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Proof that Marcus Bachmann Is Not Gay

Jim Burroway

October 19th, 2011

No gay man would ever let someone walk out on stage before a nationally-televised audience dressed like that.

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ForwardSlasha
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

It was one of Gadaffy’s old uniforms

Ben In Oakland
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

But you don’t understand the deviousness of their plans, do you?

Of course, no GAY man would EVER send his gurrrrlfriend out looking like the lone ranger in north korean drag. But we all know that Missy Marcus isn’t gay.

And here is the proof, right here. Marcus Bachman is as straight as straight could be. Possibly even straighter than that.

Not Lonnie Latham or Bob allen straight. Not even Larry Craig straight.

Straight.

Timothy (TRiG)
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

Apparently I’ve lost my gay card.

*shrug*

TRiG.

Ray Harwick
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

Well. It works as a drum major. That’s gay.

Shofixti
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

As much as I can understand and participate in the queering of Marcus Bachmann I have to say that this is a counter-productive and misogynistic way to go about it.

Referencing a woman solely by her appearance and writing as if her every act and decision were dictated by her husband (yes, I understand her “biblical” notion of submission) simply perpetuates the same sexism that is kith and kin with homophobia.

This film, MissRepresentation, screened during the last NZ international film festival – I highly recommend it (even if you just watch the trailer):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gkIiV6konY

The use of retro or ironic-sexism may seem contemporary and au fait but it is really part of a wide reaching othering of women, feminism and feminist power. It invalidates, it criticises, it makes the possibility of their agency a joke or a mistake, it targets women and not men.

While the world probably doesn’t need any more Michelle Bachmanns, it does need more women, more minorities to become politicans and intellectuals.

Ray Harwick
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

@Shofixti

I wish dealing with sexism were as easy as approaching it with more politically correct language. This particular woman aids her husband’s business by constantly demeaning and degrading gays and lesbians. She put her power where her mouth is and votes to punish us at every conceivable opportunity. By doing so, she forfeits her right to respect. Her husband works out his own gay issues in his business by taking payment from gay people who are so disturbed from having their noses rubbed in the allegedly negative aspect of homosexuality, the seek his counseling for a “cure”.

No thank you. She gets to be mocked. I recommend you read the **current** feature story at the top of the BTB home page to get a taste of what her husband NOW is doing with her blessing.

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2011/10/19/37965

Shofixti
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks Ray, (I have read your link, have you followed mine?)

I actually find Ben’s comment really funny, but I have to ask myself why.

Lets say you disagree with conservative gays or you disagree with liberal gays – whichever partisan position gives you the most grief…

Does engaging with and critiquing their ideas, attitudes, actions and values require one to mock the man or woman’s sexuality or gender?

I think your position is stronger when it sticks to the facts you have described above. Michelle is wrong, not because she is a woman or wears certain clothes, but because of faulty science and a pharisaical religious doctrine.

My issue is that Michelle is spoken of in a way that males who represent ex-gay or anti-same-sex marriage are not. Why this discrepancy? It is because sexism (like homophobia) is institutionalised – it is made natural to denigrate a woman based on gender.

We should not make institutionalised forms of female disempowerment our ally. These modes of speaking privilege masculinity – the same masculinity that makes it seem natural to treat homosexuals as second class citizens.

– or do you really think you can prove someone wrong by commenting on their attire?

Lucrece
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

There’s no need whatsoever to judge this woman on such a frivolous choice of clothing.

It’s not offensive or disrespectful dress by any means. It’s appropriately formal. It may not be the best choice, but it’s deeply annoying to pick on a candidate for what they wear.

Seriously, has anyone ever bothered to criticize Santorum for his tawdry dress code? Nope, they mock his character. His appearance, however conventionally horrendous, is never a point of mockery in most gay blogs.

Yet women are always the target of snide appearance-themed putdowns by gay men. It needs to stop.

San Diego Rob
October 19th, 2011 | LINK

Not only that but you can tell that she has hired not 1 gay person to do her hair and makeup. All done by heterosexuals. A drag queen can do a better job than these heterosexuals.

