Religilicious: July 2008 Archives

I'll be your Huckleberry

| | Comments (48)

I'm not a perfect Christian. I'm a mess, really, as are most. I know this. I don't walk around with a makeshift halo over my head.

I also know that when you say that you have faith, you're supposed to hold yourself to a higher standard; otherwise, it's a bait and switch. This is my problem with most religion; its why I'm non-denominational, it's why whenever I see people like Benny Hinn or Pat Robertson on television pointing down to everyone with their shepherd's staff that I go berserk.

I very much feel like dumping over the changing tables in the temple and shouting "DEN OF ROBBERS!" in their faces.

**

My friend Catherine wrote a post on the pop-culture blog to which I contribute, about the New York Times' Blogher kerfuffle. It was emotionally-charged, from the heart, and downright angry. I can empathize as I myself have been on the receiving end of viciously sexist email, comments, et al. before from both men and women (Jessica Valenti). A man's hobbies or interests (i.e. baseball) are not used to invalidate his work, yet the same courtesy is not extended to women. It's unfortunate that entities like the NYT feel that in order to merit the same consideration as men, women essentially have to disregard their femininity and become men.

I'm not angry at the NYT article's author for incorporating female interests into the piece at all; rather, I'm angry that the NYT interpreted those interests as fluff and stuck it into into a fluff section which runs pieces about Botox.

**

The ripples of this extended all the way over to World Net Daily, whose columnist by the pseudonym of Vox Day (seriously, I think there were like 20 of those pseudonyms back in my junior high AOL chatroom days) - excuse me - Christian columnist Vox Day (real name Theodore Beale; he's a rich kid and his dad was on the board at WND, which undoubtedly helped Beale to get some ink) decided to go on a rant against women with emphasis on mothers who blog and basically called us all stupid. I realize that intelligence is probably very important to a man who works "I'm in Mensa" in every biographical footnote and pick-up lines, all the while juxtaposing it next to a standard Myspace headshot replete with a hairstyle and goatee sported by every teenage male member of my Ozark family.

Now see, that was cruel. It was as shallow and tasteless as the arguments Vox Day/Theodore Beale presented against women bloggers and for that I am ashamed. Really.

(Tangent: Some time ago I read wherein Beale apologized to national socialists for further disparaging their already-besmirched name with the "femi-nazi" sobriquet. I would go so far as to say Day is acting like a "manazi." That would be an excellent metal album title.)

My other problem with Beale is a repeat of what I mentioned in my earlier graphs: I don't walk around with a makeshift halo over my head. However, Beale apparently does. This is a guy that advertises all the Christian books he's reading or has written, a guy who opines about politics and the merits of Christianity in his World Net Daily columns; this is a guy who positions himself in an authoritative role with regards to spirituality, a guy who lectures us on the importance of faith. So forgive me if I find it a little contradictory when he calls someone I know, a genuinely real and good person, a "lactating cow."

You don't speak to someone about their concern for sexism by writing about them like a sexist.

I should point out that this was on his Blogger site and not on the World Net Daily site, otherwise that probably wouldn't help sell books, I'd imagine.

He goes on to say how women marginalize themselves because of "hate and animosity." I don't disagree with this statement, yet he misses the irony completely. 

Why does this bother me? I try not to embarrass myself or my faith too much which can be really difficult for me because I have a notoriously sharp tongue and I feel that bluntness expediency in speech is more efficient. I realize that when I say I am a person of faith that I am representing a lot more here on earth than just myself. I try hard to avoid becoming like that which I detest: people like Benny Hinn and his ilk, people who praise God on Sunday but betray Him with their actions on Monday.

Talking about how spiritually righteous you are while at the same time eviscerating others does nothing to improve the stereotype that some have of Christians. It makes it harder for people to publicly admit their faith. It gives more ammunition to the jerks in high school that make fun of the kid on his way to a meeting of Christian Athletes.

"The salient point is that I understand that this blog exists for me and me alone. I have no right to demand that anyone read it or recognize it or pay any attention to it whatsoever ..."

I whole-heartedly agree. No one has the right to be read. It is not a right; it is a privilege. I'm sure Vox just sticks his blog's link in the footnote of his columns for kicks and grins. With a blog being created every second, there are a lot of bad writers out there. (There are a lot of good ones as well.) Vox Day/Theodore Beale believes that women bloggers are demanding attention, traffic, eyeballs. Perhaps Beale's zeal got ahead of his knowledge on this one: that's not what was said in the slightest. All that was said was that women in technology would like to be treated with the same consideration as are the men. It's interesting to me: Beale considers unfair treatment important when discussing matters of religion or politics; perhaps he discounts women because he's a male and therefore can't identify with some of what's being discussed?

