Monday, September 18, 2006

The Hypocrites Abound

While all of this controversy about the lack of people of color at Clinton's "Meet the Bloggers" event has been going on, another conversation about it has been running concurrently to it. While (white) David Ferguson was telling (person of color) Liza Sabater to stop considering herself equal to them, Jessica Valenti over at Feministing (another blogger who attended this event) was busy feeling angry because people were talking about her breasts over on Ann Althouse's site. Here's my take on it all:

If I had been anyone who worked for either the former President or Senator Clinton, I'd have found a way to make sure that, regardless of height, Jessica was not positioned where she was, just as if I were an employee for Bush, I'd never let him be photographed next to a banner for that crappy Mission Impossible movie; Any failure to consider the impact of such a picture will almost assuredly result in jokes or criticism that simply isn't to the politician's advantage.

Do I think Jessica looks ridiculous in this photo? Yep. All of the people in that picture look absurd to me but it has nothing to do with anyone's goofy pose. The reason why they look so foolish to me is because I've had the chance to read what several of them have had to say about this visit which provides a lot of insight on what sort of people they are.

Like many others, I do not see how this meeting did anything positive for feminism. For me, it's not about how Jessica's breasts looked; It's about the fact that a self-professed feminist was so obviously delighted to be able to schmooze and pose with a man who used his position of power to sexually harass women--women that looked just like her. I wonder if Jessica was able to hear the sound of solidarity amongst women going down the drain while she was busy taking that photo with Clinton?

The part I don't understand is this: Who did Jessica think she was aligning herself with when she decided to be a part of this picture? If she truly believes that a woman deserves to be seen as more than a collection of sexually-appealing body parts, then why would she choose to associate herself with Clinton of all people? It just doesn't make sense. Then today when I visited her website I see this post: Anti-feminist hypocrisy.

Now, can someone please explain to me how Jessica could have a post on her site talking about how a woman posed nude in some photographs and still have some justifiable complaint about people discussing her breasts? Am I the only one who noticed that the link on that post is to another post entitled "Somebody Slap this Slut"?

Given all of this, I see her gripe regarding a discussion about her breasts to be quite hypocritical. If Ann's post was as "un-feminist" as Jessica seems to think, then what should we think of what's on her website? How can someone with a blog featuring a discussion about how a woman's nude photos showed her "open wide" really have room to complain about this post? I'd love to hear some of those who are so offended by Ann's post show how that's logical.

As for the idea that Clinton should have felt honored to be in the room with these bloggers, all I can say is this: I think that all of these people deserved each other because I figure every politician needs sheeple who support him and Peter Daou went out and found Clinton a group of bloggers who were willing to sell out progressive causes in order have the opportunity to take that photo.

I gave up on feministing months ago when the writing on the wall came in the form of Jessica

1. deciding to allow her readers to repeatedly make racist comments to a blogger that she had interviewed

and

2. leaving this interview (along with the despicable comments) on her site despite the interviewee's request for feministing to remove the post since she no longer wanted to be associated with what they were willing to allow there. That means I have a little more time to explore other blogs. I know one thing for sure. I'd definitely prefer to check out Althouse regularly before I'd ever go back to visiting Feministing when I'm on the look out for logical arguments but hey, that's just me. What do I know, I'm just another inconsequential black chick who's probably just envious because I can't be just like these clowns, right?

45 comments:

Jessica Feministing said...

Bint, I'm sorry you find me to be so hypocritical. I'm pretty worn out on talking about the breast thing, so I won't go into it.

I just wanted to point something out about the Nubian interview. I didn't do the interview, someone else did. I was actually on vacation when the interview went up, which is why the hateful comments were up for more than a day--several of the other bloggers didn't know how to take them down. But they were removed. Also, as far as Nubian wanting the interview to be removed, it's my understanding that Celina (who was the interviewer) had email correspondence with Nubian and all of that was cleared up.

I'm sorry you won't be coming back to the site, because I always enjoyed your comments.

Elayne said...

Bint, I don't see Clinton as anti-feminist at all. A horndog, sure, and someone who obviously cheated on his marriage (which is after all a private matter between him and his wife), but his relations with women all seem pretty consensual (and where they're characterized as non-consensual it's inevitably by right-wingers trying to attack him for stuff).

Fenrisulven said...

but his relations with women all seem pretty consensual (and where they're characterized as non-consensual it's inevitably by right-wingers trying to attack him for stuff).

Paula Jones - denied promotion because she would not engage in sodomy with then Governor Clinton.

Kathleen Wiley - campaign volunteer who had breasts groped when interviewing with Clinton for a paying job.

Monica Lewinksy - intern rewarded with interviews at UN and Revlon after engaging in sodomy with Clinton.

All The Other Women - passed over for promotion or denied interviews simply because they were not asked to spread their legs for Clinton.

Feel free to jump right in Jessica. Tell us about the pattern/history of sexual abuse in the workplace by sexual predators. You know the profile, and you admit you are tired of talking about your breasts....

(and where they're characterized as non-consensual it's inevitably by right-wingers trying to attack him for stuff).

All of these women were Democrats.

The Fox Bill Clinton said...

Hell yea they were pretty consensual, I dont rape women unless they ask for it! Geez!!!!

McCoy said...

The problem with the charges of hypocrisy that you and a number of other bloggers have levied against the young lady in the picture is that they are premised on the notion that Jessica agrees with your claim that Bill Clinton is "a man who used his position of power to sexually harass women--women that looked just like her". You're certainly welcome to your opinion on Clinton's character, but to project that opinion onto others as the basis of a claim of hypocrisy is just plain disingenuous.

Blackamazon said...

Bint I hope you'll allow me to make this comment before I dash off to work and it's fine if you don't but I had to comment about it her even though I plan to blog myself about it.

Elayne the president scooped up an intern who was his junior. That's a HUGE power imbalance and consensual or no it was disgusting to watch how he charachterized her as "that woman" rather than a person. I also resent the idea that you link Bint to the right wing because she doesn't embrace the idea that he's just a horndog. He was antifeminist when he screwed women rasing their kids, he was anti feminist when he laid ground work for screwing female students , it was not and has never been about JUST the blowjob in the Oval.