Eric in Oakland
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Those of you trying to claim that joking about her attire is somehow sexist are being ridiculous. You have to have a very selective perception to miss all the jokes about the appearances of the men. This sort of thing is hardly limited to women.

Cowboy
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Is it sexist to always refer Michele as Michelle?

Shofixti
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Let me refresh you on Jim’s ability to clearly identify the role that dress has for racism:

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/09/13/2919

If it is okay to joke about Michele’s (sorry about the two ll’s) attire, why is it not okay to joke about Obama’s attire?

Sexism isn’t about force and explicit limits. Sexism largely exists in the norm. It is the everyday way that understanding is put together.

I think it’s easy to understand that a cartoon of Obama in an Arab-like headdress and in Mexican garb isn’t forcefully racist in the same way that violence, abusive language or even slavery is. Instead these portrayals suggest that there is something normative about viewing race as a joke. In that joke are ideas of lack of sophistication, lack of agency maybe even lack of intelligence (compared to white people).

My issue with this Bachmann article is that should a feminist come to this site to support our community, she or he sees that there is an culture of acceptableness around sexism.

This is not to say that anyone is being forcefully sexist such as standing against women’s rights or an act of violence. Instead it is to normalise a depiction of a woman where it is funny, okay and normal not to name her as anything other than an extension of her husband. When dress is the principal characteristic used to legitimatise or delegimatise a person, to recognise a woman as an equal, that is sexist to me.

Christopher
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

I agree with a lot of the above postings – this is juvenile and has to stop.

On the other hand, I DO love what Jon Stewart said about her last eve on THE DAILY SHOW: that she somehow managed to untangle the sleeves on her straight-jacket!!

Timothy (TRiG)
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Those of you trying to claim that joking about her attire is somehow sexist are being ridiculous. You have to have a very selective perception to miss all the jokes about the appearances of the men. This sort of thing is hardly limited to women.

I’d like to live in your world. Where is it?

TRiG.

cowboy
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Comparing Mr. Obama’s attire to Michele Bachmann’s attire is not fair. Men rarely have the dynamics of wardrobe much other than business suits. You might compare Mrs. Obama (Michelle)’s attire with Michele’s.

If someone high in the haute couture fashion industry had worn this jacket would the reaction be the same? Would the woman who is John McCain’s wife get away with wearing this jacket?

It’s unfair but in politics, the female is going to face tougher scrutiny (when it comes to fashion) than the male.

Personally, I think Michele Bachmann is pretty petite woman.

Blake
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Cowboy, what about Don Cherry?

justme
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

All this bother about a joke that is at the expense of two enemies of America and that harms exactly nobody. You hate women! You hate gays! I’m so enlightened, I don’t even know what you’re talking about! Wow. We sure have moved far away from the original meaning of “gay”, haven’t we?

Her bizarre paramilitary outfit is ridiculous. She looks like she stepped out of a 1950s science fiction film as an invading queen from an alien planet. Which is absurd, because we all know Marcus is the only queen in that family.

If you really want people to stop making fun of the Bachmanns — especially when it comes to her lack of style and his lack of heterosexuality and their insistence that he actually pulls the strings so why are wer even paying attention to her anyway? — then good luck tilting at that particular windmill.

fannie
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

“My issue with this Bachmann article is that should a feminist come to this site to support our community, she or he sees that there is an culture of acceptableness around sexism.”

Yep, +1.

Sexism against a woman isn’t somehow acceptable if that woman is anti-gay. Attack her for her bigoted positions, not something as frivolous as her clothing or looks.

I’m not sure if many people here realize that feminists tend to be really strong allies of LGBT rights and that many women also identify as LBT who are offended by posts like these. It would be nice if the support from predominately gay male communities was reciprocated.

Timothy Kincaid
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

A general comment:

Sexism (like all isms) is almost always greatly visible in others but startling elusive in our self examinations.

Should a man behave in some manner towards a woman in a way that is different than from a man, sexism may well be a reason. But, then again, it may be that there is something inherently different between men and women that require a different response. Or it may be that there are cultural conditions that would impact the man and woman differently.

