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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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84 Responses

  1. Hugo
    Hugo April 27, 2007 at 5:44 pm |

    I’m sad for anyone who works at a job where this little pencil drawing would be “unsafe” to look at on their computer. And I am sad for all the women who have ever, in a moment of foolishness, considered sleeping with Ace.

  2. Regina
    Regina April 27, 2007 at 6:08 pm |

    The entrance to the vagina is called the “vestibule”?
    I learn something new every day!

  3. r.tavi
    r.tavi April 27, 2007 at 6:09 pm |

    Am I the only one who thoroughly fascinated by the Manly-Man’s relationship to the vulva? He’s supposed to fucking love it (or at least love fucking it), and simultaneously be disgusted by it.

    It also gives an interesting insight into his relationship to his penis. Putting his tongue on a pussy is icky and disgusting and quite possibly dangerous, but he’ll stick his penis in there, no problem at all. Makes me think that he’s not quite as attached to his manly bits as he ought to be.

  4. JackGoff
    JackGoff April 27, 2007 at 6:15 pm |

    It’s like the Bermuda Triangle in there!

    Actually, isn’t it like the Sarlack (sp?) from Return of the Jedi? (You know, the pit monster thing). Vagina dentata and all. Scary!

  5. Kristina
    Kristina April 27, 2007 at 6:28 pm |

    OK, I’m sorry. Vestibule? Like, entrance to the theater vestibule? Did I just block that one out in sixth grade health class? Analogies to red carpet, anyone?

  6. Lauren
    Lauren April 27, 2007 at 6:29 pm |

    You know, there was this fucked up dad to two fucked up kids I used to know who instructed his sons, “If you wouldn’t put your mouth on it, don’t put your dick in it.” Now that I think about it, it wasn’t bad advice.

  7. Lauren
    Lauren April 27, 2007 at 6:33 pm |

    And to further the point, nothing turns me on like someone wanting to fuck my bacon hole. Gets me in the mood right quick.

  8. Cizungu
    Cizungu April 27, 2007 at 6:38 pm |

    Given that H.R. Giger’s art is heavy on the psychosexual themes–Necronom IV, Necronom V, for example–ace’s comparison is quite revealing of his mindset…

  9. oudemia
    oudemia April 27, 2007 at 6:55 pm |

    Yeah, Giger is all about the dick. What was Ace thinking? Maybe about Giger’s Landscape XX, which was the original cover of the DKs Frankenchrist.

    NSFW: It’s sometimes called the Penis Landscape.

  10. Sara no H.
    Sara no H. April 27, 2007 at 7:04 pm |

    I thought the entrance to the vagina was properly termed the introitus. o.O

  11. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) April 27, 2007 at 7:10 pm |

    Actually, isn’t it like the Sarlack (sp?) from Return of the Jedi?

    Takes a thousand years to digest anything? Boba Fett died there?

    And I’d just like to add there are other things you can put your mouth/tongue on while you’re down there.

  12. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte April 27, 2007 at 7:35 pm |

    That diagram doesn’t provide instructions, you know.

  13. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte April 27, 2007 at 7:39 pm |

    I am sure that Ace has seen his fair share of vaginas, and is well aware that they more closely resemble tacos and shellfish than any other food product.

    Well, the difference between the photographic evidence of something and the up close experience is pretty different.

    Wonder if Ace gets the nervous shakes when asked to eat a taco? Paranoid fear of the vagina ruins the fullness of life in many ways. How sad never to really get the full experience of the corn tortilla plus salsa….

  14. Henry
    Henry April 27, 2007 at 7:42 pm |

    Where did all this “manly-man” stuff come from? The guy is constantly making references to the fact that he barely ever gets laid, isn’t good with women, and grew up as a D&D dork. That doesn’t sound like someone pretending to be a stud to me.

    It was a retarded joke, on a blog that routinely makes retarded, juvenile references. It’s part of his schtick. So he’s a closet homo now? For people who are supposedly clear thinkers with an ear for nuance, you all seem perfectly willing to go the extra mile to misinterpret something. That thread at Sadly, No! is ridiculous.

  15. Michelle
    Michelle April 27, 2007 at 9:08 pm |

    OK, I’m sorry. Vestibule? Like, entrance to the theater vestibule? Did I just block that one out in sixth grade health class? Analogies to red carpet, anyone?

    Or like a vestibule in a church… Oh wow…

    Am I the only one who’s delighted to see hair depicted below the mons pubis? Seriously.

  16. Bruce
    Bruce April 27, 2007 at 9:28 pm |

    Sounds like Ace of Spades is more like a 6-9 offsuit.

    Okay, maybe not a 6-9, maybe more like a 4-7.

  17. Esme
    Esme April 27, 2007 at 9:31 pm |

    Henry
    a) saying “retarded” over and over again just makes you sound stupid
    b) She never said he was gay (his whole initial post seemed determined to defend himself against unmade accusations that he is gay, though), simply that it’s rather screwed up that he describes female anatomy as scary and confusing.

  18. PhoenixRising
    PhoenixRising April 27, 2007 at 9:39 pm |

    Lauren, good rule. the Official Gold Star Lesbian Version: If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, it doesn’t belong in your undies. Yes, when I said wash your hands, I assumed you’d use soap!

  19. subgrrl8
    subgrrl8 April 28, 2007 at 1:36 am |

    The only straight guys who hated kissing the lady bits were HORRIBLE in bed.

    Just so you know ladeez: If a guy professes that munching some carpet is disgusting, that’s about time to call “Check please!” and never call him again.

    I was also extremely happy to see pubic hair in that picture! It is so not seen these days. I’d almost forget that women actually have pubic hair except that I have some myself, being a woman myself and all.

