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LADYPALOOZA PRESENTS: I Went To Your Concert and There Was Nothing Going On, or, A Meditation on Dude Music

[Hey, guys: Remember VISIONS OF MANLINESS WEEK? I sure do! Because, during that week, I was e-mailing a bunch of dudes! And, in my e-mails, I made jokes to dudes. About how they should write about things that dudes cared about, and were good at. Like comic books! Or sports! Or opening pickle jars! Or… music. For some reason, I kept referring to the process of listening to/writing about/collecting records of/playing music, specifically The Indie Rock Music, as a “dude thing?” Like, OVER AND OVER? And I was like, “wait a second, Sady. You are revealing some fundamental fucked-upness in these here jokes of yours. Because you personally listen to/write about/play music, often The Indie Rock Music, ALL THE TIME! As do lots of ladies! So, like… why do you still think of it as a thing reserved for dudes? Because these 64,000 jokes of yours would seem to indicate that you do!” Well: It turns out that there are some answers for these questions. And, for the purpose of answering them, we institute LADYPALOOZA (less stupid title TBA? No, it’s not TBA. This is the title, and it’s stupid), a Tiger Beatdown Theme Post Party specifically for talking about the Ladies and Music thing. It is much like Lilith Fair, except it is going to melt your face! From a variety of perspectives! First up: We start it hard, with a post by the exciting and rock-enabled Silvana. Who, it turns out, some of you may know!]

I used to be in a band.

I used to be in a band with a bunch of dudes.

People are always shocked when they hear this, if they know me, because they have a very specific sense of “women who play in bands” and it is most emphatically not me. In order to be a woman who plays in a band you have to be, first and foremost, hot. Preferably hot in that slightly NOT ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CONVENTIONALLY ATTRACTIVE way, so that dudes can believe that they are the only guy in the world who really, truly understands how hot you are, and can correspondingly believe that by bestowing upon you their belief in your paramount hotness, they are giving you a sweet gift which will make you so ecstatically happy, and can therefore believe that, because all you want in the world is for dudes to think you are hot, you will sleep with them.

You can be slightly not one hundred percent hot by doing something out of the ordinary, like wearing glasses, having a tattoo, or wearing clothes that don’t match. Just like how overalls made Rachel Leigh Cook not-hot in She’s All That, wearing striped socks with checkered shoes will get you into the dudes-love-you-because-you-just-don’t-UNDERSTAND-how-hot-you-are club.

I am not one of those women. I am, plainly, fat. I am mildly cute. And I do not look like In A Band Woman. Guys seem to have a really hard time projecting their fantasies onto me! Go figure.

But this piece is not about how I look. No, basically it is about how I hate guys who are in bands, I hate dude music, I love lady music, and I love ladies who are in bands.


META-POST: The New Face of Tiger Beatdown

Ladies! Gentlemen! You may have noticed, I think, some changes on this our Tiger Beatdown. For one, you may have noticed that an increasing number of posts Not By Me have been appearing on the site! For two, you may have noticed that some new names, and a brand-spanking new e-mail address, are now listed in our sidebar.

But why? What could have caused such a thing? Who can you blame? Change is scary! Such are the things I imagine you all to be saying. And by “you all,” I mean “my grandmother,” and by “imagine you to be saying,” I mean “hope she never reads this site.” That may or may not line up grammatically, and, if I may reveal to you some top-secret information, the fact is that I do not care. I’m busy. Because Tiger Beatdown is bringing on new writers!

Here, in case you are on Google Reader and therefore cannot see the sidebar because you are A MONSTER and make EVERYTHING HARDER, are the contributors we currently have!

  • C.L. Minou, our Senior Contributor, whose accomplishments include contributing to Feministe, Below the Belt, and the Guardian’s Comment is Free, running The Second Awakening, and taking charge of the template re-vamp we oh, so sorely needed.
  • Garland Grey, whose accomplishments include being the only contributor ever to come on staff as the result of a single guest post (we make everyone else do at least two! But this one just worked), being a total nerd in the best sense, and running
  • B. Michael Payne, whose accomplishments are many and varied, and are often linked to or mentioned at his Tumblr.
  • AND THE REST! Meaning me, Sady Doyle, editor-in-chief and founder. My many accomplishments (by which I mean, of course, “blog posts, on the Internet”) are typically mentioned, with links, at my Twitter.

