Heading Into the Man Cave

I watched this infuriating-yet-hilariously-entertaining segment about women’s reproductive rights and Mitt Romney on Rachel Maddow last night and it had me all sorts of smiling beginning at the 3:55 mark…

Send it to your favorite Republican relatives. And, you know, men.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Ludovico

    Well, he WOULDN’T understand about birth control–he’s a MORMON!

    • Alla & Greg M

      I do not know why being MORMON prevents him from understand about birth control, but one must be moron to run for the highest office and not leaning about possible contradictions in his positions.

      • ludovico

        I meant that Mormons, like Catholics, have lots of kids and therefore tend not to use birth control.

  • Cutencrunchy

    Alienating and insulting – growing the rift between us – but par for the mass Oprah mentality. 

  • The Picard

    I love being condescended to – it gives me all sorts of smiles. Just so you know I’m in on the joke.

  • BobB

    I agree. I’m male but I don’t drink beer, don’t like sports, I drive a compact car, and am educated. I don’t like being lumped into a stereotypes. Why is it ok for women to patronize and stereotype men like this but when me do it their being me misogynistic bastards?

    I bet, that if it was a man talking to women like this, no matter how right they might be, you’d be decrying them and Rebecca Watson would have a fucking cow.

    • Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Had to edit it… So you are bi-sexual?

      • BobB

        What?

        • Kevin_Of_Bangor

          Simply asking if you are bi-sexual. Not hitting on you, just wondering if you are from your comment.

          • Alla & Greg M

            Why you think so?

          • BobB

            So because I don’t like sports, don’t drink beer, and don’t drive a raised truck that implies I’m bi-sexual?

            No, I’m not.

            BTW– what is that a baby Glock? Pick is too small, can’t tell. I like guns.

            • Kevin_Of_Bangor

              It is a Glock 27 in a Crossbreed holster. I know, irony.

              And thank you for answering the question but if you drank beer, loved sports and had a raised truck you most likely then would have had a small penis.

              • BobB

                Glock 23 myself, carry everyday, everywhere it’s legal. 

                Nice to see a fellow Atheist that’s into guns.

                • Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  As do I.

              • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2C6XFSMIUYAZUDZ4CWUWLV7CEY Josh Pearson

                “if you drank beer, loved sports and had a raised truck you most likely then would have had a small penis.”

                Way to do men proud! Yay for the perpetuation of stereotypes! Yay!

                I guess I’m glad that I only like beer and sports and don’t own a vehicle, otherwise you’d be mocking me for a genetic result I  had no control over.

                Whether it was a joke or not, it wasn’t funny.

                • Kevin_Of_Bangor

                  Just remember Josh. It is not the size of your pen, it is how you sign your name.

    • Lambert

      And women don’t like being lumped into the stupid breeder category either. Get over it Bob. :-)

      • BobB

        When did *I* say that women were “breeders?”
        Here is my point–I don’t think that it’s constructive to belittle and talk down to people and address them based of stereotypes.

        Of course, the next time someone says that women should just “get back in the kitchen” you could just “get over it.”

      • http://www.nowhere-fast.net Tom

        Holy crap, really?  How is he even beginning to lump women into a “stupid breeder” category?  He is expressing an honest concern that he has with gender dialogue and you’re going to go after him for it?  Congratulations, you used a smiley – but all you’re doing is stifling a debate that makes you uncomfortable.

        Why is it OK for Maddow to stereotype and condescend like that?

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    Where’s Hibernia? He needs to watch this…

  • Evan Kelley

    Yes, a bit condescending, a little stereotypical, but amusing nonetheless. It’s the perfect pitch to throw to the uneducated that comprise the majority of right wing politics. Although, I’m not sure how many of those would be watching Maddow.

    It’s all stuff I’ve known since high school sex ed classes a couple decades ago and it’s kind of sad to think there are so many people – especially ones so close to being in such great power – who are ignorant of these things.

