John Mayer and his white supremacist man-bits

I may have mentioned my hatred of John Mayer five or six times before. He is possibly my most-hated male celebrity. He is also the gift that never stops giving, because his totally bizarre, narcissistic and offensive comments never end. Example of the day: His latest Playboy interview. A few highlights:

1. “There have probably been days when I saw 300 vaginas before I got out of bed.”

2. “My biggest dream is to write pornography.”

3. “I feel like women are getting their comeuppance against men now. I hear about man-whores more than I hear about whores. When women are whorish, they’re owning their sexuality. When men are whorish, they’re disgusting beasts.”

4. “I am a very…I’m just very. V-E-R-Y. And if you can’t handle very, then I’m a douche bag. But I think the world needs a little very. That’s why black people love me.”

5. “My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a fuckin’ David Duke cock. I’m going to start dating separately from my dick.”

And that’s not even the part where he talks about Jessica Simpson as “sexual napalm.” Oh J. Don’t ever change.

UPDATE: Renee has more, and it is horrific and involves John Mayer using the n-word and musing on what it’s like to be black.

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85 comments for “John Mayer and his white supremacist man-bits

  1. February 10, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Well here is my answer:
    He and Sarah Palin would make a good couple :-)

  2. February 10, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    I’m sorry, I hate to bring Family Guy in at a time like this but…

    “That’s enough, John Mayer.”

  3. Granny T
    February 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    When a man brags about the large number of women he’s had sex with, I find myself thinking that he’s probably so incompetent in bed that he can’t get any of them to come back for seconds.
    I’ve never heard of John Mayer before, but he seems to be incredibly boring.

  4. February 10, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    John Mayer = irl troll

  5. Julie
    February 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    It sounds to me like he’s incredibly unhappy.

  6. norbizness
    February 10, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    HOW is he still ABLE to SAY things?

  7. Lurkin Merkin
    February 10, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I’d like to think that John Mayer is some sort of prank…that one day he’ll reach behind his head, pull off the mask and say “I can’t believe I got away with it for this long! You all should have seen the looks on your faces!”

  8. preying mantis
    February 10, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    He’s a walking “Oh, John Mayer, no” moment.

  9. P.T. Smith
    February 10, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Jill, are we confused or offended? I don’t even know what he means when he talks. I mean, it sounds offensive? But I just don’t know what he is actually saying? I don’t like when I am confused and offended, because when I am confused, I like to solve the problem, but when I am also offended, especially in regards to people like JM here, I just worry that if I figure things out, I am going to be offended and disgusted.

    • February 10, 2010 at 1:36 pm

      Yeah, I think being offended gives him too much credit and implies that he actually makes any sense at all. I’m more offended that he is this stupid, but yet continues to talk.

  10. February 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    P.T. Smith,
    Offended and disgusted sounds about right.

    I assume he thinks he’s being hipsterish and amusing, but I can’t help but be reminded of something my mom used to say when we kids were being incorrigible brats: You aren’t funny, cute, or smart.

  11. February 10, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    OK, so I’m not crazy. There has always been something about him that made me cringe. And, um, it makes me wonder just WTF was up with Jennifer Anniston that she would be able to tolerate him (unless his media persona is a complete fictional character created just to annoy/bemuse/confuse people – kinda like Lady Gaga).

  12. February 10, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    Oh great. I come in from the cold and spend 20 minutes warming up with some crappy office coffee, only to read this and find that now there is a blizzard in my vagina. Thanks, John Mayer! Way to suck all the hotness out of the room and leave me with libido frost bite. Douchebag.

  13. Ela
    February 10, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Who is John Mayer? Never heard of him (really!).

  14. melancholia
    February 10, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    I thought saying ridiculous things was just his schtick; like somebody above said, he’s just an IRL troll??? Don’t feed the troll – just ignore!

  15. leedevious
    February 10, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    When he says his dick is a white supremacist, does that mean his dick only likes white girls?

