SUZANNE VENKER GETS DESPERATELY NEEDED ATTENTION AND THE FJM TREATMENT

There is ample money to be made Uncle Tomming in the conservative media; there's no quicker way to a book deal, columnist gig, or TV appearances than to be something other than a white male. Flap-jowled white guys are 90% of the intended audience, and they love nothing more than being able to feel like they are totally not sexist/racist because, look, a woman/black person just said it! Thomas Sowell says there's nothing racist about George Zimmerman! Ann Coulter says women are responsible for getting raped! See? It's totally OK for us to say it if they can say it.

The market is highly competitive, though. The number of female writers, for example, willing to whine on behalf of men that it's really, really hard to be a white male in America is not small. They struggle to stand out by tripping over themselves to declare just how oppressed men really are. They can all stop now. We have found the winner, the writer with absolutely no dignity, willing to say anything, and with no limit to how wide her unhinged jaw opens. I have no idea who Suzanne Venker is (her tagline identifies her as the author of the hit book How to Choose a Husband and Make Peace with Marriage, which I honestly didn't make up) but oh my god does she take the cake. We're about to examine her FoxNews.com opus "Men – The New Second Class Citizens." If this is liberal trolling, it's almost too obvious. If this is a real person writing a real thing intended to be taken seriously, there is no god.

Are you ready? You say yes, but just wait.

In November of last year, I wrote an article for Fox News called The War on Men (which I subsequently expanded to an eBook). To keep it pithy, in the piece I focused on one effect of this war: the lack of marriageable men.

Pithy:
1. adj. Concise and forcefully expressive
2. adj. Containing much pith (of fruit or plant)

By the end of this piece you will agree that she is likely referring to the second definition here.

But there’s so much more to it. The truth is, men have become second-class citizens.

"Hey guys did you like my last exercise in pandering? Well you have seen nothing yet, absolutely nothing. I can pander even harder! It felt pretty good when I told you that you're not married because women are bitches or society won't let you hit them or whatever insipid red meat I threw at you, but there's more! You're an actual second-class citizen, not unlike pre-Civil Rights African-Americans! Look, you even have separate bathrooms, just like they did!"

The most obvious proof is male bashing in the media. It is rampant and irrefutable. From sit-coms and commercials that portray dad as an idiot to biased news reports about the state of American men, males are pounced on left and right. And that’s just the beginning.

Well, that's settled. Are you convinced? I'm convinced too. It's irrefutable, after all. Sitcom dads are dolts, whereas the other characters on sitcoms are really complex, intelligent, mature, and multidimensional. Also, biased news reports. Always biased news reports. Bias bias bias. People probably think fire burns things because of bias.

This is the laziest shit I have ever read. She is not even trying. She just throws out, like, three keywords in one paragraph without even the usual feeble attempts to justify them. Since EVERYONE KNOWS these things we can just throw them out there and move on.

The war on men actually begins in grade school, where boys are at a distinct disadvantage. Not only are curriculums centered on girls, rather than boys, interests, the emphasis in these grades is on sitting still at a desk.

So let's just get this straight: The argument, if we can be generous and call it that, is that boys are at a disadvantage in school. That's what we're gonna go with? I feel like a sympathetic blackjack dealer watching a nice customer try to hit on a hard 17. I'm looking over my shoulder to make sure the pit boss isn't looking, then I whisper "Nah, you don't wanna do that."

He tries to hit again. Once again, I give him the little "Dude, seriously…stand" face. Still trying to hit. OK, fine, here's your Jack of Clubs. Nice job, Stu Ungar.

Plus, many schools have eliminated recess. Such an environment is unhealthy for boys, for they are active by nature and need to run around. And when they can’t sit still teachers and administrators often wrongly attribute their restlessness to ADD or ADHD. The message is clear: boys are just unruly girls.

Boys are "active by nature". Straight from this 1913 Madison Grant textbook on Human Nature. Boys also have a preponderance of concentrativeness according to these skull measurements!

