A small thing that has come up in my ongoing fascination with the battles over modern feminism in atheist circles: There’s a widespread claim that feminists of yore were “reasonable” feminists who merely wanted things like the vote and the right to own property, whereas modern feminists are “radicals” with their uncomfortable questioning of sexual harassment and abuse, as well as anger about the victim-blaming that occurs afterwards. Comparing modern feminists with our supposedly more conservative predecessors is a common tactic of anti-feminists, but you’re seeing it crop up during this fight over feminism in atheism. Richard Dawkins put his toe in those waters by praising Christina Hoff Sommers, whose only real tactic is claiming she stands for this older, supposedly more restrained votes-and-property feminism, against the newcomers with their anger about things like sexual objectification and abuse.
That argument is bullshit, just so you know. Our elders were complaining about sexual abuse back in the day, just as we are complaining now. For instance, this passage from The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, published in 1949, is illustrative:
De Beauvoir seemed less than enthusiastic about powerful men who close ranks around sexual predators while pointing fingers at their victims. I mean, it’s possible that this is just a bad translation and if I read it in the original French, it would read dif— Ha, just kidding. I mean, clearly in 1949, feminists objected to men who they think they they are great arbiters of truth but treat sexual predators with more respect and dignity than they do victims of sexual exploitation.
As for the notion that abortion is some new-fangled feminist obsession, I will point out that in this very same passage, she denounces “the hypocrisy of men decreeing abortion to be criminal when every year in France a million women are put by men into the situation where they have to abort”.
But sure, tell yourself that feminist concerns about how men leverage their social power to exploit women sexually, often creating major damage in women’s lives, is something third wavers came up with because they were bored. Whatever gets you through the day.
After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.
Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies
I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.
And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.
Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence
At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:
I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.