Asshole of the Week

Gary Miller.

NYU’s Washington Square News, the student newspaper, has got to be one of the most depressing publications on the planet.* I have a special place in my heart for the paper because I worked there for three years, as a sports writer, an opinion columnist, and eventually as editor of the opinion section. I loved my time at the paper, and was lucky to work with an incredibly talented staff of writers. The paper was far from perfect when I worked there, and I certainly cringe when I go back and read some of my old columns.

But good god has it gone downhill. When they aren’t publishing apologist editorials for every shitty move the NYU administration makes and re-hashing things we all learned in first-year politics class, they’re printing barely-readable nonsense that breaks at least one of the basic rules of the opinion section: (1) It should be NYU-related; (2) It should not be a response to another column, an op/ed, or a letter; (3) It should be pertinent; (4) It should be well-written and well-reasoned.

Miller’s column passes the first three requirements, but crashes and burns on the fourth. Not only is it misogynist non-sensical drivel, it’s poorly-written and poorly-reasoned misogynist non-sensical drivel. Example A: How your girlfriend’s sister feels about how you feel about nightclubs is not a colorful anecdote. It is not relevant. No one cares, actually, and there’s absolutely no reason to include it in your piece.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the headline, which lets us all know the general flavor of things to come: “Girls exchange dignity for attention in trendy clubs.”

Let’s start with the basics: most clubs are either 18- or 21-and-over venues, so we aren’t actually talking about “girls” here but, in fact, adult women. And while the term “girls” is properly infantilizing and therefore fitting given the tone of the column, it’s factually inaccurate.

Now, section by section:

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest party night of the year, right? So girls, if you don’t have any plans yet, I have a novel suggestion: Call your friends, dress up like hookers, pre-game to dance music — and hit the club.

First, I’m not sure in what alternative universe the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the biggest party night of the year, but ok, we’ll just assume that Gary Miller’s calendar is missing December 31st. And May 5th. And March 17th. And October 31st. And the various days of Mardi Gras.

That aside, I love the condescending tone, especially in the “dress up like hookers” line — because obviously hookers are the scum of the earth, and obviously women who show off their legs, or their stomachs, or their cleavage deserve to be treated like scum by self-righteous college newspaper columnists.

What else would you do? “The club” is your national pastime. It’s your American dream. It’s where you celebrate the luxurious, carefree life that you haven’t earned. And celebration is very necessary at the start of a four-day weekend.

One great thing about nightclubs is that regardless of the one you’re going to — or the town, state or country it’s in — you can always affectionately refer to it as “the club.” This is because all nightclubs are exactly the same, right down to their ridiculous, generic names, which are usually based on types of upholstery, colors or meteorological terms. I’m sure five new nightclubs will open somewhere next week: Blue Carpet, Fog, White Lace, Thread and Steam.

Haha! See, kids? Gary can be awkwardly unfunny and condescending at the same time! Clubs have the same names — stupid, cheesey names! Someone call Gail Collins, because this is journalistic gold.

My girlfriend’s sister worships nightclubs and thinks my distaste for them makes me a loser. But being in a relationship, I see absolutely no practical reason to go to a club. There are tons of other places my girlfriend and I can go, where a sweaty guy won’t start hitting on her every time I walk more than five feet away.

So don’t start to thinking that I’m only writing this column because the pretty girls in high school wouldn’t date me. I have a girlfriend, you know. A totally HOT girlfriend, and she’s so HOT that other dudes hit on her if I’m not clearly marking my territory. Because she’s HOT. And I’m not a loser, no matter what those other girls said.

Dane Cook once said that girls just go to clubs because they want to dance, while guys only go to clubs because they want to get laid. Well, he’s absolutely right about the guys. Guys at clubs don’t want dance, they don’t want to date you and they really don’t want to buy you drinks.

Imagine that — people wanting to go to clubs so that they can get laid! Who woulda thunkit? But only the guys, naturally, because everyone knows that women never seek out sex and real men hate dancing.

Drink prices are marked up over 1,000 percent. A $30 bottle of vodka is sold for at least $350. Few other markets can clear with pricing like that. Can you imagine paying $23 for a bottle of Pepsi at a restaurant? No, that would be absurd. Clubs are quite the economic spectacle. The more expensive the club, the more prestigious you’ll perceive it, right? More prestige equals more patrons. This is the inverse of how prices are supposed to drive a market.

On top of that, demand is artificially inflated at the door. Though the place is empty, they make everyone wait in line to create the illusion of popularity. Then they let girls cut the line. And they let them in for free, while men are charged $20, sometimes more.

Pray that little Gary is not studying economics, sociology, psychology or business, because he’s in a heap o’ trouble if he thinks that clubs are an “economic spectacle” and somehow different from various other comsumer products and services which are wildly overpriced because of perceived “prestige” status.

Why, at the velvet rope, do we abandon our normal expectations of gender equality? No one bats an eye in complaint. Everyone just shrugs, as if it makes sense.

And by “normal expectations of gender equality,” Gary actually means, “Bitch, get me a beer.”

Maybe this is because equality is for humans. You girls are not humans inside a club; you’re commodities, like bottles of vodka, to be sold. And you unknowingly consent to this. A club’s success can hinge on the amount of girls inside. They sell you — you’re why guys pay to get in.

Thank you, Big Daddy Gary, for explaining in which situations I am and am not human (also, is it possible to “unknowingly consent” to something?). This view is so incredibly reductive and rudimentary that I’m not even sure where to start with it. But I’m sure glad that our insightful, brilliant friend is able to educate all of us feeble-minded women about our roles as objects to be sold, and under which conditions he does not approve of our sale.

To me, this is an extremely backward practice in our progressive country. But this position as a commodity is exactly what you girls crave, isn’t it? It plays right into your insecurities — it gives you a sense of importance and worth that you probably don’t find elsewhere. The truth is that you girls want as much attention as possible, short of becoming prostitutes, right? Don’t worry, Kanye West said it’s okay to be self-conscious.

See? He listens to Kanye West! Kanye West is totally hip, right? No one will ever say that Gary Miller is a loser!

No, Gary Miller is in fact able to discern the motivations of every single adult “girl” who has ever stepped into a club. They’re doing it for attention! Not because they like the music, not because they like dancing, not because they like getting dressed up and going out, and not because they enjoy other people finding them attractive in addition to all of these things. No, “girls” who go to clubs are motivated by a single desire, and that is for men to pay attention to them. They would just be prostitutes, because prostitutes get so much positive male attention, but the club is good enough for them. Because they’re basically worthless otherwise.

But I’m tired of being criticized for my view of “the club,” as if I just don’t get it or something. I get it. The club is all you have. It’s the perfect place for you — with the music too loud to talk over, you don’t have to feel embarrassed that you never have anything interesting or intelligent to say.

Yes, clearly you get it. The women who go to clubs do so because they don’t want to be embarassed over not having anything interesting and intelligent to say. God bless ’em, and maybe you should take note. After all, at least they’re apparently self-aware enough to realize their profound lack of ability to say anything remotely interesting or intelligent, and pick a hobby that relieves the rest of us from having to suffer through their inane commentary. You, on the other hand, choose to write a column in the Washington Square News.

But sarcasm aside, can he possibly be serious? I’m not much of a club-goer, but I’ve certainly been to my fair share. And you can bet that I like loud music. In fact, I’d bet that some of our favorite — and brilliant — insufferable music snobs also enjoy their fair share of loud music. This is clearly because they are morons with nothing to contribute to society.

I wonder, too, if he would make similar comments about kids who go to rock shows, or movie buffs, or marathon runners, or other people whose hobbies aren’t exactly conducive to in-depth conversation. I don’t think so. Women who go to clubs (notice he never says that men go to clubs because they’re uninteresting idiots) are easy targets because, well, they’re women. Women whose choices he doesn’t agree with, and therefore reduces to illogical or silly or self-defeating or narcissistic.

