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What's wrong with this picture?

Davidson's picture
Thread: 

[I think I'm going to leave this sticky for a bit. The picture doesn't get any less wrong with time, and -- yes, I know this will surprise you -- the A-list just doesn't seem to be covering it. Susie did, though. --lambert]

Nothing, silly! Sure, Hillary Clinton may have been the first serious woman presidential candidate but that doesn't mean Jon Favreau, Obama speechwriter, mocking her gender (grope!) means anything. No, it's just "harmless fun" (read: misogynistic bigotry is fine by us!).


Alcohol isn't an excuse either since it doesn't cause you to be intolerant or hateful (see: Mel Gibson and his drunken anti-semitic, misogynistic tirade). Clinton is a symbol of women and girls whether she likes it or not because she was out there all alone, as a woman, seeking power so seeing this is just so...sad. Especially since he's my age and we're supposedly the generation that's less burdened by prejudice.

Clinton laughed it off, but the message is clear: being a girl or woman is a damn joke.

I'm a young man and already I'm exhausted from having to deal with misogyny--indirectly (just from the campaign season). I don't know how you women put up with this. It just doesn't stop. Ever.

UPDATE Here's another source: The Minneapolis Tribune's The Swamp. No shit. -- lambert

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

is knowing that there are good guys like you - and lambert, vastleft and others here, my partner, my father, etc. - out there. It helps to know that not all men are juvenile, hateful bigots (my new pledge is to call people who do or say sexist things bigots because 1) they are and 2) sexist apparently is not a perjorative term these days). Thanks!

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Maybe I'm just sex-obsessed, but whenever I see "sex" I think "Joy! Joy! Joy!" so charging someone as a "sexist" or railing against "sexism" confuses me on a deeper level. I know it's horribly wrong, but I don't feel it. And I'm glad you're calling these bigots...bigots. It's so damn odd that misogyny is the only form of intolerance and hatred that is called "disrespect" as if bigotry were a mere snafu. I mean, when a racist throws slurs, we condemn that person forcefully, but when a misogynist uses slurs (what most people consider generic "profanity"), all people can say is, "Hey, show some respect." Honestly, it turns a matter of bigotry, into a Ms. Manners issue.

I keep thinking about this photo: imagine the uproar if there was someone having an Obama in front of a watermelon. There's nothing wrong with eating a watermelon, just as there's nothing wrong with sexual contact, but for blacks and women, respectively, the bigoted associations are nonetheless there.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

On just knowing that we have allies, and on calling this behavior bigotry. I made that same decision the other day, calling sexism isn't enough, and neither is misogyny(We don't hate women, we love women, we married...), so bigotry it is, and bigotry it shall be called.

He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
- Sir William Drummond

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Maybe I'm just sex-obsessed, but whenever I see "sex" I think "Joy! Joy! Joy!" so charging someone as a "sexist" or railing against "sexism" confuses me on a deeper level. I know it's horribly wrong, but I don't feel it. And I'm glad you're calling these bigots...bigots. It's so damn odd that misogyny is the only form of intolerance and hatred that is called "disrespect" as if bigotry were a mere snafu. I mean, when a racist throws slurs, we condemn that person forcefully, but when a misogynist uses slurs (what most people consider generic "profanity"), all people can say is, "Hey, show some respect." Honestly, it turns a matter of bigotry into a Ms. Manners lesson.

I keep thinking about this photo: imagine the uproar if there was someone, a Clinton staffer no less, putting an Obama cutout in front of a watermelon. There's nothing wrong with eating a watermelon, just as there's nothing wrong with sexual contact, but for blacks and women, respectively, the bigoted associations are nonetheless there.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

is worth a thousand words.

I hope those guys get duly rewarded for their frat boy antics.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

I see a nice, cosy West Wing office in the very near future for these fine, upstanding Democratic role-models. But I wonder, where is the "Hos before Bros" t-shirt? Do you think he's wearing it under his "Obama Staff" t-shirt?

If this is the behavior they feel comfortable documenting and posting online, just imagine what they say and do that is unfit for public consumption.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

would have dared to have posed for an equivalent photo. This is just no matter what you do, you will always be a women. These are the jerks who laugh at John Stewart's ball buster jokes, these are the guys who nominated and elected Webb, these are the guys who are why I will never, ever, ever volunteer for another Democrat ever.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

These are the guys who made me realize back in April that I could never vote for Obama. Later extended to Democrats in general.

No, not these specific guys, but their frat-boy gangbangin' bros who somehow passed from indulgently tolerated 'boys will be boys' into mainstream discourse. Warhol could not have produced an image more representative of the campaign. I'd say Favreau was freakin' brilliant for concretizing the zeitgeist, except there's no evidence he understands such nuance.

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

Historiann's picture
Submitted by Historiann on

How do we know for sure who these idiots are? (Note: I'm not defending the idiocy on display, I just want to make sure you're not commiting libel.) It looks like something from Facebook or a social networking site, but there is no link.

Submitted by lambert on

So far as I can tell, there aren't very many of us trying to keep the record straight, so provenance and linky goodness on this stuff is important.

UPDATE Davidson, I added the link. That keeps the record straight, which is important. Thanks for posting this.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

I just want to underline the principle -- keep the record straight with a link in the original post. There are plenty of people willing to airbrush the primaries, but not so many working to keep the record straight. Good for you for getting right on this.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

I mean can't you take a joke? If you're a women, you must be on the rag. If you're a man and don't think it's funny, expect your sexual orientation to be questioned.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

And there's no worse "insult" than that! Since hating on The Gays is now finally considered wrong, homophobic slurs have been replaced with misogynistic ones (current favorite: the c-word). They don't call me that to my face (6'4" here), but I know what they say behind my back.

The humor defense was used during Jim Crow to excuse blackface (Just like the cutout: no blacks were actually involved). Everyone was in on the joke: blackness itself. Humor, just like any idea, has a message and laughter means that message has been heard loud and clear so when they tell me, "Hey, get a sense of humor" all I can think of is, "Accept the hate."

And accepting hatred only leads to disaster for women and girls. When children can engage in such violent hate so casually and enjoy it, it's because it's part of our very culture. Jesus, it's considered entertainment.

Here's a great site for men and boys out there who want to do something: Jackson Katz.

LostClown's picture
Submitted by LostClown on

The misogynistic slurs didn't so much replace homophobic ones as they have *always* been in use. Because the worse thing you could be is a woman.

“I do not think that word means what you think it means"

My etsy shop

Submitted by gob on

is what the Clinton camp seems to have decided to deploy:

Clinton senior adviser Philippe Reines cast the photos as evidence of increased bonhomie between the formerly rival camps.

"Senator Clinton is pleased to learn of Jon's obvious interest in the State Department, and is currently reviewing his application," he said in an e-mail.

Heh. Not sure I would interpret that as "bonhomie"....

We will push and push and push until some larger force makes us stop.

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

Here's the link. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-tra...

I think this picture answers the question of where Obama got the "periodically when she's feeling down, Hillary..." and "brush the dirt off your shoulders" and a million other nasty little digs. Jon Favreau penned those gems.

