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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Meanwhile, On Our Web Site…

posted by on June 4 at 13:18 PM

Apropos of Dan’s post below, a few of our lovely commenters on Clinton and her supporters in the wake of last night’s Obama victory.

Crazy bitches.
Racist cunts.
Yup ladies, show your displeasure with that uppity negro by voting McCain or convincing Hills to run independent… and don’t forget to bring the coat hangers when you celebrate.
does this mean democrats don’t need to cater to crazy feminists anymore?
Hell hath no fury…
that fucking bitch….
*sigh* Leave it to the bitch to have no class and stay in.
WHY… WON’T IT… DIE!!!!!!?!??!

And yes, I could find more, but I don’t think (reasonable) Slog readers need convincing that this campaign has unearthed a shocking breed of vicious misogyny against Clinton, her supporters (who are, if certain Obama fans are to be believe, ALL racist, old, bitter white women) and Obama supporters who had the gall to defend Clinton supporters from off-point, sexist, threatening attacks. (For unreasonable Slog readers, see above.) Although this campaign has shown that many American are willing, ready, and eager to see the barriers of racism and sexism broken, it has also revealed that open, unabashed sexism is alive, acceptable, and even welcomed within the Democratic Party. For everything else it did, Hillary Clinton’s campaign made it acceptable to openly hate someone—a candidate, or a supporter of that candidate—simply because she is a woman.*

As usual, Melissa of Shakespeare’s Sister** said it best:

[Women, Clinton and Obama supporters alike] have witnessed this despicable but spectacular marriage of aggressive misogyny and their long-presumed allies’ casual indifference to it, and wondered what fucking planet they were on that dehumanizing eliminationist rhetoric, to which lefty bloggers used to object once upon a time, was now considered a legitimate campaign strategy, as long as it was aimed at a candidate those lefty bloggers didn’t like.

And these women felt personally abandoned. By people they had considered allies.

And while they struggled to understand just what was happening, while they were losing their way along well-traveled paths that no longer felt familiar or welcoming, they were admonished like children to stop taking things personally. They were sneered at for playing identity politics. They were demeaned as ridiculous, overwrought, hysterics. They were called bitches and cunts. They were bullied off blogs they’d called home for years.

(But don’t take that personally.)

[…] And I’m sad because I know there are women who are hurting. Not because their candidate lost. Clinton may not have even been their candidate. They’re hurting because misogyny hurts all women, and because they have fewer allies than they once thought.

And unlike the people (including many of these women) who are feeling the same way with regard to racism in this campaign, who are licking wounds of racist attacks even as preparations begin for the breathtakingly awesome celebration of the first ever presumptive nominee of color, ZOMG, these women do not have an equivalent wonder to celebrate. They don’t have a “despite it all.” They don’t have a step forward to point to, to say the pain was worth it.

They just have the pain.

And I’m sad because I see so little evidence of people who are willing to understand that.

So while I’m thrilled to see the Obama campaign moving into its next phase, and I wholeheartedly congratulate his supporters and look forward to backing him in his campaign against McCain, I think it would be a pity not to take a moment to look at what some of those supporters have wrought over the course of their campaign to defeat Hillary Clinton—and encourage them to rise above it.

* I’m not saying you can’t dislike Hillary for her positions, her personality, or her refusal to drop out of the race when it became clear she couldn’t win. I’m talking about attacks that address none of those things, or ostensibly address them but are really about calling Clinton a bitch or a cunt or a monster, like the ones above.

** Who, by the way, gets far more stab-worthy comments than Slog’s worst trolls have ever dreamed of.

RSS icon Comments

1

Peoples' opinions. They are entitled to them. Sorry you don't like them, but... um... get over it. Not everyone has to be PC all the time. But I knew at some point today you would hop on this. So, good morning little one.

Posted by Homo Will | June 4, 2008 1:26 PM
2

A FREAKING MEN, Erica. Last night I realized that I am really excited to see Obama become president. I know I didn't always want him, but he's our nominee, and I'm proud of him, proud to cast my vote for him, and proud of the president I know he'll be.

Obama is not his supporters. Neither is Clinton hers. This I know, and we MUST separate the two.

But watching some of Obama's misogynist supporters has been heart-breaking. Has made me question my place in the progressive, Democratic community. It has been a very, very bitter pill to swallow. I had hope this episode might provoke a national discussion on sexism, but it seems that that is not to be.

Posted by arduous | June 4, 2008 1:31 PM
3

Erica cherry-picks a few comments to support her conclusion while ignoring the valid arguments?

Say it isn't so!

Posted by Jeff | June 4, 2008 1:32 PM
4

ECB you're awesome, and i hope you keep on fighting for the cause. don't let ignorant commentary get you down.

Posted by tiffany | June 4, 2008 1:32 PM
5

You may have a point on those comments, but get ready to see a LOT more of them in this post.

Posted by Georgia Guy | June 4, 2008 1:35 PM
6

Curious that my very liberal wife refers to Clinton as "that fucking bitch".

And so it goes with "sexism" against Hillary. I'd say about half of her worst enemies (and corresponding rude Sloggers) are women.

I don't agree that the comments are sexist (rude yes, sexist no). People feel this way because of Hillary's positions (particularly on Iraq) and her personality. She's called a "bitch" or a "cunt" because it is linguistically appropriate (as opposed to "dick" or "motherfucker", which are reserved for males that we hate).

Erica, would you be happy if we used gender-neutral insults? How about "Hillary is an asshole"?

Posted by Mahtli69 | June 4, 2008 1:36 PM
7

I sympathize with women who were hurt by the misogyny of this campaign. I was never a Hillary supporter, but that doesn't make the attacks on her fair.

I don't know how to heal those wounds. The prospect of so many politically active women being turned off the system is scary -- there are too few women in politics now as it is.

What's scarier to me, though, is the prospect that this in-fighting -- which was both misogynistic and racist at turns -- may take what could be a historic election for America and turn it into four more years of social conservatism, anti-science legislation and a curtailing of our freedoms.

Feelings were hurt. I hope they can heal. But pushing us toward another 4 or 8 years of the Bush Monarchy isn't the answer.

Posted by Dr. Pants | June 4, 2008 1:37 PM
8

Now that I got my politically correct post out of the way...

