By those who preach and pray and teach

By those who preach and pray and teach December 4, 2012

“The officer has kept the receipt in his vest since then, he said, ‘to remind me that sometimes people have it worse.'”

“We are asking individuals and faith groups to call for a real jubilee – cancellation of the unjust debts of the most indebted nations, promoting just and progressive taxation, and controlling lending.”

“It was one of the most uncomfortable and enjoyable conversations I’ve had in a long time, one very much worth having, and worth leaving my comfort zone to have.”

Malala Yousufzai would be an excellent and worthy choice for Time magazine’s Person of the Year. (AP photo)

“This legislation, if passed into law, it would automatically make me a serial offender and I would be sentenced to death.”

“Though the safety risk posed by Tazreen’s substandard equipments was understood well before [the deadly] blaze, the same conditions appear to be relatively common among Bangladeshi factories.”

“If these jobs don’t pay enough to keep people out of poverty, we’re all in big trouble.”

We don’t beat them by literally beating them.”

There’s money in making stupid people mad.”

“This isn’t just cognitive dissonance. It’s irresponsible reporting.”

“It turns out that they don’t like disabled people any better than gays, blacks, Latinos, or single women in law school who use contraception.”

“If you do not know what it means to be an evangelical Christian, it basically works like this: you say a prayer, ask Jesus into your heart and then you vote Republican and start watching Fox News. A lot.”

“Essentially, this approach has been our strategy for the last 30 years. How has it worked so far?”

I also would have steered clear of politics.”

“In Hosea ‘son’ means Israel and refers to the Exodus … well, that’s not quite the same as what Matthew was on about.”

“John Paul II did not smoke, but Pope Benedict XVI reportedly does (or once did), apparently favoring Marlboros.”

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  • EllieMurasaki

    So I should be gracious and generous and extremely careful never to do the slightest damage to the tender feelings of the people who are hurting me, every single time someone hurts me, and never ever ever let any individual instance or the cumulative effect get to me in any way visible to anyone who’s hurting me?

    Google ‘microaggression’, too.

  • AnonymousSam

    Then saying that he thinks the only important thing about women is that they have breasts is not an accusation of misogyny? Um. That would make me very, very confused.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There is a difference–subtle but very fucking important–between “you are a misogynist” and “you are saying/doing a misogynist thing”.

  • Tricksterson

    “The number who’d come up with ACORN as an excuse without being prompted is a more interesting question, especially since it doesn’t exist anymore”

    Obviously they used time traavel.  Maybe magic.

  • AnonymousSam

    Regardless, I saw his post as neither. The entire subtext of “male ogling female breasts” was from the post previous to it; rewritten to remove the pedophilia aspect, J’s post is simply a crack at how many priests seem to view women as loathsome baby vessels and to discover one rising from “hateful misogyny” to “sexist misogyny” would be a refreshing change (if not an improvement, sadly enough).

    Given how often priests have nothing but disparaging remarks about women for wanting to have a say in what they do with their bodies, I actually found his post amusing, albeit less so once I re-read it and saw that it specified adult women (because let’s face it, no matter how many times it crops up in the news, pedophilia jokes about priests are never particularly tasteful). It was a joke at the expense of priests, not women, unless acknowledging women as the victims of church misogyny is somehow misogynistic toward women.

    I’m trying to understand this, but I really don’t.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You seem to be under the impression that it’s impossible to acknowledge one aspect of misogyny while perpetrating another.

  • I never said that YOU should be gracious and generous  – I said that your words should be if you want to change someone’s behavior.  Otherwise you’re just engaging in condemnation, which might feel good but doesn’t solve the problem.  (It also requires that you be 100% in the right – has any of us ever been so?)

    I also never said that the people hurting you have “tender” feelings” – in fact, in wording it that way, you are doing the opposite of what I suggest by putting the worst interpretation on my comment.

    And I know I’m slightly misstating what you just said, but as to whether you should try to control yourself and not allow previous slights dealt to you by other people influence your response to a single individual… well, yes.  That single individual is not responsible for the harm done by others.

    If you can’t help but overreact with undue anger because the sheer weight of those previous slights is such that not to let it influence your behavior is impossible, then no one could accuse you of doing it just for the chance to condemn someone – that’s entirely forgivable behavior.  Not acceptable, but forgivable.  

    Life isn’t fair.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Supposing for a minute that you’re right that being gracious and generous towards the perpetrators of offensive behavior is always more likely to change that behavior for the better than blowing one’s top at them is.
    (You’re wrong. Sometimes gracious and generous works, sometimes blowing one’s top works, sometimes the approach doesn’t matter because the desired effect isn’t going to happen. And gracious and generous is quieter and thus easier to ignore than blowing one’s top, which means any effort to get someone who’s blowing their top to try gracious and generous instead is an effort to get that someone to shut up and go away, however the effort may be intended. Google ‘tone argument’.)

    I am not perfect. I cannot consistently respond to provocation by refusing to be provoked.

  • AnonymousSam

    More specifically, I’m at a loss as to how misogyny entered the joke at all, at least specific to J’s addendum to it. Please understand, I’m simply not following the trail of logic at all. I feel like there’s a second half to the post in question that isn’t being displayed. The “that’s EXACTLY what he said” doesn’t follow when he didn’t say anything of the sort.

