So’s your mother

“Instead of preventing the stoning of an adulteress, as Jesus did, they would have gone looking for bigger rocks.”

“I think they are just constantly looking for excuses to not change it.”

“I had to look for validation and affirmation outside the doors of the church. There was none to be found within.”

“That thing where a woman makes a suggestion and it gets ignored, and then a man suggests it and people fall over themselves to praise it? It’s happened to me. It’s happened to virtually every woman I know.”

“From the Sanhedrin, to the Salem witch trials to the Taliban to grim Congressional hearings, we seem to have no shortage of men eager to claim ultimate authority over a woman’s life — or rights.”

“If we’re Christians, we might admit that our world has a sinful relationship with power, and as a Church, we are chief among sinners.”

I don’t want to identify with the Proverbs 31 woman; I want to identify with Jesus.”

“Here we were in the grocery store at 10 P.M. on a Sunday night, having been married for less than an hour, when I first felt the critical spirit rise within me.”

“A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows that the pay gap between men and women increased between 2011 and 2012, leaving women making $163 less per week.”

“[Mortgage] applications involving a wide variety of income levels and lending amounts that have a woman listed as the primary borrower and a man listed as co-borrower were 24 percent less likely to have a loan approved compared to applications that listed the man first.”

“Politicians who try to be funny often struggle. Politicians who try to be funny about state-mandated, medically-unnecessary, trans-vaginal ultrasounds invariably fail.”

“Since an appearance on Hannity on Tuesday [Zerlina Maxwell has] basically been under an escalating online assault filled with racist epithets and threats of rape all for stating what I think is a fairly straightforward opinion on the intersecting issues of guns and rape.”

“As a female blogger, I can absolutely vouch that there are men who feel horrifyingly comfortable telling me about all sorts of violent fantasies they wish to act upon my person because they’ve disagreed with something I’ve written.”

“If you’re one of those terrible people who shows up at abortion clinics to yell at patients and shame them for their sexual choices, you have a greater than one in ten chance every week of yelling invective at a woman who had a man force sex on her against her will. No wonder they pretend it doesn’t happen.”

“The main message of the ministry of Jesus that I see is one of liberation and justice, and to me, contraception is tied directly, for women, to their economic liberation, to their emotional and spiritual liberation.”

“I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind.”

"Not mutually exclusive."

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  • The_L1985

    Here’s a somewhat-less-disgusting anecdote to add to the annals.

    My father was talking to me about getting a teaching degree. He wasn’t sure I should become an educator, because the pay isn’t high enough to suit his idea of success. But he understood how someone could have a passion for it, after all: “Your mother’s job actually isn’t bringing any money in, overall. Between gas money and supplies, it costs us about as much for her to teach as she earns as a teacher. But I let her do it, because I know how much it means to her.”

    Did you catch that? He lets her teach. As if he could stop her! If my father tried to get my mother to stay at home all day, every day, for the rest of her life, I can pretty much guarantee she would divorce him in a heartbeat, his six-figure salary be damned.

    5 years later, I’m still not sure if I want to tell my mother about that. I feel that it would either drive a wedge between my parents, or reveal some rather ugly facts about my mother that I’m happier not knowing.

  • That’s horrifying on two fronts. The first is obvious, but the second — is it really costing as much as her income to earn her income? I want to know if that can be substantiated, or if it just sounded like a convenient reason to not like that she teaches.

  • The_L1985

    Honestly, I doubt it. But on the other hand, she worked on the other end of the county, and drove there in a mini-van. She was also a very good teacher who understood the importance of hands-on learning, and even the best school districts are notoriously bad about providing resources for that. Still, that only accounts for maybe $5-10k/year, and only because traffic between 7:15-7:45 AM is so nasty, especially in the greater Birmingham, AL area, which was apparently laid out by a drunk.

