April 18, 2004

The Death of Sexism and Other Myths

This is long, but it could be longer. This could be a bloody book, but I thought instead I'd keep it (relatively) short and rely instead on those mainstays of the limited vocabulary, cuss words.

A question to all the retards in the house:

As a man, do you LIKE it when a woman displays interest in you solely for your money, your position, your earning ability?

If you haven't got any wealth or status, humor me and imagine if you did. And let's just call it what it is and restate the question thusly:

Do you like golddiggers?

How does it make you feel when a woman uses you for money? How does it make you feel when you see one of your male friends being "played" by a woman for his money?

Okay, we'll break it down further. Word association: What adjectives come to mind at the mention of the following semi-famous women who've had the "golddigger" tag applied to them?

Courtney Love.

Yoko Ono.

Marla Maples Trump.

Note: I did not ask you whether you'd sleep with any of these women. "I'd hit it" is not an answer. Guys, I already know you'd hit it--every woman on that list including Yoko, and don't try to tell me any different. I've seen debates over whether you'd have an undercover tussle with Hillary Clinton, for God's sake. Hillary. Clinton. So don't tell me Yoko's out of bounds just 'cause she's got a little more leg hair than you do.

No, I'm just wondering if you could honestly state that you think you would like or respect any of these women.

All I know is, I don't know a single man out there who could honestly say he'd want to spend two minutes out of the sack with a woman who was just after his money. Well, funny thing: I don't know a single woman out there who'd want to spend two minutes out of the sack with a guy who was just after her body.

In fact, I know women who cultivate guys who are just after their bodies purely for emergency booty calls. The guys think they're using them. The women know better (one friend described such a night as "cheaper than buying batteries." Work it out; I'll be here when you get done). But there is no "like" or "respect" by either party involved in these setups. The guys leave thinking, "Ho." The women lock the door behind 'em thinking, "Sucker."

Now what I want you to do is, I want you to summon up that feeling of being worth no more than your wallet, and I want you to fucking get it through your head try to understand that this very I'm-only-as-good-as-my-bank-account feeling is nearly identical to the I'm-only-as-good-as-my-looks feeling an awful lot of women struggle against . . . are you following me here? Okay: I want you to consider all that and then I want you to tell me why the fuck I should celebrate statements like this:

The reality is that women have a much EASIER time making it in the blogging world than men do. The average male blogger will link a piece written by a female blogger, especially one who's attractive, over an equally well written piece on the same topic by a man, 9 times out of 10.
You tell me why I should cheer and shout, "Hooray for me! Hooray for womanhood!" "Especially one who's attractive"--and that's supposed to be the good news.

Here's my radical feminist proposition: How about you just read what folks write and link it based on merit?

Of course, some of you claim you do exactly that. Like John Hawkins, who says he's "not even sure there are 35 readable blogs written by women on the right side of the blogosphere." What. The fuck. Ever.

Never mind the teensy possibility that if readable, female-authored conservative blogs are in fact rare, then telling women to perk up and be happy about how much more likely they are to be linked "especially if they're attractive" is maybe not the best way to encourage women to lean right. You guys really don't have any idea how much you turn women off with that shit, do you? You're really that stupid on this one. "Women resent being treated as sex objects" was a basic principle figured out by the Democrats years ago and you're still sticking your fingers in your ears and hollering "I ain't trying to hear that." But no, that's right, it's the Democrats who are stupid.

Did I say what the fuck ever already? Right, okay. Sorry.

And I guess I better clarify right now that while the posts I've linked above originally referenced a post at A Small Victory, my words here have nothing to do with that initial post, which has already been misinterpreted by too many, too often. In fact, I don't care what Michele thinks about the argument, such as it is, that Spoons and Hawkins are making. This is solely what I think about those arguments.

And I think both Hawkins and Spoons, if they desire any claim to intelligence at all, need to recognize the circular logic they're using. "The blogosphere isn't sexist because attractive women actually have a gender advantage when it comes to being linked" is the very definition of sexism. "Sexism" isn't just discrimination on the basis of sex; it's also the act of reducing a complex human being to a set of four circles and a triangle. To borrow from the guy we all love to hate (or rather from his 1992 campaign), it's the objectification, stupid.

