The Petraeus Supremacy


Update: it gets weirder:

HuffPo– Some of the 20,000-plus pages of documents and emails between (Gen. John) Allen and Tampa socialite Jill Kelley were “flirtatious,” according to a senior defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the case publicly. It wasn’t immediately clear who wrote the flirtatious notes – Allen, Kelley or both. Allen succeeded Petraeus as the top American commander in Afghanistan in July 2011, and his nomination to become the next commander of U.S. European Command and the commander of NATO forces in Europe has now been put on hold, as the scandal seemed certain to ensnare another acclaimed military figure.

Wingnuts are trying desperately to work up an angle where the Man called Petraeus is somehow part of a scam involving the election, Obama, and Benghazi. Or something. So far they’re not convincing anyone outside of their own bubble chamber. The story is a bit bizarre though:

LA Times — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement early Tuesday that he had ordered an investigation of Allen after the FBI informed the Pentagon it had uncovered thousands of pages of emails between Allen and Jill Kelley, a 37-year old who has been described as an unpaid social liaison at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., which is headquarters to the U.S. Central Command.Kelley’s complaints to the FBI that she had received anonymous e-mails warning her to stay away from Petraeus led the FBI to open an investigation that ultimately traced the e-mails to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’s biographer, who was involved in an affair with Petraeus.

I have a theory of my own and its based on every day experience in the trenches of dating: the Horny General succumbed to thinking with the little head and he happened to pick a crazy possessive bitch to do it with. Happens to the best of us, trust me. Said crazy bitch went postal when Petraeus broke it off, and then she started sending crazy bitch emails from a creepy anonymous email address to another flirty little socialite tart she suspected of taking her place. What exactly was going on with flirty little tart isn’t clear, tart may have been completely innocent, she may not even be a tart at all, but that’s the basic shape of this deal so far.

Sorry wingnuts, you built Petreaus into an elite cult figure harkening back to the days of Supreme Allied Commander, and he disappointed you by being a naughty little horny commander after all — just like a whole bunch of other commanders have done over the years and centuries and millennia. Men you alternately praise or demonize based on the winds of political expedience. Which means, sadly for your fevered imaginations, Obama did not exert secret mind control over the principles in this sordid little tryst to provide cover for the claimed Benghazi conspiracy you had your dark little hearts set on. In fact the President was probably intentionally kept out of the loop completely until election day, due in part to the CYA culture also known as Military Honor and in part because of garden variety guilt and fear on the Horny General’s part at going out deep in the heart of a public scandal.

Comments

  1. raven says

    Patreus is also a Republican and a fundamentalist death cult xian.

    A family values guy, one of the Moral Majority.

    Hypocrisy. It’s one of the three main sacraments of the fundies.

    Did you know that religion is the basis of all morality? LOL, no one else has ever seen it either.

  2. Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare says

    Tabby, that was exactly my response. Ed, you usually do better than that.

  3. busterggi says

    I guess generals don’t have to remember the old rhyme, “This is my rifle, this is my gun…”.

  4. says

    This corner of the cosmos is reality based. Reality does not always conform to predetermined expectations. In this case we have a married woman who had an affair with a married man and then sent creepy threatening emails from a fake address to another married women who is indeed a socialite and who has reportedly been on the receiving end of sensual half naked pics from at least one guy and maybe more. I think it’s realistic to call the guy horny, the first women a crazy bitch, and to speculate the last one might be a flirty tart.

  5. dean says

    This about Allen

    The official said 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails and other documents from Allen’s communications with Kelley between 2010 and 2012 are under review.

    boggles my mind. How the hell can he send that much email to one person when he’s supposed to be running a war? No fucking wonder we’re bogged down. (I know Allen has only been top man over there since 2011, but most of his time covers these email’s times.)

  6. says

    So it’s realistic to use gender-based slurs?

    I’ll take it then as given that it’s equally realistic to use race-based slurs and sexual orientation-based slurs, and that you don’t contain this realism just to women who are “bitches” and “tarts”.

