Postcards from the culture wars

Christ could throw a punch.”

“Unquestionably, Big Mountain Jesus is a religious symbol commonly associated with one form of religion.”

“Life is difficult enough for most people without having a gaggle of pampered nags shouting, ‘You’re not doing it right!’

“It seems the Catholic bishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, has been paying for insurance for some of his employees that covers abortions and contraceptives.”

“Conservative frequently treat the Constitution the same way they treat the Bible. They want to prooftext, and it you can’t prooftext then it’s not in the document.”

The people the Republicans should reach out to are the white votes.”

“I’m going to be real honest with you — the Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote.”

Don’t excuse or minimize this behavior; don’t remind me that you don’t participate; don’t play the ‘what about the men’ card.”

“The next time you hear that I am upset for how I was treated on the street, don’t just offer up words that say it’s okay. Get angry like I am and vow to help change our society.”

“This translates to 20 percent of homeless women citing domestic violence as the primary reason for homelessness, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.”

“I would like to offer Ross a brief guide to the ways in which women and their vaginas are not like cars and laptops.”

“The misogynist longing for female death isn’t even really subtextual at this point, but right there on the surface. And if you won’t choose death, well, they’ll choose it for you.”

I’m sad that she doesn’t understand.”

“How, pray tell, is allowing low-income women of color non-judgmental access to birth control more dangerous than a group of terrorists who would burn a cross on my lawn?”

“And that is the face of the pro-life movement, folks …”

We don’t need more women as CEOs.”

“Complementarians put women into a mold they were never obligated to fill.”

If I’m a vegetarian and I eat 2,000 hamburgers in the name of vegetarianism, I’m still not a ‘vegetarian extremist,’ because I just did something that’s against the whole concept of being a vegetarian.”

It hurts.”

“Now shut up and post up, sinner.”


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  • Alaric

    So, is Schlafly insane, or just stupid? Last I checked, the point of political outreach was to get voters that might not otherwise vote for you on your side. Hispanics are a rapidly-growing percentage of our population, to the point that I’ve heard some say that they’ll officially become the majority in my lifetime. The GOP has already done a number of its reputation, especially among the new generation of voters that will quickly be replacing the current one, and likely doubly so among young Hispanic voters thanks to decades of being the establishment, namely old white men with a (deserved or not) reputation for being more generally bigoted than the other guys. The single best thing the GOP could do at this point is rebrand itself to start trying to appeal to the Hispanic vote, if only in the interests of self-preservation. Even if it upsets the base, in the long-term, the status quo is rapidly becoming impossible to sustain.

  • Matri

    Never gonna happen. That would be admitting that the rich, old, white RTCs aren’t the absolute powerful anymore, and they love their power way too much to even give any of the Others anything like “rights” or “acknowledgement”.

  • Invisible Neutrino


    For a party that sucks up so much to big business it does a shitty job of acting like one.

  • P J Evans

    They think ‘rebranding’ is putting ‘New and Improved!’ on the label and hoping that no one will notice that it’s the same old contents.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    “A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.”

    ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • FearlessSon

    Said the man who was incapable of walking forward unless wearing leg braces and surrounded by people who would carry him by the shoulders.

    Sorry, not trying to sound ablest, I just found the irony amusing.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    I guess the difference is, FDR knew if you ask for help, any decent person will give it to you and that is the proper and just way a community helps all its members and not just the fortunate few.

    Republicans think if you ask for help the thing to do is ignore that request utterly and scorn you for even thinking of having the temerity to do so.

  • FearlessSon

    I think that is a little unfair to the Republicans. The platform is closer to “You should pay for your help. You can’t pay for it? Oh, sorry, sucks to be you.”

    It seems more apathetic to the less fortunate than anything else. To the extent that it is scornful, it is to the idea that some things people should not have to pay for (individually.)

    I am, of course, of the opinion that certain collective problems are best mitigated with collective solutions, but that is just me.

  • Lori

    They’re not apathetic, they’re actively scornful of the poor. For many, although not all, on the Right the whole idea that people should pay for everything and if they can’t it sucks to be them is a justification for the way they act, not the reason.

  • FearlessSon

    Well, I try to adopt a Fred-like optimism about the motivations of those with whom I disagree. Trying to think of my fellow citizens as something other than tyrannical monsters is the reality I prefer, and what I would hope separates me from the extreme rhetoric of the kind the Tea Party has been spouting.

    I will concede that there are some pretty bad things going on strategically for the Republican party in a lot of states. But I think that for a lot of the rank-and-file this is less about malice than it is about (sometimes willful) invisibility privilege. They are well off enough that they can comfortably ignore the situation of those less well off, and thus they feel no sympathy for them.

    Of course, a corollary of Hanlon’s Razor is that any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

    Then again, I may be showing a little privilege myself here. Growing up in and living in one of the more liberal parts of the country, most of the conservatives I meet kind of have to be moderate to get any traction at all.

  • Lori

    I’m related to some of those rank-and-file and personally know plenty of others. They’re more than just privilege-blind.

  • J_Enigma32

    If they were apathetic, the world would be a better place, since if they were apathetic, they wouldn’t care at all.

    This shit in NC, OH, TX; this voter fraud garbage; these bills aimed at jumping up the interest on student loans; and more – these aren’t the actions of people who are apathetic.

    These are the actions of puppets for a rage-filled aristocracy that want their kingdoms and feudalism back.

  • Lliira

    No, it’s “you can’t pay for it? Die. Die now. How dare you keep not dying?!”

  • reynard61

    He had the benefit of knowing — in the most literal sense — whereof he spoke.

  • Lliira

    I don’t think it’s ironic. I think the reason he chose that metaphor is because of his condition.

  • Jamoche

    And shrinking the contents by 10% while still charging the same amount.

