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Jun 21 2009

Classic knob comment of the week

Once in a great while — by which I mean several times a day — I Blame the Patriarchy’s moderation queue produces a true classic. If I weren’t so dedicated a spinster aunt, whose duty it is to excise antifeminist commentary before it scathes the delicate retinas of the Blametariat and triggers massive thread derailings and pestilences, I would leave them all in so we could all have a nice chuckle. But then we’d be overrun with teenage boys and godbags, and my blogular life would become complicated. Still, sometimes I can’t resist sharing with the Blametariat.

Today’s example endears itself to me because right out of the chute there’s a completely pointless ellipsis, then it goes straight for the old this-blog-must-be-a-parody chestnut. Then it diagnoses us as paranoids and lapses into Mr Rogersism before denying the existence of patriarchy. Of course it then explains what a real feminist is, and finally, because the author cares for our health, it prescribes “relaxation” as an antidote to our senseless obstreperism. And it thinks it’s being zingy! Textbook!

This one is in response to a recent post on how our misogynist culture pathologizes unwanted pregnancy.

…Please tell me this whole blog is a parody. Say it with me: PA RA NOI A. Oh, no, the evil patriarchs are out to get me! Maybe some people just don’t want to be pregnant. It’s a pretty big deal. It has nothing to do with some mass conspiracy against women and everything to do with a major life change coming unexpectedly. The people who help women with unplanned pregnancies are the REAL feminists. People like you just have soapboxes permanently implanted in your feet and seriously need to take a few deep breaths and relax. Maybe get an aquarium.

67 comments

  1. DangerMouse

    Oh, so an *aquarium* will get me paid as much as my male colleagues? Thanks for the tip!

  2. Comrade PhysioProf

    Soapboxes implanted in your feet? They must be really tiny.

  3. sonia

    I think we need to take unplanned pregnancies more seriously around here. I heard it’s a pretty big deal.

  4. eb

    Wow, talk about missing the point. He missed the point so badly, if he had an ‘arrah’ I bet he’d uh hit Dubya smack dab on the ass all the way in Crawford.

  5. MissPrism

    Maybe he meant soapdishes.

  6. INTPagan

    And, of course, there is absolutely no reason that women don’t want to be pregnant unexpectedly; it’s just a silly fear that originates in our paranoid ladybrains. Unplanned pregnancies do not alter our lives in any appreciable way that can be traced to a societal disdain for women, fear of our sexuality, view of single and poor mothers as encroachers on society, and ideas that we are supposed to be breeding machines who are subject to the mighty sperm!

    I feel so much better now; phew!

  7. Jill

    I was thinking that soapbox implants would really hurt. Maybe that’s why we’re all so grumpy about women’s oppression. Sore feet.

  8. Laughingrat

    Nice one! The author doesn’t even seem to know what he’s trying to say, or what he wants–except for us all to shut up, lay back, and take it. I’m sure that particular want is pretty well-defined in his mind.

    I’m surprised he recommended an aquarium, though. Don’t most of the trolls recommend blowjobs, housework, pregnancy, and (of course) shutting up, laying back, and taking it as the preferred means of female relaxation?

  9. jayo

    He might really be onto something though, I had an aquarium for several years and never got pregnant during that time. Not even once!

  10. Blamerella

    Does the troll believe that the billboard is for an organization that actually helps women? Wow, talk about clueless. The *real* feminists at the Crisis Pregnancy Centers here in Phoenix want to help women so much that uring the 2008 election they donated $100K to the anti-gay marriage initiative on the AZ ballot. Oh yes, stopping the gays from marrying is crucial to bettering the lives of women and embiggening our status.

  11. Greenconsciousness

    I am urging people, especially women, to wear green bracelets in solidarity with our Iran sisters and brothers – will you do it ? And tell others?

  12. yttik

    Would it be wrong for me to implant one of my soapbox feet in somebody’s rear while holding their head in the aquarium? I don’t know, sounds kind of relaxing to me. Maybe this guy is onto something.

  13. Lisa

    Christ on a cracker. The Privileged Patriarchs are so conditioned to it, it is standard operating procedure for them, that they are are blind to it. I cannot count how many times at the job where I’ve walked up to a group of dudes and before they see or hear me, I will hear them denigrating women. Uncomfortable silence and somewhat embarrased looks from the dudes while I glare, seethe and wish a long slow death on each of them. But no, I’m a dumb, paranoid woman.