  7. steve84 says

    @raven
    He promoted an anti-atheist book and Christian proselytizing in the Army, so he may have theocratic tendencies. But he also spoke out against DADT. Not as forcefully as Adm. Mullen, but he thought it was an issue that should be revisited. So I wouldn’t call him a complete fundamentalist.

  8. No Light says

    I was hoping you were being sarcastic, rather than a misogynist arsenugget.

    +1 to Tabby@10.

    Would it be ok to call me a dyke or a spastic if I did something you disapproved of? How about religion-based or racial slurs? If not, why not?

  9. says

    Yeap, I think a jilted women sending threatening creepy emails from a fake email address to another women is classic crazy bitch behavoir. FWIW here at Sexist Mysigonist Central — or whatever one may cooking up in the mind as my evil dwelling — it wasn’t even me that first coined the phrase this morning. My girl friend was watching it on TV and queued it into our morning conversation. It made sense, it fits, we all know what it means. But I appreciate the feedback and the criticism, so I’ll try to think ahead more in the future.

  10. says

    Nobody is complaining about your use of the word “crazy” (though mental health advocates tend to frown on that), and I don’t know of a single person who has an issue with “horny” even though you’ve now brought that up twice.

    It’s the friggin’ gendered slurs. Would a (please pardon the stereotype, I’m using it as an example) bad Asian driver be “classic chink behaviour”?

    As fas as I know bitch or tart or horny or whichever one you don’t like has not been promoted to the list of words we cannot use

    Have you ever read any other blogs on this network, particularly during any of the misogynist shitstorms?

  11. says

    FWIW here at Sexist Mysigonist Central — or whatever one may cooking up in the mind as my evil dwelling

    For the record, I don’t think you’re a misogynist. I do think that you used the slurs without thinking of their greater cultural implications.

  12. jamessweet says

    FWIW Stephen, you can add me to the list that was turned off by some of the word choices. Though I more or less agree with your assessment of the situation.

  13. jamessweet says

    Have you ever read any other blogs on this network, particularly during any of the misogynist shitstorms?

    +1 to this. A little surprised that the reaction here is taking you by, uh surprise :)

    “Bitch” and “tart” are generally best avoided, because it genders a certain type of bad behavior that could equally well be committed by either sex. The arguments that there are male equivalents ignores both the cultural context in which these statements are being uttered, as well as the fact that the male equivalents just generally aren’t perceived as being as negative.

    It’s a small thing, but it is a tiny reinforcement to a culture of misogyny. It’s not “You can’t say that!”, but as I said before: Those words are best avoided.

  14. jenniferphillips says

    Yeap, I think a jilted women person sending threatening creepy emails from a fake email address to another women person is classic crazy bitch person behavoir.

    FTFY. No gendered language required. Plenty of dudes engage in unhinged posturing when thgeir threatened.

    Consenting adults acted like idiots and got busted. Please don’t slut-shame the women involved.

  15. jenniferphillips says

    ah, crap, my strikeouts failed.

    I think a jilted women person sending threatening creepy emails from a fake email address to another women person is classic crazy bitch person behavoir.

    Plenty of dudes engage in unhinged posturing when *they’re* threatened.

  16. says

    Stephen,

    The language you’re using makes you seem like one of those right-wing talk radio goons going after Democratic women. It is wrong when they use that language because it is wrong for anyone to use that language, not because they are right-wing goons. The language you are using offends people who otherwise agree with you, your defense of the language makes you look immature in a “you’re not the boss of me!” sort of way, and it doesn’t cost you ANYTHING to not use sexist language… and would probably make it easier for you to avoid sexist thinking as well.

  17. says

    Andrew, “bitch” is equating a woman with a dog. And since it’s almost always used in a negative sense, with a badly-behaved female dog.

    As such, it’s both a slur on women in general (we are not dogs) and on female dogs (they are usually quite anxious to please and well-behaved if they’re given half a chance.)

