November 21, 2005

Democrats have a long, long way to go to convince me that they care about feminism.

Atrios links to my post asking feminists to care about the sexual harrassment of women -- specifically in this case, me -- on the web:
I saw this the other day because my Google Desktop is for some reason obsessed with Ann Althouse. Waaah! Why won't feminists speak up for me!!! wahhh!

The underlying issue is, of course, a real one. Critics across the political spectrum (and of both genders) are quick to jump to use sexist and sexual language when criticizing women. Still, the "I can ignore it until it happens to me" game is annoying.
My question is why Atrios assumes I haven't been a feminist all along? Did he read enough of my work to make this assumption? It's quite wrong and offensive. I'd like him to prove to me now that it isn't the case that he's an example of the sort of person on the left who thinks that women who don't hew to liberal dogma deserve sexual harassment. These are the people who sold out feminism to protect Bill Clinton not so long ago. People of the left ought to see the need to prove to people like me that they actually care about feminism, as opposed to partisan politics, which, for Democrats, is concurrent with feminism often enough that they may imagine that their lack of real interest in feminism won't show. In my case, I don't care about partisan politics, but I do care about feminism, and I have a long record of writing to prove it.

Atrios, who doesn't deign to link to my blog as he discusses me, sets off a spate of comments that is now over 800. Let's see how his folks respond, and perhaps we can get a sense of how the left really processes feminism:
Feminism is OK in its place.

Feminism is OK in its place.
in the kitchen.

Feminism is OK in its place.
in the kitchen.
Hey, yeah! Fetch me an eclair!

"Remember back last February when Kevin Drum wrote about why there are so few women in political blogging?"
Because mainly ugly chicks and dudes are interested in politics. Pasty greasy faced (I saw the picture here and shivered in revulsion) fish belly white thighs and guts are not attractive.
That is why Pam Anderson can play a ditz and ROLL in cash.
Plus most Democrat women are real bow wows. One thing the Republicans have is a whole stable of hot blonde white women they can roll out for tv.
Who really wants to f**k her for her mind anyway?
But as an old black buddy of mine told me " Put a flag over her head and f**k her for old glory!
That's patriotism!

Hey, yeah! Fetch me an eclair!
You have to remove your pants first before I entertain that command.

Feminism is OK in its place.
So are Negroes. Once either gets uppity there's gotta be hell to pay.

but she looks like a man

It's pretty f**king awful to be a feminist, actually. You get called names by Rush Limbaugh and friends, you get to be ridiculed in the mainstream media and if the wingnut sources are anything to come by you are responsible for white women disappearing in Aruba, for the falling birthrate, for every divorce that has taken place and the demise of the Western civilization. You are even responsible for increased alcohol use among young women and male depression. In fact, you are pretty goddamnawful.
Yeah, but Echidne, every so often you get to use the Courts to beat the sons of bitches senseless and make them give you large amounts of money for having screwed you over. And that counts too.....
Well, I'm not one eighth of the way into Atrios's comments, and no one has shown up to beat back this sexist crap. Atrios managed to summon up worse misogynists than Charles Johnson did. I hope he's proud of his people.

Democrats have a long, long way to go to convince me that they care at all about feminism.

UPDATE: Atrios has now linked to this post, but he doesn't answer my questions and doesn't correct his false assumption that I have only recently adopted feminism and only to serve my personal interests. He doesn't condemn his despicable commenters. He just says I'm missing the "irony." Yes, yes, I lack an appropriate sense of humor. Sexist jokes galore, and I ought to just learn to laugh about it. He seems to lack a shred of sensibility about how pathetically retro-male chauvinist that is. I'll say it again: Democrats have a long, long way to go to convince me that they care at all about feminism.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Atrios (AKA Duncan Black) adds some more material his post that links to me:
...to answer Althouse's question, the reason I assumed that she hadn't "been a feminist all along" was because she wrote:
Are there any feminists around to see when it's happening and say a little something?
Meaning, quite clearly, that feminists are other people. Had she written, "as a feminist, I think it's important to point these things out" or something similar taking ownership of the label I (and proud feminist Echidne) wouldn't have responded the way I did.
That's a weak attempt at a close reading argument. If that were true, if I wrote "Doesn't anyone care?" it would mean that I didn't care. Both Edchidne and Black didn't pick up the allusion in the title of my post. "Can I get a feminist?" was meant to invoke "Can I get a witness?" Those who say "Can I get a witness?" are themselves also witnesses.

More from Black:
I of course haven't devoted my life to reading the entirety of Althouse's body of work, on her blog and elsewhere, though I certainly am no stranger to it. If Althouse would like to point me to something she's written which, for example, happened "say a little something" when it wasn't directed at her I'll happily make the correction.
I could send him three law review articles. Or I could spend three hours going back over the blog to put together the argument that I've consistently and frequently taken feminist positions on this blog. Or I could get affidavits from people who know me personally avowing to the fact that Althouse has been openly feminist as long as they've known her. What is this, discovery?

The point is that Black chose to make an assumption about me and assert something about me without checking it. I could shout triumphantly: Duncan Black doesn't fact check!

Or I could return his treatment in kind and assert: Duncan Black is an anti-feminist! Because I, of course, haven't devoted my life to reading the entirety of Duncan Black's body of work, on his blog and elsewhere, though I certainly am no stranger to it, but if Duncan Black would like to point me to something he's written which proves that he isn't an anti-feminist, I'll be glad to issue a correction.

Is that how we're doing assertions of fact about individuals now?

Black adds something that substitutes for chiding his commenters:
I agree that it's understandable if people find ironic jokes about racism or sexism genuinely inappropriate or offensive. Sometimes those jokes are almost indistinguishable from genuine racism and sexism, no matter the intent of the person making them, and I'm not going to tell people what should or shouldn't offend them.
That's the old sorry-if-you-were-offended faux apology. I'd like to ask Black to do one more thing. Compare the comments made after he did his post calling attention to me for crying about something with the comments made on the post he made one day earlier laughing at a Roger L. Simon for crying about something. I called attention to that post of his:
Atrios has unleashed the commenters on Roger. I can almost empathize. It's actually a good opportunity to compare the behavior of lefty and righty commenters. The lefties, in this sample, are all over the place, in "open thread" mode, despite the assigned topic.
The righty commenters referred to were those at Little Green Footballs, who were extremely viciously toward me in blatant sexual language. Now, we can see how the Atrios commenters acted in two similar situations, with the difference being the sex of the two chosen targets. Look at the difference, Duncan and all those of you who think the left adheres to feminist values.

I repeat: Democrats have a long, long way to go to convince me that they care about feminism.

IN THE COMMENTS: Commenters strain to distance Atrios from his vile comment thread: "Atrios can only do to his comments what Haloscan allows him to do. And when he has a dayjob and a blog and a family, there is only so much he can do when he is regularly gets 300+ comments to a post."

I answer:
You and others are missing the point. I am asking him to condemn the sexist comments, not monitor or censor everything. I'm asking him to show that he cares, that he is some sort of feminist. I'm just sick and tired of liberals and lefties who assume it's taken for granted that they care about feminism. Atrios is a channel for putrid sexist invective. It's irrelevant that the commenters had a smile on their face when they wrote it or think they are cute when they say it. Try living in the real world and speaking like that. It doesn't work. The fact is Atrios and his defenders are more interested in getting him off the hook than in looking to the infection of bigotry in their own house. Why is he not appalled that this is the "community" he's nurturing on his blog? My theory is he doesn't care about feminism, only his side of partisan politics. I'm calling him on that, and he and his defenders have yet to respond to that. The lack of response is in itself instructive. He doesn't care! Feminists, disaggregate yourself from these folks. Why don't you?

372 comments:

1 – 200 of 372   Newer›   Newest»
Jonathan said...

Hhmm Ann, I sense a bit of well deserved frustration on your part regarding the hypocritical musings on the left. It's all about political pandering, as I'm sure you well know. When it's easy, they'll pretend to care, just give it time.

The Drill SGT said...

I don't have much of anything to say about your personal Feminist credentials but will toss in 2 comments:

1. That site and those 890 comments are a cesspool of mental cases.

2. There are too many FEMINISTS (large F types) who can't dis-connect democratic politics and what is good for women. For example, it seems to me that the fact that Afghanistan elections that elected more women than the floor (25%) should be a real success story. Same with all the girls in school, but because if one were to call them successes, it might reflect well on the US and the current administration, those stories don't appear or are denigrated by the AP or CNN.

Pragmatic Liberal said...

Ann,
Off handed sexism is alive and well among liberal men. So is incredibly insesitive comments related to gays and lesbians. In fact, the only group they really seem to be mostly politically correct about are African Americans.
What does that say about the actual state of affairs in this country?

richard mcenroe said...

In the Glenbridge book, "Male Code" the author rips the "sensitive liberal man" a new one on the topic of sex, using as his model the TV character Hawkeye Pierce from MASH, who mainly uses his "caring, sensitive nature" as an inducement to get nurses to drop their khakis...

MD said...

Hmmm, was the comment about Negroes being uppity supposed to be funny? Apparently there are a lot of -isms being bandied about on that website. Enlightenment doesn't seem to spring forth from the standard large comment-forums of the right or left, eh?

*One of the reasons I first started reading this blog was Ann's stuff about selling out feminism and Bill Clinton. I remember feeling the same sort of disconnect at the time. Mostly, it made me hate partisan stuff. Those pencil-necked wonks can be mean!

I've also backed off from using the term feminist for myself(mostly because I feel like it lumps me in with a bunch of people who don't speak for me) but now I see that perhaps I am making a mistake. That I'm allowing feminism to be defined a certain way? Why? Why can't I vote for Bush and still be a feminist if that's what I want? I'll have to think this one over some more....

*I always joke with friends that I'd rather use suffragette - for it's historical cache, because it sounds cool, and plus, those old-timey get-the-vote-types were some tough ladies. I like that. And yes, this is a very West-o-centric attitude toward feminism. Feel free to correct me.

XWL said...

It's an outgrowth of power politics in my opinion.

Democrats, Liberal activists and the like view all non-whites and all non-heterosexuals and all non-males as their natural voting base.

Any person who exhibits traits from any of the above categories who doesn't also embrace every aspect of 'correct' liberal democratic thought must be censured and upbraided in the strongest, vilest terms.

There are just too many emotionally stunted folks who find the anonymity of the 'net too intoxicating not to unload all the yellow bile and invective they can muster given that they haven't the courage to be so choleric face to face.

(but by now that should surprise no one)

erp said...

Feminism isn't about furthering equal rights for all women, it's only about liberal women. Just as the civil rights movement isn't about equal rights for all Blacks, but about liberal Blacks.

Rush ridicules feminazis and poverty pimps, not women and Blacks. You really can't believe what the media say about Rush. It's no truer than what they say about anything from the right side of the political spectrum.

Palladian said...

Duncan Black, aka Atrios, is to me a shining example of the danger of confusing cynical nihilism with liberalism. His site is generally a mean-spirited, angry and poorly punctuated cesspit that has the unique ability to make the more extreme commenters at Little Green Footballs seem rather mild-mannered and adult by comparison.

The difference you'll often find between leftists and conservatives is that leftists have no ideals (notice I am speaking of leftists, not liberals); their entire philosophy is based on negation, which includes the negation of all sense of respect for fellow humans who go against their whims. This social and moral negation shaves away at the fragile barrier that reason has placed over the horrible savagery that is our primitive nature. And in my experience, the closer this primitivism is to the surface, the easier it is to reach for when attacking your opponents. This is of course not the sole province of leftists, but for the purposes of this post, I'm confining my generalization to them. Those with a more developed personal morality and philosophy, including classical passionate liberals and intellectual conservatives, tend to better understand the value of respect and reason in dealing with their intellectual opponents.

In other words, nihilism is easy; therefore it attracts actual and metaphorical adolescents. Given their limited arsenal, they tend to reach for the grunting caveman's club, which despite many years of civilization and so-called liberal values, is sadly always at the ready.

I've experienced this first hand many times in my life as a gay man, especially when I used to travel in more superficially "liberal" circles; the same insults in modified form, but all along the same masculine/virile feminine/weak lines.

wildaboutharrie said...
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According to Jenna said...