You just dance. Then you meet a guy, he buys you drinks, you go home with him, then you wait by your phone the whole next week; but he doesn’t call until he’s really drunk at 3 a.m. the following Saturday. So you analyze every detail of your encounter with your friends. You start to think maybe he’s just busy. But really, you’re just the slut from last week.

Gary Miller knows every detail of your life in the clubs, ladies. All of you go home with random guys, and then cry your eyes out when they don’t call. This is because you’re a big ol’ slut. See, Gary knows that every woman who has ever been to a club has fucked a guy she met there. And Gary knows that no woman alive would seek out sex on her own, and not feel bad about it and not torture herself over whether or not he’ll call.

At this point, I’m just feeling really bad for Gary’s girlfriend. Who wants to date someone who views adult women as unwitting “girls” who have no idea what they’re doing until a big smart man comes in and gives them a much-needed finger-wagging talking-to? And who wants to sleep with someone who views consensual sexual activity as a purely financial exchange, in which the man is always doing the buying?

See, the club is like a discount brothel. A guy pays a $20 cover charge, plus drinks, plus labor, to convince a girl to go home with him, instead of paying $200 up front for sex. It’s a lewd circus, and you girls are oblivious. I just try to see it for what it is. So, keep donating your bodies to the profit of “the club,” and keep parading around with your air of VIP prestige. Just remember that it goes hand in hand with a lack of dignity and self-awareness. Have a great four-day weekend.

As opposed to, say, “traditional marriage,” wherein a guy works full time, buys a house, and financially supports his wife and children in exchange for sex and housework.

But NYU “girls” sure are lucky to have a guy like Gary here to set us all straight. I mean, he’s so self-aware that he’s self-aware for us! We’re silly, oblivious little girls who have very little agency and no idea what our daily lives mean to us. When Gary comes in and tells us that we’re acting like prostitutes, he’s doing us a favor. In fact, he is so smart and insightful that he even knows the exact amount of dignity that we have based on how we spend our Friday nights. It’s incredible, really.

Aside from the blatant paternalistic tone, though, I’m getting a strong sense of bitterness. Why does Gary care whether or not women go to clubs on the weekends? You’re never going to catch me at a rave, but if you want to get out your candy necklace and your giant pants and your glowsticks and go have a good time, more power to ya. You probably also won’t catch me at a club, but if some other NYU student likes to go out dancing, I say have a good time.

I think there’s something deeper going on here, besides Gary’s obvious problem with misogyny. I can’t help but get the idea that Gary is very, very unhappy with women who go to clubs because he associates them with the kind of women who he fears will reject him. I’m trying not to get too armchair-psychologist here, but it seems that his entire purpose is to take the pretty girls down a peg or two. How else do you explain his argument that all women who go to clubs are stupid, uninteresting, slutty and attention-needy?

I know I’m being a little hard on Gary here, and I do feel a twing of guilt when I remind myself that he’s a sad, bitter little man who lacks basic logical reasoning skills and stumbles his way through life justifying his paternalistic nastiness by convincing himself that he “gets it.” But then I re-read his column, and I don’t feel so bad.

Thanks to Matt, whose writing I continue to enjoy, for the link.

*This, for the unfamiliar, is hyperbole. I do not actually hate the Washington Square News. There are many, many articles that they publish which are fantastic, and which I highly enjoy. I know that the entire WSN staff, especially the editorial board, works very hard to put out a high-quality paper every day of the week. My criticisms are based largely on the fact that the opinion section seems to have abandoned the basic editorial principles that were in place years before I ever got there, and seems to be afraid to take on the university administration in any substantial way. However, now I’m gone, and the new editors are welcome to do what they wish with the section. I may find it disappointing, but it’s not my paper, and while I may not agree with all of their editorial decisions, I nonetheless wish them the best of luck and think that they are doing a fine job.


Similar Posts (automatically generated):

About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
This entry was posted in Gender and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

116 Responses to Asshole of the Week

  1. So much fun to read this (he thinks Fog would be a good name for a club?). The most obvious proof of what you’re saying at the end — that the column is mostly a bitter screed about rejection — is that Miller appears not to have the slightest interest in criticizing either the behavior of guys at clubs, or the clubs themselves.

    It’s probably a good sign to run for the hills whenever an ostensibly enlightened person makes the argument, “Well, they got what was coming to them.” Political change is founded on sympathy, not moral arrogance — though whether Miller even wants change is hard to tell.

  2. Bolo says:

    Ah, campus opinion columns. For some real “enjoyable” reading, check out the Cornell American.

    In fact, I’ll one-up you on your story:

    http://www.cornellamerican.com/article/175/

    Have fun, try not to vomit.

  3. What kills me is that the dreaded piece of clothing—the evil, evil miniskirt—has been fashionable since more than 20 years prior to this guy’s very birth. He literally could rant about the jazz cats with their marijuana cigarettes and the white girls who like to slum with them and have the same amount of modern relevance.

  4. Heraclitus says:

    At first I the article sounded like it was going to maybe be somewhat amusing rant against class and sex at “the club.” But as it went on, it became more and more misogynistic. Can something be both condescending and hostile? It seems like a difficult combination, but I think he managed it.

    I’m not sure which line was my favorite: “This is because you’re a big ol’ slut” or “In fact, he is so smart and insightful that he even knows the exact amount of dignity that we have based on how we spend our Friday nights.”

  5. norbizness says:

    I’m sorry, but he quoted noted sociologist and bon vivant Dane Cook. Advantage: Gary!

    But, all sarcasm aside, as a resident of flyover country, I appreciate his detailed description of clubs in the NYC, but I already saw all that shit in those Night at the Roxbury skits.

  6. Dilan Esper says:

    The guy may have a small point about the disparity in cover charges between men and women (though to be honest, here in L.A., very few clubs engage in that sort of thing). It is usually women, not men, who are screwed by differential pricing, e.g., at the dry cleaners. Overall, it is thus not a good thing for women for this sort of thing to be widespread. And while Jill is correct that the women who go to clubs are their own agents and aren’t doing anything wrong, it is nonetheless true that one of the reasons club owners let women in free when they do is because a club crowd filled with women is thought to attract horny guys to spend their money and hit on them. Again, not a particularly compelling justification from a feminist perspective.

    I think the rest of Jill’s critique is dead-on, though.

  7. j swift says:

    wait, wait,wait, since when has being a college student, of either sex, had anything to do with dignity….

    How long has this guy been out of college?

  8. Betsy says:

    Wow, this reads like a woman-hater’s greatest hits. Women: are stupid, are dirty, are-and-rightly-should-be objects of male gratification, and want more than anything to be said objects. Which makes them stupid and dirty, lest we forget. The only thing he leaves out is asserting that they ought to be raped for their dirty stupid sluttiness.
    And finally, he assumes some woman, somewhere, might actually give two shits about what he thinks about her. Let’s hope he’s wrong about that.

  9. lisa says:

    I agree with the rest of your post, but I wish you wouldn’t say that Gary must be jealous and a loser because pretty girls don’t like him, as though if you’re not “good enough” for pretty and popular people you deserve to be mocked and humiliated.

  10. Isabel says:

    Hee. Great take-down. You (or anyone who liked this post) might enjoy a blog dedicated to doing the same for a very misguided sex columnist over at Columbia: Fire Miriam.

    wait, wait,wait, since when has being a college student, of either sex, had anything to do with dignity….

    As a current college student myself, I agree wholeheartedly.