I'm not saying it's right, but who hasn't at least THOUGHT the c-word over the last couple of months?

Posted by Georgia Guy | June 4, 2008 1:37 PM
9


How is this one misogynistic?

"Yup ladies, show your displeasure with that uppity negro by voting McCain or convincing Hills to run independentÖ and donít forget to bring the coat hangers when you celebrate."

It simply points out that voting for McCain or encouraging Clinton to run makes it all the more likely that McCain will be elected and as a result judges who oppose Roe vs. Wade get appointed to the supreme. That's not misogyny, that's pointing out a very real possibility, and trying to pass it off as anti-woman only weakens your argument. Don't invalidate a good point by making stupid arguments.

Posted by J | June 4, 2008 1:39 PM
10

Trolls are not evidence. Obama, and the people actually connected with his campaign have gone out of there way to treat Clinton with respect. Sadly I cannot say the same about her or her campaign.

Just because Clinton is a women, it does not mean she is not capable of being an asshole.

Posted by Giffy | June 4, 2008 1:40 PM
11

This just in:

There are trolls on the internet.

Yeah, it sucks. Certain people (usually anonymous) have said shitty things based on sex or race about both candidates. This is unfortunate but it doesn't surprise me. It's a whole other thing to say these things when not covered by a blanket of anonymity. Unless people are saying these things with their big dumb faces and their names are fully known, just chalk it up to trolls and move on. Trolls have been equal opportunity haters and nothing you say will change that.

Posted by bearseatbeats | June 4, 2008 1:40 PM
12

Be it resolved:

Sexism is bad.

Hysterical reactions to election results (regardless of what genitals the hysterical person possesses) is bad. Hysterics is not determined by gender, just childish instability.

Threats to vote out of resentment (instead of issues) is bad.

And Hillary's party-harming selfish refusal to concede the nomination once all the numbers were in and as she shed superdelegates all day, was wrong, wrong, wrong.

No sexism intended--just righteous indignation and anger as a frustrated Democrat, regardless of my gender.

Now, I look forward to your blog entry listing all of the racist things hurled at Obama from his haters, including people in the Clinton campaign. For the sake of journalistic balance and integrity, please?

Posted by Andy Niable | June 4, 2008 1:41 PM
13

ecb. i get you.

Posted by ray ray | June 4, 2008 1:44 PM
14

These women felt personally abandoned. By people they had considered allies.

I and some other GenX women are feeling rather abandoned ourselves by many Hillary supporters, older women whom I once would have assumed to be allies worth listening to. Too many have been quick to sell out our reproductive rights for their injured pride. When I see a mass of older women declaring that Hillary should run as a spoiler candidate or that they'd vote for McCain before Obama, I begin to doubt that I can have feminist solidarity with post-menopausal women.

Posted by Charity | June 4, 2008 1:45 PM
15

you buried the lede:

"Iím not saying you canít dislike Hillary for her positions, her personality, or her refusal to drop out of the race when it became clear she couldnít win."

Posted by brett | June 4, 2008 1:46 PM
16

Great post, Erica! Identity politics always sucks. And Clinton was a particularly tough case, since she played the identity game, and was often particularly *ahem* combative.

I think thinking people on both sides can agree that no matter who would have won the nomination, racism and sexism are alive and well...and will be for some time. And I think that's why so many folks I know are having a hard time finding any euphoria in BO's victory. Tragic.

Posted by fluteprof | June 4, 2008 1:48 PM
17

Um.....

"Monster" is misogynist?

That one is a stretch.


I think the larger point is that we are innately inclined to say hurtful things when we feel that we (or our candidate) has been wronged.

And then, we can fail to censor ourselves to stick to the real cause of our frustration. Instead we lash out at the first thing that we see.

I've known good people who used totally inappropriate racial, ethnic, and misogynistic epithets at drivers who cut them off. Not because they hate Asians, Blacks, Women, the elderly or the handicapped. But because they felt wronged and wanted to be hurtful in return. Needless to say, I think this is a bad habit of mind in any context.


We can debate the extent to which the exhibitors of these comments are truly sexist or misogynist in their hearts, but we can't debate whether their comments are hateful and inappropriate.

The real evidence, in my mind, of the growth of awareness that has to happen in our culture is that people don't seem compelled to censor these comments. They don't see that gender based insults - regardless of the shotgun, spray-pattern, hit-anything-that-you-can intent - FEELS misogynist.


So let me say -

I am utterly disappointed in Senator Clinton's behavior these last few weeks. Disgusted by it even. I find her comments to be destructive to Democrats' chances, crass, and unnecessary. It will give me a great deal of pleasure to see her exit the daily national political stage.

See? That felt great to get off my chest. And I (hopefully) not sexist or misogynistic.

Posted by CalDem | June 4, 2008 1:49 PM
18

Right on, ECB!

Democrats are a conflicted bunch of two-faced morons and they refuse to comprehend why people would want to support a 3rd party instead of associate themselves with red necks dyed blue.

The same observations can be made about the racist Clintonites (see West Virginia) and the ubiquitous Democratic mantra of states' rights as an acceptable path to deny citizenship to LGBT Americans.

But whatever the case - sexism, racism, or homophobia - Democrats choose to conform to the mainstream no matter how repugnant it is. They don't question, critique or attack the isms because it is too hard to have principles.

Hold up a mirror Democrats. You are your own worst enemy. Good job!

Posted by patrick | June 4, 2008 1:50 PM
19

#12: I don't think I've heard any racial slurs at Obama at all. I've heard/seen Hillary called a cunt or bitch hundreds of times.

When Hillary was still in the race, it seemed like there was at least one comment per election post on Slog with a threat to vote for McCain if Hillary was the nominee. I never heard any of those commenters called hysterical.

Posted by poppy | June 4, 2008 1:50 PM
20

If you want some fun mental exercise, compare and contrast the posts in the SLOG entries you complain about with all the "I must vote for McCain to do all I can to prevent Obama from winning. I've waited all my life to vote for a woman for President, and this woman in incredibe! But, I just can't write her in because my vote for McCain may be needed to defeat Obama." posts from Hillary's own website. That damn uppity negro went and took her jerb!

