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Sep 01 2007

AntifeministWatch 2007: Ana Marie Cox

Last night I thought I’d do something uncharacteristically current-eventish, and watched McLaughlin on PBS. It was another one of those “are bloggers legitimate journalists/whatever will become of poor print media?” discussions. Counting McLaughlin, the panel was Y-chromosome heavy, with a ratio of four dudes to one woman. The woman, of course, was plucky DC wit Ana Marie Cox, formerly of Wonkette and currently of Time.com.

Since I am an avid reader of celebrity internet gossip only when all other avenues for insipid entertainment have been exhausted, I have not closely followed Cox’s career. It turns out that while I was farting around eating tacos, Cox was hard at work parlaying her pottymouthed bloggerdom into a meteoric rise to Professional Token Edgy Hot Chick on the pundit circuit. One of her weekly stops was the Don Imus show. When Imus got shitcanned for bigoted assholery last April, Cox hopped on the “I always knew that guy was a racist!” bandwagon. She wrote a column for Time.com wherein she revealed that the only reason she was allowed anywhere near the Imus boys’ clubhouse was so they’d all have something to “leer at.” But she sucked it up — not just the leering, but “the race-baiting” and “casual locker-room misogyny” — because she rilly rilly wanted to win her “media-elite merit badge.”

Of course, having once pursued a vocation as a suck-up doesn’t automatically preclude a token edgy hot chick’s subsequent contributions to elevated discourse. But I’ll never know if Ana Marie Cox has anything of philosophic value to say on television or not. If she does have, she omitted to say any of it on McLaughlin last night. Even if she’d wanted to — and whether she did or didn’t want to, I cannot say — three things would have obscured her efforts.

1. McLaughlin invited her to opine only infrequently, compared to his three other guests, the dudes. Unlike Cox, these dudes did not give the impression that they were now, or ever had been, sassy.

2. When the great man did give her leave to speak, Cox relied heavily on the word “like” — like, you know, a teenager — and talked rilly rilly fast. Rounding out her repertoire of giddy, submissive gestures, she kept her head tilted at a superhumanly acute angle, a move she seemed unable to resist combining with an inflatable-doll “O” mouth and batting her eyes at the camera. Adorable!

3. When McLaughlin brought up the Kathy Sierra episode and cited a statistic that women bloggers are targeted for hate speech and death threats at a rate 25 times that of dude bloggers, he turned to Cox — the Token Chick blogger/default authority on misogyny — and asked her why there’s so much misogyny on the internet. Her answer was comedy gold. She doesn’t think — seriously, she actually said this — she doesn’t think death threats, rape threats, sex-based derision, and DOS attacks are misogyny at all. Her theory is that the Internet is merely dominated by dudes in greater number, so some women might find the atmosphere a little less than welcoming.

This bending over and taking the status quo up the ass was not only a painfully transparent effort to distance herself from unfashionable feminist hags and bring her a step closer to her merit badge, it made the bloviating dudes look like radical feminist spinster aunts. And one of those dudes was Pat Buchanan. It was excruciating to watch.

Of course, this is a woman who wrote, in a NY Times review of Katha Pollit’s Virginity or Death: “Strident feminism can seem out of place — even tacky — in a world where women have come so demonstrably far.”

31 comments

3 pings

  1. Wordsmith

    I don’t watch Ana Marie Cox. I rarely read her blog. I’m more into substance. As for me, I believe the Kathy Sierra brouhaha is like, totally about misogyny – totally.

  2. Ginger Mayerson

    Oh God, not that vicious ninny AMC. She is the token edgy chick, the bad girl the cool boys keep around for laughs and blow jobs. Yes, that was mean, but there you have it.

    I get the feeling AMC would knife just about anyone to get where she thinks she should be. I’d like to know where that is, so I don’t get w/in a hundred miles of it.

    Ah well. I’d never call her a sister-in-blogging, but she probably wouldn’t want me to anyway. I’m one of those tacky feminist types.