But what I want to know is who the girl is who is standing in back of this frat party and whether she ended up sleeping with one of them after they spiked her beer with grain?
She must feel really good about herself to hang around these jerks.

Come together at The Confluence

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

Incoming Obama administration director of speechwriting Jon Favreau (L) and a friend pose with a cardboard cutout of incoming Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a party. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

Assholes.

Submitted by lambert on

Davidson asks:

What's wrong with this picture?

The answer: Nothing. Otherwise, they wouldn't have allowed it to be taken. They didn't see anything wrong with what they did, and here we are.

And this is Obama's speechwriter!!

As the Strib comments:

A sked about the photos, Favreau, who was recently appointed director of speechwriting for the White House, declined comment. A transition official said that Favreau had "reached out to Senator Clinton to offer an apology."

Considering the photo, I don't think I would have used the phrase "reached out to Sen. Clinton" in that statement.

[rimshot. laughter]

Now, can we have two apologies?

1. From the Obama campaign for their vile misogyny, and

2. From all the Obama supporters who trashed us when we called bullshit?

The word you want, to go along with apology, is "craven." Although "grovelling" will do, as well.

"Reaching out" to Hillary is not nearly enough. Hillary's supporters need to be reached out to as well.

Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter.

P.S. And maybe, next, we can move on to the false charges of racism?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

goldberry's picture
Submitted by goldberry on

He could undergo some diversity training. He could end up as Hillary's speechwriter. He'll either do a great job working for a woman or his ass is glass.

I think we can all agree that it would be inappropriate for him to stay on as Obama's speechwriter and if Hillary is willing to take a crack at him, well, it will keep one more person off the unemployment lines.

Wow! Opportunities like these don't come around everyday. Favreau can see the world and learn to take direction from a woman. Puuuuurrrfect.

Come together at The Confluence

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

that it would be inappropriate for him to stay on as Obama's speechwriter, but something tells me that Obama won't feel the need to agree to that.

Submitted by lambert on

It's going to be another similarity with Bush. Never apologize for anything.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

LostClown's picture
Submitted by LostClown on

Ain't it the truth.

“I do not think that word means what you think it means"

My etsy shop

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

If this behavior isn't dealt with swiftly and severely, what's next? Young women cavorting suggestively with cardboard cutouts of iconic male figures?

Oh, wait....

Terribly sad, all of it. When I think of the horrible degrading treatment unendingly endured by pasteboard-backed images, treated as though they were nothing more than two-dimensional, unfeeling, inanimate objects and then simply disposed of like so much trash, I weep for the future of humanity. Or images of the future of humanity. Or something. Whatever, I weep; Oh yes, I weep.

[This year's Bill Frist Psychic Diagnostician of the Year Award goes to goldberry, who from the evidence of this photo alone identifies the two men as probable rapists and the young woman as an immoral drunken slut. Well done, that; no harm done by those comments, they're only human, not cardboard, and they definitely had it coming.]

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

and a couple of drunks. Tasteless, dumb, maybe even irresponsible - maybe - but nothing more than that, no huge global meaning or societal affront, at least no more so than the linked-to young women abusing a male cardboard cutout. Where's the outrage about that?

I'm from Earth, where humans sometimes do foolish things. The rest of you? Mars, Venus, Rings of Saturn, I wouldn't know.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

more like the seventh planet from the sun, based on your on-line behavior here...

Submitted by lambert on

Well, I'm glad to know we're not overly emotional, infantile, or simply aggrieved -- all those rhetorical tactics having been tried, and found wanting.

Now we're on another planet.

I suppose a cardboard cutout labelled "nigger" and hanging from a noose would be OK, then? Especially if it were in Mark Penn's White House office, say? Good to know.

NOTE Sweetie, get me rewrite. Could you get the words "one of whom is Obama's newly appointed chief speechwriter" in that comment? Right after "couple of drunks"? Thanks.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

scoutt's picture
Submitted by scoutt on

I'm glad to see you're as angry as I am. I was nervous that I'd get a hand slap for my little note. I like what you wrote much better!

Submitted by lambert on

I know what you were doing, but I thought this was a more appropriate contextualization.

We can definitely take the high road on this one, eh?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Realist's picture
Submitted by Realist on

. . . the linked-to young women abusing a male cardboard cutout. Where's the outrage about that?

"Cheerleaders Suspended for One Year for MySpace Photos" certainly qualifies as somebody getting outraged about it on my planet.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

It is a scattered thread, tough to keep up, so to recap:

"Where's the outrage about that?" refers to this thread, not elsewhere. As well, I've written that I think the young women were treated too harshly; an apology and some community service would have been plenty, and that only because they were in uniform when they made the video.

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

that this thread is specifically about the incident with Obama's speechwriter and a cutout of Hillary Clinton, right? Outrage about other incidents is a non sequitur. If you believe that a conversation about inappropriate behavior with cardboard cutouts of any kind would be useful, if you think that the subject warrants further exploration, please do write your own post about it. This thread, however, is about something considerably more specific.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Others had hinted, but you are right out there with it; I admire that.

Never the less, I see a connection, a salience, and so I asserted it. If you'd like to dispute that assertion, I'm happy to engage. Otherwise, it seems to me that if you are uninterested in this particular sub-direction of the thread then you are the one who needs to find some other topic to write about.

Realist's picture
Submitted by Realist on

"Where's the outrage about that?" refers to this thread, not elsewhere.

But the link made it clear they've already been adequately punished - as you yourself admit, possibly even too well punished for the offense they committed. Why would anyone express outrage over such a situation?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

R: "Why would anyone express outrage over such a situation?"
I don't know, but I don't understand all the outrage over this one either. My point, which I accept is not widely, ah, embraced, is that the two acts are more alike than not and neither of them deserve the level of response I'm seeing.

Realist's picture
Submitted by Realist on

I don't understand all the outrage over this one either

that in one case, the offenders were punished (possibly too severely) for what they did. In the other, the offenders got off without even a slap on the wrist - a BS "apology" was the only consequence.

I suspect that's the main cause of the outrage over one case but not the other. In the first case, justice was done. In the second, not so much.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

Between some high school kids and a cardboard cutout of Bart Simpson and Obama's head speechwriter and a cutout of the next Secretary of State?

Submitted by lambert on

If he does, he won't say.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

I think I know the gaming pretty well by now -- though I'm always willing to be surprised!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Really important to not show any irreverence for those in power. In that light, then, hopefully everyone will join in and condemn this sort of stereotypical imagery (sooo NSFW).

No, I don't see any difference, zuzu, except that this one has Magic Power Incantation words attached so it is assigned Great Meaning, whether it actually has any or not.

That and of course the other one with the young women (kids? ts, tsk, zuzu!) has them using a male image as a sex object so that's OK, no problem, sweet little lambs probably had no idea what they were doing - some dirty boy probably gave them the idea! If it was actually that sexism, degradation of the opposite sex, is the issue, then you wouldn't see any difference between the two instances either. (For the record, I think the cheerleaders got a bum rap. An apology and some community service would have been more than enough punishment.)

If the cutout was not of Hillary, would there be an uproar? No.

If the men were not associated with Obama, would there be an uproar? No.

