September 5, 2006

"All of this blogging-in-drag is bewildering and appalling."

Wow, David Lat -- the erstwhile Article III Groupie, who's now blogging at Above the Law -- is getting doubly slammed over there at Feminist Law Professors. Belle Lettre has this:
All of this blogging-in-drag is bewildering and appalling. I just don’t understand the prurient interest some have in watching an otherwise impressively credentialed or politically opinionated “woman” degrade “herself” by trivializing her politics or profession. Is this the appeal of watching Ann Coulter in her mini-shorts?

Speaking as a female blogger, who writes a “blawggish” blog at that, I am personally offended. I think these poseurs, cheeky and satiric as they intend to be, bring down the image of serious female bloggers everywhere. It’s not that I argue that my blog is entirely serious–I do run personal posts about poetry, the occasional blog meme, etc. But this is not exactly trivial gossip....

[B]logs like those by David Lat and Libertarian Man of Mystery make me a very self-conscious and cautious blogger. I feel trepidation about writing on non-serious or even non-legal things, even though it is perfectly within my prerogative to do so. I’m not saying that I would like to engage in snark, vitriol, gossip, or triviality....

David Lat and Libertarian Man of Mystery do no favors to women (and especially women bloggers) when they pose as women or caricature “female triviality” to suit their own ends. Even as they continue this “cheeky” style of writing with their genders and identities open, it never fails to be a nudge nudge wink wink at how salacious and saucy writing can be if done in the “female voice.” I happen to think my own “female voice” is quite intelligent and serious, thanks. And there are plenty of women bloggers (and blawggers) like me, who can write about our lives and our work, without being sexed up fembots or saucy wenches. There will be no nudging and winking here, not for your amusement, and definitely not to ours.
This dread of triviality, does it hurt? I wonder if Belle has considered whether this grim, censorious, humorless -- nay, humor-phobic -- attitude helps women. I know you want to be taken seriously, but being so intent on being taken seriously is one of the main things that make people want to mock you. And not just you, but feminism.

Belle is piling on after an earlier post by Ann Bartow, who decided to pick on David for running a search for the "hottest ERISA lawyer in America." Here's her criticism:
Possibly Lat doesn’t understand that being celebrated for her looks is not known for being a ticket to career success in the legal world for a female attorney.

The idea that people are now going to be nominated without their knowledge, and that Lat will not honor their requests for withdrawl if they do find out, frankly strikes me as both mean and sickening. I was present when a hard driving female attorney won a satirical “Miss Congeniality” designation during a “jokey” awards luncheon, and I watched her muster a tight little smile as she accepted a sash and tiara to a sea of derisive laughter, and I saw her crying in the bathroom later, too. I have little doubt that certain kinds of lawyers will take a golden opportunity like this to try to heap ridicule upon colleagues or competitors they dislike, or want to see put in their place. But who cares, as long as Lat is amusing himself and his buds, right?
Is frat boy asshole really the right stereotype for Mr. Lat? Since you're doing stereotypes... It's a little tricky to wield stereotypes while criticizing stereotypes, but the idea must be that it doesn't count if you evoke the privileged white male. But what really irks me is going on and on about Lat without showing familiarity with his judicial hotties contest, the way Article III groupie specially focused on the hotness of males, and how Judge Kozinski offered himself up as the hottest judge. Here's how The New Yorker saw it:
A3G, as she calls herself, writes like a boozy d├ębutante, dishing about the wardrobes, work habits, and idiosyncrasies of the “superhotties of the federal judiciary” and “Bodacious Babes of the Bench.” The author is keen on the new Chief Justice, writing, on one occasion, “Judge Roberts is lookin’ super-hunky tonight, much younger than his 50 years. . . . The adorable dimple in his chin is making A3G dizzy.” In contrast, she had doubts about Harriet Miers, posting a “Hairstyle Retrospective” and noting, “If Harriet Miers wins confirmation, maybe Supreme Court justices should start wearing powdered wigs.” Her posts on the new Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito, have included a report—a “judicial sight-ation”—of the Judge stopping in at a Newark pizza shop, and a sizing up of Alito’s teen-age son: “Since he’s 19, A3G is permitted to say: he’s a hottie!”
This refocus of the hotness question onto males was a much better strategy for smashing sex stereotypes than insisting on being taken seriously and trying to deny the visual aspect of life.