  • reynard61

    Schlafly is a Tribal leader speaking to her tribe. I would venture to guess that she sees anyone outside of that Tribe as an enemy to be conquered or ignored rather than a possible ally to be won over.

  • tricksterson

    Why do you assume that stupid and insane are mutually exclusive? I have no trouble believing that she’s both.

  • Turcano
  • Lorehead

    If her plan stood a chance of working in the real world, Oregon would be a deep red state now. A lot of white people are disgusted by them.

    I’ve changed my mind and now think it’s too late to save the Republican party. When the realignment shakes out, there will still be two major parties unless the election rules have drastically changed by constitutional amendment. But neither of those parties will be called the Republican party.

    It’s now inevitable that some Republicans with microphones are going to try this strategy, and tepid criticism from the Establishment won’t matter. Like Todd Akin, the people blowing up outreach will set the tone. It’s much too late to start trying to repair the burnt bridges now. They’re going to offend so many people that the brand will become unelectable outside the Bible Belt. Eventually, the Democratic party will split, my guess is with the left wing walking out on the next neoliberal centrist after Hillary Rodham Clinton.

  • Jessica_R

    That Erickson tweet is why it was so rich watching the culture warriors clutch their pearls over “Djesus Uncrossed” on SNL. They weren’t mad that it was obscene, they were mad it exposed how obscene their idea of Jesus is.

  • jam

    I wad over a month late to Erickson’s party but I just left this reply:

    Jesus’ act of driving out the money changers embraced piety and justice. The money changers offered animals to sacrifice in exchange for money to travels making their periodic sacrifices. (It is hard to travel hundred of miles with a lamb in tow.) The animals sold were unfit for a righteous sacrifices. They were often diseased, lame or otherwise damaged. Also recent changes instituted by the Sadducees allowed the money changers to encroach upon the only areas that women and foreigners were allowed for their own worship of God. In essence, he was standing up for the down-trodden, the powerless. Why is anger not appropriate when people are being cheated and diempowered?

  • Baby_Raptor

    Big Mountain Jesus?

    I am now picturing Jesus with an army of Roboscorpions. And that is terrifying.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Former Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross seems to think there are parallels between rape and property theft

    We’re well past that viewpoint of women, Ross-dude. X-[

  • Baby_Raptor

    Content note: Rape, victim blaming

    Re “vaginas are not laptops”

    There’s an individual in the comments bemoaning how we can’t have “rational” discussion about rape, because everything said is immediately blown off as “victim blaming.”

    Victim blaming is a bit of a…sore spot, you could say, for me. I’ve talked to a couple people here about how in March, I was a victim of rape by coercion, and my boyfriend was not very supportive in the matter, telling me that it couldn’t have been rape because if I’d have “thought more clearly” and “had a spine,” I could have left. And that the guy couldn’t possibly have done anything wrong, because I “looked like I changed my mind.”

    So it’s kinda personal.

    Still, I’m trying to understand this man’s point of view. But I’m not getting anywhere.

    I can think of lots of things that can be discussed and employed that don’t involve blaming the victim. Better education for both sexes on consent and paying attention to your partner, better education on rape culture, more action in getting rid of it, ensuring that reports are taken seriously and the rapist punished, more support for victims…I’m sure there’s more, that’s just what came off the top of my head.

    All of those are good things that need to be taken seriously, and would help advance the cause.

    But none of them involve victim blaming.

    So why do people like this commentor tend to focus on the things that *are* victim blamey, and then whine that no serious discussion can be had to solve the problem? Is it a case of “Don’t insult the penis; put all the obligation on the woman”? I’m at a loss here.

    Sorry for the rambling. As I said, sore spot, and that comment triggered it.

  • Matri

    Is it a case of “Don’t insult the penis; put all the obligation on the woman”?

    Yup. Sorry to hear about your experience, and I would like to kick your boyfriend in the crotch with a steel-toed boot.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I told him when we first discussed it that he’s lucky we’re long distance, because I would have been doing some kicking. I’m not prone to whimsical nutshots, but some things do deserve one.

  • Matri

    Maybe you can give him an I.O.U.

  • reynard61

    I still have that wall that would like to meet his head…again and again and again and again…

  • Baby_Raptor

    And, as bad as it probably sounds, I appreciate that. Being able to come here and get the support I needed when he didn’t get it was a life saver.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Personally, my recommendation would be to boot him metaphorically – from the relationship. Maybe being dumped will cause him to re-examine some of his views.

  • ShifterCat

    I’m inclined to agree with Rhubarbarian and Llira — you should probably give this guy the metaphorical boot. You need someone who has your back concerning sexual assault, coercion, etc.

  • Lliira

    So… did you dump your boyfriend? He doesn’t deserve a romantic relationship.

  • banancat

    So, I know you have the best intentions, but as someone who has witnessed numerous abusive relationships, I think it’s less helpful than you realize. Whether she dumped him is not relevant to this issue. He may or may not abusive but is clearly behaving wrongly. And yet, it’s still all on him to behave better, not on her to make him behave better by teaching him a lesson. And if she didn’t dump him and he continues to treat her badly, it’s still not her fault for not dumping him after this incident. As much as I would love to see all the good people just give up on the bad ones and cut them out of our collective lives, real life is a bit more complicated than that and it’s not up to anyone else to tell someone who she should stop dating.

  • ShifterCat

    I’m… honestly not seeing a “it’s wrong for you not to dump him” vibe here. Baby_Raptor shared some of her personal life with us and solicited some feedback. If she says, “No, this guy has enough positive qualities to make up for this,” I don’t think anyone here is going to say, “No, you’re wrong!” or “Don’t blame me if this turns out badly.”

    (And I do hope this doesn’t turn into another, “How dare you say this!” “Well, how dare you say that!” shouting match.)