Now, since there are several of us, it no longer makes sense for all of the correspondence for the site to be directed to me, Sady; nor does it make sense for that correspondence to wind up in the same e-mail account where I plan drinks with friends and check out the cute pictures my mother just sent me of her cats. Therefore, PR people, readers with tips, and other assorted hooligans are invited to send your correspondence to our new address,

Oh, but there’s more! We need MORE contributors! MORE writers! And I have the sneaking suspicion that at least some of them could be YOU! Yes, that’s right. Do your hobbies include:

  • Writing frequent blog posts that are funny and incisive?
  • Having an appealing and unique voice that meshes with the other voices around here, while not being identical to any one of them?
  • Doing theory that is well past the 101 level?
  • Meeting deadlines?
  • Reading and responding to group e-mails about stuff we need to get done on this here website?
  • Feminism?

Well, in that case, please do submit an idea for a Tiger Beatdown Guest Post! (To, again, If we accept your idea, you’ll be encouraged to write a guest post of between 800 to 1,000 words. And if that goes well, I will edit it and post it to the site! You may then be asked to do further guest posts, and audition a little bit more, and ultimately find your name on that proud Roster of Contributors mentioned above. I would really look forward to that, to be honest with you!

As to further information about what we’re looking for: Careful readers will note that the Tiger Beatdown Roster is 50% dudes and 50% ladies, at the moment. We are really looking to bring on additional ladies, before we bring on any more dudes. Not that more dudes wouldn’t be welcome, in the future! I just want to keep Tiger Beatdown leaning the lady way. We are also tragically short on guest posts and contributors who happen to be women of color. Which is, as many have pointed out, a recurring and serious problem for lady blogs. I would say it is probably more of a serious problem for Tiger Beatdown than for others, because as far as I am aware all of the women who have ever contributed or guest-posted have been white! That is one fucking obnoxious track record we have! So, ladies of color are particularly encouraged to pitch us.

Other than that: Uh, funny people? We tend to prefer those? People with areas of expertise we don’t share, but which could somehow be shoehorned into the concept of “pop culture?” Nice people? People with whom Sady Doyle has never had screaming Internet fights???? (And, suddenly, the list of potential contributors became 98.7% smaller.) I don’t know, lady. Just go ahead and pitch us! It’s easy! You never know what will happen next!

[BONERS], For Fun and Profit: The Extent To Which You Don’t Care About [BONERS], Revealed!

Guys: It’s been a fun weekend. I went out with some ladies, including the lovely C.L., and drank “ironic” Amaretto sours (here’s some advice: DO NOT DO THAT. IT’S AWFUL. And no-one but you thinks it’s funny) and did various sensual dances which resulted in me tripping and falling face-first into a couch. Sensually! On the following morning, I felt a heretofore-unknown spiritual kinship with Ke$ha. I cooked up some pretty good risotto. I firmed up our new Tiger Beatdown Contributor Roster, which: More news on that to come. My best friend and I found a bar like three blocks away from me, and it had a smoking patio, and the music there wasn’t awful! I was excited! So, yeah, I had a good weekend.

You know who didn’t have a good weekend, though, was Freddie’s [BONER]. There is some sadness going on in its vicinity, it would appear! Sadness of the extensively blogged variety!

And you know, it occurs to me that there is maybe a 3,000-word post to be written on how exactly Freddie’s sadness is a textbook demonstration of the Dude Privilege at work, and a stunning, nigh-perfect lesson on How Not To Be A Feminist Man. We could start that blog post out, for example, by talking about that first post he so generously promoted on this blog, which attacked this blog, and basically boiled down to saying that Freddie knows his feminism way better than most people because he’s read some books, and therefore he is not required to privilege the voices of actual women, who have actually experienced sexism and oppression in conversations about feminism. Even before we get to the closing paragraph, which is about whether Amanda and I would be good dates who are mature and enlightened and Authentically Feminist enough to basically tell Freddie he is right about everything, there’s this:

That guy you see in the picture there to the right (that handsome fellow) is indeed what a feminist looks like, a particular feminist, this feminist. And this feminist is not looking for validation, confirmation or blessing from any particular female feminists. Feminism is not lady business; it is the business of all people who pursue equity and liberation, and who take the elimination of entrenched power imbalances as their ethical duty…

[Blah blah blah there should not be] an excuse for female feminists, whether cisgendered or transgendered, to be empowered to have a constantly shifting definition of how male feminists are allowed to operate within feminist discourse. Far too often, the expectation that male feminists should be equally devoted to advancing the feminist cause is carried by female feminists who will turn around, when an argument arises about what best represents and advances feminism, and assert their privilege over feminist discourse based on the fact that they are female.