For example, if I get off the elevator to the parking garage at night at the same time as a woman I do not know, I make a point of not following her into the garage. I’ve been told that some women feel uneasy about a man following them in a mostly-empty darkened space at night.

It is a sexual distinction. It is a circumstance in which I treat men and women differently.

But I submit that it is not sexism – it’s not based on the idea that women are physically, emotionally, or in any other way inferior but rather on the reality that women are the victims of physical attack more often than men (even bigger women are victims more often than slight men) and that women are more likely to feel threatened in those circumstances than are men.

And yet, there may be those who will insist that I’m being sexist (and who probably are already crafting a response) by definition because it’s a sexual distinction.

I suggest that it is they who are sexist. To insist that all distinctions based on a reality are sexist if they involve recognition of a person’s gender at all, is to make that gender the most important aspect. To think that one can have behaviors that differ based on height or physical ability or age but no on sex is to set sex apart as an area in which one cannot venture lest you offend or wound the fragile psyche.

And that see-gender-first attitude is the very essence of sexism.

Eric in Oakland
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

I’d like to live in your world. Where is it?

TRiG.

I’ve read many many more jokes about the appearance and wardrobe of the current pope than Michele. And surely you don’t claim that no one is making fun of the appearance of Marcus, Governor Christi, Chris Baron, or Brian Brown (just to name a few of the more obvious examples)?

Shofixti
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

That’s not sexist, Timothy. Your concern isn’t based on genetics, but on an appreciation that in the Western world certain anxieties (like being followed by an unknown man) are culturally produced and reinforced.

We can imagine alternatives, like a culture that would prohibit you from entering the elevator in the first place. Or say for instance this lady wore a security guard’s uniform – you might choose a different behaviour. That all seems very reasonable.

fannie
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

So, you know how sometimes anti-gay people will say something that’s homophobic and then other anti-gay people will say that it’s not actually homophobic- as though anti-gay people, rather than gay people, are the arbiters of what is and isn’t homophobic? Just something to keep in mind during this conversation.

Tim,

As a woman, I appreciate men who are cognizant of the reality that some women do feel threatened in places like parking garages. In your instance, you seem to have listened to women recount their experiences of feeling threatened and you have adjusted your behavior as a man accordingly, because you are trying to be a good ally and because you don’t seem to want women to feel threatened.

I’m not sure how your comment relates to the conversation regarding this post, however. Specifically, when you suggest that “it is they who are sexist” are you suggesting that those here who object to Jim’s post are actually the ones who are sexist?

Because here, at least one woman has said something along the lines of, “This post feels sexist. Bachmann deserves to be criticized, but not for her clothing.” But, instead of people listening (as you listened when women said that they felt threatened in a parking garage), we have men telling women that this post is not actually sexist toward women and you possibly telling women that it is they who are actually sexist for seeing sexism in this post.

Yeah, I know. Cue the countdown until I’m called the Humorless Feminazi PC Police Of NoFunnington, but it’s just not that funny to many people to ricule a female politician’s clothing. Like, I’m not a gay male expert on clothing as perhaps Jim is, but I’m also not quite sure what’s wrong with her outfit?

So, if folks here want to continue to be defensive and insist that this post isn’t sexist. Fine. Close your eyes and shut your ears to criticism.

Just know that many women, men, and feminists in general are aware that women are held up to unattainable standards of beauty and fashion and would, therefore, find a post like this to be problematic. Also know that in defending posts like this you’re alienating yourselves from your allies.

ZRAinSWVA
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

fannie, good points, all.

I guess the real question is, how should she look? I mean, is there a “Book of Standards for how Women in Politics Should Dress”?

And, yes, Jim, I know you were making a joke. Actually three jokes: one re: her outfit, a second about her husband, and a third about the generic gay man and his fashion sense.

I suspect she was trying to look strong, authoritative, and less feminine–for whatever reason. She achieved that. Not a great fashion statement, but perhaps that wasn’t her intent. Enough already…

fannie
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

Thanks ZRA.

