Author: has written 5299 posts for this blog.

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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138 Responses

  1. Laurie Mann
    Laurie Mann June 28, 2013 at 5:42 am |

    And Wendy Davis has a law degree from Harvard. By contrast, Rick Perry has a degree from Texas A&M in animal husbandry…

    1. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl June 28, 2013 at 10:53 am |

      Oh my, that is just begging for a punch line!

      And begs the question as to how a man educated in horse reproduction could be so clueless as to how the human version works…

      1. chana
        chana June 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

        It’s totally OK to be classist if you disagree with the person your mocking! Besides, who needs animal husbandry anyway – meat just shows up at the supermarket all cut, wrapped up and labeled, so how hard could it be to raise?

        1. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet June 28, 2013 at 1:37 pm |

          Thank you.

          I was thinking this myself, but I wasn’t sure if they were poking fun at him going to a less prestigious college and having a less elite degree, or if they were simply commenting on the odd mismatch of degree and career field Perry has going…

          Either way a degree in animal science is nothing to make fun of…

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm |

          It’s totally OK to be classist if you disagree with the person your mocking!

          I don’t understand. What’s classist about pointing out that a) if Rick Perry knows animal reproduction, he’s being deliberately disingenuous about human reproduction and b) a guy trained in animal science is throwing the law book at someone with a law degree like he’s got room to talk? It all seems to fall under the teaching grandma how to suck eggs thing.

        3. chana
          chana June 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm |

          macavitykitsune – nesting error – in response to the post one level down about Texas A&M.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 1:52 pm |


          Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for clearing it up!

        5. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll June 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm |

          Oh please. He’s an Aggie, he’s proud of being mocked for it.

        6. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon June 29, 2013 at 7:17 pm |

          Yeah, I’ve got to give it to pheeno – proud Aggies don’t have any kind of inferiority complex about going to A&M and they would never consider it a lesser school

      2. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl June 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm |

        Barnacle, for a person who has said some horrendously offensive and inflammatory things about LGBTQ people…I have zero compunction in mocking any and all aspects of Perry’s life. And animal husbandry? When he has done the whole, well what’s next, letting people marry animals, bit?

        Uhhh, no, nothing is sacred or off limits when it comes to that pathetic excuse for a human being.

        And yeah that to all of what Mac said above.

        1. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help June 30, 2013 at 2:08 am |

          [Comment content deleted - please avoid cheap shots! ~ Moderator Team]

  2. matlun
    matlun June 28, 2013 at 6:52 am |

    Also, watching George Zimmerman’s defense lawyer hammer the fact that Trayvon Martin told Jeantel that he was being followed by a “creepy-ass cracker” in a transparent attempt to stoke some racial animus among white people

    I do not think that is it, exactly.

    The defense lawyer is trying to portray Trayvon Martin as a gangster thug that was likely to initiate the fight with Zimmerman. That comment was pretty golden for him. So is Rachel Jeantel’s image and manners, unfortunately.

    It is appealing to emotional gut feelings rather than findings of facts, but unfortunately I think it is pretty effective in a jury trial.

  3. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated June 28, 2013 at 8:52 am |

    Everyone from Edna Buchanan and Carl Hiassen through and beyond Chuck Shepherd has the 411 on the F State. I spent 20 years there, and let old whiteface woman assure you that many white folks there proudly conform to Martin’s description. They are, indeed, creepy-ass crackers, the Sanford-Orlando area has been #1 in the nation in murder and rape at least once in my lifetime, and Trayvon Martin had good reason to be afraid, even if he had lived in perfect health. People who have not lived in gated communities (don’t we call those capitalist zoos?) witness crimes, and have the right to testify even if and when they are not clones of the lawyers’ offspring.

  4. Athenia
    Athenia June 28, 2013 at 9:34 am |

    2. JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press, By JIM VERTUNO and WILL WEISSERT, Associated Press

    Fuck you guys, seriously fuck you.

