Feminism and the Sad Saga of Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte - blogger, feminist, loner, and frustrated angry person. I am and always will be a loner. - Amanda Marcotte.

Now even I hate to see someone picked on too much, but the F-bomb blogger of Edwards fame just seems to crave the attention and wallow in the lunacy of the Left.

Since I am still banned from the land of Pandagonia I can’t play in the Feminist sandbox anymore.I feel like the little boy kicked out of the park by a bunch of girls (and one girly-boy). And since birth, due to certain anatomical parts she’s missing, I’m automatically part of the vast conspiracy of patriarchy that seeks her perpetual subjugation.

I guess that’s the excuse that allows me to override my usual kind and considerate nature to poke her with a stick from time to time. (Plus I think she deserves it.)

And Miss Marcotte once said that I ‘have nothing to say’. She was wrong on that account as well.

If you get to know a person well enough, you often get a sense of where their beliefs, ideology and prejudices originated. It appears that Ms. Marcotte has decided to cry us a river and explain perhaps why she has turned into the bitter, unhappy and angry person she is today. Her post Nine Months for a Pound of Flesh gives some interesting insights into her disturbed view of society and culture. I also learned some details about her ‘cycle’ that I would have preferred not knowing, but thanks to her for sharing anyway.


“I called my sometimes-boyfriend, my inconstant lover and told him I was probably pregnant. I wanted him to offer to pay for the abortion. He offered instead to marry me.

I nearly threw the phone against the wall. Instead, I told him it may not be his. He said he didn’t care.”

And one wonders why this ‘catch’ has so far managed to elude a satisfying relationship with a member of the opposite gender. Waking up next to someone who sees a conspiracy of misogyny and ‘the patriarchy’ in literally everything would be a depressing experience to say the least.

Her elevation, even so temporarily, to a position of minor prominence as a member of a major presidential campaign with her appearance in Time magazine and news stories is a disturbing indictment of society and the Democratic party (not to mention the Edwards campaign). From the beginning she was a bitter, foul-mouthed shrew raging against the world around her. For her to rise to the top of the boiling cauldron of the blogosphere is an interesting sociological study in and of itself. Here, radical and fringe ideologies and conspiracies are given credence and maintain a loyal following. Disturbed people are put on a pedestal for bombastic muttering and flinging offal at all those you deem part of an oppressive culture. It isn’t pretty but it does seem to attract a cheering section wherever it is found. And Pandagon.net is one radical echo chamber that has to be seen and experienced to be believed.

Feminism as taught by the likes of Amanda Marcotte and her ilk is little more than gilded hatred and harlotry hiding behind the skirts of “liberation”. Do what you will, for tomorrow you may die. And screw the consequences ( or abort them if necessary).

This is a slightly older, well done piece of the rise and fall of she who would cast herself as the Joan of Arc of modern feminism. And though she has become the focus for so many bloggers like myself, the indictment isn’t really against her personally, but the broader movement that she champions that has propelled her to prominence and lent her an aura of ‘credibility’.

“What’s utterly insulting is the idea that someone asshole Republican legislator introducing an ultrasound bill knows better than you do what the ramifications of your decision is, or that the ultrasound is the issue. Or, worse, he probably has guessed correctly that a forced childbirth will cripple your career and possibly leash you for life to a man who is unduly cruel and controlling-or at least will turn you into a fetal incubator for said Bible-thumping loonies-and that’s what he is hoping will come to pass.“

Personally, it would only appear that Feminists in general must have incredibly poor luck/judgment/intuition when it comes to men.

The anti-family, anti-tradition, and anti-marriage ideologies seek to enshrine promiscuity while smashing every vestige of morality, values, family, self-restraint, self-respect, self-control and responsibility that came before it. It is the ultimate in selfishness. I come first and all that would hinder my celebration of hedonism deserves to be smashed and discarded. In modern feminism, the female and her every whim and pursuit of pleasure, leisure and self-expression must come before all others including her husband, children, family, community, church, society, nation or culture. It is the most intellectually barren exercise in self-centeredness that I have ever witnessed, and the theme of ”it’s all about me” is repeated over and over again. It is the mantra of those who have decided that guiltless self-indulgence is the ultimate liberation and their revenge against the opposite gender.

It is a philosophy primarily centered on the concept of sex without guilt, boundaries, definition, baggage, commitment, children or consequences. And all those who might object on any level are cast in the role of vile villain seeking to impose outdated misogyny and patriarchal practices on the newly enlightened. Infanticide and degradation are celebrated as liberation. There is a subtle twisting of truth and exploitation of true injustices and wrongs committed against women in history that is used to justify the grotesquely spawned ism that desperately struggles to present itself as a rational ideology representing ‘human rights/ and ‘equal justice’ for women. Their universe is one where men are mainly brutes, abusers, and oppressors, marriage equals slavery and drudgery, unborn babies are mere parasitic cells, and Christianity is an evil mythology that deserves to mocked at every opportunity.

Such is the ideology that is championed by the likes of Amanda Marcotte, and that is why she has earned my disdain.

Amanda Marcotte, (Anti-Christian) Martyr To The Cause

And what does Amanda ‘hot, white, sticky, Holy Spirit’ Marcotte have to say in response to Dave and the attention he has given her?

(Dave) ... quit projecting on me. Since your “outrage” is nothing but irritation at people you wrongly consider your inferiors, you think that the rest of us are cynical assholes like yourself. Step out of your skin, look at reality. You hate others because you are a contemptible sliver of a human being and hope that everyone else is, so that you feel okay about yourself. Well, you’re wrong. A lot of us are good people, and that just makes your nastiness even worse. – Amanda Marcotte

Posted by David M. Huntwork at August 22, 2007 1:10 PM
Comments
Comment #230270

Too bad Amanda is not a poster here. If she was you would be admonished for attacking the messenger.

Posted by: BillS at August 22, 2007 2:06 PM
Comment #230273

Has Watchblog descended this far? Wherein editors engage in flamewars? With bloggers not even posting here?

