September 16, 2006

Comments, comments, comments.

I'm surpassingly sick of this comments thread from yesterday, and I'm not even going to read all the commentary on other blogs. The immense tiresomeness is actually undermining my will to blog this morning.

I don't mind an intense, verbal fight about ideas, but this wasn't that. This was, every time you expressed a substantive idea, the answer was, essentially, "Stop looking at my breasts." (I'm picturing an SNL sketch based on that concept, and like the usual SNL sketch, it goes on way too long.)

So, yeah, well, just about the last thing on the face of the earth I'm interested in today is breasts. I'm sure some readers feel that nothing could ever get them to the point where boobs are boring. Me, I'm at the point where boobs are so boring that everything seems boring.

But I did want to put up a post before I get out of here and go try to reignite my interest in the world.

On the subject of blog comments, Dr. Helen has this post, about how people went too far in the comments after she wrote something on the subject of women, here. A woman had lashed out with sudden, physical violence against a man who'd been trying to pick her up in a bar. Her husband blogged about it, and the commenters there cheered. Dr. Helen said -- aptly -- that if the sexes had been reversed, we'd be vilifying the man. I can't help noting that when Helen's husband Glenn Reynolds linked to that post about the bar-fightin' woman -- with its photo of a woman wielding a baseball bat -- he also linked to me and said "This cluebat is actually even scarier than this one." Hey, use words, kids. It's scarier.

Ah, well, the commenters themselves are doing what they can with words, but they are just boring the hell out of me.

Not all the commenters, of course. There is a regular group of commenters here that's quite fabulous. They're in amongst the tedium in yesterday's thread. Try to find them. They're really clever. The prize goes to XWL for calling it "a tempest in a C-Cup."

ADDED: Glenn says: "[F]eminism has become nothing more than a subset of the Democratic Party's activist base.... It's all about supporting the right people politically, even if it turns you into a groper's support group. Which was, of course, the point of Althouse's post." Indeed.

Well, phony feminism, anyway. There is a real feminism to be revived, but it must put feminism first, and let the political chips fall where they may.

IN THE COMMENTS: XWL points out that I should have said he won the booby prize. Oh, it's so terrible to miss a perfect wisecrack opportunity like that! But a really nice thing is that the comments here have a much higher concentration of regulars compared to yesterday's slugfest.... Ah, hey, I can daydream again! I'm picturing a slugfest consisting not of brutish humans punching each other, but slugs having a nice party.



I'm doubtlessly influenced by my long, head-clearing walk, the last quarter mile of which took me through throngs of Wisconsin folk -- all in red T-shirts -- finishing up the tailgate parties, and slogging sluggishly over to the stadium. Stay tuned for pics.

UPDATE: Damn! I can't upload my pictures. Flickr is suddenly telling me I've used 100% of my bandwidth for the month, when just yesterday it had me at 12%. Has something gone haywire over there?

186 comments:

Meade said...

Professor: Are you looking at my crotch? You are, aren't you? You're looking at my crotch!

shergar said...

That's the stuff, Ann. Always make the breast of a bad situation.

George said...

O, the bitter miseries Hillary Clinton will have if she runs for President....

Every lass with whom her husband poses and what she's wearing will become fodder for the most bitter political sniping...

Just what every candidate for President wants...

Dave said...

I'll never tire of divining the wonders of women's breasts!

Mark Daniels said...

The comments have gotten tiresome, to be sure. But that there are 403 of them...and counting...stuns me. That number is about one-hundred more than visit my site each day!

The blog in question has gotten a ton of traffic it never would have gotten apart from the attention that you and Glenn have called to it. I'm not saying that you shouldn't have engaged in this little debate. Feminists who appear to cater to sexual objectification, as this blogger seems to do on her site, should be called to account. But the blogger who got linked in this little verbal melee is probably dancing in celebration.

Mark

NSC said...

But the blogger who got linked in this little verbal melee is probably dancing in celebration.

But is she dancing topless?

Bo Steed said...

Professor Althouse: thank you for referring to me as fabulous. I really couldn't have said it better. Some have said this has to do with a Karl Rove plant or some such. I would say it has more to do with implants, and all that they (often) pointedly stand for.

Righteous Bubba said...

You got 400 comments and a lot of attention because you wrote some things that were exceedingly dense. Live with it.

tiggeril said...

I love these blogfights. It's the internet equivalent of "I'm not touching youuuuuuuuuu..." in the back of the car.

Balfegor said...

A woman had lashed out with sudden, physical violence against a man who'd been trying to pick her up in a bar. Her husband blogged about it, and the commenters there cheered. Dr. Helen said -- aptly -- that if the sexes had been reversed, we'd be vilifying the man.

John Scalzi (whose wife is the woman concerned here) has since explained that there's actually a lot more in the story than just "creepy come-on" => "massive retaliation." He hasn't actually explained what it was (his wife's entitled to her privacy, after all) but I'm pretty sure it's nowhere near as bad/hypocritical as it looked after blogs picked it up and began analysing it on the basis of a few glib lines in his original blogpost.

peter hoh said...

More cowbell!!

Bruce Hayden said...

I agree, it quickly degenerated into a mudfest, with Ann getting a lot of the mud. I think that it was an interesting exercise in friviality, which we all probably need once in awhile.

My hope though is that most of the new posters don't stick. Part of allure of this site is that Ann keeps it (ulmost always) at a very high level. Personal attacks and hijack attempts are typically soundly policed. And that works for most of the regulars - and indeed, it is interesting to watch how an occasional one gets discplined once or twice, and then becomes a valuable participant.

Fitz said...

I have to admit; when I first saw this post I was a bit shocked. (But not because of the picture) Normally this blog is rather strident on feminist issue’s. To see one of its more regular contributors standing alongside the poster boy of misogyny (with no reservation and even beaming pride) struck me as embarrassing.

To that end, Can anyone recall the name of the Clinton adviser who was sent out to defend Bill early on.. she was a proud feminist of integrity – she is actually related to Barney Frank (She lets herself age naturally, has grey hair and glasses) And her defense was one of the low points in feminism. She was made a fool of and it showed – For the life of me I cant remember her name, or find it through a Google search?

Please Help?????

Ruth Anne Adams said...

You've achieved mythic status: Ms. Valenti called you [or your blog] "The Althouse" over at Dr. Helen's blog.

Cross my heart.

boston70 said...

I have to admit I was disappointed at the level of discourse regarding boobygate.

I am sure that I may have contributed to it in some way and for that take responsiblity and I am sorry. I did think the entire episode was rather boring.

Besides I would much rather discuss more important issues like who is going to win Project Runway (I am not being sarcastic, I actually really care).

I agree with "Bruce Hayden" the attraction to Ann's site is generally civil discourse, from diverse individuals, with people listening (love that word) instead of ranting.

If this blog did not contain a more mature discourse and began to degenerate to the level of yesterday it would be a loss for many of us. If that type of communication "yanks" (in Sandy Berger's vocabulary) your chain there is plenty of it out there.

Overall, I think 2 mountains were made over a mole hole-is that right? I wanted to be witty but I may have not used this correctly.

Lastly, as a gay man (I think I say that to everyone of my posts, I don't generally introduce myself this way in a business or personal setting) I do like and respect woman's boobies, but I am also tired of boobies.

reader_iam said...

I think it's worth looking at a quote that Glen pointed to (I also posted this on That Other Thread):

"Feminism died in 1998 when Hillary allowed henchlings and Democrats to demonize Monica as an unbalanced stalker, and when Gloria Steinem defended Mr. Clinton against Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones by saying he had merely made clumsy passes, then accepted rejection, so there was no sexual harassment involved. As to his dallying with an emotionally immature 21-year-old, Ms. Steinem noted, ‘Welcome sexual behavior is about as relevant to sexual harassment as borrowing a car is to stealing one.’"
--Maureen Dowd, NYT column, 10/4/2003

The Mechanical Eye said...

This reminds me of this blog's earlier epic fight with Pajamas Media, right down to the ridiculously angry, self-righteous, first-time commenters indignant that a law professor would write such, nasty, nasty things about their personal heroes.

I actually hope a few of the newcomers do hang around though - this is an excellent blog with some exceedingly good regulars. Perhaps a few of them will stick around long enough to see that.

reader_iam said...

Fitz: Are you referring to his older sister, Ann Lewis, deputy director of Clinton's re-election campaign?

Meade said...

Twice well cited, reader_iam.

Palladian said...

I stand by my comments in that last post: boobs are boring a priori and any man that would get invited to a luncheon with Bill Clinton because of their partisan blog has a small penis.

The commenters who came from FistingFeminists blog (or whatever it's called) to leave their little droppings won't hang around here. The male ones (who think it's ok to call a woman "cunt" and "bitch" and "whore" in defense of feminism) will crawl back over there and jerk off to the NC-17 rated vituperation of "empowered" women, desperately ingratiating themselves in the futile attempt to get laid. And the female commenters from over there will go back to their regular jeremiads against the evils of "conservatards", their chicken dinners with groping, corned-beef colored politicians, and their amusingly provincial notion that swearing alot and tit-jiggling is an "empowering", transgressive strategy.

reader_iam said...

Later White House Communications Director Lewis?

Mike Griswald said...

Ann, you were so clear in your intent, as you pointed out in the first thread:
...my whole original point was that I'm disgusted by bloggers who gush about how "honored" they are to be in the presence of Clinton

Indeed. Your complete lack of partisanship in this matter is evidenced by the similar disgust you expressed in your post about several right-wing bloggers who gushed over Bush in their meeting with him recently.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I'm getting misty-eyed nostaligic for the good old days of bra-blogging.

reader_iam said...

She was (is? don't know) involved in HILLPAC and Friends of Hillary much more recently.

boston70 said...

Reader Jam, thanks for your snippet on Maureen Dowd's article on Clinton.

What many conversatives seem to forget is Dowd is an equal opportunity offender.

The only reason so many conversatives hate Dowd now is because of her editorials regarding Bush Jr. She has stated she goes after him now because he is the one in power.

When Clinton was in office she decimated him in almost every editorial.

Also, Dowd, has spoken and written about her respect and admiration for Bush Sr.

downtownlad said...

I would have commented yesterday, but breasts just don't do it for me.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Boston 70: She's "Reader I am", as in "I think, therefore I am."

She'd say, "I read, therefore I am."

Meade said...

Ruth Anne, Thanks for those memories.

Favorite insight from that highly entertaining and informative thread of yesteryear:

Simon Kenton said...
...But there's a parochialism of time as well as culture; each generation is the first that ever discovered sex, and each generation is amazed and somewhat disgusted that its parents and grandparents, solely by inference, must have done it.

Dr. Phil said...

It’s sad that you’ve temporarily lost your will to blog. But I’m sure you’ll recover. Recent studies indicate that bloggers who go out of their way to pick petty fights about other people’s clothing and/or appearance, and then proceed to insult and sneer at the people they’ve attacked, often experience precisely the kind of “morning-after” regret you’re feeling now. Let’s hope this blog learns a valuable lesson from the experience.

tiggeril said...

Palladian: I like your style.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Meade: We'll always have Rick's.
[RLC's]

Fenrisulven said...

You got 400 comments and a lot of attention because you wrote some things that were exceedingly dense. Live with it.

