If Ann declines, I’m sure Henry can find someone on Craig’s List who’s into his kink*

i can’t believe I’m about to defend Ann Coulter again, but:

Really, why is it so hard to take an abhorrent female pundit to task without leveling threats of sexualized violence against her, and/or insulting her appearance? Henry’s boner for turning Ann into a submissive housekeeper who will “shut the fuck up” is beyond creepy — and further evidence that conservatives definitely don’t have a monopoly on hating women. The whole sex-as-a-tool-to-put-uppity-bitches-in-their-place thing is disturbing and disgusting even when it is leveled at scum like Ann. What a whole lot of people (especially dudes) don’t seem to grasp is that the veiled threats of rape and abuse as punishment for outspoken women does a disservice to all of us. Even if we’re on the opposite side of the political spectrum as Ann, we get the message loud and clear: Know your role. And if you’re too pushy, too loud or too opinionated, well, you should expect to be knocked down a peg or two. Bitch.

Thanks to Tricia for the link.

*While BDSM ain’t my kink, I imagine that if it were, shit like this would really piss me off.

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34 comments for “If Ann declines, I’m sure Henry can find someone on Craig’s List who’s into his kink*

  1. Eileen
    October 31, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I know. I’m normally a fan of his too, but this one really missed the mark.

  2. foxfire
    October 31, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    See, I came at this video in a totally different way. While I totally understand and agree with your point, I saw Rollins’ video as playing on the “traditional” conservative values Coulter clams to support. I thought he was saying that since she thinks women shouldn’t vote, and everything else, why doesn’t she live like it? Much of Coulter’s message is based on that neo-con, 1950’s-that-didn’t-exist BS, and yet Coulter lives in a style won for her by feminists. I thought Rollins was calling out her hypocrisy. But still, sexualized threats from men are never OK, and as someone whose kink IS BDSM, that shit really does piss me off. Anything non-consensual makes the rest of our community look really,really bad. It’s all about safe, sane, AND consensual.

  3. Betty Boondoggle
    October 31, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    “I saw Rollins’ video as playing on the “traditional” conservative values Coulter clams to support.”

    Bingo. I don’t think he was intending it to come off like he believes women should be that way, do those things, etc. but because she’s part of the party that does, then she why isn’t she practising what she screeches? I saw it as his turning her dumb harpy schtick back on her.

    Sexualized threats that are actually threats are one thing, but mocking someone’s evilness to satirize them is another.

    Of course, that’s just my opinion as a die heard Black Flag fan. I admit to a probable bias in not wanting to believe Hank is a big of misogynist too.

  4. October 31, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    I agree with foxfire and Betty Boondoggle’s take to some degree, but it’s a little muddled. If the point was to mock Ann’s fantasy-world by showing how awful it would be for her to fulfill it there are some things that are off. For instance he says that she will learn that diversity ( the people from all walks of life is bit) ok. This isn’t part of Ann’s fantasy world. So whose fantasy world are we talking about? I think some kind of mixed up combo that muddles the message here.

  5. October 31, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    that diversity *is* ok, I meant to say.

  6. Mnemosyne
    October 31, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    Meh. Henry Rollins is overrated.

    /putting on flame-repellent suit

  7. Shelley
    October 31, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    I agree with the two posters above – Henry used Ann’s own schtick against her, and I loved this clip. In fact, I posted it on my blog a couple of weeks ago as the clip I couldn’t stop watching! I just loveloveloved hearing Henry tell Ann she would ShutTheFuckUp. I really wish she would shut her trap forever. She does all women a disservice by promoting what she promotes.

    I see and understand your point about sexualized threats against women. It’s a huge problem. I don’t think Henry is a misogynist. I think he just really hates Ann Coulter, and I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment.

