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Mar 19 2009

White Chick Tool of the Patriarchy of the Week

Photo from Parker's Wa-Po bio.

Photo from Parker's Wa-Po bio.

Pretty much every essay on this here patriarchy-blaming blog showcases the flaming asininity of one tool of the patriarchy or another. Rapists, pornographers, politicians, and rapist-pornographer-politicians, mostly. But today Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker has managed exceedingly to put a prickle in the Twisty bike shorts. Kathleen Parker is Tool o’ th’ Week.

Parker has written a dear-god-what-about-the-men! response to Obama’s having created a White House Council on Women and Girls.* Not only that, she has written it in the style of a mainstream media columnist.

You know the style I mean. It’s the one that tries to be hep and shrewd but is actually a frumpy clot of mediocrity dressed in an old hat. Disciples of this style spend the winter in the Cliché Islands, returning home with extra suitcases packed with souvenirs. They stick one of these poor, emaciated clichés in their opening paragraph and reprise it at the end as a parting zinger, taking care not to express any new ideas in between.

That mainstream media columnist style has got to go.

I had only to read the first two sentences of Kathleen Parker’s column before my obstreperal lobe started pulsating. The sentences to which I allude contain some of the most obnoxious ideas and trite phrases in the English language.

“With a flick of his pen, President Obama finally laid to rest Freud’s most famous question and iterated one of man’s hardest-learned lessons: Women want what women want.

And the wise man sayeth: “Yes, dear.”

What women want! Is she fucking kidding with that exhausted old clump of sexist toxic waste? What women want is never to have to read “What do women want?” in a mainstream media column again. And that “yes, dear” crap! How bogus is the patriarchal narrative that women use their feminine wiles to manipulate their henpecked men into submission, thus proving that women rule the world?

Here at Spinster HQ it’s unanimous: we’d rather get waterboarded than ever read another word, on any topic, written by this knob Kathleen Parker.

Kathleen Parker is a patriarchy-denier. She loves heterosexual marriage, male privilege, and the happy nuclear families these supposedly create. Mang, she ought to get with those quiverful chicks. O the happy hours they might while away together, sewing 19th-century calico outfits and shooting the breeze about how discrimination against women is really a figment of the fugly feminists’ imagination.

I say this because, in addition to all the other asinine remarks she makes during the course of her outstandingly misogynist essay, Parker makes this one, crabbing that Obama hasn’t created a Pro-Dude Council:

“[B]oys won’t be equal to girls if we don’t focus some of our resources on their needs and stop advancing the false notion that girls are a special class of people deserving special treatment.”

Silly Parker, confusing “equality” with “liberation.”

Women, she maintains, aren’t really the victims of wage discrimination. Obama’s making it up. He’s using stats that are skewed by the inclusion of the zillions of women who “choose” to “stay home” to tend the cozy family hearth. Apparently, women who volunteer to be paid bupkis for a lifetime of drudgery shouldn’t be a part of the pay equation. They’re hidden beneath piles of laundry and dirty dishes, and that’s their choice. Out of sight, out of mind.

Parker “suppress[es] a chortle,” having wryly perceived that any attention paid by the president to the country’s most oppressed class amounts to an anti-dude “rescue of damsels in distress” and “an act of paternalistic magnanimity.” She portrays Obama as an overprotective patriarch who is still, somehow, pussywhipped.

I suppress a chortle at this seeming impossibility until I remember that Obama is superhuman, and therefore is fully capable of being a domineering asshole and a compliant “yes, dear” dishrag at the same time.

Parker, like all gender-traitor patriarchyists, sees the world in absolute terms of dominance and submission. Pursuant to this binary view of woman-dude relations, there must be a nuclear family, and pants must be worn in it, but only, it seems, by one person of one gender at a time; the unlucky submissives are culturally and morally bound to surrender the Legwear of Distinction. According to Parker, women’s smashing success in creating a feminist society based on man-bashing, and our subsequent brilliance in school and in the workplace, has de-pantsed our men and boys. Unaccustomed to the cold wind of female superiority on their bare legs, their only option is to become dropouts and junkies and to commit suicide in epidemic proportions.

It’s no surprise that Parker is conversant in the deleterious effects of women’s success on poor, disenfranchised men; her brilliant contribution to the degradation of the entire human species is the notion that men and boys are the real victims of modern American culture. In fact, she has written a whole book on “trends that portend man’s cultural demise.” Among these dangerously emasculating trends threatening the very fabric of our civilization are “men in dresses” and “vagina worship.”

Boys,” [Parker warns,] “really do need our attention, not only for themselves but also for the girls who will be their wives (we hope) someday. We do still hope that boys and girls grow up to marry, don’t we? Preferably before procreating? “

What boys need — while women like Parker dream of saddling future generations of women with their care and feeding — is feminist revolt. Dismantling patriarchy will obviate their addiction to a system of dominance and submission, which in turn will relieve them of the obligation to commit suicide whenever they encounter a woman wearing pants.

__________________
This council dealio will coordinate government efforts in alleviating the effects of oppression on women: poverty, anti-mother bias in the workplace, violence, and health care. This is OK, but not as nearly good as eliminating the oppression in the first place.

[Thanks for the link, Antoinette Niebieszczanski]

88 comments

  1. atiton

    I bet she doesn’t think every day is “Kid’s Day” either.

  2. Cathy

    Newsweek recently had a cover with, “What Women Want” written in lipstick, of course. I could have told them all we want is for men to stop being assholes, but they don’t want to hear that. That mag is increasingly gagging a maggot.

    I told my shrink that I’m roosterpecked, and that the term, “henpecked” is absurd because it is the roosters who treat the hens like crap.

    The double standard is set so that any woman expecting to be treated like a human being is “bitchy.” Yet they can attack us, often violently, and that’s perfectly “normal.”

    Don’t hold your breath for the council dealio to have much effect, because all cabinet members are supposed to participate, and they are overwhelmingly male. Not that it makes any diff with women like Parker around.

  3. octopod

    I have nothing of substance to say here, yet. I just wanted to be a hideous kiss-ass in observing that the paragraph beginning with “Parker, like all gender-traitor patriarchyists…” is exactly the sort of thing that has led me to heartily recommend this blog to all potentially-feminist fans of P. G. Wodehouse.

