January 31, 2014

Online feminism is full of "essays by people who feel emotionally savaged by their involvement in it — not because of sexist trolls, but because of the slashing righteousness of other feminists."

Writes Michelle Goldberg in "Feminism’s Toxic Twitter Wars/Empowered by social media, feminists are calling one another out for ideological offenses. Is it good for the movement? And whose movement is it?"

What's toxic about debate, disagreement, and hardcore argument? When was feminism ever supposed to be about being nice to anybody?

Goldberg's best example of feminist in-fighting:

In January, the actress and activist Martha Plimpton tweeted about a benefit for Texas abortion funds called “A Night of a Thousand Vaginas,” sponsored by A Is For, a reproductive rights organization she’s involved with. Plimpton was surprised when some offended Internet feminists urged people to stay away, arguing that emphasizing “vaginas” hurts trans men who don’t want their reproductive organs coded as female. “Given the constant genital policing, you can’t expect trans folks to feel included by an event title focused on a policed, binary genital,” tweeted @DrJaneChi, an abortion and transgender health provider. (She mentioned “internal genitals” as an alternative.) When Plimpton insisted that she would continue to say “vagina,” her feed filled up with indignation. “So you’re really committed to doubling down on using a term that you’ve been told many times is exclusionary & harmful?” asked one self-described intersectional feminist blogger.

Plimpton takes intersectionality seriously—A Is For is hosting a series of discussions on the subject this year—but she was flummoxed by this purist, arcane form. “I’m not going to stop using the word ‘vagina’ for anybody, whether it’s Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee or somebody on Twitter who feels it creates a dysphoric response,” she tells me. “I can’t do that and still advocate for reproductive freedom. It’s just not a realistic thing to expect.”
There's also this quote from Mikki Kendall, creator of the #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag: "Feminism has a mammy problem, and mammy doesn’t live here anymore."

90 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Feminism is for twits. It is the twit religion.

The Nation! For Christ's sake, what do you expect from that old commie rag? Lethal doctrinal fights following by expulsion from the party (and executions) are the trademarks of the commies.

No, The Nation does not believe that expanded debate is a good thing.

Here's a good opportunity to explain to you why you, Althouse, are the oppressor.

You are the gatekeeper for a business that is mostly a rent seeker at the door of government. That would be corporate law.

You've used that position as gatekeeper to argue for more stuff for the most pampered pets of the aristocratic class... upper class white women.

My reading of literature tells me that the obsessions of the aristocratic rent seeking class is the same as it has always been, including your preposterous BS about gaydom. Homosexuality has always been an obsession of the aristocratic rent seeking class.

The problem here is your continued discussion of feminism as some sort of serious issue. It isn't. Unless you are a rent seeking lawyer. Likewise, homosexuality.

Henry said...

I'm not going to stop using the word dysphoric for anyone either.

The problem with identity politics is that every idea gets trumped by identity. You can be interesting, effective, insightful, humane, accurate: none of it matters. Authenticity is the only virtue. And thus every argument is won by accusation.

Academic Marxism exhibits the same reductive malignancy, but on the basis of ideological purity. No outside illumination -- history, logic, practice -- shines through the blackout shades of ideological assertion. (see Mario Vargas Llosa, A Fish in the Water).

Authenticity is the identity politics equivalent of the same thing. Whoever is most is queen.

Or king, as it might be.

Henry said...

I feel sorry for people like Martha Plimpton and Michelle Goldberg more than anything. They're trying to come up with grand schemes and they end up having to fight about people's hurt feelings all day. That trivializes "debate, disagreement, and hardcore argument".

They need to get off the Twitter feed. Twitter is toxic.

tim in vermont said...

I guess it is one big argument over which class is privileged to whine authentically.

MadisonMan said...

I've liked Martha Plimpton ever since The Goonies. And I like her response here. How can you advocate for reproductive rights if you cannot say the word vagina?

However, I won't be sad if radical feminists force that play to be renamed 'The Female Internal Genitals Monologues'

Tank said...

MadisonMan said...

I've liked Martha Plimpton ever since The Goonies. And I like her response here. How can you advocate for reproductive rights if you cannot say the word vagina?