  • EllieMurasaki

    To quote the offending comment in full:

    *…and regularly making lewd comments about nuns’ breasts*

    A priest finding something to appreciate about adult women: That would actually be a refreshing change.

    In what possible way can I read J’s comment to be about anything but the bit J quoted from Carstonio?

  • AnonymousSam

    Then we are looking at the same bits, but getting completely different emphases out of them — I see a crack toward priests and nothing else, whereas you appear to be focusing entirely on it being a crack toward women. I don’t see how it is. It’s not advocating this behavior toward women, stating it as a logical outcome of male attention or anything of the sort. The image is of men doing stereotypical low-class male things and just so happening to be priests, and the joke is that even this behavior could be an improvement for priests.

    I just don’t get how this is in any way exploiting, condemning or slandering women. Priests, yes, but not women. Can you please elucidate what I am missing and how this a misogynistic joke?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Reread the fucking thread.

    (Yes, of course it’s anti-priest. It’s J. We expect this sort of thing from J.)

  • No one said you were perfect or that you had to be.  But just because you are not required to be perfect doesn’t absolve you from having done wrong in any particular given situation.  If you think using the “blow one’s top” method as your first response to a particular person (not your first response in your own history, but your first response to a particular person) — if you think that this is an acceptable response, then I repeat my implication that this is not the behavior of an adult.

    If you think that due to prior offenses by other people it is an understandable and forgivable response (as I think you are implying), then we are in agreement.  Except, forgivable implies that you are at least partly in the wrong and owe someone an apology, or at least some effort to tone it down or let it go.

    I am not asking you to shut up and go away.  I was complaining that certain people were overreacting and indulging in emotional self-justification rather than conversation.

    Finally, I should point out that for someone complaining about suffering from constant slights and insults, your constant instruction to me to Google various things that I am presumably too ignorant to know already is a little hypocritical.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re sure as hell not acting as though you already know the things I have told you to Google. Now go actually Google ‘microaggression’ and ‘tone argument’.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Also, though I’m not convinced you actually care, a recap of how this discussion began:


    *…and regularly making lewd comments about nuns’ breasts*

    A priest finding something to appreciate about adult women: That would actually be a refreshing change.


    Not really.


    Y’know it might actually have been that I wasn’t being completely serious. But I apologize: Though most have heard of a joke, I understand that not everyone has had the opportunity to meet one face-to-face.

    I can’t speak for JustoneK, of course, but I got that you were joking. I just don’t think it’s funny.

    JustoneK, simultaneously:

    No, I got the joke. It’s just very, very tiring to whittle down women’s worth to their breasts, that’s all.


    Yes, because that’s totally what I was doing.

    I’ll stop responding now, because I know that no matter what I say, you’ve already decided that yes, that’s the ONLY thing I could possibly have meant and am evil and stupid and bad and misogynist and consider women just breasts with legs.

    J’s next comment was in the same vein only even more nasty and point-missy, and that is the comment for which I felt the only useful response was yelling.

    So aside from all the usual reasons why tone arguments are bad? I tried your way first. It didn’t work.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    That is clearly explained by the qualifier “US” at the beginning of “US Catholic Church hierarchy”. American bishops being unable to follow their own catechism doesn’t make the content of the catechism disappear. 

  • EllieMurasaki

    I know, I know, it’s just.

    Hypocrisy in people in power really should no longer surprise me.

  • Madhabmatics

    Yo her first post was

    “I can’t speak for JustoneK, of course, but I got that you were joking. I just don’t think it’s funny.”

    (That’s the entire post!)

    If you are going to complain about people “not acting like grown-ups” because they used the “blow one’s top method” you should first stop by reading J’s response where he freaks out about how the ~feminists~ are going to accusing him of being a ~rapist~

    that was literally his response to “I just don’t think it’s funny.”

  • Madhabmatics

    You see using the word “fuck” in a post is not adult at all!

    What is adult is responding to “This isn’t funny” with a huge wall of text about the how anyone who doesn’t think your joke is hilarious is a feminazi who is going to accuse you of being a satanic-baby-killer and a rapist. This Is The Most Adult Thing

  • EllieMurasaki

    Yo her first post was

    ‘Zir’ for me, please.

  • I’ll try to keep that in mind when I refer to you, you are rather eloquent. Just please don’t get upset if I flub it, don’t know many people who prefer “zir, zer, zis”.
    For the record, I’ve also heard of “jher, jhis, jhe”.

  • student

    I am a woman and a feminist, I am well aware of the various terms that have been referenced, and I parsed the whole discussion in exactly the same way that AnonymousSam did. I won’t disagree about the quality of the joke, but I see no misogyny.

  • EllieMurasaki

    There’s a whole bunch of gender-neutral third-person singular English pronouns. Mine are ze, zir, zirs, actually. And it won’t bother me if you get it wrong at first. I’m trying to get used to the idea myself.

