Wednesday, June 8

[Duly noted]
I don't know if you've been keeping up with the pie-fight controversy over at DailyKos, but it's sort of soured my view of Kos (who I have actually struggled to respect as much as some of the other posters, thanks to his occasional anti-progressive rant) and the truly frat-boy nature of many of those who frequent the site. Anyway, the site ran a click-thru ad for The Real Gilligan's Island that featured Mary Anne and Ginger, minimally clothed, looking seductively at one another. If you clicked it, it took you to TBS's page where you could watch a video of the two women having a slippery pie fight. (My computer wouldn't play the video, but I've read enough accounts of it to feel comfortable in describing it as "slippery.") Apparently, Kos got some criticism from some readers over having the ad on the page, and he reacted by posting this snide message, which sparked a huge debate all over the site and even caused a few in the "sanctimonious women's studies set" to quit the site and take their political insights elsewhere. (Read the comments; there are more than a thousand and it took me literally a couple of hours to slog through.)

This issue has hit a nerve, even in the face of all the other issues progressives are trying to tackle. Despite the larger issues at hand, I don't think it's fair to downplay the issue of women's representation on a progressive site at any time. It's always fair game, especially when progressive, egalitarian values are endlessly touted right next to the new Gilligan ad, which shows Mary Anne on top of Ginger, her barely covered ass high in the air, both of them covered in pie filling. I expect more from my fellow progressives than I do of sites like Fark, which run soft-porn ads all the time. I expect to be able to visit a serious political site at work without fearing someone seeing an ass up in the air, covered in merengue. And I expect my fellow progressives to be able to rationally discuss why such an image might irk and otherwise make uncomfortable several women and men who stumble upon it.

Anyway, it symptomatic of a larger problem with the site (that of "women's issues" being a political liability since they are so special interest), and since I don't want to be one of those reactionaries who runs the other way (which is a lot like giving up), I'm not taking down my link to DKos, but I'm posting more links to other progressive sites that have fielded the DKos ex-pats, if you will. The attitudes I've seen displayed by many DKos readers are vehemently anti-feminist, and I don't believe in a progressive movement that is not feminist. Period. But I understand the whole bit about bad apples in barrells. I just don't want to cavort with rotten fruit. Go read the comments and see what I'm talking about. They take forever to load, by the way.

One more thing: Kos says, "Sometimes, the best way to kill something you disagree with is to ignore it." I find this to be repugnant and flat-out wrong. I doubt he advocates silence unless it's in response to his bad judgment.


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