So there's what is really important: two magic words, "Hillary" and "Obama". Take either one of them away and it would be as though nothing happened.

And what the hell is this insanity of trying to dump shit on the woman in the background? There's no evidence here that she can even see what's being posed for the camera, so how can she in any way be responsible? Even if she could see it, what was she supposed to do? Jump the guys and rescue the poster? Destroy the camera? These attacks on the woman, by all available visual evidence totally disconnected from the supposedly outrageous act, show how completely over-the-top these reactions are. Waaaay out of proportion.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm betting that if the cardboard cutout were of Nancy Pelosi, and the guy doing the groping was, say, lambert, that bringiton's response would be very different.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

But no, it wouldn't make any difference to me. This display is tasteless, dumb, foolish and, on a couple of levels, irresponsible, but it isn't outside the bounds of what apparently is typical human behavior for both sexes. Is it worth condemning? Sure. Is it somehow the key image for all that's wrong with society? Hardly. Should the offenders be punished in some way? Probably, but not with much more than an apology and a good butt-chewing by their superior.

But hey, why take my word? Put me to the test, post that photo!

Submitted by lambert on

More offpoint vapidity:

Is it somehow the key image for all that's wrong with society? Hardly.

The point of the post, and at least of my comments, is to be found -- and readers, please work with me here, because I think you'll find this tip useful -- in the lead, or first paragraph, of the post, where Davidson writes:

Sure, Hillary Clinton may have been the first serious woman presidential candidate but that doesn't mean Jon Favreau, Obama speechwriter, mocking her gender (grope!) means anything. No, it's just "harmless fun" (read: misogynistic bigotry is fine by us!).

The point of the post, therefore, isn't to bring a nebulous bill of indictment for "all that is wrong" against an ill-defined (and therefore unnaccountable) "society," but to point out the misogynisic bigotry is no barrier to advancement within the Obama administration -- which validates the experience of many of us during Obama's campaign. There is a specific individual (Favreau) who should be held accountable by his boss (Obama). I'd say fire him -- as a staffer who has a cardboard cutout labelled "nigger" in his office certainly would be -- but I venture to predict that this little episode will show that in the Obama administration, loyalty trumps all else; even justice.

In future, could we make the misdirection just a tad less crass? It would be greatly appreciated. I do understand that pointing out unpleasant truths can get in the way of writing memos to John Podesta, but sometimes we just have to make sacrifices.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Apologies for the hyperbole; perhaps I overstated the case. However, there are more writers here than just you, lambert; this is as I understand it an open discussion; and there are certain comments...

Upthread -

DCBlogger: These are the jerks who laugh at John Stewart's ball buster jokes, these are the guys who nominated and elected Webb, these are the guys who are why I will never, ever, ever volunteer for another Democrat ever.

Valhalla: These are the guys who made me realize back in April that I could never vote for Obama. Later extended to Democrats in general. No, not these specific guys, but their frat-boy gangbangin' bros who somehow passed from indulgently tolerated 'boys will be boys' into mainstream discourse.

Perhaps I've misundestood, but those seem like a broad-brush indictment of societal ills to me.

As well, this series of gems -

goldberry: what I want to know is who the girl is who is standing in back of this frat party and whether she ended up sleeping with one of them after they spiked her beer with grain? She must feel really good about herself to hang around these jerks.

oceansandmountains: Democratic Party has become and why I hate it. Aside from the drunk a**holes, who is the female in the background? Another "feminist" blithely okay with sexist stupidity.

The whole of it, to my mind, instructs us that anyone standing around, however unwittingly, while someone else does something dumb is equally culpable, that guilt by association is both normal and legitimate, that anyone who continues in any sort of relationship with the Democratic Party or anyone who is a member of or candidate of the Democratic Party now or ever is inherently supportive of misogyny and must be shunned, that this act with a cardboard cutout somehow typifies majority male behavior and exemplifies the plight of women in 21st Century America, and to top it off puts forth a position that impugning without foundation the character and moral integrity of unknown others (The Woman In The Background) is perfectly acceptable, entirely justified, so long as the Magic Good-and-Evil Words "Hillary" and "Obama" are invoked.

There's so much wrong with this line of thinking it would take a book to sort through, but I haven't the time this morning; RL, I'm afraid, so farewell for now and have a nice day. I'll stay at it, though, in bits and pieces; wouldn't want to disappoint my loyal readership. Meanwhile, apologies again for the hyperbole - it surely wasn't needed.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

typical behavior for both genders? Of course it is. I've spent plenty of time around women in social settings, more than enough to have heard things from the mouths of women talking about men that would peel the paint off a new barn. There's no shortage of denigration of men by women, or for that matter of women by women starting in junior high.

Men are no prize, but women are hardly angels.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

That we support degradation of men by women. We don't, but that argument is really pointless.

There is no such thing as institutionalized sexism that doesn't directly benefit men, but you you keep seeming to assert that individual instances of gender prejudice by women is equal to centuries of oppression. Or the fact that we can get jobs based on our beauty, but not the merits of our abilities, is something we as women should be happy about. Next you'll be saying, there is no thing as sexism, because bars don't have "Men Drink Free" night.

He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
- Sir William Drummond

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

and didn't get that they were mocking insensitivity to sexist behavior by BOTH sexes? The "fine line between clever and stupid" is that if a woman is the object of diminishment then it is a bad thing, but if a man is the one being dominated then it is perfectly acceptable. That Is The Punchline.

Sorry. Shouldn't have raised my voice there but c'mon; the writers of Spinal Tap got it, oh yes indeed, and so do I.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

...you're a big Warren Farrell fan.

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

Submitted by lambert on

I'm not seeing a cardboard cutout of a man being dominated. Should I be?

I am seeing a whole cadre of straw men being ripped apart, but that's what happens, and should happen, to stupid arguments.

So, please, exactly what does "and so do I" refer to?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

That famous skit, in order to prevent its mischaracterization as some kind of equivalent example? Yes, I do.

It wasn't that it was a man being dominated, it was that it was the rock star artist who made the album who was portraying himself being dominated (and not in the "oh poor me" Stephen King's 'Misery' way either). It was that it was an obvious and ironic turn on the abasement of women groupies by rock stars, it was that the other artist "got it" and turned it inward towards himself as a rock star in protest. It was that the boys (wannabe rock stars) in Spinal Tap had to be spoon fed that there was a difference. That there even WAS a difference. That THEY were the butt of the joke/protest. Again.

Spoonfeeding, much like what has to be done here, and with the same spoon Shakes is using to empty the ocean.

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

LOLz

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

"Still no acceptance of that by anyone here, but the only difference I see between them is that this event has the Magic Words "Hillary" and "Obama" involved. "

Still no acceptance REQUIRED.

A fine line between clever and stupid indeed.

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

h: Still no acceptance REQUIRED.

I made no demand, no mention of "REQUIRED", just an argument. Plenty of requirement being peddled from your side though; anyone who disagrees about the scope of meaning - never mind the ultimate correctness of the act - is "stupid." Lovely. Charming. And that would be bad enough but then you bring a pop culture example in that actually proves the very point I'm making, that cultural diminishment of the opposite sex is universal and deep-seated in human behavior and is perpetrated by both sexes, and somehow you seem to think it supports your claims.