    Why does this woman think that men who hate women give a tinker’s fart what she thinks? Who coined this blatantly ahistorical “Education where you sit still is designed for girls” meme come from, and can I beat them over the head with a drawing of Egyptian scribal students until they surrender? And what on earth does she mean by “vagina worship”, anyhow?

  4. fsteele

    Hear, hear!

  5. Tomecat

    “We do still hope that boys and girls grow up to marry, don’t we? Preferably before procreating?”

    No. No we don’t. I, for example, hope that boys and girls are able to pursue whatever path they choose, even if it doesn’t include getting married and having piles of babies. Radical, I know.

    “And surely the president can’t be ignorant of the fact that boys in this country are in far graver danger than girls in nearly every measurable way.”

    Yes, I see how compelling your scientific studies and statistics are. Oh wait. There are none. Nice, in light of your own accusations that Obama’s statistics are suspect.

    “…wage differences can be explained by “observable differences in the attributes of men and women,” including, among many, the fact that a greater percentage of women than men take leave for childbirth and child care, which tends to lead to lower wages. Also, women may place more value on “family-friendly” workplace policies and prefer non-wage compensation, such as health insurance or flexibility.”

    Gee, I wonder why a woman would need health insurance, or childbirth leave, or a flexible work schedule? Surely they could simply marry a man and he could take care of everything for her. I want to scream when I see crap like this. NOT EVERY WOMAN WANTS BEING A GODDAMNED UNPAID NURSEMAID TO BE HER ONLY OPTION IN LIFE. Crap. I am so sick of being told that if I just do what I’m told, all of the time, forever, I too might be able to share in some little piece of the American dream. At least whatever part the man I have trapped thinks I deserve and will deign to magnanimously shower upon me.

    Ugh. There isn’t one sentence in that entire article that I don’t want to erase from my brain.

  6. Jezebella

    As always, I am grateful that you took a hit for the team and read the entire article. I read about two paragraphs, felt nauseated, and clicked away. Your intestinal fortitude is mighty.

  7. Sophie Lagacé

    I’m having a hard time deciding which quote I hate most. I’m torn between pearls like “boys in this country are in far graver danger than girls in nearly every measurable way” (WTF? WTFF?) and “We do still hope that boys and girls grow up to marry, don’t we? Preferably before procreating?” (Hell no, we don’t. We hope they all grow up to be happy, but we really don’t care whether they marry, to who, and we don’t recommend that procreation be pursued for about 80% of them).

    But for sheer irritation, I think I’ll go with “There’s little profit in criticizing a move to make life better for the fairer sex.” Because, Kathleen dear, that’s exactly what you proceed to do, to your own noticeable profit; and I’m prodigiously annoyed by the expression “the fairer sex”.

  8. Mukherjee

    Twisty, I feel like giving you a medal for wading through this crappy article. Yeah, the poor little men! How terribly oppressed they are!
    I don’t know which is worse, that she actually believes this rubbish, or that she pretends to believe it in order to curry favour with men.
    I am not very coherent now, so it might be better for me to stop here.

  9. LCforevah

    What is it about Republican women that they want to grab their ankles and bend over 24/7? And then they want the rest of us to join them!

    Sorry, Parker. Not interested.

  10. slythwolf

    Men’s cultural demise! If only.

  11. Unreliable Historian

    Please don’t miss the NYT article – Girls Stand by their Man- which explains for those of us too simple to consider that they are just brainwashed senseless by the culture, all the other good reasons teenage girls blame the victim for dating violence. Mood swings, you know? or considering that boys can get seriously hurt when called out for bad behavior- and we don’t want to hurt a boys reputation for a little punch in the face. But the kicker for me was the idea at the end- just have kids rewrite the ending of “Othello” so that Desdemona gets help from the local battered women’s shelter ( they had those in Cyprus in 1600, right?) and make it all nice and pretty. Done and done!

  12. Pinko Punko

    Gack.

  13. Emily

    She’s got nothing on Marybeth Hicks over at the Washington Times, who thinks we should forget about the Council on Women and Girls; a Council on Men and Boys is what women really need. I think her last paragraph sums it up nicely:
    “Believe me, I’m not man-bashing. Rather, I think the feminist agenda is a false promise. A council on women and girls that seeks to infuse feminism across the government propels us further from real solutions. Our government just isn’t man enough to fix what’s wrong.”
    The comments are extra-horrific.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/18/men-are-womens-issue/

    I first read about this at The Pursuit of Harpyness, here: http://www.harpyness.com/2009/03/18/dear-president-obama-what-about-the-menz/

  14. Julia

    Twisty, that paragraph about the pants was a gem of delightful, Wodehousian brilliance.

    This woman is a hypocrite of the worst ilk.

  15. Elizabeth

    I dunno, I thought vagina worship sounded pretty cool.

  16. Jo

    Parker,

    That’s an awfully sharp boot you’ve got on my neck. Cloo: Teh Menz do NOT need your help.

    No love,

    Jo

  17. Marilyn

    This is the Washington Post. The New York Times has done stuff like this for generations un to and including our own, with Maureen Dowd as their current bitch in heat for the patriarchy. These are supposed to be the best newspapers in our country. With newspapers on the ropes, I say, if this is the best of the best, let them all DIE.

  18. Orange

    Wow, that’s Parker in the photo? I always assumed she was much older, owing to the medievality of her writings.

    I have been having some conversations on my crossword discussion forum with assorted menz who make the same points as Ms. Parker. (Sure, it’s off-topic there, but it’s my site and I’ll be damned if I’m letting sexist crap fester there unchallenged. It’s so fun to be a Humorless Feminist sometimes.) Those poor men in distress! They are the victims of so many crimes! They end up in prison so much more often than women! Obviously, this must be women’s fault, right? Because surely the problem isn’t that men steeped in the patriarchy tend to use violence to hash things out, thereby assaulting other fellas and winding up in jail. Nope, no sir, the patriarchy couldn’t possibly be the problem.

  19. TheLady

    The perniciousness of “but what about the boys??” thinking is amazing. I even catch myself doing it sometimes!

    They’ve published a study here in the UK recently about how girls do better in single-sex schools (big duh – they’re not menaced into dumbing down by the egotistical demands of male fellow students thinly veiling the threat of violence with “high spirits”), with the predictable results that everyone is beating their chests, wailing and gnashing their teeth about the future of penile education in this country.

