December 5, 2008

"Apparently living as a man was stressful enough to induce a nervous breakdown."

"I can understand that," Glenn Reynolds jokes.

From the book's Amazon page:
Norah Vincent’s New York Times bestselling book, Self-Made Man, ended on a harrowing note. Suffering from severe depression after her eighteen months living disguised as a man, Vincent felt she was a danger to herself. On the advice of her psychologist she committed herself to a mental institution. Out of this raw and overwhelming experience came the idea for her next book [Voluntary Madness]. She decided to get healthy and to study the effect of treatment on the depressed and insane “in the bin,” as she calls it.
I haven't read "Self-Made Man," but I have never understood how it was supposed to represent the actual experience of being a man, when it also involved the disturbing and weird experience of misrepresenting yourself to everyone.

111 comments:

Joe said...

It may not have represented actually being a man, but it was a damn sight closer to approximating and describing the experience than the bullshit churned out by most female writers (and the effeminate male ones.)

m00se said...

So, can we hope that "Thomas" Beatie will have a breakdown shortly and stop having kids?

*sheesh*

peter hoh said...

I'm sure that she would have felt great confidence and been at ease had she worn "Home of the Whopper" underwear.

Skyler said...

I had the same reservations about the purported claims of that book, not that I would ever be interested in reading it. Being a man is not something so simple as wearing clothes and pretending to be a man. Being a man means not caring about books about being a man.

ricpic said...

Piece a' cake for Michelle.

Salamandyr said...

"Self Made Man" wasn't perfect. Ms. Vincent spent too much time among the outliers of manhood than experiencing the most inherent, yet probably least glamorous aspects of manhood. Her chapter on dating, and the chapter describing her experience playing in a downscale bowling league were probably the most insightful. In a way, the best part of the book was her simple willingness to look at masculinity as a something "normal" rather than inherently "wrong".

I felt quite bad for her that the experience was so traumatic she needed a stint in the hospital to recover, so I'm glad if she is able to turn the experience into a profitable venue.

Yachira said...

Her work as a man mimics the famous Black Like Me experience as well as, more humorously, the Watermelon Man.

David said...

I thought the whole critique of men is that we "misrepresent ourselves to everybody." Including ourselves. So out of touch with our feelings, we are.

I've always liked being a man, but it never occurred to me that I might have a choice of anything else.

Pogo said...

In an upstairs room in Blackpool
By the side of a northern sea
The army had my father
And my mother was having me
Voluntary Madness was killing my country
Solitary Sadness comes over me

After the school was over and I moved
To the other side
I found a different country but I never
Lost my pride
Voluntary Madness was killing the country
Solitary sadness creeps over me

Original George said...

As Salamandyr above suggests, the book, which I read, was very creepy.

She didn't just hang out with regular Joes at the bowling alley, she hung out at the sleaziest of biker bars where people where having sex in back rooms.

There's no telling how many stories NPR and Salon and Slate did on this book when it came out.

Ralph said...

the book's Amazon page
Every page is an Amazon page!

knox said...

I liked about the first half of "Self Made Man," then it got a little old.

I agree that the part about the bowlers was pretty interesting. The part about the strip clubs was just weird, and depressing. I agree that the general impression was that she was hanging out with an awful lot of loser-types. But not being a man, it was hard for me to tell if it had any meaningful insights.

Glenn & Helen interviewed her in one of their podcasts and that's what got me to read the book.

laura said...

My guess, and I haven’t read the book either, is that she tried to write about the experience, as it was reflected back to her, as opposed to an introspective piece. Though it sounds that, by her having to be institutionalized, that her mind eventually could not differentiate.

Ralph said...

Assuming the photo isn't heavily altered, she's one of the few women who can pass as a man.

Freeman Hunt said...

I read parts of the book, not the whole thing, and was also struck by the lying. Less the experience of being a man and more the experience of being a really effeminate male compulsive liar.

I thought the dating part where she finally tells her date that she's really a woman (because they were about to shag) was extraordinarily weird. The date's reaction of wanting to get it on anyway made me think that Nora was not getting dates with normal women.

chuck b. said...

