QRG’s First Open Thread!

Posted: October 12, 2012 in Blogging, Feminism, Freedom of Speech

I have never had an open thread on my blog before – maybe I am a bit of a control freak and am scared of such a loose structure. But I am on holiday, real life hoiliday in the south of France, so this seems a good time to leap into the unknown and give you my longsuffering readers and writers the chance to lead the discussion.

An open thread is just that so you can talk about anything you like below the line, but as a starting point here are two articles I might have blogged about if I hadnt been so busy drinking wine and going to the beach!

The first is by Jane Fae at Huffpo, a cautionary tale about freedom of speech without limits:


The second is classic Suzanne Moore in the Graun. She has resurrected once again feminism’s favourite zombie, ‘patriarchy’:


Over to you, #QRGMassive !

  1. Jonathan says:

    Over to you, #QRGMassive !

    As it happens I mentioned QRG massive in a recent blogpost:

    Dunno whether you’d like the rest of it though 😉

    • QRG says:

      excellent glqd to see the QRG Massive being referred to. well Laurie Penny is free to do her ‘surveys’ but I have no interest in the results

  2. Dean Esmay says:

    Am working on starting a new podcast called “Tales from the Infrared.” Would love to have you on as a guest some time…

  3. I started out with open threads on Madame Arcati but as my fame grew (in my imagination), anonymice (aka slovenly hacks I’d exposed as scum) left libels which had to be quickly removed, hoping to put me in it. Hexes on these individuals have helped to create a number of employment opportunities on newspapers, especially for Alice-banded blondes and gentlemen of height – a prerequisite for a life of words. Apparently.

  4. south of France?

    a picture of an unclothed woman behind a ? sign?

    I think you are dropping the hint that you are going for the all round tan on a nudie beach 😉

  5. redpesto says:

    I read that Suzanne Moore article and my heart just sank. Given that she once wrote that the feminism of the likes of Mary Daly gave her kind of feminism a bad name, it’s depressing to see that she’s decided to go for the ‘I blame the patriarchy’ argument – thus reducing the entirety of the Tory-led coalition, neo-liberal economics and the current Eurozone crisis to being the fault of ‘men’. She’s junked any kind of nuance, complexity or sophistication in her analysis for the most simplistic analysis in feminism. Moreover, if ‘men’ simply constitute a ruling class, and ‘women’ an underclass, it’s hard to see where those men she claimed could be feminist allies fit, let alone those (middle-class, right- wing) women who occupy, or want to occupy, positions of power which don’t help less fortunate or powerful men and women. (And don’t get me started on the levels of Nietzschean levels of ‘ressentiment’ in the article).

    Gah, I’d better stop. It’s not the fact that sexism or misogyny exists and needs to be challenged that I have a problem with – it’s the fifty shades of dodgy feminist analysis like Moore’s in that article.

    • Henry says:

      Gotta love Ms Moore:

      ‘But the word I avoid the most is “patriarchy”‘ (…but damn, look! I just said it).

      Oh for the time to write something for Graunwatch on this! Just one quote of many:

      “In this deeply conservative era, patriarchal displays are obligatory. Hence the new “tradition” of each party leader producing a mute but glamorous wife for a postcoital glow after a speech”

      This really is the business isn’t it? My word. Completely pointless, ridiculous piece.

      • redpesto says:

        “In this deeply conservative era, patriarchal displays are obligatory. Hence the new “tradition” of each party leader producing a mute but glamorous wife for a postcoital glow after a speech”

        Or…it’s a horrible Americanism where the party leader’s wife is cast in the role of ‘First Lady’ (Cherie Booth/Blair, anyone?)

        Of course, from a LGBT perspective, the response would be more along the lines of ‘f*****g breeders’.

    • QRG says:

      I read about the ‘doxxing’ of that ‘troll’ by Gawker but didn’t know about the Hulk Hogan stuff. double standards indeed!

