Re: Now The Damn Scots

1

Oh, fuck me SIDEWAYS with a DULL CHAINSAW.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:27 PM
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I could have sworn that "off the record" was a meaningful phrase, but I must be confused.

It's not retroactive, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:27 PM
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Actually, I don't think this will hurt Obama much because Power is a woman

No, he'll have to denounce and reject her statement. FUCK.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:28 PM
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it might even make people think "wow, they hate her even more than they'll say," which, again, I think is good for Obama.

So, so wrong. Power is a self-hating woman who is uncomfortable with strong women because of the Patriarchy. Also, she's a white slut who definitely only got her job b/c she's fucking Obama.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:29 PM
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It's not retroactive, though.

So everything after it shouldn't be quoted? Because that doesn't seem to be the rule followed.`


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:31 PM
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CA, the reared in Canada Scots-boy, has a lot to answer for. I will hold him personally responsible.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:33 PM
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PUBLISH AND BE DAMNED

WHEN is off the record actually off the record? When the rules are established in advance.

Journalists are always looking for knowledge and want the information they receive to be available for publication.

But occasionally an interviewer will accept an exchange is "off the record" and that the conversation is not attributable. Remarks can be used as background to inform a journalist's article.

If a conversation is to be off the record, that agreement is usually thrashed out before the interview begins. Sometimes, public figures say something and then attempt to retract it by insisting it was "off the record" after the event.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:35 PM
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All of 7 should be italicized.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:35 PM
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4- But can she dance?
And why is it when I hear the name Samantha Power I think she's a cast member on SNL?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:35 PM
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5- 'Off the Record' needs to be requested and accepted beforehand. I don't see the statement as a big deal, though.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:36 PM
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pwned.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:37 PM
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10: Fair enough. That seems reasonable.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:38 PM
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"She's a monster"? Come on. I think Samantha meant to say, "Hillary is impeding my progress toward eventually becoming Secretary of State".


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:38 PM
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13: Too young.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:39 PM
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The quote leaves out the conclusion to Power's statement: "in the sack."


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:40 PM
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But seriously, is this so terrible? I suppose it will depend entirely on what the media does with it, but can't Obama say, "Well, "monster" is a terrible word and Samantha should apologize for that. But Senator Clinton and her associates have been saying a lot of terrible things lately, which seem to be about how much more she admires the Republican John McCain than members of her own party." And then Powers can say, "Golly, I shouldn't have said monster, but I was just so so angry that she gave an interview in which she said, 'If Barack says he isn't a muslim, then I believe him.'"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:42 PM
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Golly!

Is it the jug ears that make "golly" such a natural fit with an Obama campaign?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:44 PM
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16: I don't know why "Heat of the moment, I don't agree," isn't enough.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:45 PM
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No, this is not good for Obama.

"In Ohio they are obsessed" (by job loss and economic downturn, presumably) and "You just look at her and think: ergh. But if you are poor and she is telling you some story..." (you and I and people like us look at her and know that it's "ergh," while poor people are too dumb to see the real Hillary?) is not going to help Obama in Pennsylvania. Power comes across as naive and inexperienced (or else why is she saying this stuff to a reporter, for god's sake), and it's just not cool to call your opponent "a monster."


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:47 PM
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13: Too young.

She'll work on the National Security Council for the first term, then move up in the second.

I mean, she took a sabbatical from her job as a Harvard professor to work in Obama's personal office! After she found out the Senator read her book! Now she's been working all kinds of long hours on the campaign! But if Hillary wins she'll get *no reward at all*! How dare Hillary do that! She's a monster!


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:48 PM
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Agree with Mary Catherine. One doesn't want the chance of McCain in the general saying, "One of Sen. Obama's closest advisors says that my opponent is a monster, and yet now he's endorsed her for the President. Maybe he's ok with you voting for a monster, but I present a different option."


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:53 PM
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I dunno. I think McCain would be going against message if he declared he wasn't a monster.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:56 PM
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The proper Obama response:
"Well, one of her closest advisors called me Ken Starr earlier in the day, so we'll call it even."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:58 PM
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19: That doesn't bother me at all. HRC is out there saying that Obama's coming to take your job, and Obama's campaign has to get the message out that such is a lie. What's the other option? "Oh yeah, Obama's totally going to steal your job and give it to the Mexicans." But we'll see.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 6:59 PM
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I don't think a US reporter would have dared burn her as a source like that though.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:01 PM
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23: SP, that's perfect. Yes.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:02 PM
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Eh, this is inside baseball that only political junkies care about, and they've all made up their minds already anyhow.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:03 PM
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21- That would be a reach even if people knew who Stephanie Power was.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:04 PM
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I think Samantha meant to say, "Hillary is impeding my progress toward eventually becoming Secretary of State" "Look, you Scots know what I mean. You have Nessie. We have Hillary Clinton. And God knows how much better off we'd all be if she were confined to a Loch somewhere."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:04 PM
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I'm coming around to the Stras position on Hillary. Someone tonight thought she had endorsed McCain after conceding the Democratic nomination. He campaign seems to be in some nasty kind of freefall.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:07 PM
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Power is a woman.

I hate pomo political theory.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:08 PM
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28- Samantha.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:08 PM
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@SCMT: Nope. Power's f*cking Cass Sunstein. (We think.)


Posted by: Greg G | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:09 PM
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The important question here is - what kind of monster? Does she hide under the bed? Jump out and surprise? Appear if you chant things at a mirror? C'mon, people.


Posted by: HC | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:13 PM
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25- That's a good point. The paper is actually uk, but you might be right about a reporter for an American paper. Especially true for McCain.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:14 PM
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25- Oh, just reread yours. Sorry.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:15 PM
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33: Really? Huh. What? Classicist law profs aren't good enough for him?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:16 PM
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Huh. She's Irish.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:20 PM
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As recently as last June MN contributed 2300 bucks to the Obama campaign, so there's no hard feelings, apparently.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:31 PM
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And hey, didn't one of Hillary's people try to intimate that Obama was a drug dealer? And just today he was Ken Starr. So.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:31 PM
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Power is a woman, which mitigates the "poor Hillary" feelings that come out when she's attacked personally
So, so wrong. Power is a self-hating woman who is uncomfortable with strong women because of the Patriarchy. Also, she's a white slut who definitely only got her job b/c she's fucking Obama.

Right. Because the only way for women to say sexist crap is if they're self-hating sluts.

If bullshit like Anthony Cuomo's remarks about "shucking and jiving" is a reason to be pissed at the Clinton campaign--which it is--then this kind of thing is a reason to be pissed at the Obama campaign.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:39 PM
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Right. Because the only way for women to say sexist crap is if they're self-hating sluts.

Huh!

Really?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:41 PM
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42: No.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:43 PM
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You think what she said is sexist? I mean, she's certainly an Obama partisan, who's pissed at what she feels are low blows against her candidate. She doesn't like Hillary because of it. Monster doesn't seem particularly gendered to me. It wasn't "dumb bint."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:45 PM
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I look forward to an entire thread of you guys excusing this, despite your ire over Gloria Steinem's racism and Bill's comments in South Carolina, with associated feminist-baiting to distract from the double standard going on here.

Luckily I have dinner to cook and an entire flat of strawberries to put in a pie, so I might be forced to miss the first couple hundred comments or so.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:45 PM
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46

If bullshit like Anthony Cuomo's remarks about "shucking and jiving" is a reason to be pissed at the Clinton campaign--which it is--then this kind of thing is a reason to be pissed at the Obama campaign.

Yeah, because "monster" is a word particularly associated with women. Other famous women described in more or less the same way--willing to stoop to anything--include Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, and Henry Kissinger. Spare me.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:48 PM
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I didn't think Bill Clinton's remarks were racist, and I don't think these are particularly sexist.

If bullshit like Anthony Cuomo's remarks about "shucking and jiving" is a reason to be pissed at the Clinton campaign--which it is

Nah, it's reason to be pissed at Anthony Cuomo. Or more precisely, further confirmation of the well-established fact that Anthony Cuomo is an ass.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:51 PM
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48

46: Remember the rule, Tim.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:53 PM
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49

48: I take it "I strongly disagree, Mr. and/or Ms. Referee" is still allowed as criticism of HRC.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:56 PM
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Honestly. One can be pissed she said this, because it's, I don't know, disrespectful. So, I don't excuse it, particularly. But being called a monster in this context and for the stated reason isn't sexist, and in fact is milder than, say, being called Ken Starr or a drug dealer.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:56 PM
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HRC is a monster, BHO is a monster, everybody's monsters. We live in a monstrous epoch. I see little Hitlers everywhere I go.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 7:58 PM
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52

Monster doesn't seem particularly gendered to me. It wasn't "dumb bint."