  8. Colleen
    October 31, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Oh, sweet jebus. Much as I would like nothing more than to serve Ann Coulter a big steaming bowl of STFU, this vid made me throw up in my mouth a little. Honestly, it reminds me a bit of the denial-based gay-bashing that some closeted Republicans engage in because it’s so over-the-top and focused on keeping people in their place, and because it insists on making sex part of the conversation when no one brought it up. Maybe part of his hatred for her is born of a secret attraction he doesn’t want to have? I mean, this sure sounds like a classic sexual fantasy—the errant woman is conquered by the amazing power of Teh Penis and eventually sees the error of her earlier ways and grows to love her captor/lover.

    And even if he can’t see why this is horribly evil to women, can’t he see that he’s engaging in the same tactics he’s decrying Coulter for using (attacking someone personally when it’s their views you disagree with and advocating outrageous punishments for social transgressors)?

    Dear Henry,
    Shut the fuck up.

    No love,

  9. Thomas, TSID
    October 31, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Henry, you have a problem.

    Now, I like you. Really. I’m a Black Flag fan, and I have a hardcover Get In The Van, and I’ve watched your various and usually short-lived TV gigs. But you have issues with women.

    Henry, most of us know how you grew up: Dad a well-placed Navy lifer, you got sent to military school and raised in a crucible of teenboy Neitsche, anxious masculinity and inchoate violence. It shows in the undisciplined and promiscuous violence of your poetry, which usually badly needs an editor. And most of us have seen your spoken word work about your early, nervous interactions with women. You don’t know how to talk to them, you don’t know how to relate to them. They remain largely alien creatures to you.

    So there are some things you have to learn intellectually, instead of feeling them with your gut. And I don’t tell you this because I think you’re incapable of it, or that you don’t care. I think you want to do better, and I think you can.

    The subjugation of women by force is just too real and too present for the joke to work. We all get the play on the contradiction between Coulter’s public role and her professed view of women’s place. Yes, that’s a fine subject for humor. But setting up the joke with the idea of a woman being kept as a slave … well, there’s a reason that’s triggering for a lot of women.

    Now, of course, there’s a subtler joke in there about conservative Republicans and their closeted kinks; that maybe Coulter like Craig and so many others is hiding something. And far be in from me to say that isn’t true. But I don’t believe you’re a kinkster yourself, Henry. And if you’re not, you don’t know how many of us have to police disclosure for fear of discrimination because we could lose custody of our kids, we could lose our jobs, we could lose our friends or become pariahs in our communities, and what we do with our consenting partners is illegal in many places — something that is not even true of GLBT folks having vanilla sex in the US anymore. We’re vulnerable and it’s easy to make us look bad; setting yourself up as one of us to make an edgy joke is not fair, because even though you didn’t mean it at our expense — hey, you’re probably cool with us — it ends up being at our expense. I’m not criticizing the attempt to find the funny; the Coulter-is-a-secret-submissive thing has its appeal, though the bad history of sexualizing public women makes it a much more fraught premise than sexualizing a guy like, say, Cheney. But the setup kind of threw us under the bus.

    We all want Coulter to shut up, so I’m basically with you. But you could have done better.

    Thank you for your time.


  10. Thomas, TSID
    October 31, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    Hey Jill, all my stuff is disappearing, and not into Mod Queue. I think the Spam filter caught it; both here an in the gential mod thread.

  11. October 31, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I’m into BDSM, but I didn’t find this offensive, because it didn’t seem to be about a BDSM kink at all but rather (as others above have said) about a parody of certain conservative stereotypes of gender division of labour. Even the parts where he mocked Ann, it didn’t seem to be on appearance, but rather, it was a parody of how he assumed other rightwingers might mock her behind her back (geography and education, rather than appearance). The only reference to appearance was to her “1,000-yard stare”.

    There was no sexualised threat that I saw, and in fact, no threat of any physical kind (I don’t think he ever once mentioned punishing her for disobeying, did he?). It was all phrased as an invitation for her to choose a certain role, and he was outlining what that role comprised. “I think I have the answer” and “Come on, let’s do this” flag it up to me as an invitation, not a threat (or a promise).