As you allude, unlike for male politicians who can don a safe, neutral suit and not have their outfits endlessly scrutinized, there is no single safe, standard outfit for the female politician. She tries to go with something feminine, and some won’t take her seriously as an intellectual. She tries to look more masculine, and her womanhood is mocked.

That’s why these “jokes” walk a really thin line. To many, it seems like female politicians can never win, that female politicians should concern themselves with being ornamental rather than intellectual, and that their looks are much more scrutinized than their male counterparts.

Also, I would also speculate that Bachmann chose her outfit perhaps trying to look strong, authoritative, and less feminine. And, to add to that, she was probably trying to do so because femininity is not conflated with intellectual ability and authoritativeness in the way that masculinity is.

Neil
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

“Men rarely have the dynamics of wardrobe much other than business suits” _cowboy

This sartorial wisecracking is more usually worn by women in public office due to the broader dynamics of women’s formal attire. Women’s fashion is more likely to run a candidate foul of scoring a don’t, in Bachmann’s case, looking like she’s been appointed ambassador to outer space by the Church of Scientology. I’m not sure I find her look funny as much as scary, though surely funny and scary.

If Newt Gingrich walked out wearing a brilliant white, brass buttoned naval jacket, he’d come in for even more ridicule than Bachmann; partly from giving the impression of trying to look like a playboy admiral but mostly because of the more extreme deviation from the normal choice of male attire. Similarly, if Obama showed up for a political debate wearing a keffiyeh, it wouldn’t necessarily be racist to make fun of him (depending on what you actually said about him wearing it). I reckon we’d all be wondering what on Earth he was trying to pull off ( a keffiyeh unsuccessfully perhaps).

I’m not saying that sexism is absent in this sort of humour, although I tend to think a lot of it has to do with the gendered nature of clothing and standards of appearance. Jokes about Bachmann’s chemically induced bouffant are sexist in one way (because big hair is relatively standard) but also skewer the confection of her brand image and superficial politics. You might say jokes about Gingrich’s toupee are sexist also. It shouldn’t be such a remarkable way to cover male pattern baldness but there it is. Toupee’s are almost unavoidably funny, somehow all the more so when worn by Newt.

Timothy Kincaid
October 20th, 2011 | LINK

fannie,

My point is not to say that anyone in this discussion is being sexist or not being sexist. Rather, I think that sometimes sexism is viewed from a prism of assumptions that assigns guilt or innocence first and then defends that assignment.

You said something interesting that I think may illustrate my point. In making comparison, you said “sometimes anti-gay people will say something that’s homophobic and then other anti-gay people will say that it’s not actually homophobic- as though anti-gay people, rather than gay people, are the arbiters of what is and isn’t homophobic”.

I don’t want to put words in your mouth, and correct me if I’m misstating, but it appeared to me that you were suggesting that this is a scenario in which a man said something about which other men were determining it to be or not be sexist as though they, rather than a woman, are arbiters of what is or isn’t sexist.

Is that a fair interpretation of your comparison?

Because, if so, it makes some interesting assumptions: 1) sexism is something that men do to women, 2) men are inherently sexist in the same way that anti-gay people are inherently homophobic, and 3) only women are true arbiters of what is or is not sexist.

Now let me backtrack to say that women are definitely judged more on their clothing than men. And that in politics (and business) they are judged by standards that men do not have to meet. (Men are forceful, women are bitches. Men are strong, women are harpies.) It is so extremely difficult for a woman to find that happy medium that it is noteworthy when she does.

And further let me agree that I probably would not focus a lot of attention on mocking Bachmann’s clothing. Or hair. Or makeup. (Unless it spoke to her character or awareness of social convention. If she looked like Snookie I might note that her inability to recognize social expectations about appearance might not well suit a presidential contender when much of that job relies on strict protocol.)

So we are in agreement on much.

But if the valuation on whether a comment is sexist is based primarily on whether the person making it has a penis or a vagina, then that evaluation is based in sexism. If a woman could say the above comment, but a man cannot, then that is sexism.