  16. benvolio
    February 10, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I can’t shake the impression that he’s only taking the piss. Reporters can be massively credulous, ime. But I could be wrong.

  17. February 10, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    He’s NAST. Just nast.

  18. February 10, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    If it’s all a joke to him, I think that makes it even more repulsive.

  19. sophonisba
    February 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I find myself thinking that he’s probably so incompetent in bed that he can’t get any of them to come back for seconds.

    Oh yeah, you don’t have to even speculate about it. In the link, he’s talking about “vaginal orgasms”: the oblivious man’s way of saying “I am bored by any part of a woman’s body I can’t stick my dick in.” And he thinks his fear of the clit is worth bragging about.

    It’s like a woman boasting about how she makes all her boyfriends come without ever touching their dicks. Sure, it can be done, but nobody thinks of it as the way to prove your woman-prowess.

    leedevious, I don’t think he’s trying to be subtle, that’s exactly what he’s saying. That’s what the “Benetton heart” thing is about; he is saying he would like to sleep with them but he can’t get it up for anybody but white girls. If it seemed confusing that he could really mean that because why he would talk about this so publicly, it is because he is what they call “a racist.”

  20. February 10, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    That anyone takes him seriously at all is beyond me.

  21. Lucy Gillam
    February 10, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Shelley – I think you’re right. There’s a guy in a couple of my online communities who likes to toss misogynistic language into posts almost at random, and people keep saying, “Oh, he’s just a troll.” To which I respond: I’m not sure that being the kind of person who thinks it’s great fun to rile people up by pretending to be a misogynist is actually that much of a moral step up.

  22. Gnome Chompsky (nom nom nom)
    February 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    It would have been really cool if you had read the original article instead of regurgitating the “standalone quotes about vaginas.” But whatever, more hits and all that.

    Here’s the link if you want to go back and read it.

  23. Kristin
    February 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    What does he mean by “very”? Is he using it in the Heathers (’80’s film) sense? Jill is probably right that one shouldn’t attempt to make sense of it, but I just… What the fuck? Really? What a self-worshiping sack of shit John Mayer is. Ugh. I keep thinking he’s outdone himself, and yet… He keeps talking.

  24. Mel
    February 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    John Mayer just likes attention, and because his music is so bland and awful, he’ll get more of it by being offensive (I’m sure he thinks of it as “edgy”) than he ever would just by doing what he supposedly does best – being a mediocre musician. He’s outrageous, so he’ll get interviews just to see what awful things will he say next. And then people will be furious and write and talk about it and give him even more attention. I’m tempted to just ignore him and hope he goes away when everyone is sick of this loser and moves on to the next trending topic.

    Also, fuck John Mayer.

  25. JB
    February 10, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Also, his music is awful.

  26. February 10, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Funny, I was just making a list of the most annoying parts of that interview, and here you picked out over half of the exact same sentences!

    What she said.

  27. sara
    February 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Is the name of the “Mr. Men” character on his T-shirt pixelated out in this picture to protect the innocent? Or is it somehow obscene/offensive?

  28. Bai Li
    February 10, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    It looks like his shirt said “mr. douchebag,” but for some reason got blurred and had “badass” written above it? What a shame.

  29. Bai Li
    February 10, 2010 at 6:51 pm
  30. February 10, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    That fourth one will never make sense to me.

  31. snaps
    February 10, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    i don’t get this guy at all.

    his music is boring (although i guess he’s ok on the guitar, technically) and he’s… well, ugly. when he sings he opens his gob to this giant grimace, it’s like staring into a vast abyss – eurgh.

    if that’s really his personality coming across in these interviews then i guess he’s a very, very, V-E-R-Y sad asshole.

  32. William
    February 10, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I have a certain level of respect for trolling, I’m a firm believer in the idea that taking anything too seriously in this ridiculous little world of ours is generally a bad idea.