Read more carefully. Most of the 400 comments are the Feminist Fisting crew pretending not to understand the point.

And about 50 posts carefully explaining to "feminists" that sodomizing subordinate employees is not just about sex.

Fenrisulven said...

Jessica Feminism: Wear a tight blouse and arch your chest out when dining with a known sexual predator. Odds are he'll notice your endowments and promote you to run Hillary's internet campaign, ahead of more qualified and capable women.

Whetstone said...

You insulted her, insulted her looks, implied she was a slut, claimed you were the real feminist, and then you got tired of the comments?

I wonder why?

You make me sick.

Cassie said...

I've never read either blog in question, but yours posts, Ann, and the comments here are truly shocking. At the least they display a generational distrust and misunderstanding, a real laziness on your commenters' parts. From one picture you've made all kinds of conjectures on a woman's personality and ambitions, removing it from the context of the rest of Jessica's life. Not only is that not cool "feminism," but it's asinine and insubstantial. Your critique has no more relevance than a critique based on a comment pulled out of context. You may be brilliant elsewhere, but you dropped the ball here. Sorry.

Meade said...

Welcome, Whetstone, (I lie).

Yes, Ruth Anne, a place where our patriotic songs could freely be sung and no one ever quite finished his drink.

Golden days they were.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Meade: I wish I didn't love you so much.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

I like imagining the process that the FistingFemmys go through when they come over here to defecate in the comments section:

"Let's see... condescension, insult or indignant outrage? Hmm... condescension seems a popular choice for lefty commenters, and nothing wins people over to one's viewpoint like condescension. But insulting Ann might be more fun; after all, I haven't been able to call a woman a "cunt" ever since I started going to Burning Man. Indignant outrage seems more serious in tone, but since I can't write very well, it might be too hard to pull that off. Hmm... I think I'll go with a 50/50 mixture of condescension and insult. Better sign in with my nifty Blogger troll name..."

5 minutes pass, as commenter tries to remember the password for their Blogger account, set up to leave a nasty comment in the middle of the night while drunk two years ago


stinkcanon69 said...

its ok Anne, well forgive you for being stupid haha not relly ur commenters are brownshrit twats how could u become a law professor??? rethug dickheads!!!
1:18 PM, September 16, 2006


The commenter smiles and leans back in his chair. "There, ha ha, that'll show 'em!

XWL said...

I won a prize?

Woohoo!

Oh, I just won the Booby Prize, oh well.

Derve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
johnstodderinexile said...

pretending not to understand the point.

Welcome back to the politics of 1998-99.

In fact, welcome to "talking points" politics in general, in which political spokesperson are trained -- by professionals -- in how to avoid answering valid questions, first by making it seem like the questioner has asked something inappropriate or foolish; and then to repeat their pre-fabricated statement.

Some blogs, like this one, successfully bring political discourse back to what it should be ideally -- an exchange of ideas in which the most rational and considered opinion prevails, regardless of which party, politician, judge or pundit comes out on the losing end.

But sometimes, in the face of literally dozens of people who insist on characterizing a rational position as evil or neurotic, you get worn out from repeating yourself to make sure your point of view is being understood.

It probably should have dawned on Ann and some of the regulars here that Feministing's Marching and Chowder Society wanted to obfuscate your point, not engage with it. They recognized your point as a threat, and their first and only response was to kill it through any means necessary. They don't even seem like they realize what they're doing is intellectually and morally corrupt. They've been trained, perhaps by their college professors, in this basically a-rational technique and obviously think it's an enlightened form of argument. It is the corruption of political partisanship into a kind of unquestioning tribalism.

As a means of persuasion, arguing this way is totally ineffective. But it is a frighteningly effective way to enforce conformity within the group, because it makes the person comforming feel smart and with-it to see their peers calling their enemy names like "bitch" and accusing them of having dirty minds.

I so despise this blue state/red state crap. I want to live in a world in which a liberal is free to embrace a conservative idea and vice versa, based on a rational assessment of how the idea would apply to a situation. But yesterday's thread illustrates how much damage the corrupted political discourse of the 1990s has wrought.

Yesterday, it was about something kind of comical -- a girl displaying her breasts to Bill Clinton. But the quality of much debate about serious subjects, like war and fighting terrorism, is no different and no more enlightening.

A Menken Moment said...

Ah, now I understand what's with the cows.

Meade said...

XWL: Congrats, man. LOL!

Ruth Anne: We said no questions.

Oops, sorry, that's your line.

Richard Dolan said...

Well, depressing and sophomoric that thread may have been, but it did set a record. 400+ comments and an instalanche to boot, and all you can say is "of all which past, the sorrow only stays"?

When I dropped by early in the thread, it seemed to have taken on a distinct flavor of boobs obsessing about boobs -- sort of a bad boob-tube level of discourse (cable division, of course, given the R rated material) -- while wholly missing the point of the thing. It was too long and tiresome to follow along, or to skim through it all today. Neither those doing the obsessing, nor the object of the obsession, was particularly interesting.

It seems that the point of the photo that got the whole thing going was, at least in part, to make a joke of Clinton's "issues." If those who supposedly hold those feminist principles dear choose to reduce them to a joke, what are we to make of the jokesters and the supposed principles? It all seems reminiscent of a very old profession ....

amba said...

Variation on Kafka via Philip Roth: Ann A. awoke one morning to find that the whole world had become a giant boob, staring at her like a dull eyeball . . .

john(lesser) said...

Balfegor,

Right to Privacy? Her husband was the one that blogged about it. Whatever happened in that bar is completely germane. Sounds to me like a rehashing of yesterday's events. You can not demand attention and simultaneously control the type of attention you get.

amba said...

Ruth Anne Adams said...
I'm getting misty-eyed nostaligic for the good old days of bra-blogging.


Ruth Anne: just plain bragging for short?

J. Peden said...

I took some Ambien prior to my apparent contribution to the boob-riot, so I can't remember a thing and cannot be held responsible for anything I said.

I just took some more.

Anyway, regarding political feminism, I'm sure you are aware of Christina Hoff Sommers' distinction between "gender" and "equity" feminists? Gender feminists are simply sexists, and equity feminists are not, but are instead only interested in equal opportunity and rights, just as any other person would be.

From my anecdotal experience, gender feminists have not fared well, at least as far as actual people's opinion goes. My mother was really mad at them right from the start. My sisters want revenge. Other women I know think the gender-feminists are crazy, even sexist against women, and can prove it.

I encountered two 15 y.o. girls in Missouri, who were trying to sell me magazine subscriptions. They asked where I was from, and I told them "Oregon". They said, "Oh, that's where all the Grizzlies are." I said, "No, there aren't any Grizzly Bears in Oregon." They weren't talking about bears.

amba said...

Sipp - whose fault is it that women have to think twice how they are percieved when they stand in front of President Clinton?

Once for each breast?

(Sorry, my reaction to this sort of thing is to become extremely silly.)

rederik said...

You call someone a whore, and when she and others object you say "she was wearing a short skirt, she had it coming!"

And then you proclaim with some sort of moral weariness that the commentary you get in response lacks willingness to engage in substantive discussion of serious ideas.

I'm sure that date rapists everywhere appreciate the validation. Be sure to let them know you're available as an expert witness ....

Palladian said...

Amba: In the Althouse vein, it all kind of reminds me of this scene from Woody Allen's "Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex..."

reader_iam said...

You call someone a whore

Where and when, specifically, using the precise term you just used, did that happen?

john(lesser) said...

Don't hold your breath, reader_iam

Scott Lemieux said...

One would at least hope that you would have the decency to retract your claim that "when she goes to meet Clinton, she wears a tight knit top that draws attention to her breasts and stands right in front of him and positions herself to make her breasts as obvious as possible?", which is not only ludicrously implausible but has already been contradicted by several people who were actually there. But I realize this would be hopelessly optimistic.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daryl Herbert said...

You call someone a whore, and when she and others object you say "she was wearing a short skirt, she had it coming!"

1 - this lady was never called a "whore" (she characterized Althouse's comments that way to make herself a better victim)

2 - There is a difference between saying "you look like a" and "you are a" which you might want to think about for a while. To wit: I can prove "you look like a" by pointing to your clothes. I can't prove "you are a."

3 - how people act around public figures is fair game (assuming they know the public figure is there and are there by choice)

I'm sure that date rapists everywhere appreciate the validation

Bill Clinton appreciates your validation/adoration.

rederik said...

reader_iam,

there is no time or place where althouse said the specific term ("whore") that i used.

i was not qouting her, i was characterising her commentary. in the future, i'll try to avoid the appearance of attribution if that's not what actually happened. (using a construction such as "essentially said" or "sounded like you were saying" instead).

as for the fairness of the characterization, i'd point to this snippet as representative:

"It's obvious that you're bending over backwards -- figuratively and literally -- to keep the attention on your breasts. How about some actual intellectual substance instead?"

which is from this thread: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/09/lets-take-closer-look-at-those-breasts.html#115835155768744111

my point here is that althouse seems to be claiming that jessica's objection to someone else's focus on her (jessica's) appearance doesn't deserve to be taken seriously unless jessica stops 'posing.'

which is pretty close to saying that she doesn't deserve to be taken seriously until she learns some modesty.

it's also an irony to me that althouse can claim that jessica has not been sufficiently strident in bashing clinton for his victimization of lewinsky, and yet obviously hold such low esteem for lewinsky herself.

regards,
r

Ann Althouse said...

Mike Griswald: "Your complete lack of partisanship in this matter is evidenced by the similar disgust you expressed in your post about several right-wing bloggers who gushed over Bush in their meeting with him recently."

That would make sense if you knew that I read those "right-wing bloggers." I never saw those posts, so my nonreaction means nothing.

Derve: I think there are questions of proportionality that matter. If you go into a crowded bar, by choice, it's an overreaction to slam your arm into the throat of someone who's acting like a drunken lout, which isn't nice, but it is predictable. You can yell at him or push him away, but you couldn't knife him. By contrast, if you are at home and someone breaks in, there's nothing normal about that. The appropriate response is different.

Scott: I stand by my description. I challenge you to look at the picture and try to assume the same stance Jessica is in. If you do that honestly, you'll discover that she is bending backwards quite a lot. Do I expect you to admit it? No. Of course I don't. Just like I don't expect you to answer the serious issues raised in my post. Demonstrate that you aren't a political hack. I don't think you can.

What a sad pathetic thing it is for women (and men) who would like to be considered feminists to so enthusiastically run interference for Bill Clinton.

tiggeril said...

Leaving aside the boobery, what's the deal with the Pope apologizing for quoting a text?

Parry_Lost said...

I think somewhere far back at some point you said something about Bill Clinton.

But you also insulted someone. And lied about their blog (come on, you said FEMINISTING attracts attention through breasts. Seriously.) Then you got angry when people tried to rebuff your insult instead of discussing Bill Clinton.

I think it was ridiculous to criticize the posters who responded your insults against Feministing because they didn't talk about your "serious points" or some such.

Next time, if you want people to discuss serious points, DON'T DRESS THEM IN INSULTS.

For the love of God, you said Feministing was using breasts to attract attention! And then you wanted a serious discussion.

*Or is the distinction between a reasoned debate and insulting others not clear to a law professor?*

Ann Althouse said...