Yes, we give a pass to those within a community to make comments that others cannot. I get that.

But this only works if “community” is defined based on acceptance, shared values and common goals. Recently I defined the gay community so as to include someone – a long time supporter and friend of gay people who received a reprimand from GLAAD – as part of the community. Because, unlike GLAAD, I can recognize that “community” is not defined by whether the person sharing his bed has a penis.

If entrance to the community of those who get to make a comment about a woman is genitalia driven, then that defines women by their genitalia alone. And that is, after all, the antithesis of feminism.

Timothy (TRiG)
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Timothy Kincaid, of course all men are sexist. And so are all women. It would be a miracle if we were otherwise. We are, after all, products of a sexist society.

Anyway, I approve of power dressing, even if I don’t understand fashion at all and don’t see what’s wrong with this outfit.

TRiG.

R
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

I hope nobody minds if I hop in:
Because, if so, it makes some interesting assumptions: 1) sexism is something that men do to women,

Because men hold more power currently (more men have been president, are CEOs, are default “head of households” and the like, not to mention the average size and physical strength thing) men have the ability to do more damage against women than women have to do against men.

2) men are inherently sexist in the same way that anti-gay people are inherently homophobic, and

Everyone is sexist. Our culture divides us up by sex from the day we’re born “It’s a boy/girl” is one of the first things others know about us. We cannot help but be aware of sex and sexual differences, we all have had that hammered into us.

3) only women are true arbiters of what is or is not sexist.

Women can be and often are sexist (my best friend, for example, thinks all men are incapable of egalitarian relationships or selflessness). Generally they’re not channeling that when dictating policy or anything as there is a lot of pressure not to be sexist against men in many (but not all) venues.

None of this excuses sexism against women though.

Jim Burroway
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

I’ve stayed out of this discussion thread, but feel compelled to speak up.

As long as some people are finding reasons to be offended, let me say that I, too, could be offended by what I could see as mysandry being voiced on this thread as evidenced by the argument that my being a male making a wisecrack about a female defines me as a misogynist. I could also easily be offended by those who say that my cracking a joke about Marcus Bachmann (and Rep. Michele Bachmann) is a cheap shot on the pretense that I have criticized her solely on her appearance. I, of course, reject that claim outright. I have written extensively about her ideas, actions and positions since she first began her presidential run. Criticisms over mocking a candidate solely over her or his appearance would be valid if they were true. But they are not.

The fact that I cracked wise about her outfit, a joke based on the now-common knowledge that her husband, who operates a clinic that offers ex-gay therapy and whose presence has pinged more gaydars around the country than NORAD, is also her wardrobe consultant, is not exactly the kind of criticism and analysis that I normally do. But I did it and don’t feel the least bit sorry for it. Cracking a harmless joke from time to time — and I submit that this is a harmless joke — is, I think, a healthy diversion from the constant drumbeat of anti-gay sewage we all wade through every day. I do understand that it is rare for me to post something as frivolous as this, and maybe that was the source of discomfort for some. But you know, sometimes you have to take a time-out and laugh over something before taking a deep breath and diving in again. That’s what I did.

I took this diversion, and will undoubtedly take similar diversions in the future as the opportunity and inspiration allows. I will probably do it if I see Newt Gingrich show up somewhere in a polyester leisure suit, I will probably do it if I see Herman Cain wearing a funny hat, I will probably do it if I see Rick Perry in too-tight jeans and mauve cowboy boots, and I will definitely do it — you can count on it — if I see Rick Santorum looking anything like this guy. And I just might do it again if I see Bachmann looking ridiculous as well. I would submit that treating Bachmann differently from anyone else because she is a woman is sexist.

