I’ve been meaning to write about Guy Cimbalo’s “Ten Conservative Women I’d Like to Hate-F*ck” piece in Playboy, but the magazine pulled the online version, so I haven’t actually been able to read it. Jezebel has it pretty much covered, though. The general complaint about the conservative women listed is that they have the nerve to be both beautiful, opinionated and female — and so instead of simply arguing that they’re wrong, Cimbalo splashes his rape fantasies across the pages of a men’s magazine.
Many of us would like to think that liberal dudes are somehow more enlightened than conservative ones when it comes to gender issues, and that lefty guys are more receptive to outspoken, bold women. Many of them are. But for a dude like Cimbalo, all it really takes is an outspoken, bold women with whom he disagrees to let loose the most vile sexual insults.
What liberal dudes (and some liberal women) fail to realize is that when we attack right-women using sexualized insults, we help to build and maintain a system by which all women are open to those kinds of attacks, and where it’s socially acceptable to target a woman for her gender and her sexuality rather than her opinions or her character. Just because conservatives wrote the book on this one doesn’t mean it’s ok to turn it around on them — although of course it is irritating to see the same people who hurl sexist insults at women like Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Sonia Sotomayor get all up in arms* at the fact that the National Organization for Women didn’t respond to a minor Playboy article that was online for 24 hours before being pulled. This may be shocking, but a huge organization like NOW may have been otherwise occupied with the news of an abortion provider being gunned down (and the killer threatening more violence) and a pending Supreme Court nomination. Certainly the Playboy article is offensive and worth calling out, but I can see why it didn’t make the #1 spot on NOW’s agenda.
All of that said, though, the article is of course horrific. I’m glad Playboy pulled it, but I’m disgusted that they actually thought it acceptable to run in the first place. And I suppose it is kind of nice to see conservatives waking up and realizing that sexism does exist — even if they’re still happy to hurl it at liberal women. My only remaining question is, when is Ann Althouse going to come around and say they should be flattered?
*Linking for the video only, not the rest of the post, which I think is wrong but don’t have the patience to address.
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