Shit Misogynists Say

by Nolan Sweete

(VIDEO CREDITS)

Misogyny is Dane Cook and Louis C.K. mincing and lisping for laughs. It’s Rudy Giuliani and the Dean from Community dressing like a woman because a person with a penis dressing like a woman is a joke. It’s Maureen Dowd, John McCain, and Sean Hannity comparing Obama to a woman as an insult. It’s Tim Allen’s character on Last Man Standing doubling over in disgust when he finds out his daughter’s boyfriend is at a tanning salon. It’s Conan’s people brainstorming new ways to call Kirstie Alley fat,1 Rush Limbaugh new ways to call Michelle Obama fat,2 and the Archer people new ways to debase Pam. It’s Brit Hume and Rachel Maddow agreeing that spending money on your looks like a woman disqualifies you for high political office. It’s the things you can’t remember, like the last woman president or the last time you heard a man compared to a woman as a compliment. And combined with racism, transphobia, and homophobia, it’s the women the word “woman” usually doesn’t mean, women who aren’t considered pure, who aren’t white,3 cisgendered, and heterosexual, who aren’t on the cover of Vogue4 or Vanity Fair5 or on TV6 or in the movies,7 who aren’t Jessica Lynch8 or Laci Peterson,9 who aren’t as important as the way their brother talks10 or their ex-boyfriend sings11 or the reputations of their attackers,12 who can be raped without consequence because they’re considered unrapeable13 and murdered without consequence because they’re invisible.14 America is a club that plays many different songs but all with the same thumping, insistent theme: being a man is good and being a woman is bad,15 and being the wrong kind of woman is worse.16 To deny misogyny exists is to see everyone dancing and deny it has anything to do with the music.

It’s there in American politics. Empathy, compassion, peace, shopping, fucking men? These are things women do and if you do them you’re a joke, especially after 9/11.17 Better to be George W. Bush, who caused so many deaths with his wars that counting them all, at the rate of one second a death, would take longer than watching the Star Wars trilogy, the Star Wars prequels, all four Indiana Jones movies, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, all eight Harry Potter movies, Kill Bill vol. 1 and 2, and the first two Twilight movies, combined18–not counting the people of Iraq and Afghanistan dead for lack of food or medical attention19 or the troops20 and contractors21 who died by suicide at home, or the hundreds or thousands of others whose lives have been altered22 or completely derailed23 by traumatic brain injury24 or PTSD and the family and bystanders who are sometimes hurt25 or killed26 because of it. Better to be George W. Bush, who locked up POWs without a trial for his whole presidency,27 waterboarded them,28 stripped them naked,29 hung them from the ceiling in cold rooms until their legs swelled up,30 chained them to the floor in baking hot rooms so long they shit themselves and tore their hair out,31 dressed them like women,32 beat them,33 tortured them until they died,34 deprived them of sleep until they lost their minds and tried to kill themselves beating their heads against the wall,35 kidnapped them and gave them to torturers in Egypt36 and Syria37 and Afghanistan.38 Better to be Barack Obama, who keeps the POWs locked up, even the ones he knows are innocent;39 covers up for the torturers40 but locks up Bradley Manning41 in solitary;42 escalates one of Bush’s wars43 and declares a new one;44 blows up children45 and crushes families in their homes46 in six countries47 with an unprecedented number of attacks48 by American predator drones, to fight anti-Americanism; cuts Federal spending, tries to cut Social Security benefits, and tries to make ailing 65-year-olds wait two more years for Medicare, in a recession;49 puts an American on a secret kill list and assassinates him and his son;50 locks up or deports a record number of undocumented immigrants,51 including 46,000 parents, and puts 5,100 of their children in foster care;52 takes marijuana away from people with chronic pain;53 makes it harder for teens and preteens who don’t want babies to get the morning after pill;54 signs a bill saying he can lock up Americans without trial however long he wants;55 all while flattering himself that his craven, self-serving decisions are somehow “tough”.

You’d think after two failed wars and counting, the press would learn to question the presumption that a sadistic decision is always also the pragmatic one, but the support of the press for flamboyant displays of masculinity remains as dependable as a group of kids chanting “Fight! Fight!” on the playground. Succumb to your feminine impulses—the touchy feely, wishy washy, hippy dippy, kumbaya, Gaia worshipping, Mother Teresa shit—and Maureen Dowd and the gang at Fox News will be the first to call you a gay pussy. Wear a flight suit on an aircraft carrier, and Chris Matthews can’t clap loudly enough.56 Drop bombs on babies in Iraq, and Thomas Friedman will have to hunch forward to conceal his boner when he tells Charlie Rose why doing so was a regrettable necessity. And when it finally dawns on former New York Times executive editor and torture apologist57 Bill Keller that Iraq was a terrible idea, he’ll use his mea culpa less for soul-searching than as an opportunity to humblebrag about how his “testosterone” made him especially protective of his daughter after 9/11.58 The press makes hurting people the easy choice, the only choice. They literally beg politicians to inflict pain on other people,59 scold us for not liking it,60 even in the face of overwhelming evidence that it’s not necessary61–when they’re not ignoring it altogether, like Andrew Sullivan or Jonathan Chait,62 or urging that we do the same.63 Because hurting people is brave. Hurting people is manly. Hurting people is what daddies do.64 Hurt people and Politico will give you an award.65

It’s even infected the comedians, the smart ones, the alt-ones, the ones who pride themselves on their iconoclasm, the ones who play the Bell House in Brooklyn and UCB and Steve Allen in L.A., the ones who write clubby TV shows for people who like catching references. In the early nineties, a Minnesotan named Lois Jenson brought a sexual harassment suit that made it harder for bullies to stampede women out of their jobs with relentless sexual commentary,66 and Rush Limbaugh decided that meant an all-powerful cabal called the PC police was preventing him and other luminaries from speaking uncomfortable truths—censoring them!—in the name of political correctness.67 A lot of comedians bought into Limbaugh’s persecution fantasy68 and to this day believe they’re the star of their own personal Milos Forman movie,69 speaking truth to power, except “power” means groups that have been politically, socially, and economically marginalized since Plymouth Rock, and “truth” means the truth of a bigoted character or stage persona the comedians have invented. Limbaugh’s fantasy is the manure from which springs every fat joke on Conan, Archer, or Parks and Recreation,70 every rape joke on Whitney, Two Broke Girls,71 or 30 Rock72 or celebrated by the New York Times,73 every “contrarian” “think” piece by Katie Roiphe in Slate74 and the Times,75 and apparently Anthony Jeselnik’s entire writing process.76 Thanks to Limbaugh, any hack can slap quotation marks around a joke that would have been stale when Andrew Dice Clay was telling it and become an embattled First Amendment warrior.77

Because like the press, who think war makes a politician brave even though war has always been the easy way for unscrupulous cowards to get themselves exalted as heroes,78 the comedian acolytes of Rush Limbaugh think telling a misogynist joke makes them edgy, when misogynist jokes are what we use to sell milk79 and The Lorax.80 The truth is, telling a fat joke, a transgender joke, gay joke, or a rape joke doesn’t make Matt Stone and Trey Parker,81 Seth MacFarlane,82 Bill Maher, Dan Harmon,83 and Whitney Cummings heretics; it makes them members of the priesthood.84 Heretics get pepper-sprayed.85 They get fired for talking about war like it’s not a glorious fireworks show.86 They get death threats, rape threats, racist slurs, and stalkers, like women who advocate for women’s rights on the internet.87 If Matt Stone, Trey Parker et al. really wanted to be renegades, they could write a sympathetic woman having an abortion without repercussions.88 Or transgender or gay89 sex that’s not self-abasing90 or a punchline.91 Or a children’s movie about a girl and not a boy,92 about a girl of color and not a white girl,93 about a transgender girl and not a cisgender girl. They could pass the Bechdel test.94 They could put more women in their writer’s rooms.95 At the very least, they could muster the integrity to say no when their corporate bosses tell them to put more naked breasts on their show.96 But they don’t. Because they’re chickenshits who just want to look like they’re doing something the Man doesn’t want them to.

