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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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242 Responses

  1. TomSims
    TomSims November 4, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

    James Carville and Mary Matalin

    1. Beauzeaux
      Beauzeaux November 5, 2012 at 3:07 pm |

      They’re bullshit too. They cannot believe what they say (that the other side is stupid, evil, etc) and still live together. Matalin positively drips with contempt when discussing people JUST LIKE HER HUSBAND. And Carville isn’t much better.

      When they got married I dismissed them both as fakers and opportunists.

      1. (BFing) Sarah
        (BFing) Sarah November 6, 2012 at 10:32 pm |

        My thoughts exactly! How can you go on TV basically saying that people who think X, Y, and Z are morons and then go home to someone who thinks the same thing? How can you be married to someone when you think their opinions about BIG things are stupid?

  2. Annaleigh
    Annaleigh November 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm |

    Amen, Jill. My one and only “bipartisan” relationship was a disaster and I’m never doing that again. He was emotionally abusive and sexually exploitative and by the end of the relationship as things were breaking down I began calling him “my little right-wing stinker,” and I sure as heck didn’t mean it affectionately.

    So yeah, never again. It’s not just that the party’s views on women and are humanity are abominable, it’s also that he eventually literally modeled it for me.

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra November 5, 2012 at 12:22 am |

      And yet I’ve managed to be treated far more disrespectfully by all of the so-called socially liberal dudes I’ve dated than the one conservative Christian I went out with.

      1. EG
        EG November 5, 2012 at 12:38 am |

        What does that have to do with the price of tea?

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra November 5, 2012 at 12:52 am |

          Wait, so I’m only allowed to share anecdotes that support, rather than contradict, Jill’s thesis? My point – a fairly obvious one – is that partisan political allegiance is a poor predictor of respectful behavior in a heterosexual relationship, or any relationship at all, really.

        2. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 8:09 am |

          I really don’t see where Jill suggested that being liberal/left meant that man would treat you well or respectfully. If that had been the case, second-wave feminism would never have developed. The idea that being politically liberal/left is somehow all you need in a mate to know that he will treat you well is absurd. So there’s no real need to refute it.

        3. tomek
          tomek November 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

          politics is politics its all posturing. what matters is what people are inside. in my country you take off your politics when you come home and every one just respect each other. many of the best men whom i know are right-wing

        4. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm |

          many of the best men whom i know are right-wing

          That’s what happens when you surround yourself with imbeciles.

        5. Past my expiration date
          Past my expiration date November 5, 2012 at 8:02 pm |

          It does wonders for the loins, though, apparently, Fat Steve.

        6. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 8:26 pm |

          in my country you take off your politics when you come home and every one just respect each other.

          No. You need to respect me outside the home as well.

        7. (BFing) Sarah
          (BFing) Sarah November 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm |

          No. You need to respect me outside the home as well.

          Hells yea! Not to mention the fact that politics right now are very “in the bedroom.” You can’t say, “Honey, I respect you…but when I leave this house I’m going to vote to someone who thinks that you shouldn’t have free birth control because Catholic priests should get to decide whether their female employees deserve medicine to prevent more babies/it will theoretically but not really increase someone somewhere’s health insurance premiums/Jesus hates sluts.” “Honey, I love you, but I think your uncle should lose his job because unions cost companies lots of money.” “I think you are great, but I don’t think you deserve equal pay! Silly woman!” I just don’t see how this plays out for someone who feels strongly about politics. Maybe someone who doesn’t really care, but I personally am much happier in a relationship with someone who shares my most deeply held beliefs.

  3. Susan
    Susan November 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

    Very well said, though some people might defend their relationships — but who are they kidding? If his political views come down to a fundamental oppression of people, why even go there?

  4. Past my expiration date
    Past my expiration date November 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm |

    I think that there is an important distinction between

    That’s not someone I would marry. That’s not someone I would let raise my kids. That’s not a view I would shrug off as “just different” than my own.

    and

    Don’t sleep with that guy.

    And, also, while I don’t believe that our country actually does hunger for bipartisanship and compromise, I do think that I need to remember — and my children need to learn — that good, informed people can nonetheless have different opinions about important stuff.

    And, what’s more, if somebody else’s children told me something as partisan as my children tell me (for example, that Romney doesn’t think that women are people), I would be appalled at the way their parents have brainwashed them. (Whereas I, of course, am only teaching my children the truth…)

  5. konkonsn
    konkonsn November 4, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

    Too funny. I read the paragraph in the preview and was all ready to go in the comments and say exactly what the rest of your post consisted of.

    I’ve only known one Republican who agreed with me on birth control and gay rights but felt the Democratic position on economics was not right. And being kind of a peacable person, I was like, “Yeah, of course not all Republicans are close minded. It’s just a matter of the economy.” But as I grew a backbone over the two years I worked with her, I realized that, no, sorry, I get that you’re not evil and a really cool person to hang out with, but I can’t support that your decision to vote Republican isn’t wrong.

  6. Aydan
    Aydan November 4, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

    I think this is kind of a simplistic assessment, honestly.

    Lots of discussion about fundamental disagreements in relationships assume that everyone in the relationship was 100% sure of their position going into the relationship and has not changed it since. People don’t work like that, though. Ms. Heen indicates that she and her husband were Democrat and Republican when they married, but Ms. Dell’Antonia doesn’t say. If you shouldn’t marry or have sex with or raise kids with someone who’s Republican, should you divorce someone who becomes Republican? What about other close familial relationships? If you shouldn’t marry or have sex with or raise kids with someone who’s Republican, should you only let your kids spend a certain amount of time with your Republican parents, on the sole basis that they’re Republican? Should you cool your relations with your Republican siblings?

    Maybe it’s not fair of me to criticize Jill on a point she didn’t bring up. But I don’t think it’s as simple as saying “Don’t be in intimate relationships with these people.”

    (I do think it’s absolutely fair to take any individual’s political affiliations as an indication of how they might treat you as a person– especially now, when the Republican party is trying to produce their own Back to the Future Part 1– and make decisions for yourself on that basis. I’m objecting to the general prescription here.)

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune November 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm |

      should you divorce someone who becomes Republican?

      Ooh, I’ve got some sample scenarios…

      “Gee, honey, now that I’ve married you, I’ve somehow LOST respect for the idea that you control your own body!”

      “Gee, honey, I know we’re gay and married, but I don’t think gay people in other states should have the same rights we do!”

      “Gee, honey, I know you’re Japanese-American, but I don’t see why that should stop me from wanting those other filthy illegals out of MAI COUNTREH!”

      “Gee, honey, don’t take it so personal, I know you’re a black woman too, but I was talking about stopping supporting the bad ones. You know, those welfare queens.”

      “Gee, honey, real sorry you can’t get an abortion even though your ectopic pregnancy’s about to kill you, but, but! I saved us $200 in the last year in tax breaks? DOESN’T THAT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU YOU UNGRATEFUL B****”

      ….yeah, no. I’d divorce somebody who started voting Republican.

      1. marc sobel
        marc sobel November 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm |

        Actually, I was wondering what the antis position is on ectopic pregnancies. As I understand it, they are inevitably fatal for both the mother and the fetus. Woops http://www.prolifephysicians.org/rarecases.htm
        They really are crazy.

        1. moviemaedchen
          moviemaedchen November 5, 2012 at 11:58 am |

          I’m going to ask that we refrain from calling Republicans and right-wingers “crazy,” because it is ableist as hell. There is a difference between mental illness and repugnant values.

        2. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan November 6, 2012 at 11:27 am |

          I don’t personally have a problem with crazy: totally disconnected from reality? Check.

    2. Amanda Marcotte
      Amanda Marcotte November 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm |

      That’s why I’m largely hostile to the notion of marriage, i.e. the idea that your 25-year-old self can make these kinds of commitments to your 50-year-old self. But yes, if someone stops sharing your values, that strikes me as a very good reason to divorce them. I would also leave someone who got religious.

      1. SamBarge
        SamBarge November 4, 2012 at 10:54 pm |

        Yeah. I married when I was 22 yrs old. I’m still married now, 22 yrs later and very happy. Luckily, Mr. Barge and I still share the same opinions on most important issues – not the same as 22 yrs ago but the same as each other. I couldn’t live with a person who was religious or right-wing and neither could he.

        Btw, I used the word “luckily” on purpose. It’s really the luck of the draw and, frankly, our luck could turn yet. Who knows what the next 22 yrs has in store for us? Either one of us could change dramatically. I can’t imagine it but 10 yrs ago I couldn’t imagine Twitter so it’s pretty clear that I don’t have the greatest imagination.

        Even though I’ve been married forever, I’m not a huge advocate for the institution. My marriage is great but I’ve seen too many terrible ones to think that, as an idea, marriage is all that great.

        1. EG
          EG November 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm |

          I still can’t imagine Twitter, honestly.

      2. Past my expiration date
        Past my expiration date November 5, 2012 at 6:20 am |

        That’s why I’m largely hostile to the notion of marriage, i.e. the idea that your 25-year-old self can make these kinds of commitments to your 50-year-old self.

        Is that the notion of marriage? Because a 25-year-old self need not be married in order to make these kinds of commitments to their 50-year-old self. And, since divorce exists, a 50-year-old married self is no more required to keep these kinds of commitments than a 50-year-old unmarried self.

  7. matlun
    matlun November 4, 2012 at 4:16 pm |

    …while political differences are challenging, shared fundamental values are what matter most

    While I agree this is true, that statement just begs the question.
    Some political and ideological differences are exactly differences in “fundamental values”.

  8. chava
    chava November 4, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

    When I was in high school, our French teacher (from France) commented that she honestly wasn’t sure if she would still love her husband if he voted Republican.

    At the time, I thought her terribly French and heartless.

    Now, I kind of get it.

  9. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve November 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm |

    I don’t know…I mean, in principle I agree with much of the OP, and certainly I consider myself lucky that there are no political arguments mucking up my marriage. However, love is a very rare and unpredictable thing, and in my experience love for someone can cause you to give the best possible interpretation to any of their actions including their voting habits.

    1. rain
      rain November 5, 2012 at 11:38 am |

      love is a very rare and unpredictable thing

      This is not true.

      Tim Minchin’s If I Didn’t Have You

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm |

        This is not true.

        Tim Minchin’s If I Didn’t Have You

        The song is brilliant, funny, and entirely irrelevant to the point I was making.

        1. rain
          rain November 6, 2012 at 9:45 am |

          Then I misunderstood your point. I thought at first you were minimizing the import of a woman “loving” someone who has at the core of his beliefs a deep antipathy to women. Like that’s something you can work around. And that you should try to work around, because finding love is rare, and you shouldn’t let such a thing stand in the way of your relationship, since who knows if you’ll ever find that kind of love again.

          But maybe that’s not what you were saying. Maybe you were just pointing out the dynamics of a dysfunctional relationship, how people can rationalize the bad things away in a relationship, like, how someone can think their abusive partner loves them. In which case, duh.

          Or maybe your point was something else.

      2. (BFing) Sarah
        (BFing) Sarah November 6, 2012 at 10:47 pm |

        I love that song so, so much. I sing it to my husband sometimes and he appreciates it, too. If he didn’t appreciate it, it would be kind of like voting for Romney: instant divorce. ;)

  10. EG
    EG November 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm |

    I agree. I don’t want “compromise” with members of a party who are OK with advocating child labor (Newt Gingrich), don’t think rape is a big deal, or even a real thing, think that poor people deserve suffering, and/or are fine with forcing me to undergo pregnancy and birth against my will (all of them).

    That’s not a point of view I want compromise with. That’s a point of view I want buried with a stake through its heart to keep it dead.

    1. mxe354
      mxe354 November 4, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

      Yet another woman who thinks she’s too good for someone who doesn’t respect her bodily autonomy. Typical man-hating feminist!

      (how sad it is to know that people who say that shit actually exist)

  11. L Smith
    L Smith November 4, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

    Someone please explain James Carville and Mary Matalin. The whole relationship makes my head spin. The only ad they do that makes any sense is the one they did for Maker’s Mark – the Cocktail Party. Because wouldn’t you have to be drunk as a skunk to be in that marriage!???

  12. Sara
    Sara November 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm |

    Yes, this. I can’t fathom being married to a Republican, because aligning himself with that party would mean his values, his approach to the world, is so radically different from my own. I’ve told my husband I would divorce him if he ever became a Republican – jokingly, yes, but it’s also true. How could I be married to someone who supports a party that doesn’t believe in my bodily autonomy, that doesn’t think my brother should have equal rights, that doesn’t think people should have access to basic things like food and medical care?

    And, I frankly feel that if your family members are Republican, it’s ok not to associate with them, or not to let your kids associate with them, at least not more than necessary (and to let your kids know that yeah, your Uncle doesn’t like the gays and thinks it’s ok to vote for assholes like Romney, but he is very, very wrong).

    1. Beatrice
      Beatrice November 5, 2012 at 7:29 am |

      And, I frankly feel that if your family members are Republican, it’s ok not to associate with them, or not to let your kids associate with them, at least not more than necessary (and to let your kids know that yeah, your Uncle doesn’t like the gays and thinks it’s ok to vote for assholes like Romney, but he is very, very wrong).

      There’s a rather big difference between “it’s ok not to associate with them” and “it’s not ok to associate with them”.

  13. amblingalong
    amblingalong November 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm |

    Mmm, I hear ya’ll, but I’m never going to stop thinking the James Carville and Mary Matalin have the best love story of all time.

    1. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan November 6, 2012 at 11:30 am |

      Still a better love story than Twilight!

      /meme

  14. DonnaL
    DonnaL November 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm |

    My father wasn’t happy when my mother voted for John Lindsay for Mayor in 1965 instead of Abe Beame. (Even though she voted for him on the Liberal line, I believe, not as a Republican.)

    Back then, of course, there was such a thing as a liberal Republican, at least in New York.