  20. NBarnes
    NBarnes April 28, 2007 at 5:58 am |

    I’m just going to say that the H.R. Geiger line is hilarious to me, both for the sheer wordplay of it and also the reference to Geiger contrasted with AoS’ obvious issues with the ladyparts turns the misogyny back onto itself (for me, at least). I mean, Geiger is brilliant and uses phallic and yonic imagery to build his blatently erotic, thanotic little tableaux, and AoS turns that around to claim that the vulva is as if Geiger designed it. It’s crazy like a Mobius Strip, I can’t help but love it.

    Also, ‘The only thing I could think of was a turkey neck and turkey gizzards‘ comes to mind.

  21. Brad Jackson
    Brad Jackson April 28, 2007 at 7:00 am |

    So, wait, if straight men are supposed to think vaginas are icky, and I think that vaginas are the best thing ever evolved, does that mean I’m gay?

  22. blucas!
    blucas! April 28, 2007 at 8:05 am |

    Ace is an asshole, sure, but in fairness, the “who knows what’s going on down there” is a just a Seinfeld reference.

    The weird stuff with bacon, well, that’s all Ace.

  23. B Moe
    B Moe April 28, 2007 at 8:52 am |

    It’s been a running gag for a few weeks now, spawned by one of many Marcotte tirades about men being afraid of vaginas. He tosses little bits like this one from last night

    The sculpture’s vagina, I’m told, is particularly realistic, looking much like a cross between Fozzie the Bear and the Predator without his helmet.*

    * At least this is what I imagine a realistic mock-up would look like.

    throughout his blog.

    It’s a joke. And now you all are, congratulations.

  24. S. Weasel
    S. Weasel April 28, 2007 at 9:17 am |

    Ummm…so your joke is that you take Ace’s joke and pretend he was serious? That’s…ummm…basically his joke, once removed.

  25. Redhand
    Redhand April 28, 2007 at 9:18 am |

    The guy is constantly making references to the fact that he barely ever gets laid, isn’t good with women, and grew up as a D&D dork. That doesn’t sound like someone pretending to be a stud to me.

    I agree.

    Ace is better criticized these days for the complete absence of any posts dealing with the meltdown of the Bush Administration. He says next to nothing about Gonzales, the failure of the surge, etc. As a result, his blog risks block irrelevance as a forum for political discussion. And that’s too bad.

    Incidentally, it’s jejune of you to post the pic about the subject under discussion, as if your audience needed a primer on female anatomy.

  26. preying mantis
    preying mantis April 28, 2007 at 9:41 am |

    In all fairness to hair-deficient medical sketches of female genitalia, I’ve never seen a medical sketch of male genitalia that’s included hair outside of a perfunctory tuft on the pelvis directly above the shaft. Most of the time they don’t even bother with that much.

  27. Bart
    Bart April 28, 2007 at 10:45 am |

    Yeah, ha ha, that Ace must be gay. The way he talks about gay stuff all the time, I feel sorry for him.

  28. mythago
    mythago April 28, 2007 at 11:00 am |

    Wait, being a half-witted asshole means you get a lifetime free pass from mockery?

    To answer his question, the “who” (i.e. the person(s) aware of what’s going on down there) are men who are good in bed. Some of whom are even D&D dorks.

  29. The Stranger
    The Stranger April 28, 2007 at 12:45 pm |

    My geeky side can’t let this go… Boba Fett didn’t die in the Sarlacc, Dengar (the bounty hunter with the head wrapping (which he wears because of massive scarring from a racing accident against Han Solo, cue massive grudge, after which the Imps experimented on his nearly-dead form and made him a super assassin)) pulled him out some time later and nursed him back to health. And yeah, bounty hunters aren’t usually that nice, but his telepath/empath/blue girlfriend turned him good.

    Which is, now that I think about it, kinda an overly-typical female role. Especially given that she became his girlfriend after he rescued her from becoming the local Imp governor’s plaything. Ah well, it’s Star Wars, literary gold is good when it occurs (I

  30. The Stranger
    The Stranger April 28, 2007 at 12:47 pm |

    Oh, and I’m a female. And a D&D dork. And I’m writing this from a LAN party, actually. And I’ve met a *lot* of sexually-capable male dorks.

  31. Cheshirecat
    Cheshirecat April 28, 2007 at 1:23 pm |

    I thought I would be scared at seeing that pic, but that wasn’t too bad…at least it wasn’t brown…then I would really be dropping in my pants!

  32. inkybrain
    inkybrain April 28, 2007 at 1:34 pm |

    Courbet! Awesome. Did you know that you can actually set that painting as the wallpaper on the Musée d’Orsay giftshop computer? Hilarity usually ensues.

  33. Therese Norén
    Therese Norén April 28, 2007 at 3:21 pm |

    The vestibule is the entire area between the inner labia, and the introitus is the vaginal entrance.

  34. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 28, 2007 at 3:37 pm |

    Ah, the fallback position of the guy who looks like an idiot: “It was all a joke. I was joking!”

  35. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 3:43 pm |

    Mnemyosyne,

    Well, given the uproar over the now infamous “hot, sticky, white Holy Spirit” and subsequent joke defense, and as you note, the shorter Ace “It was all a joke. I was joking!”, wouldn’t right now be a fantastic time to for someone somewhere to exhibit a bit of clarity.

    It might be one thing to say that the ‘joke’ defense is valid across the board, or invalid across the board, but I think everyone on both sides of the fence would have to agree that it takes a special form of thought to assert that the defense is valid only when my fellow ideologues use it, but is always invalid when my opponents use the self-same reasoning. And further more, that such a determination isn’t purely partisan reflex but is really representative of well thought out arguments.

    Or, then again, I suppose I might just be joking. :)

    BRD

  36. Frumious B
    Frumious B April 28, 2007 at 3:55 pm |

    Long ago I saw a movie whose name I can’t remember in which a female character said “Never put anything up your cunt that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.”

