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Ned Hepburn and Gus Menary: Ain’t No Party Like a Boner Party, ‘Cause a Boner Party… Well, It Really Should Stop

Ah, blogging. So futuristic! So full of promise! Such a way for people to connect! For example: sometimes, while blogging, you can connect with people by being a total dick. Then, people will connect with you for the express purpose of pointing out what a dick you are! This can be kind of uncomfortable. Such is the sad tale of Ned Hepburn and Gus Menary, the two gentlemen behind the hit comedy website Boner Party.
Now, the Boner Party is, as you may have noticed, on the Tumblr, a site that I have just recently figured out (WHAT I HAVE FIGURED OUT: it is Livejournal, but for sexy people). So are the personal blogs of Hepburn and Menary! So, when Menary posted a charming little bit on the new, underreported, decidedly unstereotypical and unsexist true fact that women – have you heard about this? – are not funny, this made its way, through Tumblcentric means, to my personal “dashboard.”

Goodness! Thought I, arrested in the flow of Tumbling. It would appear that this gentleman writes for a comedy website! Let’s see how funny that is!

Ladies, gentlemen, the writing of Ned Hepburn on Boner Party:

women, you’re still fucking crazy. its not fair that you have this sort of power over us because its like giving your keys to a Kennedy. you make irrational decisions. you collect shoes. you have periods at the same time as other women just because you are in the same vicinity as them what the fuck is that about that is some fucking werewolf shit im fairly fucking sure. i’m also fairly sure a woman invented The Snuggie. a sizable minority of you fucking ENJOY Sex & The City (hint: anyone who likes that show is a secret whore). so its totally NOT fair. sure, we think farts are fucking hilarious and cry at Wonder Years episodes when nobody is around, but women – fuck – to put it in the simplest way possible: you can’t “emotion” your way out of a problem.

The rest of the site is about women they would like to fuck! Delightful! I, of course, publicized my findings immediately. Yes, that’s right: I take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for the downfall of professional comedy website The Boner Party. (Not its real name. Its real name is BONERPARTY!!!, which I refuse to type, because even I find those exclamation marks egregious.) For several folks weighed in, afterwards, to note that, not only were they not funny (ha ha, women have periods! Sex & the City existed, and all women everywhere watched it! Women destroy men’s lives by existing!) they were also frat-boy sexists dressed up in vague approximations of hipster clothing. That is to say, they were giant dicks.

Now, sadly, Ned Hepburn and Gus Menary have shifted gears from acting like giant dicks to acting like giant… well:

ARTIST’S REPRESENTATION: What Ned Hepburn and Gus Menary Are Totally Acting Like Right Now.

In addition to writing multiple posts on how not-sexist they are, and one post on how women who object to sexism will be treated to a thoughtful and considerate deep-dicking by either Hepburn or Menary, they are bemoaning the loss of “200 followers,” and saying things such as “obviously there is a time and place for men to ruminate on the nature of femininty, to have opinions, which however wrong they may be, can be changed… may this be a lesson to all the (ACTUALLY degrading) porn Tumblr blogs out there.” That was Hepburn. And Menary, who is delightful enough to quote at length:


As for BonerParty!!!… Yeah. You’re right. That’s what it is. Congratulations. You cracked the code. What’d you expect? But I would argue that it flips the intention on those more visceral thoughts and can really get to the crux of what attracts us (men) to women. There is nothing wrong with sex or fantasizing about it or the lead-up that precedes it, which Bonerparty!!! and Ned especially, excel at capturing. As evidenced, people and not just “frat dudes” or “dumb girls” identify. Are you willing to say all these people are wrong?

Why, yes! Yes, I am! I am not of the opinion that sexism is an unpopular thing!

(Hepburn, for the record, also left a comment on a friend’s blog to note that her jokes about his prowess in the boudoir were “sexist towards men,” because clearly (a) his weiner stands in for all men, everywhere, and an affront to Ned Hepburn is an affront to Manhood Itself, and (b) only men are allowed to make blog posts about how well they imagine people of the opposite gender would facilitate their orgasms.)