But I realize this bitter little article, like the editor’s other articles, is recycled. A quick Google search shows it was posted several times across the internet as early as May 10.

No wonder we keep seeing requests in this column for new writers.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 22, 2007 2:16 PM
Comment #230274


David: I think I would prefer Amanda as a lover over Annie Righty. I can here the harpie now, when are you going to prove your a man. Get out there and kill me some liberals.

Posted by: jlw at August 22, 2007 2:23 PM
Comment #230284

Many are brand new, some are reworks of past ideas, some are taken from a variety of my blog posts (I am a blogger you know)and put together for Watchblog and some are timeless pieces that I have produced at various times. I’m an equal opportunity poster. All work posted here is also reposted at my own site. All are new to Watchblog. I’ve got a quota you know. (:

The main point here, and I get to it in the article, is that Marcotte is a personification of a bitter and twisted ideology. And the fact that someone like this is enthroned as a role model/leader in a movement and brought into a major presidential campaign is ridiculous and almost frightening. I’d say more, but then again you can just read the article. I knew this would be ‘controversial’ but sometimes the unvarnished, non-politically correct truth must be told no matter what flak you may receive on your flanks.

And if you have ever interacted with the fine folks at Pandagon or any members of the young feminist movement on the net, you would have just nodded and smiled when you read this column. It’s a whole different world they dwell in.

Posted by: David M.Huntwork at August 22, 2007 3:27 PM
Comment #230285

I suppose if this is considered crossing some line at Watchblog we’ll all find out soon enough. Sometimes you have to be willing to push things a bit to make a point. Don’t worry, my next post is about the always safe subject matter of Iraq. And as long as any members don’t object to my using the name of Zarqawi in the piece by name we’ll all be alright.

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at August 22, 2007 3:32 PM
Comment #230297

Is this necessary? Aren’t we supposed to be discussing politics here, not engaging in a personal electronic battle? David, you’re wasting our time.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at August 22, 2007 4:03 PM
Comment #230300

Let me just go out on a limb here, with what could be interpreted as a totally sexist response: WHO CARES? Exercise your power and control…turn the page or pull the plug.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at August 22, 2007 4:17 PM
Comment #230301

David H., I don’t see the veracity of your statement that she is the personification of the movement. The movement contains large numbers of intelligent, civil, and rational proponents who DO NOT engage in the kind of defensive flaming that Marcotte does.

Your blatant attempt to cast all who support the line of reasoning in the mold of foul mouthed Marcotte, is blatant attempt to lower your argument to her level of tactics and strategy, IMO.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 22, 2007 4:21 PM
Comment #230316

Exactly right, David R. I have no fondness for Marcotte’s tactics, and when she was pressured to stop working for the Edwards’ campaign, I found her “shock” disingenuous. You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

Feminism as a movement has its share of shrillness and hyperbole as does any movement, including the neocon movement. To cast Amanda as representative of feminism as a whole is merely to employ a strawman argument. She represents herself.

I suspect what really disturbs the present article writer is that Marcotte is also, for all her faults, a very clever writer who trashed him quite severely — and without piling up adjectives.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 22, 2007 5:08 PM
Comment #230323

David R. Huntwork-
Harlotry? Hardly. Though I’m not the most feminist aligned guy on the block, nor am I a supporter of abortions in general, I do happen to be someone who actually knew people like this.

The commitment of the other person matters to her. The fact that she doesn’t want the child matters to her. The fact that she wants a professional life matters to her. If she had simply resolved to give it up for adoption, you’d probably have passed this up without comment.

Not everybody shares the religious or moral outlook about the matter. In her view, it would be immoral to bring a child into the world without two parents committed to loving them, especially when one was setting priority on ones education and career.

I don’t like her style too much, but she’s an adult, and the way she writes and acts are her own decision. It’s already cost her an association with the Edwards campaign, who is one of the more progressive candidates out there.

Some Democrats heap on the snark, and are purposefully offensive. So do Republicans. The critical difference is that Republicans are willing to defend that kind of offensive material to a far greater extent, and even join in the fun. Edwards called his bloggers on the carpet pretty quick, and his actions are not at all unusual.

Maintain calm. It’s easy in the heat of arguments to say a lot of dumb things you have to rationalize and regret later.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 22, 2007 5:50 PM
Comment #230324

Any shrinks out there? Is fear of powerful women caused by an overbearing mother or a submissive one?

Posted by: BillS at August 22, 2007 5:54 PM
Comment #230341
Feminism as taught by the likes of Amanda Marcotte and her ilk is little more than gilded hatred and harlotry…

You say that like harlotry is a bad thing. :)

Who calls women harlots anymore, anyway? If you call her that again I’m going to challenge you to pistols at dawn.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 22, 2007 7:29 PM
Comment #230358

Feminism is so 1970. It has been overtaken by events and now is primarily the refuge of the self indulgent.

Posted by: Jack at August 22, 2007 10:16 PM
Comment #230359

Jack,

All you have to do is read the article to understand the attitudes women still face. The article writer glibly uses the old insults: “shrew,” “harlot,” comments about Marcotte’s desirability, morality, and mental balance, etc. A male who agrees with Marcotte’s point of view is called a “girly man.” She’s made to personify the article writer’s standard laundry list of all that is depraved in our society. To be fair, the article writer uses the same sort of women-hating language in most of his posts, generally to knock his characterization of liberalism. How long until he writes of the need to destroy the high places?

Jack, I grant that this sort of misogyny is not as often expressed nowadays as it was in times past, but we can see it still exists.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 22, 2007 10:34 PM
Comment #230360
The main point here, and I get to it in the article, is that Marcotte is a personification of a bitter and twisted ideology.

The main point is that Marcotte is a twisted and bitter personification of a maligned ideology…just as Christians and Islamists and Jews have used religion as a “twisted” ideology…not really a representative at all of the ideology, but twisted representations!!

Posted by: Rachel at August 22, 2007 10:49 PM
Comment #230362

What a lame article. Why should I care that David H. doesn’t like this Marcotte chick?