Vincent professed a long-term history with depression. How do you separate that from an 18-mo experience. She had an excellent blog for little while, that she stopped because of depression. Too bad.

Henry Buck said...

Will her next book be a memoir recounting her mental fragility as she promotes "Voluntary Madness" in bookstore readings across the country?
Suggested title: Bordersline.

Ann Althouse said...

What if a woman she formed a relationship with, when she found out she'd fallen in love with a fake, committed suicide? (Compare Lori Drew.)

Ralph said...

when she found out she'd fallen in love with a fake,
Happens to everyone.

Freder Frederson said...

What if a woman she formed a relationship with, when she found out she'd fallen in love with a fake, committed suicide? (Compare Lori Drew.)

I bet you write really ridiculous and crappy exam problems.

TMink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TMink said...

We know YOU write really ridiculous and crappy posts.

Trey

Pogo said...

Freder spreads bad cheer like mosquitoes spread malaria.

dbp said...

What if a woman she formed a relationship with, when she found out she'd fallen in love with a fake, committed suicide? (Compare Lori Drew.)

2:48 PM

Well, it would be bad, but not as bad as what Lori Drew did. Vincent was clearly willing to hurt the feelings of innocent people to get her story. The hurting of feelings was the entire point of what Lori Drew did.

dbp said...

""Apparently living as a man was stressful enough to induce a nervous breakdown.""

Most of the time it is a task assigned to those most able to handle it: Men.

All joking aside, the problem for her was that she lacked the things which make life as a man easy: She isn't as big, strong or naturally aggressive as a normal man. A man as timid, small and weak as Norah Vincent would probably be pretty unhappy in a man's world too.

Ann Althouse said...

"The hurting of feelings was the entire point of what Lori Drew did."

No, she was trying to find out if a young woman was spreading rumors about her daughter -- defending her daughter.

Freeman Hunt said...

What if a woman she formed a relationship with, when she found out she'd fallen in love with a fake, committed suicide?

Yes! That's exactly, aside from suicide, what made the dating part so weird. She was trying to lure women into entirely fake relationships. Sure, to her, it was research--but not to these women!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

defending her daughter.

To the death.

montana urban legend said...

Anything to delegitimize the experience of trying to see the world through others' eyes. (Helps justify one's own worldviews and protect them from being questioned or criticized).

Um, Lori Drew never revealed the persona she constructed to be a fake one.

Sofa King said...

Apparently living as a man was stressful enough to induce a nervous breakdown.

It certainly seems like that's the general intent.

Freeman Hunt said...

Anything to delegitimize the experience of trying to see the world through others' eyes.

No. They're called "valid points."

I enjoyed another Black Like Me, and I don't think that pretending to be of another race carries with it the same ethical implications as pretending to be of another gender. The former is not, in my opinion, even nearly half the lie of the latter.

Palladian said...

She doesn't look like a man. She looks like a drag king. I can't believe that anyone was taken in by her ruse.

Palladian said...

"I enjoyed another Black Like Me, and I don't think that pretending to be of another race carries with it the same ethical implications as pretending to be of another gender."

Definitely not the same thing. I mean, Obama's been pretending to be black since the late eighties at least, and I don't think it's a big deal.

montana urban legend said...

What "ethical implications"? Hurting feelings? Vincent's entire insight in that chapter was the extent to which women expected men to allow for their feelings to be damaged in a way in which women could typically never fathom, let alone allow to happen to themselves - an insight which you seem to be reinforcing. Especially with your weird application of an allegedly hallowed and unbreachable ethical standard to it.

People lie to (and hurt) each other all the time - especially when dating. But to do so in the name of accumulating wider knowledge and furthering a broader sense of empathy in this respect is suddenly an unspeakable act in your eyes. Now that's what I call bizarre.

montana urban legend said...

Or at least narrow.

Freeman Hunt said...

What "ethical implications"? Hurting feelings?

You can't see the ethical implications of lying about your very gender in a dating relationship? You can't see that that would go beyond "hurt feelings?"

montana urban legend said...

Do I see a huge difference between lying about that and lying about everything that anyone's said to me or to anyone I've known when dating them, even if it's about something they just don't understand about themselves?

