On the correction and improvement of people you meet on the internet

by Grania Spingies

Elizabeth Warren tweeted about the latest Scandal Du Jour involving Donald Trump. (Don’t worry, this post is not about him or what he may or may not have meant – I personally think you would need a Ouija board to divine the true meaning and intent of his words).

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I was entertained to see male Democrat “feminists” telling Warren off for her misogyny.

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[JAC: See how lightly “misogyny”, which means “hatred of women”, is thrown around these days? Warren is certainly no misogynist!]

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Who knew that there were so many brave individuals out there, calling out dog-whistle everyday sexism of Senator Warren on the internet?

And, yes I considered that some of them were being facetious. But of them went on to elaborate at length, making it clear that they were absolutely serious. They have been told that it is Good to call out anything that could be construed—or in this case woefully misconstrued—as sexism.

I am sure that Senator Warren is now a chastened and enlightened woman. No, I’m kidding. I am sure that Senator Warren rolled her eyeballs if she even made the mistake of reading the responses to her tweet.

Rule #1: If you are going to call someone out on the internet for misogyny, make sure that they actually are a misogynist. Otherwise you are just a finger-wagging nag-bag who nitpicks language on the internet. Or as Shakespeare might have said in his play about misogyny: “Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense.”

Rule #2: If you decide you are right and they are wrong and you are going to call them out, spare two seconds of thought about what you are hoping to achieve by your action.

  • Are you going to change the hearts and minds of people? (useful)
  • Are you going to start a constructive conversation with someone about the subject? (also useful)
  • Are you just announcing your disapproval so you will feel better? (go ahead)
  • Are you signaling what a good person you are? This is called virtue-twerking1: you will get people’s attention, but they may not respect you in the morning.

All of this brings me to another somewhat related point.

Hillary supporters2 don’t always realise how badly they serve their own candidate when they feel the need to lecture anyone who doesn’t show the required deference to their preferred contender.  Clinton needs all the votes that she can get, and the November elections need as high a turnout of voters as it can get. But a percentage of Clinton supporters don’t seem to think that people are allowed to vote for her only because they concede she’s the better candidate. Instead they insist that such voters speak more respectfully and praisingly of her. This probably needs a special hashtag #NotAllHillarySupporters

There are an awful lot of comments on the internet these days addressed to people who have chosen to vote for Clinton even though she was not their ideal candidate. They tend to go a little like this:

Clap louder and put a happier smile on your face! Show more enthusiasm for the dear leader3. Your faltering and slight hesitation has been noticed!

[JAC: I, too, have been chastised on this site for failing to show sufficient enthusiasm for Hillary, and for suggesting that her political record is far from stellar, that she’s too beholden to Wall Street, and that she has a history of dissimulation. And the disapprobation for saying this comes despite my promise to vote for her.]

No wonder US politics is so polarised. The tactic is as likely to convince a potential ally to shrug and stay at home as it is to persuade them to turn up and vote the way you want them to come Election day in November.

Wanting to change people’s minds is admirable. By all means, educate those around you with facts you believe they may have missed. But your stern disapproval on the internet probably won’t win your candidate any more votes. That’s a tactic that probably only works on TV shows.

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1.  Like Virtue Signalling, only with more posing.

2. As most of you know, I am not an American. If I were an American, I would vote for Hillary Clinton, although I have reservations about some of her policy positions past and present.

3. No, I don’t think there is any resemblance between Hillary Clinton and Kim Jong-il at all.

100 Comments

  1. Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I’d be willing to bet that Warren’s use of “girl” was meant to be part of her criticism of Trump. She’s invoking the “girls, ick!” mode of thought you see in real misogynists like Trump.

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Not only that, but using “girl” instead of “woman” makes Drumpf seem more pathetic – almost as pathetic as he actually is.

      • Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Bullseye.

        She was noting that he is still 12 years old (if that) or at least acts that way and that being the case, he’s still afraid of girls.