  • banancat

    I know it isn’t intended to come off that way, but honestly the whole thing is a tangent and he was wrong whether she ends up dumping him or not. I’ve known so many people with manipulative or abusive partners, and it has never been productive to tell the person that the partner doesn’t deserve a relationship. What has helped is telling the person they they don’t deserve to be treated badly.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I did not. Other than this incident, Dear Boyfriend has been quite amazing.

    We did go through a small break-up recently, instigated by him saying he needed a break, and one of the things that we discussed in light of his deciding he wanted to reconcile was this situation. I told him bluntly that it had caused some damage, but since he was willing to actually reconsider his opinion and the entire concept, I had dropped it and let him do his thinking.

    So he knows his actions caused a wall to go up. Other than that, all I can do is let his common sense eventually take it’s course.

    The rapist was a close friend of his, and is still a distant part of our general social circle. I don’t doubt that this is part of Boyfriend’s confusion on the matter.

    Edit for clarity: This is an online social circle. I’m in Arkansas, Boyfriend is in New York, the guy in question is in Montana. And various other people elsewhere around the US. The fact that the guy is in Montana and won’t be back here again is one of the core reasons that I’m comfortable still having him around.

  • Amtep

    I’d like to point you to in case you haven’t seen it already. It’s looooongg but there are some great comments in there (especially elodieunderglass’s story) and it’s specifically about what to do if there’s a sexual predator in your social circle and your boyfriend is not supporting you. I hope it can help.

  • Amtep

    So… what will the post-Republican political landscape look like? My current prediction is that they’ll lose by at least 40-60 to Ms Clinton in 2016. Then they’ll have one last chance in 2020; if they lose by a similar amount there, the idea will take hold that a Republican vote is a wasted vote and then the party will collapse. (It’ll still be powerful on the regional level but without a Presidential campaign to back it up, that won’t last long.)

    What then? A single-party system, with the Democratic primaries becoming more important than the election? Or will there be a new party to challenge the Democrats? What will it be like? My best bet is that part of the Democratic party will split off and appeal to the protest voters.

  • themunck

    Is it official that Clinton is running? I thought she’d decided her health just wasn’t up for it. (Assuming we’re both talking about senator Hillary Rodham Clinton)

  • Amtep

    That she’ll run is part of my prediction :)
    I guess I should bookmark this post for 2016.

  • Lorehead

    She hasn’t announced one way or the other. Personally, I think you don’t publicly say things like, “I would like to see whether I can get untired,” unless you really mean them.

  • themunck

    In a separate post due to being unrelated to my other comment:
    I deeply and honestly hope the death of the republican party will also lead to the death of the two-party system. It’s too easy to demonize when the choice is between democrats (liberal freedom haters in the pocket of the unions) and republicans (do I even need to write a stereotype here?). So, once the republican party is gone, I do hope the democrats split up…into multiple, more or less equally powerful units. A socialist party. A traditional centrist party. A party for all those people who -do- think government should be minute but didn’t like all the republicans homophobia and racism. In short, I want to see an America where the choice of leader is bigger than the guy who doesn’t mind using robots to kill civilians without a trial and the guy who thinks 47% of the country is beneath him.
    I hope to see this. But I’m not holding my breath :/

  • Amtep

    It would be nice but I don’t think there’s any chance of that. The winner-takes-all election system just isn’t stable at more than two parties. Multiple parties would be a temporary situation; the smallest ones will disappear until there are two left, and then the remaining two will move to the center and have almost identical platforms. There’s some fancy math to prove this but it doesn’t fit in this comment box ;)

    Of course, that’s only a long term trend; in the short term, interesting things can happen. And in the REALLY long term, any system is bound to be overturned sometime.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    *cough* Canada *cough*

    Not a two-party system

    Uses First Past The Post

  • Amtep

    It’s not? I admit I don’t know much about Canada :) But wikipedia (“Elections in Canada”) actually links to “Two-party system” when it says the same two parties have taken turns governing since 1867 until an upset in 2011.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Counterargument: Sizable blocs of NDP and Bloc Quebecois seats.

  • David S.

    So does the US. First past the post is one of the chief causes of a two-party system.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Counterargument: Sizable blocs of NDP and Bloc Quebecois seats in previous elections.

  • Lorehead

    Parliamentary systems can have regional parties that contest seats in different parts of the country and form coalitions to govern. (There’s no reason Elizabeth Warren and Max Baucus need to both call themselves Democrats when Bernie Sanders and Angus King don’t.) Because America, instead of the run-off system everyone else who’s seen our example uses instead, has a presidential election system that is broken in every sense of the word, a race with three truly viable candidates would be a slow-motion train wreck. If nobody got a majority of the electoral vote, the election would get thrown into the House under a bizarre and senseless set of rules.

  • themunck

    Then consider this a hope to remove the [expletive deleted] winner takes all system? I never understood why the heck people have decided to needs to remain. Gore won the freaking popular vote, for Cthulhu’s sake! Why insist on a system where the most votes do not, in fact, determine the winner?

  • Amtep

    I think that for a true change you need to go to a proportional system, such as the parliamentary systems in Europe where the seats in parliament are distributed according to the results of the national vote and the administration is created by an alliance of parties that together have more than 50%. This would be a big shift though, since it would mean the elected positions would no longer represent geographical constituencies. (I do know of hybrid systems where the national vote is divided among the parties, but the party members that fill the seats have to be drawn from the regions where people voted for them)

  • themunck

    Indeed. My home country (Denmark) has such a hybrid system, and quite frankly, I find it superior to the American model :/

  • caryjamesbond

    The electoral system, as I always have to explain, makes a whole ton of sense… 1790. When you want people from Maine to Kentucky to Alabama to be voting, AND you’ve got no freaking roads or telegraphs, the electoral system works quite nicely.