Read that passage. Read it, like, several times. Because what Freddie is saying, in fact, is that he is such a good feminist that he should not have to listen to women. He is such a good feminist that, when he enters feminist spheres, he should not have to give up the privilege that he, as a man, has experienced his entire life. He should not have his authority, his experience, or the validity of his insight questioned on the basis that he has not actually experienced the oppression he claims to be fighting. For women to assert their own primacy, their own knowledge and expertise, which is gained not primarily from “intellectual” sources such as works of theory, but which is based on the simple, practical, gut-level experience of being oppressed every day of their fucking lives, with (in my case, and many other cases) theory consumed and utilized, not to teach them much that is new, but to help them verbalize and explain what they already know… well, that’s “privilege,” it’s “privileging women,” and it’s unfair, because it means that Freddie isn’t treated as the World’s Foremost Expert. On our fucking lives.

Yes: Freddie, as a feminist, wants to be regarded as knowing more about women than women do. And he gets really, really sad and angry when you tell him that, because he is a man, he will never know more about womanhood or women’s oppression than women, and he will never be allowed to define feminism for women, and he will never be able to engage in feminist discussions without having his privilege pointed out to him. That’s what’s at stake here: Whether Freddie’s “feminist” engagement should involve listening to women, and valuing their voices enough to make them central to his understanding, or whether (as he explicitly seems to wish) he will be allowed to be a “feminist” while keeping his ability to oppress women, his privilege, intact and unchallenged. Don’t think for a second it’s anything more advanced or “intellectual” than that. Freddie is a man, and it makes him mad that women don’t listen to, agree with, and obey him. Because of his “feminism.” Which, as he explicitly states above, is not based on any obligation to listen to or learn from the people that feminism is intended to help.


Thank You For Subscribing to the Newsletter for the We Don’t Care About Freddie’s Boners Foundation

There are, as of this writing, one hundred and twenty eight published comments on the blog post in which we announced the creation of the We Don’t Care About Freddie’s Boners Foundation, a noble and charitable institution dedicated to not giving a flying fuck about what Freddie thinks on the following topics:

  • Whether Amanda Hess and I would be good dates. (No, seriously, he wrote an extended meditation on whether he’d enjoy himself on a date with either one of us.)
  • Whether I make too many terrible seriousness-killing jokes, which of course makes me stupid and not really feminist, and of course also makes it harder for me to be “called out” by Freddie, which of course is a problem.
  • Whether I am therefore SUUUUUCH A BIIIIIIIITCH for obstructing his condescending lectures, life goal of being a “true feminist” who does not listen to women on the topic of feminism or consider women probably the best sources for learning about women’s oppression, and/or [BONERS.]

This is (she said, unresearchily) the highest number of comments we have ever gotten on a single post, with the exception of “13 Ways of Looking About Liz Lemon,” which was linked to by the Awl, the Atlantic Wire, and Newsweek (and lots of other places around the feminist and political blogosphere: I don’t mean to leave anyone out, I just became unable to keep up with the trackbacks at a certain point. The examples listed here are notable because they come from outside of even a generously defined “feminist blogosphere,” and brought us some pretty high traffic, and traffic from people who don’t often read Tiger Beatdown). And those comments came in over the course of several weeks. Meaning that this is certainly the highest volume of comments we have ever gotten overnight, without being linked to by several other high-traffic websites (that I know of: I am just waking up, and haven’t looked at my Google reader yet, and am not seeing trackbacks).

Here’s some more information about that high comment volume for you: There are, currently, exactly three comments being held in moderation because I consider them to be over the line. They are on the topic of:

  • How I am CENSORING Freddie, with CENSORSHIP!
  • Why I am really being SO MEAN to Freddie. He’s trying! Surely a lady whom Freddie insulted, twice, on her personal blog, and on the topic of her writing style, intellectual capacity, dating skills, and TOTAL IRRATIONALITY LIKE WHY IS SHE SO OFFENDED ALL OF A SUDDEN, is required to give Freddie the benefit of the doubt and be nice to him! How will I ever advance the cause of feminism if I don’t treat Freddie nicely after he personally fucking insulted me more than once and did not listen to my explicit request that he shut the fuck up and go away? And honestly, why did I get so upset in the first place? Freddie’s raising important questions about feminism, and — AND I QUOTE — “he’s really (really) done it in an inoffensive way. You’ve gotten really defensive.”
  • How I am deeply, sexually obsessed with Freddie’s [BONER] and probably want it in me so bad right now.
  • No, seriously. The text of that last one is, in part, “Sady seems obsessed with Freddie’s penis. She’s probably fantasizing about it right now.”

Each of these three comments is by a person with a male screen name and/or a person who identifies explicitly as a “white straight cis dude” in his comment. I just thought you ought to know.