How 'bout if I say a guy driving a Mercedes is likely to be more popular with women than a guy driving an Econoline van: Are you going to dispute that? No? Me neither. But do you like that fact? No? Me neither. But it is how it is. I personally believe 50 more years of increasing financial independence for women will change that; feminism's opponents disagree. But for now, them's the facts on the ground, as it were.

And it also remains a fact that you guys prefer your female bloggers to do more than just share your political values. You'd prefer that they be attractive, write about sex often, advertise that they have boobies, and make you feel "funny in the pants." And you'll link them often if they meet those criteria, sure--but very, very seldom if they don't.

How do I know? I know because that fool Hawkins doubts that there are "even 35 readable blogs written by women on the right side of the blogosphere." A man who'd been looking for reading material instead of jerking material would know better.

I suggest he pry open that charming aperture south of his tailbone, remove his head from it, and expand his reading horizons. I've even given him a partial list to get started.

Put it down to my nurturing side.

UPDATE 04/23/2004: Interesting how quickly people will go off on tangents (and sometimes, off the rails completely); comments to this post include discussion of such way-to-miss-the-point subjects as evolutionary development of relations between the sexes, which bloggers are or are not showing their boobies, and the relative lack of women in the sciences--and that's just in these comments. Visit some of the sites who have tracked back, and revel in the speculation that I'm just a fat disgruntled chick, brainwashed by the left, or should maybe start batting for the other team. All fun stuff, sure; but ultimately, one woman sums it up best:

But yes, there definitely is a difference in the way readers react to male bloggers and female bloggers.

That is to be expected as it is that way in real life. What I don't appreciate, however, is when it's more often about the looks or body parts than it is about the content and how I should be happy anyone linked to me because I had a photo up.

That kind of attitude will set me on fire any day of the week no matter who said it and how much I enjoy their writing.

I don't care if someone notices I'm a female. I'm DAMN proud I'm a female. What I don't appreciate is when I'm treated like a little girl. Fuck. That.

She claims she's "not the best writer out there," which I'm putting down to modesty. Serenity writes with verve, clarity, and heart. See for yourself.

(Despite the numbering, these are truly in no particular order--I merely enumerate them because frankly, I'm starting to doubt whether some folks out there have mastered the basics of counting.)

1. Baldilocks

2. e-Claire

3. Electric Venom

4. The Bitch Girls

5. Asymmetrical Information

6. Molly's Musings

7. On the Third Hand

8. Jessica's Well

9. Redsugar Muse

10. Cut on the Bias

11. Emuse

12. Greatest Jeneration

13. Serenity's Journal

14. Suburban Blight

15. Liquid Courage

16. Res Ipsa Loquitur

17. Miss Apropos

18. Angelweave

19. Across the Atlantic

20. Big Arm Woman

21. She Who Will Be Obeyed

22. TulipGirl

23. Julie Neidlinger

24. Absinthe & Cookies

25. Dizzy Girl

26. LilacRose

27. Annika's Journal

28. Mamamontezz

29. The Patriette

30. The Irish Lass

31. Mad Minerva

32. Yale Diva

33. OkieMinnie Me

34. Little Miss Attila

35. Small Dead Animals

Posted by Ilyka at April 18, 2004 09:44 PM in hell is other people

"And I think both Hawkins and Spoons, if they desire any claim to intelligence at all, need to recognize the circular logic they're using. "The blogosphere isn't sexist because attractive women actually have a gender advantage when it comes to being linked" is the very definition of sexism."

Fine. If you want to argue that the blogosphere is sexist in favor of women, I'll concede the point. But that wasn't what Michelle was arguing. As for the "attractiveness" issue, it's too bad John brought it up (although he was really just responding to Michele, who brought it up first), because it's blinded you to his point. Most of the time, readers have no idea what a blogger looks like, male or female. And women, all things being equal, have an advtage getting attention in the blogosphere, simply because there aren't many women bloggers doing right-of-center politics. Deal with it.

Of course, if you're having too much fun playing a victim of the Oppressive White Male Patriarchical Phallosphere, don't let me interrupt you.