Or "Lamia."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:00 PM
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53

Maybe it's sexist because "monster" tends to have more masculine connotations?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:00 PM
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54

You think what she said is sexist?

Yes. Taken in the abstract, the term is not particularly gendered and can be applied to a member of either sex. In terms of actual usage, however, the term is generally reserved as an expression of revulsion toward someone who is guilty of a heinous crime. In terms of women and politics, if we're talking about a female candidate who hasn't actually committed murder or something equally horrendous, it is seriously not okay to call that candidate a "monster." It plays into deeply misogynistic narrative in which a woman's political ambition (which ambition is accepted as a given for any man who runs for high political office) represents an unacceptable overturning of the natural order of things.

And then there's the class angle, which I've already mentioned above.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:02 PM
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55

I will play to sexist type by agreeing that Power said a stupid but not particularly sexist thing, and that on balance the Obama campaign has reason to be pissed at the overall underhandedness coming out of Clintonia.

I eagerly await the first occurrence of the "why do you people think he's the messiah?" meme.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:03 PM
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It's sexist because an anagram of monster is Men Rots, so she's saying that HRC is harpy (a kind of monster) who wants all men to rot.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:04 PM
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57

Snort Me!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:05 PM
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58

Insulting HRC is sexist by definition, Ken Starr.

I excuse Samantha Power because she has an awesome name.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:06 PM
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59

In terms of women and politics, if we're talking about a female candidate who hasn't actually committed murder or something equally horrendous, it is seriously not okay to call that candidate a "monster."

Just to be clear, the actual claim is that it's not OK to use such a term with a female candidate because of the long association of that word with women who did not actually commit heinous crimes? Or because using overcritical language with regard to women--including, but not limited to "monster"--has a long history, and should be avoided? Or what?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:07 PM
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60

Smoren't she be ashamed?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:08 PM
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54: I'd blame it on Powers, not on Obama, and I don't think it should (either ought to or will) make much difference in the campaign. But of course it's sexist, for exactly Mary Catherine's reasons: Hillary's only monstrous because she's unwomanly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:09 PM
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60- under No Terms.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:10 PM
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63

Is using "messiah" to mock HRC supporters, or calling them cult members, also out of bounds because it plays into narratives about women--the biggest HRC supporters--being emotional and not in control of their own decisions?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:11 PM
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61: now wait a minute, I thought she was monstrous because she perpetrated monstrous acts?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:11 PM
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Hillary's only monstrous because she's unwomanly.

This isn't as self-evident to me as it clearly is to you and Mary Catherine.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:12 PM
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#56. We've done harpies before.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:12 PM
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67

Hillary's only monstrous because she's unwomanly.

So when men are monstrous, it's because...? Or is the claim that such language is never applied inappropriately to men? I'm pretty sure I could find my usage of it with regard to Yoo or Luttig.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:12 PM
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68

I bet she was really excited when she finished her PhD and could henceforth go by the name of "Dr. Power."


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:14 PM
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69

"She is a monster, too - that is off the record - she is stooping to anything,"

Though they appear to, 54 and 61 can't be saying that the accusation that a woman is a monster because she is stooping to anything is a sexist accusation, because 54 and 61 are being written by reasonable people and that's a crazy thing to say. Is the argument that it's a sexist accusation because she's not stooping to anything particularly bad and just being held to a higher standard because she's a woman?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:14 PM
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Hillary is monstrous because she's on the other team, trying to beat my team.

Yoo, on the other hand, really is monstrous.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:14 PM
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If HRC is criticized for gross underhandedness, the logical counter-move is to pretend she's being criticized for her taste in blouses. It's only in this light that "monster" becomes inherently sexist, instead of just silly and over-the-top. Frowning upon this behaviuor. Frown, frown, frown.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:16 PM
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Yoo, on the other hand, really is monstrous.

Racist. You only say that because he's not behaving like a submissive Asian.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:16 PM
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73

71 nails it. Canadians, y'know?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:17 PM
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Power wasn't criticizing HRC because she's not campaigning like a genteel ladyflower; she's criticizing her because she takes some of her tactics to be shitty. And no, you won't convince me that, say, repeatedly suggesting that the republican nominee is far more qualified to be prez than he is not just shitty, but would be taken as such whether the candidate spewing it was a woman or not.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:18 PM
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Also, "Hillary is a monster" is an anagram for "shrill yam oat resin" which is clearly a faithful translation of some kind of horrible Gaelige curse.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:19 PM
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75: OMG she called her shrill!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:20 PM
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77

I'm not seeing the sexism inherent in the use of "monster," though the accompanying photo of Clinton in the Scotsman article is not helpful in this regard.

That said, I can't take the self-inflicted frenzy and dissection in all this any more. Power seems to be an idiot. End of story.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:20 PM
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The deal is, the 'stooping to anything' Powers is talking about is some dirty campaigning, and we're not talking South Carolina in 2000 dirty, this is all fairly restrained stuff. That doesn't come off as unnatural, which is what 'monster' connotes, unless ambition and aggression are unnatural; she's Lady Macbeth, unsex'd by her ambition. You don't have to agree with me (I'm not expecting most of you to) but that's how it reads to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:21 PM
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78: well, except for spreading the "secret muslim" meme, which I understand you're not on board with.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:23 PM
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Again, shitty, deplorable, rotten, whatever conduct doesn't conventionally make a politician a monster: one expects them to do shitty things. (One doesn't approve of it, but it's not surprising to see that sort of bad behavior.) To call that kind of behavior monstrous implies that it is remarkable, or astonishing. And that's where the sexism comes in.

But I'll drop it. I'll never convince anyone on this one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:25 PM
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Hillary's only monstrous because she's unwomanly.

Wait, what? I mean, if she'd called Clinton "shrill" or a "harpy," I'd agree. But "monstrous"? As a descriptor, it shows up in three places in academic literature:

1. Medieval descriptions of races and the disabled

2. Discussions of the unnatural incursions of Science into God's Order, i.e. Frankenstein

3. Literature related to genocide: Hitler, Stalin, &c.

I can't think of any context in which "monstrous" is gendered feminine. I don't think there's any reason to transform X-treme Partisan Politics into something it's not.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:25 PM
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80: monsters are hardly remarkable these days, in this country. I mean, it's hyperbolic, but I still can't for the life of me figure out how it might be sexist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:27 PM
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78: You're not allowing much room for overstatement by someone in the thick of battle. I guess she could have said, "I believe that HRC has behaved in a bad fashion and lied about BO's policies, and such behavior is certainly worse than BO's, though by historical standards, it's not so bad--oh, that's off the record." Indeed, you seem to be saying that overstatement about a woman--I'm guessing "messiah" and "cult" are still OK for Obama supporters--is sexist.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:27 PM
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78: Actually, some of the stuff HRC has attempted has been reminiscent of the VRWC tactics once used against Bill. (Rezko comes to mind here.) Don't know that that qualifies as "restrained."


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:27 PM
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monsters are hardly remarkable these days, in this country.

Word. We've one of the undead as the Republican presidential candidate.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:29 PM
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To call that kind of behavior monstrous implies that it is remarkable, or astonishing. And that's where the sexism comes in.

I don't think there's any need to drop it, if only because no one will disagree with you about the ill-thought magnitude of the insult. I just don't see that sort of having-drunk-copiously-of-the-Kool-Aid-type commitment as evincing or playing into sexist tropes.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:29 PM
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Power wasn't criticizing HRC because she's not campaigning like a genteel ladyflower; she's criticizing her because she takes some of her tactics to be shitty.

Agreed. But in her obvious frustration with the Clinton campaign, she reached for a term which, as applied to a female political candidate who has never been convicted of murder or genocide or child torture or something similarly heinous, resonates of misogyny, or, at the very least, of a profound unease about women in the public sphere. Please note that Power does not have to be consciously and intentionally guilty of sexism in order to stand accused of having used a sexist term. It is very probable (almost certain, I'd guess) that she is not opposed to women in politics but, rather, favours their increased participation. Nevertheless, she used a sexist term that comes right out of the GOP's anti-Hillary handbook.

I'm not shocked and appalled and outraged by her use of this term. But I'm not going to agree that it isn't sexist.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:31 PM
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88

PACING!