Jessica

I'm BLackamazon. I was called stupid, trolled , had my intelligence insulted and was generally disrespected when I went to your site. So did many others. If Celina and Nubian cleared it up I haven't heard of it but I don't believe you to be a liar.

Where was the feminist solidarity in the responses?

" I hope there are no hard feelings"

Where is the feminist solidarity in responding to not just the personal insult to YOU but the racist/sexist/hierarchial insults from someone you were proud enough to break bread with. Where is the FDL is out of line? AnnAlthouse is getting her ass handed to her all over the blogosphere and rightfully so lady's an idiot using someones feminity against them becaus eof their political beliefs , and no you haven't answered why you're tag on Dr LAura ( a woman I turly despise ) is different?

Not the " I know Peter" he didn't "mean to" post that basically linked to the words of other people but a substansive um why is everyone white . I had a role in this and I admit to the privilige I was afforded and used . OR even a " oh wow we didn't really think of it"

Is it coming? IF it is would it have happened if no one went " I see WHITE people!" and yes it matters that as a visual no one can ascertain who is and is not white or gay. If we had a immigrant conference and everyone looked like me the fact that I happen to be asian as well does shit for a shoeshine.

And at this point so does I'm sorry. Because it's now about you and how you feel or what he MEANT and how "we" need to work. Yeah "we" always need to work when the heavy lifting happens. Maybe I'm out of line but I have way to much experience with what that arangement actually looks like.

Bint Alshamsa said...

Jessica,

Look, Feministing is your website, so no matter what happens, you are ultimately responsible for what goes on at that site. The hateful comments were NOT removed. They remain on the site, underneath Nubian's interview, to this very day.

Unless and until Feministing becomes a safe space for feminists of all ethnicities, I and a whole bunch of other folks will continue to stay away. By allowing all that goes on at Feministing when it comes to women of color speaking up, you condone the hatred targeted at us. I don't know any other way to say it.

When you folks at Feministing start truly supporting women like me, then maybe there will be some reason for us to support you and your causes. It's as simple as that. Simply calling your website feminist isn't enough.

Bint Alshamsa said...

Elayne, I don't know if you know this or not but I come from a very right-wing family and I know in my circle the disgust for Clinton's actions had nothing to do with his party affiliation. It really was/is because his behavior towards women was horrible. Sure, he's charismatic but, as far as I'm concerned, that just isn't enough for him to warrant getting a free pass.

(This isn't to you specifically Elayne, but it's something I wanted to say about this too.)

I wish that people would give up this myth about black people loving Clinton. Sure, some love Clinton but not all of us did/do. Some of the worst policies in effect right now were put into place by him.

I'll never forget that when I was sick and hospitalized, the hospital patient liaison tried to apply to Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) so that my parents could get some assistance taking care of my daughter while I was too ill to work. It didn't work out though. The reason why? TANF has work requirements built in as a part of giving you any aid. However, they didn't make exceptions for disabilities. Therefore, the only way I could get aid was if I was able to get up and work but if I could get up off the hospital bed and work, then I wouldn't need to apply for aid.

The morons who created the so-called "Welfare Reform Act" were in such a hurry to put it out so that they could look good with the "fiscal conservatives" crowd that they didn't even care about what it would do to families like mine. The only thing that saved us is that my parents made enough money to be able to cover the financial costs of taking care of me and my daughter until I got better. If I had come from a poorer family, I would have been out of luck and out of time.

Bint Alshamsa said...

Fenrisulvan, thank you so much for taking the time to pull out the details about Clinton's treatment of women. I see nothing consensual about abusing your position of power to sexually harrass women.

Bint Alshamsa said...

McCoy,

I'm just one person. I am not a representative for all women, all black people, all people with disabilities. So, if you want to address what I said then do so.

My premise does not depend on what Jessica thinks. You don't have to believe you're a hypocrite in order to be one. What if I said, "What was done to black people in this country for the first few hundred years is inexcusable but enslaving Chinese people isn't that bad of an idea. I don't see anything wrong with it because it puts a lot of those people to work who would otherwise be unemployed"? Would my statement be any less hypocritical simply because I believed in what I'm saying?

Furthermore, the point about Clinton being a man who abused his position by sexually harrassing women doesn't constitute the basis of my claim regarding Jessica's hypocrisy. The fact that she sees something wrong with people focusing on how her body parts looked in a photo while featuring a post on her website that's all about another woman's nude photographs is what makes her a hypocrite.

Please understand the concept of premises before you make another attempt to tell me what mine was.

Bint Alshamsa said...

BlackAmazon,

You definitely aren't out of line. It's absolutely shameful how the bloggers who attended this event have responded to the very problematic aspects of it. They are showing us how they feel about us in no uncertain terms. I'm okay with that because I can do the same but these people are seriously deluded if they believe that folks like me are going to support them and just take their word for it that they'll get around to showing solidarity with us at some unknown point in the future.

delux said...

Unless and until Feministing becomes a safe space for feminists of all ethnicities, I and a whole bunch of other folks will continue to stay away. By allowing all that goes on at Feministing when it comes to women of color speaking up, you condone the hatred targeted at us. I don't know any other way to say it.

Cosigned. What happened to Nubian was my introduction to that blog and I refuse to participate.

McCoy said...

Bint,

My observation regarding the similarities between arguments that others have made and what you are advancing doesn't hold you responsible for anything but your own words. The attempt to frame my comment as holding you as a representative for all women, all blacks, etc… is a pretty transparent attempt well-poisoning, and certainly not indicative of intellectual honesty.

You've called Jessica a hypocrite, which Websters defines as 1) a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion, and 2) a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings. The problem with your argument is that it is premised on your opinion of Bill Clinton. Jessica's actions are only contradiction to her beliefs and feelings if one agrees with your (at best, arguable) opinion.

What if I advanced the argument that anyone who poses for photographs with any member of the Republican Party and claims to be in support of civil rights is a hypocrite? Would that make the the problematic assumption inherent to your argument any more clear?

Please make an effort to understand the construction of your own argument and the basic tenets of logic before again attempting to defend such a shoddy reasoning.

Bint Alshamsa said...

