Author: has written 5276 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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40 Responses

  1. ThickRedGlasses
    ThickRedGlasses June 17, 2008 at 10:43 pm |

    I’m pretty sure animals don’t use contraception. So shouldn’t weirdos like Stanek want people to have sex like animals?

  2. tekanji
    tekanji June 17, 2008 at 10:44 pm |

    I agree that what Stanek said was both ridiculous and vile, but the sheer number of times you casually threw around ableist slurs like “crazy” and “nutbag” really doesn’t sit right with me. Whether or not Stanek actually has a mental illness, it’s still not cool to use slurs degrading people with mental illnesses to attack her. I would recommend reading the quotes and visiting the links in this post: Yes, it is offensive to the targeted group

  3. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne June 17, 2008 at 10:49 pm |

    One cannot be a father without a child.

    I’d like her to say that to a parent who has just lost a child. Maybe she can walk up to a father who has just buried his only son or daughter and tell him that he can no longer refer to himself as a father since, after all, he’s now childless. I think that would go over really big.

  4. tql
    tql June 17, 2008 at 10:53 pm |

    …i think you are reaching. her statement wasn’t racist. a bit over the top to use the fucking like animals imagery, yes. but, i think she was using that illustration generally speaking.

    is it problematic for children growing up without a consistent presence of a father in their life a problem in the black community? yes…

    is a way to avoid that problem to think about who you have sex with, and perhaps do it in either the context of a loving, mutually supportive, relationship – preferably marriage? yes…

    so, what exaclty is the problem?

  5. Just Saying
    Just Saying June 17, 2008 at 10:55 pm |

    One cannot be a father without a functioning penis. Hence, childhood commences at puberty.

  6. ThickRedGlasses
    ThickRedGlasses June 17, 2008 at 11:00 pm |

    the sheer number of times you casually threw around ableist slurs like “crazy” and “nutbag” really doesn’t sit right with me. Whether or not Stanek actually has a mental illness, it’s still not cool to use slurs degrading people with mental illnesses to attack her.

    Are you confessing something here?

  7. Chel
    Chel June 17, 2008 at 11:10 pm |

    A is kinda like B, and B is kinda like C….so A IS C. Ohhhh I got it……

    Wait, what?

  8. Dana
    Dana June 17, 2008 at 11:26 pm |

    Wow, that woman is insane. And yes, while I hate the word retarded I don’t see “crazy” or “insane” as ableist. Maybe I should, but I really don’t see people using “insane” or “nutbag” for that matter to insult people with actual mental illnesses. Whereas retard is a bloody hideous word that is used as a weapon against disabled people. That’s the difference in my head.

    Her whole speech made me sick, and made nooooo sense

    …i think you are reaching. her statement wasn’t racist. a bit over the top to use the fucking like animals imagery, yes. but, i think she was using that illustration generally speaking.

    is it problematic for children growing up without a consistent presence of a father in their life a problem in the black community? yes…

    is a way to avoid that problem to think about who you have sex with, and perhaps do it in either the context of a loving, mutually supportive, relationship – preferably marriage? yes…

    so, what exaclty is the problem?

    What is the problem? Just because you see the nuclear family as the ideal doesn’t mean everyone else does. And you don’t need to be abstinent to not become a single mother, there’s this little thing called contraception (yes, there is a risk but life is risk and sex is an important part of the human experience)

  9. jessilikewhoa
    jessilikewhoa June 18, 2008 at 12:52 am |

    she lives somewhat near me and it makes me itch like a bad rash. in her defense weve got oil refineries and nuclear power plants all in the surrounding area, her lunacy might not actually be her fault.

  10. Emma
    Emma June 18, 2008 at 3:50 am |

    …i think you are reaching. her statement wasn’t racist. a bit over the top to use the fucking like animals imagery, yes. but, i think she was using that illustration generally speaking.

    is it problematic for children growing up without a consistent presence of a father in their life a problem in the black community? yes…

    is a way to avoid that problem to think about who you have sex with, and perhaps do it in either the context of a loving, mutually supportive, relationship – preferably marriage? yes…

    so, what exaclty is the problem?