Posted by Lou | June 4, 2008 1:51 PM
21

@6

I think you're on to something there Mahtli69. I know plenty of women, my girlfriend included, who call Clinton nasty names which unfortunately do convey some latent sexism. I should tell them to use asshole or shit-eater or something else more PC.

Posted by Sir Learnsalot | June 4, 2008 1:57 PM
22

I'm not quite sure how "WHY WON'T IT DIE?" is misogynistic. Confusing, yes, but only because the pronoun doesn't agree with the ostensible gender of the antecedent/referent. In fact, 'it' could very refer to her campaign as a whole, in which case the question is decidedly not misogynistic and possibly even warranted.

I'm sorry to see that the Clintons have trashed their legacy so thoroughly.

Posted by Jason Petersen | June 4, 2008 1:58 PM
23

I wrote "crazy bitches".

Actually Erica I was being sarcastic. I was trying to make the same point your are trying to make by reposting my comment.

Ahem.

I think many of the people you cherry picked were doing the same thing.

You might be a fun person in real life, but on the slog you just come across smug and humorless.

Or is that sexist?

Posted by Rotten666 | June 4, 2008 1:58 PM
24

i guess i don't understand the current definition of sexism. can't you believe she (Hillary) is all of those things without thinking all women are like that? is it the words that make it sexist??

"Sexism is a belief or attitude that one gender or sex is inferior to or less valuable than the other and can also refer to a hatred or distrust towards either sex as a whole (see also misogyny and misandry), or imposing stereotypes of masculinity on men or femininity on women."

please clarify.

Posted by cochise. | June 4, 2008 1:59 PM
25

Erica, finding vile hateful speech in blog comments is not really proof of anything.

Posted by Bob | June 4, 2008 1:59 PM
26

Fellow slog commenters, Don't feed the trolls...in this case, ECB.

Now that's sexism!

Posted by TheMisanthrope | June 4, 2008 2:01 PM
27

Erica, these comments are lame, inflammatory reactions to lame, inflammatory comments made by Clinton supporters and are hardly worthy of this analysis and reaction. I'm inclined to agree with @6 (the use of feminine derogations is linguistically necessary even if the derogation is not misogynist) and also with @9 (pointing out the hypocrisy of a female Clinton supporter voting for McCain is hardly misogynist).

Overreacting to the mere use of the word "bitch" only weakens your ability to effectively highlight the abundance of genuinely misogynistic, easy-to-find-and-quote comments about Clinton and her supporters.

Objectivity!

Posted by meggers | June 4, 2008 2:01 PM
28

One woman being a bitch isn't sexist. All women being bitches is sexist. Unless it's true.

Posted by Banna | June 4, 2008 2:04 PM
29

Dammit. Because this campaign fails to end, I find myself running out of original and yet still misogynistic things to say.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 4, 2008 2:04 PM
30

1. thank you ECB.

2. what about Slog itself posting a joke about Barack's caucus is bigger than Hillary's -- ?? This was pathetic misogyny, too. Especially those who laughed.

3. this misogyny reflects a general tendency to monsterize whom you oppose in public life, and adulate whom you support....you have to hate those you wish to hurt (those you wish to lose) and you have to love thouse you wish to succeed....

Reality: both HRC and BHO are great pols, laregly motivated by concern for public interest plus truly massive egos and amibition most of us couldn't imagine; neither one is a God nor a monster; they both have strengths, they both have flaws and limitations.

After BHO losing what 8 of last 14 contests I think that's pretty clear. He's not the transendent figure some of his partisans were saying back in February and he's not a shoo in. He's tied basically in the polls with McCain and he should be 20 or 30 points ahead.


Posted by PC | June 4, 2008 2:04 PM
31

once again Erica plays the sexism card when once again, there is no sexism involved.

remember what happened to the boy who cried wolf? (oh sorry, thats sexist, the gender neutral person who cried wolf)

"I wont vote for Hillary because she's a woman" == sexist

"I wont vote for Hillary because she's dumb" == not sexist

"I wont vote for Hillary because she's a stupid cunt" == not sexist

there is NO DIFFERENCE between #2 and #3 except that the speaker decided to use stronger language.

Posted by Wurm | June 4, 2008 2:08 PM
32

shit, I just figured it out, Erica is the sexism troll, Muede is the racism troll, and we keep coming back to feed em!!!

shame on us, shame on us

Posted by Wurm | June 4, 2008 2:10 PM
33

I was going to defend my quote, but I see #9 has already done that for me.

I will however concede that implying racism on the part of all die hard Hillary supporters was a bit out of line, much like applying the sexism label was to all of us... So I think that makes us even.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | June 4, 2008 2:10 PM
34
After BHO losing what 8 of last 14 contests I think that's pretty clear. He's not the transendent figure some of his partisans were saying back in February and he's not a shoo in. He's tied basically in the polls with McCain and he should be 20 or 30 points ahead.

And yet here is the rub PC: He still won the nomination. Sorry, Hillary let up way too early. I always say, race through the finish line, not just up to it.

HA!

Posted by Jeff | June 4, 2008 2:12 PM
35

GAH Erica you piss me off so much. If any (reasonable) objective observer were to look at the shit that's on Clinton's website today, they would probably agree with those comments.

Posted by kat | June 4, 2008 2:15 PM
36

Pish tosh. We "abandoned" her because we found someone we liked better. It's as simple as that. She didn't have any kind of divine right to the nomination. And it's always going to be "because she's a woman", not "in spite of the fact that she's a woman" with you, isn't it?

Most of those "offensive" comments are spot on. She IS behaving extraordinarily badly right now -- Clinton, not just her supporters. But you expect us to make allowances for her -- because she's a woman.

Posted by Fnarf | June 4, 2008 2:18 PM
37

Last time Erica brought up a blogger complaining about anti-Clinton sexism it
was Violet Socks

She was supposed to be all worked up about sexism in the campaign.
Reading her blog she's definitely angry, but sexism is just a tiny part of
it. She's mainly just angry that Clinton lost There's
no room between her anti-sexism and her support for Clinton. It's clear that
to her there are only two reasons to support Obama: a mental deficiency or
sexism.

