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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.
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11 Responses

  1. Sheelzebub
    Sheelzebub November 30, 2006 at 5:26 pm |

    Yeah. Telling someone he’s full of shit and has issues is just the same as torture. Someone tell those whiners in Abu Ghraib to shut up! They’ve got nothing on Michael Richards and Mel Gibson.

  2. Lindsay
    Lindsay November 30, 2006 at 6:07 pm |

    While I don’t encourage people to have bad views about a group or to express their views in the group’s face, I think that they have the right to feel that way. I know that there are racists, sexists, so on and so forth out there and I have distate for those kinds of people, but I’m not about to say they aren’t allowed to have them. I’ll tease them and call them idiots in my head, but they are people with opinions, too, just like we have ours. What Mel Gibson and what’s his face did was no doubt wrong, but I know how it feels to want to lash out at a group. I’d give my left leg to shout at a certain rock 4 life leader to the point of an anurism, oh would I.

  3. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte November 30, 2006 at 7:54 pm |

    I don’t know if Richards is truly contrite or not, but man, that shows Gibson sure ain’t.

  4. kate
    kate November 30, 2006 at 8:48 pm |

    That’s the thing Amanda, with buddies like Gibson to pat them on the back and give them a good stiff drink of rationalization, who should be?

  5. evil fizz
    evil fizz November 30, 2006 at 9:02 pm | *

    Telling someone he’s full of shit and has issues is just the same as torture.

    But, but, Sheelzebub, you’re hating on his freedom of speech! Come now, we all know the agony that comes from not being able to shout about how the kikes are going to bring about the end of the world and the misery from not being allowed to call female police officers sugartits.

    I mean, honestly. Have you no compassion?

  6. MARes
    MARes November 30, 2006 at 10:38 pm |

    Good to see that the total lack of consequences for his behavior has nonetheless taught Mel a valuable lesson. I’m surprised he didn’t spell out who “they” are in a little greater detail.

  7. Rockit
    Rockit November 30, 2006 at 10:40 pm |

    People have the right to feel that way, sure, just like any of us have the right to say: “Hey, you’re full of shit and I don’t want to have anything to do with racist aresholes.” Or alternatively: “BOO!!”

    That’s why freedom of speech, in a society with a free press anyway, works. Any idea can get tossed up and will ultimately be adopted or thrown out, depending on the weight of reason. At least that’s the idea.

  8. Lindsay
    Lindsay November 30, 2006 at 11:33 pm |

    Good point, Rockit.

  9. Nancy in NYC
    Nancy in NYC December 1, 2006 at 1:12 pm |

    I hope they’ll be very happy together.

  10. Christina
    Christina December 1, 2006 at 9:28 pm |

    I”m just waiting for Michael Richards to get up on stage, riff on Mel Gibson, and close with the classic, ‘With friends like these, who needs enemas?”

    Well, at least these two good ole boys can hang out at the bar and drink themselves stupid.

  11. Bolo
    Bolo December 2, 2006 at 6:47 pm |

    “He was obviously in a state of stress. You don’t need to be inebriated to be bent out of shape.”
    –Mel Gibson re: Michael Richards

    I think that when people are placed under stress (or inebriated) but are still in a position to freely form their own thoughts and reactions to a given situation (i.e. not being coerced), they tend to say the things they really believe. Which is why Mel Gibson’s defense of “I was too drunk to know what I was saying” makes absolutely no sense to me. Drinking lowers inhibitions and enables you to do things and say things that you normally wouldn’t do or say when sober. If anything, the fact that he said it while drunk proves even more forcefully to me that he is an anti-semite.

    The same applies to Michael Richards. He was clearly under stress up on stage and didn’t know how to handle some hecklers. The stress short-circuited his reaction and he went with a gut decision–start hurling racial epithets at them. To me, that demonstrates very clearly that he is a racist. Even more so than if he just started spouting it spontaneously on the street.

    “That’s why freedom of speech, in a society with a free press anyway, works. Any idea can get tossed up and will ultimately be adopted or thrown out, depending on the weight of reason. At least that’s the idea.”

    I completely and wholeheartedly agree that this is the ideal, but I would like to point out one little problem. The weight of reason for me is not the same as that for you is not the same as that for others. The maintainence of free speech relies on the fact that few people will see violent and oppressive ideas as good and worthwhile. So, it requires some level of self-policing and the labelling of certain ideas as taboo–namely, those that incite violence and harm toward fellow citizens/people. The range of responses to these taboo notions varies from booing to ostracization to imprisonment–mostly depending on the idea itself and where you are at the time.

    There’s a good parallel here to the concept of free markets in economics. A free market is not a market where there is absolutely no government intereference or regulation–that’s an unstable system that ultimately destroys itself by forming monopolies or trusts. Instead, a market is “free” if everyone is free to participate in it equally and doesn’t derive any special status from backroom deals or coercion. This requires active policing by the government and citizen groups.

    The same applies for speech. If Gibson and Richards were allowed to say these things without any backlash, I can guarantee you we would soon be losing our freedom to speak our minds.

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