ONTD Political

On the night of the election, I was alone in my apartment, refreshing CNN.com. The electoral tally went above 270. I refreshed again! Finally, the headline! I wanted to share with someone, so I went downstairs and told my doorman. I assumed he would be pro-Obama, and I was not wrong. I think I said, “Yay!” And my doorman said, “Yeah, all right!”

Since then, white men all over the television have been LOSING THEIR SHIT. Trump had a publi meltdown on Twitter. Limbaug sounds like he was just dumped by his prom date. (What do I have to do to be good enough for your love?! Tell me! I’ll be anything you want! What about all the good times we had? This guy s vowing to spit at Democrats and to shout “Obama sucks!” if you try to do something nice for him Karl Rove o very upset n Fox News. So upset, in fact, that he was not able to think rationally.

This seems like just the right cultural moment for an article I’ve been thinking about for a long time.

Women’s Emotions are “Emotions,” Men’s Emotions are “How People Talk”

A long time ago, i Bullish: What Egg Donation Taught Me About Being a Dude, I quoted Ben Barres, Chair of the Neurobiology department at Stanford, and also a transsexual man:

It is just patently absurd to say women are more emotional than men. Men commit 25 times the murders; it’s shocking what the numbers are. And if anyone ever sees a woman with road rage, they should write it up and send it to a medical journal.

What I want to talk about is how emotional outbursts typically more associated with men (shouting, expressing anger openly) are given a pass in public discourse in a way that emotional outbursts typically more associated with women (crying, “getting upset”) are stigmatized.

I wish to dispel the notion that women are “more emotional.” I don’t think we are. I think that the emotions women stereotypically express are what men call “emotions,” and the emotions that men typically express are somehow considered by men to be something else.

This is incorrect. Anger? EMOTION. Hate? EMOTION. Resorting to violence? EMOTIONAL OUTBURST. An irrational need to be correct when all the evidence is against you? Pretty sure that’s an emotion. Resorting to shouting really loudly when you don’t like the other person’s point of view? That’s called “being too emotional to engage in a rational discussion.”

Not only do I think men are at least as emotional as women, I think that these stereotypically male emotions are more damaging to rational dialogue than are stereotypically female emotions. A hurt, crying person can stil listen, think, and speak. A shouting, angry person? That person is crapping all over meaningful discourse.

I love Rachel Maddow. If you’re a ladyblog reader, you’ve probably see this. But let me bring bac this Maddow video from last April, in which Alex Castellanos denies the existence of the pay gap for women:

RACHEL MADDOW: But given that some of us believe that women are getting paid less than men for doing the same work, there is something called the Fair Pay Act. There was a court ruling that said the statute of limitations, if you’re getting paid less than a man, if you’re subject to discrimination, starts before you know that discrimination is happening, effectively cutting off your recourse to the courts. You didn’t know you were being discriminated against. You can’t go. The first law passed by this administration is the Fair Pay Act. To remedy that court ruling. The Mitt Romney campaign put you out as a surrogate to shore up people’s feelings about this issue after they could not say whether or not Mitt Romney would have signed that bill. You’re supposed to make us feel better about it. You voted against the Fair Pay Act. It’s not about–whether or not you have a female surrogate. It’s about policy and whether or not you want to fix some of the structural discrimination that women really do face that Republicans don’t believe is happening.
ALEX CASTELLANOS: It’s policy. And I love how passionate you are. I wish you are as right about what you’re saying as you are passionate about it. I really do.
RACHEL MADDOW: That’s really condescending.
ALEX CASTELLANOS: For example– no.
RACHEL MADDOW: I mean this is a stylistic issue.
ALEX CASTELLANOS: I’ll tell you what–
RACHEL MADDOW: My passion on this issue–
ALEX CASTELLANOS: Here’s a fact–
RACHEL MADDOW:–is actually me making a factual argument–

“My passion on this issue is actually me making a factual argument.” I could die of joy (yes, that’s an emotion). But despite my deep enjoyment of Rachel Maddow, totally unruffled, calling that guy out for his patronizing bullshit, that video is really hard for me to watch.