For example:

"So I guess the deal is we're now going to have two fascist parties in this
country. Just pick which shrieking mob of haters you want to belong to.
Maybe we could have different colored jackets or something."

http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/?p=920

Or even nicer:

Of Obama's use of the word "sweetie" she says: "Maybe we should just be glad
he doesn't call women bitches and hos, like his buddy Jay-Z."

http://www.reclusiveleftist.com/?p=926

This doesn't change the fact that slog is a cesspool of sexism. There are
so many comments pro and con Erica's attractiveness or practically any other
woman in a picture that it's sickening. And things are said that would be
utterly slammed if they were about race.

Posted by daniel | June 4, 2008 2:19 PM
38

@14 wins. I understand that women feel betrayed and hurt, and as a woman I didn't like the sexist attitude toward Hillary that I encountered in real life (and got into plenty of arguements about it). But when these women are willing to sell out the reproductive rights of other women in a spite-vote for McCain, how is that any less betraying of the feminist cause than voting for Obama? I think it's a fucking self-centered move, even if it's an empty gesture. It's like these women are saying to their daughters, granddaughters, neices, and neighbors "because I didn't get my first choice, I'm going to make a choice that may cause you to suffer later in life because I didn't get my way!"

So while I understand that they're hurt and feeling betrayed, but saying you're going to vote for McCain is a spiteful, bitchy thing to do. And if you call yourself a feminist and you vote for McCain because Hillary's not in the race, FUCK YOU.

Posted by Jessica | June 4, 2008 2:19 PM
39

hmmm..when's the last time i recall people cherry-picking blog comments to show how vile the great unwashed blogmasses are?

well, before this round of pro-Hillary pearl-clutching, i think it was probably when Bill OReilly and other rightwing commentators used comments at DailyKos to show how deeply unserious and unworthy of attention those nasty liberal bloggers are.

Posted by brett | June 4, 2008 2:20 PM
40

Voting for McCain then, eh?

Posted by The Baron | June 4, 2008 2:20 PM
41

I don't know why we should let any inadequate white woman win the nomination, anyhow.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 4, 2008 2:21 PM
42

And one more thing-

I think both sides are equally guilty of mistaking the candidate's views, words and actions with those of their supporters; Whereas the candidates may walk the fine line of what can be construed as racist or sexist, their supporters are oftentimes all too willing to leap over it.

Just something to keep in mind when you vote this November.

Posted by UNPAID BLOGGER | June 4, 2008 2:23 PM
43

So, is there a feminist quota for the use of "misogyny"? If so, I know ECB exceeds it, daily. Is that your only defense?

Maybe many people think she is a cunt, bitch, whore, or snatch because she is, not because she is a woman. Stop hiding behind the use of the word misogyny and accept the fact that PEOPLE DON'T LIKE HILLARY!

Oh, and by the way... misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny misogyny.

Now you can sound like ECB too, just by the repetitve use of the word misogyny.

Posted by misogyny overkill | June 4, 2008 2:23 PM
44

feminists have fewer allies than they thought because they alienated their allies by claiming victimhood at any opportune chance. and solely to advance the candidate they liked mostly based on gender.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2008 2:25 PM
45

Nothing like posts and rants late at night after a lot of drinking by people upset by the cogent arguments of Seattleites to bring out the looney tunes ...

That said, if you had someone like this trying to get Sen Obama shot so she could become Pres, why are you suprised when some of the people get upset?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 4, 2008 2:28 PM
46

Democratic Circular Firing Squad...

ready...

aim...

Posted by Andy Niable | June 4, 2008 2:32 PM
47

@37 dANIEL

"This doesn't change the fact that slog is a cesspool of sexism. There are
so many comments pro and con Erica's attractiveness or practically any other
woman in a picture that it's sickening."

Please tell me how commenting on a person's looks is sexism. You would have to add "...for a woman" or "...for a man" at the end of it for it to be sexist. has that been done here? And do you really believe slog is a cesspool of sexism? a very liberal blog from seattle washington? really?

Posted by cochise. | June 4, 2008 2:36 PM
48

I think there are some good points being made here, particularly 14, 6, 17, 24.

I would be extremely disappointed if older baby-boomer women chose to vote for McCain rather than Obama, and sell our collective reproductive rights down the river. I really hope that right now they are just hurt, and licking their wounds so to speak.

I think it's worth examining why words like "cunt" and "bitch" are problematic. I've used both at points in my life. Is there something inherently wrong with those words, or are commenters just using those words because she's a woman and with a man they'd use words like "dick?"

It's a difficult question, but I think the problem is that those words, particularly cunt, are tainted with the history of our anti-feminist past. Just as it's inappropriate to hurl the n-word at someone who happens to be black, it feels wrong to hurl the c-word at a woman.

It can sound terribly PC. And maybe it is. But the problem is drivers like "cunt," "the n-word," which I'm sorry, I can't even begin to type (shows how loaded THAT word is), "greenhorn," "wop," "jap" is that they seek to separate us. Yes, people are bad, people are mean, people are rude, and inconsiderate and bad drivers. And sometimes we want to yell at them from our car and say rude things to us. But I think the advantage of calling someone say an asshole, is that it's not a word that separates said stupid, inconsiderate, bad person from others. Instead it's a universal world. There are people in this world and some of them (no matter what race or sex) are assholes. It's not saying in its own way that people with a cunt are bad or people with a dick or bad, its acknowledging the badness/inconsideratenss etc in a more universal way.

It is annoying to feel constricted. To feel like, oh great, here are the the PC police and they say that now I can't use words like "cunt" or "bitch."

And you can of course. You can write whatever word you want, you can say whatever word you want. But some word will cast more of a mark. Carry more of a stench. Hurt innocent people more.

You have to decide if you're okay with that.

As for me? I'd probably continue to call someone a dick or a bitch I would expect. Yes, it would be better to call people douchebags or asshats, and I'll try and do that more. But I'm not sure I can entirely excise those words from my vocabulary.

But I think cunt is to hateful, too hurtful, to too many people. So I think I'll abandon that one.

Posted by arduous | June 4, 2008 2:38 PM
49

My girlfriend uses much worse language to describe Hillary and she's a much better feminist than you.