Should I Pope-blog? Are you folks bursting with popinions and just waiting for the right post to let loose?

rederik said...

daryl,

1.) i wasn't qouting jessica but stating my own independently arrived at opinion. if jessica herself felt this way, i'd have to say she was justified.

2.) it's interesting that you just said that jessica had no reason (other than attention seeking) to claim having been called a whore -- and then proceed to imply that it would be okay to say that she "looked like" one, because this is not a factual claim that she is one.

3.) you here further imply that jessica did 'look like' a whore.

and you're assailing my logic here? take a class.

bill said...

Crap, showed up late and missed another party. While it would be interesting to comment on our (meaning Americans in general) rapidly declining ability to poke fun and take a joke, with a sidebar discussing the fact that if mocking the composition of a photograph is now considered out of bounds, then we can close up shop on SNL's Weekend Edition, most college newspaper's captions, and about half of Dennis Miller's career, that's not my schtick.

So instead I'll quote from an unreleased Violent Femmes song:

36-24-36
see a girl walkin' down the street
just the kind of girl that I'd like to meet
it ain't her hair, her clothes, her feet
somethin' much more discreet
now I ain't loud baby I ain't proud
I just want what I'm not allowed
movin on up & help myself
do a world of good for my mental health
36-24-36

Zach said...

If I "pose" for a picture (as opposed to sulking and hunching over?) then I deserve to be judged for my looks?

Short-circuiting the entire discussion, yes. Posing is an invitation to look.

With regard to the feministing logo (voluptuous women giving the finger) the intended message seems to be that of a hot woman with an attitude. Is this an accurate summation, or am I missing something?

If these things are put forward, they're fair game for discussion. It's not like the discussion started with a minute discussion of the earned income tax credit and degenerated into a discussion of a commenter's boobs. It started with an unknown cute girl standing next to a president who has a thing for cute girls.

rederik said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Parry_Lost said...

I'm confused, so the whole thing was supposed to be taken as a joke?

I thought someone was complaining about there being no serious discussion?

Was it supposed to be a joke, or serious discussion? 9_9

Which way of taking it would result in less ridicule?

rederik said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
m said...

"The immense tiresomeness is actually undermining my will to blog this morning."

Oh call the waaaaambulance. You asked for it. What, you can dish it but you can't take it?

rederik said...

"What a sad pathetic thing it is for women (and men) who would like to be considered feminists to so enthusiastically run interference for Bill Clinton."

what a sad pathetic thing it is for a woman who'd like to be considered a feminist to have to hide her ad-hominem attacks on another woman ... behind a man.

Parry_Lost said...

Zach: The intended message is an ironic rebuff to the sort of people who would put silhouettes of busty women on their mudflaps. Now that image is giving them the finger. So... yeah. I must say that was the first explanation that came to my mind when I saw it, rather than "attractive women with an attitude."

PatCA said...

Yes, a hostile environment can sap the will to blog as well as the will to comment. If anyone can solve the condundrum of maintaining open comments and civility at the same time, it would be Ann, and I wish her luck in forging new blogic ground.

I didn't read the Jessica thread but agree with the phony feminism statement. With apologies to Golda Meir, I will venture that when feminists learn to love women more than they hate Republicans, they can call themselves feminists.

Fitz said...

"Should I Pope-blog? Are you folks bursting with popinions and just waiting for the right post to let loose?"

Yes..Yes...Yes..!!!!!!

The NYT Times editorial this morning were over the top (considering the context and scope of Benedicts comments)

It’s timely and serious and involves all the substantive opinions NOT reachable in this current breast flap. It involves Islam, Christianity, Secularism, The culture war, has been widely reported on and has ramifications in the war on Terror.

Please Pope-it-up …it’s a discussion worth having and one I will join in.

tiggeril said...

Ah, yes. I love my generation's ability to couch any sort of vapidity in "irony" and call it genius.

Thesaurus Rex said...

Just chiming in to let you know that you're coming across as a real cunt and kind of stupid to boot, miss outhouse. sorry about your issues with other people's beauty. must suck to be so easily threatened.

tiggeril said...

But I thought "cunt" was empowering.

Zach said...

The intended message is an ironic rebuff to the sort of people who would put silhouettes of busty women on their mudflaps.

But communication does not stop with the use of irony: you'll note that the logo is not Hello Kitty giving the finger or the Venus de Milo giving the finger (I'll concede that this last would be hard to pull off). So I don't think the irony works unless you accept some level of personal identification with the mudflap girls -- *I* am the person you are objectifying, and *I* am the person who is giving you the finger, via the opinions expressed in this blog.

Could you realistically see such a logo used, even ironically, without the element of personal identification? Could you see a man using it? Could you see a woman out of her twenties (and hence out of the age where she would naturally identify with the woman in the silhouette) using it as a personal logo?

I think it's much more reasonable to read a logo as an idealized (possibly ironically idealized) conception of the brand it stands for.

OddD said...

You'd have to have a tin, er, eye to not see the obvious in that photo. Regardless of her intentions, it's gobsmacking that a professional thought that arrangement would not conjure certain memories.

I've shown the photo to people and gotten two reactions: Hysterical laughter, and the question "Is that Monica?" And this is independent of political affiliation.

That such observations of the obvious should result in such a conflagration is, I'm sure, indicative of something.

Parry_Lost said...

Zach: I must admit I have not given it so much thought. I am male, and I understood that ironic thing to be what what the logo meant. To me it wasn't something to relate to personally; it was a symbol not of one individual, but of women as people who have been objectified by society, now giving that objectification the finger. Can I see someone using it as a personal logo? Well yes and no -- I can see someone using it to show their alliance with what that logo represents, namely, giving objectification the finger. I don't think they would need to personally identify with the stylized image of the woman in the logo to do that.

I can see myself using that logo, actually. If it came in a sticker or something I'd put it on my subject binders. ^_^

Maybe I just don't understand your point. In that case, I'm sorry.

Tangent!

XWL said...

As far as the slugfest Prof. Althouse suggests, GO SLUGS!.

tiggeril said...

Is there a corollary to Godwin's law that if you resort to a Jerry Springerian "You jus' jellus!" you've lost the argument?

Ann Althouse said...

To my opponents whose sexist slurs I've declined to delete: You've proven your anti-feminism. I thought you were political hacks using feminism as a means to an end, but then you stopped even bothering to do that, because you couldn't resist the sexist slurs. I could have cut the comments to this thread long ago and deleted anything I wanted, but I decided to let you have the rope to hang yourselves, which you did enthusiastically. Thanks for making it so flat-out obvious.

Parry_Lost said...

But no good response to your opponents who did not use sexist slurs? Not so easy, hm?

Again, to repeat myself from my earlier comment: why did you expect serious discussion in a post where you insulted another blogger and lied about her blog (because yes, you did lie about Feministing.) How do you justify complaining that commenters did not discuss "serious topics" instead of rebuffing your insults? And how can a law professor mix up a serious discussion with insulting another blogger?

JodyTresidder said...

"By the way, whose fault is it that women have to think twice how they are percieved when they stand in front of President Clinton? Ann Althouse's? Not hardly."

Unfair, Sippican.

Jessica's crime is that, having been instructed by Ann that she ought to think twice about the way she posed in front of Clinton, she ought then to have laughed pleasantly and agreed.

When she did not follow Ann's script, what followed apparently ought to be perceived as simply Jessica's tough luck.

Furthermore - before I burst - is it possible that readers here simply don't know that the "winning" coinage "tempest in a C-cup" is one of the most hackneyed, groan-inducing phrases of the British rag tabloids?

Ann Althouse said...

Parry: If you think you're raising a new issue, you are sadly mistaken. Like many people here, you're falsely characterizing what I've said. I'm not goint to respond to that. My opponents have been stomping and crying here for more than a day, basically trying to distract attention for the real issue, which you plainly fear, and everyone can easily figure out why. I'm not going to take the time to respond to people, because it's obvious that you folks are involved in denial and making a smokescreen.

To anyone else: If I don't answer you, you can assume you've added nothing new or distorted. My answer to all that is obvious.

But I can't resist saying it one more time: I'm just amazed that people who wanted to present themselves as feminists went ahead and said the most sexist, misogynistic things.

knoxgirl said...

Looks like Jessica finally answered the Big Question over at Dr. Helen. She says:

I don't see anything wrong with going to a lunch meeting with Clinton, nor do I think it clashes with my feminism.

Well, we have our answer, such as it is. And the comfort of knowing she richly deserves all the ridicule she has received over the last 24 hours or so. She could at least attempt a serious statement of the reasons for taking such a position.

The truth is, she can't, without admitting that she's ignoring the stories of the women who were brave enough to speak out about their treatment at the hands of President Clinton.

David Manus said...

Here's why the perky girl, who claims to be a militant, in your face feminist, who complains about every tiny perceived slight to womankind on her blog (read it, the picayune problems she addresses is really hilarious) while missing a huge, very important fact that hanging out and celebrating Clinton brings up:

In the bad old days, when a boss propositioned you for sex, then punished you when you refused, or when a ditzy secretary started screwing the boss and got raises and promotions over harder-working, less attractive or less whorish co-workers, they had 2 choices- live with it or quit (unless they had the option of also giving the boss ass for cash).

With the dawn of the Feminist there was a 3rd route: justifiably sue his ass for sexual harassment. Well, Paula Jones tried that, and the feminists, instead of backing her, not only weren't just neutral, they were antagonistic- they attacked her, savaged her, insulted her and slandered her. And in so doing betrayed the entire movement and all its basic tenets. And in the end, for what? A failed president, the first liberal since Carter, and in 8 years he accomplished virtually zero for the liberal cause. All they did manage to accomplish was to save his presidency, and for what?

That's why its disquieting for you to preen and pose with your busts so proudly outthrust front and center in what is supposed to be a pic of Clinton with a group of liberal bloggers. You'd have to be blind to miss the irony and symbolism of Clinton peering around those perky pups.

And the sad part is the girl seems so wrought up taking the whole thing personally she's missing the big picture.

Joan said...

Psssst, tiggeril -- the Pope didn't apologize for what he said. The Vatican apologized for the fact that some people didn't understand it and so "found offense", and also politely suggested they pull their heads out of their asses and go back and read it again.

It was the best non-apology apology I've ever read.

jodytresidder: I've never read a British tabloid in my life. Is there any compelling reason I should start now?

Re the topic at hand, I wonder how these 20-something hotties will feel 15 or 20 years from now when they've married and have children of their own. Don't they realize that the Internet has an infinite memory? "Mommy, did you ever have a blog? may be an even more troubling question than "Mommy, did you ever take drugs?"

It's just embarassing.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
reader_iam said...

it's also an irony to me that althouse can claim that jessica has not been sufficiently strident in bashing clinton for his victimization of lewinsky, and yet obviously hold such low esteem for lewinsky herself.

MORE obviously than the support for Lewinsky that she expressed in this comment, this morning (10:42 a.m.), from That Other Thread?