    I totally agree with you, tql. Jill, I think both you aare stretching the whole thing.

    Just because you don’t like her, and you’re all pro-choice and abortion and whatever, you’ve literally PULLED a meaning out of her statement, that I pretty much have to be searching for to find. Her simple point was, a lot of people are careless and have sex indiscriminately and wildly. I REALLY doubt she was calling black people animals. I’ve heard that phrase used tons of times, and in reference to both black AND whites.

    The whole father-conception thing… don’t we usually call men who are expecting ‘fathers-to-be’? When someone is pregnant, is the question not usually, ‘who is the father?’…. Because um, if someone is carrying a baby, it means there are parents involved? Look, I’m all for women who choose to keep or not keep their baby, but Is this how far you’ll go to encourage your pro-abortion cause? Attacking anyone who dares to say that the fact you have a living thing growing inside you is in fact human?

    I think you sometimes need to be a bit more objective in the way you report stories. All i could read here was an angry person tearing down what was actually a sensible statement.

  11. Cara
    Cara June 18, 2008 at 7:28 am |

    Reading those last two paragraphs, my jaw dropped open and eyebrows shot up so far that my face hurts. Fucking hell.

  12. tql
    tql June 18, 2008 at 9:11 am |

    Just because you see the nuclear family as the ideal doesn’t mean everyone else does.

    So, father’s are irrelevant, right?

    Yes, I do think that the nuclear family is ideal. Call me closed-minded if you want, but I think that is true. Children need fathers. Children need consistent, strong male presence in their lives. Now, I understand that there are women who choose single parents and lesbian parents, and I don’t shit on them. That is their choice. But, I sincerely hope that they take steps to make sure that their children have a consistent male presence in their life, absent a father.

    But what Obama was talking about, and Stanek attempted to comment on, was the problem of single parenthood in the Black community and the need for fathers to step up and take responsibility for the children they father and not abandon them. If you really don’t see it as a problem that many black youth grow up without a father or even a father-figure, then you are blind and ridiculous.

  13. Official Shrub.com Blog » Blog Archive » Feminists are fine with being bigots if it’s just ableism

    [...] respect, used ableist slurs such as “crazy” and “nutbag” in a post about an anti-choice leader named Jill Stanek’s bizarre, inflammatory, and racist language. Since I respect Jill, and know that she understands that fighting bigotry with other kinds of [...]

  14. tekanji
    tekanji June 18, 2008 at 9:50 am |

    ThickRedGlasses: Excuse me?

    Dana: Did you read the link I provided? If not, I would highly recommend it. One of the reasons I linked it was because it contains statements from people who are from the group affected by the various ableist slurs. If I’m correct in assuming that you don’t suffer from a mental illness, please consider that your feelings might be influenced by privilege. One of the primary functions of privilege is that it encourages and enables people not to see the harm that certain words do to people without that privilege. Just because you aren’t aware of the continuing stigma against people with mental illnesses, and the way that the casual use of ableist slurs perpetuates that stigma, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.

    I’m not asking you to take my word on it, but rather to do some research of your own. Listen to what people with mental illnesses have to say (the post I linked is a good starting place). Try to understand where they’re coming from and what they face. Just please don’t leave it at a flippant “maybe I should, but I don’t” statement because that is as good as saying that issues that affect people with mental illnesses aren’t worth understanding beyond the surface level of “using retard as an insult is bad”.

  15. roses
    roses June 18, 2008 at 10:32 am |

    TQL and Emma, are you unaware that the idea of black people having animalistic sexuality is a very established racist stereotype?

    And you know, Stanek is right about prevention but wrong that the only way to prevent an unwanted child is by not having sex until you’re ready to settle down and have children. A much more realistic way of preventing unwanted children is careful use of birth control.

  16. The Raving Atheist
    The Raving Atheist June 18, 2008 at 10:57 am |

    “One cannot be a father without a child. Hence, childhood commences at conception.” Something tells me that Stanek failed Logical Reasoning 101.

    No, Stanek’s conclusion follows perfectly from the premise previously announced by Obama: “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.” If a man is a father at the time of conception, then the product of conception is a child.