You'd have more credibility if you had ever demonstrated the ability to acknowledge criticism. Instead, you focus like a laser-beam onto a few harsh remarks and pretend nothing more was said.

As it is, we've got privileged white women who think they have it harder than black men while believing that a vagina and fucking a previous President are critical qualifications for becoming the next one and a candidate who's cried sexism every time she's criticized while inflaming racial tensions for political advantage.

Sorry, you people aren't rational and not worth wasting any more time on.

Posted by ru shur | June 4, 2008 2:40 PM
50

The discrimination of women operates in this weird gray area. Most people will agree that using racial slurs and making racial jokes is highly inappropriate in regards to Obama. If someone want to make fun of, or disagree with Obama, they generally do not point out his race.

But we're not sure what is appropriate and what is not for women (or homosexuals for that matter). Since there aren't clear cut social rules people make mistakes and everyone gets offended.

Sometime people are just sexist. But more often, I think the disagreement arises from what is appropriate linguistically. At least, I sure hope so.

Posted by Ashley | June 4, 2008 2:41 PM
51

If someone calls HRC a bitch they make it "acceptable to openly hate someoneóa candidate, or a supporter of that candidateósimply because she is a woman"?

Such absurd lol hyperbole makes it that much easier for someone to ignore the serious people complaining about the real problems of sexism and racism.

With posts like this, ECB is part of the problem, not the solution. I catch myself wondering where The Stranger's faculty advisor is.

Posted by mikeblanco | June 4, 2008 2:44 PM
52

I still like Edwards. Does that make me sexist and racist?

Posted by gillsans | June 4, 2008 2:46 PM
53

Right on Erica. The volume, incoherence and bitterness of the negative responses serves only to validate your point.

Also, masculinity must go through the same process of reconstruction as femininity has gone through. Men still attempt to conform to a narrow macho ideals of "being a man". We can't make gender bias a thing of the past until masculinity is examined and redefined.

Posted by blank12357 | June 4, 2008 2:47 PM
54

Well, honestly I hate everything I know about Hilary Clinton, from her personal relationships to the way she treats co-workers to her political history to her connections to her personal style.

What one-to-three word summary IS considered "acceptable"?

And if it doesn't shock everyone who believes she's any better than your typical violent felon, then it's not strong enough to be accurate. Give me another one.

Posted by Ken Whitley | June 4, 2008 2:47 PM
55

ugh...WHY do I keep reading comments on ECB's posts?! - y'all can be incredibly insightful when you post throughout the rest of Slog, but somehow ECB brings out a general ineptitude that is completely disgusting.

And why the FUCK aren't other Stranger staffers pointing out this shit. Seriously, ECB isn't THAT radical (for real, she's usually pointing out some pretty damn obvious sexism that apparently is lost on the lot of you), so can't some of the other liberal, feminist Stranger writers start to think about gender (and DEFINITELY racial, sans Mudede) politics a little more often?

Posted by SaltLakeJaymes | June 4, 2008 2:50 PM
56

Fallacy: appeal to trolls.

Posted by Greg | June 4, 2008 2:55 PM
57

Erica, your overall point is correct and needs to be made. Thank you for making it. However, I have to agree that a couple of those comments are poor examples.

"Yup ladies..." is sarcastic, but is actually making a pro-feminist point. Vote for McCain, set back the rights of women thirty years. "WHY WON'T IT DIE?" isn't misogynistic. At most, it's a Terminator reference that equates Hillary Clinton with a mindless, robotic killing machine that can't be defeated and never gives up. Dehumanizing, sure, but not misogynist, and for anyone who thinks Clinton is holding on too long it's also funny as hell. You could also read that to refer to the campaign as a whole.

Posted by Cascadian | June 4, 2008 2:57 PM
58

One other thing that I thought of.

There's a huge difference between calling someone a bitch with your friends and calling someone a bitch on a comment board on the internet. When you call someone a bitch among friends, they know you, they know who you are, etc.

When you call someone a bitch online, particularly in a session where everyone is piling on, it becomes more like internet bullying.

Suddenly the word "bitch" takes on a larger identity. It becomes more of who you are, rather than just one word you've said.
And when multiple people are throwing around the words bitch and cunt, it can make others on the board feel hurt, marginalized, like they have no place, etc.

So in a sense I think it's a wise idea to try and keep internet discourse more civil than discourse between friends. Because you don't know who is reading, how they will read it, and how much they'll be hurt by your words.

You want to say Hillary Clinton is a criminal? That she deserves to go to jail? That she is the most horrible person ever to live?

Fine. But leaving her lady parts out of it will probably ease the discomfort of many of the women reading the thread.

Posted by arduous | June 4, 2008 3:00 PM
59

Erica. Mine was a joke but if the shoe fits. Let me know if you are going to be at the Slog Happy so I know whether to come or not.

And for the record I caucused for Hillary but she lost me by the way she and Bill campaigned after Pennsylvania.

Posted by elswinger | June 4, 2008 3:01 PM
60

No, all of this was a response to the insane posts about hating Obama, voting for Mccain and accusing Obama of being a thief and down right mean (and I am being very kind in my description here) made by Clinton supporters on Hillary's blog. You cannot present one with out the other to try and twist this into some sort of argument about misogynists. Of course if you are dishonest you'll leave out one half of the equation in an attempt to score some sort of points. Most but not all of the posts on the slog where honest reactions.

Posted by Dead Reagan | June 4, 2008 3:06 PM
61

uh, half those comments you quote there aren't remotely sexist.

and calling someone, male or female, a bitch doesn't necessarily make you misogynistic...just lazy and rude.

ecb's strident beating of this particular drum is getting so tired. At the very least, she could tie the Hillary bashing to the recent "Sex and the City" bashing to keep things interesting and up to date...

Posted by michael strangeways | June 4, 2008 3:13 PM
62

I think Hillary needs a good deep dicking...

Posted by ecce homo | June 4, 2008 3:16 PM
63

I like Katherine Sebelius, Chris Gregoire, Patty Murray, Debbie Stabenow, Janet Napolitano, Maxine Waters, Sally Clark, Deborah Senn, and a whole host of female politicians. Until March, I liked Hillary Clinton too, and would have been happy no matter who won.

