June 24, 2006

A response to Vox’s “arguments”

Posted in Blogging, Personal, Wingnuts at 2:40 pm by The Lizard Queen

Below is a comment I left over at Vox Popoli in response to a long-winded, many-barbed post by a man who writes for a popular right-wing website and yet appears to think it worth his time to shout down a couple of not-particularly-well-known (at best, especially in my case) left-wing bloggers. Go figure. (Maybe he’s trying to boost our readership…)

I am beginning to suspect that the man behind the curtain, if you will, over at Vox Popoli does not actually believe that which he spews. His argumentation is faulty and, it would seem, deliberately inflammatory. As a result, this may well be my last post on the subject. But for now, I refuse to be bullied into silence.

First, I’d like to respond to your comment that “the Lizard Princess and Mrs. Smitty were respondingly poorly, insufficiently and inaccurately.” The sentence of mine that you posted in your entry titled “She will look beautiful in chains” was taken out of context in the simplest sense of the term: I was responding to a comment your follower “keer K guard” made: “the continual claims that women can do anything men can etc. is patently false when it comes to breaking horrendous trends like the re-emergence (not that it ever went away, but is now explosive and moving to 2nd and 1st world nations) of sexual slavery.”I was merely interested in having the logic behind that argument explained to me. (Please note that I expressed no such “redundant notion of political action against an activity that violates numerous existing laws;” you’ll note from the use of the conditional tense in my sentence that I was speaking hypothetically.) “keer K guard” never responded to my statement, which made it rather handy that you took it–albeit out of context–over to your blog, because while you personally did nothing to clear up my confusion–you merely suggested that in Eastern Europe I would be beaten for questioning such a thing–your commenters were able to enlighten me on that point. I gather from the comments thus far that in your opinions I am incapable of fighting the re-emergence of sex slavery because women are powerless to fight such things both physically and politically. Am I correct about that? Please do correct me if I’m wrong.

I will certainly agree that men still wield much of the power in the world. Where we part ways, however, is in how we feel about this fact: I would like to see equality between the sexes, while you and your followers believe that a society wherein men wield all the power would be best for all involved. Again, please correct me if I’m wrong.

So, in short, I believe in and do what I can to work toward equality between the sexes, while you believe in and do what you can to ensure a male-dominated society. We may well have to agree to disagree on that point, but I see no reason why we can’t discuss it like adults, with mutual respect. Why all the vitriol? Do you all not realize that saying things like “modern women need to be signed up to get punched in the face twice” only serves to discredit your argument?

I look forward to your response.

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11 Comments »

  1. prettylady said,

    My dear, I would first like to congratulate you on addressing Vox with class, candor and a lack of whining indignation in your tone. This, I believe, is the true reason that so many persons with progressive ideals are scorned by the thinking members of conservative factions. What is the use of demanding ‘equality’ from another when one is unwilling to assume the demeanor of an unquestioned equal?

    Second, after considerable thought and experimentation in addressing the likes of Vox & co., I have concluded that part of the problem is that women are either unaware of the sorts of power we wield, which render men relatively helpless, or else we are unwilling to acknowledge them. In demanding an equal share of masculine power while disingenuously retaining hold on our feminine power (or attempting to relinquish it for idealistic reasons), we are not playing fair. ‘Equal’ does not, and cannot, mean ‘identical’ when it comes to gender relations.

    I welcome your continued input on these matters.

  2. I’m not in a good place to get into a big blog war right now with someone who clearly enjoys sniping and semantics. I just don’t have it in me at the moment.

    But I think you might want to look into the Delia Day story – where a “sex slave” allegedly posted photos and kept an online diary shot her slaveowner in the head one day. And was acquitted by a Mississippi grand jury for self-defense.

    Someone claiming to be Day has since written to me saying that she never wrote those diary entries that it was always her slaveowner/husband doing it.

    I’ve written and done a lot of research about this case http://www.egeltje.org/archives/cat_delia_day.php

    I think it’s a good example of a woman who singlehandedly fought against her own slavery and won.

  3. Hi Pretty Lady,

    Thank you for your comment. First, let me say that I absolutely agree that “equal” should not mean “identical” when it comes to gender relations.

    What I understand your second point to mean is that women cannot expect to be given the same rights and respect as men because of our feminine wiles, if you will. As always, I genuinely want to be corrected if I’ve misunderstood.