    You may, of course, disagree with employing the word “father” to refer to the man responsible for pregnancy, much as some pro-choicers object to calling the woman a “mother” at any time prior to the actual birth. But Stanek was merely pointing out that Obama does use the word “father” to describe the relationship between the impregnator and the fetus.

    There is nothing remotely racist with Stanek’s post. Obama identified what he perceives as a problem in the African-American community, and Stanek faulted him for not suggesting pre-marital abstinence as a solution. Her use of the phrase “sex like animals” refered to premarital sex generally, not sex as practiced by African-Americans.

    But if you are going to fault Stanek, you should fault Obama as well. He said “They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men”, thus refering to black men as “boys.” He also said that those who “commit crime” are a problem in the African-American community, thus implying that “blacks are criminals.” At least one commentator has noted that Obama’s speech represented a “right turn” aimed at winning the general election by demonizing black men. Why did he single out any community at all, when he could have just limited his criticism to the class consisting of irresponsible fathers?

  17. tql
    tql June 18, 2008 at 12:35 pm |

    Roses: I’m very aware of the racist stereotypes around Black people and sexuality. I am a Black woman. But, I don’t think Stanek’s comments are racist.

    Why did he single out any community at all, when he could have just limited his criticism to the class consisting of irresponsible fathers

    Because he was speaking at a Black church on Father’s Day. In essence, he was preaching to the choir and irresponsible fathers and the negative effects of single-parent households is wreaking havoc in the Black community. This isn’t the first time he has made these comments about Black fathers stepping up to the plate. He mentioned it in his “More Perfect Union” speech. He said it in his comments in Selma, AL in March 2007. The words are not new, nor is the concept, and sadly, nor is the need.

    How about you stop getting your panties all in a knot when someone deigns to mention that father’s are a necessary and important of a child’s life…

  18. Tapetum
    Tapetum June 18, 2008 at 1:50 pm |

    The fetus in the womb is not a child anymore than the ten-year-old in my basement is an adult. Child refers to a specific stage of development, generally between about 3 and 13 years of age. Before that is toddler, baby, fetus and embryo, after that is adolescent, young adult, adult, etc.

    If there’s anything that makes me grind my teeth about pro-life argumentation it’s the deliberate confusion of terms. “Let’s use this word for one meaning and make a valid (or at least valid sounding) argument. Then let’s change the meaning of the word and pretend that it has no effect on the argument we just made! Fun for all!”

    Oh, and Raving Atheist? Please tell me you can tell the difference in usage between “Those men are behaving like boys.” and “Those boys aren’t doing what they should.” in reference to grown men. One is descriptive, the other is insulting.

  19. LadyTess
    LadyTess June 18, 2008 at 2:06 pm |

    I really hate Stanek. Her lackeys are all buddy buddy like the comments are all a big knitting club. There are usually only one or two people who comment with some common sense but they tend to be overruled by the fetus-worshipers. Not that it is suprising since it is an anti-choice blog.

    And people stop complaining about what words Jill used and focus on what that Stanek-thing said. I did see the racistic tendencies in not just one instance but TWO in what Stanek said. The first was the animal thing the second was the implication that this only applies in “black culture”. =/ How is that not racist?

    FYI, I think what Dana was getting at that you don’t need just a MAN (father) to be an important part of a child’s life. Because hello, a lesbian/gay couple can be parents just as well as a hetero couple. But I’m not Dana so I can’t say if thats what she really meant eventhough i think it is.

  20. The Raving Atheist
    The Raving Atheist June 18, 2008 at 5:58 pm |

    Child refers to a specific stage of development, generally between about 3 and 13 years of age.

    But we were discussing Jill criticism of Stanek’s logic in interpreting Obama’s use of the word “father” to describe the status of the sperm-contributing man at the time of conception, not some textbook definition of “child.” Ultimately, the confusion of terms was caused by Obama. Whether his confusion was justified, i.e., whether fetus/embryo/baby/toddler/child/adult distinctions have any effect on the argument is another question (and I assume that even at this blog, the distinctions don’t have an effect at the baby through adult stages, as far as what can be permissibly killed).

    Please tell me you can tell the difference in usage between “Those men are behaving like boys.” and “Those boys aren’t doing what they should.”