But now? I fucking hate her. Don't fucking blame misogyny for her radical unpopularity among Obama supporters. Blame her completely dishonorable conduct after Super Tuesday. Misogyny is an excuse. She lost because she said, "Fuck the caucuses."

Posted by Gitai | June 4, 2008 3:16 PM
64

I would like to call for a moratorium on using cherry-picked comments on blogs/news stories as evidence of anything at all, ever, in any context whatsoever.

I know it probably won't stop anyone, but I'd still like to call for it.

Posted by tsm | June 4, 2008 3:19 PM
65

ECB:

"...this campaign has unearthed a shocking breed of vicious misogyny against Clinton..."

Or it could just be that some people really, really, really dislike her as an individual person regardless of her gender.

A well reasoned, and possibly rational, hatred of one woman (Hillary) does not make a person a misogynist any more than a well reasoned, and possibly rational, hatred of one man (Bush -or- Cheney -or- Rove) makes one a misandrist.

Pretending it does robs each word of its real and useful meaning.

To hate all women may be to hate Hillary, but to hate Hillary is not necessarily to hate all women. (I would bet that the latter is a much much larger group than the former.) Your premise belies either your intellectual dishonesty or your lack of intellect. Either way, it's sad.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | June 4, 2008 3:26 PM
66

ECB needs a good deep dicking...


and a brain transplant.

Posted by ecce homo | June 4, 2008 3:40 PM
67

So Hillary predicates her campaign on gender but it is "vicious misogyny" to reference that?

Here the full quote in case you are unfamiar with it.

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned,"
William Congreve
The Mourning Bride (1697)

Posted by Zander | June 4, 2008 3:47 PM
68

this is admittedly a *liiiiiitle* bit sexist, but i'm gonna throw it out there anyway: could it be that women are just more sensitive about name-calling than men?

to wit, i doubt anybody loses sleep over dick cheney being called a miserable, heartless, amoral asshole, and i don't think any man would consider that an attack on their entire gender.

Posted by brandon | June 4, 2008 3:54 PM
69

Chelsea Something-Something got 110 outraged posts on her very first topic thread, and we've not even broke 70 yet.

I think the Hillary/Misogyny subject is getting stale.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 4, 2008 3:59 PM
70

@ Brandon, but "miserable, heartless, amoral asshole," isn't gender specific. Everyone has an asshole.

I think you are right, that women can be more sensitive than men to name-calling, just as minorities/homosexuals/etc are more sensitive to it.

It's because name-calling, particularly sex or race laced name-calling has been used time after time to keep particular classes of people "in their places" so to speak. To keep them down, to keep them inferior.

It's not just the name-calling, it's the baggage that comes with gender-specific or race-specific name-calling.

Does that make sense?

Posted by arduous | June 4, 2008 4:01 PM
71

If people stopped hating (both "sides" of the "party"-yeah, you read right, there are now TWO sides to the dem's... wtf?) we wouldnt be in this mess and mccain wouldnt be winning.

New movement: hate the haters, period.

Posted by catnextdoor | June 4, 2008 4:04 PM
72

thank you, arduous. yes, that makes sense. however i find that "asshole," while *technically* not gender-specific, is a slur typically reserved for men. but if i rephrased that as "miserable, heartless, amoral prick", my point still stands.

but i get the bigger point about the historical baggage that goes along with sexist (and racist and homophobic, etc) slurs, which is why i personally don't use them. i know i get a little riled up everytime i hear a gay slur, so i get where you're coming from.

Posted by brandon | June 4, 2008 4:08 PM
73

There are many comments in this thread both insightful and otherwise. However, I'd like to note a special comment that in a righteous world will grow up to be delicious copy pasta:

#64
I would like to call for a moratorium on using cherry-picked comments on blogs/news stories as evidence of anything at all, ever, in any context whatsoever.

I know it probably won't stop anyone, but I'd still like to call for it.

Posted by tsm | June 4, 2008 3:19 PM

Posted by RL | June 4, 2008 4:12 PM
74

Thank you, Erica. This needed to be said. Agreed with @50 -- no need to restate.

Posted by Sarah | June 4, 2008 4:13 PM
75

I'm not sexist, if it was Pelosi vs Clinton instead of Obama vs Clinton, I would've voted for Pelosi in a heartbeat. With that said, i was the one who said "f$#@*%g B*!^h...." I just never really like Hillary. I would easily vote for a woman as president but not Hillary. I said what I said on Slog b/c I thought she was a drama queen last night. She continued her stomp speeches and didn't give Obama the praise that he did for her. She didn't change her tune at all. She made last night all about her. That's why I was annoyed and pissed.

Posted by apres_moi | June 4, 2008 4:24 PM
76

Hillary started it, Barack finished it.

Deal with it, sweetie.

Posted by monkey | June 4, 2008 4:41 PM
77

Since when is Hillary Clinton a feminist anyways? She's ridden on her husband's coattails her whole career, and she's ALWAYS taken the man's side in a series of high-profile sexual-harassment cases. She's about as much a feminist as Clarence Thomas.

Posted by Fnarf | June 4, 2008 5:08 PM
78

One of the problems with cunt and to a lesser extent bitch is that at some point they became "so terrible" as to never be justified using.

Then someone comes along for whom you want to express ultimate disgust. So what words are you going to lean toward?

Personally, I use cunt for men and women but I don't expect that to mollify feminists.

Posted by queerforobama | June 4, 2008 5:08 PM
79

Fnarf, I *think* you're missing the poing here, a little. I don't think this post is about EITHER Clinton or Obama.

I think the point is more about the sexism and racism that this campaign has unleashed. I think it's about how even on liberal internet pages, you can see epithets like "cunt" hurtled around without any thought to how that might make some of the women reading the comment board feel.

You can argue, "Tough shit. That's the internet for you," but frankly ... why? Why is that just the way it is? Why is it necessary to diminish all women to make your point about Hillary Clinton? Why are gender-specific epithets, with all their historical baggage the only kind of insults you can use?

Wouldn't we all be up in arms if someone on this board called Obama the n-word? Wouldn't we find that INCREDIBLY inappropriate?

A lot of people don't like political correctness. I get it. But as someone who has been called her share of both racial and sexist insults (mostly racial) I am glad that as a society we are moving away from that.

