The exercise in narcissism

At The Federalist Society, Mollie Hemingway lets us know how much she hates #YesAllWomen. It’s the Federalist Society, so you know what to expect.

Elliot Rodger did what he did.

Social media responded by accepting the murderer’s hate-filled screed as a legitimate point of discourse and the starting point for a massive act of hashtag activism: #YesAllWomen. Traditional media followed suit: the narrative was found. Eleventy billion tweets describing how all women were victims of men spread throughout the U.S. and Europe and the media breathlessly covered the exercise in narcissism. They all agreed it was “powerful.”

Narcissism. That’s the kind of shit that makes me want to stab things. How is it fucking narcissism? I’m not the only woman in the world, so if I talk about issues that affect women, I’m not talking exclusively about myself, now am I. To repeat my questions of a few days ago, was it narcissism to see the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church as a racist attack? And to discuss it as such?

Narcissism would be, perhaps, taking a selfie of yourself crying or fuming, or perhaps tweeting “Never mind Elliot Rodger, what shoes shall I put on?” But talking about misogyny and misogynist culture? I don’t think so.

She goes on to give a list of “the ten most asinine things about #YesAllWomen”; take number 6 for example:

6) It’s A Mockery Of The Real Problems Women Face Throughout The World

As the #YesAllWomen craze spread, a woman was stoned by her family in Pakistan for marrying someone of her choice as opposed to someone of their arrangement. While the #YesAllWomen crowds talked about the unbearable horror of being whistled at on the street, annoyingly being told to smile, and being given gendered McDonald’s toys, more than 200 Nigerian girls remained in slavery to Islamist extremist rebels. While we turn the murder of six into a narcissistic contest of victimhood, a Sudanese Christian woman married to an American Christian man gave birth to a daughter in prison. She awaits her martyrdom for supposedly converting from Islam (because her father, who left her family, had been Muslim).

Oh yay, another Dear Muslima! Just what the world needs. Why? Because we can’t do both; we have to choose one; we can’t discuss both Islamist horrors and homegrown misognyist shooters. Except wait, what, why can’t we? No reason. Just a sneery snotty Dear Muslima from someone who hates feminism.



  1. iknklast says

    Yeah, Ophelia, it’s horrible how you never blog about the kidnapped girls, or the women being stoned, or women having their genitals mutilated. You’re only concerned about whether a man tells you to smile…zero bad, right? Oh, wait…

    Do these people even read the various sites they lambaste before wading in? You seem to have enough time, energy, and bandwidth to discuss all the above, and more besides. Just because someone else has it worse, doesn’t mean we should ignore the very real issue. (And I’m sorry, it isn’t any worse being killed in Pakistan than being killed in the US; dead is dead, even if there were only 6 compared to all the kidnapped schoolgirls.)

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    Yeah. Me reporting on how I was assaulted by a dicksquatch is “narcissistic”. That’s because I’m just supposed to be silent about it. Because I’m over 50 and we all know older women are worthless – only young, beautiful women need to be seen or heard. And only heard if they’re saying nice things that make the men feel powerful and appreciated. That’s a woman’s role, you see. To please men. No one will ever accuse a woman of being narcissistic if she’s pleasing all the men around her!

  3. Claire Ramsey says

    She does not understand what narcissism means. And she did not bother to do any kind of research that might evidence that her opinion is unfounded. It is a very ignorant post.

  4. anbheal says

    I have lived and worked in the anti-developed for a little while now, and I really do laugh at First World Problems some times. For example, I was in the car with an ex-girlfriend recently who was really getting red in the face, bulging veins on her temples, about how the administration at her daughter’s charter school had not corrected three grammatical errors on the school’s website, despite her having sent them an e-mail about it TWO WEEKS AGO!!!

    So, comfortable Americans really DO get all pantibunchified about silly little things, all the time.

    But guess what? Going out and killing women because you’ve been taught to hate women is not a First World Problem. Dear Muslima, Go Fuck Yourself!

    It drives me nucking futz when you hear Libertarian pundits (and, unfortunately, Dawkins and Harris types, who should eat their brain-crushing snacks right before bed, instead of during the day, when they can still say something stupid in public) invariably opine, after such events, in their condescending little voices: “shush shush, now, it’s not like it’s The Holocaust”, or the old tried-and-true “women live longer, and are less likely to get their heads blown off playing with their own guns, so they’ve totally got it made compared to us poor sods.”

    And it’s only going to get worse if Hillary runs. I swear, I hadn’t heard the N word in “polite society” since about 1975. And now it’s bandied about at golf clubs and yacht clubs and toney parties and waterfronts as if you were saying Martini or Birdie. All it took was one of them darkies getting a bit too uppity. So just wait, if we have a woman sworn in at the end of January, 2017 (and please let it be Liz Warren instead!!!), the C word will achieve a whole new vogue.

    And Coulter and Beck will need to develop an immense new arsenal of Denial Memes and Blame Memes, in order to assure us that each new femicide was really the bitch asking for it.

  5. theoreticalgrrrl says

    An average of 3 women a day in the U.S. are murdered by husbands and boyfriends. Men’s violence is leading cause of Emergency Room visits, in the U.S. #firstworldpromblems!

  6. leni says

    In an MMO I play someone in the general chat area, after a long and bizarre rant about Bill Nye and his “followers” (who knew that bow tie wearing demon had “followers”!?), declared that he would “cleanse the earth of all atheist scum”.

    It didn’t occur to me to care that religious people actually suffer more discrimination and violence in the world than atheists.

    How thoughtless of me. Next time I see that I guess I’ll just keep my mouth shut and remember all the religious people who are persecuted more than your average white atheist.

  7. anbheal says

    @5 theoreticalgrrrl — I apologize if my semi-stream-of-consciousness caused any offense. Sorry for lack of clarity. That’s exactly what I meant. There’s no Dear Muslima possible when it comes to this sort of violence, and this sort of institutionalized winking at it. Boko Haram and MRA are merely different flavors of the same toxic brew.

  8. Bjarte Foshaug says

    Which “side” is cynically pushing a self-serving agenda here? Those who think the overlap between Rodger’s ideas and his actions was something more than an accident and don’t mind saying so, or those who exploit the victims of stoning, sexual slavery and religious persecution to say that we should be more rather than less accepting of misogyny and sexism here?

  9. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Oh no, that wasn’t directed at you. It’s just this whole mentality in both atheist/skeptic and PUA/mra groups that women in the West are spoiled, pampered princesses living in a magical land where violence and discrimination don’t exist, therefore they should shut up and do not have the right to talk about anything. Especially about women’s issues, because these guys are the ones who understand real women’s issues better than we do, and are the only ones qualified to speak about it. Forget that they are also Western, white and privileged, for some reason that is never relevant

  10. says

    The next time the topic of male circumcision comes up, let’s see how many of these same people complain that there are men being killed for blasphemy or apostasy, and that first world men should shut up.

    It’s interesting how we can have a range of passionate conversations about rights and freedoms for all people, as long as it applies to men, but when an issue focuses on women, people want to find ways to shut the conversation down and shame women for even talking about it.

  11. johnthedrunkard says

    The rationalizers ONLY seem to notice outrages against women in Pakistan or Nigeria so that they can play the ‘privilege’ card.

    The ‘you weren’t shot for going to school,’ or ‘you weren’t mass kidnapped into sexual slavery, so shut up’ meme is classic goal-post moving.

    Is Privilege really the right word? Or are people pulling their own ‘Dear Muslima’ when they claim ‘privilege’ against people who are either clueless, over personalizing, or just plain dumb?

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