No. But maybe if I were more of a homophobe I would.

If I found out that someone was seeing me for the purpose of conducting research, and they let me know that before it went too far, I'd find that interesting. But then again, I'd like to think that truth and knowledge matter more to me than my feelings do. Perhaps they don't to you?

Any relationship that doesn't further self-discovery and deeper knowledge about others isn't worth being in, IMO. I fail to see how broadening that theme in the manner in which Vincent did was unacceptable from an ethical standpoint.

Ann Althouse said...

I think people have a right to choose whether they want to have a homosexual relationship and that it is morally wrong to trick someone into it -- even at the emotional level.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't know that Vincent did that. But if she tried to get women to be interested in her, I think that would have been wrong.

montana urban legend said...

If there's an assumption of an essential distinction between heterosexuals and homosexuals when it comes to dating and relationships (a notion that's becoming increasingly obsolete), then these are precisely the essentialist notions that need to be exposed and refuted.

Palladian said...

"If there's an assumption of an essential distinction between heterosexuals and homosexuals when it comes to dating and relationships (a notion that's becoming increasingly obsolete), then these are precisely the essentialist notions that need to be exposed and refuted."

LOL. Sounds like somebody's taking a Women's Studies course at their local community college. I like that biological gender is considered an "essentialist notion". What's the problem with essentialism? Or didn't Professor Demeter Rainbowpanties get to that yet?

montana urban legend said...

Further, the only woman that showed a deeper emotional interest in Vincent didn't have a problem with her gender and maintained (or even deepened) her interest after her gender was revealed.

If the woman had noted that she was ragingly heteronormative beforehand (in the manner in which Freeman seems to relate to), then that might have presented a different set of considerations, sure.

ricpic said...

A she trying to be a he is undone by the simplicity
With which
The male goes from A to B without sidetrips to XYZ.

Palladian said...

"If the woman had noted that she was ragingly heteronormative..."

EEEEEEEeee!

montana urban legend said...

Professor Palladian,

I have no problem with you arguing essentialist distinctions between men and women on a neurobiological or sociobological level. But then it's incumbent upon you to define those distinctions and get everyone else to agree with them beforehand.

The problem is, there's a wide range of variation among women and a wide range of variation among men. So good luck in trying to shoehorn everyone of each gender into either of your preferred categories of "normal" versus "abnormal".

Palladian said...

"Professor Palladian,

I have no problem with you arguing essentialist distinctions between men and women on a neurobiological or sociobological level. But then it's incumbent upon you to define those distinctions and get everyone else to agree with them beforehand.

The problem is, there's a wide range of variation among women and a wide range of variation among men. So good luck in trying to shoehorn everyone of each gender into either of your preferred categories of "normal" versus "abnormal"."

Wow, it's an amazing feat to make two paragraphs seem like seven. Glenn Greenwald is that you? Nice hooter by the way.

knox said...

MULegend wins Outdated Gender Bullshit Rant of the Year Award. ...or best parody.

montana urban legend said...

Palladian is too ragingly straight (and apparently too shallow in his dating experiences) to understand that more women are open to bisexual experiences than men. (At least outside of the Midwest - save for those crazy college campuses. But surely Palladian is familiar with the Girls Gone Wild video franchise. Any more sophisticated levels of knowledge might be, unfortunately, above his level of understanding and preferred literary standards).

Freeman Hunt said...

If the woman had noted that she was ragingly heteronormative beforehand (in the manner in which Freeman seems to relate to), ...

LOL Oh my.

Oops, I mean, I stand corrected. You are right. Only uncivilized homophobes care about whether or not their dates are men or women. And Palladian is so ragingly straight; what a homophobe he is.

montana urban legend said...

Ok, Palladian. Now that you've proven yourself incapable of addressing the argument, and capable of merely addressing the person with ad hominems, is there something relevant to the conversation you wanted to say?

I didn't think so.

knox said...

MULegend,

If you're implying that if you were dating a guy--gay, straight, I don't give a shit-- and one day he ripped off the beard and said "I'm a lady," you would simply take it in stride...

