Hesse loves the smell of C-bombs in the morning!

SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 2020

Smarsh sees candidate burned at the stake:
Did sexism and misogyny defeat Candidate Warren?

Sexism and misogyny on the part of the mainstream press? On the part of (Democratic Party) voters?

Sexism and misogyny on the part of black women in South Carolina? Also, to what extent did the sexism / misogyny of these various players bring Warren's effort down?

In theory, these are important questions. In practice, they've often been treated like toys. Consider some of the things which were said, in our most revered newspapers, as the keening and wailing began in the wake of Warren's departure from the race.

Start with Monica Hesse, the Washington Post's "first gender columnist." On Friday, March 6, she offered this assessment:
HESSE (3/6/20): From almost the beginning, [Warren's] candidacy was haunted by the gauzy, shapeless specter of sexism, which it turns out is the worst kind of sexism, because some people can feel it in their bones and some people don’t believe it exists at all.

Voters, especially Democrats, knew it wasn’t going to fly to call female candidates “she-devils” and “witchy,” as plenty of folks called Hillary Clinton back in 2016. Instead, this time around, they just had endless debates about being “electable” and what it meant to be “presidential,” and we decided that none of the female candidates—not Kamala Harris, not Kirsten Gillibrand, not Amy Klobuchar, not Tulsi Gabbard—were either of those things. Coincidentally.
Full disclosure—we'll discuss "electable" and likable" at some point next week.

As you can see, for Monica Hesse, it was sexism right from the start. Like an army of similar readers of script, Hesse didn't seem to have any doubts about this point.

As a general matter, Hesse can be relied upon to say whatever feels good. But how about that claim about Candidate Clinton in 2016? Did "plenty of folks" call her "witchy" and "a she-devil" during that race, as Hesse now pleasingly said?

How odd! Hesse offered no example of same; online, she provided no links to any such statements. For ourselves, we haven't found any such statements in somewhat cursory online searches, although we feel sure that if, you search long and hard enough, you can eventually find someone saying whatever you wish for.

Citizens, can we talk? We don't think a whole lot of people called Clinton "witchy" or a "she-devil" during that campaign. She was called plenty of names along the way, with the progressive, liberal, Democratic and feminist worlds generally staring off into space until the year 2008, and fairly often thereafter.

Clinton was called every name in the book from 1992 on. But was she called those particular names by "plenty of folks" during that last campaign? We're going to guess that she was not, while noting again that Hesse provides no examples at all.

Hesse went on to offer the passage shown below. Sadly but unmistakably, this is how human minds work:
HESSE: Sometimes I wished that some Warren-doubting pundit would just let loose and call her the C-word on live television. At least then we could stop wondering if the sexism might all be in our heads.
If only they'd make it hurt so good! Hesse, who pretty much shouldn't be in print, felt quite sure that she secretly knew what those (still unnamed) pundits secretly had in their heads.

If only they'd dropped a live C-bomb! Then we all would have know what they secretly meant!

People like that are playing with toys when they write newspaper columns; they're unhelpfully overwrought. Inevitably, along came the New York Times to go beyond Hesse's effort.

It fell to Sarah Smarsh to perform the task. Online, the headlines above her column say this:
I Am Burning With Fury and Grief Over Elizabeth Warren. And I Am Not Alone.
She might not be bound for the presidency, but she has lodged herself in another powerful place: the female psyche.
Poor Hesse had been left in the dust! As she burned with fury and grief, Smarsh started her column as shown below, after a Wichita dateline:
SMARSH (3/6/20): Consider every moment, since the dawn of woman, when a female aspired but to no avail. She asked to attend school but was denied. She raised her hand but wasn’t called on. She applied but wasn’t hired. She enlisted but wasn’t deployed. She created but wasn’t credited. She ran but wasn’t elected.

Imagine the sadness and frustration of every such instance as a spark, their combined energy the size of many suns. That is the measure of grief and fury I felt rise inside me as I watched Elizabeth Warren’s bid for the Democratic nomination wane.

When Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, it hurt in similar ways but didn’t surprise me. Out here in the red hinterlands, it was plain to some of us that centrist ideas did not excite in times of historic inequality. This election, though, I thought Senator Elizabeth Warren—a class revolutionary to match the moment—might go to the White House.

It turns out that she won’t even go to the general election. Now the same pundits who in 2016 proved they know very little will list the reasons, without realizing they’re among the reasons.
For Smarsh, it wasn't enough to imagine The Others dropping C-bombs on live TV. She asked readers to "consider every moment, since the dawn of woman, when a female aspired but to no avail."

Only if readers took that step could they imagine the size of this privileged person's "grief and fury." Before long, she was picturing this, as she lounged on the Florida sands:
SMARSH: After the fund-raiser and after watching Ms. Warren’s dismal returns on a hotel television, I spent the next day on the beach with a Geraldine Brooks novel I’d randomly purchased at a bookstore on Sanibel Island. The book, it turned out, was about a bright girl in the Massachusetts Bay Colony who is indentured as a servant in Cambridge to pay for her brother’s academic studies. Along the way, she tends the miscarriage of a girl whose rapist goes unpunished.

I looked out at the sea and considered that, for all our advancing on gender matters, the novel’s story is alive today: A woman must step aside as a man ascends to the presidency...
In fairness, that is correct! "A woman must step aside as a man"--a man who received way more votes--"ascends to [his party's nomination]."

In fairness, that's the ways it's done. As we've noted,, long lists of fully qualified male candidates have "stepped aside" in this manner before.

(Ronald Reagan "stepped aside" in 1976. Four years later, so did Ted Kennedy. Sad!)

How sad! Like reams of presidential candidates before her, Smarsh's candidate wasn't going to win! In response, Smarsh wanted us to consider every time a female asked to attend school but was denied.

Today, in the modern actual world, women substantially outnumber men in college. But people like Smarsh have no time for what's real and actual now. Outperforming even Hesse, Smarsh decided to make it hurt so good by imagining every woman who was ever mistreated during the Middle Ages.

As she finished her opening passage, Smarsh pointed the finger at "the pundits" who were "among the reasons" why the best greatest candidate lost. But sure enough:

As she continued, she didn't cite any such pundit. Instead, in the self-involved manner of the modern memoirist, she recalled a conversation between her father and her grandmother in March 2019, a remembered conversation which sheds light on exactly nothing at all.