But I am trying not to be mean, these days. This is hard, because Hepburn and Menary are clearly wusses of the highest degree, really the Platonic ideal of “you can dish it out but you can’t take it,” and it’s tempting to be mean to those people simply in the hopes that it will help them to get the point. However! Let’s move beyond them. Let’s make this relevant. Let’s talk about how sexism works: specifically, “benevolent sexism.” A topic I have been wanting to address for some time!

Here is a regrettable fact for you: some men really, really, really hate women. I’ve met them! They are very scary! They do things like hit women, and rape them! We all agree that those things are bad, and based in woman-hating, right? (Right, Ned? Right, Gus? Good, I’m glad you follow me.) It’s hard to miss how much they hate women, with the hitting and the raping and all.

However, the vast majority of men, in my own personal experience, do not hate women. They like women. They have the best of intentions toward women. They even agree that hating women is gross and bad, when it takes the form of hitting and raping. Also? The vast majority of those men? Still totally sexist.

For example: they assume they have the natural, God-given right to fuck a different girl every week, yet think that ladies who get around are “kind of slutty.” (This is especially fun when you are the “kind of slutty” girl who has made the choice to fuck them – for which choice they must, of course, condemn you.) They don’t broach serious topics with you, out of respect for your tiny lady-brain, but when you raise those topics, they lecture and condescend and talk over you even when it’s apparent that you know more than they do. They don’t see why they can’t talk publicly about whether or not they’d “hit that”; they know that rape and domestic abuse and stuff like that is bad, but don’t see why they can’t tell jokes about it; and, you know, it’s not that they hate women or anything, but they don’t see why they can’t call someone a slut or a tease or a cunt or an uptight bitch if she is, you know, acting like one. Also? They know it’s not PC? But they think that women, with their emotions and hormones and stuff, are… um… crazy.

They don’t hate women, though! They haven’t hit any, or raped any! So, if you call them “misogynist” or “sexist,” they will check to make sure that they don’t remember any hittings or rapings, conclude that they haven’t done those very bad things, and dismiss you. They forget that condescending to women, objectifying them (not fantasizing about them sexually, but defining them as objects that are only good for sexual fantasy or sex), and thinking about them in terms of demeaning stereotypes is also sexism. That’s just normal bro-stuff! They are normal!

Yes, Virginia and/or Ned Hepburn and/or Gus Menary, sexism is normal. It is a huge part of culture. Men are raised with male privilege, which allows and encourages sexism, and disallows women from challenging it (or stereotypes them as “militant feminists” who are angry and bitter and un-funny if they do). Every man, I am telling you – along with, unsurprisingly, many women – has some sexist attitudes that he needs to address, even if he is the nicest and most well-meaning man in the world, because every man is raised in this current world, where the norm is sexist. I know several men who are very nice and well-meaning, and I like them very much, and on occasion I have had to point out that they are being sexist! Because I get that it is not conscious! I have had to be like, “excuse me, friend/boyfriend/coworker/what-have-you, I understand that you mean well, but please back the fuck up, stop treating me like a girl, and start treating me like a person.” The guys who are actually decent people listen, and stop with the sexist behaviors! The others… well.

Part of male privilege is that you don’t have to listen to people when they call you out on your sexism. There are so many, many, many convenient stereotypes that you can use to dismiss them! And the world will back you up! That is what “privilege” means! So, your commitment to listening and changing the way you behave – your commitment to not being sexist any more, and to not getting defensive when people point your sexism out to you – really doesn’t rest on anything but whether or not you are a good person. Whether or not you genuinely care about women enough to listen to them when they speak about things that are disrespectful, hurtful, or holding them back. Or, whether you want to pay lip service to women being humans, and continue with the frat-boy/”ironic” lady-hating.

The question, Gus and Ned, isn’t whether you’re sexist. The next step isn’t explaining why you are not sexist. You’re sexist. It’s obvious. You got caught out, and you got called out. So: the question isn’t how you’re going to defend yourself. (YOU CANNOT, AT THIS POINT, DEFEND YOURSELF.) It’s how you’re going to change.

48 Comments

  1. Canomia wrote:

    Oh, great post. I sure hope they read it. I sure hope they read it and actually think about what you are saying.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  2. natface wrote:

    I love this. So hard. Maybe I will post it on Lady Boner Party!