    The only thing I can think of, given that a 30-year high school teacher in AL tends to earn around $50k/year, is that he’s including her work clothes as an expense. I know he knows how much she earns from year to year, because he files their taxes jointly–so not realizing how much her income has increased over the years isn’t an excuse.

    My father has a lot of the horrible symptoms of Pre-Vatican-II-Catholic-Who-Prefers-The-Old-Ways-itis. Being a chauvinist is really par for the course. There’s a reason I’m careful never to mention the fact that I have, in my life, initiated telephone calls to men, or that I support Planned Parenthood financially. I’m pretty sure his head would explode.

  • “As a female blogger, I can absolutely vouch that there are men who feel horrifyingly comfortable telling me about all sorts of violent fantasies they wish to act upon my person because they’ve disagreed with something I’ve written.”

    What I would love to know is how the men who say things like that can square that with the fact that theyr’e talking to someone’s sister, girlfriend or mother.

    I mean, wouldn’t they just explode in absolute frothing rage if someone told their sister something like that?

    So what gives these men the right to say things like that at all?

  • VMink

    Anonymity and entitlement. :( Well, that’s not a ‘right’ so much as an ‘excuse.’

  • Lori

    I have got to learn when not to read the comments. The ones about the 6th grade girl who wants to play football are exactly what you would expect and that’s depressing.

  • “Since an appearance on Hannity on Tuesday [Zerlina Maxwell has] basically been under an escalating online assault filled with racist epithets and threats of rape all for stating what I think is a fairly straightforward opinion on the intersecting issues of guns and rape.”

    And this. What on Earth is wrong with people? Why do some men get so batshit frothingly ragey over what women say?

    PS. I am grudgingly impressed at the fact that Fox News actually put a woman of color on their show. I wonder if all the criticism about Fox News acting to purposely slant the political discoursein the USA is finally having an effect.

  • There’s something about the Internet that can turn practically anyone of any age into a virtual sociopathic rapist and murderer. It’s like a direct line from their subconscious to publishing format with no interruptions along the way and no remorse afterward.

    I think the worst part of it is that any time someone brings up this line of discussion, the comments section of their blog or whatnot instantly fill with more of the same in an effort to justify why it’s all right to wish someone was raped and murdered as long as it’s over the Internet. They think that because it’s quasi-anonymous–the same reason they feel all right doing it–it should also be water off the back.

    Meanwhile, the actual sociopath continues to feel disgusted.

  • Lori

    Part of it is that some folks do not see folks online as actual people. I mean over and above not seeing any female as a person. It literally never occurs to them that the blogger they’re harassing is someone’s loved one because they see no connection between the online and offline worlds. The folks in the plastic box are just pixels or toys, not human beings.

    Part of it is that for some people disrespect and harassment only matter when they’re directed at their sister/mother/girlfriend. Other people’s female loved ones are fair game. This particular version of ‘it’s all about me” is sadly not rare.

    See this discussion of Republicans and “Miss America Compassion”:

  • I’m especially baffled by the complaint about how they would need to have a separate locker room as though this is some new, burdensome expense. Do the schools where the games take place not have any kind of sports or physical education for girls? The separate locker rooms presumably already exist.
    I believe it was around 6th grade when my oldest niece began playing football. I’m sure she had to put up with a lot of crap, but for the most part it seems like it went pretty well, and she was viewed as a valuable member of the team, with no major objections to her from players or fans. Certainly the coach was supportive at least – she hadn’t intended to continue playing once she started high school, but he persuaded her to do it.
    Unfortunately, she ended up getting injured in her first season in high school and had to quit.

  • Lori

    You are a nicer person than I am. I’ve been wondering if Fox put Maxwell on the air precisely because they knew it would be throwing red meat to their base. I don’t think they purposely wanted things to get as bad as they have gotten, but I do think they fully expected her to get their viewers all stirred up.

  • Not really. Fox has been trying to pretend that they care about minorities for about a year now. I don’t really buy it when they haven’t particularly changed their rhetoric about minorities at all.