As you can see, Smarsh had already told us, in her opening passage, why Hillary Clinton lost. Her explanation had all the value of the latest rant from the red-faced drunk way down at the end of the bar. But so it goes as the New York Times pretends to offer analysis.

Monica Hesse wanted to hear C-bombs on TV. Smarsh wanted us to imagine how it felt when (female) witches were burned at the stake. When our young analysts read garbage like this, anthropologists appear to them, late at night, and explain such strangeness thusly:

This is the way the human race always "reasoned," these despondent future authorities say, speaking, as always, in the past tense as they discuss our kind.

It's been like this since the dawn of time, they glumly tell the youngsters. It was all our species was wired for, all we should really expect.

We intercede the following day with a bit of cool clear reason. "Imagine all the (white male?) editors who put keep putting this crap into print," we skillfully tell the youngsters.

Are those editors really helping women's interests? Are they advancing the human project? So we thoughtfully ask.

101 comments:

  1. "Hesse can be relied upon to say whatever feels good"

    If you are female, nothing about sexism "feels good".

    ReplyDelete
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      Delete
  2. Somerby says he never encountered any examples of people calling Hillary "witchy" or a "She-devil".

    This is spoken by the man who supposedly frequents conservative media to see what The Other are thinking. Did Somerby pay no attention to what was happening at Trump rallies? No attention to the t-shirts and signs about Hillary? No attention to the comments sections of other blogs (not just conservative, but also the liberal blogs)?

    Maybe Somerby is being excessively literal again and did a search for those two terms along with Hillary's name and came up empty, because that is obviously how you "research" sexism. What about all the synonyms and all the much worse stuff Hillary was being called by everyone who didn't support her? Claiming that Hesse is exaggerating the animosity toward Hillary is a ludicrous stance, even for Somerby.

    When you do that search, first on CNN you find Donald Trump calling Clinton the devil:

    https://www.cnn.com/2016/08/01/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-devil-election-2016/index.html

    Repeated in the Washington Post in case anyone didn't hear it:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/08/01/trump-calls-hillary-clinton-the-devil/

    And then he said it during one of the debates:

    https://fortune.com/2016/10/09/presidential-debate-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-devil/

    And he said it other times too, at his rallies. Then the New Republic discussed conservative unrest about calling Clinton a devil, even if Trump said it too:

    https://newrepublic.com/article/136016/republicans-cant-decide-hillary-she-devil-not

    So, on what basis can Somerby claim that Hesse is exaggerating about this?

    Then the NY Times printed an opinion piece on Oct 30, right before the election, about whether Clinton was actually "practising the dark arts" as accused.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/31/opinion/witchcraft-on-the-campaign-trail.html

    Maybe Somerby thinks those conservatives were just teasing her, just kidding? But that doesn't make Hesse wrong about what Clinton was called in 2016 and how the press addressed it.

    This is what sexism looks like too. Minimizing and gaslighting women into believing that they are not being treated badly, whenever they complain about sexism. Just as Somerby has done today as he calls Hesse a liar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. “Somerby says he never encountered any examples of people calling Hillary "witchy" or a "She-devil".’

      Where.

      Delete
    2. Here:

      "Clinton was called every name in the book from 1992 on. But was she called those particular names by "plenty of folks" during that last campaign? We're going to guess that she was not, while noting again that Hesse provides no examples at all."

      Delete
    3. And here:

      "For ourselves, we haven't found any such statements in somewhat cursory online searches, although we feel sure that if, you search long and hard enough, you can eventually find someone saying whatever you wish for."

      I did not list all the other places that repeated Trump's she-devil remarks (which he used regularly), but they included more media sources.

      For Somerby not to find these, obtained by putting "Hillary" "she devil" and "2016" on the search line, he had to have been not trying very hard.

      Somerby is just not very honest sometimes.

      Delete
    4. Also lots of hits for Hillary, witch, 2016.

      Delete
    5. Saying "somewhat cursory" doesn't let him off the hook.

      Delete
    6. I took it that Somerby was talking about Democrats calling Clinton such names. As in the Democratic primary of of 2016. Instead, of that sort if ploy, Hesse says, they talked about [female candidate] Warren being presidential, etc. I doubt Republicans would show such reticence.

      Upon rereading his remarks, Im not sure my impression is right.

      Delete
    7. In the 2016 primary, the Sanders supporters repeated all of the attacks used by the right.

      Here is a discussion I just read at dKos about the misogyny coming from the Sanders campaign. At the very end is a statement about this being an extension of how people discuss things now on the internet, but the author doesn't get into the extraordinary hate directed at women in other venues, such as the whole Gamergate episode. Again, the animosity toward commenters with female names is well documented. It is the reason why Digby wrote under a fake name for so long, up to the point of winning awards and having to reveal herself. There is extra ugliness if you are female, certainly online, but extending to campaigning now too. That was Warren's own complaint to Maddow and it is what a lot of her supporters and Democratic pundits are complaining about. And quite a bit of it came from Sanders supporters, who he has not disavowed, except to say that he didn't think it came from his people.

      I think this is why Somerby is on this kick about Warren. Among other reasons, he may be trying to defend Bernie by attacking claims that Warren was mistreated.

      Delete
    8. Sorry, forgot to include the link:

      https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/3/14/1927444/-I-fear-Sanders-campaign-has-taught-a-bunch-of-political-newcomers-misogyny-is-as-righteous-as-ever

      Delete
    9. Jake Winkman, it doesn’t sound to me that Hesse or Smash are confining their pronouncements of sexism to Bernie Bros.

      Hesse didn’t designate the politics of the “Warren-doubting pundit” that she wishes would come clean and call her a vulgar epithet during the Democratic primary in order to bring the impulse out of the shadows and into the open.

      That’s because ., you know..,. sexism (or capitulation to sexism in the broader public during a Warren vs Trump match) is the reason why Warren lost.

      sheesh.

      Delete
    10. The term Bernie Bros is sexist, mean, marginalizing and inaccurate.