70 comments:

Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Q: How many feminist law bloggers does is take to stereotype a male law blogger?

A: That's not funny.

Simon said...
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Simon said...

"[W]hat really irks me is going on and on about Lat without showing familiarity with his judicial hotties contest, the way Article III groupie specially focused on the hotness of males"

Oh, they've thought of that already. This isn't new stuff from Bartow and Belle; you have to go back at leastn to the "Pictures and Patriarchy" post Belle references, and the thread at Prawfsblawg it was written in response to, another post involving a grim Ann Bartow and a sprightly Belle Lettre fretting about whether a comment that a new guest blawger at Prawfs was "easy on the eyes" was sexist or just monotonously stupid.

In any event, I raised the very objection that you did, that A3G ran these contests in an earlier life, but they've got an answer for that:

"[I]f you bring up A3G as an example of a "person" who would gratuitously comment on a male law prof's appearance, well, you should remember that A3G turned out to be a man, David Lat. This is an interesting bit of gender stereotype bending ... [b]ut I hardly think that qualifies as a 'turn the tables' use of the 'female gaze'--it's just the male gaze in "drag.'."

There is apparently a difference between the male gaze and the female gaze (no word yet on whether the type of gaze is defined by the gender of the beholder or the beheld).

(I actually got myself tied into a knot on that thread, because having declared that continuing discussion of the matter dignified Bartow's nonsense with debate "approache[d] the very pinnacle of tomfoolery," it obviously ceased to be viable to continue to debate the matter. Careful with those big, conclusory rhetorical devices, Eugene).

I have to admit, though, if there is a line, this is surely past it. "The hottest ERISA lawyers in America"? I don't know that it's sexist, but my God, it's banal. Is Above the Law out of ideas already?

Ann Bartow said...

I wouldn't have the first idea about whether Lat is white or not. I don't know whether he was in a "frat" or not. I only know that he is privileged because he flaunts this so relentlessly on his blogs.

"Buds" is a fairly widespread term around these here parts. It is slang for "buddies," which means friends. It doesn't have any connection to any particular stereotypes that I am aware of, but hey, thanks for the thoughtful feedback on this point.

Lat is not refocusing the question of hotness onto males in this instance. He has specifically requested more female entries, writing: "One request: Please send us more female nominees. Right now the male side of the field is much stronger, in both quality and quantity, than the female side," as I quoted in my post.

I have a lot of trouble seeing this exercise as "smashing sex stereotypes" or my post as "deny[ing] the visual aspect of life." If Erisa lawyers were eager to participate, I doubt it would be necessary for Lat to refuse to allow them to withdraw from the "competition."

Craig Ranapia said...

This dread of triviality, does it hurt?

Well, yes - in another context, the late Sir Kingsley Amis wrote "Importance isn't important, good writing is." Quite aside from the gender question, I've always found people who need to constantly advertise how "serious" they are by chastising others for their triviality, well, impossible to take seriously.

I'm more bewildered and appalled (as well as personally offended) by people - male, female, trans-bloggers whatever - who blog passive agressive slams of 'blogging-in-drag'from behind a pseudonym. Not looking at anyone in particular Ms. Belle Lettre.

Ann Bartow said...

By the strangest of coincidences, one of Lat's buds is Dan Markel, a founder of Prawsblawg, see:
http://www.abovethelaw.com/2006/09/nonsequiturs_090106.php

In addition, the careful reader will note that at this very post, Lat has written: "We went to college with Dan, worked on the school newspaper with him, and are friends with him. Hell, we're pals with like three-quarters of the people we link to, write about, etc. The law: it's a small world after all."

So again I submit that referring to Lat and his buds was hardly a "wielding of stereotypes."

tjl said...