    And I’m thinking, how come whe Susan Pinker writes a book explaining that women do less well in their careers than men because that just the way they’re made, that cool and righteous, but when someone publishes a study confirming the notion that men are stupid and lazu because that’s just the way they are made, it’s a national crisis?

    Hmm. Slight tangent there.

    To go back on topic: no repressive regime can survive without profiteers and collaborators. Women like Parker, Pinker and their ilk are just what you would expect in a healthy thriving patriarchy.

    Still, it’s kind of creepy how so many of them look so much the fucking same. D’you think they’re being manufactures in some sekrit underground volcano facility?

  20. yttik

    Another patriarchal tool, say it isn’t so! I’m shocked, I tell ya. As to “what about the men”, I had to laugh today, Maureen Dowd is often another tool. This week she has written a piece in which she says “Never bolt the door with a boiled carrot.” I have no idea WTF that means, but apparently hundreds of people on the internet have descended to declare that she is mocking the presidential jewels. I wouldn’t worry about the men, apparently there is a giant cult of boiled carrot worshipers ready to defend their honor in the event of an emergency.

    As to the Council on Women and Girls, I am not impressed. Show me a budget, a staff, an office, an address, a schedule of meetings? How about a staff member that doesn’t have a full time job elsewhere? Anything to make this real. I feel like I’ve been patronizingly patted on the head, here little wimmins, please gaze upon me adoringly because I have made token mention of you in the form of a press release. Now don’t trouble your pretty little head with the details, just wallow in gratitude and bask in my glory. Boiled carrots indeed. I want meat and potatoes.

  21. TheBellWitch

    Argh.

    Dear world (especially Kathleen Parker):

    Equality is not a zero-sum game. I’m getting tired of repeating this. Maybe I should make a T-shirt or something.

    Hugs,
    TheBellWitch

  22. Sophia

    I’ve been involved for the past few months in following a really ugly and unpleasant discussion of racism online (ugly and unpleasant due to the behavior of some of the “what about the white people?” debaters who seem to think that because they voted for Obama and their ancestors were Irish, nothing they think or say could ever be racist), and all it takes is attempting to imagine this article written by a black person (“Uncle Tom!” “Race-traitor!”) to realize that sexism in this country is far, far more ingrained and acceptable in this country than racism.

  23. Pantsuit Sally

    “Disciples of this style spend the winter in the Cliché Islands, returning home with extra suitcases packed with souvenirs.”

    Now THAT is some good writing.

  24. PhysioProf

    These fucking Beltway media shitbags make me sick, and Parker is among the most repugnant. She and her ilk are a bunch of sycophantic rich-ass suck-ups to wealth and power, and all they care about is where their next free plastic cup of shit-ass box-wine and pig-sphincter wienie are coming from. GAAH!

    (I love writing “ilk”!)

    Hugs,
    Comrade PhysioProf

  25. wiggles

    Those poor men in distress! They are the victims of so many crimes! They end up in prison so much more often than women!

    Seriously. Some dumbass on some blog post somewhere I forget where recently asserted that rape laws are obviously biased against men because there are more men in jail on rape convictions than women.

  26. not a dudetiful wife

    I salute the tool award. Surely someone with photoshop stills could create an interesting tool awards photo for this …tool.

    By any real measurement, women do experience discrimination. Our society is shameful in the way it does not fully treat women as fully valuable, respectable, deserving as men.

    But this is more of the “everything’s women’s/mommy’s fault.” She reduces the problem to an Everyone Loves Raymond episode.

    It goes with the rule book that if women were a certain way, asked nicely, behaved according to certain rules, they would have success…so there is no discrimination, just justified discrimination for women who didn’t know how to behave. The women who experience discrimination, in other words, kinda sorta deserved it.

  27. Claire

    Poor woman. Poor sad, misguided, fully-colonized, completely dominated woman.

    Yep, paying attention to girls and women, their needs and suffering, is the worst thing ever. Prioritizing them hurts men…because men’s teensy egos are ever-dependent on not prioritizing them.

    Fuck. that. noise.

  28. not a dudetiful wife

    Oh, and I have to say something to this:
    “[B]oys won’t be equal to girls if we don’t focus some of our resources on their needs and stop advancing the false notion that girls are a special class of people deserving special treatment.”

    So…oh, I know, what we can do is create a groups of young, sexually attractive girls in schools whose sole purpose is to cheer and bounce cutely at the team sports of boys….wait a minute..we already do that.

    Oh, I know, in classrooms girl’s comments could be paid less attention to and they could be called on less than the boys…oh, wait, we already do that according to studies…

    Oh, I know, when it comes to teachers and professors, men no longer have to publish three times as much to be considered to be equally qualified to a female teacher…wait…I got that backwards..Male teachers are often treated as the second coming by administrators.

    Oh, I know..in cartoons and films, most stories would pay attention to a lead female character who was funny, intelligent and not with the fake long eyelashes…obviously we have it wrong by featuring most leads as a wise-cracking male character.

    Oh, I know, young males would get a big dose of high achieving women in their history classes, lit classes, and as community examples…obviously, if it works to build up the girls to see all men, then it should work to build up the boys to show them more women.

  29. humanbein

    I laughed right out loud at that Legwear of Distinction paragraph. I thought instantly of my maternal grandma, who always wore said legwear long before it was acceptable, something we were all proud of. She also didn’t believe in magic old men in the clouds and other foolishness. I miss her. My grandpa was a happy go lucky sort most of the time, so they had a pretty relaxed relationship for a marriage.

  30. Hedgepig

    What terrifies me most is the knowledge that millions of people will be reading this Parker fool’s swill and nodding sagely in agreement. You know, I don’t bother talking about the patriarchy and about feminism and about misogyny anywhere other than here anymore. Because I know that anyone I meet won’t have even accepted the first and essential premise of feminism: that patriarchy even exists. So anything I say will be dismissed as nonsense because according to the majority of humanity there is no problem. Has there ever been a system of oppression so invisible??