I_am: I was never against Monica Lewinsky, and I don't like the way she was vilified. I don't like the way Paula Jones was treated either. A lot of that was sexist, portraying women as nutty and slutty (as had been done to Anita Hill before). I had a problem with Clinton and what he was doing to the progress that had been made about sexual harassment (though I signed the lawprof letter against impeachment). And I subsequently had a problem with feminists who explained away the problem. Suddenly, everything people "got" back at the time of Anita Hill and the Thomas confirmation was forgotten, and the political bias built into feminism became glaringly apparent. This is something I'm going to keep holding people accountable for, even if they try to vilify me. And those who won't face up to this problem and prefer instead to call me names are phony feminists in my book. So, yeah, I side with Monica.[Emphasis added.]

reader_iam said...

In response, by the way, to this comment of mine (10:17 a.m.):

I take issue with the definition of "intern" as a code word meaning "dirty whore." In Ann's ORIGINAL post, I think it was directed as a reference to Clinton, and to the eye of the photographer (who, assuming he/she was a pro, is paid to take into account context etc. etc.). Maybe she didn't take enough into account how the way she approached the topic would be received by the woman who happened to be front and center and arranged--again, presumably by the photographer--as she was arranged. But I don't think the original intent was to whack Jessica, at least that's not what I thought when I saw the first post, which was before the second went up.

The second post is more problematic, I agree, though I do get the point it's making. Even then, though, I think the "dirty whore" part is pure projection, or, to perhaps put it better, a response pulling from the reaction that many people had to Monica back in the day (blaming her, juding her actions as bad while letting Clinton off the hook). (Emphatically NOT MY REACTION, by the way, back then) Unless one can establish that, in fact, Ann had that reaction to Monica back then (or now), I don't think you can make a case for automatically assuming that FOR ANN "intern" is code word for "dirty whore," or whatever.

Parry_Lost said...

Allright. Should feminists have discussions with Bill Clinton? I don't know enough about the issue, or enough details of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. On the one hand, Clinton had a relationship with someone over whom he had power, and so is guilty of sexual harassment. So appearing with him as if none of that happened today seems to belittle the issue of sexual harassment, and thus hurts women.

On the other hand, Clinton's politics were probably closer to being feminist than those of any other president in recent memory. And he was a major figure in politics. Discussing such topics with him can thus pe productive.

I guess it comes down to the extent to which Clinton's action can be said to be mysoginist, and here I don't know enough of the details. His actions were wrong, but I find it hard to believe his intent was to belittle women. Whether his intent matters as far as the outcome goes, or not, and to what extent, I don't know. I think it has some bearing. His actions were harmful, but this in itself does not determine whether he is at hart a bad man, or just one who made a very bad mistake. I think this makes a difference as to how much repulsion one should feel towards him and his past.

Then again, maybe there were some sordid details of the scandal that change all this and I am not aware of them. I apologize for that if that is the case.

All things considered, I would say that treating Clinton as a purely political figure and trying to gain something positive from a meeting between him and the blogging community is an acceptable act.

Now then, I really don't want to read through four hundred comments on the past post, although I read through more of them than I likely should have.

So perhaps somewhere in there you have an eloquent point explaining exactly why insulting the other blogger, making a big deal of her angle to the camera and making it sound as if she's strutting like a Vogue model, and lying about Feministing was absolutely necessary in a serious discussion about Bill Clinton.

But I somehow doubt it.

Of course it would be rude of me to ask you to repeat yourself, though. But I really simply can't see how your comments about Feministing were excuseable.

And sorry for wasting space and contributing nothing new, then.

tiggeril said...

Joan- Thanks for the clarification. The headlines at Yahoo! and at the BBC site insinuate totally different things.

annisaslut said...

What's important to remember is that Ann is a right wing whore.

AllenS said...

Ann, sometime ago, there was an absolutely hilarious thread on this blog concerning bad prose. Actually you asked for commenters giving their versions of bad prose.
If I remember right, the subject was something to do with Karl Rove and his fancy car. I've tried to look through your archives, but was unable to figure out the place in the archives. Somebody help me here. I think it's time to do it again.

I'll start:

Bill Clinton, flush with sexual desire, leaned over to get a better view of her ample breasts. "Oh, Bill, you rascal!" She exhaulted...

KeesKennis said...

I like slugs, they are cute and tasty.

Fenrisulven said...

Ann: Like many people here, you're falsely characterizing what I've said.

Thats the way the Left plays - falsely claim you made a racist/sexist/etc comment to justify their retaliation along the same lines.

They didn't like you pointing to Jessica's hypocrisy, but they are incapable of a rational defense - so they distorted what you said, then drew equivalence to that distortion so they could call you ugly names.

At least it indicates they know their behavior is wrong. Thats something I guess.

Fenrisulven said...

So perhaps somewhere in there you have an eloquent point explaining exactly why insulting the other blogger, making a big deal of her angle to the camera and making it sound as if she's strutting like a Vogue model, and lying about Feministing was absolutely necessary in a serious discussion about Bill Clinton. But I somehow doubt it.

Possibly because thats not what happened?

Parry_Lost said...

Fenrisulven:

I'm not trying to use some sort of leftist rhetorical device here. I genuinely feel that Althouse's post was insulting to Jessica and her blog. For example:

"I actually click over to Jessica's blog, and what the hell? The banner displays silhouettes of women with big breasts (the kind that Thelma and Louise get pissed off at when they're seen on truck mudflaps). She's got an ad in the sidebar for one of her own products, which is a tank top with the same breasty silhouette, stretched over the breasts of a model. And one of the top posts is a big closeup on breasts. [...] Apparently, Jessica writes one of those blogs that are all about using breasts for extra attention."

What do you call this? Firstly, Althouse conveniently omits the fact that the "mudflap" picture shows the woman putting up her middle finger, which to me makes it pretty clear that it's an ironic image, and has nothign to do with attracting people using breasts. Neither do I see what is wrong with selling t-shirts to support a blog or having an article with a photo of a woman in a t-shirt. I can't see the final comment that it's "one of those blogs" as anything other than an unfounded insult.

Please explain to me why it is not.

Really.

Next:

"Then, when she goes to meet Clinton, she wears a tight knit top that draws attention to her breasts and stands right in front of him and positions herself to make her breasts as obvious as possible?"

Has ANYONE actually looked at the large version of the photograph? I loathe to do this, but:

http://flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=243422784&size=l

I don't see ANYTHING provocative or wrong about Jessica's pose. (And, contrary to what some have said here, Clinton is clearly not even looking at her.) And if openly saying that a feminist blogger is all about making her breasts obvious in front of Clinton is not an insult, I don't know what is.

So, in conclusion, you have 1) an insult about the blogger, 2) blowing her pose in a photo out of proportion, and 3) lying about her blog and insulting it. I think I have now backed my claims up quite well here. If I have not, let me know.

As to Jessica's supposed hypocrysy in meeting Clinton, as my previous comment says, I don't personally think that she was wrong to meet him. I might be wrong about this because I don't know enough of the facts. But... well, even if she were being a hypocrite (which I do not believe) I still don't see why this should draw attention away from Althouse's comments.

reader_iam said...

Should feminists have discussions with Bill Clinton? I don't know enough about the issue, or enough details of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.[Emphasis added.]

Waitaminute! Whoa. Is this partly what this is all coming down too? A lack of knowledge of recent history, both political AND of a split in feminist point of view? On the part of feminists, and people interested in politics.

Oh. my. mother.

Then again, maybe there were some sordid details of the scandal that change all this and I am not aware of them. I apologize for that if that is the case.

I appreciate that apology. So I will reply to you seriously. Yes, there were sordid details of that scandal and several others involving Bill Clinton directly related to women. Yes, it changes all that. At least from the point of women who take issue with how organized, political feminism dealth with Bill Clinton then and dealing with him now.

I'd give you the names and history, but that's a lot o' space, and almost nobody here would thank me for it. I'd send you back to the other thread, where there are multiple references, but you've already said it's too long to read, and I can't say as I blame you (having read them all myself).

So how about this: Scroll up here to my quote from Maureen Dowd at 12:11 p.m. Google the names of the women mentioned there. Add Juanita Broaddrick to the mix. (And Gennifer Flowers, except that in her case, it's more about how she was treated when she came forward; I don't believe she herself ever claimed her relationship with Clinton was other than consensual. Don't quote me, though, I could be wrong about that).

Then think a little bit. Doesn't mean you'll change your mind, but it might give you some understanding of what others are talking about.

J. Peden said...

"...must suck to be so easily threatened." Thesaurus Rex

Threatened? You are extinct. How did that happen so easily?

reader_iam said...

MORE GENERAL COMMENT with regard to the last: You know, how old are most of the people commenting about this? Could it be that significant numbers don't actually even have a grasp of the whole picture (not saying they'd then agree, just asking if they have have a grasp of the complexity of the issues).

And--for the love of Mike!--what's wrong with their mentors? Those who DO know better, but because of the compromises they decided were important to make (their prerogative), decided to give a bye to Clinton anyway? Don't they feel any sort of obligation to share facts and a more nuanced overall picture, even if they then, of course, are going to strongly argue for their own approach?

Wow. Just wow. Shame on them.

You know, the '90s are not ancient history, not in terms of political history or feminist history, or any other kind.

I'd expect even someone in his or her '20s to have a grasp of even that happened a mere 10-12 years before. And if his or her forte is supposed to be a particular area, then I think it's reasonable to expect they'd have a grasp going back at least two or three decades, even if it was "before their time." Sheesh, I was a young kid when the splits in earlier feminism started taking place in the '60s, but I sure was able to cite chapter and verse by the time I was in college. Because feminism was a passionate interest of mine, and I wanted to know what had gone on, and what the hell I was talking about.

Please tell me what I am starting to think is wrong. Please?

Parry_Lost said...

Ah. Well, thank you for the serious reply.

I will reserve judgement on Clintion then.

I'm sorry about my ignorance. But I'm not a feminist researcher... I am interested in feminist issues and have feminist convictions.

And it is on the basis of this that I took issue with Althouse's post.

I was upset by her insults to Jessica, and what really got me was how utterly non-offensive the photo itself was, and how Althouse almost made Jessica's pose there sound like she was trying to seduce the president.

Also, I enjoy the Feministing blog as a source of news on current events and pop culture from a feminist perspective, and found the treatment of it unfair.

That's really all that I had an issue with, and is why I commented without an in-depth knowledge of the Clinton issue. I did not think such knowledge was required to point out that Althouse was being insulting and implying things in a photograph that weren't there.

Then Althouse challegned me to respond to "serious issues" and I took up the Clinton thing as best as I could, because I just didn't want to let it slide.

Clearly my knowledge is not enough to address the Clinton scandal. I ddin't even know he had affairs with other women, which is likely why I didn't pick up on the references made on the other post. I'll look it up now.

But... in conclusion, my original problem with Althouse had nothing to do with the serious issues surrounding Clinton and whether feminists should appear with him, even if that is what's truly important.

Even if this is the problem she had with Jessica, it is not the problem she discussed in her post. What she criticized was Jessica's non-pose in a photograph and the graphics on the Feministing blog.

Even if Clinton was the most mysogynist man who ever lived and Jessica made a huge mistake in ever meeting him, I still fail to see how attacking Jessica and Feministing based on THOSE things is excuseable.

Especially for a serious blogger and a law professor.

And if you come back by saying that I should have taken all that as a joke, I am seriously going to be sick in the stomach. There is a difference between insults and joking, and I can tell one from the other. Althouse wasn't trying to razz or to be funny. She was trying to belittle Jessica and Feministing in unfair ways.