  11. CatatonicLindsay says:

    Wow, I’m extremely confused as to how an article such as this made its way into publication…especially in an institutionally supported paper.
    I’m a journalism student, and we learned from day one that if we show any opinion, especially a sexist one like this, that we had no business in journalism and that it wouldn’t be tolerated. This guy surely does have issues. I just feel sorry for the girlfriend, she probably can’t take her pants off to take a piss without his permission.

  12. Lauren says:

    You’re never going to catch me at a rave, but if you want to get out your candy necklace and your giant pants and your glowsticks and go have a good time, more power to ya.

    Jill, you know you love the glow sticks.

    On the handful of occasions I went to a club in my town (you could probably say we have two meant for dancing, and I’ve only been to one of them) I had a designated male friend that I’d take along with me who not only danced, but would keep the creepy dudes away from me when they wouldn’t let up. This is really fucked up, I know, and now that my friend is an old married hippie and my Chef not only shares my disdain for said clubs but also has no rhythm, I don’t go anymore.

    And this “woman, you are commodity” bit — I chewed out an editor at a local magazine for publishing a bi-monthly column by a guy that does the same thing — because he attempts to legitimize his big ol’ daddy misogynist bit with a fucked up version of Feminism 101 (in his version, the text book for this course was written in the back room of a fraternity foam party).

  13. Lauren says:

    For extra fun, compare this post to this one.

    See the head explode.

  14. micheyd says:

    Bolo, you went to Cornell too?

    This guy’s hatred is so seething, he barely finishes the piece before the point of screaming “you fucking sluts!” or the like. And his oh-so-subtle dropping of the girlfriend reference? Yeah, I nearly pity him too.

  15. Linnaeus says:

    I can’t really add much more to your critique, Jill. It’s funny, really; as I started reading the excerpts you provided, I quickly drew the same conclusion you did: this is a take-down of the club-going women he thought would date him or (more likely) sleep with him. But they didn’t, and now he’s going to show them. He doesn’t feel he can openly call them sluts or anything of that sort, so he coats his argument with a veneer of concern for women’s dignity.

    This kind of rhetoric looks familiar to me because it reflects my own anxieties when I was in my (not very confident) early 20s. I spent my share of time going to clubs trying to meet women for either a date or a sexual encounter (I probably would have preferred the latter, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to turn down the former), and when that never worked, I was, for a time, resentful of both the club women and the men they appeared to be choosing. I got over it, though, and realized the way to deal with this was to understand myself better and conclude that the club environment just wasn’t for me.

  16. zuzu says:

    How much do you want to bet this guy hasn’t gotten past the velvet rope? This just seethes with “I didn’t really want to go to your stupid club, anyway.”

  17. piny says:

    For extra fun, compare this post to this one.

    See the head explode.

    You mean the disparity between, “You have to make yourself available to us!” and, “Stop dressing like a hooker!”

  18. Jill says:

    I agree with the rest of your post, but I wish you wouldn’t say that Gary must be jealous and a loser because pretty girls don’t like him, as though if you’re not “good enough” for pretty and popular people you deserve to be mocked and humiliated.

    To be clear, that’s not exactly what I meant. I don’t mean that people who the “pretty girls” won’t date deserve to be mocked and humiliated; hell, the “cute boys” don’t date me, and I don’t think that I deserve to be mocked and humiliated for it. But if I wrote an entire column about how dudes who play sports are total assholes all the time, and they’re just insecure and working out their obvious personality deficiencies on the court/field, and this is universally true for anyone who’s ever kicked or thrown a ball, well, then I would probably deserve mockery, especially if there was a strong underlying tone of bitterness.

    That’s what I meant. Not that “losers” or geeks or anyone else who holds some sort of highschool social status deserved to be mocked.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Eh, this is nothing. Every damn week in my college paper, there are columns like this. Inanities about gender on both sides and sometimes on the gay side.

    The worst one I ever saw (years ago, not online) was along the lines of, “Why can’t women keep their knees together like the good old days, but men should be able to slut around?” and smacked of endorsing the Spur Posse. I about had a cow when that came out.

  20. piny says:

    Eh, this is nothing. Every damn week in my college paper, there are columns like this. Inanities about gender on both sides and sometimes on the gay side.

    Yeah, I have similarly painful memories–there was a column in my student paper back when I was an undergrad all about the DFF, or “Designated Fat Friend.”

    To be fair, it got a lot of reply mail.

  21. zuzu says:

    I can’t remember my college paper having student columnists. And I proofread, wrote and edited for the thing, so I think I’d remember.

    The Michigan Daily did; I remember responding to one written by a grad student whining that gays were going to get benefits for their (registered) partners, and why couldn’t he do the same with his girlfriend? I basically responded, because you can get married and they can’t, idiot.

  22. Raincitygirl says:

    A club’s success can hinge on the amount of girls inside. They sell you — you’re why guys pay to get in.

    That would be “number,” not “amount.” Does this student paper not have a copy editor to pick up basic errors?

  23. Jill says:

    That would be “number,” not “amount.” Does this student paper not have a copy editor to pick up basic errors?

    I thought about pointing that out, but gave him the benefit of the doubt that it was intentional, assuming that he was arguing that “girls” are commodities, and therefore “amount” might make sense…?

  24. Neil C. says:

    I don’t remember editorials like this when I wrote sports for the Washington Square News back in (gulp) 1986-87. Our editorials had something to do with news and the school, but then again it was only a twice a week paper then. I wonder who the faculty advisor is now. I remember going to the Peppermint Lounge as a freshman, and getting turned down by any woman I, nicely I felt, asked to dance. But one of my cohorts always had the same reaction when he got rejected, “Ah, she’s probably a lesbian.” We once went to Area, which was the big club at the time, and waited for 45 minutes and still weren’t getting in. So as we walked away, we yelled “You still have a chance to let us in!” and one guy grabbed a branch and said “I’m an oak tree, let me in!”

  25. Mike Devlin says:

    I’m the current (co-) opinion editor of the Washington Square News. I saw a link about Gary Miller being an asshole on a blog, clicked it, and – poof – landed here, at feministe.us.

    Frankly, I don’t care what you, or anyone, thinks of Gary Miller or his opinions. They do not reflect my own ideas or those of the Washington Square News. As opinion editor, I only hope that my columnists are widely read, and they clearly are if readers take the time to write responses of this length.

    I do take offense to your comments on WSN and the opinion page. Those may have been your standards for publication, but they aren’t mine. My only rule is that of audience interest. If people are going to read it, then it should be published. Part of that is prose quality, of course, and I think you’re mistaken in calling Miller a bad writer. Whatever you think of his reasoning, his writing is clear and concise, active and exciting.

    Part of being opinion editor is learning to detach yourself from the actual opinions. I think it’s a little disheartening that you’ve taken one column, which doesn’t reflect the views of WSN in any way, and used it to call the paper “one of the most depressing publications on the planet.” WSN was a finalist for a Pacemaker Award for 2005-2006, so we can’t be that bad.

  26. KnifeGhost says:

    But only the guys, naturally, because everyone knows that women never seek out sex and real men hate dancing.

    It’s true.

    No, wait. The night I met the last girl I dated, I was there with the sole intention of dancing and she cruised me. Which, of course, means I’m a woman and she’s a man. (A patient one — it was a few weeks before I put out.)

  27. MissPrism says:

    Does anyone have the slightest notion of what he might mean by “life that you haven’t earned”? I’m stumped.

  28. zuzu says:

    WSN was a finalist for a Pacemaker Award for 2005-2006, so we can’t be that bad.

    Well, not in 2005-2006. But you’re co-editor now.

  29. evil fizz says:

    Frankly, I don’t care what you, or anyone, thinks of Gary Miller or his opinions. They do not reflect my own ideas or those of the Washington Square News. As opinion editor, I only hope that my columnists are widely read, and they clearly are if readers take the time to write responses of this length.