Ann and Atrios. I hate to break it to you but there is no liberal or conservative in your country - only Americans. You guys are the epitome of hatred and denial. You kill for fun and mislead for profit. There is no right or wrong in the USA, mostly bad apples. Not everyone is evil in America, just miguided and greedy. If you can't get your way, you will bludgeon your opposition until they bleed. Then laugh about it. Hypocrites? That's the little of it. You are a desperate group whose distinctions between your factions disappear under a universal decree of lies and accusations. That's why you get so mad at each other. A mirror is an ugly thing when your soul is black and tiny.

Procrastinus said...

Ann, OSM really DOES work! All the hoo-ha about it got me to your site, which I've enjoyed. And the three podcasts I've listend to as well. Hell, I think I'll even click on your Blogads.

Anyway, on to the topic; none of this stuff surprises me, particularly Atrios's assumption that because you're not a leftist ideologue that you have, by definition, "ignored" sexism. Just as cringe-worthy, though flowing from his first bad assumption, is the implication that the only place one might find support against misogyny is on the left.

As The Drill SGT points out, the plight of Muslim women in Afghanistan and the recent progress there (due entirely to U.S. intervention) is no small thing.

Leftists didn't care when the Clintons destroyed the women who dared speak up after he harassed them; leftists didn't care that a woman died as a direct result of Ted Kennedy's using of women; and leftists don't care about the state of women under Islamic rule, especially if to do so would force them to side with the United States, or more specifically with Chimpy McHitlerBurton.

So far as the claim that Leftists are consistent on the subject of African Americans -- tell that to the "house slaves" and "Uncle Toms."

Leftists don't care about ANY of the things they claim to care about.

As a center-right Republican, I can say I do care about women's rights worldwide. And my party has done more to advance the cause globally just under this one (much maligned) president than the other party did in eight years... to set the cause back.

nunzio said...

The generalizations just fly around these blogs.

TexasToast said...

Oh my goodness!

It is all a shell game, right? The linking of "feminism" to democratic politics is pernicious, to say the least. Persons who hold "democratic" beliefs tend to be feminists, but it is certainly not a one-to-one correlation and to suggest that the fact that it is somehow hypocritical is somewhere between unfair and BS. Gender politics and broad politics are different - and it galls me to hear intelligent women make this type of link.

I agree with gender equality before the law and in society - but charges of hypocrisy are hollow at best.

Steve said...

Perhaps the most shocking revelation in all of this is that people actually read the comments at Atrios.

Procrastinus said...

According to Jenna, you write very well for a nine-year-old! It's a bit sad for me to see such knee-jerk American hatred from a child, though. And it can't be good for your digestion. Two words, darling: Harry Potter. It'll take your mind off the evil Amerikkkans, and you'll feel worlds better.

lakema said...

Are the examples of your Feminist writings someplace? I went through the recent history of this blog but didn't see anything. You say Atrios assumes you haven't been a feminist all along, it seems like the easiest way to counter this would just be to provide a link to something you wrote.

John(classic) said...

AA --


What is a "feminist" or "feminism"?

(I mean the question seriously)

Stoffel said...

Apparently we liberals have to start using <irony> tags in all of our comments, lest any conservatives accidentally stumble upon them.

Hint: liberals tend toward irony, sarcasm, even sardonism. It has to do with all that ivory-tower schoolin' an' such.

Jonathan said...

The Jonathan who left the initial comment in this thread is not me. As far as I know he is a splendid fellow, and his comment wasn't bad, it's just that it wasn't mine and I prefer not to be confused with him. As I have been commenting on this site for some time, perhaps J2 could, in future comments, provide some indication to distinguish us? It would be kind of him to do so. Alternately I could see how his commenting develops and, if it's better than mine, take credit for it.

Procrastinus said...

>>He just says I'm missing the "irony."<<

Silly high-strung female.

HaloJonesFan said...
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Nancy said...
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Procrastinus said...

>>Hint: liberals tend toward irony, sarcasm, even sardonism. It has to do with all that ivory-tower schoolin' an' such.

Yes, I find liberals claiming to be the champions racial equality and feminism while attacking -- IN RACIAL TERMS -- any person of color who isn't ideologically pure; or assuring us they are the true protectors of women, but giving the most casual shrug when women are demeaned or even destroyed by liberals to be quite ironic. Yeah, you guys not only got the whole "tending towards irony" thing down quip-age wise, but you have the guts to live the irony.

s1c said...

Conservative??? I would not call Ann conservative. Libertarian, maybe, definitely centrist with a left lean and definitely a Feminist type that I grew up with. I can remember at the Junior cast (74) party discussing with the Feminist who played winnie the pooh and the big argument was not barefoot and pregnant, but whether or not she should pick up a gun and join the army and fight in the ditches ( I was against because she was like 5'2 and weighed like 140) and I thought that though her intentions were good, she would not be able to match the physical requirements. The rest of the world was fair game, and I even told her that if we were to marry I would be glad to stay home and take care of the house.

True feminsism is about choices, her choices and stay out of her way.

wildaboutharrie said...
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Elliot said...

Ann, get off the internet. You obviously don't have what it takes. Notice how Atrios got 800 comments. That's because he's a better blogger than you and people actually care about what he writes and what he says. You are just a dorky law professor. The last thing the internet needs is more dorky law professor. You can still browse, I suppose, and use your word processor, but please, for all our sakes, stop blogging.

J said...

What an absolutely ridiculous post. As Atrios noted, Ann, you very recently wrote a post asking "Are there any feminists around to see when it's happening and say a little something?"

That pretty clearly implies you see Feminists as some sort of "other."

And cutting & pasting unregulated comment sections is truly absurd. I've very, very rarely seen Atrios participate in or acknowledge what goes on in the comments. I know of very few readers who actually read the comments. There is no way of knowing whether "genuine leftists" wrote those comments or they were put there by moronic wingnuts in the hope that someone as foolish as you would declare these anonymously posted internet ramblings representative of "The Left."

J said...

wildaboutharrie --

her suit was laughed out of court repeatedly.

A settlement is not an admission of guilt. that Clinton paid a small amount of money to end her ceaseless & meritless appeals does not equate to guilt.

Sorry.

wildaboutharrie said...
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Procrastinus said...

nancy, couplea thoughts:

>>I don't remember the final results of the Paula Jones case. Was Clinton found guilty of harrassment? Or is this another example of the right-wing smear machine doing its work?

Can we agree that President Clinton's track record regarding women has been less than chivalrous? (Or is that a bad word?) I only honestly ask you to ask yourself this: if, for example, President Bush (or any Republican, other than say, McCain) had a long and substantiated record of using his position of power to get women who worked under him to, um, get under him, would the left be as silent or dismissive as they were about Clinton?

If Dick Cheney had left a woman to drown in his car one drunken night, would he be given a pass to hold public office or speak with any kind of credibility on "women's issues?" There is a double-standard.

>>Leftists may not be perfect on feminist issues, but right-wingers want to turn the clock back at least 50 years, so shut yer holes about how awful Democrats/leftists are.

I'm a right-winger and I don't. Maybe you could give some solid examples as to why you think this.

Are you glad, indifferent or angry that women in Afghanistan are no longer required to walk around (if, that is, their husbands/male family members even allow them out) in bee-keeper outfits? To me this seems worlds more important than what you might think "right-wingers" want to do to your clock. But I am interested in hearing what you have to say on that score as well.

Ken C. said...

"Ann's stuff about selling out feminism and Bill Clinton."

"As for Paula Jones, politics trumped feminism,"

"Leftists didn't care when the Clintons destroyed the women who dared speak up"

Look! Over there! It's Clinton's penis!

Ah, those were the days, eh? When bogus harassment suits earned profoundly disappointed NYT editorials, when special counsels would leak up a sexy storm, when presidents could be impeached for private consensual behavior. That was so much more important than violating treaties, lieing to Congress to trump up support for war, or throwing away the lives of thousands of young soldiers. Way more important than corruption, torture, and cronyist incompetence, surely.

Now that y'all have established your profound feminist convictions, you can go back to banning abortion, sneering at that lesbo Hitlery, excusing the destruction of a woman's CIA career, and letting female soldiers, as well as male, die in support of empty lies. Women and men are dying every day in support of your boy king's adventure. Sleep well.

Henry said...

HaloJonesFan, I almost hate to admit it, but your HoHo made me laugh. Then I read Nancy's: This is one of the best examples of failure to get irony I've ever seen. and I really cracked up.

Chris O'Brien said...

Ah the selective indignation of feminism.

The feminists have taught us, for example, that a woman's inherent worth is her intellect and that her looks are wholly irrelevant, and that to value a woman on such things is objectification of the worst sort..a marginilization that helps sustain the sexist society in which we live.

Unless she is Katherine Harris and you don't approve of her make-up(google those words btw and check out the left wing sites said about her)or, say, Linda Tripp, for example. You see the tenants of feminism do not apply to anyone they do not like.

Procrastinus said...

I think elliot's assertion that no one cares about what Althouse posts about, therefore no one comments, made in a comment to a post she made, is another example of that liberal irony I've heard so much about.

wildaboutharrie said...
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Ann Althouse said...

Lakema: I have several law review articles, scholarly articles, dealing with feminist themes, and I have taught law school seminars on feminist themes. Women's issues have been a regular subject throughout the history of this blog. My first post on a political theme was about feminism. Here's a post about Andrea Dworkin. Here's a post about Muktaran Mai. There are many, many more.

HaloJonesFan said...

>I've very, very rarely seen
>Atrios participate in or
>acknowledge what goes on in the
>comments.

Has it got his site's URL? Yes? Then he's responsible for it. He can put up any kind of disclaimer he wants, but he's responsible for encouraging and abetting the activities of those people.

wildaboutharrie said...
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MD said...

Ken C, nice of you to excerpt a bit of my comment, along with the others.

This feminist, er, suffragette, er, human person (female) voted for Clinton! And for Bush! I dunno. Seems like I'm the type of person the team players should be wooing, cause I'm easy that way. Get it? I vote both ways!

Sorry.

Ann Althouse said...

Hey, I voted for Clinton too, both times, and I'm one of the lawprofs who signed the letter against impeachment.

dave said...
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wildaboutharrie said...
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Ann Althouse said...

Atrios, like Charles Johnson, relies comments to beef up the traffic. Often all Atrios does is declare an open thread.

J said...

wildaboutharrie ---

wrong. the judges who kept booting the suit felt similarly. have you actually read any of those opinions? I find that very doubtful.

Btw Procrastinus -- love to hear what you think about our lovely president choosing to replace our nation's first female Supreme Court Justice with a man who proudly touted his association to a group of Princton alumni who adadamantly opposed coeducation & opening the exclusive dining clubs to women...

just lovely...George W could scarcely give America, and Women, a bigger F-U if he got on national TV & danced around with one of those big, inflated foam hands seen at sports events (with, obviously, the middle finger turned up rather than the index finger).

J said...

given the times & frequency with which those open threads appear, i believe there is some sort of automated posting producing open threads at Atrios...

Anna Marshall said...

Going back to your original post, what do you mean by "sexual harassment."

"Sexual harassment" is a term of art that is used to refer to one of two situations. The first is demanding sexual favors in exchange for favorable treatment in employment, education, housing, etc. The second is using explicitly sexual conduct to intimidate people. Are you suggesting that your fellow bloggers are engaging in sexual threats or demands? Or are they just bullying you because you're a woman? Because that's not sexual harassment.

Of course, as a lawyer and a feminist and an educator, you understand the importance of clarity, particularly in an area as highly charged as sexual harassment. You wouldn't want to throw around such a label so carelessly and create confusion.

Palladian said...

Gross. It seems that some of Atrios' ugliness has started to seep over here. Even mentioning the name stinks up the place.

I think I'll go to a nicer thread, maybe Madonna!

Finn Kristiansen said...

It's almost like this was Cape Cod, or Nantucket, and now it's summer, and it's getting crowded, and dirtier than normal.

Procrastinus said...

Hey, now! I voted for Clinton twice, too! (And also twice for Bush -- does this make me an actual "neo" con?)

Still thought Bill was a pig in private, still think liberals shockingly abandoned their values when it came to supporting victims of sexual harassment, I still supported him when he bombed Iraq based on Saddam's intransigence (never bought into the black helicopter wag-the-dog theory), supported his call for regime change based on the intelligence (which, now that we know it was wrong, still doesn't suggest to me he was "lying"), also supported him on regime change based on the mass graves and the gassing of Kurds, supported his intervention in Kosovo - even though he didn't go through the U.N. -- supported the actual regime change and liberation of Iraq under Bush based on those same things plus the growing danger of WMD in the hands of terrorists after 9-11, still support it today, and still don't think women should be treated in fact as property or forced to wear bee-keeper outfits.