  14. slythwolf

    Well, I think most of us do have sore feet, but I would bet that can be traced back to the shittiness of the shoes we’re expected to wear.

  15. hrm

    slythwolf: nooooooo! Don’t start the Shoe Fight again!

    Blamerella: I also read the comment as (mostly incoherent, but) claiming that the Crisis people are the ones *really* helping women who are unexpectedly pregnant. Which, yikes.

  16. Pinko Punko

    This is so many levels of incoherent. J’adore le troll.

  17. SargassoSea

    Chuckling anyway.

  18. Ayla

    Uhh. How did this dude know I was about to get an aquarium? Creeeepy.

  19. Pulsar

    Amusing how when their worldview gets so threatened they feel the need to psychoanalyze. “Get an aquarium” = “Medicate, because your perspective is intimidating”.

  20. ambivalent academic

    So an aquarium is both an effective form of contraceptive, as well as a panacea against all patriarchal ills. Why didn’t anyone mention this before! (IBTP!) See you clowns later, I’m off to the pet store.

  21. birkwearingblamer

    This comment is both incoherent and poorly written. Maybe the commentator was home skooled?

  22. Lexie

    Did he actually even read the post? He makes no sense.

    Or has he just had his head up his ass so much that he doesn’t realize that those types of crisis pregnancy centers really offer no real services to women. (Or is that what being a real feminist is? Shaming women rather than helping them?)

    I wonder what his take is on Planned Parenthood and other, more legit women’s health centers. Or maybe he just can’t tell the difference because it all involves women and what do we matter anyway? We should just shut up while gazing at fish.

  23. Jezebella

    Being told by a dude to “relax” always, ALWAYS, has the opposite effect on me. Perhaps I do need an aquarium.

  24. Spiders

    So is the Majella Society where this guy goes for help every time he finds himself gestating an unwanted pregnancy?

  25. little_sis

    Wow, I sure wish that guys was my significant other, he sounds great!

    LMAO at Blamtriat response, you guys all rule awesomely.

  26. Sophie

    I hear Manolo’s putting a three-inch wedge and diamante detailing on soapboxes for autumn-winter 09.

  27. Vinaigrette Girl

    I can’t lug an aquarium around with me all the time. Maybe, as he’s such a gent, he’d carry it for me? (Filled, of course.)

  28. JenniferRuth

    I’d quite like an aquarium – but I’d want one big enough to house an octopus. Hmmm…I’ll probably have to get a bigger apartment.

  29. speedbudget

    Wow. That guy missed the whole point and went off into the next county.

    Sometimes I wish I were that stupid. It would make life much easier, ya know?

  30. Pantsuit Sally

    Awesome! A dude visiting a blog that is RIFE WITH ACTUAL PERSONAL EXAMPLES OF MALE OPPRESSION OF WOMEN to tell us we’re all just paranoid!

    I have to agree with him, though, that the people who help women facing unintended pregnancies–you know, like the staffers at Planned Parenthood–are the real feminists.

  31. bluey512

    Birkwearingblamer: You can be homeschooled and still grow up to be an articulate blamer. So this dude has no excuse even if he was homeschooled.

  32. Jill

    “Homeschooled” is apparently the new “redneck.”

  33. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    What a weenie. As if anyone gives two turkey turds for what he thinks a “real feminist” is.

  34. intransigentia

    If aquaria are so important for keeping women “relaxed” (=quiet), perhaps the commenter in question would like to make a personal investment in my quietude by coming over next Sunday and helping me move my large aquarium to my new place of residence.

  35. bluey512

    Indeed.

    And not without some justification. I cannot even tell you how disturbed I was to see my old science curriculum being used by one of the homeschooled kids in Jesus Camp. My mom told me to ignore the Creationist parts. I’m sure his mom didn’t.

  36. Nolabelfits

    Not all homeschoolers are nut job right wing Christians. Schools can be oppressive soul killing places where girls learn to be inferior. I could give you lots of examples, but that’s not what this thread is about.

  37. Jezebella

    Perhaps there is a difference between home schooling and “home skooling”?

  38. vionveritas

    Hey now. I was homeschooled, which means I was reading thick books by dead white guys years before my public-school counterparts. Seriously, though, if I ever had a kid and wanted them to learn something, school would be just about the last place I would send them.

  39. vinoveritas

    Of course, my point was pretty much shot to hell by my misspelling of my own screen name! Hah.