JESUS.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:31 PM
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89

81: Okay, I said I'd drop it, but I'm not trying to convince with this, just explain what I meant. Hillary, if she's done everything Powers thinks she's done, has engaged in some hardass, sleazy, morally indefensible campaigning. That's ordinary bad behavior for a politician -- language that disapproves of or deplores her conduct would be appropriate, but language that characterizes it as freakishly outside the norm wouldn't spring to mind generally.

Calling her a 'monster' isn't just calling her bad, which wouldn't be sexist. It's calling her behavior bizarre, remarkable, or freakish (think of your second meaning). And the category of bad behavior she's accused of is only bizarre because it's unconventional from women rather than politicians.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:31 PM
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Power's offense, such as it is, is hyperbole, not sexism.

But really, folks, this is just another demonstration of how civilized the Democratic primaries have been - that this should be some kind of grave offense.

Howard Dean is right. Via Digby:

DEAN: I can't imagine that what we're seeing now between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, yes, is anything but a--a tea party compared to what the general election's going to be like in the fall.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:32 PM
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I can't imagine that what we're seeing now between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, yes, is anything but a--a tea party...

Uh-huh.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:33 PM
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has never been convicted of murder or genocide or child torture

True of Cheney, Yoo, and Kissinger. That's at least good for racism and antisemitism, I guess.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:34 PM
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73: I shouldn't say this, but I keep getting confused and thinking DS is our token black gay man. But no! He's our token black Canadian! Don't get confused!


Posted by: John Adams | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:34 PM
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But in her obvious frustration with the Clinton campaign, she reached for a term which, as applied to a female political candidate who has never been convicted of murder or genocide or child torture or something similarly heinous, resonates of misogyny, or, at the very least, of a profound unease about women in the public sphere.

Actually, the last time the term was tossed around American politics was in the aftermath of the Nixon administration ... which seems to me the direct analog: the Obama camp is upset that Clinton and her staff have resorted to politicking like it's 1974, and so they're using the language of the time. Nixon was a monster not just because of what happened in Cambodia, but because he caused the American people to lose faith in the democratic process. All this talk of brokered conventions and super-delegates seems to me directly analogous to that loss of faith (so long as you can stomach a McGovern-Obama connection, which while not perfect, holds some water).


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:35 PM
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89: So where are we on "cult" and "messiah"? Racist?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:35 PM
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Yoo, on the other hand, really is monstrous.

Or more correctly: "You, on the other hand, really are monstrous.

Or maybe, "You, on the other handle, really do be monstrous."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:36 PM
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89: it's unconventional from Democratic candidates in the general, I'd argue. It's more reminiscent of what dubya did to McCain in South Carolina than anything that comes to mind that I've seen out of this party.

Really, is using any hyperbolic term of a woman necessarily sexist? What if Power had called her "inhuman"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:36 PM
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I mean, she took a sabbatical from her job as a Harvard professor to work in Obama's personal office! After she found out the Senator read her book! Now she's been working all kinds of long hours on the campaign! But if Hillary wins she'll get *no reward at all*! How dare Hillary do that! She's a monster!

I'd like to say that if we're going to intensely scrutinize every single statement made about either candidate for evidence of sexism (or racism, for that matter) we should probably stay away from recasting a 36-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner as Tracy Flick.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:37 PM
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It's calling her behavior bizarre, remarkable, or freakish (think of your second meaning). And the category of bad behavior she's accused of is only bizarre because it's unconventional from women rather than politicians.

Agreed, but I don't think it's "women" so much as "Nixons."


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:37 PM
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93: I don't see gay Canadianism.

95: ooh, I got one: "Obama's campaign has cannibalized the once unified netroots the party's been able to put together during the past eight years": so racist!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:38 PM
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93: Well, I am fun-loving. Just not in the Mr. Smithers type of way.

95 is a good question.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:39 PM
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So where are we on "cult" and "messiah"?

Anti-Christian. Next you'll be declaring war on Christmas.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:39 PM
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98: yeah that's sort of... well, sort of sexist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:40 PM
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You only say that because he's not behaving like a submissive Asian.

Compare and contrast:
Yoo
Submissive Asian (NSFW)


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:41 PM
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oh, bullshit. This is inappropriate; it's also as sexist as "periodically." This is sexist but Obama being a flashy smoothtalker who can only give speeches isn't racist? Nor is calling him a drug dealer? Nor is talking about how awesome his madrassa is? Nor is shucking and jiving? etc. etc. You guys have basically decided that since Hillary has been subjected to sexist attacks, attacks on Hillary are sexist; and since she has been attacked by Republicans, attacks on Hillary are crypto Republican.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:43 PM
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t's calling her behavior bizarre, remarkable, or freakish (think of your second meaning). And the category of bad behavior she's accused of is only bizarre because it's unconventional from women rather than politicians.

I think you're making "monster" do way more work that it probably is, but even still, to echo Sifu, it isn't bizarre or unconventional because it's a woman, it's bizarre and unconventional in a democratic primary.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:43 PM
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Submissive asian.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:44 PM
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105: whatever, Ken Starr.

Man, two days into the long dark teatime of the primaries and all I can do is troll indiscriminately. Let it be over!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:45 PM
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Oh and bravo and thanks to Snark, who has pointed out the only thing in this thread that I think is actually sexist. I tip my (dainty, veiled) cap at you, Sir.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:45 PM
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Cripes, for "hip young black friend," I can point to "White Negro" (IIRC) as piece in which "hip" (or "hipsters") is specifically described as white people associating themselves with African-Americans and African-American styles. Not much love for Mailer for that bit of work.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:45 PM
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And you are blatantly, blatantly, using a different standard for race & sex.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:46 PM
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the long dark teatime of the primaries

Uh-huh.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:47 PM
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we should probably stay away from recasting a 36-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner as Tracy Flick.

It would also be nice if we could avoid recasting the 60-year-old female senator from New York as Tracy Flick, but even the liberal Slate magazine appears to be willing to take thatcheap shot.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:47 PM
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I shouldn't say this, but I keep getting confused and thinking DS is our token black gay man. But no! He's our token black Canadian!

Me too, except I just constantly catch myself thinking he's our token black gay Canadian male metalhead.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:49 PM
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It would also be nice if we could avoid recasting the 60-year-old female senator from New York as Tracy Flick, but even the liberal Slate magazine appears to be willing to take that cheap shot.

I don't think the whirly-eyed-iest Kool-Aid huffer who ever stared at a hypnotoad and pretended will.i.am was cool would deny that the coverage of HRC has been revoltingly sexist.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:51 PM
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Also, Power is having quite the news cycle, isn't she?


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:52 PM
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112: tee-hee! Must have a touch of the ol' hysterical pregnancy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:54 PM
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115: Defending will.i.am would be the gayest thing I could do at this moment, wouldn't it? Dammit.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:55 PM
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59: Did you fail to read the rest of Mary Catherine's comment?

It's sexist because calling a *powerful* woman a monster implies that, y'know, a powerful woman is unnatural.

In fact, there's a tradition of calling ambitious women monsters. But even without knowing that, it really doesn't take a genius to realize that "monster" = "unnatural." That's sort of what monster *means*.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:56 PM
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I once played the Name Game -- called Ataturk at Yale at the time -- with Power. She was not good at all. No knowledge of popular culture. And she became completely unhinged when I didn't know a figure from the New Testament. Like, literally unhinged. And I don't even think I was on her team. It was out of all proportion to the sort of mockery called for in that situation. Anyway, I think she's a monster. But also very smart. And a good enough writer. And excellent on foreign policy. Still, I wouldn't want to hang out with her on game night again. Monster.


Posted by: convenient pseud | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:56 PM
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In fact, there's a tradition of calling ambitious women monsters.

Actually, there's a tradition of calling ambition people monsters. See Kissinger and, almost certainly, my comments on Luttig.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:58 PM
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119: so that particular word is off-limits for powerful women? She wasn't calling her a monster because she's powerful now, was she?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:58 PM
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In fact, there's a tradition of calling ambitious women monsters. But even without knowing that, it really doesn't take a genius to realize that "monster" = "unnatural." That's sort of what monster *means*.

That's what monster used to mean. Now it means "powerful and scary creature".

I hear it used as a compliment for football players sometimes. The funny thing is that there's also a compliment for football players that refers to how unnatural and inhuman their strength is, that being "freak".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 8:59 PM
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Presumably they didn't name the energy drink "Monster" so people would think "unnatural horror" although, to be fair, it is a reasonably description.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:00 PM
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And yes, men can be monstrous. When they do things that read as "unnatural" in one way or another. Like being the president and ignoring the constitution. The fact that an insult can be used for men doesn't mean that, it can't *also* be deployed against women in a sexist way. E.g., young people nowadays call men sluts as well as women, but (hopefully) no one here would argue that calling a woman a slut isn't sexist.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:01 PM
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116: Samantha Power is hotter than Martha Nussbaum at this point, but I think Nussbaum would be better in bed. She'd make you feel like a tiger, Power would mostly talk policy.