    • alley cat says:

      I think it’s a bit of overkill. (not hogan’s suing them, all commercial media outlets today should have the pants sued off them…just as karma )
      But to claim that it’s hypocrisy for gawker to pretend to be against objectification of teen girls when it was selling, by proxy, child porn (or rather, promises of).
      I think it’s enough to point out that jezebel’s and TheNation’s and graun’s and etc’s feminism is so over the top hypocritical for the simple point that:
      they claim men and women should be respectful of one another but they also claim that all sexual interest in women by men is degrading, hence they are in fact reducing women to inanimate, asexual objects of economic exploitation and marriage, no lust allowed.


      (I’m probably doubling the hits on that article just by linking here)

      “This is something many women know, and understand. They have spoken out about the effect that seeing Page 3 has on their confidence, their wellbeing, and the way they perceive their place in society – as sex objects, as the receptacles of men’s egos and gazes and penises, routinely ogled over buttered toast, normalised. Those women’s voices are important, and should be heard.”

      I did find it troubling that he blamed excessive child porn laws and hysteria on feminism alone, when it’s clearly an alliance between puritan mainstream feminism and puritan conservatism and just general puritan attitudes among a public hysterical with moral panic.
      It isn’t fair to blame feminism alone, for the fact that an image of a suggestively posed 17 year old can be used to convict on child pornography, if it doesn’t have the disney corp’s marketing machine to save it from the police.

      I do love the hoaky play on “receptacles”, like it was bad rude comedy. Just thinking of women not wanting to be receptacles of anything, thinking the concept degrading, is in itself quite high farce.

      I can’t help it, if you did a blind test reading a feminist text, you wouldn’t know it from a sermon by Pat Robertson. And yet, using the most patriarchal (in their sense) oppressive anti sex speech, it pretends to defend women.

      Where is the mention that women can be arrested for showing their breast in public. The fear and hatred of sex is what it boils down to on the left and the right. The taliban, all theocracies, the church, abortion opponents, all of them would like to ban pornography. Tell it to a feminist and watch the mental gears churn and churn…and come up dry, no wait, an idea is coming, they’ve almost connected the dots, their epiphany is accomplished:
      “you’re a chauvinist pig”.

      Where is the mention that women can be arrested for showing their breast in public. The fear and hatred of sex is what it boils down to on the left and the right. The taliban, all theocracies, the church, abortion opponents, all of them would like to ban pornography. Tell it to a feminist and watch the mental gears churn and churn…and come up dry, no wait, an idea is coming, they’ve almost connected the dots, their epiphany is accomplished:
      “you’re a chauvinist pig”.

  6. just wonder what you think of this video?

  7. alley cat says:

    If you want to see strapped for cash censorship, just look at TheNation’s forums. They censor everything that doesn’t praise their articles.
    Indeed theirs is a stale bit of progressive-liberalism in name only, a real emptily partisan arm of the Dem party. But their censorship isn’t necessarily highly motivated Stalinist purging. It could just be that they’re a sinking ship, long, long past their heyday, and they just don’t have the website administration to do triage more honestly/thoroughly.
    Where the NYT and Guardian have dealt with trolling by creating departments, a little bit of underfunded toilet paper like TheNation just eliminates the problem through broader intolerance.

    Maybe Suzanne Moore has come upon harder times herself and needs to think more economically. Broad sweeping terms, rehashed from decades past, are far easier to ‘create’ (plagiarize/regurge), when you’re pressed to look after other problems.
    Tolerance requires not just an open mind but an open wallet.

    And feminism today floats lower that Borat’s punk’d’ing, in mass media. Which has isolated and hardened them, everywhere they’ve retreated to congregate.
    It’s just a shame that those shrunken stages are also the just barely still standing houses of media leftism, which says a lot about leftism’s state of grace today.

    In conclusion, take a look at TheNation’s latest effort to string an article together for the femaudience.
    compared to it, mizz moore’s employ-critique of patriarchy seems like a towering intellectual achievement. But that may be the difference between England and America.

  8. alley cat says:

    Here’s a questino for one and all:

    WHY has institutional liberalism become so obsessed with good manners.
    They’re like a 50s American diner. Good colors and nobody is getting laid.
    No dissent is ever engaged thoroughly, no arguments are allowed. Why are liberals now more eager to have a happy family instead of serious intellectual examination.
    There are exceptions but I would just call those people independent thinkers at this point.