Posted by: Spoons at April 18, 2004 10:54 PM

Damn. I go away for a weekend and all hell breaks loose. I will fall back on my right to remain silent and/or interject marginally humorous anecdotes in the future.

Posted by: Jim at April 19, 2004 12:09 AM

This whole thing is a non-issue, fanned into bonfire status because some fucktards (not you, Ilyka) simply like to see who they can stir up into a froth. And now, Michele has quit. Thanks, fucktards.

Posted by: Arbiter at April 19, 2004 12:11 AM

answer to question asked, as a married man with only a smile and a kind word on offer, i don't much care about the motivations of the women (and men) who spend their time, interests or eloquence with me. i am glad to share.

were i on the market for a companion, then, as you suggest, i would care about the motivation of that lady (men need not apply, thanks) and would reserve my attentions to those i believed had motivations that matched my own. for her however to be completely disinterested in financial matters seems unlikely -- abnormal in fact. i contend then, that her interest in financial concerns is a matter of degree and either extreme would be off-putting.

as for female bloggers getting all the success (or not), i checked the top 100 on the ecosystem and it seemed surprisingly manly to me.

Posted by: rammer at April 19, 2004 12:38 AM

for her however to be completely disinterested in financial matters seems unlikely -- abnormal in fact. i contend then, that her interest in financial concerns is a matter of degree and either extreme would be off-putting.

Yeah, I can't expect anyone to totally ignore attractiveness concerns, either. Fair enough on that score--I'd just rather it had nothing to do with weblogging.

Posted by: ilyka at April 19, 2004 12:57 AM

For the record, neither I, nor John, argued with Michele's contention that Wonkette used sex talk to get noticed. If she had left it at that, I wouldn't have had anything to say about it. However, when Michele tried to spin a vast right-wing conspiracy against female bloggers, I had to call bullshit. Michele was tremendously successful, and will be again if she comes back. She is certainly the last person in the world who ought to be complaining about discrimination against women.

Posted by: Spoons at April 19, 2004 01:48 AM

For the record, *this* man doesn't like gold-diggers, and nor does he like women who are trying to use his acquaintance to get something else.

Posted by: Jacob Martin at April 19, 2004 04:53 PM

Evolution, baby! That's why women go for the guy with the big bankbook, and why men go for the women with the big b's. Evolution, over millions of years. It ain't gonna change in 50 years, dear.

Posted by: Miguel at April 19, 2004 09:32 PM

It ain't gonna change in 50 years, dear.

Given that the whole point of evolution is adaptation, I think you're wrong. But fact is, it's already changing. It's changed dramatically enough in the last 50 years as it is.

I out-earn my boyfriend. My mother out-earns my father. And one of my grandmothers worked until she was over 70 and out-earned my grandfather for much of that time, too.

Evolution? Honey, you're standing in it.

Posted by: ilyka at April 19, 2004 10:14 PM

That's the second time I've seen Hawkins involved in a "sexist" brou-ha-ha. Not that it matters, but I de-linked after the first one. Not because I think he's sexist, but because he comes off to me as condescending. No one, of either sex, likes that.

Posted by: Emma at April 19, 2004 10:39 PM

Thanks for including me on your list!

But for full disclosure, I gotta say that John was incredibly supportive of my measly efforts back when I started blogging. I'm still grateful for all the traffic he sent my way.

Posted by: Ith at April 20, 2004 02:24 AM

My two cents: John Hawkins is a blowhard. That article pissed me off to no end and made me so angry that I couldn't even write about.

Posted by: michele at April 20, 2004 03:19 AM

Hey. I had this argument, like, a year or so ago, only Wonkette wasn't around for it.

Hawkins was just as big an ass back then, though, and Spoons used about the same arguments.

I believe I refrained from commenting to Spoons then.

I think I shall do so again.

You forgot Susanna Cornett on your list, Ilyka. Oh. No you didn't. Never mind.

Posted by: Meryl Yourish at April 20, 2004 05:14 AM

Miguel said it. Evolution!