He doesn't think women - mother bloggers - are important? At least he condescendingly gives Catherine credit for breeding. So kind of you, Vox.

" ... readers ignore you ["chick-bloggers and mommy-bloggers"] because they could not possibly care less about nothing, which just happens to be what you have to say."

I'm not going to debate with him the importance of motherhood or how I believe women are responsible for directing society's trajectory because we rock the cradle and all of that; also because I believe that his statement suggests a total disrespect of females, whether or not he intended it, or how I (and most women) didn't clamor for attention - it just happened. Women write about "nothing." His heart is hardened and that's all she wrote.

I want to take issue with a few comments:

"They value attention more than what they do."

Universal statements are logically unsound. I can't speak for everyone, but I write online because I enjoy it, it helps me work through things, but most importantly, I have a living diary of my life with my children. I'd forget half of this without typing it up. Also important - I've connected with other mothers. I've found a groundswell of homeschooling resources and support. So please keep your armchair psychology to yourself.

"I mean, who is supposed to be surprised, let alone upset, that groups of narcissistic women like to babble at each other and tell each other how wonderful they are? I'd only be surprised if I learned they were doing anything that was either useful or entertaining."

It's the exact same as a bunch of Dungeons and Dragons nerds sitting around in Vox's mom's basement, drinking the Kool-Aid, combing their goatees and talking about how much they hate women. OK. That was mean. See? It takes work, ya'll.

He commented later:

"I'm all for Mommy blogs. I'm sure there's [sic] plenty of companies selling kids stuff that would like to use them as advertising vehicles. But hearing them complain about not being taken seriously is like listening to Jenna Jameson complain that she's never been nominated for an Oscar. It's a category error."

Vox Day had an opportunity to be the salt he preaches about. It's unfortunate that he instead chose to embrace the very characteristics he claims are hallmarks of those with whom he disagrees.

He generalizes mothers who write online, discounts those who have skills what - because they have kids? - and compares them to the skankiest of porn stars (whose boyfriend is the worst fighter in the UFC).

"No one starts with any [respect]. You want it, you earn it."

No. Everyone is deserving of respect until otherwise proven. Have you even read the Bible which you thump so hard? NONE of us have earned respect, yet, by faith, we are saved.

(Again, I'm not a preacher, I don't like thumping, but that right there was one of the most dangerous statements I've ever read from a self-proclaimed Christian in a long time.)

I don't even have to write anything insulting about him other than to let his quotes speak for themselves. Please do not allow this guy to stand as an example of those with faith.

Thoughts?

(P.S. The comment thing is misleading, you do not have to sign in. Just hit "comment anonymously and fill in your URL, etc. Sorries. I'll fix it.)

*UPDATE: Reader Barbara writes:

I read your blog about Vox Day/Theodore Beale. I checked the online up-to-date membership roster, and he wasn't listed. I then emailed the office of American Mensa, Ltd., and they do not have him listed as a member, either...under either name.

Anyone, not just a member, can receive confirmation of someone's membership by emailing membership@us.mensa.org.


**UPDATE DEUX: Vox responded like the last kid picked for dodgeball. So typical. And sad! It's not even fun to pick on him because he's one of those people perpetually ON THE RAG and intellectually stunted. I've read him before and stopped because there were other, better political and religious writers out there who didn't depend on daddy to get them their columns (note how he sidesteps that whole issue). You got pwned. GET OVER IT. Good game, now move on. Actually, I'm just interested in seeing how many posts he makes attacking women. It's hysterical.

Also - if you post a comment you are required to leave a valid email address. I immediately delete without reading any comment that lacks one. I do not publish email addresses but I refuse to engage in conversations with "anonymous" people. I have the courage to put a name with my convictions, if you expect to have a discussion on my website you are required to do the same. Thank you.

Final update: I took it upon myself to email Vox personally. He has a lot to learn and he needs to stop blaming all of humanity for his own inability to function in the world. Finis.
www.flickr.com

Powered by Movable Type 4.1

Recent Entries

--------
--------

Categories

Archives

Momversation

Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"