    I understood the parts about Ann learning that diversity is okay on two different levels: firstly, another way of teaching her why the “subservient wife” role may not be that great after all, if the Master of the House holds different views from one’s own, Secondly, as suggesting that maybe living and breathing in the same spaces as the “other types” for months at a time, might actually open Ann’s eyes to the fact that they are human too. But, if any part of the whole thing came across as a threat, it was that part.

  12. ellenbrenna
    October 31, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    Admittedly some of Henry’s schitck grates on me but this is not much different than any of the other “Letters” he has done. He did one that also mocked Arnold Schwarzenegger for his appearance, his banality and his failed attempt to work over the teachers and the nurses.

    It only represents sexualized violence because in real life, not in Henry’s imagination, women who fulfill that role are frequently disempowered and abused. We are interpreting his words through the lens of real life and real politics. He is probably viewing it as a satire of Ann’s hateful speech on women’s proper role.

    On another note don’t bother sending him angry e-mails he says he loves them.

  13. October 31, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Uhhh maybe it was intended to parody the creepy “traditional” values Ann Coulter espouses, but I certainly didn’t get that from it. It just sounds like some scary revenge fantasy. The way he read the “You’re a figure of fun, and I’m going to have fun with that figure” sounded really menacing and gross to me.

    I just don’t think it’s okay for rich dudes to make jokes about how much they would relish owning women.

  14. October 31, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    I’m into BDSM and I found it totally offensive.

    I agree with Jill on this though. Neocons definitely don’t have a monopoly on misogyny and progressives definitely don’t have a monopoly on misandry — even if the tirade is directed towards people each side doesn’t like.

  15. October 31, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Like much of Rollins’ work this is unapologetic satire.

    I wrote something not entirely dissimilar a few months ago.

    Satire is often based, not on a concrete dichotomy, contrasting one point against another, but on something less specific. Rollins is simply being outlandish to contrast the outlandishness of Coulter’s public persona. He’s not making a literal threat of any kind. He’s not advocating any literal action, unlike Ann Coulter. He’s trying to provoke a gut level reaction by people who would agree and disagree alike. He’s obviously succeeded.

  16. October 31, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    (Full disclosure: into BDSM, as a femdomme.)

    When I watched this, I laughed very hard because I perceived it as Hank using Ann’s own rhetoric against her, as well as the spewings of her fellow female conservatives: women shouldn’t be allowed to vote, they should stay at home, not work, and most of all, not say shit if they have a mouthful of it.

    I really think Ann’s worst nightmare would be to see her wish granted.

    I can see how it might be perceived otherwise, but I have never thought of Rollins as being anything other than really effin’ cool.

  17. Betty Boondoggle
    October 31, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    “I can see how it might be perceived otherwise, but I have never thought of Rollins as being anything other than really effin’ cool.”

    Additionally, if you look at this along side all of the other rants from this t.v. show, the intent becomes clear. This triade thing is something he does against all sort of things from the diamond industry to Ann Coulter. Sans context it could easily been seen as a “scary revenge fantasy”.

    I’ve never known Hank to be a scary misogynist before, anyway.

  18. October 31, 2007 at 6:30 pm

    Henry Rollins has pissed people off since his days in Black Flag. I don’t think he cares if he’s politically correct. His aim his to provoke and be funny. He succeeded on the former and failed on the latter.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong. I believe Rollins and Coulter got into very heated exchanges on Politically Incorrect. I think they have a history.

    Henry’s point was he would be cruel to Coulter to show her the meaning of kindness and compassion. It’s not a very convincing message.

    Jill, haven’t we given the Rude Pundit a free pass. He called Coulter a cunt and did a stage performance (video link) of why he would not have sex with her. It’s harsh. Rollins’ spiel was G rated in comparison.

  19. October 31, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    I think I’m more amazed that a woman who makes a living saying the stupidest, most outrageous things she can think of really gets attention. Which is stupider? Ann Coulter or human nature?

