Ann Althouse, law professor and asshole extraordinaire, has decreed that Standing Straight Up with Breasts is whorish. Jessica Valenti from Feministing had a meeting with Bill Clinton and other bloggers–here’s the photo. I bring this up because women can’t be the only ones who decry this age-old smear tactic of calling women whores when all else fails, including the legitimacy of your arguments. We men have to decry this too.
In a related vein, I once explained to someone that Jews can’t be the only ones who decry anti-Semitism: of course, we’re going to oppose it–it’s what people who aren’t Jewish do that will make the difference.
What Althouse does is particularly despicable because it is an attempt to belittle someone, who by dint and virtue of hard work and accomplishment, has beeen successful. It’s despicable because there is no way to respond: if Valenti had been wearing a burka, I’m sure Althouse would have found something ‘whorish’ to complain about. (By the way, you’ve really jumped the intellectual shark when you’re focusing on breasts, not, let say, ideas). The commentors on Althouse’s post were even worse, calling Jessica an “intern.” Not only is this an insidious comparison of Valenti to Monica Lewinsky, but it’s attempt to transform a successful woman into a girl–another age-old tactic to ‘put the wimmens in their place.’
Ann Althouse: Douchebag of Patriarchy.
an aside: John Dean’s book Conservatives Without a Conscience spends a chapter trying to determine the unifying themes that unite modern conservatism. In light of all of the references to Jessica as an “intern”, I think the biggest theme is Bill Clinton’s penis. Of course, it’s not really a “theme”, it’s a…
Update: Valenti responds.