I’m a white, straight, cis man in his early thirties, so I’m not the one Louis C.K. is calling stupid because I spend too much time on my looks or Conan is calling worthless because I don’t live up to his beauty standards. Regis and Justin Bieber don’t grope people like me on national television.97 I don’t have to bigots trying to get me kicked out of the Girl Scouts98 and public bathrooms,99 and I don’t have to worry that my date will murder me when he finds out I have a penis.100 I don’t have Texas forcing me to get a vaginal probe before a routine medical procedure,101 or 25 other states passing laws last year making it harder for me to get an abortion.102 I’m not constantly targeted by woman haters like the American Family Association, the Catholic Bishops, Rep. Steve King-IA, Americans United for Life, Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, Karen Handel, and George Sodini.103 But I’m sick of people assuming I don’t care. I’m sick of being expected to agree that half the human race is good for nothing if they’re not good for a man.104 I’m sick of being deemed an enemy of the First Amendment if I don’t laugh any time a comedian says “cunt.”105

So go fuck yourself, Shit Girls Say. Go fuck yourself, Louis C.K.  Go fuck yourself, Coco. Go fuck yourself, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, Seth MacFarlane, creatively bankrupt Limbaugh acolytes everywhere. Go fuck yourself, Christopher Hitchens, for believing as devoutly in the gender binary as anyone ever has in Jesus Christ.106 Go fuck yourself, Maureen Dowd, you gender policing throwback. Go fuck yourself, Obama, you paternalistic, murderous asshole. You don’t look tough. You don’t look serious. You don’t look brave. You don’t look edgy. You look pathetic.

NOTES

  1. ^ See Todd Levin on writing fat joke after fat joke as a staff writer for Conan O’Brien in I Was with CocoGQ, Aug. 2010 (“We were also being asked to start pitching big “end of show” ideas, which wasn’t difficult, since we had all those ideas left over from a year ago, when we were leaving Late Night. I pitched an idea that Kirstie Alley, one of Conan’s most frequent targets of abuse, would stop by the studio to punch Conan in the stomach.”); and How to Kill a Joke (and Your Boss), GOOD, Sept. 16, 2011 (“There are always unforeseeable and unassailable factors at play, conspiring to hobble a perfectly trenchant commentary on Kirstie Alley’s struggle with her weight. (Forklifts struggle with her weight, too! Am I right? I honestly don’t know if I’m right.)”).
  2. ^ Rush: ‘Dare I Say This: It Doesn’t Look Like Michelle Obama Follows Her Own Nutritionary, Dietary Advice, Media Matters, Feb. 21, 2011; Limbaugh: Hugo Chavez and ‘Moo-chelle Obama’ Are ‘Authoritarian Figure[s]’ Because Both Encourage Healthy Eating, Media Matters, Mar. 29, 2011; Rush Limbaugh: President Obama’s Limousine ‘Weighs Eight Tons without Michelle in It’, Media Matters, Sept. 15, 2011; Limbaugh Somehow Turns Libya Discussion into a Fat Joke about Michelle Obama, Media Matters, Oct. 20, 2011; Limbaugh’s Latest Smear of First Lady Michelle Obama: ‘The First Linebacker’, Media Matters, Nov. 2, 2011.
  3. ^ See hooks, bell, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, South End Press Collective, 1981: “The designation of all black women as sexually depraved, immoral, and loose had its roots in the slave system. White women and men justified the sexual exploitation of enslaved black women by arguing that they were the initiators of sexual relationships with men. From such thinking emerged the stereotype of black women as sexual savages, and in sexist terms a sexual savage, a non-human, an animal cannot be raped.”
  4. ^ “We need Black women on the covers of magazines like Vogue, if our children are ever to see themselves as valuable.  We need these covers to dispel the idea that Black women are just born unattractive.  There is absolutely nothing neutral about erasure and until we address the fact that it essentially amounts to a value judgement based in racist ideals, we are going to continue to have a divided society in which some people are privileged over others, simply based in the Whiteness of their skin.” Martin, Renee, Thandie Newton Takes ‘Vogue’ to Task for Lack of Black Women on the Cover, Womanist Musings, Nov. 3, 2011.
  5. ^ See Stewart, Dodai, ‘Young Hollywood’ Is White, Thin, Jezebel, Feb. 1, 2010.
  6. ^ “I want to see more Edie Stokes style Black transwomen characters who are beautiful, intelligent, and eloquent speakers like many of my transsisters are.” TransGriot, When Will I See Black Trans Characters Like Edie Stokes Again?, TransGriot, Sept. 28, 2011.
  7. ^ See Vineyard, Jennifer, and Colson Whitehead, Colson Whitehead on His Zombie Novel, Growing Up on Horror Films, and Turning His Book Into a Movie, New York Magazine, Oct. 18, 2011, in which Colson Whitehead asks, “How many strong black female characters do you see as leads in the movies, say in the last ten years?”
  8. ^ Like Lori Piestewa, who became the “first [American] woman to die in the Iraq War and the first Native American woman ever to die in combat” in Nasariyah when Lynch was captured, and Shoshana Johnson, the African-American woman who was captured alongside Lynch who no one heard about.
  9. ^ Like Evelyn Hernandez: “The saga of Laci Peterson captivated America’s attention. The 27-year-old Modesto mother-to-be was reported missing on Christmas Eve and became the subject of daily news reports capped by the arrest Friday of her husband, Scott Peterson.”But it is also the story of 24-year-old Evelyn Hernandez of San Francisco, who vanished last May 1 with her 5-year-old son, a week before she was to deliver a baby boy. Her torso was found in the bay three months later and identified, while her son remains missing. No arrests have been made.” St. John, Kelly, Eerily Similar Case Languishes in Obscurity: Torso of Missing Pregnant Mom Was Found in S.F. Bay Last YearSan Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 21, 2003. See also MacKinnon, Douglas, Missing White Female AlertChicago Tribune, May 8, 2005 (“I have a number of friends at the cable networks (or at least I did), and I have spoken to some about this very subject. While all professed disgust with the underreporting of missing minority women and young adults, most were very uneasy with the thought of shining a spotlight on their own management to ascertain an answer. ‘Besides,’ one of them told me, ‘you’ve already figured it out. We showcase missing, young, white, attractive women because our research shows we get more viewers. It’s about beating the competition and ad dollars.’”).
  10. ^ “In the same week that a major network news station reported the LA [Grim Sleeper] murders, it also celebrated the No. 1 YouTube video called ‘Bed Intruder.’ The video has been watched more than 54 million times.  It uses actual news footage of Antoine Dodson, a concerned brother who reports on the attempted rape of his sister Kelly. I remain dumbfounded by the complete thematic disconnect and the utter disregard for the actual loss of Black girls and women. It is as if media makers and the consuming public are unable to see Black women unless we are repackaged as entertainment.” crunklife, Do We Need a Body Count to Count? Notes on the Serial Murders of Black Women, The Crunk Feminist Collective, Dec. 23, 2011.
  11. ^ On the treatment of Chris Brown in the American justice system and the court of public opinion, as compared to Paul Robeson, Mohammed Ali, and Bradley Manning: “You brutally physically assaulted a woman. A woman you supposedly loved, that you beat to a pulp and then left there alone in that car so you could go get a head start on your PR strategy. That is what you did. And the price that you paid for doing that is what? You didn’t do any jail time, you didn’t lose your record deal, you got to put out a new album like six months after the crime you committed, and even though that album sucked, you’re getting to put out another album now and you get to be all over American media promoting your album. You’re going on 106 The Park, you’re going on Dancing with the Stars, right after you trashed ABC’s office! You’re like the golden child in the media—what are you crying about?” Smooth, Jay, A History Lesson for Chris Brown, Ill Doctrine , Mar. 24, 2011.
  12. ^ “[T]hose quoted in the [New York Times] article seem strangely concerned with how participating in a gang rape [of an 11-year-old Latina girl] is gonna be a real downer for the rapists (now that they’ve been caught).” Grimes, Andrea, Did the New York Times Blame the 11-Year-Old Victim of a Texas Gang Rape?, Ms. Magazine, Mar. 9, 2011.
  13. ^ For entire classes of women who are considered unrapeable, see crunktastic, I Saw the Sign but Did We Really Need a Sign?: SlutWalk and Racism (“For Black women, our struggles with sexuality are to find the space of recognition that exists between the hypervisibility of our social construction as hoes, jezebels, hoochies, and skanks, and the invisibility proffered by a respectability politics that tells us it’s always safer to dissemble. To reclaim slut as an empowered experience of sexuality does not move Black women out of these binaries. We are always already sexually free, insatiable, ready to go, freaky, dirty, and by consequence, unrapeable.  When it comes to reclamations of sexuality, in some senses, Black women are always already fucked.”); and McEwan, Melissa, Rape Is for Nice Girls, Shakesville, Oct. 15, 2007 (“So there’s this judge. Her name—her name—is Teresa Carr Deni, and she’s a municipal judge in the Philadelphia Municipal Court. And recently, a defendant in her courtroom was accused of raping a prostitute at gunpoint—and inviting three of his friends to rape her, too. It might even have been more, except that when a fifth man arrived and was offered a turn, he asked why the girl was crying and declined to rape her while she wept and his friend pointed a gun at her, instead deciding to help her get dressed and leave. The thing is, Judge Deni dropped all sex and assault charges at alleged gun-wielding gang-rapist Dominique Gindraw’s preliminary hearing. She decided he should be held on armed robbery for ‘theft of services.’ Not only can prostitutes not be raped, according to Judge Deni, but calling what happened to the 20-year-old victim rape ‘minimizes true rape cases and demeans women who are really raped.'”).