    “Slut” is not quite so clear-cut. Originally, it meant, “lazy, sloppy, not clean”, but has been extended to a sexual connotation. Fine. But given its frequent use nowadays as “any woman I don’t like” or “any woman that violates my particular social norms”, it says more about the person that uses it than about the woman involved. Good enough reason to find better terms.

  18. says

    I just realized that I mis-remembered your words. It was “tart”. Which is definitely demeaning. A tart is a small pie. An object, not a person. A small object, of no particular value, a mouthful, disposed of in an instant. But it has been promoted to a mean a woman who behaves as an object. Again, this is according to the social mores of the speaker.

    It is a put-down, robbing the woman so named of all worth. Avoid it. Surely you can find better words!

  19. consciousness razor says

    This corner of the cosmos is reality based. Reality does not always conform to predetermined expectations.

    Would you use the N-word to describe a black person because it’s “reality”?

    As fas as I know bitch or tart or horny or whichever one you don’t like has not been promoted to the list of words we cannot use. If and when that happens I’ll adjust accordingly.

    Translation: “Please someone send help! I don’t want to think for myself or be responsible for making my own decisions.”

  20. says

    Ahh, but it’s not the n word, is it my sloppy thinking friend? Starting off with a flawed premise won’t get you very far in debate.

    Like I say if a consensus develops where bitch or tart are put in that same vault, I’ll follow suit. Today is not that day, and it is not you who gets to decide.

  21. consciousness razor says

    Ahh, but it’s not the n word, is it my sloppy thinking friend? Starting off with a flawed premise won’t get you very far in debate.

    Analogies are not statements that two things are identical, and I didn’t say they were. I asked a question which you didn’t even try to engage.

    Like I say if a consensus develops where bitch or tart are put in that same vault, I’ll follow suit. Today is not that day, and it is not you who gets to decide.

    Where have you been? There certainly is a consensus that those are sexist, so that is false, but it’s true that I did not decide that (and that’d also be true of you). So, if that’s how you think this should work, that means you’ll follow suit now?

  22. says

    Stephen,

    There seems to be a consensus among the people who read and bother to comment on your blog that the language you’re using is troublesome. Who else would you like to poll? Looking for sexists to bolster your position?

    Here’s a hint for you, from my personal experience: use of the language you have chosen can and does cause some amount of harm to other people. Maybe that harm is small, maybe it is large, but it does exist. NOT using that language causes you zero harm. So what’s the problem? When you use gendered insults, you insult women, not just the woman you are aiming at. When you don’t use them… what? What does it do to you, how does it hurt other than in some immature libertarian “I don’t like to be told what to do” kind of way?

  23. John Morales says

    Stephen @28, Tabby has it aright: “It’s the friggin’ gendered slurs.”

    So. You certainly may employ them, but this is FTB.

    (Are you blissfully unaware of recent issues?

    (Do you remember the Thunderpod’s glorious tenure here?))

  24. consciousness razor says

    When you use gendered insults, you insult women, not just the woman you are aiming at.

    You also insult everyone’s intelligence. Even if it caused no one any harm whatsoever because of the sexist narratives and attitudes it’s perpetuating (but the consensus is in: it in fact does), the little story you’re telling would still be full of facile and pointless caricatures, which means it’s not some unvarnished version of “reality” but the nonsensical opinions you have which no one wants to hear. Confusing those is definitely “sloppy thinking.” Assuming you care about any of that (or maybe assuming there’s some nebulous consensus out there that you should…. fucking ethics: how do they work?).

  25. Mr. Fire says

    This corner of the cosmos is reality based. Reality does not always conform to predetermined expectations.

    lol, e.g., the expectation that using ‘crazy bitch’ and ‘tart’ are justified and will not draw any criticism from a place like FtB.

    And just what, in the context of this discussion, are these predetermined expectations supposed to be, anyway? I don’t even get what you’re referring to here.

    In this case we have a married woman who had an affair with a married man and then sent creepy threatening emails from a fake address to another married women who is indeed a socialite and who has reportedly been on the receiving end of sensual half naked pics from at least one guy and maybe more.