  5. Emily
    Emily June 28, 2013 at 10:03 am |

    I was stuck in a waiting room watching the Zimmerman trial, and I was appalled at the way the lawyer kept coming back to the creepy-ass cracker comment. Hammering it over and over, as if what a teenage boy said when he was being followed by the man who then went on to kill him was in any way relevant to the issue at hand. I couldn’t believe that he kept asking “is that what you call whites in your culture?” I almost wish she could have said “Of course” a la Paula Deen. Because what does it matter whether Trayvon called Zimmerman a cracker or a shithead (which I personally would be much more offended by). He was being followed, he was reporting what was happening to his friend on the phone, and he used language. The horrors.
    I hope Rachel Jeantel can pick up her life once this ridiculous circus of a trial is over.

    1. rapacious traveler
      rapacious traveler June 28, 2013 at 11:15 am |


      I understand your point of view, but I think you’re wrong. The defense is going to use anything they can to instill doubt in the minds of the jurors. If Trayvon said “cracker” it tends to increase the likelihood that 1) he was hostile and hence the aggressor towards Zimmerman, whom he perceived to be a “cracker,” and 2) he may have had a broader animus to “crackers.”

      It’s ugly work, but the defense it just doing its job. They would be unethical, horrible attorneys if they passed up such an obvious point that could benefit their client by instilling doubt in the jury as to who started the fight.

      1. (BFing)Sarah
        (BFing)Sarah June 29, 2013 at 8:43 pm |

        I don’t care what he called him. Unless what he said was a threat to harm him, it doesn’t have any bearing on the fact that he was shot and killed by Zimmerman. Did he say, “I’m going to kill this creepy ass cracker?” No? Then I don’t give a fuck. The only reason to bring it up is to stir up racial animus. So the defense is using white folks’ predictable “WAAAAAH, we are victims of racism, too” asshattery to defend a man for murdering an unarmed, young black man. They are trying to make him look bad, as if saying things that hurt white people’s fee-fees makes him worth killing. Fuck that.

        Also, Shane: fuck off. “I was trying to find a slur that, like “cracker,” has its origin in slavery, but has branched out to have different uses. ” Seriously? I wonder why you can’t find that slur? Could it be because people of color are still dehumanized by these terms? Could it be because people of color still have not reached equality with white people in this country? Could it be because in the United States as it is TODAY a young black man can be simply walking home from the store and be seen as suspicious enough to be shot and killed? It hasn’t been that long since Jim Crow, Shane. Educate yourself. Read Tim Wise (because I’m sure you’d take it better coming from another white dude). Go visit a museum on lynching. Take a class on race, class, and gender. When you’ve done these things then you can think about opening your mouth to talk about this stuff again. Until then, go the fuck away.

  6. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte June 28, 2013 at 10:04 am |

    Will Wynn walked through the room once while I was doing a book reading about anal bleaching. So because of this blog post, I know what my brush with greatness by the second degree is.

  7. rapacious traveler
    rapacious traveler June 28, 2013 at 11:09 am |

    “Whose friend was murdered?”

    Jill, just, no. Have you even been watching the trial? The prosecution’s witnesses have supported the defense arguments. Just a few minutes ago the latest state witness testified he saw George Zimmerman on the bottom, yelling for help, while Trayvon Martin “grounded and pounded” him MMA style. All the previous state witnesses said this man was the one who had the best vantage point on the fight.

    Only George Zimmerman had injuries, apart from the single close-range gunshot wound to Mr. martin. The testimony from the state’s witnesses has established that Mr. Martin made it back to his father’s house several minutes before the fight, yet he wound up back at the “T” where the fight started.

    Honestly Jill, for an attorney, you have a troubling concept of justice and how trials should work. If the races were reversed in this case, with a hispanic person dead and a black shooter, and evidence came out that the hispanic dead person had recently referred to the shooter as a “n****”, that would support a self-defense claim by the black man. It’s the defense’s job to raise reasonable doubt in the juror’s minds.

    And really, with all the false and misleading pretrial publicity insinuating that it was Zimmerman who was racist, it’s fair game.

    1. Karak
      Karak June 28, 2013 at 11:49 am |

      If you chase down and threaten a stranger for no damn reason, that stranger might bear your ass. Zimmerman incited a conflict, and. *when there was a conflict* shot the other person.

      He didn’t have broken bones, or detached retinas. He didn’t require hospitalization or medical care for his alleged wounds. His beating did not merit shooting to death the stranger he was following, threatening, and creeping on.