    The problem with changing it is, I would guess in rough order:

    There is a LOT of effort sunk into keeping it this way. A LOT of experts on gaming the system get paid a lot of money every four years.

    It would mess up campaigns like WOAH- and no politician wants to actually have to pay attention to all those goddamned one electoral vote states.

    No one really wants to mess with it, because it mostly works and we’re a little scared of what they’ll come up with to replace it.

  • David S.

    Why would they have to pay attention to those one electoral vote states anyway? There’s no votes there. The big difference would be heavily populated areas that lean one way or the other so hard it doesn’t matter; Republicans would have to go to New York and Democrats to Texas, because adding a million votes there would actually matter.

  • caryjamesbond

    On the contrary, it’d lead to a locking down of your base to an even greater extent. The dakotas and montana are going against me anyway, so I can either travel all over hell and gone to get a few extra votes, or stay home and try to convince a million new yorkers that have never voted that today is the day.

    Otoh, republicans, who have no foothold in most cities, would spend their time running around hell and gone getting their base fired up.

    So, yeah-it’d probably favor Dems, actually, to get ridof it, since our base tends to be urban and therefore more easily accessible.

  • Lorehead

    No, not really. Even then, the Senate was a bad idea that the delegates reluctantly agreed to in order to get the small states to sign on. And the apportionment of the House and the Electoral College was a means of giving slaveowners extra representation without their having to let black people vote. In fact, the presidential election rules aren’t even the ones in the original Constitution, which broke down spectacularly in 1800. The Founders thought political parties would be bad for the country, but wrote an electoral system that was guaranteed to produce them mainly because they had no experience or examples of how it would work in practice.

  • reynard61

    “The winner-takes-all election system just isn’t stable at more than two parties. Multiple parties would be a temporary solution; the smallest ones will disappear until there are two left(…)”

    That kind of makes it sound like both parties are Sith:

    Yoda: “Always two there are….no more…no less. A master and an apprentice.”

  • AnonymousSam

    They’re going to double down in 2016, and if it doesn’t work out, they’re going to split. Sarah Palin is already threatening to start a third party for the real conservatives like her and Santorum — they think the Republican party is far too liberal.

  • themunck

    Well, I suppose watching that political suicide of theirs will be amusing to watch. as they keep wondering why appealing to fewer and fewer people gets them fewer and fewer votes.

  • FearlessSon

    I think that will actually be healthier for the Republican party and the United States in general if they do split. The third party might snag a few local victories, but the Republicans would actually have a shot at the White House again and would need to become more moderate and more open to compromise to actually make it.

    The third party, meanwhile, would falter at the national level. The most extreme parties always do.

  • themunck

    I wish I could share your belief that they would, but in my own experiance about extreme parties…look the People’s Party of Denmark. Or the Party for Freedom in the Nederlands. :/

  • David S.

    But the thing is, a two party system moderates that. Splitting the votes by party gives the parties supported by 5% of the population 5% of the representation, instead of the 0% a winner take all system would give them.

  • themunck

    Oh? In my mind, it can amplify them as well, if they rise to the top of one of the parties. The republicans and democrats both represent a lot of values the majority of their voters do not support, in effect giving some positions far more power than they would have in a multi-party system.

  • David S.

    It’s strictly counterfactual to claim that to claim that relative to American politics that either the Republican party or Democratic party are extreme parties. Even if we move the goalposts as you say, I doubt you’ll actually find any positions that they advocate or support are all that extreme.

  • themunck

    I dunno, I’d say the republicans view on things like the minimum wage and women’s reproductive rights are looking more and more extreme day for day. Then again, I cannot accept “relative to American politics” as valid. All that proves is that the extremism has festered.

  • Enopoletus Harding

    The Republican Party isn’t going to split. The majority of the God-fearing voters of Alabama and Texas voted for Mitt Romney, Massachusetts Moderate ordinaire, no matter how reluctantly. Also, there’s no use in treating the Tea Party as a separate wing of the Republican Party-the Tea Party was an ad hoc movement to get more Republicans fiscal conservatives into office in 2010. Anyone calling him or herself a Tea Partier after Election Day 2010 is just a Republican.

  • reynard61

    After all, who’s the last Teabagger that you can name who actually ran under the “Tea Party” banner rather than the Republican Party’s?

    That’s the thing that pisses me off most about Ted “I don’t trust the Republicans!” Cruz. If you don’t trust them, then *WHY THE HELL DID YOU RUN AS ONE?!?!?!* Oh! That’s right! They were willing to *give you money!* Sleazy bastard…

  • Lorehead

    This one, I’ll actually give him. You need to run in some party’s primary to get on the general-election ballot, and once elected, you answer to your constituents, not the leaders of your party. If Elizabeth Warren said something about how Harry Reid is too willing to cave on filibuster reform, would we object?

  • reynard61

    “You need to run in some party’s primary to get on the general-election ballot, and once elected, you answer to your constituents, not the leaders of your party.”

    As House Whisperer John Boehner seems to be finding out these days… (Though I’m not entirely convinced that all those Teabaggers — especially the ones from gerrymandered districts — are actually voting the will of their constituents. I’m more and more convinced that they’re just voting their personal ideologies and *calling* it “the will of their constituents” rather than their actual will and using the current intra-party disarray as either an excuse or camouflage.)

    “If Elizabeth Warren said something about how Harry Reid is too willing to cave on filibuster reform, would we object?”

    It would probably depend on *what* she said. (I, for one, would not object if she called out Reid on his cowardice in regards to that issue, but I most certainly *would* object if she suddenly denounced the Democratic Party and started blocking legislation just because she felt like it.)

  • Lorehead

    What I do think Ted Cruz is wrong about is his nihilism. He doesn’t make deals. If other people try to make deals, he does his best to obstruct them. It really is the opposite of what his country needs in a senator right now.