Stay tuned for updates, when we reach the 24-hour mark on our pledge drive, and you get to see how other people feel about Freddie’s Boners! In the meantime, of course, here is a button which one can press to show support for the We Don’t Care About Freddie’s Boners Foundations and its very exciting “dollar-a-joke” program. How many jokes do YOU want to oppress Freddie’s boners?

WHY TIGER BEATDOWN HAS JOKES ON IT: Turns Out Some Motherfucker Had To Ask Me

You guys, Tiger Beatdown is a blog. And, on this blog, we have a comment section! Sometimes the comment section is pretty interesting. And sometimes, the comment section gives us some shit like this! From “Freddie”:

I would ordinarily never, ever do this self-linking deal, but this post kind of compels it.


Look, I have to tell you: your whole enterprise here, the whole long and short of it, appears to be an edifice designed to give you a platform that paws at discourse while denying the possibility of you ever getting called on anything. I mean the whole apparatus of the place. It’s like this constant recursion of LOLspeak/serious speak/LOLspeak, this Russian dolls style thing you’re so enamored with. It’s just a mechanism to introduce a self-limiting aspect on what you want to say; you want to be heard and to be taken seriously, but you want the out to be able to say that you were just goofing. Well, goof away, it’s the Internet, and it’s your dime, but understand that you are denying intellectual rigor when you do so.

This is your space, your place of power, and you can define it any particular way you choose. I am not particularly impressed with this post or the assumptions that undergird it, but mostly I am unimpressed with your defense mechanisms. Say what you have to say. I do, I have, and I will.

You guys, I think Freddie is unimpressed with our deeply unserious, unfeminist tomfoolery! But, SINCE FREDDIE ASKED, there are a few reasons why Tiger Beatdown has jokes on it. AND THEY ARE:

1. We present serious, and subversive, and controversial subject matter here. More or less continually. We also make jokes. This is because serious, subversive, controversial subject matter tends to bore people, or scare them. If people are bored or scared, then they’re not learning. When they read Tiger Beatdown, they are entertained. They end up learning through the serious, subversive, and controversial points presented over the course of that entertainment. Also, they don’t feel like someone just had to shove a pill down their throats. We sneak it into the applesauce instead. Who doesn’t like applesauce, really?

2. The primary provider of content to this site is me, Sady Doyle. I’m continually looking for people to delegate to, to bring more content onto the site so that I can have or look for other jobs without Tiger Beatdown going blank, but the fact is, I have found some people, and the vast majority of the work published on the site is still written by me. Therefore, the site, being largely comprised of work by me, reflects my personality. And I make jokes.

Here’s the thing: I’m a person who gets scared or sad or angry a lot. I feel these emotions very intensely. I’m a passionate person, and I’m also a person whose experience of the world has been, at times, almost unbearably hard. I’m not going to tell you how or why, Freddie, because — among other reasons — I am keenly aware of the fact that I owe you jack shit, but if you have ever wondered if the more common and violent mechanisms for enforcing women’s oppression have affected me, personally, the answer is: Yep! And, like a lot of people who are oppressed in violent ways, I didn’t have the power to stop it or to erase it from my history. I was, in a sense, powerless. But then, at around the age of eleven or twelve, when things started getting really hard, I figured out that I did have one kind of power, after all.

My power was that I could make jokes.

I mean, not out loud. I would have been punished or hurt for that. But I could tell myself jokes, privately. I could make myself laugh. And I figured out that, when things got scary or sad or infuriating, when I was on the verge of being overwhelmed, I could make myself feel safer and more in control — I could, in the vernacular, empower myself — by making myself laugh about it. I could laugh at myself; I could laugh at the situation; I could laugh at the people who were hurting me. And I could console myself with the fact that I was far more powerful than the people who hurt me could imagine; they thought they were in charge, they thought they were going to destroy me, they thought I existed to be used and hurt and cast aside, but what they didn’t know was that I was laughing at them, the whole way through. I saw through them, I saw precisely how weak and ridiculous and pathetic they were, and I thought it was fucking hilarious. They were the chumps. They were my entertainment.

And so, I honed the art of making myself laugh. And, after about twenty-five or twenty-six years on the planet, having honed this skill, I registered a blog on Blogspot. And I didn’t tell any of my friends about it, because I thought my politics might be too out-there for most of the folks I knew. But what I did, on this blog, was to type out some of the jokes I told myself, over the course of a day. And then, suddenly, more or less unexpectedly, people started reading.