You. Are. Lying.

In an effort to seem more sophisticated than the rest of us, I guess?

montana urban legend said...

They, or anyone else for that matter, might care about a lot of things. We've already addressed the particular woman in question (with the others, it never went as far). What you've failed to address, is why this deception was worse than any and all others that are and remain normative. Especially why it didn't matter to her.

montana urban legend said...

Knox,

Address the argument and not the person. If you can help it.

Freeman Hunt said...

Vincent had no way of knowing how that woman would react. In fact, as I recall, she was surprised at the woman's reaction. And the only reason that it didn't happen with more women was that other women didn't want to go on more than one date with her. Probably because something seemed a little "off"...

And are you really arguing that truth about one's gender is not more primary than pretty much any other aspect of oneself in a relationship? Lying about gender doesn't just undermine the relationship, it undermines the entire basis of possibility for the relationship to exist.

Freeman Hunt said...

I want to hear more about how straight Palladian is. He's always hitting on all the women here. It's just awful.

dbp said...

Ann: "No, she was trying to find out if a young woman was spreading rumors about her daughter -- defending her daughter."

What information was Lori Drew trying to gather when she (in the guise of the (fake) boy who liked the victim) said "The world will be better off without you" ?

montana urban legend said...

Heteronormative does not mean homophobic.

montana urban legend said...

And straight does not mean "hits on every woman he speaks to on the internet".

Sounds like someone needs a dictionary.

Freeman Hunt said...

Palladian is gay.

Freeman Hunt said...

Sounds like someone needs a clue.

knox said...

Address the argument and not the person. If you can help it.

MUL,

you are criticizing both Freeman and Palladian as being closed-minded--because both essentially accept that it's a big deal to lie about your gender to someone you are dating.

I call bullshit.

montana urban legend said...

Gender's a pretty important consideration for most people. So's being human enough for one to relate to. Often the latter undermines the former. Where there is a disconnect between the genders on that, Vincent attempted to contribute to filling in the gap. You can find her form of methodological control as outlandish as you want. But you still can't prove it was somehow unspeakably ethical, which is what you originally sought to do.

Freeman Hunt said...

No, no, I thought is was speakably unethical. That's why I wrote about it.

montana urban legend said...

Bullshit is an opinion. So is what constitutes a "big deal". However, being able to use a Venn diagram is a little more more rational than clueless.

Freeman Hunt said...

Montana suddenly creates an image:

"Hey baby, why don't you see if your friend Sharon wants to join us? C'mon now, only close-minded squares care about gender. Open your mind, babe. It'll expand our human understanding."

montana urban legend said...

I am glad you believe yourself to be such an expert to speak out on what you consider to be ethical matters. I still find what you say more rooted in prejudice or convention than reason.

montana urban legend said...

It sounds more like your projection or "image" than anything I argued. Doesn't bother me if that's the level you need to reduce it to.

Pogo said...

MUL is a bot program, spitting out random genderspeak lines that mean nothing at all but seem important.

Really funny shit, though.

Freeman Hunt said...

Okay.

"Babe, you won't call Sharon because you aren't bisexual? That's so uncool. I still find what you say more rooted in prejudice or convention than reason."

Freeman Hunt said...

And you never addressed my comment that gender is, for most people, far more fundamental to a romantic relationship than any other aspect of oneself. Therefore, lying about it is especially egregious.

Freeman Hunt said...

Also, no one has argued that the only lie with ethical implications in a relationship is a lie about gender. It's only been argued that lying about gender within a relationship is unethical.

Pogo said...

Don't be so copulonormative, Frreeman.

montana urban legend said...

"Really funny shit, though."

Which is a pretty witty way of admitting you can't reason your way through accepting them or refuting them. I'm sorry if they make you uncomfortable to hear them, though. Not everyone makes a true-false claim in order to heckle your sheltered sensibilities, Pogo.