    So I’m more amused at those who pay her that attention then the next gem Coulter can come up with. She’ll never run out of shit that offends people.

    The first time I saw her named mentioned online, I clicked the article, read it and thought to myself “okaaayyyy.” I don’t click the links anymore out of a perverse desire not to give Coulter any attention at all. Try it, it works.

    If she was somebody I had to take more seriously, oh, say like running for president, I’d be more worried. She’s as right wing as Phelps in her own precious way. I’ve never taken her as the standard for the right. Personally, I’m neither right or left since I have a tendency to go my own way.

    As for the video clip, the only problem with telling people to shut the fuck up is the reaction a few in the thread have given to Rollins.

    Face it, nobody has to shut the fuck up, mostly because we all don’t want to shut the fuck up. And probably most of all Ann Coulter doesn’t want to shut the fuck up. She’s making too much money and getting all the attention she wants. Why should she?

  20. sophonisba
    October 31, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Re: comments 13 and 14: Holy shit, people are coming right out and saying it. He can’t possibly be doing anything misogynist in this particular instance, because he’s “cool”. Well then!

    I’ve never known Hank to be a scary misogynist before, anyway.

    So–what? What does that mean, the first one’s free? Doesn’t matter the first time? Every guy gets to try it once?

  21. Sickle
    October 31, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    Can I please, please request an instant moratorium on the phrase “…made me throw up in my mouth a little”? Please? It was clever for like a week. It’s so old now.

    And yeah, I agree that Henry was fine all the way up to the sexualized threat. Even if was a part of the same thread of throwing her shit back at her, it was too ambiguous and, frankly, not funny. And neither is “made me throw up in my mouth a little.”

  22. November 1, 2007 at 12:59 am

    I do think Henry Rollins was trying to call Ann Coulter on her hypocrisy, which is all well and good. The thing that creeped me out though was that he really seemed to enjoy the fantasy at the same time – not just exposing her nutty rightwing delusions, but really deriving pleasure from putting her in situations that he pretty clearly thinks would be against her consent. Ick. Not okay.

  23. Niki
    November 1, 2007 at 1:12 am

    I think it’s funny (read: sad) that Henry Rollins has any cred with my generation beyond Black Flag.

    He has no neck and his books weren’t great works of literature, they were the mumblings and chest-beatings of a caveman. Like Kerouac or Hemingway, but with more stubble – your average “I made a fire & pissed it out” crap. I had friends that went to his readings, praised his spoken word, etc. etc….I just never done got it, I guess.

    I also think David Lynch is a woman hating weirdo freak, and all of my friends dig him. I know, I know…no patriotism for our popular American artists. *sigh*

    P.S. I don’t really have a problem with neckless people in general.

  24. November 1, 2007 at 7:29 am

    This is sad. I never thought what I know of his music was anything to write home about. I never understood why people would get excited when he got a cameo in a movie. But I was told he was, like, such a genius in the spoken word world. And now this.

    Yes, he seemed to enjoy it too much. Yes, the “fun with that figure” was beyond creepy. No, I don’t get why this guy should be worthy of note. “Now less than ever!”

  25. November 1, 2007 at 7:31 am

    the Coulter-is-a-secret-submissive thing has its appeal”

  26. November 1, 2007 at 7:39 am

    (Grrr for new browsers.)

    the Coulter-is-a-secret-submissive thing has its appeal

    Does it? Or would it provoke a gut-reaction of, “Gee, if that can make people act like AC, then no, people who are into it shouldn’t be allowed to inject more of it into the voter-base by having children. Yay for them losing custody. Yay for them not having children in the first place. If it’s genetic, because they should have the decency not to pass on those faulty genes. If it’s not genetic, because if they haven’t had the maturity to move beyond that yet, they don’t have the maturity to raise kids.” Just sayin’. :)

  27. Betty Boondoggle
    November 1, 2007 at 8:22 am

    So–what? What does that mean, the first one’s free? Doesn’t matter the first time? Every guy gets to try it once?

