Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Finding the outrage

Melissa Silverstein of the Women's Media Center offers this take (quoting your blogstress's fabulous former colleague, Mary Kay Blakely) on the new media war between right-wingers and the feminist bloggers who were hired by the John Edwards campaign, only to relinquish those appointments after the noxious Bill Donohue -- a first-rate mysogynist and anti-Semite -- made great hay out of the posts of Pandagon's Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare’s Sister:

As the drama unfolded, others enthusiastically joined the attack, and disturbing sexualized comments flooded into the women’s blogs. "Problem with women like you, you just need a good fucking from a real man," read one posting. Another was, "It’s just too bad your mother didn’t abort you. You are nothing more than a filthy mouth slut. I bet a couple of years in Iraq being raped and beaten daily would help you appreciate America a little."

Sexualized threats against women, and especially feminists, are, of course, nothing new.

Blogs like those of Marcotte and McEwan have become a space for cutting-edge feminist discourse. And when women are vilified for feminist opinions we must all take notice. "In a peculiar way the web and the blog sites are the street movements and street marches and demonstrations of 30 years ago," says Mary Kay Blakely, also on the Missouri School of Journalism faculty. "I always wonder where is the outrage. It’s obviously on the internet."

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