Actually, Dr. Venkman, schools are cancelling recess because of shortages of non-academic staff (THAT MEANS BUDGET CUTS) and constant funding-dependent pressure to perform on standardized tests. You're in favor of bigger education budgets and less emphasis on testing, right?

Oh, and Ritalin makes boys girls. When I was 8 the Rialto Theatre in Joliet, IL had a show on its marquee called "Boys Will Be Girls" and my dad had to explain the idea of a drag show, which in hindsight I bet was pretty funny. But now I wonder if it wasn't a show about boys on Ritalin. Which makes them girls.

This gets worse, folks. These are, comparatively speaking, the good arguments.

Things are no better in college. There, young men face the perils of Title IX, the 1972 law designed to ban sex discrimination in all educational programs.

This has turned into a journalistic Sharknado at this point. Come on. Is this even serious? THE PERILS OF TITLE IX. Male readers, do you remember THE PERILS OF TITLE IX during college? It was basically all I thought about for four years.

Boy it sure would be funny if she had no goddamn idea how Title IX even works. But that can't happen, what with this being a professional writer for a major media outlet.

Under Title IX, the ratio of female athletes is supposed to match the ratio of female students. So if not enough women sign up for, say, wrestling and ice hockey, well then: no more wrestling and ice hockey.

That is not even a tiny little bit how it works. Not even close. This is like writing, "One of the big disadvantages to being female is sexual harassment" and then continuing to explain that sexual harassment is when a woman is catapulted into a barn.

The total number of athletic scholarships must equalize under Title IX, so ice hockey for men could be offset by women's gymnastics, for example. Or the teams could operate without scholarship athletes. But according to Venkelmeyer, schools that have 50 male football players on scholarship can only have a football team by giving 50 football scholarships to women and WHAT AM I EVEN DOING HERE, PEOPLE? AM I ALIVE ANYMORE? WHY? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? HELLO? IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, SEND LIQUOR. SEND ME LIQUOR.

What was once viewed equal opportunity for women has become something else altogether: a demand for equal outcomes. Those are not the same thing at all.

*scratches ass with keys*

Yeah, that follows logically. Just do whatever you want from this point on. I'll just amuse myself with these jacks.

Title IX is also abused when it comes to sex. In 1977, a group of women at Yale used Title IX to claim sexual harassment and violence constitute discrimination against women.

Where did they get the idea that things like rape and domestic violence constitute a discriminatory environment for women? Boys are active by nature! They need to rape! After all, look at how these college girls dress.

I don't even know who's writing this response anymore, I shot myself a few paragraphs ago. Now I'm reading a BuzzFeed piece called 17 SIGNS YOU'VE BEEN SHOT IN THE HEAD OR TORSO. It's really funny. Lots of movie stills from The Sandlot and 1990s Nickelodeon shows.

Genuine harassment and violence should be punishable offenses, obviously.

Well that's big of you!

But the college campus is a breeding ground for sexual activity, which makes determining wrongdoing (and using Title IX to prove it) extremely difficult. Sexual misconduct does not necessarily constitute harassment—and women have as much of a role to play as men do.

You all knew we would get here, right? I mean, you saw this coming. You read the first paragraph or two and you were like, Jesus tittybanging Christ, this isn't going to end without her explaining how men are victims in sex crimes. You just knew. You shall not be disappointed. In a certain sense of the term.

Here again men are in an impossible situation, for there’s an unspoken commandment when it comes to sex in America: thou shalt never blame the woman. If you’re a man who’s sexually involved with a woman and something goes wrong, it’s your fault. Simple as that.

"and something goes wrong"

Don't you hate it when you're dating a woman and "something goes wrong," guys? You think the relationship is going well and then you slap her around a little and suddenly everything is all like BUT OFFICER… and everyone's making YOU the bad guy? How's that for fair.

Note the passive construction: the male doesn't do something. Something happens. You're a victim of external forces. When things, uh, "go wrong."