    The thing about trolling, though, is that it has to be done with a sense of self-awareness. Mayer doesn’t strike me as someone with much self-awareness. I think he might sometimes realize that he offends people and that he has some vague hipster inkling that this might be a good thing, but describing it as trolling is like thinking your cat shits in the litter box out of consideration for you.

  33. Xenu01
    February 10, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    @Natalia: !!! That is so true! John Mayer IS an internet troll in real life!

    I wonder… do you think that 65% of troll comments on feminist, womanist and anti-racist blogs are in actuality left by a bored John Mayer, who is trolling instead of irl having the sex with ladies?

  34. Marksman2000
    February 10, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Who is John Mayer? An actor? Musician?

    I apologize, but I tossed my TV in the garbage 15 years ago and have no idea who these people are.

    I suppose I’ll use Wikipedia.

  35. February 10, 2010 at 9:14 pm


    You mean, my cat doesn’t express profound consideration for my comfort and health? What is this, I don’t even….


    Anything is possible. I could totally imagine Mayer hitting on Jill, if given half the chance. (Sorry, Jill)

  36. Politicalguineapig
    February 10, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Nat: Cats go in the litterbox ’cause their instinct is to cover their tracks in a desert.Which is where I’d like to toss John Mayer. I liked one of his songs.. but I agree with Hugo. Yeesh. No wonder Jennifer Aniston dumped him. He deserves to stay single for life. (And I pity the mail-order bride who ends up with him.)

  37. HN
    February 10, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I couldnt even make out what he was trying to say…assuming this is his idea of weird humor which is probably too lenient

    i mean look at the apology, he said he was sorry for using a word that has the history that it does, but he’s also sorry for trying to intellectualize (??) and for being so “raw” in interviews…sounds to me like he’s not being public about his thoughts
    What i dread is the conversations that invariably arise whenever someone says anything racial. People make the “we’re too PC” argument but people forget why political correctness exists in the first place, not to be fashionably correct and modest but to be respectful and to acknowledge the social/historical circumstances that have informed contemporary US society

  38. Nicole
    February 10, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    Seeing the longer comments and his listing of black women he finds hot… I’ve actually got the sinking feeling that by “white supremacist dick” he might mean he prefers to sleep with BLACK women. Which adds a whole other level of racist and misogynistic implications. I need a shower now.

  39. Francesca
    February 10, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Are you sure you don’t like him? You seem to paying him a lot of attention.

  40. Nicole
    February 10, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    …okay, I saw the question that *preceded* it now and I was wrong, he’s definitely talking about sleeping with only white women. This does not make me feel any better.

  41. Francesca
    February 10, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Just so you know, when I said “Are you sure you don’t like him? You seem to be paying him a lot of attention”, I meant it in the spirit of Judith Butler’s idea that we are always to some extent complicit with what we speak out to condemn. It was a subtle (?) way of saying it might be better just to ignore the guy.


  42. southern students for choice-athens
    February 11, 2010 at 5:22 am

    “There have probably been days when I saw 300 vaginas before I got out of bed.”

    “Whatsamatta John, remote got stuck on fast forward again?”

    (Sorry, 70s humor.)

    Um, seriously…this guy is about as likely to change his mind by our posts as something like the anti-choice Genocide Awareness Project (one of the groups specializing in gross anti-choice signage) is going to take down it’s signs or move on any faster by arguing with them.

    Yes, it’s not pointless to post about this guy, but if there’s nothing concrete we can do to either change his mind or give him the ‘ol Vaudeville hook to get his off stage this is just venting anger against racists, misogynists, etc, all of whom relish the anger they are provoking.

    For example, witness Focus on the Family and their Super Bowl ad.

    Or as Rodney Dangerfield would have put it before the Super Bowl were he a religious anti, “witness my anti-choice ad….please!”

    It would be a kind of censorship which the ACLU genes in our bodies would rebel against to say that even this …person… should not be able to perform like anywhere or sell his records (assuming they aren’t hate-filled, which knowing nothing about the guy we can’t say) in some offbeat local record store or online. So John, if you’re reading this (but you’re probably not), we mean it, we’re not trying to crimp your artistic style, ok?