    Side note here: I’m no fan of religion, but before I came out I used to be married to a Mormon and she and her entire family were well-versed in reproductive rights, roles, and options for family planning. They were very vocal (but not really in practice) about stereotypical Mormon restrictions on sex, but that didn’t mean they were uneducated. Accusing Romney of ignorance on this matter because of his religion isn’t really an honest argument. He may be ignorant, but not necessarily because of his faith.

    • Oxymormon

      I’m not saying it’s a fair assessment, but I will say that many Mormons are not as well versed in options for family planning. Or the basic functions of those family planning options. I have no idea whether or not Romney is uneducated because he is a Mormon, but my Mormon friends and I were left uneducated about birth control & family planning because of the culture and church teachings. 

    • http://www.nowhere-fast.net Tom

      But here’s the thing – it was a lot stereotypical and it was pointless for anything other than massaging her ego.  I can only imagine that her “intended audience” was herself, a few hours later because just about everyone who’s watching her show either already agrees with her or wouldn’t believe a word out of her mouth.

      It’s crap like this that just alienates people from what should be reasonable ideas. 

  • http://twitter.com/TortugaSkeptic A secret red slider

    I’m pretty sure the ‘man cave’ is directed at a specific idea of maleness, one that would run from understanding the reproductive functioning of the women folk.  Remember all those different manly religious get-aways; that seems to be who is being made fun of here.  Not necessarily because of religion but because of a specific idea of manliness.  

  • Brett Hansen

    I liked that segment!  I think when a candidate for the presidency if the United States is willing to go on record on a health issue like that without knowing the basic facts about the situation some mocking is called for.  The over the top man stereotyping seemed like a good set up for the joke since it reminded me of public school sex-ed, where they actually did separate out the boys and only teach us things that were appropriate for boys to know (which did not include the information in this segment until high school)

  • Anonymous

    I thought the segment was funny. Rachel Maddow has a good way of teasing men without being mean spirited about it.

  • Anonymous

    I believe that the woman asking Romney about his stance on birth control is a little mistaken. She seemed to be claiming that all hormonal birth control involves the destruction of a fertilized egg. At least that was the impression I got from watching the video.
      
    The majority of women using hormonal contraception (pill, patch, ring) are using an estrogen/progesterone combination.  This inhibits ovulation nearly 100% of the time. No egg is released; therefore no fertilization happens.

    Other types of hormonal contraception may allow ovulation and possible fertilization. IUDs and emergency contraception prevent implantation of a fertilized egg into the endometrium.

    Of course, some social conservatives would probably like to see all contraception banned. However, I’d be surprised if any “personhood legislation” could actually have much effect on the very popular combined estrogen/progesterone methods that stop ovulation, since if used correctly, there is no fertilized egg involved.  

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      What, like Depo? It’s progesterone, no estrogen, works like magic; no babies, no bleeding, no PMS…

      • Anonymous

        Yes, the Depo-Provera shots are a progesterone-only type.  They usually prevent ovulation like the combination pill does, but also work by thickening cervical mucus to prevent sperm passing through the cervix. It’s another method that rarely results in a fertilized egg.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

          Yup, I’m on it and I LOVE IT.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I love watching Maddow, but that whole man-cave and sports breaks thing was pretty insulting. I don’t understand why it’s okay for women to be condescending and treat men as stereotypes, but men doing that to women is considered nothing but disrespectful. It’s not that I’m personally offended, I just don’t get it. It’s a weird double standard among liberals.

    • Lambert

      Well I guess you could say that because men are *always* condescending to women, the occasional use of the same for humorous effect (men never use it for humor – it’s just how they think about women) is justified.

      • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

        Lol… men never use it just for humor. Now you must be joking. At my local freethought group we’d tell each other condescending stereotypical women jokes (why do women where white on their wedding day? So they’ll match the rest of the kitchen appliances.) and laugh our asses off. It’s not that we disrespect the women in our group or women in general. It’s just done in good humor. Your point is invalid.

        and again, I was not offended by Maddow’s man-cave segment. It was actually pretty funny. I just didn’t get why it’s socially acceptable among liberals to do that but doing the reverse to women even as a joke is just plain offensive.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2C6XFSMIUYAZUDZ4CWUWLV7CEY Josh Pearson

        Not to be cliche, but two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because many men are misogynistic or condescending doesn’t make doing the same thing towards man an okay thing.

        It isn’t justified. Instead of condescending she could have just been informative and accurate, which would only have given her more solid ground to stand on.

        Woman complain about unfair treatment, which they do suffer from, but turning around and treating men the same way is not conducive to change. It only affords women being portrayed in an unflattering light, thus harming the movement towards equality.

        I do believe the saying goes, “Don’t sink to their level”, and that’s just what happened here.

    • Dan Henry

      I don’t get MSNBC, so I don’t watch Maddow regularly.  Is the “man cave” thing regular?

      In this case, I think it was totally appropriate and not at all indicative of a double standard.  The hideous “life begins at conception” is actually being pushed primarily by men and will have it’s worst consequences on women.  Maddow was treating those men exactly the way they deserve to be treated — either they are embarrassingly uninformed (like Romney) or they are deceptive theocrats.  Either way, the condescension was appropriate.

      • http://www.nowhere-fast.net Tom

        The way it was presented wasn’t that she was treating “those men” like that, but rather that she was treating “all men” like that.  It started to piss me off, but then seeing how desperately Maddow tries to ape Olbermann just sort of made the whole thing kind of sad.

  • Anonymous

    What I found most depressing about that segment was that there are still people that just don’t get birth control. That one of these people is running for the highest elected office in the US is scary.

  • anon45

    I have a question for all
    the people that say that life does not begin at conception. If so
    then you should not have any objection to patenting fertilized human
    eggs. If you have I would like to hear them.

    • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

      What does this have to do with anything?

    • Anonymous

      Life doesn’t begin at conception. Life began 3.7 billion years ago. Sperm cell? Living. Egg cell? Living. Same as blood cells, rod & cone cells, and brain cells. There’s no magic involved when an egg and sperm cell come together. We have all kinds of rules about living tissues and organs (when and whether they can be bought, sold, patented, or otherwise commodified).

      What these forced birthers want to do is not to define the beginning of life, but the beginning of personhood at conception. That’s a totally different thing. But they haven’t really thought it through. Not only would their definition make most (all?) hormonal contraception illegal, it would require criminal investigation into every miscarriage, it would hold women responsible for doing anything that could be perceived as causing harm to a foetus (drinking alcohol, drinking coffee, doing strenuous exercise or not eating a balanced diet, taking risks like going up and down stairs or changing the kitty litter), it would confuse the case of chimeras and twins/multiples (one person or more?), it would require a change to citizenship and immigration laws (how can one legally be a person without having citizenship rights?), requiring pregnant women to carry passports for foetuses. All to ensure that babies are the punishment for women having sex.

      But don’t worry, we can make laws against patenting living cells or even genes without conferring personhood on them.

      • anon45

        I thought it was clear that I was asking how you would justify making a law against patenting fertilized human eggs.

        • Ladydreamgirl

          I’m not a lawyer but wouldn’t the same principle that prevents the patenting of the wheel prevent the patenting of fertilization of human eggs?  Human sexual reproduction was ‘invented’ as it were so long ago that any patent on it would by now be long expired as with the wheel, thereby making it impossible to get a valid patent on either ‘invention’.  See no need to even make up new laws, just a basic application of previously existing principles of patent law.

        • Anonymous

          I thought that would be obvious to anyone with a smidge of intelligence. Patents are issued by the state to protect inventors from having someone else profit from their unique invention for a period of time. Since human cells (sans modification) are not inventions, they are not subject to patent law. (ETA: In case it’s still not clear. I don’t need to justify making such a law because making such a law is not necessary. Just like we don’t need to make a law against copyrighting fingerprints. Cells and fingerprints are not intellectual property.)