I don't like Power because she's one of those self-righteous humanitarian interventionists who was unwilling to speak out against the Iraq war.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:02 PM
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It's sexist because calling a *powerful* woman a monster implies that, y'know, a powerful woman is unnatural.

Only if the aspect of her that you are characterizing as unnatural is her power. I get where you guys are coming from on this, but I disagree that it's the slam-dunk interpretation you seem to think it is.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:02 PM
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125 is like the stupidest analogy ever. I say that in as gender blind a way as I can.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:02 PM
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And she became completely unhinged when I didn't know a figure from the New Testament. Like, literally unhinged.

Who was the figure?


Posted by: Zippy | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:03 PM
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Just about every quality is either associated more with women, or associated more with men. If a woman is insulted with a female-associated quality, it can be seen as sexist because it is stereotyping her as a typical woman. If a woman is insulted with a male-associated quality, it can be seen as sexist because it is claiming that she is abnormally unfemale.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:03 PM
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She'd make you feel like a tiger

Yikes. Let's not go there.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:04 PM
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Who was the figure?

Jesus, obviously.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:05 PM
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It's sexist because calling a *powerful* woman a monster implies that, y'know, a powerful woman is unnatural.

Only that's not why she called Clinton a monster. I think intention is important here, lest we end up talking about all the possible things that could be considered sexist in a world without context. In this context, she was clearly referring to Clinton's political machinations, which falls well within the Nixon/Kissinger realm of the monstrous. Had she not been specifically talking about Clinton trying to seat Florida and Michigan's delegates, I think you'd have a point ... but she was clearly speaking in Nixon's we-won't-let-Daly-steal-the-Oval-Office-from-us-again sense.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:05 PM
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Most annoying thread ever. You people are all monsters.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:05 PM
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I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that the "monster" isn't "oh, look at the woman in power, how unnatural, unlike me, the foreign policy aide" but "I've spent the past four weeks trying to argue against a fellow Democrat's wink-wink-nudge-nudge race baiting."

It's inappropriate, and everyone should know that 'off the record' can mean 'print it in bold.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:06 PM
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131: You're right, we really shouldn't. But I can't resist quoting Nussbaum on the middle-aged, balding Sunstein:

Nussbaum says about Sunstein, "I guess what's so surprising and so great is that he combines qualities: He's brilliant, he's dazzling, he's aggressively masculine and has a tremendous level of emotional articulateness."

Now there's a woman who knows how to pump up her man. Sigh.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:06 PM
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135: Cala talking sense is... well, it's monstrous.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:07 PM
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I always take great comfort in you all's (your all?) ability to parody yourselves. A "monster" is a scary thing that eats you. An unnatural creature that should not exist is a "freak". Thus endeth the lesson.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:07 PM
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Calling a man emotionally articulate? Now that's sexist.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:07 PM
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SEK, I'm disappointed in you.

The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. 1558.

The Monstrous Regiment of Women. 2006. (I think.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:08 PM
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If Hillary Clinton is under my bed tonight, I just don't know who I could vote for in the general.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:08 PM
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A "monster" is a scary thing that eats you.

Hillary just might do this. You don't really know, do you?

"I've spent the past four weeks trying to argue against a fellow Democrat's wink-wink-nudge-nudge race baiting."

Still don't buy this whole race-baiting thing. If what we've seen from the Clinton campaign is effective race-baiting, then Obama is going to totally implode in the general and shouldn't be nominated.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:09 PM
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Terry Pratchett, too.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:10 PM
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Now, was she *intending* to evoke John Knox? Probably not. But y'know, the association *is* damn well out there. It's an odd word choice. Like most word choices, it doesn't just come from nowhere, even if the speaker isn't conscious of the connotations that suggested it to her as the right word at the time.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:10 PM
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So Samantha Power, in uttering an off-the-cuff comment that she theoretically intended to be off the record, was in fact making a veiled reference to a misogynist polemic from the 16th century? That's absurd, but I'd sort of like to believe it because it'd imply that she assumed a truly absurd level of erudition on the part of the readers of that article, and I find that winning.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:11 PM
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The idea that using the word "hamburger" within a certain number of words of a reference to a woman must be a reference to Hustler magazine is laughable, and so is 144.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:12 PM
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So, it was a dogwhistle to guys who read a book in 1558?

142: I didn't say effective.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:12 PM
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I read 144, and the whole thing strikes me as yet more hilarious. Knox, you devious bastard, you've poisoned us all!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:13 PM
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129: I honestly don't remember. But it was someone quite noteworthy. I should have known the figure. Still, Power's a monster.


Posted by: cp | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:14 PM
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Knox, you devious bastard, you've poisoned us all!

Knox is fox in talks with Scots.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:14 PM
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So Samantha Power, in uttering an off-the-cuff comment that she theoretically intended to be off the record, was in fact making a veiled reference to a misogynist polemic from the 16th century?

EXACTLY. Thank God we here at Unfogged can unravel the complex chain of psychological-cultural associations that led her unconscious to make this connection. Most voters are not informed enough to do this.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:14 PM
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. It's an odd word choice.

No, it's really not. Someone does something you think is deeply unethical, and you say "monster." Lacks the same basic moral grounding as the rest of us. Which is precisely why we think Kissinger is a monster.

Is it overheated? Yeah. But that doesn't make it odd in any fashion at all.

Cripes.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:15 PM
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Still don't buy this whole race-baiting thing.

I wouldn't say all of the charges on that score are open and shut, but altering pics of Obama to make him blacker sure seems like race baiting.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:16 PM
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Now, was she *intending* to evoke John Knox? Probably not.

Okay, that's priceless. The idea that she just might have been referring to John Knox fills me with mirth.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:16 PM
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Knox in socks!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:16 PM
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he's aggressively masculine

You know, I really didn't expect to wake up today and see those words applied to Cass Sunstein, of all people.


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:17 PM
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Samantha Power often employs anachronistic, dare I say weird, constructions. Not in her writing so much. But when she speaks, yes. I think it's because of her background, which I don't even begin to understand. Except, I think, she was raised by James Joyce. But in Brooklyn.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:17 PM
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you accuse Hillary Clinton of teh dreaded RACISM, I accuse Obama's campaign of the horrid SEXISM! Hang them both, the prejudiced bastards!


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:17 PM
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The idea that she just might have been referring to John Knox fills me with mirth.

Is it irresponsible to speculate? It's irresponsible not to.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:17 PM
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This could be the new example for reference shifts and reference failure.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:17 PM
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SEK, I'm disappointed in you.

I saw the anti-feminist literature in the Google-search too, but I also know that in terms of contemporary academic work on "the monstrous," it's not a signal referent.

It's an odd word choice.

As I was saying, it isn't odd when you think about the connection to Nixon. When I taught the course on "covering elections," we had a whole unit on contemporary coverage of post-Watergate Nixon, and "monster" and "monstrous" were easily the most common descriptions of him ... such that someone at the Harvard Kennedy School of ... the Kennedy Harvard School of ... whatever it's called now would probably think of Nixon first, anti-feminist literature a distant second. (In fact, "women monstrous" pulls about 400,000 hits, whereas "nixon monstrous" pulls a 100,000. That all the women in history are only four times more monstrous than Nixon alone says something.)


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:17 PM
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Sixteenth century pamphlets are the twenty-first century Canuck letter.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:18 PM
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Gabriel, you have to be aggressively masculine when you're a man named "Cass". Shel Silverstein wrote a song about it.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:18 PM
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altering pics of Obama to make him blacker sure seems like race baiting.

They overexposed a video! That and sinister background music are utterly standard lame negative advertising techniques.

Wake me up when somebody hangs a noose somewhere.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:19 PM
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Shaq Monster returns 476,000: she was trying to say that Hillary is overpriced and too-often injured!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:20 PM
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There are approximately 80 million men referred to as "The Monster of X" for hideous behavior of one sort or another.

Oh look!Here's Clinton being called a monster earlier! Wait, it's Bill Clinton for being a fan of welfare reform! In 1995.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:20 PM
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165: Or perhaps she merely needs to work on her free throws.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:21 PM
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It could have also been a mocking reference to her poor showing in Vermont.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:21 PM
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165: I think Phoenix was idiotic to trade for Hillary. Shawn Marion fit into their system much better.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:22 PM
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Knox is fox in talks with Scots.