Ok, Freeman. At least your humor's getting better. ;-)

Freeman, I agree. Gender is generally much more fundamental. If Vincent was a less honest writer, perhaps she would have denied that this ever rose to the level of concern that you have with any of the women she "dated". Perhaps it did, but she doesn't indicate that. If it did and she lied about it, then it only makes her a dishonest writer and weakens the credibility of her work. The best writing is first and foremost, an attempt at honesty. I think what she conveyed, the blinding of her "experiment" notwithstanding, was a pretty honest portrayal.

Pogo said...

"I'm sorry if they make you uncomfortable to hear them, though."

Uncomfortable? Hardly.

I mean, effing hilarious, you are.
Unless you're actually serious, then OMG, because that is some high class bullshit you're slinging around.


C'mon. Fess up.
This is a game you play. Twister with feminist jargon.

montana urban legend said...

Some social conservatives are picky. Should we expand the seven dirty words? Make a category for words that are actually in the dictionary, that have meaning, but that imply a threat to conservative values? Just because the meanings can be implied in a way that makes someone uncomfortable, doesn't mean that the words shouldn't be used. It certainly doesn't mean that they lack meaning. Pogo gets upset because he thinks "heteronormative" threatens the assumption that heterosexual behavior is a norm. I never said it isn't.

Seeing the world and attempting to relate to it in a way that can best be described by others who are different is not a game. It exhibits a form of empathy and interest in a valid way to understand the world that you seem to have contempt for. I am clearly not so uncomfortable to do that. You are the one playing a game. If you weren't, you would attack the fucking argument(!), and not the person, and not every little measley adjective that sets off some inexplicable reaction in you.

dbp said...

According to the book, Norah Vincent's date was still interested after Vincent revealed that she was a woman.

What I wonder is if this (whether it actually happened that way or not): Was this included in the book to make the author's deception not seem so bad? After-all, she could have really caused some damage. It is not outside the realm of possibility of a suicide comming out of it. Instead, it turned out okay, so who cares? I think this part was included to distract us from the fact that Vincent was willing to take big risks with other's feelings.

In dating we take risks--you might find out the other person is a jerk, after investing some feelings in them etc... But you both go in with the chance that you will both get something out of it. In Norah Vincent's case, there was no reasonable possibility of her date getting anything out of it.

montana urban legend said...

Thank you, dbp, for trying to maintain the thread on a mature and rational trajectory.

I have a function I have to go to, but it's been interesting, and I want to check back later. If everyone tries to keep the contributions topical, I'm sure it will be worth it for everybody.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Make a category for words that are actually in the dictionary, that have meaning,

Just because words exist in the dictionary and have a meaning doesn't always mean that those words belong together or have any purport when randomly strung together in convoluted sentences. As Pogo said. A bot program. Like this one and has about as much relevance.

You might want to call your random stringing together of words intellectual and erudite. In the 'olden' days we just called it gobbledygook

Pogo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

The entire form of "argument" you pose is the same typical leftist bullshit sophistry I have seen since I was 10 years old.

Of course it's a game you're playing. And yes, some the words you use have no real meaning; they're ciphers, meant to obscure rather than clarify.

Like "uncomfortable". Who talks that way, save for leftists?
"Heteronormative"
? Who says that, but for agenda-laden lefty ideologists?
"Seeing the world and attempting to relate to it in a way that can best be described by others who are different ..." is an entirely meaningless sentence. Obfuscatory, absolutely devoid of truth.
"Where there is a disconnect between the genders on that, Vincent attempted to contribute to filling in the gap. You can find her form of methodological control as outlandish as you want." is simlarly content-free, full of all the most fashionable terminology.

Good God. Please tell me this is a big chain-yanking you're pulling here, because you do this thing way too well and it's starting to scare me.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Randomly generated sentences

Sometimes, the butler quickly ate the electronic hair.

And so, the evil potato quickly spat on the flaming hair.

A monster dramatically captured the original book.

LOL

Freeman Hunt said...

Randomly generated sentences

I wish some commenter really would argue like that. That's entertainment.

Oligonicella said...

"Make a category for words that are actually in the dictionary..."

You mean like heteronormative?

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

"No, she was trying to find out if a young woman was spreading rumors about her daughter -- defending her daughter."

Just what are you basing that on? Certainly not the facts of the case nor the statements of Drew herself.

Lem said...

