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June 10, 2007

Pot, Meet Kettle

by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math

I really enjoy reading the indominable Oliver Willis. And of course he's right about this. But let's review the titles of some his recent posts:

Why, it's almost as if Oliver Willis uses images of attractive Hollywood twentysomething women to improve his ratings!

On the scale of sins of chauvinism, it's obviously not as large as, say, opposing the Paychek Fairness Act. And many people do read blogs for personality, which may include getting to know the members of the author's Laminated List. And yes, even I, self-appointed chauvinism concern troll extraordinaire, do in fact read "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" and watch Pardon the Interruption and OliverWillis.com and from time to time laugh at the "Dirty Old Men" jokes they make ["Dirty Old" describes the jokes, not the men, at least not Oliver --ed]. But to borrow a phrase from Shakes, gender discrimination doesn't happen in a vacuum. Just sayin'.

June 10, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Why do white males always project their own sexist issues onto black males?

It's really fucking dumb.

Posted by: moron | Jun 10, 2007 5:38:10 AM

Well, let me not take away from moron's point, which is accurate, in saying that projection isn't projection if what you are complaining about is already there. Ezra's site, on the whole, is remarkably free (and perhaps that's what makes it so visually and thematically dull) of allusions to women, tits, and ass. Now some of my other favorite sites, tbogg comes to mind, are more playful. But tbogg isn't making the complaint about willis's site. Ezra is. And the question there isn't the respective race of the bloggers but the site content. Sexism and racism may be deeply intertwined in this society, but that doesn't mean that its not sexist and highly sexualized for oliver to use pictures and allusions to women as a "come hither" for readers.

aimai

Posted by: aimai | Jun 10, 2007 7:36:37 AM

I've been reading O. Wills' site for quite some time, and it is my considered opinion that the attractive young women he mentions are not there for the purpose of boosting page views. Rather, like any other blogger, he seeks to share his interests with us, his audience. He blogs about football, too. Is he pandering for the Bubba demographic that way, too? I think not. Unless he does something like major pornsite advertising, I'd give him the benefit of the doubt.

Posted by: biff3000 | Jun 10, 2007 9:15:45 AM

Ezra's site, on the whole, is remarkably free (and perhaps that's what makes it so visually and thematically dull) of allusions to women, tits, and ass.

Ezra's gay, and since he's mostly the one who posts here, it's kind of obvious that he's not going to spend most of his time making leering comments at women.

But of all the sites written by heterosexual males out there -- daily kos, matthew yglesias, etc -- Oliver's site in no way stands out as being worse in this regard than the average.

The reason Oliver's site is being singled out is kind of obvious: when black men make "inappropriate" comments about white women, it bothers people.

Maybe we haven't come such a long way since the days of Emmett Till.

Posted by: moron | Jun 10, 2007 9:25:05 AM

Oh my God... you really are a moron. :)

I don't want to make moron's point (especially that whole "you're so gay" line), but in fairness, you do what you have to do to get readers - sorry, that's the breaks (and Ezra has juiced up his search engine tags with occasional - yet thoughtful - posts on porn, etc). So, you try to find some "serious" way to discuss Paris Hilton. Or breast implants, or whatever. Do you think Esquire has Angelina Jolie on the cover this month because she cares about world peace? I think not. Let's not be too noble about this. I'm sure to discuss the G-8 and the next immigration bill.... right after I start my in-depth series on Jessica Alba, and what she means to the environment. ;)

Posted by: weboy | Jun 10, 2007 9:58:00 AM

I'm not sure that Ezra is gay, though hurray for him if he is (thought he had mentioned girlfriends in HS, and not in the context of no longer being straight). Also, Ezra didn't write the post, Nick did.

Posted by: kth | Jun 10, 2007 10:00:19 AM

Ezra is not, in fact, gay.

Posted by: Christmas | Jun 10, 2007 10:08:25 AM

I'm not sure that Ezra is gay, though hurray for him if he is

I just assumed... because of this:


http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Garrett_Atkins&oldid=136821385

and this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ezra_Klein&oldid=136357859

Posted by: moron | Jun 10, 2007 10:09:12 AM

Please tell me you didn't really believe that Ezra Klein and big-leaguer Garrett Atkins are dating.

Posted by: kth | Jun 10, 2007 10:16:39 AM

Please tell me you didn't really believe that Ezra Klein and big-leaguer Garrett Atkins are dating.

They're a cute couple -- they shouldn't be so shy about it !!

Posted by: moron | Jun 10, 2007 10:18:18 AM

Ezra is not, in fact, gay.

I was too quick to believe unverified information.

Posted by: moron | Jun 10, 2007 10:28:13 AM

Women never, ever, make off color, demeaning, or sexist jokes about men...

Please, men like to look at young women. All the cultural revolution in possible won't, and shouldn't, change that. Men get to have some hostility towards women, just as women deserve a certain amount of hostility towards men. Anyone who expects people to get battered and bruised romantically by the opposite sex and not harbor some ill-feelings is demanding nothing short of sainthood. Maybe feminists should focus on things that matter; equal protection under the law, paycheck fairness, greater access fo jobs, and spend less time doing things designed to be hostile to men, like declare that porn is evil and that men should look at women like cherubs on angeled clouds.

Posted by: soullite | Jun 10, 2007 10:30:32 AM

Ezra's gay? My heart breaks. And soullite: Fuck off. Feminists don't need your patronizing advice.