    Their coverage of the sequester can be summarized as “Obama is shutting down White House tours! How can he be allowed to get away with this tragedy? How will people live without the local tourism? The sequester needs to end immediately before irreparable damage is done to the White House hallways by lack of pedestrian contact! This kind of war on the economy can not be tolerated—oh by the way the Republicans slashed all the programs for the poor—in a just society and we must join everyone in standing up and demanding that the tours be reinstated as soon as possible!”

  • AnonaMiss

    There’s a reason I’m careful never to mention the fact that I have, in my life,initiated telephone calls to men


    How does he think you get tech support?

  • This dreadful focus on trivial minutiae while ignoring a much bigger problem – there’s a name for that and I wish I knew what the word was (not “nitpickiness”, it doesn’t quite render the concept) – seems to be characteristic of the mindset of the average Republican politician.

  • Lori

    Good for your niece and the people around her. I’m sorry that she got hurt. That’s never good and it’s especially disappointing when an injury forces you to quit something rather than you being able to decide when you’re ready to stop.

    As for the locker room issue, you’re exactly right. Those kids are not playing anywhere that doesn’t already have a girls locker room, because gym class. But apparently a team has to all change and shower in the same room or it’s the apocalypse or something.

  • AnonaMiss

    Obligatory note about the how the “sister, girlfriend or mother” framing still places a woman’s importance as being defined by her relationships to men.

  • I was considering that possibility, too, but I think you’re right. I should be more cynical about Fox’s ratings chases.

  • True. But one would think that even in this paradigm where women “belong” to men in some way, wouldn’t the frothy batshit types be able to mentally translate their frame of reference–

    Okay, who am I kidding? They have their heads up their asses.

  • Donalbain

    Not relevant.. but didnt we discuss this before? Fred, please turn off the threading!

  • Lori

    As part of a general discussion I think that’s absolutely true. I take a somewhat different view when talking about the actions and attitudes of some specific men, in that we’re talking about the sub-issue of their raging hypocrisy.

  • “Missing the forest for the trees” is all that comes to mind, but I think it’s just part of a long, winding pattern of pretending that issues that affect people not in a position to do anything about it don’t actually happen.

    The closest they come to acknowledging that things happen to the vulnerable is to miss the point and complain that the vulnerable aren’t doing their fair share to fix their own problems (in other words, victim blaming).

  • If he could, I am sure he would.

    Damnit Disqus.

  • Lori

    He can’t turn off the threading. It’s part of the Disqus “upgrade”. Unless Disqus decides to give that control back to the user there’s nothing Fred can do.

    I certainly hope he’s complaining vigorously about it (I know other bloggers who are), but for the moment he can’t do anything about it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    It’s not Fred’s fault. Disqus put out a new version…Threading is default now and there’s no way to turn it off. There’s a discussion of the new badness here, with links to more discussion:

  • Donalbain


  • Baby_Raptor

    Yeah. Pretty much.

  • aunursa

    I am grudgingly impressed at the fact that Fox News actually put a woman of color on their show.

    Yeah. Aside from frequent guests Tara Dowdell, Tanya Acker, Deneen Borelli, Angela McGlowan, Brigitte Gabriel, and Michelle Malkin (to name a few) … Hannity and O’Reilly NEVER invite any minority women. (Perhaps the latter ones don’t count as bona fide minorities … because they offer conservative perspectives?)

  • There’s an option in the Disqus tools – if you click on the gear icon – to send feedback to them. Not sure it will do any good, but it couldn’t hurt.

  • Becca Stareyes

    I was reading something at Shakesville this morning, about a politician who changed his stance on marriage equality when he learned his son was gay. Melissa pointed out that while she was glad the guy did change his mind, she was not glad that he only realized that his policy hurt people (and that that was BAD) when it hurt someone he was close to; that he was able to rationalize being hurtful and toxic to strangers because they were people he might meet once, at best.