And I'm pro-blow jobs, but not in the Oval Office.

wildaboutharrie said...
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lakema said...

Ann, thanks for providing the links, it helps clarify the issue to some extent. However, I had kind of hoped to see something more challenging of contentious policies. My point is that the links you provide establish that:
1) You presumably believe women should be allowed on TV.

2) Aren't willing to trash a feminist who recently died.

3) Are against Gang Rape and would encourage people to become more informed.

I'm not saying these aren't valid but they also really aren't, in my opinion, an example of feminism. I'm sure you could find plenty of mysoginists who are against gang rape. It's a no brainer.

I'm not really sure where you are coming from since your politics are not conveniently nailed down (I mean that as a sincere compliment). But I still find it difficult to rationalize your claims of serious support for feminism while supporting conservative jurists and politicians who are actively rolling back decades worth of hard fought gains for womens rights and civil rights in general.

APF said...

Atrios' blog is a shallow, meanspirited hatefest reminiscient of LGF but actually a lot less conceptually useful. When you have upwards of three "open threads" per day with a new mindless comment every minute ("frist i mean first!!! LOL!!!" "zOMG repuke-lickins teh suxx0r!! LOL"), you'd think perhaps the alarm bells would ring and the utility of such a system would come into question (why not just set up an actual forum for your users if they're lifeless buffoons who spend their endless waking hours hitting F5 and racing for the Haloscan/comments link?)--but who cares so long as the group polarization continues unabated?

Atrios said...

My comments are on haloscan and aren't in any way linked to my sitemeter. Some users like the comment section so posting open threads when threads get too long is a way of pleasing the crowd but people can play all day in the comments threads without it affecting my traffic levels as measured by blogads or sitemeter or whatever.

J said...

Or, APF, you could (like the vast majority of users) simply ignore the silly open threads & read the blog for its useful aggregation of daily links & commentary...

APF said...

J--Actually I do. So uh... what's your opinion of the LGF front page...? I assume you do the same as you suggested I do... :)

Ann Althouse said...

Anna Marshall: We have free speech on the web, so my use of the words "sexual harassment" cannot refer to the sort of legal claim one might have in the workplace, but I do mean to refer to the concept used in the workplace, specifically the notion of a "hostile environment." I think there is a real attempt to intimidate women with sexual abuse, to make the web an especially difficult place for women. It's been very widely noted that there are many more male bloggers than female, especially writing about politics. That's something I care a lot about, and I am trying to do something against the abuse for that reason. It's not that I need help or I'm intimidated, but I think I'm in a good position to point out what's going on and to shame the people involved. I'm trying to get others, males and females to care, but it's damned hard. Asking for them to care has mostly only led to further attacks on me personally.

digital mule 2 said...

Marge Piercy wrote a long pithy piece in the 60’s, called Grand Coulee Dam I believe, about peace “Movement” men treating women in the most dismissive and stereotypically gender assigned ways as the men did the “serious” work of defining rhetorical terms. Commitment to the group movement replaced commitment to individual equality. The left was correct about the failure of America to face up to the evils of racism after the Second World War. That was a huge issue to be right about, but assuming that you are right about every other issue because you were right about one big one is foolish. Twenty years earlier the left had ignored the genocidal purges of Stalin. Given that the left is currently out of power, they are far quicker to punish anyone who places individual decisions ahead of the group rhetoric. Group rhetoric is really all they have and deviations from it are to be despised and punished with the most hurtful types of insult.
My boss has just resigned to stay home with her new baby. Her choice to meet her wants, 30 years ago she wouldn’t have had that opportunity to go from 60 hour week hyper professional to stay at home Mom. That is feminism to me and I would guess to her even though she wouldn’t describe it that way. Individual choices outweighing the one true collectively approved path. That difference between focus on the individual, “It Takes a Family to Raise a Child” and focus on the group, “It takes a Village to Raise a Child” sums up the split between the left and right. It doesn’t explain the difference in levels of invective on left and right.

gj said...

Ann -

Criticizing the comments on Atrios and setting that up as a way to criticize "liberals" is a pretty shallow straw man (straw person?).

The fact is, while lots of people may write comments on Atrios' blog, I doubt many people read them. The number who bother to respond to other people's comments is going to be even lower. And the number who bother to disagree is going to be even lower than that.

Your blog is one of the few that I read where the commenters actually engage in dialogue with each other (as well as with you) with some semblance of comprehension and response.

That's why it is disappointing to see a post like this, and see so many commenters use it as an excuse to "pile on the stupid liberals who are hypocritics and represent everything bad about America" rather than using it to actually try to uncover something new to say about the situation.

As for your feminist creds: you're certainly eclectic; I think I've seen posts of yours which pretty clearly point you out as being queer-friendly; I would lay good odds that you don't agree with people like Rick Santorum and Phyllis Schlafly on women's proper role in society; but I've never seen you comment on any litigation or serious current issue of concern about the equal treatment of women in our society, so you may be one of those passive feminist types who rely on the progress created by the fights their mothers fought, and don't think any more fights are necessary.

GSH said...

Perhaps the reaction is less to do with feminism and more to do with the internet in general.

As Penny-Arcade put it:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19

Ann Althouse said...

Lakema: I disagree with the notion that one must adopt liberal political positions to be a feminist. As to supporting nominees, an important aspect of that is the recognition that the president has the appointment power. I also dislike mediocre and compromise judges. I support the right to abortion however and have said so many times on this blog. Your discounting of the three posts I went to the trouble of linking doesn't make me want to go find three more for you to disqualify, but there are probably hundreds of posts that represent feminists values (which I'm not going to let you be the one to define, of course).

Ann Althouse said...

GJ: "one of those passive feminist types who rely on the progress created by the fights their mothers fought"

Well, you clearly aren't very familiar with my blog. How old do you think I am? If you knew, you'd realize how nonsensical that comment is. In fact, I've spoken many times of the discrimination I personally faced, which was quite bad for the first 30 years of my life. I did not have the advantage of any progress made by others, unfortunately, because it hadn't taken place yet. Get a clue before making assumptions about me.

J said...

Well APF, I don't actually read LGF, b/c when I occasionally glanced at it in the past, the front page contained more than enough septic trash & bile for me to comfortably dismiss it as the rantings of a depraved & hateful lunatic.

I also once, almost 3 years ago, tried to argue & reason with some folks in a thread before Mr Johnson banned my IP (it was actually a friend's PC). I never once used any foul language or ad hominem attacks -- it was pure intolerance for differing views.

That was about all I needed to see of LGF to permanently cast it aside.

EddieP said...

The dems have dumped "Happy Days are Here Again" for "Born to Lose"!

Procrastinus said...

gj said... Criticizing the comments on Atrios and setting that up as a way to criticize "liberals" is a pretty shallow straw man (straw person?).<<

To be fair, this post was a rather a "part II" of a post commenting on the commenters on LGF. Ann has made it clear she was finding interest in comparing right-leaning and left-leaning commenters. She didn't heap praise on either, if you'll look back. I don't see it as "a way to criticize liberals."

gj said..."That's why it is disappointing to see a post like this, and see so many commenters use it as an excuse to "pile on the stupid liberals who are hypocritics and represent everything bad about America."

Speaking, I assume, as one of the "pilers-on," I don't think it's fair to accuse this thread of saying "stupid liberals represent everything bad about America." That seems over-the-top to me.

But then, maybe I'm too busy trying to turn back the clock fifty years and undo all those hard-fought battles to notice. I mean, trying to get women into back alleys -- near a kitchen door -- takes a lot of energy, not to mention bad faith.

APF said...

You know it's easy for me to make the same comment you made to me though, about ignoring the comments and just using the site for the links/etc, and to an extent I already have. But I'm also not an LGF fanboy and don't feel the need to pimp or defend it so whatever.

Tresy said...

Hey, Ms. Althouse:

If you want to tell yourself Democrats don't care about feminism, you're free to go over to the other side of the aisle. When you come running back 20 minutes later gasping for breath, we'll be sure to hold the door open for you. Unless you want to open it yourself, of course. We believe in free choice.

Elizabeth said...

I can't speak for everyone, but I don't despise Katherine Harris or Linda Tripp for their lack of makeup skills, but for their conduct. Neither woman has the honor of a snake.

I've encountered plenty of dense men on the left, and misogyny amongst them, but some of the quotes from Atrios' commenters strike me as ironic--poorly done, and arrogant, but an attempt at irony all the same.

I registered as an Independent about 10 years ago, out of frustration with my vote being taken for granted as a woman, and as a lesbian. The party has a lot of work to do on both counts. But Ann, as right as I think you are about the pass feminists gave to Clinton, I see nothing, not a damn thing, to recommend the Republican party as an alternative. It's depressing to have to acknowledge that neither major party meets my needs fully, but what Democrats do in practice is better for my interests than the crap spewed on a blog indicates. Atrios isn't running for office.

And because the question keeps being asked--yes, the restrictions on women in Afhganistan and other Muslim countries are bad, evil, awful. What has that got to do with talking about feminism and our political parties?

Elizabeth said...

When I read Atrios' comment about Ann's feminist blog entry the other day, I thought it was asinine. I went to post to the Comments, saw it was at 800 and counting, and full of irrelevent and irreverent bull, and decided to skip it. He clearly missed Ann's point, and just enjoyed taking a potshot at her. The women's movement in part was a reaction to the sexual politics of the anti-war and civil rights movements (boys did the strategizing and expected girls to make the coffee), and we're still fighting that fight, generation after generation. I'm glad Ann is doing that in the blogosphere (why do I hate that word?)

ShadyCharacter said...

Ann,

You've mentioned in the past how off-putting you find the leftist bile and invective aimed at you whenever one of the lefty blogmasters sics his slavering hounds on you :)

You mention how, as a middle of the road left of center moderate, you feel a natural revulsion to being mindlessly attacked by these cretins. Go figure!

I'm just wondering, is it starting to affect the way you think about specific political issues? Is there any thought that if these people represent leftism, maybe I should reexamine what leftist tendencies remain in my thinking? For example, has your thinking on immigration, welfare, national security or even a hot button like abortion changed at all since you began this blog experiment?

Does anyone else in the "I voted for Bill twice, but..." crowd have any thoughts on this? Ever read a Kos posting or the Atrios comments and just thought "maybe these people are so hateful because there is something twisted in their/my ideology or worldview?"

I'm just curious as a lifelong conservative who's been hissed at/spat on a time or two... Funny, it didn't result in my changing my opinions to match the spitters, and I doubt it impacted favorably on the impartial bystanders either. Yet more votes lost to th Dems :(

Aspasia M. said...

OK - being a Democrat does not make that individual a feminist. (Good God, just read a little bit of labor and union history) FYI - I'm a liberal feminist who usually votes Democratic.

Ann has a good point. Women, when being criticized, are much more likely to contend with sexual attacks and gender stereotypes. Likewise, gay men are more likely to have to defend themselves against this type of offensive treatment. People who do this rely on gender and sexual characteristics because they think those traits make that person vulnerable to attack. The attacker is either too lazy to engage the other person's political arguments, or simply a misogynist or homophobe. (Who was the politician that called Barney Frank, Barney Fag? This type of attack is quite despicable.)

John (Classic) asked about the definition of feminism:

Generally feminism could be described as the struggle of women and men to achieve equal positions of power and status in our society. In the widest definitions of feminism this equality extends to a belief in equal citizenship, economic, religious, sexual, medical and educational rights and opportunities.

In 1848 Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass were among 68 women and 32 men who signed a document called the Declaration of Sentiments. Modeled on the Declaration of Independence, it lists a number of feminist complaints that are still generally considered to be at the heart of modern feminist ideology.

Not all of these demands have been achieved today. For example, the Declaration accuses men of the following: "He allows her in church, as well as state, but a subordinate position claiming apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry..."

The Declaration also criticizes the double standard and insists upon equal rights for women...in particular, for married women.

c&d said...

he doesn't answer my questions
Yes, he did.
My question is why Atrios assumes I haven't been a feminist all along?
"because she wrote:
Are there any feminists around to see when it's happening and say a little something?"
Did he read enough of my work to make this assumption?
"I of course haven't devoted my life to reading the entirety of Althouse's body of work, on her blog and elsewhere, though I certainly am no stranger to it."

