Wednesday, May 23, 2007

btw, in case anyone (else) ever wondered what the oft-alluded to "pie fight" was all about

the Daily Kos thing, and the female blogger exodus,

here's a handy synopsis to go spelunkin' in.

h/t (Lauren-era) feministe via Pinko Feminist Hellcat via a linkback to Black Amazon who did I mention lately you really need to go read right now.

33 comments:

Donna said...

Belle, you need to fix the link to Sheelzebub. It's here:
http://pinkofeministhellcat.typepad.com/pinko_feminist_hellcat/2007/05/a_little_trip_d.html

Donna said...

I hate when it goes off the page like that...

It's here instead!

Central Content Publisher said...

The Pinko Feminist Hellcat link needs a fix'in.

It'll probably come as no surprise that yes, I think Kos was being generous by only being "condescending", "dismissive", "judgmental", "insulting", "egotistical", and "demeaning" (to quote Shakespeare's Sister). Certainly, all characteristics quite at home on her site, and certainly at home on the blogs of certain peoples whom Shakespeare's Sister doesn't "call on it", and is perfectly happy to "stand for".

This is the first time I've heard of all this btw. I don't read Kos' site. Just say'in.

Anyway, I've noticed that his "offensive" criticism was directed at "women's studies" programs rather than women. Not a point easily understood if one only reads , well, the comments of people who don't read very well. Of course, as is indicated in his later apology: draping an entire field of academic study was an act of ridiculous hyperbole - certainly, without anything more than incredulity to back it up.

The real sexists, in this whole scenario, and in my opinion, are the people who assume that the ad in question *could* only, and *does* only appeal to, and was designed to appeal to... men. That's some pretty cynical stuff, but conveniently enough is ONLY cynical about the sexual tastes of men. The cattiness of women who would be attracted to the ad is verbotten, let's not mention lesbian, bi, or even bi-curious women. Conveniently cynical.

Mind you, I could have very well complained about the ad as well - had I seen it before now. I could complain that it portrays violent women as something sexually appealing, socially acceptable, or even worse: too ridiculous to consider threatening. That would be my opinion, my feelings, my analysis, and though it probably wouldn't convince anyone to pull the ad, it's still the truth about how it affects me.

Is that Kos' responsibility? I don't think so. Is the ad a heinous afront? It's just an ad. Should those who would criticize it have their criticisms criticised? (say that three times fast) Of course they should.

Do woman's studies programs encourage, promote, and drive patently sexist analysis? Yeah. They do. Not exclusively. But they do.

belledame222 said...

thanks, Donna.

Amber said...

Not sure what you're on about, CCP. Yuor comment is all over the place and I'm confused at the very least.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the link is crazzzzy.

Trinity said...

CCP,

I'm honestly at the "who gives a fuck about fake lesbian pie fights" point m'self -- feminism has tons more important to worry about.

But Kos acted like a complete wanker in response.

So... mmm. I dunno. No love for Kos, I can get on board with. "Who gives a shit about ads like that when there's rape and a wage gap," I can get on board with too.

Central Content Publisher said...

Yeah, I was all over the place - that's fair criticism. I think, to often, I have too many things to say at once. But brevity prevails. And so, in turn, does all over the placeness. I even contradicted myself.... sort-a.

And yeah, like trinity, I get a real eye rolling sensation from this kind of stuff.

I'm some-what reminded of Ren's experiences with the anti-porn crew, and more specifically the: I was abused, and am sensitive to certain images or sounds or times of the day and everyone should curtail their output to accommodate my syndrome. One, by nature, and by nature I mean a general human sense of wanting to ease the suffering others, wants to accommodate such requests, and yet, life must go on. Someone, somewhere, will be offended, hurt, or castrated (metaphorically I mean) by just about anything. Where do I draw the line, and where do others draw the line, and where can we expect to reasonably draw the line. It's a very difficult question.

I'm just thinking out loud here. I don't have any great answers, except, generally, I lean toward permissiveness.

Was Kos a wanker? I dunno. I like Christopher Hitchens, so really, I have a fondness for wankers I suppose. Or perhaps, better than wanker, I should say: foul-mouthed contrarian.

I'm still all over the place aren't I? Dammit.

Trinity said...

