des femmes

des femmes, defamed...

A whole raft of men refuse to get it

Jeanne at Body and Soul started a discussion about language that insults women. It's interesting to see how some comments overlap and reinforce each other, and other comments connect with dead space. Some men clearly and eloquently do get it. But others... Read the discussion for the whole range of opinions, including how other women feel; I'm just pulling out a few comments that show how privileged males marginalize women.

You don't belong here anyway.

"So when these men use these terms, they're talking to each other, not to you, even if you happen to hear it. You're supposed to realize the difference." (James Brown)

Be a good girl; you don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.

"That said, I still worry, as i said above, that to attack too vigorously the use of the term "bitch' for instance is to (perhaps) lead one to a position that is borderline racist. The term came from black culture....and even if its an example of BAD black culture, I dont want to start insisting on its prohibition....not yet anyway." (John Steppling)

You must hate men.

"Forgive me for suspecting that a woman (DesFemmes) who sees misoginy in the thinnest of evidence (Steve Gilliard, Atrios), is perhaps herself misoandrist." (Patrick (G))

You just don't understand humor.

"If I say Bush 'isn't a real man,' I'm speaking the language of him and his supporters. I don't think it's insulting, but they do. It's meant to be doubly mocking - hit them where it hurts and mock them for being so stupid as to be hurt by it." (Atrios)

What amuses me is that to the Bush people, Atrios isn't even a speck of fly shit. He's nothing, his only influence with a ragtag bunch of blog readers. He could scream every filthy insult imaginable in whatever language he chooses, and the Bush people would not care.

Who does Atrios think he's hitting where it hurts--those other bloggers who already plan to vote for Bush? Yeah, they're going to change their minds because he calls the unemployed pussies. In some alternate world, maybe. In this one, Bush supporters know Arnold wasn't talking about them; their jobs are safe, and even if some catastrophe were to occur, more jobs will be created just as soon as the election is over, when Bush can stop fighting that traitor Kerry and get the country back on the right track.

So why is Atrios mocking Bush in misogynist terms (which he doesn't believe to be insults)? Does he wish to amuse the other top-tier liberal bloggers? Now that's really productive. (Random thought: Do guys really stand in a circle and masturbate? Ewww.)

I'll repeat myself: These "liberal" people whose posts anger me don't use raghead, kike, nigger, chink, wop, faggot--words that might apply to men. They use words that specifically target women.

If the outcome of this election is so important to Atrios, Gilliard, Digby, and others, why do they drive women away by insulting them? From Matt Stoller's infiltration of a Republican training session:

"According to [Leslie Sanchez, political analyst for Bush/Cheney], women voters make up the majority of registered voters in every battleground state, and they are angst-ridden, scared, tolerant, cynical, distrusting, and want and fear change. They are also the key to this election."

Hey! That sounds like me! I'm scared, tolerant, cynical, and very distrusting of people who insult me. From where I stand, there's precious little difference in the way I'm treated by right and left. Maybe I'll sit out this election.

Over at Wampum, MB Williams defends Atrios:

"I do take exception with the focus on Atrios as the embodiment of this pervasive undercurrent of misogyny on the Left. While Duncan may have exhibited of slip of the tongue (although I do accept his explanation), his actions over the past two years that I've been reading Eschaton indicate a deeper sensitivity to feminism (and racism as well) than I've enountered in most regions of our corner of the 'Net."

Atrios earned the focus by being one of the most, if not the most, influential "liberal" bloggers and yet using words that insult me and other women, a trait I consider neither liberal nor progressive.

"While words do sting, I'm personally an action kinda gal. I look for women on a blogger's sidebar, or them being given full control of content when the big cat is away. In both those instances, Atrios easily clears the bar."

As does the current occupant of the White House: Condoleezza Rice. Elaine Chao. Christine Todd Whitman. Ann Veneman. Gale Norton. Margaret Spellings.

Hmmm. Maybe I should vote Republican. Doesn't W stand for Woman?

[UPDATE] My point in these last few paragraphs--which obviously isn't coming across--is that Bush can plausibly say he supports women. Too many people are unaware of how he is trying to roll back women's rights. Faced with that lack of knowledge and trying to choose sides, a woman is unlikely to join men who see women as lesser beings. The men's language is turning women away.

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