[He] doesn't correct his false assumption that I have only recently adopted feminism and only to serve my personal interests.
"If Althouse would like to point me to something she's written which, for example, happened "say a little something" when it wasn't directed at her I'll happily make the correction."

He doesn't condemn his despicable commenters.
"I'm not going to tell people what should or shouldn't offend them."

No blogger has "their" commenters. A blog does not own its commenters. If apologies had to be issued for every dumb comment, there would be nothing left to do.

Democrats have a long, long way to go to convince me that they care at all about feminism.
Its unfortunate Ann thinks one blogger, Atrios, or other individual Democrats represents the Democratic party. It is the policy decisions the party would implement that are important, not blog discussions. Any large political group will have pleanty of rude people.

To claim that the Republican party would implement more pro-gender equality policies than Democrats strains believability.

Eli Blake said...

As a Democrat and a liberal, I would like to say that while I won't excuse a mysogynist on either side (and there are plenty on the right, while we are at it-- and if you want to condemn Clinton, do you reserve the same condemnation for Bill O'Reilly?) I am happy to put the policies of the left up against the policies of the right anytime.

Ideas from the left that are now reality: Legal abortions, FMLA, state support for childcare, and pushing to end discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans (up to 10% of the population, both male and female).

And every one of these policies has been opposed by the right.

Also, since households headed by women are those most likely to be in poverty, I would submit that anti-poverty programs are also programs which benefit women.

Tim said...

Its unfortunate Ann thinks one blogger, Atrios, or other individual Democrats represents the Democratic party. It is the policy decisions the party would implement that are important, not blog discussions. Any large political group will have pleanty of rude people.

I don't know, C&D, if a party can be understood by its policies, apart from its members. I don't think that ideas, arguments, and policies exist somewhere, out there, in some pure form, waiting to be plucked and used by folks. Instead, I think that they come into existence when they are thought, argued, and legislated. The democratic or republican parties, then, become shaped and formed when people argue about the policies they claim are democratic or republican policies.

If this is the case, then the way those ideas are voiced--how people talk about policy--becomes important. And, just as importantly, the party becomes what and the way its members talk.

Sure, Atrios does not represent the democratic party as we vote for or against it at our polling stations. But, it does represent a significant part of the "left" political blogosphere. In as much as this is true, then how that part of the 'sphere chooses to talk and constitute itself does seem significant--and worthy of praise or censure.

Nikki said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nikki said...

Manual trackback, as it were.

Palladian said...

eli blake: As a former Democrat and a "classical" liberal, I am happy to put the statist policies of both the left and the right up for mockery anytime.

I think it's sort of insulting to assume that your soft-socialism is somehow inherently feminist, and that the idea of making taxpayers pay for childcare and other "anti-poverty" programs (i.e. wealth redistribution) somehow counts as beneficial to women and feminist. Perhaps this arrogant conflation of manifestly failed socialist policy with the philosophical ideals of female equality is what has driven many women (and men) away from your party. I can't speak for women, not being one, but I can speak as a gay man that the idea that I should have to sacrifice all of my other ideals (about personal liberty, taxes, national defense, etc.) in order to vote for the Democrats because of their "support for gay rights" is quite repugnant. I'm not self-absorbed enough to believe that nominal support for personal issues is justification for anti-democratically forcing those issues on 90% of the population. Irony of ironies, but Clinton did far more to hurt gay equality (by his betrayal of his promise to end discrimination against openly gay people serving in the military) than George W. Bush has done, base-pandering rhetoric from the party notwithstanding.

Perhaps I'm not the ideal subject, as I don't consider my "gay identity" to be anything particularly special or important to my basic character, but it might be that both feminists and gay people have gotten tired of the left's assumption that they'll always be on the plantation and have searched elsewhere for political ideas.

Aspasia M. said...

Tim,

There's tons of misogynistic and homophobic statements that come out of the mouths of prominent, well-known Republicans. I believe it was Dick Armey, a Republican politician, who called Barney Frank, Barney Fag. (look under Barney Frank, wikipedia if you want a citation.)

Pat Robertson:

"The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."

And you are complaining that _Democrats_ bash feminists?!? Oh please.

Ann Althouse said...

C&D: You're quoting material that Atrios added later, after I'd written what I'd written. But it's still not at all satisfying. He's excusing himself for making an untrue assertion about me, by saying, what?, that he didn't want to bother to find out what was true. And the same old stuff about humor and not being responsible for the comments.

John said...

Two commentators have suggested that Althouse implied that she was not a feminist by writing Are there any feminists around to see when it's happening and say a little something?

Setting aside the fact that she has called herself a feminist, and written on feminist topics many times, this is a ghastly misreading. When a preacher asks Can I get a witness?, that doesn't mean that he is not a believer. (Or she for that matter!)

Think "call and response."

Starless said...

c&d said...
No blogger has "their" commenters. A blog does not own its commenters. If apologies had to be issued for every dumb comment, there would be nothing left to do.

A blogger who allows comments is a de facto forum admin. When a discussion gets out of hand, it's the admin's job to blow the whistle and calm things down. If he doesn't, then the message he's sending is, "it's perfectly okay to say what you are saying".

A blogger doesn't own the commenters, but he owns the blog and controls the content. Throwing up your hands and saying, "I can't control every dumb thing people say," is a cop-out. Paticularly when those "dumb things" are obvious and very offensive flames.

vbspurs said...

Ann, get off the internet. You obviously don't have what it takes. Notice how Atrios got 800 comments. That's because he's a better blogger than you and people actually care about what he writes and what he says. You are just a dorky law professor. The last thing the internet needs is more dorky law professor. You can still browse, I suppose, and use your word processor, but please, for all our sakes, stop blogging.

What a disgruntled troll.

If you have a problem with a poster, you say your peace, and leave the blog.

Should you wish to carry on the conversation, you email the person. If they don't reply, it's probably because you were so trenchantly rude, they are bored with anything you have to say.

But above all, you don't come to a person's blog just to insult and whine.

Push off, troll boy.

vbspurs said...

Ann, it was the Echidne blog that Atrios got the story from.

And THAT blog is the one I referred to in the BlogAds thread.

They're bad news because they're childish and coarse to the nth degree.

Cheers,
Victoria

The Mechanical Eye said...

So much heat and so little light in these comments! Like someone above said, Atrios' animus has spread to this post.

I also notice a pattern - the comments lose focus if they number more than about 40 in a post. Beyond this, the liklihood that you'll encounter off-topic nonsense from people who don't understand the tone of the site increases dramatically.

Adriana Bliss said...

Ann, your post is a little odd. Since when does Atrios represent or speak for "Democrats" or the Democratic platform? Isn't it just an individual blog with its own unique personality collecting its own unique band of commentators? You won't find this sort of commentary on those "intelligent liberal blogs" you posted recently.

Further, since when is sexism just a problem among Democrats? If you really care about sexism, feminism, why pick on such an obviously limited target?

Do you prefer a party which openly shows its lack of support of women's rights as opposed to a party which alleges to serving women's rights (and is just as flawed in its effectiveness as is the other party)? Are you saying in a way this problem is similar to the South's out-in-the-open segregation of races versus the North's under-the-covers racism?

Which by the way was all bad - racism is racism, sexism is sexism.

Don't use sexism/feminism as a further means to attack a party you don't respect - you trivialize a very serious problem and reduce it to a shallow talking-point in yet more blog-bickering.

Aspasia M. said...

Ann,

Twice in your post you've written: "Democrats have a long, long way to go to convince me that they care at all about feminism."

Why that quote? Is it a response to the exchange with Atrios and/or his commenters? Or are you serious? And if you are serious, has the Republican party convinced you that they care about feminism?

Why are Democrats singled out, as opposed to Independents or Republicans or Libertarians or even Socialists? I don't understand why this discussion has become about a single political party and feminism. I thought your original comments addressed the blogosphere and women writers.

(Likewise, are you addressing Democrats as individuals? the party structure? elected representatives?

Or is it simply an angry response to rude comments on the blog?)

The Mechanical Eye said...


Why are Democrats singled out, as opposed to Independents or Republicans or Libertarians or even Socialists? I don't understand why this discussion has become about a single political party and feminism. I thought your original comments addressed the blogosphere and women writers.


This is because the Democratic party has always advertised itself as the party for feminists - something Republicans, Libertarians, and Socialists have never stressed as much. Democrats have long listed women as part of their Grand Coalition. Its part of that party's identity. This is why Republicans (rightly) get more grief for fiscal irresponsibility than do Democrats - they long made it a selling point that they're the party of fiscal accountability.

Tim said...

Geoduck2: Oh, I think that the right commenters are just as awful at coming up with nasty stuff to say. Remember, Ann's entreaty for a defense from feminists came about because of the lousy comments she got over at Little Green Footballs.

Aspasia M. said...

Democrats are a political party.

Feminists are individuals who adhere to an ideology about gender systems.

Feminist groups will ally with any politician who they believe will work for their particular goals.

The feminists in the 19th century after the Civil War allied with the Republican party. The feminists like Cady Stanton were repeatedly upset with the radical Republicans for writing a gender specific 14th Amendment.

Stanton and Anthony would have supported _any_ party that worked towards their particular goals. And they were not naive enough to expect the Republican party as a whole to act like feminist ideologues. They lobbied for their votes.

Don't expect a political party to offer ideological or moral consistency. And it is ridiculous to expect all Republicans or all Democrats to be any one type of person.

I can't imagine Elizabeth Cady Stanton being surprised that the Republican party (or specific Republican pundits or voters) didn't "care" about feminism. And yet, 19th century feminists tended to vote Republican.

Tim Maddog said...

Hey, I thought this was the "anti-PC" wing of the blogosphere...

Thersites said...

Whether by accident or on purpose Althouse is completely unfair to the Eschaton commenters, and indeed probably owes an apology the people whose posts she has taken out of context. (Though not to the right-wing troll who provides one of her examples.)

Her examples at any rate do not come anywhere near to proving her thesis.

Evidence here.

dirty dingus said...

Send a link to Michelle Malkin so she can include it in her next book :)

in_the_middle said...

"you guys playin' cards?"

-- kent 'flounder' dorfman

Gerry said...

And isn't it ironic... don't you think
A little too ironic... and yeah I really do think...


It seems the defense has centered around the idea that you misunderstood the vast preponderance of the comments, Ann. I guess they are hoping the judge does not realize that irony can still be offensive-- and often is a positive indication of a lack of seriousness.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
oldgranny said...

The best evidence that feminists only care about leftwing causes is their complete silence on the treatment of Moslem women at the hands of their families and communities.

In Scandinavia women are being raped and murdered with nary a word from feminist organizations. Not convinced, check out fjordman. Keep on scrolling down and you won't believe what's going on there, things the media here don't think are newsworthy.

Cold Pillow said...

Thank you Theresites, that was very enlightening. It seems the examples from Atrios were clearly misunderstood or misrepresented. At the very least they can hardly be compared to the venom from LGF.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
madcat said...

It's about as accurate and fair to say that the Altrios comments (even if they were anti-feminist, which seems to have been called into question by the above links) represent the general views of Democrats/lefties toward feminism as it would be to say that the LGF comments represent the general right-wing attitude about women (generally, or about Althouse specifically).

(or, for that matter, to say that the comments in this blog that cussed me out during the Katrina crisis when I suggested that calls to fire Mike Brown weren't unreasonable represent the general views of constitutional law professors).

Such sweeping generalities, especially based on blog comments, are, generally speaking :) not really the most fair or effective use of rhetoric or logic.

Charles said...

While wrong about everything else, they do score a couple of points. Lots of the left wing women, and the more fanaticaly feminists are not the best looking. The right wing does have a large number of articulate women who happen to be very good looking. And yes, the international socialists get very upset if any of their imagined constituents get off the well defined and marked off physical and philosophical areas they have been put in. Ann Althouse, radical escapee in their minds.

watertiger said...

As one of the posters whose comment was taken COMPLETELY out of context, I'd like to add to Thersites' reply:

Ms. Althouse, cherry-picking quotes from an exceedingly long "conversation" to prove your very weak thesis is, in the words of certain prominent political figures, "dishonest and reprehensible."

Attaturk said...

How snarky an asshole to I have to be to get my snide ass comments to be anti-feminist?!

Dammit, stop being a douchebag Ann and single me out!

marquisdesade said...