    Well, I’m so glad we’ve cleared up this little misunderstanding and the topic is back where it truly belongs: on you.

  30. Hujo says:

    Well its what us guys see. Girls at clubs often act like they want to be treated like a high priced piece of meat. Its a huge turn off.

    Are you just mad because you act like that at the clubs? Its really simple, guys like me and the author dont want girls like that so whining and labling guys like me and the author assholes is futile. We dont care. It only makes his point about american girls more true. Just ignore us like we ignore them, its really simple.

  31. Hujo says:

    Well its what us guys see. Girls at clubs often act like they want to be treated like a high priced piece of meat. Its a huge turn off.

    Are you just mad because you act like that at the clubs? Its really simple, guys like me and the author dont want girls like that so whining and labling guys like me and the author assholes is futile. We dont care. It only makes his point about american girls more true. Just ignore us like we ignore them, its really simple.

  32. Lauren says:

    Hujo so righteous he post twice.

  33. Nomie says:

    But I’m tired of being criticized for my view of “the club,” as if I just don’t get it or something. I get it. The club is all you have. It’s the perfect place for you — with the music too loud to talk over, you don’t have to feel embarrassed that you never have anything interesting or intelligent to say.

    Oh, yes. That is concise and exciting writing. Exciting my gag reflex.

    The opinion columnists may not represent the opinions of the Washington Square News, but they sure as hell reflect on the paper and the school. If I were a student visiting NYU and picked up a copy of the paper, this sort of misogynist drivel would actively influence my choice to not attend the school. I’m not saying that this should influence what you print, but claiming a total lack of connection between Miller’s asshole rantings and your own choices and the paper’s reputation is disingenuous at best.

    But what do I know? At my school paper, we printed a point-counterpoint on ninjas vs. pirates.

  34. Lauren says:

    Linnaeus’ point about trying to appear to preserve women’s dignity is more on point than my word choice, but it still boils down to, “Get back on your pedastal, bitch!”

  35. Jodie says:

    Hujo, women like me don’t want guys who can’t use punctuation, have poor grammar, and can’t spell. If your conversation is anything like your writing, it’s no wonder you can’t get the time of day from a female.

    These guys just REEK of sour grapes, don’t they?

  36. Hujo says:

    All right. I will use spell check and become as educated and snobby as you.

    LOL My poor fragile male ego!

    Sour grapes indeed

    I don’t want those kinds of women. It is really very simple. This whole post is hilarious. WANT US. How bout No? There are lots of club hating women, I go to blues clubs live music venues.

    What would Jill write about if men were let into clubs for free and women charged 20 bucks? You know the answer feminists.

  37. Hujo says:

    Oh! Bad grammer! kill me! You know what I am saying. Why not argue the points?

  38. Bailey, yo says:

    Must be something in the crisp fall air — almost an identical article on “girls at the club are dumb sluts” was published a couple of weeks ago in the Washington City Paper, D.C.’s “alt” freebie. Not quite a student rag, but it’s getting close. Rather than link to the actual article, here’s one local blogger’s take on modern misogyny in action.

  39. evil fizz says:

    Wasn’t trolling Feministing enough, hujo?

    Why not argue the points?

    You mean the part where you claimed to speak for all men? Or the part where you decided that because someone else’s misogynistic drivel jived with yours that it was *teh truth*?

  40. Hujo says:

    Sorry for all the posts I am not against anyone here.

    I am fully aware my absence will not damage the club scene I never claimed it would. I am fully aware the majority of men have yet to figure out playing the role of john is demeaning so the club scene will be going strong without me.

    My opinion and the opinion of the author is that this scene is sickening.

    That is all.

  41. Amy says:

    Jill–
    Thank you so much for writing this post. I, too, read Gary’s article online, and it angered me so much that I posted a response to it on the WSN site, which I have never done before in my life. Thank goodness so many people see through his bullshit.

  42. Rhi says:

    The NYC club scene is sickening, yes, in various ways. (I knew a girl at Smith who exploited it on a regular basis, and I was of the opinion that she could find far better ways to waste her time.) But that doesn’t mean that Jill isn’t right when she notes all of the ways that this article indicates a mysogynistic view: a lack of agency and informed sexuality among women. Women, I might add, who might attend one of the top schools in the nation.

    A high school classmate of mine wrote for the WSN. I wonder what he thinks of this.

  43. Shinobi says:

    Okay, I have two theories about this guy:

    1. People keep bugging him to go to clubs, and he REALLY doesn’t want to.

    2. Nobody ever asks him along, so he has to make sure they know why he wouldn’t go even if they DID ask him, because their choice of evening activity is STUPID.

    I wonder what he would say about my group of straight female friends that likes to pre-game, dress hot and then go out to clubs that contain mostly gay men. Maybe we’re hoping to turn them? Because why would we go to a club if not to get men to “buy our services.”

    What a pretentious asshat.

  44. Jill says:

    To clarify things yet again, I don’t think that the entire paper is terrible, or that every article ever published in it is bad. I was being a wee bit hyperbolic when I called it “the most depressing publication on the planet.” And you’re welcome to change the rules of the opinion section, but they certainly weren’t “my” standards — they were the standards of the section, which existed long before I got there and were supposed to exist after I left.

    I’m not arguing that WSN is an entirely bad paper, or that it was substantially better when I was there. There are certainly some sections that I still enjoy reading. I do think it’s disheartening, though, to see the staff editorial apologize for the administration every week, and to read columns that are simply inflammatory instead of interesting or informative. I know you guys all work really hard, and so I’m not trying to denigrate that. I simply dislike the direction that the opinion pages have taken. But I’m also long gone, so that probably doesn’t matter much. Just my two cents.

  45. Frumious B says:

    Why, at the velvet rope, do we abandon our normal expectations of gender equality? No one bats an eye in complaint. Everyone just shrugs, as if it makes sense.

    Maybe this is because equality is for humans. You girls are not humans inside a club; you’re commodities, like bottles of vodka, to be sold. And you unknowingly consent to this. A club’s success can hinge on the amount of girls inside. They sell you — you’re why guys pay to get in.

    You know what, he’s actually spot on, but has no idea. well, except that we, rather, I, don’t have any actual expectations of gender equity. Everybody shrugs when hawt girls get in b/c it does make sense in a culture which treats women like commodities. Guys are getting totally commodified by this, too, but I doubt that he can tell why the damage is greater than just that done to his wallet.

    man, first Cary Tennis, and now this dude. I feel I should start keeping a list of whiny dudes who accidently picked up a clue but didn’t know what to do with it. women are eligible for inclusion, too, but I’ll be charging them $20.

  46. piny says:

    Frankly, I don’t care what you, or anyone, thinks of Gary Miller or his opinions. They do not reflect my own ideas or those of the Washington Square News. As opinion editor, I only hope that my columnists are widely read, and they clearly are if readers take the time to write responses of this length.

    …Because none of us have ever seen an op-ed page before. Now I’m way less confused about why the San Francisco Chronicle keeps publishing Pat Buchanan columns. I thought it was because they agreed with him.

    There’s a story at Texas A&M about some college students who feel the exact same way about positive and negative attention–maybe your paper has covered it. I doubt very much that you’re telling the truth here, since you could court much more offensive and therefore more interesting material. I’ll take it at face value, though: if that’s so, why complain that Jill’s detailed response was so negative? I get the sense that your ego is a little less detached than you think.

  47. Lya Kahlo says:

    Entitlement. Privledge. Misogyny. Self-righteous cluelessness. *yawn* just another day at the office, isn’t it.

    I wonder, do Gary and Mike consider themselves “Nice Guys” ™?