      Delete
    11. The term Bernie Bros was invented in 2016 by sexist, misandrist Clinton supporters who deceitfully painted Sanders supporters as misogynist males when in reality they simply challenging Clinton's record of warmongering, fealty to Wall Street and willingness to sell out the middle and lower class.

      It's just a lazy, sleazy smear. Identity politics 101. If they are so excited about a woman being president why don't they say a peep about a Jew being one? Because it's just an identity weapon with absolutely no substance.

      Delete
    12. Accusations are confessions. Warren supporters are the sexists. They are using sex as a weapon. "You don't vote her in, you're sexist." It's disgusting.

      Delete
    13. If accusations are confessions, then you are confessing to sexism yourself, since you are accusing others of it.

      Delete
    14. That assumes you are sexist too. They didn't make the original accusation. That's the difference. So you are left with you and Warren supporters being sexists. Anyone pointing this out is sexist. Everyone is sexist. And we are left in the same situation as before the whole discussion. Warren lost. Sexism wasn't a factor because by your definition, everyone is sexist, starting with yourself.

      You're not super bright are you?

      Delete
    15. You were fine up to the point where you talked about my intelligence. Remember that every accusation is a confession.

      Delete
    16. I'm fine with that.

      Delete
  3. "In fairness, that is correct! "A woman must step aside as a man"--a man who received way more votes--"ascends to [his party's nomination]."

    The words "in fairness" do not belong in this sentence because we do not yet have a fair election process. When Warren receives far fewer questions and little airtime during a debate, because the moderators have decided that Bernie and Biden and Bloomberg all need to fight it out, that is not fair (just as it was unfair to Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, and the others present). It was also unfair when the media invented a fight (Amy Klobuchar hates Pete Buttigieg), but at least that got them both some air time. And it wasn't fair that Warren was condemned as sinking in the polls by the media without any mention of her policies and statements during that same time period. The endless "electability" discussion always seemed to knock down the women and build up the men, without any basis. This is the same kind of treatment that Hillary got in 2016, and its unfairness is documented in analyses by those who study media and journalism, and by Hillary herself in one of the chapters of her book, after her loss.

    The point of complaining about sexism is that there is no fairness when women are assumed to be less competent before any other considerations and must fight their way past obstacles that men do not encounter.

    Somerby thinks that sexism all balances out in the end because some women vote based on gender. Unfortunately, more men and women too vote against female candidates based on gender, than for them. Further, no feminist wants women to vote based on gender -- we want women to have a fair shake and to be elected based on merit. But that isn't what happens when sexism put a thumb on the scale (to use Somerby phrase).

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Typo corrected:

    Bill Maher accidentally showed his true colors last night. He had an audience comprised only of his writers and staff (because of the virus). At one point he said to the audience "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen" and then corrected himself "gentlemen -- there are no women". It shows in the quality of his work, that he has no women on his writing staff.

    I'll just bet that Somerby has no female interns on his campus and that he has consulted no female future anthropologists about any of his assertions, especially the ones about Gerwig and Chanel Miller and Coe and Hesse and...the list goes on and on. But no sexism there...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It shows in the quality of his work, that he has no women on his writing staff.

      Yeah, Maher, what a loser. That must be why his show just premiered its eighteenth season.

      Two women have written for Real Time, Sheila Griffiths and Samantha Matti. But hey, why don't you submit your name for consideration? That anecdote about your talking with an anthropologist is a winner. When I read the hilarious punchline "role model," I laughed so hard I couldn't catch my breath. You're wasted here.

      Delete
    2. His comedy would be better if he had both male and female writers. Fewer groaners. Sometimes lately it has seemed like he is just phoning it in and he does say some offensive things that a female writer would give him advance warning about -- or maybe he just likes to insult women.

      Hannity has had his show a long time too. Does that make it good?

      Delete
    3. You mean that you think you might like his show better if you thought he had women writers. But, of course, he has. And as recently as last year. For all I know, imdb isn't up to date, and the women writers are still on his staff.

      My point is that what's entertaining is a matter of taste, of which professor, you're not the arbiter.

      Delete
    4. He said there were no women present, not me. You can argue that with him. He will present the evidence of his own eyes and you can present your old imdb pages.

      They didn't pan to the audience so there is no way to verify.

      I have noticed that when the credits scroll there are not female names listed among his writers.

      My point remains -- a female writer would give him a heads up about offensive jokes. He would then gleefully overrule her and say it anyway, because that's his idea of PC culture oppressing comedians. Then he will turn to his panel and fawn over the token conservative while hawking his latest health fad.

      Delete
    5. Maher said there were no women in the audience. You jumped to the conclusion that meant Maher's writing team was exclusively male. And now you've leaped from there to the conclusion about what a female writer would do, and from there to what Maher's response would be.

      You have an active imagination. Which would be fine if you didn't' confuse the inside of your head with reality.

      Delete
    6. Deadrat, I referred to his staff, but his writing team was in that audience and none of them were female. Maybe that was just this week, but what I said was true about that audience.

      Maher frequently complains about PC culture and the stifling of comedians. It happened to him after 9/11. It doesn't take much to extrapolate to how he would react to a female writer who suggested he tone it down. The best predictor of future behavior is the past. If you watch the show, you've heard what he has said, just as I have.

      So that makes this kind of argument a waste of time. Next you'll be arguing that Maher doesn't dislike religion and that I shouldn't speculate that he won't convert any time soon.

      I am sure that Maher could find a female writer who wouldn't say anything about his offensive jokes. Ann Coulter, for example. Or Cecelia. But now you are saying that when someone calls an animal a "cat" we shouldn't picture a typical cat but should imagine a hairless cat, because after all, they do exist, even if they are rare.

      That just isn't how people think. You can argue yourself blue in the face and you won't convince people to reason the way you argue here. It isn't natural and it isn't even functional, since the odds are that the typical cat most people imagine is the one most likely to occur in life.

      If you want to argue that Maher would never hire a feminist writer, I might buy that. Have you noticed that the women he invites as panelists on his show would nearly all pass Trump's standard for assault or the FOX criteria for on-screen talent? Young, pretty, made-up and dressed to attract men, flirty. There is a message there too.

      Delete
    7. Deadrat, I referred to his staff, but his writing team was in that audience and none of them were female. Maybe that was just this week, but what I said was true about that audience.