McCoy,

Nice try but no cigar. This comment

The problem with the charges of hypocrisy that you and a number of other bloggers have levied against the young lady in the picture is that they are premised on the notion that Jessica agrees with your claim that Bill Clinton is "a man who used...

shows that you did try to make me the representative for the unnamed "number of bloggers" who you assert share this strawman argument you created. Furthermore, I'd have had to claim that because you go on to make more erroneous assumptions, any future assertion you made would be automatically invalidated. Can you show where I did that? Please, take your time. I've got all day. If you can't, then be sure I will call you on it.

The problem with your argument is that it is premised on your opinion of Bill Clinton

Let me repeat it again for you since you must have missed it the first and second time I said it.

The fact that she sees something wrong with people focusing on how her body parts looked in a photo while featuring a post on her website that's all about another woman's nude photographs is what makes her a hypocrite.

Since you keep referring to what you believe to be my opinion of Clinton, perhaps I should explain that part to you again too.

The part of my post about Clinton's behavior relates to whether or not we should see Jessica's presence as showing solidarity with women.

Jessica's actions are only contradiction to her beliefs and feelings if one agrees with your (at best, arguable) opinion.

Wrong. Jessica's actions are a contradiction to her beliefs because she saw it as wrong for people to discuss her breasts in the same way that she saw it as okay to do with Schlessinger on her Feministing site.

What if I advanced the argument that anyone who poses for photographs with any member of the Republican Party and claims to be in support of civil rights is a hypocrite? Would that make the the problematic assumption inherent to your argument any more clear?

Only if your argument wasn't a strawman in the first place, which it is, as I've shown.

Please make an effort to understand the construction of your own argument and the basic tenets of logic before again attempting to defend such a shoddy reasoning.

Since you've shown that you weren't even able to understand the premises of my arguments, I'd suggest you start with those basics so that you'll be able to comprehend the tenets of logic well enough to know whether someone's reasoning is shoddy.

Thank you! Come again!

Bint Alshamsa said...

Clarification:

"You go on to make" should read "you may go on to make"

McCoy said...

" This comment… shows that you did try to make me the representative for the unnamed "number of bloggers" who you assert share this strawman argument you created."

No, it's a descriptive observation of similarity, and I think that objective readers will see your attempts to frame it otherwise (as I said above) as indicative of intellectual honesty.

" Furthermore, I'd have had to claim that because you go on to make more erroneous assumptions, any future assertion you made would be automatically invalidated."

Ad hominem. Keep racking up that fallacy score.

" Can you show where I did that?"

I most certainly can. Scroll up to your original post. Stop when you get to the part where you wrote " The part I don't understand is this: Who did Jessica think she was aligning herself with when she decided to be a part of this picture? If she truly believes that a woman deserves to be seen as more than a collection of sexually-appealing body parts, then why would she choose to associate herself with Clinton of all people? It just doesn't make sense."

" Let me repeat it again for you since you must have missed it…"

Speaking of strawmen, that clearly isn't what's being criticized.

" The part of my post about Clinton's behavior relates to whether or not we should see Jessica's presence as showing solidarity with women."

Um, I thought you weren't speaking on behalf of all women? While you're removing your foot from your mouth (and drafting your apology), you might consider that the notion that 'Jessica's presence' isn't reflective of solidarity with women again hinges on the premise that 'women' as a collective share your opinion of Clinton. Rephrase it any way you wish, you're still including the same problematic (and frankly, arrogant) assumption as a premise in your argument.

" Jessica's actions are a contradiction to her beliefs because she saw it as wrong for people to discuss her breasts in the same way that she saw it as okay to do with Schlessinger on her Feministing site."

That's a different argument than the one that's being criticized, and I think that both you and your readers are intelligent enough to understand that.

" Only if your argument wasn't a strawman in the first place, which it is, as I've shown."

All that you've shown is because your original post contained multiple arguments, you think you can deflect criticism from one by bringing up another.

" Since you've shown that you weren't even able to understand the premises of my arguments, I'd suggest you start with those basics so that you'll be able to comprehend the tenets of logic well enough to know whether someone's reasoning is shoddy."

Since you've shown that you're not willing to take responsibility for the arguments that you've made, and that you have enough disrespect for your readers that you think they'll swallow the attempts you've made to distract from the obvious problems in your reasoning, perhaps you might be better off owning up to the error (or perhaps, censoring my posts) than dragging this out.

Thank you, and come again!

Bint Alshamsa said...

McCoy,

No, it's a descriptive observation of similarity, and I think that objective readers will see your attempts to frame it otherwise (as I said above) as indicative of intellectual honesty.

You didn't explain how what you think you observed actually existed. Instead you asserted that I made an argument that I never made. That's what made it a strawman.

Ad hominem. Keep racking up that fallacy score.

Still having those comprehension problems, hunh McCoy? While you were attempting to find a fallacy where none existed, you failed to notice that what you're calling ad hominem was me explaining to you what "poisoning the well" means. So, here it is again for you:

Furthermore, I'd have had to claim that because you go on to make more erroneous assumptions, any future assertion you made would be automatically invalidated.

As familiar as you seem to want to be with logical fallacies, how did you fail to recognize that as the second part of the prerequisites that I'd have had to fulfill in order for you to be correct about your "poisoning the well" claim.

Speaking of strawmen, that clearly isn't what's being criticized.

Take a look at the first paragraph of the post, McCoy. Can you understand what it's about? Where is this mysterious claim I made that being around Clinton is what made Jessica a hypocrite? You're conflating two separate topics covered in my post. You do realize that, right?

Um, I thought you weren't speaking on behalf of all women?

Is there some logical reason why you assumed that I was attempting to speak on behalf of all women when I used the word "we"? Do you care to show where I made that assertion?

While you're removing your foot from your mouth (and drafting your apology)

I'll be glad to apologize as soon as there is someone I feel I've wronged. You don't fit that description but if you find somebody that does, feel free to let me know.

you might consider that the notion that 'Jessica's presence' isn't reflective of solidarity with women again hinges on the premise that 'women' as a collective share your opinion of Clinton.

Here's where you're confused again: If you actually comprehended what my post said, you'd have noticed that it was about whether or not Jessica was showing solidarity with women of color. Did you get that? "Whether or not" means that it's a possibility. Can you tell the difference between "whether or not" (what I actually said) and "isn't" (the strawman argument you've created in order to try and shoot down)? As it is the case that the two terms are different, please show how the one I actually made is the premise to the argument you say I'm making.