As an aside and not as a main point, I would add that to say this is only, or mainly, about Bachmann’s gender and that men don’t fall under similar scrutiny is to live in a world divorced from reality. Pope Benedict’s Prada shoes, Donald Trump’s do, Ed Schrock’s Teal Belt, and Scott Brown’s non-belt-and-pants have all been duly noted and laughed at — and their policy positions has been dissected and scrutinized with the same diligence as Bachmann’s. I really don’t think anyone gets a pass on either front. I do recognize that women have a difficult balance to walk, (“bitchiness” vs. strength, for example) but men can fall into similar pitfalls (George H.W. Bush’s “wimp factor,” for example). For women, the pitfalls are mainly drawn along gender lines, while for men they tend to fall along masculinity lines. Remember, Edmund Muskie’s campaign was destroyed by a tear and Howard Dean’s campaign literally came to a screeching halt because of what was seen as an unmanly scream.

Finally, and as I have noted before, I have little patience for what has been labelled as “political correctness” — a different “politically correct” phrase that I abhor but can’t find anything else to replace it with — that would rid the world of all forms of harmless humor as part of the laudable efforts of ridding the world of all harm. I appreciate appropriate levels of respect for all people, and I do believe that there are minimal codes of behavior which, if applied fairly, can provide a better social environment in which everyone can thrive, with respect for everyone’s individuality and differences.

But I have very little patience when political correctness goes beyond those goals and runs amuck, when it ceases to be a means to an end and becomes an end itself. When I see “isms” and “ists” tossed around like a summer salad, I often see people who see the world through ideology rather than understanding that ideologies, more often than not, struggle to find relevance in the real world. (Don’t even get me started on Queer Theory!) Ideologically-based terminology make better shut doors than open windows. They corral conversations into narrowly constricted pathways from which no one is never permitted to stray. They are both conversation killers and idea killers, which, of course, is often their purpose when they become an end rather than a mean. It’s why I almost never use the word “homophobia.” I believe it is a word to be used only in the most extreme circumstances, and even then, I typically find that the word ends up being so redundant that it becomes frivolous.

So, with all that, I will say that I’m sorry if people are offended by this post and their feelings were hurt. But I am only sorry for that and nothing more. And I recognize that this probably won’t be satisfactory to those offended. And for that I am sorry as well.

I suspect I will not get the last word in on this topic. But I also think this will probably be my last word on it.

Marauder
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

This site is great when it really looks at important facts and dismantles anti-gay claims, but comments about what somebody wore are petty and actually a little boring. I care a lot more about what Michele Bachmann does than I care about what she wore – and, let’s face it, if someone more gay-friendly wore this outfit, no one here would bother to comment on it. Michele Bachmann has bizarre, retrograde, harmful and unscientific views about GLBT people. Addressing that is important, not making derogatory comments about her clothes a la Joan Rivers.

When it comes to Marcus Bachmann, I find comments about his sexuality to be actually pretty biphobic. Let’s say he really is hugely flaming and pings queer-dars all over the place because he has a genuine attraction to men. That’s supposed to mean his marriage is a sham? This may come as a shock, but flaming married-to-a-woman guys who dig dudes don’t always translate into guys who have no sexual attraction to women whatsoever. And if he’s 100% gay, his views on homosexuality are harmful not only to other people but to himself, and that’s actually pretty sad. People have killed themselves over trying to deal with personal contradictions like that. If Marcus Bachmann is totally straight, his actions deserve our strenuous objections. If he’s gay or bi, his actions deserve our strenuous objections and his personal situation deserves our pity, not our ridicule. Being a gay or bi man who lives his life is a tragic situation.

fannie
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Timothy,

You say:

“And that is, after all, the antithesis of feminism.”

With all due respect, I’m not convinced you’re informed enough about feminism to say what is and is not the “antithesis” of it. I’m genuinely not trying to be snarky or rude, but really, do you even read feminist blogs, books, or magazines?

“But if the valuation on whether a comment is sexist is based primarily on whether the person making it has a penis or a vagina, then that evaluation is based in sexism. If a woman could say the above comment, but a man cannot, then that is sexism.”

That’s not my argument. I’m not sure your single-issue gay blog is the appropriate space to flesh all of this “Feminism 101″ stuff out, but I will try to brief.