  48. bluefish A says:

    when i wrote for my puny little college paper, i wrote an editorial about ” explicit homoeroticism masquerading as male-bonding in sports and fraternity culture-“or something to that effect. anyway, the editor was a misogynist frat guy and a basketball player- a douchy triple threat.
    after his head exploded, he calmly picked up the pieces and explained through gritted teeth that he would never publish such ridiculous drivel.
    i was all, “why not?” i made him explain to me why it wasn’t funny. but, i agreed to disagree because it was funny!
    anyway, i think it’s hilarious that this piece of tripe got published when it’s drenched in the type of “nice guy” concern for women’s safety and dignity.

  49. The Babbler says:

    The ad hominem is getting a little tiresome, and the substance of what so many of us seem to be saying is actually fueling the fire. This is what I see: we are insulted because of how the writer of this column so nonchalantly generalized our individual motivations for going to the club. We respond by taking for granted that such an opinion could only form as a result of “sour grapes.” In other words, lots of us are assuming that the writer’s REAL problem is that no one will have sex with him.

    Doesn’t presenting this as an ATTACK preclude the assumption that feelings of self-worth are derived from the ability to appear desirable to the opposite sex?

    If we really believe that having sex with women is what makes a man a *man*, then Gary’s right. We are turning ourselves into commodities.

  50. Lya Kahlo says:

    Actually, I find it insulting because the entire article reads like an MRA’s field guide to misogynistic stereotypes, and a tremendously phony concern for club-goer welfare. And, a useless, self-righteous response from the editor that does nothing but put the focus on himself, rather than the issues with the article that Jill outlined so well.

    Don’t mistake these goofballs getting some of their own back as being support for the commodified world.

  51. Ron O. says:

    Also very lazy thinking in stating all clubs are the same. Some of the higher-end clubs were too ‘exclusive’ for my temperment, but there were plenty of others with good music and cheaper drinks. He should do more research. Of course that would mean bumping elbows will all those shallow, dirty girls.

    I liked going to clubs of all kinds through early 30s and I rarely got laid. There was a brief period, around 21-22 when I may have sympathized with the author, but then I changed my expectations about getting teh sex and started having a good time. I usually got more attention when I just danced and acted goofy with friends and didn’t try to score. I don’t really like having sex with someone until I’ve had a chance to get to know them, so it all worked out for the better anyway.

    Now that I think about it, he should try going out to gay dance clubs. Great music, no ‘girls’ trolling for drinks, cover charge for all, ect. In fact, someone may offer to buy him a drink.

  52. C says:

    There was a similarly misogynistic article in my school’s newspaper:

    http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2006/10/10/ireAndViceEverybodyGetsARide

    And one of my friends is the Op-Ed co-editor. I didn’t press her about why she would print something like this, but…

  53. Mike Devlin says:

    …Because none of us have ever seen an op-ed page before. Now I’m way less confused about why the San Francisco Chronicle keeps publishing Pat Buchanan columns. I thought it was because they agreed with him.

    And yet, I read comments like these:

    I’m a journalism student, and we learned from day one that if we show any opinion, especially a sexist one like this, that we had no business in journalism and that it wouldn’t be tolerated.

    I wonder, do Gary and Mike consider themselves “Nice Guys” ™?

    And, a useless, self-righteous response from the editor that does nothing but put the focus on himself, rather than the issues with the article that Jill outlined so well.

    There’s no reason for me to address the issues with the article that Jill outlined. In fact, it would be inappropriate for me to do so. As I’ve said – this goes for Pat Buchanan in the San Francisco Chronicle and anyone on the opinion page – Gary Miller’s ideas don’t reflect my own or those of WSN.

    I only posted because of the broad attacks on WSN, which Jill admitted were hyperbolic. I also commented to defend Miller’s writing style, which I do feel is my responsibility. This post starts with the author’s own experience at WSN and how she thinks the paper was better then; I don’t think it’s “self-righteous” to respond as the current opinion editor.

    To clarify things yet again, I don’t think that the entire paper is terrible, or that every article ever published in it is bad. I was being a wee bit hyperbolic when I called it “the most depressing publication on the planet.” And you’re welcome to change the rules of the opinion section, but they certainly weren’t “my” standards — they were the standards of the section, which existed long before I got there and were supposed to exist after I left.

    I’m not arguing that WSN is an entirely bad paper, or that it was substantially better when I was there. There are certainly some sections that I still enjoy reading. I do think it’s disheartening, though, to see the staff editorial apologize for the administration every week, and to read columns that are simply inflammatory instead of interesting or informative. I know you guys all work really hard, and so I’m not trying to denigrate that. I simply dislike the direction that the opinion pages have taken. But I’m also long gone, so that probably doesn’t matter much. Just my two cents.

    To be fair, your standards weren’t passed on to us. So I don’t see how they were “supposed to exist” after you left. But we have made a conscious effort to recruit columnists and contributors who can write about their own experiences. That’s why Gary Miller writes about student life – he’s been to clubs, he can write about them. Alex Libin, another of our columnists, writes about his own travels – China, sub-Saharan Africa, and almost North Korea. We’ve run several op/ed contributions from Aaron Greenblatt, a Jewish NYU student studying Arabic in Morocco.

    As I’m sure you know, Jill, a lot of work goes into production of WSN, and columnists’ depth of commentary is limited by time pressures and word count. But I think we’ve made significant headway in moving away from essay-style political writing and towards a more journalistic, newspaper-style. Part of that means the writing might be “inflammatory” instead of “interesting and informative,” but if 700 inflammatory words generate blog posts and comments like this, then I think the newspaper has done its job. And I find it hard to believe that you weren’t interested in the column, even if your interest was negative.

    As for the staff editorials, they reflect the views of the senior editorial staff, not just the opinion editors. And I don’t think we’re apologists for the NYU administration – the editorials may not be as critical as in years past, but we’re more critical of other groups. Personally, I have no problem criticizing NYU (and several of the editorials have done so), but I think it’s petty to be contrarian towards the university you pay $40,000 a year to just for the sake of being contrarian.

  54. Heraclitus says:

    Why do you hate your alma mater, Jill? And student journalists? And music? And booze? Oh, now it’s all clear. That’s why you write all those posts in praise of head scarfery. You’re a Muslim fundamentalist, and you hate our way of life.

    She didn’t “admit” her comment about this newspaper being “the most depressing publication in the world” was hyperbolic. It was very obviously so, she simply explained the fact to those who somehow missed it.

    And to someone upthread–the point of Jill’s riposte wasn’t to personally attack the author. It was to point out the crude and retrograde gender stereotypes–basically that all women are skeezy ho bags, or rather “big ol’ sluts,” or would be if they could think and act for themselves–masquerading as concern for women’s dignity. In the process, she analyzed the rhetorical work being done by a few phrases or pronouncements, and suggested more likely motivations for some of the opinions expressed. But her response wasn’t ad hominem.

  55. Brenda says:

    Hmm… I wonder if the editor would publish an rant against African Americans that was full of racial stereotypes? It would likely get a large response, but methinks his job wouldn’t be too secure…

  56. Mike Devlin says:

    Oh, and by the way, if you’d like to respond outside of this blog, feel free to send a letter to the editor (150-300 words) to opinion@nyunews.com

  57. Neil C. says:

    Lya Kahlo Says:
    November 15th, 2006 at 11:22 am
    Entitlement. Privledge. Misogyny. Self-righteous cluelessness. *yawn* just another day at the office, isn’t it.

    I wonder, do Gary and Mike consider themselves “Nice Guys” ™? >>>
    Yeah, because if a guy says he’s a nice guy, he’s a wimp or trying to hide his brutish tendencies, correct? Please define how a person can be an actual nice guy, I’m interested. I’ve always considered myself nice (my wife agrees most of the time), but it seems if you call yourself one, that disqualifies you from being one. Just like there are brutish, meatheaded men in clubs, there are judgemental women, too.