And you shouldn't put insulting jokes into a serious discussion and expect it to not be derailed.

rederik said...

reader_iam,

i didn't see the other post, thanks for pointing it out.

the qoute you offer shows ann condemning the idea that lewinsky deserved derision for her appearance or behavior, and offers some hope that ann does not herself conflate 'intern' with 'dirty whore'.

unfortunately for ann, there's little point in calling attention to the (supposed) similarity of jess to monica unless one were in fact intending that people conflate those two concepts.

(and let's recall that this all started when ann herself quickly agreed with commenters who made the comparison explicit.)

for ann to thereafter condemn the judgement about monica without expressing similar outrage over the same commentary made about jessica just seems like an after-the-fact attempt to deny that she intended what she obviously intended. (dare i say it smacks of lip service?)

if ann wanted to have a discussion of the damage done by feminists appearing to give approval to bill clinton, she should have said just that, instead of calling attention to the physical features of one of the people involved.

it's kind of fatuous that ann avoids the obvious problem of her having called attention to jessica's rack by complaining that jessica (and her supporters) now keep talking about jessica's rack.

if she really wants to be have a serious conversation about something else at this point, she's going to have to start by apologizing for the original mistake.

regards,
r

reader_iam said...

But I'm not a feminist researcher... I am interested in feminist issues and have feminist convictions.

Me either. Me too.

vh:okihmigd

Sheesh, I've sure gotten some good ones in the last 24 hours. Who knew that the "ghost in the machine" has a sense of irony?

J. Peden said...

It is at least ironic that Bill Clinton got nailed by a law he so vigorously championed: the one allowing the current and past history of a defendent in a case of sexual assault or harassment to be fair game for the plaintiff or prosecution.

And, approximately, "Jim, there *is* no sex going on between myself and Ms L." No, not right in front of you at this very moment, Jim, along with the viewers of Lehrer's show. I almost fell-out when I heard him say that. What a word-smith. What a man! A man for all women. I'd love to have lunch with him anytime, depending on the menu and the cigars. But I'm a man without even a cup size fit for demitasse. It ain't fair at all. When will the oppression finally stop?

Fenrisulven said...

if she really wants to be have a serious conversation about something else at this point, she's going to have to start by apologizing for the original mistake.

Right - "we're not going to discuss Jessica's hypocrisy until Ann apologizes for something she didn't do". Got it.

Wouldn't it be easier to simply jam your fingers in your ears?

Parry_Lost said...

Oh, for the love of...

Allright, I'm sorry I lack in knowledge of the scandalous affairs of foreign presidents (I'm not an American) that happened while I was in middle school. Yes, I know many people do have such knowledge. Allright. My feminist and historical knowledge is lacking. I accept these flaws and will continue to try and work on them.

But why, why, why is it wrong to criticize Althouse for unfairly insulting another blogger? What did her comments that Jessica was showing off her breasts to someone and that the Feministing blog is trying to get attention with breasts even have to do with the Clinton scandal of which I am admittedly ignorant?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

If y'all are gonna' call our good hostess a whore, you should address her with the proper title:

BERKLEY HOUSE WHORE.

Anything less is an insult.

Parry_Lost said...

WHAT criticism of hypocricy? She wasn't criticizing Jessica's hypocricy -- she was criticizing Jessica's pose in a photograph! I, for one, was only responding to that! Maybe she criticised Jessica's hypocricy at some other point, but unless "hypocricy" is slang for "breasts" nowadays, that wasn't the thing I was responding to, and I think many others were responding to the specific comments about the photograph also.

reader_iam said...

So this really may have started with a misunderstanding of the original post due to lack of shared cultural reference.

Hmmm. About that photographer. How old was he or she? Maybe he/she didn't realize either how the pic might look in context of Bill Clinton.

The older women and men in that pic--they've made their peace and choices with regard to Bill Clinton and whether he helps or hurts more feminist ideals and the feminist cause.

But as for the others--including Jessica--maybe they actually don't know all of the background, or at least how everyone people can see it differently and still be feminists. Maybe they don't know how controversial and it was, and then haven't consciously thought about the implications before of appearing with him.

Whether they should or should not know, or have known, is a little bit beside the point.

Now I AM taken aback, for far different reasons.

Parry_Lost said...

And what do you mean that it's something she "didn't do?" I plainly QUOTED the parts of Althouse's posts that I found offensive. What more do you want?

elcurado said...

Ann, could you give us your definition of feminism? This seems crucial to effectively addressing what I will term the can-one-be-a-feminist-and-support-Clinton issue.

Apologies if you've given your definition previously and I missed it.

Also, by all all means, correct my shorthand for the "real issue" underlying these posts if you think it imprecise.

thank you.

reader_iam said...

Sorry, Parry, my intent wasn't actually to pile on you, specifically.

Allright, I'm sorry I lack in knowledge of the scandalous affairs of foreign presidents (I'm not an American) that happened while I was in middle school.

I can understand that. But when people keep bringing something up, it seems to me it's a good idea to ask what the background for that is BEFORE commenting on one side. THAT SAID, THAT SAID, I do respect the fact that you actually asked. I think you might have been the only one who DIDN'T know who had the guts to do that.

So I'm sorry for having made you feeled piled on. I absolutely can see how my comments did that.

Parry_Lost said...

Thank you, reader_iam for your responses. Yes, I do agree that in retrospect I should have looked into it since people kept bringing it up.

But forgive me, I honestly still don't understand how what Althouse did isn't wrong. Even if Jessica is wrong also. I did take sides, but mostly I was really just offended by Althouse's insults. I am still offended by them now, even though I am no longer confident that meeting with Clinton was actually an appropriate thing to do.

Anyway, sorry for posting so many times and taking up all the space. I don't even know why I posted so many times here. I just felt almost personally insulted, I guess.

I won't post on this blog again.

Professor Althouse, maybe Jessica is a hypocrite and maybe she isn't, maybe the photographer consciously did something wrong and maybe they didn't, I don't know, but your behaviour, the comments you made that I have quoted above, was wrong. I have never met a professor who would belittle someone in the way in which you have. Maybe there is a reason for why you got so many replies from so many people, a reason besides leftist insecurities or fear of discussing the real issues or distractions from Jessica's hypocricy. Maybe you actually did something wrong.

Now bye, everyone.

rederik said...

Parry_lost,

I hope that you're retiring from posting here due to weariness over repeating yourself, and a honest estimation that there are more enlightening places to spend your time.

Because it would be a shame if you were leaving with the thought that you'd taken up too much space saying what needed to be said: what Ann Althouse did *was* wrong, regardless of how many other wrongs she can find in the rest of the environment.

I hope to see your posts elsewhere in the blogosphere.

cheers, and kindest regards.
r

Ann Althouse said...

Parry: I stand by everything I wrote, which certainly includes some insults. But I'm not apologizing. I meant it. As far as what I said about the blog, I certainly stand by my observation that it openly tries to attract readers with images of breasts, and I continue to laugh at Jessica for acting like she doesn't know damned well what she's doing. And I continue to think people like you are chumps for defending her. She is what she is. I don't read her blog, so I don't know how much I'd approve of her brand of feminism, but I could easily see that she exploits breastage there, and the appearance of exploiting breastage right in front of Clinton is just too ridiculous. If it was unintentional, fine. I was willing to accept that assertion. But laugh it off. Don't protest like an innocent maiden whose honor has been outraged. You can't run a "fisting feminist" blog and tender complaints like that -- except in jest. Why are you carry water for her?

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

Well, I think--unintended or not--you spurred some important insights, at least for me. So I'm not happy to hear you'll never be back.

J. Peden said...

R.A.A., how do you get to calling Ms. Althouse a "Berkley House Whore"? I don't follow your nuanced thought. 'Sounds more like you have the R.A., the Red Ass, and that that's where it came from. Please explain.

annisaslut said...

Of course, I stand behind my basic insult. Ann is a right wing whore.

David Manus said...

Perry said...
"On the other hand, Clinton's politics were probably closer to being feminist than those of any other president in recent memory. And he was a major figure in politics. Discussing such topics with him can thus pe productive."


All this smacks of "other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"

His transgressions against individual women destroyed anything you claim he might have done for the sex as a whole- the net result was a loss for champions against sexual harassment and a debasing of the entire cause to save a degenerate liar.

tiggeril said...

J. Peden: Ann got into a fight with defenders of Pajamas Media last year and one of them (can't remember which) dubbed her a "Berkeley House Whore."

Conserve_Liberty said...

Yesterday, it was about something kind of comical . . .

Many of the comments in this thread refer to the "regulars" and their reasoned, logical approach to debating ideas - and that tone has kept me a regular reader.

I lurk, unsure that I command the sagacity to actually POST - I consume (and use) financial information; I do not teach, and certainly not law.

I, for one, laughed out loud ("What?" from my wife) at the image before I read much of the text.

I am jaw-droppingly astonished at this vituperation.

C'mon, ladies, this is nothing more than a blogger's irony-catch-of-the-day. Heh.

OBTW, my wife the novelist, who owns two more advanced degrees than I, and makes rational decisions for herself better than most men, is the most feminine feminist I know, and has been for 26 years.

elcurado said...

docweasel said...

"His transgressions against individual women destroyed anything you claim he might have done for the sex as a whole ...."

That seems a rather extreme claim. Can it be backed it up with evidence that constitutes something more than the claim itself?

I am not necessarily a Clinton defender, but I think Parry makes a good point. After all, so much of effective politics is about making a pragmatic choice from a limited set of options. Consequently, a feminist might view support for Clinton (even now) as political pragmatism.

I realize I am saying nothing profound here, and I am not saying I believe feminist support for Clinton is necessarily okay; I only meant to make a ready response to docweasel.

Delving into this deeper depends on what one means by a "feminist." I am still hoping for Ann's definition....

J. Peden said...

Thanks, tiggeril. Berkeley, Wisc.? Oh, never mind. I want to hear it from the horse's....

Simon Kenton said...

Amba and Ruth Ann -

I don't think bra-blogging is bragging. I vote for brogging for comments, which I envision something like this. You never know what you'll get when you reach up into the cave: flathead, snapping turtle, dervish, amphiuna, troll. Or perhaps like this, when you've caught one of them frozen in the lights, and lance it, in this case with a giggle.

Ann Althouse said...

rederik: "unfortunately for ann, there's little point in calling attention to the (supposed) similarity of jess to monica unless one were in fact intending that people conflate those two concepts."

The reason you're not getting the point is that Jessica and her defenders refocused the post on her. It was about Clinton. I object to something about him, and by reference to that, I object to feminists who defend and play up to him. The bloggers who went to that lunch fawned and slobbered over him, utterly laughably. That's the real point.

And as for your second post, saying I did something "wrong." No, I didn't. You should be ashamed of your distortions. Larding your comments with statements about how offended you are is just an attempt at distraction.

Ruth Anne Adams: "If y'all are gonna' call our good hostess a whore, you should address her with the proper title: BERKLEY HOUSE WHORE."

Ha, yeah, funny. That was from some LGF commenter when they were assuming I was a big lefty because I didn't toe some damned right-wing line.

Someone asked for my definition of feminism: I would say it is the commitment to the end of protecting fairness and equality for women.