  • Lorehead

    A determination to keep the Republicans from getting back into power is the only thing keeping the Democratic party together now. You might have a blue-green split in the one-party states that still gets behind a single presidential candidate just to keep another fiasco from happening in the electoral college like it did in 2000.

  • banancat

    I don’t think the Republican party will collapse that easily. They’ll continue to lose popular support, but their power is concentrated among the most privileged and powerful groups. They’ll counter their dwindling popularity by disenfranchising groups that tend to vote Democractic. I think they’ll face enough opposition to these sleazy methods that they won’t actually win the presidency, but they will loose by a close enough margin to pretend they’re still relevant, and then they’ll continue to make gains in local elections through their dirty means and exert their power there, even if that power is nothing more than obstructing Democrats.

    I think they are making a futile attempt and will eventually die out (fairly literally as their key demographic gets older and older) if they don’t have some kind of massive overhaul. But much like a cranky toddler protesting bed time, they will put up as much of a fight as they can muster on the way down.

  • Lorehead

    I predict that, when it happens, the collapse will be rapid. As you say, the most privileged and powerful groups are behind them—but the smart money really wants to win and can just as easily buy off the Democrats. If Chris Christie and Susan Collins announced that they were leaving the party tomorrow, the Republican party in the Northeast and the West Coast would, in practical terms, no longer exist. (They keep a few safe House seats, but that’s it.) And if they can’t get elected president as a Republican, why shouldn’t they? Angus King proved that an independent with name recognition can win a senate seat in Maine. One could certainly win in New Jersey. Indeed, if they, Michael Bloomberg and Lincoln Chafee came up with a new label for themselves, you’d have a north-south split. Why tie yourself to the regional permanent minority party of old rural straight white southern Christian men?

  • reynard61

    My personal message to my Senator and Congresscritter for the RH RealityCheck e-mail (slightly edited):

    (Pre-written e-mail text)

    And with those boilerplate niceties out of the way, here’s the Real World stuff: I vote — *regularly*. I voted for you in the primary and I voted for you in the general election. (That’s one of the reasons that you’re getting this and not Sen. Coats. The other is that he won’t read this anyway.) If you want me to *keep* voting for you, then you need to start fighting — tooth and nail if you have to (Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is an excellent example of what I mean) — against unnecessary and unconstitutional Rethuglican “laws” that do nothing other than enhance their Tribal identification and get their faces on the news. You were *elected* to work for both the citizens of the State of Indiana *AND* the People (as in “We The People..”) of the United States of America. You do *NOT* hold your seat by Divine Right, as too many holders of seats in gerrymandered districts in many other States seem to believe that they do, you hold your seat because voters — like me — believed you when you made certain promises to us. As a voter, *I heard your promises and I expect you to keep them*; otherwise, I will seriously consider voting for your opponent, should one run against you. That is *my* promise, as a voter, to you. If you’re going to *run* as a Democrat under the Democratic Party banner and accept money from the Democratic Party and it’s allies, then you should damn well *vote* like a Democrat on causes such as this which allow people to stay in their jobs.

    #7. From the article: “I’m going to be real honest with you,” Tea Party leader Ken Emanuelson said at a Dallas County Republican Party event on May 20. “The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they are going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”

    Gee! Great! Finally, someone comes clean about the Rethuglican Party’s motives regarding voter suppression!

    “What I meant, and should have said, is that it is not, in my personal opinion, in the interests of the Republican Party to spend its own time and energy working to generally increase the number of Democratic voters at the polls, and at this point in time, nine of every ten African American voters cast their votes for the Democratic Party,” he wrote.

    Then maybe you need to ask yourself *why* 90% of African American voters prefer voting for Democrats rather than your Party. The answer might surprise (and enlighten) you.

  • Huitzil

    I was unaware that “don’t stereotype all members of a non-exlcusive group based on your negative experience and personal bias” became a “card” to be dismissed when the group in question was men.

  • themunck

    The issue is more of a jumping the gun and making assumptions.

    Woman: “I was sexually harassed by a man today”
    Man: *Thinks ‘surely, she doesn’t have the mental faculties to keep this from tainting her view of men. I better do something about that’* “You know, not all men are harassing you.”

    See the issue now? Not only is the man making horrible assumptions about the woman’s thinking, he’s -also- failing to be there for her. “Not all men are like that” is only a valid response if she, in fact, claim all men are like that. And even then, there are more important things to be said first, such as “Sorry to hear that” and “Is there anything I can do?”.

  • Huitzil

    Do you have any reason to believe that “Sure she can’t have the mental faculties to keep this from tainting her view of all men” is actually what the men who say this are typically thinking, or did you ascribe that thought to them so they would be morally in the wrong? Just because you are capable of imagining an incriminating motive for something does not mean that is the actual motive.

    The comment usually comes up in contexts like this article, where all men are held culpable for the actions of a few. (The possibility of women’s inappropriate behavior, of course, is ignored, and then the fact that it is ignored is used as justification to continually ignore it because well, you don’t hear about it so it must not be a thing.) Why is it that men who are currently, directly being attacked and held culpable for things they did not do, still have the obligation to put the attacker’s feelings above their own? Do women have the same obligation? If a man makes a terrible accusation about women based on something bad that happens to him, do we in general care about assuaging his hurt feelings, or do we tell him to shut the fuck up?

    And does this dynamic of “you can’t be insulted when someone falsely ascribes moral culpability to your group, you should care about their feelings first” apply to any group other than “men”?

  • AnonaMiss

    If a man makes a terrible accusation about women based on something bad that happens to him

    Woman: “I was sexually harassed by a man today”

    Singular versus plural. The difference is whether you’re talking about one experience, or generalizing from one experience to a swath of half the population of the entire species.