    I can, but my point was that any use of the word “boys” in connection with black men can be misconstrued, just as Jill misconstrued Stanek’s use of “sex like animals” in the same context.

  21. ThickRedGlasses
    ThickRedGlasses June 18, 2008 at 6:08 pm |

    tekanji, what I’m saying is that I don’t think using those words to describe someone who says racist and sexist things means you’re making fun of people with a mental disorder. I was just wondering if you equate words like “nutbag” with any mental disorder.

  22. Sarah
    Sarah June 18, 2008 at 6:46 pm |

    tekanji, what I’m saying is that I don’t think using those words to describe someone who says racist and sexist things means you’re making fun of people with a mental disorder. I was just wondering if you equate words like “nutbag” with any mental disorder.

    ThickRedGlasses: I don’t think telling someone with a mental disorder, etc. “oh, well, when I used your condition as an insult, it wasn’t aimed at you!” makes sense or makes them feel better. Also, it promotes the general stigma and misunderstanding about mental illness/etc in our culture, which is actually harmful in concrete ways. (Yes, even as concrete as financially!)

    Furthermore, I don’t particularly like being associated with a racist, sexist jerk (Stanek) because of an accident of birth/brain chemistry. Somehow, being “crazy” doesn’t make me say the shit she does…so please don’t equate the two things.

    (I’ll admit that, while “crazy” and “lunatic” were clearly ableist to me, I thought “nutbag” was comparing Stanek to a scrotum. I found that insult more acceptable, if technically equally inaccurate and a teeny bit sexist… :p)

    And people stop complaining about what words Jill used and focus on what that Stanek-thing said.

    LadyTess: No. It’s irresponsible not to call each other out on our crap, even if someone else is behaving much worse. What Stanek said was awful, but she’s not going to change. Jill, however, is willing to listen (and she seemed to agree, which is nice.) That makes talking with her more productive than commenting on the suck of Stanek, in a way, right?

    (To clarify: I’m not comparing Jill to Stanek in any way except favorably! :p)

    And yes, while I hate the word retarded I don’t see “crazy” or “insane” as ableist. Maybe I should, but I really don’t see people using “insane” or “nutbag” for that matter to insult people with actual mental illnesses.

    Dana: I don’t see a lot of racist slurs in my day-to-day life (being white) but that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize them when they are clearly pointed out to me by awesome people like Jill. Same should go for you, and ableist slurs (as pointed out by tekanji here). Plenty of people with mental illnesses do get targeted with these words as insults, or as tools to cast doubt on their abilities, point of view, professional competency, emotional state, etc.

    As for the actual article: that’s pretty freakin’ racist! “Sex like animals” = “wow, I don’t even have to try and sneak the racist in, my readers eat this stuff up!” :p

  23. Kay Olson
    Kay Olson June 18, 2008 at 7:23 pm |

    ThickRedGlasses, If you look for it in ‘net discussions about any one kind of prejudice, you begin to see a startling pattern:

    People consciously discussing one form of bigotry often use another form to make their point.

    Whether that’s a matter of limited focus, language limitations or lack of language creativity, or the need to subjugate someone to feel rhetorically strong, I don’t know. Just because you (generic you) don’t personally recognize the language used as referring to a group of historically Othered people doesn’t mean it’s not the same old dynamic of throwing one group of people under the bus to defend another.

  24. Lottie
    Lottie June 18, 2008 at 8:02 pm |

    If I’m correct in assuming that you don’t suffer from a mental illness, please consider that your feelings might be influenced by privilege.

    [...]

    Listen to what people with mental illnesses have to say [...]

    I know the above quote was addressed to Dana, but I felt the need to comment.

    If PTSD, anxiety and depressive disorders count as mental illness (and I think we’ll agree that they do) I can assure you that not all mentally ill people are offended by words like “crazy”, “nutjob” or even “insane.”

    The common usage/meaning of these words is so far removed from anything referring to actual mental illness these days, that being offended by them seems almost deliberate or self-inflicted; one almost has to be trying to be offended.