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Permalink
  3. Jim wrote:

    you sound like you don't have very much fun when you go out.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Permalink
  4. jeannie wrote:

    So, like always, I visited the offending website and read far too much of it, and on another post the Writer Dude muses about how he wishes for a hot chick secretary with whom to engage in "homoerotic" discourse. Um, vocabulary fail?

    Also, I must admit that I do like the idea of being a werewolf. I am, however, thoroughly offended at the idea that I may be a secret whore. I have been out of the whore closet since I was like 16. YAY SEX!

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Permalink
  5. jeannie wrote:

    Oh, P.S. – A paean to Oprah does not exculpate excessive dudery. Sorry.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink
  6. kaninchen wrote:

    I like you.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Permalink
  7. Amber wrote:

    That Boner Party thing is just horrible. And, needless to say, not very funny. It made me teary reading it – I just find that sort of woman-objectifying/bashing stuff so offensive and sad making!

    And as per usual, great post.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
  8. The Magnetic Crow wrote:

    I love this blog so very, very much.
    You are such a very funny person. And you are a lady! Most of the funniest people I know of are ladies, actually, as they manage to make jokes that are not sexist/ableist/racist. And yet, are still hilarious. Imagine that.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
  9. smadin wrote:

    Uh oh, Sady. Some random dude named Jim thinks you probably don't "have much fun" when you "go out," wink wink. I guess he told you!

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm | Permalink
  10. masagoroll wrote:

    BONERPARTY!!!? Seriously? Ahaha! Is it meant to sound like Bonaparte? Because it kind of does. It also kind of sounds like it should host extremely happy slash fan fiction (which I'm assuming it doesn't?). Bahahaha, that name.

    OK, now, seriously, what creeps those guys are!

    I wish that all guys who act blindly sexist would read your post and realize it and not just dismiss it like "Oh, I'm not one of THOSE guys!"

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
  11. Cait wrote:

    Sady is, as we all know, a completely humourless feminist of the most insanely separatist and retro type.

    Completely.

    This is my Very Serious Face, so it must be true.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  12. Sniper wrote:

    When Jim (or is it Bob) talks about women not having fun he means they aren't hanging around in bars looking hot and laughing at the guys' jokes like they do in beer commercials.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Permalink
  13. Brigid Keely wrote:

    Bonerparty! It's like Donnerparty but, ironicly, involves less actual sex. :(

    I did think the periods-werewolf-shit joke was funny, but that's a joke my girlfriends and I have been making for quite a while now and I really like werewolves.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Permalink
  14. S. Gates wrote:

    This post is just another of the many awesome reasons why I read this blog. You are awesome. The end. :D

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Permalink
  15. xxblaze wrote:

    Jim is just confused. See, Jim thinks that women are humorless because he doesn't see them laugh. Since we know that Jim is does it all for the lulz (he said so!) we must then conclude that Jim does, in fact, tell jokes. It might then be hypothesized that he thinks women aren't funny because they don't laugh at his jokes. Poor Jim, he doesn't realize that this is because ladies do, in fact, tell and laugh at jokes. We ladies just don't laugh at his jokes because they are not funny.

    Thursday, June 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm | Permalink
  16. snobographer wrote:

    Am I to understand that people objected to the sexist ramblings? And that 200 of them un-followed (or whateveryoucallit) this…thing? Because that's somewhat encouraging.
    Usually when I see something that stupid on the internet, it's greeted by raves like, 'dude, you're so edgy and politically incorrect. it's totally ironic and satirical how you regurgitated those ancient and threadbare stereotypes. It reminds me of my great great great great grandpa, Cracker Von Patriarch, who also challenged the status quo by embracing it with loving tenderness.'
    Dare I hope for a better tomorrow?

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 2:21 am | Permalink
  17. Melinda wrote:

    I love this post.

    It made me kind of sad that while I was reading it I thought "Wow, the Boner Party writers will just dismiss this as CRAZY FEMALE WHINING". I dunno if it's actually true, but it bothers me anyway, you know?

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 6:21 am | Permalink
  18. Sniper wrote:

    I did think the periods-werewolf-shit joke was funny, but that's a joke my girlfriends and I have been making for quite a while now and I really like werewolves.