Anyway, it's a good way to reinvent language. Let's come up with some awesome non-race or non-gender insults to replace the old ones!

Posted by arduous | June 4, 2008 5:24 PM
80

Does sexism exist? Of course.

Does it explain Hillary's current behavior? Of course not.

I personally don't use the terms you've highlighted, Erica, but my frustration with Hillary and her campaign shares some of the sentiment.

The fact that we are talking about the loser today, on the day after we should be rallying around our nominee, underscores the reasons for this anger.

I wonder if pointing this out isn't your passive-aggressive way to avoid dealing with the fact that Hillary Clinton is acting very poorly right now, and inflaming her constituency to act even more poorly.

Politics is a contact sport, but at the basis of rational democratic politics is the notion that rules and laws will be respected. Mrs. Clinton is not respecting the rules, and is throwing bombs within her own party.

To that end, I give some measure of leeway to the anger and frustration being expressed by many on these boards, even when I'd prefer they choose their language more carefully. I don't jump to the conclusion that all are sexist for using certain words, but still, I'd prefer they chose more wisely.

But, the fact remains, and should not be overshadowed by this conversation. Hillary ran a divisive campaign, and is exploiting the frustration of her supporters with lies. She's sent her handlers out to the news shows and the blogs to continue these lies, and she's orchestrated a frenzy whereby otherwise progressive democrats are threatening to jump ship.

I lay that all at the feet of Mrs. Clinton, and I do not forgive those actions easily.

On the otherhand, Barack Obama has run, by most any measure, a respectful and even-handed campaign. He's had plenty of provocation to strike back, and has chosen a different route.

Hillary and her supporters are poisoning the water and denying our earned and deserved chance to celebrate our nominee.

Posted by Timothy | June 4, 2008 5:33 PM
81

Has seeing dehumanizing eliminationist rhetoric being used as legitimate campaign strategy got you feeling personally abandoned? By the people you had considered allies?

Well, there, there. Let me comfort you. I know how you feel. I've been there.

I always thought women were the political allies of black Americans. Their struggle mirrored our own; their enemies and obstacles appeared to be ours, and most times, what expanded their freedom and opportunities expanded the opportunities and freedom for us. Go team!

But then, in February, when Senator Clinton began playing the race card openly and unashamedly, women, our political allies, sat mute or worse, found ways to justify the dehumanizing rhetoric of the senator's campaign strategy. They even found it within themselves to say nothing as Senator Clinton openly fanned the flames of racial bigotry in the hearts of her supporters -- her full-blooded, hard-working, white American -- in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. "It wasn't racist," the ones who chose to speak explained. "It was just politics." Whites just prefer to vote for other whites.

Oh.

I'm not naive. I know racism exists in our society. I know that it is a part of our political landscape and part of most presidential election strategies. But, usually, race-baiting is the strategy of political players like Nixon and Reagan and Bush, Republicans, Right Wing-ers. Imagine my surprise to see it being used by a member of one of the Democrats' first families. Imagine my shock when it was being used and justified by a woman.

So, yeah, I feel your pain.

And I'm sad because I see so little evidence that you understand that you helped create this toxic environment. No, you didn't create racism, anymore than Obama supporters created misogyny. But just as it took Nixon to go to China, it took a liberal/progressive woman to make bigotry okay in the closed voting booth and in open debate of the electoral sphere. And you're seeing the effects of inciting bigotry on left. Where once it was shameful, now it's just politics. You should take some responsibility for that as you mourn the end of Senator Clinton's run for the Democratic nomination for president.

That doesn't excuse what's going on in the blogosphere and public discourse. But my sympathy is lessen--only a little--by the part you played in dragging down the public discourse to the level that is causing you pain.

Posted by joeyp | June 4, 2008 5:41 PM
82

Misogyny: hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women.

You can call someone a bitch, or a cunt, and really, really mean it, without thinking that of all women.

Listen, people call Joe Lieberman a prick all the time. Men are called assholes 24/7. Guys are called cocks and cocksuckers. But none of this translates into hatred of men (whatever the male version of misogyny would be), despite a, um, healthy group of women who may feel that emotion towards those of us with the 'Y' chromy.

A misogynist would think Clinton's a bitch for running - a person who just doesn't like Clinton will think she's a bitch for the way in which she does so. The same goes for her supporters. I think quite a few of them are just being obnoxious bitches about this campaign - not because they're women, but because of their actions. Bitches = assholes = pricks = etc. etc.

Really, enough with the victimization! Want to know why you hear all this 'bitch' language toward Clinton and/or her supporters? Because so darn many of them are women! If they were men they'd be assholes! They'd be stupid, insane fucks.

That's all I have to say on this. I don't blame her supporters, I blame her for instilling a passionate feeling of being victimized in her supporters. She did this. She went out of her way to feed this us vs. them, you're being sexist thing.

Posted by switzerblog | June 4, 2008 5:45 PM
83

The counterpoint to your argument, @82, is that a racist could just as easily say "You can call Obama a n***er without thinking it of all black people." And we would not let that pass.

I'm not sure I buy that myself - the use of bitch just doesn't quite have the same history, nor does it have the same implications in my mind - but, well, there it is.

Posted by tsm | June 4, 2008 7:00 PM
84

We have plenty of gender specific language used to describe both men and women we don't like. Using these words does not make a person sexist/misognystic. Feminist lose a lot of credibility when they make stupid arguments like this. An example of a mysognystic statment would be something like "Hillary should just stay in the kitchen. Everyone knows women just cry in the face of pressure" or some hateful crap like that. I have very rarely read a comment like that on Slog. Calling Hillary a "bitch" is fair game. The same way that calling Liberman a "prick" is.

Posted by jay | June 4, 2008 7:30 PM
85

Erica, I agree with you on this matter. I'm a big Obama supporter, but this has been shameful. I've had conversations with men and women this primary season over the last 5-6 months and have been surprised at how many times I've heard those words to describe HRC from people I know and consider progressive. I've had to stop the conversations to say I did not appreciate it and that they should refrain from using such language. I know it comes off as PC, but how hard is it to not resort to such behavior. I feel sorrow for HRC and the women who feel this way.