Posted by: American Pundit at August 22, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #230381

I think I perfer Amanda to Ann Coulter.
Anyway flame one blogger without a chance for the one flamed to respond and defend themself.

LAME POST

Posted by: KT at August 23, 2007 9:24 AM
Comment #230384

David H,

I will accept that this blogger is a general and accurate representation of liberals. All you have to do is accept that the following links lead to a general and accurate representation of the consevative position.


http://www.epicidiot.com/evo_cre/carl_baugh.htm
http://www.aryan-nations.org/about.htm
http://www.christiangallery.com/aog.html

Posted by: 037 at August 23, 2007 9:51 AM
Comment #230417

Jack
Right.Thank God there is no longer any sexism. Same with racism. They are both things of the past. Now we can be sexist and racist again without embarresment.

Posted by: BillS at August 23, 2007 1:05 PM
Comment #230418

I’ve paid zero attention to Marcotte, and as a Democrat, am much better for my ignorance of what she says. You’d be better off as a Republican, if you would ignore Little Annie “Fannyless” Coulter, as well. But what does any of this have to do with real life?

Posted by: Marysdude at August 23, 2007 1:07 PM
Comment #230426

David M. Huntwork,

I must be in a contrary mood. I think your article is well written. You did a good job of revealing Marcotte for what she is …….. IMO the equivalent of the embarrassing and slightly scary uncle that everyone tries to avoid at family gatherings. Having read some of her “works” in the past I very much walked away (perhaps I should say “ran away”) with the distinct feeling that she feels abortion should not only be legal, but perhaps held up as the PREFERRED outcome for all pregnant women. I’d not be surprised to see her and her loyal followers try to push legislation requiring that ALL pregnant women be counseled in the “virtues” of abortion.

All that said, I’m pro-choice. Any woman should be able to terminate any pregnancy for any reason up through the time of fetal viability. And we are going to have to revisit Roe v. Wade because medical knowledge has progressed light years since then. It’s going to be a messy debate, I’d expect to see many political careers destroyed in the process, but …….. uh, that’s why they make the “big bucks”.

Beyond the debate of “defining” viability things will undoubtedly get even messier. What specific circumstances warrant legal abortion beyond that point? Few would argue that a woman should not be allowed to terminate a pregnancy that threatens her life. Beyond that the right has proven to be inflexible regarding the protection of a womans health or in cases of rape or incest.

The one place your article really falls on it’s face is attempting to portray Marcotte as some sort of a “poster-girl” for the left. How much “air-time” has the so-called liberal biased media given to Marcotte in comparison to the “air-time” Fox gives to the vile, bile-spewing Ann Coulter? The more controversial and more hate-filled Coulter’s comments get the more the right seems to love her. OK the Edwards campaign messed up, but now Marcotte’s gone.

We must also not forget that the far right loonies are still trying to legislate birth control. That’s come to light just this week with Barr Pharmaceuticals producing a report showing that sales of Plan-B (aka: the morning after pill) have skyrocketed and that it’s proven to be safe if properly used. But, enter the loonies:

“A coalition of conservative groups, including the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Washington seeking to reverse the FDA ruling.”
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,294217,00.html

At the end of the day you really shouldn’t worry. In a recent impromptu CNN interview Fred Thompson made it clear that his top priorities include striking down Roe v. Wade and passing an amendment banning gay marriage. The right wing still has their priorities straight, so you can sleep soundly at night.

Posted by: KansasDem at August 23, 2007 2:13 PM
Comment #230467

BillS & Gerrold

I did not say that all the problems have been solved. I just meant that the feminist ideology has run its course. Even the scientific underpinning (the blank slate idea of human affairs) is discredited.

Posted by: Jack at August 23, 2007 6:14 PM
Comment #230469

Jack
HUH? If the problems have not been solved then the actions and attitudes generated by the ideaology are still relevant.

Posted by: Bills at August 23, 2007 6:32 PM
Comment #230478

Jack,

Your flat assertion is meaningless. I suspect you know nothing of feminist theories beyond popular conceptions.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 23, 2007 7:28 PM
Comment #230484

Feminism is dead. Since the male of our human species has lost its usefulness, feminism is no longer viable or necessary.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 23, 2007 8:34 PM
Comment #230500

Feminist ideology has “run its course” only to the extent that the contributions made my feminism over the years have been important, real, and substantial. Some mention Ann Coulter, but the irony there is that Coulter herself is an obvious beneficiary of the achievements made by feminists. She can vote, publish and sell books, appear on television, and make inroads in all kinds of areas which were formally dominated exclusively by men.

As for Marcotte AND Coulter, part of achieving equality with men is that when you open your mouth, you draw fire. When you play with the boys, you should expect to get dirty.

I actually think it’s a vestige of sexism to maintain that women should be treated like delicate things who shouldn’t be called mean names.

But seriously, how many liberals were offended when John Edwards called Coulter a “she-devil?” If a Republican candidate called a female critic a “she-devil,” do you doubt that accusations of sexism wouldn’t be all over the headlines?

I think Marcotte IS fair game. She’s not just some random obscure liberal blogger. She’s a former member of the campaign of one of the leading Democratic presidential candidates—that same candidate who indulges in “sexist” name-calling towards his critics.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 23, 2007 11:47 PM
Comment #230503

BillS

Women have achieved equal pay for equal work. They make up 56% of all new college grads. We can credit the feminists for many things. But like many movements, it moved beyond its mandate. Most people can understand and support equal pay for equal work. It gets harder when you have concepts of comparable worth that require subjective judgements.

Just because someone identifies a problem does not necessarily imply that their solution is the proper one, BTW.

I have always wondered re the paradox. If indeed women get paid 80 cents of what a man gets for the same work, why don’t firms hire only women? Certainly it would be cheaper. And those with mostly female labor forces would dominate the world. Now we can believe that figure, or we can try to figure out why it never works.

How many women today identify themselves as feminists? It is a real question. I do not know, but I suspect the number has dropped.

Gerrold

You do not have to eat the whole egg to know it is rotten.