Thanks, Ann Bartow. Your two posts on this thread -- clearly meant as droll self-parodies -- wittily refute that "grim, censorious and humorless" thing.

Dr. Melissa said...

As an aside Ann, I bought the book on Chief Justice "Hawt" Roberts that you recommended (a preteen-aged book). It was great. Thanks for the recommendation.

Ann Althouse said...

tjl: lol.

bill said...

You can shut the internet down early, tjl has the comment of the day.

I think it will easily beat out the footnoted defense of the use of "buds."

knoxgirl said...

ugh, those posts by AB make me very uncomfortable, I can't read them without squirming. The humorless cluelessness...

Ann Bartow said...

Humorless on this issue, maybe. Clueless, no, I don't think so. I think I understand you folks pretty well, actually.

Pogo said...

I hope the female law profs guild come out with a list of approved bloggable subjects, in order to avoid bringing down the image of serious female bloggers everywhere. It's clear that the internet needs supervision, and Belle Lettre seems the right sort for the job.

But for god's sake, leave squirrels in the "Party-Approved Topics" column!

Simon said...

Ann Bartow said...
"I think I understand you folks pretty well, actually."

Merely that you assume as a given that everyone who has posted thusfar has the same opinion on the subject (and that they have developed that opinion for the same reasons and from the same perspective) seems to belie that claim. Of course, it makes it easier to ignore disagreement if you assume that all the people disagreeing with you have but identikit arguments, because then you only have to form an opinion about one argument, and one kind of person, and thereafter can simply apply it to all dissenters. It's a very, very ordinary liberal response to disagreement.

Cacciaguida said...

Possibly Lat doesn’t understand that being celebrated for her looks is not known for being a ticket to career success in the legal world for a female attorney.

On what planet would that be?

David said...

Reminds me of the Lady Professor at Harvard who got the vapors at the mere mention of sexual differences in spatial aptitude.

Note to lawyers in general, and female lawyers in particular; Don't take yourself so seriously and develop a rudimentary sense of humor!

Your rallying cry can be; "If the glove don't fit, you ain't got ___!"

altoids1306 said...

I think it is fair to say that women are made to endure more jokes at their expense, at least in the private arena. (Although hypersensitivity and discrimination/harassment lawsuits can mean sudden death for any jokester.)

In the corporate world, a certain level of disdain and straight-laced-ness might be an appriopriate strategy, but on the internet, that's just counterproductive.

LarryK said...

Why can't we all grow up and just admit we have one smoking Supreme Court? It's not only the hunky Roberts, or the sensitive, Hugh Grant-like Alito. What about Justice Scalia? Hot! Justice Thomas - Double Hot! Justice Ginsberg, ohmigod, hold me back. Justice Souter - um, well, OK, but what about Breyer, Stevens and Kennedy? Hot! Hot! Hot!

37383938393839383938383 said...
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37383938393839383938383 said...

A. Bartow: If Erisa lawyers were eager to participate, I doubt it would be necessary for Lat to refuse to allow them to withdraw from the "competition."

Hmm. Isn't the point that ERISA lawyering is really complex and boring, and that no one really thinks anyone who gets their kicks specializing in such convoluted mess could possibly be physically attractive?

37383938393839383938383 said...
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JorgXMcKie said...

Am I the only one who has seen how about half the female lawyers dress in court? I haven't seen so many CFM shoes outside of a Las Vegas real estate convention.

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Elizabeth said...

Ann - David is neither white nor a frat boy, though I don't think it's terribly relevant either way.

Also, the voice on the blog *is* his voice and I don't think it sounds particularly female, so the insinuation that ATL is "blogging in drag," while amusing, is ill-informed. And someone's willfully overlooking the stultifyingly obvious explanation that A3G, David's erstwhile alter ego, was female because it makes it easier to remain anonymous, which was at the time a major imperitive.

