I’m usually not a fan of accusing people of doing something only as “click bait”, but there’s just no getting around the fact that’s what Time was doing by including the word “feminist” in its list of options for words that should be “banned” in 2015. I defended the word at Slate, but wanted to do a follow-up because of what happened: Misogynists are flooding the poll and up voting “feminist” so that it’s winning.
This matters, because there’s been a bunch of disingenuous gum-flapping about how this wasn’t supposed to be a diss on feminism itself. Katy Steinmetz, in the piece, said she has “nothing against feminism itself” but that she just wants to “stick to the issues and quit throwing this label around”. (Is there anything more pretentious than pretending to be above basic descriptors? What next? Opposing proper nouns?) When confronted about this silliness on Twitter, she doubled down:
@RebeccaSchinsky Please see the blurb for context. The inclusion is responding to trends in the media, not feminism itself.
— Katy Steinmetz (@katysteinmetz) November 12, 2014
So the claim is that this wasn’t supposed to be a slam on feminism itself. But surprise, dum-dums! That is exactly what the people voting on the poll are using it as. In an entirely unsurprising turn of events, Jezebel reports the men who linger around forums that are built for men whose bitterness against women manifests in objecting to women’s basis human rights are encouraging each other to vote and vote often to keep the word “feminist” at the top. Indeed, at this point, the only thing this poll is being used for is so that misogynists can express their hatred of women. You can say that this wasn’t intended to be a slam on feminism until you’re blue in the face, but in fact, a slam on feminism is exactly what it is.
Which isn’t to say that I think the people flooding this poll speak for any large group of people. Online misogynists are good at this kind of asymmetrical warfare because they have a lot of time on their hands and hating women is a major priority for them, whereas the pro-woman factions tend to have too much to do to organize pointless campaigns like this. (Thus, Gamergate.) This was made worse by the fact that the poll was overall far too stupid for anyone with an ounce of intelligence to give enough of a shit to vote. Given the choice between “bae” and “disrupt”, I choose “who gives a shit, let people talk how they want to”. Which wasn’t an option.
Steinmetz may claim that none of this was intentional, but since it was entirely predictable, I’m raising my eyebrows dramatically. You can tell people to vote “feminist” for some obscure, media-obsessed reason, but you can’t be surprised when the reason that 110% of them are voting that way is to express their hatred of women and women’s rights.
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.