  31. Laughingrat

    In the library world, a world where we’re supposed to be molding young minds and encouraging freedom for all persons and all that good beautiful stuff, there’s a shit-ton of this “What about the booooooys?” BS slopping around. A whole bunch of women in this mostly-female field, rather than being super excited about the opportunity to teach *all* children the wonder and beauty of learning, are instead falling all over themselves to repeat the historically inaccurate “boys are disadvantaged by our education system” spiel and make special efforts to get books that are “good boy reads.” Judging from what they say makes a “good boy read,” these books presumably feature large print and pictures of explosions.

    Segregation of books by the gender of the intended audience is increasingly prevalent, on our internal recommendation lists if not on the actual shelves (yet). Recently one of the ladies I work with declared that even the mere inclusion of a female sidekick took one action novel out of the “good boy read” category, because “boys don’t like to read about girls.” Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy! Unfortunately, the other thing these well-schooled tools of patriarchy like to do is stubbornly repeat whatever the alpha monkeys are currently saying, so it’s absolutely impossible to reason with them or point out that the research they’re always citing was poorly executed and sexist in intent. Whenever they start conversing in front of me about “good boy reads” and the tyranny of girls, I try to pretend I’m off on a desert island somewhere reading Andrea Dworkin.

  32. Kathleen

    “frumpy clot of mediocrity dressed in an old hat”

    hee hee to the hee, which is a lot of hee hees.

    sakes alive, you are a funny smither of words.

    One of the great disappointments of moving to Canada was finding that this species of newspaper columnist infests the pages of the Globe & Mail, too.

  33. Linda Atkins

    I sent her this:

    Subject line:
    Battering During Pregnancy is the Leading Cause of Birth Defects and Infant Mortality

    So reports the March of Dimes. Just one more rotten way women mistreat men, eh? Oh,
    wait! I got mixed up for a moment there–actually, it’s just one more rotten way men
    mistreat women (and fetuses, and children, and animals … )

    Here’s another:
    Family Violence has Killed More Women in the Last Five Years as the Total Number of
    Americans Who Were Killed in The Vietnam War

    Gee, I wonder why they don’t mention that family violence has killed more MEN in the last
    etc. etc. Probably because it hasn’t, I’m thinking.

    In addition, there is indeed still a wage gap between women and men, and, in case you
    hadn’t noticed, women are still expected to meet exceedingly narrow requirements in
    regard to how “feminine” they appear, in regard to how much they weigh, in regard to how
    much subservience to men they demonstrate, and on and on.

    Among many sad aspects of this is the fact that the women who are most successful at this
    are then treated as if they are bimbos and/or stupid.

    If both a husband and wife work outside the home, whose job is considered indispensable
    and whose is considered optional, generally speaking?

    Do you know lots of men who are terrified to walk outside alone after dark? I doubt you
    know even one. How about the women you know? Do they hesitate to walk at some places
    and times for fear of being raped or otherwise assaulted by a man?

    When we get to the point that men and women are equally free of domestic violence,
    equally free to walk where they please, have jobs that are equally valued and equally
    compensated, then I’ll be glad to consider the special problems faced by boys. Until
    then, I’ll keep my focus firmly on helping women. Obama has done the right thing.

  34. Linda Atkins

    (Sorry for the weird line breaks in the above.)

  35. nobodyspecial

    You know, I’m seeing a lot more than just Republican women pulling their butt cheeks apart for the patriarchy here, and it’s time that was said out loud. We seem to have this BS belief that it’s lace-collar wearing fag-hating, Catholic, Republican, Bush-loving housewives that push this garbage. It’s not.

    I don’t know a snigle schoolteacher that IS a dyed-in-the-wool conservative (where I live at least), and I know tons who dove into this “boys are suffering in the classroom” garbage. And I got to watch some of my most admired feminist heroines suck it up, play battered-wife, and push a sexist bastard who paid his female staff less than his male one into the White House while twisting their hankies and whining about how they Had No Choice.

    It’s high damned time we faced up to the problems that have prevented us fro moving forward as a gender for ONE MILLION YEARS, and we can’t keep shoving them off onto a safe bunch of chintz-curtain-pinning scapegoats anymore. We can’t keep pretending it’s the same five Texas housewives who keep shooting female progress down in flames.

    No, I’m not *B*LA*M*I*N*G* anything but the patriarchy. But we had better actually face the problems of WHY WOMEN KEEP REACTING TO DECADES OF PROGRESS IN THE SAME DAMNED FASHION CENTURY AFTER CENTURY if we want to try making some of that progress stick for more than one generation.

    Does it matter more to us to sit in our own shit and cry about how it’s not really our shit but belongs to someone else, or do we want to figure how how the hell to stand up for once?

  36. tinfoil hattie

    Aaah, PhysioProf, that was great. You took the words right out of my mouth!

  37. gayle

    “What is it about Republican women that they want to grab their ankles and bend over 24/7? And then they want the rest of us to join them!”

    Why do you think she’s a Republican? I’ve heard she’s a Democrat.

    BTW, as the last election cycle proved, there is no shortage of Democratic women willing to bend over for the Patriarchy.

  38. Amananta

    “Women, she maintains, aren’t really the victims of wage discrimination. Obama’s making it up. He’s using stats that are skewed by the inclusion of the zillions of women who “choose” to “stay home” to tend the cozy family hearth. Apparently, women who volunteer to be paid bupkis for a lifetime of drudgery shouldn’t be a part of the pay equation. They’re hidden beneath piles of laundry and dirty dishes, and that’s their choice. Out of sight, out of mind.”

    This commonly repeated lie is beginning to drive me dangerously mad.

    The infamous “pay gap” we are told about – namely, women making about 75 cents to every dollar men do – already factors out women who “choose” to stay at home, part time workers, and the like. That pay gap is specifically between men who work full time and women who work full time. Even when similarly educated and employed, the pay gap persists.

    http://www.aauw.org/about/newsroom//pressreleases/042307_PayGap.cfm

  39. D.

    This was sublime.

    In, like, war, one calls this type of behavior “collaboration,” and it is not thought of kindly, even with extenuating circumstances.

    Ms. Parker would be surprised if she ended up in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale.

  40. mir

    “But if he wants America’s girls to find proper mates, he might create a White House Council for Boys and, perhaps, Fathers.”

    I laugh and laugh and laugh.

  41. Mimi

    Ms. Parker would be an Aunt in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale – no question. SUBMIT! IT WAS YOUR FAULT!