You want to be careful of swinging the Stupid Club around; might hurt yourself.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

When an individual, who apparently has to have ironic satire embedded within an iconic, ironic satire explained to them, basically calls you stupid, is it not a compliment?

BTW, I know this is difficult to understand, but I can say "not required" in response to your sentence (which I quoted) without it having been explicitly called out by your sentence. Do you not even read what you write? You write that "acceptance of the "Magic Words"" baloney like it is supposed to make a difference, when it is in fact THE WHOLE POINT that it is NOT accepted.

Please keep this up Bringiton, your defense of the indefensible does you credit.

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

Submitted by Randall Kohn on

And I suspect I'm not the only one.

JFK has been shot, we miss him a lot
He always knew what to do

-- Philly Cream

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

If a couple of drunken white boy McCain staffers had set up Obama cutout in front of a fried chicken and watermelons - or since this is a physical molestation, lynching him in effigy - because they thought it was funny would that be similarly harmless and hilarious? Would it tell you nothing about them? Would there be outrage over it or would the excuse they were just drunk kids having fun with a cutout work? I don't think it would because they would be expected to know about the context of their actions - that they were dealing with the first black man who was a serious contender for the presidency and it would be inappropriate to treat him in a degrading manner using racist stereotypes. What's different about this?

This isn't simply lusting after some beautiful woman, it's a hostile act. They are redefining her - an opponent for the highest office in the land - not as a powerful politician, but as a sex doll, one that can be subjected at their will to their groping. It's not a sign of lust, it's a sign of anger (just as rape isn't about sex, it's about power, not everything sexual is all in good fun, eh?).

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

There's already been a cutout hung in effigy.

Assuming that we can agree that murder is not equivalent to assault, we can agree that hanging an effigy is worse than groping an effigy and deserves a greater punishment. In this case, the bad actors got a suspension from school and community action. There won't likely be any criminal charges because it was apparently a thoughtless prank and not a true attempt to intimidate or threaten.

This groping of an effigy, and yes it is a hostile act not an act of desire, strikes me as a much less serious dumbass act that people sometimes do. This is the same sort of weak impulse control and poor judgment behavior as the young women who videotaped a bump-and-grind with the Bart cutout. Still no acceptance of that by anyone here, but the only difference I see between them is that this event has the Magic Words "Hillary" and "Obama" involved. Still no admission here that if it was a cutout of someone else, or the guys were not associated with Obama, that this would not even be a topic of discussion. That may be good or bad, but it is true; without the sensational aspect, this would not even be noted.

As I wrote, they should apologize and at least one of them has. But it is still just a cardboard cutout and no one, no actual person, was physically harmed. There are real instances of misogyny all around us. In my opinion, raising this kind of dumb error in judgment to the level of an actual assault, demanding that the offender lose his job, condemning others in the room for not stopping the act even though there's no evidence they were even aware it was occurring, is counterproductive because it diminishes and trivializes the importance of actual acts of sexism and violence.

Women are indeed subjected to sexist and misogynistic behavior on a regular basis, and it needs to stop. Likewise, men are subjected to stereotypical behavior that demeans and degrades. Watch any sitcom or cartoon on TV; every single male is portrayed as irresponsible, ignorant, unsophisticated, lazy, dumb and uninterested in anything besides sports, booze, food and - of course - lusting after women. There's plenty to do about improving how human beings behave towards other human beings. Treating a goof at a party as though it was anything more than that, to me, distracts from the very major problems we need be talking about.

But that's all just my opinion.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Were they drunk when they had it printed up? The excuse that this is "drunken" behavior doesn't hold up. That's bullshit. Somebody created this cutout (when they were sober) and brought it to this "party" (or had it lying around for God knows how long) for the express purpose of demeaning it. Those someones are Obama's chief speechwriter and other "Obama Staff". Maybe these pictures were taken of these assholes because this party was in her honor, "forgiving" Clinton for her earlier behavior, now that she is "part of the team". God knows what they did to it before.... Is it wrong to speculate? It would be wrong not to!

These idiots should be canned, they make Obama look bad by demeaning his own Secretary of State. If he doesn't discipline them (by firing them), he undermines her credibility in her position to other countries. Would Putin need to listen to a damn thing she says as having the authority of the President, when the President's own staff can mock her with impunity?

If this "chief speechwriter" is apologizing it's not because he's sorry he did this, he's just sorry he got caught. And is defending this shit really the way you want to expend your formidible (well at least consistent) talent for argument? Has your anti-anti-Obamaism reached the critical mass such that just about any damned thing is cool with you?

Get a damn grip.

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

in the Bill Frist Psychic Diagnosis contest. Lovely job of whole-cloth fictionalization, but a bit too self-serving for my tastes. YM, of course, MV.

Oh, and news flash - Putin doesn't give a damn what Obama thinks, never mind his SoS.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

As I asked, and you could not answer (in a way that was consistent with your argument):
"Were they drunk when they had it printed up? The excuse that this is "drunken" behavior doesn't hold up. That's bullshit. Somebody created this cutout (when they were sober) and brought it to this "party" (or had it lying around for God knows how long) for the express purpose of demeaning it. Those someones are Obama's chief speechwriter and other "Obama Staff". "

Did I fictionalize the cardboard picture? No, you have no answer because there is no answer and you know it. Your argument in defense of these senior Obama staffers is ridiculous and laughable. You equate them to cheerleaders and Hillary Clinton to Bart Simpson? Is that how pathetic you are? Are those the base qualifications necessary for Obama's chief staff writer? To be on par with high school cheerleaders who are suspended from school for their antics? Apparently the answer to each of those questions is, yes, including that you are that pathetic in your anti-anti-Obama derangement.

"Don't swing the Stupid Club around so much, you might hurt yourself."

Indeed.

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

Submitted by hipparchia on

teenagers vs 27 years old
high school vs presidential staff
fictional character vs real person....

some other layers too, but i'm not going to spend hours at my computer dissecting them all.

symbolism is a very powerful means for reaching the human psyche, which is why societal disapproval of the burning, hanging, groping, bashing, etc of effigies is so important.

public apologies, if they're of the right tenor, would be sufficient atonement for the misogyny and stupidity, but herb's right, on the world stage, obama can't afford to be seen as allowing his junior staff to get away with demeaning his senior people like this.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

then I have to run.

teenagers vs 27 years old
The female brain is fully wired and mature by 18. The male brain is not fully wired and mature until the late 20's and in many cases remains damaged and disconnected by testosterone poisoning for life. Men and women are, on average, very different in how they process thought and manage impulse control. Sometimes that deficit can be overcome, sometimes it slips out. If teenage women are given a pass on the basis of maturity, then men up through their 20's should get the same consideration. Science, so inconvenient.

high school vs presidential staff
Ethics are situational? Hmm. Thought you were on the other side of that argument. The fundamentals of right or wrong are IMHO no different between the two. What is made of them, however, certainly does seem to vary depending on the presence of the Magic Good-and-Evil words "Hillary" and "Obama" and that is the only difference I see.

fictional character vs real person....
So? Would this event have been OK with you if the cutout was of Wonderwoman? Assault of an image is bad, but assault of an image of an image is OK? Makes my head spin, that does.

