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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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52 Responses

  1. zuzu
    zuzu September 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |

    …why is this hard?

    You haven’t met Mean Mr. Mustard before, have you?

  2. Josh
    Josh September 15, 2010 at 6:57 pm |

    Long-time Delaware voter here. I haven’t seen it reported anywhere yet, but it should not surprise anyone that when O’Donnell previously ran and was trounced, she ran on a social conservative platform, the main plank of which was anti-choice. She is Palin without the depth, or experience as an elected official.

    I saw that O’Donnell said that she will get the votes of Hillary-Democrats. There are as many “Hillary-Democrats” in Delaware who will vote for O’Donnell as there are people on my couch, which is zero.

  3. ellen
    ellen September 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm |

    Masturbating is equally as bad as cheating? Well… shit! Then I guess I might as well just start cheating like crazy ; it’ll be a bit more fun and it apparently isn’t any more wrong! I can’t wait to tell my boyfriend about this!!!1!

    All sarcasm aside, I still hold out hope that she’s changed her mind in the intervening 15 years and just hasn’t gotten around to telling anyone about it—or maybe she’s made a recent statement supporting her 90’s views that I’ve missed out on?

    Argh.

  4. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage September 15, 2010 at 9:05 pm |

    I think you may have encountered the latest concern troll talking point. Someone was on about that in comments over at Hullabaloo. It didn’t make any sense there either.

  5. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin September 15, 2010 at 9:46 pm |

    I simply don’t see the issue here. I’m a liberal Christian and a liberal Feminist, and I don’t see any problem with masturbation or contraception use. At all.

  6. Chelsey Worth
    Chelsey Worth September 15, 2010 at 9:52 pm |

    Oh my gosh no way! I just commented there a few hours ago! My thoughts were (almost) the same as Jill’s. That talking about someone’s kooky views on masturbation is not the same as speculating how many times a day Christine O’Donnell masturbates. I do think that it’s interesting that he was willing to bring up an issue involving a female candidate’s possible sexualization by the media, but only on the terms of conservative vs. liberal. That conservative female candidates are being smeared and sexualized by the left and the liberal media, when really, sexism is the culprit, and almost all female candidates, regardless of stripe, feel its effects from many different angles, whether it’s the voters, the media, the party, or their opponents.

  7. Marksman2010
    Marksman2010 September 15, 2010 at 9:52 pm |

    I’m old enough to remember when AIDS was “discovered” for what we know it for today. I remember the attempts to misclassify it as a “gay disease.” And I remember the push to get funding to combat the problem.

    Today, because of those efforts, some of the people diagnosed have been able to significantly protract their lives. I wonder where we would be if people like Christine O’Donnell had their way. It’s terrifying.

  8. Bushfire
    Bushfire September 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm |

    That really super-smart writer says that liberal feminism is dead, but also mentions you as the writer of a liberal feminist blog. So I guess Feministe is a Liberal Feminist Zombie????

  9. brodelbrueh
    brodelbrueh September 16, 2010 at 1:05 am |

    How did William Jacobson go to Hamilton, but still end up so ignorant on social justice issues? I’m not saying Hamilton doesn’t have some improving necessary, but was he living under a rock?

    And definitely very interesting how after completely fabricating sexualization in Maddow’s (and Jill’s) piece, he doesn’t call out any of his commenters on their very blatant sexualization of Maddow. I guess it doesn’t count against her because (a) she’s a lesbian (and therefore obviously inherently is pure sexual energy and not worthy of respect) and (b) a liberal (see previous parenthetical statement).

  10. Heather Aurelia
    Heather Aurelia September 16, 2010 at 5:19 am |

    If mastrubation is cheating than I cheated a lot…….A LOT! Lol, I hate it when conversatives are against fun things.

  11. groggette
    groggette September 16, 2010 at 9:06 am |

    Bushfire, my vote’s on liberal feminist vampire.

  12. becky
    becky September 16, 2010 at 9:18 am |

    I love how he calls you “the person” who runs Feministe… *puke*.

