I’ve had a few commenters balk at the suggestion (which I hadn’t made) that men can’t be feminists. I have yet to really weigh in on the subject because a) there are very few men who try to identify as feminists, and b) I never really gave a shit. That last one changed today.

I once discussed the idea of male feminists with a friend, and he agreed with my suggestion that men who call themselves feminists are a little weird. He’s as feminist as a dude can be without arousing my suspicion. What does that mean? He thinks a lot about gender issues, he recognizes male privilege and misogyny when he sees their manifestations, he’s open to discussing and considering anything having to do with gender (no matter how seemingly bizarre — Deuce’s Law arose out of a discussion with him), and he calls out the overtly and implicitly sexist behavior and assumptions of the people he talks to. He even asks people to reconsider their belief that there’s no harm in watching a little porn. He does not, however, call himself a feminist, nor does he try to tell me or anyone else what feminism is or should be about (though he’s not afraid to argue with me if he thinks I’m advancing something that doesn’t make sense). I’d call dudes like this cool.

Then there are the dudes who will agree with everything I say about the subject, deferring to any opinion I might express on gender issues because they’re not confident enough in their intellectual positions to be sure that any objections they may have aren’t arising from some sort of residual undetected male privilege (that’s fine — it’s vastly better than being a presumptuous boor). They make a point of discussing feminism and gender issues with people, and they are generally a benefit to the cause as they tend to be thoughtful dudes who people will listen to. These types may call themselves allies, sympathizers, or even feminists (though most of them, having read arguments that men cannot actually be feminists, would probably hesitate to appropriate that label). I’d call dudes like this allies of the movement.

I know a few dudes who are for the most part good guys who are sympathetic to the cause, but who will argue with me about some of my more radical opinions, not because my opinions don’t make sense, but because the implications of my opinions make them uncomfortable. I’d call dudes like this sympathizers.

There’s another type, though. There are dudes who call themselves feminists or feminist advocates and who argue vociferously for what they think are feminist causes, who attempt to place themselves at the center of the movement and to speak for women as “protectors.” I’d call dudes like this assholes.

Kyle Payne is an asshole. Feminists may sometimes overlook the little red flags in the writings of guys like Kyle Payne. We’re happy to have men on board, happy to have a few agents on the inside to help us out, because we know that there are some men who will never listen to us but might listen to a fellow dude. We overlook the warning signs and assume these guys are allies, taking whatever crumbs we can get from the beneficiaries of patriarchy, who we ultimately know we will need in order to succeed. I’m embarrassed to even type that.

I had Kyle Payne on my blogroll until today, when Genevieve, one of my frequent commenters, sent me an e-mail tipping me off to the fact that he’d been charged with possession of child pornography and sexual assault and has admitted to the assault. He was an RA at the school he went to, Buena Vista University, and apparently took advantage of a drunk girl, taking photos of himself assaulting her while she was passed out.  A college RA accused of taking advantage of a passed out girl? Shocking, I know. But this one was a FEMINIST ACTIVIST. He has a “radical feminist” blog. He’s been linked to by several of the radical feminist bloggers I respect most.

I’ll admit, I barely read half a post on his site before I linked to him. I’m busy, I’m lazy, and I fucked up. I was so excited to find a radical feminist blog written by a dude that I forgot to turn on my asshole meter. Now that I look back at his site, it’s tremendously obvious that he’s a self-important blowhard. If I was more careful, if I had read the fucking about page, I’d have noticed that he seems more concerned with aggrandizing himself than with women’s lives. His incessant references to himself as an “activist” and an “advocate” for women should have tipped me off to the fact that there was something beyond empathy motivating this guy. Had I noticed the tack he was taking, I might have picked up on the fact that he had ulterior motives or that there was something wrong with him. That he calls himself an advocate for women should have told me something about his attitude toward us. Fuck, if I had paid more attention I’d have seen that he’s a horrible writer, a trait I cannot abide. I’ll be more careful in the future.