I was a high school debate champion. Then co-captain of the team at Dartmouth. I’m no Maddow, but I’m pretty good at holding my own in this kind of situation. And yet, if that were me, deflecting Alex Castellanos’ dismissiv mansplaining, I’d need a whole day to recover. How does that kind of discourse help uncover truth?

In Washington Postarticle</a> bout Ben Barres, the neuroscientist who transitioned from female to male, biologist Peter Lawrence posits “a range of cognitive differences” between men and women. And yet:

But even as he played down the role of sexism, Lawrence said the “rat race” in science is skewed in favor of pushy, aggressive people — most of whom, he said, happen to be men.

“We should try and look for the qualities we actually need,” he said. “I believe if we did, that we would choose more women and more gentle men. It is gentle people of all sorts who are discriminated against in our struggle to survive.”

“The qualities we actually need” rarely include pushing others around, or having a deep, loud voice.

What Do we Not Hear When the Loudest Person Wins?

A few months back, I was asked to participate in a debate on the topic of whether men should have to pay on dates. (I was “the feminist.”) It turned out that the male debater and I didn’t really disagree much on that topic. I said that, generally, whoever asks the other person out pays for that date, and then at some point couples generally transition into sharing costs in whatever way works for them. He was actually pretty happy to pay for first dates; he just wanted women to say thank you and to not use him. I had no problem with that.

I think he said that women should offer to pay half, knowing they’ll probably be turned down. I said, well, sometimes — but what if the other person invited you someplace really expensive? What if you agreed to a date with the guy and he spent an hour saying crazy racist shit to you and you felt like you couldn’t escape? This is what led to our real disagreement.

The male debater felt strongly that if a woman wasn’t interested in a second date, she should say so on the spot. If the man says, “Let’s do this again sometime,” the woman shouldn’t say, “Sure, great,” and then back out later. I said that that was a nice ideal, but (trigger warning; rape, violence) that he should keep in mind that most women spent most of their lives living in low-level fear of physical aggression from men. I think about avoiding rape (or other violence) every time I walk home from the subway, every time there’s an unexpected knock at the door, and certainly every time I piss off an unhinged man. So, if I were on a date with a man who I felt was unbalanced, creepy, overly aggressive, or possibly violent, and he asked if I wanted to “do this again sometime,” I would say whatever I felt would avoid conflict. And then I would leave, wait awhile, and hope that letting him down politely a few days later would avoid his finding me and turning my skin into an overcoat.

The male debater was furious that I had even brought this up. He felt that the threat of violence against women was irrelevant, and that I was playing some kind of “rape card” as a debate trick. He got angrier and angrier as we argued. I also got angrier and angrier, although I worked hard to keep speaking in a calm and considered way. He was shouting and cutting me off when I tried to speak. I pointed out that the debater himself was displaying exactly the sort of behavior that would make me very uncomfortable on a date. THAT made him livid.

He then called me “passive-aggressive.”

I was genuinely taken aback. “Actually,” I said, “I call this ‘behaving myself.’” It’s a lot of work to stay calm when you’re just as furious as the other person, and that other person is shouting at you. I felt that I was acting like a grownup — at some emotional cost to myself — and I wanted credit, not insults, for being able to speak in a normal tone of voice when I was having to explain things like, “We can’t tell who the rapists are before they turn violent, so sometimes we have to be cautious with men who do not intend to harm us.”

After the debate, I was not really ready to make friends, but we ended up going out for a beer with the producer and crew. The male debater said that he was often a guest on radio shows, and that shouting and interrupting is just how they talk. You have to engage in that way, or you don’t get airtime. The male debater was congenial (and talented). The whole debate had been conceived because he had gone on some shitty dates, and who among us has not had that experience?

This was a good guy. The problem wasn’t him, it was that the behavior our society rewards was not, in my opinion, the best this guy had to offer.