  14. ^ See Kolker, Robert, A Serial Killer in CommonNew York, May 29, 2011 (“The [mothers of the victims of the Long Island serial killer] can’t understand why people aren’t as upset as they’ve been about similar cases. … ‘They’re like, “We’re not worried because [murdering women who are sex workers is] not like a murder of regular people,”‘ Cann says. ‘I want that community to know that these girls had families that love them.’”); Ammons, Linda, Mules, Madonnas, Babies, Bathwater: Racial Imagery and Stereotypes, January 1994 (“In his closing argument, the prosecutor [in a case involving an African American woman fatally stabbing her domestic abuser in self-defense] made this statement: ‘[A] lot of people would have you believe Pamela Hill is carrying the banner of Nicole Simpson.’  The contrasts between the two cases could not be more stark. The imagery and stereotypes that were raised by the prosecutor’s comparison of Pamela Hill and Nicole Simpson cannot be missed.  Nicole Simpson was white, beautiful, rich, portrayed as a good mother, and brutalized.  Pamela Hill is black, poor, an unwed mother, and considered violent. … The prosecutor, in making the statement about Pamela Hill ‘carrying the banner of Nicole Simpson,’ wanted to make sure that the jurors had a picture in their minds of a real battered woman.”).
  15. ^ See Wade, Lisa, Androcentrism: It’s Okay to Be a Boy, but Being a Girl…, Sociological Images, June 12, 2011: “Sociologists use the term ‘androcentrism’ to refer to a new kind of sexism, one that replaces the favoring of men over women with the favoring of masculinity over femininity. According to the rules of androcentrism, men and women alike are rewarded, but only insofar as they are masculine (e.g., they play sports, drink whiskey, and are lawyers or surgeons w00t!). Meanwhile, men are punished for doing femininity and women… well, women are required to do femininity and simultaneously punished for it.”
  16. ^ See hooks, bell, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, South End Press Collective, 1981: “White racists and even some black people who had absorbed the colonizer’s mentality depicted the white woman as a symbol of perfect womanhood and encouraged black women to strive to attain such perfection by using the white female as her model.”
  17. ^ In 1996, Newt Gingrich included “‘compassion’ is not enough” on a list of anti-Democrat talking points in a memo for GOPAC entitled Language: A Key Mechanism of Control. Under the Bush Administration, “Those who argued in favor of retaining some semblance of ordinary due process for arrested suspects were dismissed by unnamed Bush administration sources as ‘professional hysterics’ reminiscent of ‘antebellum Southern belles suffering the vapors.’” Ducat, Stephen J., The Wimp Factor: Gender Gaps, Holy Wars, and the Politics of Anxious Masculinity, Beacon Press 2004. In 2003, on the eve of the Iraq War, William (Bill) Kristol gave this reason for his support: “It turns out it really is better to be respected and feared than to be thought to share, with exquisite sensitivity, other people’s pain.” The Imminent War, The Weekly Standard.  In 2009, when Obama expressed a desire to appoint an empathetic Supreme Court justice, RNC Chairman Michael Steele said, “Crazy nonsense empathetic. I’ll give you empathy. Empathize right on your behind. Craziness.” The Bill Bennett Show.
  18. ^ Based on an extremely conservative estimate of 205,909 casualties (compared to the movies’ 202,080 seconds), including: 197,600 Iraqis and Afghanis (171,000 Iraqis, including 126,000 civilians; 26,600 Afghanis, including 12,500 civilians); 7632 Coalition soldiers (4802 Iraq, 2882 Afghanistan), of whom at least 2189 U.S. soldiers died by suicide on active duty between 2001 and 2010 (1609 in 2001-2008 + 299 in 2009 and 281 in 2010); and 625 U.S. and other foreign contractors (550 Iraq, 75 Afghanistan). The figure includes Alyssa Peterson, one of the active duty suicides who are included in that figure, who likely died because she did not want to participate in torture.
  19. ^ The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated in its June-July Fact Sheet that there were 1.3 million internally displaced persons in Iraq, 467,565 of whom live in settlements that are “in desperate need of emergency assistance.”
  20. ^ In fiscal year 2009, the DOD estimated 98 veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom (OIF/OEF) died by suicide. Deaths by suicide and self-destructive behavior associated with PTSD certainly also contributed to the 4194 deaths of OIF/OEF veterans recorded by the Veterans Administration system between September 2001 and June 2010, and the 1,038 deaths of California veterans under 35 between 2005 and 2008.
  21. ^ Like Wade Dill, an ex-KBR contractor: “Three weeks after [KBR contractor Wade Dill] returned home for good, Dill booked a room in an anonymous three-story motel along Interstate 5. There, on July 16, 2006, he shot himself in the head with a 9 mm handgun. He left a suicide note for his wife and a picture for his daughter, then 16. The caption read: ‘I did exist and I loved you.’” Miller, T. Christian, The Other Victims of Battlefield Stress; Defense Contractors’ Mental Health NeglectedPro Publica, Feb. 26, 2010.
  22. ^ “For [Michael] Cain, after seven years of recovery, he wonders why his brain has not yet healed. ‘I really wish that they’d go away,’ he says of symptoms such as short-term memory loss and his tendency to startle easily. ‘I didn’t want them to tell me I had a brain problem, because I was a pretty smart person before. I had straight A’s. … It really frustrates me.’” Zoroya, Gregg, Two Wars Produce Unique and Puzzling Brain Injuries, USA Today, May 25, 2010.
  23. ^ Like Afghanistan veteran Kevin Kammerdiener: “Mostly, Leslie just wants her once-strapping son [Kevin] to be safe and happy — to teach him enough words so he can let people know what he needs, maybe even have a relationship one day, she says hopefully, mentioning the prom photo he sometimes cradles and sobs over.” Marcus, Mary Brophy, Caregiving Strains Families of Veterans with Severe Injuries, USA Today, Aug. 10, 2010.
  24. ^ Estimates put the number of soldiers who have sustained traumatic brain injury (TBI) variously at 229,106 (all soldiers through 2011); 320,000 (estimate of soldiers deployed as of 2007); over 400,000 (estimate of all TBIs); or 15% of all troops engaged in active combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  25. ^ Like Dominique and her son: “The argument [about bus schedules] escalated to the point of violence fairly quickly. [Iraq veteran] John ran into the kitchen and grabbed a steak knife, screaming, ‘I’m going to kill your ass.’ Dominique’s grandmother calmed him down for a while, but then he erupted again. From the police report, quote, ‘John grabbed Dominique by the hair. John dragged Dominique down to the kitchen floor. John then began slamming her head into the kitchen floor repeatedly.’ Later, he threw Dominique’s three year old son across the apartment onto a couch. He grabbed Dominique around the neck, and tried to choke her. He slashed the knife down on Dominique’s hand, and then grabbed her, and held the knife to her neck. He then let her go, sat down next to the refrigerator, and begin to cut himself on the chest. That’s when the police arrived. He told them, see I don’t care. It doesn’t hurt. Later he told the police he wished they’d shot him.” Neary, Chris, Life After Death, Act Two: Soldier of MisfortuneThis American Life episode 359, July 18, 2008.
  26. ^ Like Margaret Anderson: “In a memorial attended by thousands of law enforcement agents, park service employees, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, ranger Margaret Anderson was credited with saving the lives of more than 125 people recreating that day near a visitors center, the only possible destination at the end of a road that Anderson, in her last act on Earth, safely barricaded. Anderson, a 34-year-old mother of two toddlers, died when gunman [and Iraq war veteran] Benjamin Colton Barnes opened fire on her vehicle and that of another park ranger who sped in to help.” Murphy, Kim, Mt. Rainier Ranger Called ‘Hero’ Who Died Protecting OthersLos Angeles Times, January 10, 2012.
  27. ^ “‘I thought America, the big country, they have CIA, FBI. Maybe one week, two weeks, they know I am innocent. I can go back to my home, to my home,’ he said. But instead, Boumediene said he endured harsh treatment for more than seven years. He said he was kept awake for 16 days straight, and physically abused repeatedly. Asked if he thought he was tortured, Boumediene was unequivocal. ‘I don’t think. I’m sure,’ he said.” Tapper, Jake, and Karen Travers, Recently Released Gitmo Detainee Talks to ABC News, ABC News, June 8, 2009.