        It’s a reference to childishness — on Drumpf’s part (obvious) not Clinton’s (her being the adult in the contest).

        Not too hard to figure out …

        • Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          Indeed, but the Perpetually Offended can’t take the three seconds needed to figure it out. They just reacted instantly to the world “girl”.

          • Kopper
            Posted August 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            Like they are driven by a simple algorithm

        • Vaal
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          Yes, that’s how I took Warren’s comment.
          The use of concept of “losing to a girl” was meant to invoke or represent the immature mindset of how Trump might view things.
          It was a sarcastic use of the phrase.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Correct. Using the word girl just makes it a bigger insult.

      • kansaskitty
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        That was exactly my take on it. Warren is genius at poking and prodding Trump!

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Yes. I loved this tweet from Warren. I would ask these people to stop being so effing precious. This is what people mean when they say they prefer Trump isn’t politically correct.

    • Sastra
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Yes, that was also my take. Warren was putting invisible scare quotes on the word “girl” and mocking Trump’s childish motivations. Maybe the same people who can’t see that routinely miss sarcasm, too.

      Noted liberal: “I’m voting for Trump because I want to watch 21st century America turn into 20th century Nazi Germany.”

      Tone Deaf One: “Nooooo! Oh, how could you?”

      There was probably also some knee jerk reactions and virtue signaling. I sometimes have to prevent myself from thinking sentences like “progress was retarded by heavy rains” shouldn’t have use the word “retarded.”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Invisible scare quotes aren’t worth the cyberspace they’re not written on.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Tone deaf is a generous way to phrase it. To paraphrase someone whose name I can’t recall: Language isn’t their first language.

    • KenS
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      To paraphrase others here, BINGO. Thank you.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Yeah me too. I think she was using the language he would use. It’s like when Sarah Silverman got called racist for making a joke about racists and used the word, “chink”.

  2. Ken Pidcock
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Barney Frank said it years ago: The reason American conservatives control so much power is that they treat every liberal as a potential convert, while liberals treat every other liberal as a potential heretic.

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Wow, bam! Good one Barney!

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Nice one!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Barney Frank?! … You’re actually quoting that heretic?! … I’ll never forgive him for failing to back Bernie!

      • Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        This. Or Warren.
        You may or may not intend sarcasm, but it does express how I feel.
        🙂

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I intended sarcasm; and, yes, it expresses how I feel, too — although I can’t stay mad at Barney.

          • Posted August 11, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

            Barney *is* charming. He’s what happens when you cross Elmer Fudd and Claudia Black. [arcane character reference] I’m better at holding a grudge, I guess.

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      That undoubtedly happens, but it seems to me it’s only part of the explanation. One should expect most of the population to settle into easy, uncritical, short-sighted, selfish views, as doom-and-gloomy as that sounds. And those things are what conservative policy is.

  3. Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    It’s pretty obvious to anyone with higher than room temp IQ that “beaten by a girl” is a reference to schoolyard level understanding–which Trump clearly has. And Warren has shown herself very adept at getting under Trump’s skin. Normally he comes up with damaging labels for his enemies but the best he could manage with her is “Pocahotas”. An insult? A heroine who reminds your kids of a movie they enjoyed? Hardly Drumpfs best work
    As an interesting aside–are you aware that in Shakespeare’s time, “Nothing” was also slang for “vagina”? This makes the Play’s title doubly funny (and much ruder of course)

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Or as Shakespeare might have said in his play about misogyny: “Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense.”

    Just like that Elizabethan misogynist to fail to use a gender-neutral possessive pronoun, too.

    • jimroberts
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      You are misled by the difference between Elizabethan English and ours. “His” was indifferent between masculine and neuter gender. Even later, in the King James Bible, Jesus could say “if the salt hath lost his savour”.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        I think you’ve been misled, Jim, by my misbegotten stab at sarcasm.