When it comes to determining whether a comment is sexist against women I would contend that women, specifically feminist women who actually think about gender-related issues on a regular basis, are better arbiters of what is sexist against women than are men who do not think about feminist or gender issues on a regular basis. This has nothing to do with possessing a penis or a vagina, but it is primarily because (a) women, rather than men, have been on the receiving end of sexism against women because we’ve been on the receiving end of it our entire lives;(b) feminists regularly look for patterns of sexism (against both men and women) in a society that trains us to ignore it and pretend that everything’s all fairsies; and (c) men (primarily men who do not think about feminism or gender issues) have a vested interset in remaining sexist against women and denying the existence of sexism against women.

Which dovetails nicely into Jim’s claim that we’re (presumably the people taking issue with his post) are Just Looking For Things To Get Mad About. He says:

“As long as some people are finding reasons to be offended, let me say that I, too, could be offended by what I could see as mysandry being voiced on this thread as evidenced by the argument that my being a male making a wisecrack about a female defines me as a misogynist.”

For starters, it’s “misandry” not “mysandry.” It’s always interesting to see how people use that word when they first discover it.

Secondly, I haven’t made (or seen someone here make) the argument that your being a man making a wisecrack about a woman defines you as a “misogynist.” That’s quite a straw argument you’ve concocted there, Jim.

Sure, someone at the top of the thread said that criticizing Bachmann’s clothes was a misogynistic criticism, but that person didn’t specifically call you a misogynist.

You can keep your non-apology apology, Jim. You’ve made it abundantly clear that the feelings of gay people (gay men?) are the only feelings that matter and everyone else’s complaints are just Political Correctness Gone Awry.

Timothy Kincaid
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

fannie,

No, I am not a regular reader of feminist blogs or that well versed in feminist thought. But if in my naïveté I presumed false characteristics about feminism, then I suppose that it’s best that disavow any blanket support for feminism and simply apply a situational approach.

fannie
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Also, regarding jokes, I would refer to Ellen DeGeneres’ rule. “Well, you don’t know how to kid properly, because we should both be laughing.”

Lots of people here aren’t laughing at your “joke,” Jim.

And, regarding the term “politically correct.” In my experience, there is a strong correlation between people complaining that their critics are being “politically correct” buzzkills about their “jokes” and those “jokes” being mean and uninspired.

Jim Burroway
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

For starters, it’s “misandry” not “mysandry.” It’s always interesting to see how people use that word when they first discover it.

Nice snark. No, I didn’t discover it for the first time, and as far as how I used it, I used it correctly. But as many like to point out on a regular basis, my spelling sucks. Poke at that, if you must, but the argument is still there.

You can keep your non-apology apology, Jim. You’ve made it abundantly clear that the feelings of gay people (gay men?) are the only feelings that matter and everyone else’s complaints are just Political Correctness Gone Awry.

Speaking of strawmen, I have also made it abundantly clear that I also think gay people need to get over themselves sometimes on precisely the same basis.

fannie
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Well, I’ve certainly never seen you use the term “misandry” on this blog, that’s why it looked to me like maybe you had just discovered the term.

The initial post, to me, wasn’t a big huge deal (there are worse, more sexist ways to treat Bachmann) and it could have easily been rectified with a simple, “Sorry, I messed up.”

Yet, you had to keep digging by continuing to defend your post, not listening to the criticisms being made, accusing your critics of being overly-PC ruiners of all the “harmless” fun you’re apparently having, and insisting that it’s not you who’s been sexist, but your critics who’ve been “misandrist.”

So I’ll reiterate.

Chalk this up as everyone else’s problem that we just need to get over, but also know that posts like these, and especially your subsequent defenses of them, are incredibly alienating to a lot of people.

These petty posts also “prove” to anti-gay people that gay people are actually the villains they think we are. A couple days ago, Tim posted about the act of vandalism aimed at Peter LaBarbera. How might posts like these, no matter how “harmless” you might intend them to be, feed into the larger narrative that it’s anti-gays who are “under constant attack” from gay people?

Yeah, maybe it feels good to you to vent and mock a woman’s outfit. But aren’t we supposed to be the side of tolerance and civilty?

Timothy Kincaid
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Ironically, this comment should be more offensive to gay men than women.