    Why didn’t you simply use this to describe the situation? Your apparent drive at sarcasm would have suffered no less for it.

    I think it’s realistic to call the guy horny, the first women a crazy bitch, and to speculate the last one might be a flirty tart.

    Not that I don’t have an issue with it in of itself, but people aren’t complaining about how unrealistic it is, FFS. They’re complaining about how unacceptable it is.

    it wasn’t even me that first coined the phrase this morning. My girl friend was watching it on TV and queued it into our morning conversation.

    You seriously think this information exonerates you in some way?

  26. John Morales says

    [meta]

    I note that the OP is about Petraeus, but the comments hitherto are about the OP, not about its subject.

    (Blogging at its best, it’s not)

  27. No Light says

    And because you haven’t answered yet: Why wouldn’t it be acceptable to call me a fucking dyke, or a useless cripple, or a stupid retard, if you disagree with something I’ve said or done, whereas “crazy bitch” is apparently A-OK?

    Hint: It has something to do with the fact that reducing people down to an involuntary characteristic in order to disparage them, is beginning to be seen as somewhat beneath the minimum standard of human decency.

    However, the constant exception to the rule is apparently gendered slurs that demean all women. It’s not like women are people though, like gay people, disabled people, or non-neurotypical people.

    See, that ‘P’ word is associated with those groups, so it’s not ok to use slurs against them. But who’s ever heard of women people? Bitch cunt whose slut people? LAWLZ NO! Fuck them!

    So now that we’ve all weighed in, why not seek some unbiased advice from AVFM or the. ‘Pitters?

  28. ShowMetheData says

    “crazy bitch” “tart”

    Sexist and dehumanizing – you are free to stop digging the “Hole of Fail” at any time. It’ll be cool to see how far you keep digging just to “show them”

  29. Dana Hunter says

    Bitch is off the table, Stephen. It is a gendered insult that has no place being thrown around by decent human beings. I’d argue “tart” in this context is just as bad. You may think you’re lobbing those words only at women you don’t like, but you’re harming women as a whole. It’s beneath you. And your whining about being taken to task makes you look like a clueless sexist ass.

    I know you’re better than that.

    I don’t have time to educate you thoroughly. You’re an adult capable of doing it yourself. Go search the word bitch at Greta’s, at Stephanie’s, and at Ophelia’s. Go find out from them how acceptable those slurs are.

    And remember that “My girlfriend uses those slurs!” is no more acceptable than “But my black friend uses the n-word too!” No one should have to explain this.

    Start your education here. http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/10/carlin-isnt-the-issue/

    Good luck.

  30. says

    Ahh, but it’s not the n word, is it my sloppy thinking friend? Starting off with a flawed premise won’t get you very far in debate.

    No, it’s just another data-point in the sea of “why apparently misogyny is given a pass in society”.
    On the level of slurs, those two words are roughly equal: They both insult a person by saying they have negative qualities that are directly linked to an aspect of their (or other people’s lives) life they have absolutely zero control about. It says that being X (woman, person of colour, gay, Jewish) is bad as such.
    If you want to go down the “my girlfriend says it” road: please be aware of the many nuances of social discourse and, indeed, context.

  31. Steersman says

    Stephen,

    Not wishing to see bullying and ganging-up I thought I would offer some support even if it turns out to be a bit of a liability. But for starters, consider that at least one of the definitions of “bitch” is:

    A woman considered to be spiteful or overbearing.

    Which would certainly seem to be consistent with the behaviour of one of the women in the current contretemps. Although that still leaves open the question as to why various women and white knights have, in effect, leaped to the conclusion that characterizing one member of a group defined by some attribute – femaleness – in deprecatory terms is tantamount to characterizing all members that way.

    Further, let us consider the analogous case of some man being called a prick or a dickhead. To illustrate, I certainly find it curious, and more than a little amusing, that most men when they hear someone – male or female – call some other man a “prick” their response is likely going to be something along the line of, “Really? What did he do?” and not, “HOW DARE YOU CALL ME AND ALL MY BROS PRICKS??? YOU … YOU … MISANDRIST!!”.

