MKH and Huff on CNN's 'Reliable Sources'

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Apr 09, 2007 1:53 PM

Well, I was just YouTube-ing this segment when I noticed Allah had it up already.

I was on "Reliable Sources" this weekend with Joan Walsh of Salon and Arianna Huffington talking about misogyny on the Internet. Both of them resented my pointing out the lefty blogosphere's tendency toward vile chauvinism and lefty women's tendency to excuse it when directed at conservative women.

The truth is that misogyny is not confined to the Left or the Right. I was not suggesting that. What I am suggesting is that I'm not keen on singing Kumbayah with women who think my politics somehow make me an inauthentic woman. Just because a politically neutral figure whom they feel comfortable defending allows them to finally "stand up" for all women doesn't mean I have to smile and play solidarity sister with them just because they're suddenly in the mood.

The Left has been more than happy to let Michelle Malkin endure the c-word and call Condi Rice "Brown Sugar" for years with very little concern. They have spent those same years calling people like Michelle and Condi self-loathers and the whole of the Republican party woman-haters. "How can you stand to belong to the party of women's oppression, you self-loathing, Rethuglican woman-hating c**ts," asks the Left without a hint of irony. So, no, I don't feel like aligning with traditional feminists in this fight would necessarily serve me well.

Instead, you just suck it up, take the nasty commentary, point it out, take precautions when necessary, and keep on plugging. It's obviously a personal decision for every woman blogger as to how to handle it, but I do think it sends the wrong message to online bullies to stop writing. As a conservative, I don't generally think appeasement works. Instead, it emboldens.

I am fortunate that I don't get nearly the volume or vileness that Michelle and other more high-profile conservative figures do. I usually leave most of my nasty comments up on YouTube and this blog because I think it helps illustrate exactly the character of my critics and the ground on which the losers are fighting. For reference, please see the comment about my teeth on the MKH on Paula Zahn post, which was posted while I was taping the segment on misogyny. A troll with timing! Some people erase them, and I wrestle with whether to do the same, but I sometimes feel like I'd be doing the trolls a favor by censoring what they should have known to censor themselves. I'd be imparting my good sense and manners to them that clearly don't deserve.

As for whether there's more on the left or right, isn't it interesting that I'm the only one who gets a nasty sexual comment read to her on the air? Could it be that nasty, sexual comments about me were more readily available than ones for Huffington and Walsh, despite my comparatively low profile?

As for Huffington and Walsh, both are undeniably smart, successful women who believe passionately in their work and their politics. They don't deserve the nasty, sexual comments about them (some of which may show up, but I hope don't, on the YouTube of this very segment). I appreciate that this is a problem for most women on the Web, and I hope it doesn't silence any more, as it did Kathy Sierra.

Such comments also serve to marginalize the blogosphere. A ton of great, level-headed analysis can easily be dismissed by the MSM when it finds a thread of "show us your ___, you w****" comments. And, yes, it happens on both sides, but yes, I also think if the Left's part of it suddenly disappeared, you'd be left with a damn sight less than half of the nasty.

At the very least, the Left blogosphere should be disallowed from using the "woman-hater" label for conservatives  until the woman-haters on that side learn to heal thyselves, as the saying goes.

Oh, and many thanks to Newsbusters for posting video and kind words. I knew y'all wouldn't forgive me if I didn't ruffle Arianna's feathers just a little.