John, I’m stunned that you continue to think Greenwald was using the remark as a metaphor or hyperbole. He expressly stated that he was not:
And perhaps you were not “laughing” at rape survivors, but you were mocking them in a public forum where women (including asiangrrlMN) were revealing their experiences with rape and that they found the comments offensive. Moreover, that men were also expressing concern likely means they have a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, or niece who has been a victim of sexual violence. You chose to ignore all of that. You could have said nothing. You chose to insert yourself. It was and is wrong. I didn’t seek nor did I want your defense. Your silence would have been sufficient.
And to those who think I overreacted or have a fragile lady-psyche, I’ll be sure to remember not to be so goddamn sensitive about rape in the future.
I’ve removed myself from the masthead. The celebration can officially commence.
I’ve put off writing this post for days, and I still don’t have the words to express my disgust about the “rape analogy heard ’round the Twitterverse.” In case you’re not up to speed, long story short, I had a Twitter discussion with Marcy Wheeler about the NDAA; a Greenwald supporter quipped that if I saw Obama raping a nun on live TV, I would defend him for it; another supporter quipped that I would fantasize about playing the role of the raped nun; and Greenwald piled on. When asked to account for the clumsy rape metaphor, Greenwald doubled down, claiming that it wasn’t a metaphor, and that he actually believed that I and other Obama supporters would defend Obama if we were to see him raping a nun.
In what world is such a comment appropriate? It was a vile thing to say, and it is a vile thing to defend. Moreover, the stalwartness and cluelessness with which people, including John Cole, defended that statement is disappointing.
To be clear: I neither asked nor expected John to defend me. I can and do defend myself. But I was surprised and stunned that he stridently defended Greenwald when he could have, and should have, said nothing. Even worse, he managed to cast Greenwald as a victim. Stunning.
Both Greenwald’s comments and the comments offered in defense are incontrovertibly offensive to women, offensive to rape survivors, and are inexcusable. Does that mean I think Greenwald is pro-rape? Of course not. But using rape as a metaphor or leveraging it to score political points is tone-deaf, at best, and malicious at worst.
I’m without words to describe it any further, so I will simply direct your attention to this Chirpstory, to a post by Zerlina Maxwell (“Glenn Greenwald defends ‘Obama could rape a nun’ attack on supporters“), and to a post by Joy-Ann Reid (“On bullying: Glenn Greenwald and the ‘nun rape’ smear”).
I am disappointed that my tenure at Balloon Juice is ending this way, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity John gave me to blog at Balloon Juice. But I must move on.
As such, I’ll see most of you around on Twitter, ABLC, and other cyberspaces. To the rest — to those overjoyed at my departure — I’ll see you in Pie Heaven.
[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]