  37. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 28, 2007 at 4:04 pm |

    It might be one thing to say that the ‘joke’ defense is valid across the board, or invalid across the board, but I think everyone on both sides of the fence would have to agree that it takes a special form of thought to assert that the defense is valid only when my fellow ideologues use it, but is always invalid when my opponents use the self-same reasoning.

    Actually, my argument is that jokes should be funny. If you have to explain in retrospect that you were making not only a joke, but a whole series of jokes, you probably should have worked a little harder on the “making it funny” part and worried a little less about getting your ideology into it.

    But, hey, you’re the guys who think that calling college athletes “a bunch of nappy-headed ho’s” is the funniest thing you’ve ever heard, so I can see where the confusion is coming in.

  38. Tony
    Tony April 28, 2007 at 4:32 pm |

    Heh. I still am trying to figure out Ace’s convoluted depiction of the vagina or “pussy” as Jill seems to love to type in–or pootang as I like to call it.

    It’s like H.R. Geiger giving up ink and canvas to work in the avant-garde medium of Play-Doh and bacon.

    saya what now? H.R. Geiger? “avant-garde?” An, “Play-Doh” and “bacon,” finally something I understand!!

    In case others had to look this shit up, Wikipedia says:

    H.R. Geiger – (born at Chur, Grisons canton, February 5, 1940) is an Academy Award-winning Swiss painter, sculptor, and set designer best known for his design work on the film Alien.

    Avant-Garde — The concept of avant-garde refers exclusively to marginalised artists, writers, composers and thinkers whose work is not only opposed to mainstream commercial values, but often has an abrasive social or political edge.

    I still don’t get it.

  39. oudemia
    oudemia April 28, 2007 at 5:01 pm |

    @Tony: God help me for (very mildly) defending Ace here, but “avant-garde” is certainly modifying “Play-Doh” in his sentence, and he’s making a joke.

    It’s spelled Giger. And, while I’m not a fan, his art is pretty out there (not at all the same thing as “avant-garde,” but I don’t think one can claim someone’s work has lost all abrasion just because they designed a movie set.)

  40. Ole Blue The heretic
    Ole Blue The heretic April 28, 2007 at 5:03 pm |

    A woman’s body is delicious in every aspect. One who thinks differently is wrong

  41. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 5:21 pm |

    Mnemosyne,

    Ok, to clear one thing out of the way Right This Instant – I think Imus’s remarks are abhorrent and I do not condone him for saying that or condone the sentiment that led him to say something like that. The discussion of race in this country is pathetic and until we learn to discuss amongst ourselves as adults, across party lines, across race, and any one of another of divisions, any equitable solution is going to be a long time in coming.

    I’ll also note that your implication that I am somehow a racist has only two things to do with what I was trying to address: 1) Jack, and 2) Squat, and return to the substance of your response.

    In any case, I agree wholeheartedly that “funny” things should actually be funny.

    By way of comparison, I found the incident I cited earlier (reproduced below) to be somewhere between profoundly offensive and just sad.

    Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit?

    A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.

    I would agree that your comment below applies here as well:

    If I may, I’d like to quote your comment, as I think you said it perfectly:

    If you have to explain in retrospect that you were making not only a joke, but a whole series of jokes, you probably should have worked a little harder on the “making it funny” part and worried a little less about getting your ideology into it.

    Generally, the thing to which I am objecting is the way that the Joke Defense is rapidly turning into a case of “good for me, but not for thee.” Which, I personally happen to think, at least in this specific case, is absolute BS.

    More specifically, you note in your comment that folks might be wise to be “…worried a little less about getting [one’s] ideology into it.”. I would like to suggest that we, as onlookers, commenters, and critics, might do well to heed that advice as well before we all put on our angry partisan hats and grab torches to go storm the castle.

    When deciding if something is ‘funny’ and therefore subject to the Joke Defense, and less about ideology, I suspect that far too many who are quick to attack a putative joke forget that one’s ideological outlook colors what we like and find funny. So, at least at first pass, I can’t see how what I (or you) think qualifies as “funny” should determine the legitimacy of whether or not the Joke Defense applies to an individual who people who are ideological allies or opponents.

    Or, to look at it another way, in a world in which we’re already up to our nostrils in shoddy logic and hypocrisy, this should be an easy no-brainer that folks should be able to get behind, regardless of political outlook, without immense difficulty.

    Regards,

    BRD

  42. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 5:22 pm |

    Ole Blue,

    A woman’s body is delicious in every aspect. One who thinks differently is wrong.

    I can’t say that, personally, I dig on the earwax, but that’s not really a gender thing, because I haven’t found any earwax from either gender that wasn’t just nasty. But hey, that’s just me.

    BRD

  43. ahunt
    ahunt April 28, 2007 at 5:47 pm |

    To answer his question, the “who” (i.e. the person(s) aware of what’s going on down there) are men who are good in bed

    DING!. We have a winner.

    And speaking for ridiculously fertile women everywhere for whom oral BC is not an option, only men who are aware of what’s going on down there…are good in bed.

  44. Alex
    Alex April 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm |

    Also, while the idea of “cunninglingus” sounds appealing (if tricky), I don’t think that’s how Ace meant to spell it.

    Perhaps he’s not a very cunning linguist.

  45. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte April 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm |

    It’s a joke. And now you all are, congratulations.

    That would almost work if it wasn’t completely disingenous. Keep telling yourself you pulled one over on the little ladies, though, keeps your mind of the fact that you’ve let another one slip through your fingers by acting scared of her vagina.

  46. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte April 28, 2007 at 5:57 pm |

    Well, given the uproar over the now infamous “hot, sticky, white Holy Spirit” and subsequent joke defense, and as you note, the shorter Ace “It was all a joke. I was joking!”, wouldn’t right now be a fantastic time to for someone somewhere to exhibit a bit of clarity.