Respectfully MM, they are advocating for ABORTION, not reproductive rights.

Don't fall into their trap. (I'm sure I do too).

LordSomber said...

The louder the fish bicker, the faster the bicycle speeds away.

TosaGuy said...

I guess that it would be impolite for a man to jump in that twitter convo with hashtag #makemeasandwich ?

-ducks-

Moose said...

Schadenfreude any one?

Paul said...

Feminism is just another branch of the politics of envy. Women envious of men's superior strength, creativity, leadership, and ultimately, power.

They cannot do what men can do. Look at the modern world. It was conceived and built by men. Men's brains are biologically wired for the type of abstract thinking needed to create he structures, systems, and technological marvels that feminists foolishly take for granted.

Camille Paglia is the only one with the honesty and courage to admit and accept this glaringly obvious truth. Althouse sure can't see it, but somehow I'm pretty sure she relies on men to do the heavy lifting and servicing of the appurtenances of her comfy, push button, labor saving world.

Instead feminists are at war with men and masculinity, using cultural Marxist techniques and the force of government coercion to stunt the development of masculinity of boys from early childhood. They do what the left always does, drag people down to make them equal, because that is all they can do.

Yes there is are overlapping bell curves but so what. It's painfully obvious men and women have evolved differently due to very different biological imperatives, and the feminist evil idiocy to try and subvert men and their proper role in the world is just that.

Evil idiocy.

Lyssa said...

I'm not sure that I understand what "mammy problem" means.

The "who does feminism belong to" question is interesting to me. It seems that my family should be a feminist ideal. I work in a (sort of) prestigious job; my husband stays home with the kid. I worked to get here and I'm able to achieve more at work and still have a child because of the freedom that him staying at home allows, and we're both doing things that we chose and that makes us happy.

Yet, many feminists balk at my lifestyle, and would not have me in their club. They want stuff provided to them, and since I do not, we are at odds. The idea of demanding free stuff for being female is completely at odds with feminism, to me - it's always meant that I can be responsible for myself. I would go so far as to say that those people are the antithesis of feminism, and they would say the same about me.

So, who's the feminist? Who can say?

(I think that I'd be very afraid to visit a doctor who doesn't understand that vaginas are a necessary part of the "reproductive" part of "reproductive rights".)

Illuninati said...

"What's toxic about debate, disagreement, and hardcore argument? When was feminism ever supposed to be about being nice to anybody?"

Well stated. I have never confused the feminists I've known with nice people.

Virgil Hilts said...

Way too much intersectional dysphoria for the Friday before the Super Bowl. These people need to let down their hair, have a beer or two and lighten up. Life is too short. IMHO.

Sigivald said...

Feminism keeps being - according to self-proclaimed feminists I unfortunately encounter on the Internet - not "the radical proposition that men and women are equal".

It always seems to be the not-at-all-radical proposition that women are ultra-special and should get anything the speaker desires they - as a class/group/identity unit - should get for being so ultra-special.

I support the former, and oppose the latter entirely.

The latter is the sort of feminism described by the quoted source; feminism as identity politics naturally devolves to infighting and posturing. How can it not?

(The typical example being Althouse's own rule of gender difference reporting: Always reported such that whatever women do is Right or Better.

Not equal. Superior.)

Virgil Hilts said...

Way too much intersectional dysphoria for the Friday before the Super Bowl. These people need to let down their hair, have a beer or two and lighten up. Life is too short. IMHO.

Trashhauler said...

The gender wars have naturally migrated into the scifi publishing world. Someone challenged authors to eliminate the gender binary in all stories, novels, and whatnot. The flames got quite high and are still not damped down completely.

http://bradrtorgersen.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/sci-male-utterings-on-gender-binarism/

RecChief said...

is it debate, disagreement, or hard core argument? What I see from feminists' fellow travelers ,the "Progressives", are insults, mockery, lies, and generally anything vile and nasty that will stifle debate.

Carl said...

What's toxic about debate, disagreement, and hardcore argument?

Nothing. Men have been doing it for millenia, and have found a myriad ways to engage in it while remaining friends, respected peers, or at least not mortal enemies.