    I’m sorry if that sounds harsh. I do not want to be insensitive or uncaring. I do my best to be careful with my words, and I try not offend people when I can help it. I just think this is going too far. I believe that most people these days understand that when we say “crazy” or “nutbag” we’re referring to what we consider irrational, over-the-top ideas (often political) and that we are in no way referring to an actual mental condition.

    I will not use “retarded” as an insult because it still commonly refers directly to mentally disabled people. I will not use “gay” as an insult because it still commonly refers to homosexuals. But the words in question here (crazy, nutjob, etc.) have evolved to the point that they mean something altogether different now, and I will continue to use them, without apology, to refer to the ideas of over-the-top “wingnuts”, fundamentalists, etc.

    And privilege plays no role in my feelings on the subject.

  25. mythago
    mythago June 18, 2008 at 9:21 pm |

    Yes, I do think that the nuclear family is ideal. Call me closed-minded if you want, but I think that is true. Children need fathers. Children need consistent, strong male presence in their lives.

    Then you should be entirely in favor of same-sex marriage between men, so that children can have TWO strong male presences in their lives.

  26. tql
    tql June 18, 2008 at 9:25 pm |

    Mythago: Really, you are missing the point of what I’m saying. But okay, I’ll agree with your ridiculous comment. Yay for gay dads!

    Jeez….

  27. RyanRutley
    RyanRutley June 18, 2008 at 9:31 pm |

    At least one commentator has noted that Obama’s speech represented a “right turn” aimed at winning the general election by demonizing black men. Why did he single out any community at all, when he could have just limited his criticism to the class consisting of irresponsible fathers?

    Raving Atheist, I should start out by making it clear that I don’t mean to single you out when I go on this brief rant.

    But goddamn, anyone here who has watched Obama’s Father’s Day speech, raise your hand. Nono, not the clips on CNN, I mean the whole thing (also on CNN), start to finish.

    Those of you that have, I direct your attention to the part when Obama is talking about the responsibilities of Fatherhood. Barack Obama did NOT call out black men for being irresponsible fathers, he called out irresponsible fathers. He _did_ “limit his criticism to the class consisting of irresponsible fathers”. After having done so, he, in front of a black audience in a black church, drew the statement into a black social context.

    But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

    You and I know how true this is in the African-American community. We know that more than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children.

    I repeated, he didn’t call out absent black fathers, he called out absent fathers, then drew it into a context his audience was closest to – the black community.

  28. LadyTess
    LadyTess June 18, 2008 at 9:34 pm |

    Sarah:

    No. It’s irresponsible not to call each other out on our crap, even if someone else is behaving much worse. What Stanek said was awful, but she’s not going to change. Jill, however, is willing to listen (and she seemed to agree, which is nice.) That makes talking with her more productive than commenting on the suck of Stanek, in a way, right?

    (To clarify: I’m not comparing Jill to Stanek in any way except favorably! :p)

    I’m not saying don’t call her out on it I’m saying don’t focus solely on it like some people are doing. She even made a different post on this and any further comments should be directed there and not here. Sorry if i wasn’t clear but I’ve gotten really agitated at the amount of off-topic straying people have been doing lately.

  29. Kyra
    Kyra June 18, 2008 at 10:08 pm |

    “We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception.” If a man is a father at the time of conception, then the product of conception is a child.

    Where, precisely, does the first statement establish that a man is a father at the time of conception? The problem in question seems to involve fathers who are not present for the raising of their children, which generally happens post-birth.

    It can therefore refer to current fathers of born children needing to realize that they still have responsibilities, or to the need for men to realize their responsibilities as they become fathers and those responsibilities come into existence. During pregnancy, it doesn’t seem to me that a father can do all that much for the baby directly—most anything he might do during that time seems to fall under being the husband/boyfriend/lover of a pregnant woman.

    That being said, if Stanek thinks one use of “fathers” referring to men at conception-time is sufficient proof of childhood beginning at conception, I’d like to introduce her to the way many women tell their parents they’re pregnant: “You’re going to be a grandma/grandpa/grandparents.” Going to be.

    Although this common-phrases-as-proof-of-biology concept as a whole seems a whole lot like having a swordfight with dildoes: kinda stupid.