    Have you ever seen Ginger Snaps? It's an excellent, low-budget film about werewolves and periods. No, really.

    Also, I'm going to start using "Cracker Von Patriarch" and I think everyone else should also.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 7:26 am | Permalink
  19. Anonymous wrote:

    I love this post because it clearly points out how this kind of sexism is, well, still sexism, which is something I don't do well, because I get angry and write the people doing it off as people not worth talking to (or at least, not worth talking to RIGHT NOW) and leave.

    Would you mind if I reposted the back half of the post on my personal journal with a link to your blog? I kind of want everyone in the world to read it.

    (also, i seem to be having some problems with the firewall in the office, so I am anon, but the site will be anamuan.livejournal.com)

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 7:35 am | Permalink
  20. Jesse wrote:

    Okay, pre-warning, watch me share WAY TOO MUCH. 'Kay.

    So at 23 I find out I'm a huge candidate for ADHD. The related depression and anxiety I have because of it leaves me really sensistive to my environment, and because of -that- I've had to take a break from reading all of my blogs. I get so much wonderful information just from reading, but I also get very agitated and irritable plus it distracts me so easily I don't do other things I should. Every blog except this one. Because you are awesome. Just felt like getting into too-elaborate detail.

    Anyways I think I'm going to be quoting huge chunks of this to my boyfriend. I was recently discussing something very similar with him, based entirely on my own personal experience. I don't have to explain how awesome and considerate he is, and yet still so very surprisingly sexist on occasion. I've tried to point it out more than once. I think maybe the way you have explained it will help very much, thank you!

    PS: I don't know what Jim is thinking, maybe he hasn't read your whole blog? But you sound like a very interesting/fun person to be around, whether we're out or not! Conversation abounds! Interesting topics! It certainly keeps my attention anyways.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 8:01 am | Permalink
  21. Jottie wrote:

    Sady, that was fantastic (and, may I add, quite fun!).

    snobographer, that, too, was fantastic.

    Jim, that was a little flat. Better luck next time!

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink
  22. susanita wrote:

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! I am such a Tiger Beatdown fangirl these days. Thanks, Shakesville. :D I am inspired and amazed by your ability to (quickly!) articulate exactly what the damn deal is. I never get much past clenched fists and gritting my teeth. There really needs to be a more organized push back against this kind of bullshit.

    Tumblr is awesome for the nifty art pictures, and nostalgic video uploads, but the cultural discourse? Not, so much.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink
  23. C. L. Minou wrote:

    Sady, you are wonderful, I want to have 8,000 of your babies (which might be possible…..on the Internet!)

    This is one of the best posts you've written–which at the old Tiger Beatdown, is saying something indeed.

    As a turncoat in the gender wars, let me tell you: yes a thousand times yes, benevolent sexism is the currency of "nice guys," "progressive guys," "guys who aren't sexist." Except when they're together with other guys; then the titty jokes come out with depressing regularity. It's so common and depressing that after a while you don't even get sick about it anymore.

    Thank you for calling people out on it, with humor (yes, Jim, humor) and devastating wit.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 9:12 am | Permalink
  24. Roxie wrote:

    *favorited*

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink
  25. Michele wrote:

    I don't really have anything to say other than I love you.

    (Okay, I lied; I have a few more words to say! I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now, and it brightens my day completely when you post. For a while, I've been feeling like I'm going crazy, but it's so reassuring when I see that I'm not alone with this whole… being-a-woman-and-encountering-sexism-and-misogyny-93,690,420,938,702-times-a-day thing. So thank you, for your wonderfully insightful as well as super entertaining posts!)