The problem is that this is not the strong point of women. Remember all the fawning commentary about how women "seek consensus" and are not "confrontational" and prefer "win/win" solutions, where nobody's ideas lose and nobody's feelings are hurt? All true. But this incompetence with explicit principled disagreement -- in particular the toxic and slovenly mixing up of feelings and ideas -- is the flip side of that.

This is not to say some women are not very good at principled disagreement, and can do it without it getting personal. Some men are good at child-rearing, consensus building, and nursing, too. But that is not the way to bet.

Actually, in my experience, the relatively few women who are good at, and even enjoy, principled disagreement and debate tend to favor the company of men for those purposes, and an unusually high fraction of their friends are men.

R. Chatt said...

Just the other day I started reading Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice Psychological Theory and Women's Development. 1982,1993 Already two of her points have been demonstrated by this article. First, she noted that young boys relish competitive games and even enjoy arguing about the elaborate rules of the game while girls' games end when there are conflicts. She also noted that girls are taught to think of others so they self edit when expressing themselves. Obviously that expectation/code is being smashed when women say what they really think on twitter, etc.
Are we defined by our organs or by some psychological traits? Apparently some "feminists" are actually displaying male psychological characteristics and some women/girls don't like it.

tim in vermont said...

The way men learned to deal with this stuff through the millions of years humans have existed was very expensive natural selection. If men talked to each other the way women seem to think that men talk to each other, especially superior to subordinate, there would be bodies everywhere in the workplace.

Michael K said...

I've been reading Simon Ramo's story of how the ICBM was developed in the 1950s. Then I come back here for a break and see this nonsense.

My old partner in practice used to say "A woman is a life support system for a pussy." That was a joke but it has gotten to be the focus of feminism. I think I'll go back to my book after I walk the dog.

Shanna said...

using a term that you’ve been told many times is exclusionary

The transgender stuff is getting insanely out of hand. That is such a tiny percentage of the populace and they seem to want to make everybody else pretend that a person's physical sex is not a real thing because they have decided they dont' like the one they were born too. That anyone is indulging them is downright bizarre.

n.n said...

The war between women and confused rages! For the sake of humanity, I support women, and those cute little fetuses that are conceived and develop in their wombs, emerge from their vaginas, and will one day grow up to be recognized as humans. Confusion is antithetical to evolutionary fitness.

David Kutzler said...

Wait! What? Are the "Vagina Monologues" now considered exclusionary? I'm really confused.

boldface said...

"Night of 1000 Vaginas" strikes me as a kinda porny name. I wonder if the voyeur community showed up to gawk.

Paul Zrimsek said...

What Carl said.

Tarrou said...

We're not the Judean People's Front! We're the People's Front of Judea! Not like the Popular People's Front of Judea, those splitters!



BAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.

It's like they are immune to irony.

n.n said...

Instead of criticizing "Vagina Monologues", the opposing faction could produce "Rectum Monologues", and call a truce.

elkh1 said...

Internal Genital Monologues.

Why do feminists feel it empowering to be vulgar? Make them feel like uncouth men?

Sorun said...

“I’m not going to stop using the word ‘vagina’ for anybody, whether it’s Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee or somebody on Twitter who feels it creates a dysphoric response"

I doubt Beck or Huckabee has ever told anyone not to use the word "vagina"? I don't get the comparison.

Sorun said...

Unwanted 30-something women are very bitter. That's all anyone needs to know.

elkh1 said...

"A man needs a vulgar woman like a fish needs a bicycle,"

Sorun said...

The word "pussy" is more flexible in its use.

Brando said...

Dogmatic ideology tends to collapse in on itself.

Sorun said...

I bet that article includes every synonym for "anger" known in the English language. Well, except for "on the rag."

President-Mom-Jeans said...

The old wave feminists will die off in the next 20 years or so, surrounded by itinerant lawn care professionals they support financially, if they are that lucky.

These new wave feminists will grow old and alone with their many cats.

None of them have any value and contribute nothing to society.

Lyle said...

Michelle Goldberg is so ignorant.

mishu said...