  28. ^ “In his new memoir, Decision Points, former President George W. Bush boasts that he not only granted his permission to water-board detainees but did so cowboy-fashion—with the words ‘Damn right.'” Lithwick, Dahlia, Interrogation Nation: The Baby Steps that Have Taken the United States from Decrying Torture to Celebrating It, Slate, Nov. 10, 2010. A former master instructor at the Navy SERE school describes waterboarding as follows in Jane Mayer’s The Dark Side: “It’s slow-motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of blackout and expiration–usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. You can feel every drop. Every drop. You start to panic. and As you panic, you start gasping, and as you gasp, your gag reflex is overridden by water. And then you start to choke, and then you start to drown more.” Mayer writes that detainee Abu Zubayda “claimed that the CIA waterboarded him at least ten times in a single week, often twice a day. On one day, he claimed, he was waterboarded three times.”
  29. ^ Like Abdullah Al-Kidd, a U.S. citizen who “was detained under the federal material witness statute , then spent 16 days in federal detention, sometimes naked and sometimes shackled, often freezing and in cells lit for 24 hours a day. Nobody suspected him of wrongdoing.” Lithwick, Dahlia, Al-Kidding Aside: The Supreme Court’s Collective Yawn at the Case of a U.S. Citizen’s Detention and Mistreatment after September 11, Slate, Mar. 2, 2011.
  30. ^ On former military psychologist James Mitchell’s torture regime at the CIA’s black site in Thailand: “[Detainees described] being kept up on their tiptoes with their arms extended out and up over their heads, attached by shackles on their wrists and ankles, for what they described as eight hours at a stretch. During the entire period, they said they were kept stark naked and often cold. This process was repeated every day for two or three months in some cases.” Mayer, Jane, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, 2008; see also Mayer, Jane, The Black Sites: A Rare Look Inside the C.I.A.’s Secret Interrogation ProgramThe New Yorker, Aug. 13, 2007 (“Kazimi claimed to have been suspended by his arms for long periods, causing his legs to swell painfully. ‘It’s so traumatic, he can barely speak of it,’ Kassem said. ‘He breaks down in tears.’ Kazimi also claimed that, while hanging, he was beaten with electric cables.”).
  31. ^ On Major General Geoffrey Miller’s torture regime at Guantanamo: “[E]-mails from an FBI agent to superiors [about Guantanamo] say, ‘On a couple of occasions I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position on the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18 or 24 hours or more.’ The agent related that he had visited an ‘almost unconscious’ prisoner in a room where the temperature was ‘probably well above 100 degrees.’ There was ‘a pile of hair next to him,’ which he seemed to have pulled out.” Mayer, Jane, The Dark Side, 2008.
  32. ^ On Major General Geoffrey Miller’s torture regime at Guantanamo: “Qahtani was also forced to strip naked, wear a leash, and perform dog tricks. He was forced to wear a bra, and thong underwear on his head. … An interrogator was sent to the large convenience store that had burgeoned on the base to buy some cheap perfume—rose oil—which she rubbed on the prisoner. … He was also shown a ‘puppet show’ that the logs said satirized his involvement with Al Qaeda. … He was made to stand so much that his feet and hands swelled and had to be wrapped in bandages and elevated. … At one point, he begged to be allowed to commit suicide, asking for a writing implement to scrawl his last will.” Mayer, Jane, The Dark Side, 2008.
  33. ^ “At first, soldiers told me, they used strikes to control the 122-pound Dilawar because he would often try to take off his hood, perhaps because he suffered from severe asthma.  Later, as Dilawar continued to moan and cry out for his mother and father – which MPs, who couldn’t understand him, may have mistaken for the signs of a troublemaker – the guards would pummel him with knee strikes over and over again, just to shut him up, or sometimes, for their amusement, just to hear him scream ‘allah.’” Gibney, Alex, Killing ‘Wussification’, The Atlantic, May 21, 2009.
  34. ^ Dilawar (torture victim), Wikipedia.
  35. ^ Like Sanad al-Kazimi: “Professor Kassem said his Yemeni client, Kazimi, had told him that, during his incarceration in the Dark Prison, he attempted suicide three times, by ramming his head into the walls. ‘He did it until he lost consciousness,’ Kassem said. ‘Then they stitched him back up. So he did it again. The next time, he woke up, he was chained, and they’d given him tranquillizers. He asked to go to the bathroom, and then he did it again.'” Mayer, Jane, The Black Sites: A Rare Look Inside the C.I.A.’s Secret Interrogation ProgramThe New Yorker, Aug. 13, 2007.
  36. ^ Like Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi: “As 2002 began, al-Libi and the two Egyptian nationals whom the Rendition Unit had abducted from the airport in Sweden took up residence in what was known infamously as the Scorpion maximum-security prison in Cairo. … [The Egyptian nationals] have said … they were tortured with excruciatingly painful jolts of electrical charges to their genitals, under the watchful supervision of a medical doctor.” Mayer, Jane, The Dark Side, 2008.
  37. ^ Like Canadian Maher Arar: “In Syria, Arar was incarcerated in one of the most notorious prisons on earth, known as Far-Filastin, Arabic for ‘The Palestinian Branch,’ or as it was more colloquially known in its home city of Damascus, ‘The Grave.’ … After a while, he found himself screaming[,] completely without control. He banged his head against the wall, becoming dizzy, and felt his heart racing.” Mayer, Jane, The Dark Side, 2008.
  38. ^ Like German Khaled el-Masri, who was locked in a cold cell with only a “coarse and dirty blanket on the floor,” was beaten, and was fed rotten chicken bones. Mayer, Jane, The Dark Side, 2008.
  39. ^ Like Mohamed Hassan Odaini: “[T]he Obama administration is knowingly imprisoning a completely innocent human being who has been kept in a cage in an island prison, thousands of miles from his home, for the last 8 years, since he’s 18 years old, despite having done absolutely nothing wrong.” Greenwald, Glenn, The Obama Administration and Its Pundit-Defenders, Salon, June 21, 2010.
  40. ^ “It’s difficult to react much to Obama’s complete reversal today of his own prior decision to release photographs depicting extreme detainee abuse by the United States.  He’s left no doubt that this is what he does:  ever since he was inaugurated, Obama has taken one extreme step after the next to keep concealed both the details and the evidence of Bush’s crimes, including rendition, torture and warrantless eavesdropping.” Greenwald, Glenn, Obama’s Latest Effort to Conceal Evidence of Bush-Era Crimes, Salon, May 13, 2009.
  41. ^ “Let’s review Manning’s detention over the last nine straight months: 23-hour/day solitary confinement; barred even from exercising in his cell; one hour total outside his cell per day where he’s allowed to walk around in circles in a room alone while shackled, and is returned to his cell the minute he stops walking; forced to respond to guards’ inquiries literally every 5 minutes, all day, everyday; and awakened at night each time he is curled up in the corner of his bed or otherwise outside the guards’ full view.  Is there anyone who doubts that these measures—and especially this prolonged forced nudity—are punitive and designed to further erode his mental health, physical health and will?” Greenwald, Glenn, Bradley Manning’s Forced Nudity to Occur DailySalon, Mar. 5, 2011.
  42. ^ “Solitary confinement,” aka torture: “It is unclear how many prisoners in solitary confinement become psychotic. Stuart Grassian, a Boston psychiatrist, has interviewed more than two hundred prisoners in solitary confinement. In one in-depth study, prepared for a legal challenge of prisoner-isolation practices, he concluded that about a third developed acute psychosis with hallucinations.” Gawande, Atul, Hellhole: The United States Holds Tens of Thousands of Inmates in Long-Term Solitary Confinement. Is This Torture?New Yorker, Mar. 30, 2009.
  43. ^ See Elliot, Justin, Rate of Americans Killed in Afghanistan Soars, Salon, Jan. 23, 2012.
  44. ^ See Greenwald, Glenn, The Human Rights ‘Success’ in Libya, Salon, Jan. 26, 2012.
  45. ^ “Tariq and Waheed’s death brought the total number of children killed in drone strikes to 175, according to the [Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s] own findings. As part of an ongoing investigation, the Bureau has documented 306 strikes from remotely piloted drones that have killed between 2,359 and 2,959 people. Over 85% of them have been launched by the administration of President Barack Obama.” Chatterjee, Pratap, Bureau Reporter Meets 16-Year-Old Three Days Before U.S. Drone Kills HimBureau of Investigative Journalism, Nov. 4, 2011.