That, to me, is the real problem. It’s also why I’ve used the terms “stereotypically male” and “stereotypically female” in this article; I’m sure that some part of our debating styles is due to how much testosterone is floating around our bodies, but some large part of it is learned. If you’re accustomed to arguing on radio programs, you have to shout because otherwise you would not get to speak. If you majored in women’s studies, you’ve probably had it drilled into you that shouting is “denying someone her voice.” On a talk radio show, crying would immediately invalidate your argument. At a feminist conference, shouting would make you the oppressor. I’m suggesting that both crying and shouting are emotional expressions, that some of these emotions are more destructive to debate and dialogue than others, and that we should all recognize our emotions and then channel them into rational discourse. That means dudes, too.

Fro Rolling StoneRachel Maddow’s Quiet War, on Maddow’s encounter with Castellanos:

The tricky part is knowing what to do about the lie [that women make as much as men]. Chris Matthews would erupt in thunderous outrage; Keith Olbermann would dissolve into a knowing sneer. But Maddow’s skills are different: She strives not for the expression of political anger but for its suppression, to distance herself from the partisan debate rather than engage it, to steward progressive fury into a world of certainty, of charts, graphs, statistics, a real world that matters and that the political debate can’t corrupt…. “Anger is like sugar in a cocktail,” Maddow tells me. “I’d rather have none at all than a grain too much.”

What Makes a Debate Productive, and What Destroys Its Value?

If you involve me in any kind of debate about smart, poor kids not being able to obtain education, a tear will roll awkwardly down the side of my nose about every ten seconds. It’s cool. I’m still pretty articulate. Those tears are an appropriate response tragedy and injustice. In fact, I think having an appropriate emotional response to tragedy and injustice makes my arguments on the topic more credible, not less. Or maybe those tears are simply irrelevant. That’s fine — whatever’s going on with my eyes doesn’t shut down debate. Not being able to control your disagreement while I’m mid-sentence? That shuts down debate. And it’s rude, in a way that crying isn’t.

Rachel Maddow i Rolling Stone:

“The cable-news model is that you want to create a fight. Because people will yell! And there will be exclamation points and things will be in ALL CAPS and people will watch! Having been the left-wing person booked to fight with the right-wing person in that Punch and Judy show, I’m not interested in re-creating that. If I’ve booked you, I feel like you’ve got something worth listening to. With conservative guests, that means you can’t just be a random hack who’s here to fight with me because I am who I am. You’ve got to bring something to it where even without sparks flying and even with it being civil, you’re going to illuminate something that I can’t.”

I was the Lincoln-Douglas debate champion of Virginia in both my junior and senior years of high school. I can be both adamant and imminently reasonable, as appropriate. (There was no crying; we mostly debated about topics I cared little about in real life.) My victories, however, were made possible by the fact that there are timed speeches; during your time, the other person doesn’t try to shout louder than you. On a talk radio show, I would undoubtedly lose the fight to grab airspace for myself, just as I often lose the fight for airspace in many barroom discussions and bloviating dinner-table talks. So obviously my ideas are invalid.

The way most “debates” happen, on television and otherwise, is like beginning a writing contest by making all the writers physically fight each other for paper. Obviously, writers who don’t get any paper are the worst writers, right?

For a demonstration that this is not, in fact, true, watc this video Mona Eltahawy nd Leila Ahmed on the Melissa Harris Perry Show, discussing Eltahawy’s article “Why Do They Hate Us?”, about the position of women in the Muslim world.

After Eltahawy (who, by the way, is an incredible badass who wa arrested covering protests n Tahrir Square and was sexually assaulted and had her arms broken by Egyptian police) makes her case, host Haris-Perry says they’re going to “dive into the controversy” and “add a dissenting voice” after the commercial break. Controversy! Dissent!