  42. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    It never ceases to amaze me that women like her (I’ve heard it from cops, attorneys, politicians–I’m sure you all have too) can say that the feminist movement offers only “false promises”. When I was growing up, all “news” (and I use that word advisedly)about women was segregated into a separate section at the back of the paper, to which every woman on the staff was condemned for all eternity to cover marriages, births, and cocktail parties, and other “women’s” news. There was even a saying in the South when I was a kid to the effect that a “lady’s name should never be in the paper but twice–when she’s married, and when she dies.”

    The only way this Parker heifer or any of the rest of her ilk ever got a real (i.e., not a society or gossip) column in the first place is because her foremothers won that right for her. They got her the vote. They got her that little birth control pill she takes every morning that gives her the freedom from dirty diapers to write. They got her the right to her own money, her own bank account, her own credit card, the right to own property, and to have her own credit rating even after marriage. Not to mention, they got her the right to an education in a J-school with the rest of the boys.

    Doesn’t she get it? Feminism has given her every single thing she has!

    I wish I had thought up the obstreperal lobe thing so I could use it. Women like this make my obstreperal lobe seize up.

    Non serviam.

  43. Beth Younger

    I’m sort of new to this site, but I must say that not only is Twisty an ass-kicking excellent writer, I really appreciate all the comments. And how do women writers like Parker not get that they only have their fucking jobs because of feminism???

  44. tinfoil hattie

    Could we refrain from calling even the most egregious of collaborators “heifers,” please?

    Thank you.

  45. Kate Dino

    Please, can we have a tool of the week *every* week, Miz Faster?

  46. chou

    Oh goodness, Laughingrat–you mentioned that the “what about the booooys?” is all too prevalent in our libraries–well it’s all too prevalent in our frickin’ public education system, too.

    I teach 7th grade English, and the “What about the boooys?” makes me wanna barf. Sadly, I was even mercenary enough for postgrad credits to sign up for an inexpensive teacher-education course on Boys and Literacy. The whole premise of the course is that “Oh no, boys are in moooortal daaaaanger! The very girlridden nature of our classrooms causes them to fail!” I sit through class twitching. Sometimes I smile when I think of shouting, “The sexism is killing me inside!” (a la Dave Chappelle), and running out the door.

    So about this problem of boys being in “mortal danger,” I answer: wouldn’t “the problem” be fixed by more menz becoming teachers? Oh wait, the majority of ‘em don’t want to–they either become administrators (making the “big bucks,” often 100k+ in my district) or they choose a different field. A field that makes more money. Granted, there are some male teachers, at all grade levels. But there ain’t that many. In my building of approx. 100 teachers there are about 8 male teachers.

    Bleah! Anyway, thank you, Twisty, for such a great blog. The blamin’ is fantaaaastic these days (it must take a lot of moderation of comments!). Thank you for this work; I feel this is a place where I can nourish my spirit. Plus the early-upthread reference to Wodehouse warmed my English-lit-lovin’ heart!!

  47. turquoise cow

    “[B]oys won’t be equal to girls if we don’t focus some of our resources on their needs and stop advancing the false notion that girls are a special class of people deserving special treatment.”

    So boys are a special class of people and girls aren’t?

  48. Denise

    I like how, apparently, “boys in this country are in far graver danger than girls in nearly every measurable way”, and yet, even if this were true, they still grow up to rule the world and girls don’t. Seems to me like this is evidence of patriarchy getting worse, not better.

  49. Kuleana

    It never ceases to amaze me that women like her (I’ve heard it from cops, attorneys, politicians–I’m sure you all have too) can say that the feminist movement offers only “false promises”.

    It also amazes me that while these same people somehow think feminism has offered only false promises to girls, they don’t even stop to think about what patriarchy must then be doing to boys! I mean, talk about false fucking promises — like Twisty said, patriarchy creates boys who are so fucking fragile that they’ll kill themselves if a girl even looks like she’s about to do something they are. Why can’t people who are so obsessed with teh menz do something about what’s really causing suicide among boys, which is false promises and various other facets of being fucked up and inhibited by patriarchy? Also, aren’t most of the studies that show how “oppressed” boys are based on studies of African-American boys, thus proving that it’s race, not gender, that’s hurting them? I think the Washington Post, of all places, had a good rebuttal to that Newsweek article a few years back that was all “ZOMG SCHOOL IS OPPRESSING BOYS AND PATRIARCHY MIGHT BE UNDERMINED BECAUSE OF IT WHICH WILL LEAD TO THE COMPLETE ANNIHILATION OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!!!”

    Anyhow, damn. Look at how much of my time has just been wasted by dudes in writing this comment. Seriously. I could’ve spent that time looking at my atlas. But as far as women, I would seriously like to know what is up with women collaborators. It seems like it’s a catching disease or something. I don’t mean just the Right-Wing Women type, but them plus the fun-feminists plus the Maureen Dowd types plus all the others that defy categorization. How do they do these mental gymnastics that allow them to oppress themselves and other women, all while somehow thinking they’re gonna be the one woman in the entire history of existence to transcend patriarchy and transcend femaleness? Haven’t they noticed that it hasn’t worked for any other woman, ever? I would love to do a case study on this shit, except I suspect the results might be infinitely depressing.

  50. Jezebella

    I don’t remember feminism making me any promises at all, so how on earth could Feminism make a false promise? Oh, I’m tired, so tired.

  51. Oaktown Girl

    Well, I suppose one could conclude that “boys in this country are in far graver danger than girls in nearly every measurable way” if one starts from the basic premise that males are inherently more valuable an important than females, so female suffering is of little concern because women are a disposable commodity.

    Say, can someone please direct me to where all the heterosexual “vagina worshiping” men are at? To quote from the TV Show 30 Rock, “I want to go to there”. With very few exceptions, all I ever seem to run into are “vagina resenters”.

  52. Oaktown Girl

    Well, I suppose one could conclude that “boys in this country are in far graver danger than girls in nearly every measurable way” if one starts from the basic premise that males are inherently more valuable an important than females, so female suffering is of little concern because women are a disposable commodity.

    Say, can someone please direct me to where all the heterosexual “vagina worshiping” men are at? To quote from the TV Show 30 Rock, “I want to go to there”. With very few exceptions, all I ever seem to run into are “vagina resenters”.
    BTW I love your blog!