Plus, and we've talked about this before, use of the word "stupid" with regard to me is offensive. I keep letting it slide, just objecting but not fully rebuking, and it keeps on happening. Something is wrong with that dynamic.

Submitted by lambert on

She said your equivilation is stupid. Equivilation generally is.

The talking point on "magic words" is stupid, too; see various comments upthread. Presumably, though, it will take in or misdirect only the stupid, or those taken by constant repetition. Not many stupid people here, fortunately.

Your arguments are not you, right? There are plenty of cases where only a really bright person can invent arguments of the requisite stupidity; cases that fall under the heading of "defending the indefensible," for example. My view is that this thread is one of them.

NOTE Often -- please follow me closely, here -- the subject line gives an indication of the subject of a comment. In this case, Hipparchia's subject line reads "Your equivalation is stupid...." It doesn't read "You are stupid." See how easy? No thanks necessay...

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

but 'equivilation' is not a word.

its so not a word that reading it hurts.

That being said, we really do need a word that indicates when someone is drawing an equivalence in an attempt to equivocate. So maybe you should announce a neologism, and go with it! ;)

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

just to say 'boys will be boys.'

The female brain is fully wired and mature by 18. The male brain is not fully wired and mature until the late 20's and in many cases remains damaged and disconnected by testosterone poisoning for life.

Is that really a central point in your argument? Boys will be boys (they can't help it, it's the testosterone!), so it's no big deal?

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I was about to ask him why he hated men so much. In one breath he bitches about how sitcoms demean men*, by portraying them as boorish oafs, yet he himself calls men boorish oafs. Boggles the mind, huh?

*And also acts like that that portrayal isn't objected to by feminists, since it perpetuates the standard that men are boors who have to be taken care of by women, thus restricting the acceptable roles of women in society. But you know, we are just being touchy about this.

Big question, Obots(not that you are one BIO, just a general reference), if this was McCain's speechwriter, and a cutout of Michelle Obama, what would your reaction be?

He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
- Sir William Drummond

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Why would my reaction be any different?

A photo of lambert groping Nancy Pelosi, on the other hand, would I'm afraid be so disturbing on so many levels that I would just collapse into uncontrollable laughter and be unable to formulate any sort of condemnation. I'm sure that's wrong of me, terribly insensitive, but still; I wouldn't be able to do anything but laugh.

As to feminists condemning the diminishment of men by their portrayal in popular culture, it sure isn't something I hear much about. But we should hear a lot about it, because if that isn't fixed than the behaviors those references reinforce will continue to play out in unacceptable ways, unacceptable for both genders.

Submitted by lambert on

Well, would it be a laughing matter if the cardboard cutout was eating watermelon, had a noose around its neck, and a sign saying "nigger" on it?

By your standards, yes:

1. As long as the cutout was put up by a man young enough to be

2. Testerone-addled and

3. Drunk.

The alternative: Since the cutout is a woman, it's OK with you. That's the bottom line here.

If that's not the bottom line, please distinguish the two cases.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

Thank you for finally explaining this so clearly.

As to feminists condemning the diminishment of men by their portrayal in popular culture, it sure isn't something I hear much about.

You are lacking a basic familiarity with the feminist movement.

I don't have the time (or the energy) to create a full reading list for you, but this would be a great place for you to start -- an entire tome devoted to just this topic.

Submitted by hipparchia on

As to feminists condemning the diminishment of men by their portrayal in popular culture, it sure isn't something I hear much about. But we should hear a lot about it, because if that isn't fixed than the behaviors those references reinforce will continue to play out in unacceptable ways, unacceptable for both genders.

it's true that i part ways philosophically with now and many other feminists over how much effort women are expected to put into solving the problems of men in the guise of but it affects women too!

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...they don't neglect their duties toward men while they pursue 'other' interests would be hilarious if the entire subject weren't so serious. I mean it's ok for women to work outside the home as long as they don't forget to do their housework and have dinner ready before hubby is home. Seriously, wtf??!!???!! The very reason women as a class are so far behind is *because* every group under the sun has asked women to put their cause first and by large numbers and too many damned times women have agreed to do so -- to wait our turn because freedom and equality just can't happen all at once and oh be sure to help out over there because John needs you! Problem is our turn never comes and there's always someone else we're told that has it 'worse' and oh we don't have it 'so bad,' right? Don't you dare ever compare your suffering to the suffering of men.

Ugh!!!!!!!!!

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

Submitted by hipparchia on

in the spirit of full disclosure, i should probably add that i'm in favor of working not just for equality, but also for my definition of equity, where women hold all or most of the important and powerful positions in society, government, business, etc.

which means that, perversely, making every single issue a 'women's issue' might ultimately be a good strategy, but we would have to co-opt every single issue all at once, including the bailouts, the economy, foreign policy, how presidential elections are run....

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Is to refute the claimed diminished capacity defense for the cheerleaders based on their implied immaturity. In terms of neuronal network maturity, there is little difference between a late teens woman and a late 20's male. It isn't that "boys will be boys", if I'd meant that I'd have said that. It is that boys are boys and there's no way around it.

Was this act wrong? Yes. In terms of guilt or innocence, right or wrong, maturity doesn't need to be considered. But in terms of punishment, it surely should be. The punishment given the cheerleaders for their act with a cardboard cutout was in my opinion too severe; consistent with that, my opinion is that the punishment for this act with a cardboard cutout deserves an apology and if that is sincerely given then that should be the end of it.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

I've never heard of male impulse control/brain development extending to 27. However, maturity isn't a matter of just chemical washes and even the most hardened proponent of sociobiology (and I truly shudder at the word) will admit that.

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Beat to a pulp and another long day tomorrow, just stuck my nose in for a bit and now I'm off to shower and have a drink and collapse. Sorry, old age, what can I say?

Do your own assessment though, based on available evidence from your own experience. At what age have the majority of young men you've known started to act fully like adults?

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...because the anecdotal is what I was taught to most distrust in terms of making broad based claims. I do engage in it more than I should but usually not to get to this big of a generalization. I think most people would conclude from the anecdotal that American men appear to mature at slower a pace than American women but making that a hard and fast conclusion encourages people to ignore social and cultural influences in favor of absolute sex/gender differences that may or may not actually exist. IOW, men may appear to develop slower because we tell them 'boys will boys' and place fewer 'maturity' pressures on them than we do females of the same age or for any number of social and cultural reasons. There could be a combination of social and biological pressures or any number of other reasons. Hell, we may simply observe it more because we've internalized a stereotype and have in turn made stereotype affirming observations. We simply don't have enough information from what I've seen to make any conclusions in any way on this.

I do recall evidence of impulse control and brain development extending into the late teens and sometimes as far as 20-22. I don't recall it being sex specific, although males are typically studied more often so it's usually safe to say that we can draw conclusions about males from most of them.

btw, I'm not trying to beat up on you here either. I've just never seen any evidence of this extending so far into adulthood and/or being exclusive (save exclusivity by merit of the study only studying a certain group).