Posted by: Kate | Jun 10, 2007 10:35:13 AM

Kate, if you want to share your idea,s you have to listen to the ideas of others. That's called democracy. If you have a problem with what I say, challenge it. Don't scream like a baby and tell me to fuck off. I mean, saying those things is fine. But have the decency to put them into an argument. Your comment amounts to nothing more than "shut the fuck up". That just makes you look like an even bigger asshole than you think I am.

Patronizing? I'm not trying to be condescending, I'm trying to be hostile. Sorry if that didn't quite make it through

Posted by: soullite | Jun 10, 2007 10:55:37 AM

Or perhaps I like to look at attractive young women and post pictures of them? Based on your theory my regular writing on Superman is a breathless pander to the hot-to-trot comic book nerd demographic. And for sure posting pictures of my dog is catering to the People With Dogs Under Ten Pounds killer demo. You apparently are making the same boneheaded mistake Tucker Carlson did when he compared the content of CNN to Comedy Central. One is an international news network, the other is a Fake News Show.

My site is about what I like. That includes politics, the Washington Redskins, and sexy women. And Superman.

I had no idea that being against gender discrimination required one to never actually admit women are good looking. News to me.

But really, you seem to not understand the difference between OliverWillis.com and CNN. For one, I don't have Wolf Blitzer.

Posted by: Oliver Willis | Jun 10, 2007 11:41:37 AM

And Oliver, you ae much better off without him. :)

And Ezra, you're better off with Garrett. I know it hurts dude, but it's time to move on. :)

Posted by: weboy | Jun 10, 2007 11:57:38 AM

No matter what my objections to some of his political views, Oliver Willis has astoundingly good taste in women to drool over. I know there are people who pretend that Jessica Alba isn't one of the prettiest women on the planet, but I don't think I'd trust getting any opinions from them.

Posted by: soullite | Jun 10, 2007 12:14:08 PM

Do so few people read the damned "by" line? Is my work solely going to the glorification (or slander, in this case) of Ezra Klein?

Also, neither Ezra nor I are gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.

Oliver, nice to see you respond in person. Sure, it's a personal blog, and the Superman and Best Dog Ever pandering is all well and good. And I can appreciate Hollywood cheesecake too. But we wonder why left blog readership skews young and male ... more so than Internet users as a whole.

I mean, maybe larger questions about The Role Of The Blogosphere aren't such a big deal. Sometimes I think I think about them an awful lot. But, I still think it's worth considering, say, adding a few beefcake photos to balance out for your female and nontraditional male readers.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Jun 10, 2007 12:20:40 PM

Anyone who expects people to get battered and bruised romantically by the opposite sex and not harbor some ill-feelings is demanding nothing short of sainthood.

It's completely unreasonable for someone to expect me not to hold my ex-girlfriends against the entire gender? What, is there some kind of conspiracy? Also, given that you're acknowledging widespread hostility toward women, I don't know in what capacity that would not constitute "an important battle for feminists to fight."

Re: the topic at hand, I feel there's a distinct difference between what Oliver Willis is doing in choosing to post articles on sexy ladies, and what CNN is doing in spending several hours a day on Paris Hilton. One is a guy's personal blog, and the source of pretty much whatever he chooses to talk about. One is a national news network, ideally devoted to informing the public on the important news of the day. If you don't want to read about Jessica Alba, you can scroll down, or go to another blog. If you don't want to see Paris Hilton on television... too bad.

Posted by: Jon O. | Jun 10, 2007 1:25:34 PM

Oh shit, it looks like Nicholas was serious.

Posted by: norbizness | Jun 10, 2007 1:59:18 PM

Ezra used to do this "attack-your-own-side-to-show-how-independent-you-are" schtick too... for about a week, until he figured out that no one was too impressed by it.

Matt Yglesias and Josh Marshall went through this phase too. I guess a lot of young bloggers do, and most of them outgrow it pretty quickly.

Some of them -- like Chris Clarke and Mickey Kaus -- never outgrow it and some -- like Duncan Black and Steve Gilliard -- never get into it in the first place.

But I guess most of them go through a period of thinking that maybe if they just slag off their allies a few times in public, they'll show the world how "independent" they are and maybe they'll get to be the next David Broder !!

Let's hope Nicholas grows out of it soon...

Posted by: moron | Jun 10, 2007 2:07:52 PM

"I had no idea that being against gender discrimination required one to never actually admit women are good looking." Neither does it require one to consider that blogling (blog+ogling) might make one's female readers uncomfortable. Civility is absolutely not required. On the other hand, it shouldn't be surprising if some of those female readers question whether blogling does damage one's feminist cred.

Posted by: Elayne Riggs | Jun 10, 2007 2:12:33 PM

I know I'm going to come off sounding like a dick for this (too late!) but my blog is for the enjoyment of one person: me. If others enjoy reading it as well, more power to them. But my site has never been about adjusting to the comfort level of my readership or catering the content to their desires. I do what Oliver Willis does.

Posted by: Oliver Willis | Jun 10, 2007 2:25:41 PM

Yeah, we can tell this isn't an Ezra piece; he doesn't believe that there are any women bloggers out there TO be offended.

Posted by: Xavier Baldwin | Jun 10, 2007 3:26:27 PM

Anyone who expects people to get battered and bruised romantically by the opposite sex and not harbor some ill-feelings is demanding nothing short of sainthood.

Congratulations, you have written one of the stupidest things I've ever read on the internet. On the internet. I shake you by the hand.

Posted by: Isabel | Jun 11, 2007 12:42:30 AM

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