So here's the story...
The other day, I was reading The Other McCain, clicking back and forth through a discussion of feminism. He managed to anger some conservative women who self-identify as feminists by arguing against the notion that conservative feminism exists. (See Barbara Kay piece on Sarah Palin and feminism to see where this started.)
McCain offered up the analogy: "Feminism is to women as Mafia is to Sicilians",and stated the opinion (which I happen to agree with) that men aren't welcomed as critics of feminism. He went on to lament the dearth of conservative women criticizing feminism.
He took snippets of a comment from one of the women, interspersed them through a paragraph of his own snark, and ended it with the statement
"Implied: Any woman who defends him is a right-brained ignoramus."Well, anyone who reads this blog knows I have a perverse sense of humor. When I read that, I thought, "Heh. Guess that's me."
See, I've linked McCain in several posts about feminism. (I've even pointed out where he and Amanda Marcotte have an opinion in common.) He's one of the few men with the nerve to take on the femininnies who also has the skill to do it well -- and with humor, which may be what I enjoy most about it. The point is, I generally agree with him on the topic (not that he needs my defense... and my little blog probably doesn't even amount to a blip on his traffic) so when he writes something on the topic that gets my wheels turning, I post.
So, amused by the fact that doing so would label me -- in McCain's words -- a right-brained ignoramus, I agreed with the notion that Sarah Palin is not a feminist. (To my mind, she's not. I think it's a question of semantics, but I would never refer to her as a feminist.) And then I went on to talk about leftist feminism.
I forgot two important facts. First, feminists (of any stripe apparently) brook no argument. There can be no dissent. Second, when dealing with women,regardless of what they say or what treatment they demand from men, not all women are equal. (More on that in a minute.)
Oh, wait... I forgot something else.
Harpies travel in flocks.
The first thing probably requires no explanation. I've posted before that I find it nearly impossible to have an exchange with radical feminists... not because I don't want to, but because they aren't interested in talking to anyone who doesn't already agree with them. I was actually told once "If you don't believe in rape culture, there can't be dialogue between us." (Never mind the obvious question, which is "How the hell can you convince anyone you're right if you won't talk to anyone who doesn't already think you're right?!") It's like trying to talk to a kindergartner who has their fingers in their ears yelling "Neener! Neener! I can't hear you!"
Well, unbeknownst to me, some "conservative feminists" are worse. They don't shout that they can't hear you... they want you to shut up, period. I haven't received a fraction of the venom and animosity from the leftists that the righties were eager to spew at me.
The second thing may be a surprise to some. Aren't feminists (liberal, conservative, Venusian, whatever...) about all women? Wouldn't it seem pointless, not to mention hypocritical, to demand that all men treat all women equally only to turn around and make value judgements against your fellow females?
Why, yes. Yes it would.
But it doesn't stop 'em. Indeed, the one shrieking the loudest about how she was wronged, taken out of context, mocked on the internet! has made some really questionable remarks.
For example, all the ruckus started because the quote that inspired my post came (loosely) from comments she'd made, filtered through the lens of McCain's brain. It wasn't her original words that prompted my post, but McCain's interpretation. Now, since I've been accused of being passive-aggressive and backpedaling, let me be clear... I don't care if that wording came to McCain in a goddamn dream. I wasn't interested in or attempting to quote the source of his inspiration for those words.
But since she claims I misrepresented her (and since she's called me passive-aggressive and a disingenuous bitch, fuck you very much), let's look at her words:
"A lot of left-brained, educated women are infuriated by Stacy’s line of reasoning – we know ourselves to be equal to men (Stacy’s line about equality implying interchangeability aside, because they really are not the same thing at all), and don’t see why the laws and our society should not reflect that."Left-brained, educated women. The type she (and leftist feminists) believe are the pinnacle of enlightened womanhood. Way to speak for all your sisters! And... does that not imply exactly what McCain wrote? Who does disagree with you? (Other than me, I guess.)
McCain also wrote (another time):
Permit me to draw down upon myself the fury of every woman within reach of a keyboard by explaining what I think motivates bourgeois women writers to claim the “feminist” label:Nailed it in one.