    But if there is anything we — speaking for the blogging community — can do to make sure this guy is a spokesperson for absolutely nothing we can possibly have a voice in affecting, let us know, ok? Redeem yourself, John, denounce racism and misogyny, or maybe make up some story about how you only said these things because you were a FBI mole operating undercover and only investigating misogynists….redemption is possible, John, if you’re reading this.

    But as it is it’s impossible to imagine him as a spokesperson or anything more than some unnamed session musician performing in some ad.

    What could one endorse and make these kind of statements, anyway?

    “There have probably been days when I saw 300 vaginas before I got out of bed.”

    Solo male sex toys, perhaps?

  43. Ellid
    February 11, 2010 at 7:28 am

    His music is so crappy I can’t see why people keep buying his albums. Give me Bruce Hornsby any day.

  44. February 11, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Poor guy, I bet he’s got a very low self-esteem inside that little boy’s mind. I bet his father was a narcissist too and he may have some hidden anger towards his mother.

    This phenomenon is rising over here too. Men feel threatened when women become stronger. I’ve also experienced the hatred of anti-feminists after I started blogging.

  45. idiolect
    February 11, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Ha, I’m with norbizness on this one — his comments have a certain pungent “eau d’offensive” to them, but mostly I’m just incredulous that he is still, you know, saying things. Who keeps giving this guy the time of day? Can we just blacklist him from, you know, speaking?

  46. Marksman2000
    February 11, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I just got back from Wiki. Good Gawd! Why are you people talking about this guy?

    That little pasty-faced piece of shit looks like some minimum wage scrub who works the drive-thru at Burger King and pops zits in the bathroom mirror during break time!


    Who in their right mind would date this putz? Unbelievable…

  47. Athenia
    February 11, 2010 at 11:58 am

    I really liked his Mothers and Daughters song.

    So everytime he does his Tucker Max schick, it breaks my heart a little.

  48. Morningstar
    February 11, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Jill, if there is one thing you should be very happy about right now, it is the fact that the entire world finally realizes how much of an imbecile John Mayer is.

    You are not nearly as alone anymore.

  49. AnotherJenn
    February 11, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Besides the whole “David Duke Dick” thing, what he said about relationships really bothered me. The stuff about how he preferred to just masturbate because he didn’t like having to deal with other people’s desires, emotions, and needs was really disturbing. Clearly the man has major issues.

  50. Theresa
    February 11, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    But really, who cares who or what John Mayer f***s?

  51. Maria
    February 11, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    He apologized:
    Following the publication of inflammatory remarks in a recent Playboy interview, John Mayer unleashed a barrage of apologies on his Twitter account. But that wasn’t the end of it for the 32-year-old rocker. On Wednesday, at the Sommet Center in Nashville, Mayer interrupted his live set to apologize further and attempt to give insight into his previous way of thinking about fame and the media, according to video of the concert.

    “In the quest to be clever, I completely forgot about the people that I love and the people that love me,” he said.

    During the Playboy interview, Mayer uttered the N-word several times, spoke of his lack of attraction to black women and bragged about “why black people love me.”

    As his bandmates, some of whom are African-American, played backup music at Wednesday’s show, Mayer blamed both himself and the media for his ill-advised comments. “I went, as I have begun to do, into a wormhole of selfishness and greed and arrogance,” he said, “thinking that if I would just continue to be speedy and witty and pull together as many fast words and phrases as I could, I could be clever enough to buy myself another day without anybody pinning me down and saying, ‘You’re a creep.’

    “I think it’s important that you know that everybody on this stage is here playing with me, not because they condone what I say in any given interview,” he continued. “They’re on this stage because they support [me] as a possible future grownup.”

    As the crowd roared its approval, Mayer seemed to fight off tears as he declared that the fallout from the interview had made him change his ways.

    “It’s just not worth being clever,” he said. “I just can’t. I quit the sound-bite game. I quit the media game. I’m out. I’m done. I just want to play my guitar to whoever is around.”