  58. Norah says:

    For crap’s sake, Mike Devlin, don’t you have anything better to do? The vast majority of women who read this article had similar, understandably outraged reactions to being called sluts and prostitutes and you’re shocked, just shocked? Boo-hoo, Mike. Get over it.

  59. Veronica says:

    Wait… The newspaper’s “job” is to make us think you pick sexist morons for opinion writers?

  60. Lya Kahlo says:

    “I don’t think it’s “self-righteous” to respond as the current opinion editor.”

    It’s not that you responded. Let’s review your original post. “Me, I, Me, I, Me, I, Me, I.” To refresh out memories: Evilfizz said: “Well, I’m so glad we’ve cleared up this little misunderstanding and the topic is back where it truly belongs: on you.”

    “My only rule is that of audience interest. If people are going to read it, then it should be published. Part of that is prose quality, of course, and I think you’re mistaken in calling Miller a bad writer. Whatever you think of his reasoning, his writing is clear and concise, active and exciting.”

    Well, that’s nice and clear. People like shaming, blaming, infantilizing and condscending to us “girls” so us “girls” shouldn’t be so mean to poor Mike and Gary. They’re just doing what the people want after all – slut-shaming. That’s quite possibly the worst excuse for peddaling bigotry I’ve ever seen.

    The writing is the same old boring sexist crap we see all the time. I say once again *yawn*. Mr. Miller’s article is anything but concise, active or exciting. It is “clear” he doesn’t like women though. Anyone who starts that many sentences with a condescending “You girls” is clearly not a respectful person.

    Funny that you’re quick to point out that neither you or the paper share Mr. Miller’s views.

    “I wonder if the editor would publish an rant against African Americans that was full of racial stereotypes?”

    I wonder if Mike or Gary have the chutzpah to answer that question.

  61. DAS says:

    I guess I’m too late to the party here. Frumious B. made the substantiative point I was thinking of making when I read this (but Frumious B made it more clearly than I would have, so it’s worked out better that way) and someone already also mentioned that Gary does seem like a real, Nice Guy(R) …

    Still, as Frumious B. pointed out this whiney guy (“why do you hate me so? I’m a really Nice Guy(R)”) has indeed picked up a clue, though, and it is one that needs addressing. There are certain inequalities in the club scene and hetero-dating world in general (I often wonder how some of these dynamics translate into homosexual-dating-world) that really do hurt women (by objectifying and commidifying them and also creating a situation where the stable matches resulting from such a dating scene are the worst such stable matches possible — c.f. the stable marriage problem and the proposal/acceptance algorithm for solving which gives the proposing parties — the “men” — the best stable matches and the “women” the worst ones) but also men as well (directly as we have to pay for things women don’t, but also more subtly in producing expectations for us to be “manly” that are actually, speaking as a less than naturally “manly” man here, very ackward and constraining … yet, it’s hard to get a date if you don’t meet such expectations

  62. JackGoff says:

    Just like there are brutish, meatheaded men in clubs, there are judgemental women, too.

    Or just guys who don’t understand the purpose of a search function.

  63. Lya Kahlo says:

    “Yeah, because if a guy says he’s a nice guy, he’s a wimp or trying to hide his brutish tendencies, correct? Please define how a person can be an actual nice guy, I’m interested. I’ve always considered myself nice (my wife agrees most of the time), but it seems if you call yourself one, that disqualifies you from being one. Just like there are brutish, meatheaded men in clubs, there are judgemental women, too.”

    Here’s a bit about the difference between nice guys and Nice Guys ™ – imo, natch:

    If you use phrases like “you girls” when talking to people of adult age, you’re a Nice Guy ™. If you think porn/poledancing/girlsgonewild “empowers” “girls”, you’re a Nice Guy(tm). If you nag a women for sex until she gives in and don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – you’re a Nice Guy ™.

    Get the picture? Nice Guys ™ aren’t actually nice guys. They are misogynistic fuckheads who don’t physically abuse women, and think that fact alone means they’re not misogynistic fuckheads. If this doesn’t apply to you, then Nice Guys ™ doesn’t apply to you.

    I think we need a Foxworthy-esque “You Might Be A Nice Guy ™” list.

  64. Hujo says:

    “Entitlement. Privilege. Misogyny. Self-righteous cluelessness.”

    Yeah those club girls are a turn off. ;P

    Where is the gun to the heads of these girls? Do they not choose to act the way they do? Do they not choose to seek sugar daddies?

    Why do feminists always treat women like these less clever creatures than men? It takes boys and girls to create a club scene; this article basically states that the author dislikes women that commodify themselves and the men that enable that. I am so confused, wouldn’t feminists kinda get behind that?

    You guys do know that women can make choices without the patriarchies™ influence no?

  65. Lya Kahlo says:

    Does Hujo completely miss the point like that or was there some level of tongue-in-cheekedness that I’m not picking up on?

  66. Lya Kahlo says:

    That should have said “always miss the point like that”

  67. JackGoff says:

    No, hujo is just a moron. He’s posted the same moronic nice guy crap at Pandagon before.

  68. Hestia says:

    Here’s a tip for Mike Devlin: Next time, just say, “This column does not reflect the opinions of this newspaper or its staff,” then back off. Because the harder you try to defend your decision to include Miller’s misogynist bullshit, the more it sounds like you’re trying to defend the ideas espoused in the article themselves.

    That said, why would you publish an article as dumb as this one? Shouldn’t newspaper articles have some kind of value beyond their ability to induce outrage? “Girls who go to clubs are stupid!” isn’t exactly an example of hard-hitting, thought-provoking journalism.

    PS. Claiming that something is well-written doesn’t make it so. But perhaps you have lower standards than I do.

  69. Jill says:

    Mike-

    I never said that Gary’s views reflected yours, or the views of WSN. That’s fairly obvious. But the fact that his column ran, written the way that it was, does reflect an editorial decision that it was up to par with the newspaper’s standards. I’m not arguing that something should be non-controversial or liberal or in line with your politics in order to run; I certainly ran a great many columns and op/eds representing views that I strongly disagreed with or even found reprehensible.

    But I also cut a lot of columns, op/eds and letters, even if I agreed with them, if they didn’t meet the standards held by most credible newspapers. Read the column and ask yourself if, in a million years, the New York Times or the LA Times or the WSJ or any other credible publication would publish it, or anything resembling it. I’m not saying that the writing has to be up to par with that in the Times, but the general structure and argument should be coherent and logical. Are clubs a perfectly fine topic for an NYU columnist to cover? Of course. Did he cover them in a way that made any sense whatsoever? No.

    Part of that means the writing might be “inflammatory” instead of “interesting and informative,” but if 700 inflammatory words generate blog posts and comments like this, then I think the newspaper has done its job. And I find it hard to believe that you weren’t interested in the column, even if your interest was negative.

    Believe me, I know about inflammatory — search “Gary He” on the WSN website and see what you come up with.

    My point isn’t that something can’t be both inflammatory as well as interesting and informative. It can be. But simply sparking angry replies and inflaming your audience should never be the goal of an opinion piece, even if they do spawn long blog posts. The New York Post has a fairly large readership and people talk about it because it’s alarmist, inflammatory and ridiculous — but that doesn’t make it good journalism, or something to aspire to.

    Was I interested in the column? No. I disliked it and I wrote about it for that reason, just as I often write about things that I find offensive, ridiculous and half-witted. Search “Nathan Tabor” or “Mike Adams” on this site and you’ll get an idea of what I mean. I write about their columns, and Gary’s, because they’re so unbelievably ridiculous, and responding to them is so simple and entertaining, that I just can’t keep my mouth shut. Sometimes I feel bad blogging about op/eds like these, because I know it’s cheap since it doesn’t require any real thought or effort and it’s pretty much shooting fish in a barrell, but it does the job when I’m busy studying and don’t have time to actually write substantive posts.

