Just When You Thought They Couldn’t Get Skeevier…

My son, for reasons known best to himself, has taken to watching old Jon Stewart clips, and this morning he was watching a long one, a sit down between Steward and Bill O’Reilly.

Stewart comes off as the smarter, more moral one in the particular bit I saw, but I told my kid I still hated the whole premise.  Stewart was normalizing a monster — even giving him a little bit of his own thoughtfulness as cover.  It wasn’t news back then that O’Reilly was a stone racist and a grotesque boss, a harassing womanizer dragging a tail of NDAs behind him.

But while I watched a true PGO came to me: the GOP obviously has no monopoly on men who are assholes to women, but it does seem to have more than its share, or rather the share you’d expect, given both specific ideology* , and the broader authoritarianism that both depends on and breeds the certainty that to be white and male is to have the right to f**k — and f**k with — the women who are their due.

Hence Porter and Farenthold and Moore and a magazine writer who thinks mere lethal injection is too good for the wanton harlots who choose to have an abortion — and the male-led magazine that thought such views were “provocative” — until it became clear just how provoked the intended gallows-bound (and their friends) had become.  And of course, hence the omphalos of modern Republican moral degeneracy, the Shitgibbon himself.

But I have to say, the latest entrant into the GOP-Sleazebag sweepstakes actually managed to surprise even my jaded self.  Meet Mr. Benjamin Sparks:

A Las Vegas political adviser who worked on national campaigns and high-profile Nevada races sexually enslaved and battered his ex-fiancée before police responded to a domestic dispute, the woman told the Review-Journal.

The 46-year-old woman provided copies of emails, text messages and a signed contract laying out her duties as a “slave in training” to Benjamin Sparks.

Sparks isn’t some small-time local operative.  He was a 2012 Romney spokesperson, and worked for Goggle-Eyed Homunculus Scott Walker during the recall campaign.  And he really, really doesn’t like the idea of female autonomy:

According to emails, documents and text messages obtained by the Review-Journal, Sparks and his ex-fiancée signed a five-page contract stating that she would be his “slave and property.”…

Her specified duties were what you might expect, given that starting point and then escalated to the point of rupture. (Go to the link if you want the details.)

“Slave and property.” Dwell on that phrase.  I’ll wait.

Not All Republicans would be a true statement.  But too much Republican rhetoric, policy and conviction rests on a view of women that taken to pathological extremes, ends with Benjamin Sparks putting down on paper his belief that a woman could be chattel.

There are all kinds of reasons these shandes and goniffs need to get their asses handed to them this November. This is one. A big one.

Open this thread can be.

ETA: Several commenters have pointed out that consensual relations between adults aren’t the problem, and they’re right (as always, IMHO). The issue here for me is the way Sparks took what appears to have been one stage of initial consent and translated that into a one-off permission that gave him the right actually to treat his partner as property.

*Anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-non-discriminatory-treatment in work and society politics that are all underpinned by the conviction that women can’t be allowed to have full agency over their own bodies and their own decisions.

Image: J. Collier, Three grotesque old men with awful teeth pointing and grimacing at each other, 1810. (Via Wellcome Images.)

Outed: The Originator Of The “Shitty Media Men” List

In October, a Google spreadsheet entitled “Shitty Media Men” was posted. The idea was for women to be able to post their experiences of sexual harassment by media men. The list took off, but the originator became concerned about the potential trouble it could bring her and others and pulled it after a day or so. Of course, nothing on the internet is completely gone.

The list was an outgrowth of the informal networks women have had to warn each other about harassers and a response to the revelations about Harvey Weinstein. The originator did not reveal her name. Yesterday Moira Donegan came out in an article in “The Cut.” Apparently there was quite a bit on the list, although I haven’t seen it.

Her coming out was in response to a planned article in Harper’s Magazine by Katie Roiphe. Roiphe made her name by arguing for the status quo in sexual harassment back in the 1990s. She doesn’t seem to have changed her mind much.

As word spread of the Harper’s article, Nicole Cliffe, editor of the now-defunct “The Toast” (which had some great interpretations of famous paintings and other good stuff), said she would pay writers who might have articles lined up at Harper’s for their articles if they would pull them. Apparently some have.