    Spare me the theatrics. What I clearly meant was that had he had a history of saying misogynistic things, then I could agree with the criticism of this piece. Since he doesn’t, to my knowledge anyway, I’ll rely on what I already know – which is this sort of mocking is what he does. It’s designed to turn her garbage back on her in an effort to show how sick it really it. In that regard, it does very well, imo.

    The thing that creeped me out though was that he really seemed to enjoy the fantasy at the same time

    Rather like how she seems to geninunely enojoy being needelessly cruel and nasty, huh.

  28. Shinobi
    November 1, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Yeah… listening to him made me gag a little. As someone who IS into BDSM:
    Dear Henry,
    You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. Shut the Fuck Up.

    Dear Anne,
    What this guy said was not cool. But he is still right about the shutting up bit.

  29. Thomas, TSID
    November 1, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Azundris, folks on the right reject the evidence that there are kinksters among them, so they won’t be drawing any conclusions from a connection between conservatism and closeted sadomasochism anytime soon. They deny any connection. As for progressives; well, you wouldn’t want my children taken away because I’m a sadomasochist … right?

    By “has its appeal,” btw, I meant as a subject of satire, alongside Larry Craig and the other members of the conservative closet. I have no interest in playing with people I dislike, or whose worldviews I find offensive.

  30. November 1, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Michael Hussey – I just watched the Rude Pundit video. I really wish I hadn’t.

    I am speechless.

  31. scott
    November 1, 2007 at 11:23 am

    I agree that the not-so-veiled gender dominance stuff is unacceptable and stupid as well. We can call Ann Coulter what she is, a performance artist in the exciting area of know-nothing reactionary hate, without resorting to misogynist dog-whistle language.

  32. Shira
    November 1, 2007 at 10:01 pm

    “There was no sexualised threat that I saw”

    Really? Not even the references to her being an obsequious, submissive concubine? Not the “promise” to “have fun with that figure”?

    To those saying this is “satire” just because you enjoy his other work:

    I don’t care what he was trying to do. What he did was go off on a long sexualized rant about how he was going to rape her into being a good obedient woman who is properly devoted to him (and celebrating his successes and lamenting his failures etc. etc.). It is not a satire of her pro-patriarchal views to talk about how patriarchy sure would be a great way to put that uppity bitch in her place, any more than it’s satire when douchey male undergrads write “satirical” articles about how great it would be if they could rape women with impunity like they used to do. You don’t satirize patriarchy by reinforcing it. At best, it’s an well-produced “gotcha” that succeeds by reminding Ann that she, like all women everywhere, are at the mercy of male sexual violence.

    For this to be satire, the larger point needs to be “this kind of patriarchal dominance is WRONG and EVIL and UNJUST,” not “patriarchal dominance sure would be a sexxxyfun way to teach that bitch a lesson.” Without that larger point, this is just a one-dimensional creepy misogynist revenge fantasy.

  33. November 2, 2007 at 1:12 am

    I hate hate hate Ann Coulter.

    But I think the thing I hate more is how supposedly enlightened fellow liberals and even feminists sexualize the criticisms and insults they throw at her, and without any sense of irony.

    It makes me feel queasy inside.

  34. charles
    November 3, 2007 at 6:32 pm

    i’m going to totally agree with sophonisba, shira, and whatsername on this. Rollin’s remarks are completely outrageous, an obvious threat of sexual violence, boy is that “funny.” but honestly, the people here who’ve defended him, because he’s so cool” are just as repulsive.

    first off, i can’t imagine anyone who has any previous knowledge of Rollins not seeing his obvious problems with women. secondly, so fucking what if this was the first time? is there ANYTHING worse than a threat of sexual violence? i don’t think so.

    i totally agree with whatsername, sexism from progressives/liberals is even more disheartening than the usual societal sexism, because if even they can’t stop themselves from being sexist, what’s the hope for the general society to ever do so. it seems we’ve lost before we even started. this makes me very sick.

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