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

Submitted by hipparchia on

yes, i did once accuse you of being willfully stupid on an issue, in a comment in which i first noted that you are far from being a stupid person.

as lambert points out, in this comment i called your equivalation stupid. you yourself, otoh, have an impressive number of working brain cells. not that i always agree with the conclusions those cells come up with.

Submitted by hipparchia on

yep, i've seen some of those studies. also some that conclude that the brain reorganization you speak of extends into the mid-20s for both sexes. and this whole malebrain-femalebrain thingy is far, very far, from being as certain as you keep averring. literature search literature search literature search, dude; not an easy task, given that the applicable sciences range from fmri to sociology. even so, i refuse to do your homework for you.

situational ethics? short answer: yes. consider killing a person -- ok in self defense? defense of another's life? capital punishment? war?

the rest of it, meh. like davidson says, this is exhausting.

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

assault seriously - even if it's a parody. An Obama staffer, drunkenly groping a cardboard cut out of his boss' main opponent and one of the most accomplished women of his generation, is totally unacceptable. And then posting the picture of his Facebook page - unbelievable. Democrats are supposed to understand these things.

Rape is the weapon of choice against women and lynching, against black men. We have yet to see any Clinton staffers or volunteers mocking Obama's race but we see repeated instances of Clinton being subjected to misogynist assaults. And obots dutifully defending him.

This guy should be fired and no Democrat should hire him again. His career in politics should be over. This is no different than showing up in black face at a party and performing a minstrel routine - it's totally out of line. And no one would rehire a staffer who did that.

Quit comparing obama staffers to high school cheerleaders. It's ridiculous.

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

Submitted by jawbone on

George Fox University in Oregon announced Tuesday that four students have been punished for lynching a life-sized cardboard cutout of Sen. Barack Obama last week.

Note that the perpetrators were punished.

The Newberg, Ore.-based Christian college told about 1,000 students who attended a general assembly where the news about finding the four students was broke that the guilty parties were punished with “immediate long-term suspension and public service.” The university, citing federal privacy rules, did not reveal the names of the culprits. But more charges could follow. FBI officials say they’re looking into whether the suspects violated any civil rights when they hanged the Obama likeness from a tree with fishing line around the neck.

Oh, my!

A sign was taped to the cutout: “Act Six Reject.” Act Six is a campus minority scholarship and leadership program. “A criminal investigation is much more rigorous than an academic one, obviously,” said Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman. “Regardless of the students’ intent, the image of a black man hung from a tree is one of the most hurtful symbols of racism in American history,” said Brad Lau, the university’s vice president of student life. “Displays such as this have no place on a campus that is dedicated to living out the teachings of Jesus.” (My emphasis throughout.)

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

Go to he*l - and taking your fraud-of-a-boss with you.

How dare they. "They" who stole "Yes we can" from Deval Patrick and David Axelrod and who think they can demean a female Senator and now SOS with their stupid antics.

Go to he*l - and stay there.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

otoh: feh. i've seen a lot worse. been subject to a lot worse, personally. doesn't phase me, and i doubt it gave HRC a moment's pause. subcomment to this part a) however, i don't recall seeing many HRC staffers standing around a cutout of obama eating a watermelon, as someone upthread supposed for the purposes of comparison. subcomment b) yeah, we've surely not come a long way, baby. HRC isn't the only woman, not by a long shot, to suffer the frat boy pre-rape treatment in effigy. for feminists and our friends, it's an important visual reminder of what struggles still remain in our common futures. no, sexism is not dead among "liberals" and "progressives."

otoh: like i said, feh. what bothers me about this shot? that the obama staffers were stupid enough to pose for it with a staffer shirt on. can you say "dumb, unprofessional, amateur, and not ready for prime time?" more than the other stuff, that's what bothers me. it shows that obama's got people on his team who, despite all the talk about being the New Media campaign, still don't get it, nor the power of images and the reasons why they need to be more careful.

if a shot like this gets out, that's bad message control. which suggests they're going to get schooled in the all-important game of Village Media politics. well, i guess we're doing our part and helping them learn a bit, before the real shit starts flying, or something. but anyway, are you all really that surprised?

just who do you think we're talking about, when we say "the village?" people who come from environments where this behavior is normal, natural, and "funny." none of the dem campaigns this year lacked in Village staffers, let's all remember that. it's why some people will never work as insiders (because items like the post topic photo truly and honestly disgust them) and some will always be chosen (as it remains a nonissue to them and their circles).

Submitted by lambert on

that "flawless campaign" == "free pass from our famously free press." They were never tested.

Seriously, does anybody seriously think this is an isolated incident? Heck, it was so normal, so socially normed (even normative) that the guy put it on his FaceBook page. But nobody ever wrote about it. I wonder why?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by hipparchia on

didn't the linked-to article or blog post or whatever say that the photo had only been up for two hours before it got taken down? if so, then kudos to the sharp-eyed one who caught it.

Submitted by lambert on

When it might have mattered.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by hipparchia on

can't disagree with you on that.

otoh, letting it play out to this length has been a far better demonstration that we're not living in a post-sexist world, as so many had believed [or wanted us to believe].

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

It's about the fact that any woman, at any time, can be subject to this kind of demeaning, reductivist bullshit as a condition of being female in public. And you can't escape it even if you're rich and powerful, even if you have the privilege to not be bothered by it because of your wealth and power. But the fact that she had to spend a moment's time even responding to this crap because Obama's speechwriter and his buddies think absolutely nothing of engaging in this kind of behavior, and in fact think so highly of themselves for doing so that they put it on their Facebook profiles, means that she has different working conditions than the men who've been in her position do.

And again, this is from the guy who writes those lofty words for Obama. Apparently he just thinks they sound nice, he doesn't think about what any of it might mean.

Submitted by gob on

It's about the fact that any woman, at any time, can be subject to this kind of demeaning, reductivist bullshit as a condition of being female in public.

This is the basic move in keeping women from full participation in humankind.

We will push and push and push until some larger force makes us stop.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

It's telling that the guys had no worries whatsoever about any political blowback from it. And, hey, why should they? Hating on women is socially acceptable.

Let's face it, you'd never catch staffers doing this to an Obama cutout with watermelon because even if they privately thought it was hilarious, they'd know it was political poison. This isn't political poison, it's just a good laugh.

And, yes, a lot of women - including Hillary I'm betting - are routinely subjected to worse than this. But the attitude behind it - entitlement - is almost always the same.

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't. " - Eleanor Roosevelt

Submitted by jawbone on

From the 3rd paragraph:

...unless Barack Obama speaks out, his campaign's chilling acceptance of the gender bias stirred by our national media will also remind many of Ronald Reagan's acceptance of the race-baiting southern strategy - because if Obama accepts the presidency, at least in part, because of abject sexism, a brutal gender attack on a female rival - the most famous female Democrat in history - he will set feminism in our country back a generation.

The whole thing is worth reading--and note that he had to close comments due to the flamefest his piece (and, I gather, orginal title) generated.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

the Amazing Whiteness of the people in the shot. let's hope there were dozens of nonwhite folks at that obama staffers party who had the good sense to get the hell out of the camera view when that was being taken. somehow, tho, i'm not so sure.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

the Amazing Whiteness of the people in the shot.

