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Jul 20 2005

Fried Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp_chango
Fried shrimp tacos at Chango. I have not sworn off’em, but I probably should.

One thing that’s really fun to do is, to mock the comments made by goobers on other peoples’ blogs. So let’s get started!

If you regularly make the rounds of the feminist blog circuit you have probably heard about the women-only Kenyan village of rape survivors. These are some go-to gals who’ve conquered adversity and enjoy a certain economic success. As a result, their village has been summarily attacked, ostensibly for no reason other than profound insecurity, by club-wielding dudes from the neighboring burg. Bitch.PhD, noting the enthusiastic male mania for keepin’ a sista down, was moved to remark, “It’s stories like this that tempt one to swear off men forever. What assholes.”

Uh oh. She said “swear off men.” Not only that, she said “forever.” Not only that, she called the men “assholes.”

It is a blatant heresy and and a sin against patriarchy even to hint at the possibility that a woman might consider men irrelevant to her pursuit of fulfillment, and an even blatanter heresy and a sinnier sin against patriarchy to intimate that the patriarchal ethos is, perhaps, not fundamentally dissimilar to that part of the human body that excretes shit. So I am not even a teeny bit surprised that certain of Dr. B’s male readers have taken exception (of course, they are posting on a feminist blog, so they are careful to condescend rather than to aggressively antagonize, possibly imagining that feminists won’t realize they’re being patronized if nobody’s actually called them “cunts.”). Some suggest gently that the “better resolution” is not to swear off men, but to “swear off assholes.” The known existence of female assholes is trotted out, ostensibly to even the score, although the comment fails to include any evidence that hordes of raging feminists have attacked Dudeville with clubs. Funniest of all is one class-conscious commenter who wonders “[...] did you just make a generalization to [sic] ALL men based on the actions of a bunch of guys who live in dung huts?”

Showing remarkable restraint, Dr. B undertakes to suffer none of this bullshit: “With all due respect, the fact that your primary response to this situation is to worry that you’re somehow being insulted does, I’m sorry, reveal the same kind of self-centered world view demonstrated by the men who feel threatened by the women setting up on their own.”

She said “swear off men.” She can say whatever she likes, of course, and although she has made it abundantly clear that she has not sequestered herself on GuysMakeMePuke Island, she accurately points out that this fact of her personal life is irrelevant. But here’s my question: so what if she were to advocate swearing off men for real? That’s not a legitimate choice? Because, check this out:

What if every time you ate fried shrimp tacos you got sick? I’m not even saying that the tacos are starting to get a little bossy, or even leering at you suggestively, just that you aren’t quite yourself after you eat’em. Or what if you just never liked fried shrimp tacos to begin with? What if you just prefer foie gras? Should you not then swear off fried shrimp tacos? Are the shrimps going to get huffy and take offense at your failure to be inclusive?

A human being is free to keep the company of whatever tacos she likes. Swearing off men is not an act of aggression.

71 comments

2 pings

  1. Mistress

    Ugh. I hate man-hating. Everything from the patronizing of men in advertising ['I have three children-- one being my husband'!], to the girly shirts/wallets/shot glasses/ANYTHING you can put a logo on that say ‘Boys are stupid. Throw rocks at them!’ How the fuck is that any different from the vast array of bullshit that the patriarchy gives us?

    Surely, there are awful, awful men in this world with great capacity to inflict badness. I’ve known a few. But less widely acknowledged is the existence of women capable of doing equally horrible, deceptive, violent things. I mean, http://www.crimelibrary.com has a separate category for ‘women who kill.’ Why?

    For the love of fuck, people. Generalizing is bad.

  2. res publica

    But less widely acknowledged is the existence of women capable of doing equally horrible, deceptive, violent things. I mean, http://www.crimelibrary.com has a separate category for ‘women who kill.’ Why?

    Um, I’m gonna go ahead and call “bullshit” on that. Of course women are capable of doing bad things. The point is that there is no pervasive ideology that not only legitimates the violence of women against men, but makes it an essential part of womanhood. But there is a universal and pervasive ideology that legitimates the violence of men against women and makes it an essential part of manhood. It’s called patriarchy, and all men are shaped by it to some extent.

    I participated in that threat at Bitch, Ph.D., and I can personally attest that the bullshit was flowing deep and strong from the Righteously Offended Men’s Chorus. All the old canards were brought out…the anecdotes from college dorms, the stories about brutal women, the assertion that men get raped too, etc., etc. Because I’m lazy, here’s an except from my comment over there:

    “Totally not surprised at the “not all men are assholes!” whine-and-cheeze-fest that has immediately ensued on this thread. Hey guys, check this out: Not all men are assholes, but…umm…most are. You could open your eyes to the experience of the women around you, or you could try what I do – date guys yourself! Because I can assure you that gay men are still men, no matter how gay, and therein lies the secret of the difficulty gay men have establishing long-lasting relationships. In a male same-sex relationship, you not only get to be subjected to masculinist assholery that your upbringing programs you not to tolerate (because hey, i’m a guy, I don’t have to take this shit), but you get to enjoy your very OWN masculinist assholery getting bounced right back at you by the guy across from you, because hey, he’s a guy, he doesn’t have to take this shit. So who’s gonna take the shit? The answer to that question will tell you everything you need to know about patriarchy.”

    And let me add one final note: there is nothing more offensive and intellectually dishonest than men who think they’re making a point when they note that “men get raped, too”, because men get raped by other men, and it is exactly the same act of violent patriarchal aggression to force the victim into what the perpetrator sees as a feminine submission. Same patriarchal bullshit, so the existence of male rape victims does not make one iota of difference for the feminist point about the role of rape in the larger cultural system of patriarchy.

    Lord, Twisty….now they’re all going to come over here and start it up in YOUR comments section.

  3. CafeSiren

    “I mean, http://www.crimelibrary.com has a separate category for ‘women who kill.’ Why?”

    A better question: why doesn’t crimelibrary.com have a “men who kill” category? The answer to both questions: male violence is the norm within the larger category of violence. Men are “expected” to be violent; when a woman (who, by nature, is nurturing) committs violence, then it’s shocking (especially if the victims of violence are her own children — but we won’t start up on that).

    In other words, Mistress, I believe that your example, quoted above, actually argues against the point you’re trying to make: The existence of a “Women who kill” category suggests that killing (and perhaps all violence) is, in our culture, gendered male. If true, then wishing to swear off men, as a precaution (“Not all shrimp tacos make me ill, but I’m gonna play it safe, since so many do.”) is not an unreasonable reaction.