So, are we going to get an apology and retraction from Ms Althouse for accusing Atrios of 'relying on comments to beef up the traffic'? Or is this another case of meaning something different than what was said?

Attaturk said...

If a blogger whines about Atrios' using comment to generate up ad rates what does it say about Ms. Althouse that she is gleefully going back and forth with Atrios?

My classic anti-feminist feminist banana warmer thong and spiked pumps must know!

watertiger said...

How snarky an asshole to I have to be to get my snide ass comments to be anti-feminist?!

Apparently, you need to s-p-e-l-l it out for the sarcasm-impaired.

Attaturk said...


Apparently, you need to s-p-e-l-l it out for the sarcasm-impaired



I'm dragging my knuckles with one hand and holding my porn with the other.

And I voted for Kerry!

That's Attaturk with three "T's"

reader_iam said...

Victoria, I checked the profile of the person to whom you refer as "troll boy" just to confirm my suspicion as to his age. Yep. Sure enough.

He's one apparently one of those young 'uns (and NO, I'm not speaking of ALL young people, but rather a particular subset--so don't go there, anybody) who think they're just so hip about the Brave New World of technology.

LOL. I was posting on my first board when he was in diapers, if not yet born, even. Sorry if I don't take his "deep insights" into how others don't understand the Internet.

Puh-lease.

watertiger said...

And I voted for Kerry!

None of the candidates was enough of a feminist for me, so I wrote in Andrea Dworkin, even though she's dead.

(attn, readers: this is snark.)

BlakNo1 said...

You're a jackass.

Grow up and stop riding Atrios' jock.

Attaturk said...

I show my feminism everyday by not shaving my legs.

Attaturk said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bearing said...

Wow, Ann, I was going to ask why the hell you challenged Atrios to link to you --- the quality of the discussion has been, um, affected.

Now I see that you have very well demonstrated your point.

Seitz said...

Any response to metacomments yet? Talk about a serious ass-kicking.

Thersites said...

wildaboutharrie, thank you for your comments.

His comment should have been reported and deleted, or at least there should have been more of a reaction.

Atrios attracts far too many trolls to make deleting every such post practicable. As for reacting, well, the post is pretty bizarre and confusing, though, so most people probably just skipped over it. And most of the people on the thread at that point were of the "ignore trolls" school.

I don't doubt that there were posters being nasty about Dowd. I have seen her defended over there, though, at least from the misogynist language.

Elliott said...

Classic Ann Althouse. I'm independent (not Republican), but the Left is so very mean to me that force me into the welcoming arms of the Republicans.

Jacques Cuze said...

1. Why do you conflate Duncan Black's site with all Democrats? Atrios' site is admittedly out there, it may not be your taste. Two weeks ago, you had a polling of your readers of "good, okay" sites that would be safe for your eyes. Duncan's site was not there, and for a reason. So why do you conflate Duncan Black's site with all Democrats?

Would you take offense if I claimed FreeRepublic spoke for all Republicans?

Or if I said that Hugh Hewitt and Glenn Reynolds spoke for all con law prof bloggers?

So you're being illogical and as a con law prof I would expect that you know this. And have done this on purpose.

2. You are a feminist? Just like you are a moderate. Not. You don't think that Plame is a big deal, 80% of America disagrees with you (a poll I linked to previously). You don't worry about habeas, you don't worry about civil rights. You are not a moderate. But you claim to be a moderate. Just as empty as your claims to be a feminist.

3. As Duncan Black wrote himself, reading your own words on that post, how would anyone know you are a feminist? You want Duncan Black to read all of your prior posts not just online but your law articles? Why on earth would he want to do that? Are you paying him to do that? Why should he do that? That was the entirety of your response to me when I asked you to read more about Libby and Plame. No one was paying you to do that, so you wouldn't do that, period. And that was for National Security.

4. Eschaton gets hundreds of comments for each post. He endorses almost none of them. Any endorsement up or down is left primarily to his regular commenters. Now there appear to be several ways to do comments. None, ala Glenn Reynolds. Closed Registration ala LGF. Open Registration Required and editing and banning ala Althouse. Open to all including Anonymous rants ala Eschaton.

As a law prof, understanding how the FCC ruled about common carrier protection, and just using comment sense, which of these systems indicates the owner of the blog endorses the comments within? And which is the opposite? Yes Ann, your editing and moderation indicates that you endorse the comments within your site. Duncan Black's handsoff indicates that you cannot construe those comments as containing his endorsement.

Now as a busy prof, which system takes the most time of the owner, and which does not?

And then as a website owner, which of those system most permits a lively dialogue and which does not?

And as a free speech defender, what is the cure for free speech? More free speech.

So your own choice of moderating comments yourself is a mostly well-intentioned, bad implementation thing.

5. For further comments and the commenters and your not understanding their context, see Watertiger's take down:

http://metacomments.blogspot.com/2005/11/watertiger-gwpda-misogynists-yup.html

6. Why would anyone on the left consider you an ally? You are like Kaus, Simon, Totten, and Jarvis in claiming that you are a moderate but whining they don't help you. As I said above, you haven't written about habeas, you haven't written about Plame, you haven't written about Iraq, you haven't written about Torture, you haven't written about women's rights in pre and post war Iraq, or women's rights in pre and post Afghanistan, or women's rights in Saudi Arabia, and you have almost never bloggerd about women's rights in the USA, you are violently pro-Alito and have not blogged on why you think that Alito contrary to his history and statements would not overturn Roe, you haven't blogged on how overturning Row would be a good thing for women's rights, you haven't blogged about VAWA pro-or-con, you spit about leftys but then say that is the Madison way, just how would anyone reading your blog know you are a moderate?

6. Why are you looking to Duncan Black? Isn't your gripe first with Amanda Marcotte, Trish Wilson, or other known and popular bloggers more well known for their feminism? Why don't you write to those feminists specifically? It seems the answer is because you don't know who the feminists on the net are.

7. You don't blog about feminism on the net, Amanda Marcotte's version vs. Lindsay's version vs. watertiger vs. vs vs. and how you agree or disagree with them. And you haven't joined their joint feminist blogging projects on the net. Are you lazy, busy, or just not a feminist on the net?

8. You don't use your constitutional law prof domain knowledge to inform the rest of us of how the constitution treats feminist issues. There was no suffrage originally, and women were some proportion of a man, or something like that. You are the originalist. Tell us how to get an ERA passed, or why it is not necessary. Tell us how to keep Roe safe, or why we shouldn't worry about Roe, or what to do when Roe is overturned.

Feminist? Not to the naked eye.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
reader_iam said...

Seitz:

I was just over there. I actually thought some excellent points were made. I think that perhaps a bit too much in-group knowledge might have required to "get" what was going on in the referenced thread, but I thought the Meta poster did I good job of seeing how it could be interpreted from a different point of view.

But then it appeared the comments thread started to take a bit of a dive, which isn't my cup of tea.

Cathy Young's take of a day or so ago is an interesting read at her Y Files site. She parts company with Ann in an intelligent, respectful way.

Jacques Cuze said...

Whoops, that's thersite's takedown.

Ann Althouse said...

Adriana Bliss: I have a special attack for Democrats because so many women's groups throw in their lot with them and the assumption is constantly made that they are the ones who will protect women's interests. That said, I attack everything from anybody I see as sexist. I don't align with any political party, and I don't trust any party to really reflect feminist values. I do align myself with feminism, which is a set of ideas and values. If there was something called The Feminist Party, however, I would criticize it. As I've said many times on this blog, I have an aversion to partisan politics.

Jacques Cuze said...

Ann Althouse said...

Atrios, like Charles Johnson, relies comments to beef up the traffic. Often all Atrios does is declare an open thread.


That doesn't mean he endorses the comments. It just means he is satisfying market demand.

Ann Althouse said...

Marquis: "So, are we going to get an apology and retraction from Ms Althouse for accusing Atrios of 'relying on comments to beef up the traffic'? "

No. I realize the Haloscan page isn't tracked in Site Meer, but commenters initially go through the main page, and thus Eschaton is constantly racking up visitors who are coming by just to get onto the newest thread. He regularly puts up open threads with no original material of his and the visitors stream through to get to the comments. Thus, I see his high traffic as rather bogus. And it's bad for advertisers who rely on the number, because visitors aren't staying on the page with the ads, but going onto the comments window, which doesn't have ads.

watertiger said...

qxxo,

That's Thersites' astute, concise breakdown of Ms. Althouse's weak argument.

If you don't have the law, pound the facts. If you don't have the facts, pound the podium.

I think that's what Ms. Althouse is doing here.

Silleigh said...

How about an apology from Althouse for her total misunderstanding, or deliberate misrepresentation, of the comment she culled? The embarrassing truth is spelled out completely in the link from Metacomments above.

reader_iam said...

Quxxo:

Now there appear to be several ways to do comments. None, ala Glenn Reynolds. Closed Registration ala LGF. Open Registration Required and editing and banning ala Althouse. Open to all including Anonymous rants ala Eschaton.

Well, I'm not a law professor.

Here's my shallow analogy:

I am having an "outside" party. Now, there are several ways to deal with unruly public displays with regards to my neighbors and others who may see into my yard.

1) Drink "alone"--a la Reynolds.
2) Invitation only--no unexpected guests, no crashers, barricades at the property line.
3) Bring your friends! But follow house rules, and if you step out of line, you'll be called on it--this is your basic yard party, not a bacchanalia.
4) Open Campus Party! Anyone can come to my party, and even though it's on my property, in full view of anyone passing by, I have no responsibility if the guests piss on my neighbor's lawn, flash cars as they drive by, cat-call at passing pedestrians, puke on parked cars, and so forth. Because I have adopted a hands-off policy. And the guests that turn up, the more this policy is justified.

Jeez, I think I'll throw one of the latter for the holidays. Think my hands-off policy will fly when the cops (official or unofficial--i.e., neighbors) stop by?

Baloney.

And, sigh, is it necessary to explain the difference between banning free speech (a constitutional issue) and expressing personal disapproval of how specific individuals choose to utilize that right?

Puh-leeze.

reader_iam said...

Should be:

"the MORE guests ...""

Starless said...

quxxo said...
That doesn't mean he endorses the comments. It just means he is satisfying market demand.

"Satisfying market demand" in a blog, that's great.

He may not endorse them, but as gatekeeper of the site, he allows them. As long as he allows them, that means he's okay with what those commenters are saying. A site admin is not impotent (in fact, in the old days, the site admin was often referred to as "God").

Christopher said...

Althouse must be a pure joy to spend time with socially or even casually, like going to a movie or for a walk.

Her victims must walk on egg shells, always fearing they may utter the wrong word or historical reference and then BAM, she will lay into you about your "ism."

I feel sorry for her victims.
.

Biglaw Associate said...

I think your argument is weak because:
1) You don't define "feminism";
2) You group the Democratic Party as a whole.

If feminism is meant to be some sort of idea of equality for women, without resorting to "separate but equal", then it seems to me that the Democratic Party is at least more responsive to feminist concerns than the Republican Party.

What you are doing, whether you realize it or not, is taking a few instances (which seem overbroad and weak- e.g., Clinton did not have anything close to the unanimous support of the Democrats, as opposed to say Clarence Thomas, who had virtually unanimous support among the Republicans) where certain Democrats have allegedly been "anti-feminist" and then applying those instances to the ENTIRE Democratic Party. Then in classic sophistic form, you are then taking that observation about the Democratic Party and making the claim that "Democrats have a long, long way to go to convince me that they care about feminism."

This argument (basically, x=y, therefore y=x, without proving the antecedent) depends on the totally fallacious assumption that all Democrats are monolithic in their thinking. It would be similar to the equally fallacious argument that because some Republicans are racist, that all Republicans are racist.

On a related aside, I think your main confusion derives from the fact that you mistake the role of feminism in the two party system. Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats can claim to be "feminist". That being said, I can't see how you'd claim that Democrats don't respond more to feminist concerns than Republicans. Unless you're going to start claiming that things like being pro-life are the crux of feminism, it seems clear that on just about every major issue that have a gender-bias, the Dems are on the feminist side (right to sue for sex discrimination, equal pay, health care, even the much hated speech codes).

37383938393839383938383 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
37383938393839383938383 said...

I have no idea whether it is addressed above, but there is a difference between being a racist and using race as a weapon, being sexist and using sex as a weapon, etc.