    2. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve June 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm |

      Honestly Jill, for an attorney, you have a troubling concept of justice and how trials should work. If the races were reversed in this case, with a hispanic person dead and a black shooter, and evidence came out that the hispanic dead person had recently referred to the shooter as a “n****”, that would support a self-defense claim by the black man.

      Some questions:

      A) As you are no doubt aware, ‘hispanic’ means ‘Spanish speaking’. What relevance does that have on whether ‘cracker’ is an insult? Since when is ‘cracker’ specific to Spanish speaking people?

      B) What planet do you live on where calling a person a ‘cracker’ is the same as using the n-word? That’s like saying a woman calling a guy a ‘tool’ is the same as a man calling a woman the c-word.

      You don’t really have to answer since everything you’ve said thus far is ridiculous and has agenda dripping all over it.

    3. xenu01
      xenu01 June 28, 2013 at 1:13 pm |

      Yeah, let’s play the reversal game, shall we?

      Shooter: George Zimmerman
      Victim: 17-year-old white boy Trevor Martin, a nice boy who sometimes didn’t get the best grades and sometimes bragged to his friends about smoking weed but who was a nice kid with his whole life ahead of him. On the night of his murder, he was visiting family in an unfamiliar neighborhood and wearing a hoodie.
      Witness: Fellow white person Rachel Jenkins, who was on the phone with Trevor when he died.

      The prosecution: Immigration reform! Scary latinos! He was a child with his whole life ahead of him!

      The defense: WELP, guess the best we can do is get our client life in prison, instead of the chair. Let’s plead insanity!

      The media: Trevor “liked puppies,” “wanted to go to college one day.”
      Rachel “bravely faced down” her cross examination. She was “defiant.” She was “clearly in mourning for her future husband.” Rachel and Trevor “had talked of getting married.” He was “ripped from her arms.”

    4. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl June 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm |

      WTF, Rapacious Traveler?

      (Hereafter to be referred to as RP.)

      RP, are you an attorney yourself? I have to wonder, because as a former defense attorney, I’m telling you right now that it sounds as though you got all your lawyering smarts from reading US Weekly and watching Judge Judy.

      The job of being a defense lawyer is not to be a racist prig, or a dogmatic bender of the truth and a twister of reality, it is not about throwing it all against the wall and seeing what sticks, although plenty of people seem to hold on to that misapprehension. The job of a criminal defense attorney is to hold the state to its burden in proving its case, beyond a reasonable doubt. Providing that defense to a client, in a zealous manner does not require dragging the other side through the mud and back again, and it only makes you dirty and disgusting in the process.

      So fuck right off with you, he’s just doing what lawyers do! And Jill is just a ninny for not knowing better!

      1. friday jones
        friday jones June 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm |

        Who are you, the Credentials Police? Eat a booger, that’s what!

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 7:26 pm |

          Who are you, the bodily fluids police? She’ll eat whatever she wants, that’s what!

        2. friday jones
          friday jones June 28, 2013 at 7:38 pm |

          Who are you, the Credentials Police? Eat a booger, that’s what!

          Edit – Dangit, that was meant for RP! I ain’t got the hang of this here Intertube…

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm |

          Eep, sorry, I got you wrong, obviously…

        4. Ledasmom
          Ledasmom June 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm |

          I’m not sure boogers are a bodily fluid, anyway. They’re more semi-solid.

      2. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl June 28, 2013 at 7:26 pm |

        What are you, 5?

        If one is going to call out an attorney for supposedly not knowing their stuff, they better know themselves what they are talking about. RP called Jill’s intelligence and training as an attorney into question, with zero indication that they had the first clue as to how lawyering actually works. So yeah, I’m feeling more than free to be the credentials police here.

  8. Jennifer
    Jennifer June 28, 2013 at 11:41 am |

    apart from the single close-range gunshot wound to Mr. martin

    which, you know, killed him–but obviously that’s not of concern to you.

    1. friday jones
      friday jones June 28, 2013 at 7:24 pm |

      I guess it’s a trial where the greatest number of wounds counts. The fact that one set was bumps and scratches and a nose owie, and the other was a FATAL GUNSHOT WOUND TO THE CHEST, well, what, are you some kind of DOCTOR or something?

