The Raving Theist

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February 16, 2007 | 18 Comments

Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon explains in Salon why she had to quit the John Edwards campaign. One of her theories is that “the right-wing noise machine,” ostensibly acting through Bill Donohue of the Catholic League and Bill O’Reilly, “was working on pure misogynist emotion”:

One question that’s hard to avoid is how much of the venom had to do with the fact that McEwan and I were young women entering into a field (Internet communications) that’s viewed as almost monolithically masculine. From my vantage point, it appeared that sexism was one of the primary motivating energies behind the campaign.

One problem with this thesis is no mainstream spokesperson, male or female, liberal or conservative, actually tried to defend Marcotte’s religion-hostile posts. Not even, as I noted yesterday, Jane Fleming of Young Democrats of America. While I don’t have access to what I would imagine to be intriguing e-mail correspondence and/or phone conversations between Marcotte and the Edwards’ campaign staff, I expect they expressed offense too — which was, of course, the official position of the candidate himself.

Also problematic is that Donohue has issued at least three press releases, one within the past three months, angrily attacking O’Reilly (himself pro-choice) for comments about the Catholic Church. I haven’t gone through the League’s extensive archives of press releases, but a quick check doesn’t seem to indicate a bias in favor of female targets. Mostly, he just attacks organizations and politicians who have criticized Catholicism or the Church. So the sexism angle seems contrived. The Edwards campaign would likely have seized upon it and stuck to its guns if the evidence were sufficient.

In cutting Marcotte loose (or letting her cut the rope), I suspect the candidate was more concerned about what might come to light about the circumstances of her hiring if the “distraction” continued. Although Edwards’ woes have been attributed to insufficient or negligent vetting, the case is probably the opposite. No one who has run an atheistic blog for as many years as Marcotte could possibly have been unaware of the effective of her rhetoric upon the religious, so it strains credulity to suppose she didn’t provide the campaign with a highlighted print-out of every post she thought might be fodder for criticism. The candidate’s advisors scoured her words, including the ones that eventually brought her down, and decided to take a calculated gamble that no one would be overly concerned about the views of a lowly blog-level staffer.


18 Responses to “Sexism?”

  1. "Q" the Enchanter
    February 17th, 2007 @ 10:03 am

    Amanda’s feminist monomania is the one thing that makes it difficult for me to take her seriously. That, of course, along with the fact that she’s a girl.

  2. "Q" the Enchanter
    February 17th, 2007 @ 10:03 am

    Amanda’s feminist monomania is the one thing that makes it difficult for me to take her seriously. That, of course, along with the fact that she’s a girl.

  3. ratan
    February 17th, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

    Is it too early to vote Marcotte as the most ridiculous person of 2007?

  4. HomoCyclist
    February 17th, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

    The Raving Atheist said:

    “One problem with this thesis is no mainstream spokesperson, male or female, liberal or conservative, actually tried to defend Marcotte’s religion-hostile posts.”

    Yes, that’s what I notice everyday in blogs, forums and in real life. People are pathetic cowards. They speak, critizice and give their opinions, but when it comes to stand up for our rights and speak up, then there’s nobody around, everybody hides, democrats, republicans, males, females, theists and atheists. I think cowardice is a “quality” that most human beings have regarding of religious belief, philosophy, gender or political preference.

    Quite critizicing Marcotte, all of you wishh to have at least one ovary of hers.

    All of you who critizice Marcotte are pathetic cowards!

  5. Mark D
    February 18th, 2007 @ 3:38 pm

    Amanda’s is an idiot, why would she not think her comments would have consequences. Atheist seem to think they need not show any respect for the beliefs of others, well hopefully this one athiest will learn.


  6. Mark D
    February 18th, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

    It also works the other way, respect is need on both sides. Insults accompolish nothing.


  7. MMO
    February 18th, 2007 @ 5:29 pm

    Oh, come now! I saw a few bloggers and a few spokespeople begin to defend these two women early on, but once the actual words were out there in print, in the mainstream media, I think those people, too, realized just how appalling those comments were.

    The problem with living in your little internet bubble for too long is that you forget that the overwhelming majority of people/voters are still living in a world where intelligence and manners count. Ms. Marcotte, certainly, and perhaps Ms. McEwen (never read her blog, so I can’t say), are so used to getting away with the kind of immature, loud, rude, crude and just plain stupid nonsense they write on a regular basis, that they no longer understand how the real world reacts to their sort of rhetoric.

    They live in a world where they are free to write what and how they wish, with no authority to remind them that they are being offensive, ill-mannered and crude. They ban anyone who disagrees with them too vehemently, and they are encouraged and fed by like-minded bloggers and hangers-on.

    It’s a completely unrealistic world, and they just got whacked over the head with a healthy dose of realism.

    Once you’re out in the real world, your words count, you will be held accountable, and you can’t “ban” the people who are calling you on your crap, nor can you exclusively listen to only those who are yes-ing you to death.

  8. HomoCyclist
    February 20th, 2007 @ 2:34 pm

    Mark D said:
    “insults accomlish nothing”, but Mark D also called Amanda Marcotte “an idiot”.
    LOL, Mark D, those are stupid contradictions of a stupid theist.