The attractiveness of the opposite sex is based on survivial and producing offspring. The common characteristic sought is health. And then there's --

Does the male have physical prowess so he can drag something dead back to that cave so the wife and kids don't starve? If there's a fight with another clan, will he be a survivor?
Does he have high status in the tribe so the family gets food when there isn't enough for everyone?

Does the female have the boobs and hips to produce and raise new DNA? Is she young enough to produce lots and lots of new DNA?

It isn't fair or just - but evolution doesn't care about that stuff.

Posted by: Ralph M at April 20, 2004 08:19 AM

I agree with you. I agree that men often behave in what I often consider to be a strange manner. And yet, those are the guys that seem to get the women. Most women, apparently, respond to the very stimuli you say they don't respond to. And the closer I have moved to behaving in stereotypical fashion, even when it's a bit outside the way I'd like to behave, the better my luck. Evolution. It's all the rage.

As far as blogging goes, women do have a bit of allure, but not enough to hold my interest for very long if that's all there is to it. The women bloggers I read (michele, tanya, willow, jane galt, andrea harris) don't ever used the fact that they're women to "sell" the blog. I read them cuz I like what they have to say, and I like intelligence and a bit of venom.

Posted by: david at April 20, 2004 08:36 AM


Some civilizations have added one more item.

Is he/she someone you enjoy talking to?

(ps - Living organisms are DNA's way of producing more DNA.)

Posted by: Ralph M at April 20, 2004 09:08 AM

Men being pigs _is a good deal for women_, because women are mostly not great deals. It's an anaesthetic. On the other hand, the poor sap really does like his woman. You can count on him. Just let him know, every now and then, that you're satisfied with him.

As for talents, women have all the talent you want to do anything men do. They do not, however, have the interests needed to maintain the illusion that (say) mathematics or physics is important, to the point of having no social life. So you find that women do not want to argue about mathematics or physics.

We've been doing this for 30 years, right? Go over to sci.math or sci.physics, and I bet without looking that out of the last thousand posts, there are zero women. These are not groups of experts, but rather groups of morons. They are intensely interested morons, though. They argue about why gyroscopes do not fall over, and they're mostly wrong. So qualifications don't even come up. All that comes up is : do you want to argue endlessly about gyroscopes? For women, the answer is no. There's your data.

From among the world's best maniacly driven mathematicians and physicists, you get your world-class people, and they're all men, because they come from that interested population.

The way interests differ between men and women is mostly that men isolate and resolve things, killing off other issues along the way, one way or another. Women on the other hand are happy with, and seek out, complexity, and do not resolve it. It's not that they're satisfied with an inferior sort of knowledge, but that they're comfortable with this state, and seek it out. Hence soap operas, its dysfunctional form. Or, under pressure, why a woman invites company over to feed them, adding another layer of crisis in a crisis. It keeps her interested.

Feminism is formalized bitching - something's wrong. The woman does not resolve it; the man has to. They both follow their interests. The woman will stop perhaps when a chemical calculation says it's okay, and the man will try to figure out what she really wants. She doesn't really want anything! She's just being complex and multi-faceted.

The differing interests give differing blogs.

If you write about your dream last night, I don't read you any longer, but I'm just a guy. If you redecorate your blog once again, well, what do you expect.

Wonkette isn't using sex to attract guys. It's a scandal used formally to take off from, in a gossip-styled destruction celebrity in general. That's where all the kick-me signs came from.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at April 20, 2004 10:21 PM

Ron, just my opinion ok, please write your long posts on your own blog, so i can read them there.

Posted by: rammer at April 21, 2004 04:18 AM

Short form: explanations of sexism are wrong. The sin is not in being wrong, but in not being interested in getting it right. ``lalalalala I can't hear you''

So women seek out the wrong thing. Instead of the stifling of the Cinderella Complex, there is Received Feminism. Which one do you want to ruin your life with. How about neither.

Posted by: Ron Hardin at April 21, 2004 02:01 PM

Behavior comes from genes, especially behavior related to sexual attraction. The genes are very slow to change.
Men really are different from women. Men's brains really are different from women's brains.
There are more male geniuses and more male morons. Women cluster more around the midranges.