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 7:29 pm |

        what, are you some kind of DOCTOR or something?

        Who are you, the Credentials Police? Eat a booger, that’s what!

  9. amblingalong@gmail
    amblingalong@gmail June 28, 2013 at 11:57 am |

    Frankly, I care much more about the fact that this almost didn’t go to trial then whether Zimmerman acted in self-defense or not. I wasn’t there, I have no idea what actually happened- but the fact that initially there wasn’t even an attempt to find out is, for me, the big story.

  10. Tim
    Tim June 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm |

    I wondering, isn’t it the job of the prosecution to anticipate some of the potential “image” issues of a witness and kind of work with her? I mean, without bossing or bullying. Is there such a thing as “witness preparation,” or have I just watched way too many episodes of L&O?

    1. smoketree
      smoketree June 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm |

      I’d like to see how this would have gone down. “Say Rachel, do you think you could try to be a bit more … oh I don’t know … white? And maybe a little less female? I think it would do wonders for your image.”

  11. debbie
    debbie June 28, 2013 at 12:40 pm |

    I thought that the Crunk Feminist Collective’s To Rachel Jeantel, With Love was really beautiful.

  12. taz
    taz June 28, 2013 at 12:41 pm |

    Pushing all of the race stuff and all of the talking points of people who were trying to get ratings along with all of the talking heads who were trying to push their own views/getting themselves ahead to one side, lets look at the facts that we know of.
    1. the defense lawyer is doing his job, which is to defend Zimmerman!
    2. The main eyewitness has stated the Martin was on top of Zimmerman and was banging his head into the sidewalk when shot!
    3. The photos released of Zimmerman after the shooting were taken after he had been taken to the hospital and cleaned up and treated. He had been treated due to cuts and bruises to the back of his head and his broken nose.
    4. Before anything else, we need to look at the facts. First, Last and Aways!
    5. This entire trial is race driven, nothing more. It was pushed not for Justice, but for quite a few peoples benifit who had nothing to do with what happen! The people who screamed the loudest about it could care less about what happen unless it was a benifit to themselves. And they sure don’t live anywhere near where it happened nor do they really care about either person who was envolved in it! They just want to use it for their own best intersts!
    6. I think when it all gets over, we will find out that the first DA will have been right. Zimmerman shot Martin in selfdefense, to save his own life. Should Zimmerman have stayed in his car, Damm Right he should have! Should Martin have left Zimmerman Alone and let him walk back to his car, Damm Right!
    7. I think that we need to step back and let the courts work. Once that is over with, we all need to get on with our lives. And let Zimmerman get on with his. Either in jail or free.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm |

      …we need a giraffe here. I’ve got nothing else.

      [Thank you for sending a giraffe alert ~ mods]

      1. A4
        A4 June 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm |

        A wild Tomek appears!

        MacavityKitsune uses Giraffe…

        1. Donna L
          Donna L June 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

          I don’t think it is Tomek.

        2. A4
          A4 June 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm |

          Me neither, but I tend to view Tomek as a type because of his iconic stick-to-it-ive-ness

      2. Alexandra
        Alexandra June 28, 2013 at 2:51 pm |

        Is there, like, a racist alarm bell that goes off on the internet when people start discussing this trial? Who are these commenters coming out of the woodwork?

        1. gratuitous_violet
          gratuitous_violet June 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm |

          I think people use Google Alert for the worst possible reasons, sometimes.

    2. ashurredly
      ashurredly June 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

      “The people who screamed the loudest about it could care less about what happen unless it was a benifit to themselves.”

      I *really* want to know who these people are and what benefits they will supposedly gain from drawing attention to the injustice done to a black teenager by both Zimmerman and the state.

    3. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl June 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm |

      Call me…suspicious? skeptical? but this comment sniffs of PR Attempt to Control the Narrative in my estimation. Seeing how shady Zimmerman’s defense lawyer has already proven himself to be, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. And it would be far from the first time that a now famous person acing adversity had hired PR guns engaged in precisely these sorts of tactics (that is, trolling the internets in search of opportunities to drop sportive comments.) Especially as it is clearly this is the first time tax has commented here at Feministe.