    How lucky you are that she’s escaped your notice thus far, Twisty. On the other hand, you ain’t been missing much.

  3. slade

    I missed Eleanor Clift….I watch that show just to listen to her yell at Buchanan and that fat asshole from the Washington Times.

    Eleanor wrote ‘Founding Sisters and the 19th Amendment.’ She needs to have a talk w/ AMC and possibly show her ‘the way.’

  4. norbizness

    1) There is NO WAY John McLaughlin is still alive.

    2) Did you know that Eleanor was actually was once married to actor Montgomery Clift’s OLDER brother?

    3) Nobody tell Twisty about the female news contributors to the Fox News Channel. They’re like Uncle Toms, if Uncle Tom bought a slave trading operation and started exploring Africa for new business opportunities.

  5. Jeni

    Oh, gross. I’m just glad there are people (namely, Twisty) who actually care enough for the idea that women are human and should be treated as such that I can read their blogs instead of AMC’s. I wonder if someday she’ll be in the “media elite” and realise she has nothing to say because she sold all all her values to get to the top?

  6. Dolia

    She doesn’t sound like she has anything to say now. Precisely why the dumb dudes like having her around.

  7. Cass

    She’s going to go far, all right.

  8. Octogalore

    She’s maybe one or two pegs above Caitlin Flanagan and narrowing the gap daily.

  9. ew_nc

    Oh, that sounds as if it must have been excruciating! I’m sure you had to take a pain pill and lie down afterwards. Watching sell-outs can cause extreme obstrepal lobe strain. Not to mention what it does to the spleen.

  10. Crystal

    ooh! the internalized misogyny centers in my brain are all alight, yet I still enjoy this thoroughly in a sick way. We are just making fun of the dudes and the media promoted ideas of what an “edgy” woman is like, right?
    That said, they day they feature a woman with any real “edge” on a mainstream news channel is the day I’ll start watching TV again.

  11. delagar

    Tacky? *TACKY*?

    Also, bring Cox down to Arkansas and let her move in with the women in Scott County if she thinks women have come so far.

    Tacky my ass.

  12. Ms Kate

    Maybe she’s getting some attention because she’s only slightly easier on the ears than Braindead Hasslebeck.

  13. Mar Iguana

    Tacky my ass.”

    Thank you delagar, for a great chuckle; funny on several levels. Heh.

  14. EN

    Just because they want to kill women, doesn’t mean they hate them! Bog!

  15. thebewilderness

    Sometimes I wonder why the token women on corporate media always seem to be presented as one of the few women on the planet who measure up to the journalist/pundit standards of a bunch of misogynist, racist, self absorbed asshats.
    Then I think, Oh, I know why. IBTP

  16. Jessant

    Oh god, that’s just horrible. I was watching an intelligent woman given the opportunity to talk about her passion for radio on on Bill Moyer’s show last week. I was thinking the entire time how rare it was to find something of substance on television and how much rarer it was to find a woman of substance allowed to just talk for more than three minutes without some dude interrupting her. I was positively glowing listening to her. It was like a religious experience. This Wonkette character is obviously taking the easy road. When I listen to her talk it just seems like she doesn’t take herself seriously at all. As someone else said, women like this go far. I just don’t think it’s worth it in the end. I’d like to believe there’s more women like the former, women of substance…I just don’t think they’re on television that often for obvious reasons. It just fucks with the status quo in a way that men can’t take. It’s like you’re taking away their spotlight. As long as men can browbeat women into submission their happy and feel like their in control of their world. Another reason to ditch the tube. The male perspective is enforced with an iron fist on most news shows and commercials. It got worse after 9/11, the number of women appearing on the news dropped drastically and then this left and right bullshit debating started. Watching the news is just an excuse to get angry.

  17. Blamerella

    The male perspective is enforced with an iron fist on most news shows and commercials. It got worse after 9/11, the number of women appearing on the news dropped drastically and then this left and right bullshit debating started. Watching the news is just an excuse to get angry.