Posted by Deacon Seattle | June 4, 2008 10:03 PM
86

How many of Hillary's supporters supported her only because she is a woman or more to the point, a rich, white woman? Ahem, you were talking about blatant sexism, ladies? Where were all these whiny little white girls when Carol Moseley Braun ran for the Democratic nomination in 2004? Carol's qualifications meet and/or exceed those of Hillary Clinton. Of course, Carol isn't a rich, white woman, and Carol didn't ride her husband's coattails into office or into a presidential campaign. As a strong woman, Carol ran her presidential campaign on her own merit and record. But, where were all these so-called "feminists" in 2004??? Hillary minus Bill equals a not-so-viable candidate...and you damn well know it, sister. Feminists my ass...spoiled, little white girls who don't like it when they don't get their way is more like it. You didn't support Carol, and you don't support Obama. You were saying something about bias and discrimination, ladies? Please do go on and on and on...

Posted by Yawp | June 4, 2008 10:52 PM
87

I noticed I was quoted about crazy feminists. ecb, you either misread or added some kind of subtext to my quote because the intent wasn't that democrats don't need feminist, we just don't need the kind that hysterically hate obama and want hillary to run as an independent. or that claim that election was stolen. or are voting mccain. we can write crazy feminists off and not cater to them if they're going to act like nuts

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 4, 2008 11:19 PM
88

It really shocks me how many people willingly miss the point about using the word "bitch" or "cunt" to describe a woman.

To me, those type of insults should only be used with the closest of friends. People who already respect each other beyond their appearance or gender. It's just like a group of friends can call each other by racial slurs and no offense is taken. But outside that group? Not acceptable.

Really, can anyone seriously argue that "prick" is on the same level as "cunt"? There is just not the same history of oppression behind insults towards males, and I don't believe for a second that anyone here cannot understand that. It's just easier for them to ignore their own biases.

And for the record? Just because your girl-friend uses the word "bitch" to describe other women doesn't mean it's not misogynist to do so. Women are perfectly capable of self-hate.

Posted by Cinders | June 5, 2008 12:38 AM
89

In response to #88...

You asked whether "prick" holds the same severity as "cunt" among verbal insults. The answers are "yes" and "no."

Men are accustomed to hearing insults on a regular basis that reduce them to a sexual organ or some explicit, sexual act. Many enjoy such reduction, especially from the right lips.

As a rule, most men at some point in life learn to consider the source and discern the intent before reacting to such words when spoken to them or about them. Of course, some men prefer to learn the hard way, but learn they must.

It's not so much what you say as what you mean that's important. Address intent; don't obsess so much about verbiage.

Be mindful of what you give power.

Posted by Yawp | June 5, 2008 6:04 AM
90

The only thing entertaining about the whole ECB experience is scanning the comments for what elenchos has to say. Apparently even he's given up.

Posted by mistermix | June 5, 2008 7:18 AM
91

I can't believe that folks on defending using bitch and cunt to describe a woman. If a "very liberal" woman uses those words, it just proves that women can also be woman-haters.

However, pointing out Clinton's racism (and that of her followers) as #3rd comment in ECB's box does, is not sexist. Clinton has said explicitly racist things--calling her on it is not sexist.

Posted by Papayas | June 5, 2008 7:51 AM
92

I just listened to a podcast where Dan Savage says he once told a black gay man who couldn't get a date with white dudes that, while some white guys wouldn't date him because they're racist, most white dudes didn't date him because he's an asshole.

So please consider that, while some people don't like Hillary because she's a woman, most people don't like her because she acted like a total asshole -- she continued to wage a dirty campaign long after it was clear she would lose, and in fact questioned Obama's qualifications even after she HAD lost, not to mention said things transparently designed to appeal to racist voters. The way she has acted certainly makes me regret voting for her in the New York primary. Thank God that Obama won. We dodged a bullet.

Posted by Adam | June 5, 2008 11:01 AM
93

Melissa's got a few valid points, but the same people Erica is defending here (the Clinton supporters) include many people like the racist old woman at the DNC rules committee who are racists.

Even Hillary had that little passive-aggressive who-knows-if-he's-Muslim-I-can't-be-sure moment. If that's not race- or religion-baiting, I don't know what is.

Both sides are guilty of various offenses. The Clinton people aren't entirely innocent (Taylor Marsh, anyone?).

Posted by Ryan | June 5, 2008 11:02 AM
94

What Hillary has accomplished is making sure that a very large number of people will never take sexism seriously ever again.

You've more than done your bit to help make this happen.

Justifiable anger does not make irrational conclusions justifiable. Maybe some day when you're older, you'll understand this. In the meantime, constantly whining about something only makes you a constant whiner, not correct.

Posted by whatevernevermind | June 5, 2008 1:02 PM
95

Attention ECB: People on the internets are teh mean! Like, duh.

Posted by surprise surprise | June 5, 2008 2:06 PM
96

Sadly, sexism is alive. But do remember this: there's one black man in the senate and a dozen or so white women. Hopefully, the black man will soon be in the White House....

Posted by Thomas | June 5, 2008 2:39 PM
97

Bitch, Cunt, Skank, Whore, Slag, Hussy, etc.

Queer, Faggot, Cocksucker, Bender, Pufter, Fairy, etc.

Bastard, Asshole, SOB, Prick, Mother Fucker, etc.

Words may be as powerful or impotent as you give them power to be.

It's not so much what is said as what is meant that's important.

Be mindful of what you give power.

Competing for victim status is a vain self-defeating indulgence, an utter waste of life and time.

Posted by Yawp | June 5, 2008 6:25 PM
98

I have dozens of reasons to think ill of Hillary(greedy, bloodthirsty, pandering and shortsighted, hypocritical all come to mind). Her having a va-jay-jay isn't one of them.

Are all Obama supporters internet trolls? I find that hard to believe. Personally the inane bullshit I swallow when trolling internet message boards often makes me blanch whether the spewers are on "my side" or not.

Also:
Here's hoping our next female presidential candidate isn't the specter of a former administration that just won't let go, even Argentina got fucking tired of the Perons after a while. I find it hard to believe that the one woman qualified to get the nomination was a former FLOTUS.

Posted by Wackistan | June 6, 2008 10:07 AM

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