Don't even try to figure out why the top physicists, mathematicians, and engineering professionals are overwhelmingly men. Women are free to train in those fields, and achieve as highly as their talent will allow. Why not?
Women are 70% of psychology doctoral graduates, and achieving parity in medicine and law. Women are gaining fast in finance, business, accounting, etc. But some fields are resistant to the female brain--so far.

Posted by: Miguel at April 23, 2004 12:15 AM

I'm married. I like puppies a lot, though.

Posted by: Jeff G at April 23, 2004 02:33 AM

Good post...and thank you for including me on your list!

Posted by: susan b. at April 23, 2004 04:13 AM

Crap. I can't remember the question...

Anyway, the female blogs I frequent, I do so because of content.

Case in point, Zee of SpicedSass (http://www.roadsassy.com/spicedsass/). One of the best right-of-center blogs out there.

She's never written about her boobs. Others on the list above have.

Posted by: DarthVOB at April 23, 2004 04:20 AM

Five things to say:

1. Thanks for the link to my blog.

2. I can't believe women write about their "boobs" on their blog.

3. I really can't believe the whole "Bloggers with Boobies". Sounds like a bunch of...boobs.

4. Can't think of anything for point 4.

5. I have about three readers. I never brought the whole sexism question into wondering why I have a small audience. I always figured it was because I once posted a picture of my cat. Which, as you know, is the kiss of death for a serious blog.

Posted by: Julie at April 23, 2004 04:41 AM
She's never written about her boobs. Others on the list above have.

Have I ever written about my mammalial protuberances? I honestly don't remember if I have, unless it was to illustrate a point in the drag queen story, or some such nonsense.

I appreciate inclusion on your list. Some awesome bloggers there and I'm flattered to be included. But honestly, I don't blog for recogintion. It's fun when it happens, and there's that thrilling little rush when I see a trackback on a post I've written. But that's not why I'm here.

I blog as a safety valve, a pressure release, an outlet for my creative side when no other outlet is available. I sometimes blog for clarification, and for affirmation that I'm on the right track. And, admittedly, sometimes it's for vanity. There, I said it. It's a prideful, egotistical, vain thing sometimes. And I daresay it's the same for the men.

(to be continued)

Posted by: Mamamontezz at April 23, 2004 04:42 AM

I've never written about my boobs on my blog. That's not the kind of attention I want. Frankly, I would find that kind of attention really creepy.

Posted by: susan b. at April 23, 2004 05:20 AM

From what I've seen in blogging, there are females who trade on a perceived attractiveness (like including a "hot" cartoon rendering as a centerpiece of their blog, whether or not it has anything to do with how they actually look), or implied attractiveness (by using flirtatious or sexual language in posts and responding to commenters).
These female bloggers often gain readers quite rapidly. Often far beyond what I would think their content deserves.
Of course, there are other ways to make rapid gains in leadership; playing on appearance/sexuality is merely one way. There's nothing wrong with that, I think. On the other hand, when those female bloggers complain about sexism in the blogosphere, they deserve the smackdown they get.
I have no idea what most female bloggers look like, and I don't care. I read them for their content. Or I don't.

Posted by: nathan at April 23, 2004 09:46 PM

Well my dear...despite what some will think after they read this, you aren't so far off the mark.

Examples: Outside the Beltway had a post back in October that pointed to the pics of all the female bloggers. It got a hit from Instapundit. Did anyone come to READ what I wrote? Nope. They came to gawk at my photo.

I took it down. I don't want people coming back because of the way I look. I want people to come back because of what I write. I have stated so damn many times over the year that I have been blogging that I am completely AWARE that I'm not the best writer out there, that I am not the most in tune to specific topics, that I am not the smartest blogger when it comes to politics and understanding every issue. BUT! I began my blog to learn. I began my blog to learn more about politics, to debate!!!!! and to learn how to write better.

Some people get upset when others point out their errors...I want mine pointed out, (albeit by private email), because it only helps me write better.

I want debate. I'm sick and tired of people thinking:

a) I can't debate her, she'll get upset. (Do they think this about a male blogger?)

b) I can't debate her, she comes back fighting and acts like a bitch. (Do they call male bloggers 'bitches' when they smack down arguments left and right?)