      1. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl June 28, 2013 at 7:20 pm |

        Drat, sorry for the typos. Autocorrect strikes again!

      2. tigtog
        tigtog June 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm | *

        taz has commented intermittently here before, actually.

        1. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl June 28, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

          My bad.

          Still stinks of oddly personal mission to me…

        2. tigtog
          tigtog June 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm | *

          Most of taz’s previous efforts have had that flavour to them, Lolagirl. Just seems that taz might be the type who doesn’t need to be paid by anybody else to set off on these internet missions.

  13. xenu01
    xenu01 June 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

    I was so incensed I got over my intimidation factor and email Jill immediately when I read that AP article (and then she responded OMG). Seriously wtf. The “shrieking supporters” thing really pissed me off as well.

    I mean, “shouting with feminist RAGE as they crushed the patriarchy and made the world safe for humankind for one more day,” ok.

    1. xenu01
      xenu01 June 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

      *um. Emailed. Past tense.

  14. gratuitous_violet
    gratuitous_violet June 28, 2013 at 1:34 pm |

    Can we just link to the previous Trayvon Martin threads or something? I definitely didn’t want to re-argue whether or not this is racist this morning.

    Using modes of speech as evidence of wrongdoing? Racist. Giving a defendant with prior history of following/stalking people in the neighborhood the benefit of the doubt on this one? Racist. Equating “cracker” with, well, anything? Racist-ass whining about how white people don’t get to use ALL THE WORDS and THAT’s NOT FAIR!! Ugh. Time to wear my Oscar Grant button today.

    Also, Jill, I love that you suddenly know nothing about the law when you disagree with someone random on the Internet. Critiquing something always demonstrates a lack of understanding in my experience.

    JFC this thread turned into a trainwreck pretty fast. We also have a Feministe requirement for a trainwreck, a big-name blogger in the comments commenting only about herself! Wheee!

    1. gratuitous_violet
      gratuitous_violet June 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm |

      Probably should’ve added: just because it’s a legally acceptable defense doesn’t make it not racist. FFS.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm |

        Well, we all know that the law can never be racist. It’s written on the whitest of parchments, and that’s always good.

        1. gratuitous_violet
          gratuitous_violet June 28, 2013 at 1:55 pm |

          LOL!! Written by pure white angels, of course. (Hey, brings to mind the jury selection on this one!)

          This summer I’m teaching a high-school US Gov course. Let me just say this has not been an easy week for class discussion for a variety of reasons.

        2. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll June 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm |

          It’s written on the whitest of parchments, and that’s always good.

          I tee hee’d out loud.

  15. Emma
    Emma June 28, 2013 at 1:38 pm |

    Oh for gods sake’s! It seems that this Rapacious Traveler person is the one who hasn’t been watching the news. Trayvon Martin was MURDERED. Zimmerman was specifically told by the cops to LEAVE HIM ALONE. But no. He continued to stalk and harass him.

    Also, has anyone noticed that whenever someone like Rapacious Traveler goes to any blog or website etc. to complain to someone, they constantly say the persons name they are directing their frustration toward. “Honestly Jill…. What I’m saying Jill…. Now Jill….”
    It’s just something I’ve noticed. There is just something very condescending and patronizing about it.

    1. Antha
      Antha June 28, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

      Trayvon Martin was MURDERED.

      All we know at this point is that Trayvon Martin was killed. The entire purpose of the trial is to determine whether he was murdered.

      Zimmerman was specifically told by the cops to LEAVE HIM ALONE. But no. He continued to stalk and harass him.

      You’re either lying or completely ignorant of the facts. Zimmerman was told by a 911 dispatcher (who is not a cop, and who commands no legal authority) that “we don’t need you to do that” (follow Trayvon) at which point Zimmerman said “Okay” and quit his pursuit.

      1. Librarygoose
        Librarygoose June 28, 2013 at 8:15 pm |

        Jesus Christ, the boy was straight up murdered and those racist ass police were going to let it go.

