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Reclusive Leftist had an excellent response to James Carville’s incredibly stupid comments on CNN in her It’s the System, Stupid post:

Sexism is a deeply learned behavior with a thousand manifestations. You can’t quarantine the big pieces of it — rape, legal discrimination — as if they exist in a vacuum apart from the rest of society’s values. From frat boy joke to date rape, from gangsta rap to domestic violence, from pink housework toys at Wal-Mart to the boss who won’t promote a woman into top management, from “Math is hard” Barbie to the physics lab where men harass their female colleagues relentlessly, from Girls Gone Wild videos to the jury that acquits a rapist because the victim was wearing a short skirt — it’s a system. A giant, all-encompassing, self-reinforcing system.

No one thinks that Jon Favreau is personally responsible for crimes against women. What we think — what we know — is that his frat-boy grope is one lurid thread in a larger pattern. It’s symptomatic of a culture in which women are routinely sexualized, diminished, and harassed; a culture in which violence against women is normalized as mainstream fun; a culture in which powerful, accomplished women are ridiculed as b**ches and c**ts who just need a good f***ing.

In comments, Lucy had this to say:

I am so angry about this, I just can’t stop shaking. I’ve been groped hundreds of times, date-raped, and I worked for years in a hostile corporate environment long before the term “sexual harrasment” had any legal meaning — for a boss who used to take us gals to lingerie shows and pick out something for the best of us.

As for Carville suggesting women who are upset by this need shrinks: well, I spent years in therapy specifically because of the trauma visited on me by men. How dare he. How goddamn dare he.

This frat-boy mentality is just disgusting and I’m beginning to think the only way to combat it is to get militant. A commenter over at Heart’s place said that one reason men don’t get it is that women don’t assault men, don’t rape them.

Maybe it’s time we do.

Why, after all, can girls not have the same “fun” that boys do?

While I’m generally not a fan of violence, I couldn’t help but sympathize with that sentiment. After 8 years of trench warfare against the aggressive attacks on women’s rights by the Republican Party, watching women being so egregiously betrayed by the so-called “progressive” party this year, their traditional “allies“, disheartened by the capitulation of increasingly toothless feminist establishments such as NARAL and NOW, and the general overall atmosphere of seething male resentment has clearly accelerated my path towards rad-fem status.

Which is why, after reading this, I was not quite as horrified and sickened as I once would have been, but rather… coldly pleased.

Ameneh Bahrami refused to accept “blood money.” She insisted instead that her attacker suffer a fate similar to her own “so people like him would realize they do not have the right to throw acid in girls’ faces,” she told the Tehran Provincial Court.

If that’s what it takes, that’s what it fucking takes.


[Trigger Warning, as well as Mad Men spoiler for 2.12 ahead. ]

Dear Couch Baron,
I usually appreciate the depth of your recaps – quite often you’ll catch on to something that I haven’t, especially with a show as subtle as Mad Men. However, I was taken aback by this phrase in your recaplet:

Joan’s fiancé is having trouble with her proficiency in bed, and when she brings him into SC, he borderline rapes her on the floor of Don’s office.

There is nothing “borderline”  about that scene; that was flat-out rape. In fact, in the “Inside Mad Men: The Mountain King” clip on the AMC website, Matthew Weiner specifically states that is was intended to have no debate about whether it was violent and that he was forcing himself on her. Something like 84% of rapes are committed by someone the woman knows, in very similar situation to the one depicted in the episode.

This may seem like a small thing to you, but in a world where headlines crop up in national newspapers like “Man has sex with 12 year old” and “Man keeps daughter in cave as sex slave” and bend themselves over backward to not use the word “rape” in situations that are very clearly rape, it bothers me that you could watch that scene and not call it rape, and write a recaplet telling people that what they saw wasn’t really a rape.  Because it was.

Thank you for your time,



You’re absolutely right, and I do apologize — I write the recaplets very quickly and obviously didn’t give that bit of language near enough thought. I have more than one female friend who’s suffered an experience similar to what was depicted on screen. I’ve asked my editor to change it, and I will certainly make it clear in the full recap that that description wasn’t my intention.

Couch Baron

It’s already been changed on the recaplet  –  and it’s not like I was able to get the Wall Street Journal to issue a retraction or anything, but, hey, teaspoons, right?