Self Made Woman

http://tinyurl.com/6s48av

Ann Althouse said...

"Just what are you basing that on? "

On news articles about the case.

Ann Althouse said...

"What information was Lori Drew trying to gather when she (in the guise of the (fake) boy who liked the victim) said "The world will be better off without you" ?"

Lori Drew did not write that.

Ann Althouse said...

LOL, the Freeman/Montana interchange. Esp. the way Montana totally acted like there was no immense gaffe about Palladian.

Also, as to all the statements about what the book says about Vincent's relationships with women. Hello? Vincent wrote the book! She shaped the stories and chose what to include and what to leave out. And she only knows what was said to her, not how she made others suffer.

dbp said...

I don't think we know if it was even written, let alone whether Lori Drew wrote it.

What is clear is that something was written which upset the girl. You get information about people by gaining their confidence, not by abusing them. It may be when it started-out the purpose of the ruse was to gather information--it certainly didn't end that way.

Ann Althouse said...

dhp, it was in an IM message written by a young woman who was not prosecuted:

"According to testimony during the trial, Ashley Grills, a then-18-year-old employee of Drew, created the "Josh Evans" account with Drew's approval and conducted most of the communication between "Josh" and Megan. After "Josh" sent Megan a final message in October 2006 telling her "the world would be a better place without you," Megan hanged herself in her bedroom.
Kunasz said jurors were given printouts of three conversations between Megan and "Josh" as evidence of Drew's three alleged felony violations. But Kunasz said the final message that Megan received wasn't among the printouts, and the three that jurors did receive weren't malicious.

""They were 'oh you're so hot,' 'I love you' and who-loves-who messages," she said. "It wasn't something that to me personally -- and I think the rest of the jury felt the same way -- was malicious in mind."

"Kunasz said jurors were not allowed to take into account the last message sent to Megan, because the message was not sent through MySpace. Ashley Grills testified that she sent the message through American Online's instant messaging service."

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/lori_drew_trial/index.html

dbp said...

If Ashley was an employee of Drew and created the account at her direction that certainly complicates the picture.

But it could still have been a kind of "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?" kind of thing?

montana urban legend said...

Aside from the massive assumptions here, to the effect that one's conventional understanding of reality is the only one that exists, what evidence is there that Vincent made anyone else "suffer"? Oh, that's right. None. Not that empiricism is any match for the authoritah of appealing to the 'olden' days or producing other thought-terminating cliches.

I'm dying to know what gaffe there was with Palladian. As I am dying to know how Pogo's use of the neologism "copulonormative" isn't a sarcastic implication that gays decide to be gay so that they can make war on reproduction.

Of course, none of this is any match for ridicule, ostracism and refusing to address the argument. I'm sure of that. Just not sure why. Perhaps there's a "bot" program to fix that. I'd call it "conformity" but that would be about as stupid as accusing someone of keeping company with "agenda-laden lefty ideologists" and thinking you actually addressed what they said.

Or you could always just refuse to acknowledge that they said anything. That's almost as clever.

montana urban legend said...

And who takes issue with the use of the word "uncomfortable", except for someone with an anti-leftist agenda?

Etc., etc., etc. Wash, rinse, repeat.

"This" game can apparently be played in many ways.

And, of course, a couple of clunky sentences in one post is surely evidence that I should restrict myself to as little to see in the world and say about it as Pogo does.

montana urban legend said...

Well anyway, Palladian's not said anything in a while. If he's gay, or female, then where is the gaffe? I mean I'm sure there are gay troglodytes just as there are straight ones, and female troglodytes just as surely as there are male ones. So if I classed him into the wrong category of troglodyte, I suppose I should apologize, assuming he took offense. But if that's the case, he/she/it should do a better job of clarifying which category of troglodyte he/she/it falls into first. It would make things a lot easier, seeing as how important those more boring aspects of identity are to y'all.

montana urban legend said...

I think it's hilarious that all sorts of things were assumed about me in this thread, and all sorts of things were assumed about what I should somehow know about Palladian, but Nora Vincent's experiences with a woman who didn't object to dating her despite not initially knowing her true gender is what causes such a stir.