  13. zuzu
    zuzu September 16, 2010 at 9:26 am |

    I suppose trying to ban masturbation is the latest in a progression (or regression, more accurately) from banning abortion to banning birth control to banning Mr. Tub and Rosey Palm and her five sisters.

    It’s funny, and yet it’s not funny. I don’t think O’Donnell has a chance in the general, but in the meantime, her views will push the Overton window. Goldwater was once considered a dangerous radical, after all, and now he seems downright sane.

  14. Sergey
    Sergey September 16, 2010 at 9:27 am |

    you dont think saying “maybe she’s just afraid of getting caught in the act” crosses the line from talking about her views to her practices?

  15. g_whiz
    g_whiz September 16, 2010 at 9:39 am |

    I really, truly wish I hadn’t clicked that link. This is the textbook case for missing the point. The reason Rachel Maddow is talking about Christine O’Donnell’s views on masterbation is not to ponder her masterbatory practices, but, and this is a shock: to ponder why on earth anyone in a modern society would make this a platform issue, or give it stage time whatsoever (while some in the other blog were quick to point out unemployment is rampant). What is utterly unimportant to this argument (and blatantly sexist) is whether or not either women are “sexy” to a particular observer. O’Donnell’s views are more socially conservative than a lot of conservatives I know of and that is well worthy of underscoring.

  16. Matt
    Matt September 16, 2010 at 10:05 am |

    How about the distinction he draws between Alan Colmes and Jill? I get the notion that this law professor thinks that feminists shouldn’t be allowed to talk about sexual politics or the politics of sexuality especially where women are criticized for their politics. It’s easy to claim feminism is dead when your view of an appropriate role for feminism (inherently sexist?) does not include taking a stance on the original issues of sex, gender, and sexuality.

  17. oldlady
    oldlady September 16, 2010 at 10:20 am |

    <blockquote cite="comment-327525
    "She is Palin without the depth, or experience as an elected official."

    Palin has depth?

  18. octogalore
    octogalore September 16, 2010 at 11:16 am |

    I didn’t understand Jacobson’s point either. You weren’t trying to sexualize her, as he claimed.

    I am not concerned about the fear that Zuzu mentioned that O’Donnell’s bizarre views will push the Overton window. This Henninger article says it well: people voted for her despite her social views and not because of them, out of a desire to reduce the size of gov’t and spending. (I don’t bring this up to litigate economic politics here :) ). Most conservatives and independents are embarrassed about her social views. If anything, conservatives seem to be more attracted to a Mitch Daniels-type strategy of calling a truce on social issues.

  19. Thom
    Thom September 16, 2010 at 12:02 pm |

    g_whiz: and this is a shock: to ponder why on earth anyone in a modern society would make this a platform issue, or give it stage time whatsoever (while some in the other blog were quick to point out unemployment is rampant). (Quote this comment?)

    Has she made this a platform issue? I haven’t seen anything suggesting she has. The reference comes from a near decade old video appearance on MTV. I think her comments in the video are…odd. I mean, she actually suggested that if a guy “alerady knows what he likes, what am I doing there.” (Yes, Christine, hetersexual men would rather masturbate than have access to sex with an actual woman. Sure). But I haven’t actually seen any evidence that she actually ran on “masturbation is adultury”.

    (I think there are plenty of arguments against her candidacy and worry that this one will backfire. Masturbation is like adultury is a more common idea among the religious than I think Jill is giving it credit for being.

  20. zuzu
    zuzu September 16, 2010 at 12:49 pm |

    Thom, I don’t know if she’s explicitly made her anti-masturbation stance a platform issue, but she’s made a living out of promoting chastity for quite some time. Plus, she was an adult when she made those statements on MTV (and wrote articles echoing the sentiment), and hasn’t repudiated them.

    Mind you, she’s got much, much bigger problems than being anti-masturbation; there’s the lying about having a master’s degree (let alone a bachelor’s), the financial shenanigans, tax issues, and the whole critics-in-the-bushes business.

    octogalore: Most conservatives and independents are embarrassed about her social views.

