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The Week In Patriarchy

President Obama had avoided being too patriarchal with “women and girls”–until this week. If being-the-President were being-a-freshman, he’d be carrying a ‘B’ average right now, according to the president of the National Organization for Women. Not bad for someone who rode roughshod over reproductive rights with the Stupak Amendment. Still, women don’t have a horse to hitch their wagon to: Despite much gender-normative childhood play, the Tea Party holds little appeal.

Cathy Young spoke up in a Boston Globe op-ed for the rights of feminists who don’t mind being oppressed. Responding to a piece by Jessica Valenti in the Washington Post, Young chastens readers to accept “can-do feminism that celebrates female strength” as long as it doesn’t overpower the patriarchal bearing of society, which she seems to doubt exists. Being the would-be vice presidential millstone that dragged down a once-promising presidential campaign is, of course, one of the greatest achievements a woman can make.

There was a heartwarming new parable about the struggles of a voiceless robot standing up against the Russian patriarchy. Will Self noted some of the flaws of the British “phallocentric patriarchy” in his coverage of “Rude Britannia,” a celebration of satire at the Tate Britain. Among the shortcomings of the exhibition, he says, is its focus on the “enduring male satiric supremacy.” Self starts the article by mentioning his shared dinner with a female novelist whose only notable attribute, apparently, is that she is “famously beautiful.” Maureen Dowd posited that “young women are not prey,”in response to a Fantasy Sleeping With Girls League at the swank Landon School (Motto: By Virtue, Not By Force). Points were awarded according to what “base” was reached in a boy’s sexual interaction with a given girl. Beside showing that fantasy sports geeks can get laid, the event offered more evidence for an affirmative response to Katie Baker’s recent question.

Coverage of The Stoning of Soraya M had Jill Albrechtsen down. One critic said the film took the easy out by portraying “leering archetypes of Islamic patriarchy.” Albrechtsen would rather feminists watch Soraya M than navel-gaze to Sex And The City 2. She’s such a Miranda.

Blogging about porn, a graduate student waded into the deep swamp of patriarchy without the appropriate flashlight.” South Africa’s Constitutional Court stated “the work [prostitutes] undertake devalues the respect that the Constitution regards as inherent in the human body.” There was no mention of the devaluation by lawyers of the respect people regard as inherent in practical reasoning. Red State seemed to believe that men deserve to be objectified, too. Conservative women pundits will, of course, continue to be uniformly hot.

Daily Intel revealed that Debrahlee “Hot Banker” Lorenzana wanted to be “tits on a stick,” which apparently undercuts her lawsuit against Citigroup. They said the comment casted doubt on the “authenticity of her statements.” Upcoming hypothetical coverage of the story includes “(There Is No) Pressure To Be An Attractive Female” and “Be Careful What You Wish For (If It Includes Trying To Get Ahead In Corporate America [Unless It Has To Do With Creating Sophisticated Derivates You Don’t Understand]).”

A Canadian writer and social commenter misapplied some Nietzsche. He doesn’t hate women (just feminists).

The Gloss said it was “easier than ever” to be a slave to the patriarchy. (Use slimming Spanx rather than strenuous sit-ups to flatten that tummy, ladies!) In The Atlantic, Hanna Rosin persuasively argued that biologically, economically, and educationally the “the traditional order has been upended” and patriarchy has ended. Check in next week to see if she is right.


  1. Ann wrote:

    hey,I don’t know if you’ve heard about all the drama with this fancy boarding school, Landon. Apparently the boys would recruit freshman girls for “sex teams” and score points for the bases that they got to. Kind of like fantasy football, but unspeakably horrible. There have been a few articles about it online and such (like here:

    Friday, June 11, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink
  2. Samantha b. wrote:

    The day after health care reform passed I got a note in my inbox from Planned Parenthood congratulating themselves on their efforts. Cecile Richards, you have fabulous hair, but you have since been blocked from my inbox.

    Stupak had been openly discussing doing exactly what he did since the summer. You can’t convince me that Obama, PP, NARAL, etc. were blindsided in any way shape or form. Nobody involved deserves an A for outreach. They all fucked up, and they fucked up big. So it’s hard not to believe this is lip service by Obama now because he knows he fucked over his base, and that they could fuck him over right back. Take your vitamins, Sonja Sotomayor, because right now you are the best goddamned thing to come out of the Obama admin.