  46. ^ “Even when the drones hit the right compound, the force of the blast is such that neighbours’ houses, often made of baked mud, are also demolished, crushing those inside, said Noor Behram. One of the photographs shows a tangle of debris he said were the remains of five houses blitzed together.” Shah, Saeed, and Peter Beaumont, U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan Claiming Many Civilian Victims, Says Campaigner, The Guardian, July 17, 2011.
  47. ^ Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.
  48. ^ “During his first nine and a half months in office, [Obama] has authorized as many C.I.A. aerial attacks in Pakistan as George W. Bush did in his final three years in office. The study’s authors, Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann, report that the Obama Administration has sanctioned at least forty-one C.I.A. missile strikes in Pakistan since taking office—a rate of approximately one bombing a week.” Mayer, Jane, The Predator WarThe New Yorker, Oct. 26, 2009.
  49. ^ “That’s why the President’s liberal critics are mad, not because they don’t believe in compromise. They simply don’t agree that we should ‘want to get our fiscal house in order’ by cutting SS benefits or raising the Medicare age or throwing a bunch of poor people off the health care rolls while the wealthy are making huge profits and income inequality grows and grows and grows.” Parton, Heather (digby), Compromising PositionHullabaloo, July 23, 2011.
  50. ^ Priest, Dana, U.S. Military Teams, Intelligence, Deeply Involved in Aiding Yemen on Strikes, The Washington Post, Jan. 27, 2010. See Greenwald, Glenn, The Due-Process-Free Assassination of American Citizens Is Now a RealitySalon, Sept. 30, 2011.
  51. ^ “Overall, in FY 2011 ICE’s Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations removed 396,906 individuals — the largest number in the agency’s history.” FY 2011: ICE Announces Year-End Removal Numbers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Oct. 18, 2011.
  52. ^ Shattered Families: The Perilous Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare System, Applied Research Center, 2011.
  53. ^ Obama’s DEA has carried out raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, Costa Mesa, and across Washington state, and other agencies in the Obama Administration have attacked medical marijuana use through other means. See Roberts, Chris, Obama’s New Marijuana Policies also Target Alt-Weeklies and the Bill of Rights, Oct. 13, 2011; and Walker, John, Obama’s Multi-Agency War on Medical Marijuana, Just Say Now, Oct. 10, 2011.
  54. ^ Grimes, Andrea, The Crappy and Sad Obama Plan B FailureHay Ladies!, Dec. 9, 2011 (“I think I really believed that there was a point in time at which Obama and other powerful Democrats would take women’s health and women’s rights seriously. But they went out of their way to veto this FDA ruling.”); Marcotte, Amanda, Sebelius Overrules FDA on Plan BSlate, Dec. 7, 2011 (“The only reason to keep [the Plan B] restrictions in place is to force pregnancy on unwilling minors as punishment for having sex, and just accept the impregnated rape victims as collateral damage.”).
  55. ^ Greenwald, Glenn, Three Myths about the Detention BillSalon, Dec. 16, 2011.
  56. ^ Parton, Heather (digby), Revisiting the Codpiece, Mar. 12, 2009.
  57. ^ See Bill Keller on his choice to use the word “enhanced interrogation” instead of “torture” in the New York Times to describe waterboarding: “I think this Kennedy School study—by focusing on whether we have embraced the politically correct term of art in our news stories—is somewhat misleading and tendentious.” Stelter, Brian, Study of Waterboarding Coverage Prompts a Debate in the Press, Media Decoder (New York Times blog), July 2, 2010; and Greenwald, Glenn, Bill Keller’s Self-Defense on ‘Torture’, Salon, July 3, 2010.
  58. ^ “I remember a mounting protective instinct, heightened by the birth of my second daughter almost exactly nine months after the attacks. Something dreadful was loose in the world, and the urge to stop it, to do something—to prove something—was overriding a career-long schooling in the virtues of caution and skepticism.” Keller, Bill, My Unfinished 9/11 Business: A Hard Look at Why I Wanted War, The New York Times Magazine, Sept. 6, 2011; see Mitchell, Greg, Bill Keller’s Latest ‘Mini-Culpa’ on Backing the Iraq War, The Nation, September 8, 2011 (“Keller then makes this humiliating admission, after noting that reporter Fred Kaplan quickly dropped out of the hawk camp: ‘The rest of us were still a little drugged by testosterone. And maybe a little too pleased with ourselves for standing up to evil and defying the caricature of liberals as, to borrow a phrase from those days, brie-eating surrender monkeys.'”).
  59. ^ See Charles P. Pierce, on an interview with Jon Huntsman in which David Gregory begs Huntsman for an example of how he’d cause Americans pain: Pain: The David Gregory Solution, Esquire, Jan. 9, 2012. See also Atrios on David Gregory’s plea for increased taxes on the middle class in Wanker of the Day, Eschaton, Jan. 29, 2012; and Paul Krugman on David Broder’s celebration of austerity as “severe medicine” in Austerity Memories, The Conscience of a Liberal, Jan. 28, 2012.
  60. ^ See Heather Parton (digby), on an appearance by Jonathan Capeheart on the Dylan Ratigan Show in which he urges Americans not to punish politicians for “[making] the hard calls that are really going to be uncomfortable, maybe even painful”: Punishing the Perpetrators, Hullabaloo, Jan. 11, 2012.
  61. ^ See Krugman, Paul, Keynes Was Right, The New York Times, Dec. 29, 2011 (““The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury.’ So declared John Maynard Keynes in 1937, even as F.D.R. was about to prove him right by trying to balance the budget too soon, sending the United States economy — which had been steadily recovering up to that point — into a severe recession. Slashing government spending in a depressed economy depresses the economy further; austerity should wait until a strong recovery is well under way. Unfortunately, in late 2010 and early 2011, politicians and policy makers in much of the Western world believed that they knew better, that we should focus on deficits, not jobs, even though our economies had barely begun to recover from the slump that followed the financial crisis. And by acting on that anti-Keynesian belief, they ended up proving Keynes right all over again.”); Krugman, Paul, What Obama WantsNew York Times, July 7, 2011“[In his speech, Obama repeated] three of the right’s favorite economic fallacies in just two sentences. No, the government shouldn’t budget the way families do; on the contrary, trying to balance the budget in times of economic distress is a recipe for deepening the slump. Spending cuts right now wouldn’t ‘put the economy on sounder footing.’ They would reduce growth and raise unemployment. And last but not least, businesses aren’t holding back because they lack confidence in government policies; they’re holding back because they don’t have enough customers—a problem that would be made worse, not better, by short-term spending cuts.”); and Drew, Elizabeth, What Were They Thinking?, New York Review of Books, Aug. 18, 2011 (“Someday people will look back and wonder, What were they thinking? Why, in the midst of a stalled recovery, with the economy fragile and job creation slowing to a trickle, did the nation’s leaders decide that the thing to do—in order to raise the debt limit, normally a routine matter—was to spend less money, making job creation all the more difficult?”).
  62. ^ See Conor Friedersdorf on New Republic writer Jonathan Chait and former New Republic writer Andrew Sullivan (both outspoken supporters of the Iraq War) and the other liberals who gloss over Obama’s civil rights abuses when defending Obama, in Why Do Liberals Keep Sanitizing the Obama Story?, The Atlantic, Nov. 22, 2011 (“Perhaps most egregiously, [in his article condemning Obama’s liberal detractors,] Chait doesn’t even allude to Obama’s practice of putting American citizens on a secret kill list without any due process, or even consistent, transparent standards.”); and Dear Andrew Sullivan: Why Focus on Obama’s Dumbest Critics?, The Atlantic, Jan. 17, 2012 (“It isn’t that I object to Sullivan backing Obama’s reelection if his GOP opponent runs on bringing back torture. Is he the lesser of two evils? Maybe so. But lauding him as a president who has governed ‘with grace and calm’ and ‘who as yet has not had a single significant scandal to his name’? If indefinite detention, secret kill lists, warrantless spying, a war on whistleblowers, violating the War Powers Resolution, and abuse of the state secrets privilege don’t fit one’s definition of ‘scandal,’ what does?.”).
  63. ^ See Irin Carmon on Dana Milbank’s column in the Washington Post urging pro-choice groups to cut the hysterics: “[L]adies — says Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank — don’t indulge in ‘hysteria’ about your right to reproductive freedom. (And yes, he uses the word ‘hysteria.’) He says the pro-choice movement would ‘be wise to drop the sky-is-falling warnings about Roe and to acknowledge that the other side, and most Americans, have legitimate concerns.'” Pundit Solves Abortion Wars in One Easy Column, Salon, Jan. 19, 2012.