    Reading about incidents like the one in Kenya, though, does NOT make me want to swear off men forever. But multiple examples of such behavior, great and small, make me wonder why I ever despaired at being single. I would never generalize about ALL men — I know too many enlightened ones, and too many women who I’d gladly drop off the end of the pier — but our male fellow-travelers do seem to have a greater tendency towards high-profile acts ranging from boneheaded to outright repellent. I don’t think it’s “natural” or anything. I just think they’ve been getting away with it for so long that it never occurs to them that they should do something different.

    Addendum: Now that I think of it, perhaps “high-profile” is the key? Maybe men just get more coverage, and more opportunity to be idiots on a grand public scale. And for that, my dears, we CAN blame the patriarchy!

    (BTW, Twisty: the pup is cute)

  4. Mandos

    I think part of the sensitivity is the fear that men may not only be noncentral, but actually peripheral. Let me say that I’m not 100% sure I agree with this logic, but:

    1. Sans (some aspects of?) patriarchy, the Basic Indispensible Family Unit is either mother and child or solitary individuals.

    2. If so, men are socially “optional” in a way that women aren’t.

    Then the idea of “swearing off men” has a large number of perhaps subconscious connotations? If a man swears off women for everything but reproduction, he’s basically exiled from the human family. If women do the reverse, they’ve exiled men…

    That’s assuming my take on it is, if not exactly true in a reality sort of way, then at least true in a very subliminal psychological kind of way, and thus accounts for the reaction.

  5. Phoenician in a time of Romans

    Lord, Twisty….now they’re all going to come over here and start it up in YOUR comments section.

    Nah, who can be bothered?

    I read somewhere once that a person got poisoned by bad shellfish. Twisty’s decision to swear off shrimp tacos, crab sticks, fish fillets and sharks-fin soup because of this makes perfect sense.

  6. Kate

    I think you’ve got it there, twisty, when you say that is extremely threatening to men to think that women can do just fine without them. Whether in Africa or the first world.

    And yes, Mandos, I’ve heard theories which suggest the whole genesis of the patriarchy (once, in the distant mists of time) was all about the fact that women have the babies. Men can’t. Men don’t even know for sure that a baby is theirs. In order to control the passage of their genes, men therefore ‘needed’ to control the bodies of women, and ensure they weren’t up to anything. And this power is not one they’re willing to give up.

    Simplistic? Maybe…

  7. Mandos

    Well, ask yourself this…would you be willing to allow the hospital to switch around all the babies in the maternity ward?

    But even without the DNA business, no one wants to be born peripheral. But that is the fear here: are men born to be peripheral?

  8. Christopher

    Amazingly, I don’t really care when a woman says she’s going to swear off men, or when a t-shirt say mean things about boys.

    Why? Because we don’t live in a matriarchy. These are not expressions of a culture that oppresses men, they’re isolated expressions of distaste for the dominant culture.

    When men make less money then women for doing the same jobs, and when women actually start stoning men just for their gender, then I’ll care about anti-man rhetoric. Until then, I say men suck. Screw ‘em all

  9. Kate

    Of course Mandos, I wasn’t arguing with you, just adding to the discussion.

    And what Christopher said.

    I read a really good quote from Margaret Atwood the other day (summarising here madly). She asked a man why men were afraid of women and he said “because women might laugh at us and undermine us.” She asked some women why they were afraid of men and they said “because we’re afraid of being killed.”

    Just about sums it up, no?

  10. Mandos

    Just about sums it up, no?

    Sort of, but the picture is not complete until you notice that one feeds into the other and vice versa.

    One think I’ve always wondered: if a large portion of patriarchy is about ensuring male control of genetic resources, then are old family trees where men are more than leaves actually the record of a crime?

  11. bitchphd

    Oh for Christ’s sake, saying “this is the kind of thing that tempts one to swear off men forever” is SO FAR from a “man-hating” remark that, well, that even responding to the idea that it is is a waste of time. Christ.

    Shrimp tacos, on the other hand, are fucking delicious, and anyone who wants to swear off them is hereby instructed to pass them to my side of the table. Thank you.

  12. Wordlackey

    Swearing off men is a joy to behold. It worked for Lysistrata and Athens, didn’t it? Perhaps men might get the message of consequences for their actions if more women did renounce men and shunned them. Shunning actually used to be a quite effective punishment for people.

  13. Former Jose

    Um, Phoenician … obviously YOU can be bothered … because you, um, came and posted here. (Or was “who can be bothered?” ironic? In which case, I apologize for my obtuseness.)

    Me, I said a few things over on Dr. B’s comments and don’t think I really have anything else to add. That comment thread is very long now so, really, all the things I didn’t say but couldn’t have probably been said (and said better) by someone else over there.

  14. Former Jose

    … didn’t say but COULD have said … apologies.

  15. BritGirlSF

    Damn, the guys are getting pissy recently. I had one over on Majikthise accuse me of “feminist bullying” and “feminist privilege” recently.
    I am honestly confused as to why the leftist guys, the ones who are supposedly on our side, are getting so upset about all this. Can any of the guys lurking offer any insight? Because I don’t get how anyone can honestly think that Dr. B, for example, is seriously suggesting that she hates all men and is planning to join a lesbian separatist commune. What would she do with PK?

  16. bitchphd

    We’d boil him in oil as an offering to the man-hating gods, of course.

  17. Kate

    Feminist privilege… ha ha ha. Oh the funny. That would explain why every western country has a woman president or PM and all the members of government are female and all the CEOs of corporations are female and women make more money than men and women are always raping and beating up men…

    I had one commenter insist that the reason why the male birth control pill hadn’t been developed yet was because of a feminist conspiracy to keep it off the shelves. I think he was serious.

  18. BritGirlSF

    “Feminist privilege” was pretty funny, but if you look at his definition of “feminist bullying” it’s even funnier. I love the logic – if a guy tells me to STFU he’s just telling me I’m wrong, but if I tell him to STFU I’m bullying him in that special way that only feminists can.
    Cry me a fucking river.

    Here’s the thread, BTW. I am a technical ignoramus and don’t know how to link to an individual comment, but the guy’s name is Barbar.
    http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2005/07/nice_guys_.html#comment-7236476

  19. Anonymous

    It’s impossible to “swear off men” in the same sense that one can “swear off” shrimp tacos. The cultural milieu is not full of shrimp tacos that seek you out despite your attempts to avoid them. Only not leaving your apartment (and how many of your apartments already have a man in them?) will let you swear entirely off men. Men exist.