    Friday, June 11, 2010 at 2:06 pm | Permalink
  3. Kirsten Agrell wrote:

    I think you must mean the South African Constitutional Court, not the Canadian one. That’s what the linked to article seems to indicate.

    Friday, June 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
  4. BMICHAEL wrote:

    @Samantha B

    I totally agree. I’m not to the point where I think the Obama candidacy/presidency is just a PR thing, but the exigencies of actually being an administrator have shitted all over HOPE.

    Friday, June 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  5. McK wrote:

    Why the hell does Hembling keep saying “gender feminists?” What other kind of feminist is there? ARGH, I hate you.

    Friday, June 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink
  6. AndyG wrote:

    There was an incident similar to the one at Landon in Oxford recently:

    What did that men’s rights article have to do with Nietzsche??

    Friday, June 11, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink
  7. Seraph wrote:

    I read about two sentences of the link from the next-to-last point, and had to close the tab because I wanted to throw my computer ACROSS THE ROOM OMG and I’m about to go to bed and I don’t need that shit cluttering up my sleep, thanks.


    Friday, June 11, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Permalink
  8. smadin wrote:

    I totally agree. I’m not to the point where I think the Obama candidacy/presidency is just a PR thing, but the exigencies of actually being an administrator have shitted all over HOPE.

    EotAW’s bumper sticker has been sliding steadily since its inception from “insightful and wryly amusing” to “downright heartbreaking”.

    Friday, June 11, 2010 at 11:28 pm | Permalink
  9. Brennan wrote:

    I got a good chuckle out of the MRA link. I get the sense that eventually I’ll have to start taking these people seriously (particularly in light of the commentor who wants to avoid interacting with women in the professional setting. ‘Cause men are so oppressed that lady doctors shouldn’t be allowed to work.), but until they come up with some better rhetoric it’s gonna be hard. Seriously. They’re “zeta males” who are totally self-defined and playin’ by their own rules and ain’t gonna take it and MOM, GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!!

    Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 12:05 am | Permalink
  10. CassieC wrote:

    That MRA link is scary as all hell. I know that facile comparisons between racism and sexism are usually not so helpful, but for me, being confronted with that level of fear, hatred, violence (see commenter on who feels men have to be able to “wack” the women with whom they are in a relationship) is akin to being faced with the extremes of racism. It reminds of a white supremacist website in terms of the self-pitying, self-righteous tone and naked fear and hatred of being someone else’s equal.

    There are different varieties of sexism, along one or perhaps many continua. The garden variety everyday stuff is disdain and petty prejudices; this MRA stuff is on the psychotic gender warfare end. Scary scary shit, may the great sky cat preserve me from being on the receiving end of one of those sick pathetic fucks when they snap.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 6:41 am | Permalink
  11. Nifty new feature! Thanks especially for the broad geographical sweep.

    The Men’s News article is mind-boggling. I was really worried because ‘Canadian writer and social commentator’ makes Hembling sound like he might actually have some standing, but I’m (slightly) reassured after a quick google reveals that the only person who calls him that is him.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 10:05 am | Permalink
  12. Stormy wrote:

    The Neitzsche thing wasn’t immediately obvious to me either, but he IS talking about “making his own way” and not being a part of “your” social system anymore. Ridiculous. I have a friend who parrots this bullshit… Maybe I should stop being his friend? Sigh.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 11:09 am | Permalink
  13. AndyG wrote:

    Oh I see that does sound very cod-Nietzsche … though given Nietzsche’s views on women, I’m not sure how much of a ‘misapplication’ that would be.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink
  14. Beside showing that fantasy sports geeks can get laid, the event offered more evidence for an affirmative response to Katie Baker’s recent question.

    Clicked through to the link. As a white someone who went to an all-boys high school in upscale suburban Baltimore (but never played lacrosse), I can assure you that Katie Baker’s sense of what those students are like is largely accurate.

    They’re not all murderers, obviously, but it’s a very homogeneous group. Hell, your average college football team – just by virtue of having kids of different ethnicities and body types – is more diverse.

    Monday, June 14, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

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