    Had I ever said, “It’s just a joke!”, you’d have a point. But I didn’t. I don’t do “just a joke”—jokes are better when they reference reality. My joke was a satire on the Catholic Church’s misogynist anti-choice policies. I have never once recanted my very strong stance against their abuse of women and sex-phobia.

  47. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte April 28, 2007 at 6:04 pm |

    I realized after I hit “submit” why you think there’s a link between my joke about Plan B and Ace’s joke—both are references to underlying psychosexual issues that stem from patriarchal fear and loathing of female reproductive functions. The difference is that I was making fun of it and Ace, bless his heart, is trying to uphold it. His was funny, alright, but not in the way he intended it to be.

  48. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 6:12 pm |

    Amanda,

    I apologize, for evidently I had either misunderstood or greatly oversimplified your further commentary on the post. Ace has stated that his whole entire Spoooky Vagina!! shtick is a satire of the assertions that some have made that Republican men are all ‘afraid of the vagina’.

    I suppose I could go running about trying to find other examples, but from your comment, I think you understand the point that I’m trying to address, which is that when a given class of explanation or exculpatory assertion applies only to one’s allies, or that a given type of accusation can only be applied to one’s ideological adversaries, then we’ve probably veered off into some deeply unsustainable and dysfunctional territory.

    If nothing else, it is a total rejection of the Golden Rule (not to mention a whole lot of game theoretic strategies that underly common civil behavior).

    While perfect equity is impossible for creatures as complex as people to achieve, it is a sufficiently worthwhile objective that we should take the opportunity to work towards it when possible.

    I had rather hoped that the Joke Defense (as applied to bloggers) might be a reasonable point of agreement or point of discussion for all, and still remain hopeful that it may.

    Regards,

    BRD

  49. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 6:27 pm |

    Amanda,

    I didn’t see your last comment until I had already posted.

    I honestly hadn’t really given a lot of thought to the content or underlying issues in either joke, past noting that the breakdown of folks who defended or attacked the use of the Joke Defense seemed to break on strongly partisan lines, suggesting that the underlying rationalizations used in either case might be worth examining.

    I start becoming rather uncomfortable when anyone or group asserts that a specific case is a special case which should be exempted from otherwise universal or near universal rules. Without getting into the much broader subjects suggested in your comments (for I imagine it is no small subject), I thought that the reflexive condemnation and absolution that broke so clearly on partisan lines might prove to be an example worth exploring on the standards of discourse we apply to ourselves and others.

    Regards,

    BRD

  50. S. Weasel
    S. Weasel April 28, 2007 at 6:29 pm |

    Jesus Christ…I can’t wait for the metacontextual analysis of banana peels: slipping upon. The funny comes out of a totally different brainal area than the lobe that knows how to rewire a fusebox.

    Come to think of it, the sexy does, too.

  51. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 28, 2007 at 6:40 pm |

    Amanda said it better than me, but this is where I was trying to go:

    If you’re going to make the joke, own the goddamned joke. Don’t make a joke about, say, how disgusting you find women and then try to claim you were joking.

    Like it or not, the jokes that we like and tell are ones that we feel have a larger truth about ourselves and our society. That’s why we get all indignant about the stuff that Imus and Limbaugh say — they are telling us something about our society, and what they’re telling us is very, very ugly.

    Yes, Amanda was attacking the policies of the Catholic Church in the form of a joke. She never tried to back down and claim she didn’t really mean it. She used that joke to cut to the heart of the matter and expose the misogyny underneath.

    Who is Ace attacking? Women who think that he hates them? And he’s going to prove that he really doesn’t hate them by … making jokes about how much he hates them?

  52. Sickle
    Sickle April 28, 2007 at 6:42 pm |

    BRD is sorta creepin’ me out….I’m afraid I can’t quite put my finger on why. Just a feeling, something sinister lurks back there.

  53. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 6:49 pm |

    Sickle,

    If you want I could say something about pro-terrorist commie pinkos or something so I play to type better. I could even dig up a Hannity quote or something.

    BRD

  54. B Moe
    B Moe April 28, 2007 at 6:54 pm |

    That would almost work if it wasn’t completely disingenous. Keep telling yourself you pulled one over on the little ladies, though, keeps your mind of the fact that you’ve let another one slip through your fingers by acting scared of her vagina.

    You pulled one over on yourselves, and I am crushed, crushed by the fact I have let you slip through my fingers. Tell me, how close was I? I must know what I have lost.

    Don’t make a joke about, say, how disgusting you find women and then try to claim you were joking.

    Don’t make a joke, then try to claim you were joking? Do you people even understand what a joke is?

  55. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 6:56 pm |

    Mnemosyne,

    The people who Ace is making a joke about are those people who assert that “Many men, especially Republican men, fear The Vagina”. Or, maybe to expand it a bit further, those whose views assign pejorative and unfair stereotypes to some men because they – for whatever reason – may vote differently than you. For those who deeply love their partners, rather offensive.

    You can’t get a pass for using ‘Humor to Explore the Perceived Truth’ for one side without granting it to the other. That’s the only point I’m driving at here. I’m perfectly happy to accept the idea that you and Amanda put forth about the nature of her comment, although I think it represents a profound misunderstanding of the Church, it’s doctrine, and is slanderous and offensive.

    We don’t have to agree about what is or isn’t funny, what does or doesn’t represent a deeper underlying truth. I do hope that we can reach agreement on what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior.

    BRD

  56. Sickle
    Sickle April 28, 2007 at 6:59 pm |

    No, that’s not it. It’s something about the tone of your writing. Nothing to do with partisan politics, either. There was just something…off. You know, this sort of pretense of coming into the fray from an angle, as though observing the “folks” like participants in a controlled experiement. I won’t go so far to say it seemed dehumanizing, but something along those lines. Sorry, wish I could be more specific.