Rephrase it any way you wish, you're still including the same problematic (and frankly, arrogant) assumption as a premise in your argument.

And what argument would that be, McCoy? Please, feel free to show that you've finally figured out that there are two issues being disccussed in my post. By the way, that "arrogant" strikes me as extremely funny. Thanks for the laugh!

That's a different argument than the one that's being criticized, and I think that both you and your readers are intelligent enough to understand that.

Uh, no. The action that was being criticized as being hypocritical was--let me say it for you a fourth time--was this:

The fact that she sees something wrong with people focusing on how her body parts looked in a photo while featuring a post on her website that's all about another woman's nude photographs is what makes her a hypocrite.

Here it is a fifth time taken straight from my post, where you obviously missed it:

Now, can someone please explain to me how Jessica could have a post on her site talking about how a woman posed nude in some photographs and still have some justifiable complaint about people discussing her breasts? Am I the only one who noticed that the link on that post is to another post entitled "Somebody Slap this Slut"?

Given all of this, I see her gripe regarding a discussion about her breasts to be quite hypocritical. If Ann's post was as "un-feminist" as Jessica seems to think, then what should we think of what's on her website? How can someone with a blog featuring a discussion about how a woman's nude photos showed her "open wide" really have room to complain about this post?


All that you've shown is because your original post contained multiple arguments, you think you can deflect criticism from one by bringing up another.

Wrong again. My post contained multiple topics that you have conflated by trying to use my statements about one as the supposed premise of my argument for the other topic. By all means, do feel free to criticize one or both of these topics but if you're going to do so logically, you'll have to find a way to stop getting them confused.

Since you've shown that you're not willing to take responsibility for the arguments that you've made, and that you have enough disrespect for your readers that you think they'll swallow the attempts you've made to distract from the obvious problems in your reasoning, perhaps you might be better off owning up to the error (or perhaps, censoring my posts) than dragging this out.

I stand by absolutely every statement I've made here. So far, you've been the only person who has had trouble telling the difference between two different issues. Feel free to keep trying to point out my errors. Why would I want to censor your posts when they are so much fun to tear apart?

By the way, I'm always here. So it's you who will have to come again, in more ways than one.

Anonymous said...

Bint,

Thanks for keeping it honest. In a complete unsurprise, black bloggers (including myself) are complaining that their comments have been removed or "banned" from sites like www.mahablog.com et al (but her hate-spewing constituents comments are still there, how curious!)because they don't agree with the "white progressive liberal" argument as to why it's OK to throw a blog party in HARLEM devoid of black people. Any dissent or questioning is dismissed as petty--and in fact maha went so far as to call both of us racists! For calling her and the other bloggers on their hypocrisy.

Maha and people like her should really look up the meaning of the word once they have the gall to weed her way through the thickets of her own entrenched racism. But Maha herself is a clueless joke. She and Jessica et. al are symptomatic of the large issue. These so-called lefties smell a lot like the right.

When blacks are out of step with self-righteous white "liberal" ambition, censorship is alive and well in liberal circles.

Some of the most racist and nasty comments re: this Harlem luncheon that I have read were penned by these so-called liberal bloggers on Maha's site. Hmmm....

Nothing new here, ain't a damn thing changed, but it's still a shame.

However, I thank you for giving EVERYONE (including those who don't agree with you) a voice.

True democracy at its finest.

Jennell

Bint Alshamsa said...

Hello Jennell,

I was sure I'd be banned as soon as I pointed out foolishness of her claim that I hate her because she is a "White Person" and I don't see "White Persons" as human beings. I guess she figured it would be easy to lob that claim at me since I'd already identified myself as black. What she didn't count on, it seems, is finding out that along with being Black, I'm also Irish. So unless I was under the belief that my beloved only child VanGoghGirl (whose paternal family is Italian which means she's technically even "whiter" than me), my partner of six years The German, and both of my parents aren't human beings, then her claim had just indicted her as the racist.

I knew that fact had taken the wind out of her sails because she didn't have a single thing to say that day. She never did acknowledge how racist that assumption was. Instead, she simply says that she's so careful with her actions that she somehow (magically, I suppose) manages not to hurt anyone.

Personally, I'm proud to have been banned if that is what it took in order for the other people of color who spoke out to know that there's one more person looking in on this whole affair and seeing the same thing they noticed.

Anyway, so far, I have been able to post every single comment to this blog that has ever been submitted. Only once have I had to alter one and that was so that the person couldn't provide links that weren't in keeping with the rather basic standards I have here. I know that I'll probably get a comment that simply can't be posted on my site (since I want it to be a safe-space for people of color and people with disabilities). In cases where I don't agree with the person, I'd rather tell them why I disagree so that someone else who visits that might take the same position can know how I'd respond.

I hope you'll come back again. I'm so happy to have been able to meet so many great people as a result of this awful affair.

McCoy said...

Let us count the logical blunders thus far, shall we?

1) Your above “I’m just one person...” is a transparent attempt to poison the well. While I did observe a similarity in arguments, I never attempted to hold you accountable for anything but your own words.

2) I’ve been quite clear what part of your argument that my criticism is directed at, but you have repeatedly attempted to distract from this criticism by directing attention to a completely different part of your argument. Strawman.

3)You claimed (and then rephrased your claim) that because I made (or may in the future make) erroneous assumptions, any further assertion that I’d make is invalidated. Ad hominem.

4) You’ve admitted that you’re calling into question whether or not Jessica’s posing with Clinton reflects “solidarity with women” while ignoring that such an argument 1) inherently involves transposing your opinion about Clinton as the opinion of “women” as a whole (inconsistent with your “I’m just one person...” routine), and 2) premises your criticism of Jessica on your opinion of Clinton.

5) In your original post, you said “I wonder if Jessica was able to hear the sound of solidarity amongst women going down the drain while she was busy taking that photo with Clinton?”, which is a far cry from the dishonest ‘I was simply asking whether or not her actions reflected solidarity’ bit of dissembling that you’re currently engaged in. And if you think that you can gloss over the rather obvious implication of claiming that a self-described feminist has acted in such a manner that doesn’t reflect solidarity with women in a post you’ve entitled “Hypocrites abound”, you’re not giving the readers of your blog due credit.