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink
  26. aaron wrote:

    Besides anything offensive and/or dumb and/or sexist about the writing on that site, it is some of the unfunniest shit I have ever read. "Do people under 21 even drink coffee? Are there coffee shops anymore?" HAR HAR. In what fucking city is there a lack of coffee shops? Seriously. I love how it's always us ladies who are incapable of humor…

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink
  27. Octohawk wrote:

    Am I honestly the only person who read your blog about bonerparty and didn't applaud? Come on.. I'm an intelligent 25 year old lady who has the ability to see through bullshit, and I still get a kick out of it. I find it neither sexist nor offensive. In my eyes, you took your attack too far, and I hope you realize that in no way do you represent all women's thought processes.
    I can't recall ever reading a post on the site in which "they assume they have the natural, God-given right to fuck a different girl every week." More often than not, they fantasize about cuddling and eating leftovers in bed with their future wives, which is pretty different than simply assuming that they can sexually conquer any girl they please. They're throwing beautiful, unattainable women up on pedestals like little schoolboys do. And as far as the condescension you pointed out, you know what? We, as women, are pretty crazy and over-emotional as a species. I should know, I am one. We're not the same as men, they're not the same as us, and pointing out those differences (and even celebrating them), with satirical humor or not, doesn't automatically equal sexism. But, based on your flawed logic, I'm sure you'd counter-attack by saying that my stance on all of this is simply a result of my being conditioned and socialized into a patriarchal society.
    It's humor. Get the sand out of your vagina and learn to laugh. The reason I prefer to hang out with guys over girls nearly any day is that the whole pro-feminism/anti-sexism argument gets taken beyond practical boundaries. Concentrate on sexism in terms of earning equal salaries, not about some dudes on the internet fantasizing about dating Zooey Deschanel.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink
  28. Sady wrote:

    Well, Octohawk! Since you are a bright young lady with a talent for "seeing through bullshit," let's see whether you can identify bullshit in the following argument!

    1) Women and men are inherently different – so different, in fact, as to belong to different "species."
    2) Women's difference from men is that they are crazy and overemotional! Also, should they point out that they dislike being called crazy and overemotional, via JOKES, they lack humor.
    3) Men's difference from women is that they are superior! You prefer them to women.
    4) In spite of the fact that you ARE a woman. And therefore CRAZY, meaning that we CANNOT ASCRIBE LOGIC to a SINGLE CRAZY THOUGHT in your CRAZY WOMAN BRAIN.
    5) This is in no way sexist.

    There you go, Octohawk! Bullshit-spotting assignment #1, for YOU! Other commenters, please feel free to help Octohawk do her homework.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Permalink
  29. jeannie wrote:

    Whew, thank Jeebus I had some laudanum lying around to treat the massive hysterical outburst I suffered after reading Octohawk's inflammatory comment. I could hardly control myself and nearly died of the vapors. Once I was sedated/recovered, I sought the advice of my wise husband and humbly asked him to tell me how I should feel, you know, like logically and stuff, because I have my monthlies right now, so I really have no idea how to think/feel/behave.

    He says I should be pissed.

    Also, VOTE SADY IN 2012!!

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 2:53 pm | Permalink
  30. INTPanentheist wrote:

    Sniper sez:

    When Jim (or is it Bob) talks about women not having fun he means they aren't hanging around in bars looking hot and laughing at the guys' jokes like they do in beer commercials.

    As opposed to simply having sex with men who actually are decent partners and think of women as people? And then not feeling ashamed of it like they should? (Since I'm guessing he's talking about all feminists and not just the blogger in question.)

    The horrors! It's such a horrible time to get out, have opinions, be unashamed of them, and have quality sex without shame. I hate my life so much, with all of the personhood and sex that I've experienced. It sucks.

    Jim, maybe you need "good time" redefined.

    Oh, and Jesse, you're me; heads up. (As far as the ADHD bit goes.) It's life-impairing.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  31. INTPanentheist wrote:

    It's so funny, Sady! You totally must have sand in your vagina and THAT'S why you see yourself as a human being equal to a man! Ha ha ha!

    …I remember being that woman, too, though, so I can't say too much. After all, being a woman and actively helping the patriarchy is so very edgy and postmodern. ::rolls eyes::

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  32. Octohawk wrote:

    holy god.. you're completely insane. you just wove yourself a (contrived, demonstrative, condescending) little scenario there in items 1-5, that really had nothing to do with what i was talking about. twisting words and manipulating arguments does not equal strong feminism and intelligence. have fun preaching to the choir of your nutjob readers. i'm going to go "help the patriarchy" and demean myself in hopes of being "edgy and postmodern."

