes, but these women are actually just trying to make a fast buck by working blue!

But there's something deeper going on behind this, says Eberstadt:
All of which leads, finally, to a sad and monumental fact. Beneath the swagger and snarl of jailhouse feminism is something pathetic: a search for attention (including, obviously, male attention) on any terms at all.
[Blink. Blink.]
If that means being trussed up like a turkey, so be it. If loping about on TV in your birthday suit does the trick, so be that, too. And if getting smacked around from time to time...
Whoa, some segue! part of the package — if violence is what it takes to keep an interested fellow in the room — that is a price that some desperate women today will pay.
See? Feminism caused Fifty Shades of Grey, twerking, and assault -- or rather, feminism happened to be standing around when a culture cop needed to make a collar on thousands of years of abusive behavior and attitudes toward women, and so why not pick her up? It's not like they haven't pinned lots of men's crimes on feminism before.

There's more -- endlessly more -- but I'll just leave you with some key words and phrases: "ethos of recreational sex," "decline of the family," "draconian speech codes on campuses," "the defunct Pussycat Dolls," "Amanda Marcotte," "Jessica Valenti," etc. (Maybe I should have put these up top -- but then you never would have read past them, and I would have been lonely. Now we suffer together!)

Oh OK, one more pull-quote:
The result is that many, many women have been left vulnerable and frustrated. That’s why a furious, swaggering, foul-mouthed ideology continues to exert its pull. Jailhouse feminism promises women protection.
Like butch dykes in those women's-prison movies! See, we told you this would happen if you started wearing pants.

Thursday, January 22, 2015


I'm sure there's some wheels-within-wheels strategy behind the House Republicans dropping Fetal Pain like it's hot, but it doesn't look good, especially with female members forcing them to drop it:
In recent days, as many as two dozen Republicans had raised concerns with the "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" that would ban abortions after the 20th week of a pregnancy. Sponsors said that exceptions would be allowed for a woman who is raped, but she could only get the abortion after reporting the rape to law enforcement. 
A vote had been scheduled for Thursday to coincide with the annual March for Life, a gathering that brings hundreds of thousands of anti-abortion activists to Washington to mark the anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. 
But Republican leaders dropped those plans after failing to win over a bloc of lawmakers, led by Reps. Rene Ellmers (R-N.C.) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), who had raised concerns.
This makes hard duty for conservative propagandists, and even such practiced hands as Mollie Hemingway are showing strain. She blasts the female Life-traitors for changing their minds (I thought that was a woman's prerogative, der hur hur), and rages that the bill, which from its title on down reads like something out of The Handmaid's Tale, is actually "easy legislation that is broadly popular (outside of American newsrooms, at least)," as if the will of the people for federal anti-abortion laws had been thwarted by the awesome power of America's increasingly-unread newspapers. (Sometimes I think the only thing keeping our Fourth Estate alive as a totem of soft power is the right wing's endless need for strawmen.)

But my favorite part of Hemingway's column is this:
Even if you’re not one of the majority of Americans who want to protect these children in the womb, this debacle should concern you.
Such exquisite concern-trolling hardly needs explaining but basically Hemingway thinks we can all agree it's bad when the GOP trips over its dick because "if Republicans can’t pass wildly popular legislation protecting innocent unborn children, what’s going to happen when they face difficult legislative battles?" Why, the Anti-Witchcraft Amendment may never make it out of committee!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Are you a male campus conservative seeking guidance? PJ Media's Spencer Klavan is here for you. Per his bio, Klavan "studied Greek, Latin, and Theater at Yale" and is committed to "putting the gore, sex, and rock 'n roll back into ancient literature," so he has a mix of intellectual pretensions and bro 'tude to which you will probably relate. Today he will tell you "How to Outwit a Radical Feminist." Not how to convert her -- that comes later, when your Jesuitical logic leaves her no choice but to suck your dick. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
There’s an intellectual war going on, and conservatives are surrendering. In elite universities all over America and Europe, incoherent and destructive ideologies are taking hold. Radical feminism, socialism, cultural relativism: these are philosophies founded on logical fallacies and barefaced dishonesty.
But they’re gaining ground...
No doubt they are, if conservatives are surrendering. What Is To Be Done?
This is a field manual from the trenches, written for the average soldier. I’m no expert, but I’ve been deep in enemy territory — first at Yale and now at Oxford — for more than five years now...
Trench warfare sure has changed since great-grandpa fought the Hun. He didn't have saving throws.
Our first enemy: radical feminists.
He was going to start with black people, but he knows you like rap music.
A radical feminist’s standard-issue weapon is called “the patriarchy.” It’s the baseline assumption that sexism is engrained into certain societies — into American society... 
To dismantle this nonsense, let’s consider what it implies. If, in their natural state, men and women were so fabulously equal, someone at some point had to establish attitudes and conventions that now insidiously subjugate women.
And come on, look at the pretty dresses they wore back in the old days. Why, some of them were queens.
Instead, throughout Western history, men have struggled to liberate women from the position of physical vulnerability that would restrict their freedom in a state of nature...
Women were always equal to men, and men have throughout history been trying to make women equal to men. So women are doubly equal, yet they're always bitching! Plus that 77-cents-on-the-dollar thing is bullshit, and Klavan can name two fake rapes.
Alright, private: at ease. You now have everything you need to defeat your first ideological foe. If you’re a campus conservative like me, you’ve been armed — now speak up! Radical feminism is a threadbare tapestry of irresponsible lies, and it depends on its ability to scare people who know better into silence. If you’ve got your own war stories or battle plans for taking on a radical feminist, share them in the comments. And be sure to tune in next week for the next installment of . . . The Campus Conservative’s Field Manual!
I think the idea is to make anyone who falls under the sway of this yak into an insufferable pedant who spends his college years making "war" on women who think they're feminists. The odds of success are slim, and by graduation the recruit will probably have become so embittered and socially inept that he'll have nothing but the movement to cling to. Hey, it worked on Ross Douthat.