  52. Bex
    February 11, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I quit the sound-bite game. I quit the media game. I’m out. I’m done.

    Oh, if only I could believe that this was true!

  53. Q Grrl
    February 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Oh, poor baby, too bad you can’t get much traction out of blaming the “media game” for what comes out of your own damn mouth. At 32, the little-boy game doesn’t work, it just digs your hole deeper. And your bandmates? They aren’t supporting you – they play your gigs because you pay them well.

    You aren’t a creep Mr. Mayer, you’re a Nice Guy ™.

  54. chipchop
    February 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Aw, he thought he was being clever! Adorable.

    As if the “media game” somehow DEMANDS that you be a racist, sexist asshole.

  55. akeeyu
    February 11, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Methinks somebody just realized that pissing off everybody but white male douchebags might be a bad financial move?

  56. February 11, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I missed the part where giving an idiot press-time is a good idea.

    Anyone heard of this woman, I forget her name… Sarah Palin? Yeah, that’s it. Funny story, she never would have co-opted an entire demographic if the media hadn’t been so ready to “love to hate” her.

    Seriously, ignoring morons is much more effective if you want their brand of idiocy to disappear.

  57. February 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Anyone else find it funny that those who are against “giving an idiot press-time” are doing the exact same thing by adding to the discussion?

    Kind of like how a coworker will send a response to a mass e-mail saying “please do not ‘reply-all'” by replying to all. :)

  58. Kristin
    February 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Add queer folks to the list of people John Mayer offended. It isn’t getting as much press as the bit about Jessica Simpson being “sexual napalm,” but here:

    PLAYBOY: Among the things we’ve read about you online is this: You’re gay. Have you ever kissed a man?

    MAYER: The only man I’ve kissed is Perez Hilton. It was New Year’s Eve and I decided to go out and destroy myself. I was dating Jessica at the time, and I remember seeing Perez Hilton flitting about this club and acting as though he had just invented homosexuality. All of a sudden I thought, I can outgay this guy right now. I grabbed him and gave him the dirtiest, tongue-iest kiss I have ever put on anybody—almost as if I hated fags. I don’t think my mouth was even touching when I was tongue kissing him, that’s how disgusting this kiss was. I’m a little ashamed. I think it lasted about half a minute. I really think it went on too long.

    PLAYBOY: Perez describes you on his site as a womanizer, a word you don’t like. Is it fair to say you have a love-hate relationship with him?

    MAYER: I used to. Now I believe we’re fully into fighting with breakaway chairs. I think he’s pretty much inert at this point. Perez is to hating as Richard Simmons is to health and well-being. [laughs] You can print that. Perez is so authentically off his rocker he will not let you finish a sentence. I think he has some dark things in his past. I think he comes from a little bit of hurt, and I say that with an understated tone. At the end of the day I go to his site, but I don’t see him as a threat. The impact of his tone is beginning to wane. I give a lot more credit to Harvey Levin at TMZ.

    PLAYBOY: Would you kiss Harvey Levin?

    MAYER: I would rim him, probably. I can’t just repeat the kissing trick.

  59. Rob
    February 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Lest anyone forget, John Mayer also thinks ‘your body is a wonedrland’.

    Hey, cocaine’s a hell of a drug.

  60. erin
    February 11, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I read his interview in Rollinstone and I am not surprised. He is entitled to your opinion and I am mine. I think that all of the women he has dated feel sorry for him. When they realize how much of a mess he is they move on. I was kind of irked by the comments he made about his white supremacist penis. Now I am indifferent. He is an asshole. Hey John Mayer maybe just maybe you are upset because no woman wants to f-you honey( black , white , asian..etc). Stay home with your porno and you do what you do best.