    I can’t imagine being in a relationship with anyone who voted Republican now. Even if they claimed to be socially liberal, to support LGBT rights, etc. (and I don’t see how anyone could be in a relationship with me if they didn’t), by voting Republican they would be signaling that their views on taxation (or whatever) were more important to them than my, and my son’s, civil rights, and the rights of women not be forced to bear children, and people’s entitlement to food and homes and education and health care, and many other things.

    good, informed people can nonetheless have different opinions about important stuff

    Maybe. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong not to want to be involved with anyone, “good person” or not, who has a different opinion from mine about any of the subjects I mentioned above.

    It wasn’t a “relationship” in the same sense, but once upon a time, beginning when I was 20 and for many years thereafter, I had a best friend who was not only a Republican but was involved in Republican politics. In school, we were essentially joined at the hip; people used to make fun of us for being a “couple.” For a long time after we lived in different cities, we talked on the phone at great length at least once a week, and I used to fly out to visit him at regular intervals. Once we were each married (he was my “best man” and I was actually his) and had children, we continued to see each other when we could, even as his political career progressed, and he was elected to the U.S. Senate and later served in a Presidential cabinet. Somehow, his politics never interfered with our friendship — we just didn’t talk about it. I never had the courage to tell him about being trans, but he certainly knew how I felt about LGBT rights; his own closest childhood friend was gay and was a very early AIDS victim, and he gave a eulogy at the funeral. The last time I spoke to him was 7 1/2 years ago, when I finally told him about myself, and said I was going to transition. He said it was OK, and would call me soon, but we haven’t spoken since. I miss him, but am not sure we could really be friends again at this point. And I know I couldn’t be in a relationship with anyone as conservative as he is, not now. Maybe 30 years ago (if I’d been a woman at the time), but things were a little different then.

  15. Jenna
    Jenna November 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm |

    I used to think that I could date a republican. After all, Dad was a republican, and I loved him, right?
    Except.
    Dad stopped voting republican when they nominated Reagan for president.
    He stayed registered republican to vote against Dornan twice.
    My late husband hung around a lot of people who were really unaware/unconcerned with civil rights(while, male, straight, etc.) and absorbed or repeated a lot of their political views. It might have become a problem by now, except that he got sick and passed away. If he had lived? Probably I *would* be in the middle of a divorce or divorced by now, but, there was a heck of a lot more about that than his politics.
    And if he had lived he could have found a second wife capable and willing of giving him kids, maybe. Things would have been different all around.
    These days, I don’t date republicans or evangelicals, and I think hard about the libertarians or other observant religious guys.

  16. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil November 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm |

    I know it may not seem like it now, but there was a time relatively recently when there were *gasp* moderate, pro-choice Republicans. While the number of people calling themselves independents has risen in the past few years since the Republican party went hauling to the right, I would expect that there are still some who hold out hope that their party will become more moderate in the future.

    Also, to respond to the scenario in which someone becomes a Republican later in life: that’s my parents. In the 70s, they marched on Washington for the ERA. My mother has voted Republican since 2000 (yes, that’s two votes for George W. Bush), subscribes to National Review, etc., etc. They don’t really talk about politics anymore, but still have a good marriage nearly 35 years in.

    Shorter version: I think the world is more complicated than “Never sleep with a Republican.”

    1. Anon21
      Anon21 November 4, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

      While the number of people calling themselves independents has risen in the past few years since the Republican party went hauling to the right, I would expect that there are still some who hold out hope that their party will become more moderate in the future.

      “Holding out hope” is fine. Voting for them in the meantime is not fine, at least in my book. Helping racist, misogynist people gain power is wrong.

    2. Aydan
      Aydan November 4, 2012 at 6:43 pm |

      I was thinking of this, too. Even in my lifetime I remember when the Republican Party was not nearly as terrible as it is now. But someone who looks at the Republican Party as it is now, and still chooses to vote for its candidates, is not making a morally neutral choice just because the party once fielded different candidates.

      1. DonnaL
        DonnaL November 4, 2012 at 7:05 pm |

        I have a similar comment in moderation, dating back to my mother’s having voted for John Lindsay for Mayor in 1965. And about my best friend of many years who was a Republican politician and held very high elected and appointive offices, although we haven’t spoken since the telephone conversation 7 1/2 years ago in which I finally told him that I was trans and would be transitioning.

        Nobody in my family ever voted for Javits or Rockefeller, though. Even though at least Javits might well be a Democrat if he were around now.

      2. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve November 4, 2012 at 10:05 pm |

        I was thinking of this, too. Even in my lifetime I remember when the Republican Party was not nearly as terrible as it is now. But someone who looks at the Republican Party as it is now, and still chooses to vote for its candidates, is not making a morally neutral choice just because the party once fielded different candidates.

        I would argue that in my lifetime The Republican Party has been pretty terrible (When I was born Nixon was President.) I think it’s pretty much been terrible since the exodus of the ‘Dixiecrats.’ However your point is kind of proven by the fact that 9% of Registered Republicans voted for Obama, compared to 6% who voted for John Kerry, so it would seem that some people may remain registered Republicans yet no longer vote for the party’s candidates.

  17. Athenia
    Athenia November 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm |

    I don’t think any Republicans would want to date me so, I don’t think I have a problem. LOL

  18. MikeV
    MikeV November 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm |

    Ahahahahaha…even if I tried sleeping with a Republican I would probably just burst out laughing in the middle of it.

    I just can’t take gay Republicans seriously. Hahahaha!

    1. J
      J November 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm |

      Same boat :D I don’t think I’ve ever even met a Republican lesbian… Maybe we’re just too smart for that

  19. Colin
    Colin November 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm |

    I can’t see myself having a relationship with a woman who votes Republican, either. Then again I am someone who’s only ever lived in countries where a politician who adopted positions typical of the US Republican party would be characterised as ‘far-right’ and held in contempt by mainstream society. It’s a bit like asking if I’d go out with someone who thinks Pauline Hanson would make a good PM of Australia.

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra November 5, 2012 at 12:18 am |

      Lol, my mother, who is a center-left voter and a naturalized US citizen of Australian birth, is in fact married to a Republican. It was great, as a kid, to grow up with one parent who was fearless in making fun of jingoistic American patriotism, with another parent who was a political scientist specializing in constitutional law and the American founding… great for perspective!

  20. chava
    chava November 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm |

    For an alternative view:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1646974/

  21. Bloix
    Bloix November 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm |

    Oh, I don’t know. My first serious girlfriend was a communist. This was long before the fall of the Soviet Union. When I once said, “don’t tell me you’d be willing to live in Russia,” she responded, “I’m as American as you are,” which was true – in one sense she was more American than me, as she could trace her ancestry back to the Revolution – but kind of not the point. She wouldn’t ever say anything negative about the Soviet system. That was a ridiculous position to take when Leonid Brezhnev was First Secretary and the Gulag was still in full swing. But we got along pretty well for a couple of years, even though we each thought that the other supported thugs, murderers and oppressors.

    You can’t really know who you’re going to fall for, or why, until it happens.

  22. SamBarge
    SamBarge November 4, 2012 at 10:57 pm |

    My friend used to date a fundamentalist Christian. He thought she would burn in hell because, you know, she hadn’t been re-born in the manner that his faith thought she needed to be. She kept dating him for 3 yrs after he told her this. I couldn’t even look at him without wanting to spit on him but she didn’t really believe that he really thought that way.

    So, I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that people can be deluded about their partners beliefs when they’re invested in being in love.

  23. DonnaL
    DonnaL November 4, 2012 at 11:40 pm |

    Not only can’t I imagine being married to a Republican, I have trouble imagining being related to one. I don’t believe there’s been one in my family since the first L. came over in 1888. My father remembers handing out leaflets for Al Smith in 1928, when he was 8.

    1. Aydan
      Aydan November 5, 2012 at 2:20 am |

      Is it that you have trouble imagining being born or adopted into a family with Republicans, or that you have trouble imagining choosing to maintain ties with relations who are Republicans?

      Platonic family can, for many adults, be just as much of a choice as romantic/sexual partners; one’s biological family or family of childhood doesn’t have to be one’s family of choice. So, when Jill says “don’t choose to have intimate relationships of “x” kind with Republicans” (and she’s not just talking about her own experience, she’s issuing a prescription for her readers), and you say “I can’t imagine having relationships of “x” or “y” kind with Republicans,” it’s hard for me not to hear an implied commentary about choosing to have platonic familial relationships with Republican relatives, too.

      1. EG
        EG November 5, 2012 at 7:57 am |

        it’s hard for me not to hear an implied commentary about choosing to have platonic familial relationships with Republican relatives, too.

        I don’t see where you get that. It’s about the kind of family you’re used to having, and the kind of interactions you associate with family. My family is the kind that talks about politics in every conversation; I was brought up being taken to leftist rallies and my grandfather lost a job for taking part in CORE. Of course I can’t imagine having right-wing family; it would restructure everything about the way my family relates to each other.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L November 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

        Aydan, if this comment of mine — http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/11/04/sleeping-with-the-political-enemy/#comment-542379 — had been out of moderation when you asked your question, you would have realized that I have a very specific and lengthy history of having had a best friend who was not only a Republican but actively involved in Republican politics, and held very high elective and appointive offices over the years.

        But that doesn’t mean that I can imagine being in a romantic relationship with a Republican — especially now — or, really, having grown up in a family with Republicans. As EG explains, the reason I can’t really imagine the latter is that it’s so foreign to my experience. As I mentioned elsewhere, everybody in my family that I know of has been a liberal/progressive Democrat for more than 100 years. My father has been active in New York City Reform Democratic politics since the late 1940’s; he knew Eleanor Roosevelt and everybody else you could possibly think of. My mother was a union member. On my father’s side, my grandfather and great-grandfather were union workers in the garment industry on the Lower East Side; my great-grandfather was a socialist who was actively involved in the hatters’ and capmakers’ union from 1890-1910. So, no, I can’t imagine having Republican family members.

        1. Donna L
          Donna L November 5, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

          Oh, yeah, and I forgot to mention that back in the 1940’s after my mother first came to this country as a German-Jewish refugee, before she became a liberal Democrat, she belonged for several years — in secret — to the CPUSA.

  24. Alexandra
    Alexandra November 5, 2012 at 12:16 am |

    This post is ridiculous, and also faintly insulting; it makes me think of this comic.

    What Jill is completely failing to address here – well, there are lots of things, but I’ll focus on one – is that there is such a thing as a single-issue voter, and there’s such a thing as a single-issue voter who is pro-choice but will vote for a pro-life politician if that politician happens to support a policy that is more important to them. Both the Republican and the Democratic parties are coalitions, and because they are coalitions people inevitably end up voting to support party platforms that they only agree with in part. I am registered as an independent, typically (but not always) vote Democrat, and do not think the Democrats are even a 30% approximation of my true political opinions.

    My father, for the first time in 30 years, is voting for a Democrat rather than a Republican. I’ve been hearing on the radio a lot lately that there’s no such thing as a McCain voter who’s switched to Obama, which makes me laugh every time I hear it. My father is a single-issue foreign policy voter. He’s a DoD employee, former enlisted who went to college on the GI Bill. He voted for GWB – twice – whose favorite joke is, “What do you call a Trotskyist with a teenage daughter? A neocon!” He’s an atheist, his parents are communists, and, yes, he’s pro-choice, pro environmental regulation, pro-gay marriage. And yet he has voted Republican for thirty years, because the issue which most defines his life is not social policy related to gay rights or women’s rights, but foreign policy.

    As a leftist myself, I often wonder which “issue” I should care about more. As a woman, should I vote for Obama because I know the Dems will protect women’s rights? As an environmentalist and biology student, should I vote Green Party because climate change is the defining issue of my generation? As a pacifist, should I vote for the Peace and Freedom Party, even though they’re practically defunct? I am not a single-issue voter, and so every vote is a compromise.

    And every marriage is a compromise: what do we value most, what do we care about most? I contend that is completely possible for people to vote for different parties and yet to love one another and live with one another. It is a difficulty. I myself have vowed never to have a relationship with a libertarian again! God knows, my mother and father have fought about politics before. But they are bound by other things: a tremendous love of learning, of the “Great Books,” of hiking and animals and ABBA and all sorts of things. It is profound disrespect to them and to the others like them to say that their marriages are — what? Unworkable? Contradictory to the principles of feminism?

    1. FarmerStina
      FarmerStina November 5, 2012 at 12:33 am |

      As a person with a uterus, that is still capable of reproducing, I don’t have the option to choose which issue is more important to me. Voting for bodily autonomy is necessary for my very existence. If I don’t continue to support candidates who support my right to do what I want with my body, I could wake up one morning being forced to carry a pregnancy to term that could kill me. I don’t have the luxury of voting based on a candidate’s record on the economy, foreign policy, the environment or any of the other issues I really care about. I’m too concerned with self-preservation.
      And I sure as hell am not going to sleep with anyone who votes for candidates that believe I should die for a fetus, let alone marry anyone who votes that way.

      1. Alexandra
        Alexandra November 5, 2012 at 12:46 am |

        I could very easily make the argument that, say, the existential threat posed by a nuclear Iran outweighs all other considerations, social, environmental, or economic, and therefore I have a moral obligation to support Mitt Romney. Please note, this is NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM MY ACTUAL OPINION. But it hangs together logically.

        So also does the argument that I should vote for Jill Stein because climate change is an existential threat for the whole world, and the petty problems specific to the US are outweighed by our duty not to pollute the rest of the world.

        I am voting for Obama, but both of those positions are plausible, and sound very, very similar to yours. Abortion rights is not the only thing about which people can be single-issue voters.

      2. Aydan
        Aydan November 5, 2012 at 1:53 am |

        There are people with reproductively-capable uteruses for whom economic policy is the issue that could kill them, or for whom foreign policy is the issue that could kill them, or even for whom environmental policy is the issue that could kill them. They don’t have the “option” or the “luxury” of choice any more than you discuss having.

        I don’t know if you meant it this way, but your comment sounded like it was about a situation that *every* person with a reproductively-capable uterus is in, rather than a bind that you are in because of your reproductively-capable uterus plus some more specific factors?

    2. EG
      EG November 5, 2012 at 12:41 am |

      Nobody’s preventing you from being with somebody willing to trade away every other political value for a hostile and aggressive relationship with the rest of the world, but there’s no reason any of the rest of us should find it desirable.