The point of the ERISA hotties contest is that the industry is *not* sexy and David is intentionally sexing it up in a tongue in cheek way. Note that it wasn't the "Hotties Contest for Charismatic Litigators Who Moonlight on Cable News Shows". And if you think no one's interested, all I can say is that you probably haven't had much exposure to ERISA lawyers. We've had more applicants that we can possibly fit into a polling application, but they've been overwhelmingly male, by an 8-to-1 ratio, which would seem to indicate that contrary to assertions here, "ERISA hotties" does not automatically make most people think "hot *female* lawyer".

Elizabeth Spiers,
David Lat's (female) publisher.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Who cares if the women lawyers wear shoes that are Copied From Manolo? They can take the money they save and spend it on real serious stuff, as befits the deeply serious non-hotties they are.

Simon said...

Elizabeth,
At the risk of sounding like I'm defending anyone involved in this mess, the allegation that Latt was blogging in drag was made by Belle Lettre, not Ann Bartow, and was made in reference to "Libertarian Girl" and to the erstwhile alter ego you mention, not to Lat's present activities.

The biggest problem with Above the Law isn't Bartow's apparently omnipresent paranoia of lurking misogyny (although a degrading contest in which one can be entered against one's will or without one's knowledge, and which one cannot withdraw from, would is ample grounds for Bartow's objection, and for once, I think I would agree with her), it's that it has thusfar proved as crushingly dull as Wonkette and its ilk. It isn't light-hearted, harmless fun, it is, at best, utterly vapid, and at worst, reasonable cause for concern.

37383938393839383938383 said...

Is Elizabeth Spiers a hottie of the publishing world? yum, editorgrrl.

Simon said...

CriticalObserver said...
"Is Elizabeth Spiers a hottie of the publishing world? yum, editorgrrl."

That's something you'll have to decide for yourself.

Elizabeth said...

well, Simon, I'm sorry you find it so, but fortunately for us, the traffic thus far would seem to indicate that there's a pretty large constituency of people who disagree. (About three times what I expected, in fact, and this is my 11th commercial blog launch. I'm usually pretty close on the estimates.)

That said, we're open to suggestions. What would you *like* to see?

-Elizabeth Spiers

37383938393839383938383 said...
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37383938393839383938383 said...

Elizabeth Spiers: That said, we're open to suggestions. What would you *like* to see?

More pictures of Elizabeth Spiers.

Sissy Willis said...

Girls just wanna have fun.

Marx really put a damper of feminism. The distaff side is still reeling from their idiocy.

Wit always trumps whine.

Sissy Willis said...

. . . ON feminism, I meant.

Mr. Snitch said...

"Wit always trumps whine."

Which Marx said that?

Ann Althouse said...

Wow! Elizabeth Spiers stopped by!

Craig Ranapia said...

Possibly Lat doesn’t understand that being celebrated for her looks is not known for being a ticket to career success in the legal world for a female attorney.

While for male laywers, developing the poor grooming and personal hygene and dressing like a colour blind clown is the yellow brick road to credibility and success? With all due respect - and not denying that the law is no more an a**hole-free zone than any other profession - I think the perceptions people bring into a room determine 'reality' more than we care to admit. I've certainly walked into rooms I expect to be filled with drooling bigots, and had to revise my view PDQ.

LarryK said...

Sissy Willis said...
Girls just wanna have fun.

Squirrels just wanna have fun too, as long as it doesn't involve Opera (see Ann's post below).

Craig Ranapia said...

Sissy Willis wrote:
Marx really put a damper of feminism. The distaff side is still reeling from their idiocy.

Meh... I think there's always been a Groucho Marxist strain in feminism - lively, sceptical, tough-minded, understand that rights come with responsibilities and freedom is never without risk, appreciative of the sensual and trivial, capable of laughing at the absurdity of the whole world, asking for a fair go rather than a free ride, and never willing to be anyone's victim. It's still out there, but just doesn't make good copy - or firmly occupy positions of power and influence - like the neo-Puritans.

Ronald Coleman said...

I for one have come to terms with achieving professional advancement in the legal profession on the strength of my looks.

TallDave said...