      Why doesn’t your head just explode? We don’t know for sure who was in the audience, but it’s reasonable to assume from Maher’s comments that some of the writing staff was there and that no women were. You have then made the leap to Maher’s entire writing staff

      Maher frequently complains about PC culture and the stifling of comedians. It happened to him after 9/11. It doesn't take much to extrapolate to how he would react to a female writer who suggested he tone it down.

      Of course it doesn’t take much. You’re the best evidence for that. But that’s also the problem.

      The best predictor of future behavior is the past. If you watch the show, you've heard what he has said, just as I have.

      I’ve heard him talk about PC culture, but I’ve never seen him react to a female writer who suggested that he tone it down. If I’d have heard him talk derisively about female writers who suggest that he tone things down, I’d have that best predictor.

      So that makes this kind of argument a waste of time. Next you'll be arguing that Maher doesn't dislike religion and that I shouldn't speculate that he won't convert any time soon.

      Except, of course, that he actually says that he hates religion. So much so that he made a movie ridiculing religion. So why would you think I’d argue that he doesn’t dislike religion?

      I am sure that Maher could find a female writer who wouldn't say anything about his offensive jokes. Ann Coulter, for example.

      First you just said woman writers. Secondly, Ann Coulter isn’t a comedy writer. I’m not entirely sure that she’s a woman.

      Or Cecelia.

      Now you’re just being mean.

      But now you are saying that when someone calls an animal a "cat" we shouldn't picture a typical cat but should imagine a hairless cat, because after all, they do exist, even if they are rare.

      Let me set that straw man on fire for you.

      That just isn't how people think.

      I think that’s true.

      You can argue yourself blue in the face and you won't convince people to reason the way you argue here.

      I think that’s true. And you’re a prime example.

      It isn't natural and it isn't even functional

      I think that’s true, as well. I’d guess it’s an evolutionary adaptation. It’s functional to leap to conclusions about potential danger. To use a hoary example, our ancestors were likely the ones who always assumed that the rustling in the grass was a lion. Their relatives who assumed that it was probably the wind were more often right but didn’t live long enough to pass on their genes.

      , since the odds are that the typical cat most people imagine is the one most likely to occur in life.

      And … the straw fire just went out.

      If you want to argue that Maher would never hire a feminist writer, I might buy that. Have you noticed that the women he invites as panelists on his show would nearly all pass Trump's standard for assault or the FOX criteria for on-screen talent? Young, pretty, made-up and dressed to attract men, flirty. There is a message there too.

      There’s a message there; it’s just the one I’ve been posting. Your claim isn’t remotely true. And you know how I know that? Because I checked his guest list. Young, pretty, flirty? You mean like author Fran Lebowitz (six-time guest), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (four times), documentary film maker Alexandra Pelosi (six times), anthropologist Jane Goodall, ex-CEO and current public grotesque Carly Fiorina (three times), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, TV anchor Andrea Mitchell (twice)?

      Go ahead and check the list for yourself if you think I’m cherry picking. All of Maher’s guests, women and men, are involved in public arenas, mostly the political and intellectual, some from popular entertainment.

      Delete
    8. "There’s a message there; it’s just the one I’ve been posting. Your claim isn’t remotely true. And you know how I know that? Because I checked his guest list. Young, pretty, flirty? You mean like author Fran Lebowitz (six-time guest), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (four times), documentary film maker Alexandra Pelosi (six times), anthropologist Jane Goodall, ex-CEO and current public grotesque Carly Fiorina (three times), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, TV anchor Andrea Mitchell (twice)?"

      None of those people were panelists. They were featured guests. You can tell who is who because the featured guests are interviewed remotely or sit face to face in chairs before he goes over to the table, or they are introduced separately and sit to the right of Maher (on his left). The panelists are the three people who he calls "his panel" who all sit opposite him at the table.

      Alexandra Pelosi is young and attractive, in my opinion.

      Delete
    9. "Maher said there were no women in the audience. You jumped to the conclusion that meant Maher's writing team was exclusively male. "

      Maher had no regular studio audience because of the virus -- groups have been forbidden in CA. He still wanted some live reaction to his monologue so he had his staff, including his writers, perform as an audience. For maximum effectiveness, it is safe to assume he rounded up as many people as he could. Then he, himself, noted that there were no women in the audience. I can say that there were therefore no female writers there, nor any production assistants or other female staff members.

      It is possible he may have a woman on his writing staff, who just happened to have stepped out of the room or who was absent that day (even though the live show is the whole focus of the staff), but when you must assume that several women were all absent on that day, then the odds of him having women on his writing staff get shorter. If he had anything like a normal male-female balance (based on population), he would have had several women possible because his writing staff is not small. You can hear that from the amount of noise made by his impromptu audience. But there is ultimately no reason to assume that all of the women stayed home for the weekly show, so the conclusion must be that he doesn't have them on his staff.

      This kind of nit-picking may be entertaining to you, but please don't confuse it with discussion. You might, for example, have participated in exploring why women don't get jobs writing for comedians, or suggested that maybe women don 't like Maher and don't apply to be on his staff, or perhaps talked about whether women are under-represented behind the scenes in politics, since the usual ratio on Maher's panel is two men and one woman. Lots of interesting things to discuss about his show, that reflect back on women's participation in politics and the larger issue of sexism against candidates.

      Delete
    10. None of those people were panelists. They were featured guests.

      Now you’re just trolling me. The list is of Maher’s “guests,” which includes the panel members, which the “featured” guest often joins. What difference does it make where anyone sits? Fran Lebowitz, for example, is usually on the panel.

      Alexandra Pelosi is young and attractive, in my opinion.

      And flirty and Faux Newsy looking? Your accusation is that Maher chooses women for his program for their high rating on the male eye-candy scale. This is an absurd position to take no matter how hard you try to play musical chairs.

      Delete
    11. I can say that there were therefore no female writers there, nor any production assistants or other female staff members.

      You can reasonably say that because Maher says everyone present is male. What you can’t conclude is that Maher’s writing staff is all male. And, in fact, it hasn’t been as lately as the end of last year.

