Saturday, February 23, 2013

Amanda Marcotte writes vindictive nonsense

Amanda Marcotte has added her two cents about Harriet Hall's excellent article.

Those unfamiliar with Marcotte can spend a moment and read her Wikipedia page. It contains an index of ridiculous things she's said, as well as the following endorsement:

Jill Filipovic of AlterNet described [Marcotte's book] as a "how-to manual for feminist-minded women to take on a sexist society and have a good laugh along the way."

Focus is put on this sentence as it is one of the few parts of the page that doesn't speak of Marcotte being patently ridiculous. It is a line where Marcotte is endorsed by another "feminist" heavyweight, Filipovic, who's own thoughts on sex work and fashion week have been discussed on this blog.

Back to Marcotte's take on Harriet Hall. It is entitled: "Defending One’s Position As The Token Looks Bad, Like An Unwashed T-Shirt"

Right out of the gate, Marcotte is repeating an allegation made by Watson:

Hall’s behavior reeks of trying to preserve the privileges of the token. It’s not even subtle, since she literally wore a T-shirt three days in a row (gross) to protest Skepchick’s efforts at improving female attendance at conferences.

So much wrong with this right here.

Marcotte is linking to Benson's blog for the "three days in a row" comment

The original statement appeared in Watson's comment on Hall's post, yet the link Marcotte uses points to Ophelia's blog, which has a peanut gallery of commenters that repeat the "three days" allegation over and over again.

The Skepchick-witch-hunt-o-sphere has its shallow, unverified talking points and will be repeating them!

It is hypocritical douchebaggery to criticize Hall's appearance

Every other day of the week, Watson is complaining about being objectified.

Filipovic admits that fashion week conveys a lot of awful female body images.

But as soon as Hall is not on board, she gets criticized for how often she may have changed clothes when being away from home for a weekend.

Stay classy, Skepchicks!

It is a lie that Skepchick was working to improve female attendance at conferences.

There is no evidence to suggest that Skepchick was working to improve female attendance at TAM.

Watson & Company:

  1. Thinks harassment policies can control behavior of people outside of the event
  2. Continually repeat allegations that TAM and other conferences are somehow "unsafe"
  3. Inject themselves as ambassadors to some female nation without a vote

No female has ever been convinced to go to TAM or any other skeptics event.

To underline how ridiculous Marcotte's assertion is, simply watch and read how Skepchick handles their own events. Do you really think Watson or Marcotte know the first thing about inclusivity?

Marcotte's post gets worse:

Why? Well, it’s not a given that if someone is used to being one of the few or even lone woman in a group of men that her instinct is to kick down doors and try to get more women involved. On the contrary! It might end up reinforcing a belief that men are braver/smarter/more logical/etc. for ego-flattering reasons. If you’re the lone woman, you can tell yourself, “Most women aren’t cut out to play with the big boys, but I’m the exception. I’m spectacular!” Admitting that there might not be more women because of institutional bias and discrimination—and working to get more women into the game—would mean you lose your place as the Special Lady Who Is Better Than All Other Ladies Because She Is One Of The Guys.

Since Hall does not completely buy into Marcotte's view of sex/gender in the workplace, Hall must then simply love all the attention.

Yes, attention seeking.

Describing Marcotte's and Watson's attention seeking as "professional victimhood" would unleash a torrent of denials.

However they do not find it the least bit ridiculous to brand Hall as an attention seeking "token".

Director of CFI-DC, Melody Hensley, has objected to the portrayal of her and her friends being "overly emotional" yet this gang doesn't have a problem casting Hall as a crazy old coot that just loves being fawned over by men while undermining her female peers.

It would be a wonder if these women are ready to suggest that for every Anita Sarkeesian there is a "token" female gamer that just does it to be "one of the guys". Or maybe Sarkeesian is herself a "token" female game critic?