I only got to "sexed-up fembots" before being too distracted to continue reading. I'm calling a 15-minute recess while my gf joins me in my chambers.

TallDave said...

Gf has objected and requsted an additional 30 minuted recess.

Objection sustained.

Cro said...

I'll go out on a limb here and venture to guess that Miss Bartow is ugly. And I don't mean that as in ugly with a nice personality stuff... I mean ugly as in "make a train take a dirt road" kind of ugly.

rhhardin said...

Men are given extremely low standards for a reason. Women are mostly not a great bargain. Feminism forgets that.

``Okay we all have the same standards now'' isn't going to play.

37383938393839383938383 said...
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Palladian said...
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Palladian said...

Elizabeth Spiers! I met Elizabeth Spiers when we were both nobodies! Now there's only one nobody left and I think it's me, but who can be sure? She was pleasant, even though she spent most of the time staring past my head, looking for someone better to talk to. I think I connected better with Choire Sicha, but perhaps that was because I touched him inappropriately. Strange the people MetaFilter brought together.

That I find the entire Nick Denton "we're-so-hip-and-sexy-and-cynical" schtick about as appealing as a pigeon-picked slice of pizza lying in the gutter on Ludlow Street does not indicate agreement with the dour harridans that are the subject of Ann(Althouse)'s post. I do like that there is a good Ann and a bad Ann now. Or maybe it's better phrased Ann and Anti-Ann.

David Manus said...

"I think I understand you folks pretty well" -ann baxter

Is that like Dukakis' famous "you people" referring to blacks?

Cuz ann honey, you don't know jack about me or my folks. You just think you do.

David Manus said...

and Palladin, I think its Ann and not Ann

Kirk Parker said...

Oy, is no one else going to point out the cognitive dissonance between "hard driving" and "crying in the bathroom"? I wonder how many people this "hard driving female attorney" drove over, and whether they, too, ended up crying in the bathroom? Or is it only not funny when you're the recipient?

Finn said...

This thread is really depressing. Its like you guys read the "how to be a charicature of anti-feminist" before you posted. We have: (1) The terrifying specter of feminists stereotyping men and thereby magically erasing thousands of years of misogny and inequality! It is so unfair! When will the oppression of male bloggers by insufficiently saintly women end!? (2) The predictable put down of feminists as humorless and grim; (3) the straw man of oppressive feminist speech codes squelching all your good natured fun (PCU anyone?); (4) the, ladies, don't worry that the boys club is putting you down, its all harmless ribbing! Besides, you need to be able to take a joke (and wear short skirts and f*ck me boots while you're at it! yeah!); (5) The leering references to female appearances. Oh course, Bartow is ugly! CO and Simon even managed to belittle A3G's publisher by musing oh so rakishly about her appearance. Anyway, I can see why you like the A3G character. She is apiece with the girls-gone-wild universe: unbound by boring social conservative mores, overtly sexual and seemingly available and yet completely unthreatening to straight men or the social order. She even has some education to add a dash of Caitlin Flanaganism. And she thinks old, withered white men are hot and cool! Could there be a more magnificent woman? Oh, I almost forgot, it gets better, she's not an icky woman! She's---gulp---a man!

Palladian said...

"The predictable put down of feminists as humorless and grim"

Finn, darling, I didn't put down "feminists" as humorless and grim, I put down these particular feminists as humorless and grim. I'm probably more of a feminist than anyone else in this comment section because I'm a gay guy, therefore I have absolutely no use for women unless they're interesting people. They succeed or fail in my eyes solely on merit. And these grim, humorless women failed.

Simon said...

"CO and Simon even managed to belittle A3G's publisher by musing oh so rakishly about her appearance."

That was certainly not my intention. When I belittle someone you'll know all about it - I'm not that subtle about it. Come to think about it, I don't seem to recall posting any comment about Spiers' looks - I posted a link and said CO would have to make up his own mind. Your imagination is working overtime if you're inferring a substantive judgement from that statement. (That would be the sort of unsubtle belittling I mentioned a moment ago).