  64. ^ See Alex Kauffman, who compares Rick Perry to his Dad in Rick Perry: A Man of Great Soul, ConservativeDailyNews.com, Dec. 14, 2011: “Like my Dad, Rick sees the population of the world in three categories: Innocent people, and the good guys, who protect them from the bad guys. This sort of man has a profound and selfless love for the first group; a great admiration and willingness to work with the second; and if you’re the third group… God help you. A few people fall into the category of ‘I haven’t figured you out yet‘, and are treated skeptically but fairly. This might be a simplistic worldview, but it’s an admirable and pragmatic one which has served our species well for a very long time. “
  65. ^ “Paul Ryan’s real approach to health care is to privatize it all and let ‘the market’ sort it out. There’s nothing complicated about it or novel about it or creative about it. To honor him [as Politico has] for his work on healthcare policy is akin to honoring Governor Scott Walker as Public Employee of the year.” Parton, Heather (digby), Very Serious Zombie Awards, Hullabaloo, Dec. 5, 2011.
  66. ^ See Bingham, Clara, and Laura Leady Gansler, Class Action: The Landmark Case that Changed Sexual Harassment Law, Doubleday, June 18, 2002.
  67. ^ See Limbaugh on political correctness and sexual harassment, in Sexual Harassment and Political Correctness Are Political Tools of the Left, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Nov. 1, 2011 (“Well, even though I’m on the radio, folks, it’s now obvious I have to be very, very careful with my gestures, because there’s a camera in here.  And that camera broadcasts this program all over the world.  And any gestures deemed inappropriate by a bunch of feminazis, who knows where it could lead.  You know what sexual harassment is?  You know what it really is?  It’s a political tool.  It is a political tool invented by the left. Just like political correctness is a political tool of the left to shut people down, sexual harassment is a political tool of the left to get rid of people, or to score money gains, whatever is most desired.”); and Feminazis Not Happy with El Rushbo, The Rush Limbaugh Show, Nov. 11, 2011 (“I haven’t changed, but everybody else pulls back, don’t say what they really think many times — especially with other people around, particularly people they don’t know. So political correctness is working: People are censoring themselves not for any reason other than somebody might get mad and get offended and start raising hell and act like a little whining baby or what have you.”).
  68. ^ See the South Park episode Sexual Harassment Panda, in which sexual harassment suits are portrayed as a quick way for unscrupulous people to enrich themselves, and the titular Panda sings a song with the following lyrics: “Who lives in the east ‘neath the willow tree / Sexual Harassment Panda! / Who explains sexual harassment to you and me / Sexual Harassment Panda! / Don’t say that don’t touch there / Don’t be nasty says the silly bear / He’s come to tell you what’s right and wrong / Sexual Harassment Panda!”
  69. ^ On Milos Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt: “[T]he Nazis who marched in Skokie, Ill., and the Klansman who advocated violence in Ohio achieved more substantive First Amendment victories than did Mr. Flynt. Yet no Hollywood movie would glamorize a Klansman or a Nazi as a champion of free speech, much less describe him in studio press releases as ‘the era’s last crusader,’ which is how Columbia Pictures describes Mr. Flynt.” Steinem, Gloria, Hollywood Cleans Up HustlerNew York Times, Jan. 7, 1997.
  70. ^ “See, the gag was funny because someone–those wacky foreigners–found a large, black woman attractive when there were clearly skinny, white ladies around to choose from. Woooo! Wipes tears from eyes. That’s a knee-slapper! How absurd! I mean to think that anyone would find a fat woman…a fat, BLACK woman sexually attractive. That is the message behind the joke. What else could the message be? If the official had chosen Amy Poehler’s character as the object of lust, would that have solicited an ‘Interesting choice’ comment?” Winfrey Harris, Tamara, Et Tu, Amy Poehler? What’s So Funny about Desiring a Big, Black Woman?, What Tami Said, Oct. 16, 2009.
  71. ^ “[Whitney] asks her boyfriend if he remembers what they did on their last anniversary. ‘You took Tylenol PM. In the AM,’ he says. She replies, ‘I got the bottles mixed up! And, as I recall, you had sex with me anyway!’ And he retorts, ‘It was our ANNIVERSARY!’ Huge laugh.” McEwan, Melissa, The More Things Change…, Shakesville, Sept. 20, 2011.
  72. ^ McEwan, Melissa, 30 Rock Thinks Rape Is Hilarious, Shakesville, Sept. 24, 2010.
  73. ^ “‘When I watch a movie where there’s a really good-looking rapist,’ [comedian Phoebe Robinson] says, her tone lilting upward before hitting the punch line on a low note, ‘I think about the girl: Why are you complaining?'” Zinoman, Jason, Female Comedians, Breaking the Taste-Taboo CeilingThe New York Times, Nov. 15, 2011. See Williams, Mary Elizabeth, The New York Times Has Female Trouble, Salon, Wednesday, Nov. 16.
  74. ^ See Marcotte, Amanda, Yes, Katie, There Is Sexual Harassment, Pandagon, Nov. 12, 2011; Pareene, Alex, The 2011 Salon Hack List No. 5: Katie RoipheSalon, Fri. Dec. 16, 2011 (“Roiphe is back in the headlines, again for being a reliable source of controversial-sounding contrarian anti-feminist bullshit. (Seriously, if you’re a struggling woman writer with no soul, consider rape victim-blaming! It’s lucrative!)”).
  75. ^ See North, Anna, What’s the Deal with Feminists and Babies?, Jezebel, Aug. 27, 2009.
  76. ^ See Marc Maron’s interview with Anthony Jeselnik on WTF episode 206 (beginning at 43:45), Sept. 1, 2011, in which Jeselnik says, “I’m always looking for some topic that’s off limits. I sat down and worked on breast cancer for years.” When Maron presses him on more topics he’s worked on, Jeselnik says, “Uh, rape was one I tried for a long time, I finally have a couple of those.”
  77. ^ “The idea that the movement toward fewer ‘isms’ in our speech and deeds is anathema; that ‘political correctness’ is a blow against free speech; that the power structure has flipped; that the strictures of ‘political correctness’ are everywhere, and that real bias barely exists anymore; has wormed its way into our social fabric, including entertainment. In comedy, that means that dusty racist, sexist or homophobic tropes that are as old as time are positioned as refreshing and edgy.” Winfrey Harris, Tamara, Conservatives, ‘Political Correctness’ and the Incredibly Offensive Unfunniness of ‘Saturday Night Live’What Tami Said, Feb. 8, 2010. See Linkins, Jason, Milbank and Cillizza Record Unfunny ‘Response Video’ to Outrage over Last Unfunny VideoHuffington Post, Sept, 3, 2009; Delahaye, Gabe, Louis C.K. Weighs in on the Tracy Morgan Scandal as All the ‘Videogum Promises’ Crash into Each Other and ExplodeVideogum, June 15, 2011; McEwan, Melissa, UmShakesville, June 17, 2011.
  78. ^ “War, slavery, injustice and oppression, and the idea that might makes right have been uppermost in all such governments, and the weak, for whose protection governments are ostensibly created, have had practically no rights which the strong have felt bound to respect. The slayers of thousands have been exalted into heroes, and the worship of mere physical force has been considered glorious. Nations have been and still are but armed camps, expending their wealth and strength and ingenuity in forging weapons of destruction against each other; and while it may not be contended that the introduction of the feminine element in government would entirely cure this tendency to exalt women’s [moral] influence [on men] over [their] right [to vote], many reasons can be given to show that woman’s influence would greatly tend to check and modify this barbarous and destructive tendency.” Douglass, Frederick, Woman’s Rights, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, 1881.
  79. ^ Wade, Lisa, Got Milk? Got MisogynySociological Images, July 15, 2011.
  80. ^ Wade, Lisa, That One Sexist Joke in Every Trailer: The Lorax EditionSociological Images, Nov. 5, 2011.
  81. ^ See Simpson, Janice C., ‘The Book of Mormon’: ‘South Park’ on Broadway?” (“But how funny can it be that AIDS has ravaged Africa, that warlords oppress their fellow citizens or that women and children are subjected to forced clitoridectomies? Parker and Stone, who call themselves libertarians, have gotten away with this kind of cavalier attitude toward serious subjects for years because of their ability to sugarcoat it with faux irony. Which explains why even diehard liberals routinely turn a blind eye to their anti-gay jokes.”); and South Park season 12, episode 8, The China Probrem, in which Indiana Jones is repeatedly raped by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg.
  82. ^ See Deborah Solomon’s interview with Seth MacFarlane in the New York Times, Family Man: Questions for Seth MacFarlane, Sept. 11, 2009, in which Solomon challenges Macfarlane about an episode in which “Peter learns that three co-eds were raped and murdered. He says to himself, ‘Everyone’s getting laid but me.'” MacFarlane responds that it’s funny “Because he’s so oblivious. You’re not laughing at rape; you’re laughing at him being an idiot.”