I wrote, on my one year blogiversary that I was going to take my page OUT of the Eco-System because first of all, it doesn't correctly illustrate who is really good and who sucks ass. But it is nothing more than a phony assed popularity contest and I've always hated that shit. I have made an alternate page full of links and will submit that since people seem to be so concerned over links but my main page would not show up any longer.

I used to think it was all about promoting but the thing is...people know I'm out there. People read my site. People don't often comment...whatever...but they read it and if I lose readers.....to me that says I need to improve my writing skills or my arguments or my knowledge on the subject.

But yes, there definitely is a difference in the way readers react to male bloggers and female bloggers.

That is to be expected as it is that way in real life. What I don't appreciate, however, is when it's more often about the looks or body parts than it is about the content and how I should be happy anyone linked to me because I had a photo up.

That kind of attitude will set me on fire any day of the week no matter who said it and how much I enjoy their writing.

I don't care if someone notices I'm a female. I'm DAMN proud I'm a female. What I don't appreciate is when I'm treated like a little girl. Fuck. That.

I don't know if my thoughts rolled along there and I don't have time to preview as the thunder is rolling in fast and I gotta turn this off now.

But thank you for this post and thank you for the link and that link means a hell of a lot more to me than many because I KNOW you linked me because of what I have to say, not because I look pretty.

Posted by: Serenity at April 23, 2004 09:54 PM

Conservative woman blogger here, who has not once threatened release of the girls. Have they even come up in comment conversation? NOT! [WTF?]

There are a lot of good women bloggers out there that aren't using their sex to their advantage -whether they know it or not.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: pam at April 24, 2004 12:23 PM

You know I read this once, and then following a link I found it again and re-read it. You know, just offhand, there are a couple I'd take off that list of yours becuase I think they're just dreck, but then, there are some you missed, so it works out.

Funny thing is I think both you and Hawkins have some good points. Maybe I'll have to write my own essay about it some time. Mostly you're talking past each other, although Hawkins was foolish in his generalization, showing how little he knows about right-leaning, left-leaning, and other poli-blogs by women.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at April 25, 2004 01:25 PM

Methinks the ladies doth protest too much.

Ilyka - Stipulating for the moment that you may be a freakish statistical anomaly in your personal behavior & attitudes, I have never dated a woman who wasn't on some level interested in my money. Why are you speculating on the Bizarro World where creatures exist who look like men and women but don't behave like them? And why are you angry about it's unreality? You might as well be upset at gravity. You are all gold diggers; that why it is always the guys who pay for dates. We have adjusted. The relevant question for us is what we get for our gold. You ask if men like women who are -only- interested in our money. The existence of whores would tend to indicate we do. Women who are called gold diggers are called so because they are not honest about being whores and because they try to charge too much. Women who fancy themselves neither are overlaying emotional constraints on the basic transaction. Men throughout history have supported women who did no work outside the home. Rich ones have been expected to support women who did no work at all. Now some women are (foolishly) working. [I say foolishly because it is a bad deal for them.] However, essentially none of these women are supporting men who do not work for a lifetime. I don't expect this to change. If any of you ladies feel like supporting a man, email me back. I am intelligent, polite, & even look good. However, if you want me to tell you pretty lies, please provide a script. I would say I was hard working and a good provider, but that apparently doesn't matter now because I have somehow stepped thru a feminist looking glass...

Posted by: Skullcrusher at April 29, 2004 08:16 PM

Just like the bunch of dum neo-cons you are.
A woman (wonkette) mentions her boobs or sex or whatever and you all go crazy especially the conservative women. But you DON'T have a problem with the violent imagery of death, guns and fantasy killing of little brown people in your neo-con blogs. This doesn't faze you neo-con idiots in the least.

You people are so fucked up about a little sex and sex talk, it's not even funny.
(It's the Janet Jackson boob incident all over again, only it's wonkette this time.)

Grow up and examine your culture of violence not sex. Breasts never killed anybody. Breasts GIVE life.

Retards the whole neo-con lot of you.

Posted by: charles at May 23, 2004 06:57 AM


Posted by: stirrings at June 21, 2005 04:34 PM