Here's a score card for those keeping score at home. My favorite part about these bios are that some of these feminists are "founders" of hashtags on Twitter. Founder of a hashtag. Years from now you'll a picture in gold leaf frame at the hashtag office captioned, "Our Founder".

Unknown said...

Michael K. , 1/31/14, 1:07 PM, Drinking a Pepsi and I almost lost it.

Jeffrey Levin said...

There is nothing toxic about debate. The issue is that most of what I see in regards to this issue comes nowhere near "debate". Most of what i see is drivel and petty stabs back and forth at bogeypersons (I see what i did there)

Sam L. said...

"What's toxic about debate, disagreement, and hardcore argument? When was feminism ever supposed to be about being nice to anybody?"

A: Feminism, itsownself. Middle-school girl gangs/cliques fighting turf wars. "The female of the species..."

And dang near ever one is a Victim of/for the other one.

Alex B. said...

"reproductive freedom"

I always love seeing euphemisms. The harmful effects of these euphemisms are clearly on display. In this case "reproductive freedom" means the freedom to kill your own child. The clear harm is on the order of 50,000,000 murdered since 1973.

Michael K said...

"Blogger Unknown said...
Michael K. , 1/31/14, 1:07 PM, Drinking a Pepsi and I almost lost it."

He was single at the time. I doubt his wife of 37 years ever heard him say that.

Trashhauler said...

"reproductive freedom" means the freedom to kill your own child.

To be clear, women have had the ability to kill their children since the dawn of time with increasingly less difficulty as science has progressed. Most were socially constrained from it.

"Reproductive freedom" once meant they didn't want to be prosecuted for it. Then, they said, "Of course, everyone wants it to be rare." Now, some are close to demanding they be praised for it.

Naked Surfer said...

On January 3, for example, Katherine Cross, a Puerto Rican trans woman working on a PhD at the CUNY Graduate Center, wrote about how often she hesitates to publish articles or blog posts out of fear of inadvertently stepping on an ideological land mine and bringing down the wrath of the online enforcers. “I fear being cast suddenly as one of the ‘bad guys’ for being insufficiently radical, too nuanced or too forgiving, or for simply writing something whose offensive dimensions would be unknown to me at the time of publication,” she wrote.

I have a heart for what Cross is saying. But, these fears are what? - greater than fears of being taken seriously? - since when were maenads-sparagmos anything less than flying-flesh-eating-bitches?

mccullough said...

Night of 1000 Uteri seems like a better name.

gerry said...

itinerant lawn care professionals

"The Crabgrass of Wrath" will tell their story.

These new wave feminists will grow old and alone with their many cats.

Wrinkled pussy pussies.

David said...

Lyssa said...
I'm not sure that I understand what "mammy problem" means.


I took it to mean that there are no longer any reliable colored household servants to be had at a bargain price. Sounds like a white elite feminist complaint to me.

mccullough said...

It's good to see the Trans folks standing up to the Matriarchy. Looks like they are giving the black feminists a run for their money. Eventually the group identities will be whittled down until they get to be individuals. Marx will be displeased but it's the beginning of freedom.

mccullough said...

I took the mammy problem to mean black women wouldn't take being talked down to by the white women anymore. The trans aren't either. Maybe a cage match between the trans and black women will be next up. Trans is a minority's minority. I wouldn't bet against them.

glenn said...

All that self righteous feminism is usually more concerned with protecting somebodies rice bowl than it is about women's rights.

David said...

More seriously (these people are serious, if nothing else), this is just another spat in out of touchville. Most of the world knows that there are people with vaginas, and people with no vaginas. Neither group is monolithic in orientation or outlook. Or physiology for that matter.

But there are no words to describe the subgroups. We aren't like esquimos, who have seventy different words for snow, or something like that. What is the word for a person born with a regular vagina and a small penis who identifies as male? As female? Or people with a large penis and a vestigial vagina? Or all the other stuff we are told go on in peoples' bodies and minds?

You just can't keep up with it linguistically, you know. So the people who care about such things (most don't) get all snippy (like the metaphor?) because they lack the proper words.