  57. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 7:06 pm |

    Sickle,

    Some of the other folks at PW who are more familiar with my tone may be able to explain it better, but part of it may be that I can get verbose and stilted – I end up writing too much verbose and stilted documentation at work and the tone has spread.

    As far as the ‘view from another angle’ and sort-of-quasi-lab-experiment thing, I’ve been lurking, posting, commenting, and otherwise hanging around blogs for about four years now. I guess I get incredibly frustrated with the fact that all I seem to see from all comers is a propensity towards bitterness and invective and bile and insult. I’ve also seen a lot of good points from both sides get missed. Am I partisan? Sure, you bet! But I also maintain the hope that maybe all of the jillions of words splattered across the internet over the last several years might accomplish some of the objectives of debate, rather than just masturbatory self-congratulations.

    I would be an idiot to think this will all happen overnight because of one comment in a thread, but I guess what I look for are the occasional ‘existence proofs‘ that maybe debate isn’t dead and people still do still engage.

    But, in the end analysis, this doesn’t have a lot to do with whether or not you sense that either I or my writing are off – that’s a call you make, but I did want to try to explain.

    Regards,

    BRD

  58. B Moe
    B Moe April 28, 2007 at 7:12 pm |

    Get back in your box, BRD! You are confusing the people with this reckless individualism!

  59. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne April 28, 2007 at 7:25 pm |

    The people who Ace is making a joke about are those people who assert that “Many men, especially Republican men, fear The Vagina”.

    Actually, what they seem to fear is The Vagina Monologues, which is why Republican men organize campus protests against it every year. Did Ace get to that hard word that starts with an “M” and give up, so he thought that they were protesting against vaginas?

    Or, maybe to expand it a bit further, those whose views assign pejorative and unfair stereotypes to some men because they – for whatever reason – may vote differently than you.

    Actually, it’s generally conservative women who are assigning the whole pejorative “men are just savages who can’t even pick up their own socks” stereotype to men. What we keep saying is that men are adults and should be expected to act like adults. Men don’t get a free pass on being immature because, hey, they’re men, they don’t know any better.

    If I were you, I’d be a lot more offended by the stuff that, say, John Derbyshire has said about all men only being attracted to women who are between the ages of 15 and 20.

    You can’t get a pass for using ‘Humor to Explore the Perceived Truth’ for one side without granting it to the other.

    Here we come to the nut of the problem:

    You are perfectly free to be as offended by Amanda’s characterization of the misogyny at the heart of the Catholic Church’s current policies towards women as we are to be offended at the characterization of black athletes as “nappy-headed ho’s.”

    You seem to be arguing that these two characterizations are either both equally true or both equally false. Which is it? Please keep in mind that I was raised Catholic and can point you to far more anti-woman doctrines than Amanda can, since she’s a lowly Protestant.

  60. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 8:05 pm |

    Mnemosyne,

    Ok, I found what is, as far as I can tell, a sort of inaugural kickoff to the Ongoing Scary Vagina Schtick.

    Funny? Not funny? Your call.

    I’m also glad that you mentioned the notion of stereotypes regarding responsibility and that whole thing. Jill, among others has commented over at Ace’s in a discussion of that subject – a first post here, followed up by a post at Ace’s (in which Jill responds. This response then formed a basis for a last post at Ace’s.

    But, as you note, the core of the argument is really whether or not the underlying assertion is true (or as you note equally true or both equally false). I guess what I think is that reasonable people can disagree a great deal on whether or not a given joke was based on underlying reality, or whether or not the point made was fair. And really, both of us can come up with 9.8 jillion examples of this sort of thing.

    At the end of the day, however, why is it that people are even using the Joke Defense? Why do others use the Joke Defense on behalf of those with whom they agree? Why do others axiomatically reject the Joke Defense when they disagree? There’s something more to this than just whether or not something is funny.

    In looking back, I think a lot of confusion about this whole thing comes from text such as:

    The joke was typical of Pandagon’s satirical tone and was intended to mock a common rhetorical ploy of abortion opponents — a hypothetical question and answer — not to mock anyone’s personal faith.

    In seeing the word joke, and noting the self-described satricial tone, I had rather imagined that the use of the term was intended to be somewhat exculpatory. But in any case, I welcome your thoughts on this.

    BRD

  61. Femanist
    Femanist April 28, 2007 at 8:08 pm |

    Hi BRD,

    I wanted to respond to some of the problems that others are picking up on with your style of writing, but I thought it would be more ethical to address it to you.

    The problem with universalist understandings of rationality and human nature is that more often than not they are not universal. Indeed, the regular pattern throughout history is that universalist claims are in fact parochial claims imputed to be universal and they have ended up usually excluding the marginal in their claims–which ended up delitoriously affecting real marginalized people through these universal typologies. So, call me a skeptic.

    Indeed most of the good work in scholarship these days is the attempt to provide a new understanding of how we can generalize without the totalitarianism of a so-called universal structuring or without marginalizing real people by our generalizations. In some ways, the bias that proports that there can be unbiased knowledge is itself part of the problem.

    Anyway, I think this may be the underlying cause for some of the discomfort to your writing style–as you seem to be speaking from this overly-“rational” style. Not that I am not dominated by this, but actually, rationally, it seems to me that we cannot have rationality without real people, but the voices who have traditionally constructed rationality have been of a very small segment of the population. If you have taken into account these understandings, I would only suggest that you incorporate that more into your writing. If not, then I suggest taking history into account in how it shapes our discourse.

    F.

  62. Femanist
    Femanist April 28, 2007 at 8:17 pm |

    About humor:

    I think the issue here is not what is funny, nor for whom it is funny (though that is telling), but rather what forms of domination particular attempts at humor reify or resist. Amanda’s joke attempts to challenge the domination of Christian ideology in framing political issues. Ace’s joke seems to reify dominant ideologies about the devaluing of women’s bodies. Jokes are not universal, nor are they exempt from problematic political discourses. This is the basepoint of critical analysis… we need to start there and not with some universalizing discourse that attempts to cover over the real differences between people and their political power.

