Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, February 13th, 2007.


Pandagon Under Attack

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blogging, Feminism, Religion

Pandagon is under attack and has been pulled off line. Amanda has set up a redirect site and has posted about the hate mail she has received from “Christians.”

Kevin Hayden suggests we all publish Amanda’s post so that the haters can’t follow her everywhere. The problem with this is that the hate mail contains words I do not publish here on Mahablog. From anybody. Well, here’s most of it:

Whenever the site is up, we get slammed and it goes down. I have to suspend the site until the fervor dies down. At this point, I think it might be a few hours before the Lookie Lous give up refreshing the site. In the meantime, here’s the latest post I wrote about all the “Christians” who have written me in the past week:

Update: To correct misinformation in the comments, I was not “fired”. I offered my resignation and it was accepted.

Because I had the nerve to be critical of the Catholic church’s stance on birth control and abortion—nevermind their political opposition to distributing condoms to fight HIV, a stance that has helped usher thousands and possibly millions to their untimely deaths—I’ve gotten a number of letters from people who call themselves “Christians”, as Bill Donohue also calls himself. Christians are people who are supposed to follow the behavior and teachings of Jesus Christ. I mention this, because it seems to me that therefore, when Christians are contemplating an action that is morally questionable, it appears they should consult the Bible before acting.

Luckily, I happen to have a Bible laying around this house, because even though I’m not a Christian, I was an English major, and it is important to Know Your Ancient Mythologies if you are reading poetry. And I flipped to this passage that seems to have solid advice on what to do if you’ve got some asshole dragging a woman in front of an angry crowd and yelling, “SINNER!”:

    The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Granted, I don’t think criticizing the church for policies that hurt families and even get people killed is a “sin”, but my letter writers do. But I thought I’d bring up this story for two reasons. One, I’ve always been impressed by the subtext of the story. I suspect, strongly, that this story is part of the reason that Christianity was so attractive to women in its early days, because this sort of random misogynist scapegoating is all too real in a patriarchy, and this story must have touched a lot of women at the time, who would be impressed with Jesus’ unwillingness to play into such misogyny. In fact, from everything I understand, much of the history of Christian misogyny is one 2,000 year long backlash against early female power in the church.

I’m also impressed by how so many people who claim to follow Jesus have basic reading comprehension problems when they regard this story. (Not all—for instance, some fellow Pandagonians take their faith seriously enough to read the Bible and try to follow its precepts.) From my mailbag:

    I pray that I had some small part to play in your “resigning” from the Edwards campaign you libelous fraud!

That’s from a Vivian Thomas, who also wants me to know that I’m a worthless hag.

    Catholics are concerned about killing unborn children, you stupid bitch. Chop away if it suits you, but we don’t
    have to accept that as moral. That’s why it’s called a religion. Look into it.

Frankly, if I were a churchy person, this “Look into it” thing would insult me, since R.R. from Tallahassee, FL is all but saying that religion is his excuse to declare his misogyny “moral” so he doesn’t actually have to think and decide what his morality is for himself.

    Amanda,

    after reading your vile screed against Catholics and the Holy Spirit, I just had to see what you looked like. (I envisioned you eyebrow-less, with no visible pupils, and a blank, dead stare.) I see I was correct about the blank, dead stare, but other than that you’re not too bad. I then thought maybe you were mad at God (and by proxy Catholics) for making you ugly, but now I’m figuring you’re just mad at him for making you a woman.

Annette D’Amato is somewhat right, that I’m angry—but not that I’m a woman, but that people like her have such uncalled for contempt for women. But I am impressed that I gave her a small bit of education. Contrary to what people have been telling her, feminists are not demons without eyebrows (she missed the boar’s teeth and snakes on our heads), but human beings.

Andy Driggers from Dallas, TX was also so moved by my criticisms of religious anti-choicers, that he wrote:

    Problem with women like you, you just need a good fucking from a real man! Living in Texas myself, I know you haven’t found that real Texan yet. But once your liberal pro feminist ass gets a real good fucking, you might see the light. Until then, enjoy your battery operated toys b/c most real men wouldn’t want to give you the fucking you deserve b/c the shit that would come out of you ears.

Reminder: Donohue was claiming to be so hurt by my “bigotry”. Yet, for some reason, his supporters write me and they are more interested in telling me that my womanhood is repulsive to them. Interesting—almost as if his claims to speak for Catholicism were in fact dog whistles to scare people about women’s equality.

As I told some close friends in the days that Donohue was on the news, spraying code words about “get the feminists” (which explains why he roped Shakespeare’s Sister into this, even though she really had nothing to do with any of this—except she’s pro-equality, which is what is really what offends Donohue and all the people who gave that anti-Semite airtime), a good half of my hate mail could be summed up, “You have a pottymouth, you stupid [bleep].” An example, from Paul Bernard of Scottsdale, AZ:

    i like the way you trash talk i don’t particularly want to have sex with you but i would like a blow job.