And now, Freddie? Now, I’m Sady fucking Doyle. Of Tiger fucking Beatdown. Which gets roughly one hundred fucking thousand pageviews per month. And if you don’t like my jokes, motherfucker, then what you can do is, you can just. Fucking. LIVE WITH IT. Because these jokes, this secret little mode of resistance that I developed because I had no other options, have become the way I pay my rent. And neither you nor your various Serious Theory Friends nor God himself nor ANYTHING short of my own unexpected and sudden death in a car accident can fucking stop me. This is maybe self-aggrandizing, but you know what? I’m fine with that. I made myself who I am today, and she’s a pretty fucking great lady to be. And the thing is, if you can work harder than I have, if you can write better than I can, if you can equal or surpass my accomplishment, I’ll aggrandize you, too. God knows I don’t hesitate to sing the praises of people like, I dunno, Choire Sicha or Jessica Valenti or Jill Filipovic or Josh Fruhlinger or Clay Shirky, all of whom have done way better work than I have. But you can’t do even as well as I have, Freddie. Can you? Which is part of this whole deal. You’re not better than me, and it makes you sad.

Tough shit, dude. And don’t fucking come for my jokes because you think it’s where I’m vulnerable. Jokes are how I’ve survived, and jokes are why I’m here, and jokes are the one thing I won’t give up. Because, as it turns out, that whole “jokes = power” thing wasn’t just some crazy consolation prize I made up in my head, after all.

3. I do it to piss you off.

It didn’t miss my attention, Freddie, that the jokes you specifically took exception to were about creepy dudes pretending to be feminist to get laid. Or, that you took exception to them because they made you think that the two feminists who made the jokes, Amanda Hess and I, might not sleep with you even though you are totes feminist and stuff:

I  guess what I’m saying is that I am thinking about that date that Amanda and Sady are talking about. If I went on that date, with either or them, they would indeed find themselves on a date with a feminist. But as I am a feminist whose feminism is not a product of feeling obliged to any particular women or to some vague category called “women,” but rather to the principles of equality and human liberation which inform and support feminism, they are unlikely to find me the kind of feminist whose feminism is guaranteed or even likely to please or flatter them. What I wonder is, what if their questions reveal a man who is a feminist that has ideas about feminism that differs from theirs? And what if that feminist man isn’t inclined to back down from his position in an attempt to please them?

There are a few answers to this question, Freddie. The first is that I am never, ever, EVER going to fuck you, and Amanda has had a boyfriend for approximately forever as I understand it, and I have a boyfriend TOO but would STILL avoid fucking you were that not the case, so you REALLY don’t need to worry about how this theoretical feminist date of ours might go. It would always end with you not getting fucked, is the answer. From the massively whingy tone of your post, I get the sense that this is not an unfamiliar experience. But if there were something I could do for you that was the OPPOSITE of fucking you, I might do that. Like, maybe feed you saltpeter so that your all-important feminist erection ceases to exist and/or become a determining factor for how you will allow women to talk about their own oppression: I would do that, on your magical Fantasy Date With Sady. Because dudes like you make me understand ladies like Valerie Solanas, for real. Because when I think about the above paragraph, my pussy fucking ceases to produce all moisture, possibly forever. You are, Freddie, as far as I am concerned, literally unfuckable by any stretch of the imagination. So, there’s that question, answered.

The second answer hinges on the first, and ends with a question mark just basically because I can do that, and it is: How the HELL can you presume to describe yourself as a feminist, Freddie? Like, how the fuck do you listen to two women talking about an experience, of feminism, and confirming with each other that they’ve both had similar experiences, and write a post about how they are not being considerate enough to men, and still sign off as a fucking feminist man at the end of the day? You’re not. You are not a feminist. You have, actually, nothing to contribute to feminist discourse. Because, still, the experiences of women are less important to you than how eager those women are to accomodate your personal fucking boner. You want to be a feminist, Freddie? Listen closely, because I’m about to tell you how:


I mean it. SHUT THE FUCK UP, Freddie. Shut the fuck up and let the big girls talk. Because we know way more about this than you. And every time you want to pitch in with an observation? Shut the fuck up a little bit harder. And maybe, after a few years or decades or whatever, you might have absorbed enough from listening to people with actual feminist insight (possibly related to their actually being women) to contribute productively to the conversation. But, in the meantime, actual feminists are going to get a lot more done, simply by virtue of not having to listen to the ungodly noise that comes out of your mouth. Truly, Freddie: You should shut the fuck up. Shutting the fuck up is, in fact, the biggest contribution you can make to the feminist cause.

Also, delete your blog. Because it is, can I tell you, just awful.

4. I tell jokes because it’s my blog, motherfucker. And I decide what gets published on my blog. We publish some dudes! Some ladies! Me! All selected for their skills at making jokes that enlighten the reader as to the nature and mechanisms of oppression! I tend to think, for all of the reasons listed above, we are doing the public a service. A feminist service, in fact!

