I haven't been reading Atrios as much lately as I used to, so I really am in no position to really jump into this argument with Ann Althouse over feminism or the lack thereof, except to say that I have read the blog for a long time and find the commentary to be generally agreeable.
So I am not going to comment on their particular argument. They can sort that out. I usually don't read comments on the big sites unless really compelled, so I certainly don't care to hop in a pissing war over who has worse commentors. Whatev', yo.
But I read a few of Ann's comments and this one jumped out at me:
Off handed sexism is alive and well among liberal men. So is incredibly insesitive comments related to gays and lesbians. In fact, the only group they really seem to be mostly politically correct about are African Americans.
What does that say about the actual state of affairs in this country?"
Huh? Sexism alive and well amongst men and insensitive comments about gays and lesbians? Yup, it happens in right here in America, folks. That some liberal men are sometimes off-handedly sexist is shocking and damning how? (stay with me for a minute before getting all in a huff)
The difference is that part and parcel to liberal play of the game is examining and facing down our own prejudices as we also look at those in society as a whole. Folks claiming to be liberal aren't claiming to be perfect and free from taint and baggage. I deal with mine everyday and will be til I die, but I'm working hard to deal with what I find and always further challenge myself to base my views on sex/race/gender/etc. on an ever deepening understanding. I want to approach and deal with my prejudices with discernment and work towards moving them to a more realistic and nuanced place rather than bemoan the world changing from a framework in which my set (white males) could have our pet prejudices and expound on them with impunity. This is the conservative mind set. Why can't things be rolled back to the place where we could be openly racist/sexist/homophobic like the way they used to be? I hardly think such open nostalgia for cultural hedgemony is the same thing as liberals not yet having rid sexism/racism/homophobia completely from their ranks. Its all in where you are aiming folks. The right is aiming at putting blacks/gays/women/po'folks back in their place; the left is aiming at making this country a place for everyone equally. The whiney right critics can kiss my happy ass. Mess with my splinters after you deal with your planks.
I've more to say about this subject, wanting to address directly misogyny amongst gay men, but that will have to wait for now.