    Seems to me that there is some unwarranted and highly problematic conflation of the individual and the group in at least the first case. In addition, it seems to me that the argument that “gendered slurs … demean all women” has the flavour of dogma and conventional wisdom – I have yet to see any actual evidence and cited studies proving the assertion.

    And similarly one might argue – although maybe on shakier grounds – that various other insults work by similar mechanisms. While they are certainly rude and dismissive, one might also argue that inferring that they apply to entire groups is equally suspect as doing so suggests some similarities with wrapping oneself in one’s flag.

  32. says

    Have fun at reeducation camp, Stephen. I hope you return bronzed and healthy and well-versed in the unwritten code of conduct by which you will be contraining your thinking and writing from this day forward. May your transition from the “Dark Side” to the side of goodness and light be as painless as possible.

  33. noodlezoop says

    Stephen, it really stung to see you writing like that. I think you were insensitive and wrong to use the words you did, and I think you have not been seeing that clearly.

    First of all, as to the comparison with the n-word, and the “vault” of words we’re not allowed to use, it seems to me that you’re comparing the wrong things and drawing the wrong conclusions. Of course you are allowed to say the n-word. You just don’t, because (like most people who care about other people) you recognize it as a slur that’s meant to demean people for who they inherently are, and a slur that’s part of a larger, awful history at that. Lots of people used that word in 1860. They still used it 1910. And 1950, for that matter. Was it fine, was it harmless for those people to use that word, until some critical mass of empathy was reached?

    Second, and this is something my husband pointed out, did you notice what you did with your nouns? Your story is about a horny general, a crazy bitch, and a flirty socialite tart. A general, a bitch, and a tart. Why does he get to stay a general (with contextually negative qualifier), but the author and the socialite are relegated to “anonymous, contemptible female” status? As if that’s all they are, at the end of the day?

    Lastly, I would like to be on the record as objecting to your use of the word “crazy” to describe Broadwell. People with mental illnesses are perfectly capable of handling relationship troubles with as much (or as little) grace as anyone else. “Possessive,” “obsessed,” “self-important,” “unscrupulous,” and “creepy” are not synonyms or essential components of “mentally ill.” They have a tough enough time getting people’s respect and understanding already. Is it accurate or necessary to assign someone behaving badly to that group as a form of disapproval?

    We all make mistakes. I’m not going to pretend I’ve never said anything ugly and hurtful, whether out of ignorance or malice, because I know I have. But I know I can do better, and I think you can too. I wouldn’t have bothered writing anything otherwise.

  34. johncwelch says

    Given unsurprisingly, that this is now about two words, rather than content:

    1) “bitch” is not actually pejorative as applied to female canines. It’s used sans ‘bad’ meaning amongst breeders.

    2) Instead of “tart” you should have used an approved term, such as “cupcake”, or even “poptart” which according to Aratina Cage is not sexist, and only refers to the pastry. Examples:

    Yeah, referring to someone as a brand name pastry is quite sexist. o.0 One hundred ninety-seven people ON THE ENTIRE INTERNET agree with you!

    Come on, Spence. Just about every other term on Urban Dictionary has some sexist definition written up for it, and that particular one wasn’t even the top voted up definition. Probably just a troll who hates women that got his definition in for shits and giggles. Is there more compelling evidence that shows “pop tart” is a sexist term?

    Anyone can post a definition at Urban Dictionary. The up-vote is what counts, and the up-vote for the sexist definitions of “pop tart” was pathetic. That said, I’ll happily not use it and I retract my use of it if it truly is sexist.

    So, since “pop tart” is still not DEFINITELY sexist, you should use that instead.