    Amanda Marcotte is not an idiot, theists are, for believieng in the non-existant. And why we atheists shouldn’t speak up and even use insults once in a while? Christians are always insulting anybody who doesn’t agree with their ridiculous beliefs.

  9. MMO
    February 20th, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

    She certainly is a fool if she thought the kind of rhetoric she used when “satirizing” coughcoughinsultingcoughcough Catholics would wash with the majority of Americans.

    She has lived in that cold, hard, shrewish little cyberbubble of hers for so long, she doesn’t get what a complete lunatic she looks out here in the real world.

    Bottom line: No one wants to see their kid grow up to spew the kind of language and the kind of hate-talk that woman has made a habit of spewing. For all that her shrill little hangers-on think she’s so great, most people think the entire pack of them are revolting.

    No one’s saying she can’t say what she wants on her blog, or say it how she wants.

    They’re just responding with their own free will and their own freedom of speech.

    The Amanda Marcottes of this world never seem to get that. They hide behind the first amendment in order to say repulsive things in repulsive ways, and then they whine about how everyone is trying to censor them when their words are met with criticism and, well, repulsion.

    Amanda can spew obscenities and make revolting “satires” all day long. Her right to do so doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to think she’s a disgusting human being for doing it, or to say exactly that, or to reject Edwards as a candidate for hiring her in the first place.

  10. sam
    February 23rd, 2007 @ 3:06 pm

    Religious people have been killing and torturing
    people who they don’t think are “right” to their
    “faith” for thousands of years.

    What is so bloody wrong about criticising
    them now-adays with words.

    After all we are not burning them on the stake nor
    are we torturing on the wrack to “recant” their
    stupid-unscientific-retarded views on everything.

    We are just talking about how stupid they are.

    But now they are gaining in power AGAIN, so we
    will see more and more of this sort of thing against
    “hereitcs” and maybe we will see the day of
    burning on the stake and inquisitions all over

    The problem with people is that they do not know
    history. And he who does not know history is
    DOOMED to repeat it.

    “GOD” help us all, the day is not far away I think
    when we will all regret our apathy towards this
    growing movement of religious resurgence.


  11. MMO
    February 24th, 2007 @ 8:49 am

    Yes. Comment all you want. You can even comment badly, rudely, obscenely if you want.

    No one has suggested you can’t.

    What you can’t do is complain when others comment about you and your methods.

    Get it?

    It’s called the Dixie Chick syndrome — you think you have the right to state whatever you want and be free from criticism, or, worse, state what you like and have the right to be respected for it.

    Say what you want. Criticize what or whom you want. Use whatever language or tone you want.

    Just don’t be so stupid, naive and narcissistic to think that you are above suffering the consequences of your words and actions.

    But here’s a hint: if you offer an intelligent, knowledgable and scholarly criticism, people might actually listen instead of writing you off as a spoiled, bitter little shrew.

  12. HomoCyclist
    February 24th, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

    MMO, I think you’re a woman hater. Now there’s a Dixie Chick Syndrome? LOL

    Hey, I’ve come up with another syndrome myself, the MMO Syndrome

    Mental Masturbation Oblitteratus Syndrome LOL

  13. Godthorn
    February 24th, 2007 @ 10:48 pm

    Where have all the bloggers gone,
    Long time passing;
    Where have all the bloggers gone,
    Gone to farsites everyone;
    When will they all return,
    When will they all return?

  14. MMO
    February 27th, 2007 @ 10:50 am

    Oh, please, keep on proving that liberals are idiots and can’t do anything other than call names and snicker over silly masturbation jokes…

    Grow up. When you have anything of substance to say, I might give a damn about you. Frankly, however, grubby, piggy little middle-school boys don’t interest me much.

    And I am a woman. I just can’t stand people like Amanda Marcotte who hide behind the first amendment in order to publish their badly and offensively expressed “opinions”, and then cry and whine like bratty, spoiled little children when those they’ve set out to offend call them on their crap. First amendment rights are not just for liberals, and they don’t guarantee you the right not to be criticized, disrespected, and ridiculed.

    If that hard-faced, bitter, shrewish female wants to make revolting comments about Catholicism, fine. I’ll fight to the death for her right to do so. Problem for her is, she’s just gonna have to put up with everyone else getting the same rights she’s protected under.

  15. madison
    March 14th, 2007 @ 12:44 pm
  16. Aaron Kinney
    March 15th, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

    A month and no posts? Have you turned Catholic?

  17. Professor Chaos
    March 16th, 2007 @ 11:52 am

    So who’s going to write the obituary?

  18. Scarface
    March 19th, 2007 @ 8:45 pm

    Not that I support John Edwards, mind you… but Edwards is *much* better off without Marcotte (or that other bitch) on his staff.

    Marcotte is the very worst kind of gender-feminist propaganda whore — unconstrained by any sense of duty to the truth, concerned only with rolling back the evil, all-pervasive ‘patriarchy’ wherever it may appear… which, apparently, is *everywhere*.

    To Marcotte:
    Feminist gains of the last fifty years… insignificant.
    All of the world’s various ills and evils… easily blamed exclusively on men.
    Fair play for males in society, in court or in interpersonal relationships… only worthy of consideration when there is no female with a competing interest.

    To hear Marcotte whine incessantly about misogyny is especially rich, as she is the most odious example of walking, breathing male hatred that I have ever had the displeasure of stumbling across.

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