Let's say you hate Person X. You hate Person X for some non-racial, non-gender-related reason, e.g., Person X gossips about you behind your back and Person X is obnoxious and Person X dumped your best friend and hurt his or her feelings and Person X cheats on exams. Person X is bad. And because you hate this bad person you want to hurt this person and you feel justified in hurting Person X, as a person.

But it just so happens that Person X is female, and a female who you are aware is sensitive to gender-bashing. So although you are not a sexist, you're willing to call Person X a name that is related to her gender because of its guaranteed effectiveness. So you call Person X a cunt. Doing so doesn't mean you think all women are cunts, it doesn't mean you think calling women cunts is generallya cceptable; it just means calling Person X a cunt, who is a bad person deserving of abuse, is a particularly effective way of getting under Person X's skin.

Likewise, one can be a feminist and call a particular woman a cunt, or be a multiculturalist and call a particular Mexican a wetback or a beaner, so long as one means to hurt that individual for reasons unrelated to the trait one is using to hurt them.

Sorry if this post offends any pillow-biters out there. See?

Jacques Cuze said...

iam, the question is when is Ann or Duncan or BitchPhd responsible for the content of the comments on their sites.

One theory that is commonly used to think about this (and which may not be applicable at all) is the concept of being a "common carrier"

described here,

http://www.nyx.net/~board/privacy.txt

There is a long tradition in U.S. common law that a "common
carrier" is not responsible for the content of the material
passes through its service. Originally this concept applied to
carriage services, shipping services, and railroads. In more
recent times this concept has been applied to telephone services
and specifically incorporated in to regulations of the Federal
Communications Commissions. Thus if you say libelous things
about someone over the telephone or fax pages of a copyrighted
book to someone, the telephone company is not responsible for
your activities. In the same manner an ISP that is a common
carrier is not responsible for the content passed through its
service. ... FCC regulations do not define a "common carrier" but defer to
common law definitions. (Something that is not uncommon in U.S.
law.) Under common law there are seven basic requirements of a
common carrier: 1) the entity must provide services for hire;
2) the entity must be primarily engaged in the business in
question; 3) the service must be provided on a regular basis; 4)
the entity must be willing to serve all who apply; 5) the service
must be provided without discrimination; 6) the service must be
operated in the public interest; 7) the entity must not control
the content.
A quick review of these requirements will easily
demonstrate that most commercial ISP's who choose not to censor
content qualify as "common carriers."


It is possible that when any blogger cancels posts or ban users for anything other than a violation of some policy, or if that policy is potentially discriminatory, they are leaving themselves open to this line of attack.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Off handed sexism is alive and well among liberal men. So is incredibly insesitive comments related to gays and lesbians. In fact, the only group they really seem to be mostly politically correct about are African Americans.
What does that say about the actual state of affairs in this country?


That it's finally a great place to live for freed slaves.

Jacques Cuze said...

"Satisfying market demand" in a blog, that's great.

Uh, what's wrong with satisfying market demand? That's something both capitalists and communists were trying to do. Considering that Atrios is rumored to make six figures off of advertising on his blog, and that his commentators that view those ads and purchase those products like open threads that they can use as chat rooms, what is wrong with Atrios' providing his community with what they want?

And Atrios may own his words, but it is doubtful that he is the site admin. Blogspot owns and operates the machines that serves his words. Haloscan owns and operates the machines that serve the comments. Atrios can only do to his comments what Haloscan allows him to do. And when he has a dayjob and a blog and a family, there is only so much he can do when he is regularly gets 300+ comments to a post.

Beth said...

quxxo:

So, since you are apparently the final arbiter as to who is a feminist and who is not, tell us: What is a feminist, and is the main requirement that feminists must devote a majority (if not all) of their written work to the topic of feminism/identity politics?

You don't blog about feminism on the net, Amanda Marcotte's version vs. Lindsay's version vs. watertiger vs. vs vs. and how you agree or disagree with them. And you haven't joined their joint feminist blogging projects on the net. Are you lazy, busy, or just not a feminist on the net?>

Does this mean that one who doesn't do these things MUST NOT be a feminist?

HA!

Have a look around. Do you see anywhere that Ann has been a net-group-joiner (for lack of a better term)? There are such groups on the right, one of which I'm involved in, and Ann was invited because WE LIKE HER and her views, but she isn't a "joiner." I didn't take that as a dig against women or us personally. Would Amanda Marcotte or Trish Wilson? In the case of Trish, whom I like despite obvious political differences, I seriously doubt it--she also has other interests. So why is it such a big deal to you?

I guess if a woman doesn't go around shouting "I'm a feminist" at every perceived opportunity, she doesn't count as a feminist, does she?

What happened to the feminist idea that we women should be able to decide for ourselves how we live and work (or not work) without societal expectations?

You seem to be making a lot of demands on a total stranger based on her gender. How "feminist" is that?

Save it, quxxo. Your left-wing bias is showing. If someone isn't from the left, she isn't a feminist, right? If someone doesn't agree with YOUR views, she isn't a "moderate," either.

And you people on the left call yourselves "progressive." THAT is far more ironic than the (cough) "ironic" (cough) filth in the Atrios comments.

reader_iam said...

Yowza, Beth!

;)

Jacques Cuze said...

Um no Beth, that point was mainly in the same vein as the points above it, though a bit vague. It is an example of things Ann might be doing if she wants to convey the impression that she is a feminist on the net.

I also disagree vehemently with Amanda Marcotte over what feminism is about, but she apparently is known as one of the big net feminists, and so when I write "and how you agree or disagree with them" I am suggesting that it would be very appropriate, reasonable, and good for all if Althouse were to blog her thoughts on what feminism on the net looks like.

Does she have to join? Of course not.

But if she never joins anyone else's efforts, why should she make a claim to their resources to defend her? As she herself has said, is she paying them, do they have nothing else to do with their own free time?

But thanks for playing though.

Thersites said...

And you people on the left call yourselves "progressive." THAT is far more ironic than the (cough) "ironic" (cough) filth in the Atrios comments.

Beth, please read the link to my post.

Prof. Althouse has deliberately or by accident smeared or misrepresented the commenters whose words she posted on her blog.

She really does owe several people an apology. The evidence is there. What she has done is simply not right.

Starless said...

quxxo said...
Uh, what's wrong with satisfying market demand?

I never said there was anything wrong with it, I just find the notion of blogging-as-business to be absurd.

And Atrios may own his words, but it is doubtful that he is the site admin. Blogspot owns and operates the machines that serves his words. Haloscan owns and operates the machines that serve the comments. Atrios can only do to his comments what Haloscan allows him to do. And when he has a dayjob and a blog and a family, there is only so much he can do when he is regularly gets 300+ comments to a post.

Is he coming in and saying, "Hey, guys, try to tone it down or I may have to shut comments off for a while"? Obviously not. I can guarantee that if his site is one which people like to go to and congregate at, the use of punishment and reward as inducements for good behaviour will work.

I'm guessing that he has administrative rights over his own blog. That makes him the admin. He controls the content, he can check IPs and he can turn off comments if he wishes. I may run a web site on ISP X's machines and they may do the technical administration of the box or the software that runs the site, but that still makes me site admin. The responsibility for the content lies with me. The legal responsibility may not be so clear, but the practical responsiblity is.

The blessing and curse of blogs is that any dumbass can have one and spew forth his own stupid opinions--doing so while not having the slightest clue of how to run a web site.

I'm personally still of the opinion that they should have shut the Internet down after they let AOL connect.

marquisdesade said...

but commenters initially go through the main page, and thus Eschaton is constantly racking up visitors who are coming by just to get onto the newest thread

Oh-kay. And those visitors are a) random punters looking for an open thread; or b) regulars who add nothing to Eschaton's 100k+ >unique visitor count per day?

Now, any fule kno that advertisers rely on the unique visitor count. So, a hint: when you're in a hole, don't hire a mechanical digger.

Beth said...

quxxo,

Um, no, dear. I don't talk about Amanda Marcotte or the others either (although I've linked to Trish Wilson, but not BECAUSE she's a feminist), because I don't read them, nor do I care to. And I suspect Ann doesn't waste time reading and writing about them for her own reasons.
For example, nobody would call me anti-feminist, but I do not and will not write about Marcotte or Bitch PhD (for example) because although I disagree with virtually everything they say, I don't waste my time. Maybe it's because when women single out other women on the net, it's called a "catfight," rather than a disagreement. Why set the stage for more stupid remarks?

But thanks for playing, hon'.

Arrogant asshat.

Thersites said...

Prof. Althouse's latest updates are preposterous.

The righty commenters referred to were those at Little Green Footballs, who were extremely viciously toward me in blatant sexual language. Now, we can see how the Atrios commenters acted in two similar situations, with the difference being the sex of the two chosen targets. Look at the difference, Duncan and all those of you who think the left adheres to feminist values.

Nobody on that thread was "vicious towards her in blatant sexual language." Where is that in her examples -- except in the comment which was from a right wing troll? In the examples she's chosen, only the troll refers directly to her at all!

My argument does not rely merely on a "this is irony" line, though that's part of it -- mostly it is that her examples are taken completely out of context. See the example of GWPDA in particular, and tell me with a straight face that she's a "misogynist." Unbelievable.

Althouse's evidence in regards to the Eschaton comments thread is weak and she needs to admit that instead of continuing this shoddy line of attack against Atrios and his commenters.

Henry said...

Violently pro-Alito?

Jacques Cuze said...

Yeah, Ann has been having some big dick-fights (can I say that here?) with Armando of Kos and many very well known and well thought of big macher legal beagles that are not so fond of Alito.

I'm not saying she's right or wrong on this, just saying she's been violently pro-Alito.

JT Davis said...

Althouse said:

I see his high traffic as rather bogus. And it's bad for advertisers who rely on the number, because visitors aren't staying on the page with the ads, but going onto the comments window, which doesn't have ads.

Dream on Ann.

The Liberal Blogosphere, of which you are not a part, surpassed cable news in the important 25 to 45 demo back in June:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/6/7/222858/6979

DailyKos alone is as large as the entire Conservative Blogosphere

http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/9/9/2265/71257

Palladian said...

And yet, you still spectacularly lost most of the important elections in the last 5 years, including having every one of the fifteen candidates Kos raised money for lose their elections.

Funny, that.

Dream on, JT.

The Mechanical Eye said...

Yes, violently pro-Alito.

Just the other day I saw Althouse smashing someone's knees for suggesting that there be some criticism of the man. Just another day in George Bush's America.

...

Speaking of mafia, the Atrios commenters are quite good at shouting others down in here and declaring victory. We win because there's more of us! We demand apologies for insulting our good names! ALTHOUSE LIED PEOPLE CRIED.

Surely those 800+ comments per Atrios post is better than this.

Henry said...

I had this image of Ann as some sort of soccer hooligan. Wasn't Alito a forward for Manchester United?

JT Davis said...

And yet, you still spectacularly lost most of the important elections in the last 5 years, including having every one of the fifteen candidates Kos raised money for lose their elections.

Funny, that.


After 2006 you will have to come up with something other than that tired old piece of crap. And as you know, Gore won in 2000. You morons won't be winning any major elections for at least a generation and a half, and that's a "conservative" estimate. You can quote me on "funny" that, Pal. Hell, most of your candidates will be under indictment and/or convicted in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012.

How funny is that, eh?

Anthony said...

Michelle Malkin gets this sort of treatment all the time.

lakema said...

Speaking of mafia, the Atrios commenters are quite good at shouting others down in here

Seems more like a lot of reasonable, yet unanswered questions for Ann. (And any reasonable person who agrees with her).

Do you really think Atrios' comment section is an accurate representation of "The Left"? I noticed you didn't smear "The Right" when you were attacked by LGF.

Do you still believe the commenters at Atrios were "worse misogynists" than those at LGF?

Theresites:
Nobody on that thread was "vicious towards her in blatant sexual language." Where is that in her examples -- except in the comment which was from a right wing troll?

quxxo:
But if she never joins anyone else's efforts, why should she make a claim to their resources to defend her?

All of quxxo's 8:59am post.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pogo said...

It's funny to see the Defenders of Atrios use "irony" as a serious excuse for indefensible comments.

"I was only joking" is a juvenile method of whitewashing an error and avoiding blame. Two-year-olds come naturally to it. They'll hit you and the say "I sorry." Because, of course, they didn't mean it. Now, this copout gets all gussied up when people become more verbal, and the harmful retort is meant to be understood ironically. That way, you get to have your cake and eat it, too (i.e. say something nasty, but disavow it).