Fawkes.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:24 PM
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George Fox?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:25 PM
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A "monster" is a scary thing that eats you. An unnatural creature that should not exist is a "freak". Thus endeth the lesson.

No, an unnatural creature that should not exist is a monster—or, if you like, a monstrum—;its existence makes salient that the kosmos has been put out of joint.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:26 PM
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I'm going to leave that dash-semicolon as it is.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:27 PM
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SEK, you actually *said* I can't think of any context in which "monstrous" is gendered feminine. If you know about the academic work on the "monstrous feminine," then you shouldn't have said that.

As to the "hahaha, that doesn't count because it's so old" comments: the point is that there is, in fact, a history of "monstrous women" meaning aspirational ambitious women. Which LB--who does not study literature or history--knows about. I'm sorry that I'm not going to go around digging up 450 years worth of references for you guys; I thought that if I provided a couple of links that demonstrated that "monstrous women"--the exact phrase--has both a long history *and* is still known by current anti-feminists, that maybe you'd be willing to admit that it just might not be a purely neutral word.

My bad.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:27 PM
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172: That's what monster used to mean. Now it means "powerful and scary creature".

I hear it used as a compliment for football players sometimes. The funny thing is that there's also a compliment for football players that refers to how unnatural and inhuman their strength is, that being "freak".


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:27 PM
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They overexposed a video!

I know jack squat about photo alteration. My opinion is based off of stuff like this post. But I'll certainly defer to someone with some expertise.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:27 PM
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but altering pics of Obama to make him blacker sure seems like race baiting.

They made the whole thing look darker; the original Kos story said it was a standard tactic for such ads. Given the new "monster" standards, it's tantamount to burning a cross, but otherwise, gawd only knows what level of intent was there. The Clinton denials that it is their work make me a bit suspicious, but who knows?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:29 PM
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SEK, you actually *said* I can't think of any context in which "monstrous" is gendered feminine. If you know about the academic work on the "monstrous feminine," then you shouldn't have said that.

So what? Are you saying I don't know as much as I think or claim I do? Well then, um, FINE THEN YOU HAVE A POINT SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:29 PM
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Hmm.

It wouldn't have occurred to me to read "monstrous" as having as a sexist component. But then I'm not a woman, either. The arguments offered up for that reading make sense to me, upon reflection. Thanks, B, LB, and the usual suspects.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:29 PM
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Both Katherine and Tim have been quite right about the double-standard on race, it would seem to me. By the same criteria that you can call Powers' statement "sexist," you can call any deployment of the popular "cult/messiah" meme racist by virtue of the long historical tradition of regarding any ability of black men to exert influence over whites (and especially white women) as unnatural and threatening. You can even cite Shakespeare for the purpose (Othello, Titus Andronicus). But this doesn't mean that this reading will be convincingly applicable to all instances of the rhetoric.

This is the sort of thing we all know B and LB are perspicacious enough to know. Annoying.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:30 PM
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I wouldn't have believed it possible that John McCain could be elected president in 2008 until I read this thread. Good lord.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:32 PM
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178: Actually yes, that was what I was saying. And thank you, enormously, for giving me the benefit of the doubt re. teasing you about an academic blind spot, rather than somehow insulting your very humanity. Which I was a little worried you might think. You're a damn good guy.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:32 PM
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You're a damn good guy.

Everything else you've said is spot on, B. But this...


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:33 PM
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180: Damn right you could say that the "cult" stuff about Obama, just like the "inexperience" stuff and the "oh sure, he speaks well, but he doesn't know anything," is racist. Because, in fact, it is.

You wouldn't even have to use scare quotes around the word racist to indicate that such a reading was silly.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:35 PM
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Don't trust her feminine wiles, SEK!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:35 PM
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I wouldn't have believed it possible that John McCain could be elected president in 2008 until I read this thread.

I talked to a few smart political scientists this week who are pretty pessimistic about Obama's chances, based mostly on the endless taste that white Americans have for racism. It was quite depressing to talk to them, actually.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:35 PM
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183: Well, in this particular instance, at least.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:35 PM
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184: Don't buy it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:36 PM
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186: that's the thing I'm most worried about with Obama. My gut feeling is that he'd be a marginally better President than Hillary, but somewhat less likely to be elected.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:37 PM
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180: or, for that matter, any reference to Obama's empty rhetoric, naivete, fervor for change, or success.

On the other hand, I do find the fact that all of us have been mocking B instead of taking her ridiculous argument seriously slightly sexist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:39 PM
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I talked to a few smart political scientists this week who are pretty pessimistic about Obama's chances, based mostly on the endless taste that white Americans have for racism. It was quite depressing to talk to them, actually.

This thread is giving me the same pit in my stomach.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:39 PM
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186/189: this is the argument with which the HRC camp is trying to sway the superdelegates.

The best way of doing this is to use racism against BHO and see how effective it is.

Makes sense to me. If it's effective, then he wouldn't win as the candidate.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:39 PM
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184: See, that's the thing. Is it moronic? Insulting? Hyperbolic? Dishonest? Sure. Necessarily racist? No, at least not unless pushed to "Obama is the anti-Christ" extreme. The Clintons have made use of much more obviously racist tacks.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:41 PM
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Thank goodness I got back on B's good side before I realized she pwned me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:41 PM
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On the other hand, I do find the fact that all of us have been mocking B instead of taking her ridiculous argument seriously slightly sexist.

History makes it clear that that men get plenty of respect when they make ridiculous arguments.



Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:42 PM
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If the Obammers are willing, no eager, to excuse and even enjoy this kind of rhetoric from a very close advisor to Obama now, what in God's name will they find acceptable a teay, 5 years from now?
It's terrifying.

Saddam was called a "monster" for feeding people into wood shredders, Clinton is not a monster. Power knows better, and knows better than most of us, what a "political monster" is. This is far beyond hyperbole, just as Samantha Power saying:"Hillary Clinton is, and will be as President, just like Saddam Hussein." would not be excused as hyperbole.

The inexorable moral corrupton I am watching in pro-Obama comment threads is truly frightening.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:42 PM
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I'm confused by 181 and its subsequent replies.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:44 PM
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Fortunately, no one's excusing it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:44 PM
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what in God's name will they find acceptable a teay

Racist.

The inexorable moral corrupton I am watching in pro-Obama comment threads is truly frightening.

Bob I feel like, after all this time, we at least deserve an honest effort when you try and troll.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:45 PM
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196: The inexorable moral corrupton

You're in no position to talk, brother.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:45 PM
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I do find the fact that all of us have been mocking B instead of taking her ridiculous argument seriously slightly sexist.

Yeah, everybody take B seriously when she says something nuts, just like we do with Bob.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:46 PM
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Dwight Howard was called a "monster" for his strength, agility and leaping ability in the low post. Clinton is not a monster. This is far beyond hyperbole, just as Samantha Power saying: "Hillary Clinton is, and will be as the center for the US national basketball team, just like Dwight Howard." would not be excused as hyperbole.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:47 PM
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201: exactly! Treat all the old people equally, as is their due.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:49 PM
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"She is a monster, too - that is off the record - she is stooping to anything," Ms Power said, hastily trying to withdraw her remark."

I also, on first reading, did not assume that "monster" referred to Clinton's campaign tactics. Just as the "off the record" was an attempted walkback, so I also think the "stooping to anything" was an attempt to soften her remarks and walk back from the genocide comparison.

We may not ever know what Power really meant, and should scour her work to see the other places she has used "monster". As someone in human rights work, I doubt Power has used the word often.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:49 PM
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One good thing to come out of all this is an interesting study in the sexism/racism composition of American prejudice. The Clinton campaign has been pretty comfortable in using race, subtle or otherwise, whereas Obama's has been pretty much hands off re: gender. On the other hand, it's hard to imagine that the Post would run an op ed suggesting that black people are stupid and lazy or that the timing of their little "joke" was unrelated to politics. Strange dynamic.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:52 PM
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The Clintons have made use of much more obviously racist tacks.

Yes they have. And people have rightly criticized them. But you're not willing to criticize this Power woman for the "monster" remark, nor even to concede that it might possibly be sexist, even when presented with evidence. Instead, we change the topic to the usual "oh, that crazy B!" stuff and to criticizing the Clinton campaign.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:52 PM
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206: how is talking about how you're being crazy changing the subject when you're being crazy?