Oh, hey, speaking of: I’ve been shy about this, because I’ve been looking for other work lately and have therefore not been posting as much, but I do believe it is Tiger Beatdown Pledge Drive Time! AGAIN. Yes, it’s that very special time of the every-two-months-or-so when you can donate money to Tiger Beatdown to keep it financially viable and running as a site. (And if I ever make enough money to live from it, it will be the ONLY site I work on, hence more posts.) This time, we are having a Tiger Beatdown Pledge Drive with a special purpose! Donate as much money as you can, or as much as you can reasonably manage, and I promise — PROMISE — to report how much I make. Because the amount of money I make will determine the minimum number of jokes I am contractually and ethically obligated to make on Tiger Beatdown over the course of the next year. You donate a thousand dollars? I have to make a thousand jokes! Two dollars? I have to make two jokes! And so on! And so forth!

You guys, it is an experiment. A feminist experiment. And I entitle this feminist experiment, “Let’s See How Many People Think Freddie Is Wrong.” Here’s the button, where you can demonstrate his wrongness!

Press if you don’t care about Freddie’s boners. For real.


It turns out, Freddie did not just spring full-fledged from the earth like a malevolent Rumplestiltskin of blog comments! According to Megan Carpentier, formerly of Jezebel, Freddie is in fact immediately identifiable by his writing style. He is Freddie de Boer, who cares so intensely about Freddie’s de Boners that he likes to (a) get himself banned from lady sites, (b) personally e-mail Megan Carpentier (at the least!) to share his thoughts on how mean she is, and (c) have his e-mail address — — posted on the Internet. Also, the conservative web magazine to which he contributes accepts donations! Who wants to give Freddie de “” Bo(n)er’s employers negative donations? It is pretty easy! It turns out!

Also: Thanks, Megan.

SEXIST BEATDOWN: The Male As Male In All His Complexity Edition

Hey, guys! It’s time for more VISIONS OF MANLINESS, it would appear! But, like, here’s the thing: You know how I promised you we would be getting dudes to talk about their manliness? And only dudes? Exclusively dudes, in fact?

I lied.

For, truly, it is time for a Sexist Beatdown, starring Amanda “Not a Man” Hess of The Sexist, and me, Sady “Distinctively Unmanly” Doyle! We will be discussing the topic of Dudes. Specifically, Dudes as experienced by us, some ladies who are into the Feminism on the Internet! We cover many questions that are important to this demographic. Such as: Is there any way Sady can get a little tipsy and paraphrase bell hooks and/or the history of white lady feminists being gross with people of color in what is maybe the most ridonkulously oversimplified manner possible? Why do dudes log on to feminist websites to complain that feminists don’t care enough about The Pain Of Being Manly? (Seriously. They have to move furniture sometimes! It gets intense!) Should you react to a critical, angry, or uncomplimentary statement about you on the Internet as if it is a thousand tiny knives stabbing you in the face? And why does the news of Male Studies Departments, distinct from those wussy Men’s Studies Departments, promising that in their highly educational and not at all agenda-driven classes “the male as male will be permitted to appear in all his complexity as new values are being forged and traditional values that have proven the test of time are affirmed,” give you such an immediate case of the Bad News Bears?

Well: You may read our extensively illustrated and behyperlinked Sexist Beatdown to hear a lot of yelling and maybe/sort of/possibly not really find out!


VISIONS OF MANLINESS PRESENTS: Sportsblogging Without Balls

[Welcome back to your regularly scheduled Tiger Beatdown! But wait: IS it your regularly scheduled Tiger Beatdown? Maybe it is not! In fact, it is definitely not! Because we are currently in the midst of VISIONS OF MANLINESS, a very exciting Tiger Beatdown THEME POST PARTYYYY (woo) staffed entirely by Some Dudes! Talking about things of concern to the dudes! Like: Sports. Yes, sports. Look, the sporting contests are of some keen interest to the gentlemen, apparently, all right? And you know what’s fun, when dudes get to talking about sports with dudes: You start to get the sense of what ELSE they’re talking about, while you’re in the kitchen with their girlfriends discussing, I don’t know, whether you’re actually wearing the right bra size. Or something. Today’s manly contributor is familiar Tiger Beatdown guestfriend B. Michael Payne. A man with feelings about sports! And about how people discuss them!]