    Yes, I do think that the nuclear family is ideal. Call me closed-minded if you want, but I think that is true. Children need fathers. Children need consistent, strong male presence in their lives.

    Extended family. Close friends. Honestly, I don’t like the nuclear-family model at all, as it has always separated individual families too much from the rest of the community, and dumped too much child-rearing responsibility on the genetic donors, especially the mothers. Something so all-consuming as raising a child, IMHO, seems to be best spread out a bit more—many hands make light work, and all that, and our society as a whole is not at all good at that. Preindustrial societies, in which the community interacted with children more, and extended families, are both much better at not overburdening the lives of the people with the primary responsibility, and in this civilization at present, I most like the idea of, say, a gay couple and a lesbian couple making arrangements to conceive children together, and cooperating together in their raising.

  30. mythago
    mythago June 18, 2008 at 11:39 pm |

    Mythago: Really, you are missing the point of what I’m saying

    Really, it says quite a bit about you that you think ‘gay dads’ are ridiculous.

    Urging fathers to take responsibility for their children, thinking the ‘nuclear family’ is best, and wanting a strong male presence in children’s lives are three separate things.

  31. Tapetum
    Tapetum June 19, 2008 at 10:46 am |

    Based on the pro-life statements, I guess my husband is a deeply irresponsible, absent father. After all, he was absent for the bulk of both my pregnancies. For the second one we were reunited three days before I gave birth.

    Funny how the children don’t seem to have been negatively affected by his absence from their gestational lives.

  32. Baltimoore
    Baltimoore June 19, 2008 at 1:42 pm |

    Jill Stanek became pregnant as an unwed teenager, divorced her child’s father and chose to become a single mother at 23 after a short, disasterous “shotgun” marriage, and claims that she was a terrible parent. She then whines about those awful NEGROES doing the same thing. She has an amazing double standard.

  33. Bitter Scribe
    Bitter Scribe June 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm |

    One cannot be a father without a child. Hence, childhood commences at conception.

    Other conclusions from the same line of reasoning:

    One cannot be rich without money. Hence, everybody is rich.

    One cannot have a baseball season without a World Series victor. Hence, the Cubs won the World Series.

    One cannot have reasoning without logic. Hence, pro-lifers are right about everything.

  34. phylosopher
    phylosopher June 19, 2008 at 3:26 pm |

    Regarding Stanek’s blog, there are certainly racist undertones, codewords, etc.

    Recently: spreading of the Rev. Wright soundbyte

    she touted the unfounded Michele Obama Whitey video

    attempted to start a brown people versus black people “population contest”

    and let’s not forget her denigration of Father Pfleger

  35. Ms. DePointe
    Ms. DePointe June 30, 2008 at 2:21 pm |

    Where do you start… Mr. Obama is pure evil. He has no relationship with God, and most certainly is not a follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    “punished with a baby” is bad enough to have heard from this man’s lips. but now this revelation?

    so tell me ya’ll, what is the difference between what this MAN has allowed to continue to happen and even stood on the side of… and a young girl who kills her own newly born child?

    this is the sadest of human events.

    Jesus especially loves children.

  36. Believer
    Believer July 8, 2008 at 2:46 pm |

    To Raving Atheist:
    Appreciated your post on June 18th, 10:57 — well thought- out and logical. Also appreciated the fact that it was made without the vulgar language.

  37. cc
    cc September 20, 2008 at 7:04 pm |

    Actually Jill Staneck is not mentally ill and has passed more than one lie detector test. It is a shame that Ghouls like you still defend the indefensable. Obama is a liar.

  38. “Oh! Thank god! I’m not like you crazy!” « Taking Up Too Much Space

    [...] please put away your tired arguments that “crazy” is totally divorced from people with stigmatizing mental health diagnoses, [...]

  39. Political Blogging - Tilted Forum Project - TFP - Sexuality, Philosophy and Political Discussion

    [...] that Jill Stanek is likely unreliable by providing her lies, misstatements, and fundamentalism: Feministe “Pro-Life” leader Jill Stanek shows her racist colors again Italian abortion mafia My pillow-talking presidential pick Obama’s relevant interview: Lies on lies [...]

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