Oh, I see Parry left, apparently before reading my response. I think he or she maxed out when confronted with rational argument. I totally don't see what "insults" of mine weren't deserved, and I'm guessing Parry couldn't back that up and did the old sign off. Lame!

Derve said...

Don't protest like an innocent maiden whose honor has been outraged.

Interesting choice of words.

These posts remind me of the blogosphere flapadoodle when you accused the NYT of intentionally making Chief Justice Roberts appear "gay" because they posted childhood photos of him in plaid pants and appearing as Peppermint Patty.

See, the thing is, often real life is not absolute; people have a different view of situations, particularly when there is no tape running to record exactly what happened, no question about it. Who gets the benefit of the doubt, whose fact pattern you best identify with matters most.

I think you are right to question why the free pass from some women for President Clinton's behavior. I just wish you could at times be less cynical in making assumptions of others' actions, and not always have to walk away "winning" these things at any cost, knowing you are absolutely right. It would be a sad way to win, just dismissing what others have to say as true too.

Ann Althouse said...

docweasel said...Perry said..."On the other hand, Clinton's politics were probably closer to being feminist than those of any other president in recent memory. And he was a major figure in politics. Discussing such topics with him can thus pe productive." All this smacks of "other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?" His transgressions against individual women destroyed anything you claim he might have done for the sex as a whole- the net result was a loss for champions against sexual harassment and a debasing of the entire cause to save a degenerate liar.

The man wrecked the modern feminist movement. Is it better that he also actually cared about it? I can't see how. He was the person we counted on to do well. We gave him our votes. We got shit. And now you want to excuse him? And not just excuse him, fawn over him? I don't get it... other than to say this was never feminism at all, this was and is Democratic party politics. I was a Democrat back in those days, you should know. Now, I don't trust any politicians. I'm recommending political independence for feminists. Otherwise, you're going to get all tripped up and embarrass yourselves excusing characters like Clinton.

Alan said...

Miss Ann, for the left, regarding Clinton, it's never been about what he did. It was always about what he said--how he felt. After all, he told us citizens, in a nationally televised speech, "Saddam Hussein, your time is up!" I'm sure that resonated greatly with the anti-war Democrats of today. :)

J. Peden said...

elcurado: my view is that gender-feminism is as bigoted as that which it says it opposes. This might work politically for a while, but then it degenerates into institutionalized results which exactly replicate the bigotry or oppression it says it wants to eradicate - which probably didn't exist even to the extent which the "cure" produces.

This is all too obvious, for example, in the case of the Violence Against Women Act, which has spawned the worst anti-male entities and procedures one could imagine, short of just putting all males to death. So I conclude that the political stance of anything as bigoted as gender-feminism is going to be more counter-productive than helpful. The cure is worse than the disease, so to speak, or becomes the disease, supersized.

I've seen gender feminism as merely a power grab since about 1972, even though I didn't know it would be called "gender" feminism. I was riding around looking for firewood with an early [gender] feminist who I had known for about 36 hours, and she set me up in such a way as to proclaim, that I was "just like her father", and we were both "just like Adolph Hitler". All I did was to respond to her question as to how birth control pills worked. I just thought she was having a bad day. No, it's been a bad life for her from then on, naturally with men still being the blame, and in need of retribution. How convenient, continuous, and now institutionalized. It's no different from Racism.

elcurado said...

Ann Althouse said...

"[Feminism] is the commitment to the end of protecting fairness and equality for women."

and

"The man [Clinton] wrecked the modern feminist movement."

I agree with that definition. It shows perfectly why attempting to determine whether a feminist should or legitimately can support Clinton is difficult.

What is the support for the claim that Clinton wrecked the modern feminist movement? Is it self-evident from the Monica Lewinski and Paula Jones incidents?

What is the standard by which we should measure whether Clinton advanced the cause of fairness and equality for women? Should we determine whether the net effect of all of his actions for his entire life have resulted in a net loss or gain for women? That seems unrealistic but perhaps the only accurate way to make the determination.

J. Peden said...

"The man wrecked the modern feminist movement." Ann A.

As a rule, it looks to me like everything Faux Liberals get their hands on turns to shit: education, the economy, the energy issue, the military/nat. defense capability, the woman's right to choice, environmentalism, the First Amendment, individualism as an ethic, the Family, Nation, rationality, children, crime, and so on. Fliberals really don't care, beyond appearing to have "done something" or other, and blaming everyone and their poor mother, and father.

rederik said...

ann,

you say:

" ...you're not getting the point [which] is that Jessica and her defenders refocused the post on her. It was about Clinton. I object to something about him, and by reference to that, I object to feminists who defend and play up to him. .... You should be ashamed of your distortions."


it's certainly possible that my own misconceptions about that photo had me 'missing the point' about your intentions.

judging by the reaction in much of the rest of the blogoshpere, i'm not nearly the only one who may have missed that point.

but the the fact that you can't see what was wrong with your response to those of us who had the 'misconception' isn't doing your cause much good, however right you may be.

which is more the shame.

regards,
r

Daryl Herbert said...

RedErik said: 3.) you here further imply that jessica did 'look like' a whore.

I did no such thing! This is what I said:

2 - There is a difference between saying "you look like a" and "you are a" which you might want to think about for a while. To wit: I can prove "you look like a" by pointing to your clothes. I can't prove "you are a."

As in, if one was trying to prove that someone was looking like a whore, one could take their outfit into account. I never said Jessica was acting like a whore, or looking like a whore. No one here was trying to say she was either of those (this "whore" thing is your word, and Jessica's)

I realize you think you have the moral high ground if this is about Jessica's private sex life rather than her public displays of politics, but that's not what Ann or her regular commenters were ever discussing.

Ann Althouse said...

rederik: "judging by the reaction in much of the rest of the blogoshpere, i'm not nearly the only one who may have missed that point."

Oh, bullshit. The reaction in the blogosphere is Democratic party politics, protecting their own, covering their ass. I stand apart from that and call it as I see it. Use your judgment. Think for yourself. You're not an idiot. Can't you see those are political partisans. You think they are all saying the same thing because they've independently reasoned to that point? Spare me!

rederik said...

daryl,

"I realize you think you have the moral high ground if this is about Jessica's private sex life rather than her public displays of politics, but that's not what Ann or her regular commenters were ever discussing."

you are right. i certainly never immagined that ann or her regular commenters were discussing jessica's public displays of politics -- becuase i've never seen the word 'politics' so widely employed as a euphemism for 'breasts' before.

r

rederik said...

ann,

"You think they are all saying the same thing because they've independently reasoned to that point?"

well, i don't actually see it as relavant whether they independently reasoned their way to such a reaction.

my point was that if you truly wanted to have a discussion about clinton, engaing jessica and the follow on crowd about the manner in which she was 'posing' for the camera would actually be counterproductive, even if you were right.

i'm going to leave this alone at this point, because i feel like i've made the point i was trying to make as well as i could.

thanks for considering it.

regards,
r

Ann Althouse said...

Rederik: It's relevant because you made the "everyone's saying it" argument. And I've already explained why I took a shot at Jessica. She played a completely phony "Don't look at my breasts" card. Her blog uses breasts to attract traffic very openly, and she is clearly calling attention to her chest, right under the nose of the ex-President. Come on, that's laughable. If you can't laugh at that, you're too grimly partisan.

Johnny Nucleo said...

This is fascinating stuff. But what does it mean? I thought I had a good handle on the political zeitgeist, but now I'm not so sure. This demands further thought.

Why are they so outraged? The original post was a rather innocuous bit making fun of people who suck-up to the powerful; how those who claim to be about ideas get all goofy and fawning when in the presence of the powerful and the famous and more often than forget who they are and how they got there and just bask in the glow. The post included a line at the end that suggested the implicit irony in the photo - the young woman, no doubt a feminist, with a preternatural way of standing that accentuated her breasts to a comical degree positioned directly in front of Clinton.

The second post was prompted by a confused email Ann received from the aggrieved young women - Jessica - who just did not get why anyone would make fun of her. After all, it wasn't her fault she had a preternatural way of standing that accentuated her breasts to a comical degree - that's just how she stands - and besides she was a feminist. Her blog said so. And Bill Clinton is good on feminist issues, which is what she is interested in because she is a feminist who is part of the new wave (or something) and she is positive and she likes bodies. Her blog said so.

Then came the firestorm. A nerve had been hit for sure, but which nerve exactly?

Another question I have: Who were those people, those drive-by commenters? Are they friends of Jessica? So many of them seemed personally insulted.

But back to the nerve. What was the nerve? Was the nerve related to Feminism or Clinton or both?

The Left has a lot invested in Clinton. If Clinton's legacy is no good, who do they got in modern history? They got Kennedy, a man who was president over 40 years ago, and that's it. Therefore, Clinton's legacy must be protected.

And what if they lose Feminism? What if it turns out their brand of Feminism is mindless hokum, a political flim-flam? Feminism and Race are the Left's only two remaining trump cards. (They lost Economics long ago, and never had Defense.) If they lose Feminism, they will have only Race. And then what if they lose Race?

I long for that day, because when that day comes it will be time for Political Realignment - a shaking-up of the parties and what they stand for - which is long overdue.

I guess I answered my own question. My handle on the political zeitgeist is sound!

Whetstone said...

And Bill Clinton's tie was totally pointing at his crotch. How obvious can you get.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Weak, Whetstone. Very weak. You stink. This ain't DU or LGF. Get some skills.

nedludd said...

Looking back on the Clinton impeachment, I have to ask, ami I the only one who wishes it had been Thomas and not Rhenquist presiding?

dklittl said...

Ann, I've been reading and commenting on your blog for at least over a year, and I would be remiss if I didn't say that in the last week your comments have been a tad bit nasty and defensive. Starting with the whole 9/11 movie, it seems to have gotten personal. And this is from someone who frequently has recommended your blog to others as a meaningful and respectful discussion place. I won't defend some of the commentors who seem more than willing to come here and just hurl insults, but if you enter that kind of territory the wolves will come out.

Ann Althouse said...

dklittl: I'm going to keep blogging about whatever interests me. The people who are being vicious here, against whom I will defend myself, are trying to push me back and intimidate me from talking about politics. I don't like that it gets unpleasant either, but I'm not going to cede this ground to those who are willing to act like this. And I feel very strongly about not ceding the issue of feminism to people who see it as a subcomponent of Democratic politics.

nedludd said...

The funny part about this whole damned thing is how ridiculous it is, start to finish.

Many of us who were out of middle schoold during the Clinton Presidency noticed that picture of Jessica posing in front of Clinton brought back memories and bad jokes. At that time I did not know who Jessica was, and could only infer her politics from the fact that she was at this thing. Now I know she is a tight ass prig.

reader_iam said...

Calling All Feminists: Your Chance To Change The Fate of 80 Million Women

Josue said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dr. Phil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
knoxgirl said...

What is the standard by which we should measure whether Clinton advanced the cause of fairness and equality for women?

Gosh, you're making it harder than it is.

I think it's reasonable to assume that the standard at least includes the following:

don't claim to take women seriously and care about their advancement in society, and then abuse, in various ways, women you come in contact with. Especially in situations where you are their boss and wield power over them.

If caught doing any of the above, don't allow a whole bunch of women to make idiots of themselves coming to your defense.

Oh, and don't rape anyone while you're at it.

Matthew said...