        • jimroberts
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

          Oops! Sorry.

  5. Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    JAC: I, too, have been chastised on this site for failing to show sufficient enthusiasm for Hillary, and for suggesting that her political record is far from stellar, that she’s too beholden to Wall Street, and that she has a history of dissimulation. And the disapprobation for saying this comes despite my promise to vote for her.

    I too am not an enthusiast for HRC (until I ponder the idea of a Drumpf presidency for a while, anyway). But I will most certainly vote for her and have been very public (amongst my friends) on that point.

    Where I tangle with some people on the left is when they profess the desire to not vote or vote 3rd party (in a swing state) because HRC isn’t perfectly aligned with their positions (and they wanted Bernie, for most of them).

    The points I make are:

    1. I’ve never in my life (in the 14 presidential elections I’ve voted in — I always vote) had a candidate to vote for who was 100% aligned with me.

    2. Either the Drumpf or HRC is going to be President on 21-Jan-2017 consider carefully which would be more likely to promote the things you care about.

    3. The SCOTUS. The next US President will appoint at least one*; but more likely 2 or 3 US Supreme Court Justices. I want HRC to appoint them, not the Drumpf. This is an issue that will affect us all (in the USA) for generations, not just the next 4 years.

    As Frank Zappa used to say, “Get yer butt out there and vote!”

    (* Unless the GOP decides that Merrick Garland is better than an appointment from HRC (lame duck session post-election) — I doubt that because they have always seemed more interested in foiling President Obama than any policy considerations.)

    • BobTerrace
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      Oh, just wait and see the Republican clowns scramble to vote for Garland the day after Clinton wins. They fear the alternative of Clinton nominating Obama, who is extremely qualified to be on the SCOTUS.

      • bluemaas
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Two interesting points, Mr BobTerrace.
        Indeed, quite curious.

        Blue

        ps I would, as well as scrambling g o p clowns, be soooo, so happy to put my check to PCC(E) in the mail that very same day – after – Clinton – wins cuz of — my losing the wager with him re this particular presidential election – result.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        The sole Republican argument against confirming Judge Garland was that the voters this Fall should get a say in who picks this justice. By that logic, if the voters pick Hillary, shouldn’t she get to pick her own nominee? Don’t tell me the GOP statesmen in the US Senate would ever do something so hypocritical as try to ram a Garland confirmation through a lame-duck session for fear that Hillary will pick someone to his left??!!

        Plus, and for realz, I don’t see BHO going on the Court. First, he’d have to recuse himself from cases pertaining to his administration, which would be a whole lotta case for the foreseeable future (which would, per force, raise the specter of a lot of 4-4 deadlocks). Also, he’s too much the political animal for the cloistered life of a SCOTUS justice; it would mean refraining from speaking out candidly on most policy issues for the rest of his life.

        He’s still a relatively young man, for a former president, anyway. And he’s made it clear he plans to remain in the nation’s capitol when he leaves office. He’s got plans, man, watch out world!

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      I would be one of those lunatic lefties on the outer fringe according to some. I’m not going to vote for Hillary under any current circumstance. [never say never, but still and all]

      1. I don’t look for the perfect candidate. Sanders certainly had his flaws.
      2. Drumpf or as I lovingly refer to him as “Mein Hair” or “Cheeto Jesus” is just the symptom. Don’t think for a moment the Dem establishment won’t be as efficient as the GOP at obstruction of anything DuhDonald tries to do. If Slick Willy can be impeached for a hummer, they’ll find the right lever to pull come to that.
      3. SCOTUS schmotus. As I pointed out above, obstruction runs both ways. There’s nothing to prevent the GOP from not advising or consenting for 4 years as one. SCOTUS isn’t even in my “top 10” of things to concern troll about.
      4. The primary reason for not voting Hillary is to build a movement outside the 2 party system. We only have democracy when EVERYONE can participate.

      • Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        It might be useful to look at the recent history of elections in Canada that has, more or less, a three-party system. It was frustrating to many Liberals like myself to watch vote-splitting among liberal-minded folks causing a near-autocrat like Stephen Harper to win two terms! Even die-hard Greens like Dr. David Suzuki were smart enough to vote Liberal in the last election to avoid a three-peat!

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

          Let’s hope that this government goes through with election reform like they promised & that it turns out to be fair in the end. I voted strategically this election & I hate doing that.

          • Posted August 12, 2016 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            Do you have any regrets?

            The way I look at it, my vote is just one step, and there’s the ongoing need to bug the hell out of the one we help put in power, to do the things they said they’d do.

            • Diana MacPherson
              Posted August 12, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

              Bah! The Tories got back in in my riding so it wouldn’t have mattered how I voted. In the end though, I did want to vote for the party I voted for. I voted NDP in this election. I often vote Green but something annoyed me this time that made me change my mind and I can’t remember what.

        • Posted August 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Everyone’s got their favorite “if ifs and buts were candy and nuts” story. In the US in 2000 Ralph Nader is the cautionary tale folks use to manufacture consent for fraudulent binary choices. There’s clucking and finger wagging, then comes the grand pronouncement. “If Nader hadn’t run, Gore would be President instead of everyone’s favorite affable dullard, G.W. Bush.” The “factoid” most often presented to support this fallacy is: Gore lost by 560 votes in Florida. This would be true only if all the other circumstances influencing the election were not. For instance, Gore lost in his home state of Tennessee. Imagine a fellow who can’t win *in their home state*. That’s a pretty weak candidate. But I digress. In Florida [since it’s the State in question] according to the exit polling, between 12-16 percent of registered Dems crossed party affiliation and voted for W. That comes to a heap more votes than 560. So if I were looking for a scapegoat I’d probably start there rather than “Nader vote spoilers”. For the bottom liners who might be reading along, Ralph got 0 electoral votes nationwide. That’s the determining factor here, not the popular vote.
          The other factor that never gets any scrutiny is voter apathy. Less than 60% of eligible voters turn out to vote. Third party candidates combined this election will probably get much less than 20% of the eligible national votes. That’s 40% who stay home and do more important stuff like watch Fox Noose or knit hair shirts over 3rd party voters.
          🙂
          I love that you Canadians get it right more often than not. The USians could learn a thing or two from you. Although you did have that brief fling with Rob Ford….

          • Posted August 12, 2016 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            The president on 21-Jan-2017 is going to be either Drumpf (love both: Mein Hair and Cheeto Jesus!) or Hillary Clinton.

            I hope you are not in a swing state. If you are, I hope very few follow in your footsteps.

            We’ve only ever had one successful third party effort (move from obscurity to a sustained national contender): The Republicans. And for them to get airborne took an event as rending as the ending of slavery. Nothing that big is even conceivable at this point.

            If that’s your goal, by all means, go with god(s). (And don’t complain if we end up with a President Drumpf [vomiting ….].)

            I’m rather amazed that you don’t care about the SCOTUS. It’s the most lasting legacy a POTUS leaves the country. It is the final arbiter of the legal system. It will need to make many life-changing (for at least some segment of US citizens) decisions in the next 20 years. (If Garland (63) is confirmed, he’s likely to sit for 20 years.)

            If a liberal had been sitting in Scalia’s seat for the last 30 years, we likely would never have had, for instance, The “Citizens United” decision. In a relatively evenly balanced SCOTUS, one justice can have a huge impact. Scalia was still effing with us 29+ years after Reagan appointed him.

            • Posted August 12, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

              I had a lengthy and urbane reply *almost* posted when the internet gods who are very angry with my apostasy zapped my post to oblivion. So we must shorter C&P.
              >The president on 21-Jan-2017 is going to be Hillary Clinton.I hope you are not in a swing state.If you are, I hope few follow.We’ve only ever had one successful third party effortdon’t complain if we end up with a President Drumpf I’m rather amazed that you don’t care about the SCOTUS.< I do, just not in the same way as you. I have different priorities.