    It’s insidious how you can conflate complaining about one man, or about ‘men who do X’, with complaining about all women, or about ‘women do X’, without thinking it would be too over the top. I know you’re just trolling, but it’s sad that people are able to think this way, and many would see nothing wrong with the comparison.

    Do you really think complaining about a specific man who wronged you is comparable to complaining about all women everywhere wronging you?

  • chgo_liz

    Based on your argument, Slacktivist must be an I-hate-Christianity blog.

  • Lliira

    Are you illiterate or something?

  • Carstonio

    As a man myself, I say you’re being unnecessarily defensive and you’re wrongly making the issue about yourself. That’s exactly the problem that the Unchained Faith blog post is condemning. The blogger is pointing out an objectionable behavior that she experiences only from men. That’s not the same as alleging that such behavior is typical of men.

  • Huitzil

    She is holding men as a group responsible and culpable for it, which is unfair and wrong. She is ignoring all forms of male on male, female on female, or female on male harassment in order to make a point about the form she has personally noticed the most, in order to frame it as a particular injustice inflicted BY men AGAINST women, that therefore men must be held responsible for, and that she can accuse any man who rightly points out he didn’t have shit to do with this as being complicit in the problem (which is distinct from other forms of harassment and antagonism only in that this is the one she has most cause to notice) by not immediately acting to mollify her, as if they have some obligation to. She accuses men as a group of bad behavior and then complains that when she does so, men react as if they were being accused instead of acting to comfort and support her, then uses this as a platform to attempt to shame others into acting on her behalf.

  • Carstonio

    Please point out where she accuses men as a group of bad behavior, or holds men as a group responsible and culpable for that behavior. That sounds like simply your misinterpretation.

  • themunck

    If anything, the line “(Because it does happen to men, and that’s just as shitty, and men shouldn’t be shamed into silence either.)” does seem to break the entire argument apart…

  • caryjamesbond

    You know, as a man, I’ve never sexually harassed a woman. As a man, I’ve never been accused of sexual harassment. As a man, I’ve never had a woman complaining to me about some other man’s sexual harassment accuse me of sexual harassment, or imply that I was a sexual harassment.

    Yes, male on male, female on female,and female on male sexual harassment does happen. Outside of prison and porno, however, those three are like worrying about lightning strikes- yeah, you should be concerned and take proper precautions, people should know what to do and how to deal with it- but its not really the same as cancer, you know?

  • Huitzil

    Why is sexual harassment more important to worry about than other forms? Because it fits into the threat narrative of brutish men harming pure women. That is all. Sexual harassment, solely because it is seen as an action by men (who are agents) against women (who are victims), becomes inflated in importance, so that every instance of it is of dire severity, something nobody should have to put up with, no matter how minor; all other forms of harassment are ignored and outside perception.

    Why should “a man brushed my leg in a way I didn’t like” be something I give a shit about, much less something I am shamed into acting upon? Because it’s sexual harassment? Hey, you know what happened to me in school? I was beaten regularly by boys and publicly humiliated and degraded by girls. A boy grabbed your breasts until you yelled for him to stop? People I had never met before at a fucking summer camp held me down and tried to smother me with a pillow while I screamed for help. Someone offered to “let” you give him a blow job? The prospect of going out with me was regularly used as a “dare” by girls, who had to “ask me out” to fulfill it, in public, laughing uproariously at the notion that someone like me was worthy of attention. Men whistle at you and call out “Heyyyy, ladies!”? How many times have you been mugged, or just jumped by people who wanted to beat your ass for the fun of beating your ass?

    Why are your experiences all important enough to gain you sympathy while mine will be invariably used to mock me? Why is that not indicative of a larger social problem but your experiences are? Because, and only because, your experiences fit the threat narrative you have constructed, and your confirmation bias latches onto them and ignores everything else. Men sexually proposition and demean women, men physically harm men, women undermine and isolate women, and women humiliate or make sexual demands of men. But the threat narrative is men threatening women, so only that first behavior can be seen as a pervasive problem, only that first problem can be seen AT ALL.

    You aren’t entitled to my fucking emotional support. If you come to me crying that those brutish men said sexual comments in ways you didn’t like and it threatened your pure, virtuous, victimized femininity, the only reason I am going to say “Well, men aren’t all like that” is so you’ll go away and stop complaining to me without having to get involved in emotionally supporting you. And because I know you’ll just start yelling at me if I say what I am really thinking, which is “Men antagonized by other men are being beaten, men antagonized by women are either being publicly humiliated or coerced into doing things for her under the threat that she’ll turn others against him, women antagonized by other women are being sabotaged and having their relationships destroyed. And you want me to care the most about someone whistling at you. Grow the fuck up.”

  • AnonymousSam

    All of the above have happened to me as well. They and routine crushing of my self-esteem, abuses by my parents, betrayal of my faith and other incidents led to my becoming a literal sociopath, diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder.

    Oddly enough, I’ve still come to the conclusion that women are specifically targeted for certain types of abuse by men and that they deserve a measure of respect and trust. What’s your excuse for being an asshole?

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Okay, at this point? All you seem to be doing is lashing out at everyone here under the guise of falling into the “Mens’ Rights Activists” train of dismissing the problem of systemic socially acceptable misbehavior against women by men.

    It should be noted that it is often the very same man who’s all “Hey! Stop telling me you hate men!” who turns around and generalizes about women the way he thinks the woman is generalizing about men:

    “Bitches are all permanently on PMS.”

    “Why do women always act so touchy-feely?”

    “Buy a girl an expensive diamond ring, that’ll shut her up.”

    “Ladder theory.”

    and so on.

