Today In Reactionary Strawman-Building

Caitlin Flanagan is asserting on the radio that young women no longer date, play sports, or work, because it’s that or being curious about sex. Also, once people learn about condoms then life ineluctably becomes a porno movie. And, also, no young woman ever dated an asshole before the internet was invented. This might be the stupidest collection of words I’ve ever heard, and I’ve heard Rick Perry.

27 comments on this post.
  1. Walt:

    Did you make Caitlin Flanagan up in order to troll the Internet? It’s the most parsimonious explanation.

  2. saucyturtles:

    If someone did, they’d probably be told to try again, with less of a heavy hand.

  3. joe from Lowell:

    Contrarian faux-feminists like Flanagan and Camille Paglia get 100x the media attention of real feminists, and use most of it to bemoan how oppressed and silences they are because of their divergence with real feminists.

  4. ploeg:

    Also, once people learn about condoms then life ineluctably becomes a porno movie.

    Man, I was wondering where all that cheesy music was coming from. Thanks!

  5. TBogg:

    I will inform my daughter about these breaking developments when she gets home from the gym and before she goes to work.

  6. Scott Lemieux:

    Whew, it’s good that you keep the internet out of the house.

  7. Uncle Kvetch:

    Contrarian faux-feminists like Flanagan and Camille Paglia get 100x the media attention of real feminists, and use most of it to bemoan how oppressed and silences they are because of their divergence with real feminists.

    This is exactly the schtick that Andrew Sullivan plied for years with respect to the LGBT community, and very successfully at that.

    Fortunately, the “milky loads” incident did a lot to tamp down his preachy moralizing.

    Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine what would constitute a similarly clarifying moment for Flanagan or Paglia. Getting photographed at the Michigan Womyn’s Festival, maybe?

  8. Bighank53:

    Did she really use the word “ineluctable”, rather than “inevitable”?

    Also, it’s pretty obvious she’s never even visited an engineering school.

  9. witless chum:

    Why doesn’t Scott understand how terrible it is when Caitlin Flanagan imagines that people do things, especially naked things, that she doesn’t approve of?

    But, yeah, NPR programs, keep having this person on who thinks women are terrible morons and men are worse.

  10. Ed:

    At this point even posting about Flanagan is feeding the troll. She thrives on this stuff. It sells her books.

    I would cut “Paglia” and substitute “Roiphe” even if Cait and Kate are on the outs at the moment. Paglia at one time was writing good and original stuff.

  11. actor212:

    *sigh*

    I was born forty years too late. Why, back in my day, a woman could handle sexual curiousity AND a full course load in college.

  12. rea:

    Never saysomething is the stupidest collection of words ever–there is always worse (via Atrios):

  13. Abby Spice:

    I personally don’t date, play sports, work, or have sex because Caitlin Flanagan forces me to spend so much time thinking about why I don’t date, play sports, or work and my little ladybrain can’t handle it all.

  14. Njorl:

    Men have neither the physical capacity nor the attention span to maintain their curiosity about sex for all their waking hours, and inadvertantly get some work done and play sports. That’s why it’s OK for men to like sex.

    However, if the stories I’ve heard are true, women who are completely obsessed with sex should still be able to get some field hockey in.

  15. Dave:

    Was that the early 1970s or the late 1970s?

  16. KadeKo:

    I heard the show. The host and the other guest were much-needed correctives.

    Is this the heaviest intersection of Mainstream Media Broadcast and Actual Scrutiny that Flanagan has been subject to in her entire public life?

  17. joe from Lowell:

    This is exactly the schtick that Andrew Sullivan plied for years with respect to the LGBT community, and very successfully at that.

    So successfully that he was, for years, the most prominent voice for LBGT issues in the country, even as he complained about being marginalized.

  18. Scott Lemieux:

    I liked the way she kept mispronouncing Carmon’s name in different ways, which I’m sure was intentional. (How dare you permit this impudent guttersnipe to be in my presence!)

  19. StevenAttewell:

    Wow.

    “For instance, he wrote about research that he said showed that if women wanted to find “Mr. Right,” they should shun birth control pills; and if they wanted to improve their mood, they should not insist that their men wear condoms lest they miss out on beneficial chemicals found in semen.”

    I feel like slow-clapping that one, 80s-style. I’d thought I was pretty jaded when it comes to right-wing crankery, but that last bit really caught me unawares.

  20. StevenAttewell:

    Listening to this right now; holy hell does Flanagan love to essentialize from a handful of cases.

  21. Scott Lemieux:

    But surely you must concede that anyone who believes in sex education wants young women to spend most of their time giving blowjobs to random strangers.

  22. StevenAttewell:

    Yeah. I was thinking more about – boys don’t have things from their childhood in their dorm rooms (I certainly did and knew others who did; how many dorm rooms did she actually go into?), female puberty is universal across time and space (that one really threw me, because even with a limited knowledge of historical anthropology, I know that’s really not true), etc.

  23. The Shaggy DA:

    Nothing perks up a woman like an unwanted pregnancy.

  24. StevenAttewell:

    Also:
    - our culture is anti-romance. There’s entire industries that sell romance!
    - there’s no more dating anymore. Wha?
    - there’s a great moment where she says “no support, no constrain-supervision” and she clearly was about to say “constraints” and then thought, that’s going to sound bad.
    - sexuality = corrosion really runs throughout.

  25. DocAmazing:

    lest they miss out on beneficial chemicals found in semen

    They could always walk barefoot through a few peepshow booths…

  26. Roger Ailes:

    Giving blowjobs to random strangers is man’s work, dammit.

  27. Speaking of Atlantic Hacks : Lawyers, Guns & Money:

    [...] = [];}For those who were fortunate enough not to hear the interview with Caitlin Flanagan I referenced yesterday, some of the choicest bits are recounted here. I remember, as she was starting to promote [...]

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