    3) On the “General” thing. Actually, referring to him as “general” is accentuating just how unacceptable his behavior is. Which is worse:

    Some dude was stepping out on his spouse and using work assets to do so. May have given the mistress a look at some work data was forced to quit.

    or –

    General Petraeus, former head of the CIA, and former commander of US Armed Forces in Afghanistan resigned to day due to having an affair with a reporter who may have been allowed access to confidential CIA and military emails.

    Reminding everyone of Petraeus’ position(s), and his title, reinforces that what happened was not a minor pecadillo/case of the hornies, but of monumentally bad judgement that could actually get people killed. If David Petraeus was the milkman, no one would care that he’d let his mistress see emails about the secrets of his route planning. It is only because of his position and responsibilities that his behavior moves beyond moral issues into “This is really, really bad”. So keeping him as “General” during this is actually a good thing, it helps keep him from getting off easily.

  35. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’m glad someone finally made the point about being *allowed* to say any word you want.

    Sure you’re allowed Stephen. What did you think, you were being arrested? What does “not allowed” mean? Did you mean, “not allowed without risk of criticism”? B/c I’ve got news for you, any time you open your mouth or type something in a way/place/forum that other people will hear or read, you might just get criticized.

    I can’t believe that that’s news to you. So if you’re not fighting for the right to be free of critical responses, exactly what are you fighting for here? Do you think you have “GoodGuy(tm)” cred which might be taken away? Look, you’re only as good as your actions and I don’t read all your posts, but even when I do I take each of your posts separately. One post isn’t wrong or right, hurtful or healing, attacking or supportive because some other post was one or more of those things.

    But I know that when I read posts that use gendered slurs – yes, including things like “prick” – I am much less likely to read future posts by the same author b/c I’m just not interested in reading that crap.

    So in a self-interested way in which increasing your readership is good for your business, using such language alienates quite a number of regular FtB readers (yes, I know, it’s probably a $10/month check anyway). Also, it should be said that I don’t know anyone who would read a blog only because every so often the author uses a gendered slur.

    Finally, although there aren’t many who make their reading decisions on this, I too object to “crazy” used in a way that conflates crazy with, “violent, threatening, stalking, or aggressive”.

    You may or may not care, but you can’t make a case that you shouldn’t be subject to criticism and you can lose a lot more readers than you gain…and cause needless hurt among those who largely agree with you.

    I really don’t see the upside for you in your current line of action.

  36. abear says

    I’ve seen lots of dicks, pricks and sexist terms like “male asshole” as well as non gender based insult from bloggers such as Ophelia Benson. I don’t read her blog much, but it seems that when a feminist like her uses a gender slur she gets few if any complaints. Or is that just me being dickish?

  37. birdterrifier says

    No Light [quote]And because you haven’t answered yet: Why wouldn’t it be acceptable to call me a fucking dyke, or a useless cripple, or a stupid retard, if you disagree with something I’ve said or done, whereas “crazy bitch” is apparently A-OK?[/quote]

    I think it’s obvious why Stephen wouldn’t use “dyke”, “useless cripple” or “stupid retard” but felt fine saying “crazy bitch” and “tart” in this context. He’s making a judgement on these two women with these words because of the infidelity of the “crazy bitch” who seems to have no problems betraying her own husband and having an affair with a man that is betraying is wife. Seems bitchy no matter how you slice it and we have names for that in order to castigate the behavior. And the tart because (right now in the media) she is seen as a “a socialite […] who has reportedly been on the receiving end of sensual half naked pics from at least one guy and maybe more” by Stephen. It’s not a gender slur but a slur against this person’s actions.

    To use the slurs that you bring up as examples would be to make a judgement against them for which no decent person abhors. Stephen would probably not use dyke because he doesn’t have a problem with lesbians living their lives they way they need to. Nor a cripple or a retard because that’s just cruel. None of these names for people mean that the person has done anything bad unlike “crazy bitch” (in this context).

    An example. If a married lesbian woman were to have an affair with a married woman then it would be despicable for Stephen to call this woman a “dyke”. Because, what does her being a dyke have anything to do with her wrongful actions? Calling someone a “dyke”, “cripple” or “retard” is saying there is something inherently wrong with the person for being born this way or for being injured while “crazy bitch” is usually a judgement against that person’s actions. Am I wrong here?