  • Bryan

    Sorry, Rachel Maddow, it’s Mitt Romney who doesn’t know about birth control, not all men.  No need to be whisked to the “man cave” and bludgeoned with random sports bits to keep me interested.  Thanks for trying, though!

  • Rich Wilson
  • Bored

    Even setting aside the condescension, this video was about 7 minutes longer than it needed to be. It was 45 seconds in before anything relevant was said. Then a few moments of salient information, then a lot more blah blah blah, repeat. That’s not a sly shot at women, just annoyance at Maddow.

  • Anonymous

    I find it interesting that no one has yet stated the corrollary to this concept. If you make hormone-based contraception illegal, you place essentially the entire burden of contaception on the man. This means a condom must be used for every sex act where the parties do not desire reproduction. (I belive that barrier methods for women aren’t really as effective as for men.)

    Imagine how this will change relationships within a marriage. For me, I enjoy having sex with my life partner and not forcing him to wear something he finds constrictive. It makes better sex for him, and thus better sex for me. If male-female sex now REQUIRES a condom, who will want to do it?

    Banning most female contraception sounds like it will result in more homosexual relationships, because straight sex won’t be fun anymore!

  • Anonymous

    Only football play-by-play squiggly arrows during the fertilization and birth control images could’ve made it better.

  • Alt+3

    I’m scared of women.

    I feel embarrassed just being around them. It’s why I don’t talk if I can avoid it. I used to be much better at these kinds of things but somehow I just forgot how to do it. I get panic attacks just thinking about talking to people.

    I’m scared to go to work, I’m scared to leave my house, I dropped out of school because I was scared to go there. I HAVE to go to work or else I can’t pay my rent and I’m not particularly interested in being homeless, but I take sick days as often as I can.  I haven’t actually spoken out loud to another human being in five days. I’m scared to go to the movies, I’m scared to buy groceries. Sometimes, I fantasize about being around people but even them I feel embarrassed. I’m pretty sure I smell terrible. I’m scared to drive anymore, I always feel like I’m going to hit someone. The bus doesn’t run early enough for me to get to work and a cab would take half my days wage by the time I got there. I used to feel angry a lot; angry at everything. Now I just feel indifferent. I can’t think of a single activity I would find enjoyable. I stopped jerking off because it takes so long to get an erection. I stopped looking at porn before that because I felt so embarrassed. I used to have so many friends, but they all got girlfriends and boyfriends and jobs in different cities and I don’t know how to meet new people. I try to figure out ways to live cheaper so I don’t have to go to work as often. I can live off $750 a month now. It’d be about $450 if I quit smoking. I think I’m just killing time until I die. I feel embarrassed about thinking that. I took a hiatus from believing in god when I was fourteen. I wanted to be able to drink and do drugs and have sex like normal teenagers. I didn’t do any of those things. I’m scared I’m going to be homeless. I’m embarrassed of how dirty my apartment is. I have an imaginary girlfriend. We’ve got a very complex relationship (her not being real and all). I don’t cry. Sometimes my eyes just, like, leak, but I never actually sob or anything. I don’t watch TV anymore. Sometimes I buy electronics that I know I’m never going to use. I have four routers, like, seven mp3 players, a whole drawer full of CDs and USB sticks and a rubbermade container full of wires. My mom keeps asking me what’s new in my life and I always feel embarrassed when I have nothing to tell her about. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to afford to give my family christmas gifts this year. If I do they’ll all have to be around twenty bucks.  I’m scared to go to the gym. There’s no sports I like. I wish I could tell some women they’re pretty. I hate bars. I hate drunk people in general. Why are women so much more attractive than men? Not just in how attractive I find them personally, but most women I see come much closer to looking like the women you see in movies and magazines than almost any of the men I see. I like womens hands. If I could freeze time I would touch their hands. I’m 

  • brandedmojo

    maddow looks like a man


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