You may have noticed that I like theory, but have little patience with those w/o practical outcomes. When I run into the gender study folks today, they all just seem hostile. Look at how they all lined up with the Duke fiasco. I do not know what they think in theory, but in practice they do some harm. I judge by the practical effects. All these feminist theories do not seem to accomplish very much when applied (which is not very often, evidently).

In this case they are sort of like Marxism, unassailably successful in theory, but with success manifest nowhere in practice.

Posted by: Jack at August 24, 2007 12:17 AM
Comment #230510

As happens with a lot of political or social movements, (even if not especially ones which enjoy a lot of success), there reaches a point when the major battles are won and what we’re left with is a bunch of shrill fanatics.

“Feminism” is a prime example of this.

The idea that women should be equal under the law, be allowed to vote, hold public office, attend school, and be employed in all the same professions as men is not even controversial anymore. It once was, and it’s an important and honorable achievement of feminists that this has come about.

Today, however, the more vocal and extreme feminists agitate for things which go far beyond equality, hence the backlash against them—a backlash which includes a great many women.

I forget who said it, but it was spot on: much of contemporary feminism is actually anti-female because it’s focus is not what women can do for themselves but with what they think is wrong with men and the many ways they think men should change. As if women can’t fend for themselves and can only achieve things when men give them permission.

Thus contemporary feminism has become anti-female in offering it’s own sexist version of the age-old phenomenon of females nagging males: the belief that where’s a problem, it’s the man’s job to fix it.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at August 24, 2007 12:47 AM
Comment #230512

Jack,

One shouldn’t have strong opinions about things of which one is ignorant. I’ve read enough of your articles to know there are topics you do know about, and you write well about them. In this case, you don’t enough know to realize how (and I say this without intending to offend) ignorant your statements are.

You speak of equal pay for equal work, as if that somehow sums up feminist thought. Your claim that men and women are different and that that, somehow, undermines feminist thought. You speak of the Duke fiasco as if that means anything. All of these seems to constitute slam dunks for you. But you don’t get it. Feminism as theory is a polyphonic discourse; it can’t be reduced as simply as you believe, and it can’t be approached through some half-baked think tank articles. It takes real work to get a handle just on some particular strands of feminist theory.

Feminism thought is concerned with practical and theoretical issues; it’s concerned with the very way that indenities are constructed, which has much to do with cultural imperatives. To say it has no practical agenda and hasn’t achieved practical successes is absurd. The 20th Century in the West has seen a radical transformation in how women think of themselves and how they are thought of, and in the cultural modes that lay the conditions for these thoughts. To say that process is over or irrelevant is not to understand the deep ways cultural influences thought and how tenuous in world historical terms is the ground that has been gained.

We are thinking animals, and we think and discuss and try to understand our condition and what affects that condition. You might as well say that philosophy is irrelvant because you can’t see any practical application. You might as well say the same about any mode of thought or expression that doesn’t instantly translate in very obvious ways to economic matters.

I realize you have no real interest in this topic, but I hope you can understand how ridiculous it is to make the kind of definitive statements you’ve made when you simply haven’t studied or thought about the field. Now, I’m no expert on feminist thought — it is only tangentially related to my real intellectual concerns — but I have read enough to know that some of the finest critical thinkers in the world are feminists and that they’ve produced some profound insights. And I know enough that I would never try to sum up such a rich and contradictory discourse in a sentence or two. It’s not all the silly stuff you read in the media. And the characterizations exhibited by the current article writer say far more about himself than about feminism.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 24, 2007 1:16 AM
Comment #230540

Jack
The reason companies do not just hire women is that it against the law and would open them up civil liability. In the Philippines it is common practice for assembly line work,including American owned companies like Texas Instraments,to hire only young unmarried women. They are more easily imtimidated. Sexual harassment is also common dispite laws. My wife applied for a job there and was accepted until they found out she was married. Seems sexual harrasment claims are often settled by angry husbands with knives.See,less government interference.


LO

”..and only achieve things when men give them permission.”


You mean like permission to terminate an unwanted pregnancy?That is hardly feminist.

Posted by: BillS at August 24, 2007 12:38 PM
Comment #230551

Why has this vindictive little post not been removed by the editors?

Posted by: mental wimp at August 24, 2007 1:27 PM
Comment #230579

mental wimp, this article comports with the guidelines for WB articles. He raises a political issue, the influence of feminism upon political policy, he cites his sources with links and quotes, and he offers his own conclusions based on his evaluation of the evidence he cites.

This article violates none of WB’s rules for participation nor standards for focused political oriented topics. The management of WB does not censor content based on whether management agrees with the writer’s assessments and conclusions, or not.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at August 24, 2007 5:13 PM
Comment #230581

Gerrold, excellent assessment of the feminist discourse and I agree with your assessment that its seminal issues for discourse either created the preconditions or coincided with cultural changes that make treatment of women and women’s issue in our culture respected and admired by vast numbers of people around the globe, contributing to the magnetic pull that America has on peoples in other cultures and nations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2007 5:19 PM
Comment #230586

Gerrold

I do not even know what polyphonic discourse means. There are lots of other things I do not know. As long as the feminists stick to their theories and inflict them only on themselves and those who choose to associate with them, I have no trouble with them. When they come out into the public sphere and attempt to influence laws that affect me, I have to take notice. Feminists who I know tend to dislike positions I support and work against them. I do not know if it is their theories that make them do this. Whatever it is, they are troublesome.

Re the writer saying more about himself, you recall the Emerson thought that a person’s view of the world is often a confession of his own character. I think that is often true. But this article is not incorrect. He is attacking a public figure, just like people on the other side attack people like Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh.

BillS

The Phillipines has a different culture. I do not know much about it and as Gerrold knows, I do not comment about things I know nothing about unless compelled. The U.S. is much more advanced than most countries in terms of right and opportunities of all kinds. Still, you would expect that unemployment in the U.S. would be much lower for women than for men if they do the same work for less money. Firms would be trying hard to hire women. We certainly would not need any affirmative action if each woman came with essentially a 20% salary bonus for the firm.