  38. No Light says

    birdterrifier – Women can’t help being born female.

    You’ve missed my point. People who find it abhorrent to use slurs that denigrate and disparage based on one innate, involuntary characteristic such as race or sexuality, but are nonetheless unable to refrain from using gender-based slurs, are fucking hypocrites.

    When those people not only hold privilege over the people they’re insulting, but then either blame it on a member of the oppressed class, or use them as an excuse? That’s disgusting.

    Bitch is a gendered slur. A term soaked in misogyny and male privilege, reducing women to the status of animals (see also cow, mare, sow).

    Their gender did not make these women engage in an affair or send emails. Those are not exclusive to women. I am a woman, I’ve never cheated on anyone, or sent threatening emails.

    People cheat because they’re cheaters. They send threatening communiques because they are bullies, or jealous, or angry.

    My sexuality has nothing to do with activism against a certain organisation, but I have been called a “fucking dyke bitch” for opposing their practices.

    My physical status is irrelevant to my atheism or my belief that sexism is widespread and damaging. That didn’t stop me being called “A bitter fucked up cripple who hates men because [I] can’t get a fuck”, for speaking out against misogynist language.

    Yet there are people who are shocked and appalled at such casual bigotry, levelled at me for belonging to certain relatively small marginalised groups, who do not think twice about using language which hurts and demeans 51% of the population.

    Some of those same people who will speak out angrily against racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and classism, apparently think that using words that express hatred and disgust against women, against female sexuality, is not a problem.

    So why is that particular involuntary characteristic not considered worthy of the same respect (albeit often grudgingly given) that POC, PWD and LGBT people are given?

    Cunt, bitch, horny tart, whore, slag, twat, slut, slapper etc. are all gendered slurs, all based on degrading women and their sexuality.

    “Cunt” is considered to be the most profane, disgusting word in the English language. It’s use is strictly limited on television. It’s just a word describing the female genitalia, but it has such power, such venom and disgust behind it.

    Onto the inevitable “What about the menz? They can be called cunts and bitches too!” comments.

    Sure they can, but only as the ultimate insult, by being compared to something female or feminine. Something so offensive that it often inspires violence as revenge.

    Seeing those words used so casually is always a slap in the face, especially somewhere like this. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the language is handwaved away, excuses are made, dictionary definitions are quoted, and anyone objecting is just oversensitive, overreacting, trying to brainwash people. Trollish Slymepit denizens turn up to scoff, and mentally mark the writer as an ally against the evil, mean feminists who want to spoil all their misogynist fun.

    So again, why is some hate speech actively opposed by the self-same people who see no apparent contradiction between fighting against social inequality and speaking out against oppression out of one side of their mouth, and using the other side to slut-shame women, and use gendered insults to demean them?

  39. birdterrifier says

    @No Light
    I assure that I will not resort to waving you off saying that men get the same treatment from words that women get. That is not the topic and is a disdainful tactic used to attempt to win an argument. I hope that neither of us will attempt to win but will just try to hash out agreements. I understand that you equate bitch to be a slander against women but I can’t understand why. Yes, bitch is usually a word that is reserved for women but it has more meaning than just “woman”. Yes, if someone were to attempt to insult you or anyone by calling them a synonym for woman than that would be reprehensible. It’s why most of the words that are off limits are so. Calling someone a “dyke” is just calling them a lesbian (though possibly a butch woman?) and expecting that to be bad on its face. Calling someone a bitch means that you are slandering them for their actions (or inaction). Such as, I wouldn’t associate someone else being called a dick a gendered slur because it’s always used as a way to judge that person’s actions. After all, any one can be called a dick and I think that versatility matters. This feeling on my part could be due to my privilege, I guess though I don’t think that explains everything.