    Which is one reason she’ll lose. Another is that the Delaware GOP establishment, which tends to be more moderate than the rest of the country’s GOP base (hence Castle) isn’t going to help her. And they’re the ones who do the GOTV stuff.

  21. Sex, Lies, and Christine O’Donnell « Women’s Glib

    […] as Jill over at Feministe puts it: What we are talking about are Christine O’Donnell’s views on masturbation, which are […]

  22. Manju
    Manju September 16, 2010 at 1:31 pm |

    Jacobson needs to get grip on himself. Doesn’t he want people to be thinking of O’Donnell when they’re all alone being the curtain pulling the lever?

    What he really ought to do is give them a hand.

  23. zuzu
    zuzu September 16, 2010 at 1:32 pm |

    BTW, Thom: I went looking for information on O’Donnell’s actual platform, only to find that she’s scrubbed her campaign website of anything other than a donation link. And even her 2008 site – which has been taken over by critics who kept up the original content, with commentary — has had content removed at her insistence.

  24. Thomas MacAulay Millar
    Thomas MacAulay Millar September 16, 2010 at 1:56 pm |

    As of this morning on TPM, Scotty Rasmussen had her behind by 11 points. That probably understates it because (1) Rasmussen is generally believed to have a Republican house effect of a few points; (2) the more voters hear in the run up to the general, the more they’ll learn not just about her bizarre views, but about her financial issues, which paint a picture of basically a con artist; and (3) like Zuzu said, the ground operation will not help her and she can’t just buy one.

  25. Thom
    Thom September 16, 2010 at 2:03 pm |

    BTW, I am definitely not trying to defend her. I think there is a danger of riling up the base that she appeals to. Seriously, i know a lot of Christians that would not disagree with her assessment of masturbation. It’s less “fringey” than I think some want to believe.

    I do not disagree with Jill’s points of how these things can shape how she approaches stuff like Sex Ed….but most of what I have seen about this is not that nuanced…it’s more like pre-teen boys giggling about sex. And that could back fire and bring out the support from conservative Christians who see her and their own values being attacked. I find it doubtful that she will win-but I didn’t think she would win the primary…so I am not willing to say she will lose without a doubt. Hammering away at the mastubation thing has no possiblity of hurting her support…they don’t think her ideas are crazy. But the other issues? Lying about degrees? Her lack of fiscal responsibility? That’s damaging to anyone who is looking to send a fiscal message to the government with their vote.

  26. Hot Tramp
    Hot Tramp September 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm |

    I am totally dressing up as a Liberal Feminist Zombie for Halloween.

  27. zuzu
    zuzu September 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm |

    I dunno, Thom. I wouldn’t say that there’s enough of a base of that sort in Delaware to make that much of a difference, especially if the local party operations just don’t do any kind of voter outreach for her AND the local Democrats are turning out their own voters (as I sure as hell hope they would).

    The other factor is that even if you have people who share her views, not all of them will want to see those views enacted into law. Just like you get a lot of Christians who are personally anti-abortion, but don’t think it’s right to legally prevent anyone else from doing what their consciences dictate.

    Far more toxic, I think, than using views that she’s publicly expressed and defended and could at least try to put into place if elected, is discussion of her own sexuality as a way to discredit her, especially because to all appearances, she actually walks her talk. I understand the urge to ask why conservatives who gay-baited Elena Kagan aren’t doing the same to a 41-year-old unmarried woman with no boyfriend, but frankly, as a 41-year-old unmarried woman with no boyfriend who doesn’t see a damn thing wrong with that and doesn’t see why it’s anyone else’s business, I find that worrisome. Even if she tried to gay-bait Mike Castle.

    However, it should be noted that the local press in Delaware, from what I’m hearing has been ALL OVER her financial and biographical irregularities, as well as her critics-in-the-bushes paranoia.

  28. octogalore
    octogalore September 16, 2010 at 3:42 pm |

    Zuzu — I agree. She will most likely lose. My point is just that her most likely short stay in the political eye won’t move the social center to the right as her views are looked at as unserious and embarrassing.

  29. Josh
    Josh September 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm |

    Old Lady: That was my point.