  40. Jezebella

    What, no typing class in your home school, vion?

    [I totally want to insert a verboten smiley here.]

  41. Jill

    I am compelled to point out that the official position of this blog is that the school system exists to replicate patriarchal units, and as such must be destroyed. This position always offends teachers, so I am also compelled to point out that I am a big fan of those teachers who can and do figure out ways to subvert the process.

  42. JS

    The school system is buggered beyond belief. Whether it’s beyond hope or not remains to be seen.

    All of the people I have met who homeschool their children have been religious nuts of the extreme persuasion. I speak of the dozen or so families I have known who homeschool – this might not be representative.

    The result of this homeschooling has been training a generation of submissive girls to make good submissive wives to their creepy godbag dominant cuz-god-said-so husbands.

    So, this may be yet another case of the few hollow-headed halalemmings making a bad name for those who keep their kids out of the public school system, but it still scares me.

  43. Nolabelfits

    I live in California, and there are lots of very large, very active homeschooling groups in my area that have absolutely nothing to do with religion. In fact, many of them favor “unschooling,” which is natural learning devoid of all formal lessons and lesson plans. The objective is for the child to become an autodidact.

  44. Spiders

    What could be worse than indoctrinating kids within a public unit of patriarchy, than doing in in a private unit of patriarchy?

  45. Human Bean

    Aw, shucks. Yeah, I got this horrible condition from all my tension. It’s really sad, actually. I’ll be reading perfectly reasonable responses like that and then –FUCK YOU– I’ll just blurt out these horrible — FUCK YOU — things that I know are really unladyli–FUCK YOU–ke, but that’s what feminism will do to a gal.

    *sigh* It’s sad.

  46. Nolabelfits

    What could be worse than indoctrinating kids within a public unit of patriarchy, than doing in in a private unit of patriarchy?

    Unless you’re not. YOu don’t think feminists homeschool? At least you get to avoid the blatantly patriarchial “curriculum,” and try something else. I know single working moms who manage it by networking and forming co-ops. People homeschool while sailing the world, RV-ing around the country, hiking across Europe. The possibilitiesa are endless, and contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a fortune to do it.

  47. denelian

    no, wait!!! you don’t understand!!!

    he’s talking about the Role Playing Game “Paranoia”!, y’all! it’s not a real comment against feminism, but it’s rather part of the specific module he is running the players in his campaign through! the far-right-fundy-wingnit-forced-birther Party has seized control of the Game Universe’s government, substituting male-appologists and misogynistic women-hating women in all feminist orginizations, and the ONLY WAY to save the country from the horrible influx of illogic and explosive patriarical oppression is to subvert their children when they go on “educational outings” to aquariums! but one must do so on the DL, because you don’t want to be *caught* on a literal soapbox – you need to have stealth soapboxing, which can be accomplished by having miniature soapboxes surgically implanted in your feet, so that you can always have all the equipment you need and don’t have to plan ahead and risk getting caught setting up full-sized soapboxes from which to give your subversive teaching to all their children when they go to aquariums!

  48. Hattie

    I don’t know why you are being so critical. The sentence structure is good and the spelling is correct. This must be a very advanced wingnut indeed.

  49. birkwearingblamer

    I fully support home schooling when a competent adult uses an appropriate curriculum. Unfortunately, some people who “home school” are simply avoiding an appropriate education. They don’t want their children to learn science (evolution!), pick up “liberal” ideas, and consort with non-white people. *Clutch your pearls here.* Of course, there are more of hat crowd where I live. The joke was not aimed at enlightened people who home school. I think that it’s great.

  50. Nolabelfits

    birkwearingblamer,

    I get your point but can you please define “appropriate curriculum?” Becuse I avoid most of the “school in a box” crap, as well as the “state approved” course of action.

  51. Jezebella

    A good friend of mine was recently described as a “some kind of red, pinko, commie, american hatin, soldier bashin, left wing radical, pig fuckin, french food cookin’, flag burnin’ no butt wipin with his right hand sicko rainy city dwellin’ jagoff”. Zie immediately made it hir profile quote on FB. Any curriculum that yields such a human is clearly the appropriate curriculum.

  52. birkwearingblamer

    LOL @ Jez! Yea, that would be inappropriate curriculum.