    Although, I do think that I could be wrong because men are sometimes called bitches and that does seem to be a time where they are just called a woman and that that’s supposed to mean something bad. (You said this already and it’s a strong point)

    All this being said (or typed), it seems obvious to me that Stephen was castigating Broadwell’s actions and not saying that women in general are inferior.

  40. says

    Wow, a lot of uptight bitches (men) and dicks (women). I have a question. Who the hell told you people that you are in charge of telling writers who are expressing themselves and their opinions what words they can and can not use? Who do you morons think you are? I love the lady who thinks her husband is smart because he noticed the people involved were described by their role in this drama. (clue- you can do this too, watch some ending movie credits) CLASSIC!
    I don’t usually read your blog Stephen but I will now as long as you keep writing whatever the hell way you want.
    If you uptight grammar police have a comment on the actual subject then by all means leave it but don’t try to force your own standards on others. You are welcome to try and rid the world of terribly damaging words like “tart” but can’t you find more productive ways of spending your time? Not everyone puts the same values on words as you do. The usage here in no way conveys the belief that any term used to describe anyone applies to an entire group so shut the hell up already. Christ you people sound like apologetics and you don’t even realize it. Let me answer any replies critical to my comment now in order to save us all time. —Thanks for your input screw off

  41. says

    Who the hell told you people that you are in charge of telling writers who are expressing themselves and their opinions what words they can and can not use? Who do you morons think you are?

    Well let me tell you Reap, I think this moron is someone who feels there is valid criticism to be made for poor use of misogynist language on this blog post. But instead of valid or even invalid criticism you see people ordering Andrew not to use the words…

    What is this phenomenon that makes seemingly reasonable people (Bit of a stretch for Reapicheep I know) think that when women say, X is offensive don’t do that, it is an order? Rebecca Watson says ‘Guys don’t do that’ and they can feel her icy grip tighten on their balls ordering them to get in line. What a crazy bitch! (Hint, although a bit near the knuckle using that sarcastically as something Reap would probably say is pretty much what OB is saying in her current “how-to-tell-the-diff-er-ence” post)

    If it isn’t and the women reading this tell me off, I won’t double down complaining that my Mum gave me a note excusing me from being a sexist asshole so I’m right and you’re wrong! I’m never at the wrong end of being demeaned for purely being a particular gender so I have no idea what that is like.

  42. julian says

    Yeah, I’m an uptight bitch or dick or whatever Darkside and his buddies think.

    I just wanted to make a comment on Darkside’s point about consensus. Consensus doesn’t make a word acceptable or not. The broad consensus back in my MOS school was that kike was perfectly acceptable. It was, in their usage, just a general way to associate people with the worst aspects of Jewish stereotypes.

    They argued it was the same as calling someone greedy or selfish or long nosed.Because it was just a way to show disapproval it was unobjectionable.

    I don’t think bitch is the same as kike, of course, but Darkside’s argument is complete gibberish.

    Anyway this’ll be my last comment as judging by the comments I’d be poorly received by him and his commentariat.

  43. birdterrifier says

    @julian – Oh geez. Stephen has in no way aligned himself with the people that have jumped on here to defend him. Most of those people who are defending him and saying they are now fans (reap) are just opportunists and could probably give two shits about whatever else Stephen writes. They just like the idea that Stephen could become martyred by the rest of FTBs. The only thing that Stephen has defended is his use of crazy bitch in this specific context (a married woman who is possessive of her married extramarital lover).

    And Reap, just shove it and stop being a dick.

  44. says

    In fact the President was probably intentionally kept out of the loop completely until election day, due in part to the CYA culture also known as Military Honor and in part because of garden variety guilt and fear on the Horny General’s part at going out deep in the heart of a public scandal.

    He was probably also kept out of the loop because: a) political officials are not supposed to be involved with criminal investigations; and b) Petraeus was never actually charged with a crime.

  45. says

    Who the hell told you people that you are in charge of telling writers who are expressing themselves and their opinions what words they can and can not use?

    Who the hell told you we have no right to do so? And what the hell is wrong with criticizing someone else’s poor choice of words, anyway?

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