On the other hand, I generally agree with the sentiment of Palladian's comment - "the entire Nick Denton we're-so-hip-and-sexy-and-cynical schtick [is] about as appealing as a pigeon-picked slice of pizza lying in the gutter on Ludlow Street." A person's attractiveness does not start and end with what you see in a photograph.

Leena said...

people who have real wit will be able to make others laugh without relying on racist or sexist humor. i truly feel pity for you losers who don't get it.

37383938393839383938383 said...

I know where racism came from, but I didn't see any racist humor on this thread. I also don't see how any non-"sexist" humor is possible on this thread -- which is about sexism and feminism, without banning irony altogether.

I would also note that I was quite serious! I happen to think that bloggers should be more transparent, e.g., post their resumes and credentials as well as pictures of themselves. Especially if they're going to make snarky comments about celebrities. Transparency and accountability matter. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see more pictures of someone. For you to twist that into racism is just mind-boggling.

Andrewdb said...

I don't know anything about Mr. Lat's personal or professional orientation or preferences, but as a Gay White Male, I think his sense of humour (at least at his past several blogs)is what I would call "Drag Queen on Speed" - and I find myself rather oppressed by Ms. Bartow's failure to recognize and value my sub-culture's long standing and historic style of humour.

Finn said...

Simon:
Thats the post I was thinking of. Elizabeth joined the thread and made a substantive post about what Above the Law was trying to do and why its not sexist. CO responded by typing yum girl and then you egged him on by linking to her picture. What's the point of ignoring her comment to focus on her appearance if not to belittle her? As if the her credibility depends on her "hotness." Maybe you had a different intention in linking to her picture but I see that type of rhetorical move---i.e., Woman: "I think x,y, z." Man's response: "You're hot (or fat/ugly/etc)")---as a classic way in which men silence women.
Palladian:
I was mostly responding to tjl's whose dig at Bartow, which was an effective example of anti-feminist playground rhetoric. As a general proposition, I agree that someone can be a feminist and be humorless or grim. Its just that the stereotype of the grim humorless feminist is used as a cudgel against the value of feminism: Don't be a feminist, you'll be a shrill crone!

mockmook said...

Leena said: "people who have real wit will be able to make others laugh without relying on racist or sexist humor."

Hmmm.

What about humor at the expense of someones physical pain (laughing at someone slipping on a banana peel), verboten?

Are lawyer jokes O.K.? Those are lawyerist, right?

Please (grimly) give examples of acceptable humor.

Palladian said...

Leena said: "people who have real wit will be able to make others laugh without relying on racist or sexist humor."

Tell that to every great black comedian that ever lived. Or don't they have "real wit"?

38792843298734939548 said...

Finn: CO responded by typing yum girl and then you egged him on by linking to her picture. What's the point of ignoring her comment to focus on her appearance if not to belittle her? As if the her credibility depends on her "hotness."

This is not how I read the exchange. If you read it in order, CritOb makes essentially the same comment as Elizabeth does, that ERISA litigation is not hot. Agreement is not "belittling".

You also distort the meaning of the "yum girl" comment. That comment precedes Simon's posting of Elizabeth's photos. Because CritOb's comments cannot be referring to photos that have not yet been posted, it appears CritOb was making some kind of yum comment about female editors in general. He was not saying that Elizabeth's photos were yummy.

Your narrative of what occurred on this thread is factually incorrect.

Zoe Brain said...

Guess I have an unusual perspective...

There is no way that guys will ever believe how much sexist crap women have to put up with. Now it depends very much on individual working environments, some places it's either non-existent or equal to what the gals give to the guys.

Other places it's pretty bad, and almost always the guys have absolutely no idea that they're doing it. It's not that they're doing it deliberately, trust me on this. They just Do Not See It, and would be terribly hurt at the idea that they're being sexist. They genuinely don't mean to be.

And while we're at it... at women-only venues, the gals give the guys far worse, and some. This is socially acceptable, in a way that MCPery isn't.

