Friday, October 5, 2007

Fine, I'll be half serious for a moment

It seems like sometimes when the patriarchy is invoked those charged are guilty until proven innocent, so let me just say a few words about where I'm coming from. Both my parents were raised by single moms. My mother's father was a... cad, who left his wife and two daughters in the 50s to travel the world as an engineer with a genuine victim of the patriarchy, a rich heiress whose father was abusive in ways you just don't want to know about. My father's father died when he was 12, but because that side of the family is well off they were spared the hardships my mother's family experienced. This also meant my father came of age in a home with three women, of whom my grandmother had a stronger will than almost any man I've ever known. My father was, is, he's living but my grandmother is dead, a mama's boy, never living more than a couple miles from her, a few years in NYC excepted. My grandmother's authority was rarely challenged by him, that instead becoming my mother's "job". (Not that they didn't get along well otherwise.) Further, my mom was Vassar class of 69, the final all female class, an active member of what's now usually referred to as second wave feminism, and worked hard to try and get the ERA passed. She stepped back a little from the career world when I was born, leaving her job working for the state to come to the family business where her hours would be flexible, but also to find the time to give more to the then little known choral group she was a part of that would eventually grow into the well known Glimmerglass Opera Co in Cooperstown, NY.
But I digress. My point in providing this background is to say I was raised in an environment where the equality of women was never, even for a moment, in question. My father still throws the occasional temper tantrum to get his way, but I'm actually quite grateful to my parents for giving me such a balanced model for my relationships. They are equal partners, and I never once questioned it. For what it's worth, I also went to Vassar, and thus have spent most of my life surrounded by intelligent, strong women, and I am very glad for it.
So, let me just say this once without snark, just for the record. I don't care about Megan's gender. It is immaterial to me, and not in the "i'm fooling myself" way Megan condescendingly tried to say in her follow-up post. I was raised, and taught, in Vassar, to root out and deal with my biases, especially in regards to women. I won't, can't, claim to be perfect, and, perhaps, Megan's vagina somehow inflects how I go after her here. I doubt it, but I might be missing something. But it has nothing to do with me finding her unqualified and unsuited for the position she now holds. I won't belabor the point, as we all know what protesting too much accomplishes. All I can say is Megan is hardly unique in misusing a very real problem as a shield against self-awareness. Not that she will, but Megan should apologize to those women who genuinely suffer, and unfortunately will continue to.

Update:
To be comprehensive in giving you info about me you don't need to know, my maternal grandmother died of breast cancer before I was born, in no small part because she was a Christian Scientist and refused treatment until too late. My maternal aunt also died of breast cancer, when I was 2.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been, on occassion, a genuine victim of misogyny online. There is no mistaking it. It has a different tone that is nothing like regular criticism. Men who hate women just for being women are not very good at keeping it a secret, just in the same way that feminists motivated more by their hatred of men in general than their interests in the progress of their fellow genderites reveal themselves pretty quick. I've seen you guys take a few cheap shots here, but in general, you tend to stick to the subject and criticize what she's actually written as opposed to anything related to her being female. But Megan's shown over the years that she's not very good at dealing with criticism, so it's not surprising to see her blowing your site off as simple, neanderthal sexism.

t4toby said...

Isn't there something in the Libertarian Lexicon about never playing the victim and such?

As usual, McAddled is a libertarian when it suits her social and economic status, but the driver of the Whambulance when she is criticized.

Robert Green said...

i too had the crucible of learning-about-woman known as an average thursday night at vassar. what was cool about it was that i learned more about dealing with women in an un-objectified way through those late nights of discussion and living in the dorms than i did in the woman's studies classes i took.

that aside, mcardle is desperately grasping at straws, then bundling them into strawmen. sorry, strawpeople. she should post less and think about what she's going to write more.

Clem said...

Strawmyn?

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Tom said...

Of course I'm a racist.Isn't everyone?Tom Metzger

Smiling Mortician said...

Arguably OT, but I just got off the phone with a sales rep from the Atlantic who wanted me to subscribe (I had a subscription a couple years ago). When I said I couldn't support a magazine that actually paid McArdle for her idiocy, she said she'd been hearing that a lot lately, wished me a good day, and signed off.

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