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  33. Sniper wrote:

    As opposed to simply having sex with men who actually are decent partners and think of women as people?

    WHAT KIND OF HELL DIMENSION ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!?!?

    Oh,yeah. The one I spend most of my time in, like many posters on this thread. What the hell are we thinking?

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
  34. ChelseaWantsOut wrote:

    Wait, is the sand in Sady's vagina somehow adhering together and forming a sand-penis? Because that is the only way I can imagine vagina-sand giving a lady-type the (unfounded) confidence to perceive herself as a man's equal!

    Also, Snobographer, I adore you. <3<3<3

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Permalink
  35. mir wrote:

    Oh, haha I thought Octohawk was a parody. No?

    "The reason I prefer to hang out with guys over girls nearly any day is that the whole pro-feminism/anti-sexism argument gets taken beyond practical boundaries". Yeah, once feminism goes so far as to call out some woman-hating douchebag then that, madame, is a bridge too far. Can't you see that you're driving women away from the feminisms by being so FEMINIST, Sady?

    Man, if only feminism were more douche-friendly and less insistent on the fact that women are human. Bet it'd be way more popular.

    Friday, June 5, 2009 at 8:42 pm | Permalink
  36. FlipYrWhig wrote:

    Bonerparty! It's like Donnerparty but, ironicly, involves less actual sex. :(

    Also, the Boner Party had a similar-yet-different idea about what to eat when the food started running out.

    Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 12:07 am | Permalink
  37. no wonder this is becoming a joke wrote:

    the fact you spent so much time on the dissection of such an asinine blog just reinforces how off track this movement has become. Let me also clue you in on something, just because the lemmings that frequent your little corner of cyberspace reinforce your group think doesn't make your points any more intelligent or thought provoking…

    Lets try an exercise in focus of clarity shall we? Hillary Clintons treatment during the primaries by the likes of people like Hannity = sexism. Women earning less than men for performing the same job = sexism. Systematic implementation of rape as a weapon of war = a disgusting example of sexism & sadism. Fussing over the content on an irrelevant blog and projecting your own prejudices and hang ups in the process = not sexism…

    Please do us all a favor; get a clue focus on the real injustices facing women today. By not doing so, you keep giving them the ammunition they need to keep marginalizing Feminists…

    Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 10:30 am | Permalink
  38. Octohawk wrote:

    you wrote a "rebuttal" that was very clearly designed to elicit a response (and even invited your readers to join in on your attack of me), but didn't bother posting my followup. i guess i wrongly assumed that you'd be pro-open discourse and encourage free thought rather than simply perpetuating your own idea of "correct thought." if you believe that women are intelligent creatures, then you should respect that i, and other women who may disagree with you, can critically think and come to our own conclusions as to what we perceive as feminism or sexism. but instead you chose to immediately attack and alienate any potential candidates for an important cause that is clearly very dear to you.

    Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 11:13 am | Permalink
  39. Daniel wrote:

    "Every man, I am telling you – along with, unsurprisingly, many women – has some sexist attitudes that he needs to address, even if he is the nicest and most well-meaning man in the world, because every man is raised in the current world, where the norm is sexist."

    Here, let me fix that for you: Every person has some sexist attitudes that they need to address, even if they are the nicesest and most well-meaning person in the world, because every person is raised in the current world, where the norm is sexism.

    Sure, women become aware of the problem more easily because they feel kyriarchy/patriarchy oppression more strongly, but you should not believe simultaneouly that women are capable of purging all sexist attitudes and that men are not capable. It is a question of degrees for all of us. All we can ask, as you point out, is a desire to listen and improve.

    Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  40. Helen wrote:

    Thirded, about Snobographer, I think that comment should go on a T-shirt.

    From the current post on Dynamite, uh, Bonaparty:


    things you should be doing instead of telling us how sexist we are:

    * donate to the ACLU
    * donate to the Alliance For International Women’s Rights
    * volunteer for the National Organization for Women
    * making us [sandwiches] [a delicious pie] a difference.

    My response: Oh fuck off!

    Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Permalink
  41. Sady wrote:

    @Octohawk: Oh, my Christ. If I do not publish your comment right away, it means I am busy. Not plotting against you. Also, I have a thing about not publishing the comments of people who try to derail whole conversations to make themselves the center of attention (hint: this is you), or leave multiple comments about how angry they are that I haven't published their comments yet (hint: this is also you)? BUT. After taking my parents out, arranging the furniture in my apartment, celebrating my birthday, etc., I am now here to tend to your needs, Octohawk. As you requested, I am publishing the multiple Internet-based proofs that you care more about defending men from charges of sexism than you do about sexism itself, walk into people's spaces to aim ad hominem attacks at them and at their readers (because this makes your argument STRONGER! Also, MOST LIKELY to convince people!), throw hissy fits when you don't get all the attention you want, and basically can't behave yourself in public. Be proud, Octohawk! Soar into the octosky!

    Also: of COURSE I'm insane! As are many of my readers! We are LADIES, after all. We just can't stop emotioning our way out of problems. Haven't you read the noted legitimate gender-studies text BONERPARTY!!!?

    Monday, June 8, 2009 at 6:16 am | Permalink
  42. Sady wrote:

    @no wonder blah blah blah blah: This argument would hold weight if I hadn't written about sexism aimed at Hillary Clinton, job discrimination, and rape as a weapon of war. UNFORTUNATELY, I have written about all of these things! As the sole emissary of feminism – yes, and of Woman Herself – who has the heavy responsibility of representing her entire gender and movement with each word that comes out of her mouth, I must impart this very important and responsible message to you: FAIL.

    Monday, June 8, 2009 at 6:19 am | Permalink
  43. Sady wrote:

    @Daniel: I hear what you're saying. However. I would argue that it is easier for women to unlearn internalized sexism than it is for men to unlearn sexism, because men have privilege, and the corresponding blindness as to when and how they exercise that privilege in an oppressive, misogynist, or sexist way. Women do internalize sexism in a variety of ways, almost as a survival tactic: they focus on performing gender "appropriately," dislike other women, police other women's gender, and do that whole self-loathing/please-love-me-boys "cool chick" dance, wherein you embrace and endorse the sexism of the men around you in the hopes that they'll see you as the "exception" and therefore not aim their misogyny or sexism at you. However. Even those women are likely to experience sexism or misogyny from men, and are therefore more likely to develop a sense of what misogyny/sexism are, how they operate, how to identify them, and how to resist them. Whereas privilege operates in such a manner as to keep the privileged person from being aware that it even EXISTS, or that it is oppressive. And you can project this same dynamic along any number of oppressor/oppressed dichotomies: cis/trans, white people/POCs, straight/GLBTIQ, etc. It's harder to learn that you ARE oppressive than to identify when folks around you are BEING oppressive, and you are affected by it. Not saying it's not the responsibility of all folks to recognize and resist their privilege. Just saying that the folks who are affected by a particular oppression tend to know it better than the oppressors do.

    Anyway, I'll follow up that long and serious comment with: you know that beginning a comment with "let me fix that for you," telling a woman how to do her feminism right, and re-writing her statements so that men bear LESS responsibility for sexism than in her original piece – in fact, so that the oppressor/oppressed dynamic between men and women (men, even, who are very nice! And who still have more power than women do in the gender system!) is completely glossed over – is pretty condescending and privilege-y, right?

    Monday, June 8, 2009 at 6:37 am | Permalink
  44. Daniel wrote:

    "I would argue that it is easier for women to unlearn internalized sexism than it is for men to unlearn sexism, because men have privilege, and the corresponding blindness as to when and how they exercise that privilege in an oppressive, misogynist, or sexist way."

    I think you'll find, I said that: "Sure, women become aware of the problem more easily because they feel kyriarchy/patriarchy oppression more strongly…"

    Yes, it is easier for women but if it is possible for women then it is not impossible for men. Personally, I'm not convinced that either men or women can obtain complete purity from sexism in our society. I think we can all get pretty close if we try but there are some things that are so well hidden and subtle that even those most attuned will infringe upon them without noticing on occasion. I also think that there are sufficiently many of these subtle sexisms that adjusting yourself to correct for them is a life-long journey.

    I'm not arguing that what you say is not the general case. However, you made it clear that you were talking in absolutes because when you said 'all men' you noted that 'some women' were also capable. And in fact you implied, if I read between the lines, that you were among those women who had transcended sexist attitudes entirely (which is why I was a little condescending).