              You think incorrectly that if we can just get Hillary elected that the opposition will quietly acquiesce and "play by the rules". They will not. Anyone not sleeping through the last 8 years of the Obama administration will know this. Congress has willfully obstructed the Executive with zero consequence. They will continue to do so into the next administration. Hillary will be a 1 term Pres. The real solution is to change Congress not the Presidency. In order to do that effectively the 2 party system must be broken beyond repair. [I have longer answers available elsewhere]

              • Posted August 12, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

                Ugh. The gods are really really angry, my post went awry again. I’ve been whining to WP for an edit function on comments. You see the result….

              • Posted August 12, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

                Thanks for your reply.

                I don’t think the GOP will ever play nice. I think they are entirely Machiavellian.

                But I hope that they will not be able to stand the political storm that would result if they try to stonewall HRC appointees (assuming we are fortunate enough to avoid a Drumpf presidency). They’ve certainly diced with that with Obama, horrendous foot-dragging on his appointees in most areas.

                (In the interim after Scalia passed, some important decisions have gone “our way”, which I hope has disconcerted the GOP leadership.)

                I agree about the Congress. This is where the GOP has whipped the Dems over the last few decades: Ground game. In 2012, we saw a huge swing left in MN after a miserable showing by the local GOPers in the governnor’s mansion and the state capitol. I’m hoping something similar will happen in other states as well.

                But as my wife says, there is a substantial US constituency out there that are impervious to logic and evidence and they continue to vote.

              • Posted August 12, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

                “I hope that they will not be able to stand the political storm that would result if they try to stonewall HRC appointees”
                Why would it be any different than the “political storm” over PBO’s appointees? One would think it doesn’t really matter to Dems because they ve done *nothing* to pressure GOP’s other than a few pressors. Obama rarely speaks of it. It’s a done deal.
                It won’t take the Conservative “brain trust” very long to figure out they can do the same thing to Hillary. That will also be a done deal.

          • Posted August 12, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            Good thing that Ford, the national embarrassment that was, was only a mayor. Still, he had to croak before the weak-kneed (? or uber polite and law-abiding?) Torontonians could rid themselves of this vermin. The Ford Nation syndrome is a classic study in cognitive dissonance, much like your current problem with Trump Nation.

            I should say that I’m more of a small ‘l’ liberal, since I have a green heart and I rather like your guys Bernie, Gore, Nader, and Carter. I must not understand US politics very much, because I don’t get why Gore wasn’t more beloved.

            For the second term of Harper, we Canadians did get it terribly wrong. In this last election, there was strategic cooperation between the Liberals and NDPs, in order to oust Harper.

            • Posted August 12, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

              “The Ford Nation syndrome is a classic study in cognitive dissonance, much like your current problem with Trump Nation.”

              Yes indeedy. If we had been paying attention we might have avoided the whole “Trump thing”.

              I dunno. I still think Canada is more level headed than us Americans. 🙂

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    “virtue-twerking” — Back in the days when Madge was all the rage, I suppose it would’ve been called “virtue-vamping.”

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Just having a 70 year old juvenile delinquent running for president should be shameful enough to keep most of us off the internet. Was going to say miscreant but thought that was too harsh.

    • BobTerrace
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      Miscreant is too mild. Cretin is about right.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        Cretinish miscreant has a nice ring to it.

        (Although, I suppose, “cretin” is politically incorrect — maybe “thyroidinally challenged”?)

  8. Historian
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    “Hillary supporters don’t always realise how badly they serve their own candidate when they feel the need to lecture anyone who doesn’t show the required deference to their preferred contender.”

    “Clap louder and put a happier smile on your face! Show more enthusiasm for the dear leader. Your faltering and slight hesitation has been noticed!”