      Note that this is not the same as claiming that Maher now employs women and they happened to have stepped out of the studio. I’m not making this claim, since I don’t know whether Maher employs women writers currently. You’re making the opposite claim, and thus you bear the burdens of production and proof.

      This isn’t nitpicking, and that you claim it is illustrates the problems you have with argumentation.

      Now, it’s a nice deflection to say I might “have participated in exploring” the paucity of female comedy writers or the problematic sex ratio of Maher’s guest list. But the topic of discussion was Maher’s supposed visual approach to selecting his female guests.

      Delete
    12. Corby, Maher, as a man, can be more than a bit creepy.

      He’s also very smart and quite often deadly accurate.

      Delete
    13. But never funny.

      Delete
  6. Once, in my work, I was talking with an anthropologist (who will remain unnamed) who was studying negative names applied to disliked women by men and by women. He asked me and a female colleague what a woman was called BY WOMEN who others thought was behaving badly. He said there are lots of such words applied to women by men but there only seemed to be the word "bitch" applied to women by women. I replied, "role model."

    When a woman does the things that men are allowed and even expected to do, she gets called a bitch by women and even worse things by men (outside the presence of other women). The Republicans rounded that off to "witch" to avoid the mild profanity and to pretend gallantry. But we all know that men call women much worse things all the time. Just not to their faces. Remember the Hillary nutcracker? What name do you suppose that corresponds to? And that C-bomb. It comes out of men's mouths loosely and frequently, often as a synonym for woman and not to describe a woman who has necessarily done anything to deserve it. Because this is one way men build up their own manhood, assert their virility in the company of other men. And it is ugly, sexist, and a practice that needs to be stopped -- just as the casual denigration of black people to enhance white superiority is wrong and out-of-bounds.

    But Somerby pretends that men don't do this and tries to gaslight Hesse -- suggesting that she likes that term and wants to hear it, because it supports her belief that she and other women are experiencing sexism (as if there were no sexism except imaginary sexism in the world). And he suggests that when a modern woman connects a historical wrong with something that still happens today, that woman is just trying to enhance her own feeling of being wronged, because it feels so good to be hurt. (From what dark niche of Catholicism and bent sexuality does that come?)

    This is outrageous. If Somerby were selling ads, I'd accuse him of writing this stuff to attract hits, but he is just a sad old man, saying that sad old stuff that sexists who have been bypassed by 50 years of change, tend to mutter to their imaginary friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Er, professor? It isn't TDH suggesting that Hesse wants to hear cunt as an epithet. It's Hesse's own suggestion that it might be better that the sexist language be out in the open.

      Delete
    2. That doesn't mean she likes to hear the word. It is an epithet.

      Out in the open means that folks like Somerby will no longer be able to suggest that sexism isn't happening. The openness is the good part, not the word. Referring to a person as a body part is the essence of objectification.

      Thank you for using my title.

      Delete
    3. That doesn't mean she likes to hear the word.

      Well, I don’t know what she really likes and what she really dislikes. What she says is that she would prefer to hear the word out loud in situations in which associated sentiments are expressed without it.

      It is an epithet.

      Yes, it is. What’s your point?

      Out in the open means that folks like Somerby will no longer be able to suggest that sexism isn't happening.

      This opinion simply cannot be reconciled with TDH’s long-standing contempt for the sexist stances of people like Matthews, Olbermann, and Dowd. TDH finds it hard to believe voters in a Democratic primary would find two X chromosome disqualifying per se. I’d say as hard as it is to believe that these voters would vote against Pete Buttigieg because his sexuality is an abomination before God or against Bernie Sanders because the Jews killed Jesus. That doesn’t mean that sexual prejudice didn’t kill Warren’s candidacy, but the assertion requires facts not in evidence.

      The openness is the good part, not the word.

      So you say, but what Hesse says is that the open use of the epithet would be preferable. There’s no splitting the openness and the word here. Now Hesse may be expressing bitter hyperbole (or hyperbolic bitterness, if you prefer), but that’s as may be.

      Referring to a person as a body part is the essence of objectification.

      Yes, it is. What’s your point?

      Thank you for using my title.

      You’re welcome. Although I expect that the expressed gratitude is as ironic as my ostensible respect in using it. By which I mean to express my surprise that someone who is prosecuting the life of the mind at an academic institution can neither read for comprehension nor think critically.

      I hope no one thinks that I use your title to lampoon your own insistence on using it. You never have on this forum. I hope no one thinks I’ve doxxed you, since I discovered your title on your public profile.

      Delete
    4. “TDH finds it hard to believe voters in a Democratic primary would find two X chromosome disqualifying per se. ”

      You complain when commenters say “Somerby thinks”, and here you are saying “Somerby finds.”

      At any rate, does he actually have that generous an opinion of the saintly Dem voters that he can’t imagine there are sexists among them? What, is he an idiot?

      Delete
    5. Here's what TDH writes:

      Sexism and misogyny on the part of the mainstream press? On the part of (Democratic Party) voters?

      Sexism and misogyny on the part of black women in South Carolina? Also, to what extent did the sexism / misogyny of these various players bring Warren's effort down?


      Do you think I'm wrong about what that means?

      At any rate, does he actually have that generous an opinion of the saintly Dem voters that he can’t imagine there are sexists among them?

      I'm not sure what he actually imagines, but he says the charge of sexism requires evidence, which he finds uncited.

      Delete
    6. Actually, what Hesse said is that she assumes that “Warren-doubting pundits” (whether Fox or MSNBC...) would use such an epithet if they were being honest about their feelings.

      She says she WISHES that they would in order to alleviate any...troubling..doubt that she unfortunately harbors, that perhaps the people who criticize her candidate are NOT foul-mouthed woman haters.

      THAT is what’s being sold by these people. This isn’t concern for women, it’s the devout desire to utterly smear their contrarians. To do that, they are only TOO willing and happy to paint the entire world as a much darker place than it already is.

      That’s cynicism and that is pure hate.

      Delete
    7. Lisa Feldman-Barrett did an interesting study where she applied signal detection theory to racial bias. She noted that one problem for members of minority groups is that they cannot tell whether a hurtful event happened because of racism or whether it was due to some other factor. There is rarely certainty about the disguised hostility they encounter unexpectedly in various situations. As a consequence, there is a shifting bias that is different for different people, based on their previous life experiences, about whether to call an event racism or not.

