21 Feb 2012, Comments (8)

Another poke at the steaming pile

Author: Helen

…Or steaming bile, as Jo Tamar accurately called it.

Yes, not content with reading Bettina Arndt’s latest so you don’t have to, I went back to the steaming pile of bile and poked it with a stick to examine some suspicious-looking critters I’d seen lurking in there. I have to say some of these spokescreatures were quite creepy and crawly. Others simply failed to impress me with their compelling evidence for her, ahem, thesis.

Most of the people quoted in the first few paragraphs are the latter type – mostly harmless but annoying retailers of Arndt’s straw-woman theories – but Catherine Deveny has already done a good job on them. I’d like to pick up where Deveny left off. First, though, I’d like to mention one of Agony’s “real life stories”, the scuttlebutt about somebody’s workplace. If this anecdote isn’t invented, it’s a notable example of unprofessional conduct – on the part of the storyteller, that is.

A mid-40s woman tells me about a naive 22-year-old work colleague who recently had a breast enlargement.
”She is a tiny thing, quite pretty but socially inept and ready to settle for anything that comes along….”

Could anything be so unprofessional? This is Arndt’s scholarly evidence, her peer-reviewed source. This nasty piece of gossip has no value at all except to flag to the CEO of that company that they need to counsel their staff about acceptable workplace behaviour. Personal boundary violations and verbal bullying, I mean, not bra cup size. This isn’t evidence, it’s abuse.

After a “men’s advocate” from Perth, about whom the internet has nothing much to say, we’re treated to the thoughts of a thing called Giovanni Dannato writing on the group blog In Mala Fide. He’s the “assault on men” dude. I’m not linking to this blog, and if you decide to google it, here’s a prior warning for racism, antisemitism, white supremacist ideology and of course, bottomless misogyny sung from the whole sorry MRA/MGTOW/paleocon songbook. Some article headings: “How to stop masturbating”, “Modern Rape laws protect Harems”, “To be anti-Jewish is not to be racist”. The tagline: “The blog that shouted love at the heart of the world.” They’re joking, obviously. This is where I start saying HEY, SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING BETTINA.

How did Arndt come to include a quotation from this guy, on this blog? What wiki-walk or recommendation drew her to it? Is it a regular read? There’s a link to a neo-nazi bookshop, purveyors of young Eastern European women (or pictures of, anyway), and as well as the misogyny there are numerous references to “Race and IQ”, whites-as-a-disposessed-minority, and approving references to Steve Sailer, Roissy, John Derbyshire and many other slimy creatures who I recognise as belonging to the far right-o-sphere.

In case you think this is an aberration and that Arndt is just a naive and undiscerning web surfer, next up is F. Roger Devlin, who she describes as “a political philosopher who writes challenging material on gender issues for The Occidental Quarterly”. If your finely-tuned bullshit meter is hearing “challenging” as a word from the same playbook as “refreshingly un-PC!” and “heresy”, you’d be right.

This challenging material is… Oh, dear god. (Peers through fingers). No link for the Occidental Quarterly, either. TOQ is the mouthpiece of the Charles Martel Society, which Sourcewatch links to William Regnery (a US “White Nationalist”) and other white supremacist individuals and organisations such as Stormfront. Yes, that Stormfront. This stuff isn’t conservative. It’s white supremacist and male supremacist wingnuttery, to the extreme. Devlin also writes for VDARE, another anti-immigration, white supremacist website. He’s the author of such wholesome titles as “Sexual liberation and Racial Suicide”.

My recommendation: Back away, slowly. Disinfect computer after reading.

*Dishonourable mention: The Dad from Family Guy. You do, er, realise he’s a fictitious character, don’t you, Bettina? And

*Hugo Schwyzer. No comment.

Poking into the steaming heap of an Arndt article is not only unspeakably depressing, it shows the very, very dubious provenance of her antifeminist thinkpieces. Bettina Arndt comes across as the voice of reason, the dimple-cheeked smiling disarmer of male interviewers and defender against “extreme feminists”. In fact, I think she is somewhat extreme herself.

Comments (8) »

  • Greg says:

    Well, the warning bells were ringing when I saw on her website some glowing praise from a speech at the ‘National Christian Family Conference’. That would have been a wild night out for sure.

  • Deborah says:

    I can’t work out whether you are brave or foolhardy, Helen. This is a brilliant fisking of that article.

    I really don’t understand why anyone thinks she has any credibility at all.

  • Mindy says:

    Oh my I had no idea. I’m guessing that most people don’t. I wonder if the editor has actually done as much research as you have Helen?

  • Helen says:

    But she’s quite upfront about Mala Fide and TOC. I wonder if she just counts on people not to google? Or on the other hand perhaps she sees nothing wrong with these websites and organisations?

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    Arndt is a Leo if you think astrology is funny. They have to be the centre of attention and it is all about their hair.
    She is also a hypocrite to diss Our PM over no wedding and no children –
    [Personal comment deleted – as the WordPress-bot says, I think you’ve already said that! And we’re really on about ideology here rather than personal lives. H]

  • billybob says:

    The Deveney piece I liked, and further informed me how amazingly stupid the Arndt piece must have been. (refuse to read it) What was amazing was that a (3 second) scan of the comments showed a large proportion of “Hur! Hur! Feminists! Hur! Hur!” statements from knuckledraggers.

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    point taken, of course you are right. My loathing of her pre-exists the WWW and possibly the births of anyone reading.

    However, Queensland Police support her stance</b<, evidenced by news this afternoon that after

    'A schoolgirl has fought off a man who dragged her into bushes in Brisbane, sparking a police warning for girls and women not to walk alone’

    instead of Sparking A Warning of extreme consequences for any men, confused by the Arndtian Provocation of homeward-bound schoolfrocks in daylight, who might drag girls into bushes.

    It is possible the Police Statement may have been issued by one of the commentors that disparaged BillyBob above.

  • Helen says:

    Annie, the frocks propel the young girls into the bushes with a speed proportionate to the shortness.

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