    Grania, I have paid fairly close attention to the election and the gist of your assertions has somehow escaped my notice. Could you provide some links to back up your assertions? More specifically, these sentiments should be expressed by people who have had some role to play in Hillary’s campaign, not the ramblings of an Internet troll. I, myself, have previously commented on this site that those people who feel the defeat of Trump is of overriding importance should enthusiastically campaign for Hillary to win, but not necessarily enthusiastically for Hillary, the very flawed person. This is an important difference.

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      JAC here: I have said in my previous posts that I said I wasn’t impressed by Clinton’s record or her duplicity, and was then asked by several people, as I recall, to say what about her record I didn’t like, which I already HAD DONE. So if you want to call readers here “Internet trolls”, fine. What Grania said was this:

      “There are an awful lot of comments on the internet these days addressed to people who have chosen to vote for Clinton even though she was not their ideal candidate.”

      And now you demand citations from “people with roles in Hillary’s campaign”? Nobody made that claim, and it’s not up to Grania or me to satisfy your demand.

  9. Alan Jardine
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    What’s the big deal? In my country (UK), females of all ages are happy to call themselves “girls”. E.g.: “Let’s all hire baby-sitters and have a girls’ night out”.

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      This isn’t the UK! Also, sometimes it’s okay for women to call themselves “girls” in the U.S., but men can’t do that, and neither, apparently, can Elizabeth Warren, though she’s referring to “girls” as “young girls” in a reference to little boys excluding little girls.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Reminds me that The Little Rascals had a “He-Man Women Haters Club.”

        Their meetings were a lot like Trump rallies. The Donald is a more-immature, less-articulate iteration of Spanky McFarland.

        • Taz
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          And Calvin had GROSS: Get Rid Of Slimy girlS

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Dude, you still playin’ rhythm guitar for the Beach Boys?

      • Alan Jardine
        Posted August 12, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

        Never did, never will.
        Not guilty, Your Honor.

        • Doug
          Posted August 12, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          When you’re a member of a group, you’re allowed to use words others aren’t. African-American men may refer to themselves as “boys” [as in “Boyz in the Hood”], but consider it a huge insult when whites use it.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted August 12, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

            What about good ol’ boys?

            cr

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 12, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          That’s cool; I still dig your vocals on “Help Me Rhonda.”

  10. Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    It’s really impressive to see how much conflict can arise among people who agree on nearly all substantive points. I guess when you don’t need to change a person’s beliefs but still want to bicker, you can argue on modes of expression instead.

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure a desire to bicker is the cause of this behavior. As others have pointed out, it’s virtue signaling, and it’s much easier to send a virtuous signal by pointing out the sins of others (real or imagined) than by actually being noticeably virtuous.

      • Posted August 11, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        For sure, and that’s what sets this type of conflict apart from slightly less bitter disputes over grammar and punctuation. Then again, maybe grammar disputes are not so different. In either case, “winning” probably does not result in anyone changing their beliefs about the world. If you “win” it just means the other person shows submission and conforms to your preference. So in at least some cases it’s not just about signaling virtue, it’s also a free pass to express your hidden impulses for social dominance.

  11. Christopher Bonds
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    When I read that tweet I immediately saw “girl” as either (a) a projection of Trump’s misogynist mindset or (b) a purposely anachronistic expression recalling how sexism was practiced in the 1950s–or both.

    • Christopher Bonds
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      In either case, it was irony.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      Chicks, huh? Amirite?

      • Christopher Bonds
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Udamrite.

  12. Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Retweeted Senator Warren’s tweet. And anyone who thinks she was being sexist (a self-hating anti-feminist?) for using the wrd “girl” doesn’t understand the concept of writing form a point of view

    • Hempenstein
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Or of condensing much into a single word, for a Tw**t.