  • themunck

    *Looks up ‘ladder theory’. Uses it to store opinions he’s previously simply stored under ‘blatant sexism’*
    Well, at least I have a name for it now…

  • Invisible Neutrino

    Yeah. It’s some kind of dumb-assed precursor to the “friend zone” meme.

    I mean, when it starts out with “It also covers such topics as why women sometimes just want to be friends but men always want sex.” you know it totally buys into the smorgasbord of preconceived sexist notions about how men and women think.

    (and speaking as a man, it’s rather unflattering to be thought of as a walking permanent erection.)

  • Huitzil

    The “systematic socially acceptable behavior against women by men” is the LEAST socially acceptable of the four types of gender-based antagonism, but we’re supposed to care about it EVEN MORE than we already do, even though we already care about it more than the other three? Why? Because it fits the threat narrative and the other three do not. That is all.

    Also, it should be noted that you’re not even just generalizing men, you are just imagining reasons why I am worthy of dismissal in order to dismiss me. Your accusation is based on, literally, nothing more than the fact that you dislike me and disagree with me, so therefore, misogynistic comments can be fabricated and ascribed to me.

  • Invisible Neutrino

    The “systematic socially acceptable behavior against women by men” is
    the LEAST socially acceptable of the four types of gender-based

    You would think, but the fact is there have been surveys that suggest that as long as you don’t use the word “rape”, quite a sizable fraction of men will admit to doing things that violated the consent of a woman, or would do such things.

    So yes, there is still widespread structural reinforcement of the attitude that a man is expected to push into a woman’s comfort zone because she “really means yes when she says no” or because she’s “been giving mixed signals”, so just be pushy and she’ll cave in for good.

    And of course I dislike you. Your spleen-venting is really quite repellent.

  • Huitzil

    Which “quite a sizable fraction”? The last study I saw that was not obviously and hilariously biased to the point of uselessness said six percent. Which is not a sizable fraction at all!

  • EllieMurasaki

    That rather depends on what the baseline is supposed to be. Since the baseline of human decency includes ‘don’t be a rapist’, six percent of men being unaware that things they have done include rape is horrifyingly large.

  • Huitzil

    Shifting goalposts. At first it is “sizable fraction”, when this is challenged, it collapses with no acknowledgment it ever existed, to “any percentage is too high”. Any percentage of men who would harm women is too high, of course. The percentage of men who would harm men, women who would harm women, or women who would harm men were not even brought up in the study because nobody gives a shit about victimization that doesn’t fit their threat narrative; the absence of people looking into these narratively-inconvenient numbers is then used as evidence they must not exist or be notable at all. “I don’t want to consider the possibility that the same or higher proportion of women would disregard male lack of consent, so the issue doesn’t exist, now let’s focus on how everything is about how male agents harm female victims, always and forever” is not an argument.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’m not Invisible Neutrino. Therefore, when I assert a thing that does not necessarily comport with what Invisible Neutrino asserted, no goalposts are being shifted.

  • Invisible Neutrino
  • themunck

    *sighs* And here I had happily repressed the memory of that thread. :/

  • AnonaMiss

    Oh hey, it’s Paul Durant! I remember that name.

    Shame he’s sullying Nahuatl with his new screenname.

  • Madhabmatics

    Yo was I right about how messed up this dude is or was I right

  • caryjamesbond

    As far as I can tell,your entire line of argument, including your rant above, boils down to “some people are shitheads.” Which, yes they are. And that sucks.

    I don’t know where your claims are coming from, that somehow sexual harassment is *MORE* socially unacceptable than other claims you make.

    Lets break it down:

    Men are violent towards other men- jumping them, mugging them, etc. etc.

    If I get jumped tomorrow, or mugged, I can go into a police station with a reasonable assurance that they won’t blame it on me, ask what I was wearing. The only exceptions to this might be if me, a clearly middle class white boy, was in certain neighborhoods that middle class white boys only enter to buy drugs, and even then, they’d be more likely to hunt down my assailants than those a woman raped by a friend in her bedroom.

    Women are violent towards men-controlling them with social threats.

    I’m sure somewhere in the world there are women who seek to use that sort of thing to control some guys because, hey, 7 billion people, everything happens to someone sooner or later. If I were, as a white man stuck in that situation, and were to accuse her of, essentially, being a controlling golddigger just after my money, NO ONE WOULD QUESTION THAT. Because “Controlling golddigger just after your money” is a common social trope about women.

    Women are violent towards women-bullying, assault, etc.

    Actually, you have something of a point there. However, in the recent past, a lot more focus has been put on female/female bullying. Not perfect, obviously, but it is no longer unimaginable to school administrators, nor is it AS likely to be dismissed as “mean girls” or some such.

    Tl;dr- as a white dude, I can confidently say that women being assaulted is NOT the top priority for any sort of official body. My being assaulted, however, is.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Citations needed.

  • Carstonio

    I’ll let others here explain how mistaken you are about sexual harassment, since I’ve never experienced it. I went through the same mistreatment you did. In high school I spent every night in my room because the mistreatment had left me anxious around other people, particularly other males. But I never viewed myself as being in a contest to see who was the most persecuted. Instead, I concluded that no one should have to be mistreated that way. Very sad that your anger isn’t directed where it belongs, which is at people who mistreat others.

  • AnonaMiss

    The prospect of going out with me was regularly used as a “dare” by girls, who had to “ask me out” to fulfill it, in public, laughing uproariously at the notion that someone like me was worthy of attention.

    Oh noooo how dare the wimmins have been so mean to you, men would never do something like-

    Oh wait some dudes did that to me my entire freshman year of high school. And it only stopped because I changed schools (for unrelated reasons). Shock – a girl so hideous that dudes didn’t want to go out with her! And laugh at the very thought, to her face!

    Why are your experiences all important enough to gain you sympathy while mine will be invariably used to mock me?