Enter Marcotte, the hero.
When I first got into political blogging, there weren’t very many women in the mix.  A lot has changed in the past few years. Now women tend to be leaders in online innovation, mostly because the belief that computers are too “tech-y” for women has given way to new stereotypes about women being phone-and-laptop-obsessed (which has its own problems, but at least doesn’t make women feel like they’re weirdoes if they like being on computers)  and because new controls make it easier for women to manage the inevitable barrage of harassment from easily threatened men that is part of being a woman online. But back then, women were surprisingly scare, especially in the most prominent blogs, to the point where it was a joke how every three months, a male blogger would ponderously wonder why women don’t like blogging.
Turns out women do like blogging! But to get to the equal state we’re in now, we had to set aside stereotypes about what women can or will be capable of. We also had to make targeted appeals to women—which was tremendously helped, like it or not, with woman and feminist-specific blogs and conferences—and bloggers had to be conscientious about including women in their links and in their discourse, at least until it became second nature. This strategy works very well. Now, if anything, blogging is considered something of a woman’s medium. No blog gets parodied more on TV than Jezebel, for instance. Not that I’m worried about the men, who continue to do just fine at blogging and seem, I will say, mostly content (at least on the left) to share the spotlight with women.
I confess, in the early days, the temptation to not participate in all this and instead to enjoy being one of the few women in a sea of men was strong.


So, women:

  1. Are 70% of those earning Ph.Ds in English (that's over 2:1!) Also higher PhD count overall.
  2. Outnumber men in every social network. (and on FB, in every age group)
  3. Are the entire business plan of sites like Pinterest and Etsy

... and yet they had to be coaxed by Amanda Marcotte into blogging?


Even on male-majority reddit, the subreddit devoted to women's topics has more subscribers than the "evil" men's rights sub.

Marcotte earned a degree in English literature, and if you believe what she says, the rest of the females in her class were dullards that didn't want their writings to show up on the internet.

In some demented form, Marcotte outlines a way she could have put her feet up and been the "token" woman political blogger and enjoyed all the attention from males.

Would it be the right time to point out that Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin were both on the New York Times Bestseller list before Marcotte even started to blog?

It turns out that Michelle Malkin started her self-titled blog the same year that Marcotte started blogging.


Could it be that Michelle Malkin is Amanda Marcotte's fault?

Thanks, Amanda.


  1. Hi, you have interesting content, but your javascript is breaking browsers.

    Middle click should open a link in a new tab in the background. It should not open the link in THIS tab.

    And having broken that, clicking back should take me back to the same point with the content positioned as it was prior to clicking the link.

    You break both of these, and with all due respect, you get little payoff in return apart from "ooh, neat, ugh, ugly, uberfeminist broke my browser."

    This is in your "classic" setting, whatever that might mean.

    Hmm, makes me wonder. Did you do that, or is that some new blogspot thing?

    So my deal with Marcotte and Hall was how Marcotte alled Hall a token, so on the one hand, A) Marcotte diminishes the work of a woman in the 60s, 70s to break down barriers in the Navy and Medicine (compared to Marcotte breaking down the barriers of blogging since 2000) and B) Marcotte shows she is every bit as capable as any man, or any "racist" that might doubt the qualifications of a person admitted under affirmative action.

    The destruction of feminist physician Hall was necessary in order further feminism.

  2. Hmmm. I'm using blogger/blogspot defaults. I might be able to change the theme and get better compatibility.

    Which browser are you using so I can see which themes might work better?

  3. I am using Chrome and since blogspot is Google, I am somewhat appalled that blogspot is doing such terrible things to Chrome. I had to use Firefox just to make my comment the first time, right now even to render this comment box I had to use an "IE mode" extension in Chrome.

    I had been having problems commenting at other blogspot blogs (and when that happens I just take it as a sign from the universe I should get back to work) but this site does the worse stuff I've seen.

    (Oh well, I truly do think that the worse my browser behaves towards me, the better (in terms of helping me not waste time.))