    If what she meant was that it’s possible to “swear off having relationships with men,” that’s a valid choice to make, whether it means celibacy or homosexuality. So if she meant that, that’s fine, that’s good, that’s a normative response to patriarchy. This seems to be what you’re talking about when you say that this threatens individual men’s centrality.

    Separatism isn’t normative, though, and separatism is pretty clearly what she’s talking about. This one Kenyan village, containing no more inhabitants than a mid-sized city’s domestic violence shelter, is to feminism what Catalonian anarchism during the Spanish civil war is to anarchists: the brief actualization of a pipe dream. Sure, it’s a women’s space in a place where no women’s space previously existed, and for that it should be applauded, but it works now due to the alignment of the stars.

    It would be nice if men and their biologial propensity to violence didn’t exist, and it would be nice if a near-omnipresent patriarchal ethos had never developed, and if there were a real Amazonia to which feminists could retreat. The fantasy is tempting and counterproductive. Creating women’s space in a man’s world is not the same as bringing down the patriarchy that is making everyone miserable. The first is admirable, but the second is the final goal.

    Dealing with systems that do exist, with men that do exist, and the often seemingly intractable problem of patriarchy is what we have to do. This involves exercise of power, ethical and philosophical uncertainty, negotiation with those that hold the power, and compromise. What this doesn’t have is the moral purity of total hypotheticals.

    – ACS

    P.S. Also, I realize that I’ve written four paragraphs in response to a single sentence that was written in total exasperation. Also, I am arguing with a straw man. Take this with a grain of salt.

  20. BritGirlSF

    And Kate, you are clearly forgetting that the existance of Margaret Thatcher proves that male privilege does not exist. Didn’t you get the memo?

  21. Anonymous

    Um, Phoenician … obviously YOU can be bothered … because you, um, came and posted here.

    In the words of the Mighty Steven Hawking, “All my shootin’s be drivebys.

  22. CafeSiren

    “The cultural milieu is not full of shrimp tacos that seek you out despite your attempts to avoid them. ”

    ::sigh:: If only that were true…

  23. res publica

    I think it’s pretty clear that Phoenician can be “bothered”, if his six million comments on the Bitch.Ph.D thread in question are any indication.

  24. Anonymous

    I should just like to point out that “normative” is not a synonym for “normal.”

  25. Charles A. L.

    By definition, we don’t have to worry about women who’ve sworn off men. I don’t see why it’s worth getting woreked up over. That’s the definition of caddish behavior: to press your attention(s) on someone who’s rejected you.

  26. Jeff

    Back on LiveJournal, I created a separate PHMT community to be – well, the word “flypaper” has gotten a bad reputation lately, but that was the idea. The feminist communities there get overrun from time to time with people doing the “what about men? Can’t hate the men” thing, and the new community was meant to be a place where legitimate questions, comments, etc. could go and not be disruptive.

    Though I admittedly hadn’t advertised the community as well as I could have, the tumbleweeds blowing through there these days serve to illustrate, I think, how few of these are sincere concerns and how many are just about picking fights with feminists.

  27. julie beth

    this all may be very well and good, but all i know is, now i’m going to chango’s for lunch. mmmmm…shrimp tacos…

  28. emjaybee

    I think it’s conditioning. Women get called “weak”, “crybaby”, “stupid girl” from an early age by boys; boys don’t generally have that sort of thing coming back at them from girls–or if they do, being called “rude” “gross” etc. is not considered as big an insult on the playground. So women get tougher…we get called c*nt, we think “Oh, it’s just another asshole.”

    Whereas call one guy an asshole (or suggest widespread assholery exists) and the delicate flowers of masulinity, unused to such shocking language from the X-chromosome set, are stung and hysterical, and start wringing their hands in dismay. It’s rather pitiful, really.

  29. Susan / holdingpattern

    Twisty, I love you. You are my heroine.

  30. Sylvanite

    I’m guessing that if these guys read Sheri Tepper’s “The Gate to Women’s Country,” their heads would explode with indignation. The story of the Kenyan village reminds me very much of Tepper’s novel, though the women in the novel did a very good job of manipulating the men into thinking that they (the men) were in charge, even though in reality they were completely outside of the loop, power-wise.

    The fact that these Kenyan women found it necessary to segregate themselves to regain some human dignity makes me feel very sad.

  31. Sarah in Chicago

    Personally, speaking as a woman that has officially “sworn off men” in being a card carrying lesbian (yes, we do have a test, and no, those women in male porn haven’t passed it), I can honestly speak to the benefits of such (course, synching menstrual cycles just BLOWS), as the whole no body hair, nice smell, and relative lack of dumb-arse comments is just wonderful.

    Wasn’t it in the book ‘Cunt’ where the author suggested the return of the menstrual hut? I mean, a place where women can go, to get away from guys, where we can just sit around and bitch and eat comfort foods? Count me in!

    Now, of course, Twisty, I am going to take exception to your blatant prejudice towards fried shrimp tacos. Don’t you know of the history of entrenched oppression that fried shrimp tacos have endured? They live daily with the OVERWHELMING assumption that a taco, of course, HAS to be beef, pork or chicken. I mean, it’s all around them, every day.

    Of course, should the beef, pork or chicken tacos ever get told that there is another filling out there, they will express that ‘of course, knew it all the time, and are perfectly willing to have said filling participate, but that there just aren’t enough of them out there, and that fried shrimp tacos really either don’t want to be as frequent a filling in tacos, or that they simply are better in other things, like gumbo’ … all the while ignoring their own pervasive advantages in representation and their overwhelming numbers when it comes to violence against fried shimp tacos.

    But should shrimp tacos have an event where they are the main dish, or, shock horror, they are the only taco there, then it, of course, is reverse discrimination, and used as example of the way in which beef, pork and chicken tacos are ultimately also oppressed. It is then argued that everyone is oppressed and we are just continuing the oppression by suggesting in any way that one particular type of taco might be oppressed more.

    I am just truely, truely shocked at you Twisty, I thought better of you than this.

    Oh, and Dr. B? Seriously taking you on regarding your claim on the shrimp tacos, you gotta problem?

  32. Kyra

    So HOW MANY people just complained about a woman’s comment about swearing off men?