  53. phiogistic

    There is a veiled threat in this “what about the boys” theme. If we don’t pay more attention to boys, if we reject them, if we aren’t “nice” enough to them, if we rival than them in school or work, they will kill us. Note the responses to school shootings and family annihilators. There is an immediate insistence on finding a “motive.” The motive usually involves being rejected by a woman or other infractions committed by women (being in college, having jobs, etc.)

    “We should have paid more attention to him. We should have been nicer.” This kind of article feeds that idea, that it’s perfectly understandable for a boy or man to kill a bunch of people if he feels rejected, if women were not nice enough to him, if his ego is bruised by privileges lost to “equal rights.”

  54. Twisty

    “The motive usually involves being rejected by a woman or other infractions committed by women (being in college, having jobs, etc.)”

    They also blame the parents. The father always has a gun collection, and the mother is a drunk. Well, hell, I’d take a nip every now and then myself if I was married to Gun Collection Guy and my son was a mass murderer.

  55. Kaethe

    Twisty, I just wanted to express my fawning admiration.

    Now I’m going to toddle off and engage in a pleasant fantasy of all the Patriarchy Tools being edited by your deft, and never cliched, blue pencil.

  56. Cranky Old Coot

    Wow!! The Gift that Keeps on Giving. That tired old intellectual ghoul we all knew and loved started in the Anti-Gay crusades of the ’70′s:
    Equal Rights Not Special Rights.
    Please, somebody drive a stake through its heart! (Along with so many other patriarchal bs)

  57. Cathy

    Exactly, phiogistic!

    The loser in Germany who shot up a school was “tired of everyone laughing at him.” Most of the victims were female. NPR said he had targeted females. How dare they not only compete with him, but laugh at him! They owe him respect for being penis-endowed. Again, the recurring theme of women fearing men will kill them and men fearing women will laugh at them.

    Perhaps the revolution will involve the “humorless bitches” laughing at the toads we encounter, and not bothering to politely suppress the laughter.

  58. Lindsay

    Kuleana:

    [A]ren’t most of the studies that show how “oppressed” boys are based on studies of African-American boys, thus proving that it’s race, not gender, that’s hurting them?

    That’s a good point. And, to add to it, isn’t it interesting how, when the statistics show African-American and Latino/a students scoring lower than white students, the media commentary focuses on the students of color, and what’s wrong with them that they’re not performing up to par, while, when white boys are lagging white girls, the question becomes “What’s wrong with the schools that they’re not educating the boys??”

    I think I know why. When test scores mirror existing social hierarchies, they are perfectly valid indicators of human potential. When they do not, something must be grievously wrong with the test and/or the schools.

    IBTP.

  59. Lindsay

    Ack! I was sure I had closed that tag.

  60. Lisa KS

    “What women want is never to have to read “What do women want?” in a mainstream media column again.”

    Speak on, my sister.

  61. not a dudetiful wife

    The more I look at that picture above, the more I think we ought to have a caption contest. I would tend to go on the rude side, which might offend some sensibilities.

  62. Laughingrat

    Chou–it’s frightening to hear the same BS is being echoed in schools, too. I don’t know why I’m surprised, but I am.

    Re: Men becoming administrators rather than teachers, this happens in libraries, too. The little weasels squirt out of library school, immediately get a librarian job (let me assure you how difficult that is!), usually beating out dozens of more-qualified women, and almost invariably shoot straight to the top as managers, team leads, and library administrators. A friend of mind once told me there’s a special term they use in sociology for men being ushered to the top in women-dominated fields. A term other than “patriarchy,” I mean. ;) (Not “glass ceiling,” either, since it’s sort of the opposite. Anybody know this term?)

    Phiogistic–funny you should mention attacks like the one in Germany being aimed at women, and done in retaliation for any little success, social/financial/educational, we might have made. Montreal Massacre, anybody?

  63. Nepenthe

    @Laughingrat

    I’m not sure of the technical term. How about “knight in tinfoil armor”?

  64. felicity

    @Kuleana

    ‘ZOMG SCHOOL IS OPPRESSING BOYS AND PATRIARCHY MIGHT BE UNDERMINED BECAUSE OF IT WHICH WILL LEAD TO THE COMPLETE ANNIHILATION OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE!!!’

    What every British newspaper has to say regarding anything gender related in schools. It’s just too much for dudely brains to handle – the *school system* is wrong of course! Wrong precisely because it’s fair between the genders, and not pandering to the egos of growing boys. What an unsafe environment! Especially with only women teachers to correct it (something else they moan about, a lack of those adult men rightly teaching growing girls their place.)

    They disregard the fact it’s a bit of a *cultural* phenomenom since girlies could get an education. And you know what the Pope’s take is on our access to that, the danger! The horror!

    “I would seriously like to know what is up with women collaborators.”

    Brownie points? Directing bitterness in an easier direction? As to why some women get angry at feminism… We can only be lost in wonder! All I see is an enjoyment for pushing those who are already down (they’ll forget they meet the same hating criteria as women for the moment) or some crazy caught- in- the- headlights reaction to the constant bullying which P subjects them to.

    When women like Parker write, dudes laugh at them as well as shake their heads. Except strangely the carefully dull writers seem to imagine an audience of applauding dimwits.

  65. Twisty

    “Except strangely the carefully dull writers seem to imagine an audience of applauding dimwits.”

    No I don’t!

  66. Susan

    This is terrific. Jeezus on a frackin’ cracker, I wonder why the interpipes are beating out the papers? I can read Parker, or I can read Twisty. Clearly, there’s no contest.

  67. caitlinate

    Patriarchal, homophobic, heteronormative baloney. Sigh.

  68. Cottonpants

    @felicity
    ““I would seriously like to know what is up with women collaborators.”
    Brownie points? Directing bitterness in an easier direction? As to why some women get angry at feminism… We can only be lost in wonder!”

    My guess is that women have so much pressure on them to gain male approval that many tend to clutch desperately at any opportunity to “prove themselves” to the male eye.