Roiphe said that she did not know the name of the list originator, but Donegan says that a Harper’s fact-checker called her to ask if she was the one.

The New York Times has a long article with more details. It’s worth reading that and Donegan’s article before exploding in outrage one way or another. Roiphe’s article, undoubtedly undergoing massive revision, is scheduled for the March Harper’s.


The Times revelations about Weinstein opened up a can of worms. It’s about time that these genteelly protected rapists and harassers were outed. But it’s still not clear that it’s safe for women to do, hence the protection of their identities. The change in expectations is very sudden, although I’m sure that academics will be tracing a long history of attempts to end the acceptance of this mistreatment that have failed. Roiphe began her rearguard actions in the early 1990s.

It’s hard for men to process this, and a great many have taken advantage of their societal protection. The anonymity can be abused, but that is also an excuse that has been used to ignore the calls for help. Let’s see how Donegan is treated.


Do Not Let Me Hear Of The Wisdom Of Old Men


Donald Trump’s North Korea tweet was obvious enough that the instant responses to it included the word “dick-measuring” and the thought that he probably can’t find the button. It is becoming more and more obvious that he is indeed the WYSIWYG president. “There is no wizard behind the curtain — just an old, angry, obnoxiously ignorant man.”

The world is changing fast – away from the assumed preference for old white men. Even when their privilege was intact, within their value system they had a lot to be angry about. First, the physical decline. As we get older, it becomes more difficult to keep weight off, more difficult to maintain muscle tone. Joints begin to ache. Men’s sexual abilities decline starting at around age 20. There’s some cognitive decline; reflexes slow down.

Additionally, society keeps changing. People of color, women, people whose sexuality differs from cis-het all are being legitimated. Some are taking prominent jobs away from their rightful owners, those cis-het white men. Read more

Floriduh Man to Ohio Man: Hold My Beer!

In a clear attempt to maintain Florida’s well earned status as the home of turning the crazy up to 11, a Florida Democratic Party Official has turned to his Ohio Man counterpart and said hold me beer!

From The Tampa Bay Times:

Stephen Bittel’s rocky tenure as Florida Democratic Party chairman ended in disgrace Friday after he resigned following accusations from women that he leered at them, made suggestive comments and created an unprofessional work environment.

Bittel said he is working with party leaders to set a date to elect his successor.
Elected in January after a contentious internal campaign, Bittel lasted less than a year on the job.  His departure marks the latest case of sexual impropriety shaking the state Capitol.

Bittel’s position became untenable after all four major Democratic candidates for Florida governor urged his ouster following a Politico Florida report late Thursday in which six women anonymously complained about Bittel’s behavior. They said he was “creepy” and “demeaning.” Bittel apologized, but it was not enough.

Bittel appears to have gone all out in his attempt to earn his Floriduh Man! card and keep Florida much, much stranger than Ohio.

Floriduh Man: offensive and educational!

Open thread!

It Gets Worse

These Weinstein revelations are shocking.

That time President Obama politely pantsed Scaramucci at a town hall…

In 2010, then-hedge fund manager and future Trump communications director Anthony Scaramucci asked President Obama a couple of a questions at a town hall. It’s a fascinating exchange. First Scaramucci tries to butter Obama up by pointing out common school ties. Then he gets down to the business of whining about the Obama administration beating Wall Street fat cats like a “piñata” and taxing the poor job creators into oblivion. Obama is having none of that bullshit:

Sorry about the crap quality video, but it’s worth watching to recall how a real president talks policy — and pantses an unctuous bullshit artist. Now the bullshit artist is purveying towering piles of shit in service of King Turd of Bullshit Mountain. Here’s how Scaramucci redefined “transparency” yesterday:

Christ on a pony.

Just moments ago, Scaramucci wrapped up an interview with Jake Tapper. It didn’t go particularly well:

Then this happened:

It’s not surprising that Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ boss would casually say something degrading like that on TV. The presence of Pussy Grabboor and crew in the White House is a daily degradation for every woman in the country, even the fucking idiots who voted for him.

Anyhoo, open thread!

[H/T: @tizzywoman on Twitter for the Obama clip]