The dissenting voice is author and Harvard Divinity School professo Leila Ahmed. Ahmed begins by saying, of Eltahawy, that she would like to “salute her and thank her for the extraordinary work she’s doing.” And then she gets to her “core disagreement”: Eltahawy paints all of the Arab world with the same brush despite striking differences among nations, for instance. Some of the problems Eltahawy discusses are associated more with Africa than the Arab world. No one interrupts anyone. Harris-Perry says, “As an academic, I love nuance.” Eltahawy acknowledges that her goal in talking about oppression against women in the Muslim world is to “go for the jugular.” Ahmed argues against giving fodder to people who simply hate Muslims. Around the 17 minute mark, things get a little heated. Eltawhy is speaking and Ahmed says, “Can I just give you an example of some of the complications?” Eltahawy says “Sure, please!”

I mention the actual arguments in this debate to point out that EVERYONE GETS TO SPEAK IN COMPLETE SENTENCES. Can you tell me somehow that this is inferior to a bunch of men shouting at and interrupting each other? It isn’t.

I want everyone to behave as rationally as the three women facilitating an intelligent discussion in this nineteen-minute video. If I may remind you, this is how Alex Castellanos talks to Rachel Maddow:

RACHEL MADDOW: No, listen–
DAVID GREGORY: All right, let Rachel–
RACHEL MADDOW: Right now women are making 77 cents–
ALEX CASTELLANOS: And litigated–
RACHEL MADDOW: –on the dollar for what men are making, so–
ALEX CASTELLANOS: Well, that’s not true.
RACHEL MADDOW:–so–
ALEX CASTELLANOS: If so every–
[Moderator] DAVID GREGORY: All right, let Rachel make her point.

A transcript of a productive debate has more periods and fewer hyphens.

Towards a Better Model of Discourse

Many feminists have posited that we need to break free of the idea that male behavior is the default to which women should aspire.

Anne-Marie Slaughter, i Why Women Still Can’t Have It All, wrote:

I continually push the young women in my classes to speak more. They must gain the confidence to value their own insights and questions, and to present them readily. My husband agrees, but he actually tries to get the young men in his classes to act more like the women—to speak less and listen more. If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal.

I want a model of discourse in which we all behave like adults: mostly calm, as rational as possible, and informed but not controlled by our emotions. I would like a model of discourse in which stereotypically female emotions are less stigmatized, and stereotypically male emotions — especially destructive ones — are not given a free pass. I’d like us to acknowledge that we’re all emotional beings, and if Karl Rove and Rush Limbaugh get national airtime to completely give in to those emotions, there’s no argument to be made anymore that women “too emotional” for anything. I’d like us to acknowledge that uncontrolled emotions are the cause of most crime, and most crime is committed by men.

I can tell you, the truth is infuriating to irrationally angry men who try to bully you and shut you down. You want to see how much such men cannot handle the truth that they are slaves to their own emotions? Tell a shouting, angry man — “All you whores voted for Obama because you want handouts from the government!” — tell that man, “Stop it, you’re getting emotional. I can’t talk to you when you’re so emotional.” (op note: OH MY GOD I WANNA TRY THIS SO HARD.)

If enough of us say that enough times, maybe it’ll sink in. If not, we’ll just have to act like grownups and ignore whoever’s having a temper tantrum.

Jennifer Dziura writes life coaching advice weekly here on TheGloss, an career coaching advice ridays on TheGrindstone.

SOURCE

I bolded some of it but, honestly, it's all golden. Please read the whole thing, you won't regret it.

Also there were typos showing up when I previewed the post, but they were gone when I went back to edit, so I'm sorry if they're still there.
anolinde 6th-Feb-2013 04:52 am (UTC)
This is such a good article. And it's so true.
fickery 6th-Feb-2013 05:09 am (UTC)
Tell a shouting, angry man ...“Stop it, you’re getting emotional. I can’t talk to you when you’re so emotional.”

HAHAHA OMG yes. Stealing this so hard.

the_siobhan 6th-Feb-2013 05:45 am (UTC)
I swear I am doing this. I don't know when, I don't know how, but I am going to do this, as God is my witness.
shhh_its_s3cr3t 6th-Feb-2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
Stolen and used... the results were amazing.. I got this: You're being passive aggressive and trying to dismiss my feelings, I can't talk to you.

