Tag: Radical Feminism

Rush to Censor

I thought we’d reached the nadir of the Sandra Fluke thing with Mark Steyn pontificating when he clearly had not bothered to read her testimony (note to Mark: she never talked about her sex life. I mean, at all). But … as always … there is no debate in this country on which the Right can possibly be as stupid as the Left.

First, there is Gloria Allred, who is determined not to let a controversy pass without making a fool of herself. She’s threatening libel lawsuits and prosecution under an obscure law that makes it a crime to impugn a woman’s chastity. Seriously. Remember when such laws were seen as a holdover from a less-enlightened time? There were times in high school when I would have killed for someone to impugn my chastity. Just a little bit. One of the whole points of this debate — and in fact the feminist movement — is that women should not be ashamed of their sexuality.

But — and I am as surprised by this as you — Gloria Allred has not made the stupidest utterance on this matter. No, that took the combined talents of not one, not two, but three raving neo-feminist loons.

Limbaugh doesn’t just call people names. He promotes language that deliberately dehumanizes his targets. Like the sophisticated propagandist Josef Goebbels, he creates rhetorical frames — and the bigger the lie, the more effective — inciting listeners to view people they disagree with as sub-humans. His longtime favorite term for women, “femi-Nazi,” doesn’t even raise eyebrows anymore, an example of how rhetoric spreads when unchallenged by coarsened cultural norms.

Wow. You went for the Nazi reference right off the bat. I might have held back a bit before uncorking that one.

I do want to take a moment to talk about “femi-Nazi”. I was a regular Limbaugh listener for most of the 90’s and still occasionally tune him in. I have never heard him use the word “femi-Nazi”. The only time I am aware, second-hand, of him using it was when he was criticizing feminists for lamenting the decline in the number of abortions and opposing very common-sense regulations. His point was that anyone who saw a decline in the number of deaths of what was arguably a human life deserved such a moniker. I’m not sure I disagree.

But, surprisingly, that’s not the stupidest thing in the op-ed. After calling on Clear Channel to dump Limbaugh, they say:

If Clear Channel won’t clean up its airways, then surely it’s time for the public to ask the FCC a basic question: Are the stations carrying Limbaugh’s show in fact using their licenses “in the public interest?”

Spectrum is a scarce government resource. Radio broadcasters are obligated to act in the public interest and serve their respective communities of license. In keeping with this obligation, individual radio listeners may complain to the FCC that Limbaugh’s radio station (and those syndicating his show) are not acting in the public interest or serving their respective communities of license by permitting such dehumanizing speech.

The FCC takes such complaints into consideration when stations file for license renewal. For local listeners near a station that carries Limbaugh’s show, there is plenty of evidence to bring to the FCC that their station isn’t carrying out its public interest obligation. Complaints can be registered under the broadcast category of the FCC website: http://www.fcc.gov/complaints.

Wow. You will never find a better distillation of the radical feminist mindset. They believe the FCC should be looking over all broadcasts to make sure they fulfill some nebulous “public interest”. Anything that does not meet the public interest — public interest as defined by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan — should be silenced.

They later accuse Limbaugh of “hiding behind the First Amendment”. But that’s what the First Amendment is for. It exists to shield controversial speakers from the heavy hands of know-it-all hyper-moralists like these three. Rush Limbaugh isn’t hiding behind the First Amendment. All of us are standing proudly on top of it, especially the feminists whose early calls for women’s liberation were seen as immoral and dangerous. Do you think any of these women’s early activism would have been seen as being in the public interest? Their view is so radical that it provoked Mark Randazza, who can’t stand Limbaugh, to call them crazy.

I have no problem with boycotts or pressure or calling someone out. The First Amendment does not shield you from the consequences of speech; it merely blocks government action. Calling someone an asshole is not oppression, no matter how much Kirk Cameron thinks it is. Even firing someone for speech is not oppression, no much matter how much Dr. Laura thinks it is. In a free country, people can respond to speech they don’t like by refusing to listen, by firing someone’s ass or by simply saying, “Fuck you, asshole.” But they can not respond by having the government pull the plug on a mic.

Oh, there’s one last note:

This isn’t political.

Like hell it’s not. While it’s true some feminists have called out liberals for their misogynistic statements about conservatives, those call have never come with this kind of furor and intensity. Nor have the radicals had any compunction about lumping even the mildest pro-life law with the worst and calling all of it a “war on women”. So spare me your high-minded calls for civility.