You jumped on the band wagon and levied unwarrented criticism at another blogger when her actions didn’t reflect your opinion of a past president. The intellectually honest thing to do would be to apologize or, in the very least, admit to the error. Unfortunately, given the comments that you’ve made thus far, it’s pretty clear what the chances of that occuring are. I wonder... can you hear the sound of your credibility going down the drain?

Bint Alshamsa said...

Oh goodie! I'm glad to see you back again McCoy. Well, let me call you out on your comprehension errors again

1.The statement you referred to does not meet the definition of the poisoning the well fallacy. Do you need me to point you to a place where you can see what this fallacy looks like? Apparently so. Here it is:

Definition of the "poisoning the well" fallacy

2. No, you have not been quite clear aboutt this because you have yet to produce even one post where you haven't conflated my premises for two separate topics. Furthermore, even if I did what you are claiming here, it wouldn't be a strawman fallacy. This is what a strawman fallacy looks like:

Definition of the "strawman" fallacy

Notice this definition effectively describes what you have continued to do here by claiming that I think Jessica is a hypocrite because she posed for some photo even though you never were able to show where I said that. If it's right there in my post, why can't you point it out?

3.No, I explained what the definition of the "poisoning the well" fallacy is since you mistakenly claimed to have seen this here. Telling you what the true definition of the term meant is not an ad hominem argument. Here's an explanation of the ad hominem argument:

Definition of an ad hominem argument

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you were unable to recognize the form of that fallacy since you've gone on to show here that you don't even know how to recognize the "well-poisoning" fallacy or the "strawman" argument. The latter was actually attempted by you when you tried to create a fictitious premise for my statements about hypocrisy. Nothing I wrote about or to you fits the definition of an ad hominem argument.

4.Wrong again. I'm not ignoring this argument that you're making. I'm rejecting it as incorrect and illogical. Ignoring it would mean refusing to discuss it and I have done so in every post I've written to you so far. By the way, you might not have noticed but the third response in this comments section (the one from Fenrisulven) will help you out if you ever want to figure out why this claim that I'm only stating my opinion when I mention Clinton's behavior towards women is incorrect.

5.If it's dishonest, then please point out where I asserted that Jessica that her actions prove she doesn't exhibit solidarity with women. Really, at some point you should figure out the difference between raising questions and providing assertions. As far as giving the readers of my blog due credit, you are wrong. Au contraire, I am very pleased to see that of all the people who have commented here, only one has had any trouble understanding what was written.

6.You may not think my criticism of Jessica was warranted but I disagree. Fortunately, I have no reason to adopt your rather muddled standards and pseudo-definitions. Likewise, you are putting the cart before the horse by claiming I should apologize without providing any reason why I should. Has Jessica taken that Schlessinger post with the "Somebody Slap This Slut" link off of her page? Nope. Ergo, the hypocrisy is still present for all who wander onto her site to see. I wonder though, do you see anything wrong with discussing how some woman's legs were positioned in nude pictures as reflective of feminist values?

I wonder... can you hear the sound of your credibility going down the drain?

Nope. All I hear is the deafening silence coming from Jessica after being asked why she has nothing to say about what these issues.

Bint Alshamsa said...

"do you see anything wrong with discussing how some woman's legs were positioned in nude pictures as reflective of feminist values?" should read

"do you see anything wrong with discussing how some woman's legs were positioned in nude pictures of her and do you see that as reflective of feminist values?"

I think I somehow deleted a portion of that question as a result of the difficulty involved with basically using one hand to write most of these messages.

sunrunner said...

I found Barbara's reactions to your's and Jenell's comments at mahablog just horrifying. I can't put it any other way.

But I was not surprised. She had used almost identical arguments against me when I tried (very politely, I thought) to take issue of her defense of Jane Hamsher over the Joe-in-blackface nastiness.

She keeps bringing up the idea that one does not have to be a racial/ethnic minority to experience pain. (talk about a strawman argument!) Several times in her comments she brings up marital abuse, childhood sexual abuse and depression as examples. Which leads one to wonder whether these are not very personal issues for her. And if they are, one can only sympathize, but the fallacy of her argument seems to be that since she has suffered, then others who have suffered don't deserve any kind of "special" sympathy. In other words, she seems wholly unable to empathize with pain that is not her own (a classic Alice Miller situation).

And for that I am sorry. As a woman who has experienced all of what she describes above, I will say unequivocally that it is like comparing a cat to a dog. Yes, both are small mammals and pets to humans, but the experience of a cat is that of a cat, while a dog lives the life of a dog. By which personal pain, as devastating as it is, is personal. Institutionalized socially inflicted pain is another matter.

Said differently, as a white woman, I have the ability to mask my experiences: know one knows about them except as I choose to reveal to or share them with others. I have the privilege of expecting and usually recieving a certain level of "respect." Demanding it, even. As the mother of a daughter of a POC, I know that whenever she walks out the front door into the world, she doesn't not have the choices or options I do.

All this to say, I am in awe of your tenacity and courage regarding this issue, and I am very glad to have discovered your blog!

XicanoPwr said...

Bint

This is the second time I got the previlage to see you crush another crush another person the felt they needed to school you on fallacies. The first time was on the non-existing site by Poor Boy, I think back in July/August.

It was fun to watch back then and it was thrilling to see it done again now. I am hoping I am not speaking too soon, but it seems McCoy has given up.

Damn your good.

belledame222 said...

cringe. WADR, Bint, i...yeah. I get why one would be still very angry about what happened over at FEministing wrt nubian, and why one wouldn't want to go there again until that is sufficiently addressed. And I'm right there with you wrt the crap you cover in the post below (the REAL problem with that luncheon, the awfulness put forth by T Rex and others, and sheer maddeningness of the "don't, won't get it"...)

but, and sure, there are enough other people defending Jessica here that it's not like you can't be dissenting, I guess just personally, I see something like "I'd rather go to Ann Althouse than Feministing," and go, REALLY? I mean, have you SEEN this woman's site? It's...pretty vile. -She's- pretty vile.