The real irony is that, while claiming to be defenders of the weak and powerless, lefties are prone to abuse their constituency if they do not toe the line.

But I can't be held accountable for this post, because just maybe I'm being ironic.

Palladian said...

Aren't you a little embarrassed to be airing your twisted erotic fantasies online, JT? Seriously, the way you express yourself has the unsettling combination of violence and power lust that I wish more voters could see, if only to scare them further away from what has become of your party, a party I once cared about.

By the way, you should read a little more broadly than Atrios and Paul Krugman. According to Krugman's employer:

"There was...a fourth recount, which would have gone to George W. Bush. In this case, the two stricter-standard recounts went to Mr. Bush. A later study, by a group that included The New York Times, used two methods to count ballots: relying on the judgment of a majority of those examining each ballot, or requiring unanimity. Mr. Gore lost one hypothetical recount on the unanimity basis."

and from the Washington Post:

"The study indicates, for example, that Bush had less to fear from the recounts underway than he thought. Under any standard used to judge the ballots in the four counties where Gore lawyers had sought a recount -- Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade and Volusia -- Bush still ended up with more votes than Gore, according to the study. Bush also would have had more votes if the limited statewide recount ordered by the Florida Supreme Court and then stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court had been carried through."

Maybe your party's problem is that it has decided to smolder over old losses rather than concentrate on future victories. Voters don't want candidates who have nothing to offer but negation of their opponent.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Aspasia M. said...

1) I just read the background on those comments. They were clearly ironic, not personal, and written by feminists. The comments have been linked too w/ explination on the above posts. Go read them before you judge it.

2) A commenter is threatening to sue Bitch PhD for removing/ blocking comments. There are legal reasons for adhering to a completely unregulated approach on the comment sections.

The Jerk said...

I was only joking" is a juvenile method of whitewashing an error and avoiding blame.

This is so stupid. When you mean the opposite of what you say, and expect your listener to understand that, that's an ironic joke. That's what the Atrios commenters were doing.

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2005/11/if-you-dont-like-my-attitude-then-you.html

Oh look! Althouse must actually love Madonna's new album!

Starless said...

The most hilariously glaring part of this whole pissing match is the idea that a professor, a female law professor no less, would gain tenure at UW-Madison if she wasn't at least minimally feminist in her views.

geoduck2 said...
There are legal reasons for adhering to a completely unregulated approach on the comment sections.

Haha, surely this is more that "irony". Unless there's something in the BlogSpot EULA that says "you must allow anyone to comment about anything in your blog", a blogger is not compelled to allow a free-for-all in the comments section. There are many, many, many blogs, forums, discussion groups out there where tyrannical admins delete people's comments just because they don't agree with them.

Thersites said...

Lakema, I was referring to the examples from the Eschaton thread Althouse pulls her examples from, and to that Eschaton thread generally. Hope I wasn't unclear.

To Pogo and the others saying that "Atrios's defenders" are unfairly claiming "irony" as defense, you obviously haven't looked at the evidence in my blog post. You don't want to look at the facts, fine.

But let me give you a sample that doesn't require you to stir up the effort to click a link to show why Althouse's examples above are chosen carelessly. All you have to do is scroll up.

Observe: in those nine examples, the only one where there is an attack on Althouse personally also includes the line "Plus most Democrat women are real bow wows." This commenter is clearly not in the Democratic party.

No "irony" defense needed here! If Althouse wants to talk about what "Democrats" have to do, and is citing this comment, she's being absurd.

I have demonstrated at my blog that there are similar problems with all her other examples. She needs to explain herself. She is citing evidence in a shoddy fashion.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Quxxo: "Atrios can only do to his comments what Haloscan allows him to do. And when he has a dayjob and a blog and a family, there is only so much he can do when he is regularly gets 300+ comments to a post."

You and others are missing the point. I am asking him to condemn the sexist comments, not monitor or censor everything. I'm asking him to show that he cares, that he is some sort of feminist. I'm just sick and tired of liberals and lefties who assume it's taken for granted that they care about feminism. Atrios is a channel for putrid sexist invective. It's irrelevant that the commenters had a smile on their face when they wrote it or think they are cute when they say it. Try living in the real world and speaking like that. It doesn't work. The fact is Atrios and his defenders are more interested in getting him off the hook than in looking to the infection of bigotry in their own house. Why is he not appalled that this is the "community" he's nurturing on his blog? My theory is he doesn't care about feminism, only his side of partisan politics. I'm calling him on that, and he and his defenders have yet to respond to that. The lack of response is in itself instructive. He doesn't care! Feminists, disaggregate yourself from these folks. Why don't you?

Stoffel said...

HaloJonesFan, obviously you don't get how this whole irony thing works. See, you're supposed to make fun of the opposition by acting like the opposition in exaggerated form. In your case, by accusing me (an obvious liberal) of being a characature of how conservatives think liberals view conservatives, well...actually, my brain just ate itself. I don't know what you were shooting for, but you missed.

In other news, this post proves the point I was trying to make. Ann was obviously in the wrong here. The offensive comments were not anti-feminist, except those made by conservatives.

You can be offended by irony, but if you think the person espouses the views they're mocking, you're just not up to the level of the debate.

Examples:
South Park. Cartman is the irony fulcrum. The show is not trying to make racist/misogynist points when Cartman acts that way, it's trying to mock people who act that way.
All in the Family. Ditto.

So, what do you think of a liberal who finds Cartman or Archie Bunker funny? If you think they're automatically racist/misogynist, proving that deep down liberalism secretly harbors as affection for all it publicly fights against, please hang up your internets now.

Starless said...

Ann Althouse said...
Why is he not appalled that this is the "community" he's nurturing on his blog? My theory is he doesn't care about feminism, only his side of partisan politics.

Indeed.

Quxxo, your argument about common carriers doesn't apply. Atrios isn't a "common carrier", the ISP is, and it's not even a question of legality anyway. It's a question of what Atrios is willing to allow.

Passively sitting by while allowing commenters on a site he controls to cross the line with their "irony" isn't encouraging "free speech", it's saying that what they have to say is acceptable.

If that's the way he wants to run things, that's fine, but when someone calls him on it and he says, in essence, "you just don't get the joke whiner", then he's showing his true colors.

Ann Althouse said...

The Jerk: Actually, I do love Madonna's new album! I think the quoted lyric is inane, but I like stuff like that.

Gibbie the labrat said...

Maybe Atrios et al are just asshats. Shouldn't feminism be separate from left or right wing politics? Isn't it okay to be a conservative feminist? Or a liberal one? I've seen/heard of a few wacko liberal feminists, maybe they are giving other well-meaning women a bad name. It's like being gay and conservative; how the right wingers would love to forget the log cabin republicans don't exist. The more I get involved in politics, the more corrupted I get, because neither party has behaved morally proper for two decades (or more).

Great American said...

Ann, do you intend to respond to the post linked by Thersites or not? If so, when?

lakema said...

Ann:
It's kind of hard to take you seriously when you continue to hammer on the "Atrios is a channel for putrid sexist invective". You have failed to address the fact that Thersites completely took apart your original complaint. Are you planning on addressing that at all and just hoping no one notices that you were wrong in your assessment?

37383938393839383938383 said...

I never supported any irony defense. But I do think that you if attack a person because you hate their party affiliation and use their race or gender to get under their skin because you know that such a tactic will be particularly effective on that particular person, it does not necessarily mean that you are a racist or a sexist. But if you are just making general, diffuse, unfocused nasty comments about a group of people on a public site, or you run a site that is a haven for it, that seems to be indication that you are not anti-sexist or anti-racist.

If you're anti-terror, you wouldn't harbor terrorists, right?

And it doesn't make me sexist to agree with Ann in part because I think she is hot.

The Jerk said...

Whoops, it appears that I took as an ironic joke what was meant seriously. I guess you could call it a Reverse-Althouse.

Ann Althouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

The Jerk: For atonement, go buy "Confessions on a Dancefloor." Feel free to dance. Recommended dance: the jerk.

To all the people who want me to read posts on other websites and respond to them. I don't want to spend the time on this. I suppose you could methodically explain away each of the comments I selected to quote. That's obtuse and missing the point, and I can't spend my limited time engaging on that level. I'd be a fool to respond to everything negative people write about me. I'm not stepping into that quagmire. My overall point is that it's a very sexist thread over there and you folks who are so interested in protecting Duncan Black just don't give a damn. QED.

Ann Althouse said...

By the way, when is everyone that didn't get the allusion to "Can I Get a Witness?" going to admit they were dumb?

Raging Red said...

My theory is he doesn't care about feminism, only his side of partisan politics. I'm calling him on that, and he and his defenders have yet to respond to that. The lack of response is in itself instructive.

Ann, I'll add to the chorus of voices that is asking you to respond to Thersites' well-reasoned explanation of how you completely mischaracterized the Eschaton comments (whether intentionally or not).

What you call Atrios' "faux apology" was not an attempt at an apology at all, because he correctly does not feel that he has anything to apologize for. It seems quite clear that these comments were meant entirely in jest. Atrios acknowledged that some people might nonetheless be offended by the comments. The point is that while some people might be offended by those jokes, they were indeed jokes, yet in your post you characterized them (and continue to characterize them) as anti-feminist invective that Atrios is supposed to publicly admonish or delete from his site in order to prove his feminist cred to you.

What might have been an honest misinterpretation on your part in the beginning (due to your unfamiliarity with the culture of the commenters at Eschaton) is now starting to look like a deliberate mischaracterization. Your lack of response to Thersites' post is in itself instructive.

Pogo said...

Re: "The Jerk said...
This is so stupid. When you mean the opposite of what you say, and expect your listener to understand that, that's an ironic joke. That's what the Atrios commenters were doing."


Yes, The Jerk, and hilarious, too! ROFL and all that. Gosh, that lefty humor is non-stop fun, I tell ya.

Really, Jerk, you must admit that namecalling followed by disavowal of the epithets hurled is perhaps the lamest form of irony, weakest stab at humor, and most childish type of argument practiced by anyone over 12 years of age.

"Yer a poopyhead," sez he, and it's funny, funny, funny cuz he means the exact opposite! Get it?? It's irony! Ha! See, Democrats luv feminists cuz we ironically call them names we don't really mean! Ha! Double ha!

The Mechanical Eye said...

Moreover, if a side requires scores of posts to prove that a comment was really ironic or sarcastic, is it safe to say the "joke" failed?

I also notice that, on the one hand, I hear about how big and bad Daily Kos is - its as big as the entire right-wing blog universe! - and on the other I hear its not representative of the side its representing.

Also, pay no attention to the insulting comments, fellow commenters -- no one reads those anyways!

Right?

Raging Red said...

To all the people who want me to read posts on other websites and respond to them. I don't want to spend the time on this.

Now that's rich. You started this whole discussion, which revolves entirely around the comments on another blog, but now you can't be bothered to click a link to another blog that responds to your post. Well that's convenient, isn't it? By the way, Thersites made some of her arguments right here in the comments of your very own blog, and you didn't respond to them here either, yet you found time to respond to other commenters.

My, you've got some huge balls.*





*100% genuine joke made by a 100% genuine feminist.

Great American said...

To all the people who want me to read posts on other websites and respond to them. I don't want to spend the time on this...

You have got to be kidding me. You have spent DAYS on this, but now all of a sudden it would just be far too time consuming to read one blog post? You have posted thirteen comments on this thread alone to debate your views, but it is just too much of a QUAGMIRE to read someone else's critique?

Your "overall point" is that Duncan Black condones and supports sexism, making him a sexist.

That's your credibility slipping away over there... if you hurry you might catch it.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MD said...

Well, this is awfully interesting.

Do words have a meaning outside the intention of the person using them? Can a word be sexist in and of itself? If these excerpted comments represent a self-referential and close community with in-jokes, then are they offensive because they use certain words? I'm not one for the PC mantra, so I'd say, that depends. (Way to take a stand, eh?)

*If the LGFers are engaging in similar 'insider baseball', are the words used on that site less offensive knowing this and would others who are offended by LGF be willing to give some of the commenters there the benefit of the doubt? Not a LGF commenter myself, just wondering.

**I wonder what it is about blogs that makes people so interested in 'toeing' the party line as it were. And I mean that in every way possible, political party, comment-party, the whole lot....I guess we all want to be popular.