      “I’m a leftist in my heart, I just vote for GWB” is useless to me. It’s like saying “I’m not racist, I just laugh at racist jokes.” Your inner convictions don’t outweigh your actions.

      1. Alexandra
        Alexandra November 5, 2012 at 12:49 am |

        I don’t believe they do, either. But I also think that blood is thicker than water, and that love is nonpartisan. I can easily envision a world in which I married/had children/loved someone who voted differently than I did, if I could understand and respect their reasons for voting as they did. I might be pissed as hell at, say, someone who voted for a Nader in a 2000-era Florida sort of race, but I could respect why they did what they did and still love them.

        1. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 8:06 am |

          Oh, I can understand loving and respecting someone with different political beliefs/voting habits than mine. Just not Republican/right-wing ones. This may be because in my experience, blood is decidedly not thicker than water, and I need to feel that I share essential values with somebody in order to love them. If somebody lacks an essential component of what seems like empathy to me, and takes action on that basic…I really don’t think I could.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L November 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm |

        Platitudes like “love is nonpartisan” may sound good, but don’t work at all when you belong to specific groups which the Republican party expressly, and officially despises, and does its best to insure their continued oppression both legally and socially. Sure, there are Republicans who say that they don’t have anything against gay or trans people personally, and are in favor of their civil rights including the right to same-sex marriage and protection from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations, etc., etc., but that just doesn’t cut if anymore. It’s meaningless lip-service. By voting for Republican candidates such as Romney, they’re very specifically supporting the very oppressive policies they claim to be against personally. There are people who simply aren’t personally affected, very much or at all, by which party is in power. So the fact that their romantic partner is a Republican doesn’t really matter to them. I don’t have that privilege, and can’t afford to spout the kinds of platitudes that have been expressed here.

        1. (BFing) Sarah
          (BFing) Sarah November 6, 2012 at 10:58 pm |

          I think that’s very true. If a political party doesn’t believe that you should have basic rights because of the person you are, I don’t see how you could have a romantic relationship (and I think a friendship would be hard) with a person that supports that party with their vote. I find it difficult to maintain respect for my more vocal, socially conservative and evangelical Republican friends given the party’s racism towards Obama (birthers, endless monkey pictures with his likeness, comments about his ‘laziness’ and stupidity and how he’s not a ‘legitimate’ president). Its not as overt as the party’s bigotry towards people in the LBGT community, but its definitely there. I’ve had to cut off a few friendships…I’m married, but if something happened to my marriage I do NOT see how I could have a romantic relationship with someone who thought a monkey picture of our President eating a watermelon was okay. Um, no. That’s just racist and if you think its funny, I’m cool with calling you racist, too.

    3. SunlessNick
      SunlessNick November 5, 2012 at 8:36 am |

      there is such a thing as a single-issue voter, and there’s such a thing as a single-issue voter who is pro-choice but will vote for a pro-life politician if that politician happens to support a policy that is more important to them

      Jill addressed that when she said this: Even if someone is socially liberal but fiscally conservative, they’re making a choice — a choice to put their own financial self-interest over the very bones and skin and blood and breath of more than half the population. They’re saying, “My views on taxes and economics are more fundamentally important than your basic right to be treated like a human being.”

      Political issues aren’t abstracts, and when you choose to vote on only one of them, the rest don’t conveniently become so.

      1. EG
        EG November 5, 2012 at 8:41 am |

        Even if someone is socially liberal but fiscally conservative, they’re making a choice — a choice to put their own financial self-interest over the very bones and skin and blood and breath of more than half the population. They’re saying, “My views on taxes and economics are more fundamentally important than your basic right to be treated like a human being.”

        And that also means that they think it’s fine to screw over poor people, that’s it perfectly moral to enforce suffering by class. I don’t find that any more congenial than enforcing suffering by race or gender or sexuality.

        1. Past my expiration date
          Past my expiration date November 5, 2012 at 9:02 am |

          I know people who are fiscally conservative and sincerely believe that their views on taxes and economics actually support people’s basic right to be treated like a human being.

          Also, some of these people are not themselves wealthy.

          Now, obviously, we have different opinions about what a person’s basic right to be treated like a human being entails.

          So that is what we need to talk about, not “If you believe in fiscal conservatism, then you must be either ignorant or a bad person”. Which, of course, they could just as justifiably say to me.

        2. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 9:29 am |

          I don’t think it means that they are either ignorant or a bad person. They could sincerely believe, as you say, that such policies are for the betterment of all (though I must say, the people I know who are fiscally conservative do not think that; they think that it’s best for them and everybody else can go hang). But if they do, they hold such radically different values from me that there’s no way I want to date them.

        3. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 10:02 am |

          I mean, people have all kinds of sincerely held beliefs that I find noxious, and they usually sincerely believe that their beliefs are for the best. I include beliefs that, put into action, will further immiserate poor people and harden class boundaries. I don’t consider those any more up for debate, or any less essential to my values, than the ones about bodily autonomy and racial equality.

        4. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 11:20 am |

          I don’t think it means that they are either ignorant or a bad person.

          I do think it means they are ignorant. However, we are all ignorant in ways, and I happily admit my own ignorance on certain issues, so I possibly don’t consider ‘ignorant’ the insult that you do.

        5. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl November 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm |

          They could sincerely believe, as you say, that such policies are for the betterment of all (though I must say, the people I know who are fiscally conservative do not think that; they think that it’s best for them and everybody else can go hang). But if they do, they hold such radically different values from me that there’s no way I want to date them.

          Well, my husband is actually one of the fiscal conservatism and capitalism will actually save us all if we just let it happen types. He’s the third generation in a small family business, and an atheist, but used to vote Republican until Little Bush ran for office, At that point, the Spouse realized he could no longer be on board with all of the GOP’s religious extremism and bigotry and stopped voting for most of them.

          But he’s always been extremely progressive when it comes to civil rights issues for all people, otherwise I never would have gone on a second date with him. I tease the Spouse all the time that he is actually a Democrat, but that he doesn’t want to lose his small businessman street cred if he dropped the R label. But I think that’s actually pretty true for him, and I think it’s also true that tax policies as they stand here in the U.S. are unfairly onerous for small business and unjustly lavish for big business.

          Am I going to be pilloried for saying this? ‘Cause I don’t think I can handle the stress less than 24 hours before election day.

          P.S. Spouse plans to vote for Johnson, and knows voting for Romney will get him locked out of the house for good.

        6. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm |

          Am I going to be pilloried for saying this?

          Absolutely! You must divorce him immediately or your name shall be stricken from the Book!

          Nah. Lots of people marry people I wouldn’t want to date. Almost everybody, really. Go in peace…

    4. DouglasG
      DouglasG November 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

      Oh, I must ask… Agnetha or Frida?

  25. BarryB
    BarryB November 5, 2012 at 12:56 am |

    “///but K.J. (of whom I am a huge fan) drops some hints that she’s probably the Obama supporter in her marriage…”

    Does this mean her SO was a Romney supporter, or a supporter of one of several other candidates?

    My wife and I have both voted for Jill Stein. I admit, I was more in the tank for Stein than she was–at least, initially–since I follow Obama’s WH politics closely and post many links about it on a range of civil liberties and economic issues. She pretty much came around after a year or more of facts about the Obama admin’s disdain for not only its constituencies, but its heritage.

    How would I have reacted to my wife wanting to vote for Obama or Romney? It would have been difficult, but we’ve been together for more than a quarter of a century. You’ve built a solid foundation of shared experience in that time that should hold you over, and I’m pretty sure would. After all, my wife used to diss unions regularly, while I defended them–and it never affected our marriage. But ultimately it comes down to whether politics can form a wedge between two people who have shared a great deal; and I’d like to think it would be pretty shallow if that was the case.

  26. Faithless
    Faithless November 5, 2012 at 5:57 am |

    Do all of you who proudly reject political compromise have suspicious reactions to people who hide their views in order to maintain their relationship with you? Do you consider them a – moral for doing so?

    For example, if I were to sit down with one of you over coffee, and you were to proclaim across the table “jeez, the lack of a woman’s employment minimum quota in all industries across the United States sure is deplorable” and I were to simply answer “well at least the stupid MRA’s haven’t convinced them to do so for men in the wake of the so called “man – cession” right ;)?”, would that be considerate being dishonest because I sidestepped having to comment on weather or not I agreed with your statement?

    Would you consider it wrong to continually avoid answering certian questions continuously so as to preserve relationships without having to lie? Especially if they are questions about things that aren’t being put to vote so your idea is only your idea and not something that impacts others?

    1. EG
      EG November 5, 2012 at 8:01 am |

      Do all of you who proudly reject political compromise have suspicious reactions to people who hide their views in order to maintain their relationship with you? Do you consider them a – moral for doing so?

      Don’t mistake rejecting compromise with right-wing Republicans for rejecting compromise as a concept.

      I wouldn’t consider it amoral, but I would consider it weird.

      1. Faithless
        Faithless November 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

        wanting to avoid confrontation is weird?

        1. mxe354
          mxe354 November 6, 2012 at 5:38 pm |

          Just chiming in here, but I think what’s weird there is not the desire to avoid confrontation, but rather the unwillingness to share important things about oneself. Of course, the people involved in a relationship don’t need to know everything about each other (such as certain things about someone’s history), but there are some things that can’t be hidden for long, such as political views. Political views shape the people who hold them, and they are almost never entirely confined to a private sphere.

        2. EG
          EG November 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm |

          Wanting to avoid a civil discussion about an issue with a good friend? Yeah, that would be weird to me. It’s one thing if we’ve had that discussion a million times and we just don’t want to bother, but in that case, I wouldn’t have brought up the topic.

        3. Faithless
          Faithless November 7, 2012 at 5:11 am |

          I guess I am stranger than I thought then, I usually only disclose my moral or political viewpoints if asked for them directly. usually its pretty easy to learn the views of others without actually disclosing any of one’s own. Also by not speaking one avoids making potential enemies

        4. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve November 7, 2012 at 7:05 am |

          I guess I am stranger than I thought then, I usually only disclose my moral or political viewpoints if asked for them directly. usually its pretty easy to learn the views of others without actually disclosing any of one’s own. Also by not speaking one avoids making potential enemies

          Remind me, who asked for your views on this matter?

        5. Faithless
          Faithless November 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

          Remind me, who asked for your views on this matter?

          I simply thought it polite to disclose some amount of information seeing as how I had asked for it in others.

          Apparently I was mistaken.

  27. adorkableJ
    adorkableJ November 5, 2012 at 8:55 am |

    There are two points I want to make here:

    Even if someone is socially liberal but fiscally conservative, they’re making a choice — a choice to put their own financial self-interest over the very bones and skin and blood and breath of more than half the population. They’re saying, “My views on taxes and economics are more fundamentally important than your basic right to be treated like a human being.”

    I agree that this choice is selfish at best and immoral at worst. But if I am asking others to treat people whose behavior they genuinely believe to be immoral with kindness and respect, then I feel that I owe people whose behavior I genuinely believe is immoral with kindness and respect.

    There’s lots and lots and lots of folks who talk about calling out behavior and not people as sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. And I think this is precisely how we need to behave here. Calling out someone as immoral, or treating them as a Bad Person, just alienates them rather than helping them to change.

    And second, I suspect that for most of us – certainly in the US but in quite a lot of countries that I know, especially those without provisions for coalitions and multiple parties – voting is a pragmatic decision, a lesser-of-two-evils decision. I will bust my bum to get Obama elected because I think he’s a million times better – not just for me but for a world that more closely approaches what I think a moral world should be – but I will never lose sight of the fact that I am still placing a vote that will lead to outcomes that I also find morally quite suspect.

    But until you find me a candidate who might actually get elected and who is willing to talk in a serious way about changing budget priorities – why the fuck are we spending as much on our military as the rest of the world combined, again? why is it a good thing that any country at all, ourselves included, is strong enough to act entirely unilaterally? – I will be voting for a platform that makes me profoundly uneasy. I suspect many of you feel the same, and can find some sympathy for those who make a different devil’s bargain.

    1. snorkellingfish
      snorkellingfish November 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm |

      I agree that this choice is selfish at best and immoral at worst. But if I am asking others to treat people whose behavior they genuinely believe to be immoral with kindness and respect, then I feel that I owe people whose behavior I genuinely believe is immoral with kindness and respect.

      There’s lots and lots and lots of folks who talk about calling out behavior and not people as sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. And I think this is precisely how we need to behave here. Calling out someone as immoral, or treating them as a Bad Person, just alienates them rather than helping them to change.

      Can I ask: does it really matter if someone’s a bigoted person or just a person who says bigoted things?

      Personally, I don’t know if I can afford to treat someone who says, for example, homophobic things with kindness and respect. After all, what they’re saying is unkind to me and shows that they have little respect for me. If I have respect for them, that only makes those comments more hurtful. I need to be able to mentally decide that I don’t respect that person’s opinions in order to not feel shitty about myself.

      I mean, obviously it’s a question of degree. There’s a difference between an unconscious act of privilege from someone who’s well-meaning and interested in learning compared with someone who simply thinks I’m inferior for being gay or a woman or whatever else. I wouldn’t see the first person as immoral and I might try to teach them if I have the energy. However, I don’t think there’s any obligation for me to treat the second person with kindness and respect. I feel like it’s important to remember that when someone is unkind or disrespectful to someone who’s said or done something bigoted, it will often be less unkind or disrespectful than the initial act of bigotry.

      It seems like it’s a false equivalence to act like it’s the same for someone to disrespect an oppressed person for who they are than it is for an oppressed person to disrespect a privileged person for fucking them over. It’s like treating someone who randomly punches someone else the same as someone who punches someone else in genuine self defence.

    2. eve of destruction
      eve of destruction November 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm |

      Calling out someone as immoral, or treating them as a Bad Person, just alienates them rather than helping them to change.

      Boo hoo.

      And it’s so feminist to task women with helping other people to change, isn’t it? Like we’re the eternal mommies of social justice. I already do my part. They’re grown-ass adults and they can pick up their own dead moral asses already.