Judith E. Grossman shed light on this phenomenon in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed. A former feminist, Grossman concedes that in the past she would have expressed "unqualified support" for policies such as Title IX. But that was before her son was charged with "nonconsensual sex" by a former girlfriend.

Oh cool, so she was a "feminist" until her son raped someone. She sounds credible. When parents change their tune to excuse and defend the behavior of their Precious Snowflake children, that's usually a sign that they have the intellectual and moral high ground. LET'S LISTEN TO HER, EVERYONE.

"Title IX has obliterated the presumption of innocence that is so foundational to our traditions of justice. On today’s college campuses, neither "beyond a reasonable doubt," nor even the lesser "by clear and convincing evidence" standard of proof, is required to establish guilt of sexual misconduct," she writes.

Those would be really relevant points in a courtroom. Isn't it a shame how some universities don't follow the standard sexual assault trial script of putting the victim on the stand and talking about how she dresses like a whore and is a giant whore and whores all whore-y like? Oh, the horror of an environment in which there are fewer (BUT STILL PLENTY OF) loopholes to escape trouble when you bang someone who isn't conscious.

Being a man is hard.

When men become husbands and fathers, things get really bad.

They get…ATTACKED by SPIDERS!!

In family courts throughout America, men are routinely stripped of their rights and due process. The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is easily used against them since its definition of violence is so broad that virtually any conflict between partners can be considered abuse.

Well technically that's after a divorce, not "when men become husbands and fathers."

And come on, anyone who knows anything about our legal system knows that it's really, really easy to get a man charged with and convicted of domestic violence and my god, I read all of Going Rogue and Atlas Shrugged and an essay by Stephen Baldwin and yet this takes the cake as the absolute dumbest goddamn thing I have ever read. This is like trolling the "Men's Rights" forum on Reddit, but worse. It's as if a council of 15 year old boys, convicted rapists, and apes with serious head injuries wrote this by committee.

"If a woman gets angry for any reason, she can simply accuse a man and men are just assumed guilty in our society," notes Dr. Helen Smith, author of the new book, "Men on Strike." This is particularly heinous since, as Smith adds, violence in domestic relations "is almost 50% from men and 50% from women."

Yep. I have nothing to add – that's how enforcement of domestic violence laws works. This is correct in every way.

Shocked?

Not really, given that none of this is true, cubby!

If so, that’s in part because the media don't believe men can be victims of domestic violence—so they don't report it.

TO THINK THAT THE MEDIA AND SOCIETY AT LARGE COULD PLAY SOME SORT OF ROLE IN THE UNDER-REPORTING OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

They would rather feed off stories that paint women as victims. And in so doing, they've convinced America there's a war on women.

Well then I guess the best solution is for the media to report less about domestic violence, amirite?

What kind of recent events in various state legislatures could lead people to the crazy notion that there's some sort of "war on women"? Must be all that reporting about domestic violence.

Yet it is males who suffer in our society. From boyhood through adulthood, the White American Male must fight his way through a litany of taunts, assumptions and grievances about his very existence. His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced. Unlike women, however, men don't organize and form groups when they've been persecuted. They just bow out of the game.

OK, this is fake. This cannot possibly be real. It was fun and you had me going for a while, but you got greedy with "His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced." You blew your cover. Fun while it lasted, though.

"His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced."

I yield. This has broken me.

America needs to wake up. We have swung the pendulum too far in the other direction – from a man's world to a woman's world.

Yes, which is why America is controlled, top to bottom, by women.

Friends, one criticism I receive often is that I ignore the substance of an argument in favor of mocking the person making it. And my defense is that some arguments are so goddamn stupid that it would be excruciatingly boring to waste time refuting it. This is a perfect example. Can you imagine anything less interesting than explaining in a serious tone that this is not correct?

That's not equality. That's revenge.

Fuck you.

No, wait, let's do the Scooby-Doo ending.