    So, yeah, I think you’re spot-on with ‘brownie points’, but I think it’s not even to consciously garner special attention; it’s just an attempt to live up to one’s Ultimate Feminine Purpose, which is to make men happy. We’re made to believe that if we fail in this goal, we fail as living beings. Often it means nodding your head vigorously and agreeing with men’s every word, even if they’re calling you a bitch to your face, or denouncing all women as vicious whores. And, eventually, you can come to actually believe this stuff if you hear it enough.

    Unfortunately, the desire for male approval is a pretty strongly ingrained urge in a lot of (most?) women, and can be made even stronger if your self-esteem is worse than usual. I’m not happy to admit it, but I survived several of my worst and most self-hating years by convincing myself that allowing random men to use my body, and laughing with them about their “prudish” girlfriends, meant they cared about me, and thus I couldn’t be as bad as I thought.

    I deeply regret those actions now, mostly because they only served to perpetuate the idea that men are entitled to using women’s bodies, but it did leave me with an understanding of how far the desperate, implanted craving for male endorsement can make you go under the wrong circumstances.

    tl;dr: Ms. Parker is the recipient of brainwashing, and is attempting to sit, fetch, and roll over for that all-important pat on the head from her male masters. We shouldn’t be mad at her for being brainwashed, though. We should be mad at the system that perpetuates the brainwashing.

  69. felicity

    @Twisty

    Haha, apparently not so strange to imagine dimwit dudely audiences

  70. keshmeshi

    These tools typically point to the homicide rates of men in this country as an example of why men are so oppressed. Ninety percent of murder victims are male, and Parker and her ilk are conveniently mum about who exactly is killing all these men.

    Inevitably, women can’t advocate for ourselves or care about our own welfare without putting at least as much, or more, effort into saving men from themselves.

  71. FatWhiteMaleEngineerHumanist

    The poor reasoning and defiant illogic in Kathleen Parker’s column reminds me very much of Phyllis Schlafly’s assault on the ERA in the 1970′s. “Women will be drafted into the military!” “All public restrooms will be unisex!” Nonsensical, silly talking points that appeal to people with no critical thinking ability.

    Parker should be ashamed.

    As a lobe-damaging aside, please let me remind everyone that Schlafly’s campaign was, of course: “STOP ERA”. The jaw-dropper, though, is that STOP was the acronym of “Stop Taking Our Privileges”. It just boggles, eh?

    David

  72. speedbudget

    Laughingrat:

    Jacob’s Ladder? Seems apropos for the situation.

  73. Amy

    I’ll see your internalised misogyny puppet and raise you mine, who apparently has written an entire book on the subject. She is enough of a clot to give me a stroke.

  74. Dicey Venison

    This is the kind of stuff that gets thrown back at me by Dude Nation whenever the subject of default male domination/privilege is discussed.
    “This is the opinion of an actual woman! A professional! With credentials! See? You ARE crazy!”
    They’re fairly bursting with a smug self-satisfied smirk at the affirmation that they get of their world-view being validated by someone like her.
    I remember, back in the 90s, being presented with a tome that was titled, “The War On Boys”, written by a woman whose name I do not recall. This was presented as further evidence that fugly feminists were trying to destroy the world.
    Would someone be a dear, and hand me my barf bucket, pretty please?

  75. Twisty

    Cottonpants: “Ms. Parker is the recipient of brainwashing, and is attempting to sit, fetch, and roll over for that all-important pat on the head from her male masters. We shouldn’t be mad at her for being brainwashed, though. We should be mad at the system that perpetuates the brainwashing.”

    She’s only following orders? Nope, that doesn’t her off the hook. The Parker has had opportunity and education, is not dependent on a Nigel for her survival, has a head to which nobody is holding a gun, and is of moderate intelligence. These criteria suggest that she is fully capable of self-examination and critical thinking. That she chooses to use a nationally syndicated column to keep a sista down is something she can and should be held personally responsible for.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: in an occupied state, no matter what a member of an oppressed class does, it is a political act.

  76. mearl

    Thanks to Emily for the other links I checked out to compare…

    Here’s Hicks: “A council on men and boys would promote stable marriage as the best avenue to improve the lives and living conditions of America’s women and families. A council on men and boys would address the crisis in American manhood that results in the scourge of infidelity, divorce, lack of commitment and fatherhood with multiple partners.

    A council on men and boys would seek to eliminate the objectification of women in the media. It would battle our hypersexual culture by fighting against the “hook-up” mentality that defines the way in which young men view young women. And most importantly, it would stamp out the violence against women that emanates from men’s widespread exposure and growing addiction to pornography.

    Such a council would work to train a new generation of boys to become real men, who honor and uphold women as equals in the workplace, the community and the home – not because the government regulates such an attitude, but because it’s right.

    A council on men and boys also would address the underlying problems that create “women’s issues” such as child care, inadequate pay and domestic violence.”

    Wait, what does that all sound like? SOUNDS A BIT LIKE THE FEMINIST AGENDA!(with the exception of the whole overtone of heteronormative marriage, but I assume that Hicks is brainwashed with, and writing to, a mainstream audience).

    However, does anyone think the above suggestions would be well-received by men? Paid attention to by men? Scoffed at on jock-blogs net-wide? Does anyone think they’d all run off into more manly escapism, as they have been doing for 40 years? Wherever women make gains, men have always found ways to run off and create new areas of oppression.

    So we have Parker, who ignores thousands of years of imbalance that’s sloooooowly starting to get righted and can’t get her head around a worldview that doesn’t favour men. Then we have Hicks, who would like to instill feminist ideas into men and boys but refuses to admit it, and instead bashes a “feminist agenda,” even though her suggestions are almost entirely that.

    I know this is a profoundly un-radical statement to make, but I don’t disagree with the concept that men and boys SHOULD be taught the benefit of feminist values and given a reason to quit with all the violence, sexism, selfishness, neglect of their children and chest-beating. Since men happen to despise women, and especially feminists, then yes, the only way they would be willing to learn it without a gun in their faces would be from other men who are on board with feminist causes. And that’s the whole problem in the first place.

    What I DO disagree with is female writers who sit there trying to tell us that women have it just dandy, and affirmative action policy is more necessary for the POOOOOOOR WITTLE MENZ!!