UPDATE. One for the colonel, and one for the corps: See if you can make it through this from PJ Media:

Don't look at me, I done my tour of duty. Oh, well all right:
After Elsa’ magical breakdown, she flees, and in her seclusion, she learns to use her powers responsibly. As she practices and grows more confident, she is able to make beautiful things. 
Guns don’t create beautiful palaces or awesome clothing, but they do save lives and protect people.
No wonder these guys all have the thousand-yard stare.

UPDATE 2. OK, grizzled vet that I am, one more from PJ Media:
Why the New Counter-Culture Should Make Strength Central to Its Identity 
"Popular culture is currently at war with the notion that a man should be big and strong, because popular culture is at war with the idea of independence and self-sufficiency, and a big strong man literally embodies the concept."
Mostly it's about how liberals are all pussies and conservatives should get buff and beat them up, but here's a passage of particular interest:
What if Trayvon Martin had seen George Zimmerman on that rainy night in 2012, and thought, “Damn, that guy looks kind of strong”? Facing what appeared to be a fair fight, Martin would have thought better of jumping Zimmerman. The latter wouldn’t have had cause to pull his legally owned, concealed carry pistol. Trayvon Martin wouldn’t have died that night.
As it stands, since his lack of strength training forced him to kill Martin, Zimmerman's only been comfortable attacking women; maybe he should go to college (Obama will let him do it for free!) and join Spencer Klavan's howlin' commandos.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015


So you probably heard that, in the fine PSA tradition of New York City subway ads telling douchebags to cool it, MTA has a poster campaign telling guys not to sit with their legs splayed out like they're in a Barcalounger with elephantiasis because, as anyone who's been on a train with them knows, it's rude because other people can use the seats they're blocking with their knees. Now, who could be against that?

Paging Men's Rights den-mother Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser:
So, if it’s okay to subway shame men, is it okay to slut-shame women? Slut-shaming is “defined by many as a process in which women are attacked for their transgression of accepted codes of sexual conduct.” So now men are attacked. Why is one form of sexism okay and the other not? And don’t give me the crap about the patriarchy. If you shame men in this way, you are a nasty sexist who deserves contempt...
Seats, lady. These guys are taking up extra seats. They -- oh, what's the use; their persecution mania trumps common sense every time. Some classic DMOP Mothering the MRAs routines here and here. I doubt anyone will top -- oh, hold on, here's Alex Jones:
War on "manspreading" shows why feminism is becoming increasingly irrelevant
Please, can we maybe take one or two places that used to be all-male, and to which we don't really want to go, and let these guys have them back?  They clearly need a safe space.

Friday, December 26, 2014


In attempting to inculcate young girls with his administration’s “War on Women” theme, Barack Obama made a point of making the central theme of the 2014 White House Science Fair last May the paucity of women in the sciences.
The author is William Bigelow and I am only recording his name so that when he advances in the conservative propaganda mill -- and he will, because anyone who would drag his tongue so eagerly through such a pool of shit as this will go far in that loathsome enterprise -- the world may remember what an asshole he is.

William Bigelow: See you on the Times OpEd page.

UPDATE. Yeah, I know it's a ridiculously puny subject; that's why I'm making a point of it. Once upon a time, Ross Douthat was just a freelance nut like Bigelow, and look how that turned out. For some samples of Douthat columns that were buried once he became an NYT big-bug, see here, herehere, and plenty more where that came from. Once Bigelow is thus promoted, expect him to be similarly coddled.

UPDATE 2. Oops, messed up the link to the story; fixed.

