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View Diary: Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) (340 comments)

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  •  His argument against feminists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gzodik, berkshireblue

    were not based on the idea that women shouldn't be treated equally, it was because he thought they went well beyond that notion into extremes of hating men.  And some do, that's inarguable.  

    But he championed women's rights around the world, citing the abhorrent treatment of women over and over again by theocratic regimes.  

    As for this:

    wrote a treatise about how American women give the best blowjobs, and said women just weren't funny. Which, if not misogyny, is sadly misinformed and patently ridiculous.

    You do realize that Hitchens was also a humorist, yes?  They were neither misogyny nor misinformation, they were jokes.

    •  Because jokes can't be hateful, right? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      calitex, metal prophet, sngmama

      And jokes can't reinforce the status quo. Especially not when people who call attention to these facts are regaled with the privileged whine of, "Whatsamatter, can't you take a joke?!"

      As for "extremes of hating men," that charge is always leveled by men who don't wish to change their personal behavior toward women, and some women who are personally invested in gathering the crumbs from the patriarchal table.

    •  Oh, and yeah, you can't "champion women's rights" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sngmama

      while insisting they be denied autonomy over their bodies. It's an oxymoron.

      •  Who insisted such a thing? Not Hitchens. (0+ / 0-)

        He said quite clearly he did not want Roe v. Wade overturned and that we could not force women to do or not do something against their will.  

        As with many people, you don't seem to understand what Hitchens actually believed and are relying on caricatures made of him by others.

    •  To be a humorist.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sngmama

      ....you actually have to be funny. Misogyny is boring, lazy humor.

      Name me one influential feminist who has publicly made anti-male statements. Even Andrea Dworkin, regularly slandered as a man-hater, specifically said that she was a feminist precisely because she believed that men could stop being sexist.

      •  I do not believe the vast majority (0+ / 0-)

        of feminists are man-haters or anything like that.  And neither did Hitchens, as far as I can tell.

        But if you really want me to provide horrible quotes from prominent feminists, I can certainly do so.

        Should I start with Marilyn French or Catherine MacKinnon?

        As for Dworkin, her view that rape was the primary motivator of male sexuality comes across as a bit anti-male, doesn't it?  I can't imagine anyone would be pleases saying something similar about women.

        By the way, I'm waiting for some real citations about Hitchens which show him to be anti-feminist.

        “To terrify children with the image of hell, to consider women an inferior creation—is that good for the world?”
        ― Christopher Hitchens

        “Who are your favorite heroines in real life? The women of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran who risk their lives and their beauty to defy the foulness of theocracy. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Azar Nafisi as their ideal feminine model.”
        ― Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22

        •  To Hitchens, just like to the other war-mongers... (0+ / 0-)

          ....women were useful to their cause because it was something that took place in other countries. It's hardly a forward thinking stance to point out oppression of women by fundamentalist religion, particularly religion in other countries.

          I'm well familiar with MacKinnon. She wrote the book on sexual harassment. She's tough on men, but I can't think of her making any inherently anti-male statements. Dworkin never said that. Dworkin pointed out that men tend to rape a lot and think it was okay. She never said that men are inherently rapists and can't stop raping. In fact, she said that if that was the case, she'd be out in the streets, in armed revolution. She said that large numbers of men rape, but can stop raping. I think crime stats back her up.

          •  You again fail to provide citations (0+ / 0-)

            of Hitchens stating genuine misogynist beliefs.  You're making a caricature of him based on his support for the Iraq war.  Look, I didn't agree with him on that either, but the fact that be supported it doesn't make him categorically wrong on everything else or an evil, bad individual.  You're engaging in some of the most egregiously fallacious thinking I've seen in a long time.

            Hitchens championed the rights of women, full stop.  Any attempt to portray otherwise is simply not true, and amounts to a smear.

            •  Have you read... (0+ / 0-)

              ....Katha Politt's article in the Nation about Hitchens? I suggest going there. She mentions how he referred to the Dixie Chicks as "fucking fat slags" (British slang for sluts) during the buildup to the Iraq War. He was against abortion rights. Politt also addresses his lack of regard for female writing, feminism, and female humorists. His arguments for women strike me as being about as sincere as Bush's arguments that our invasion would help women.

              http://www.thenation.com/...

              Politt has some nice things to say about Hitchens, too, so you can't say this is a hatchet job.

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