      2. tigtog
        tigtog June 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm | *

        From what has been leaked elsewhere, the physical evidence contradicts Zimmerman’s version of events comprehensively:

        * if Martin was on top of Zimmerman when Zimmerman shot him, then why wasn’t there any of Martin’s blood on Zimmerman?

        * if Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating him, then why were Zimmerman’s clothes entirely free of dirt or water stains?

        * if Martin was on top of Zimmerman beating him, then why was it that the back of Martin’s clothes show dirt and water stains but the knees of his trousers show no stains at all?

        These should have been very obvious signs to the police investigators right from the start that Zimmerman’s version of events was not believable, yet they held off charging him for weeks.

        1. Hugh
          Hugh June 30, 2013 at 6:20 am |

          Even if he was on top of him beating him, so? Zimmerman followed Martin unecessarily, Martin defended himself… there was no reason to shoot him.

      3. Emma
        Emma June 29, 2013 at 1:49 am |

        If he did actually “quit is pursuit”, then Trayvon Martin would still be alive. But he’s not. He’s dead. So who’s fault is that?

      4. LotusBecca
        LotusBecca June 29, 2013 at 4:53 pm |

        All we know at this point is that Trayvon Martin was killed.

        Cut out the royal “we” and speak for yourself. In my book, Trayvon Martin was murdered. George Zimmerman is a murderer.

      5. Beatrice
        Beatrice June 30, 2013 at 8:30 am |

        at which point Zimmerman said “Okay” and quit his pursuit.

        … and Trayvon Martin continued home, to watch a game and eat Skittles.
        Oh wait.

    2. Niall
      Niall July 1, 2013 at 9:05 am |

      Zimmerman was specifically told by the cops to LEAVE HIM ALONE. But no. He continued to stalk and harass him.

      As another commenter already pointed out, that was an emergency dispatch operator, not a cop. If it HAD been a cop, ze more likely would have encouraged Zimmerman to do keep stalking him…and possibly even worse.

      1. Angel H.
        Angel H. July 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm |

        First of all, no.

        Secondly, why are people making such a big fucking deal about whether or not the 911 dispatcher is a cop? If you called 911 because someone wasn’t breathing and she told you how to perform CPR, would you say, “You’re not a medical professional. Fuck you!”

  16. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune June 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm |

    Jesus, where are all these chucklefucks coming from?

    PLEASE can we have the thread go on automod so the Zimmertrolls aren’t choking up a damn important conversation about Rachel Jeantel’s public perception and the racism she’s dealing with? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE?

    1. tigtog
      tigtog June 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm | *

      Good idea.

    2. EG
      EG June 28, 2013 at 8:57 pm |

      Seconded. I’ve been away on an internet-free vacation, and between this and some of the other threads, I just feel tired at the thought of joining a conversation.

    3. GallingGalla
      GallingGalla June 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm |


  17. Sally Archer
    Sally Archer June 29, 2013 at 1:12 am |

    Loved your analysis of the sexist (misogynist) press coverage of Wendy Davis.

    When they stop mansplaining what they think we little ladies need to know, maybe herstory will have a chance to reflect how sheroic it was for Wendy Davis to stand on her feet (age 50) for half a day (that’s right, pushing up to 13 hours) and be articulate and on point in fillibustering on her own about legislation despite extreme hostility (from anti-abortionists and Republican male legislators).

    Most legislative fillibuster rules in places other than Texas allow for substitutes to take over occasionally, like relief pitchers in a ball game, but Wendy Davis had to do all of the talking all by herself. Nobody seems to have said this in the press, but I believe her feat under the Texas fillibuster rules is unprecedented. Awesome!

    Wendy !!!! Davis !!!! Wendy !!!! Davis !!!!!

    If it weren’t for blogs like this we’d never even know about the great modern sheroes like Wendy Davis.

    She inspires me to feats of daring to escape from the insanity of normality.

    1. tinfoil hattie
      tinfoil hattie June 30, 2013 at 9:42 pm |

      Well, 50-year-olds stand for hours on end every day, but thanks for your bullshit ageism.

      1. Alara Rogers
        Alara Rogers July 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |

        I don’t believe Sally was claiming that 50 year olds can’t stand for hours every day or that none of them do, just that it is impressive when a 50 year old stands on her feet all day for what she believes. A lot of 50 year olds who stand on their feet all day do it because they will lose their jobs if they don’t.