    Men have been swearing off women, by becoming Catholic clergy for example, for centuries. I never hear complaints about a man swearing off women that way.

    Women are entitled to a personal choice about whether or not to date/sleep with/marry men, just as men are entitled to a personal choice about whether or not to date/sleep with/marry women. Both men and women are also entitled to a personal choice about whether or not to date or sleep with (or in some cases, marry) people of their own gender.

    When a man decides he’s straight, nobody complains that HE’S unfair to swear off men.

    Strangely enough, though, I have heard men complaining about both lesbians and virgins, as if there’s no reason for a woman to exist if she’s not servicing some guy. This is somehow compounded if the woman in question is attractive.

    Sickening.

    Just curious, by the way: in the oppinion of anyone here: 1) Is it sexist if I express (or feel) mild disappointment upon seeing that a gorgeous man is a Catholic priest? 2) Is it sexist if I express or feel the same mild disappointment upon seeing that a gorgeous man is gay? 3) Is it sexist if a man expresses disappointment upon finding out that a beautiful woman is a lesbian, or celibate? 4) Is there any difference between any of these scenarios, and if so, why? (I mean “oh, well” disappointment, not “how-dare-they-be-unattainable-when-they’re-that-gorgeous” disappointment, by the way)

    What do you guys think?

  33. LeisureGuy

    I was the author of some of the comments on BitchPhD that seem, in retrospect, injudicious. Obviously, I have much to learn. But if I accept that men are assholes and I am a man (and therefore an asshole), what next? How do I build on that? Avoid women? I’d rather not do that, thanks. I don’t fit all that well into the world of men (I have no interest in sports, don’t fit well into a hierarchical structure, etc.). My initial posts–on my first visit to BitchPhD–reflected my lack of understanding of the context (I knew nothing about PK, who I gather is BitchPhD’s male significant other) and the norms of the community. Perhaps I should just lurk a lot for a while.

  34. LeisureGuy

    In response to Kyra:

    1) Is it sexist if I express (or feel) mild disappointment upon seeing that a gorgeous man is a Catholic priest? IMO, no. The disappointment can stem from his being Catholic or being celibate or both.

    2) Is it sexist if I express or feel the same mild disappointment upon seeing that a gorgeous man is gay? I don’t think it’s sexist, but obviously his being gay is part of who he is.

    3) Is it sexist if a man expresses disappointment upon finding out that a beautiful woman is a lesbian, or celibate? I would add: or married? The reason for the disappointment, I gather, is that the man has no hope of sex with the person who is physically attractive. So it’s certainly sex-related, but not (I think) sexist.

    4) Is there any difference between any of these scenarios, and if so, why? They are all scenarios of person A being sexually unavailable though person B finds A physically attractive. That seems to me to be a fairly normal part of life.

  35. Kyra

    Ever notice, by the way, how often a guy who’s hitting on you will ignore repeated insistance that you’re not interested, but will immediately back off when you say you have a boyfriend.

    Like only another man’s claim, and not your own wishes, have any relevence.

    Then there are those who, upon being told you have a boyfriend, insist that he is better/hotter/more of a man than said boyfriend and you would be better off with him.

    Like his opinion of someone he’s never met should obviously override your opinion of someone you know very well. Can’t let a woman decide which one she should date, now, can we?

    I’m going to stop complaining now before I throw up.

  36. Kyra

    LeisureGuy–Thanks. That’s pretty much what I came up with too. I wanted to address the distinction between wanting someone unattainable, and interfering with or disrespecting their choice and/or biology.

    Speaking of which, there’s something else to complain about: guys who think an attractive woman has no business not sleeping with THEM. Which is slightly more obviously misogynist than guys who think an attractive woman has no business not sleeping with A GUY.

  37. Sarah in Chicago

    Actually, LeisureGuy, PK (or Pseudonymous Kid) is Dr.B’s rather scarily talented child-type-person.

    And as to Kyra’s question, I honestly think there is a difference between a straight woman expressing disappointment on finding a man is gay/priest, and a straight man expressing disappointment that an woman is gay/celibate.

    It’s just that, in my experience when a straight woman expresses her disappointment, it’s far more about the possibility of a relationship (in addition to bloody good sex) however, for straight guys it’s simply about the positioning of women as sexually accessible to them. That’s why more often than not when I say I am lesbian, it’s like a red flag to most guys; they either see it as a challenge, or that somehow I’m going to include them in any trist I might have. It’s part of the lesbian=man-hater mythos, because the only way a woman might not be accessible to a man is if she hates guys.

    And honestly, it’s stopped being funny a while back there after about the millionth use or so, even if guys I know use it.

    Or, to put it simply, there is a difference because there is a difference in our culture with how women are orientated towards men sexually, and how men are orientated towards women sexually.

  38. res publica

    Leisureguy – As someone who tries to live as a feminist man, let me offer this in response to your “What next?”:

    Trust what women say about their experiences. Let them interpret the meaning of those experiences without unwanted male “help”. Understand that patriarchy is one big monster with a lot of little manifestations, so you can’t let “little things” pass. Sexist and degrading jokes are on a continuum of behavior with rape and wife-beating. Never let that shit pass without comment. Use the “F word” – say that you are a feminist. Don’t take women’s frustrations about men personally; understand that there’s 10,000 years of oppression behind their anger, and they are fully justified in it.

    The hardest thing for me has been to own up to the degree to which patriarchy has both shaped my thinking and granted me male privilege which I may refute, but from which I have still benefited. That’s not fun to think about, but it’s important work, similar to the realization that whether I like it or not, as a white person, I benefit from our racist culture. It helps one move from a position of noncommittally affirming one’s personal goodness to a more active stance of owning one’s participation in the system and declaring one’s intention to undo the very system by which one has benefited.

    That’s just my two cents, anyway. I don’t think it’s about staying away from women. I think it’s about realizing that patriarchy is the cultural field in which we all live. You can support it, or you can fight it, but there’s no neutral stance.

  39. LeisureGuy

    I’ve never understood homophobia–except, I guess, as an expression of the fear that oneself is homosexual.

    Res Publica, your comments are helpful, particularly the one about how being white brings a benefit, even if unsought, in a white-dominated racist society, and that one is well-advised to be sensitive to that. And I can certainly see how males hold the levers of power in our society, which provides (unsought) benefits to me, a male.