  63. JackGoff
    JackGoff April 28, 2007 at 8:29 pm |

    is slanderous and offensive.

    As a former Catholic, I don’t think Amanda went far enough in mocking the evil misogyny of Catholic doctrine. Catholic doctrine, despite being deemed a monolith to many people, is open to ridicule, even by those women who should just shut up and take the abuse handed to them by people who use their faith to justify their misogyny.

    And “slanderous”?! That’s just hokey, man. I imagine you would have been one of those people who wanted to have Voltaire executed for the things he said about Catholic doctrine (which weren’t as nice as Amanda’s comments).

    And per what Mnemosyne said, I too can dredge up a laundry list of horseshit from the Catechism. But this is derail, which I’m guessing is one of the reasons Sickle was put-off by you. You’re a concern troll.

  64. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte April 28, 2007 at 10:05 pm |

    I don’t buy the idea that Ace is making a mockery out of “spooky vagina”. What’s the joke? What is he mocking? The object of mockery in spooky vagina jokes is a sexist pig like Ace. He’s not mocking himself—being a touchy baby, how could he—so what’s the joke?

    I don’t employ the “joke defense”. I mean what I say and say what I mean. Ace says what he means and then pretends he meant the opposite. Totally different.

    Let’s face it. What’s going on here is misogynists who are amused by joking about the grossness of the vagina (and the inferiority of women) got called out on how this contradicts the mandatory heterosexuality that goes along with their misogyny. The philosophy of the He Man Woman Haters Club is self-contradictory. Rather than admit that and grow up, the idjuts are flailing. It’s rather like when we discovered that there were no WMDs, so instead we’re going to pretend that we had some special pre-existing love of Iraqi democracy, even though most war supporters couldn’t find Iraq on a map before Bush started beating the war drums.

  65. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 28, 2007 at 10:29 pm |

    Sickle, Mnemosyne, Amanda, et al.

    My comments seem to be a bit gummed up, but hopefully should be up before too long. I’m not running off into the distance, as I am enjoying the discussion, and didn’t want you take the tech glitch as dismissal of your points.

    Hope to continue the discussion soon.

    BRD

  66. B Moe
    B Moe April 28, 2007 at 10:32 pm |

    I don’t buy the idea that Ace is making a mockery out of “spooky vagina”. What’s the joke? What is he mocking? The object of mockery in spooky vagina jokes is a sexist pig like Ace. He’s not mocking himself—being a touchy baby, how could he—so what’s the joke?

    He is mocking you, Amanda. Not vaginas, not women in general, but you. The individual. The single woman named Amanda Marcotte who takes herself so seriously she cannot conceive someone could be capable of mocking her. Someone who honestly believes that any man who disagrees with her must be afraid of her vagina.

  67. JackGoff
    JackGoff April 28, 2007 at 11:23 pm |

    I’m cringing at the wording of my moderated comment. The first paragraph is a doozy. Sorry to the mods, I was a little angry and typed too fast.

  68. S. Weasel
    S. Weasel April 29, 2007 at 6:33 am |

    Moderated?

    Ut oh.

  69. Kat
    Kat April 29, 2007 at 9:12 am |

    Well this is off topic a bit, but my former in-laws, who are very Catholic and prudish types, have a Georgie O’Keefe print hanging proudly in their living room, because “the flower is so pretty and it matches my colors”.

    They have no idea that its anything but a flower. I’ve considered telling them, but why burst their bubble and anyhow it gives me a giggle everytime I see it hanging there next to the crucifix with the rosary hanging from it.

  70. B Moe
    B Moe April 29, 2007 at 10:58 am |

    Ace’s joke seems to reify dominant ideologies about the devaluing of women’s bodies.

    Please click on BRDs Scary Vagina Schtick link. It explains clearly the origin of this whole mess. Ace was responding to Amanda’s theory that the Virgin Birth myth was an example of man being repulsed by physical sex. While that may have been true then, which I seriously doubt, it is a bit absurd to make that claim today, don’t you think?

    By the way, most serious religious historians attribute the Virgin Birth myth to the fact that the world was ruled by monarchies at the time, and one had to be of noble birth to be a King. The idea of selling Jesus as the King of Men if he had been born to commoners would have been ridiculous. Being the Son of God, however, was instant street cred.

  71. zuzu
    zuzu April 29, 2007 at 11:11 am |

    I’m also glad that you mentioned the notion of stereotypes regarding responsibility and that whole thing. Jill, among others has commented over at Ace’s in a discussion of that subject – a first post here, followed up by a post at Ace’s (in which Jill responds. This response then formed a basis for a last post at Ace’s.

    You mean he got started on this via an utter misreading of a post of mine (down to attributing it to Jill)? I’ve read all the posts you link to and I still can’t figure out how Ace thought I was defending the whole Girls Gone Wild thing rather than arguing that the whole “hookup culture” hysteria of Laura Sessions Stepp et al. is based on a definition of “hooking up” that is so broad as to be meaningless.

  72. piny
    piny April 29, 2007 at 11:17 am |

    I still can’t figure out how Ace thought I was defending the whole Girls Gone Wild thing rather than arguing that the whole “hookup culture” hysteria of Laura Sessions Stepp et al. is based on a definition of “hooking up” that is so broad as to be meaningless.

    You’re just saying that because you want to roll your skirts above the knee.

  73. piny
    piny April 29, 2007 at 11:44 am |

    Ok, I found what is, as far as I can tell, a sort of inaugural kickoff to the Ongoing Scary Vagina Schtick.

    Funny? Not funny? Your call.

    I think his recap of the feminist understanding of men’s relationships with women’s bodies was serious. And it’s completely off base. Trust us: it is entirely possible for men to have a hate/desire relationship with women; women’s bodies, vaginas in particular, are still very much framed in terms of physical revulsion.