*pulls off mask*

WAIT A SECOND! Suzanne Venker is actually…Marcel Duchamp!

Do your best, Coulter and Malkin wannabes – you will never, ever top this. This is the Sistene Chapel, the Led Zeppelin IV, the Citizen Kane of pandering to an audience of angry white men. I'd be in awe of it if I didn't have such a splitting headache from stupid right now.

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69 Responses to “SUZANNE VENKER GETS DESPERATELY NEEDED ATTENTION AND THE FJM TREATMENT”

  1. acer Says:

    @Sarah:

    Wow.

    I find Scalzi smarmy and self-satisfied as a blogger. But Brake is such an incredible, incredible ass.

    I wouldn't want to like anything he made.

  2. acer Says:

    Beale

  3. Sarah Says:

    I find Scalzi smarmy and self-satisfied as a blogger.

    Really? I like him. At the very least he has enough self-awareness to be aware of his own privilege. He seems to be on board with the idea of paying it forward, and using his privilege to try to better the lives of women and minorities. His efforts to get more of them involved with the sf/f genre are nice too. Not to mention, he gets attacked by He Who Shall Not be Named (or sees the shitbag attacking someone else), he organizes a fundraiser and gives the money to charity.

    Plus I finished Old Man's War last week and I really enjoyed it. I told my dad that if he didn't buy a copy of it for himself, I would buy one for him.

    But Brake is such an incredible, incredible ass.

    I wouldn't want to like anything he made.

    Eh, I read Twilight and I survived. I'm sure I'll be all right.

  4. acer Says:

    I like Scalzi's fiction and he seems like a nice guy. Maybe I wish he were more openly flawed. I like Ed partly because of his mood swings.

  5. Daphne Says:

    What you do, Ed, is called addressing the subtext. It is not only wise but the only approach to bad faith players.

  6. Sarah Says:

    Oh look, a state legislator in Utah thinks that compulsory education is, like, so 20th century. Guess what party he belongs to. (Of course, we're talking about Utah, but that doesn't mean the rest of us shouldn't be afraid.)

  7. Xynzee Says:

    @Sarah: if knowing that I'd saved my kid from being able to read Twilight. I'd aim for illiteracy too ;)

    On serious note, where do they find these people?

  8. c u n d gulag Says:

    Sarah,
    Remember a few years ago, a bunch of Republican politicians (who else?) in the state of Texas wanted to have schools stop teaching "critical thinking?"

    Yes, because "critical thinking" led to children be 'critical,' and possibly push back against their parents and their wishes.
    Especially, on religious beliefs.

    And who wants a child who's not a good Jesus-bot?

    According to these types of people, everything you need to know about life, is in the Bible.
    As told to you by your Minister.

    God forbid you have the ability to read if, and interpret the teachings for yourself – or, maybe even use "critical thinking," and decide that maybe religion, or Christianity, wasn't your cup of tea.

    Our Christians are really Polytheists – they worship the gods "Ignorance" and "Obedience" – among others.

    And so, they want to doom future generations of Texans to be just as f*cking stupid and ignorant as their parents.

  9. Arslan Says:

    There is a simple test a man can take to see if he's oppressed.

    If you go out at night, what do you think are the odds of you being raped?

    Have you ever considered the previous question in your life?

    How often are people you are not attracted to giving you insincere compliments on your appearance?

    If you are upset about something and voice your opinion, do people chalk it up to hormones or the time of month?

    Are you socially condemned for having multiple sex partners?

    Is the government constantly trying to regulate your access to medical care?

    When you interview for a job, do you think the interviewer is wondering if you'll get pregnant soon(if they are, you might want to reconsider working for such a company)?

    Are you admired for having lots of sexual experience?

    Are you constantly being told how you should look, how you need to be married, and how to appeal to women?

    Have you ever had to consider prostituting yourself, or trading sex for shelter and food?

    Are you constantly being told from childhood to imagine your wedding day and your ideal wife?