If it's in fun, then yes, great. But sometimes the laughter is a bit forced, and what is intended as a harmless joke can be deeply distressing.

Somehow we have to get two messages across: First, that what some guys think is funny can be deeply hurtful, and no, tha gals not being overly-sensitive. And second that gals should realise the guys are often just being guys, they don't mean it, so cut them a bit of slack. Let them know it hurt, but do so tactfully so the poor dears don't get upset, or brush it off as foolish over-sensitivity.

After all, they are mere males.

Ann Althouse said...

Zoe: That's a good point. There's some kind of middle ground here. And an important point is that David Lat isn't someone's boss or coworker. He's a writer in his own space. He doesn't have the power to violate the law regarding sexual harassment by changing the conditions of someone's employment and discriminating against her. I think the sexual harassment laws are good and important, but they can only work if people respect what they stand for, which means that they have to be about something that makes sense to people and isn't overly repressive.

tjl said...

Finn said,

"I was mostly responding to tjl's whose dig at Bartow, which was an effective example of anti-feminist playground rhetoric."

What do you mean by "anti-feminist playground rhetoric?" My actual views are very similar to those stated in Palladian's 5:30 comment. It's grimness and humorlessness that repel me, not feminism per se.

That said, Zoe's comment was food for thought.

Simon said...

Finn,
"Elizabeth joined the thread and made a substantive post about what Above the Law was trying to do and why its not sexist. CO responded by typing yum girl and then you egged him on by linking to her picture. What's the point of ignoring her comment to focus on her appearance if not to belittle her?"

To add to what "poobear888" already pointed out, your criticism (which I understand to be that you think I responded to a substantive post by Spiers with a comment on her physical appearence) might survive scrutiny had I not already responded to the substance of Spiers' post before responding to CO's. See my comment at 1:57.

I am assuredly not anti-feminist. Just because I regard the "Third Wave" with scorn and derision, just because I do not believe that "feminist" is necessarily a synonym for "liberal" or "pro-choice" does not mean I am hostile to feminism. Frankly, I think the conservative knee-jerk hostility to feminism is absurd and tiresome, but it is readily apparent where to point the finger for the cause of that knee-jerk reaction.

Craig Ranapia said...

Zoe:

On the money - I've done a lot of temp secretarial work, and once had a supervisor who just didn't get why I really found it offensive and unprofessional having a co-worker respond to every question I had with some variation on, "well, you're just a man - of course, you don't get it." It was never funny to begin with, but it just got intolerable after six weeks. And when I tactfully called her on it, the priceless response was "women can't be sexist."

knoxgirl said...

She was pleasant, even though she spent most of the time staring past my head, looking for someone better to talk to

Celebtrities and pseudo-celebrities alike: you're not safe on Althouse!

Simon said...

By the way, a point to add to my previous post: when I said we know where to point the finger, I don't mean at feminists qua feminists. It isn't feminism that is grimly totalitarian in its humorless, censorious groupthink, its consuming desire to flatten all before it into dull conformity as a poor substitute for equality - it is leftism that is those things. It seems to me that most of the bad reputation feminism has gotten is more of a function of the fact that most feminists in the public eye are left wing, and thus, the characteristics of those proponents -- which are, in point of fact, nothing to do with feminism, per se -- have rubbed off on the public's perception of feminism. This is unfortunate, but it is demonstrable: you will find this precise attitude among even non-feminist leftists, while you will be hard pressed to find it among conservative or libertarian feminists, or even moderates like Natasha Walter.

Evan M. Thomas said...

At the cost of being piled on, I must say this argument seems trite, both sides. This is a non-controversy over silly un-important things, ideas and people. It’s almost as if lawyers enjoy arguing so much that they’re happy to waste a nice Sunday as if nothing else was important.

Question, do you draw straws before-hand to see which side you’ll be on this week?

Katie said...

"This refocus of the hotness question onto males was a much better strategy for smashing sex stereotypes than insisting on being taken seriously and trying to deny the visual aspect of life."



I love you!

Glamourina said...

It's all about stereotypes :/