    I think I also can understand the rage that the powerless feel, and I can try not to take it personally. I suppose the best response to statements that begin “All men are…” is to understand them as an expression of that rage, and different from statements that begin “All women are…” because of the asymmetric nature of our society regarding how the two sexes are treated.

  40. CafeSiren

    Res Publica:

    I want to print out your most recent post (male feminists & patriarchy) and give it to every man I know. I, for one, couldn’t have put it better myself.

  41. res publica

    I’ll have to ask my agent. Just kidding, glad you liked it. :)

  42. Twisty

    The cultural milieu is not full of shrimp tacos that seek you out despite your attempts to avoid them.

    As my fellow countrymen can attest, I’m afraid that in Austin this is precisely the cultural milieu.

    I grasp your gist, though, ACS, but I’m afraid I hold out very little optimism for the overthrow of global patriarchal systems. And even if it proves possible in some distant future, I’m not sure I can advocate sitting around and sucking it up until then. If some chicas want to be shut of the men, I see no reason why they shouldn’t go off on their own and form as dudeless a community as possible. Hell, I’d probably do it myself, if I weren’t too lazy to carry heavy stuff around.

    Meanwhile, Julie Beth: if you go to the Chango’s on South Lamar, my advice is: get the non-fried shrimp kind. They always seem to kind of almost burn the fried ones at that locale.

    And to whomever pointed out the normative/normal thing, you go, girl.

  43. Charles A. L.

    Don’t take women’s frustrations about men personally; understand that there’s 10,000 years of oppression behind their anger, and they are fully justified in it.

    I think this may be the hard part for a lot of men. They see women taking a certain attitude towards men, and say “if I took the same attitude towards women, I’d be tarred and feathered!” Now, one problem with this claim is that the man’s idea of “the same attitude” is, to be charitable, skewed, and another is that the consequences probably wouldn’t be as dire (except in thirty-eighth-hand rumor of a guy who was fired because his having a picture of his wife in his wallet was deemed sexist). But part of the problem is that the man is interpreting women’s behavior in light of (his view of) circumstances RIGHT NOW, ignoring that it’s through such behavir that things got where they are right now.

  44. res publica

    Now, one problem with this claim is that the man’s idea of “the same attitude” is, to be charitable, skewed, and another is that the consequences probably wouldn’t be as dire

    Bingo. In fact, there probably wouldn’t be any consequences at all, especially if the attitude in question is “We don’t need no’ stinkin’ men.” The woman who says that is immediately deemed a crazed, castrating bitch from hell. But men who don’t need women are a) gay, b) bachelors, or c) burly outdoorsmen. When it comes right down to it, what’s most masculine about our cultural construct of masculinity is precisely “not needing women” – not being a momma’s boy, etc. So the whole “if a man took the same attitude” thing is BS because, among other reasons, most men already hold the same attitude.

  45. Chris

    You’d think that men would love to see a woman call “men” assholes. I mean, seriously, men-hating women can only further justify and legitimize our women-hating. Men are assholes, women are bitches, and we all hate each other. Now if only men-hating women (i.e., all women) can gain as much influence as women-hating men (i.e., all men), then the world will be a much more balanced place. I, for one, am going to be handing out clubs to women and giving them directions to monasteries (the only all-male villages I can think of) to get things started in that direction.

  46. bitchphd

    Sarah, how about we go out together and order a huge platter of shrimp tacos and share ‘em?

  47. LeisureGuy

    I can see that my experience has been severely limited. Res Publica says “Of course women are capable of doing bad things. The point is that there is no pervasive ideology that not only legitimates the violence of women against men, but makes it an essential part of womanhood. But there is a universal and pervasive ideology that legitimates the violence of men against women and makes it an essential part of manhood. It’s called patriarchy, and all men are shaped by it to some extent.”

    I have never recognized that I have been exposed to the idea that violence of men against women is okay, much less an essential part of manhood. Indeed, I was pretty much raised on the idea that a man who was violent against a woman was trash, and man who was violent against another man had better have a sound, moral reason or he was basically a thug.

    I know, of course, that trash and thugs exist, but I had not thought (or experienced) that all men are trash or thugs or, indeed, that all men are trained to be trash or thugs. Maybe I’m missing something, and now I know enough not to say, “Jeez, I don’t believe that it is right to be violent against women” (though I don’t). I suppose that when something like this is said, I just silently nod in agreement? No, that doesn’t feel right. Help.

  48. Phoenician in a time of Romans

    Men have been swearing off women, by becoming Catholic clergy for example, for centuries. I never hear complaints about a man swearing off women that way.

    You might if a guy, upon reading about Lorena Bobbitt, stated loudly that all women were castrating mutilators and that was why he was becoming a priest…

  49. Chad

    “Because I can assure you that gay men are still men, no matter how gay, and therein lies the secret of the difficulty gay men have establishing long-lasting relationships. In a male same-sex relationship, you not only get to be subjected to masculinist assholery that your upbringing programs you not to tolerate (because hey, i’m a guy, I don’t have to take this shit), but you get to enjoy your very OWN masculinist assholery getting bounced right back at you by the guy across from you, because hey, he’s a guy, he doesn’t have to take this shit. So who’s gonna take the shit? The answer to that question will tell you everything you need to know about patriarchy.”

    I have to admit, though, as a gay man it’s rather refreshing to see unfair and idiotic generalizations about me coming from a different side of the ideological spectrum for once.

  50. res publica

    God, you’re right. I’ve totally oppressed you by observing that “gay men are still men”.

    I wish I could attach a Venn diagram illustrating in a simple and colorful manner that the set “gay men” is a subset of the set “men”. But then I suspect you know full well that the observation I was making was about men in general, and that I was simply rooting that observation in my personal experiential frame. You just thought it would be fun to toss in the implication that I was somehow smearing gay men.

    So, was I “generalizing” about men in general? Yep. I’ll leave it to the women to decide if that generalization was warranted. Oh, and if you want to know about the presence of patriarchy in gay life, check out the small-but-emerging body of research into domestic violence in LGBT relationships. Or talk to some lesbians who have experience working with gay men in LGBT organizations.

    Or you can just call me an idiot, and assume that saying it makes it so.

  51. LeisureGuy

    Oh, wait–I might have it. When talking about the violence of the patriarchy toward women, the violence can be metaphorical–perhaps rather non-physical.

