Part II: The Hinge of Fate | Read Part I
I rarely read DailyKos; its fratboy zeitgeist is too circle-jerky for my taste, and the commenters’ obsession with ratings, as well as their deep conviction that they and the Republicans are somehow worlds apart, is more than a little sad. And anyway, if anything crucial to the fate of humanity ever shows up on it, somebody or other links to it eventually.
Such as when Karl-Thomas Musselman of Burnt Orange Report alerted me to the P-FAB (Pie Fight Ad Brouhaha) that had transpired at DailyKos over the weekend.
Even though DKos has never exactly been a port in the storm for women’s issues (viz. this) and even though I have been aware for some time that nothing can expose a liberal male poseur’s inner douchebag like a woman who dares to reject the demeaning roles to which male culture subjects her, I was nevertheless completely disgusted to read everybody’s favorite liberal Markos Moulitsas’ attack on those of his loyal readers who object to the incursion, into their progressive oasis, of advertising showing two women smearing each other with food. The official position of DailyKos is that the “women’s studies set” can go fuck themselves; Kos invites any of his readers who are “humorless” enough to feel betrayed by his views equating feminism with neocon sanctimony to “feel free to be offended.” He smugly observes that the controversy has made the ad the most successful in the site’s history. Take that, arrogant feminists!
“Me,” he writes, “I’ll focus on the important shit.”
Apparently his own readers find this “shit” so unimportant that they posted over 1000 comments on the topic. Not surprisingly, a preponderance of these comments reveals a flabbergasting ignorance of both basic grammar and elemental feminist principle. One enterprising Kos diarist used the controversy as an excuse to post a dozen cheesecake photos. Sensational!
Aside from the usual attempts to deprecate and downplay any issue that threatens the patriarchal ethos, these supposedly liberal posters are chillingly unable to distinguish between adolescent male fantasy and women’s sexuality. A small sample of the progressive ideals of the cream of America’s liberal male crop, condensed, paraphrased (and, needless to say, spell-corrected) for the sake of brevity:
• These pie-fight women “willingly” faked a lesbian pie-pile because it “empowers” them.
• The ad is “humor,” so fuck you if you can’t take a joke.
• The ad is a portrayal of “women’s sexuality.”
• Political women don’t want women to have any sexuality at all.
• The Iraq war is what we should really be talking about.
• You hysterical “women’s studies types” should pick your battles.
• My lesbian roommate really liked the ad, so your views are obviously wrong.
• Objecting to a demeaning portrayal of women in a liberal community is “hysterical, shrill extremism.”
Women are degraded by the constant portrayal of our species as two-dimensional sexbots existing at the pleasure of the alpha-tool ruling class; it’s as simple as that. How anyone could look at an image like this pie-fight ad, or at any of a million others just like it hanging from every branch, and not see the antithesis of enlightenment, seems to me to be a symptom of deep psychosis. But the one thing you cannot fuck with in this world is a man’s right to misogyny; it transcends party lines, borders, religions. As Germaine Greer wrote in The Female Eunuch, women have no idea how much men hate them.
Addendum: Thanks to Deja Pseu for the links to the following posts. It’s great that prominent women bloggers are calling out the mighty Kos, but it’s also heartbreaking that they chide him so gently, evidently clinging to the hope that he really couldn’t have meant or understood what he was saying.