  74. R. mildred
    R. mildred April 29, 2007 at 1:28 pm |

    In what possible way is amanda making a variation on monty fucking pythons all singing and all dancing musical number “every sperm is sacred”, as commentary on teh catholic church’s wonderful combination of anti-masturbation, anti-contraception and belief in humanity from conception, some how compares to some bizarre tirade by that puffed up little boy of a pissant, one who calls something (I’m afraid to even guess, incase it’s “pussy”) “the pooter” no less, who just gibbers for a couple of pages about nothing much.

    the difference lays in the fact that one is a tried and tested joke that is had on the bizarre and basically nonsensical edicts sent forth by the (old, male, phallic hat and skirt wearing) leadership of a world spanning organisation that’s so far been complicit (when not the explicit cause) of so many different genocides and assorted mass murdering atrocities that I won’t bother detail them all, and which has amazingly been rather remarkably absent when the protestants started their “immitation is the sincerest form of flattery, papist peeg dawg!” inquisitions, and were especially absent in south america when the far right death squads came a-knocking on the doors of the catholic socialists.

    And the other isn’t actually funny unless you’re one of those witless ass stains who’s main take on oscar wilde’s wit is that he was “a bit of girlie man, HAH! Take that The Politically Correct Gay Mafia!”

    For some inexplicable reason amanda is trying to pretend taht the defense isn’t a valid use of people pointing out that when it comes right down to it, saying that the belief in sperm magic and the belief in the holy ghost aren’t just similar but are pretty much synonymous as far as the last couple of dozen papal administrations has been concerned, in a snarky fashion is just a joke, and that, in consideration of the fact that such statements, on top of being valid tehological interpretation of catholic beliefs that happen to offend both moral catholics and moral non-catholics in equal amounts, and in consideration that such interpretations aren’t exactly routinely used by the womb fetishising crazies who Actually are oppressing catholics in the USA, South America, Central America, Africa, Asia and Europe, right this second, through bombs, guns, police brutality, slurs a damn sight more slurry than some off/second hand snark about “holy ghost = sperm” (such as “wet back”, for one, or by justifying everything else by labelling the catholics as genocidal “reconquistadors” who want to take over america for another), firing squads, torture, refusal of medical access (especially pre-natal care and suitable OB-GYN facilities during birth), the splitting up of families for the sole purpose of spite and cruelty towards people the authorities consider non-human and finally the use of them as a cheap form of slave labor, but are instead used primarily to people who end up having to fend off death threats and general purpose attacks on their right both to freedom of expression of religion and also upon their basic human rights.

    All of which leaves me wondering why this feckless, sockpuppeteering, blogwhoring, pissant is expecting us to actually care that his panties are in a bunch over that little smoke and mirrors show donahue pulled using amanda’s referencing of that age old satire of catholic theology?

    And when did Amanda become either catholic enough to care what these people are declaring, or donahue (and his winged monkeys) pope enough to make such attacks on behalf of all catholic kind?

  75. kidlacan
    kidlacan April 29, 2007 at 2:04 pm |

    uh, b moe? the world was not “ruled by monarchies at the time” of christ’s birth. there were some, sure. always have been. rome was still a republic when christ was born, though, not yet an empire. King Herod? not a “king” — not the traditional understanding of one, anyway. born of influential family and appointed as govenor, he was eventually elected (yes, elected) as “king of the jews” by the roman senate. in a time of shifting loyalties, what was “noble birth” varied depending upon which families were in favour. you could be noble one year and exiled the next. it seems like your “serious religious historians” are basically talking out of their asses.

    unless you’re grossly simplifying things. which you probably are, it suddenly occurs to me.

    the whole “son of a god, born of a mortal woman” schtick is a time-worn one, and was at the time of christ’s birth. the romans did it. the greeks did it before them. countless cultures did it before the greeks, and have since. that, more than some weird notion of “selling” christ as a temporal mortal ruler, is probably your explanation.

  76. kidlacan
    kidlacan April 29, 2007 at 2:10 pm |

    i’m in mod? what? what’d i do? i go on a boring history jag, and i get moderated? sulk.

  77. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 29, 2007 at 3:22 pm |

    Just a really quick question here, if an individual states that they are not afraid of something (e.g. The Vagina), on what basis can you argue with that person?

    If, for example, someone states that they have a particular aversion to olives, how can you argue with that? If someone says that they like chocolate, can one credibly assert that they do not, in fact, like chocolate?

    A great deal of what seems like abject absurdity to me is that there a dialog that seems to go something like this:

    Person 1: You are afraid of The Vagina.

    Person 2: No, no I’m not. I’m actually rather a fan.

    Person 1: You are afraid of The Vagina.

    Person 2: What on Earth are you on about? What’s with all this Vaginal Fear talk I’m hearing?

    Person 1: …

    Person 2: [sarcasm]Ooh! Big Scary Vagina! Boo![/sarcasm]

    Person 1: Aha! See! I told you and this proves it! You are afraid of The Vagina.

    Person 2: WTF? That was a joke!

    Person 1: No, you really are afraid of The Vagina. Your comment proves it!

    Person 2: Exactly what kind of crack is being smoked around here?

    and so on…

    I find the exchange truly baffling. I don’t want to get into the six-hundred comment long exchange on the whole deal, as it’s absolutely gorgeous outside, but the thing at the heart of this all that just confuses me no end, is that when someone like Ace notes that he’s not making a direct assertion, that in fact, he’s mocking the generalized assertion that men think Vaginas are icky. And then I see stuff like “Ah, the fallback position of the guy who looks like an idiot: ‘t was all a joke. I was joking!'”

    So, I guess what the core issue that baffles me is the notion of Person 1 telling Person 2 what Person 2 meant when they said something. I just can’t fathom that. The train of thought just isn’t at all apparent to me.