      It is the same with sexism. Some people will have a greater tendency to attribute negative events to sexism than others will, depending on their previous experiences. When Hesse says that it would make life easier if sexism were always overt and not camouflaged, she is talking about that uncertainty about how to explain what happens, day-in and day-out.

      The existence of both racism and sexism have been well documented. There are plenty of examples of those most extreme undeniably sexist behaviors, against both Warren and Clinton. It is the borderline cases that are difficult to evaluate.

      One of the examples Warren referred to of troubling behavior during Maddow's interview must surely have been the Bernie supporters who called the black women who headed the Culinary Union in NV and made death threats because they dared to oppose health-care-for-all that might roll back their hard-won health benefits. Is a death threat misogyny? Would such a threat be made against a male union worker? Are such threats made more often against women than men? Is this a part of normal campaigning?

      This too is an example of hate, and this happened. No doubt about it. Cue the men, who will mainsplain that politics is rough and women should toughen up.

      Delete
    8. How about we don’t do blanket generalizations about people so that we can focus on them as being thinking and analyzing adult individuals and thereby examine what a writer actually said in a NYT op-Ed?

      Delete
    9. ps...As a woman, if I ever have the notion that people who harbor doubts about any female Republican candidate surreptitiously wishe to call them the c-word; I pray that my family makes sure that I get therapy,

      Delete
    10. Somerby doesn't stick to the op-ed and when he diverges, we must too, especially when he says stuff that would never come out of a liberal's mouth, then calls himself a liberal. Sort of like Tulsi.

      Delete
  7. Loving the smell of C-bombs sounds like a confession that belongs on a different website.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Somerby thinks"; "Somerby prertends."

    Hey, professor! Are you that mind-reading Anonymous Ignoramus I'm always complaining about?

    If so, thanks for using nym.
    If not, never mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somerby has done something that prevents me from posting as anonymous any more. That proves that he does read his comments.

      When I say that Somerby thinks or pretends, I am extrapolating from what he has actually written using inference. People use inference all the time; it is the basis for cognitive processes such as memory, reading and reasoning.

      Delete
    2. Somerby has done something that prevents me from posting as anonymous any more.

      May I ask what he's done? And does that mean that you are my favorite (previously) Anonymous correspondent?

      If so, how was Thanksgiving anyway?

      When I say that Somerby thinks or pretends, I am extrapolating from what he has actually written using inference.

      Yes, you are. The problem is you're doing it wrong.

      People use inference all the time;

      Yes, they do. And people voted for Trump. People do lots of wrong, stupid things.

      it is the basis for cognitive processes such as memory, reading and reasoning.

      Yes, it is. It's inference all the way down. But critical reasoning requires careful examination of inference.

      And you're not careful.


      Delete
    3. For some reason known only to you, you cannot permit others to disagree with you. You consider yourself right and others wrong. Then you make ad hominem disparaging remarks about whoever you consider wrong. It is your personal problem and you should work on it.

      You want to mock me because I am a professor. It is a job title. But apparently, the idea that someone might have spent an extra 10+ years studying some area of knowledge bothers you.

      You are right -- I didn't volunteer that info. Somerby's webpage no longer permits me to post as anonymous, so I have used my Google login, Corby, with its associated profile, which you looked up and chose to mock here. In a comment that had nothing to do with it.

      I earned my degree, I earned my job, I earned my tenure and I earned my promotions at that job. I am proud of them and your sarcasm means nothing to me. But it does show a commonality with Somerby, who also cannot bear to allow anyone, especially women, to have accomplishments that suggest they know something about anything (even esoteric things about physics or George Washington).

      While you self-quarantine, you might consider what it is about other people's accomplishments that bothers you.

      Delete
    4. Somerby has done something that prevents me from posting as anonymous any more.

      Ah, you mean something mechanical from blogspot. I find that unlikely, as I’m able to post Anonymously. See my comment @5:30P.

      I was going to tell you a couple of ways to fix the problem, but I much prefer being able to follow you by nym.

      Delete
    5. For some reason known only to you, you cannot permit others to disagree with you.

      This is a theme with you. That somehow I withhold permission for people to gainsay me. Isn’t it obvious that I have no such power?

      You consider yourself right and others wrong.

      The human condition, wouldn’t you agree?

      Then you make ad hominem disparaging remarks about whoever you consider wrong.

      I make disparaging remarks about people’s arguments. Those are not ad hominem. An ad hominem argument attacks a person for who she is instead of the argument she makes. If I said, “Corby is fat, stupid, and a woman, therefore we can disregard her positions,” that would be an ad hominem (or ad feminem, if you prefer). The reason this is fallacious should be obvious: the quality of an argument is unconnected to the weight, IQ, or chromosomal makeup of the person presenting the argument.

      It is your personal problem and you should work on it.

      I suppose I should take that seriously since you’re a psychology professor and all.

      You want to mock me because I am a professor. It is a job title. But apparently, the idea that someone might have spent an extra 10+ years studying some area of knowledge bothers you.

      Let me be clear. “Professor” is more than a job title. It should be an indication that a person has spent time and effort in the pursuit of learning and the careful evaluation of evidence and logic as applied to some corner of intellectual endeavor. I mock you because you assume the designation while giving little evidence that you have mastered the requisite skills.

      If you spent 10+ years studying, your comments here show you’ve wasted more than a decade.

      You are right -- I didn't volunteer that info. Somerby's webpage no longer permits me to post as anonymous, so I have used my Google login, Corby, with its associated profile, which you looked up and chose to mock here. In a comment that had nothing to do with it.

      I mock the travesty you make of your supposed title. On which, I’m entirely agnostic. Not only do you not have a good way to prove your claim to the title, your claim is irrelevant to your arguments, which stand or fall on the evidence you marshal and the logic you employ.

      I earned my degree, I earned my job, I earned my tenure and I earned my promotions at that job. I am proud of them and your sarcasm means nothing to me.

      A tad defensive aren’t you, professor?

      But it does show a commonality with Somerby, who also cannot bear to allow anyone, especially women, to have accomplishments that suggest they know something about anything (even esoteric things about physics or George Washington).