      1. EG
        EG November 6, 2012 at 10:17 am |

        Seriously. Too many liberals don’t want to accept that this is a fight, and kindness to enemies may have a tactical place, but it’s not an inherent virtue.

    3. Eve of Destruction
      Eve of Destruction November 5, 2012 at 8:20 pm |

      Calling out someone as immoral, or treating them as a Bad Person, just alienates them rather than helping them to change.

      It’s so feminist to task women with helping other people to change, isn’t it? Like we’re the eternal mommies of social justice.

      I already do my part. They’re grown-ass adults and they can pick up their own dead moral asses already. Also, the role of shame in getting assholes to stop being assholes is greatly underrated by the left.

  28. Bridget
    Bridget November 5, 2012 at 9:12 am |

    I live in Louisiana, where there are plenty of pro-life Democrats. In fact, there have been some races where there were no pro-choice Democrats running. Believe me, I have, at times, been a single-issue voter, and abortion was that issue. But I have also voted for pro-life Democrats because they seemed marginally better than the Republican candidate. So am I off-limits for dating, too?

    (it’s OK if I am…I’m married ;) )

    1. ks
      ks November 5, 2012 at 11:27 am |

      I live in Ohio, but my congress critter is decidedly mixed on choice issues. She’s mostly pro-life, but she’s decent on most other issues. I never vote for her in the primaries, but I always do in the general, and I feel awful about it. Given the option, I wouldn’t ever vote for anyone who wasn’t as militantly and completely pro-choice as I am, but a lot of the time, that option just isn’t available and we have to make the best of a lot of bad (or not as good as we’d like) options.

      So I can understand that sort of compromise, in the sense of making the best of a bad situation. It is why I’ll be voting for Obama tomorrow–he’s the most realistic, practical, and least bad option I can vote for that has a hope in hell of actually winning (because I’m pragmatic like that). And while a US with Obama as president isn’t exactly the best thing ever, as far as civil liberties and religious freedom and foreign policy and a whole host of other issues go, he at least represents an incremental change in the right direction, while a president Romney would be disastrous for the US and for the rest of the world.

      But, that said, I can’t imagine ever, ever voting for a Republican and I can’t imagine being in an intimate relationship (romantic or otherwise) with someone who is/does associate themselves with that brand of misogyny and bigotry. All of the people I’m closest to are varying degrees of left/progressive/liberal and are open about it. I do have family that I love dearly who are religious conservatives who would never dream of voting for somebody who wasn’t also, but, much as I do love them, we’re not close and I can’t respect that worldview at all (and I’m sure they feel the same way about openly liberal/atheist/feminist me).

      1. Alcharisi
        Alcharisi November 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm |

        Have to ask–is your congresswoman Marcy Kaptur?

  29. EG
    EG November 5, 2012 at 10:08 am |

    I really don’t understand the amount of pushback this post is getting. Is “You should probably make sure that the person you marry and you share your essential values” really such a controversial statement? Or is it that many people don’t think of political issues as essential? I wouldn’t marry a right-wing person in the same way I wouldn’t marry a religious person, no matter how nice or leftist, or someone who didn’t like children, even if I wasn’t planning on having any, because that person and I would not be able to provide support to each other on things that really matter to me.

    1. FashionablyEvil
      FashionablyEvil November 5, 2012 at 10:16 am |

      I mean, I don’t understand the insistence on treating everyone who votes Republican as a monolithic bloc and, similarly, treating a vote as a comprehensive statement of values and ethics.

      Would I sleep with someone who didn’t share my values or think that I was entitled to full bodily autonomy? Probably not. Would I marry them? Definitely not. But I am annoyed by the idea there is this One Great Evil out there that Good Feminists should avoid.

      1. Aydan
        Aydan November 5, 2012 at 10:20 am |

        Nothing to add, but I agree with you.

      2. EG
        EG November 5, 2012 at 10:35 am |

        I don’t understand how someone could be a Republican and yet not have to answer for the pretty horrific things the Republicans have done over my lifetime. If they’re not a monolithic political bloc…why are they supporting Republicans?

        1. Past my expiration date
          Past my expiration date November 5, 2012 at 10:47 am |

          Presumably they’re supporting Republicans because, on the whole, they agree with the Republican candidates’ positions. Not because they support every last thing any Republican politician, or the Republican Party, has ever said or done.

          I mean, I’ve voted for Democrats all of my voting life, and I’m a registered Democrat, and I certainly don’t support every last thing any Democratic politician, or the Democratic Party, has ever said or done.

        2. FashionablyEvil
          FashionablyEvil November 5, 2012 at 11:32 am |

          If I had voted for Bush in 2004 (which I did not), I would have been one of 62 million votes for Bush of a total 122 million votes cast. Individual accountability on this scale seems like a reach.

        3. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm |

          Right. And what I’m saying is that I’m not talking about a few isolated positions. I can’t think of a single Republican position on anything that I don’t find noxious, going back some time. So I’m very comfortable thinking of Republicans as a bloc.

    2. Aydan
      Aydan November 5, 2012 at 10:19 am |

      That’s not what Jill said, though. What she said was “don’t marry or have sex with Republicans.” Presumably the authors of the two pieces she linked to were capable of figuring out for themselves what constitutes “sharing essential values” for themselves, without having someone else dictate it to them.

      1. EG
        EG November 5, 2012 at 10:34 am |

        Yes. She also said that this was just her opinion and each to her own, and she was sure there were many happy cross-politics marriages. So…what’s the problem?

        1. Beatrice
          Beatrice November 5, 2012 at 10:41 am |

          The whole “but I’m going to judge you” and “what the hell is wrong with you, woman!?” attitude.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm |

          Honestly, Beatrice, there are things one judges anyone for.

        3. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

          I don’t see what’s wrong with being judgmental; I never have. So that’s just never going to bother me.

      2. EG
        EG November 5, 2012 at 10:36 am |

        I mean, why would their pieces–about how great it is to have a cross-politic marriage because bipartisanship and compromise and blah blah blah–be OK but a disagreeing piece not be?

        1. Aydan
          Aydan November 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

          Because their pieces didn’t talk about how people who thought differently from them were making a bad decision. They didn’t use their pieces to tell other adults who they should and should not sleep with. It was about them and their own experiences, not what they thought other people should do.

        2. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

          No, but their pieces are trite pap that I’ve heard a million times before. I much prefer judgmental bossiness. You can argue with that much more honestly.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 5, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

          It was about them and their own experiences, not what they thought other people should do.

          Really? You think there isn’t a massive amount of “if I can do it…” attached in there? I mean.

          “I’m happily married to someone who admires and propagates misogynistic, homophobic, xenophobic imperialism! Look how awesome my life is!” —> so? I mean, really. SO? Let’s look at an analogous sentiment: “I’m a black woman married to the Grand Wizard, but with just a bit of compromise and lurve we make things work okay!” or, or, let’s see, “I’m married to a homophobe who wants to kill gay people, but it’s okay, he likes my gay brother and even invited him to dinner!”

        4. Aydan
          Aydan November 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

          Macavitykitsune: No, I didn’t take that from the articles. To me, they read as “I know this sounds unusual but it works for us.” At any rate, nowhere in either of the two pieces did the authors tell other people who they should be marrying or having sex with or raising kids with.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 5, 2012 at 7:40 pm |

          At any rate, nowhere in either of the two pieces did the authors tell other people who they should be marrying or having sex with or raising kids with.

          And all Jill was saying was that SHE doesn’t think people should be with people who don’t think they’re people. I mean, seriously, it’s an opinion piece. Unless she overthrew the US government and installed a Feministe Dictatorship since the last time I checked the news, that isn’t the same as telling people what they should do or not. In fact, look! Right there in the article!

          Are there plenty of cross-party marriages and relationships that work? Yeah. And that’s fine — to each their own.

        6. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm |

          Unless she overthrew the US government and installed a Feministe Dictatorship since the last time I checked the news

          That would be awesome-sauce. I for one welcome our new Moderator Overlords.

          I got a definite holier-than-thou “I rise above all that inconsequential politics, and if only more people could follow my example–other people live in a bubble and and think their political opponents are inhuman” vibe from both pieces.

          Including the second one, where the woman was shocked–shocked!–to hear that many people wouldn’t want to marry someone with whom they disagreed politically–wow, who could have suspected that the way people feel about questions of human rights and happiness would actually, you know, matter to them?

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm |

          To me, they read as “I know this sounds unusual but it works for us.”

          Actually, on thinking about it a bit more, this is EXACTLY the problem with both these pieces: the idea that throwing your – or, less comprehensibly but even more reprehensibly, others’ – human rights under the bus because AWW TWU WUB is something new and novel that they’ve discovered that nobody ever thought to do before. As if chucking their ideals under their husbands’ feet isn’t something women have done for thousands of years, without half as much sanctimonious pomposity.

        8. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable November 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm |

          They didn’t use their pieces to tell other adults who they should and should not sleep with.

          The only guy I want to fuck right now is voting for Romney tomorrow.

          A long time ago (probably around the time I was assaulted), I learned it was not feasible for me to cut people out of my life just because they were stupid and didn’t know any better. I am privileged enough that I can spend time differentiating whether someone is a hateful bigot or an ignorant bigot (the difference was necessary to preserve my emotional health).

          There is not a single part of me that read this post and thought Jill could actually give a fuck who I screw or marry. And to be honest, if she did (she doesn’t), I couldn’t give a fuck if she gives a fuck. What’s the issue? She didn’t use enough platitudes for you?

    3. matlun
      matlun November 5, 2012 at 11:00 am |

      Surely the outcome of this thread is not that surprising?

      No one can (honestly) dispute that some political and ideological positions would be this type of deal breaker. Exactly where the line goes is debateable, but everyone should be able to agree on the principle.

      What Jill did was to declare that being a Republican should be seen as this type of unacceptable position. Ie about half of the population of the US should be shunned as extremists with utterly unacceptable politics.

      1. EG
        EG November 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm |

        The Republicans have made themselves into extremists by dragging further and further right over the years.

        1. matlun
          matlun November 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

          True.

          My point was just that when you publish this kind of harsh condemnation of a very large portion of the population, pushback should not be surprising. I did not really understand your surprise.

        2. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm |

          I think it’s just that if politics really matter to you–and surely politics is more likely to matter to commenters on a political blog than to randomly selected people–doesn’t it make sense to want to be with somebody with whom those basic values are in harmony? This seems like common sense to me: by and large, the opposites-attract folk wisdom is untrue; the general trend is far more “birds of a feather.”

    4. Kristen J.
      Kristen J. November 5, 2012 at 11:27 am |

      Agreed. Voting for a republican means one of four things: 1) social conservatism, 2) fiscal conservatism, 3) libertarianism, or 4) pro-guns. The first three are non-starters. My bodily autonomy is not up for debate. Neon conservative capitalism is immoral. Libertarianism is as well. Gun rights I disagree about but do not find morally objectionable. But putting up with the other three for gun rights is. So yes I don’t volunteer for personal relationships with people I think support things I find wholly repugnant. I’m sure they feel similarly about the abortion on demand, socialist, choice egalitarian views that I hold.

  30. Tom Foolery
    Tom Foolery November 5, 2012 at 10:15 am |

    If people being treated like human beings is your jam, I’d avoid marrying Democrats also. The Democratic platform is pretty anti-human as it relates to drug users, prisoners, schoolchildren, Pakistanis/Yemenis/Iranians/Libyans, and other large bodies of powerless people.

    1. EG
      EG November 5, 2012 at 10:40 am |

      Yep. This is what I mean. Being with a Democrat or liberal is already me compromising and accepting. Why would I want to go any farther than that?

  31. Revolver
    Revolver November 5, 2012 at 10:30 am |

    For me it comes down to lack of respect. There’s the obvious lack of respect a Republican dating candidate probably has for my body and worth, but I also have no respect for his intelligence and compassion. It’s like with religion: I just can’t hold an adequate level of respect for someone who believes in a man in the sky and uses that to judge others. The same with Republicans – I just can’t respect someone who believes that a fetus’ rights supercede a woman’s, or that Mittens is a good candidate for the presidency. This hypothetical date may well be very intelligent, but I don’t think highly of his critical thinking skills.

  32. Oliver
    Oliver November 5, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    1) In response to Jenna: People can be religious and very liberal. There’s definitely a majority of Christian religious people who are conservative, but I’ve grown up in the church and frankly, most of the people I know from church are pretty liberal. I’m an outlier as a pro-choice, lesbian, etc Christian, but not the only one. Just pointing that out because liberal religious people don’t get much press and tend to get ignored by other liberals. We also probably don’t speak loudly enough, so that’s why I’m pointing it out.

    2) I really hate the idea that the only reason people are awful for voting for Mitt Romney is because of gay rights. I see this a lot in political Facebook posts from gay friends: if you can’t support my rights…etc. Frankly, economic policy is an even worse argument for voting for Mitt than the social ones. I can understand (theoretically) why a certain worldview would lead to being pro-life and anti-gay. I find it abhorrent, but comprehensible as a logical if legalistic – and sexist – outgrowth of certain values.

    But those same core values absolutely do NOT lead one to a Republican economic policy, which promotes a world absolutely at odds with the Kingdom of God Jesus promotes. This is not a Dominionist Evangelical kingdom, but a world with radically altered ideas of justice, where the poor will be lifted up. Jesus doesn’t say anything about gay marriage, but he is pretty clear on God’s concern for economic justice – “Sell all you have and give it to the poor” are his literal (translated) words. You can argue that God intends for this to happen through charity, I suppose, but you can’t argue in favor of a regressive tax policy that actively reallocates wealth upwards. I cannot fathom a Christian voting for such a policy, yet that’s the state of politics and Christianity in this country. It’s depressing and abhorrent to me.