Well, furthering hypocrisy and deception in order to derail a rational argument is surely a more important cause than whatever Vincent engaged in - especially when that's what the argument's about.

Now resume your appeals to your feelings and your truthiness. They are clearly more important considerations.

Ralph said...

Megan certainly had an excellent psychiatrist! Kills herself over harsh words from a "boy" she's never met. Good thing Megan never tried being a boy.

montana urban legend said...

Ralph, by referencing Megan are you saying that the intention of Drew actually mattered? Because some people apparently either don't or they like to conflate it with other things.

Ralph said...

I don't care what her intentions were. Megan could have turned off the computer. If she were fragile enough for psychiatric care and drugs in the 3rd grade, her parents should have kept a very close eye on her.

Richard Fagin said...

This experiment was run once before in a more gruesome manner. Everyone needs to go to the library, take out and read, "Black Like me."

Pogo said...

"Or you could always just refuse to acknowledge that they said anything.".

Hell, works for me.
But wake me up when you actually say something.

montana urban legend said...

"But wake me up when you actually say something."

Right. Because as long as you label something "feminist" or "liberal" then it was either meaningless, obfuscatory or meant to confuse you. It's pretty narcissistic to complain that anything you don't understand or don't want to hear lacks any meaning.*

Richard's comment prompted me to look into Black Like Me. Apparently the author of that work also suffered a backlash, including death threats if he didn't recall the book. The reactions on this thread, both to Vincent's book and any responses to it that don't condemn her for what she did, make more sense once viewed in that light.


*It's like putting one's fingers in one's ears and yelling "I can't hear you!" Although, this might be the sort of behavior you'd expect from an avatar of a cartoon character banging a drum.

Palladian said...

"Although, this might be the sort of behavior you'd expect from an avatar of a cartoon character banging a drum."

Maybe you should put down the bell hooks and pick up a book of the brilliant "Pogo" comics. You might actually learn something. Doubtful, however. You seem pretty stupid.

Freeman Hunt said...

How is Montana still posting when he's taken and put to use every inch of rope we've had to give?

AllenS said...

Montana said...

"It's like putting one's fingers in one's ears and yelling "I can't hear you!"

Sometimes, I put my hands over my eyes and yell: I can't read what you've typed!

montana urban legend said...

Palladian, it's ok. You seem pretty stupid to me too.

Freeman, your quaint and rustic love for vigilantism and Western-style street justice notwithstanding (which doesn't apply here, although it was tragically employed in the unfortunate case of Megan Meier and Lori Drew), you've not proved anything. Your strongest point (which it took you about a dozen posts to learn how to articulate) was that that lying "about gender doesn't just undermine the relationship, it undermines the entire basis of possibility for the relationship to exist." And yet, had you bothered to read what Vincent wrote, you'd have learned that this was not the case. So in fact, you are wrong. Not to put too fine a point on it.

Perhaps it might take a tighter tug on your leash for you to comprehend that fact, but I am not a big fan of the domination and submission style of learning. I suspect you know how to reason. It won't hurt your brain to prove it. It might make you less popular among your peer group here, but perhaps that's more important to you.

Palladian said...

"Palladian, it's ok. You seem pretty stupid to me too."

Yes, generally the stupid think smarter people are stupid, born out of frustration and jealousy. Now of course you could say I'm the stupid one who doesn't understand your manifest brilliance, but several facts stand in the way of accepting that proposition. First, I know I'm not stupid. Second, everyone here seems to think you're stupid. Third, you've proven yourself to be an idiot through your silly ideas and generally clownish demeanor, not to mention your laughably sophomore-year-style overuse of dated Po-Mo academic jargon. The logical conclusion is: you're stupid!

The good news for you is that you seem totally clueless as well, so you'll never know how stupid you actually are. In fact, when you get that degree from Woodsy Owl Community College in Queer Studies you'll probably think you're even smarter. The bad news for the rest of us is that you'll be even more insufferable and have picked up a whole bunch more academic jargon to misuse. But at least you'll be happy, I guess.

Good luck on your finals. I hear there's a section on the conjugation and proper use of the term "hir".

montana urban legend said...