Hellllooooo role reversal! LOVED IT!
kitschaster 7th-Feb-2013 08:22 am (UTC)
I LOVE that response. Because then the next line out of my mouth is, "Oh, so how you make a person feel with what you say does count, then? And feelings/emotions aren't just this abstract concept you only attribute to women, and therefore are applicable for everybody without coupling it with the idea of "hysterics"? Please, tell me more."

It's pretty much sputtering from that point, because there does not exist a comeback that isn't blatantly misogynist.
kitschaster 7th-Feb-2013 08:18 am (UTC)
I have done this, and it does take them aback, because you just caught them using ~emoshuns. It almost always results in them stopping, and half apologizing, but it never really stifles the anger. It does, though, make them extremely conscious of their tone and voice level, and how they phrase things as they resolve to behave "as a man should", which is pretty comical to watch. But of course they just end up using "small words" and speaking to you like you're a 5-year-old. But of course at that point you just smile, and ask them if their vocabulary is always that small, or if they just never learned how to adequately convey their feelings rationally without resorting to irrational emotions or baby talk, and that's just trolling harder.

And I'm not just referring to my fiance when he gets frustrated, either. I've done this to male gamers who love to nerd rage whenever they don't get their way. It's really the only way to deal with nerd raging males - unadulterated condescension thrown right back in their faces.

ETA: Considering the subject matter of the article, I should mention that I do /not/ argue things that actually affect me personally with pretty much anybody I'm not comfortable with. Even some topics with my fiance are off-limits. That way when an argument does break out, I can stay calm, because it's usually not something I'm all that adamant about. But with arguments that do matter (like a recent argument we had about "friendzoning" that devolved after a very rational and calm two hours of debate, when he decided to throw everything discussed out, said he respected my opinion, and that I /should/ respect his opinion that "friendzoning" can be using in a positive manner, and I told him he would of course feel that way, because he'd never have to worry about a friend who liked him intimidating/cornering him into sex, it exploded. Nothing I said when I actually got upset was taken seriously, and I became even more upset by his insistence that I respect an opinion on a term that is used by shady men who blame women for /their/ inability to start/keep meaningful relationships. It didn't help that every man he used as an example in our friend circles who used the term is, in some manner to me, a shady male when it comes to women.), what was described is pretty much what happens, and it's hard to break away from it when it becomes hurtful and you start getting shut down.

Hence, I just do not discuss close and important things about women with men. Almost any man. Unless they have proven themselves as allies, it's never pretty.

Edited at 2013-02-07 08:36 am (UTC)
kitschaster 7th-Feb-2013 08:38 am (UTC)
Also never discussed with non-minorities, and sometimes not even non-Black people - race. Ever.

(By the way, he did eventually come to terms with my ideas about friendzoning. It just took a fuckton more of explaining the next day when we were calm again. Good lord.)
windy_lea 6th-Feb-2013 05:32 am (UTC)
One of the worst parts of trying to have any sort of meaningful debate about issues like politics, sexism, abortion, etc. with chronic mansplainers is the amount of projecting they do. They'll use crap logic, start raising their voice first, talk over you, condescend to you, and escalate to using intimidating body language, and when you finally, finally fucking yell at them, they'll throw your emotions in your face. And even when they are calm, they'll be flinging logical fallacies left and right while dismissing everything you say as irrational. (But they can't explain why or how.)