[cross-posted at Pandagon]
I love it. While some have made valid arguments, it’s pretty clear that Prof. Althouse (and the main of her commenters) deserves Ms. Marcotte (and the main of her commenters), who time and time again utilize the blogging strategy of, “When in doubt, ad hominem.” For two bloggers who usually have interesting things to say, it’s sad to see them devolve, time and time again, into these types of interblog disputes.

belledame222 said...

Tiresome. Yes indeed.

You had no substantive critique. 1) No one CARES about bloody Clinton and his penis anymore; well, no one who isn't already rather unhealthily fixated in any number of ways 2) that wasn't even your point to begin with.

What happened was, Jessica wandered by, caught you in a "meow" moment and asked, rather graciously and openly, that you please knock it the fuck off; it's hurtful. Not only do you NOT back down or even go, "okay, out of line, moving right along," you up the ante and push back on her like any other two-bit bully:

"Why don't you defend yourself?"

What a question, eh?

and then relentlessly onto the tits, the tits, the tits; really, woman, one might start to think you have a bit of a lech for the woman yourself. Harassment, certainly, this is. Whatever it is: it is fucked.

"I AM ATTACKING YOU AND WOULD GREATLY PREFER THAT WE KEEP THE FOCUS ON YOU, BECAUSE ANY POINTING OUT OF -MY- PART IN THIS IS LIKE AN MORTAL ATTACK ON MY FRAGILE LITTLE EGO. I DON'T DESERVE SUCH TREATMENT! I'M NOT LIKE YOU! I DON'T LIKE PAIN! IT HURTS ME! C'MON, LET'S PLAY MORE!! GIVE ME SOMETHING ELSE TO WORK WITH SO I CAN -REALLY- GET MY TEETH INTO YOU! "DEFEND" YOURSELF! BECAUSE GODDAM DO I EVER LIKE BEING OFFENSIVE!"

...and now, NOW, the rest of the world calls you on your shit, and oh whine whine it's tiresome.

No: -you're- tiresome.

And hateful.

And vapid.

And a hypocrite.

And a misogynist.

And petty, and venal, and just generally awful.

And you have earned every one of these flames. With interest.

Deal with it. And be thankful that some people -still- aren't willing to go as low as you.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Here's the thing you guys don't get.

Let's say you're right. You're not, but let's say you are. That's not enough. You have to be eloquent. You guys just aren't eloquent. You are all hyper and all over the place. You got a point to make, make it, but be eloquent. I don't know what the hell you are saying other than you disagree with Ann and it really pisses you off.

Fenrisulven said...

belledame22's post is instructive re tactics of the Left. If you try to discuss Clinton's sexual harassment they intned to smear you as a racist/sexist/homophobe from the start. Whatever works, because ad hom are all they got.

They start with distorting something you say, ie. you point to the hypocrisy of feminist bloggers posing for Clinton - they in turn claim you are attacking the girl for having breasts.

Then they draw equivalence from the distortion, ie. since you are attacking the girl for having breasts, they are justified in attacking yours.

Pathetic, but at least it indicates they know what they are doing is wrong.

peetyport said...

Well we can start with:

"Former President Clinton certainly advanced the liberty, safety, health, and economic interests of women. First, Clinton reversed the abortion gag rule on federally-supported domestic reproductive health services; this and collateral pro-choice appointments and prosecutions slowed the erosion of the right to abortion. Second, he signed the Violence Against Women Act into law. Third, he signed the Family and Medical Leave Act into law. Fourth, he supported increases in research spending on women's health issues and diseases. Fifth, although somewhat belatedly, he helped win an increase in the minimum wage (two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women).

Ann can try to raise indignation to Clinton's perceived crimes but I find that funny coming from a law blog. Here's a good start on the current administration: http://tinyurl.com/gx9xe. This is just the tip of the iceberg. For Ann to attack this young woman and then accuse everyone of missing her "high-minded" point is laughable. Former President Clinton has joined these left-of-center bloggers and has embraced the new media. He's a smart man who adapted and embraced the technology which is admirable. Although I don't always agree, I enjoy reading Feministing for it's fresh perspective; I read Althouse for views of a dim legal mind.

Susannah said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the comments here and at Feministing, they have been most entertaining.

But let's be honest Ann, you are pissed because the Feministing girl is young and pretty and....well...your not so much. I don't mean that in the totally insulting way it sounds, but you are like a million other women who feel that with minimal make-up, page-boy type haircut and bland clothes they will be taken seriously. It is nearly impossible for you to accept that a woman can be taken seriously if she looks like a woman.

You brought up her tits, whipped everyone up in a frenzy and then claimed that everyone was “just boring the hell out of you” because you were called on the fact that you brought up her tits.

Your abrasive, shock-value, hyper-superior attitude/persona is no different than that of Ann Coulter. And from the way I see it, you're just stealing her act.

J. Peden said...

Projection, thy name is Susannah.

Dominion said...

Y'all will have to forgive Ann. Her knuckles drag along the ground when she walks...

J. Peden said...

dominion, for God's sake, get your blood lead level checked immediately. I'm serious.

Theo Boehm said...

Say, Ann, you do this for fun?

As usual, Johnny Nucleo, above, nailed it. I must say I remain, if not mystified by the current political Zeitgeist, at least disappointed.

I am disappointed because, like Ann, I used to think of myself as a fairly progressive person, identified with the Democratic Party, and considered it the natural party of governance in this country. But the "rhetoric," if it can be called that, that has come from partisan Democrats in recent years is beyond belief. Now, I don't mind old-fashioned rock-'em sock-'em partisan attacks at the right time (e.g., "Poor George. He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth...."), but the hate-filled slime that oozes these days leaves me wanting to take a shower. If things continue like this into November, I'll need two weeks in a spa.

This kerfluffle and the recent troubles here over the 9/11 miniseries have obvious hallmarks of an organized campaign. Some Democrats want to intimidate or at least tone down an influencial blogger. I've made a few half-joking remarks elsewhere about the possibility of robo-commenters or bots doing the dirty work: They are relentless; they take a few key words or phrases and distort them to fit a narrow range of talking points; they have an all-too-predictable obscenity-filled repotoire of insults; and they seem like they would fail a Turing Test, i.e, no human being on the other end. Actually, it's not very likely that anyone has to go to the expense of automating blog writing or commenting. There seem to be plenty of willing keyboard warriors, Turing Test failures or not. But where do they come from? Why are they appearing here at this time?

An election is coming up, and the blogosphere is increasingly important to partisan politics. It should come as no surprise that there would be organized efforts. Netroots and all that. I am really sorry, though, that this had to happen in the way it did. I mean, Bill Clinton? Bill Clinton's legacy? Give me a break.

I could vote for Senator Clinton in a heartbeat, because I happen to largely agree with her positions. But let's face it: Bill Clinton is Warren Harding with an I.Q. Why waste the effort on that clown? Does the Left really have that much invested in him? Now there is a great deal to be said for doing nothing, and Clinton certainly specialized in that, despite Peetyport's catalogue of "accomplishments," all of which any minimally competent President should have done. I had no real disagreement with any of Bill Clinton's policies, insofar as he had any. I just objected to Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton's sexual misdeeds symbolized much more than his just having a fling, despite the efforts at the time to paint it as "European" and somehow sophisticated

A personal story: My wife holds an advanced degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, one of a small number of schools that offer serious professional preparation for the Foreign Service and related fields. She worked in Washington for a time and enjoyed her work and the city. But she ultimately gave up the career she had gone to so much trouble to prepare for. Why? One of the reasons was the pervasive atmosphere of sexual harassment, even, or perhaps especially at the higher levels of the State Department and other agencies. Now my wife is Ann's age, so this was some time ago. We can hope things are different today. I have heard similar stories, though, from many women of a certain age. Some persevered. One, with similar training, has even become Secretary of State. But why must a woman have become a steel butterfly to succeed in Washington? One big reason was to simultaneously deal with and fend off the Bill Clintons of this world. The spectacle of so many "progressives" tossing aside every feminist principle and rushing to Clinton's defense still borders on the surreal.

I did not want to get too incensed writing this, but the very thought of him makes me want to go take that shower.

So, yes, I agree with Ann on this one. And no, I wouldn't mind another President Clinton. Maybe we'll have better luck this time.

hawkeye said...

i think we can see jesicas true colors here.she can dish it out to everyone else but she cant take it

Ann Althouse said...

Belledame: ""I AM ATTACKING YOU AND WOULD GREATLY PREFER THAT WE KEEP THE FOCUS ON YOU..."

That's supposed to represent what I was doing? You've plainly distorted the facts... oh, I'd say about 180°. I kept saying I wanted to talk about Clinton, not Jessice. So, is that your usual technique? Everything about your comment is twisted and ignorant and slurring. So you have absolutely zero credibility. I assume you're another dopey, inept political hack. And, like so many of the others, your words are crammed with sexism. Nice show.

I'm sure the Clintons love the fine support you and other loose cannons are giving them on the internet. Is this really what Peter Daou is working to achieve? Remember, Hillary Clinton needs moderates to like her. Hardcore Democrats showing their faith like this isn't going to help with that. This blog attracts moderate readers. Screetching at me is... well, it's pretty dumb.

Ann Althouse said...

Susannah: "But let's be honest Ann, you are pissed because the Feministing girl is young and pretty and....well...your not so much..."

Are you so ignorant about feminism that you don't realize that is a sexist argument? Ageist too. Apparently, you're such a partisan hack you don't even remember the purported values of the party you're trying to help.

I'm sure Hillary Clinton appreciates your nitwit support. I'd love to hear your analysis of her mental processes!

OhioAnne said...

Theo Boehm said...
Say, Ann, you do this for fun?

........


If my post had audio, the sound you would here is me clapping wildly. I didn't quote this whole post, but, if you missed it, go back and find it.

Oh, I don't agree with everything he said, but I certainly appreciate hearing a non-partisian discussion of issues from someone who admits to a political preference. If more of us could do that ....

Bill Clinton's legacy? Please - at best he was a mediocre president. He COULD have been a great one, but his own personal demons - coupled with the willingness of others to cater to those demons - allowed him to focus on style over substance.

I would absolutely prefer an administration that promotes women on merit to high ranking positions than one that treats them as Clinton's administration did. Feminism is about more than a uterus.

Personal story - Near the end of the Clinton Administration, I attended a luncheon with other social service agency reps. One woman at my table - a committed liberal - surprised me by saying that she couldn't wait for a Republican administration. I assumed that she must be a McCain fan, but she said she didn't care who won.

Professionally she worked with the homeless. She said if a Republican won, people could stop pretending that homelessness didn't exist.

Derve said...

Do you remember when it appeared a bunch of Wisconsinites were commenting here about the Barrett appointment? It was getting national attention and links, and one man even wrote he was transferring his child -- just like those national wags were predicting.

We were supposed to fear that there were enough types like that to shut down the system. Except... something about that commenter smelled funny, and his story never panned out.

Wisconsinites generally don't like spectacle, and unless someone had a vested interest, I don't think they'd come here and represent themselves like that. Farrell stood his ground, and most citizens here seemed content to let the semester pass, and not give the theories their attention playing into the controversy.

Is there any chance that someone with his own agenda is again manipulating discussion on this blog? No doubt there are genuinely angry gnats being driven over from the other blog, but...