  61. February 12, 2010 at 12:50 am

    As I have said on other blogs re: the topic of John C. Mayer, he’s not only a racist, but also a sexist, misogynist and a homophobe. He didn’t just stop at the N-word, although that would have been reprehensible enough. What disturbs me as much, if not more, than John C. Mayer’s comments is the fact that men and women – both Black and White – want to give this guy a pass and reduce his words to mere mistakes. Me locking my keys in my car is a mistake. John C. Mayer’s words, on the other hand, represent someone who is the lowest form of humanity.

  62. February 12, 2010 at 12:53 am

    One more thing: The fact that John C. Mayer is playing the victim, blaming the media, and then propping up his Black band members to validate that he is a good White person after all speaks to the fact that he just doesn’t get it, and never will. It’s just too bad that too many of fans are just as lost and ignorant as he is.

  63. Passerby
    February 12, 2010 at 1:11 am

    300 vaginas before you get out of bed? Yeah, keep dreaming.

    He can’t sing, so I don’t even really know why he’s famous. Makes me happy that I never liked him from the start.

  64. February 12, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Oh, I know why cats do the mysterious things they do. Because I have had many successive cats, and all have been very pleasant. And a cat’s mere instinct is more useful to society that John Mayer’s entire shtick, or so we keep discovering.

  65. February 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    This motherfucker doesn’t realize that the issue is not whether what he said is taboo, but that it is actively, openly oppressive.

  66. February 12, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    At least his apology touched on exactly why his comments were out of line. Admitting all of his faults doesn’t get him in the good again (wait, was he ever?), but I appreciate that he admitted that it was all inthe name of trying to look clever.

    The local pop music morning show, usually full of misogynist and other terrible things, even hate a little hate-fest for John Mayer this morning. That was pretty surprising.

  67. February 12, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Cacophonies, that’s assuming he understands why he is apologizing. And he does not.

  68. norbizness
    February 12, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Then he should be MADE to UNDERSTAND.

  69. February 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I missed the part where giving an idiot press-time is a good idea.

    Do you read this blog? We give idiots press-time all the time. It’s part of how we point out really fucked up cultural ideas. I honestly don’t really understand the “Just ignore him” arguments — he’s an incredibly popular cultural figure who made really disgusting racist, sexist comments in a major magazine. Since when do we ignore that?

  70. William
    February 12, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    Then he should be MADE to UNDERSTAND.

    Trying to explain why what he said was offense to John Mayer, I imagine, would be very much like the experience of whoever taught him to play the guitar. At first you’d be impressed at how quickly he learned, then you’d be amazed at how good he seemed to get, eventually you’d have the sinking suspicion that he’s just aping the best of what he’s read with a lack of comprehension or soul, and finally you’ll walk away disgusted when you realize that its just business for him.

  71. Bill
    February 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    They come from a sense of privilege that makes it easy to dismiss the situation. When you realize how deeply Mayer’s comments harm people of color, especially young women, you are going to rightly slam Mayer and any publication that gives him a venue for spreading his shit.

  72. Bill
    February 13, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Oops, borked the quote function. That was in response to 70: “I honestly don’t really understand the ‘Just ignore him’ arguments”

  73. Susan Lucy
    February 16, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Has anyone noticed that “apologies” are anything but these days? “I’m raw…I need to stay away from the media.” I’m sorry – what part of that is an apology? An apology stems from the understanding that you hurt someone, that you are sorry you hurt them and then following up with ACTION to right the wrong you committed. His apology seemed more like an endorsement of his coolness of being so “raw”. What a world.

  74. Sarah
    February 22, 2010 at 8:36 am

    You know what?
    I sympathize with him, quite a bit.
    I’m a white woman, but more often I feel like a rich white dude for some reason or other — I spend more time with guys — and the thing is, it’s absolutely liberating not to give a shit what anybody else thinks. That’s what rich white male Americans do, and it’s a terrific goddamn thrill, to just paint the world over with your own fingerpaints.

    I’ll be damned if I’ll let anybody take that prerogative away from me.

    I think most people’s beef with John Mayer is that he feels free to say what his dick likes and doesn’t second-guess it. He gets to determine women’s and men’s worth by the stirrings of his member. Kind of rough if you’re on the receiving end, I’ll grant. But have you ever considered how fun it must be to do?