  78. B Moe
    B Moe April 29, 2007 at 6:15 pm |

    uh, b moe? the world was not “ruled by monarchies at the time” of christ’s birth. there were some, sure. always have been. rome was still a republic when christ was born, though, not yet an empire.

    It was an empire by the time the virgin birth myth first started appearing. And yes, while not all governments were monarchies at the time, the vast majority were some variant of one. Caesar was pretty much an inherited position. Even the republican period of rome wasn’t much like a republic today, you had to be born into the ruling class to have a vote or be a senator. King Herrod may have been elected, but it was by people born into their position, and I am pretty sure his father wasn’t a migrant carpenter.

  79. Lamia
    Lamia April 30, 2007 at 1:48 am |

    BRD, just admit that you aren’t here to learn. You’re here to pontificate and be awed by your self importance.

    On top of that, Ace? Writes a nonsensical, downright insulting description of the genitalia of the gender he supposedly is sexually attracted to. Joke? Uh, okay. Mean-spirited and juvenile, if so. Suppose we buy that it is a joke. It doesn’t take away the fact that he’s an asshole about it.

    Did a woman ever point at you and laugh when you finally dropped your pants? And then say, “It’s just a joke!” You laughing too?
    Huh?

    I have said in mixed company that I find penises to be funny things. The men who hear this are incredulous, confused, or even insulted. And I didn’t get to explain that they’re funny because of their floppy, squishy, twitchy, squeezable qualities. And it’s from a spirit of fondness that I make an observation like that.

    Ace’s “joke” has no fondness. At best, his humor can be catagorized as the same type that finds amusement from kicking the crutches away from somebody with a broken leg and then pointing and laughing at the resulting pratfall. Oh, funny.

    Laughing can hurt too. But then, if you understood that, you wouldn’t be such a tiresome sack of mendacity.

  80. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 30, 2007 at 9:25 am |

    Lamia,

    I was baffled by the joke question. I ended up having a conversation with a very close friend of mine who, as it happens, is reasonably close to my polar opposite politically. During the course of the conversation, I came away with what seems to be a reasonable answer to the whole proposition of the ‘joke’ discussion. Part of that is, as you suggest, related to the spirit in which the joke is intended.

    I am still rather bothered by some of the notions that were implied in the Joke Defense discussion, but that’s a matter for another day. One thing that still does bug me a bit is the degree to which people continue to aggressively assign personality traits and attributes to folks online, but that’s just a new forum for the pretty common tendency to judge a book by its cover.

    BMoe directly pointed out above what the intended subject of the joke was – I hadn’t really wanted to say it as bluntly, because I thought it might be a bit rude, but it’s been said, and the hosts opted to leave the comment as written, so I don’t think there’s much point in rehashing it.

    In any case, I think that the bit (marked with an asterisk) that Jill appended to the end of her post is probably the most level headed thing I’ve seen coming or going, one way or the other.

    I am, however, a bit ticked off that you – someone I have never met, never spoken to, and prior to this thread, had never even communicated with – had decided that you have got my number – on the basis of what? One comment thread? You’ve decided that – despite my questions about the “Joke Defense” as a general proposition – despite my explanation of why it is that I go to sites that I customarily don’t read – despite the fact that I’ve been doing my level best to try to keep a civil and elevated tone of discussion – you’ve decided, despite all this, that I opted to spend a good chunk of my weekend for the Grand Glorious Goal of awing myself with my own self-importance by hanging out in a comment thread on a blog I rarely frequent. For crying out loud – I’d be better of basking in the warm self-reflected glow of stamp collecting than using this as a vehicle to pat myself on the back.

    If folks want to actually discuss when the “Joke Defense” is valid, when its not, when the intended audience is reasonably aggrieved and when they’re being touchy and when they’re reading intent (malicious or benign) where none exists, I’d still like figure that out. But if that doesn’t happen in this thread, well, I guess that’s life.

    You’re darn right that sometimes humor is an expression of fondness, but not all laughter is fond, and that it sometimes hurts. The problem is that people seem to remember bits of that very selectively based on whether or not their ox is being gored, and I hoped – foolishly as it turns out – that people might step away long enough to actually recognize that and talk about it.

    Oh well, such is life.

    BRD

  81. Deoridhe
    Deoridhe April 30, 2007 at 9:42 am |

    If someone says that they like chocolate, can one credibly assert that they do not, in fact, like chocolate?

    I would imagine if someone said, “This play about chocolate is awful – let us picket it and decry it’s being shown on college campuses, because women will watch the play and eat chocolate and be fat.” and then spent time on an elaborate joke about how chocolate is “icky” and “too sweet” and “when it’s not too sweet, too bitter”, I would doubt them if they then said, “But I LIKE chocolate!”

    And if someone spent a bunch of their time talking about how chocolate was gross, but they needed to eat it in order to maintain their manliness, I would assume there was a comflicted relationship toward chocolate that is being hidden by their jokes about how chocolate is gross and this confliction might be behind their aversion to chocolate-related-plays.

    Opinions don’t exist in a vacuum.

  82. TinaH
    TinaH April 30, 2007 at 10:36 am |

    Vagina dentata

    :raises hand:

    Can I get one of those? Please, please, please? Does it come with a snarl setting? Puhleeeeeeeze!!!

  83. Bravo Romeo Delta
    Bravo Romeo Delta April 30, 2007 at 10:39 am |

    Deoridhe,

    Fair point.

    Let me think on it for a bit, if I may.

    BRD

  84. Phoenician in a time
    Phoenician in a time April 30, 2007 at 3:46 pm |

    So, wait, if straight men are supposed to think vaginas are icky, and I think that vaginas are the best thing ever evolved, does that mean I’m gay?

    Yup. Liking women, including their girly parts, is ultra-gay.

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