Hyperbolic maybe, angry, sure. But for me, this isn't about Clinton or even talkin' smack about another woman, especially, per se: this, the Ann-Jessica part, was about bullying. Gross, hideous, completely uncalled for bullying. And it makes me uncomfortable to read stuff that essentially (as I read it) boils down to "serves her right;" because, much as she or the site may fall down in other respects--yeah, bullying (among other things, racism, yes) was happening in the nubian thread(s), and no, mods didn't handle it well--I don't think that answers here. Yeah, she'll get by, will Jessica; and yeah, I get that one would have some serious hard feelings about the whole business.

I just want to say: Bint, to me, your voice -matters.- A lot. And I hear what you're saying about Clinton; and I think both that you should've been invited to that or an equally high-profile event and that I believe you, unlike the likes of Althouse, would indeed have had the integrity to refuse if that's how you truly felt. As I've said here and there around the blogosphere: I think you're one of the finest, most perceptive voices writing out there right now, and I think you're right-on about, well, most everything.

Which is why, after some hesitation, I decided to go ahead and post this. Because truthfully, like I say: Jessica's got plenty of people rallying to her side, and no, you don't have to come around and see it my/their way, you've got your reasons. Clearly.

Just, I guess, expressing some dismay, here.

I'll get over it, I expect.

belledame222 said...

btw, I'm gonna be posting about this myself shortly, I think, but there are multiple rich layers of irony in this whole business, particularly if you care to put on your hip-high boots and go wading into the comments at Althouse (all, what is it by now FOUR threads, FIVE? on Jessica and her Breasts O' Doom), Instapundit, Dr. Helen, and the rest of them. Not suggesting one actually -do- this unless one has the urge to gouge one's eyeballs out with a spork (they're a bitch to put back, let me tell you), but: yeah, I gotta say, vile as such thinly papered-over sexist, racist bullshit the likes of which one sees from the loosely-defined left is, it can be well kind of bracing to see it without even the benefit of -that- layer of wet paper, sometimes. "Whore, dumb slut, i'd like to spray my semen all over those tits," you know.

...but also, what i was gonna say, there is a certain...undervibe to the whole "oh, she was INAPPROPRIATE" business--you know, just her overall physical presentation. I was thinking it was class, and it is that (what was BA's phrase? pearl-clutchers, I use that a lot. for fuckssake, whatever else about Clinton, he's not exactly ever been one to insist on formality in his presence, and quite right, too); but, well, something.

or, as one of the commenters put it in one of those threads,

"She has that wholesome, semi-ethnic look."

(with the strong suggestion that of course she's not "wholesome" AT ALL in the rest of the post; you know, all those shots of her with her...breasts, and so forth; but apparently one cannot criticize her because of this "wholesome, semi-ethnic," yadda, and I'm all, ahhhh.

oh, and later, shortly before Althouse deleted my last four posts and closed yet another comment thread--gee, was it something -I- said?--another poster suggested I "have another bagel."

yeah, it's a fine fine place).

Coati said...

Bint,

First of all, an apology - my comment to you on Feministing cited you as 'Bin'. My bad, and I am sorry.

However, my original questions to you that I asked on Feministing stand. The link you have referred to on Jessica's site concerns the comments made by Dr. Laura that women should dress and behave virginal and chaste. Quite rightly, Feministing pointed out that Dr. Laura is a hypocrite to say this as she has posed nude before. I did not see Jessica or anyone faulting Schlessinger for the pictures, but rather for re-inforcing the 'modest girl' stereotype while not choosing to live it herself.

I ask again, is it hypocrisy to point out a hypocrite?

Also, I admit that I unfortunately do not have time right now to fully delve into this fine blog. (Although I plan to revisit it tonight when I have more leisure to read more of the threads...) I'm sure in one of the many threads you have here there are suggestions concerning what Jessica and others at the Clinton lunch should have done when faced with the non-representation of minorities. (I was hoping they'd be in this thread....) I would very much like to know your opinion on this.

Thanks,

Coati

Coati said...

Concerning the nubian interview on Feministing:

2. leaving this interview (along with the despicable comments) on her site

You know, seeing as how I just started reading Feministing, I took a look back and tried to read through the thread in question. I agree, it sounds like there were some pretty awful things said. But it looks as though those posts were rightfully deleted - that thread is like swiss cheese.

What it looks like to me is that the editors of Feministing left the interview with Nubian up (rightly I think, as long as she was okay with it - it was a great interview,) and removed the offending comments. Was this not the correct way to resolve the situation?

I've read several times in your comments over the last couple days that Feministing still has this interview, and the racist comments that followed, posted. Maybe it bears a second look?.... *shrugs*

Bint Alshamsa said...

BelleDame222, I value your opinion so I read through what you wrote slowly for a few times before I started this response.

Yeah, you're right. I'm angry and I know it's really showing in what I've written. I did look through Althouse's site and, as you aren't unfamiliar with my stance on a lot of things, I'm not surprised that you'd ask if I'd really seen it. Yeah, I definitely don't agree with a lot of what she says. I think I should have explained why I made that comment about rathering to go to Althouse than Feministing. I didn't do it then, so I'll do it now.

The reason why I said I'd visit Althouse regularly before I started doing the same at Feministing again is because I don't have the history with Althouse as I do with Feministing. I'll give just about anyone a chance to show me what kind of person they want to be from the point where I became introduced to them.

Belledame, if I had started my blog just one year or so earlier than I did, you'd have seen some pretty awful stuff on there. The majority of my life has been spent as a religious-right conservative. It wasn't until I happened upon a blogger (that I disagreed with on the issue of sex and people with disabilities) that I even began to try to be anything other than homophobic, unashamedly sexist, religiously dogmatic and a whole lot of other things that would have probably made someone like you not even want to speak to me voluntarily. I can't even say why talking to that one person changed my views; Maybe it was just the right time in my life.

So, I think all of that has a lot to do with why I'll try to make a case for what I believe to be fair treatment to anyone, despite how odious I find their prior conduct or beliefs. If I see that it all falls on deaf ears, then I'll find somewhere and someone else to interact with.

When I started visiting Feministing I saw A LOT that turned me off from them but I gave it a shot anyway. Once I started feeling like they weren't even moving in a direction that I could in good conscience agree with, then I stopped using up so much of my time picking through the distasteful stuff just to find a few things that I liked. That's the approach I tend to take with any new blog I come across that interests me a bit so--at the time when I wrote it--I felt more likely to visit there than feministing.