Maybe the guy got into feminism as a result of his extreme guilt over doing something he knew was wrong. Maybe he’s like the gay preacher who rails against gays because he hates himself. I don’t really give a fuck. All I know is that I allowed myself to be taken in by a dude claiming to be an “advocate” for the feminist movement who turned out to be a fucking pervert, and that I’m now questioning the motives of every self-proclaimed male feminist in the world. This villainous motherfucker used one of the things I hold most dear in the world as a cover, as a tool, as a way to connive his way into women’s lives and as a way to wield power over vulnerable women. He used the name of a movement designed to free women from the abuses men perpetrate against us to control and manipulate women, and to deflect suspicion from himself because he’s a motherfucking miscreant who hurts women and uses images of women and children being hurt for sexual enjoyment. He used a position of authority to abuse a helpless woman, all while claiming to be a fucking advocate for purportedly helpless women. FUCK Kyle Payne and the horse he rode in on.

Why do men need to be directly involved in feminist activism? Why do men need to participate in the formulation of feminist theory? Can a man be a “feminist” activist without some kind of hidden selfish agenda? Why do men need to be allowed to call themselves feminists? Why do I need to be forced to trust men’s motives (against my better judgment) when they want to be a part of the movement or fear being accused of exclusionism? Why can’t these motherfuckers let a movement exist without trying to insinuate themselves into a leadership role within it? Where do they get the idea that we need their goddamned advice?

Even the most well-meaning of men who call themselves feminists evince some pretty strange assumptions. Men know we need them to get on board with our cause in order to get anywhere, and they come to our discussions with that in mind. And it always shows. I don’t know how fair it is of me to expect men to completely do away with a lifetime of gender conditioning, but I frankly don’t want to hear men’s opinions on feminism until they’ve confronted or are at least willing to confront their own gender issues, and even then I don’t want to hear their opinions on what feminism’s goals should be. Men can learn from feminists, they can discuss things with us, they can disagree with us, and they can fight with us. What they can’t do is tell us what our movement is about or take a leadership role within it. I know that this is hard for some of these guys to deal with, but it’s a fact: we don’t need male leadership or guidance. Know what else we don’t need? Your fucking advocacy. An advocate speaks on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves. I can speak for myself, and I can do so with much more accuracy and style than Kyle Payne or any other dude.

Here’s what all this means: I’m not praising or associating with men who presume to call themselves feminists anymore, and I’m going to be looking at men who come to this site with a bit more jaundice in my eye. You can be down with my cause, you can think sexism sucks, you can do your part to combat it, but you can’t be a feminist. You don’t get to take on my movement’s label or represent me. Quit being such a presumptuous pud, shut your fucking mouth, and learn something, then go tell other men what you’ve learned. Argue with me if you want to, but only if you’re willing to consider the possibility that you might be wrong. If you aren’t, I’ll concede, but if you are, be ready to admit it or go fuck yourself. If you want to write a “feminist” blog, write one about how you are taking concrete measures to confront sexism in your daily life, write one about what you’ve learned from feminists, but don’t write one telling me what feminism is about, because you don’t know. If you want to do something to help out the cause, examine your own assumptions, think about what society has taught you about gender and about women, and change what you think needs changing, then be an example to other men. Treat women like human beings and tell other men they should, too. You can be a force for good, but you can’t be in charge, and you aren’t getting hired as a consultant. We don’t need your bullshit advice. Take it or leave it.

I suggest that Kyle Payne ought to get the fuck off the internet. He claims he cares about women, about the feminist movement, and about rape victims. That his blog continues to exist is an affront to all three. He ought to have the decency to disappear. If you want to tell him so, I got your back. I already did.

* See a few other takes on the case from Pisaquaririse, belledame, and Renegade Evolution.

** If you are on his blogroll and want off, you’ll have to tell him so. It took me four nasty comments to get him to remove me.