    Zuzu: the local press has been all over her financial troubles. A month or so ago, the News-Journal (the local Gannett paper) interviewed her for that story that ended up having her staffers checking the bushes for spies. She also had a neighbor who complained that she let her row house go to seed (she apparently sold it to her one-time live-in boyfriend to avoid foreclosure, but he would not comment for the story) and caused rodents of some kind to move into the neighborhood. The story was a gas to read. After that story, O’Donnell stopped talking to the News-Journal–even though all they were doing was citing public records and quoting her, and I don’t think they were quoting her out of context.

  30. gaylib
    gaylib September 17, 2010 at 7:08 am |

    Well, if you’re going to use a video from 1996 to take pot-shots at someone, you should at least point out that the Democratic president at the time held the exact same position as O’Donnell.

    In 1994, she was invited to speak at a United Nations conference on AIDS. She was asked whether it would be appropriate to promote masturbation as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier forms of sexual activity, and she replied, “I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.” This remark caused great controversy and resulted in Elders losing the support of the White House. White House chief of staff Leon Panetta remarked, “There have been too many areas where the President does not agree with her views. This is just one too many.”[1] Elders was fired by President Clinton as a result of the controversy in December 1994.[1][2][3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joycelyn_Elders

    O’Donnell may be a wack job, but it is disgusting to see liberals taking a page out of Karl Rove’s playbook to bash their political adversaries. Especially given the fact that your delving into a part of LGBT history that is sacred to those of us who lost dozens of friends and love ones. Using that footage now, whithout the proper context of the epidemic, cheapens their suffering. There are plenty of current and RELEVANT issues that O’Donnell is horrible on. Dragging up sensationalist, sexually titillating, shock value video is both lazy and childish.

    At least you haven’t begun the gay baiting about her sister which is already making the rounds of the so called “progressive” blogosphere…yet.

  31. gidget commando
    gidget commando September 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm |

    Christine O’Donnell can have my Hitachi Magic Wand when she pries it from my cold, dead hands.

  32. zuzu
    zuzu September 17, 2010 at 3:43 pm |

    gaylib: At least you haven’t begun the gay baiting about her sister which is already making the rounds of the so called “progressive” blogosphere…yet. gaylib

    Are you saying that Jill does gay-baiting?

  33. Nonny
    Nonny September 18, 2010 at 5:37 am |

    At one point in my life, I thought masturbation was adultery.

    I also was eleven years old and did not understand that “adultery” meant “cheating”, but instead thought that it referred to doing things that only adults were supposed to do. Go go eleven year old logic, right?

    I’m very disturbed at the prospect of a politician that wants to teach kids that masturbation is wrong. Teens can’t win. They’re taught by abstinence-only education that having sex is wrong, frequently using scare tactics including myths about pregnancy and STIs, and now someone wants to teach them that the truly safe option is morally wrong? I’m as troubled by the rise in teen pregnancy and STIs as anybody, but denying teenage sexuality is not the answer!

  34. g_whiz
    g_whiz September 18, 2010 at 11:12 am |

    gaylib: Well, if you’re going to use a video from 1996 to take pot-shots at someone, you should at least point out that the Democratic president at the time held the exact same position as O’Donnell. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joycelyn_EldersO’Donnell may be a wack job, but it is disgusting to see liberals taking a page out of Karl Rove’s playbook to bash their political adversaries. Especially given the fact that your delving into a part of LGBT history that is sacred to those of us who lost dozens of friends and love ones. Using that footage now, whithout the proper context of the epidemic, cheapens their suffering. There are plenty of current and RELEVANT issues that O’Donnell is horrible on. Dragging up sensationalist, sexually titillating, shock value video is both lazy and childish. At least you haven’t begun the gay baiting about her sister which is already making the rounds of the so called “progressive” blogosphere…yet.  (Quote this comment?)