  • AnonymousSam

    I get that J is/can be an asshat. On the other hand, there are times when I can understand the kind of angry meltdown that ensued. Much as I usually like it, this community can sometimes go straight into high-horsed-down-your-throat antagonism while skipping all the intervening “what you said was wrong and this is why” steps of an argument in good faith, and I doubt most people have the patience to go through that more than once without being ready to froth and flounce at signs that it’s happening again.

    I understand (or at least I’m strongly getting the impression) that you’re angry and suspect you feel like you’re under attack, in which case, I apologize for the implied tone of my first post to you, but I just can’t share your anger when, to me, it seems to have less to do with the joke and more to do with the person and the argument itself . It’s not self-evident to me. I don’t know if that’s because of my APD, my terrible memory or something else.

    Putting it a bit more plaintively, Ellie, I’ve always liked you and I don’t want to walk away from this with a negative impression of you. Please help me see this from your perspective. If for no other reason than because me understanding why this is a problem will help me avoid from reinforcing women’s issues in my ignorance. I’m taking it on faith that I’m in the wrong in some way here — please explain how so that I can correct this fault of my own.

  • Edit: Nevermind.

  • EllieMurasaki

    The debut album for Firewater?

  • I wrote a thing, but rather than risk a second nuking here, I’m just going to link to this.

  • AnonymousSam

    All very good information (admittedly I started to skim while looking for relevance), but I don’t see how it applies. I’m struggling with this, I really am, and I can’t help but start to get frustrated when my requests for an explanation are being bat back at me as “do your damned homework.”

    I am. I have. I remain ignorant. This is being treated as something so obvious that it doesn’t deserve an explanation, when that’s just not the case. No amount of personal reflection appears to be aiding me in making the intuitive leap between

    A priest finding something to appreciate about adult women: That would actually be a refreshing change.


    breasts are the ONLY IMPORTANT THING about people who have them

    I don’t know how much more humble I can get when I’m stating that I’m willing to accept that I’m wrong, whether I can see it or not, and would like help in understanding how my interpretation (that the two quoted statements are not identical, and that the former does not imply the latter) is in error. Start from square one and assume that I’m an idiot. I don’t often find this to be the case, but at this point, I’m saying “Stop giving me so much credit. Apparently I must be a moron. I’d rather have the answer as if I was a small child than walk away angry and ignorant.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    I think I see the problem. You’re looking at J’s comment in isolation, without the bit of Carstonio’s quote that J quoted to respond to. Out of context, your view is the obvious one, I agree. But J quoted Carstonio talking about priests making lewd comments about nuns’ breasts. Either J’s comment is a total non-sequitur, or nuns’ breasts are relevant to what J said. And J said ‘priests finding something to appreciate about adult women’, not ‘priests appreciating adult women’, and the difference implies that the particular something the priests are appreciating is the only thing important here.

  • AnonymousSam

    *Headscratches* But I did acknowledge that in a previous post.

    The entire subtext of “male ogling female breasts” was from the post
    previous to it; rewritten to remove the pedophilia aspect, J’s post is
    simply a crack at how many priests seem to view women as loathsome baby
    vessels and to discover one rising from “hateful misogyny” to “sexist
    misogyny” would be a refreshing change (if not an improvement, sadly

    That was how I got it, and what made it somewhat amusing to me — that as bad as that is (and I fully acknowledge it as sexist behavior), it could still be an improvement compared to some priests’ hatred of women.

    Perhaps this is only because I frequently stop to enjoy the terrible irony of how conservative readings of the Bible offer a quarter of a loaf to women (by today’s standards), and how even that quarter-loaf was considered radical liberalism by those standards. After all, Fred just posted an article about a university allowing women to speak if they speak as a duo with their husbands, and even that pitiful allowance got someone to resign for being radical interpretation of Biblical law.

    I’m seeing this the exact same way: it’s a joke because being sexist is terrible by any decent person’s standards, but to some people, it would still be outrageous to have even that high an opinion of women. I could just as easily add a third punchline to the joke: “Fortunately, the Pope would never sully his immortal soul that way (smoking, drinking, playing poker and talking about nuns’ breasts). Everyone knows he has no interest in dirtyfilthy breasts.”

  • Sorry, the link was more relevant for others than you, really.

    For me, the problematic part wasn’t J’s initial “joke”, which could be passed off as ignorance. It was that he doubled down on it. The issue isn’t so much that he has poor taste, but that his response to discovering that he was hurtful was to pour it on. BrokenBell explained it just fine on the first page.

  • Turcano

    I guess we were overdue for an outbreak of Tumbritis, weren’t we.


  • Nicanthiel

    Me too! And, in response to yourself, thanks for the introduction to “wallet name”, which is very very much my own situation (to the point that I often hesitate when meeting someone new and they ask my name, trying to remember which one I should use given the social context… lol)

  • Madhabmatics

     I called a friend of mine by his internet name for like a month after he moved in with me, I am terrible at adapting names.

  • Nicanthiel

    Hell, I’ve got a (non-bio/non-adopted) sister that I’ve known mostly online for years, and I still have the annoying tendency to refer to her by her original internet nickname rather than her currently chosen one (that has been current for at least 2 years. My brain just can’t parse very quickly all the time.