    • February 22, 2010 at 9:47 am

      Oh yes, Sarah, reminding a marginalized group of their perceived worthlessness is like, the must fun thing EVAR. What’s wrong with society these days, when we criticize people for exercising their prerogative to say racist and harmful things? Don’t they care about John Mayer’s funtimes and lolz?

      • February 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

        Okay, less sarcasm this time around, I have to say that I’m am really infuriated right now. If you care more about the “liberating” feeling of oppressing other people more than you care about social justice, this is seriously just not the blog for you.

  75. Sheelzebub
    February 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Yes, Sarah. White d00ds feel free to say whatever they want and pass judgment on other people–and then, when they’re on the receiving end, it’s an offense of epic proportions.

    And it’s not just “kind of rough” to be on the receiving end of this shit. Women are judged by their physical appeal–and if an entire group of women are judged to be lesser because they don’t have “ideal” (read: Caucasian) features, it’s more than just some slight ego bruising. I suggest you read the blogs of women of color who deal with this, and talk to women who’ve been wholesale dismissed as human beings all of their fucking lives because they are not seen as physically appealing.

  76. Sarah
    February 22, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Understatement on my part.

    Didn’t mean that it’s “slight ego bruising.” I do read those blogs and I’m aware it’s not slight. That’s not my angle; I’m not saying “Oh, he’s not really racist,” or “Oh, it doesn’t really do any harm.” It’s harmful. No argument there. You couldn’t make John Mayer’s comments without several hundred years’ worth of history putting white men on top of everybody else.

    But you’re right, this is not really the blog for me.

    Because sometimes — thank God I’m not like this all the time — I really do “care more about the ‘liberating’ feeling of oppressing other people more than [I] care about social justice.” It’s good to be the king. It’s something people don’t like to talk about.

    Have none of you ever been in a situation — maybe not related to race or gender, but temporarily — when you were on top and it just felt good to walk all over other people?

    • February 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

      Of course I have, Sarah — when I was a child. I’ve since learned to control my selfish impulses and realize that however good some things may feel, that doesn’t make them any less wrong. I’ve found ways to feel good that don’t include harming other people, and in fact, being actively aware of the fact that my actions are hurting another person, including on a systematic and long-term level as well as a personal one, completely destroys any joy that I may have otherwise obtained.

      So, you have privilege, you think it’s pretty fucking sweet to have privilege, and you think it’s fun to abuse it. Good for you. I can’t do anything about that. But I can — as a moderator at this here blog — tell you to go do it somewhere else.

  77. Sheelzebub
    February 22, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Have none of you ever been in a situation — maybe not related to race or gender, but temporarily — when you were on top and it just felt good to walk all over other people?

    No, but there is therapy for that, I believe (not actually joking there). Bullies tend to do that. People I respect? Not so much.

    And not for nothing, but if Mayer is going to say crap like that, he shouldn’t get all whiny after getting called out for it.

    When you say that you sympathize with him, when you say you’ll be damned if you let anyone take that prerogative away from you, well. . .it’s hard for people to see it as anything but a shrugging off of really oppressive and nasty attitudes and actions.

  78. southern students for choice-athens
    February 22, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Not sure how much longer this thread of conversation may be active, but FWIW here’s a comment in reply to Sarah that hopefully will be helpful:

    Have none of you ever been in a situation — maybe not related to race or gender, but temporarily — when you were on top and it just felt good to walk all over other people?

    Well, outside of fantasies of revenge against something imagined or real, no, not anyone right here where we are, because it’s not emotionally healthy people in general to do things that hurt or oppress others. And maybe John Mayer feels that way too, as he apologized (to his fans, at least) for his statements recently, and as well another artist, Amanda Palmer, who is a lot more popular than Mayer with alternative music and performance art fans, who made some arguably offensive statements related to a mock duo of conjoined twins named Evelyn Evelyn that she and her performance partner dreamed up (and involved a number of other well-known alt-music performers in creating). One hopes that Amanda Palmer’s apology will be enough, and we don’t need to hear similar apologies from the other artists who will likely continue to be involved in her project, including Francis Bean Cobin, a member of My Chemical Romance, etc.

