I have been asked to participate in the Take Back the Blog! Blogswarm. It’s quite a decent gesture: a bunch of bloggers propose to blog en masse, on April 28, “in support of the rights of women to participate fully in all aspects of our society, including specifically online in the world of blogging but indeed everywhere and at all times, day and night, without fear of harassment, intimidation, sexual harassment, online stalking and slander, predation or violence of any sort.”
Well, I write this kind of shit every day, and so far there is precious little evidence that anybody pays the slightest attention (our little band of blamers excepted, of course!), but maybe if 10 or 20 or 50 other bloggers do it at the same time —
Oh, who am I kidding? A thousand bloggers could write “it’s not cool to oppress women” on April 28, but sooner or later it’ll be April 29, and our little pet issue will turn into a pumpkin, and it’ll be dudely business-as-usual again on the World Wide Web.
Time for a Twisty bromide: Women’s oppression is a global humanitarian crisis. Any so-called political blogger who (a) who does not explicitly, strenuously, and regularly denounce it, and (b) condones an antifeminist commentarian zeitgeist, might as well rename their stupid blog “I Defend the Conviction that Male Abuse of Women Constitutes the Natural Order, Now Where Are the Boobies?”
I am sorry to report that the number of functionally antifeminist liberal blogs is not insignificant. The spinster aunt finds, without even trying, that a gazillion examples are just a click away. It’s as easy as 1-2-3! Check out the Huffington Post. It’s the 8th most popular blog in the world! What’s the breaking news on the women’s oppression front today?
Not that there’s no news about sexbots, i.e. the chick-related topic it’s cool to blog about. In fact, today’s HuffPo has got a groundbreaking post on Paris Hilton, who is facing jail time for drunk driving. According to astute columnist Chris Kelly, Hilton is a stupid skank with a 30-word vocabulary. Zounds! Not only is it thrilling to read such a refreshing and intellectually innovative viewpoint, it gives blog commenters the opportunity to do what so many blog commenters do best: reflect incisively on the female condition, i.e. “I hope [Hilton] has a horrible time in prison, and leaves as a woman.”
Oh, and they’ve got photo of Richard Gere groping a female Indian celebrity at some fundraiser in Jaipur. She’s up on obscenity charges as a result, but nobody has much to say about that.
Well, deducing that the global humanitarian crisis of women’s oppression is a non-starter in the HuffPo was a piece of cake. But how about the 9th most popular blog in the world, Daily Kos?
Like taking candy from a baby. Unsurprisingly, on the front page of Kos this morning there is some bloviating on John McCain, dissatisfaction with the bureaucracy at the CDC, helpful suggestions about what George Tenet should have done in 2002, and a poll on the burning question of the FDA’s definition of chocolate. A click back to yesterday’s posts reveals, at last, an essay on the news (news to mainstream America, anyway) that one in three Native women “will be raped.”* Like any contributor who wishes to be taken seriously on an A-list blog, the author comes out with impunity against rape, but even s/he must pay homage to the implicit liberal-dude understanding that there are always issues more pressing than violence against women:
I know there are a lot of scandals at the front of the line, but the next time someone gets Gonzales on the stand, why not stop for a moment and ask him why the FBI is so slow to respond to crime against Native Americans [...] ?
The topic of the male culture of rape recedes comfortingly into the aether as the comments section briskly veers off into a discussion on Native American “spirituality,” Wounded Knee, and reservation politics.
Kos’ commentariat generally do not disappoint patriarchy-enthusiasts. Within two clicks and without the slightest effort one may scroll across a remark like this on a post on Condoleezza Rice: “Would a redneck, beer-and-a-shot frathead like Georgie be comfortable around a good-butt honeybun like Condi, if he hadn’t porked her ???”
Even the asinine tangents reveal an appreciation for Dude Nation that pains you to ascribe to anyone on the Left. In an open thread commenter skymutt wonders what to get his 6-year-old niece for her birthday “because she already has everything … [sic].” Commenter nupstateny helpfully suggests a Barbie. “Even if she has a ton of them” quoth this cheerful supporter of abuse culture and materialism, “she’ll love another one.”
Oh, I could go on like this all day, and I would, too, except, you know, I don’t want to.
Well, big whoop, you say; it’s no news flash that political bloggers are fond of the position that women’s oppression is a special-interest fringe issue, and that anyone who says different is some kind of prunefaced hag who can’t get a good fuck.
Yeah, well, that it isn’t a news flash is the big whoop.
* I enclose “will be raped” in quotation marks because goddammit the universality of this dude-friendly passive-voice construction is one of my Top Ten Hide-Chappers. “Women are raped” is just so sickeningly in tune with both the cultural narrative of women as passive receptacles, and the concomitant mysterious absence of any reference to a perpetrator. Truth is enbiggened by switching to active voice: “Men will rape one in three Native women.” Let’s give credit where credit is due.