However, as I'm attempting to look at my own behavior in this honestly, I'm beginning to think that the real reason I said that about preferring Althouse to Feministing is because I was feeling very hurt. Despite how much I've wanted to and planned to write them off altogether, in my heart, I felt like the issues I had with Feministing mostly stemmed from the policies there and not the people who wrote for it. This Clinton-meeting situation was different though because I truly didn't like the way the they handled it.

Even when I was a conservative, I despised Laura Schlessinger. Though I had been raised with almost every crazy fundamentalist idea that one can be taught, I was also taught that showing compassion for others was not optional. It's because I hated the way she felt free to belittle people for engaging in perfectly understandable behavior that I really felt sick to the stomach when I saw that piece about her on Feministing when I went to go and see if Jessica had said anything about this Clinton event. I was tempted to say something about how awful I thought it was but I didn't because I really didn't see it going any differently than the other conversations I'd participated in at Feministing, so I bit my tongue and tried to forget I even saw it. Then I get to Althouse's post and I see the same sort of foolishness, except that this one featured the chief editor of Feministing saying that she basically felt it was wrong to talk about her that way. Instead of taking a few days to cool off before I said anything, I fired up a message right then and I cross-posted it on my own blog.

Looking at it now, I can admit that it was written in anger because I felt like it was now impossible for me to just pretend to myself that the issues I had with feministing were restricted to just the decisions and not also the decision-makers. I was angry because I felt like they'd let me down even more than I wanted to believe they were capable of. But I know I'm a jerk, so maybe most folks would see no reason to care how I felt. However, it infuriated me to see so many people of color that I love and admire expressing real pain as a result of how the lack of diversity issue was handled and none of these attendees found that to be more significant than a conversation about breasts and three-quarter poses.

So, I just didn't see any point in doing the "Nice Negro" routine because it seems like the only time some white people will take a person of color seriously is when they think they have an "Unstable Negro" on their hands. And what do you know, even though the folks at feministing remained missing in action when all of the calm people were talking and making posts like the first two I made on this issue, it wasn't until I took the gloves off that suddenly someone, Jessica, feels the urge to say something.

To tell you the truth, I don't even know how to feel about that. I'm just even more frustrated than before because it seems like this is what it takes to get through to people like those at Feministing who I really wanted to believe were "good underneath it all".

I'm rambling right now but I just wanted to get it all out because I am sick of holding things in for people who haven't shown they'd ever do the same to spare my feelings.

Bint Alshamsa said...

Okay, I must stop laughing in order to write this message. McCoy just sent a message to my moderation box that starts out like this:

(Note: This is now the third time that I've submitted these comments for posting. I understand the responsibility that bloggers have to moderate their comments sections to prevent inappropriate namecalling, etc. That said, I don't think that mere criticism of your original post amounts to that. If this sort of censoring continues to occur, I have no problem submitting the following comments to a number of much higher profile blogs, along with a complaint about censorship on your site. One of the things that reflects integrity on the part of a blogger is the willingness to have the things that they post scrutinized and critiqued.

My first inclination was to post his message as I have done with all the others I've received. As for why I am just seeing his post this morning, only the blog gods could say. I can say this though:

if you have a site on blogger and you're using their moderation feature, don't rely on the site to send all of the messages through to your e-mail address even though, in theory, it's supposed to. I used to do that until I happened to accidently click on the "Moderate Comments" tab when I was trying to edit a post. It turned out that I had some almost-ancient messages there that I had never seen in my e-mail in-box.

Anyway, I should get back to the McCoy topic now. So yeah, I definitely have been enjoying having the opportunity to dust off my old propositional logic skills. I'm actually hoping that he'll keep leaving messages here because I like watching him attempt to backpedal across the thread. However, I do think that I'd be doing him a great disservice if I were to act in a way that might make him feel disinclined to follow through on the threat he made here. After all, what's the point in making a threat if you never get the opportunity to make good on it. Besides, if he does do what he says he will unless I adopt his standard for what should be found acceptable on my site, at the very least, it will keep this issue alive on even more blogs than just mine. Now that's just too tempting an offer for me to refuse, especially since I don't care one whit whether people on some unnamed "higher profile blogs" disapprove of how I decide what will and won't be allowed at My Private Casbah.

So, it seems that luck has shined on me (and this topic) today. It sure is good to be Irish sometimes!

McCoy:

if you happen to read this, I'd like to offer you my sincere thanks. I hope it sparks a lot of interest in what has been a largely ignored topic. Maybe once things start to die down on whatever blog you post your message on, I'll be able to come back and put it up on my blog so that the topic can keep getting talked about even after people at another site are getting close to stop talking about it.

By the way, is there any way that you could drop me another note after you finish your threat follow-through? It will help me guage when I should go back to responding to you here. Thanks for taking one for the team, buddy!

McCoy said...

Ironically, what you edited out of my comment..

"In fact, you've posted complaints of your own of being censored for providing what you felt was legitimate criticism. Perhaps you should consider what it says about you when you do to others what you've complained about having been done to you"

...illustrates my point much better than the involvement of other forums could ever have. You and I both are aware of what transpired here, the editing efforts to hide the truth, and what that says about the people involved.

I've no problem looking at myself in the mirror and seeing the reflection of someone who has attempted, via the democratic principle of free speech, bring social awareness to a topic I feel passionate about. I think we also both know who isn't able to say the same.

belledame222 said...

I hear you, Bint.

I'm just winding up a long and sort of winding post about my thoughts on all of this stuff--racist soup to class nuts and how "sluts" factor in all of it; maybe some of it will resonate. Hope so. Anyway I'm linking to you here at the end wrt your take on the "local Harlem cuisine." It...well, yeah, you'll see. Lots and lots of stuff to unpack, it turns out.

Jennell said...

Hi Bint,

How are you? After the whole dust-up with the Blogging controversy with Clinton's Very White Luncheon in Harlem, I thought censorship was largely alive and well on "higher profile blogs" like www.mahablog.com

(FYI-Maha is only allowing white people who disagree with her to post on her site. The people of color are as she put it, are "badly behaved." But I digress...)

Is the fact that you have been accused on censorship actually going to get you anything but cheers on most of those "high-profile" blogs since all of them engage in it themselves? That is, until they find out your color...