    I can really only address secondary math because that’s what I used to teach. The district provided a curriculum guide which contained specific topics and potential test questions. Math is really a set curriculum because there’s a definite answer (or proof) and the courses are sequential. Some schools tried a “spiraling” text and it was a disaster. I don’t recommend it.

    For example, students take Euclidean geometry after the first algebra class. An example of an inappropriate curriculum would be a school teaching something other than Euclidean geometry. Some Waldorf schools teach an obscure form of geometry (can’t remember what it’s called) instead of the useful Euclidean geometry. Then, the kids are unprepared for both trigonometry and calculus. Parents who send their kids to a Waldorf school need to be aware of this. The curriculum will limit the student’s ability to pursue math and engineering without remedial instruction. Many Waldorf parents want their children to pursue a liberal arts degree, so maybe this is not an issue for them. I don’t like limiting potential paths for students so early.

    I can’t really recommend an elementary homeschooling curriculum. There are some very active home schooling groups that can offer more information than I can. These homeschooling communities share resources, too.

    I know that in Colorado, the elementary schools had to provide enrichment type classes for the home schooled kids. A friend sent her child to PE, art,and other special classes at the local elementary school. Some parents prefer to socialize their children with other home schooled children. One of my cousins home schools and she’s the cub scout leader for the whole home schooled community. She’s a very busy woman!

  53. V.

    Hey, birkenwearingblamer, I’m curious:

    my sixth-grader just finished up a unit of geometry where she not only learned the typical formulas of basic geometry including Pythagorean theorem, calculating various dimensions,(pi, radius area, cubic dimensions, etc.) applying geometric formulas in word problems, but also learned how to construct geometric proofs, something I didn’t get to until high school.

    She’s also Waldorf-schooled. What elements is she missing?

    I’ve worked in the public and charter schools, and I agree about the disaster of the spiral curriculum, which is still being used around here.

    Most of my middle school students can’t multiply. Mathematically, that is.

  54. Karen Levitt

    Oh, my goodness!

    I apologize for the capitalization errors!

  55. V.

    Hey, Jill–
    can you edit out my real-life name? I had not had my coffee when the software asked for new id confirmation.

    Thanks ever so.

  56. birkwearingblamer

    V, I think that the curriculum at Waldorf schools vary according to the school. I observed a “hard core” Waldorf school in Colorado. This school got their teachers from Germany (where Waldorf education began). This school’s curriculum may be completely different from your school’s curriculum. I suggest that you talk to the teachers and principal.

    The parents at the school I observed were into theosophy. I was concerned about this, particularly the racist components. Most Waldorf schools deny any racism, but the movement certainly had racist origins.

  57. veganrampage

    And his email addy is?

  58. uglyfoot

    Can “get an aquarium” become the new “take a chill pill”? Can we make that happen?

    Seriously, that is the only way I’m going to derisively tell people to relax from now on. Which I rarely do. I guess I’ll have to start doing it all the time, so that I can use my delightful new catchphrase.

  59. Felicity

    ‘”Oh, no, the evil patriarchs are out to get me!”‘

    This might be that bit in the movie where everyone looks at the idiot in silence:

    ‘Oh no, a killer’s gonna get me!/ sarcasm’.

    Ya know, just before he gets killed.

  60. Nolabelfits

    I toured a Waldorf school while investigating options for the offspring. The kids were chanting masculinist lines to some ancient poetry or other in unison. Creeped me out, to say the least.

  61. birkwearingblamer

    They call that chanting and moving around eurythmy. I spent quite a bit of time at this Waldorf school, talking to the teachers and observing. It was big on crafts like knitting and whittling. The teachers made the children draw only with square crayons for some reason. The school celebrated some obscure holidays. The school is behind in relation to traditional public schools. Children are not taught to read until around 8. It was definitely alternative!

    I was told that I would have to agree that my child watched NO television and played NO video games because it would ruin my child’s imagination. It was very restrictive in the way that you had to follow their philosophy. The said that you were only allowed to send foods in their lunch boxes (organic type stuff – no chocolate milk). The parents were kind of creepy although I can’t really explain why.

  62. Dana

    He wasn’t known as “gigglingwizard” or “Gaelan” was he? He sounds a bit too much like a guy I used to fight with on LJ. Would *skim* over my post, barely read it, pick out keywords and then bounce right off into reductio ad absurdum.

    He’d also tell you, with a straight face (and you can take that any way you like, as he was that as well), that he was feminist. And liberal. Do tell.