    Jessant, I hadn’t noticed that LACK of women so much as I’d noticed how they were becoming increasingly blonde-er, younger, sexxay-er, and more deferential to the males. But you’re probably right about the overall numbers decreasing too.

  18. Lara

    I am trying to envision “tacky” and “feminism” together and I am having a rather hard time…..perhaps I am not using my imagination??? I am thinking perhaps lots of gaudy gold decorations everywhere and angry hairy-legged feminists twirling their red capes around….
    IBTP

  19. Mamasquab

    “Edgy hot chick” is a euphemism for “a gal a guy’s gotta love.” And he don’t love her if she says anything that’s not directly related to HIM, fer chrissake.

  20. yankee transplant

    I have never had the Ana Marie experience myself, and honestly, it sounds like something that would make me want to scratch my own eyes out.

    Sorry you were subjected to this, Twisty.

  21. stekatz

    Typically. This is why patriarchy works so well; it’s got perfectly reasonable, accomplished and intelligent women so afraid of rejection on the basis of being unfuckable that large numbers of us just submit.

    And if feminism makes one tacky, well then color me a rusted trailer with pink flamingos, garden gnomes and a bondo-ed Camero out front.

  22. Orange

    I can’t watch all those hollerin’ people on the TV.

    Norbizness, of course John McLaughlin’s not dead yet. Why, just a few weeks back he was blaming Mexican immigrants for the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

  23. Genevieve

    “Nobody tell Twisty about the female news contributors to the Fox News Channel. They’re like Uncle Toms, if Uncle Tom bought a slave trading operation and started exploring Africa for new business opportunities.”

    I know what you’re talking about–my mom watches Fox News and it literally seems like these girls are told that they have to put on three pounds of makeup before they’re allowed to read the news off a teleprompter. Here’s the thing–if I see a woman out in the ‘real world’ who’s wearing a lot of makeup, I’m like: “Whatever, she can do whatever she wants.” But the idea that these girls are covered in makeup to be deemed ‘acceptable’ for doing their jobs is just ridiculous.

  24. the Omphaloskeptic

    “Tacky” apparently means “insufficiently grateful that Dude Nation PROBABLY won’t follow through on all those death threats.”

  25. lymie

    Thank you! She is such a creep. Clueless, not curious. GAH!

  26. Cathy

    Yeah, us ugly old feminist hags are a bunch of witches, aren’t we? Hence the common usage of the phrase, “I’m not a feminist, but-” where the young cutie proceeds to say something which might be considered feminist.

    I’m sure the dudes prefer having a “bimbo” who makes them seem smart, over a woman with brains.

    I’m with Orange – can’t understand anything they say once they all start yelling at once. Bill Moyers is a very rare gem.

  27. blondie

    Speaking of gross old male media, last night Bill O’Reilly was “interviewing” two hot younger women about various current event-ish matters and concluded by betting them “dinner” that he was right about something. Yee-uck.

  28. Who Loves Adolf

    Indeed, Bill O’Reilly was “interviewing” the illegitimately self-proclaimed “feminist,” Monica Crowley, concerning the new PETA ad campaign. Dear Monica delivered a supercilious chuckle along with her comments that the ads, which featured a nude Alicia Silverstone with strategically-placed arms and legs broadcasting the wonders of vegan life, were clearly not exploiting women since numerous forms of media display frontal male nudity. Bill O’Reilly sure knows how to fill his 2 hour slot with self-respecting women. Puke.

  29. Raincloud

    If you want to find some real anti feminists try this lot of religious nut cases. They are some sort of baptists and they have some weird views on everything
    http://handsacrossoceanministry.wordpress.com/

  30. Andy

    “parlaying her pottymouthed bloggerdom into a meteoric rise to Professional Token Edgy Hot Chick on the pundit circuit”

    Now that is comedy gold, GOLD I tell ya. I have no room in my head for the Wonkette. Or most of the talk shows, for that matter. Thanks for watching, so I don’t have to.

  31. madmonq

    The McLaughlin Group is still on the air?

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