      I have no power to allow or disallow anyone his or her accomplishments. And, as I’ve said, I’m entirely agnostic about yours. I neither believe nor disbelieve your claims. I can’t verify them, and they make no difference to your arguments here.

      While you self-quarantine, you might consider what it is about other people's accomplishments that bothers you.

      In your case, I have no reason to believe you’re accomplished in any way. I also have no reason to disbelieve that. Fortunately, the question is simply irrelevant here. I have long reconciled myself to the fact that the name of those more accomplished than me is Legion.

      Delete
    6. Who knows if Somerby believes the Right-wing grievances he repeats here?

      Delete
  9. "Are those editors really helping women's interests?"

    No, dear Bob. This, like everything else your zombie media produce, is garden variety mindless dembottery. But of course you already know it.

    Incidentally, there's no such thing as "womyn's interests", just like there are no interests of redheads, or any other random/irrelevant category of the population. Citizens have interests, meaningful categories of citizens have interests (business peope/professionals/laborers, urban/rural, etc.), but not womyn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're all individuals. Mao just happens to be an individual mark for grifters looking to take advantage of the ignorant.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  10. “Did "plenty of folks" call her "witchy" and "a she-devil" during that race, as Hesse now pleasingly said?”

    “if, you search long and hard enough, you can eventually find someone saying whatever you wish for. “

    “was she called those particular names by "plenty of folks" during that last campaign? We're going to guess that she was not, while noting again that Hesse provides no examples at all.”

    Somerby just can’t find any example. Let’s see: here are some. This first example is a little known “someone” who said this in large public events:

    “Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's increasingly hostile rhetoric toward his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton, reached a new level of intensity Monday when he called Clinton "the devil" during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.”
    https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-calls-clinton-the-devil-at-a-pennsylvania-rally-2016-8

    Here’s another, from a little known commentator:
    “Rush Limbaugh says Hillary Clinton came off as conceited during her first presidential debate with Donald Trump.
    "She came off exactly as many people see her: A witch with a capital B," the conservative radio host said on his show Tuesday.”

    https://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/298092-limbaugh-clinton-a-witch-with-a-capital-b

    (Millions listen to his show.)

    Or here’s Alex Jones (he’s pretty tight with the prez and is quite popular with “The Others”):
    ““She's a creep, she's a witch, she's turned over to evil," Jones said, referring to Clinton, in a special broadcast during the Democratic Party convention.
    "Look at her face… All she needs is green skin."”

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36992955

    Then there’s this:

    At Trump rallies, pockets of supporters shout "Lock her up!"
    Some wear T-shirts saying "Trump that Bitch", and there are those who describe Clinton as "the servant of Satan" or use hashtags such as #Killary on social media.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36992955

    (I saw that T-shirt. People were wearing it in my sleepy Southern town.)

    Why is Somerby quibbling about this aspect of Hesse’s column, when there is no question about the misogyny directed at Hillary?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hesse and Smash are not chest-beating about sexism among Republicans.

      They’re suggesting that this is the whole world, darling. That this is your house too.

      Delete
    2. It is. But look at your cute little transgender joke above, if you want to see whose house is infected.

      Delete
    3. It wasn’t a joke. It’s an indictment of the silence in her case of people like you.

      Delete
    4. She is a Republican or perhaps a Russian shill running as a Democrat. Why would I support her? She has Trump to back her up. Gabbard is no more a serious candidate than Williamson was -- you never hear conservatives defending her. Gabbard is this year's Jill Stein. Russia, Trump and conservatives hope she will gain enough traction to split the Democratic vote so they can steal possible electoral college votes. She is being used, but she is doing that to herself and doesn't need actual Democrats to waste their resources complaining when people see through her.

      But what did transgender people do to be dragged into the discussion? Gabbard isn't trans and neither is any of the other candidates, male or female.

      Delete
    5. She is a female and is running for president. You don’t have to support her personally, but ostensively you do support the phenomenon of women having their own ideas and opinions and running for office.

      Does it bother you that rules were changed to prevent her from taking part in a debate, or is that fine because you don’t think she’s a liberal? The rules were changed to accommodate Bloomberg. You know, a dude who used to be a Republican. CNN won’t even put a microphone in her face, much less have given her a townhall.

      Can we put you down as a Tulsi-doubter and then wonder how much you (for all your citing of studies on the disempowerment of sexism) and those heartbroken Warren supporters would give a hoot were someone to call her a dirty name?

      Delete
    6. So, what did transgender people do to be dragged into this discussion, if you were not "joking"?

      Delete
    7. Transgendered folks did nothing.

      The orientation of being transgender was dragged in by me. I made a point that if being a female of color who is also running for president can’t make the treatment of Tulsi Gabbard of any importance to our blogboard feminists, perhaps being transgendered as well would have made her a blip on their radar.

      On second thought, nahhh.

      Delete
    8. Why is Mao posting his gibberish under the name Cecelia?

      Delete
  11. Somerby has praised Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a couple of times.

    Someone said this, about Warren:
    "Mean and angry Warren is not a good look." 

    AOC said in reply:
    “Anger at injustice is quite appropriate. It's truly time to retire the misogynist trope that angry men are powerful, yet angry women are unhinged. It's such gaslighting nonsense.”

    She clearly feels that the remark about Warren was a misogynist trope. It can’t be scientifically *proven*, however. Does that make AOC wrong?

    It’s all the more interesting, because the person who made the remark about Warren was Jennifer Rubin, a woman.

    This also points out that the misogyny didn’t necessarily come from Democratic voters (although that isn’t impossible to imagine), but, in this instance, from media figures.

    ReplyDelete
  12. “long lists of fully qualified male candidates have "stepped aside" in this manner before.”

    That is completely irrelevant to the question of whether sexism was a factor in Warren’s defeat. In fact, it’s a stupid bit of illogic.

    Every candidate steps aside, except for the eventual nominee. That is a tautology. But we saw what happened in 2016 when that nominee was a woman.
    (“the decade of misogynist trashing of Hillary Clinton almost surely put Trump where he is.”

    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2020/03/chris-matthews-leaves-and-jack-welch.html)

    Perhaps there is a not unfounded fear amongst Democratic voters that, like 2016, a woman cannot beat Trump, which led many to reject Warren (That’s what Sanders was accused of saying, after all). Perhaps there is a subset of Dem voters who really are sexist.

