Amanda Marcotte: Demonizing people is bad, except when I do it


When your life’s work is dehumanizing people on the basis of their physical differences, demagoguery is just easier than argument.

AmandaMarcotte1Gather ’round, boys and girls, because it’s time for another check-in with the internet’s number-one Arbiter of True Womanhood and and Diviner of All Things Sexist, the walking self-parody known as Amanda Marcotte. On Monday, the Pompous One managed to set a new low for demagogic hypocrisy.

At Slate, she wrote about the “taboo” against men opining on so-called women’s issues, which she and blogger Nico Lang attribute to cultural stereotypes about masculinity, thanks to which “men may feel pressure to portray themselves as louts who barely tolerate women as the price to pay for sex,” while “other men, who feel differently, stay silent.” There’s plenty of nuttiness to work with right there – for instance, I’ve never felt pressure from anyone to express antipathy toward women; maybe that’s because traditional conservative cultures really do have a healthier view of gender and sexuality than liberal cesspools?

But, this being an Amanda Marcotte diatribe, her real point is that men should be stigmatized out of the discussion…if they disagree with her:

The taboo he describes only applies to men who talk about “women’s issues” from a pro-woman perspective. For men who want to attack and undermine women, admitting that you think about such topics is suddenly no longer an embarrassment. If you want to write books telling women to be more submissive or encouraging men to think of women as gatekeepers that need to be tricked into sex, you might as well be printing your own money. If you want to scold women for having abortions, using birth control, or delaying marriage, you might have a shot at becoming a wealthy cable news host. If controlling women’s bodies is a singular obsession for you, it might land you a regular column in the New York Times. When it comes to what rights women should not get to have, you can even shut women out of the conversation. The gender lopsidedness of this—where most male voices on women’s issues are reactionary, hateful, and sexist—ends up creating the erroneous impression that men and women are at loggerheads on all these topics.

Regarding Marcotte’s first link, I’ve never heard of Steve Harvey and can’t comment on her characterization of his book. Her second link’s revelation that there’s a market for guides to cheap, no-commitment sex is indeed regrettable, but it’s not exactly news that it’s easy to get crap published, so we shouldn’t overestimate the significance of a simple Amazon book search. Her search for “pick-up artist” yields 1,205 results, but a search for “9/11 truth” yields 1,387 (and odds are that a fair portion of both numbers comprises legitimate works that happen to share some wording). Besides, isn’t the modern feminist position to support cheap, no-commitment sex as an unjudgeable good when women are the ones who want it?

Admittedly, the average liberal’s views on sex are more enlightened and sensitive to women than, say, Marcotte’s own musings on self-defense against rapists or genital mutilation

More importantly, to lump tawdry sexual exploitation in with reasonable positions about unborn babies’ right to life, the injustice of dictating private insurance policies, the wisdom of keeping sex within marriage, and the socio-economic importance of nations’ birthrates is as intellectually lazy as it is ethically bankrupt. To seriously argue that they constitute “attack[ing] and undermin[ing] women” and are “reactionary, hateful, and sexist” only underscores the depth of Marcotte’s hatred and her disinterest in anything resembling honesty and fairness.

Even more dishonest is Marcotte’s line about shutting women out of conversations, which War on Women mythology teaches Republican Rep. Darrell Issa did by rejecting poor Sandra Fluke’s bid to testify on the Obama administration’s contraception mandate. As Kristi Burton Brown noted here back in September, two women did testify, but to feminazis, they didn’t count as real women because they opposed the mandate. And according to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, Fluke was a last-minute switch by the Democrats, who originally asked – and got – Republicans to take Rev. Barry Lynn as their pro-mandate witness, then wanted to switch to Fluke (who had no credentials on the panel’s subject, religious liberty) at the last minute, all to fabricate a talking point for hacks to endlessly feed their unthinking followers.

As a final bit of irony, on Monday Marcotte also had a piece up at RH Reality Check, which regurgitates her usual shtick about concern for the unborn being a pretext for hating women (because being a pro-choice blogger means never having to come up with anything original). But what most failed the laugh test was her whining that “the right routinely wants to make abortion a matter of a woman’s character”:

You can’t look out for people while assuming the worst of them at every turn. All they’re doing is exploiting and reinforcing nasty stereotypes about women while restricting women’s rights.

Yes, those sentences actually occurred in the same article that also contains the statement, “by and large the support for abortion restrictions comes from internalized misogyny.”

Rather than a sad reality she wishes were otherwise, “corrals and silences men” might as well be Amanda Marcotte’s mission statement. But while she may be the most cartoonishly pompous about it, she’s really just following standard pro-abort procedure. On one level, it’s perfectly understandable – when your life’s work is dehumanizing people on the basis of their physical differences, demagoguery is just easier than argument.

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