    I think her past as a abstinince lobbyist and founding of a group that activley supports “gay deprogramming” by way of praying it away is far more harmful than her views on masterbation. And interestingly enough O’Donnell seems to gaybait herself. What with the implication she put out that her opponent in the primary was having an affair. With a man. full stop. Its lovely that you’re coming to the defense of someone who, most present indicators suggest, is far from a friend of the LGBT community while attempting to shame people who are (perhaps less than ethically) trying to counter these misguided views on homosexuality. Homosexuality isnt something that needs to be “cured” by prayer or any other therapy as the DSM-IV has rightly removed it from the list of mental disorders. This SALT organization she founded and others like it do much more damage than anything the “liberal blogosphere” has done to date.

  35. Bruce from Missouri
    Bruce from Missouri September 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm |

    Her views on masturbation are the least of her wackiness. Bill Maher had her on “Politically Incorrect” 22 times, and played an old clip last night where she was nuttering on about witchcraft and satanic sacrifices. It really has to be seen to be believed. He said he will keep playing those old clips until she comes on the show. So, if you watch “Real Time” the next few weeks you will see her in the full flower of her nuttiness.

  36. piny
    piny September 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm |

    Yes, but we were all much less accepting of witchcraft back in the nineties.

  37. Manju
    Manju September 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm |

    “Bill Maher had her on “Politically Incorrect” 22 times, and played an old clip last night where she was nuttering on about witchcraft and satanic sacrifices.”

    sure that wasn’t janet reno or gloria steinam?

  38. zuzu
    zuzu September 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm |

    piny: Yes, but we were all much less accepting of witchcraft back in the nineties.  

    Nuh-uh. Uh.

  39. Paraxeni
    Paraxeni September 18, 2010 at 6:45 pm |

    @Marksman2010 – Then you’ll remember that the ‘gay disease’ was ignored and denied funding for a long, long time because governments all over the world didn’t want to be seen to be ‘encouraging immoral behaviour’. Maybe you’ll also remember that doctors were told that patients they were seeing as early as the late 70s, who *obviously* had AIDS, were not allowed to add their patients to the list of people to be investigated for GRIDS, or allowed to perform research on, anyone who was not a gay male. Blood donation services were warned that HIV/AIDS could enter the blood supply and they pretty much laughed that claim off the floor, because DUH, everyone knew that only the gay sex could pass it on. It took them 6 years to act on the info.

    Do you remember Reagan’s Republican brethren displaying posters and bumper stickers saying “AIDS is God’s way of cleaning house”? They acted pretty quickly to try and pretend that they gave a fuck when the inevitable happened, and they realised that they’d been wrong about the big Gay Plague all along.

    It was only when HIV/AIDS started affecting ‘innocent’ people (kids, white women, blood recipients) that a push for real research and funding began. I call it ‘Yorkshire Ripper Syndrome’. Here in the UK the Ripper was largely ignored while he was killing women who were assumed to be sex-workers. It was only when he killed ‘innocent’ women that the investigation was ramped up.

    I think the situation could only be better if it happened these days. Advances in microbiology, stricter controls on blood products, and better international communication could only help matters. The U.S. stands pretty much alone in the West for it’s views on sex and it’s anti-science bent, and I don’t doubt that like last time around, European scientists would step up to the plate.

  40. Dreidel
    Dreidel September 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm |

    @zuzu #37

    So by this reasoning, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” reflected the consensus view on interracial marriage in 1967?

  41. Bruce from Missouri
    Bruce from Missouri September 19, 2010 at 7:10 am |

    ****“Bill Maher had her on “Politically Incorrect” 22 times, and played an old clip last night where she was nuttering on about witchcraft and satanic sacrifices.”

    sure that wasn’t janet reno or gloria steinam? Manju****

    Okaaaayyyy… I guess I don’t get that joke?

  42. readaudrelordelikeitsthebible
    readaudrelordelikeitsthebible September 19, 2010 at 4:14 pm |

    Just read a sad stat off foreign policy… apparently the CDC says 1/3 of our (u.s.) sex ed classes are abstinence only. fml.
    also, which third?