Also, I think pretty much everybody has said the Power remark was over the top; it just isn't any more sexist than any other hyperbolic remark would have been.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:54 PM
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202:Did Samantha Power win a Pulitzer for a book about basketball?

I would bet she has a history with the word "monster." It is usually used in foreign policy discourse to refer to a callous or sadistic murderer. Milosevic. Arafat.

And I also bet her mind was on Iraq, Iran, and Clinton foreign policy. I think Power means it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:55 PM
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But you're not willing to criticize this Power woman for the "monster" remark

Except for having called it stupid right off the top, you mean?

Yes, I suppose I do reserve the right to not be convinced by arguments that it "might possibly" be sexist, even when presented with "evidence," since the evidence sort of has to support the charge and I don't think you've managed that. This doesn't make you crazy, just wrong IMO on this particular point.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:57 PM
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I can't read this thread without thinking of the Simpsons episode when they unveil the statue of Carter and someone yells out "He's history's greatest monster!" And you all are talking about Nixon. Whatever.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:58 PM
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202:Did Samantha Power win a Pulitzer for a book about basketball?

Yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 9:59 PM
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I'm willing to criticize Power, but I think it's a stretch to think that the average sexist guy to whom this would be a coded dogwhistle is familiar with enough of the historical literature to think 'Ah, this ambitious woman called this other ambitious woman monstrous because she believes that having a woman in power is unnatural.'

It can be wrong without being sexist. And this is hyperbolic, over the top, and as dumb as Gingrich's mom calling HRC a bitch. Still, I think a dogwhistle has to be audible to the dogs, no?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:00 PM
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Saying a remark is "stupid" in a political sense is not actual criticism of the remark. It was stupid for Bill to get his dick sucked by Monica. I don't give a shit that he did it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:01 PM
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Goolsbee, Liebman, Sunstein, now Power.

Power, in calling HRC a monster, suddenly strikes me as way too optimistic for a foreign policy advisor. If she thinks everyone who voted for the war is monstrously evil, she has no business advising or teaching foreign policy.

Obama is consistently showing very questionable judgement in the advisors closest to him.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:02 PM
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I reject and denounce Samantha Power's non-sexist hyperbole that she intended to be off the record!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:04 PM
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212: Not in the sense that you're saying, no. Because the average person doesn't *have* to be familiar with the historical literature to pick up on the connotations of language. LB picked up on it; she's (presumably) not familiar with the history.

And you don't have to be *conscious* that you're picking up on something, to "get it." That's why people like poetry and fiction. Even when they're not very good at articulating *what* they like about it.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:04 PM
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Obama is consistently showing very questionable judgement in the advisors closest to him.

Man, if only he'd snagged Mark Penn.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:05 PM
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216 continued: That said, you *do* have to be conscious of the history, and able to articulate it, in order to explain it to people.

Whether or not the folks you explain it to are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, however, isn't something you have a lot of control over.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:06 PM
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I think the sexism stuff really trivializes what is going on here. Obama has a main foreign policy advisor who is some sort of whirly-eyed peacenik at heart.

Obama also seems to surround himself with admiring people younger than himself (which at his age takes deliberate effort), a fanclub, an entourage. His need for overt and unquestioned adulation is becoming apparent.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:08 PM
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216: It's a word that has several other more prominent bad, but non-sexist, connotations, is the thing. And it's arguable that those who thought 'monstrous because women in power is unnatural' vs 'monstrous because of behavior' is quite small.

I don't think you want to argue that it's sexist even if no one anywhere is conscious of it. Trees falling on feminists in forests, that sort of thing.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:08 PM
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218: so you're saying she unwittingly referred to something she didn't know about, as part of an unconscious strategy to evoke (off the record) an alternate meaning in what she said that neither she nor the reporter knew existed?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:09 PM
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Power, in calling HRC a monster, suddenly strikes me as way too optimistic for a foreign policy advisor. If she thinks everyone who voted for the war is monstrously evil, she has no business advising or teaching foreign policy.

You seem to have completely forgotten your own comment of 13 minutes earlier, in which you refer to "monster" being a reference to campaign tactics.

Can you go somewhere else?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:09 PM
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Cala pwns me, and is of course more reasonable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:09 PM
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222: Ned, if you take this bait you're going to have every two-bit fisherman in a leaking Whaler chucking beer cans and Cheetos at you just on the off chance they work, too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:11 PM
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Saying a remark is "stupid" in a political sense

Mmm-hmm. And I said the criticism was strictly tactical where, exactly?

Look, I'm all on board with criticizing genuinely sexist attacks on HRC as such. But Cala is right in 212.2.

Bob, 214.2 is... really something.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:14 PM
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222:I also, on first reading, did not assume that "monster" referred to Clinton's campaign tactics

My previous remarks. You illiterate swine. Notice the "did not assume." Everyone else assume that Power was referring to campaign tactics, but I did not think the context was sufficient.

Obammers have lost the ability to read, but that's ok, they won't need to in the Obama Presidency. Obama will tell them what they need to know,


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:16 PM
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Of course, the whole article preceding the quote is about campaign tactics. It could have been about 13th century French painting.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:18 PM
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226.2, however, is just sad.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:18 PM
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228:Yes, it will be.

I see the "loyalty" to Obama getting insane already. I can only hope Obama loses, and his supporters, much scarier than Obama himself, withdraw in disillusionment.

If Obama wins, we are all lost.

"Monster" is not a word a genocide professional would toss out casually, or in error.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:29 PM
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What B said in 216. There's "the historical literature," and then there's the history of the circulation of the language and ideas of that literature throughout the broader culture (and vice versa, of course, because it's not as though the historical literature gets itself written in a vaccum). Probably there are many Americans, for example, for whom certain biblical terms resonate very powerfully, even though they never go to church and have never opened a bible. So yeah, people can definitely pick up on the 'powerful woman is suspect' angle of 'that woman is a monster' without having read, or even heard of, John Knox (and it's not as though John Knox came up with that all on his own: it was already circulating in his culture that women in power were suspect).

In any case, while we could argue this point all night, I think we can all agree on one thing: Obama's aides need to stop talking to the Scots and the Canadians.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:30 PM
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230: same with Clinton's aides, what with that Canadian business originally being about HRC's people.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:32 PM
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much scarier than Obama himself

Why do we like Obama? BRAAAAAAIIIINS



Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:35 PM
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230: I'd agree if I believed "monstrous" had the kind of cultural resonance that 'whore of Babylon' or 'the idol has clay feet' or 'the writing is on the wall' did.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:35 PM
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233: I demand that Cala reject and denounce Hagee's endorsement of McCain.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:43 PM
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Whas Hagee?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:45 PM
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229: I see the "loyalty" to Obama getting insane already.

And I see you getting more pathetic every time you opine on the subject, but that's probably just my fascist cult membership talking.

No, seriously, Bob. I don't expect the message to get through this time either, but I'll keep trying. Seriously: you're diminishing yourself with this shit. It's idiotic, and it's sad to watch it.

230: Obama's aides need to stop talking to the Scots and the Canadians.

Great. There goes my dream date with Samantha Power, you monster.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:45 PM
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233:Well, from an article linked in this thread, Power is clueless on pop culture, but wasn't there a movie, and an Oscar? And I forget, was it a movie about a woman saying mean things about people?

I would say there is a cultural connection between women, maybe lesbians, murders, and the word "monster." Tho, as I said Power probably wasn't using iy that way.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:45 PM
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Power, in calling HRC a monster, suddenly strikes me as way too optimistic for a foreign policy advisor. If she thinks everyone who voted for the war is monstrously evil, she has no business advising or teaching foreign policy.

Are you kidding me? Power is no peacenik. She was a standard, vaccillating, verging on pro-war Democrat herself before the war. She graaaduuuallly turned against it as it became a clear disaster, but always sort of hedged herself. She fits in well with the rest of his advisors, who are pretty "serious" establishment types, though in foreign policy perhaps a shade to the left of Hillary's.

You seem a little unhinged tonight, Bob.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:46 PM
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236: wait, you're Scottish?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:46 PM
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239: Most black, gay, Jewish Canadians are Scottish.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:47 PM
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240: goddamit this heavy metal stuff is confusing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:48 PM
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In the memoir thread DS revealed herself to be a white female.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:48 PM
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239: I contain multitudes, Sifu. And I play a mean bagpipe.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:49 PM
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242: Well... I wasn't entirely truthful about that, and I ask all those who feel betrayed to forgive me. I was originally writing that post as a novel.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:50 PM
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Man. I feel played after 244. Played like a bagpipe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:51 PM
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237: Power is Irish, you know. She would be more likely to refer to the Java Monster Irish Blend.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:51 PM
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In fact, considering 237, I am surprised that movie, about a lesbian, hasnt come up in this thread already. A word culturally associated, more recently than the 16th century, with lesbianism is "inadvertently" used in connection with Hillary Clinton. But Clintonites are subtle race-baiters, and Obammers are teh good and pure..