Since firms pay higher level workers more, you would also expect that firms would promote women much faster for the same reason.

It is logically inconsistent to believe BOTH that firms discriminate against women in hiring and promotions AND that they are able to pay women 20% less for the same results.

Posted by: Jack at August 24, 2007 5:39 PM
Comment #230591

Jack

Ha,Ha, I recall you saying in effect that most people you know”…tend to dislike positions I support…”


Feminism and the need for it will never “run its course,”so long as there is a segment of the population dead set on forceing government intrusion into what goes on in womens uteruses.When that stops you may have a point.

Posted by: BillS at August 24, 2007 6:18 PM
Comment #230593

BillS

I think abortion is morally wrong in most cases, but should be legal…in most cases. I suspect this is the opinion of most Americans.

I can however, see both ends of the arguement. Those who believe it is a baby would have trouble with my formulation. Just as we would not allow a mother to kill an inconvenient newborn. The way they see it, it is not only about the woman. It is the woman AND the baby.

Posted by: Jack at August 24, 2007 6:24 PM
Comment #230596

Jack, another issue which we agree upon without dispute. There are many who see it as immoral, though Jesus never addresses the issue, and the Old Testament fails to condemn the killing of children for good cause, even by God, (Job). But, government is not in the business of legislating morality. It is in the business of promoting the general welfare of all its citizens who constitute the nation while preserving liberty and freedom of the people to govern their own lives up to the point that actions threaten the general welfare or violate the freedoms and liberties of other persons.

The Original Constitution did not contemplate freedom and liberty equality for many classes of people including women, children, Africans, Chinese, fetuses, or males who were not landowners, for example, granting less rights and protected freedoms to these groups compared to white male landowners. The American people have greatly expanded and improved on the original founding father’s in this regard.

But, at this time, the American majority and courts have drawn a line, similar to what our founding fathers drew, at fetuses, sperm, and eggs, as not having superceding protected rights and freedoms which would cause the government to intercede in a woman’s decision and diminsh her rights and freedoms of choice as to whether or not she shall become a mother, with the legal obligations and responsibilities that motherhood encompasses.

If government forces women to become mothers against their choice, the government assumes the responsibility for any, and all, bad and ill mothering which may ensue from the relationship between that mother and child. This contradicts conservative principles of small and limited government that does not intrude unnecessarily upon the private lives and pursuits of its citizens.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2007 6:53 PM
Comment #230599

Jack,

Oh, you know what “polyphonic” means. You studied Greek. At any rate, it’s a term widely used in music and other fields. For my purposes, I mean “many voices.” From your comments, you seemed to assume that feminism spoke monolithically … er, ok, spoke with a uniform and rigid voice. That’s simply not so. Some of the harshest criticism of particular strands or posits of a particular feminist theories come from feminists themselves. You have feminists who focus on difference, similarity, culture, biology, etc. Saying that science has disproved the “blank slate” theory (Locke’s tabula rosa I assume) does not silence feminist discourse because there are plenty of feminists who skew toward the Nature end of the Nature/Nurture spectrum.

At any rate, I imagine that many feminists would echo your sentiments — as long as you and the culture were not inflicted upon them, they would have no problem with the system. Unfortunately, neither you nor they are so lucky.

I have a nine-year-old daughter. One of the things I try to teach her is that she can resist being defined by others. It’s tough, and it takes awareness, because culture is of course pervasive. Here is an example. She came home one day saying she wanted to be a nurse. I said that was a fine profession. She said she thought about being a doctor but that only boys are doctors. Of course I explained that was not so and then asked her where she heard that. It was just the general understanding among her peers at school.

This example may seem trivial, but it’s just one of very many I can provide. She’s already got it into her head that boys are better at math despite the fact that her math scores push the right end of the spectrum. We can talk of equal pay for equal work, and most of us will agree that is a good thing, but that’s not what this is about. The dominant non-economic ideology in this country is Christian, and in that mythology, woman has a subordinate role. Woman is the tempter, the harlot (to use the current article writer’s word), the whore. Either that or she is virginal and pure. This stuff gets into people’s heads. As a responsible parent, it is my duty to teach her other ways of thinking, to help her realize that many cultural norms are arbitrary, to help her learn that the way things are is not how they have to be. It is also my duty to teach her about the nature of power.

To me, feminism is merely a subset of humanism, but a necessary one, because women in our culture have the burden of resisting being defined by a male-dominated culture. Now, I am not an idiot. I know women in the West have it better than they have ever had in history, and enormously better than they have it in most other cultures. This is a rare historical moment in which a sizable fraction of the female world population has a greater chance for self determination than they have ever had. But there are forces that want to limit further progress and forces that want to roll back progress. Feminism as a movement has a long way to go — and the hardest challenge is teaching people that they can resist the old paradigms and their vestiges.

None of this requires uniformity of thought on any particular subject. For myself, I am deeply ambivalent about Roe vs. Wade, and I will not mock those on the “Life” side of the debate, nor will I give a blank check to those on the “Choice” side. My approach with my daughter is and will be extremely practical — don’t have sex until you are no longer a kid, and if you do, protect yourself (and yes, that seems contradictory). In terms of an anecdote you told earlier, don’t get trapped on the thin ice and you won’t be forced into a lose-lose situation.

David R.,

Thanks.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 24, 2007 7:25 PM
Comment #230612

Gerrold

I have a 21 year old daughter. She is good at math and I always encouraged her to do what she thought best. She recently got a good job.

I want all individuals to have freedom to develop their talent as they feel is best. I believe that will inevitably result in significant differences of achievement among GROUPS of men and women. Women and men make different choices as groups.

Look what happens when somebody brings a bagy to a house. Women are more interested in the baby, for example. Most men are interested in babies only when they have one of their own and then mostly to compare the baby to their own.

Men consistently take more risk in jobs, stock portfolios and most other things. And of course, men are physically stronger. That influnces their choices. I can do a lot of work on my farm alone that my wife just could not do at all.

This, of coures, is the GROUP. It does not say much about individuals. Some men like babies; some women do not. But the group is different. Some women are stronger than some men; most are not.