Maybe this is what civilization had to go through, back when "uuuggh" meant hug, kill, fuck, eat, sit, run and put down the damn toilet seat.

Eventually people found a way. Sort of. Right now the feminists just suffer from lack of vocabulary.

tim in vermont said...

"or for simply writing something whose offensive dimensions would be unknown to me at the time of publication"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

wildswan said...

There are whole entire countries and there are major religions which say that women are not created equal and are not equal under the law. Inside these boundaries women are forced into marriages with fat old rich men and it's OK. Their daughters are aborted because they are women - what does that say to the mother? They are raped if they ride the bus to school. None of this is OK and inside those boundaries as a response to their horrible situation women are refusing to have children - and aborting them I'm sorry to say. It won't end till women have true justice - freedom, equality, education, money of their own or money as an earned right.

But these women won't be helped in their life and death struggles by New York City women have everything they need and consequently who have become bogged down in drawing and redrawing boundaries of discourse like Balkan potentates before World War I. Under the rules these dopes are using there is nothing you can say. If you eliminate all reference to mother, father, boy, girl etc. you will offend a very large group of people; if you draw any boundaries, you will offend against your own rules.
If you draw some boundaries, you'll be sitting around the table discussing them when the Palestinians and the Israelis reach an agreement and go home turning out the lights on you despite your shrill voices which will have become just a background white twitter. Admit the problem, deal with it or move on.

Anglelyne said...

Boring. Stupid. Infantile. In fact, if you actually follow up and read the exchanges in this "debate" (I don't recommend it), you might reasonably add, "and often veering close to or crossing the line to 'mentally ill". (If only the en-dumb-enment and crazification of public debate was restricted to Judean People's Front "feminism".)

Here's the thing: whatever doors feminism opened, any woman with an interest in life beyond their cooters went through them. Anyone who really wasn't interested in anything else often stayed behind as a career feminist (a professional womyn instead of a professional woman, if you will), joining the festering stew of "identity" hustlers and grievance mongers.

Oh, yeah, and the tranny shenanigans - jesus, we have full-on crazy reigning in the public square here, with apparently sane adults now pandering, with utmost gravity, to the hysterical demands of these disturbed individuals.

madAsHell said...

This is just so much Dorito dust on that curvy dress.

Bob Ellison said...

Margaret Thatcher: I am enjoying this!

Now that's a feminist.

Anglelyne said...

Naked Surfer: "Sparagmos". Cool, New vocabulary word for me. Thanks.

Jonathan Silber said...

Men are by nature merely indifferent to one another; but women are by nature enemies.

--Schopenhauer

Bob Ellison said...

"Toxic Twitter Wars".

Twitter is not a normal thing. Wait, does that sound homophobic? I'm trying to say that Twitter is twitty.

So what argument got elevated at the Starbuck's today?

Micha Elyi said...

Thanks, prof, for another example showing us all that feminism is as it always was.

Mark said...

The funny thing about the pro-Abortion crowd is that so many of them have about as much chance of getting pregnant (the usual way) as that proverbial fish has of winning a BMX trophy.

Personally, I'm of the "safe, legal, and rare" persuasion when it comes to abortion. What bemuses is the portion of the population who sees every abortion as a blow against traditional penis/vagina usage. (Pardon the visual.)

The Feminist who believes a woman can't be straight and be a real Feminist is pretty common and seems to have taken over the movement, such as it is.

That we as a culture allow ourselves to be wagged by this particular tail is dysfunctional, to say the least.

SOJO said...

The only person I follow with overt that remotely fits this description is Quinn Norton (http://www.quinnnorton.com, https://twitter.com/quinnnorton)

She writes for Wired and similar on Digital Rights, Occupy, hacker culture, etc. She is also the ex-partner of Aaron Schwartz and was under some pressure by his prosecutors.

In any case, she gets quite a bit of male vitriol and overt threats directed her way online, even from 'feminist' males, and has written a (long) piece about it here on Medium.com:

https://medium.com/ladybits-on-medium/4c854eb591a5

Bruce Hayden said...

Just the other day I started reading Carol Gilligan's In a Different Voice Psychological Theory and Women's Development. 1982,1993

I too recommend this book. Thought that she had a lot of good insights.