Monday, September 29, 2014


Last week I mentioned the  spate of  conservative complaints about Emma Watson's very measured feminist speech at the U.N., which apparently spoiled their bedtime Hermione fantasies. Since then, in Time magazine -- a major outlet of what was once called the Liberal Media, for reasons lost to history -- Cathy Young of Reason has delivered the libertarian response. Guess how that goes?
Sorry, Emma Watson, but HeForShe Is Rotten for Men
Until feminism recognizes discrimination against men, the movement for gender equality will be incomplete.
Lots of weeping about "anti-male biases in the court system," and how if a woman beats up a man (as they frequently do) no one sympathizes, whereas if a guy beats up a chick everyone gets bent out of shape, etc. This pretty much comports with what libertarians usually say about women's rights. I wouldn't be surprised if folks started catching on at last that social issues don't mean as much to libertarians as the transfer of wealth from paupers to the deserving rich.

While his colleagues were raging at Watson, Kevin D. Williamson of National Review kicked it old school with a rant about Lena Dunham. the Brooklyn actress who started driving culture warriors crazy during the 2012 campaign, and whom, despite their protestations of disgust with her tattooed ass, they just cain't quit.

Dunham wrote a pamphlet for Planned Parenthood (or, in Williamson’s view, “a gang of abortion profiteers”) called “5 Reasons Why I Vote (and You Should, Too),” spurring his column-length sputter. Mostly it was about  how voting is stupid (“the most shallow gesture of citizenship there is”) because people with whom he disagrees get to do it (and are only doing so “as an act of self-gratification,” not to get candidates elected) and seem at present to outnumber him and his lunatic fringe. But Williamson managed to stuff unchivalrous comments about Dunham in there, too, and plenty of abortion ravings, including an assertion that women have abortions out of a “desire to fit nicely into a prom dress."  "FWIW, I've been dumping of democracy/voting fetishization for almost two decades," cheered Jonah Goldberg in response.

Later Williamson went on Twitter to tell people that women who had abortions should be hanged as murderers. The boy will go far.

Our favorite stray ladyragebit, though, is a line from Bryan Preston at PJ Media. Angered to learn that Alicia Keys was appearing naked for some social justice thing, Preston seethed, “She and the [New York] Times see this as ‘empowering.’ Is it empowering that an insanely successful woman and mother believes that getting naked before the entire world is the best way to draw attention to her cause? Or is it just plain old attention-whoring from her, and sucking up to leftwing celebrities from the New York Times?” Fucking bitches, with their whoring and sucking! 

“Yet here she is,” sneered Preston, “being all empowered. Naked, to push for gun control.” And now, his piece de resistance:
Try confronting an Islamist madman like this.
Message discipline is message discipline -- squads of headchoppers roam America's streets! Even in the midst of ladyrage, there's always time to pick on Muslims.  

Monday, June 02, 2014


Conservatives have had such a hard-on for Lena Dunham over the years that I've gotten not one but two Voice columns out of it. I'll never want for material, it seems; at National Review, Quin Hillyer ejaculates this under a big picture of Dunham:
If girls act like Lena Dunham’s character on Girls, they are sluts.
Hillyer's not just hard for Dunham, though, or even for women. This is one of those yeah I'm politically incorrect so what you pussies articles conservatives sometimes put up to feel butch. But it seems like it's been a while since we've seen one; it certainly seems as if Hillyer's had his sackful stored up a long, long time, and does not have complete control of his apparatus. For example:
And yes, I did say “aliens.” That is the precise, and precisely accurate, word for illegal immigrants. We won’t let the language be denuded any further just because somebody’s feelings got hurt. We long ago lost the word “gay.” The Left is now expropriating the word “marriage.” Several years ago, somebody tried to take away the perfectly wonderful “niggardly.” Well, I’m sorry, but they can’t have “alien,” too. And if Barack Obama happens to be miserly, then, well, he is niggardly, too.
 At National Review, no one suggests to your date it's maybe time to go home, apparently.

It's like he's reading slurs off fast-moving cue cards. Why is he straining so hard? Here's a hint:
Meanwhile, back to marriage: Many on the left say not only that the state should legally recognize just about any commitment somebody might decide to solemnize, but also that the state should penalize a private decision not to bake a cake or create a bouquet for a particular commitment ceremony. Now that should be grounds for civil disobedience. Hundreds or thousands of people should stand in solidarity with the baker. 
Except Hillyer can't get hundreds or thousands of people to do this, not because we live under Liberal Fascism, but because even relatively apolitical people would look at his rant and recognize he's not making a point about liberty, but just being an asshole. The politically incorrect bit can be fun once in a while, but it gets old fast -- and these guys have been at it for decades. (When was the last time you pulled down the P.J. O'Rourke and had a laugh about how bad the poor smell?) I think Hillyer must know the squares won't get it, and so sprays his spoor as a signaling device for such Republican Party Reptiles as are still around. There may not be as many of them as there once were, but at least they get his jokes.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


...about the latest rightblogger outreach to women: a bunch of essays about how ugly Lena Dunham is. It's a cinch! The small number of people who know who Lena Dunham is won't we swayed one way of the other, but the ones who don't know who Lena Dunham is will see that conservatives are mad at some woman for making them look at her tits, and that's bound to make an impression.