I don't like Power anymore.

.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 10:58 PM
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247: oh holy shit I figured it out. A movie, about a real estate investment gone horribly wrong, even more recent than the one you're talking about: Power was subtly blaming Clinton for the subprime crash!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:01 PM
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"inadvertently"

Don't neglect "amiable," "reckless," and "umbrage."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:06 PM
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Well, we heard that Obama was going to take the gloves off, and within days there is a whisper "Clinton is a lesbian" campaign, by named important Obama staffers, excused by Obama supporters.

Still not fun enough.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:06 PM
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I feel played after 244. Played like a bagpipe.

I'm not Scottish, except by association. "English" Canada really is a bit of a misnomer. Outside of Quebec, every other Canadian is basically Scottish, because Canada is the second home of the Scots. All of those younger sons of the Scottish gentry who had nowhere else to go? Up the Empire! That's the political and economic elite of Canada. A seemingly harmless lot, and yet some say they play a deep game...That NAFTA memo, for example, was leaked by a Canadian by the name of Ian Brodie. Just saying.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:16 PM
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Let's see, it was one month ago today that Katherine called Charles Schumer "history's greatest monster." Because she's a feminist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:18 PM
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Independent of whether my reaction was justified, sane, evidence of a John Knox fixation or who knows what, I must confess that my initial emotional and mental reaction to Power's comment was partly to view it in sexist terms (and having a woman say it added to that sense). It evoked a "Leona Helmsley as monster" image, and frankly I'm surprised if it did not do so for a number of others here. That said, I don't know what else to say about it—the "sexism" may well all be in me. However, I think it is more like ogged's example of the terrorism question; at some level, we are all so fundamentally deranged on gender roles, ambition, the exercise of power etc. that we cannot really have a sane discussion about it. (And certainly not in the middle of an emotional election campaign that already has us all completely unhinged.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:21 PM
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252: As well as an antisemite.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:21 PM
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Well, we heard that Obama was going to take the gloves off, and within days there is a whisper "Clinton is a lesbian" campaign

Solid work, Bob. It may come as a surprise to you that a movie that didn't even break 35 million in domestic gross might be a movie most people haven't seen. Those people, like me, would be finding out about the whole lesbian association right here in this very thread.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:24 PM
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253: did people actually call her a monster? I thought they pretty much stuck to "bitch" (included that memorable Newsweek cover)?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:27 PM
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255: hey, Charlize Theron won an Oscar for her portrayal of Hillary Clinton in that movie. Next you're going to be saying that Obama didn't seek Marion Barry's endorsement so he could draw a parallel between his campaign and the heroic soldiers and airmen who fought their way across France in WWII while listening to the heartbreaking voice of Edith Piaf as portrayed by Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard.

Hypocrite.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:31 PM
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256: From searches, some. But not sure if greater than you might "expect". I am merely saying that that was the image it evoked in me.
Wait ... that means maybe I'm the monster!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:33 PM
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I don't care about entering the classic "is it sexist, is it not?" argument, in which I would like to imagine myself as a swing voter, but I did want to say that this clip from the Colbert Report tonight was pretty hilarious.

Colbert basically spends the entire last half of the segment trying to nail Robert Reich down to an endorsement of Clinton or Obama, and actually manages some success at the end.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:34 PM
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On the exact same day Katherine called Schumer "history's greatest monster," here's crazy-assed Jason Apuzzo:

Personally, I believe Hillary's toast, and while I think Obama would be a disaster as President and is committing an act of outright evil grabbing political power by promising to abandon 25 million Iraqis, you can't help but respect the fact that he might've forever killed the monster known as The Clintons. And how's this for monstrous:

The Kurdish News reported that the producer of one of the most hostile anti-American films made in Turkey "Valley of the Wolves-Irak" is a Hillary Clinton mega-donor and bundler and was appointed a delegate by Hillary Clinton to the Democratic National Convention later this year[.]

The film starred Gary Busey as a Jewish doctor who harvests organs from Iraqis and sells them on the black market to rich Israelis.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:38 PM
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Y'know, just to tie together 8 or 9 different Unfogged threads at once.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:39 PM
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The Monster angle hadn't occurred to me, but now that I think of it, has the Obama campaign repudiated the work of Rudy Ray? That's not the kind of governance I would expect from an experienced candidate. More of a DCI post, I'd think.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:44 PM
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261: does he dance? We could hit the megafecta.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:49 PM
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Hillary Clinton is a MONSTROUS CASTRATING DYKE BITCH. But I don't mean that in a sexist manner, at all. It's because of her policy choices.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:49 PM
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It's a word that has several other more prominent bad, but non-sexist, connotations, is the thing.

Just like almost every other loaded insult you'd care to name. That doesn't mean that it doesn't also carry some sexist overtones, *especially* when you're using it to criticize a powerful woman.

I don't think you want to argue that it's sexist even if no one anywhere is conscious of it.

I don't think that's anything like what I was arguing.

Things like the "whore of Babylon" etc. would be *obvious* sexist remarks. "Monster," by comparison, is not so obvious (obviously). Nonetheless! It has sexist connotations.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:53 PM
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That Monster angle from Bob is only mildly obscure. I gotta hand it to B, that John Knox tie in was a thing of beauty.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:54 PM
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Hey, check it out:
Just like almost every other loaded insult you'd care to name. That doesn't mean that it doesn't also carry some sexist overtones
Whoops follow the hands, and:
That doesn't mean that it doesn't also carry some sexist overtones just like almost every other loaded insult you'd care to name.
Wild!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:56 PM
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Rather than the movie, the first work that I think of entitled Monster is the first album by Killer Mike. It should be clear if you read that review that Obama's surrogate is Rovishly-deviously trying to attack HRC at one of her strengths, that being her claim to not be a sex- and violence-obsessed young black man.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 6-08 11:58 PM
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Tweety, I'm rapidly coming to believe that in discussions of sexism you're as much of a troll as Shearer.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:01 AM
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I'm only trolling you, if it helps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:03 AM
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Really, is it more plausible that Power finds Clinton's standard-political-misbehavior to be monstrous because she's horrified at Clinton's violation of gender norms & making a subtle--perhaps unconscious--reference to Aileen Wuornos or John Knox, or because she's a strong Obama supporter & she's biased in his favor? This is a pretty straightforward case of irregular adjectives:

Barack is drawing contrasts & showing my toughness.
John is running a negative campaign.
Hillary is monstrous & will do and say anything to win.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:08 AM
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his toughness.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:11 AM
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Awesome Freudian slip.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:20 AM
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Somebody call me sexist and get it over with already.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:20 AM
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273: (Freud was a) sexist.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:20 AM
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Hah! Great minds, &c.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:21 AM
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271: It doesn't have to be an either/or. She is a strong Obama supporter, biased in his favor, whose animosity towards the competition--who happens to be a woman--happens to fall into the use of a surprisingly resonant and problematic word. Does she think "let me come up with a sexist insult?" Of course not. Does the word "monster" spring to mind because the associations of that word--unnatural, twisted, terrifying, etc.--bring it to mind? Yes.

Look at the list of descriptions of the candidates you've given. Does not "monstrous" rather stand out to you as oddly vehement? If the point is that Clinton will do anything to win, surely "ruthless" or "vicious" or "malicious" or even "hateful" makes more sense.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:25 AM
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Does not "monstrous" rather stand out to you as oddly vehement?

Does is stand out as oddly vehement in reference to Schumer? Sometimes an off-the-cuff remark is just an off-the-cuff remark.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:28 AM
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Sexist or not, Power is apparently as prone to hyperbole as others in her (our) generation. Put another way, I think there's a generational explanation here. Power talks like someone our age. Which she is. And that's not going to help Obama.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:29 AM
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B, I was trolling, but this really strikes me as utterly absurd. Do we really have such a fine-grained grasp of Samantha Powers's idiolect that we can read into her statement an awareness of what is (let's be honest, here) an incredibly rarefied and fairly archaic meaning of a fairly common word?

I fail to see how this is not the equivalent of seeing "NIG" on the kid's pajamas, per [ look I don't mean to compare you to that nutjob I'm just saying ].


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:29 AM
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That was just sloppy editing. I originally wrote "I...," "you..." "she..."