This is not about apolitical cleansing of the airwaves. The substance of the debate matters. What has really fired up these women is that this garbage as been slung at a woman calling for free birth control. If a woman testifying for abortion restrictions were called these names or worse, we would not see his kind of op-ed.

I’ve said before that I think Rush went over the line on this one. But this is not the first time this has happened in American history. It’s not the first time it’s happened this year. The unfortunate side of free speech is that sometimes people say vile and ignorant things. But the alternative is to live under the kind of society these three idiots want: one in which speech has to serve a public interest, one in which lawsuits color the sky yellow, one in which people are afraid of speaking their minds. What Rush Limbaugh said was wrong. But using the government to silence him would be even worse.

Baby It’s Stupid Outside

It’s Christmas time. I love the traditions: Christmas trees, maulings at Walmart, Hannukah celebrated two weeks early and the annual rant about a stupid Christmas song:

Regardless of what you celebrate, December in the US means hearing holiday music just about everywhere you go. And if you spend your time in gentrified shopping districts or “hip” martini bars (that’s where kids hang these days, right?) you’re bound to hear a shitload of renditions of “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

I doubt the sexual assault message of this ever-present holiday jam (about a man trying to get a woman to spend the night at his place against her will, and then maybe drugging her to ensure it happens?) has been lost on anyone reading this. Dubbed the “Christmas Date Rape Song” by Urban Dictionary, “Baby It’s Cold Outside”‘s sex-predator-y lyrics are no secret. In fact, Frank Loesser’s original 1936 version labeled the two singing parts “wolf” and “mouse”—not exactly a casting call for a dream date. (For those of you still not convinced—or distracted by the song’s musical charms—review the lyrics here. Especially the “what’s in this drink?” section.)

You will rarely see a … wait a minute. They’re citing the urban dictionary as a source? The website that just puts things up regardless of whether it means anything or not? That’s your source? Seriously? For all we know, you put that definition on there. OK. If that’s the way you want to play this.

Carrying on…

You will rarely see a more blatant illustration of the neofeminists’ desire to conflate sex and rape than in the “Baby It’s Cold Outside” bull. You can read the lyrics here. Most of you know the basics. It’s a duet. A woman is at a man’s house and is trying to leave. He’s trying to persuade her to stay. And … well that’s it. It’s the seduction dance that has been played out a billion times in real life.

At one point she says, “the answer is no”. But it’s clear, in the context, that “no” does not mean, “no, never, go away, let me out of this house”. It’s more in the “no, not right now” vein. It’s the experience that everyone is familiar with: a woman trying to conform to societal norm that says she can’t be interested; a woman wanting some more romancing before she even thinks about it; a woman who is frankly making up her mind and leaning toward “yes”.

(The newest version of the song reverses the genders so it is the woman persuading the man to stay. This is common, too. The first time I ever had a woman stay the night at my place was literally because she said it was too snowy to drive home.)

Trust me. I know “no”. In college, I majored in being turned down my women. This is not being turned down. This is, “I guess I should be leaving … unless you really want me to stay.” But such subtle human interaction is unacceptable to radicals.

And even if it weren’t, talking someone into staying at your house is not date rape. Trying to talk someone into having sex is not date rape. Giving someone a drink or a cigarette when they ask for one is not date rape. You know what’s date rape? Date rape is date rape. Forcing or coercing someone into sex or having sex with someone who is incapacitated is date rape. In fact, it’s not even date rape, it’s just rape, plain and simple. No date prefix required.

To listen to the radicals, you’d think that if a woman says “no” to a man’s advances, his proper course of action is to jump out of the window, even if it’s his place. But if no sex ever happened when one or the other party initially said “no”, 90% of the sex on the planet would simply not happen. A colorful definition of “seduction” would be turning a “no” into a “yes”. But the difference between that and rape is not a fine line; it’s a yawning chasm. Seduction shows a respect for your partner, a belief that they are entitled to say no and you are supposed to respect it — hence the persuasion. Rapists, however, don’t seduce; they rape. They don’t turn “no” into “yes”; they ignore the “no”. They fundamentally see their victim as something less than human whose wishes are irrelevant to their pleasure. Attempts to seduce can be creepy, jerkish; even harassing. But they are not rape. And in this song, given the tone of voice, this is not even creepy or harassing — it’s just playful banter.

Get a grip, people. There’s enough sexual violence in the world and enough songs that actually call for violent abuse of women to deal with. We don’t need to be reading things into some 1940’s jazz song. Christ, get some perspective.