    But as a gay woman – frankly – if the combination of social and economic policies were switched and Obama was anti-gay but still pro-economic justice, I’d have to think seriously about voting for him anyway. I am sick of well-off white LGBT folks (as seen on my Facebook, not here) only caring about gay marriage. Women’s rights are a separate issue, as those policies (from my experience) cause more active, devastating harm than the lack of gay marriage, but just gay rights on their own – that’s not why I’m voting for Obama. That’s not why you shouldn’t vote for Mittens. It’s a good talking point for gay folks who have conservative friends, since it hits close to home, but it’s not, for me anyway, the reason why I absolutely could not date a conservative (though I’ve met few conservative lesbians, ha!).

    1. rain
      rain November 5, 2012 at 11:56 am |

      Thanks for pointing out #1. I wasn’t aware that Christian liberals existed. Certainly no Christians have ever come to feministe and said, “Hey, we’re not all like that!”

      1. Angel H.
        Angel H. November 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm |

        Actually, we have but we always get shouted down.

        1. Oliver
          Oliver November 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm |

          I’m pretty sure Rain is being sarcastic. But yes, I think announcing one’s liberal Christianity doesn’t tend to go well on liberal blogs. Some of that I really empathize with and some I find to be unfairly biased, but it’s definitely the usual reaction.

        2. Niall
          Niall November 6, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

          For the same reason MRAs, manspainers and other assorted trolls get shouted down when a dude barges in here and says “but not all men are rapists, misogynistic etc”

          If Christians spent more time calling out and challenging those Christians who are giving their faith
          a bad rap rather than whinging on blogs and message boards, the world be would be a lot better off. The same goes for mansplainers.

        3. Oliver
          Oliver November 7, 2012 at 1:20 am |

          I speak up at every opportunity. But queer women are not exactly high on the food chain in conservative Christian circles. The relative privilege of liberal men to men as a whole does not mirror the relative privilege of queer Christians to conservative Christianity.

      2. Oliver
        Oliver November 5, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

        I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be offensive. I’ve started saying this more because a) people have said that liberal Christians don’t speak up enough to be counted as a valid counter to conservative Christians and b) I have encountered a LOT of people who assume liberal Christians don’t exist or exist in such small numbers as to be irrelevant. So it’s seemed in my experience that sometimes it does need to be pointed out. I’m not claiming to be a persecuted minority – I’m really not – but I think if I want to claim that Christians aren’t all bad I probably need to speak up about being one of the non-bad ones (and of course speak up TO the bad ones, which is a separate thing that I also try to do). I didn’t mean to be splainy, but I can see how it would read that way. I’m very sorry. I hope you can understand why someone who is a queer Christian woman might feel the need to speak up about it.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan November 6, 2012 at 11:51 am |

          I think people mean that liberal Christians don’t speak up enough to other Christians. Your religious group is fucking assholish right now; talk to them about it, not us.

        2. Oliver
          Oliver November 7, 2012 at 1:13 am |

          Believe me, I do, even though a queer woman doesn’t exactly have standing in conservative Christian circles. I’d just like to feel more welcome in liberal/women’s/queer spaces. It’s not that I feel *unwelcome* but it is difficult sometimes and I don’t really think it needs to be. That’s why I speak up. But I get that this probably wasn’t the moment to do so, and I apologize for that.

        3. The Real Pope 420
          The Real Pope 420 November 7, 2012 at 3:57 am |

          Hey yes. Also Muslims should spend more time telling Al Quaida types not to do bad things, and should spend the rest of their lives trying to combat stupid stereotypes as well. We need them to, because we can’t be bothered to take nuanced views and treat people as individuals. Takes away from time we need to spend ensuring the ideological purity of our relationships.

          Honestly, liberal Christians should spend LESS time apologizing for the rest of Christianity. Just be good Christians to the best of your ability and understanding, and fuck ideological purity. It’s a sucker’s game.

        4. EG
          EG November 7, 2012 at 4:06 pm |

          Yeah, and if Muslims were a dominant power in this country, using that power to try to legislate their religious beliefs, your analogy would work. As it is…no.

        5. The Real Pope 420
          The Real Pope 420 November 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm |

          As it is…you’re still wrong because she’s an individual who believes in certain things. If you just want to make blanket judgements about large groups of people then you’re doing the same thing we decry in others.

          Oh, but we’re on the side of right, so it’s ok for us.

          Oh nope. Furthermore, it’s not her job, or even her place to apologize for or explain other people. You know there are Liberal Christians and so does everyone else. Why should she explain things you already know?

        6. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish November 7, 2012 at 5:08 pm |

          Hey yes. Also Muslims should spend more time telling Al Quaida types not to do bad things, and should spend the rest of their lives trying to combat stupid stereotypes as well. We need them to, because we can’t be bothered to take nuanced views and treat people as individuals. Takes away from time we need to spend ensuring the ideological purity of our relationships.

          Uh, context matters. This conversation is happening among people in a society where conservative Christians attempt to use the fact that the majority of society is Christian as a justification to pass bigoted policies. Conservative Christians say things like:

          “We live in a Christian society. Christians believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, so we shouldn’t change a definition of marriage supported by the silent majority.”

          “We live in a Christian society. Christians believe that life begins at conception, so we should legislate that life begins at conception.”

          “We live in a Christian society. Schools and government should therefore enforce Christian prayer because the majority shouldn’t bend to the needs of minorities.”

          In that context, it matters that progressive Christians speak out and tell the conservative bigots, “Hey, you don’t speak for me. Stop using my beliefs as an excuse for your bigotry.” It sounds like that’s exactly what Oliver’s doing – and it would be nice if more Christians were willing to support her rather than allow bigotry against her to continue through their silence. It’s quite different to talking about other religions that have less societal power, because they’re not the ones trying to enforce a particular conservative interpretation of their beliefs on everyone else (at least not in the US, which I think is where this discussion is focusing on – or in my country, for that matter).

        7. Oliver
          Oliver November 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm |

          For what it’s worth, I will say that the liberal Christians I know speak up, and frequently. I have a lot of Facebook friends who are members of my dad’s church and they post often about political issues. Their other friends may or may not know that they are Christian, but they can’t miss the politics. I really don’t know any liberal Christians I’d call silent.

          I think that there are two related problems when it comes to liberal Christians speaking up: one, the people we are speaking up against often do not recognize us as Christians. This isn’t like a football player telling other football players to cut out the gay slurs. We don’t have that kind of standing, especially if we are queer. So we can speak up, but our opinion is worth the same as or less than other liberals to the conservatives we’re trying to convince.

          The second is that our own group, liberals, doesn’t always recognize us either. So just as Fox News is unlikely to give us a platform, the Daily Show isn’t exactly brimming with queer or liberal Christians. Colbert, interestingly enough, is a liberal Christian (Catholic) and you can sometimes see that in his work. MSNBC will sometimes have folks like Bishop Gene Robinson, a gay man, on, but probably not as often as they cover conservative Christians. I’d like to see liberals counter conservative Christian viewpoints with not only “you’re wrong” but the occasional “you’re wrong and not all Christians agree with you.”

        8. EG
          EG November 8, 2012 at 3:34 pm |

          You know there are Liberal Christians and so does everyone else. Why should she explain things you already know?

          I agree that she shouldn’t, which is why there is no need to bring it up unprovoked in her comment.

          I’d like to see liberals counter conservative Christian viewpoints with not only “you’re wrong” but the occasional “you’re wrong and not all Christians agree with you.”

          Honestly, that is the job of liberals who are also Christian. As a Jewish atheist, I wouldn’t care if all Christians did agree. This is a secular state, and Christianity does not have the kind of history that encourages me to think of it as a moral authority on anything.

        9. EG
          EG November 8, 2012 at 3:37 pm |

          If you just want to make blanket judgements about large groups of people then you’re doing the same thing we decry in others.

          Bullshit. I don’t start whining about all the good white people when black people who have had it up to here with racism ask what the fuck is wrong with whites, and I expect the same kind of courtesy from Christians. When you’re a member of the dominant group, you can handle it.

        10. Oliver
          Oliver November 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

          EG, you’re right that my comment was unprovoked – I misunderstood Jenna’s original comment. I apologize, and I’m also sorry for creating (and adding to) this big derail. I certainly didn’t mean to whine, I just thought it might be helpful to add an alternative perspective on the liberal/Christian thing, since it’s sometimes been helpful in my non-internet experience, but it clearly was not useful here. Many sincere apologies; I won’t do it again.

    2. Oliver
      Oliver November 5, 2012 at 12:38 pm |

      Oh, and to Jenna, I apologize to you as well – your comment didn’t really say what I read it as saying. It was a kneejerk reaction, I’m sorry.

    3. Donna L
      Donna L November 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm |

      Gay rights (or LGBT rights) are not synonymous with the right to same-sex marriage. Most LGBT people I know — including both me and my son — understand that there are more pressing issues, like a trans-inclusive ENDA and protection from discrimination in housing and public accommodations. And other issues as well. Any and all of which I think are entirely sufficient as justifiable reasons never to vote Republican. It’s easy to caricature people who care about such things as “well-off white LGBT folks,” but I don’t think that’s really fair.

      1. Oliver
        Oliver November 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm |

        Donna, you are completely right that gay marriage is not the only or the most important gay-rights issue, and that many gay rights issues *are* economic. I’m really not trying to caricature, I’m speaking of a large number of people I know personally, who are middle-income white gay women that are far more focused on gay marriage than any other rights or justice issues. In the fight against Romney, they’re happy to sideline economic issues in favor of the marriage argument. They’ll say things like, “I know people are voting for Romney based on economics, but that means you’re voting against my rights,” as if Romney would be okay if he only supported gay marriage. I’ve heard that sort of thing so much I thought others would too. I don’t want people to ignore gay marriage, and I don’t even mind if that’s your #1 issue, I’d just like to see some liberal gay folks pay a little more attention to economic justice. I’d like to see us willing to acknowledge and fight for a coalition across class and race lines.

        1. Rhoanna
          Rhoanna November 6, 2012 at 10:52 am |

          Of course, for some people being able to get married is an economic issue. It can mean access to a potential spouse’s health insurance, tax benefits if incomes are disparate, survivor’s benefits if one of them dies, ease of inheritance, etc. That’s not to say that marriage should be the only way to get those, but in the current climate, it might be easier to get same-sex marriage than a host of other things.

        2. Oliver
          Oliver November 7, 2012 at 1:23 am |

          Agreed – but the economics of it are often ignored.

    4. snorkellingfish
      snorkellingfish November 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm |

      I’m genuinely curious, so tell me if this is problematic: but would it be different if I (as a gay person) used marriage equality as a tool to challenge people’s choice to vote for a conservative party?

      Like, I disagree with the political views of the inaptly named conservative-leaning Liberal Party in Australia on a whole bunch of issues. However, I’m not personally affected by a lot of those issues in the same way, which means that any argument I’d make would have a lot less emotional resonance than something like, “If you vote Liberal, you’re voting against my rights – and that’s your choice, but it’s something you should be aware of if you actually care about me.” Is it still a matter of selfishly throwing other (more important) issues aside for the one that affects me or is it a way to try to get people towards voting for the major party with marginally better policies on a whole raft of issues?

      I’m interested in your opinion.

      1. Oliver
        Oliver November 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

        I think that’s what a lot of folks do, at least in my personal experience. I would like to see my friends that do so spend some time on economic issues as well, since I know that they support progressive tax policy at least on some level. I’m thinking in terms of, “Hey, I support Obama for a variety of reasons, but here’s one that might mean something to you,” as opposed to just, “If you don’t vote for Obama you don’t support my rights” with no mention of other issues. But I agree that the personal resonance of a gay rights plea is probably more effective than a purely economic argument. I expect more and more Republicans will begin to support gay rights for that reason. They know gay people even if they don’t know poor people.

  33. Oliver
    Oliver November 5, 2012 at 11:19 am |

    Ack, that comment is totally a Frankencomment of multiple ideas. I’m not saying gay folks (or anyone, really) should share my religious views about poverty. I’m just saying that I find Romney’s economics even more offensive than his opposition to gay rights, for a variety of reasons, and I would hope that conservative/Christians might be open to that argument as well as recognizing his effect on their gay friends. But alas, they are not. I would also hope that privileged LGBT folks might focus equally on economic issues, a la Queers for Economic Justice, instead of just focusing on gay marriage. I hope that makes some sense.

  34. tomek
    tomek November 5, 2012 at 11:37 am |

    have not the feminists have learned to keep politics out of the bed room by now? it is the differences that make us attractive to the other. opposites attract as indeed the scientists say

    peace and respect to all!

    1. Attackfish
      Attackfish November 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm |

      The personal is political, sweet cheeks.

    2. petpluto
      petpluto November 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm |

      have not the feminists have learned to keep politics out of the bed room by now?

      Tell you what, when politics keeps clear of what goes on in my bedroom, as well as the decisions I make regarding my bedroom behavior (birth control, abortion, sex ed, etc.), then I won’t base who I do what with on their political leanings. Until that day, though, I’m going to be having what my partner thinks about politics as my personal rubric. And the fact that my partner is pro-choice, pro sex-ed, and pro-me having bodily autonomy is something I find ridiculously sexy; so I’m sure he’d like it if I kept politics in the bedroom too.

    3. Donna L
      Donna L November 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm |

      opposites attract as indeed the scientists say

      So that means I’m supposed to be attracted to some self-loathing t*****-chaser who votes Republican and supports policies that would either prevent me from obtaining the same civil rights as other people or would deprive me of those rights I do have?

    4. Jadey
      Jadey November 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm |

      Find me those reputable scientists making reasonable interpretations of valid data and I will sleep with a Republican.

      opposites attract as indeed the scientists say

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm |

        The scientists say that about magnets, not people.

    5. tomek
      tomek November 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm |

      we all atracted to what is we dont understand. i see young left wing girl shy but with the fire in her heart and i think she is cute. and when a girl such as she see alpha-male, dressed good and right-wind treat people like dirt… she dont understand but she feels overwhelming that she want to be his, you see?

      1. EG
        EG November 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm |

        and when a girl such as she see alpha-male, dressed good and right-wind treat people like dirt… she dont understand but she feels overwhelming that she want to be his, you see?

        Not only don’t I see, but as a left-wing woman and former girl, I can assure you that this never, ever happened to me or anybody I knew.