  70. Neil C. says:

    If you use phrases like “you girls” when talking to people of adult age, you’re a Nice Guy ™. If you think porn/poledancing/girlsgonewild “empowers” “girls”, you’re a Nice Guy(tm). If you nag a women for sex until she gives in and don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – you’re a Nice Guy ™.

    Get the picture? Nice Guys ™ aren’t actually nice guys. They are misogynistic fuckheads who don’t physically abuse women, and think that fact alone means they’re not misogynistic fuckheads. If this doesn’t apply to you, then Nice Guys ™ doesn’t apply to you.>>

    Since I don’t believe those things, guess I’m OK. The only person I’ve nagged for sex is my wife. :P What would you consider a woman who asks you on a first ‘night date’ if you have condoms and tell her that you don’t think it’s necessary (ie: I don’t believe in sex on a first date), then she goes back to the abusive boyfriend who cheated on her?

  71. Bitter Scribe says:

    To me, this kid started out making sense, but then went way over the top. When a writer starts calling women whores is when I bail out.

  72. Rhiannon says:

    See, this is why I don’t date.

  73. Neil C. says:

    please delete my comment after the wife statement.

  74. bmc90 says:

    And the men having all these one night stands would be…..He whores? Oh, right, no such label for men who commit sexual indiscretions. And the clothes they are wearing to attract these women make them look like…Nope – no word for that either, though I guarantee you the guys in NYC clubs spent some serious coin and time on their appearance. If you accept the premise that clubs are about looking for one night stands, then come out of your sexist ‘fog’ and realize that people of both genders who go there probably have similar agendas. You should have seen the firestorm when I was in college and a woman wrote in to the paper using a fake name to complain about how bad her one night stand, and men at the college in general, were at sex. Just. Not. Good. She got a big storm of grief with people saying she should not have been looking for love at a kegger, with the women pointing out she was looking for SEX and it’s not always the same thing, and indeed, other ladies felt that many men at the school did not try very hard to please their partners, whether in commited relationships or not. Great reading on the comment board (a real board, not a virtual one then). A week into the controversey someone noted that not one woman had spoken up in defense of her boyfriend’s or any other man’s performance. Point is – the guy leapt to the same conclusion about women at the clubs; he refuses to believe some women troll for one night stands JUST LIKE MEN. The SHOCK. The HORROR. The (oops – fell asleep there).

  75. Lauren says:

    Methinks Gary is smug that he bought his girlfriend the acceptable way, and wants to remind “girls” where their proper place is.

    I’m sorry, Jill, but if this op-ed is indicative of the great strides the paper has taken to be more journalistic, I can’t imagine what it looked like when you were there. ;)

  76. Armagh444 says:

    Gee, and all these years I thought the reasons I sometimes go to clubs is that dancing is fun.

    Silly me.

    It’s a good thing that Gary is around to set me straight.

  77. Raging Moderate says:

    And the men having all these one night stands would be…..He whores? Oh, right, no such label for men who commit sexual indiscretions.

    Around here, we call them sluts.

  78. bmc90 says:

    Lauren, you are so right. I bet he met her at the chess club and nerdily went about planning the dinner and flowers, but all with the exact same goal – a constant sure thing. I hope she ‘has her period’ a lot more often than would be normal (while sneaking out the back door of a club with a much cuter guy).

  79. Jill says:

    Around here, we call them sluts.

    Equal-opportunity slut-shaming. Awesome.

  80. mythago says:

    Part of that means the writing might be “inflammatory” instead of “interesting and informative,” but if 700 inflammatory words generate blog posts and comments like this, then I think the newspaper has done its job.

    Next up: editorals asking why Jews are all so greedy, calls for the return of lynching black men who ogle white women, and a badly-written version of “A Modest Proposal”, played straight.

    Right?

    I mean, in a world where the business end of the paper doesn’t matter, good journalism doesn’t matter, and the mark of an excellent op-ed piece is “did we get people angry?”, that’s exactly what one would expect.

    You wouldn’t, however, expect to see those pieces approved by an editor whose real defense of misogynistic drivel is that he finds it “exciting”. Draw your own conclusions.

  81. Raging Moderate says:

    Equal-opportunity slut-shaming. Awesome.

    I wouldn’t go that far.

    I just wanted to point out that not everyone operates under a double standard. I’ve been criticized for my “slutty” behavior by other men.

  82. kate says:

    Jill;

    your critique is spot-on and takes me right back to the good ‘ol NYU days. I might have to disagree, however, that poorly concieved woman-hating rants were unknown in the WSN during our time there . and while I haven’t read the WSN in a year or two, I’m sad to hear that there has been an *increase* in the number of admin-butt-kissing editorials since then. I’m not saying the WSN was always on the wrong side back then, or anything, but…

    I always thought the best defense of the reasoning and writing in student publications was the fact that Thomas Friedman has a job–at the New York Times. It must be a rough labor market out there

    The move to the blog was a good choice

  83. Heraclitus says:

    Equal-opportunity slut-shaming. Awesome.

    Nice!

    I was worried that I would keep recalling the phrase “That’s because you’re a big ol’ slut” throughout the day today and laughing at inappropriate times. Fortunately (or not), that didn’t happen.

  84. Lauren says:

    #80 is why I love mythago.

  85. Gary Miller says:

    Jill, would you like to get a cup of coffee with me Friday afternoon? I would appreciate a chance to defend myself in person.

  86. evil fizz says:

    I would appreciate a chance to defend myself in person.

    I, for one, would love to know how “big ol’ slut” sounds better in person.

  87. zuzu says:

    C’mon, Gary, can’t you defend yourself here?

  88. Gary Miller says:

    Could you defend yourself in a room full of vultures that have already proclaimed you dinner?

    Coffee, Jill?

    You could blog about it…

  89. Heraclitus says:

    I would appreciate a chance to defend myself in person.

    Dude, you put something out in the public space; it got shredded; end of story. You don’t need a “chance” to “defend yourself,” and you’re certainly not entitled to some kind of private audience to air your grievances. If you have an intellectual reply, or if you think Jill somehow misrepresented what you said, this is an ideal place to respond. Otherwise…okay, I’m going to be nice and not say anything else.

  90. zuzu says:

    Could you defend yourself in a room full of vultures that have already proclaimed you dinner?

    Slutty vultures?

    Gary, if you can’t handle some criticism, you’ve got no business being in opinion journalism.

  91. Lauren says:

    Gary, et al.: This is not meant to be a shitty comment but it will probably sound that way.

    Bloggers are vultures. We look for dead shit to pick at and then we pick at it. Your shit, to be articulate, was dead. This article? Speaks to somebody’s low standards. It’s sloppy, poorly reasoned, and easily refuted by a handful of casual readers and writers that have far more expertise on the modern woman’s mind than the author does. It’s not even funny. Your jokes? Heard them before. A lot. Your job as an entertainment writer is to present a new perspective, even if you’re covering material that’s been covered endlessly on every college newspaper since co-eds were let out of the dorm with pants on.

    There doesn’t need to be any coffee or any lunch date, and if Jill meets with you, thank her. She’s doing your ego a favor. You are publishing your work for a public audience, and chances are, the public may not like it. Sometimes they will criticize you, and because your name is attached, they will probably draw conclusions about your beliefs and your person that you don’t intend. The answer for you is not a coffee date — it’s to get smarter and more clear about what the message is, exactly, that you try to impart in your op-eds. So you can avoid this in the future. If you want to clear your public name and clarify offensive thoughts you’ve made public, you have to do it in public. If you can’t, you probably aren’t meant for the business.