When you say “feminist,” what you really mean to say is “intelligent, college-educated, career woman.”
Another from the shrieker:
"The other thing is that I know plenty of babycake women - sweetie pies (not genuinely kind women) who have cute hair, cute nails, are smart-but-not-as-smart, and otherwise entirely non-threatening. They pretend that their brand of "ambition" and brains is the best that can be expected of women. Then they can't figure out why ambitious women condescend to them."See that? Certain women are deserving of condescension. (And shockingly, it seems being not-as-smart and cute are factors in whether you get a taste of her derision. The lefties go after the same ones, by the way. Interesting, since brains and looks are traits we're born with -- or not -- and therefore shouldn't be used to determine worth...)
So, color me unimpressed with this version of "feminism" also.
The third thing I mentioned... about the harpies. Yeah. Did you ever see a group of chickens circle another chicken (which they've determined through henhouse logic to be an outsider) and peck it to death? They ring it in and, clucking like mad all the while, literally peck the offender apart, one beakful at a time.
That's basically what happens when you piss off a harpy. The entire flock charges in senseless, blind loyalty and attacks.
I inadvertently offended one of them, by linking a quote that wasn't even hers. And it didn't matter that I offered a good faith explanation that the first quote hadn't been my target. (Explaining yourself is passive-aggressive, doncha know?) It didn't even matter that the first commenter of the little group lied and falsely accused me of distorting her positions, when I never touched on her positions. (You still owe an apology, but I don't expect one. You're intellectually dishonest, and you know it.)
No... they were righteously indignant, and they were by-gawd gonna let me have it.
Well, let me be as clear as possible:
When I decide to be aggressive, there's nothing fucking passive about it. If it was about you, I'd have come at you. You don't intimidate me and, like Amanda Marcotte, you don't speak for me. I don't have to answer to you, and I could give a shit for your approval.
You comment on my blog that my discourse saddens you. Gimme a break. You ran out of anything intelligent to say, and started making yeast infection jokes! Yeah, that's debate! I'm so impressed.
You're like high school girls. Catty, cliquish, judgemental, and with an extremely overinflated sense of your own importance. Need proof? This is directed to me:
"Then you pull the passive-aggressive move of the century and tell the lovely woman who sticks up for me that she's getting bent out of shape over nothing.A war!!!1!! Predicated by the passive-agressive move of the century, no less! (Which makes me wonder where you've been all your life. Seriously? My little blurb was historic?) And the fall-ass-over-teakettle-laughing best part?
Scratch, you made this war. The fact that the fallout makes a Japanese nuclear reactor look safe is a problem that rests at your own feet, with your own smarmy post."
The fallout makes a Japanese nuclear reactor look safe!
Oh me! Oh my! Oh goodness gracious!
Get over yourself, punkin. I put more worry into what I needed from the store Sunday than I have into this little dustup.
Have I learned anything at all from this?
Well, yes, now that you mention it.
I've learned that some conservatives who call themselves feminists could give lessons in bitch to the leftist feminists. I've learned that some folks who'd like to consider themselves intellectuals aren't above genitalia jokes when they run out of substance. I've learned that explanations are passive-aggressive. I've learned that not everyone appreciates my sense of humor.
And I've learned that blogging is more dangerous than nuclear radiation.
All right. Ha. Couldn't write that last sentence with a straight face.
I've also learned to ignore what I read about blogging etiquette. See, a good while back, I read a piece about it, and -- since the blogger who wrote it is well-known and fairly respected -- I tried to learn and remember it. One of the things it touched upon was linking back to sources. Well, now that I've been excoriated and one of the excuses is "You linked my post!", I'm rethinking what I read back then. If you notice, I haven't linked anyone but RSM here. (The quotes I offered are in the comments sections from this blog and the one that linked to McCain and myself. Go look 'em up yourself.)
I'd like to add, however, that I find it a beautiful irony. The post I read on etiquette and try to adhere to when I blog was written by none other than the blogger who's pissed that I linked her.
And I find that fucking funny as well.