Sunday, February 18, 2007

Amanda Marcotte: Unrepentant Anti-Christian Bigot

From Salon.com, some insight into the worldview of Amanda Marcotte, the Catholic-hating blogger who ended up resigning from (or was fired from) the John Edwards campaign.

(You will have to click through an advertisement to see the entire article.)

Some key passages:
What I also failed to understand was how much [Melissa] McEwan and I would stick out. I was aware that I didn’t exactly fit the image people have of bloggers who join campaigns -- the stereotype being 30-something nerdy young white men who wear khakis and obsess over crafting their Act Blue lists. I wasn’t aware that not fitting the image would attract so much negative attention. In fact, I mostly saw this all as a baby step in the direction of diversity, since McEwan and I differed from the stereotype mostly by being female and by being outspoken feminists.

[. . .]

The right-wing noise machine’s favorite trick, possibly its only trick, is to select a target and start making a fuss, hoping that by creating the appearance of smoke, just enough people will be fooled into thinking there’s a fire. Unfortunately, it works.

[. . .]

Looking back, the detail that astonishes me the most is the sheer amount of ink, air time, and energy devoted to keeping this phony scandal going until McEwan and I felt we had to resign. 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.

[. . .]

Regardless of its motive, the result of the smear campaign was to send a loud, clear signal to young feminist women. It tells them that campaigning for Democratic candidates, and particularly doing so in positions that would help the candidate connect with young feminist communities like the one that thrives in the blogosphere, is a scary, risky prospect.

[. . .]

Whether or not it was the intention of the right-wing noise machine to throw more obstacles in the way of Democrats who want to play to their pro-choice, pro-gay rights feminist constituents -- it’s also plausible that the right-wing noise machine was working on pure misogynist emotion -- the episode has had a chilling effect on the future of Democratic outreach to feminist communities, particularly the younger ones that flock to computers for political information as earlier generations flocked to television sets and newspapers.

[. . .]

In response to what happened to Melissa and me, Garance Franke-Ruta has written a post on the American Prospect’s Tapped blog wagging her finger at liberal bloggers and warning us that unless we are willing to ape the language and habits of the D.C. insider crowd, we can expect never to be allowed through the gates. She probably has a point that bloggers can expect this sort of pushback from the establishment. Blogs are popular because they provide space for everyday citizens to engage in politics, in the language and manner that is comfortable for us, if not for the establishment. To my mind, however, it would be a terrible thing if bloggers did heed the advice to mind our manners and ape our betters if we want in, since this is supposed to be a democratic system that respects the right of everyday, common people to participate in politics. While there’s a chance that the crusade to separate McEwan and me from the Edwards campaign was just a singular happening, the possibility lingers that this was just the first sign that the established media and political circles will not be letting the blog-writing rabble into the circle without a fight.
Readers unfamiliar with the things Marcotte actually wrote on here blog should look at the quick summary here.

Marcotte’s apologia raises the question: is there anything particular about her hatred of Christians (particularly Catholics), or is it simply a distilled version of rather conventional feminist doctrine?

Having acted irresponsibly, she can’t concede that she did anything wrong.

Rather, she plays the gender card and claims it’s just those evil “misogynist” attitudes (translation: any opinions that feminists don’t like) that did her in.

Her writing is a window into a world where there are no legitimate differences of opinion, only “progressive” attitudes versus “misogynist” and “homophobic” and “reactionary” forces.

It’s a world were it is acceptable -- indeed good -- to hate those on the other side of the political issues one cares about.

Unfortunately, a lot of college students won’t need that window, because those attitudes are what they have imposed on them every day.

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