***I don't think Ann's points were necessarily debunked. Does using certain words, even if intended as a joke, create a certain atmosphere for women, eh? Let's talk about that, shall we.

Raging Red said...

By the way, I feel the need to add that I'm not at all a part of the established commenting community at Eschaton, I'm just a regular reader of the blog (who only rarely dips my toes into the commenting pool), so I have no personal stake in defending anybody. I just had some time to kill at the office, and I hate to see someone trying to get away with crap that's so easy to argue against.

Bravo Romeo Delta said...

Well, at the end of the day, is it so hard for someone to say "Yeah, these folks got out of hand. I think they were just being ironic, but that said, there were some comments that just weren't cool. And I apologize for what was said when the comment thread started to veer off into the deep."

Or even simpler "Yep, I guess I do have some hamfisted fools in my comment thread. My apologies."

Thersites said...

Thersites is male, BTW. And a feminist.

Prof Althouse, you are behaving disgracefully. You accused specific, real, live people of misogyny. That's a serious accusation.

You posted their words on your site. And now you are saying you don't want to take the "time" to read their defense! You've made an accusation about certain individuals' characters and you refuse to even look at evidence to the contrary.

That's just plain wrong.

wildaboutharrie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Raging Red said...

Oops, sorry Thersites. For whatever reason (oh, because I'm a man-hating feminazi), I thought you were female.

The Mechanical Eye said...

Okay.

Thersite's post, this commanding, powerful, and devastating surgical strike of a counter-attack on Ms. Althouse, basically repeats the common argument in this comment thread: irony, irony, irony. Don't take us seriously! In no way does it reveal an unattractive, passive-aggressive, insulting mindset!

Going back to the original comment thread and reading it gives the same sewer-vibes I feel reading LGF's comments - not every comment is nasty, but many are unpleasant enough for me to remind myself why I don't bother with mammoth political blogs whose first comments are invariably "FIRST!" allowed by generic angry mini-rants about Bush or Islam.

Ironic or no, there's a deep unpleasantness to the entire Kos/Atrios/LGF commentary sections. It would be wise if those people were to step back and look at why no one's giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Thersites said...

Really, Jerk, you must admit that namecalling followed by disavowal of the epithets hurled is perhaps the lamest form of irony

Look at Althouse's nine examples. She is called a name in ONE of them. And that's the one from a right-wing troll who also calls "Democrat women bow-wows." Including this troll post and claiming it's an example of the attitude of Atrios or his commenters is ridiculous.

The other instance of "name-calling" is "she looks like a man," which is in fact a reference to Daryn Kagan, not Althouse. And Althouse appears to have pasted that from a comment from a poster who was disapproving of its sexist tone. Thus making ridiculous Althouse's claim that nobody challenged the alleged sexism from the regular commenters.

Althouse is either very sloppy or very dishonest. Period.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MD said...

Thersites, the way I read Ann's last update is that she doesn't care if people were making a joke or being ironic. She still thinks the comments are anti-feminist, even as a joke. Personally, I'd avoid that comment thread because I'm not really sure what the point of it is, other than for people to hang out and joke with each other.

I'd like to ask what you all think about whether the intentions of the commenters get them off the hook (or even if they should be on a hook), but once a thread gets to this point and onto THE DREADED ACCUSATIONS OF ACCUSATIONS, it's not gonna happen.....

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Thersites said...

Thersite's post, this commanding, powerful, and devastating surgical strike of a counter-attack on Ms. Althouse, basically repeats the common argument in this comment thread: irony, irony, irony.

No. My post basically says she took these posts out of context.

She accused certain individuals of misogyny and yet their actual posts very clearly do not support this conclusion when seen in context.

The total unwillingness of Althouse or her supporters to actually look critically at the "evidence" she herself cites hardly impresses me as to the ethical superiority of this site.

Bas-O-Matic said...

HaloJonesFan said...

Has it got his site's URL? Yes? Then he's responsible for it. He can put up any kind of disclaimer he wants, but he's responsible for encouraging and abetting the activities of those people.

No, he really isn't. He regularly get's 800 comments to a post. No one can keep up with them. A goodly portion are made by completely unknown people. He has made it perfectly clear that he will not monitor his comments. He will, if someone lets him know, delete and or ban commenters that are being clearly abusive to other commenters. Otherwise, he stays out of it.


Ann Althouse said...
Atrios, like Charles Johnson, relies comments to beef up the traffic. Often all Atrios does is declare an open thread.

and

I realize the Haloscan page isn't tracked in Site Meer, but commenters initially go through the main page, and thus Eschaton is constantly racking up visitors who are coming by just to get onto the newest thread. He regularly puts up open threads with no original material of his and the visitors stream through to get to the comments. Thus, I see his high traffic as rather bogus. And it's bad for advertisers who rely on the number, because visitors aren't staying on the page with the ads, but going onto the comments window, which doesn't have ads.

This is completely nonsensical. 1)The number of comments does not reflect the number of unique page views and unique page views says nothing about unique visitor counts. 2)The great majority of people who go to Eschaton don't or rarely wade into the comments. 3)Very many blog readers use RSS aggregators and will visit blogs many times a day as new content is posted resulting in a similar phenomenon without the posting of open threads. 5)People who do go into comments still have the main page open and unless they maximize all their windows, the blogads will usually still be visible while the comment window is open. Right now, Atrios is in my aggregator window and the ads are visible while I simultaneously compose this post in a notepad window while I cut and paste comments from your visible blog window. (and a post at Political Animal just showed up and I'm going to pop over for the second time today and see what's up).

Pogo said...
"I was only joking" is a juvenile method of whitewashing an error and avoiding blame. Two-year-olds come naturally to it. They'll hit you and the say "I sorry." Because, of course, they didn't mean it. Now, this copout gets all gussied up when people become more verbal, and the harmful retort is meant to be understood ironically. That way, you get to have your cake and eat it, too (i.e. say something nasty, but disavow it

Only one of the examples, made by a rightwing troll, was misogynistic and directed towards Althouse. None of the remaining examples were in any way misgynistic unless taken literally (thus the stuff about irony). And one could only take them literally without either misunderstanding or misconstruing the context in which they were made. This is nowhere in the realm of, for instance, making comments about Althouse's looks and then claiming "hey, I was only joking."

Ann Althouse said...
You and others are missing the point. I am asking him to condemn the sexist comments, not monitor or censor everything. I'm asking him to show that he cares, that he is some sort of feminist. I'm just sick and tired of liberals and lefties who assume it's taken for granted that they care about feminism. Atrios is a channel for putrid sexist invective. It's irrelevant that the commenters had a smile on their face when they wrote it or think they are cute when they say it.

No, I think you are missing the point. The examples (other than one by a rightwing troll) that you posted were taken out of context. You either mistakenly or purposely mischarachterized their nature (for instance claiming that someone who was talking about a sexual harrasment claim that they pursued and won is somehow being misogynistic). That is, the examples you give aren't worthy of condemnation. Further, you owe the commenters whose comments you mischaracterized an apology. It is also rather strange to find you demanding a consdemnation when Atrios already said in his original post "The underlying issue is, of course, a real one. Critics across the political spectrum (and of both genders) are quick to jump to use sexist and sexual language when criticizing women."

and

. I'm not stepping into that quagmire. My overall point is that it's a very sexist thread over there and you folks who are so interested in protecting Duncan Black just don't give a damn. QED.

Your overall point is based on a mischarachteriztion of what was said over there and by whom. The only thing that you have QED.d is your willingness to own up to that fact. I don't think we're the ones being obtuse.

wildaboutharrie said...

Thersites' post takes two minutes to read. She's very fair and spews no invective.

I think NYMary might be shocked to learn about Thersites' sex change :)

jayinbmore said...

To all the people who want me to read posts on other websites and respond to them. I don't want to spend the time on this. I suppose you could methodically explain away each of the comments I selected to quote. That's obtuse and missing the point, and I can't spend my limited time engaging on that level. I'd be a fool to respond to everything negative people write about me. I'm not stepping into that quagmire. My overall point is that it's a very sexist thread over there and you folks who are so interested in protecting Duncan Black just don't give a damn. QED.

So wait. You're saying "I provided evidence of sexism which is directly refuted, yet I don't want to read the refutation because it's 'obtuse'. You should accept my point because I say so!" This is awesome! I've just learned that whenever there's a chance I may be proved wrong I can just stick my fingers in my ears and yell "I'm right you're wrong!" over and over and I win! This must be an instance of that "open discussion" the blogosphere makes possible.

Pogo said...

Thersites said "Only one of the examples, made by a rightwing troll, was misogynistic and directed towards Althouse. None of the remaining examples were in any way misgynistic unless taken literally (thus the stuff about irony)."

As I said, it's a nice trick that hilarious irony stuff you keep claiming. It permits you to be vile, sexist, hurtful, mean, stupid, mysogynistic, and racist in your statements, but then claim to be the opposite. How cool is that!?!

Back in 6th grade, though, instead of irony we just said "that's what you said", and MAN was it funny!!!

Democrats rock!

Bas-O-Matic said...

Surely you're not basing your assumption on the fact that the original commenter wrote "Democrat women" instead of "Democratic women"?

In my admittedly anecdotal (experience, it is a pretty reliable indicator of righty inclinations when someone shows up on a comment thread at Atrios and starts talking about the Democrat Party or Democrat Women instead of using Democratic. Regardless, it was certainly a troll as it wasn't for any purpose other than to provoke a response.

Yes, the poster's being sarcastic (not ironic: let's not use those two words as synonyms, please), but it's still written in a way that makes less sense if one reads it your way.

While, as troll, the guy was certainly being a smartass, the way in which ironic is being used by Thersites isn't applicable to this post. And I don't really think he was being sarcastic as much as being intentionally nasty in order to provoke a response(more Andrew Dice Clay than Homer Simpson).

Ironic applies to remarks like "Feminism is OK in its place" and "So are Negroes. Once either gets uppity there's gotta be hell to pay." Neither of these were offered to express their literal meanings. In fact, they were intended to convey the opposite meaning and as such were ironic. They really aren't even offered sarcastically in my opinion since the posters were being silly as opposed to being cutting or withering.

Bas-O-Matic said...

As I said, it's a nice trick that hilarious irony stuff you keep claiming. It permits you to be vile, sexist, hurtful, mean, stupid, mysogynistic, and racist in your statements, but then claim to be the opposite. How cool is that!?!

Pogo it's one thing to call you a name involving your (for arguments sake) African heritage in order to be offensive and then try to somehow claim that I was being ironic about it after you take offense. It is quite another for a black man to make an ironic quip about "negroes" being "uppity."

Thersites said...

reader_iam:

Well, you're entitled to your reading. But I think you're wrong.

The poster is not a regular at Eschaton; I'd never seen the name before. Also, if you are not a right-wing troll or have little experience of them at liberal blogs, yes, the "Democrat-no-ic" thing is a pretty obvious sign that the speaker is, to use the parlance, a "wingnut." That's why nobody who posts at liberal blogs ever, ever uses that formulation on a blog comments section, whatever usage they might use elsewhere.

At any rate I still insist that for Althouse to cite a comment that "Democrat women are bow-wows" as evidence of common Democratic attitudes is just plain silly.

reader_iam said...

Andrew Dice Clay? Andrew Dice Clay?!

Um, the Diceman is sarcastic--taken to the nth degree. Man, you're talkin' my general era, dude.

Pogo said...

Oh and plus, Thersites, the use of 6th grade irony is also so cool cuz when people get mad at you for calling 'em names, you can get all outraged and huffy and stuff, and demand that they apologize to you.

I kid you not!!! Irony rules.
Rock on, Thersites! Gimme 12 more parapraphs!

reader_iam said...

Not distressed by the Diceman reference--actually just amused because I haven't thought of him in a donkey's age. Talk about being involved in major arguments over someone ... I remember a couple of break-ups over that guys stuff.

Thersites said...

As I said, it's a nice trick that hilarious irony stuff you keep claiming. It permits you to be vile, sexist, hurtful, mean, stupid, mysogynistic, and racist in your statements, but then claim to be the opposite. How cool is that!?!

Back in 6th grade, though, instead of irony we just said "that's what you said", and MAN was it funny!!!


How thick are you?

Nobody's saying that quote is ironic. We're telling you flat out it was posted at Eschaton by a right-wing troll, NOT BY A DEMOCRAT.

Unreal.

reader_iam said...

Other people's break-ups, that is.

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