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Just a thought (clipped from a response I made to a comment on an old post)

The problem these days is that men have (intentionally or otherwise) misinterpreted the meaning of equality. Men think they ought to be considered equally put upon simply because they can come up with an example of a time a man suffered. They, from their loftily oblivious position, don’t have to think very hard about the issue at hand. If they can come up with a single example to show that they, too, have at one time or another been victims, then they are off the hook and don’t need to acknowledge their privilege. They argue that if women want equality, then women have to be willing to give men equal room to whine about what they’ve been made to suffer. They don’t see the big picture, but rather each tiny incident as if it weren’t connected to larger social forces. Hence, you have men complaining about some overblown case of a false rape accusation but unwilling to confront the reality of what it means to be female in a culture in which women’s sexuality is seen as the property of men. Or you see men suing bars that have ladies’ night because it’s not fair to make men (who make more money than women) pay a cover when women don’t have to, taking no account of anything other than the “unfairness” of unequal cover charges. It’s similar to the whole, “If black people can say nigger, why can’t I?” bullshit. It’s utter tomfoolery, but it’s the crux of every MRA argument, this conception of equality that’s completely myopic (at best) and/or dishonest.

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Nine Deuce: A Flaming Cunt?

I’m sorry, everyone. I know that this blog is really descending into unexplored depths of self-referentialism (coining words is my new hobby), but I’ve had more free time than I’m used to lately, which has allowed me to have a look around at what people who read this blog and are too craven to comment here post about it elsewhere (hence this post). I know, I know, that’s ill-advised, but I can’t help it. Then, somehow, my recent post on rape laws ended up on Stumbleupon and 4Chan (gee, thanks for the info, Playermatt) and my post on MRAs was discovered by some cabal of MRAs who’ve linked to it and passed both it and the rape law post around to their buddies. The results have been… interesting.

I always hoped that this blog would reach a wide audience, that people who had yet to consider the things I write about would end up being exposed to them and thinking about them. That’s why I try to avoid jargon and try to write things out in simple language. That’s why I cuss a lot and make stupid jokes. I’m hoping doing so will engage the random thoughtful people who happen upon my page and get them to thinking about what I have to say.

But I forgot that, when we’re talking the general public, there is about one thoughtful person per 1000 unreflective jagoffs. There are an awful lot of people who will never, ever consider the fact that the way things are might not be the best we can do. There are also a lot of people who have convinced themselves that their sorrows in life are all the fault of some group of people whose existence and success they see as a threat to their own.

When I started this blog, I planned to patiently respond to every comment I got, to make an attempt to be as much like Jesus as possible without growing a beard. I thought that if I was calm and tolerant enough, I might plant some seeds of reason into the heads of commenters, that I might bring some people closer to, if not into complete agreement with, my point of view. And, I thought, if I couldn’t do that, at least I could use the commenters who displayed a complete lack of reason as entertainment for my other readers (BUTTKICKER 69, we love you).

That all worked pretty well for awhile, that is until a few of my posts ended up on Stumbleupon and started getting serious numbers of hits from the general public. Once that happened, I started getting a lot of comments from women who thought I was “just as bad as men” because they thought I was trying to tell them what to do (wrong). I got a lot of comments from pro-porn dudes who thought I was being unfair in my assessment that men who use porn are allowing their selfishness and sense of entitlement to override their humanity (also wrong). I got a lot of comments from people who thought my connecting Bratz with feminism didn’t make any sense (uber wrong). Most of these comments, although they were pretty stupid, were at least civil. I think they were civil because those posts, though they were pretty harsh in their criticisms of the beauty, porn, and girls’ toy industries, didn’t really propose any significant reductions in anyone’s privileges.

Not so with Deuce’s Law and my post on MRAs. I know that those two posts are inflammatory. I intended them to be. Women tolerate limits on our freedom, threats to our safety and security, and violations of our human rights as a matter of course. One of the determining factors in women’s inability to reach equality is the law, and so I decided, in these two posts, to point out the ways in which law serves men’s interests better than, and even to the detriment of, women’s interests and rights.

The point of the Deuce’s Law post was to illustrate by foil the injustices that women suffer under our current legal system, to point out that the presumption of a default state of consent is just as unfair as the presumption of guilt. I never made the claim that Deuce’s Law would be feasible or even the most desirable alternative (I pointed out in the introduction that cultural attitude changes that would eliminate rape would be ideal, which is my entire goal in writing this blog). It was SATIRE, though I do think that the logic of the entirety of the law is intellectually undeniable if taken as a counterpoint to the current system of laws. (I don’t know that I’d ever really advocate doing away with the presumption of innocence, but I would most certainly advocate the punishments I outlined in the post, especially for repeat offenders.) The point of both posts was to make people aware that the system we now operate under has faults, that it does not serve all citizens equally (as those who created and defend it would have us believe). It is taken for granted that our legal system is the most perfect incarnation of a system of laws that can be hoped for, and that to me seems a little silly. (But not as silly as the idea that our legal system privileges women over men, as the MRAs seem to think.)