    Or you can consider it a learning moment and do better next time.

  92. Lauren says:

    Slutty vultures?

    I’d tell you that’s hot, but I’m not allowed any sexual proclivities that aren’t pre-approved by the WSN editorial staff.

  93. evil fizz says:

    Clearly, we need a punk band called the Slutty Vultures to do a theme song for the blog.

  94. anarchistmanifesto says:

    I just have one question: Why did the Washington Square News even allow the op-ed to be published in the first place if it was going to be offensive? Newspapers usually have guidelines and it is the editors of them that have a say in the matter.

  95. Gary Miller says:

    Heraclitus: Oh yes, a feminist blog is representative of the entire public.

    The public didn’t shred my column. Readers of this blog shredded it – mostly with immature insults and assassinations of my character based solely on assumptions. Right Lauren?

    Are you pretending your blog is the be-all and end-all of public discourse? Does it even get enough hits for an Alexa ranking?

    See — that’s me changing the subject. It’s kind of like you saying, “Gary’s column is terrible because he must feel rejected by girls.”

    Yes, I’m 30 seconds away from a trench coat.

    Seriously. Do you all defend Paris Hilton’s role in society? Would you defend a girl whose sole aspiration in life is to be just like Paris Hilton? – a girl who goes to nightclubs every weekend because of that? Is Paris Hilton not a detriment to large-scale societal perception of women?

    That’s whom I was writing about. I was actually told to make that more clear. I decided not to. And this was the funny result. Sue me.

    I’m glad I gave all of something fun to talk about.

  96. Jill says:

    Heraclitus: Oh yes, a feminist blog is representative of the entire public.

    I don’t think Heraclitus said that this blog is representative of the entire public. However, it is a public space, and therefore the people who comment here are part of “the public.” Readers of the New York Times aren’t representative of the entire public, but that doesn’t negate their opinions, or mean that the Times editorial staff shouldn’t be responsive to them.

    Are you pretending your blog is the be-all and end-all of public discourse? Does it even get enough hits for an Alexa ranking?

    Again, didn’t say that. But if you’re actually curious, we averaged just over 74,000 hits a day last month, and the Truth Laid Bear, which ranks blogs, puts us in the top 200, right around the same ranking as sites like the Democratic Underground, Gawker and Go Fug Yourself. I’ve never looked us up on the Alexa rankings, but when I did, here’s what I found. Not sure if that legitimates us at all, but for whatever it’s worth, there it is.

  97. evil fizz says:

    Do you all defend Paris Hilton’s role in society? Would you defend a girl whose sole aspiration in life is to be just like Paris Hilton? – a girl who goes to nightclubs every weekend because of that? Is Paris Hilton not a detriment to large-scale societal perception of women?

    Oh for the love of all that is sacred, the same criticisms still apply. Paris Hilton is an adult, not a girl, and she can do what she likes. A feminist role model? Certainly not, but I don’t think anyone is pretending that she is.

    If you want to write about Paris Hilton, then fucking write about her, rather than overgeneralized drivel about imagined women.

    And yes, Feministe gets enough hits for an Alexa ranking. Jill even gets quoted by Slate. Have we impressed you yet?

  98. Gary Miller says:

    In that case, I’m famous now … for being an idiot.

  99. Rhi says:

    Seriously. Do you all defend Paris Hilton’s role in society? Would you defend a girl whose sole aspiration in life is to be just like Paris Hilton? – a girl who goes to nightclubs every weekend because of that? Is Paris Hilton not a detriment to large-scale societal perception of women?

    So, Gary, since when does ranting about Paris Hilton merit an entire piece in a large university newspaper? Just curious. In the end, with Paris and the club types, it comes down to this: they’ve decided to live their lives that way. And as someone without female street cred, you’re a bit lacking in the ability to critique her for being anti-feminist or whatever your point was…I’m still looking for it.

  100. JackGoff says:

    Well, to be fair, Paris Hilton is everywomen.

    /snark

  101. JackGoff says:

    I’m famous now … for being an idiot.

    And uh, whose fault is that?

  102. Meredith says:

    Uh, this is really down-thread, but Nomie, do you go to Georgetown? Our monthly paper/newsmag ran a point-counterpoint on ninjas v pirates last year, as well as Beauty and the Beast v The Lion King and democracy v totalitarianism. Our regular newspaper hasn’t run anything approaching this level of misogyny, but there is a regular amount of stupid on the opinion pages. Give me frivolity over stupid any day.

  103. zuzu says:

    Well, to be fair, Paris Hilton is everywomen.

    I thought that was Whitney.

  104. Rhi says:

    If she is, I’m still waiting on my million dollar check. Then maybe I could afford health insurance.

  105. Pingback: Feministe » Asshole of the Week, Part Two

  106. Lya Kahlo says:

    “In that case, I’m famous now … for being an idiot. ”

    Ever heard the phrase “You reap what you sow”?

    And if this is just a little blog with not enough readers to be considered worthy enough for you, why are you posting to defend yourself? If Feministe doesn’t matter, buzz off.

  107. Nomie says:

    Meredith, I actually don’t – and the piece in question was run two years ago. Popular theme, though!

  108. Pingback: Snarking in the Rain « Not Be Televised: books, food, and sundries

  109. Pingback: Feministe » Great Moments in Journalism

  110. piny says:

    Seriously. Do you all defend Paris Hilton’s role in society? Would you defend a girl whose sole aspiration in life is to be just like Paris Hilton? – a girl who goes to nightclubs every weekend because of that? Is Paris Hilton not a detriment to large-scale societal perception of women?

    From slut-shaming? You bet your ass.

  111. Beth says:

    Gary Miller says, of Feministe:

    Does it even get enough hits for an Alexa ranking?

    This actually made me laugh, because it’s showing the same motivation as the original piece he wrote: You don’t like me? well then you suck and nobody wants you anyway! And your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries!

    Let’s hear it for personal unrelated-to-topic insults! The last refuge of those who have nothing substantive to say in response to criticism!

  112. bmc90 says:

    Gary, we would not be dipping you in au jus if your article had been more about men and women participating in a hookup culture at clubs, and how undignified, in your opinion, it is for all involved. However, that’s apparently not what you think. You think that women engaging in that behavior is undignified while seeming to give a by to men doing the exact same thing, though perhaps not while wearing mini-skirts. How ‘dignified’ is male behavior at frat parties? Football games (ok – I’m in Philly – it’s pretty bad)? NASCAR events? Not so dignified, right? “Men Trade Dignity for Druken Violence in Stadium Parking Lot.” Not expecting to see that story any time soon. You broke the double standard jar and we called a cleanup on asile three. Take the pieces – you’ve had to pay for them.

  113. mythago says:

    Don’t give me too much credit, Lauren. I’m kind of an old broad, and the “we were just bein’ all edgy publishing bigoted crap” argument has been offered up as an excuse as long as *I* can remember.

    Gary’s little snit fit makes it crystal clear that Jill was not, in fact, mistaken: he wanted attention and figured being an ass was a great way to get it. He just didn’t expect that he’d also get called on being a poor writer.

  114. zuzu says:

    Gary might have looked a bit less of an idiot had he bothered to look up Feministe’s stats before disdaining the size of the audience.

    But just a bit less.

  115. You’re never going to catch me at a rave, but if you want to get out your candy necklace and your giant pants and your glowsticks and go have a good time, more power to ya.

    Fuck yeah permission! I’ll see you fools at 930am outside of Twilo some warehouse on Staten Island!

  116. Tony says:

    “Miller’s column passes the first three requirements, but crashes and burns on the third.”

    Hmph.

Comments are closed.