  13. Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Speaking of “girl,” a rather popular geneticist (many thousands of Twitter followers) but whose name I will conceal virtue-twerked and aroused a mob-like campaign insisting that Mike Klag, a dean at Hopkins, apologize en masse to the world for using the phrase “throws like a girl” to rile up other faculty at Hopkins in a fundraising effort in which people were to throw balls at a target to dunk Klag into water.

    The wrath of this feminist-twerking geneticist promoted scorn and shameful comments by many, all in the name of teaching Klag that he was “misogynistic”. I no longer follow this geneticist and feel like he did a disservice bob to Klag and to feminism, as picking nits trivialized misogyny but gave Klag, who is a kind and thoughtful person a few terrible days of navigating through a public relations nightmare.

    • Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Please excuse typos. I typed that on my phone.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Mike Klag tosses insults like a girl.

    • jimroberts
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      It seems to me that “throws like a girl” is a perfectly reasonable description of throwing ability in our current culture. I have said of myself that I throw like a girl. There is a good throwing technique that, apparently, almost all boys are taught, but girls are not taught it and I somehow missed it.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        If Jerry ever schedules a WEIT-family softball game, we’ll be sure to stick you at first base, Jim, to conceal that weak wing of yours.

  14. KD33
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to defend Clinton supporters who demand louder cheering from those who will vote for her only as the (far) lesser of two evils. Yet from many of those left-leaning yet lukewarm to her I see their response often (not always) as to a caricature of her, not a reality. (Hawk! Only seeking the political advantage! In the pocket of Wall Street!) When I ask, say, what specifically about Sanders’ policy suggestions on financial regulation do you think are superior to Clinton’s, I mostly get the equivalent of a blank stare. (I’m not talking passion here – what the candidates *would actually do* and *have actually done*. And the comment includes this board, in some cases.) Let’s repeat that on family and education policy, environment, foreign policy, women’s health – name your favorite issue. I usually get the same un-substantive response. The level of debate within the left appears to me to be quite low.

    Beyond that, I do believe the media scrutiny of Clinton is fairly skewed against her, and there is data to back that up. And I suspect there is underlying sexism even from the good-hearted left stemming from some sort of limbic response to her less-than-mellifluous speaking/shouting voice – that sounds trivial, but I hear it (and read it) all the time. I’m not thinking just of the Glenn Beck’s and Bill O’Reilly’s here.

    Anyway, I would like to read more substantive reasons why a vote for Clinton would only be done reluctantly. What specifically are the shortcomings?

    I’m pretty sure my frustration is shared by a fairly large group of people.

    (BTW, this post is not directed at the Professor, though the post comments certainly beg a response. It’s a query to the American left in general.)

    Respectfully,

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      When I ask, say, what specifically about Sanders’ policy suggestions on financial regulation do you think are superior to Clinton’s …

      Reinstate Glass-Steagall, since you asked.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      I don’t believe Bernie was doing speeches and collecting bundles of money from the financial firms either. Also, she still refuses to present/make public her speeches to them.

  15. Damien McLeod
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Up with Girls, Love You Senator Warren! Your detractors can go sit on a Cholla Cactus.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Cholla cactus. Yikes. My kids still talk in respectful tones about how wicked those plants can be.

  16. Merilee
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I think that Warren’s use of “girl” is perfect in this context as it fits in with Trump’s kindergarten playground behavior. I’m surprised that he hasn’t accused Hillary of ‘throwing like a girl’, which I predict he’ll do when she wins the election:-). These people are ridiculous to nag at Elizabeth for this.

  17. Merilee
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    And sub

  18. Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Funny, I would have picked “Taming of the shrew” as Will’s most misogynous play, of which there are a fair number.

    Agreed about your rules. Thanks, Grania.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Spoken like a true Petruchio, John.

  19. Ken Kukec
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Those male tweeters who accused Elizabeth Warren of misogyny — what a bunch of humorless swingin’ dicks they are!