Right wingers right now are pretending like sexism has nothing to do with me, which is an argument that works if you think a) men get emails about how they need to suck a dick on a regular basis and b) that there’s nothing whatsoever sexist about allowing men to curse but hitting the fainting couch if a woman does.

Bud Phelps, another person who opposes “bigotry”, as defined by right wing shill Bill Donohue.

    It’s just too bad your mother didn’t abort you. You are nothing more than a filthy mouth slut. I bet a couple of years in Iraq being raped and beaten daily would help you appreciate America a little. Need a plane ticket ?

Time to wake up and smell reality—real bigots follow the siren call of the fascist right wing. Why would they even bother with liberals and all our equality and human rights and other tedious ideas?

Romanco De Leone was also moved by Donohue’s poignant claims about insulating the Catholic church from legitimate criticisms.

    [bleep bleepity-bleep]

But I shan’t belabor the point. I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the hate mail the Bill Donohue’s “Christian” campaign against me has inspired. This is all stuff from days ago—I’ve gotten more than 100 since. Hell, from the looks of my email from last night, I’ve had more than 100 in the past 12 hours from self-proclaimed Christians who want me to know that I have hurt their feelings and this has nothing, nothing whatsoever to do with their own misogyny and tendency to witch hunt.


Update:
Gordon Meacham forwarded something else posted at Pandagon before the attacks — “a tongue and cheek template for a IRS form, providing reference to the specific section of the tax code that Mr Donahue has probably violated with his recent actions.” See it here.

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Enabling

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abortion, blogging

E.J. Dionne writes about the hypocrisy of much public discourse on abortion:

Our political system has created strong incentives for candidates to be less than candid about what they really think.

To begin with, candidates are rarely willing to say outright what’s true for so many of them: that they do not consider abortion the most important issue in politics and that it is not the reason they entered public life. …

… Plenty of Democrats entered politics primarily because of a mix of commitments related to social justice, poverty, labor rights, health care, civil rights and the environment. Many equally principled Republicans were animated largely by skepticism of government interference in the marketplace, support for lower taxes and, in many cases, a belief in an assertive foreign policy.

Yet politicians who acknowledged that abortion was not one of their driving concerns would be denounced, oddly enough, as unprincipled.

From time to time liberal writers and bloggers break out in a rash of discussion about how to discuss abortion. Not what we think about it, as we pretty much settled that years ago. No, we ask ourselves how to talk about it, because the crims (e.g., people who want to criminalize abortion) are eternally carping on our alleged insensitivity to “life.” I take it the crims are not staying awake at night worrying about offending us, however.

Anyway, I take it we’re supposed to acknowledge that terminating a pregnancy is a bit sad when you think about it, but we can’t go too far in that direction because that would be admitting abortion is bad. Yet the crims are never put on the spot to consider the desperate measures women take to abort

“Most commonly, they ingest a whole bottle of quinine pills, with castor oil…we try to get them to the ER before their cardiac rhythm is interrupted…Sometimes they douche with very caustic products like bleach. We had a patient, a teen, who burned herself so badly with bleach that we couldn’t even examine her, her vaginal tissue was so painful….”

“Our local hospital tells me they see 12-20 patients per year, who have already self-induced or had illegal abortions. Some make it, some don’t. They are underage or poor women mostly, and a few daughters of pro-life families…”

I find that terribly sad. Yet it’s OK for crim activists to scream hatefulness at abortion clinic patients.

I’ve noticed over the years that one cannot interact directly with a psychologically challenged person. Instead, you interact with their disorder, whatever it is. A common example is the manager with an explosive temper; the employees quickly learn how not to set off that temper. People with behavioral or character disorders are difficult people, and when they can’t be avoided most of us almost instinctively cater to their craziness to keep them from getting even crazier. This is why enabling is so common. It’s a lot easier to tip-toe around Uncle Frank’s alcoholism than to try to get him to stop drinking.

Today there is much discussion all over the blogosphere about Amanda M.’s resignation from the Edwards campaign. Although there is much criticism flying in many directions, the bottom line is that Amanda was hounded out of the job by a bigoted whackjob, Bill Donohue. In a rational world, nobody would give a hoohaw what Donohue thinks.

Seems to me we’re all being held hostage by whackjobs. In spite of overwhelming public opinion against the war, too many Dems are tip-toeing around ending it because whackjobs will call them soft on national security. This is irrational, because the war in Iraq is hurting, not helping, national security. Yet craziness must be catered to. Bill Kristol comes to mind; the man is nuttier than a peanut farm, yet no one in professional media (except maybe Keith Olbermann) is willing to say so.

I don’t have a solution to this, except to suggest we all stop being enablers.

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Targeted

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blogging

By now you may have heard that Amanda Marcotte resigned from the Edwards campaign. I’m very sad. Other than that, I have nothing to add to what Taylor Marsh wrote.

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