I am given to understand that the worst bullying in the caucus states was perpetrated by young white men against older women.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...clones too. The three guys look alike, especially, the two in the foreground.

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

oceansandmountains's picture
Submitted by oceansandmountains on

Democratic Party has become and why I hate it. Aside from the drunk a**holes, who is the female in the background? Another "feminist" blithely okay with sexist stupidity.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...a bit of a break. Check out her body language -- she's not comfortable with what's going on. She's got her hands on her hips, her smile is dropping, and is giving them a sideways glance -- all classic tells indicating anger/annoyance.

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

Submitted by hipparchia on

and if i didn't have a zillion other things to do, i'd photoshop her jumping up and bashing those dudes over the head with a beer bottle.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

That would be awesome!

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

oceansandmountains's picture
Submitted by oceansandmountains on

I don't see anything reproachful about her in the photo. And channeling CD, why the HELL would any woman in her right mind let herself be photographed in a**hole-a-palooza. You'd have thought any woman would have skated right out of camera range there.

If it weren't for the Obama Staff shirt, I would swear we were looking at a Young Republican party.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...and in what looks like pretty near the corner of the room so for all we know she thought she was out of the picture. Camera lenses have a way of really compressing distance/space to a point where it's often impossible to judge the real distance. Tabloids take advantage of that aspect, especially with telephotos, all the time to create very misleading images. I wish we had the other photo --there were apparently two-- to compare what's going on. At any rate, her body language doesn't look pleased to me but I suppose that's a matter of interpretation.

Also, I'm not sure the guys are actually drunk which in some ways makes the whole thing even worse. Where are the other beer bottles? If they're drinking shouldn't there be some bottles on the table behind them? That kitchen island is absolutely spotless!

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

Democrats are supposed to be the party that cares about equality. Is it okay now to discard all that "in the heat of the primaries"?

Iphie's picture
Submitted by Iphie on

Make it more or less acceptable? Is 'in the heat of the primary' similar to 'it was the alcohol talking?'

Submitted by jawbone on

Hillary around at this point. It might be understandable during the primaries (tho' not for groping and manhandling).

But, WHY would these people have one around still?

And, of course, why was such a photo posted for all to view???

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

I haven't heard an answer yet (see upthread). I'm glad someone else picked up on it.

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

Did she not get that the whole application business was to bust the little twerp's ass?

And may I ask where Campbell Brown was on sexism towards Clinton during the primaries? Because as far as I could see, she didn't speak up about it until after it stopped mattering.

tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...like almost everything else she reports on. Campbell Brown is just awful. Leave it to her to give the perpetrator a free pass so she can talk about what she really wants to talk about -- how evil those Clintons are.

PB 2.0 - Supplement the wonk!

Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

I blogged about her about a month back, and it seems pretty applicable to the situation, now:

Campbell Brown is a Meteorologist

Really, she's just horrible, and horrible as in that she seems to be totally oblivious to just about everything. I mean, I couldn't pay someone to be that "late and a dollar short" all. of. the. damned. time.

But, we've always been at war with Eastasia...

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

It isn't within Clinton's power to demand he be fired or even to reprimand him in any way. That is Obama's call, and he had better make that call if he wants her to have any credibility as his Secretary of State.

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

whatever their ages, with their tiny, little-used boy parts are terribly afraid of strong women.

Perhaps when he grows up he can become a White House speechwriter, but until that time, maybe working at State would be a good idea. Hillary can make him the Press Officer for the embassy in, say, Zimbabwe?

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

The Republic of Nauru? I understand the climate is sublime and there are excellent opportunities there for skilled and interested youth to serve their country and learn diplomacy from the ground up.

-----------------------------

I'm not such a bad guy once you get to know me.

Submitted by lambert on

LOLz!

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

wrensis's picture
Submitted by wrensis on

Why is Obama keeping this neanderthal?

wrensis
Disturb the comfortable and comfort the distrubed

basement angel's picture
Submitted by basement angel on

as well. I'd be embarrassed to be photographed in that room, much less with those two dodos molesting a cardboard cut out. You have that ugly black, white and pink granite. Some kind of iron wall decoration. Cheesey swags on the window. And then that big vase full of stuff. And then some kind of mural of the wall on the far left. Who decorates like that?

"Someone needs to point out that elephants produce infinitely more shit than donkeys." Brad Mays

ClareA's picture
Submitted by ClareA on

What a whole lot of people don't even pick up on is the social reality associated with this image.
I'm a woman, and I'm not the only one who saw this exact same situation in a college setting.

Do men not GET the whole concept of their physical dominance? A woman generally has a smaller and physically weaker body. Men also have deeper and louder voices.

I agree that this stuff, done in "fun" is a way to remind women that no matter what their other accomplishments and characteristics, they can be degraded in this manner.

I also don't know what to say when people say to "lighten up". I suppose "smarten up" would be appropriate. More often, instead of a comment, the reaction to disapproval is a comtemptous distainful silence, eye-rolling, sniggering, etc.
If it's "fun" why wouldn't a person just be smilingly instead of comtemptuously invited to join in? Because it's nasty, that's why. It's not meant to be "fun" except to the bullies.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Maybe Dean or the other Democrats not only don't get cable, but also TV, web access, news papers, etc. My guess: they're laughing it up (The joke: femaleness itself; the fun: "she" can't fight back from being sexually demeaned, humiliated, like every other woman or girl that's ever dealt with harassment whether in school, on the street, or at work).

The bigoted asshat is going to keep his job as Obama speechwriter without so much as a public reprimand from Obama or any other top Democrat denouncing his misogynistic bigotry. Ugh. I swear, the more I see that photo the angrier I get, but it does perfectly encapsulate the Obama movement: young white males reveling in anti-female hate. The cultural message is loud and clear: b****** ain't shit.

Oh, and BIO: are you going to condemn civil rights activists for not protesting the "diminishment" of whites in pop culture? No? Oh, that's right: because whenever white males or men in general are portrayed as or seen as less than great, it never is seen as reflective of their gender, especially if they're white men, because of white male privilege. And condemning men for even the "few bad apples" in real life is also not done because, of course, that would be (wait for it) man-hating!

Besides, pop culture is totally run by (white) men (hint: if you truly care about it, it would be best to direct your anger at them). Lastly, when many feminists complain about such imagery they are almost always vehemently attacked by men for trying to "emasculate" them. See, many, many men love these images of "dimishment" including the stupid father because they see it as excusing their own dipshittery, and it's not unusual to have such imagery include male entitlement. That stupid father is always an unattractive loaf who has a supermodel of a wife who is ever-so patient and cleans up his mistakes for him, like a maid mother cleaning up after her toddler.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

Really, the person to blame for the whole sitcom thing is Jackie Gleason.

Because every last one of those oaf husband/smart wife sitcoms are a ripoff of The Honeymooners.