      2. librarygoose
        librarygoose November 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm |

        and when a girl such as she see alpha-male, dressed good and right-wind treat people like dirt… she dont understand but she feels overwhelming that she want to be his, you see?

        …Do you read a lot of Fifty Shades of Gray?

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm |

          YOU SAID THE NAME

          *hisses, spits, hastily beats out the fire that sprang up on her skin*

        2. librarygoose
          librarygoose November 5, 2012 at 6:31 pm |

          I felt terrible writing it.
          I’m sorry Mac…so sorry.

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune November 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

        alpha-male, dressed good and right-wind treat people like dirt

        Funny. Usually my response is “I don’t understand, but I feel overwhelmingly like I want to be in another room.”

        1. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

          I usually end up feeling that my father was right about some things, and that’s never comfortable!

      4. mxe354
        mxe354 November 5, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

        Am I the only one creeped out here?

        1. Attackfish
          Attackfish November 5, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

          No.

        2. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish November 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

          Not at all.

        3. mxe354
          mxe354 November 5, 2012 at 6:08 pm |

          My fault for being incredibly vague. I just get shivers up my spine when I hear someone talk about how all women have some burning desire to be dominated by men.

      5. Attackfish
        Attackfish November 5, 2012 at 5:46 pm |

        Well, I’m a woman now, not a girl, but I am liberal, and you would probably call me shy, and I like to think I have a fire in my heart, but my normal response to right wing alpha males is an overwhelming desire to GO FOR THE EYES!

        Hmm.

      6. tomek
        tomek November 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm |

        you girls are funny and i mean no disrespect by that you are good with jokes. but i think this is a something that girls will deny when you tell it to them, but they still feel it in their loins.

        also in my country we say girl for girl who is less than 35 and has not had child, it is not intended with disrespect. after she had child or she is older than 35 she is woman and then later still she is lady.

        peace and respect to all

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune November 5, 2012 at 6:11 pm |

          but i think this is a something that girls will deny when you tell it to them, but they still feel it in their loins.

          Sweetie, I haven’t felt things in my loins for alpha males…ever. No, seriously, I can tell you this with authority. I mean, really. It’s a question of opposites attracting, you know?

        2. librarygoose
          librarygoose November 5, 2012 at 6:30 pm |

          Oh sweet Darwin, could you never mention loins again? My stomach can’t take it.

        3. Jadey
          Jadey November 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

          You say “respect”, but then do not act with it.

          Don’t tell us how we should feel. Acknowledge how we’re telling you we feel. Your intentions are not a defense.

        4. mxe354
          mxe354 November 5, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

          Oh sweet Darwin, could you never mention loins again? My stomach can’t take it.

          Ditto. It would also be nice if ze also stopped referring to all women as “girls”.

        5. Attackfish
          Attackfish November 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm |

          but i think this is a something that girls will deny when you tell it to them, but they still feel it in their loins.

          You may think that. Doesn’t make it true.

          also in my country we say girl for girl who is less than 35 and has not had child, it is not intended with disrespect. after she had child or she is older than 35 she is woman and then later still she is lady.

          We have this saying in social justice circles. Intent isn’t magic. In other words, just because you don’t see that attitude you’re talking about as disrespectful doesn’t make it any less disrespectful. A girl is a child. Equating grown women with children is by definition a way to infantalize us and put us on an uneven playing field with men. Would you like it if I called all men under 35 with no children boys? What about a twelve-year-old with a child? Do you call her a woman? It is also used to blur the line between a woman and a child. If a grown woman is still a girl, what’s wrong with sleeping with a younger girl, a barely pubescent girl? We infantalize adult women and sexualize young girls shamefully in society. It’s sexist and disrespectful.

        6. EG
          EG November 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm |

          i think this is a something that girls will deny when you tell it to them, but they still feel it in their loins.

          What’s funny is how you think you have a better insight into how women feel than women do.

          Wait, not funny. What is it I mean? Oh, right. Sexist bullshit.

          in my country we say girl for girl who is less than 35 and has not had child, it is not intended with disrespect. after she had child or she is older than 35 she is woman and then later still she is lady.

          Intend what you want; it is still disrespectful. Women do not need babies to become adults.

          You want to show respect? Refer to us as adults and listen to what we have to say about our own experiences, rather than projecting your sexual fantasies on to infantilized versions of us.

        7. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm |

          you girls are funny and i mean no disrespect by that you are good with jokes. but i think this is a something that girls will deny when you tell it to them, but they still feel it in their loins.

          also in my country we say girl for girl who is less than 35 and has not had child, it is not intended with disrespect. after she had child or she is older than 35 she is woman and then later still she is lady.

          peace and respect to all

          Look here boy,

          You are making up a load of lies.. No English speaking country uses those terms to denote 35 year periods of lifespan. If you are talking about a non-English speaking country, then they obviously don’t use the words ‘girl’, ‘woman’ or ‘lady,’ do they?

        8. Combray
          Combray November 6, 2012 at 6:00 am |

          but i think this is a something that girls will deny when you tell it to them, but they still feel it in their loins.

          This sounds an awful lot like “she said ‘no’, but she meant ‘yes'”. Yuck.

        9. Attackfish
          Attackfish November 6, 2012 at 9:37 am |

          @Combray: And also “All you women lie, so I don’t need to listen to you.” There’s no way any of that isn’t gross

        10. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan November 6, 2012 at 11:55 am |

          Alpha males, huh? So when my loins clench up uncontrollably like a vise and try to shrivel up into my torso, that’s desire? Boy have I been wrong all these years!

        11. Chataya
          Chataya November 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm |

          I feel a sudden craving for pork…

      7. Alara Rogers
        Alara Rogers November 6, 2012 at 11:56 am |

        This is a very common fallacy.

        Women are attracted to guys who are hot. Given a choice between a guy who is sexy, confident and a total asshole, or a guy who is nervous, shy and unattractive but a genuinely decent person (note: this would be unlike many men who claim to be nervous, shy, unattractive NiceGuys, because when you hear them talk about women they plainly think we are a video game and when you get the combo right you ought to get pussy), women, particularly young women who haven’t learned better, will go for the sexy asshole. This does not mean they are attracted to him because he is an asshole.

        Likewise, given a choice between a beautiful, sexy woman who is arrogant and treats them like crap, and a genuinely nice, gentle, unattractive woman, we know for a fact that it’s expected that men will prefer the beautiful one. There’s even a belief that the phrase “She has a nice personality” means “She’s ugly.” So why don’t we assume that men secretly want to be treated like dirt? It’s because men are the ones who’ve been allowed to write and talk about sex and desire for centuries, and they’ve been telling us for years that they are attracted to beautiful jerks because they are beautiful and in spite of them being jerks. Yet when men see women falling for hot guys who are jerks, men assume the reason is that women want jerks, not that women want hot guys and will put up with jerks.

        There’s also a persistent belief among NiceGuys and other sorts that if a woman treats you as a friend, it means you will never get to have sex with her, and therefore you should hold her more at a distance and be less nice to her. This is in fact the worst possible advice. Women do not “friendzone” guys who could otherwise have been boyfriends. Women decide whether a guy is boyfriend material on the basis of whether they find him attractive, and then decide if he is friend material on the basis of whether they find him fun to hang out with. If a woman finds you unattractive, your choices with her are friendship or no relationship whatsoever; being her boyfriend isn’t an option. If a woman *does* find you attractive, being friends with you won’t cause her to rule you out as a boyfriend; women prefer boyfriends who treat them as friends, ie, with respect and empathy. But if you come on to a friend who is not attracted to you, she is going to tell you “I think of you as a friend” because she is too kind to say “I’m sorry, dude, I love ya but you are hideous and the idea of seeing you naked makes me wanna barf.”

        It *is* true that women are attracted to confidence. I am fairly certain that biologically, humans are attracted to confidence, based on who we make friends with, who we want to spend time with, and who we’re willing to listen to, and the only reason men are capable of wanting sex with shy, nervous women is that they’ve been been taught by centuries of male dominance that a woman being a total doormat is a good thing and what they should expect of women. Women haven’t been taught that male doormats are good things, so women haven’t learned to override their natural desire for confidence and personal strength in a partner. It is also true that many confident people are assholes. So women are more likely to select an asshole than a shy guy if they are identical twins with different personalities, as long as the asshole comes across as confident and not insufferable when they first meet.

        These factors, combined, make men think women want a strong alpha male who will dominate them and treat them like dirt. This is not true. It has never been true. Women want a strong confident attractive man who will treat them well, but they’ll cut a hot guy a *lot* of slack, just like men will do for a hot woman. It’s just that men who are not attractive are so resistant to recognizing that they’re not attractive that they assume the reason they can’t get a girl and the hot jerk can is that the hot jerk is a jerk; otherwise they would have to admit to themselves that in fact the reason is that they are not hot. (It probably doesn’t help them that the range of what women consider attractive in a man is much, much wider than the range of what men consider attractive in a woman, as men have been influenced by a relentless drumbeat of advertising telling them what to find attractive. People don’t use hot guys to sell things to women nearly as much as they use the promise of *being* hot to sell things to women; people do use hot women to sell things to guys. So women actually have more freedom to make up their own natural minds about what’s attractive than men do, as advertising hasn’t been hitting them over the head with images of The One True Male Body To Find Attractive as it has been doing to men regarding women. And thus, many women find men attractive where other women, and other men, do not find that guy attractive, making it hard for other men to recognize that the reason she is with him is that she thinks he’s hot.)

        Back on topic… liberal women who find a conservative guy hot are unfortunately willing to cut him the same kind of slack they would cut any hot asshole. So I do understand how these relationships happen. If women weren’t capable of falling in love with guys who don’t think women should have rights to their own bodies, then either the patriarchy would never have come into existence or the human race would have died out; it is *normal*, historically speaking, for women to be attracted to men despite the fact that men treat them as objects, because that has pretty much described almost all men throughout the world for at least the past 5000 years until two generations ago. Actively telling women “you should not be willing to sleep with a man who doesn’t think you deserve the same human rights you do” is therefore good and necessary advice if we want to move forward into a world where most men think women deserve basic human rights; men have been able to get away with treating women like crap for millennia because women would love them anyway, but the reason the women would love them anyway is that there was no better alternative. Now there is. Hot guys who think you are a person with rights and you deserve full control over your own body exist now. Reminding women that they have that choice now, that they can boycott men who treat them as underpeople without it resulting in a life without love, is necessary as a counterbalance against the centuries of being told that it’s ok if a man doesn’t respect you as long as he loves you.

        1. tomek
          tomek November 6, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

          disagree. i think not that humans have natural attraction to confidence. i think only this is true of woman. personally i find shy woman cute an this is not something that has been teached to me this is natural feeling. shy and nice is attractive in woman

          for woman it is opposite like u say, they want strong confident man someone who is treats them well but asserts his place above others with skill. which its this no problem because it easy to act like that

          but anyway wat i was my point was that woman are finding attractive what is the opposite of themselves what men find attractive. so it makes sense that liberal girl would be into conservative man and conservative man into liberal girl. liberal guy out of picture haha and conservative woman just wierd

        2. Lyanna
          Lyanna November 6, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

          I want to print out, laminate and frame this comment and hang it on the wall above my bed. It is that fantastic.

        3. EG
          EG November 6, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

          i think not that humans have natural attraction to confidence. i think only this is true of woman. personally i find shy woman cute an this is not something that has been teached to me this is natural feeling. shy and nice is attractive in woman

          Eh, I think you’re just saying this. You wouldn’t want to admit that you actually prefer loud, confident women, so you say this, but it’s not true.

          woman are finding attractive what is the opposite of themselves what men find attractive. so it makes sense that liberal girl would be into conservative man and conservative man into liberal girl.

          You can keep saying this, but that won’t make it true. Over and over again, sociological studies show that birds of a feather flock together far, far more often than opposites attract.

        4. Attackfish
          Attackfish November 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm |

          You know, I’ve noticed that one of the huge exceptions to being attracted to confidence is abusers. They’re not attracted to a confident mate/victim. They want somebody unsure of themselves. Or some people with low self confidence themselves want a partner with low self confidence who might be convinced to admire them. Anyone think Tomek could fit one of those?

          Eh, I think you’re just saying this. You wouldn’t want to admit that you actually prefer loud, confident women, so you say this, but it’s not true.

          EG. Perfect. Given the crap this guy just tried to feed us about not wanting to admit what we feel in our loins, let’s see him get a taste.

        5. Stubborn Kind of Fellow
          Stubborn Kind of Fellow November 7, 2012 at 1:15 am |

          Couldn’t agree with this more, Alara. It should be the last word on the subject and reposted whenever it comes up.

        6. DouglasG
          DouglasG November 7, 2012 at 3:41 am |

          A post of surgical precision and a joy to behold.

          [There’s even a belief that the phrase “She has a nice personality” means “She’s ugly.”]

          For some reason this reminded me of somebody’s theory of attraction which effectively resembled a lopsided hourglass. Using a 0-10 scale, there would be some 10s and 9s at the top, many 1s and 0s at the bottom, and effectively almost nobody in between. Would that sort of outlook strike you as more typically male or female?

          [So why don’t we assume that men secretly want to be treated like dirt? It’s because men are the ones who’ve been allowed to write and talk about sex and desire for centuries, and they’ve been telling us for years that they are attracted to beautiful jerks because they are beautiful and in spite of them being jerks.]

          Very Austenian, and reminiscent of Anne Elliot and Captain Harville having to disqualify the testimony of literature in their friendly dispute over whether men or women were more constant because men had written all the books.

      8. BabyRaptor
        BabyRaptor November 7, 2012 at 9:26 am |

        Speaking as a left-wing woman…No. Fuck no. The last thing I want is *anyone* who feels it’s okay to treat someone like dirt. I’m also really not fond of Right wingers. Put the two together? Not in a million years.

        Also, please quit telling us what we want.

  35. Fat Steve
    Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 11:39 am |

    Don’t even sex someone who votes Republican.

    I’m reminded of the joke Woody Allen used to have in his stand up act about dating a woman in the EIsenhower administration.
    ‘I was trying to do to her what EIsenhower was doing to the country.’

