In round one bazillion of the "man, atheists really need to deal with the misogynists" problem, we have Penn Jillette. I know, surprising that he's got a wide misogynist streak, right? I mean, I try not to judge a book by its cover, but if there were cash prizes for correctly guessing which celebrities are still bitter about not getting laid in high school, he would definitely be on my ballot. Now there's a kerfuffle because Jillette is a big fan of everyone's favorite C-word.


As you can imagine, his defenders are trotting out the "just because you call someone a cunt doesn't mean you're sexist!" argument. This is why I get a little frustrated with trying to prove sexism or racism on a single word. It has this tendency to narrow the playing field, make it all about "proving" whether this word or that word is an Official Utterance of -Ists, which distracts from the larger issues and encourages -Ists to use coded language for better ass-coverage in the future. ("Food stamp President" is a good example.) In this case, "cunt" was just the icing on the cake of an explosive bit of inexplicable misogynist diarrhea. You see, this is the piece that caused Jillette such profound anger. As you'll see, it's a harmless bit of goofing on Super Bowl ads, clearly written for an audience looking to pass some time while they're eating a sandwich at their desks, i.e. the bread and butter of freelance humor writing online. I would rate it as funnier than most of these pieces, because it has a clever conceit (marketers are worried about the apocalypse) and because it's breezily written and made me smile. In offensiveness terms, I would rank it somewhere between that video of otters holding hands and Kitten Covers.

In addition, the complaints the Jillette are trotting out are very much of the "those in glass houses" variety. I don't know that someone whose career started because he thought card tricks were first rate entertainment is really in the position to be judging whether or not something is quality sandwich-eating-time-passing material. As for the accusation of strained, repetitive comedy, well, when I think of that, well certainly I'd never think of "Bullshit". I mean, coming up with thin excuses to have naked ladies walking around and being able to say curse words on a TV show is a fresh joke every time, amiritefellas? Most importantly, my eyebrow raised at the accusation that someone is trying to "be superior". This from a man who, you know, has a show called "Bullshit". Within the tweet, he makes a pointless bid at superiority, bragging about how he didn't see any Super Bowl ads. Between the outsized reaction and the incredible double standard for himself and some female writer on the internet, we're already talking about 90+% chance that he's got issues with women. If men allow having sex, being arrogant, or making silly jokes for themselves but flip out on women for doing the same, it's almost surely sexism, and Jillette hit two out of three. (There's far more, of course: being slovenly, drinking, you could go all day with the list of things sexists allow for themselves but not for women.) The fact that he used the word "cunt" just makes it a near-certainty, hovering around the 99.9% region.

With that in mind, I made a list of things people can say, and potential totally non-sexist Penn Jillette reactions. All of them guaranteed to get a "nuh-uh, that's not sexism!" response from his fanboys.

The forecast for today shows clear skies and highs around 55 degrees.

Who does this bitch think she is with her weather predictions? Just because you have a map and a meterology report doesn't make you the queen of the fucking weather, sweetheart. 

I'll have a skim latte and a blueberry muffin, please. 

*snort* Jesus Christ, what a fucking diva. An ordinary muffin isn't good enough for you? You have to have blueberries? What, is your pretty princess tongue unable to choke down your breakfast unless it's all blue and fruity?

I was happy that the Giants won, but it would have been cool to see the Patriots pull it off at the last minute.

Useless fucking cunt. Hey, lady, instead of offering your pointless opinion on football, why not do something useful with your mouth and stuff a cock in it?

I like to sit around scratching my balls while writing blog posts insisting that unregulated markets, which have been shown to repeatedly fail when tried in the real world, are the one true path to peace and prosperity.

Carry on, good sir. Perhaps you would like to come on my show to pass off your anti-government crankery as if it were scientific fact?