B, I usually agree with you about gender but I just think you're completely on crack with this one. "Vicious" & "hateful" are just as harsh if not worse & I would have thought "vicious" would be MORE likely to be called sexist. Monster, to me, has is gender neutral. I've used it about many more men than women. I've been called paranoid about thinking an attack on Obama is connected to race on much less flimsy grounds than this.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:32 AM
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278: actually, "history's greatest monster" is a specific reference to a Simpson's episode w/ a statue of Jimmy Carter.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:34 AM
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Hey, I've found an avenue down which I'm willing to compromise: it's certainly possible Samantha Powers would be less willing to use the term "monster" when referring to a man who was in the same position as Hillary because the term implies a power relationship she would be unwilling to grant a male adversary. With Hillary, because they are both women, that issue is not in play, and Powers can use the term that comes immediately to mind.

Which, again, dumb word to use, she's not, &c. &c. Jimmy Carter says Yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:36 AM
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Hey, I've found an avenue down which I'm willing to compromise: it's certainly possible Samantha Powers would be less willing to use the term "monster" when referring to a man who was in the same position as Hillary because the term implies a power relationship she would be unwilling to grant a male adversary. With Hillary, because they are both women, that issue is not in play, and Powers can use the term that comes immediately to mind.

Which, again, dumb word to use, she's not, &c. &c. Jimmy Carter says Yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:41 AM
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Geez, double post and no link.

Jimmy Carter Says Yes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:42 AM
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282: what's weird is that's probably the most relevant cultural reference for the word. Maybe that's what she meant!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:42 AM
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278: Yeah, sometimes an off-the-cuff remark is just that. I bet this was just an off-the-cuff remark. One that happened to use what isn't, actually, an "incredibly rarefied and fairly archaic" meaning. At least three people, by my count, in this thread had that meaning spring to mind when they read the remark. You guys have surely seen Fatal Attraction and the Alien movies. You know about witches--ugly, powerful, monstrous women. You've seen Disney movies. You know perfectly well that there are plenty of people who believe it's "unnatural" for women to be ambitious; hell, the simple facts of US history are that having a woman present will, when it happens, be an anomaly.

It really shouldn't be that hard to realize that (1) the remark was surely not intentionally sexist (I'll assume Powers isn't an idiot); (2) nonetheless, there is a pretty broad tradition of powerful women being labelled, directly or implicitly, as monsters (among other things). (3) Therefore, when searching for a word to express extreme animosity towards a powerful and frustrating woman opponent, it's not unlikely that "monster"--complete with sexist baggage--is going to come to mind; indeed, it's rather likely that *because* of the sexist baggage, "monster" is going to present itself as a likely choice.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 12:56 AM
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(Plus a little googling reveals that the woman studied history at Yale. Which rather raises the likelihood that the "women heads of state are monsters" meme is one she's got a passing familiarity with.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 1:06 AM
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Serious question here.

Is there a way of saying "I think she's lacking in basic moral bearings beyond expediency and catering to a particular establishment" that doesn't carry that kind of subtext? Because, well, it's something I'd like to say about Clinton's approach to foreign policy, but I also don't want to be feeding the beast on it.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 1:18 AM
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but I also don't want to be feeding the beast on it.

Too late, sexist.

Bwahahahaha


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 1:23 AM
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You could just say "she's a political whore" and get it over with.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 1:24 AM
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There are circumstances in which I'd use prostitution as a metaphor for political relationships, but not many, and this isn't one of them.

I'd still welcome suggestions for good usage, because I'd like to avoid unnecessary and unintentional invocations of sexist connotations.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 1:41 AM
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It shouldn't be that hard. You say, she seems to care about expedience and catering to the political establishment more than she does about any particular issue or set of issues. I'd disagree, b/c I think her record on women's stuff is pretty good (yes, blah blah welfare reform, I know), and you'd counter by pointing out that the women's rights she seems most interested in are the ones that affect fairly privileged women, and I'd point to a couple of exceptions to that argument but admit that you have a point, etc.

I mean, are you looking for a way to say that that isn't sexist, or a way to say that that people won't argue with? Because I think the former is pretty easy, really. You could also say that barring her sex, she's really a pretty establishment candidate, or that sure, maybe her presidential ambitious have led her to compromise a lot of things but that her record isn't all that progressive, or whatever.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 1:53 AM
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Hillary's very existence is sexist. This seems obvious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 1:55 AM
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The former - I just want to spend as much time as possible on what actually concerns me, and as little as possible on stuff I don't intend and wouldn't have chosen if I'd realized its implications in the first place.

I do agree that Clinton is quite good on a lot of women's issues, and wish there were a candidate who combined that with good features from several others. Digression: I believe - scratch that, I'm sure - that a lot of the more stupid argumentation I deliver sometimes comes from frustration at feeling the need to use so many qualifiers in addressing anything much about the candidates. The good stuff all needs bracketing; so does the bad stuff. I don't really wish that they all sucked so much that I could just dump some unqualified vitriol. But damn it would make life simpler, even if not as good as having a candidate who didn't inspire in me the need to be hedging and careful with praise. And it's easy for that to translate into ire at other people, who (I assume) aren't actually using mind control rays or anything to make the candidates be those kinds of people.

I will be glad when this election is done with.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 2:01 AM
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she's really a pretty establishment candidate

But Obama's "man pretty", and I can't believe you of all people is judging Hillary by her looks.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 2:03 AM
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I must say that it's really fucking annoying to have each of my efforts at explaining something where I feel the need/want of help punctuated by someone's dumb effort at humor. I've been dropping out of more and more commenting, doing an appraisal every few weeks to see what makes me angry or annoyed in ways that seem to eat up more energy than I want to give them. This reminds me that I should do another round this week, when I feel mellow enough to be giving proper credit to the benefits of hither and yon as well as their liabilities for me.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 2:08 AM
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Oh sheesh. If every hyperbolic use of a word like "monster" leads to whinging about sexism it's no wonder that feminism is in trouble. It won't convince anybody who doesn't already sees this as sexism and it only confirms feminist stereotypes.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 2:10 AM
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I don't think the Knox link is that far fetched given she's talking to an Edinburgh reporter; Knox is pretty well-known there (local boy; schools named after him, etc) and the three things everybody remembers about him from school are: 1. he had an enormous beard; 2. he was a Protestant preacher; 3. he hated Mary Queen of Scots and wrote a pamphlet called "The Monstrous Regiment of Women" referring to her and Elizabeth I of England.

And "off the record" has no legal force; if a reporter quotes you when you've said you're talking off the record, your only recourse is not to talk to that reporter any more.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 2:50 AM
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I must say that it's really fucking annoying to have each of my efforts at explaining something where I feel the need/want of help punctuated by someone's dumb effort at humor.

Nothing personal dude. I just don't think my brain will let me seriously engage a discussion of "monstrous" as a dogwhistle sexist word/lesbian tarring whisper campaign.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 2:56 AM
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Carry on. You were here before I was; you can be here after, too.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 3:19 AM
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it's really fucking annoying to have each of my efforts at explaining something where I feel the need/want of help punctuated by someone's dumb effort at humor

You're going to find this blog very annoying indeed, Bruce.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 4:51 AM
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If every hyperbolic use of a word like "monster" leads to whinging about sexism it's no wonder that feminism is in trouble. It won't convince anybody who doesn't already sees this as sexism and it only confirms feminist stereotypes.

1. "Whinging"? No one in this thread is whinging. Pointing out, maybe, and arguing.

2. Feminism's in trouble? Huh.

3. It won't convince anybody who isn't willing to be open-minded to consider that there might be something to it, no--and that's all I was aiming for.

4. "only" confirms feminist stereotypes. I see.

The subtext here suggests to me that you're basically looking for an excuse to "confirm" stereotypes of feminists as humorless whiners.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 10:01 AM
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278, 282, 286 and others: as noted in 210.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 1:58 PM
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Power has resigned for the comment. Good! But she has failed to admit it was Sexist.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 2:00 PM
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305: For someone with so much internalized self-hatred that they won't even admit they're a white female, you're awfully free throwing those sexism accusations around.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 2:31 PM
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this is what happens when people with different beliefs about what the total volume of social sexism is start drawing lines

i stopped reading this thread halfway through because it just has to be trolling


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 6:56 PM
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Basically there are more than enough cultural memes to label any shade of any idetity's actions in all sorts of terms.

i would like to see a list of possible character attack words on a women that AREN"T sexist, because then we could have someone else point out how actually they are sexist too


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 03- 7-08 7:00 PM
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