    1. Chingona
      Chingona November 5, 2012 at 2:19 pm |

      That’s not violent or creepy at all.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 3:19 pm |

        In terms of Woody Allen, I’d say trying to have consensual sex with a woman his own age or older is amongst the least creepy things he’s done. Not sure what you mean by violent, though, so I’m not going to disagree about that, but I’d have to know exactly what you mean.

        1. Chingona
          Chingona November 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

          I don’t care whether you disagree, and I should think my meaning is fairly obvious. The joke relies on the het manly notion that sex is something men do (often violently) to women, and that the recipient of a fuck has somehow been damaged or injured. Eisenhower fucked the country, Allen’s character wants to try to fuck a woman in precisely the same fashion.

          I know I busted a rib laughing, humorless manhater that I am.

        2. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm |

          I don’t care whether you disagree, and I should think my meaning is fairly obvious. The joke relies on the het manly notion that sex is something men do (often violently) to women, and that the recipient of a fuck has somehow been damaged or injured. Eisenhower fucked the country, Allen’s character wants to try to fuck a woman in precisely the same fashion.

          I know I busted a rib laughing, humorless manhater that I am.

          Don’t be under the impression that I think the joke is hilarious. I just said that particular line of the OP reminded me of that joke. As should be clear from my previous post, I hold no love for Woody Allen. In particular, Woody Allen is the perfect example of why political affiliation is no indication of character.

          And I know you said you don’t care, but I do agree with your assessment of the joke, and I have no doubt that despite it’s offensiveness, it was fairly mild compared to the nightclub comedians of the late 1950’s.

        3. Chingona
          Chingona November 5, 2012 at 10:50 pm |

          I don’t know what the 1950s have to do with anything in particular. That sentiment (fucking someone means you win) exists today, what with dudes who appear to be believe that jokes revolving around the damage chainsaws do to “pussy” are the height of subversive wit.

          I didn’t think you approved, but it really matters not. It’s a shitty thought, and from the mouth of Alvy Singer (where I originally heard it), it spoke volumes. Run, Annie, run.

        4. Chingona
          Chingona November 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm |

          I absolutely agree, however, that professed political affiliation is not a reliable indicator of a good, desirable partner. Hating Eisenhower openly can’t compensate for other retrograde values, as it were. Being a registered Democrat in an election where both Democrats and actual leftwing people are bleating “Needs must!” doesn’t really count for much.

  36. Sid
    Sid November 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

    “Because the Republican party is hostile to women’s humanity. The Republican party is hostile to women having the most fundamental rights to their own bodies. The Republican party is hostile to gay people even existing, let alone enjoying the same rights and privileges as straight citizens. The Republican party campaigns on racism.”

    The Democratic party has been pretty hostile to humanity period over the last few years, particularly those with brown skin. They have been hostile to people existing period, and also to citizen’s children’s rights to be tried under due process before they are bombed. And the Democratic party hasn’t been racist over the last 4 years? Sex/Wed those who share your values, sure, but let’s not pretend the left has been a clarion moral standard over the right over this last presidential term.

    1. April
      April November 6, 2012 at 1:27 am |

      Yes. This is what I find most disagreeable with this argument — the implied idea that while a vote for a Republican means the voter is 100% in favor of all of the candidate’s policies and views, that a vote for a Democrat means the voter is far more innocent and in no way implies an agreement with the worst of the Democrat’s views. Obama and Romney agree on many of the most egregious of policies; how is this not up for debate? How are Democrat voters not as responsible for drone killings, deportations, the PATRIOT Act, and scores of other things, just as much as Republican voters are apparently on the hook for anti-choice legislature and neoliberalism?

      1. DonnaL
        DonnaL November 6, 2012 at 2:54 am |

        The obvious distinction is that with respect to (for example) the right to choose, if you vote Republican you’re voting against choice even though you had the opportunity to vote for a viable pro-choice candidate. It’s a stark choice between good and bad. With respect to most of the other issues you mention, that isn’t the case. Essentially the same policies will be followed no matter which candidate wins, so the “responsibility” for those policies by reason of voting for one candidate rather the other isn’t remotely the same.

      2. DonnaL
        DonnaL November 6, 2012 at 3:00 am |

        Personally, I think it would be almost as difficult for me to be in a romantic relationship with someone who identified as being far left as someone who identified as far right. The blood on the hands from defending the indefensible is pretty much the same; utopian intent isn’t magic.

        1. EG
          EG November 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

          Yeah, I don’t think I could marry a Marxist. A left-anarchist, though, would be OK. Less blood on their hands than on capitalists’, at least.

      3. Past my expiration date
        Past my expiration date November 6, 2012 at 6:06 am |

        (“Democrat” is a noun. The adjective is “Democratic”. A Democrat votes for candidates of the Democratic Party and is a Democratic voter. Comparably, a Republican votes for candidates of the Republican Party and is a Republican voter — not a Republic voter.)

  37. FYouMudFlaps
    FYouMudFlaps November 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm |

    HAH, this would involve me (and most people here I’d say) marrying a bigot, anti-feminist homophobe. And so on. Even weirder for us feminist males around anti-feminist women… that would probably be the one time it’s ok to “mansplain” but I still don’t do it. In short: let someone else have the wretched racist women of the world.

  38. FashionablyEvil
    FashionablyEvil November 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

    This thread is starting to remind me of this week’s episode of This American Life, particularly the part about taking someone else’s vote personally or as a statement of bigotry.

    Also, Clay Shirky’s recent piece on the national willingness to agree on what the truth actually is.

    1. EG
      EG November 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

      If a vote isn’t a statement, what is it?

    2. moviemaedchen
      moviemaedchen November 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm |

      I’d say that actively voting to put in power someone who believes that women, or LGBT folk, or people of color, etc. to be not deserving of basic rights, when one has even a marginally better alternative, is a very clear and very direct statement of bigotry. It may be explicit/conscious bigotry, where the voter genuinely agrees with the candidate on these issues. Or it may be implicit/unconscious bigotry, where the voter doesn’t consciously agree with the candidate on these issues, but votes for them anyway – in which case they are effectively saying that the basic rights of other human beings matter less to them than X Y or Z other issue, when the human beings in question are women, queer, trans, people of color, etc.

      It’s still saying that you and your concerns are lesser, are not as important as Other Things, and so I have no obligation to you to not support people who oppress you.

      1. Fat Steve
        Fat Steve November 5, 2012 at 3:15 pm |

        I’d say that actively voting to put in power someone who believes that women, or LGBT folk, or people of color, etc. to be not deserving of basic rights, when one has even a marginally better alternative, is a very clear and very direct statement of bigotry.

        I disagree, to me it doesn’t matter at all what a candidate believes. I would happily vote for someone who put aside their beliefs (e.g. Mario Cuomo who was personally against abortion, but supported pro-choice legislation,) for the greater good. To me, if someone signs up to and supports the Republican platform, it matters not a jot whether they actually believe in it.

      2. Alexandra
        Alexandra November 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

        But people valuing certain things more highly than others is an inevitable part of living in a pluralist democracy…

        I mean, back in the 2008 democratic primaries, I was a Hillary Clinton supporter before I was an Obama supporter, because aspects of Clinton’s platform more nearly matched their own core issues. Many people supported Obama because he more nearly supported their own core issues… I mean, if you have a primary where your choice is between a candidate who doesn’t support gay marriage but who you believe will be an advocate for racial equity and social justice, and a candidate who supports gay marriage and single-payer health care but who has a spotty record on racial justice, does that mean that voting for one candidate makes you a racist, and the other a homophobe?

        I cannot imagine myself voting for a pro-life candidate because, while abortion rights are not the only things I care about, they are a deal-breaker for me. I also care about environmental justice and working to mitigate climate change – but if my choice were between a pro-environment, anti-choice candidate and a pro-choice, anti-environment candidate (unlikely, I know), I would support the pro-choice candidate. I am valuing the environment less than my own rights. And by doing so, I am contributing to the mass suffering caused by climate change, whether it’s in Long Island or Bangladesh.

        How do you evaluate moral choices like that?

        1. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish November 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm |

          I think it comes down to what things someone is saying they value more than others. In some situations, there’s a genuine balance between different considerations. In this one, I think that the implicit balancing of values in choosing to vote for a Republican is screwy. I feel like Kristen J. described it quite succinctly in this thread:

          Voting for a republican means one of four things: 1) social conservatism, 2) fiscal conservatism, 3) libertarianism, or 4) pro-guns. The first three are non-starters. My bodily autonomy is not up for debate. Neon conservative capitalism is immoral. Libertarianism is as well. Gun rights I disagree about but do not find morally objectionable. But putting up with the other three for gun rights is.

          This isn’t a hypothetical where there are genuinely good reasons to vote for both sides that are equally balanced and depend on which issues someone cares about the most. It’s a real situation where I think it’s fair to judge people – the balance is so lopsided and there are few reasons to choose to vote Republican that don’t involve screwing over oppressed people for policies designed to favour those who are already privileged. I think that a lot of people would feel differently if there were legit reasons to vote either way.

  39. Laura C
    Laura C November 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

    Years ago, when my friend told me she could only be in a relationship with another Christian, I was taken aback and asked her about it. She said basically that if you believe these are the values you should live your life by, you should want a relationship that is about furthering those values in the world. That you can’t segment off “these are my values” from “this is my relationship.” And you know, I realized that was right, and that for her it was Christianity and for me it was politics.

  40. Kristen from MA
    Kristen from MA November 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

    WORD.

  41. hotairgenerator
    hotairgenerator November 5, 2012 at 4:46 pm |

    This is why I dumped my Conservative ex and am now with a socialist-communist-feminist-hippy-dippy awesomepants! :D

  42. Kirelia
    Kirelia November 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm |

    I am a gun-rights voter. I would prefer to vote for a pro-choice, pro-equality, pro-gun candidate, but unfortunately that choice is rarely available, and gun rights are always the number one priority for me. I view the right to self-defense as the very most basic and fundamental right of all. Of course I would love to have full rights to bodily autonomy, but if I’m forced to pick and choose, my fundamental right to self defense wins out over abortion rights. To me, gun rights are a bodily autonomy issue.
    Yes, I am a woman and the owner of a uterus, but before all of that, I am an animal who would very much like to go on living.

    1. umami
      umami November 6, 2012 at 9:10 am |

      Question directed at people who are not Kirelia:
      Is this this trolling or do people seriously believe this? It is so unbelievably ridiculous from the point of view of someone who is not American. You know, where “gun rights” are not even a thing any more than “personal vial of smallpox virus rights” and yet somehow we’re all still alive. With lower deathrates than USians have, even.

      You’d think someone who identifies primarily as “an animal who wants to go on living” would prioritise, idk, healthcare access over getting the chance to maybe shoot someone (who statistics say is more likely to be a family member than an actual threat) one day. Compare the odds of losing your job and healthcare access and then dying of an untreated preventable condition, to the odds of dying because you didn’t get to shoot a bad guy. It’s just so silly.

      1. Attackfish
        Attackfish November 6, 2012 at 11:12 am |

        Yes they do. Most believe that having guns will enable them to defend themselves from the government when it inevitably becomes a 1984 style Satanic secular dictatorship. Like that’ll really help against a government with nukes.

        1. EG
          EG November 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

          Right? I mean, it didn’t help MOVE.

        2. Attackfish
          Attackfish November 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

          Well, they don’t count, real (white) people would have the courage to somehow fight off the bombs.

  43. Henry
    Henry November 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm |

    I’d only bang a conservative if they paid me. They should be cool with that considering their love of unbridled capitalism.

  44. April
    April November 6, 2012 at 1:13 am |

    I would have probably agreed with this post a year or so ago, but now I think the reasoning is just way too simplistic. Have none of you seriously never met someone who both votes Republican and is also supportive of LGBT and reproductive rights, who understands feminism and is not a misogynist, and who also strives for eliminating poverty and a future with full legal, social, and practical equality for all people? My mom always votes Republican, but she’s voting no on the marriage amendment here in Minnesota. It happens, people. It’s not so uncommon.

    I think it’s silly to assume that a vote for, say, Romney, means that the voter is in agreement with all of Romney’s positions on every single issue. Jill, you’ve made it clear you’re voting for Obama; does that mean that you are fully in favor of all of his policies, like the drone attacks in the Middle East that continue to kill civilians every day? Does it mean that you think that marriage equality is cool, but you’d rather LGBT equality continue to be left up to the states instead of recognized as nationwide rights? Does it mean you agree that the President should have a personal “kill list” and that the PATRIOT Act should remain in effect? Does it mean you like record numbers of deportations under this administration?

    While I understand why people who are directly affected by certain policies will vote to oppose those policies (like, hey, women and gay folks, for example), I do not see voting for the other party on a so-called “fiscal” basis to be as detrimental and indicative of poor character as many here suggest. How can you honestly compare these issues? I’ll probably never vote for a Republican, ever, but I’m also not voting for Obama this year. Jill Stein has my vote. Obama’s record on “women’s issues” and LGBT rights is good, but only in comparison to Romney, and that’s not a very high bar to cross. Ledbetter was a symbolic victory, but I can’t afford an attorney for anything, so it does me no good whatsoever. Glad he finally came out in support of same-sex marriage, but why in the hell did it take so long, and why couldn’t he use the bully pulpit more effectively and not back down and concede that states should still be allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation if they really wanted to? Obama has done some good things for marginalized groups, to be sure, but this does not mean he has been in any way admirable in the overall sense. I find it absurd that people here will talk until they’re blue in the face about how a vote for Romney means the voter is in favor of everything he says and does and plans, but silently imply that a vote for Obama certainly can’t mean that the Obama voter is equally in favor of all of the abhorable things he continues to stand for and perpetuate in his presidency.