Those crying sexism note that it suggests that Michele Bachmann’s outfit is unbecoming. And because Bachamann is female and because female politicians face higher standards, they determine it to be a sexist comment.

But it should be noted that the sexism they identify is based on social inequalities of expectation, not anything inherent to this particular situation. It is, at worst, an indirect sexism.

The ‘gay male’ component, however, is blatant and obvious. It is based on a non-flattering stereotype (gay men are obsessed with fashion and thus frivolous) and is stated in a way that insists this is a characteristic of all gay men.

And while it may be factual that Bachmann’s attire is not becoming or stylish (I, alas, have no idea), the gay male stereotype upon which the humor lies is a false one.

An yet no gay men got their undies in a bunch about it.

How odd. Someone call GLAAD.

Timothy Kincaid
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

fannie,

Jim and I are not the same person. Please don’t conflate our statements.

How might posts like these, no matter how “harmless” you might intend them to be, feed into the larger narrative that it’s anti-gays who are “under constant attack” from gay people?

That is a good point. Entirely unrelated to your assertions of sexism, but a good point nonetheless.

fannie
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Tim,

I didn’t conflate your statements with Jim’s. Not sure what you’re talking about.

I referenced your earlier post because it is relevant to this conversation.

Your post noted that anti-gay people often view gay people as mean villains. My point was that if anti-gay people read Jim’s post, I would predict that it would further cement the notion that gay people are mean villains (and reinforce the stereotype that gay men are sexist and woman-hating).

Yeah, Jim’s post is a small thing in the grand scheme of things, but when we add up the collective, petty, aggressive snarking on anti-gay people (especially women) that occurs on popular gay blogs, why wouldn’t anti-gay people see us as mean villains?

Regarding the post’s offensiveness to gay men, I’m not sure what the utility is of declaring that it’s “more offensive” to gay men than to women. When you rank it, without ever acknowledging that women have good reason to find the post sexist, it reeks of the same trivializing of women’s concerns here. (Although yes, I would agree that it seems offensive to gay men, because of the stereotype).

fannie
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

Tim, you have edited your comment here while I was in the midst of replying to it as you had originally written it.

Perhaps when you edit comments after you post them you can make a note such as [Edited to add….] or something?

Timothy Kincaid
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

fannie,

If a comment sits there for a while before I edit it, I do so notate. If it’s there for only a few moments I don’t.

But thanks for the advice.

Have a nice weekend.

Neil
October 21st, 2011 | LINK

All debating about sexism aside, I can’t help but find that outfit funny especially since it was chosen for her by her husband. I just can’t take my mind off the impression the picture gives me that Bachmann’s up there sharing the platform with L.Ron Hubbard. It helps that I already have an impression of Bachmann as generally divorced from reality.

iDavid
October 22nd, 2011 | LINK

@Jim B

I am soo with you on this one.

Timothy (trig)

I couldn’t agree w u more. She looks fine to me.
But then I fall into a confused heap trying to arrange pillows on a couch or bed so what do I know about being gay sheik.

I didn’t lose my gay card, I got snidely refused every time I applied.

Shofixti
October 23rd, 2011 | LINK

Hi – thanks.

I am not offended (nor do I endorse offensiveness as an explanation for proscribing or prescribing anything).

I am not trying to say that Jim or anyone is doing something objectively wrong, or is personally sexist. So please don’t feel attacked by me.

I am simply trying to locate this message. That depictions of female politicians often fit a pattern, and this pattern is supported by naturalised inequality between genders, and it positions people’s understanding of the world in a way that can be described as sexist.

Yes – male politicians can be mocked for their appearances too. But this usually occurs without denigration of their agency, not does it happen with such regularity, nor such obsessive and detailed attention.

For example: Here are dozens of women’s perspectives on media coverage of Michele Bachmann’s fingernails:

http://www.facebook.com/MissRepresentationCampaign/posts/263756086999175

I just wanted to connect a few dots and prompt a few thoughts – specifically because feminism (in general) is such an ally of gay and queer politics and scholarship.

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