April is for two things: The opening day of baseball, and the one line everyone knows from that one TS Eliot poem. Since it is the time of year when even staunch sports agnostics may see the game on TV and ask, Hey what’s the score?, it seems like a good occasion to write about sports. So let’s talk about homophobia in popular sports culture.

gay rod

Drew Magary is a creative, intelligent writer. He’s a founding member of the once-funny sports blog Kissing Suzy Kolber. He is a published author with a real book. He’s been on TV. He now writes for Deadspin, the most popular sports blog on the Internet. I’d been a longtime reader of Kissing Suzy Kolber. (Let’s say, they were better before they signed to a major [blog] label.) When his book came out, I sat in Barnes and Noble, bought a large coffee, and skimmed almost all of it. I thought it was pretty funny! I think Magary’s funny and not at all rancorous. I’m sure his many, many readers likely feel similarly. He’s the cool older guy who’s lived in New York, and now he lives in the suburbs dispensing wisdom to a large number of 18 to 34 year old men. And it’s specifically this aspect of what I’ll call KSK culture, the “KSK Fantasy [sports]/Sex Advice Mailbags,” “Great Moments in Drunken Hookup Failure” (which could also be titled “Attempted Date Rape: The Ones Who Got Away”), and so on, that I want to talk about.

But you’re reading a feminist  blog. Why do you want to read about men and sports blogs? Well, let me tell you. Magary’s (and let’s just say right now, a large section of sportsblogging culture of which I specifically selected Magary–because his writing is good and popular while being bad in popular ways) his effect on his readers is ultimately pernicious, atavistic, and culturally important to everyone in the way that cancer would be physically important to you.

There’s not a lot of coverage of gays in sports, but it’s obviously an important thing to talk about:

  1. My limited empirical experience shows that the most casually homophobic-seeming people tend to be the biggest sports fans — young men — who use and abuse their mouths in lunchrooms, on Xbox Live, on campus, in the office, at the bar, in your house, everywhere. (Continued)

VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: We Pause Our Regularly Scheduled Programming To Talk About Why You Should Just Go Ahead And Talk About Your Sex Life

Hey! Has anyone here heard of very respectable and excellent web publication The Atlantic Wire? I sure as heck have! For example, today, I hear that they are publishing that one Sady Doyle lady, and her thoughts on the Patti Smith memoir and so on and so forth!

Singer-songwriter Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids is, among other things, one of the more sustained apologias for Robert Mapplethorpe you will ever read. Smith spends many pages defending Mapplethorpe—her one-time lover and long-time friend, who also happened to shoot some of the more shockingly and controversially erotic photographs of the 20th century—against the personal and artistic charges that have been leveled against him. She describes, admiringly, pieces that portray bloody testicles, mutilated penises, Mapplethorpe’s own crotch. Then, abruptly, she records one of the greater ironies in art history: “Robert was so concerned about the content of my work. He was worried I wouldn’t be successful if my work was was too provocative.” According to Mapplethorpe, Smith was “always too crude.”

Ha ha, YEAH. And then, later, he put a bullwhip up his own personal nether regions, and shot a photo of it, and people lost their minds! But there is more. For example, have you ever wondered what Julie Klausner, Julie Powell, and Patti Smith have in common? It turns out to be a few things! Was Mapplethorpe’s advice that far off-target? Maybe not! (Was there room in the piece to address the troubling racial content in Mapplethorpe’s and Smith’s work? No!)  And did Patti listen to Mapplethorpe, about the “provocative” issue?

You tell me. Because, once you are done reading the piece (you guys: READ THE PIECE) you need to come back here and listen to my favorite Patti Smith song. It is the closest anyone has ever come to recording the noise someone’s heart makes as it literally breaks open and falls apart right in front of you. It has the word “pissing” in the title. Also, she refers to “excreting” someone’s “soul,” at a certain point. And you know what? It invests the various bodily processes with heretofore-unknown grandeur and importance. Which is why we should all be glad that Patti “Piss Factory” Smith is, it would seem, a selective listener.

VISIONS OF MANLINESS PRESENTS: On the Fringes of Male Privilege

[Friends: You may have noticed some strange things afoot, at popular lady blog for ladies with lots of lady contributors Tiger “Ladybusiness” Beatdown. For example, you may have noticed that this week, we are all about the dudes! Did you know there are actually experiences of, like, oppression and junk thatoccur in the lives of people WHO ARE NOT LADIES AT ALL??? Man people! With man lives! They have this shit going on as well! And you know what it’s fun to do: Publish some men, on this very subject. For that reason, this week we present a very special PBS-style series entitled VISIONS OF MANLINESS, starring: Some dudes, talking ’bout their dudebusiness. You will be both enlightened and entertained! As, for example, by this post, by dudeblogger Melusin. Read on! To learn how that gets complicated, in Melusin’s life!]

There have been big and small changes in my transition. With friends, things haven’t changed much; I wince at or correct pronouns more, but otherwise can’t constantly point out that I am a dude (or, that I am a trans dude). In social situations where I don’t know people that well, I can and do point out that I AM A DUDE, a lot. In the street, I hope people see the chest and crotch and figure it out.