Puleeze. Donnez-moi un break!

I like the fact that you are not afraid to disagree with whomever because you are informed and not wrapped up in your own look-at-me-I-am-so-good-ohm-ohm-nirvana-self-delusion. No defensiveness here , just debate. Refreshing. And that's why I skulk about here :)

If the old adage "people are like water, they find their own level" is, then those higher profile blogs are to be avoided by anyone but the sheeple who frequent them.

Stay on the fringes!

Have a great weekend.

Jennell

belledame222 said...

...wait, wait. Thereal McCoy is threatening to, what, report you? for censorship? am i reading this right?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

...oh, sorry. damn, that's QUALITY trollage.

XicanoPwr said...

I guess I did speak too soon. You must be making a name for yourself in the "higher profile blogs" if McCoy feels to write a whole post all about you. I as a reader outside looking in, I can't help think that this is some sad attempt of McCoy running home to mommy to tell on you on how bad you have been treating her/him.

Blackamazon said...

Bint you said what i feel perfectly. A lot of this is a very strong reminder that when you are cordial and direct and try to be decent people assume youll wait and wait and not notice how easy it is to harm you while they flaunt ( and yeah iI think flaunt is an apprpriate term) their positions over you.

Throw out a couple of motherfuckers a kissmy ass and a DOn't make me take off my earrings and you get attention.

The othersid eof it and while I see your point belle I'm STILL furious is that beyond the slut baiting is the skim over of the fact that hugepower dynamics are in play. Everyone is trying to depower Jessica in some way by slut baiting but what would her depowered state be.....

" boobs"
"semi ethnic"
' Id tap that blah blah "
BA looks down and at her colleagues ( cause this is work) around the blogosphere

So my emotional response and in a lot of ways my intellectual response is

" The travesty is that whens shes slut baited she becomes me and mine"

That's the most horrible thing here. When people kind of glossed over the " betters" and the Hamser and the like the affirm that there IS a power structure and she's been selected so must be defended.

And she asks and receives defense and reams of posts DEFENDING that.

Yet we can't get answers to evenbasic questions about how stuff is handled and when we do it's flipped into the " these folks should know better" or the I CAN CO OPT TOO!

I may be too damaged by stuff but it's getting harder and harder to shake off that

belledame222 said...

No, I hear you. Mostly I'm just saying: wrt -Jessica herself- (whom I don't know and had no particular investment in), timing here might be, you know...well, I just wrote over at Feministing saying that my own personal inclination (which i recognize is no doubt slanted by my own inherent biases) is to cut the woman some slack, at least for now. Which, I don't ask anyone else to agree with me, here. Just: if it were me in a roughly equivalent situation (no, there's never an exact one), at this point i might go: okay, I've said my piece (wrt Jessica herself at least, maybe Feministing as well), and now give her (and myself) some time to process. See what happens next; whether and to what degree she and her co-bloggers take all this on board and act accordingly.

Which doesn't really address the macro situation, of course. not substantially. and yes, it is exasperating to not be heard at all until one is SHOUTING, and even then get treated like the crazy irrational person who needs to be handled with kid gloves, okay okay, just don't let her explode again! i know THAT one. still.

like I said: dunno Jessica really. but based on what little I've been reading from her thus far, my gut says:

back off for now. watch, and wait for the downbeat.

this is my own personal shit talking, here; more and more lately i have been trying to be very very specific about my reactions to/interactions with individuals, important as i know it also is to not forget the bigger systemic picture. this has been true across the boards for me; call it an experiment.

I have also just written a big ol' fuck you to T-Rex on my own site, which, I dunno if he knows me from a hole in the wall, but: godDAM that boy's being an epic fuckwit.

finally i am hearing that you, both BA's here at least, probably others as well, are experiencing all this as cumulative. All the shit around this incident put together; all the other times similar shit is happening; up to and including the recent Violet Socks business.

belledame222 said...

and oh yeah, definitely hear you wrt "well she is Chosen therefore she is SPECIAL" business. esp. from thingie whom i just flamed. gah. it's like: lemon drop, even if it DIDN'T have those astonishingly racist connotations, telling someone else to respect "her betters" is just, well, smell YOU Nancy Drew; we LIKE our little taste of power, don't we? Pity it's as ephemeral as anything else in this world, and possibly more so. well, he'll learn the hard way or no way.

belledame222 said...

btw, Bint, how's your arm?

belledame222 said...

btw, Bint, how's your arm?

belledame222 said...

...just googling about and found this feministing thread; was wondering if you'd seen it? looks to be about a month old. in which MsJane (one of the worst on the nubian thread) flames out at being told by Jessica, among others (politely) to stop telling -them- to not talk about race so much (it's the George Allen thread); takes her marbles, does MsJane, and goes home.

http://feministing.com/archives/005544.html

Bint Alshamsa said...

Darn! I guess McCoy changed his mind. How unfortunate! Well, the offer still stands. If you keep your word and do as you said you'd do, then I'll gladly post your comment afterwards.

belledame222 said...

...if nothing else, that thread is notable for the sheer: my god, that woman (MsJane) has SPRINGS coming out of her head, on top of everything else.

Ravenmn said...

Bint, love your three wonderful posts about this issue. Very well stated.

I've just got to take on McCoy, however. Like you, I find this stuff to be fun:

This seems to be your favorite point, McCoy: that Bint is making an errorneous asumption about Jessica's opinion of Clinton (which McCoy fails to show in any way whatsoever) and therefore Bint's argument that meeting with Clinton is not an act of solidarity with women is erroneous.

Which begs the obvious question, McCoy: How is going to a meeting with Clinton an act of feminist solidarity? How and why does meeting with a male expresident constitute an act of solidarity with women and a boost for feminism?

I don't see how Bint's or Jessica's personal opinions of Clinton change the character of the lily-white meeting Jessica attended.

Nato said...

I suppose over time one gets to know lots of personal information about our online interlocutors, but I shocked me to have so much discussion of various peoples' race when it (at first) didn't seem germane to the topic. Then to find out that the meeting or whatever it was occurred in Harlem rather than in, say, North Dakota was fairly shocking as well. It's all a surreal, discouraging experience. Is this really the best we can do? I'm ashamed.