Here’s where the point of this post comes in. I have had literally hundreds of people tell me, after reading Deuce’s Law, that I am crazy, stupid, uneducated, retarded, silly, foolish, horrible, a cunt, a bitch, a flaming cunt, a dyke, an ugly cunt, etc. People have told me they hope I get raped, they hope I die, they hope I get breast cancer, and they hope women lose the right to vote. I’ve been accused of intellectual dishonesty, hypocrisy, sexism, and a little bit o’ fascism.

Instead of thinking about what I’ve said, people have reacted instinctively to what they perceive as a threat to what they consider the natural, correct order of things. There is a reason that our central beliefs are called fundamental, foundational. The belief that our socio-political system is just, right, perfect, and natural is so deeply ingrained in the average psyche that my raising questions about it is met with extreme anger. The idea that someone could question the reasoning behind male supremacy and institutionalized sexism begets disbelief, fear, and rage in those who are unwilling or unable to look beyond their own assumptions. There are untold numbers of men AND WOMEN out there that will NEVER consider the idea that justice might better be served by something other than a patriarchal social structure, that our lives might be more fulfilling if they weren’t dominated by the quest for more stuff, more empty sex, more power, and more attention for climbing a ladder to nowhere that someone else designed.

I wouldn’t much care if these people just dismissed me as a lunatic and went on their merry way. What bothers me is the vitriol, the absolutely blistering hatred that comes through in their responses. The women usually just tell me I’m crazy, but some of the men really let loose. I’ve noticed that the uptick in comments with the word “cunt” in them has coincided with my MRA post being linked to from a few MRA sites and 4Chan.

MRAs make a lot of arguments about the law being unfair to men, about women victimizing men, about the fact that women supposedly commit the same kinds of wrongs they do. They claim that all they’re after is justice. Bullshit. I am here to say, right fucking now, that these guys have shown, through their comments on this blog, that the basis of their beliefs is an extreme hatred of women.

None of the MRAs or 4Chan geeks save one or two has wanted to discuss the law, none of them has wanted to talk about solutions, they’ve just come here to talk shit. Their arguments are nonexistent, their points are unrelated to the issues at hand, and their comments are absolutely saturated with insults and blanket attacks on feminism, feminists, me, etc. They make ludicrous claims about the prevalence of false rape claims, about the criminal activities of women, and about the levels of discrimination they face, and then accuse me of intellectual dishonesty or faulty logic (or of being a cunt).

Saith reader Aaron Boyden:

I theorize that part of the reason MRAs think that men are actually disadvantaged and discriminated against is that they are such incredibly obnoxious twits that even the overwhelming majority of their fellow men can’t stand them. Thus, they do not gain those benefits of male privilege which rely on the sympathy and support of their fellow men, and so don’t realize that those benefits exist.

That’s certainly not the whole story; the typical MRA’s idea of how well he would have to be treated for it to count as “fair” also generally seems to be quite inflated, but most of the men with excessive senses of entitlement are still not MRAs. I think my theory may explain what more is needed beyond an excessive sense of entitlement to produce an MRA.

I couldn’t agree more. These guys have come to think that the world owes them not just a fair shake, but untrammeled success, and they fucking HATE anyone who they see getting in their way. Any inconvenience, any obstacle, any difficulty is a complete travesty in their minds, an affront to their rights as men, and that includes any broad, faggot, or foreigner getting anything they expected to get by sheer dint of their male privilege.

My point in all this is that I’ve had to come to the realization that many bloggers with more experience than me arrived at long ago: there’s no arguing with someone who thinks I’m less of a human being than he is about my right to be treated fairly and with respect. There’s no asking someone who considers women to all be potentially lying whores to concede to me the right to live without the fear of being raped. There’s no hoping someone who makes such free use of the word “cunt” will discuss something with me as an equal.