    Also, surprised how the christian right has come full circle on AIDS. What happened to PEPFAR folks?

    here’s that news via huffington post:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/15/a-third-of-sex-ed-classes_n_718223.html

  43. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve September 19, 2010 at 6:04 pm |

    I read the post from ‘Legal Insurrection.’ The guy is a total dick. It’s not even worth a response.

  44. Zaratha
    Zaratha September 19, 2010 at 6:17 pm |

    @Dreidel #39: Thank you so much. The fact that an awful lot of obnoxious teenage girls “dabbled” in witchcraft (btw, why does no one ever “dabble” in Catholicism or similar spiritualities?) because of some terrible pop culture fad that had about as much to do with actual witchcraft as Flipper had to do with marine biology means diddly squat. What zuzu failed to mention in that pithy reply was the year that O’Donnell made that silly statement on PI was the same year the Republican frontrunner for President (that would be GW Bush for those of you playing the home game) stated Pagans have no constitutional right to practice our religions, and a member of Congress was campaigning to get witches and Pagans barred from the military.

    So no, I don’t think this “teehee she dabbled in witchcraft” shit re:O’Donnell is cute at all, but I find it exceedingly typical of the juvenile fauxgressive set that gleefully loves to Other marginalized folks for jollies even while they pay lipservice to the idea of championing our rights. Of all the despicable things this woman has said and continues to stand for, dating a guy who took advantage of a then-trendy shallow interest in the occult to get into her pants (which was likely the full extent of her “witchcraft”–people, I worked at the most famous occult shop in NYC back then, I saw teenage dudebros try this on the regular back then, and like O’Donnell they conflated all sorts of occult beliefs under the banner of Wicca and witchcraft) doesn’t even rate in the top ten. There are plenty of ridiculous things to rake her over the coals on, such as her views on AIDS policy and the like.

    PS: Neo-Pagan Witchcraft is one of the few belief systems on earth with a specifically, deliberately feminist branch. Google Dianic Witchcraft and the work of people like Starhawk before you start the gigglefest about that kooky witchcraft.

  45. Perry MacNeil
    Perry MacNeil September 19, 2010 at 8:03 pm |

    As far as I’m concerned, any time you’re arguing the same points as Rachel Maddow, you’re in damn good company, my friend. I enjoy your blog a great deal – keep on fighting the good fight!

  46. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve September 19, 2010 at 8:13 pm |

    Zaratha,

    The point is that her ‘dabbling in witchcraft’ was clearly a fabrication, used to make a cheap point- and ‘dabbled’ was HER word.

  47. zuzu
    zuzu September 19, 2010 at 9:14 pm |

    Who pissed in the cornflakes this morning?

  48. Manju
    Manju September 19, 2010 at 11:27 pm |

    Bruce from Missouri: Okaaaayyyy… I guess I don’t get that joke?

    http://www.counterpunch.org/pollitt.html

  49. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve September 20, 2010 at 7:51 pm |

    Manju:
    http://www.counterpunch.org/pollitt.html  

    I still don’t get it. Or is the joke your stupidity and poor analysis?

  50. PrettyAmiable
    PrettyAmiable September 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm |

    ohmygosh, conflict on the internet. Time to get involved!

    PS, Bruce, nuttering – assuming it is derived from the way you would mean nut (as in “crazy”) is offensive the way you used it. Please be careful on Feministe in the future.

  51. perkyshai
    perkyshai September 25, 2010 at 12:23 am |

    As a candidate comfortable expressing views about sexuality, O’Donnell is so out of touch she makes the assumption that masturbation still has the connotation of being absolutely separate from partnership. Mutual masturbation has been part of the American discussion of sex since the mid ’80s. It’s not mutually exclusive, it’s not hidden, it’s just another option. Her argument is inflammatory because its regressive in a time when conservatism seems safe.

  52. DADT=Adultery?!? « Witchy Feminist
    DADT=Adultery?!? « Witchy Feminist October 15, 2010 at 5:29 am |

    […] trans,  O’Donnell thinks being homosexuality is an identity crisis. She also  thinks that masturbation is cheating, thinks witchcraft is all devil worship and having a picnic on a satanic altar. Here is a link to […]

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