It happened so, so much when I was first owning up to my true political views. As a direct result of this, I'm much more defensive and edgy than I used to be when discussing topics I care about. So my arguments now come across as altogether harsher than I intend, and it's cost me a confrontation-avoidant friend or two.
windy_lea 6th-Feb-2013 05:41 am (UTC)
On a lighter note, that script of Castellanos talking over Maddow is currently reminding me of every argument in any dramione fic by everythursday that I've ever read. Ever.
strwbrri_shrtck 6th-Feb-2013 07:09 am (UTC)
YESSSSSSSSSSSS all of this
windy_lea 6th-Feb-2013 08:02 am (UTC)
And I don't know about you, but I'd feel like shit on the bottom of someone's shoe when the mansplainers in my life would shut down the talk because of my emotions. Logically, I could clearly recall them escalating the argument, raising their voice and whatnot. But it's not so easy to shake the notion that you're expected to remain 'above' emotional reactions (even though they don't) even while talking about something that you can't afford to treat like some abstract mental exercise. It's... frustrating to say the least.
strwbrri_shrtck 6th-Feb-2013 05:04 pm (UTC)
*nod nod* I made the mistake a couple weeks ago to have a feminist talk with one of my male friends while we were drinking. He is generally respectful when hot topics are discussed, but of course drinking escalated the whole thing. He kept putting me down, saying I was letting my emotions get to me, and he actually stood up while I was still seated to stand over me. I don't think I'll be discussing any hot topics any time soon while drinking...
makeme_moo 6th-Feb-2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
But it's not so easy to shake the notion that you're expected to remain 'above' emotional reactions (even though they don't) even while talking about something that you can't afford to treat like some abstract mental exercise.

Seriously. After the election, my friend and I were being drunk and obnoxious all over the incredibly butthurt Facebook statuses of the men in our lives who'd voted for Romney. So many of them tried to brush it off like 'oh well you won it's not important baw'... and just ugh, yes it is... fuck them. It felt so good to finally let loose after all the "debating".
keeperofthekeys 6th-Feb-2013 01:42 pm (UTC)
So my arguments now come across as altogether harsher than I intend, and it's cost me a confrontation-avoidant friend or two.

So much this. I always feel pre-loaded to expect the same dumbass arguments in response to what I say (I can basically predict now what objections a man is going to bring up to a particular point). I've definitely snapped a people who actually were genuinely trying to learn/understand, but are in the early stages of that phase and still don't know how to properly ask questions without simultaneously sounding argumentative.
windy_lea 6th-Feb-2013 04:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is precisely what I mean. I always enjoyed a good debate, and in that sense I could be said to be a tad argumentative. But now I often am doing this weird dance between trying to explain my views rationally for those who genuinely will listen while being wary of the various conversational traps society's given the privileged for use against minority groups.
trivalent 6th-Feb-2013 03:20 pm (UTC)
This and more. It's not even constricted to 'serious topics' or the like. It can be in anything that becomes a debate or argument or bla. Also, the times when they've been shouting, yelling, and so forth in your face for ages, whether you snap and yell or cry a little (as written above, that can be the appropriate emotional response) and then they 'can't deal with you when you do that' or ugh, so so much.

ALL THE THINGS FOR YOU. And agreement.
windy_lea 6th-Feb-2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah, like did they not even notice their voice rising? Though getting all up in your space is my least favorite bit. Like, there's a degree of threat implicit there, of course I won't stay all smiles with a neutral voice. Only slightly more sensible than asking me to shoot rose-scented hundred-dollar bills out of my ass at that point.
trivalent 6th-Feb-2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
If they acknowledge that then they were justified to do so (as opposed to you? huh?). And the only logic that counts or facts or anything is that which supports their view. No compromise. Bla bla bla. Ugh, I have an ex-roomate who was super like that, and even though it's been seven months, I'm still finding ways it's affected me/my expectations of responses from my current roommate and so forth.
roseofjuly 7th-Feb-2013 12:25 am (UTC)
The enraging thing about it is that they don't get emotional because the things that they are arguing about don't affect them. It's not their bodies, their salaries, their rights under attack, so it's easy for them to remain "rational" and "unemotional" about the topic. Meanwhile, we burst into angry tears because we know the consequences of their bigotry.

In the past few years I have become less confrontation avoidant and far more confrontational. But sometimes I have to cut off an argument because I am getting so phenomenally angry that I feel uncomfortable. Interestingly enough, men ALSO get upset when you take charge and say "You know what? I am not having this conversation anymore." Making the choice to stop talking just infuriates them for some reason.
windy_lea 7th-Feb-2013 09:40 am (UTC)
I was just thinking about that after seeing some comments from men patting themselves on the back for not getting upset in an article about sexism in ads. So you get situations like the article describes where only women's emotions get labelled as such, but then you also have the guys who are calm, but only because they can afford to be.