    I mean, we can vote strictly on social issues all day long, but what about literally everything else? How can anyone in good faith completely disregard the importance of every single other issue? Since I’m a woman and am making the decision to vote for someone I want to win instead of against someone I dislike the most, maybe that means I technically am helping Romney — and his anti-woman views — win in some way or another, but I refuse to take responsibility for Democrats not being good enough. We deserve better, period. I won’t be complicit in their ongoing crimes by voting for them. You’re all certainly welcome to, but at the very least, be honest about it. If you’re willing to call Romney voters misogynist homophobes, at least be willing to call yourselves fascist nationalists, too. It’s the logically consistent thing to do.

    Anyway, I’ve been doin’ it with someone who’s about to vote for Rmoney tomorrow, and perhaps that makes me biased. But it also makes me apparently a lot more aware than many folks of the fact that who one votes for does not indicate a person’s entire worldview and overall character. I mean, have sex with, date, or marry whoever the hell you want, but good lord, why are we pretending that which political candidate one selects in an election over another is the tell-all way to judge how “good” a person is? That’s incredibly uncritical and far too simplistic.

    1. DonnaL
      DonnaL November 6, 2012 at 10:10 am |

      If you’re going to mention drones in every comment, you might want to keep in mind that Pakistan is not in the Middle East.

      For some of us, and if you want to call it selfish so be it, the Romney positions we’re against affect us so directly that we can’t afford to disregard them. The Obama positions we’re against don’t, at least not in such a direct and obvious way — and Romney’s positions on all or most of those issues are the same or worse. When you’re a member of an extremely marginalized community that the Republican party officially despises, and gives no hope of ever attaining basic civil rights on the federal level, you can’t afford to be quite so airily dismissive of the importance of “social issues” as compared to to the really important stuff.

      1. DonnaL
        DonnaL November 6, 2012 at 10:23 am |

        Also, calling them “social issues” is misleading — just to give an example, civil rights for trans people (or the absence of them) have incredibly important economic effects. As do most other “social issues.”

      2. Bridget
        Bridget November 6, 2012 at 10:49 am |

        The thing is, some people feel that they can’t afford to ignore the Obama positions they’re against. I am certainly not one of them, but I have heard some of their perspectives. For example, a person who has their own small business and is barely getting by and genuinely feels that Romney would help improve the economy and enable them to continue to feed their family, while if Obama is re-elected, their business is likely to fail and leave them impoverished. Again, I personally DO NOT believe Romney’s policies are better for the economy, but these people do exist, and they feel their livelihoods are in jeopardy, too. And I’m not talking about super-rich people who want to make sure they stay super-rich, but rather middle-class people who do not want to become impoverished.

        1. EG
          EG November 6, 2012 at 10:52 am |

          Right. And I think they’re wrong. Dead wrong. It was Romney and his cronies who brought about the most recent economic collapse.

          I’m not sure where this idea that those of us on the liberal/left just don’t understand that other people disagree with us comes from. Yes. I understand. And I think they’re wrong. So why should I have sympathy or make allowances?

        2. Alara Rogers
          Alara Rogers November 6, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

          While I understand that that is true, I think the difference is that reasonable people can reasonably disagree on economic issues. For instance, as a small business owner, I think your hypothetical friend is an idiot; the economy does better under Democrats and has for 30 years, a low tax rate for a business owner is totally unhelpful if no one has the money to buy their product, and small businesses in particular have a very bad habit of supporting economic policies designed to screw small business in favor of big business because they somehow imagine that they are IBM or General Motors. But, your hypothetical small business owner friend who votes Republican and I could have a reasonable discussion about this issue.

          There is no possible reasonable discussion over issues like the pro-life movement (where they claim they want to protect babies, but every single policy they support is in favor of forcing women who have sex to carry pregnancies they don’t want or cannot afford, and the most effective policies that stop abortion are those that help keep unwanted pregnancies from existing in the first place), or the anti-gay rights movement (where there is actually no piece of evidence whatsoever that stands under any scientific scrutiny that any of the things they say they are trying to support would be aided by the policies they are trying to enforce), or the people who are against legal protections for women who are being underpaid (you can try to make an argument about why women are underpaid and why it’s not caused by sexism, but if you make that argument, and you then try to use it to support “laws should not exist that protect women if there *is* sexism”, then you’re in favor of women being underpaid whether the reason is sexism or not. If you truly believe that the entire reason women are underpaid is that they choose fewer hours and less demanding professions, then you would have no objections to laws that say that a woman can sue her employer for underpaying her if she can prove that the reason was *not* fewer hours and a less demanding profession.) If you’re a woman, or a gay person, the issues that impact you in that area are issues that are just not debatable by reasonable people. (reasonable people can debate whether abortion is immoral or not, but the pro-life movement is also against contraception and sex ed, which demonstrates that they are not actually arguing about babies at all, it’s about punishing women for having sex… a completely unreasonable position.)

          As long as the Republican platform is obsessively focused on being against gay rights and against female control over their own health to the point of actually blocking *contraception*, then none of their other policies matter. You can have a reasonable discussion about economic or foreign policy. You can have a reasonable discussion about gun rights. But you can’t have a reasonable discussion about why gays should not be allowed to marry or why businesses should be allowed to refuse to sell women birth control pills. These are not reasonable positions and they cause active, provable harm.

          This is why I can’t support the Green Party. There are many individual Democratic politicians that I despise, many who have positions I find abhorrent, and many who have done terrible things. But in the United States, because of the math of a winner-take-all system, there will never be three strong parties. It will always reduce to two, and the Republican *platform* is entirely despicable. I can’t send the message that I disapprove of Democrats being too far to the right on an issue by refusing to vote or by voting for a third party candiate, because in a two-party system like what we have, that’s an effective partial vote for the Republican. I have to do it by voting for Democrats in the primary whose positions I believe in more than the other Democrat, by writing to my elected politicians to express my beliefs, by calling their offices to demand they vote against things I find abhorrent, and so on. The Democratic governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley, tried to put a sales tax on computer services, which would have killed my business. My husband and I went to Annapolis and campaigned against the tax, and O’Malley backed down. We still voted for O’Malley when he came up for re-election, because when someone is ostensibly on your side but does something stupid, you have a lot more power to get them to stop being stupid than you do if they are on the opposite side. You can’t influence people who know you’re not gonna vote for them anyway, but you can have a surprising amount of influence on the people that you voted for if you *tell* them “I voted for you, but what you are doing is wrong and I disapprove of it, and here’s why.”

        3. Henry
          Henry November 7, 2012 at 8:59 am |

          I actually own a small business. No government policy has ever helped us from either party. It is a fiction that anyone is looking out for us, and this is a fiction espoused by the Republicans at every election to appeal to a voting demographic. I’m not buying into it.

      3. April
        April November 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

        For some of us, and if you want to call it selfish so be it, the Romney positions we’re against affect us so directly that we can’t afford to disregard them.

        s a pro-choice woman who enjoys reproductive rights and think everyone ought to have them, these things affect me, as well. I don’t mean to say that voting for, say, Obama, because of reproductive rights or LGBT rights is “selfish,” because I do understand that. I just can’t personally make the decision that those two issues are absolutely more important than all other issues when it comes to my vote.

        Also, US drones strikes do not only happen in Pakistan.

        And yeah, this wasn’t supposed to be a comment about voting for Obama or Romney. Sorry for the derail. Point being: someone who votes Republican does not necessarily agree with all Republican positions, just as someone who votes Democrat does not necessarily agree with all Democrat positions. It’s unfair and dishonest to pretend that one is so much worse than the other without a more nuanced understanding of individual reasoning for voting one way or another.

        1. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish November 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

          I don’t think it’s a matter of thinking that someone who votes Republican agrees with all that party’s policies. It’s more a matter of what it says if that person doesn’t care about the effect of their vote on the rights of others or about how they’re willing to compromise the basic rights of others for some other issue. It’s a matter of what the implicit internal balancing of their beliefs says about what things they value the most. Sometimes there might be a legitimate compromise of different beliefs. The thing here is, a lot of posters (myself included) don’t see a way of reconciling support for Republican policies that isn’t incredibly problematic.

    2. EG
      EG November 6, 2012 at 10:13 am |

      Have none of you seriously never met someone who both votes Republican and is also supportive of LGBT and reproductive rights, who understands feminism and is not a misogynist, and who also strives for eliminating poverty and a future with full legal, social, and practical equality for all people?

      How does that support/understanding/striving matter if they want and are helping to put someone in office who will destroy all those things?

      While I understand why people who are directly affected by certain policies will vote to oppose those policies (like, hey, women and gay folks, for example), I do not see voting for the other party on a so-called “fiscal” basis to be as detrimental and indicative of poor character as many here suggest. How can you honestly compare these issues?

      Because poor people of all sexes and sexualities have as much of a right to happiness as do women and gay people, and plenty of the people posting here are not rich. How is it more moral to deny people fundamental needs and desires based on their income than it is to do so based on their sex or sexuality?

      but silently imply that a vote for Obama certainly can’t mean that the Obama voter is equally in favor of all of the abhorable things he continues to stand for and perpetuate in his presidency.

      Plenty of people here have objected to Obama as well. Just because it isn’t the topic of this particular thread doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Try the “Why Obama” thread.

      1. debbie
        debbie November 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

        Because poor people of all sexes and sexualities have as much of a right to happiness as do women and gay people, and plenty of the people posting here are not rich. How is it more moral to deny people fundamental needs and desires based on their income than it is to do so based on their sex or sexuality?

        This is so not directed at you, EG because I know you get this stuff, but where is the intersectional analysis in this conversation? Why is everyone so accepting of the idea that political issues can be easily divided into social and economic issues, and it’s reasonable to take conservative positions on economic issues?
        Do people just not realize which groups are disproportionately likely to be poor in the US?

        1. EG
          EG November 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

          Why is everyone so accepting of the idea that political issues can be easily divided into social and economic issues, and it’s reasonable to take conservative positions on economic issues?

          Thank you. Quoted for truth.

        2. Dan_Brodribb
          Dan_Brodribb November 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm |

          I was going to argue with you, debbie, until I realized I’m not 100% sure what actually counts as a conservative economic position anymore.

          I always thought of myself as having a conservative economic outlook because I’m against spending money that I don’t have and I think paying down debt is important.

          But I don’t think that means giving up spending on health, education, and social programs because ‘we can’t afford it.’ And I definitely have no issues with paying taxes. I mean I PREFER not to give money to the government but I’m also willing to pay my share, meager as it might be.

          To me, it sometimes feels like the definition of what conservative economic policies are have changed or become more extreme to the point where I’m not sure I recognize what they are anymore.

    3. Niall
      Niall November 6, 2012 at 7:10 pm |

      Not totally unrelated, but an USian friend of mine said she recently met up with someone who she new in high school. She told that her friend identifies as feminist, is a supporter of LGBT rights but is also a registered Republican. When my friend asked her why she told her “I’m working with that party, because that’s the party I’d most like to see change in.”

      I have to admit That’s an interesting idea that never occurred to me. I wonder if it can really work – changing a party from the inside.

      1. DouglasG
        DouglasG November 7, 2012 at 4:40 am |

        Some of that could have to do with what system of primaries one has. Personally, I only overrode my third-party preference and registered D after a friend who would have been our first openly gay city official lost a closed primary for a safe council seat by 13 votes. Having since voted in primaries which often have small margins (one as few as six votes), I’ve been able to live with the affiliation as a trade-off for having a say in what’s often the choice that matters. And I know a couple who, when they bought a house that put them in a state senate district that always votes R, changed their registration and did a lot of volunteering to help a marriage equality-supporting R’s primary win and eventual election to the state senate – just in time, as it turned out, as the marriage equality bill passed that session.

        I do think, though, that it would be interesting to live somewhere with open primaries. That would open up some potential new angles on voting.

  45. Natalia
    Natalia November 6, 2012 at 3:52 am |

    I can attest to the fact that relationships do change over time and people gravitate toward new ideas, especially when they are younger… and if those ideas become incompatible, then yeah, it may be best to call it quits. Divorce is always a combination of factors, but when two people aren’t on the same page anymore wrt issues that are important to them, that’s a major reason to rethink your relationship.

    Of course, this becomes much, much more complicated when you have children. Especially if the child then gets stuck hearing about how mom is a “godless liberal” and dad is a “conservative Neanderthal,” or whatevs. But that’s life. Divorce is usually hard for everyone involved. Not much that can be done about it aside from trying to be an adult about the whole thing.

    I would also note, however, that most of the people commenting here tend to be passionate about their politics and values they hold dear. Some people are not, however. A lot of people merely pay lip service to politics while most of their day-to-day existence is devoted to something else entirely. People like that do frequently stay together regardless of who they vote for, and that is probably natural.

  46. Dan_Brodribb
    Dan_Brodribb November 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm |

    Well said, Natalia. Your take on the commentariat here being a fairly enthusiastic group fits with my experience here.

    Dating someone with right-wing political beliefs is one of those things where theoretically I wouldn’t disqualify them, but in practice I have a hard time imagining it working.

    That said, I’m from Canada which isn’t as drastic a two-party system (although it seems to be moving in that direction). Politics doesn’t seem to be quite as polarizing. I’ve known a number of people who have identified as conservative who were still fairly progressive on social issues.

    1. Niall
      Niall November 6, 2012 at 7:23 pm |

      That said, I’m from Canada which isn’t as drastic a two-party system (although it seems to be moving in that direction). Politics doesn’t seem to be quite as polarizing

      Give it time. And it will take less than you think. TIt seems like a merger between the Libs and the NDP is pretty much inevitable, just like the the two former right wing parties did to make the current Conservative one. Also while none of us want to see this country as divided and polarized like the U.S, anyone who thinks this can’t happen is either kidding themselves or needs to read more. I would personally recommend “The Armageddon Factor” by Marci McDonald

  47. JTC
    JTC November 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

    O well my GF voted Democrat, so she must support the invasions and bombing of countries we are not at war with, making sure no major banks ever have problems or reap the repercussions of their decisions, the assassination of an american citizen outside a war zone, ect.

    Give it a break. If anyone was actually as loony as any of our politicians, I wouldn’t sleep with them either.

  48. wembley
    wembley November 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm |

    Tomek is my favorite troll. I like the “in Soviet Russia” stylistic choice he’s making there. 10 points to Slytherin.

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