    It should not be impossible to use imagery and references to sensitive topics like race, gender, and various forms of oppression and violence all at the same time in art and music, and even (carefully) to mix that in with a sense of humor. That’s been done more successfully in the past, perhaps, one might have to go back a few decades to get especially good examples which the alternative/liberal/civil libertarian community strongly supported, but it might be worth dropping a couple names here and there, like Lenny Bruce:

    Paul Krassner:

    and Steve Allen:

    …all of whom used (or gave venue to the use) of strong imagery of the things various progressive activists were fighting against – racism, sexism, unjust wars — in performances and creative work of different kinds, but who also took great care to focus the themes they used and choose the environment in which their expressed themselves to carefully target their audience of supporters and opponents, and they didn’t condone the use of their art in ways that might hurt the people they were trying to be advocates for.

    Numerous good examples of this can be found in some of the routines of Lenny Bruce, with one of the most famous ones in the Wikiquote link above, an improvisation on what good could be done if well-known politicians were to start to use in their daily life and conversations with the press the derogatory racist term “nigger” which at the time was still commonly used by racist politicians and segregtionists. Lenny’s hope was that if that were done, the term might lose some of it’s negative force: “’til nigger didn’t mean anything anymore, then you could never make some six-year-old black kid cry because somebody called him a nigger at school.”

    So no, it doesn’t simply feel good — or it should’t feel good — to be on top and walk all over other people. It can justly feel good to prove a point or to disempower someone or something that has taken advantage of oneself or others, but that’s righting a wrong and that’s supposed to feel good, it’s not just replacing one form of oppression that one has been affected by with another more to one’s advantage.

  79. Alara Rogers
    February 22, 2010 at 11:19 am

    I think it’s fine that John Mayer gets to pass judgement on other people. Who wants to take that right away from him? He’s an American; his free speech rights shall not be infringed.

    What people are saying is not that John Mayer does not have the right to say whatever dickish thing he wants and hurt whoever he wants to hurt, but that a. he doesn’t have the right not to be called on it and b. he should not be making money or acquiring fame because of it.

    If he wants to be a dick and hurt people’s feelings and give total non-apologies, he can do that! He has that right. Everyone’s entitled to express an opinion. And we are expressing the opinion that he is an asshole and a waste of space, and we have that right too! That’s what’s great about freedom of speech — it’s freedom for everyone, not just rich entitled white guys.

    In practice, of course, rich entitled white guys are given access to megaphones that the rest of us don’t have, but this should hardly inspire sympathy for them. If a guy with a megaphone uses it to shout nasty, hurtful comments, well, he’s got to expect that a whole lot of people will hear him, decide he’s a dick, and make fun of him for it.

  80. Sarah
    February 22, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Well, I’ll make a (dis)graceful exit.

    I actually do think you folks do good work on this site. I admire the whole social justice project. Wish I could be part of it. Unfortunately I just haven’t got it in me. It’s that selfish/childish thing. I’ve never been able to love my neighbor as myself. I’m too big a misanthrope.

    Good luck to you, though. Honestly.

  81. Dionca
    February 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    “Justice is nothing but the advantage of the stronger!” Thrasymachus says… and so, too, does Sarah, apparently. You know, as an earnest, considerate, and rational minority female, I often forget how to cope with arguments like this. Times like these, I pick up my Collected Works of Plato and remind myself. Sarah, please [re]read the Republic, notice how your argument aligns with that of Thrasymachus, and be humbled.

    Other’n that, I’m in full agreement with Lauren, William, and Incognegro on all of your points. And so happy to have found this blog–you all argue intelligently and without too much of the ad hominem bilge on the rest of the blogosphere!

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