    I suddenly recalled a TV program I saw when I was in high school–mid-50′s. It was an episode of “Father Knows Best” (and I imagine the title alone is an example) in which the daughter of the family, who’s in high school, wants to take a summer job on a surveying crew. Everyone attempts to talk her out of it, but her father tells her: go ahead and do it, if it’s truly something you want.

    So she goes, and there are all these awkward and inept reactions from the men in the (formerly all-man) crew, with spillover effects on her boyfriend, that she quickly quits.

    She is talking with her father afterward, and he says, “I knew it wouldn’t work, but it’s always better if you learn the lesson yourself. You see, that sort of work is just not for women.”

    Truly, this was the program. Even then I think my jaw dropped.

    So I would guess this program, aimed in part to convince women and men of the proper role of women, is a kind of violence to the worldviews of the victims of the propaganda–which victims (in terms of worldview) are both male and female but (in terms of career options) almost totally female.

    Is this it?

  52. LeisureGuy

    Well, one more comment. As I reflected on it, I could readily see that both males and females are victims, in the sense that both must be taught the worldview. And in some cases, those teachings hurt males–for example, that men don’t show emotion, ideally don’t recognize it, and men compete.

    The effects are not good for the individual man, but not that the damage is unrelated to holding and exercising power–indeed, perhaps a benefit for that. And the worldview is all about maintaining itself to maintain power.

  53. Twisty

    LeisureGuy,well done. You begin to grasp the gist and may yet become a feminist-dude success story. The kind of “worldview” violence to which you allude permeates every imaginable stratum of society and human pursuit, all too often culminating in actual violence, the threat of which festers at the core of every “little” act of misogyny that women are supposed to laugh off, including such episodes of “Father Knows Best,” the fact that I pay more for cars and dry cleaning than you do, and the playground insult “don’t be such a girl!” To name but a very few.

  54. Chad

    God, you’re right. I’ve totally oppressed you by observing that “gay men are still men”.

    Um, yes, that’s completely at the core of what I was saying…although I would be happy to argue that homosexual males constitute a third gender if that will help you to stop spread misinformation about the ability of my group to build lasting relationships.

    You just thought it would be fun to toss in the implication that I was somehow smearing gay men.

    I dunno about you, but saying “most of group x have difficulty” creating lasting relationships is a pretty damn big smear. What would it mean to argue the converse: that lesbian relationships last longer because of the feminine traits society instills in them?
    Why is it that “most gay men” are such overwhelmed victims of society’s gender conditioning? Have most lesbian women overcome their own conditioning as a matter of course? Are there no negative gender traits that could be consciously avoided on both sides?

    I have not read most of the research you’re referring to, and I promise I will look into it, but I have also read – and observed from experience, being that, you know, I actually am a gay man – that gays (homosexual women and men) have a greater perception of gender and perscribed gender roles (which is why “gendering” is so common with men and women picking up exaggerated masculine and feminine stereotypical traits) and tend to have greater success overcoming or redefining those roles. But, of course, why would gay men be inclined to have a more complex understanding of gender and society – it’s not like we ourselves have found ourselves struggling against patriarchy and ancient, destructive ideals of masculinity.

    Or you can just call me an idiot, and assume that saying it makes it so.

    Read what I actually wrote, please. I never said you’re an idiot, but your comments sure were idiotic.

    But, anyway, I realize this is all futile, so you or anyone else on this thread won’t be bothered by me any further. I just had to say my piece because I was bothered and offended by what you wrote – mock that as much as you want.

  55. bellatrys

    Well, usually I think Phoenecian is a pretty sharp hnau, who I often thought might be XX due to certain neutral indicators, but now I see that a) he’s a he, and b) can be staggeringly obtuse on certain things, as well as expressing that tetchiness that so often means, as my great-grandmother used to say, “your conscience are bothering you”…

    If a member of the privileged group has the first response of reacting to complaints against abuses by said privileged group, by complaining that s/he’s not like the offenders, or that such oppressors are actually a minority among the privileged group – guess what, s/he’s part of the problem. And has only the choice between remaining part of that problem, and getting a clue and starting to become part of the solution (q.v. Res Publica at 11:12 am.)

    How’s that for de-gendering and specifying the problem?

    have never recognized that I have been exposed to the idea that violence of men against women is okay, much less an essential part of manhood.

    What, you mean you never once in your life heard it said “She had it coming to her” or some form thereof in re rape, or “I’d like to get her alone/asleep” or any other such macho talk? Never witnessed a girl running the gauntlet of sexually-explicit criticism and “hur,hur,hur” laughter from the gang of chauvinists egging each other on? Were you raised by wolves on Mt. Athos or something? I mean, geez, I thought I had a sheltered life when it came to sex talk, but I’d encountered all of those memes repeatedly by oh, starting 9th grade…

  56. Sarah in Chicago

    Dr.B -

    You’re on! We are so going out for shrimp tacos :)

    Now, all I gotta figure out is how to get to you, or you to me *smile*

  57. Jenny K

    a round of applause for LeisureGuy!

    and another round for those of you who helped!

    That was really interesting to watch, actually.

    I’d also like to add that I think that many people who aren’t old enough to have watched those shows when they first aired tend to forget that many of the people who are “running things,” so speak, did grow up when such blantant sexism was commonplace.

    I’ll never forget my shock when my parents explained that when my mother played for her college basketball team, she was only allowed to play half court. That is, the defensive players had to stay, once play started, on their side of the court, vice versa for the offensive players. The reasoning was that even these college athletes were too delicate, simply because they were women.

    Attitudes, unfortunately, do not change that quickly. Knowing the restrictions put on my mother when she played basketball changed my perspective on many people’s reactions to the WBNA and other women’s sports.

  58. bitchphd

    I’ll be in Chicago at some point in August, actually. Email me.

    Leisure guy, re. violence, here’s another example: women are constantly bombarded with “advice” about how to “protect ourselves” from rape. Every single woman I know is a little bit afraid to walk home alone in the dark (even though many of us do it anyway). Every single woman is a little bit nervous about travelling alone. Every single woman has had moments of being afraid about being alone in her house or apartment at night. Every single woman has had the experience of being catcalled or whistled at on the street. Every single woman, therefore, has been taught to live with fear of violence. Every single one of us.