Most women, for example, cannot reliably toss a hand grenade far enough to avoid hemselves being injured by the blast. This influences women in a combat situation.

All this means that there will never be equality among men and women. This does not mean they cannot all have fulfilling lives and it does not mean that individual men cannot be child care workers or individual women could not toss grenades.

The emphasise on career alone, BTW, is misguided. I currently have a good job with significant status. I recognize that the day I retire is the day I become a FORMER X. But my family and my life outside the job will be mine forever.

If feminists recognize this reality of gender difference, understand that given free choice men and women will make different choices and accept the consequence, I have misjudged them and I appologize.

Posted by: Jack at August 24, 2007 9:07 PM
Comment #230615

Jack
It light of the talk going around of a new draft and what we have been discussing I would propose the following:
1. We draft only women.Us men have been fighting wars for how long.10,000 years or so. Its their turn.
2.If they win a battle we could say,”ha,ha,You got beat by a bunch of girls!” Conversly if they were defeated we could say,”Big Deal.So you wupped a bunch of girls.”
3.The proven fact that women in groups release phremones that cause them to cycle at the same time means that every 28 days we would have one mean,bloated,fighting machine.

Hmmm,Guess I have to send back my liberal papers now. Who’s got the address?

Posted by: Bills at August 24, 2007 10:04 PM
Comment #230655

BillS

I like the concept, but you better hope none of the movement feminists read this. I am a know conservative and bad guy. They have to cut me that slack. They will come down a lot harder on one of their own, and we all know that some of them can come down very heavily.

Posted by: Jack at August 25, 2007 1:05 PM
Comment #230657
All this means that there will never be equality among men and women.

Jack,

I suppose it depends on what you mean by equality.

If feminists recognize this reality of gender difference, understand that given free choice men and women will make different choices and accept the consequence, I have misjudged them and I appologize.

Feminists are not monolithic. Some may have no essential problem with that sentence, some might. Similarily, some conservatives call women shrews and harlots, and some show more respect. At any rate, I think you may underestimate the role of culture in determining how we think about ourselves and others. That statement is not incompatible with believing that biology is also a determinant.

I feel you have modified your position, or at least expressed it differently. That shows an open mind and I applaud you for it.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 25, 2007 1:30 PM
Comment #230660

“Movement Feminist” ? Jack, it’s incredible how sexist you can be just by trying to convince someone of your neutrality.
And Bills….we aren’t even going into just exactly what men in groups release…but you can dam well bet your BVD’s that it aint pheremones !!!!
And what a novel concept…fighting a war with brains instead of brawn…hmmmmm
I’m kind of sure that you were trying to be comical in your references to bodily functions, but maybe you should go scratch for a while and try again……

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at August 25, 2007 1:54 PM
Comment #230665

Sandra
The big problem with fighting wars with brains instead of brawn is that in most cases an application of brains precludes the fighting of wars.Wars are stupid and even the most justified represent the worst possible solution.Unfortunately sometimes the worst possible solution is the only option.This is not the case in the Iraq conflict but was the case in the routing of the Talaban in my opinion.

Jack

I suppose we are off topic some but a discussion of gender differences,and feminism in general is a much better use of electrons than DH does not like AM.
Obviously men and women and men are different.I am willing to admit they are smarter plus they do not have certain gender specific apendages to interfear with clear thought.
I recall from a college bio-psyche course,while disecting brains,the professor explainning how to tell the gender of a brains donor. The corpus collosum,the organ that integrates both brain henispheres,is considerably larger in female brains.That means better integration of thought processes.
Legal equality is another matter and the need for it is the driving force behind feminism. For example: Is there a political movement to force men to bear children unwillingly?
What about hate crimes sentence inhancement for rape? Rape almost always is a crime aimmed at women. It fits the definition of a hate crime,a crime in which the victum is selected because of what they are as opposed to who they are.

With women comprising a bit over half the population of the country why are the huge majority of lawmakers male.Most likely this is a throwback to our patriarchal heritage but frankly I do not know why.We should make certain there are no legal barriers at a minimum. I also see no problem in,when selecting candidates of equal qualification,giving preference to a women because of gender.Lets face it. If such choices were always made by a coin toss there would be a lot more women in congress.

Posted by: BillS at August 25, 2007 4:01 PM
Comment #230672

BillS

You are mixing up a few things. If choices were made by coin toss, you would have more women in congress. Of course, if we were dealing with identical groups, we would expect a distribution that reflected the statistical probabilities. The point that you made and I agree is that they are NOT identical.

Women as a group are more interested in children; they take fewer risks. Men are risk takers and less apt to play by rules. This creates some interesting things.

For example, we always hear that men make up a disproportionate number of the super successful. They also make up most of the big failures. Most CEOs are men. Most people in jail are men. Most high wage earners are men; most chronically homeless are men. It makes sense when you think of the behavior differences. Risk takers are more likely to win or lose. Those who risk less are more likely to achieve an outcome in the middle.

I do not think you will ever find men and women equally represented in any particular field. It is not due to discrimination. Take a look at bloggers. The most successful bloggers are men. Why is that? Nobody can tell your gender online.

I have hired dozens of high level people. Statistically, I have hired more women than men. I do not try to do that; it just has worked out that way. But qualification is a hard thing to figure out. Some people have the wrong kind of education. For example, if you are hiring a someone who has to DO something, you are almost always better off hiring an MA or an MBA than a PhD. The PhD is in theory better qualifed, but the people tend not to be.

I have found that women often acquire too MANY qualifications. Sometimes additional training is a waste and actually a negative. It is better to start walking when you know how, instead of continuing to study the theory of bipedal locomotion.