  83. ^ See the Dean on Community, a flamboyant caricature of a cisgender gay man or a heterosexual transgender woman. (In one episode, the “joke” is that the Dean wants to be left alone while s/he tries on a merkin.)
  84. ^ See bell hooks on the elevation of antifeminist voices during the Civil Rights Era: “The concentrated focus on black anti-feminist thought was so pervasive that black women who supported feminism and participated in the effort to establish a feminist movement received little attention, if any.”  See also Betty Friedan: “No one has ever been blacklisted or fired for an attack on ‘the American woman.’” The Feminine Mystique, W.W. Norton & Co., 1963.
  85. ^ NYPD Anthony Bologna Pepper Sprays Occupy Wall Street Protestors.
  86. ^ Like Ashleigh Banfield, who was fired from MSNBC for giving a speech discussing the failure of the American press to accurately portray the horrors of war. Parton, Heather (digby), Truth’s Consequences, Hullabaloo, Apr. 27, 2007. It’s also instructive that when Bill Maher lost his show Politically Incorrect, it was not for his misogyny, but for saying, “We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it’s not cowardly.” Tapper, Jake, The Salon Interview: Bill Maher, Salon, Dec. 11, 2002.
  87. ^ Doyle, Sady, But How Do You Know It’s Sexist? The #MenCallMeThings Roundup, Tiger Beatdown, Nov. 10, 2011; Hasteley, Helen Lewis, ‘You Should Have Your Tongue Ripped  Out’: The Reality of Sexist Abuse OnlineNew Statesman, Nov. 3, 2011.
  88. ^ Williams, Mary Elizabeth, Why Is Hollywood Still Terrified of Abortion?, Salon, Nov. 30, 2011.
  89. ^ “Max Mutchnick, the co-creator of Will & Grace, remembers attending a party the night before the show’s pilot was filmed. Mutchnick recalls being told by (the also gay) director Joel Schumacher: ‘Whatever you do, don’t make it too butt-fucky. Don’t let anyone in the audience think about butt fucking and you’ll be fine.'” Setoodeh, Ramin, Why Does Hollywood Hate Gay Sex?, The Daily Beast, Jan. 14, 2012.
  90. ^ See Bryan Safi of That’s Gay, in response to a scene with Michael Fassbender in the movie Shame: “I’d love to see a movie where a strung-out gay guy sinks so low and degrades himself so much for his addiction, he hooks up with a woman.”
  91. ^ On The Hangover Part II: “Our heroes have, at this point, faced with equanimity the prospect that a teenage boy may be hurt and irretrievably lost in the squalor of the Bangkok underworld. Is the fact that one of them may or may not have had consensual gay sex really the worst possible thing they can imagine?” Stevens, Dana, The Hangover: Part II, Technically, but What’s the Difference?, Slate, May 26, 2011.
  92. ^ Magowan, Margot, Kids’ Films of 2011 Feature 20 with Male Star; 2 with Female Star, ReelGirl, Nov. 25, 2011.
  93. ^ And better yet, a girl of color who’s not a colonialist stereotype: “As a young, bookish Brown girl growing up in Dubai, even though Jasmine was the closest in appearance to me, I chose to identify with the ‘real’ princesses, whom I implicitly knew needed to have flowing golden hair, European-style ballgowns and blue eyes. Those were the princesses universally adored, who only needed to raise their helpless white hand for a bevy of people to rush to their side.” The Jasmine Diaries, Part II: ‘Exotic’ Is Not a Compliment, Womanist Musings, Sept. 23, 2011.
  94. ^ Sarkeesian, Anita, The Bechdel Test for Women in Movies, Feminist Frequency, Dec. 7, 2009.
  95. ^ Count the women among the 63rd Primetime Emmy nominees for Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series (including the writers for The Colbert Report, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and Conan). See also Irin Carmon’s post at Jezebel on The Daily Show‘s disproportionately few female contributors, and Sady Doyle’s takedown of The Daily Show‘s inept response to that post in Carmon, Irin, The Daily Show’s Woman Problem, June 23, 2010; and Doyle, Sady, And Now a Word from the Daily Show, July 6, 2010.
  96. ^ See Marc Maron’s interview with Adam Scott on WTF episode 227 (beginning at 43:14), Nov. 14, 2011, in which Adam Scott says that every once in a while [the Starz network] would ask us to have more boobs on the show [Party Down] or something,” and elaborates that when they were asked, “we were like, ‘Okay,’ and so he wrote a, John [Enborn] wrote an episode about us catering a porn awards afterparty.”
  97. ^ “While white women were covered in multiple layers; corsets, floor length dresses etc, no honour was given to our desire for modesty. The black female slave at anytime could be forced to disrobe for the pleasure of her owners. Today white people still feel that they have the right to our bodies.  It can be a small act like touching our hair without permission, to a heinous act as serious as sexual assault.” Martin, Renee, Can I Touch Your Hair? Black Women and the Petting Zoo, Womanist Musings, Sept. 10, 2008; “It doesn’t matter that her last name is Minaj or that she’s black and a “she” so you thought it would be ok, that her ass is awesome, rumored to be fake, that she talks about sex explicity in her music. That’s not an invitation to sexual harassment on national television.” moyazb, Really Regis?!, Crunk Feminist Collective, Nov. 30, 2011; When I look at the above image [of Justin Bieber touching Esperanza Spalding’s hair without asking], I cannot help but think of the race and gender dynamics at play.  Bieber is a White male with plenty of class privilege.  White men have a history of violating the bodies of women of colour, because they have always existed with a privilege that is unmatched by any other group. Whether they were sneaking into the slave cabins, or publicly ridiculing and shaming us, they have always felt that their race and gender entitles them to our bodies. Martin, Renee, Justin Bieber Pets Esperanza Spalding’s Hair, Womanist Musings, Feb. 17, 2011.
  98. ^ “[The Girl Scouts’ inclusion of a 7-year-old transgender girl] provoked outrage among cissexist parents, who have been– at least, as it appears in pro-boycott videos– teaching their daughters that these transgender girl scouts threaten the safety of others and the integrity of the program.” Reid, Genevra, Counter-Boycott the Girl Scouts!, Feministing, Jan. 12, 2012.
  99. ^ See Watson Withdraws Senate Version of Bill Affecting Transgender Use of Restrooms, Dressing Rooms, Chattanooga Times Free Press, Jan. 12, 2012.
  100. ^ “Gwen Amber Rose Araujo (Gwen Araujo) (February 24, 1985 – October 3, 2002), … an American teenage pre-operative transgender woman, was murdered in Newark, California, in October 2002. She was killed by four men, with two of whom she had been sexually intimate, who beat and strangled her after discovering she was transgender.” Murder of Gwen Araujo, Wikipedia.
  101. ^ See Grimes, Andrea, Let’s Be Really Clear about What a Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound Is, Hay Ladies!, Jan. 10, 2012.
  102. ^ Who Decides? The Status of Women’s Reproductive Rights in the United States, NARAL Pro-Choice America, 2012.
  103. ^ George Sodini shot up a women’s aerobic class on August 4, 2009, because he hated women for not sleeping with him. He killed three and injured nine. See Marcotte, Amanda, These Crimes Don’t Happen in a Vacuum, Pandagon, Aug. 5, 2009 (“George Sodini was angry at the entire world of ‘desirable’ women for not up and volunteering to have sex with him, and every day anonymous men around the country and world beat, rape, and even kill women because said women were also considered insufficiently compliant, often to unstated demands that women were supposed to just anticipate and fill without complaint.”).
  104. ^ See Jill Filipovic on the execrable Steven Greenstreet and his video “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street,” in which she accurately calls him a “dude-bro[] … who see[s] women as boner-makers and not actual human beings who came out to voice their frustration with corporate America just like everyone else.” Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street, Feministe, Oct. 14, 2011.
  105. ^ See Nathan Rabin’s interview of Louis C.K. at the Onion AV Club, June 29, 2010: “When I call an object or a man a cunt, and women get offended, it’s puzzling to me, because I’m like ‘I wasn’t talking about you.’ I don’t think that these groups of people get to just own words and say when you can and can’t say them. I think a lot of being offended is very narcissistic.”
  106. ^ See Pollitt, Katha, Regarding Christopher, The Nation, Dec. 19, 2011; Echidne, Katha Pollitt and Christopher Hitchens’ Writing on Women, ECHIDNE of the Snakes, Dec. 19, 2011; and Tami, ‘He Had the Courage to Say Unpopular Things’: No Praise for Courting Controversy, What Tami Said, Dec. 19, 2011.

VIDEO CREDITS

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  9. Perry, Katy, UR So Gay, Capitol Music Group 2008.