If men talked to each other the way women seem to think that men talk to each other, especially superior to subordinate, there would be bodies everywhere in the workplace.

I respectfully disagree. I think that there is a lot of dominance/subordinate talking that goes on with males. I see it more now that I am in my 60s, and esp. from females, but also from one of my brothers, who tends to take the subordinate role too often for my comfort. When I was in a decent sized law firm, my mode would differ greatly between I was talking to senior partners, peers, and junior associates. Thing though is that males tend to very quickly determine their status vis a vie other males, and so rarely is there that much bloodshed - the conflict arises when two males have conflicting opinions of their respective statuses. You see this with males of other species too, where the subordinate males don't challenge superior males, unless they are trying to move up the hierarchy. But, when they do try to move up, they don't tend to challenge the male on top, but rather, ones right above them in the hierarchy (And, in a lot of species, challenging males too much higher in the hierarchy can be fatal - we don't usually face that because most of our competition is in simulated, and not real, combat).

Bruce Hayden said...

The Feminist who believes a woman can't be straight and be a real Feminist is pretty common and seems to have taken over the movement, such as it is.

Logically, Lesbian Feminists should have no interest in abortion. Absent actual rape, it is essentially impossible for them to unintentionally get pregnant (i.e. to get pregnant, they need to enlist the services of a sperm donor).

Freeman Hunt said...

"Don't call my arm an arm. I've decided it's a wing, so it's mean to call it an arm." - aspiring birdman of the future

David said...

"I respectfully disagree. I think that there is a lot of dominance/subordinate talking that goes on with males. I see it more now that I am in my 60s, and esp. from females, but also from one of my brothers, who tends to take the subordinate role too often for my comfort. When I was in a decent sized law firm, my mode would differ greatly between I was talking to senior partners, peers, and junior associates."

Which was great training for dealing with clients. Some clients want you to come in and take charge. Others want your to take, or at least pretend to take, a secondary role. It's often not clear what they want until you are well into the assignment.

And the hierarchy of a law firm is not vertical. It exists in several different dimensions simultaneously. It can be confusing and tiring.

My impulse was to take charge and to challenge, but I was often weak at determining when I should deliberately step back from that impulse. That sometimes made things interesting when they did not need to be.

Eric Jablow said...

TosaGuy,

You forgot the magic word.

Make me a sandwich.

What? Make it yourself.

Sudo make me a sandwich.

Okay.

[xkcd #149]

whswhs said...

To anyone who knows the history of the French Revolution, this won't be a surprise.

SGT Ted said...

Remember all the fawning commentary about how women "seek consensus" and are not "confrontational" and prefer "win/win" solutions, where nobody's ideas lose and nobody's feelings are hurt?

Yea that's bullshit. Especially when its all women working together.

I spent 26 years in the Army, and dealt with what goes on in the Female Barracks.

feminists = bullshit artists.

Archie said...

The only thing that protects these crazy women from having men slap them silly every time they spout off is the conditioning of boys and men. That can easily change and quickly revert to a more Moslem-like society. We have the model. Wise women will shun the crazy among their gender and their gender-lite hangers on both because these people are nuts and in their self interest of not having our society change in ways contrary to their well being. Think it can't happen here?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Oughtn't someone to point out to DrJaneChi and like-minded folks that the vagina isn't itself a "reproductive organ," and that whether or not you physically possess a vagina, it's silly to be offended if someone uses the word? You might as well be offended if someone mentions "tonsils" when you've had yours removed. Or not.

Next FTM transsexuals will be offended by any mention of "prostate," because they haven't got one.

James Sweet said...

"Brando said...

Dogmatic ideology tends to collapse in on itself."

We're somewhere around neutron star density, with the black hole formation coming soon. The black hole opens in another multiverse and forms a new universe. Sadly, it's not a very interesting universe.

Laura said...

What part of healthy debate includes telling another party to shut up because he doesn't possess a vagina or uterus?

kentuckyliz said...

Night of a Thousand Birth Canals

traditionalguy said...