    I’m sure there were other factors as well, but when Somerby decries the lack of “evidence”, it isn’t clear how you obtain incontrovertible statistical “proof” of sexism. It’s like Supreme Court Justice Stewart said about obscenity in 1964, Jacobellis v Ohio: “I know it when I see it”

    ReplyDelete
  13. Somerby complained that Chris Matthews calling Hillary “Nurse Ratched” was a misogynistic, gender-based insult.

    Why? Would he care to prove it?

    Nurse Ratched was a tyrant, ruling with an iron fist to enforce conformity. In what way was this description misogynistic or a gender-based insult? Matthews was merely noting similar personality traits, not demeaning Hillary’s gender.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’s sexist when partisans use innocuous gender- neutral terms to describe male politicians.

      What are Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, traitor to the country, war-profiteer, Russian asset, criminal, simpleton, flimflamer, retard, chimp, the Lord of Darkness, strong-man, mad man, sociopath, racist, sexist, rapist, liar, pervert... in light of Nurse Ratchet, Evita, She-Devil, witch, whore, bitch, c-word, unlivable?

      It’s so unfair.

      Delete
    2. Cecelia, you realize that most of these terms are unique to Trump and are not used with male politicians in general, don't you?

      Delete
    3. Corby,

      Goldwater, Bush, Cheney, Sanders, Gingrich, Bloomberg, Giuliani, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Reagan, Bill Clinton, Obama, McCain...and more... have all been called these things by their competitors and critics.

      Delete
    4. Some of them have been called some of those things, but none of them has been called all of them except Trump.

      When you throw the word liar in there, it can apply to all of those guys, but the more specific terms, not so much. For example, you left out murderer, applied to Ted Kennedy at the time. But notice that the list of terms about Hillary have only been applied to Hillary -- largely because she was our only nominee, and that summarizes the problem that women have been complaining about. Where are the other female nominees? Not, who gets called the best names.

      Delete
    5. Corby, didn’t you expend a lot of pixels yesterday arguing about how many people had called Clinton sexist epithets in order for you to suggest that women pols are uniquely and unfairly maligned in some particularly insidious way?

      Now your argument seems to be that it’s merely Trump who has been uniquely and massively insulted (so such rhetoric is no biggie now), other male politicians who have been likened to spies, traitors, war profiteers, mass murderers have suffered less so, and the fact that they have suffered at all is unfair because not enough women get the opportunity to be maligned six ways till Sunday via running for office.

      We’re finally in agreement on something, bro. This stuff does come with the political territory and is not uniquely insidious to either sex running for office.

      Delete
    6. I argued that Somerby's claim that he couldn't find anyone who had said those things about Clinton was specious. Somerby was clearly being dishonest.

      To your knowledge, has anyone ever circulated a photo of a life size cutout of a male politician being fondled by opposing team speechwriters? Do you think that comes with the territory or is it a gender-based insult? To many women, that communicates a message that you may have won the nomination but you are still female and thus can be assaulted whenever some random man wants to touch you. Just want Trump actually does to random women he encounters. Reminding women that whatever their success, they are still women and thus subjugated to men, is called sexism. Calling a woman the c-word does that too. It says that whatever else you have accomplished, you are just a vagina to men, not a person -- a body part.

      Delete
    7. Corby, if you put a life sized cutout of Jesus or George Washington with group of people from their teens to early 30s, you’re gong to see mugging and clowning for the camera. Even when the cutout is Her Holiness.

      From my high school days, I have five or six rated PG photographs taken on school trips of boys taking liberties with girls for the benefit of joking for the camera and girls with boys.

      A good time was had by all. Get some perspective.

      Delete
    8. Jon Favreau is not a high school kid.

      Delete
  14. What precisely is Somerby saying?

    1. Democrats nominated a woman in 2016, thus Democrats aren’t sexist.
    2. Hillary won the popular vote, thus America is ready for a woman president.
    3. Warren failed; so did a bunch of male candidates, thus sexism wasn’t a factor in Warren’s failure.
    4. Warren was a terrible candidate, thus sexism wasn’t a factor in her failure.
    5. Sexism is hard to assess, thus it should be ignored as a factor.

    In none of these statements does the “thus” clause follow logically from the premise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fercryanoutloud, how hard is this?

      1. Democrats nominated a woman in 2016, so their not nominating a woman in 2020 is not automatically evidence of sexism.

      2. Hillary won the popular vote, so a majority of Americans must have been ready for a woman President. By definition.

      3. Warren failed and so did male candidates, so failure isn’t necessarily automatic evidence of sexism.

      4. Warren was a terrible candidate, so sexism isn’t the only possible explanation for her failure.

      5. That sexism is hard to assess doesn’t mean its dispositive existence should be assumed.

      Delete
    2. These statements aren't logical either:
      Democrats nominated a woman in 2016, thus Democrats are sexist.
      2. Hillary won the popular vote, thus America isn't ready for a woman president.
      3. Warren failed; so did a bunch of male candidates, thus sexism was a factor in Warren’s failure.
      4. Warren was a terrible candidate, thus sexism was a factor in her failure.
      5. Sexism is hard to assess, thus it shouldn''t be ignored as a factor.

      Delete
    3. There is known to be sexism in our society. There was evidence of sexism during the election. Why can't we then speculate that sexism had an effect on the outcome of the election?

      Delete
    4. Do so but with facts and sources. Anything else is illogical as you have proven.

      Delete
  15. I have the feeling that Somerby finds it hilarious to be attacking a female historian during women's history month. What a turd he is -- whether his attack was intentionally to make a statement about women's history or he just accidentally happened upon Coe's book and HAD to comment on it.

    https://www.politicususa.com/2020/03/15/opinion-the-lack-of-reporting-on-american-womens-plight-during-womens-history-month-is-abominable.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Somerby probably plotted with the NYT and the WP as to their timing of Coe pieces.

      Bob’s next nefarious trick was to sabotage Prof Corby’s anonymity.

      Delete
  16. Is Anonymity still possible; if so, is it desirable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the future, everyone will be anonymous for 15 minutes.

      Delete
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