    • alley cat says:


      Commenters and readers,
      If you love Jessica’s work, sign up for our Feminist Round Up emails and we’ll send you weekly updates on articles by Jessica, Bryce Covert, Katha Pollitt and others!

      Got it? If you agree with what we write, we want you to read more. If you disagree with us, go ‘way.

      That’s how they market subscriptions as well. And that’s how proselytizing, evangelizing liberals talk today. Conservatives, in their medieval hatreds, at least challenge everybody to be like them. Liberals won’t even talk to you if you aren’t one of them.

  9. alley cat says:

    As to the video, I think it’s the “Saw” series but Jigsaw has boobies! (now that IS feminism, not ‘women are nice patriarchy is harsh’ clap)
    I’m glad we’ve arrived at a point where actual nudity can figure in pop videos, now that music is mercifully free of any censorship (since it isn’t on tv anymore). It brings us ever closer to the reunification of mainstream pop art with high art (history of nudes as a core feature of high art), as it was in the ancient world and the Renaissance.

    But I think she should have removed her arms from her chest to prove that boobies are pride and strength. Without that, with only topless minions around her, it still plays to the reactionary prudes’ assumptions about how a **real star** wouldn’t have to take her clothes off, while the lower downs would.

  10. alley cat says:

    Just checking TheNation’s post blocking by clearing my cache. Well, they’ve blocked my I.P.
    This is supposed to be the premier leftist rag in America, where internet surveillance is rampant and growing (like most places), and they actually collect and block i.p. addresses, like they were the cops.
    Amazing how the mighty can fall.

    • alley cat says:

      Okay i spoke too soon. I didn’t clear all my cache just the cache after midnight. They haven’t blocked my ip after all, just my social media profile.

  11. alley cat says:

    As to the Huffypo link.

    Here’s a counter link

    where one insightful point is that by blaming mr. ahmed for the dangerous mob that surrounded his home in ultra-nationalistic outrage on the grounds that his was a form of hate speech, the court in fact used hate speech laws in the most twisted, unintended consequence (which is quite common for laws, it turns out): it protected the hate speech and hate crime-like action of a racist mob of ultra tories and skinheads by literally blaming the victim (mr ahmed).
    All to protect the “feelings” of the unfortunate soldiers’ families? I wonder if the judge didn’t have ulterior, undeclared ideological sympathies but then such a claim would be libellous.

    Speaking of libel, Lance armstrong may be counter sued to recover the money he got when suing for libel.
    It’s not his cheating which disgusts me. It’s his pretence of respectability, which would have been just as bad were he an honest player. I love that his super reactionary suing against accusations was accepted by his sports fans. Sports ain’t as cool as they play.

    Here’s another rejoinder from the WaPo.

    What bothers me isn’t that liberals promote the idea of hate speech to justify censorship. Even to protect people from being offended.

    It’s that they don’t reflect on the meaning of their choice. They don’t say “we’re giving away a lot of freedom because safety and comfort are so, so, sooooooo important to us”.
    They say, “we never cared about that freedom anyway (just look at how uninspired and safe our writing is to begin with) and, you-know-what?, life should be a little safer and people (in our countries, be damned anywhere else) should feel like life is fair and everybody likes them, so, why not make it that way”.

    There’s no trade off in their mind. Which means, they don’t accept that they’re making a decision at all.

  12. alley cat says:

    Here’s the problem with free speech. It requires intelligence to find its value.
    ANd the public are basically idiots who can’t have a creative thought more than once a year.
    So, any speech that can be policed is policed, if it’s the public that wills it to be so.
    Hence, no matter how protected speech is,
    either the law will be changed to unprotect it or due to public support of gov, the law will be ignored. So free speech as a social practice is a losing battle.
    It’s largely been sustained by unique court rulings that weren’t widely understood except by interest groups, before the internet.
    Now with the net, everybody knows what’s going on but they are as intolerant as ever, so it actually results in increased bigotry and criminalization of freedoms.

  13. elissa says:

    Haha – Slutwalk in Brazil – some charming dude decides to march along along in solidarity, with his dick on display. The slut walk brigade is not pleased with his show of solidarity.

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