  20. Roger
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Haha Shakespeare to the rescue again. That guy sure did cover a lot of bases didn’t he.

  21. Craw
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Side issue. There was no death threat. How can you criticize Trump for getting stuff wrong and lowering the tone and getting in the gutter and not criticize a blatantly false , low, inflammatory claims like that?

    • darrelle
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      There is a probability of some sort that he wasn’t referring to someone shooting Clinton or SCJs she might pick, but “blatantly false” is hyperbole.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted August 11, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      “By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I dunno …”

      I don’t think this was meant as a actual death threat. Hell, pace Paul Ryan and Corey Lewandowski, I don’t think it was even a miscarried “joke.” It was just Trump being his reckless, flippant self (as indicated by his little “I dunno” tag at the end).

      But, please — good gawd almighty! — don’t insult our intelligence by telling us it was a call for Republican unity to defeat Hillary at the ballot box!

      “You didn’t think that little farce you played could fool a Corleone, did you Carlos Donald?”

      • Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        It couldn’t have been intended as a call for Republican unity because he was talking about what Republicans would or wouldn’t be able to do *after* an election in which she won and was selecting SCOTUS justices. Which means, quelle surprise, that the Don blatantly lied yet again in “explaining” the comment. Sure, Donald. So what you were saying was that, if Hillary is elected, there’d be nothing conservatives could do, except vote against her. In the election she already won. In the past. Uh huh.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted August 12, 2016 at 3:31 am | Permalink

          It’s called ‘retrospective un-election’, I would think. Best done with high-powered heavy-caliber resources….. Whassat? When I said “caliber” I was talking about the character of the people who would un-elect her. Obviously. What else could I possibly have meant?

          cr

      • Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        “I dunno”

        Yeah, he has the plausible deniability skills of a 4 year old.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted August 11, 2016 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, Trump’s “I dunno” is of a piece with his claims that he didn’t say something himself, he’s only repeating “what I heard” or “what people tell me” or — my favorite — “I only re-tweeted what was in The Inquirer, a very reliable source.”

  22. Posted August 11, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  23. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Hillary supporters2 don’t always realise how badly they serve their own candidate when they feel the need to lecture anyone who doesn’t show the required deference to their preferred contender.

    Is that what they do? I am not very interested in the next US president, as long as it isn’t a dangerous (ego)maniac like Trump.

    However, I am seeing a tendentious long term massive attempt to find anything disliked with Clinton, which is fine, to wave around as somehow problematic in the context of the candidacy. It goes both ways of course, but Clinton seems to get the brunt of it, as Trump has nothing much but problematic traits. I think it is called “digging up the dirt”.

    Why such a pervasive campaign, and is it really uncoupled from the fact that she is a woman, a group who routinely gets this treatment? And what use is it, when the candidate she is to be compared with has no comparison except in history (Mussolini)?

  24. kelskye
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    If you can’t make actual change in the world, you police language as a substitute.

  25. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Fortunately, when it’s all over and the dust has settled, the view from the White House will be Hilary and Bill’s. Even the crazy republican establishment know they have the looser and nothing they can do about it. I think Bedfellows is the description that fits.

    Today Trump’s foot and mouth disease is that Obama and Hilary are the founders of ISIS. He just kept repeating it over and over, just in case you had any doubts. If this is the idiot they chose for their candidate they just as well burn all their flags and take their God Only Party (GOP) to another land. A crash landing is just ahead.

  26. Posted August 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Good points raised. What’s more, if people are annoyed enough and they associate Clinton with the CTRL-Left (h/t Gary Edwards), many might make their cross at Trumps name just out of spite and never me mention this anywhere. He wouldn’t be the first democratically elected conservative candidate nobody voted for (they swear to God! x)

  27. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted August 11, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    ‘virtue-twerking’ ?

    Love it!

    🙂 🙂

    cr

  28. Posted August 12, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Is another way to understand this error a failure to understand “use and mention”?


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