    But my point is, to believe that women are capable of transcending their societal programming but that men aren't, is in itself a sexist attitude. To suggest this, is to say that men are not capable of empathy, observation nor are they sufficiently able to learn. Indeed, this is close to a stereotype of feminine moral superiority – a compensatory tool of the patriarchy used to help maintain sexism.

    I've re-read my comment several times. It does not say that men bare less responsibility for sexism than your original post does. How it is different is that it says all women need to be mindful, not just some of them. Saying that is not the same as saying that men are less responsible. Responsibility isn't a cake; if I take a piece there is still just as much left for everyone else.

    Finally, I apologise if my tone was condescending; it was not my intention. Perhaps I should have written something like "I feel the following wording is more appropriate… for these reasons." I have become used to posting on the type of blogs where politeness is not valued. Clearly I need to readjust my attitude, as especially when put by an obviously male handle it could be privileged. Though, I will say that blogspot is the only site where I have a handle easily identifiable as male, my other handle is ambiguous (it was derived originally for a photography site from the unit of light intensity and happens to sound feminine). (In fact I gave little thought to the handle I was using.) The reaction to abrupt language under the more ambiguous handle is quite different (no one has ever accused that handle of being condescending).

    Since I've wandered onto discussion of this topic: I often wonder to what extent adopting a feminine identifier online provides insight into oppression. I am sure that I have experienced sexism using that handle so that has given me a qualitative understanding of online sexism but to what degree I'm unsure.

    Monday, June 8, 2009 at 7:22 am | Permalink
  45. snobographer wrote:

    Daniel – your rewording doesn't really change anything and "I'm sorry if…" is not an apology. Sady knows more than you do about sexism and feminism. You just need to accept that.

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  46. Broggly wrote:

    To steal a pun about Napoleon, are all men sexist? No. But a Buona parte(good part), si.

    Monday, June 15, 2009 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  47. Sady wrote:

    Daniel: What I object to, in your re-writing, is that it makes gender and privilege invisible. ALL PEOPLE is not the same as MEN AND WOMEN: it doesn't address the fact that women are conditioned to internalize sexism and men are conditioned to aim it at women, nor the fact that men benefit from sexism and may therefore be less inclined to resist it in society or within themselves.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink
  48. Daniel wrote:

    Sady, that's certainly a valid point. I accept that criticism, (and I suppose it is a problem with the term kyriarchy in general as well). My rephrasing does take the emphasis away from the common pattern of perpetration.

    Maybe that's because I see non-standard patterns of perpetration occasionally. I've seen it stated that the reason feminism takes it upon itself to defend homosexuals, for instance, is that homosexuals are seen as taking on feminine traits and are ostracised for that reason. There is also discrimination against men who take on parenting and child-care roles. Women aren't the only ones who suffer under the patriarchy. And men aren't the only ones who perpetuate it. A mother who gives her daughter only dolls to play with and her son only trucks is playing a role, for example. But this isn't the problem I had with your post. Women suffer more than men, I'm not trying to use a 'what about the menz' argument.

    The problem I had was that you stated that no man (none) could possibly obtain the level of enlightenment that was required but that women with a little effort could. I really found that offensive, for you to imply that men in the feminist movement weren't capable of sufficient empathy, that we would simply switch off when things got hard. To say to someone, no matter how hard you try you can never be good enough… well, I feel it devalues our efforts.

    But as I explained above, I also think it is dangerous to ever think that you have transcended sexism. Just the other day I was reading a post about compliments on appearance that reinforced the patriarchy. Many many women compliment each other on the way they look. A compliment isn't something that you would usually think could have negative consequences. Yet this woman was saying that getting compliments when she wore make-up (and she rarely did) reinforced a need to be aesthetically pleasing. This is just one example of something subtle. It's the type of thing that if you believe you have transcended sexism you are likely to miss. Sexism can manifest itself in many different ways, maybe some of them you won't be familiar with.

    Snobographer you are right. Sady, I apologise for my condascending tone. I hope that, despite getting off on a bad note, we are having a useful conversation.

    Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Permalink