    My response to that idea is that it is insulting to both men and women. I think a fair comparison would be to what I understand of hypnosis: it may seem like a hypnotist is making a person do certain things, but the willingness to do them must be in place to begin with. Also, yes, certain men are subject to the “feminine powers” of certain women, but I very much think that works both ways–how many people out there haven’t done foolish things for love? However, how does that support the idea that I shouldn’t be the same as a man in the public sphere? Does the fact that I might inspire a man to do anything from buy me a sunflower to move across the country mean that I must accept the fact that in this country women make roughly 75 cents for every dollar men make? That people assume I’m bad at math because I’m female? (I’m not, I assure you.) That people talk down to me in certain places of business–or ignore me outright–because I’m female?

    What, then, do we make of the fact that a man or woman might inspire me, in turn, to buy him or her a flower or make a cross-country move? Ultimately I think that speaks more to the power people have over people than to the power one gender has over another.

  4. However, how does that support the idea that I shouldn’t be the same as a man in the public sphere?

    Oh, that’s rather an unfortunate typo: what I intended to write was “how does that support the idea that I shouldn’t be treated the same as a man in the public sphere?”

  5. mouthybitch said,

    I, however, do have the energy and time to snipe back, which I am very much enjoying. Vox has enlivened more than a few days, lately, with proof that a good percentage of his readers are funny in thier own ignorance. Besides, exposure to different ideas will keep me sharp. And I feel a little strongly about what has been said about you. Color me silly that way.

    And I’m not even slightly classy.

  6. FrankJ over at IMAO just wants to punch liberals in the face.

    He’s all for equality like that.
    I’m sure that is preferable.

  7. prettylady said,

    women cannot expect to be given the same rights and respect as men because of our feminine wiles

    Not at all, my dear. I am All For equal pay and good manners. This is a priori.

    What I am saying is that, just as our bodies work differently from those of men, our minds do too. Without getting into exhaustive detail–we have a tendency to think holistically and relationally, while men think linearly. (Of course this is a gross over-generalization.) These thought-process strengths are complementary, and both are utterly necessary to formulate an effective interface with the world.

    I believe we do ourselves a disservice when we seek an ‘equality’ that denies these differences. Instead of attempting to force ourselves into certain masculine roles, for which we are ill-suited (and which most of us find unbearably tedious, anyhow), we would do better to examine what is really going on in the context of gender relations, and learn to play to our strengths.

    I, for one, do not wish to be treated the same as a man, in the public sphere. Men are sadly prone to punching one another in the mouth. ‘Testosterone,’ I believe is the reason. It shocks me that men are not automatically seen as unfit to run for public office, due to this disgraceful tendency.

  8. DavidD said,

    Ah, PL, but there is such discipline involved in those of us whose nature is violence, both out of protective love and to make a scapegoat out of someone or something, yet overcome that nature by something over than mere repression of what would get us in trouble, by enlightened choice instead, even a higher love than that which puts my gunsights on anyone who makes my daughter upset. She can tell you how we’ve practiced that since an early age, with no one getting punched in the mouth.

    I have shared my secret longing to test myself against my ex-convict clients with a colleague who is less in touch with his testosterone than I am. He found it intriguing. It doesn’t have to be a problem, just one of many things everyone’s genes do to them, to which we either adapt or look like a fool.

  9. Pretty Lady, thank you for clarifying your position. I appreciate it.

    Indeed, for the most part, men and women think and behave differently. However, it seems to me that like most elements of human nature, gender is a spectrum rather than a binary. For instance, if your user pic and language are any indication of how you are in real life, I think it’s safe to say that you are significantly more feminine than I am–and yet we are both women, and so society would like to treat us the same, for better or for worse. So, ultimately, that’s why I find our society’s accepted gender roles frustrating at best. I think it would be ideal if *individuals* could play to their strengths, without having to fight against what society finds acceptable.

    And indeed, I can in fact testify that my father has never punched anyone who’s upset me, and I think the fact that he has such self-control has much less to do with the alleged feminization of society (and now I’m moving away from what PL said to other comments I’ve read recently) but with civilization. If people were allowed to go out and punch whoever they felt deserved it, there would be anarchy, and as far as I can tell that has more to do with humanity in general than with gender.

  10. Anonymous said,

    This man does not represent Christians very well, or conservatives, or libertarians. However, its the people that make the comments that really get to me. A joke about raping a woman seems to get posted once a day at least. They’re animals!

  11. Kit Kat said,

    “its the people that make the comments that really get to me. A joke about raping a woman seems to get posted once a day at least. They’re animals!”

    You noticed that too?


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