"I'm some-what reminded of Ren's experiences with the anti-porn crew, and more specifically the: I was abused, and am sensitive to certain images or sounds or times of the day and everyone should curtail their output to accommodate my syndrome."

Yeah. How is fake lesbian pie fights anything but goofy and tasteless? How does that reflect some attitude on the part of Kos?

His *subsequent* behavior clearly reflects a sexist attitude. But the ad? C'mon.

Alon Levy said...

The ad was a fairly small thing to many of the principals in the pie fight. When I asked Liza about it, she said she personally didn't think there was anything wrong with the ad, but did think Kos's response to those who did was an outrage.

Personally, I hate foul-mouthed contrarians. They piss everyone off, and then expect the people who care about little things like political effectiveness to do damage control. Annoyingly, that damage control tends to involve compromising on a real issue that wasn't a bone of contention before - for example, scaling down public support for evolution research because Dawkins is politicizing it.

belledame222 said...

Yeah, the general consensus was that the real problem wasn't so much the original ad, which was, yes, a kerfuffle, but I think mostly in the way stupid crap like that always is on the Internets, but the way he responded; the "sanctimonious womens' set" thing was basically his way of dismissing not only those critiques but, people read pretty clear, feminists, hell, women (at least in so far as they didn't fall in line with his own priorities) as--

Well, it was sort of on a part with Nancy Reagan blurting,

"I don't give a damn about those right-to-lifers."

...you know.

belledame222 said...

and then, too, the way he responded to the Kathy Sierra business just sort of confirmed what a lot of people already thought, just...more so.

Alon Levy said...

Wow. Nancy Reagan said that? Did she mean the standard right-to-lifers, or the sort that focus on the right of Latin American priests not to be hanged? The latter sounds much more in line with her husband's government.

belledame222 said...

If I can remember where I remember the quote from, I might be able to remember the context. As I recall it was sort of, you know, those protesters, loud and declasse, something. As recounted via Molly Ivins or something, though, the interpretation that is.

selene said...

Nobody really cared about the ad except like two people, but once kos said the bit about "The sanctimonious women's studies set," then the frat house doors blew open wide and all the boys came out to play and thread after thread of some serious messed up shit, about rape victims and all kinds of things, if I'm remmebering right, and kos didn't do anything to stop it, and didn't say anything except threatening to sue bloggers who were taking quotes off the threats and starting blogs named after them ("menstrating she devils," etc.) lol So basically, just another day at dkos.

belledame222 said...

dude. I remember "menstruating she devils." you mean, that came off a THREAT? or something someone actually SAID? at kos'.

Alon Levy said...

Oh, I just realized something... didn't Amanda refer to you and B | L and BA and Sylvia and Donna as "The grad student set" somewhere in this latest shitstorm?

belledame222 said...

oh yeah. because we all totally are. and all undifferentiated called her a "bougie snob" (actually I don't think I said "snob").

so yeah, I replied to that one, the gist of which, one, that was me and only me what said that, two, actually BL (for instance) is neither a rgad student nor bougie, -I- am bougie; three, I apologized for that, in public yet, what was this now? -nine- months ago? was there some point at which you might consider, you know, getting the hell over it?

and four, finally, so okay, so from now on till eternity, because I said something meen and nasty to/about you, you are hereby going to cheerfully ignore not only anything I have to say about anything ever (fine whatever just lemme 'lone really), but anyone who I've ever been friends with, talked to, or sort of kind of reminds you of me if you stand on your head and squint and stick your fingers in your ears. OKAY!

...whatever, I think I might just as well -say-,

"blahblahblahGINGERblahblahblah..."

selene said...

Oh yeah, and that was one of the milder things that was said. I'm telling you, it got crazy in there. I'm not a shrinking violet, but my jaw was dropping right down to the floor, there were just threads with hundreds and hundreds of comments like that. And there were many male kos regulars who were like, "Um...guys? This is kind of getting a little bit out of control? This is a website where we're supposed to be persuading people to vote for our political party, and um...guys? Do you see what's happening here?"

But only when some woman was finally like okay, you know what? Here's a link to my new domain, menstrating she-devils, did kos wake up, start getting upset and threaten to sue. lol

belledame222 said...

threatened. to sue.

...

yeah, it's classic, innit?

Maybe there's a group book in the offing, you know, the backlash to "Crashing the Gate:"

"Whitewashing the Fence."