    So I can believe that most of these men don’t think about how it would feel to be attacked, or to have a loved one attacked like this. Some of them might connect the dots if it did happen to a loved one, as the politician did; while others might compartmentalize about how they and their loved ones are different from ‘those people on the internet’.

  • Yeah, that’s in the link Lori posted. I’ve said it before too — they do have empathy, but it extends outward in rings with diminishing presence the further away one gets from the center, and some of them are twisted up to the point that “family” might have less empathy than “the tribe” (these are the folks who disown their children for coming out of the closet).

    Someone on the Internet? That’s about as far out of the circle as you can get.

  • aunursa

    Is there a way to see a list of who liked [^] or disliked [v] a comment?

  • misanthropy_jones

    who raised these men to believe that it is okay to treat someone (anyone, regardless of race, creed, gender or orientation) this way? what kind of families did they grow up in? who were their heroes?
    how does someone become such a hateful, spiteful, low-minded and mean-spirited waste of protoplasm?

  • WalterC

    Maybe it’s like the rhythm method, where it doesn’t count if you “accidentally” drop your phone and it “just happens to” land on the speed-dial button for the tech support people.

    Some really conservative Catholics really go in for that whole, “It’s technically not a sin as long as you use an awkward and roundabout approach” and “It’s technically not a sin as long as you don’t acknowledge any personal agency.” stuff.

  • aunursa

    Mr. Disqus, after very careful consideration, sir, I’ve come to the conclusion that your new commenting system sucks!

  • Baby_Raptor

    Not that I’ve read anywhere.

  • P J Evans

    Feedback sent.

  • Cathy W

    Not just the threading – do we really need links to sponsored content at the end of our thread? That bugs me even more…

  • That’s not initiating a call to a man – it’s initiating a call to a massively confusing voice mail menu…

    (I actually work in tech support – there’s a reason virtually all of my customers prefer email…)

  • Not even anonymity. You see these sorts of threats all the time on Facebook, too, where most of the posters are using their real names.

  • (reply to aunursa)
    > your new commenting system sucks

    I’m now experimenting with ignoring the reply function altogether and just forcibly single-threading everything, with explicit tags and quotes to provide reference, and seeing whether that’s tolerable.

  • Disqus just delivered a Yo Mama joke to my inbox. ._.

    “7 things that are older than Ken Ham’s universe and So’s your mother.”

    As if we needed reason to hate it!

  • This just came up in FB too, with a trend of questions and rebuke that I think are interesting.

    Rebuke: “We need to show this man our support.”

    Question: “Why are you looking a gift horse in the mouth? Aren’t you glad he’s on your side now?”

    Am I wrong for thinking that both of these fall under the trap of tribalism, and that perhaps pulling the man into the fold isn’t the message we should send?

  • VMink

    That’s a great point. Someone modified the Greater Internet F*wad Theory to replace ‘Anonymity’ with ‘Freedom From Consequences.’

    Huh. Apparently it’s called the ‘Online Disinhibition Effect’ officially.

  • Carstonio

    They must know their viewers better than I do. From her statement below, I would have expected hateful reactions from only a tiny minority of men, because her point seems sensible to me. And I wouldn’t have expected The Blaze or the Washington Times to label her argument as bizarre.

  • Damnit Disqus, I liked that feature!

  • The trick of disabling in NoScript or a similar Javascript whitelister will format the comments in flat-only mode, but it ruins your ability to comment, since you will have to turn it back on to do so.

  • The person suggesting the modification was GTZ from Fat, Slutty, or Ugly (a blog for mocking sexist communication in online games.) The specifics was:

    Normal Person + Audience – Consequences = Total Fuckwad

  • Ditto.

  • I have to wonder about that too. How does a man grow up acting like this without fear of getting beaten up by his fellow men for making them look bad?

  • Too many of his fellow men are busy slapping him on the back and congratulating him for saying something awesome to the nasty woman.