I might think these dudes are assholes, but I don’t wish them a horrible and painful death. That these guys think telling me they want me to die of breast cancer or that they hope that I get raped is anything but barbaric and obscene says a lot about who they are. They might say it’s barbaric that I would suggest castrating rapists, but I’m not a rapist. I’ve never victimized anyone. All I’m doing is voicing my opinion and putting a few ideas on the table for consideration and discussion. Why do I deserve to be raped and to die of a horrible disease?

That what I have to say upsets these guys enough to provoke such animus tells me that they can’t take what they dish out. They don’t like being treated and spoken about the way they treat and speak about women. They don’t like the thought of having their rights limited the way women’s rights are limited. But most of all it tells me that they have nothing to counter me with, which I suppose means I’ve won in some sense. What a cunt.

I promise, my next post will be on something that has nothing to do with my blog and people’s responses to it. Maybe I’ll write about Howard Stern or something.

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To the MRAs who would comment on my blog

I know I’ve written two posts that are getting your jockstraps in a bunch. I know you want to have your say. I don’t give a fuck. This blog is officially closed to MRA commenters unless one of you comes up with something better than the bullshit you’ve been sending me. Your arguments are too simple-minded for me to take seriously, and you can’t seem to carry on logical discussions. READ MY COMMENT POLICY (and read this and this). If any of you can see past your anger for long enough to conduct a reasonable discussion, I’ll post your comments, but my blog isn’t your blog. You don’t get to come here and use my readership as an audience for your poorly thought-out, misogynistic nonsense.

Let me tell you who this blog is for. It’s for feminists, it’s for women’s liberationists, it’s for men who support feminists, and it’s for thoughtful and open-minded people who are interested in learning about women’s perspectives. It is not here for people who mistakenly believe that women have nothing to object to in today’s world and that feminism is useless and wrong.

I am more than willing to discuss men’s issues. I don’t deny that there are men who have suffered misfortunes and been discriminated against in one way or another. What I do deny is that our entire social/legal/political/cultural structure is geared in such a way that men always get the short end of the stick.

If you want to talk about programs that would allow men to work less and thus play a larger role in their children’s lives (which would free women to pursue their interests as well), I’m on board. If you want to talk about possible solutions to our rather blunt and failing family laws, then we can do that. If you want to talk about how to deal with cases of sex abuse and domestic violence effectively, we can also do that. But if you just want to come here and say that feminists are wrong because “men suffer too,” I’m not posting your comments. That is a logically flawed argument. I don’t disagree that there are men who are raped, there are men who are abused, there are men who don’t get treated fairly at times. But that does not mean that feminism doesn’t matter, it does not mean that, because one man suffered a rape, the statistically thousands of women who are raped for every man who is raped have nothing to complain about. That one woman abuses her husband does not mean that the thousands of women who are abused by their partners have no right to complain. Get it?

Let me make this 1000% clear: I’m not going to consider the idea that feminism is “nothing but whining.” I’ve spent about 15 years thinking about these issues, and many years studying them and their related phenomena, and that some half-assed Google researcher “disagrees” with feminism equals dick in my book.

I don’t give a shit if you can provide an example of a time a woman did something shitty. I don’t claim men are all bad and women are all angels, which you’d know if you read my blog without letting your anger overpower your reason. I am here to discuss issues, not whether men or women are better. So if all you have to say is that women suck just as much as men for some reason or other, piss off. That kind of thing is beneath me and beneath my readers.

Anti-Americans, that goes for you, too.

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This blog has nothing to do with feminism, you fools.

I know I’ve been writing about some weird shit lately, but I was shocked, after reading one Stumbleupon reviewer’s assessment of my War on Terr’r Part 1 post, to find out that my ostensibly feminist blog has, in fact, nothing to do with feminism. He even added the tag not-feminism to the page! Check out Playermatt‘s review (Playermatt, ha!):

I dispute that this has anything to do with feminism. This is just a victimized woman wallowing in her self-pity and victimhood, posting (to her blog, of course) a list of things that she will never do, in real life.

Next time this happens to her, she’s just going to write another angry blog post. And, probably, all her friends will write, “Great post!” each time she does so.

This is more correctly categorized, in my opinion, under Women’s Issues or Self-Defense, should such a category exist.