Alon Levy said...

Ugh. That's even worse than what Kos said. Kos is a self-styled activist, who together with Atrios is contrasted with the more intellectual liberal bloggers, like Josh Marshall. But Amanda pushes forward theories of everything and likes to dabble in high-level discussions. Her complaining that people who criticize her in that milieu have postgraduate degrees is about as sensible as a businessman's complaints that his competitors make more money than he does and thus make inferior products.

belledame222 said...

And are -greedy.-

shrug. At this point I figure whatever the edjumacaction thing is, it's her mishegos, not my problem.

just reading her in that whole thread though...

yeah, i dunno. I figure from now on it'll just save a lot of time and energy to mentally substitute

"THAT REMINDS ME OF ME!!!"

...for all her posts, whenever I'm unfortunate enough to run into her again. Make life simpler, save some aggravation.

arrogantworm said...

The quote came from Kitty Kelley's unauthorized biography of Nancy Reagan. Wiki says most of it is uncited. Can't find any excerpts for context, unfortunately.

arrogantworm said...

Ack, forgot to add a clause;

Judging from the abortion comments when people talk about the book in reviews, that's where it comes from. I s'pose the quote could've waltzed in from somewhere else, though.

Central Content Publisher said...

His *subsequent* behavior clearly reflects a sexist attitude. - Trinity

I didn't see anything to indicate that. What I saw, is what usually happens. Someone criticizes feminism, then feminists interpret that as a criticism against women in general, and then they act like idiots, and in return, are treated like idiots. An almost understandable mistake when you consider that the consensus seems to be that only women can be feminists (depending on who you talk to, of course). Certainly, just because one has words against feminists, doesn't mean one is having words against women, even if all feminists are women. Because, well, not all women are feminists.

belledame222 said...

ccp: dismissing the death threats and rape threats against Kathy Sierra are very much classic Ignorant Sexist Asshole behavior.

belledame222 said...

Also, when you are in politics, supposedly "crashing the gate" for the rest of us, for to make a better Party and world, a nominal mainstream liberal/progressive/Democratic guy, and you out of hand dismiss womens' concerns as, you know, a distraction from the -important shit-, also falling handily silent when -seriously- misogynist fuckheads run rampant all over your boards-- people tend to not really feel like giving much more benefit of the doubt.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, generally speaking, especially when someone says something like "sanctimonious womens' studies set," one takes that to mean by and large women, same as one would take it to mostly mean POC, and their concerns, if one said "sanctimonious Black Studies set."

yeah, of course you can find women and POC who are not only not feminists/down with various anti-racist theories and strategems but actively opposed to them.

But why the fuck does anyone need to hear that from a white dude supposedly representing the -progressive- party, when one could just as easily go over to the Republicans for -that?- Hey, if it's gonna be, "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, just like I did, p.s. support me," why even fucking bother? Just go straight to the source; at least they actually have money.

belledame222 said...

AW: okay, it must've been second or third-hand then, 'cuz I never read the Kitty Kelley book. could be apocryphal then, I expect.

Alon Levy said...

CCP, one difference between the two is that the feminist movement generally realizes it's operating within a niche. NOW tries operating within the left together with other organizations; Kos is trying to take over the left and marginalize all of those organizations.

Mind you, that's the more established feminist wing. The bloggers are even worse than Kos when it comes to handling criticism. It's just that even taken together, their influence is insignificant, while Kos is slowly gaining a fair amount.

Central Content Publisher said...

dismissing the death threats and rape threats against Kathy Sierra are very much classic Ignorant Sexist Asshole behavior. - belldame222

I missed that part. Threats should never be dismissed, except, ya know, by the person being threatened. That said; dismissing threats isn't necessarily sexist. Generally, it's something all together different.

I suppose you could defend the POC and feminist movements on the grounds that their votes are needed. Or, you know, you can show some integrity.

If democrats are nothing more than panderers, then yeah, why not vote republican. Better yet. Why vote at all?

Alon Levy said...

Why vote at all?

Because you're a sucker for jury duty?

Donna said...

"I suppose you could defend the POC and feminist movements on the grounds that their votes are needed. Or, you know, you can show some integrity."

Integrity, I'm not sure what this word means, does it mean only caring about what white men want and only listening to them? I think it must since that is the way you are using it.