Posted by: Jack at August 25, 2007 4:52 PM
Comment #230678

Jack,

One difficulty in determining how men and women intrinsically are is that we can’t separate them from the culture. Thus, we may claim that women are more maternal than men (and I believe that, btw), but how do we account for societal factors that perpetuate those roles? I’ve monitored what my daughter watches on TV all of her life, and I can tell you some very obvious things — baby dolls are not marketed at boys, for instance. Comestics are marketed mostly at women using the implicit assumption that a woman must paint herself to make her more attractive to men. (Interestingly, though, we see more cosmetics being marketed to men, nowadays — I don’t think this is necessarily a good thing, but it does show that old ideas about men can change, too.) To what degree are there biological imperatives for this sort of preening and to what degree are they cultural? I don’t have any easy answers. It is safe to say, though, that women who are not maternal and who do not preen (and they exist, of course) often have internal conflicts because they are taught all their lives that they should behave and think a certain way. (Btw, this is true of us all.)

In the feminist struggle for equal access to various occupations (the so-called second wave of feminism), it is true that motherhood, so to speak, was de-emphasized. The site of the struggle was the work place. Later, many feminists started emphasizing choice, so to speak. Motherhood and work, or motherhood or work —. To me, this is a natural dialectical process. Earlier thought is rethought and new modified perspectives gained.

As far as risk taking goes, there is research that in a broad sense supports your assertions. I would not be at all surprised to learn that some of that difference is biological; it makes a certain amount of sense. I would wager, though, that as we move forward (if we move forward) we will see some of those differences reduced.

At any rate, what is pernicious is not the differences per se, but how our culture values different behaviors and roles. A single mother raising three children alone because her husband deserted his family is unlikely to become very powerful economically, while the man who has deserted is likely to be more powerful economically (even if he obeys the law and provides financial support). This is just reality. The burden of raising a family often falls upon the woman not because of her choice but because she does not shirk her responsibility. Public school educators are more likely to be women than men — why is that profession valued less than that of a financial advisor? I realize these are not just gender issues, but also market place ones.

At any rate, there is much to discuss here even if we just speak of family and not any of the many other pertinent issues.

But I want to make one last point. When we speak of equality, we could mean many things. Equality under the law, equality in terms of earning power, equality in terms societal influence, etc. What I really object to is the world historical notion that women are worth less than men, that they are inferior to men. When you live in a culture that accepts such ideas as simple truth, those notions are generally accepted as truth by everyone, including women. Now we have vestiges of such thinking in our culture, but we can see extreme forms in many other cultures. That’s the real battleground, imo — fighting and resisting such deeply embedded notions. We still as a culture wink at the promiscuous male but condemn the promiscuous female (think of all the negative terms we have for promiscuous females, and then try to think of negative terms for promiscuous males.) Woman in the dominant religion is a helpmate for man. Woman in terms of Freud, who laid the underpinings of modern psychoanalysis, is defined by lack (of a penis).

Btw, although there are many things about our culture I have problems with, it is an indisputable fact that Western thought has allowed the conditions whereby women can make the enormous strides they have. We should be proud of that.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 25, 2007 7:04 PM
Comment #230692

Gerrold

I afford Freud the same respect I give Marx. His followers were busy torturing people and telling them that they had various types of sexual hangups when their ailments were often biochemical.

Humans are social animials. I do not know where biology leaves off and culture starts. Everything I read on evolution or brain functions tells me that men and women differ. There are obvious physical differences. It is amazing to me how fast “traditional” gender roles resurface when really heavy physical work is called for. My wife and daughter are strong women (my daugher is 6’ tall) but they simply cannot move rocks and logs the way my sons and I can. In our modern world, where machines have replaced muscle, this makes less difference, but still sometimes comes up.

But since none of us knows what is “natural” maybe the gender roles are not wrong. I have noticed the non-PC truth that women actually have more options and that slows their progress. When I graduated with my MBA, three of my female friends got really great jobs. Within a couple years, they had all “downshifted” to spend more time with their families. I did not have that choice. A man is expected to work. Who was better off? I suggest that it might have been them.

As an older guy, I now have sufficient money and status that I can downshift too. It is a good thing. However, I still feel the pull of duty that makes me want to do what a man should do.

In any case, I would favor making options open to all, but I would not be surprised if men and women make different choices and as groups produce different outcomes.

Today 56% of undergrads are women. Should we be worried about anti-male policies that cause this? I do not think so. I also do not think that we need to be worried when fewer women apply for MBAs, while more try law school. Everybody should just stop complaining about outcomes.

Posted by: Jack at August 25, 2007 10:39 PM
Comment #230697

Jack,

Notice that you equate “downshifting” to spend more time with family as a lack of progress? It depends upon how you define progress. But I see your point and agree with it. Our culture creates particular demands on men too. A guy who decides to get off the fast track because he wants to be with his family more is seen as less successful. Doesn’t that seem absurd? Doesn’t it seem like screwed up priorities?

I sacrificed quite a bit professionally because my wife was psychologically ill equipped to cope with our child on her own. In truth, she needed almost as much care as our daughter. Finally she went her own way, leaving me with the child (her idea, but I would have fought for my daughter if necessary.) Even though I know I did the right thing, I can’t escape all of the conditioning we males undergo and I think sometimes of where I would be now if I had made other decisions. From one point of view, I’ve lost a decade. But really, I gained much more.

We think of feminism as exclusively concerned with women, but in truth we as thinking people have more room for self determination if we can critically examine gender and cultural roles and, when appropriate, resist.

I think practical application is important, but my own bent is toward theoretical examination because that path gives some control of self creation from the inside out. It’s old, old stuff: the unexamined life etc.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 26, 2007 12:07 AM
Comment #230736

Gerrold

That was my point. Men might enjoy downshifting too. But most of us feel constrained to keep on running. This has a consequence. People who take time from their career, for good reasons or bad, tend not to get as far.

In my own career, I decided in 1997 to get off the fast track and not work those 12 hour days. I am really glad that I did. My life is much fuller. I own a forest; my family is happier; I had time to read and learn. BUT some of my colleagues who kept on the fast track are now farther along. I probably could not catch up.

We got the consequences of our choices. I wish I made the money they do and had the jobs, but I did not want to pay the price. Many of them have broken marriages and ill health to show for their efforts. Would it be fair now for me demand to be promoted to their levels? Is it unfair that they got ahead more than I did?