I shut down the last few political conversations my uncle tried to start, but in those instances, I didn't bother waiting until someone got upset. Our discussions always escalated into yelling matches, and since my family is predominantly Republican, I got blamed for 'starting' things even when he almost always initiated the conversation to bait me. I could tell it irritates him that he can't push my buttons anymore. (My uncle is a troll, imo)
romp 6th-Feb-2013 05:54 am (UTC)
Thanks, I needed that. Any more and I would have started to get pissed but it was cathartic to read.
tigerdreams 6th-Feb-2013 06:08 am (UTC)
Oh gods, I saw that interview when that dude was being a condescending fuckstick toward Rachel Maddow. It made me want to throw the television out the window, and I was at my boyfriend's dad's house, so that would've been awkward.

Thinking about it, women get this "you're too emotional" treatment SO MUCH. I can only ever think of one occasion it was used against a man, and it wasn't for a stereotypical-masculinity-approved emotion: I'm thinking of the way the media destroyed Howard Dean's presidential run for displaying too much jubilation on camera after winning a state primary. That's the one male example I can think of, and there are literally too many to list of it happening to women.
britneyspears 6th-Feb-2013 07:03 am (UTC)
this is so great, that debate between mona eltahawy and leila ahmed is fantastic.
alexvdl 6th-Feb-2013 08:33 am (UTC)
Damn. Virginia LD champion two years running? That's fucking impressive as hell.

This is a pretty great article. It also illustrates one of the things I love about the internet. (Or at least I used to love about the internet before douchebags started figuring out how to dox people and take their stupid shit offline) Here on LiveJournal, everyone gets to state their opinion without being interrupted. They get to take their time, verify their information, spell check their statements, reflect on what they say, and then say it. They then have to deal with the consequence of saying it, but no one should be free of the consequences of their actions, anyway. Then, the people replying get the same advantages. And the cycle continues.

Man, I miss debate. I can't wait to get off this goddamned rock, and be near civilization again. I'd love to judge some tournaments.
toastieghostie 6th-Feb-2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
This was a fantastic article and really puts everything I've thought about the Republican party into a better perspective for me. One thing I've learned about Old White Dude Anger is that they are so used to being right and having their privilege and masculinity reinforced by society that they completely lack the ability to examine their actions. It used to vex me how people as smart as some of the Republican leaders could still be so so stupid and wrong about everything. I even wondered if maybe it was just a plot to gain power - the Republican pundits would say whatever people wanted to hear but they couldn't honestly believe what they were saying themselves, right?

This article framed it better for me. I was wrong, they're really just all that delusional, because when you have privileged assholes debating with privileged assholes (especially with buttloads of toxic masculinity thrown in) there's no one to really disagree with you or create proper discourse. I mean I guess that's obvious now that I say it, but I guess I'd given the Republicans too much credit and not taken into account how poisonous white, male privilege can be. It's sort of like a mold: you put a piece of white bread into an airtight container, eventually the bacteria will grow mold and turn into unrecognizable sludge. The Republicans are the bread, the party is the container, and the mold is their privilege.

tl;dr Republicans are moldy leftovers that should be thrown out.
betray802 6th-Feb-2013 06:41 pm (UTC)
My father likes to talk about how he's turning out to be so much like his father. I just say to myself, "Granted, I had only recently turned 12 when he died, but somehow I don't recall Grandpa being a raging hateful dickbag."
amyura 6th-Feb-2013 10:43 pm (UTC)
I need to go back and read the whole thing when I have more time, but one funny tidbit: Eric Dondero went to a public high school and Florida State for college. Wonder how he feels about someone else paying for his education.
iluvkidnappers 6th-Feb-2013 11:32 pm (UTC)
i LOATHE when people make angry yelling matches and shut you down when you step up to their level UGHHH. this article is awesome
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