        And yes, as a 43 year old I think I have sufficient standing to say: it is more impressive when a 50 year old stands all day than when a 25 year old does it. It’s not ageism to point out that older people are more easily hurt by physical activities that younger people might think nothing of.

        If I recall correctly, Wendy Davis uses a back brace? Thus, her standing on her feet all day is probably a more impressive feat due to her disability than it is due to her age… but most older people would find it uncomfortable or downright painful to stand for 13 hours. I know I would and I’m not 50 yet. Many people do this because they have to, and some few don’t find it uncomfortable and are willing to do it if they don’t have to… but we have no reason to believe this was easy or fun for Wendy Davis, and she chose to do it anyway to support and protect other people’s rights (because even if she is still fertile, a Congresswoman or state equivalent thereof has the resources to get an abortion if she needs one… this isn’t about her, it’s about her constituents.)

        Yelling at a person that they are ageist because they pointed out, correctly, that a 50 year old is much more likely to find standing all day to be inconvenient or painful than someone younger, while they are celebrating that person’s feminist accomplishments, seems kind of assy. 50 isn’t dead yet but it damn well is a less comfy place to perform most physical activities from than younger is, and I see nothing wrong with acknowledging that fact.

        (Of course, “sheroes” and “herstory” are really obnoxious, silly words. There’s no reason to take words that etymologically have nothing to do with masculinity, infer that they do because of an association with men, and change them to add female words. Save that for genuinely gendered words like “policeman” instead of “police officer”; “hero” and “history” do not literally have the words “he” and “his” embedded in them except in the sense that “male” contains “ale” so obviously we should change it because not all men are drunks. But using silly neologisms from uber-separatist second wave feminist theory doesn’t make a person a troll whose enthusiasm should be dismissed because she implied, correctly, that it’s unpleasant for the average 50 year old to stand on her feet all day.)

        1. tinfoil hattie
          tinfoil hattie July 1, 2013 at 5:49 pm |

          You’ve just spent paragraphs and paragraphs middle-agesplaining to a 52-year-old that she is WRONG! and that there is no ageism involved in being “impressed” by a 50-year-old who stands on her feet for hours.

          I hope readers remember this discussion when they are 50, and laugh and laugh. It’s ridiculous.

          50 is just – nowhere near old and infirm.

        2. tigtog
          tigtog July 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm | *

          I’ll be 50 in a few months, and I’m impressed by a 50 year old in a mostly sedentary occupation standing on her feet for all those hours because it’s unusual for her. 20 and 30 years ago I thought nothing of engaging in unusual physical exertions without special preparations for those activities, but these days I know that I would have to carefully train myself up for such special events, and I also know that I would have to prepare myself to sustain significant exhaustion and pain to get those things done and would need to schedule dedicated recovery time once it was over.

          Of course I know some other 50+ year olds who are still very fit and strong and active, but I live in the city and most people I know are fairly sedentary and for the over 40s that sedentary lifestyle is not necessarily just about our workspace requirements/habits. For many of us physical exertion feels so very different now in terms of endurance mostly due to age-related exacerbations of accumulated injuries as our cartilage thins and our synovial fluid beomes a less effective lubricant (e.g. my car crash neck injury that I sustained when I was 26 years old and which didn’t bother me much for 15 years afterwards and now is something I have to take into account for every activity I perform).

          I admit to envying those people my age who have sustained a much higher functional fitness level than I have, but in my experience they definitely are far from the majority even though there’s a significant subset of them.

        3. The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
          The Kittehs' Unpaid Help July 2, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

          Seconding all that, tigtog.

    2. yes
      yes July 1, 2013 at 2:53 am |

      I feel like somewhere there is a feminist website drinking game, and this person is trying to give the players alcohol poisoning.

  18. ashurredly
    ashurredly June 29, 2013 at 2:34 am |

    Beyond the obvious issues, I wish that piece (and more of the coverage in general) would also mention Leticia Van de Putte who did a great job of delaying the vote after Davis got shut down and made the comment that set off 15 minutes of badassery.

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