  10. Cover photo of Sacha Baron Cohen as “Bruno” for GQ, July 2009.
  11. Photo of Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, and Jonah Hill by Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair, Apr. 2009. See Stewart, Dodai, Other Ladies Agree: Annie Leibovitz’s Latest is Painfully LameJezebel, Mar. 3, 2009.
  12. Sather, Drake, Ben Stiller, and John Hamburg, Zoolander, Paramount Pictures, Sept. 28, 2001.
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  14. Donovan, Garrett, Neil Goldman, et al., Anthony Russo dir., Biology 101Community season 3, episode 1, Sept. 22, 2011.
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  23. Maddow, Rachel, The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, Oct. 21, 2008.
  24. Davis, Fred, Celeb, John McCain 2008, July 30, 2008.
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  26. Maddow, Rachel, The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC, Oct. 29, 2009.
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  32. Magner Sanborn, Injury Report (aka “Spineless”), Super Bowl ad for FloTV, Feb. 7, 2010. See Marcotte, Amanda, Thoughts on the Misogyny Bowl in Advertising (Versus a Truly Uplifting Game)Pandagon, Feb. 8, 2010.
  33. McCann Erickson, Gotta Go to Kohl’s on Black Friday!, ad for Kohl’s, Nov. 20, 2011.
  34. ‘Welfare Queen’ Becomes Issue in Reagan CampaignThe New York Times, Feb. 15, 1976.
  35. Sandy Rios on America’s Newsroom, Fox News Channel, Aug. 2, 2011.
  36. Obama, Barack, President Obama’s Town Hall in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, Aug. 15, 2011. See Parton, Heather (digby), Metaphorically DeafHullabaloo, Aug. 17, 2011.
  37. Yang, Alan, Sister City, Parks and Recreation season 2, episode 5, Michael Schur dir., NBC, Oct. 15, 2009. See Tami, Et Tu, Amy Poehler? What’s so Funny About Desiring a Big, Black Woman?What Tami Said, Oct. 16, 2009.
  38. Cover of Wanted: Death Row Edition #2, featuring the character Fox, an African-American woman. Millar, Mark, J.G. Jones, and Paul Mount, Mar. 1, 2004. Not an endorsement of the racist, misogynist Mark Millar or any of his work.
  39. Promotional still for Wanted the movie, featuring Angelina Jolie as Fox. Brandt, Michael, Derek Haas, and Chris Morgan (screenplay), Timur Bekmambetov dir., Universal Pictures, 2008.
  40. Beyoncé, Dangerously in Love, Sony, June 24, 2003.
  41. Ad for L’Oreal featuring Beyoncé, 2008. See Rivas, Jorge, Beyoncé Is the Whitest She’s Ever Been in New Album Promo, Colorlines, Jan. 19, 2012.
  42. Photo of Halle Berry, unknown source.
  43. Cover photo of Halle Berry by Alexi Lubomirski for Harper’s Bazaar, Apr. 8, 2009.
  44. Photo of Freida Pinto by David Oldham for O Magazine.
  45. Ad for L’Oreal Paris featuring Freida Pinto, 2009.
  46. Photo of Gabourey Sidibe by Brigitte Lacombe for Harper’s Bazaar, Jan. 7, 2010.
  47. Cover photo of Gabourey Sidibe for Elle, Oct. 2010.  See Hing, Julianne, Gabourey Sidibe Is a (Much Lighter) Cover Girl, Colorlines, Sept. 13, 2010.
  48. Photo of Padma Lakshmi, wireimage.
  49. Cover photo of Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio for TV Guide, Dec. 6-12, 2010. See Paulette, Is the New TV Guide Cover Racist??, One Asian World, Dec. 2, 2010 (quoting TV Guide’s response in an interview with Popeater that “[w]e did our normal color correcting which is standard for printing”).
  50. Ad for Dove VisibleCare, 2011. See Sharp, Gwen, The Pitfalls of Marketing: Race and Beauty in a Dove Ad, Mar. 21, 2011.
  51. Kohan, Buz and Henry Beard, Jim Henson dir., The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show, ABC, Sept. 17, 1982.
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  53. Murphy, Eddie, Charles Q. Murphy, Jay Scherick, and David Ronn, Norbit, Brian Robbins dir., Dreamworks, Feb. 9, 2007.
  54. Wiig, Kristen, and Annie Mumolo, Bridesmaids, Paul Feig dir., Universal, May 13, 2011. See Dean, Michelle, ‘Bridesmaids’: Am I Doing Being a Woman Wrong?The Awl, May 16, 2011.
  55. Reed, Adam, Heart of Archness: Part III, Archer season 3, episode 3, Brian Fordney dir., Sept. 29, 2011.
  56. Saturday Night Live, season 33, episode 6, Mar. 1, 2008. See Muse, Wendy, Dear SNL, It’s Time to Retire Virginiaca, Racialicious, Dec. 15, 2009. See hooks, bell, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism, South End Press, 1981 (“In some instances as is often the case on Saturday Night Live, black men dress in female clothing and portray black women, often mocking and ridiculing them.”).
  57. O’Brien, Conan, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, NBC, 1993-2009.
  58. O’Brien, Conan, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, NBC, 2009-2010.
  59. O’Brien, Conan, Conan, TBS, 2010-2012.
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  61. Rick Santorum on Nitebeat with Barry Nolan, CN8, July 28, 2005.
  62. Tapper, Jake, Santorum Explains ’06 Loss, Still Supports State Right to Outlaw Contraception, ABC News, Jan. 2, 2012.
  63. Obama, Barack, President Obama Speaks on Confirming Richard Cordray [and on Plan B], Dec. 8, 2011.
  64. King, Steve, remarks on Skype robo-abortions (beginning at 24:00), June 16, 2011.
  65. Dr. Freda Bush for Yes on 26, Sept. 2011. See Carmon, Irin, The Next Front in the Abortion Wars: Birth ControlSalon, Oct. 26, 2011.
  66. Sandy Rios on America’s Newsroom, Fox News Channel, Aug. 2, 2011.
  67. Rick Santorum on The Piers Morgan Show, CNN, Jan. 20, 2012.
  68. Rep. King, Steve (R-IA), Congressman Steve King Speaks on the Pence Amendment to Defund Planned Parenthood, Feb. 17, 2011.
  69. Rep. Smith, Christopher (R-NJ), remarks on abortion, Feb. 17, 2011. See Rep. Speier, Jackie (D-CA), rebuttal to Rep. Christopher Smith, Feb. 17. 2011.
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  73. Obama, Barack, President Obama News Conference, June 29, 2011.
  74. Obama, Barack, Weekly Address: Cutting the Deficit and Creating Jobs, July 2, 2011.
  75. Obama, Barack, President Obama’s News Conference on Deficit Reduction, July 15, 2011.
  76. Obama, Barack, President Obama Speaks on Deficit Negotiations, July 22, 2011.
  77. Obama, Barack, President Obama Addresses the Nation on Dangers of Default, July 25, 2011.
  78. Obama, Barack, President Obama Speaks in Support of the Bipartisan Deal to Reduce the Deficit and Raise the Debt Limit, July 31, 2011.
  79. Obama, Barack, Inaugural Address, Jan. 20, 2009.
  80. Obama, Barack, Weekly Address: Priorities on Taxes, Nov. 6, 2010.
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  90. Maher, Bill, Real Time with Bill Maher episode 178, Mar. 26, 2010.
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  93. Obama, Barack, White House Correspondents’ Dinner,  May 1, 2010.
  94. Romney, Mitt, CBS News/National Journal GOP Debate, Nov. 12, 2011.
  95. Big Dog, Ron Paul Presidential Campaign Committee, 2012. See Wade, Lisa, Ron Paul Doubles Down on His Popularity among Young Men, Sociological Images, Jan. 26, 2012.
  96. Photo of Rick Perry by Rodger Mallison for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Apr. 15, 2010.
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  98. Campaign ad for John McMillan for Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries (feat. Dale Peterson), Dale Peterson 2010 Campaign, June 2010. See Layne, Ken, Alabama Psychopath Lost Election, Will Now Shoot Everyone, Wonkette, June 17, 2010.
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  100. Liberal Hunting Permit sold by the Patriot Post Shop, via Daily Kos.
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  102. Cover photo of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich for Newsweek, February 6, 2012.
  103. Photo of John Kerry by Gerald Herbert, AP, Oct. 21, 2004.
  104. George W. Bush lands on the U.S.S. Lincoln, May 1, 2003.
  105. C.K., Louis, Pregnant, Louie season 2, episode 1, June 23, 2011.
  106. O’Brien, Conan, Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, season 1, episode 145, Jan. 22, 2010.
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