    Many guys don’t get that, because they don’t have to think about it. Many guys don’t realize that if they are walking home at night, and a woman is walking home on the same street, the woman is almost certainly VERY aware of the guy’s presence, and is paying very acute attention to his every step to see if he is speeding up, slowing down, or what. Decent guys will deliberately cross to the other side of the street from the woman in order to give her space. I have a good friend who once whirled around on a guy who’d followed her all the way home and yelled “what the fuck are you doing following me?” only to have him say, “I live in this building too.” To which her response was, “well, don’t you know any better than to follow a woman for several blocks?” He thought she was a bitch. Because he had never had to think about it.

  59. LeisureGuy

    Interesting point about women having *always* to be alert to the situation around them. I have recognized that to some degree, but have not felt it–though, in one sense, I do recognize how a fear constantly lived with will gradually fade from one’s awareness, much like an odor that’s ever-present cannot after a while be smelled. I’m thinking of how I very gradually and intermittently became aware of the fear that accompanies working in a large organization, where much politicking goes on and to some extent the company culture is to keep employees on edge. So that everyone is more or less always fearful, and often with a not unfounded fear (just as the women’s fears are often not unfounded).

    I guess I have heard crude remarks about “others,” be they women or Jewish or black or gay or whatever. Generally I express disgust, leave the area, avoid the person, or whatever, but I hadn’t interpreted such remarks as encouraging violence but rather as expressing ignorance and superstition.

    So far as “had it coming” type of remark, it sometimes seems justified to me (Bernie Webbers, Dennis Kozlowski, et al.) and sometimes it doesn’t (Captain Dreyfus). I guess I judge the individual instances individually.

  60. Twisty

    Bellatrys, such are the effects of the invisibility of patriarchy, and I’m cutting LeisureGuy a break. Admittedly I haven’t been writing or reading blogs all that long, but in the entire time I’ve been doing it, until LeisureGuy I’ve never come across a male person so apparently open to reason. He seems genuinely interested in feminist theory, and as long as he’s not being a chump, he’s welcome to post here and maybe learn some crap.

  61. Anonymous

    If a member of the privileged group has the first response of reacting to complaints against abuses by said privileged group, by complaining that s/he’s not like the offenders, or that such oppressors are actually a minority among the privileged group – guess what, s/he’s part of the problem.

    Pardon me, but would you care to actually quote anyone “reacting to complaints against abuses by said privileged group”? As I recall, each and every person on these multiple threads has agreed that the African males in questions were assholes. The five people (IIRC) that objected were objecting to being lumped in with these people because we share the characteristic of having our sexual organs hang free rather than be tucked away.

    Personally, I think I’m responding in exactly the same way I’d respond if someone said that because I’m European, I share responsibility for the Holocaust, or because I’m white, I share responsibility for the Atlantic slave trade. I’m willing to listen to people make cases that I am privileged in ways I may not see (which is what Dr Bitch is getting into NOW); I am not willing to listen to people lumping me in with those morons.

    But, then again, you’re a woman. You simply don’t understand logic – I guess we can just lump you in with “Maths is hard” Barbie and every simpering bimbo in the teen movies.

    Right?

  62. res publica

    First of all, Chad, I should apologize for the mocking tone of my comments. That was inappropriate. I still deeply disagree, but there was no need to be an asshole about it. So, with that out of the way….

    if that will help you to stop spread misinformation about the ability of my group to build lasting relationships.

    Your group, huh? You most be a part of some gay community that I’ve yet to find, where all the men have this fantastic feminist consciousness. Because the gay community and LGBT organizations that I’ve been heavily involved with for the past decade or so are influenced by the patriarchy of the larger culture in a remarkably consistent way. That doesn’t make that community, or the people in it, evil or bad or wrong. It just makes us a part of the world we live in. We have our own special struggles for justice, but that doesn’t mean we can pretend we have no stake in other struggles – like the struggle to end patriarchy. In my view, if you’re a man, then that struggle begins right between your own ears.

    I guess I can see how you might read what I wrote as suggesting that gay men are unable to form lasting relationships, though that was certainly not what I meant. I am, in fact, in a very happy, lasting gay relationship, and I know plenty of other male couples who make it work. My ONLY point (really!!) was that patriarchy teaches ALL men that in a couple, someone (hint: the guy) has to be the boss. St. Paul attests to it, many marriage liturgies suggest it, and it is a part of the “common sense” of our society. So, when two men attempt to build a life for each other, how do we work that out? I’ve seen a lot of gay relationships that preserve the couple-as-hierarchy dynamic, but base it on something other than gender – like who’s the top, who makes more money, who’s older, etc. Other relationships work it out in more complicated ways. But everybody has to work it out somehow.

    As for homosexuals constituting a third sex, I’m not sure what that could possibly mean. I feel certain you’re not suggesting that gay people are a separate biological sex (though even it that were the case, there are already more than 3), so you must be suggesting that gay men constitute a third gender. Which is interesting, and much in keeping with an older view of gay men as “female men” (men on the margins of their gender, “two spirits”, etc.). Lesbians have historically been inclined to view lesbianism as a deeply and essentially feminine act, in some sense more fully female than heterosexual womanhood, which is a very different take on homosexuality from the “marginal manhood” model mentioned above. I think the contrast is interesting, although as a social constructionist, I don’t really believe that any of these labels have a sort of essence rooted in some reality beyond language and desire. And I do think that gender as we have it is a binary ideology. We may wish there were some happier third way to which we might repair, but I don’t think there is. Furthermore, I think that a serious coalition between feminist women and gay men could be a powerful force for cultural change, but if gay men continue to insist that patriarchy isn’t our issue, that coalition can never emerge.

    Somehow, we’ve come back ‘round to talking about men. *sigh* I’m gonna go ahead and blame the patriarchy.

  63. Twisty

    Hey Simpering Bimbo guy: brilliant analysis! Because you’re a dude, we are holding you personally responsible for the attacks on the African village. You’ve totally nailed the gist of the thread!

  64. LeisureGuy

    Simpering Bimbo guy (terrible name, but how else to refer to an unsigned post) hits the nail on the head: that is exactly what I was trying to say over on BitchPhD when I got into trouble.

    In more pondering of this, I have found a couple of instances of what seem to be terms of art, not immediately understandable by those (like me) new to the conversation.

    One is “violence”: I now understand that this terms covers not only physical violence but also the threat of physical violence and also the effects on our unconscious beliefs and attitudes that result from absorbing the teachings of the currently dominant social system. I had been interpreting violence in the literal, physical sense when I came across it in discussions, which is why I was having such difficulties initially in understanding what Res Publica was telling me.