I hate “Internet Feminism”. It always boils down to some angry woman writing a blog post about how she’s a victim. I sympathize; I really do. However, there’s no sociology. No examination of gender issues in our society. No grand plan on how to change our society for the better. No psychology or philosophy or any kind of -ology at all, really. Just some rant by an angry woman, that sounds basically like it would be right at home in a Alannis Morisette song.

I didn’t sign up for some generic person’s internet rants; I signed up to read actual feminist articles.

Where do I start? First off, I’m almost embarrassed to give this guy any attention, but I have to do it. I knew when I started this blog that a lot of people wouldn’t be able to grasp the fact that the title of the blog itself, a lot of my stylistic conventions (including pretending to be xtreme!, angry, and arrogant and making sweeping generalizations), and a lot of my statements were and are intended to be taken lightly. In case anyone needs to be told, I’ll lay this out now: I don’t listen to Rage Against the Machine. I think they’re one of the most ridiculous bands of all time, I think their fans are generally some of the dumbest people around, and I’m aghast at the number of people that are now running around wearing Che Guevara t-shirts and spouting ill-informed political slogans because they like some band that sounds like a cross between House of Pain and Helmet. When I told my best friend I was going to be starting a feminist blog and couldn’t think of a name, he suggested that I call it Rage Against the Man-chine. He did so because we have both been making fun of people for the last ten years who make asses of themselves by displaying their anger in an undignified fashion, usually by making reference to their “raging against” whatever it is they’re pissy about.

That means — and I know this is hard for people like Playermatt to process — that I don’t take myself all that seriously. I’m (usually) not that angry, I’m not wallowing in victimhood, I’m not wallowing in self-pity (I’m more likely to suffer from privilege guilt, if you must know), I’m not awake at night having fantasies about stomping on men’s faces with my Doc Martens (which, I’m sure Playermatt will be surprised to hear, I don’t even own). I’m just here ‘splaining my views on things to the world, analyzing the things I think seem unjust, and making feeble attempts at making my delivery entertaining. I guess I overestimated the general public’s ability to pick up what I’m laying down (although I knew feminists would all get it).

I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to try out any of the suggestions I wrote about in the post Playermatt is referring to, but I will most definitely be doing so at the first opportunity that presents itself. And I’ve poured many a Cape Cod on men who groped me or verbally harassed me, so there. But I don’t need to prove to this asshole that I have “balls.” I’m pretty sure that Playermatt is calling me a pussy, which doesn’t really surprise me. His claim that I won’t choose to defend myself against a sexual assault, and will instead run home crying and write a blog about it, sounds like some adolescent schoolyard taunt. The irony of a dude who thinks he’s an authority on feminism and gender analysis calling a feminist a faggot for not being manly enough to do anything but write a blog is killing me. And I suppose the irony inherent in writing a whiny review of a blog in which you call someone a pansy for writing a blog about things that irritate them is also lost on this idiot.

He’s decided for me that I ought to call this a Women’s Issues or a Self-Defense blog. Well, Playermatt, could you please, with your superior male intellect and your broad and deep understanding of gender issues, enlighten me as to what the fuck the difference between a blog labeled Feminism and a blog labeled Women’s Issues is? Are you saying that feminism blogs are to be taken seriously, whereas women’s issues and self-defense blogs are the realm of whiny little bitches? I’m sorry that the topics I, as a woman and a FEMINIST (which you, my friend, can never be, so pltthhhh), decide are pertinent to a discussion of feminism and women’s lives don’t meet your exacting standards, but I think that I do have some things to say about gender issues in our society, and that, despite the purported dearth on this blog of the -ologies that you seem to find so essential to quality discourse, I am contributing at least a few suggestions on how we might improve our social situation. Maybe you ought to go read some fun feminist’s site where the “feminists” all pretend your opinion matters and leave us angry women to our kvetching.  Whatever you do, you can stay the fuck off my blog, and you can go fuck yourself for mentioning me and Alanis Morrisette in the same sentence.

Playermatt’s not alone. Check out what Jedencorell had to say about my Bratz post, which has nothing to do with women’s issues either, mind you:

Your cloying play on the name of a band constructed to “rage against” the machine it contributed to is enough to make me wish your ovaries were inoperable. But it doesn’t stop there!