    Sure is a lot of sympathy people get for being victims of sexual harrassment and assault. Why, in that Steubenville case, the victim got so much sympathy that the rapists had no chance of getting away with slaps on the wrist, especially given that they uploaded the evidence to the internet to brag about it. News networks all over the country were demonizing her attackers, you have no idea.

    Sarcasm aside, you won’t find anyone mocking you for being the victim of assaults here. The idea that being assaulted makes you less of a man – the way people shame assault victims into keeping their mouths shut – it sucks, man, it really does. Third wave feminism is against that. If you ever decide to get out there and do some anti-assault-culture activism, talk to some feminist, gay, and anti-bullying activists and I’m sure they’ll be happy to help give you the knowledge and tools you need to get that started. Actually, that’s just basic anti-bullying activism extended to the adult world, so they’d probably be your best starting place.

    Of course, nobody’s ever going to insinuate that you secretly wanted to be thrown to the ground and have your face bashed into the pavement. Or tell you that you’re obviously lying, because you aren’t pretty enough, so who would assault you? No one’s ever insinuated that a dude will never be able to find love because he got his face stomped once, or that a dude should gay-marry the guy who stomped his face, because who else will ever want him? And of course, a guy is never going to be forced into bearing the child of the guy who stomped his face, who he then has to see every couple weeks for the rest of his life because of visitation rights…

    So, you know. It might be a good idea not to whine about how feminists are trying to take away public attention that should rightfully be on your problems. People might think you were an asshole.

  • chgo_liz

    Many years ago, a friend’s dad was a lawyer who by happenstance took on a civil suit case for the family of a man who was shot by a husband defending his wife. The man in question was a cousin of mine by marriage who had terrorized and committed violent crimes against many people, including most of us in our family. I told the lawyer: “don’t expect me or any member of my family to testify on his behalf because we’d happily buy that husband a good dinner and thank him for his service to humanity.” That was all I said. Years later, he ran into me at a party and announced loudly — enough to turn quite a few heads, including my dad’s — “so do you still hate men?”

    Stop throwing the cards in our face and we’ll stop calling them cards.

  • LoneWolf343

    Why would Jesus even need to throw a punch? He told a tree to fuck off, and it fucked off.

  • Matri

    Genuinely curious here, but which part was it?

    Because it really sounds awesome, and I have no recollection of ever reading anything vaguely similar-like to that.

  • Enopoletus Harding

    Matthew 21:19. But Mark 11:14, off which it is based on, does not say the tree fucked off. The story is a metaphor for the Jewish people’s inability to bear the fruits of the Spirit.

  • LoneWolf343

    Well, I was using a colorful description. What really happened is that Jesus once found a fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit, so He cursed it. He and His disciples passed it, and saw that the tree had withered.

  • Carstonio

    Besides the injustice of limiting the genders to specific roles like breadwinner or homemaker, folks like Peter Heck and Mary Kassian are really pushing for society to be dominated by their version of Christianity. If they’re going to claim that their god dictated gender roles, then they should present proof of this or just keep quiet. Plus, Heck was violating the First Amendment by speaking in an official capacity at a public school.

  • Enopoletus Harding

    “The misogynist longing for female death
    isn’t even really subtextual at this point, but right there on the
    surface. And if you won’t choose death, well, they’ll choose it for

    -And that’s just El Salvador. Try the country with the highest GDP per capita in Latin America.

  • tricksterson

    Yes, Ericksen, Jesus could get pissed off. Like that time he got mad at a bunch of capitalists who, in his opinion, were desecrating religion.

  • banancat

    Let me just share my little experience of harassment. I have lived in several cities and visited many more, and for whatever reason, the culture in Philadelphia is very harassment-prone. Not the worst I’ve experienced, but pretty consistent. To the point that when I use public transit, I expect to get harassed and expend mental energy trying to decide how to avoid it.

    I now live in a Philly suburb and last Friday I went into the city to meet up with some friends. I took the regional rail in, and got off at a station, intending to walk to the bar from there. Sure enough, some guy feigned being lost, acted really weird when I stated the obvious that he was where he intended to be and he needed to only walk up the stairs, and then tried to sidle up next to me to look at my phone when I pretended to be busy. I’ve dealt with this frequently enough that I stopped caring about being polite and just walked away. When I got to the door leading outside, I realized I would be better served by getting on the subway that passed through the station I was already at. But that would require me going back downstairs and possibly encountering the creeper again. I seriously considered just walking in the rain for 2 miles. I don’t know what ultimately decided it, but I did end up going back and he wasn’t there.

    I have encountered analogous situations literally dozens of times. I can think of only one occasion on Philly transit that I didn’t encounter a creeper. But that night, for some reason, for the very first time I realized how outrageous this is. I had become so used to it that I had internalized it. But I realized that I shouldn’t have to face this type of thing every time I just want to go somewhere. I shouldn’t have to decide between walking in the rain or potentially being molested.

    So yeah, most men don’t do it. But enough do that I encounter it on a routine basis. So any men who are reading this, please look out for those men and tell them to cut it out.

  • Lorehead

    I’m very sorry you have to go through that. The difficulty with your suggestion is that they don’t ever do it in front of me. In fact, I was shocked when women told me what was going on behind my back.

  • Drow

    Dear lord, the comments on the second-last link…you’d think fifteen years on the internet would have trained me to know better. Though I guess it wouldn’t be a culture war if there weren’t two sides, even if it’s one side noting and demonstrating that ordinary Muslims face an exhausting and painful amount of undeserving prejudice and hate for the actions of a small yet exaggerated number of completely unrelated people elsewhere in the world, and the other side simply screaming “SHUT UP!” as loudly as possible.

    There needs to be a stronger expression than “missing the point.” I tried to come up with one, but there are only so many curses in the English language.