Some of the Right Things

The subtitle of this blog is “in defense of the sanctimonious women’s studies set.” Some folks will recall where that title came from: when the best-known Democratic blogger in America loudly dismissed feminism as some special interest interfering with Team Blue’s entitlement to win elections. And that’s not an isolated problem. As the inimitable Melissa McEwan pointed out at Shakesville recently, and even more recently because some people needed clarification, there are a lot of fauxgressive guys in the blogosphere who belittle and snicker at women and marginalize issues that “only” concern women (roughly half the population).

(The primary season has been evidence, if more was needed, of that. See Zuzu’s posts here and here. And I say that as someone who never intended to, and did not, vote for Clinton.)

So it’s good that some of the “big” political bloggers say some of the right things. I won’t attempt an exhaustive list, but I’ve been particularly impressed with Atrios, of Eschaton, who is Duncan Black. I read him for the econ – he has that PhD and all – but it always raises my spirits to see him say explicitly feminist things.

For example, when Judge Deni in Philadelphia called the armed rape of a sex worker theft of services, Zuzu covered it. Atrios picked it up right away, and gave the judge the “Wanker of the Day” headline.

And then, when the now-famous Charlotte Allen self-hating misogyny appeared in the Washington Post, Atrios personally called out the editor, John Pomfret, naming Pomfret the “Wanker of the Day” and quoting some of Allen’s other disgraceful remarks to highlight Pomfret’s insipid excuse that Allen’s work was satire.

Then, he answered the question, “Why Don’t Women Read the Post?” He said, “Today I could read opinion pieces from David Broder, Robert Novak, David Ignatius, Robert Joseph and J.D. Crouch II, and Tim Westrich. It’s truly a mystery.”

And most recently, this.

Now, that stuff is good, but he recently said something which required actual insight, and one not common among het guys:

“I’m reminded of my college days, when rape awareness education for women was all the rage. It started off in a sensible place, but it also gave women a list of “risky behaviors” which made them feel responsible for their own rape if they actually did crazy things like walk out alone at night.”

I’m not claiming perfection for him, of course, and I’m sure he’s said some things that would make us shake our heads or even our fists in the past. But that last part has the sound, to my ears, of someone who listens to the women in his life when they tell him what it’s like.


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8 comments for “Some of the Right Things

  1. tinfoil hattie
    May 9, 2008 at 11:26 am

    Atrios is a good guy. There have been a few times I’ve been disappointed in some of the things he’s said, but not usually about women, I don’t think.

    Not to mention, the first feminist blog I ever read was Pandagon, because Atrios linked to it — and often.

    Also, I admit: being an economic ignoramus, I often skip his econ posts. (Hangs head in shame)

    I really, REALLY outghta take an econ class.

    Sigh.

  2. May 9, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Atrios da bomb. And of the “big boy bloggers,” he is probably the best.

  3. May 9, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Sorry if this is a little off topic, but this is what I thought about after I read the post and some of the links.

    Last night I heard Geraldine Ferraro criticize the Obama campaign for saying that women will come around to him in November because of Roe v. Wade and the supreme court. I laughed because alot of Clinton voters are well past menopause. So unless they care for young women’s (that flocked to Obama) right to chose, I don’t think the Obama camp understands Clinton women voters. Aside from that, it ticked me off that other issues such as healthcare, the economy, etc. are not seen to have a feminist link and something like Roe v. Wade is used as a carrot.

    Which is why I love this site, particularly how you express feminism in world issues such as food cost. I don’t want to go on about how each political issue is feminist, but only to say that we still have far to go if feminism is seen as a fluctuating trend by most men.

  4. May 9, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for linking to that Kos post. I *knew* there was a reason I couldn’t stand to look at that site but couldn’t quite put my finger on it until re-reading that. I’d forgotten all about it.

  5. May 9, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Wow, he really lit up the bingo card on that one, didn’t he? Sheesh.

  6. charles
    May 9, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Fauxgressive guys

    that is a great word for it.

    i’m a man who is a one issue voter, bigotry. i hate bigots, whether sexists, racists, homophobes, elitists, whatever. and i have been literally stunned by the sexism on supposedly progressive sites. the sexist practices and words are one thing, but what’s even more disturbing to me is the seeming total cluelessness that there is even such a thing as sexism. in my naivete, i thought only ReThugs and other hate groups claimed sexism and racism were a thing of the past, boy have i been proven wrong on that.

    i appreciate greatly links to a couple of men who get it, since they are so hard to find. i have a couple as well, altho i have not been reading long so i may have missed something, there is also a front-pager named Meteor Blades at Kos that has been honest about the sexism that has flourished there. and my favorite male blogger, Nez, aka the Unapologetic Mexican, also addresses sexism in his posts.

  7. sophonisba
    May 11, 2008 at 4:10 am

    I laughed because alot of Clinton voters are well past menopause. So unless they care for young women’s (that flocked to Obama) right to chose, I don’t think the Obama camp understands Clinton women voters.

    Well, someone certainly doesn’t. Women have traditionally become more liberal as they age, just as men become more conservative. Furthermore, women old enough to remember Griswold v. Connecticut are the hardcore supporters of reproductive rights. Maybe you plan to stop giving a shit about any woman but yourself once you hit menopause, but if that is the case, you are an exeption to the (well-documented) rule.

    Maybe you haven’t heard, but Clinton is well past menopause. And yet her support for reproductive rights has always been as strong and often stronger than Obama’s. You must find that quite a puzzler.

  8. May 11, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    My point is that older women care about other issues besides abortion rights. Social security benefits and healthcare are more of a factor in every day life than the right to choose since they are out of childbearing years. And I am well aware and in full agreement that the right to choose is about more than just abortion. I doubt this will happen, but if McCain becomes extremely liberal about social security and healthcare, will older women vote for Obama just on the abortion issue? Bush made a big enough impact on the Supreme Court that if Obama or Clinton get a chance to nominate someone things can go either way; the damage has already been done. What if Obama is president and no one retires from the Supreme Court and he does not get reelected? Where will we be then? Also, will older Clinton supporters be bitter enough to vote for McCain or stay home? Do they feel young women should have supported the woman candidate?

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