Some things, though, I do notice. For instance, the difference between going out in the exact same outfit (jeans, shirt, cord jacket) depending on whether or not I’ve bound my chest. When people read me as male, street harassment is much less of an issue. It tends to be limited to a) bolshy teens and pre-teens attempting to establish my gender, and b) comments on my more obvious hair and body modification choices. When I don’t bind, and am read as female, comments are made by strange men about almost everything, ranging from my gait (if I’m walking oddly owing to ill fitting shoes, I apparently resemble a pogo stick) to the cries of disgust if I’m eating in public (I’m fat) to the familiar assumption that being in public and in possession of breasts means that I must be waiting to have my attractiveness judged by a man.

For the first month of my transition, I was elated at the prospect of going to buy milk, or return a library book, without being heckled. Seriously, buying milk without being insulted/chatted up: It is a fine experience. I would recommend it to you if it doesn’t involve erasing your gender identity. But I am aware that it’s a privilege, and one that most women don’t have. I’ve become afraid that it will go to my head, and cause me to explain away women’s experience. A trans man I saw at a speaking engagement said that transition had made him even more feminist. I think it’s doing the same for me, and hope that I don’t follow the Pied Piper of Not Being Yelled At In The Street into the Mountain Cave of Mansplanation. (Seriously, guys, it’s not likely to happen.) 

And now I’ve hit the “you’re just doing it for the privilege” roadblock that is encountered by a lot of trans men.


VISIONS OF MANLINESS PRESENTS: Pilgrim’s (Lack of) Progress: The De-Gaying of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

[Ladies, gentlemen: We talk a lot about ladies, here at the Tiger Beatdown. We have, by and large, lady contributors. We are run by a lady; that lady’s co-blogger is another lady; every week, the lady who runs the blog has a conversation with a third person, ALSO a lady. As the blog’s very subtitle makes clear, we conduct Lady Business, a charming little phrase that the lady who runs the blog happened to pick because it is also slang for “pussy.” She is a very mature lady, as you know. However! Did you know that there is a whole entire other gender out there — a gender not composed of ladies? Yes! It’s true! This gender is known as “men.” And these “men,” or “dudes” as some call them, experience a variety of things, such as marginalization, and opinions about sports. You know what would be interesting: If the conversation about marginalization, and gender, and such, were not entirely conducted by ladies. Experts inform us it’s often not, and we have just been so far up our own ladybusiness that we don’t publish that part often! Therefore, in the interest of learning more about this mysterious and elusive “second sex,” Tiger Beatdown will be presenting a special series this week on Visions of Manliness. And the manly contributors to this series will, in fact, be actual men! We kick it off, my friends, with a man you ought to know. A man known to us as Garland Grey.]

I love comics. I love the collector mentality of comic book readers, the care taken with the physical object, and the fetishism that care demands. I love the trivia, the ridiculous costumes, the character arcs. Even though I’m scientifically literate, I still love the weird-ass ways comic books try to explain superpowers. I love the fact that I know more about adamantium and vibranium (the material the Black Panther’s suit is made out of) than I do about REAL ELEMENTS.

I love the way that facts are concrete in the comic book universe, but also flexible. I love the religiosity of having a canon that you must follow, but I also love alternate timelines. I’ve had entire arguments about storylines that take place outside Marvel’s Earth-616 (the earth we inhabit). I enjoy the number of creative geniuses that try their hand at shaping the same clay, and the different ways that they re-interpret and re-contextualize characters. Comic book writers will decide to write a comic where they take your favorite superheroes AND TURN THEM INTO ZOMBIES. OMFG Marvel Zombies. Catch the fuckin’ fever.

I could talk about men in spandex all night (and then I might start in on comic books… ZING). But some of you aren’t into comics, so here are 5 things you might not know about your favorite superheroes:

  1. In “The Killing Joke,” The Joker shoots Batgirl in the spine, paralyzing her.
  2. Galactus is not REALLY a villain. He does eat worlds, but he also prevents Abraxas from being unleashed upon our universe. He’s cold and cruel, but he’s a part of the process.
  3. Superman wasn’t originally able to fly. In earlier comics, he had been raised on a planet with a higher level of gravity. He could jump long distances, but not fly.
  4. Magneto has two children: Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch. In the “House of M” saga, most mutants in the Marvel Universe were de-powered (including Scarlet Witch) and Magneto killed his son.
  5. Northstar from Alpha Flight is gay (and they’ve killed that poor bitch on every universe they could).

You can imagine the fuckin’ squealfest I had when I found out the trailer for Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World had come out.