I just thought about the state of being Emotionally Savaged. What is that???

Is it fear of rejection or is it a panic attack?

Men seriously do not have that experience. We can use aggression as a response and therefore never get a trapped feeling. Think of Richard Sherman being emotionally savaged. He will never let that happen. Why should he.

Men only break down when someone is successfully attacking the people under our protection and we feel helpless to stop them.

exiledonmainst said...

I read things like this and I realize there is a world out there I know nothing of. I spend my days thinking about my work, my family, my friends, my boyfriend*,my bills, the country, the book I'm reading,and if I really want to go ice-skating tomorrow or if I should just laze around and make stew instead. Meanwhile, off in a different universe, feminists are agonizing over whether or not the word "vagina" is hurtful and discrimatory. They're actually losing sleep over this. I am Woman, Hear Me Whine. *Crap, Althouse, why isn't there a better word than that? My "boyfriend" is in his late 50's. I'm in my early 50's. "Boyfriend" sounds like I'm wearing his class ring and hoping he'll ask me to Prom. Introducing a man you are dating as "my friend" sounds too bland and non-sexual; introducing him as "my lover" sounds too sexual, particularly if you haven't yet reached that point in the relationship. Everything I can think of sounds dumb. How did you introduce Meade when you were still just dating?

exiledonmainst said...

Sorry, I had that comment organized into nice paragraphs and somehow it posted as one big clump of words.

Drew said...

Arguing with a mirror is what you have. Sometimes that mirror doesn't mouth exactly what you say.

What you have is the disease wrought by the current "memememe" generation. "why am i not the most important thing evah!"

I weep for these generations. They are weak, pitiful and do not know what work and the real meaning of effort is.
They are our downfall.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Emotionally savaged" is what you call it when you're feeling bad, but want to say so in a way that's exclusionary and harmful to indigenous peoples.

Kirk Parker said...

exiled,

"...hoping he'll ask me to Prom"

Well, aren't you? ;-)

My advice on the terminology: Don't Sweat It. Lest you start shading into the territory of the silly folks the OP is talking about...


Paul Z,

Dude, your "indigenous" crack wins Best Clever Wry Comment Of The Week.

Laika's Last Woof said...

Did I wake up into an alternate reality where transgendered people can have abortions? Why would anyone take these ridiculous complaints seriously?

tim in vermont said...

" we don't usually face that because most of our competition is in simulated, and not real, combat"

That was kind of my point. We have worked out ways to deal with this stuff after uncounted generations where death was often the result of mishandling the situation.

JoyD said...

I keep getting schooled in what's ok to say in the world today... I mentioned that I met a young woman who went to high school with my son. She is a doctor. I said I would have guessed, by the way she looks, that she's a manicurist. Ooh, I got the glare from daughter-in-law. She reminded me pleasantly enough that I should not label people by the way they look. She, by the way, is a beauty who also presents herself very professionally. In my defense, I trotted out my old saw that we all choose the image we want to project, and we know that's how others will see us. It is our choice. So if the young doctor wants to have the tanning-bed-eyeliner-wild-streaks-second-skin-spandex look, go for it, but she really does look like my manicurist. But it's a faux pas to say so?

Rusty said...

Typical.

Anglelyne said...

Laura: What part of healthy debate includes telling another party to shut up because he doesn't possess a vagina or uterus?

When the other party is a hysterical bully who's decided that his mental illness/weird fetish is an Important Civil Rights Issue to which everyone now must kowtow and pander.

Btw, wrong pronoun, bigot!

Strelnikov said...

Quote from Kendall should read "...and mammy don' live here no' mo'."

ken in sc said...

I have had the problem of not knowing how to introduce someone to friends, because our relationship was not clear. The way to solve that is to ignore the relationship, which is nobodies business anyway. Just say, “This is Billy Joe Bob” or “This is Sally Sue Silly”, that's all you need to say—their names.

ken in sc said...
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Fen said...


minute ago










"activists who prided themselves on their racial enlightenment were whitesplaining me about racism,” Wilson adds, laughing

Because white people haven't been subjected to racism? Wilson must believe that "black people can't be racist because they're black". What a racist.