    As for the conversation here about homeschooling, personally, I don’t care what people teach their kids. Let’s face it, most of us never turn out to be Speshul Snowflakes (misspelling intended for sarcastic effect), and we forget more than half of what we were schooled in anyway. I learned about science despite my public school curriculum, not because of it, for the most part. Despite the vast majority of American students being public-schooled, we’re still appallingly illiterate in scientific concerns.

    And… it doesn’t matter. People who can’t be bothered to learn things on their own are going to turn out useless no matter where they were educated (or schooled, not the same thing). There are college graduates who can’t find jobs; there are high school dropouts founding corporations. It’s more about personal character than whether your parents taught you about evolution. Even people who believe evolution happens don’t always understand how it works.

  63. Dana

    By the way… speaking of homeschooling and when people learn stuff… it’s kind of a myth that you “must” learn reading or geometry by a certain age in order to ever “get” them. There are people learning to read in their twenties and thirties. There are people getting MDs in their fifties after going back to school. While there are periods of brain development in which learning is *easier,* and while periods of extreme deprivation in the first three years can cause permanent damage of various types, for the most part we’re pretty flexible about when we pick stuff up. Think of immigrants who come here as adults and become more fluent in English than many “native” speakers.

    If I’ve learned one thing about raising my daughter, it’s that she does eventually pick this stuff up. I am not the most organized, go-get-em type of person, and she was kind of late potty-training. I was starting to fret and to check books out of the library about quick-training methods… and then she decided on her own to just use the potty. Just like that. She’d seen me do it a million times and figured she could handle it, and she hasn’t worn diapers or pull-ups since.

    She’s done that with a few other things. Now she’s starting to learn how to spell her name at age four. I haven’t pushed her at all, just demonstrated it. I suspect the rest will follow naturally if I don’t make her hate it and just sort of guide her way.

  64. Miss Andrist

    Typical male supremecist feedback: I can’t tell if the point of the comment was general denunciation or Lamaze instructions.

    Uncanny. Do you think male supremecists pair the two deliberately, or is it strictly subconscious?

  65. Agasaya

    Dana,

    There aren’t many high school drop-outs forming successful corporations these days and you can no longer just take a proficiency test to become a member of the bar. The education of women is what allows some of us to lead independent lives, rather than be forced into marriage and motherhood. The education of some men is what led to women obtaining even the limited permissions and opportunities present for us today. No one working the register at Walmart is going to have a big impact upon society but has a great likelihood of winding up on a section 8 voucher as one of the ‘perks’ of having a lower echelon job. Americans are able to be employed full-time and still wind up below the poverty line. That is what happens when people of bad character become highly educated.

    For the rest, in brief, there is a time limit in which the basic neurological structures and functions must develop for future learning. Experience coupled with social interaction is actually observable in the degree to which the cerebral cortex acquires larger surface areas for function. Language must develop by about 4 or 5 if it is to be a viable system for learning and expression. However, literacy is often better left to formal instruction later in childhood. Scandinavians enjoy full literacy and don’t begin teaching reading until verbal language skills have been well established around age seven. We keep screwing up when we pound phonics into the heads of kids who can’t even retell a simple story.

    I used to work in the field of developmental disabilities and speech pathology. I can no longer work because ‘educated’ people of bad character have convinced the uneducated masses (of mixed characters) that the use of poisons is perfectly harmless and only genetically inferior people can be harmed by them. Yet, one in six of our children have disabilities today. No amount of education can overcome those odds. Only an educated individual can tell one of the science whores avowing that global warming isn’t a threat to go screw himself. “No Child Left Behind” was no accident in its emphasis on test scores (fact regurgitation) and no interest in developing wisdom. It keeps TPTB in power.

  66. Agasaya

    Clarification for above statement:

    Americans are able to be employed full-time and still wind up below the poverty line. That is what happens when people of bad character become highly educated.

    Someone emailed me and said they thought I was stating that uneducated people had ‘bad character’ traits. No, I was stating that people are deprived of their opportunities for living wages and good educations BY those highly educated bad characters who feel their prosperity is only attainable if others are deprived of their chances to achieve it.

    Women don’t prosper in a climate of desperation and ignorance where the status quo is clung to with even greater tenacity than usual.

  67. jami

    Thank you for moderating. This blog would be a much different place (where everyone argued only with the first troll to show up) if comments like that went through by default. I hope the amusement somewhat makes up for the horror at having to read them all.

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