  77. mearl

    Oh, hah! Yeah, read the comments section on Hicks’ article. Summary:

    “If women ever want men to do ANYTHING at all for them, they’d better give back our manly privileges! Women don’t deserve any of their hard-won rights, they’re just a bunch of spoiled, gold-digging princesses! Women are the ones ruining families because they initiate divorce!” [No mention here of WHY so many women are unhappy with their marriages, although it's implied that divorce is initiated for the juicy and easily-won settlement payment].

    Continued: “Men have no reason to do ANYTHING for women or the children we helped conceive if we aren’t getting something out of it! And if you don’t give us back our king-of-the-castle privileges, we’re going to put y’all in burkas, send you to war, make you work in the mines, and show you how good you used to have it!”

    Wow. Male commentary ANYWHERE on the internet is always a real eye-opener.

  78. PatriarchySlayer

    Well, normally what I receive from such ladies and gentlemen who believe the patriarchy is non-existent and that we ladies are doing just fine–is the women are so favored upon in court when it comes to custody disputes. Women use the power over men to take away their children and suck them dry financially. Or they use sex to get whatever they want. Or they are so manipulative in relationships, they start to drive men crazy. Women are actually more abusive than men. Not physically of course, but emotionally. Men are constantly recovering from the last woman in his life. Women are the problem, not men. Women have it soo much better than men.

    Where does the truth stop and the lies begin? Sure generalizations on the status of women in society really doesn’t help, but how do you convince people that the patriarchy does exist when they maintain these very evil ideas of how horrible women are, and how oppressive we are to men?

  79. Cottonpants

    @Twisty

    I want to blame her. I really do! What she’s doing is despicable. It’d be bad enough if she just believed this drivel herself, but she’s spewing it out into the public arena where other people can smell it. The whole thing makes me recoil. But, having once been a collaborator too, I do have some idea of where she’s at.

    I really do understand your feelings that she really should just GET IT already, that she doesn’t live in a black hole, and that she’s CHOOSING to do this. It definitely would be nice if she’d peek out from under the cozy patriarchal covers and say, “Goddamn, what am I doing?!” And she may, someday. Meanwhile, I know she’s doing tons of damage, and I’m not defending her actions AT ALL. I’m just saying that brainwashing is a powerful thing, and that I can understand why she’s not exactly jumping to admit to herself that she’s living in a prison she helped to create (and is coercing other women to join her in as well). That’s not to say that she SHOULDN’T admit it to herself, because she damned well should. But I can understand why she doesn’t want to.

    Also, I know that if the patriarchy didn’t exist, she wouldn’t think these things. So, while it’s a little lame and unsatisfying to label her a victim, it’s what she is; she’s been colonized to such an extent that she’s internalized the hate. I know how hard it is to wake up from that. Doesn’t let her off the hook, just as it didn’t let me off the hook either. But I still understand. I’m of moderate intelligence and no one had a gun to my head, either, but I still did it. Then I woke up, and I hope she does too.

    Anyway. I know this post is sounding a lot like “Dear god, what about the patriarchal women?!?” so I apologize. I think you’re absolutely right to be angry at her, and to hold her responsible for her actions. I just feel a little uneasy about treating her like she came to these ideas completely uninfluenced. I’m worried about stepping too close to the edge and ending up blaming the victim. I will defer to your lead, however, as I know you have a lot more experience with this kind of thing than I do.

  80. not a dudetiful wife

    choosing…being brainwashed and therefore not responsible for choice…

    I won’t call Miz Tool a victim. As an adult who is putting herself out there as an editorist, she is chooser. And, I judge. Sure I judge. I give her the respect that she chose her tack. She can turn her own boat. Women have their own minds. Miz Tool pitched it, outlined it, and may be making a product line out of it. She may be pitching to be an older tool Hazzelhoff (from the View) conservative ding bat on a talk show. Better to point out how much of a joke she is in a frank, sharp Jon Stewart style, because making a joke of them is a quicker career killer for these media Tools.

    Male or female, some folks just don’t particularly like women or respect them as fully equal in value and rights to lead and object and be themselves and take up space as they do men. When they do it for hire, it’s particularly odious. Call it out.

  81. Cocodamolly

    “boys in this country are in far graver danger than girls in nearly every measurable way”

    Rape stats. You fail them.

  82. zooeyibz

    “Today, women receive 58 percent of bachelor’s degrees and represent half of graduates in medical and law schools.”

    The temerity! How dare women upset the rightful order of things by becoming doctors and lawyers instead of nurses and secretaries? Who’s going to answer the phones if the women are doing brain surgery or preparing closing statements?

  83. Cottonpants

    @zooeyibz

    Seriously. God forbid half the population end up with half the prestigious jobs. What is this world coming to!

  84. Hedgepig

    It’s okay! Here in Australia at least, women barristers get paid on average just over a third of their male counterparts for the same work – so it doesn’t matter if half the graduates are women, there are checks and balances all the way along to make sure men still get a better deal.

  85. Agasaya

    Thank you for posting this. Evidently, this idiot is the Post’s version of the Time’s David Brooks. Brooks has been brokering his stupidity all over the place lately in an obvious attempt to regain a state of grace within his own party after endorsing Obama. The Post appears to have made their pandering to conservatives more efficient than the Times. They’ve managed to combine their token conservative with a female anti-feminist. She can say what male politicos fear to utter aloud, but still accomplish with strokes of their pens (and other body parts). Slash! There goes womens health services because of the gag rule.

    Why doesn’t anyone realize that women RAISE men? Unless women become both liberated and equal, men haven’t a prayer either.

  86. K to the T

    “Legwear of Distinction”
    Yes! No wonder lesbians love pants so much.

  87. Unree

    The device that propels male librarians and schoolteachers upward over women is “the glass escalator.” I just googled to find links and didn’t see much. If you have access to the proprietary academic databases you can read all about it; if not, check out Glass Ceiling in Wikipedia.

  88. 'Edcase

    I am shocked at the sheer inability of this creature to actually look at statistics in any meaningful way (a common crime in the media). Might I add my own, youthful, perspective on the problems and risks supposedly faced by young men this tool bleats about: the same patriachy that brainwashes girls, also turns boys off education. It isn’t “cool” to work. Admittedly the same message is sent to girls but I suspect that the oppressive, conformist nature of the message is more conducive to learning than the agressive message pushed onto boys.
    This reasoning, whilst simplistic, is at least viscerally satisfying – The Patriachy she so vigourously defends has created the very problem she complains about.

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