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Yes, you're right and it's horribly tired, but deeply cherished: men are entitled to or supposed to be stupid, even assholes around "the wife" and she's supposed to be understanding, fix everything, and be hot as hell. The dangerous assumptions behind that cultural message reminds me of how Beauty and the Beast teaches children it's okay for a boy to be vile, monstrous towards a girl because if she loves him enough she can magically transform him into a prince (I had no idea how disturbed some Disney movies were until I got older).

Historiann's picture
Submitted by Historiann on

That is, the pop cultural phenomenon I call for shorthand the "All About Jim" portrayal of gender and marriage politics Davidson describes above is exactly what's happened here, all weekend long. I appreciate the interest that many of you have in arguing for a feminist viewpoint, but as I see it, the argument here is going about 20:1. There's no substantial disagreement in the interpretation of the photograph above beyond Bring It On versus everyone else--and yet, this thread is in fact "All About BIO," just as Jim is the buffoonish sitcom paterfamilias and husband and yet the show is literally "All About Jim."

I haven't really seen this here too often, but I see it all the time at Echidne and at Shakesville--that one antifeminist/person who refuses to consider another perspective takes over the thread and dozens of other commenters argue with him. (And yes, it's usually someone presenting as a man who is the one dissenter, and it's usually people presenting on-line as women who argue with him.) So threads about feminist issues get commandeered by yet another expression of male privilege.

ElizabethF's picture
Submitted by ElizabethF on

At least 50% of the thread was about Bio. I wanted to say that earlier but was trying to comply with site policy.

It can be exhausting to read,

Submitted by lambert on

Glad to have them exposed and on the record. I imagine they'll provide endless fun fodder for amusement in years to come.

Oh, and another typical tactic is the claim that we're trying to silence. As this thread shows, and at some length, nothing could be further from the truth.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

And for the longest time I avoided BIO because I do feel it's pointless. The reason why I chose to respond was to counter him so readers out there who don't post can have a counter in their own lives or so that people who might agree with BIO (again those who just lurk) can have something else to think about.

That's all. I'll go back to ignore mode as I do in my usual life, but sometimes it's just too damn much and this photo (plus the knee-jerk bigoted backlash*) hit a raw nerve for me (Sexual assault, rape is so fun! Hee!).

*Apparently, women should feel thankful when a man sexually assaults or rapes her. Why? Because according to the bigots online it shows he finds her attractive (e.g., "Hillary should be pleased a young man is even interested in such an old hag"). Women and girls, actual people, are supposed to not feel outrage but instead relief when a bigot commits a hate crime against them (Yes, purposely abusing someone and threatening them with violence on the basis of an immutable trait should be called what it is; some state laws even recognize it on the basis of gender).

Now I wonder where boys ever get the idea that it's okay to single out girls for abuse? If I remember correctly, there was a Shakespeare "blub" thread about how Obama was this incredibly powerful role model for black boys in particular. Well, I wonder what they think it does to see yet another man tell them intolerance and hate is acceptable, even fun? Intent and effect are not necessarily the same so even if Obama never--ever!--intended to condone misogyny these past two years, he certainly will if he refuses to even publicly condemn this bigoted asshole (The dude should be fired).

Submitted by lambert on

Gad.

Obama's chief speechwriter.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

I mean, this is the head speechwriter* and a visible member of the team at that. What are the chances this just happened to get out on trash day? It seems quite odd that they would just be totally caught off guard. I'm thinking this means they're going to defend him (i.e. not call him out).

*Yes, it makes his gleeful bigotry all the more appalling since obviously he, nor Asshat #2 Dude in "Obama Staff" shirt, never got the message from Obama on down that misogyny was not acceptable. Quite the opposite I imagine. Worse, his position and visibility plus the silence from Obama makes the message of hate all the more official (as if we had reason to doubt before).

Corner Stone's picture
Submitted by Corner Stone on

I mainly agree with the fact that this act is reprehensible, in all the ways that have been detailed here, but I don't think it's a lose your employment type act. I would suggest that this could be the beginning to a type of healing, even if it is in some small way. Maybe a "teaching moment" if you will.
The frat boy could be publicly called on the carpet in some significant way and be made to make remediation, even if just symbolic (as the original offending act was symbolic).
Then Obama could say something to the effect of:
"I find the underlying statement of this act offensive. It offends me as a husband, a father and a human being. Let me be clear - the denigration of women will not be tolerated by me or my administration."
He could then go on to detail some proposed initiative or some thing else related.
IMO, not going to happen as his campaign was built on allowing the frat boys to get their hate on but, hey, just a thought.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Plenty of privately owned corporations have policies, where online behavior is considered a factor?

Why should these private corporations be more sensitive than a government which is supposed to recognize all of us, regardless of gender?

Plus, think of the hostile work environment his presence creates to all the women who will have to work with him.

No, he needs to go. As Susie pointed out in the above link, he'll find another.

He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
- Sir William Drummond

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

When Favreau chose to share his immaturity fueled misogyny (and vice versa) with the world, he made this one picture about much, much more than some drunken frat-boy genre stunt. He made it about symbolism and acceptable behavior on a societal and national level. The rejection of his behavior has to be more than a wrist-slapping hour in diversity sensitivity training to mean anything at all. Although it seems we're not to get even that.

The teaching moment in firing him will be for all the other potential or incipient misogynistic, sexist asshats. Some people actually never learn; they only act as if 'enlightened' to avoid punishment.

Why, oh why, would Favreau's personal education/teaching moment opportunity be of greater concern than the repudiation of 1) this behavior; and 2) broadcasting this behavior on the world wide web for the millions of women and girls (and men and boys who aren't members of the sexist fuckwits club) in the country?

Sorry, but where I work, which is not particularly a ny kind of feminist utopia, Favreau would be out on his ass in seconds flat.

I can't help thinking that the deafening silence of Obama, the Democrats, and 90% of pb1.0 is for fear of alienating one of Obama's key constituencies -- the frat boy mentality shocktroop bullies who so effectively silenced dissent and criticism of Obama and elevated him to heroic Lincoln and JFK status throughout his campaign. Certainly, they've more than demonstrated no fear of, or concern for, alienating the millions of people in this country who actually care about women's equality. And where would they or Obama be without their misogyny-fueled passion for the Transendence?

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

I would suggest that this could be the beginning to a type of healing, even if it is in some small way. Maybe a "teaching moment" if you will.

Healing for whom? If you imagine that it will be "healing" for women to see yet another harasser get off with a slap on the wrist, you're dreaming. And if you think that, say, Hillary supporters who may have voted for Obama but don't fully trust him will find that "healing," then you're insane.

Because the message that would be sent by what you're proposing is exactly that the denigration of women is just fine with Obama. Which is pretty much what a lot of people thought about him all along. The idea should be to change that perception, not reinforce it.

You don't let someone continue to work for you writing pretty speeches about how unacceptable the denigration of women is when you've accepted that person's denigration of women.

Submitted by hipparchia on

unlike the trolls infesting shakesville and echidne, bio, based on the sum total of his posts and comments at corrente [his ill-considered stance here and in some other threads notwithstanding], really is an older straight white dude who really would like to see fewer old straight white dudes and more women, gays, blacks, hispanics, [non-old-straight-white-dude identity of your choice here] in positions of power.