    The other is “patriarchy.” That term, as I now understand it, is used as the name for all the teachings and devices of the currently dominant social system. One question I’m still pondering is: What are the alternatives? The use of “patriarchy” suggests that the alternative is “matriarchy,” but I suspect that such a system would have its own difficulties–and besides, there must be other alternatives as well.

    I assume that someone has developed somewhere (in a book? an article?) ideas that can replace “patriarchy” as a total system. That is, it would be interesting to view what one is working toward rather than simply to be reacting against. Any suggestions?

  65. WookieMonster

    Patriarchy doesn’t have to be replaced by matriarchy, how about equality? What feminists are fighting for is equality, not matriarchy.

  66. Crys T

    “The use of “patriarchy” suggests that the alternative is “matriarchy,”

    This is, as Wookiemonster pointed out, a false dichotomy. In reality, there are any number of possible alternatives, matriarchy being only one.

    “I had been interpreting violence in the literal, physical sense when I came across it in discussions, which is why I was having such difficulties initially in understanding what Res Publica was telling me.”

    I’d like to say here that while figurative violence is and ought to be included, we cannot downplay the amount of literal physical violence men direct towards women.

    You said earlier that you were raised to believe that only certain types of men would ever hit women. Well, I obviously wasn’t there with you at the time, but I have to say that it must have been a pretty damn idealistic place. Where I’ve lived all my life (in 3 different countries/cultures, including the US, btw) literal violence towards women has DEFINITELY been encouraged.

    I mean, yeah, little boys are told that they shouldn’t hit little girls, but when Daddy has a drink too many and slaps Mummy, well, most people either smirk or give a knowing look. Shit, even all-out beatings are often met with, “What did she do to provoke him???”-type responses. And of course, sexual violence of all kinds is seen as Just The Way Things Are.

    Maybe you are thinking that violent men are only those who break bones or knock out teeth, not those who “just” slap, shove or yank women around by the hair. IMO, though, a woman doesn’t have to have injuries severe enough to warrant emergency medical treatment in order for me to acknowledge that she’s been the victim of violent assault.

    And I’m also sure that those women who have ended up in hospital with horrific injuries could enlighten you on just how seriously their pain is taken by others from law enforcement to their own families.

    Make no mistake: literal violence by men towards women is DEFINITELY approved of.

  67. LeisureGuy

    I don’t think I was raised in a particularly ideal place: I was born in 1940 and raised in a very small town (pop 2400) in southern Oklahoma. Growing up, I recall seeing only one person who was drunk (a man, FWIW). Oklahoma was a dry state until after I had left for college–and it had stayed dry due to a peculiar partnership of bootleggers and temperance preachers.

    I also never saw physical violence toward a woman (including slapping or shaking or the like) while I was growing up. I’m sure it must have occurred, but it would have been shameful, so it was well-concealed (at least from me).

    While there may be some or many who approve of literal violence by men toward women, there are also many (including men and including me) who DEFINITELY disapprove of it. I also, FWIW, disapprove of violence pretty much across the board, again doubtless a product of my up-bringing.

    Some up above stated that when a privileged group (e.g., white men) that’s guilty of abuses and a member of that group says that he’s not guilty of those abuses and in fact strongly condemns them, then he’s a part of the problem. So I guess (if the original statement is true), I’m a part of the problem. But if the problem is being a white male, then there’s not much I can do about it: I’ll be a white male to the day I die.

    It seems to me that the problem is rather the axioms and belief system of the patriarchy, as I now know to call it, and those who consciously accept those axioms and work to maintain the structure.

    Here’s an example. A woman I was close to in Iowa City was trying to get funding for a shelter for abused women. One of those opposing it was a member of the city council who said that a particular woman wasn’t abused, just slapped around a little. That’s an amazing statement, particularly since the council member making it was a woman, and the fact that someone could publicly make it does show what a bad situation we face.

    FWIW, my father never struck or otherwise abused my mother. Those things do happen. Not every family is unhappy.

  68. LeisureGuy

    Possibly this thread has served its purpose, but in talking over with my wife my postings here, I discovered a possible misunderstanding. When I wrote that I never heard someone approve of violence toward women or say of a rape victim that she was asking for it, I meant that literally: no one ever (that I recall) spoke to me in such words. I certainly have read of such things in books (fiction and nonfiction), seen it in movies (though seldom in those days: remember, “Rebel Without a Cause” was a shocking movie at the time), and so on. But even then such attitudes were associated with a low sort of person. The people that I hung out with, in school, college, and later, did not overtly harbor such attitudes or speak such words.

  69. Phoenician in a time of Romans

    Simpering Bimbo guy (terrible name, but how else to refer to an unsigned post) hits the nail on the head: that is exactly what I was trying to say over on BitchPhD when I got into trouble.

    Damn – that was me, sorry.

    In my lifetime I’ve had one friend (female) raped, seen an assault victim (male) beaten so bad his ear was hanging off, and I’ve had a friend (transgendered) have a friend murdered for being a girly-boy.

  70. ginmar

    The five people (IIRC) that objected were objecting to being lumped in with these people because we share the characteristic of having our sexual organs hang free rather than be tucked away.

    Simpering Bimbo Guy is PrincePoetSensitiveWarriorGuy, the guy who thinks that what’s really important about sexism is how it inconveniances him. He doesn’t want to actually do anything about it, you know—in fact, he depends on those sexist guys to prop himself up. HE’s the guy who thinks he’s good because he’s not actually bad, who then probably complains about how wo men don’t like nice guys when they don’t reward his not-actively-bad persona with healing sex and gratitude. Because he expects gratitude. Frankly, PPSWGs scare me more than offensive louts. And in a discussion about rape survivors and retaliation, he can think only of himself and how his widdle feelings were hurt. That’s not significant at all.

  71. Karen

    Leisure Guy, “The opposite of patriarchy is not matriarchy, but fraternity”–from the beginning of a Sinead O’Connor album.

    As Crys T said, of course there are other alternatives.

  1. Pandagon

    The Booth brothers live amongst us

    Alright, I need to stop fuming and stomping. (Took break to laugh at Twisty’s excellent rebuttal of the “WHAT ABOUT MEN?!” complaint that breaks out in feminist threads at an alarmingly high rate.) Anyway, that means it’s time for a…

  2. insert witty comment here

    Being a blogreader

    see how short that blogroll is?

    And while you’re there, note that it’s one entry longer than it used to be. I’ve added Republic of Dogs…

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