Women more often than men make the downshifting choice. They more often take time off. I am sure they often have good reasons and they often are better off, just as I was. But it should come as no surprise that they are less often CEOs. I will never get to the top because I was unwilling to put in the time and energy (presuming I even had the talent). It was a good choice. Women make those good choices more often. It is also true that many men (and women) make the sacrifices and still do not make it to the top.

We are talking the probabilities. You would not expect different behaviors to produce the same results.

Posted by: Jack at August 26, 2007 8:05 PM
Comment #230753

Jack,

That’s all fine. Notice that I haven’t spoken about institutional barriers, or about relative pay rates, or anything of the like. I’ve been speaking about the barriers that our culture erects in our heads.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 26, 2007 10:52 PM
Comment #230763

Jack,

Have you ever thought about writing books? You have a clean writing style and a passion for certain topics.

Posted by: Gerrold at August 27, 2007 12:04 AM
Comment #230826

“Such is the ideology that is championed by the likes of Amanda Marcotte, and that is why she has earned my disdain.”

Who gives a flying crap what you think about Amanda Marcotte and “feminists and their ilk”?
Ever ask yourself why, if Marcotte and feminists at large are so “frustrated”, “angry”, “bitter”, “unhappy”, and “disturbed” then why the hell do your own comments in this article reflect every single one of those same characteristics? Hmmm?

I’ve got a hunch it’s because you just can’t keep these ladies from saying whatever it is they feel like saying, and living and being the way they want to live and be — and that really eats at you, doesn’t it?

I get the sense that you think that Women shouldn’t be allowed to hold their own opinions, or make their own decisions. I also sense that any woman who doesn’t agree with your opinions on womanhood are automatically deemed “foul-mouthed shrews” and “harlots.”

Well gee willikers, Mr. Huntwork, I hate to break it to you, but it’s not the 1950’s anymore, and “feminists and their ilk” don’t give a hoot what men who are bent on trying to control and/or stifle their thoughts and discussions think of them!

Perhaps you’d be happier if you didn’t frequent such websites filled with so many “shrews and harlots” and instead become a regular visitor to some of those right-wing christian fundamentalist blogs out there. You know, the kind where the ladies would be far more willing to bow and scrape to the greater wisdom of such exalted opinions, and listen to male mandates on the ways that proper women must always speak and behave.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 27, 2007 5:27 PM
Comment #230867

Gerrold to Jack:
“Have you ever thought about writing books? You have a clean writing style and a passion for certain topics.”

Yes, Jack has shown a real passion for knocking feminism in so many of his comments ever since I’ve been reading this blog. I’m sure there must be an eager market among conservatives for such books.

Last thought on this subject, specifically for Huntwork and Jack: History has shown that quiet, unassuming, carefully polite and strictly well-behaved women never, ever, make history. And the only reason that you’ve ever heard of women doing anything at all in the history of the world is because some of us (who were/are mainly feminist-type thinkers) weren’t/aren’t interested in being any of those things.
This is certainly true of Marcotte, as well.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 28, 2007 12:26 AM
Comment #230871

Adrienne, almost all of your conclusions about me and what I think are wrong. I love it when people tell me what I truly think or believe. I’m not shy about putting it out there so theoretical stereotypical pigeonholing is tedious at best. My wife would tell you that you are flat wrong in your assumptions and my three daughters would not be far behind.

But thanks for playing anyhow.

By the way, I never called Miss Marcotte a harlot. Believe it or not I do believe that would be wrong, not to mention a potentially libelous statement. I referred to feminism as gilded harlotry. There is a big difference.

Posted by: David M. Huntwork at August 28, 2007 2:07 AM
Comment #230879

“Adrienne, almost all of your conclusions about me and what I think are wrong.”

Well, all I have to go on is what you’ve written, and judging from that, I don’t think so.

“I referred to feminism as gilded harlotry.”

Harlotry means prostitution, so in your view, the entire history of feminism can be reduced to prostitution dressed up in thin gold leaf? Thus, Feminists are really nothing but a bunch of loud-mouthed whores (fighting for self determination, and making their voices heard, and trying to gain equal rights) in a world that has always been ruled by men.
Remember, I only have the words you have written here to go by, and everything I’ve seen you write on this subject so far makes me see you as a frustrated and enraged conservative who would truly love to turn back the clock, and one who is desperately trying to tarnish and smear the entire feminist movement with the broadest brush you can possibly find.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 28, 2007 10:45 AM
Comment #230891

“If you’re not a feminist… kill yourself.”

Margaret Cho

Posted by: L.Vazquez at August 28, 2007 12:27 PM
Comment #230914

The Margret Sanger WOMEN’S MOVEMENT is vastly different than the Betty Friedan/Gloria Steinem FEMINIST MOVEMENT.

I’ve had the luxury of taking several college courses with ultra feminist teachers, and I can definitively say through my experience that the majority of ultra feminists are hate filled gender bashers, where logic and reason are absent in the place of venomous rhetoric.

Ignore her and her ilk.

Posted by: b0mbay at August 28, 2007 5:01 PM
Comment #231052

Here’s some fuel for the fire.

Ladies Night discriminates against guys?

While I support feminism 100%, a sad irony struck me recently. Women have bought into the idea that in order to be “equal”, they must conform with the materialist, competitive lifestyle that men created and that has led this entire country into a spiritual morass. They wished to be happy, but never thought that men might be just as miserable as breadwinners as women were as homemakers. Sad but true.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at August 30, 2007 1:19 AM
Comment #243936

Excellent post. Is Marcotte a Scientologist? She definately writes like some kind of cultist.

Her twisted and bitter self described “feminist” gives social discourse a bad name.

Marcotte behaves as a jealous, insecure being whose MO is to flame war and gang up on and marginalize the smarter writers around her when engaged in forums.

Here is her new blogsite

wyldcard.blogspot.com

in her latest attempt to suck up and grab attention, she has glommed onto this one

cynicsparty.com

Thank you for your incisive post.


Posted by: nomoremarcottes at January 26, 2008 3:22 PM
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