What if another blogger, or someone computer savvy who knows the system inside and out yet does not have what it takes to be a content provider, is pounding you with sexual insults to keep you "in your place" and manipulating you into responding to the gnats, thus disrupting your general setting of tone here as serious discussion of issues, with gently humorous observations and talk?

Not a lot of bloggers can achieve this -- outside their "expertise", other posts reveal shortcomings, like there is a reason you would not want to spend off time with these people r/l.

This is not a chatroom, of course, but I see similarities. I hope you can stay independent even when the ship is rocking -- anyone can captain in calm waters -- and consider that the leftist feminists might just be gnats, that someone is happy to watch you swatting.* Good luck, stay independent, and don't let this type of manipulation affect what comes tomorrow. Sometimes the immature little jerks, or those honestly angry thinking they've been offended, can mask the real fight. Still I think you'll be ready when a bigger, more formidable adversary is possibly revealed. You'll win too, if you can keep your eyes open to the possibility of commenters not being what they seem, and stay independent.
------------
*just because one's paranoid doesn't mean that everything is as it seems on face value.

Derve said...

ps...
How 'bout that Michigan squad? ouch!

The Drill SGT said...

My summary of the Clinton/Feminist/Bra-ha-ha

1. Biggest Loser: Hillary The blogfest was intended to get left wing bloggers more in tune with Hillary (meeting was set up by Her internet publicist, not Bill's) in order to promote Hillary blog buzz. Instead, the public was again reminded about both what a world class cad and sleazy guy Bill is, and how many feminists sacrificed their principles and gender loyalty on the altar of Democratic party unity defending Bill on sexual harassment charges.

Oh, and a meeting with the "First Black President" in his "Harlem" office that was whiter than if it had been done at Lamont's Country Club in CT? bad PR, very bad.

2. Biggest Winner: Jessica Huge attention to her breasts and blog by people, mostly positive on the left, all over the blogosphere.

all in all Daou, a poor show for your client.

The Right Reverend Rabbi Judah said...

Funny, everyone seemed to focus on Jessica standing in front of ole Billy Jeff. No one even once mentioned the gal on the left in the white frock coat striking the exact same pose and wearing an even lower-cut top.

Is it because she's... wearing glasses?

Ann Althouse said...

Derve: Thanks. Note that Friday's "closer look" post floated the theory that Jessica is a Karl Rove dirty trick.

Drill Sgt: Speaking of hurting Hillary, the attacks on me as a jealous older woman don't resonate too well with Hillary's interests. Nor does the weird support for the advantage of being younger and sexier.

J. Peden said...

"There seem to be plenty of willing keyboard warriors, Turing Test failures or not. But where do they come from? Why are they appearing here at this time?" Theo B.

Theo, this happens a lot. I have no idea if it's a "brilliant" tactic, or a spontaneous precipitant of effective subrationals congealed from the Fliberal pleroma. I see it in a positive way, as an opportunity to speak directly to them, and to observe them, without having to visit the "Underground", etc., where if you try to say anything which contradicts or threatens Fliberal Dogma, you get banned.

In the case of this particular subject, which Christina Hoff Sommers aptly phrased as "Who Stole Feminism", the Clinton legacy is pretty much assured. Including that of Hillary, imo.

Veeshir said...

The best part of the feministing thread is trying to figure out which comments are serious and which are humor. It was much tougher than usual.

J. Peden said...

"2. Biggest Winner: Jessica Huge attention to her breasts and blog by people, mostly positive on the left, all over the blogosphere." Drill Sgt.

Agreed, Sarge.

"I'm in with the in crowd, I go where the in crowd goes." Whopeee. I have breasts and my vagina talks: "It's a very strange world we live in, Master Jack...But I want to see it with my own eyes...You're a very strange man, aren't you, Master Jack."

NSC said...

Susannah said:

You brought up her tits, whipped everyone up in a frenzy and then claimed that everyone was “just boring the hell out of you” because you were called on the fact that you brought up her tits.

Actually I think that Victoria's Secret bra she was wearing brought those puppies up before Ann did. And I am certain Bill loved her for it.

The Drill SGT said...

Second Biggest Loser: Feminism, the cause Jessica alleges to support. Joust as it does black America no good to be seen as a captive of the DNC orbit, it provides Feminism, no gain to be seen as:

1. a captive of the DNC.

2. without principles

3. willing to accept workplace harassment, if the harasser is otherwise supportive of women. Packwood redux?

Breasst said...

I've looked but can't find any references to whether the photo was staged, or not. Did someone place Jessica and her breasts prominently in the front row, or did she choose that spot herself?

We have not even covered ageism, but that's only because Jess doesn't blog in defense of age. Ironically, her allies are some of the first to invoke it themselves, failing to notice that she may have been strategically placed dead-on center of that pic to balance and round out the group of dowdy (middle-aged looking) types.

It is a luxury of the young(er) to be indulged with interpreting criticism regarding their immaturity or lack of knowledge from people 10-20 years older with "jealousy" of their youth.

Playing the "you're just jealous of meeeeeee because I'm young!!!!" card is old.

dmbeaster said...

I'm surpassingly sick of this comments thread from yesterday, and I'm not even going to read all the commentary on other blogs. The immense tiresomeness is actually undermining my will to blog this morning.

Cause of the "immense tiresomeness"?

It makes one very weary to keep pretending you were right after having your bitchy catty comment so demonstrably flayed.

Carol said...

So the score now: Boobs - 502 comments, Spinach scare - 19. Talk about missplaced priorities!

nedludd said...

So the score now: Boobs - 502 comments, Spinach scare - 19. Talk about missplaced priorities!

Hmmm, boobs or spinach, which shall I pick?

Call me whacky, but I'll take the boobs every time.

peetyport said...

Although I doubt Theo's self-professed progressiveness, I thought I would respond. President's Clinton's accomplishments can are detailed here: http://tinyurl.com/kd4ao. This is his legacy which you brush off and compare to the Republican Harding. However, they are something to marvel when compared to the current President. I also posted reasons why a feminist would still support President Clinton because Ann was confused on why her acrid attacks were misunderstood. Her reasoning was flawed (not unlike many lawyers) but Theo gleefully answers "all of which any minimally competent President should have done". I however list the how the current administration's policies have truly hurt woman. Should Theo's logic then lead us to judging the current administration as incompetent? Of course not because he's a different kind of "progressive". He then concludes with oft-repeated mantra of conservatives that President Clinton's "sexual misdeeds symbolized much more than his just having a fling" which I think Ann and he both agree. One only has to remember the dead Americans floating in the water in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans to become disgusted with Ann and Theo's arguments. How long must the blowjob be discussed by supposed feminists? Over the last thirteen years (and probably longer but let's leave it at that), a young feminist should without qualification support the former President's policies. Ann's readers deserve an apology just for her flawed logic without speaking to her bitter tongue.

Ann Althouse said...

I continue to stand by my comments and to assert -- with ever increasing confidence -- that my opponents all have some combination of: poor reading skills, lack of a sense of humor, anti-feminism, calcified political hackitude. Moreover, they've got some scary blindness about the way to help poor Hillary Clinton, who was the whole reason they were wrangled into Bill's presence in the first place. Bumbling all weekend over Jessica's breasts? You people are boobs.

Balfegor said...

Re: john(lesser)

Right to Privacy? Her husband was the one that blogged about it. Whatever happened in that bar is completely germane.

Uh, this is the internet. This is not like waiving privilege in court. When I say "right to privacy," I mean only that they're under no obligation whatsoever to explain anything at all if they prefer not to, not that there's a Constitutional right of some sort implicated by a completely informal blog discussion. That would be awfully silly.

Sounds to me like a rehashing of yesterday's events. You can not demand attention and simultaneously control the type of attention you get.

Certainly. And the Scalzis are apparently not at all bothered by the commentary -- they are more amused than anything. I'm just pointing out that the picture we have is incomplete, and drawing conclusions on the basis of an incomplete story leads to wrong conclusions. Garbage in, garbage out, as they say.

JodyTresidder said...

Sippican, Sippican!
Ann said it again!

"I continue to stand by my comments and to assert -- with ever increasing confidence -- that my opponents all have some combination of: poor reading skills, lack of a sense of humor, anti-feminism, calcified political hackitude."

If Jessica had initially shown a sense of humor - and followed the script by agreeing her Lewinsky-ish pose was funny - this might have spared her from the subsequent ridicule.

True, I'm following what I think is an implication. But that, I think was the point at which Jessica's goose was cooked.

(And in an alternative unscrolling, it could have been as much fun as the infamous US-UK Camille Paglia-Julie Burchill feminist fax war. Instead of just terribly depressing.)

RogerC said...

HMMMM, this 'posing' controversy seems to boil down to a conservative lashing out at a liberal for violating a conservative belief. Ann, do you consider yourself an authoritarian personality type? That would explain imposing your beliefs on someone who obviously doesn't share them.

This whole controvery smells like a semi-planned distraction from the real issues, such as, voting integrity, national security vs. loss of privacy rights, international definitions of torture vs. Bush admin definitions of torture, etc.

We all have bigger fish to fry than this 'controversy'.

Barry Kearns said...

Joined the kerfuffle late because I was sick all weekend.

I know he's retreated by now, but one thing stuck in my craw:

Parry wrote:

And what do you mean that it's something she "didn't do?" I plainly QUOTED the parts of Althouse's posts that I found offensive. What more do you want?

Well, for a start, you could learn what the word "lying" means. You characterized Ann as lying about the contents of the Feministing blog. She didn't.

The fact that she takes away a different impression from something doesn't make her assessment a lie. It makes it an opinion, and if she's sincere about it, then it's a true opinion... and not a lie.

It can be an opinion that doesn't accurately reflect Jessica's intention, but that's still not a lie.

Unfortunately, like too many on the left, you fail to distinguish between "I disagree" (or "you're mistaken") and "you're lying".

(See: Bush lied meme)

When you do so, your credibility drops to near-zero in my book.

Ann even qualified the observation by noting that apparently the blog was 'of that kind'. I read that to mean that it appeared that way to her.

She's entitled to that opinion. Calling it a lie is not logically justifiable. You don't know Ann's mind, so you don't know if she believes it to be true or not. You may find some of her opinions in this matter coarse, insulting, or even undeserved. You have a right to have such an opinion, too.

The difference is, I don't see anyone calling you a liar just because they disagree with your assessment of something. The opposite of "correct and entirely true" is not necessarily "lying", after all. Is there room in your philosophy for "different opinion", or even just "wrong"?

Ann drew some conclusions on follow-up based on her viewing of the Feministing site, and put that together with the context that I believe you admitted you were lacking (re: Clinton's many-pointed spotty history with respect to sexual misconduct).

Can you see how Jessica's protestations might seem disingenuous to some when viewed through such a filter?

I'm not asking for you to agree that the appearance is reality... I'm just asking to see if you can recognize that others might view a situation differently than yourself... without necessarily being a liar.

(There, that feels better having gotten it off my chest... and stop looking at it! ;)

Ann Althouse said...

I'm closing down this comments thread, because I don't have time to keep monitoring this controversy, and, as you know, I'm tired of it. I'm not going to say anything more about it, so if by chance anyone thinks not enough has been said, they'll have to locate another place to express themselves. I think that will be easy.