This coming from the idiot who could not come up with a single reason for the actual argument being made: Why, how or to what extent Vincent was actually ethically wrong.

"First, I know I'm not stupid."

"Second, everyone here seems to think you're stupid."

"Third, you've proven yourself to be an idiot through your silly ideas and generally clownish demeanor, not to mention your laughably sophomore-year-style overuse of dated Po-Mo academic jargon. The logical conclusion is: you're stupid!"

The logical conclusion is that whoever taught you anything didn't instruct you in the process of how to formulate a rational thought whatsoever. But it's good that you can get a rise out of rousing an online community that not only feels privileged to know your sexual orientation, but seems to care about it in the most superficial and irrelevant way. I bet that makes you happier than it would make me to take lessons in the art of intelligent discourse from someone who couldn't argue their way out of their own navel.

montana urban legend said...

And by "seems to care about it", I mean, "seems to think it matters." Didn't want to get accused of committing the grievous sin of perpetuating po-mo jargon, which of course is dangerous and must be banned.

Freeman Hunt said...

Freeman, your quaint and rustic love for vigilantism and Western-style street justice notwithstanding (which doesn't apply here, although it was tragically employed in the unfortunate case of Megan Meier and Lori Drew), ...

Where did that come from? And how does the Drew case involve vigilantism? Is that some confused reference to my rope comment? See, there's this idiom about giving someone enough rope...

Oh, nevermind.

I wish you all the best in the world of the hetero-dis-normative or wherever it is that people are unable to recognize that initiating fake romantic relationships is unethical.

Palladian, hey, I guessed sophmore year too!

montana urban legend said...

I'm sure that guessing is a very common way for people who are often wrong to arrive at the conclusions they do.

I'm assuming your quibble with descriptions of Lori Drew's actions as "vigilantism" stems from the fact that her actions weren't pursuant to the enforcement of any law, as none were broken.

vigilante: broadly: a self appointed doer of justice.

But "justice" doesn't have to conform to legally accepted principles.

Main Entry: jus-tice

Pronunciation: \ˈjəs-təs\

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French justise, from Latin justitia, from justus

Date: 12th century

1 a: the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments b: judge c: the administration of law ; especially : the establishment or determination of rights according to the rules of law or equity

2 a: the quality of being just, impartial, or fair b (1): the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action (2): conformity to this principle or ideal : righteousness c: the quality of conforming to law

3: conformity to truth, fact, or reason : correctness

I wish you all the luck in the world in constructing better straw men. Perhaps with just enough of it you will accidentally hit on the actual truth of the matters you discuss. Empiric and rational analyses are no match for your folksy wisdom - which, if you had your way, would be taught, along with the virtue of being easily distracted by cliquish behavior while attempting to engage in moral reasoning, in institutions of higher learning across the world.

montana urban legend said...

Incidentally, my father was a fan of Pogo (the cartoon character and not the silly little imposter who plays him on the internets). "We have met the enemy and he is us". Walt Kelly started his strip by lampooning Joseph McCarthy, as well as the John Birch Society and, later, Hoover and Nixon himself. He was in the process of creating an environmentally-themed animated short for Earth Day when he died.

None of this surprises me, as I suspected the aforementioned slogan which I remembered was likely not an affirmation of the socially conservative principles that so animate the real Pogo's impresario here. My father's politics remain mixed and not easily categorized, but I doubt he would have gone on ranting tears about how "liberals" and "feminists" are leading the supposed downfall of civilization and how they (or anyone you can identify with them) must be therefore ignored and either subjected to blanket ridicule or banished from public discourse. Then again, he's smarter than "Pogo" from Minnesota and especially cautious about allowing rigid mental conventions to freeze one's brain and sap it of the ability to engage rational discussions - regardless of which "team" is supplying the opinions and what they are arguing for or against.

But it's enlightening to know that at least a couple of you have developed such an appreciation for Pogo and what you can learn from reading his stories, 35 years after the death of his creator. What can I say? Some people are extremely slow learners.

Next thing you know, some of you will be reading George Orwell and misapplying his ideas. Oh wait...