You are inflating the importance of a has-been, blowhard cynic who is hardly relevant so you can complain about how his choice in women represents some kind of plastic doll sold at Wal*Mart. How is this applicable to women’s issues, of any sort? Because you say it is? Because you complain about it loud enough?

Just because a toy is marketed to a certain age range and/or gender doesn’t mean that we have to buy them. There are male action figures out there with ridiculously unattainable figures for men, but lo and behold, I rarely stumble on poorly written blog entries complaining about those…

Keep fighting against the threat of those big-eyed dolls, sister!

I don’t know whether this Jedencorell is a dude, but I don’t care (I’ll call her/him “it” for now, as in, “It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose again”). It’s a fool. It, like many others, did not pick up on the fact that the title of the blog is a joke. It was unable to recognize that the topic of the post was not Bill Maher, who was mentioned only in the title, but rather Bratz dolls and their influence on young girls. (And it even fucking bolded that part, since, you know, it’s the most impressive element of the argument. I can just see it now, typing that bit, highlighting it, holding down the Control key, and then banging down the B key with a smug grin and a satisfied nod.) It does not see the connection between women’s issues and a line of dolls that every girl in America, and in many other countries, is playing with and looking up to. It can’t even differentiate between text and sound, claiming that my complaining about Bratz was “loud” (rather than caustic, severe, harsh, scathing, stringent, whatever). It can’t tell the difference between something that’s poorly written (like its own review, which is lacking in logic and substance, but long on improperly-used SAT words) and my own beauteous prose.

It also made the oft-written claim that, “hey, we don’t have to buy Bratz, it’s a free country, so you should feel free to shut the fuck up.” I love that argument: we’re all responsible for every element of our own lives, all of our decisions are made in a vacuum, we ought to be free to do whatever we want, but you ought not be free to voice your opinion (or else I’ll threaten to take away your ovaries, you bitch!).  How fucking stupid.

The patronizing and insulting tone of these two posts wouldn’t bother me if it weren’t for the fact that the authors are clearly dimwits; I, being something of an advanced hater myself, can appreciate an intelligently acerbic commentator, but that just ain’t the case with these two. I’m going to be charitable and assume that they actually read the posts they reviewed before they reviewed them (though I have my doubts), which means that they are both too dumb to pick up even the most obvious connections between cultural phenomena and women’s issues, and that they can’t even pick up bits of sarcasm that are as obvious as a neck tattoo. Now, I love ignorant hubris for entertainment’s sake, but I have no time for unwarranted arrogance and condescension when it comes to something as important as feminism, and I have no use for men (or its) telling me what feminism is about.

I just have one last thing to say to Playermatt and Jedencorell: FACE!

Boy, do I feel juvenile.

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Apparently people aren’t into uppity broads.

I remember, before I started this blog, reading about women bloggers being harassed, threatened, called horrible names, and just generally having to deal with the idiocy of puerile assholes who use the internet’s anonymity to pretend to be tough guys in situations in which they know they can’t get their asses kicked for doing so. I knew I’d have to deal with it eventually, but now I’m really beginning to understand what it’s about. I wasn’t all that surprised when some MRA called me a “femskank” and told me my “girly brain” couldn’t grasp the fact that feminism was an offshoot of Marxism (which, as an intellectual historian, I can tell you is utter bullshit), and I’m not all that bothered when someone tells me I’m a feminazi, but now I’m really bearing the brunt of these fucking weenies’ insecurities. In the last week, as this blog has gotten more hits, I’ve been called a kunt (not sure how that differs from a cunt; maybe the guy’s a Korn fan), a whore, an idiot, an ugly dyke, hirsute, fat, and so on ad nauseum. The funny part is that I couldn’t give less of a fuck what these renobs want to call me, but they still think they’re scoring some serious rhetorical touchdowns with this bullshit. I’m more than willing to argue all day with someone who thinks I’m wrong/crazy/missing something, but I just don’t get what the goal is with these guys. Is this the internet equivalent of shaking a fist in my face, saying, “Woman, you’d best learn yer place er you’ll git whut’s comin’ to yuh!”? 

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