    Do clubs and various venues involve drunk idiots trying to get you to take off your clothes in public, only to call you pejorative names for obliging?

    How often do you get groped in social situations?

    Do you get offered all kinds of favors from people you have no attraction to, only to have such kindness withheld when you don't reciprocate with sex?

    Obviously there are plenty more questions but it seems to me that if men are indeed facing oppression that is anywhere near what women fact, there need to be at least a few positive answers to those questions.

  10. Buckyblue Says:

    Sarah et al. Gulag writes some of his best stuff over at Mahablog, which is a damn fine blog in its own right. If you haven't been there, definately worth a visit.

  11. Benny Lava Says:

    Sarah,

    By all means people should go out and vote. But I don't really see what part reading punditry will play or how it really helps. Every time someone like Limbaugh or Coulter says something sensational, ratings go up. They are being rewarded for bad behavior.

  12. Sarah Says:

    Yes, because "critical thinking" led to children be 'critical,' and possibly push back against their parents and their wishes.
    Especially, on religious beliefs.

    When I was a kid my parents would periodically get bit by the religion bug and decide that they and all of us kids had to start going to church to "give an hour to god," save our souls, avoid eternal damnation, et cetera. After a few weeks they would start finding excuses not to go and our attendance would fall off. Getting me to go to church when I was a teenager and they were cycling through this process was like pulling teeth. My mom was actually furious at me for years because I refused to participate in a confirmation ceremony over which was presided by John Paul II. What's really ironic about that is that she has since left Catholicism and is cycling through the same process with my dad at a local Lutheran church.

    God forbid you have the ability to read if, and interpret the teachings for yourself – or, maybe even use "critical thinking," and decide that maybe religion, or Christianity, wasn't your cup of tea.

    Aaaaand the irony/hypocrisy there is that most of these people are Protestant. Protestantism got its start with people questioning the authority and the infallibility of the Catholic Church.

  13. AndErrorsSon Says:

    Perhaps I am a little late to the party as this comment thread has garnered over 60 comments already. However, against all odds I have found a mostly untouched topic (I say mostly as a J. Dryden touched on this briefly in an earlier comment). But after reading the "feminist when convenient" Grossman's opinion piece a couple things stuck me. One, this reminds me of Sarah Palin's Mother Bear (I will generously call a) movement. And secondly all the surely angrily typed trite by Grossman was all for naught. The system she claims to have helped put into place worked, furthermore it worked in her favor. The charges against her son were dropped, so her venom-laced language was wasted. At most she was fuming that her son was "grilled" for two hours. Her son was inconvenienced for two hours, time he could have better used to eat pizza and play Call of Duty, to answer questions, it's easy to see how men are second class citizens.
    P.s. I apologize for my grammar, I went to a public school that didn't teach reading until the second grade.

  14. witless chum Says:

    @AndErrorsSon
    Yeah, exactly. Grossman's complaints seem pretty lame given that the system worked, assuming her son really was innocent. Which, maybe he was? Insane and/or malicious women exist, but it's fair to note that Grossman comes off as fully in must defend my kid mode, so she's probably the least credible person possible to discuss it.

    Also, one of her top three self-qualifications for being a feminist is, seriously, a Ms. Magazine subscription.

  15. planb247 Says:

    I work at Schlafly Beer and as Tom Schlafly has made clear in recent interviews, not ONE DIME of that beer money goes back to Phyllis. So drink up freely!

  16. Sharkbabe Says:

    Thanks, this was full of out-loud laffs.

    i especially cracked up at

    SEND LIQUOR. SEND ME LIQUOR.

    and

    ATTACKED BY SPIDERS!

  17. Aaron Schroeder Says:

    For the uninitiated (like me) isn't "Keep it pithy" a Bill-O-Reilly-ism?

  18. Elle Says:

    This is glorious.

    (I shall spare the general company my lengthy thoughts on education and gender, apropos of Dragus and HazyDavy's comments above.)