Sunday, October 29, 2017

Inarguable proof Republicans are more corrupt than Democrats

(This was posted on Reddit. It's not my work; it says "feel free to copy and paste", so I did for those who aren't on Reddit and/or might find this interesting. Enjoy, if enjoy is the right word.)

“I made a comment recently where I claimed that Republican administrations had been much more criminally corrupt over the last 50 plus years than the Democrats. I was challenged (dared actually) to prove it. So I did a bit of research and when I say a bit I mean it didn’t take long and there is no comparison.

When comparing criminal indictments of those serving in the executive branch of presidential administrations, it’s so lopsided as to be ridiculous. Yet all I ever hear about is how supposedly “corrupt” the Democrats are. So why don’t we break it down by president and the numbers?

Obama (D) – 8 yrs in office. Zero criminal indictments, zero convictions and zero prison sentences. So the next time somebody describes the Obama administration as “scandal free” they aren’t speaking wishfully, they’re simply telling the truth.

Bush, George W. (R) – 8 yrs in office. 16 criminal indictments. 16 convictions. 9 prison sentences.

Clinton (D) – 8 yrs in office. 2 criminal indictments. One conviction. One prison sentence. That’s right nearly 8 yrs of investigations. Tens of millions spent and 30 yrs of claiming them the most corrupt ever and there was exactly one person convicted of a crime.

Bush, George H. W. (R) – 4 yrs in office. One indictment. One conviction. One prison sentence.

Reagan (R) – 8 yrs in office. 26 criminal indictments. 16 convictions. 8 prison sentences.

Carter (D) – 4 yrs in office. One indictment. Zero convictions and zero prison sentences.

Ford (R) – 4 yrs in office. One indictment and one conviction. One prison sentence.

Nixon (R) – 6 yrs in office. 76 criminal indictments. 55 convictions. 15 prison sentences.

Johnson (D) – 5 yrs in office. Zero indictments. Zero convictions. Zero prison sentences.

So, let’s see where that leaves us. In the last 53 years, Democrats have been in the Oval Office for 25 of those years, while Republicans held it for 28. In their 25 yrs in office Democrats had a total of three executive branch officials indicted with one conviction and one prison sentence. That’s one whole executive branch official convicted of a crime in two and a half decades of Democrat leadership.

In the 28 yrs that Republicans have held office over the last 53 yrs they have had a total of (a drum roll would be more than appropriate), 120 criminal indictments of executive branch officials. 89 criminal convictions and 34 prison sentences handed down. That’s more prison sentences than years in office since 1968 for Republicans. If you want to count articles of impeachment as indictments (they aren’t really but we can count them as an action), both sides get one more. However, Clinton wasn’t found guilty while Nixon resigned and was pardoned by Ford (and a pardon carries with it a legal admission of guilt on the part of the pardoned). So those only serve to make Republicans look even worse.

With everything going on with Trump and his people right now, it’s a safe bet Republicans are gonna be padding their numbers a bit real soon. So let’s just go over the numbers one more time, shall we? 120 indictments for Republicans. 89 convictions, and 34 prison sentences. Those aren’t “feelings” or “alternate facts.” Those are simply the stats by the numbers. Republicans are, and have been for my entire lifetime, the most criminally corrupt party to hold the office of the presidency. So those are the actual numbers.”

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Straight Pride in Whining

Sydney City Lord Mayor Clover Moore has announced that, if the marriage plebiscite is passed and same sex marriage is legalised, then to celebrate same sex couples wishing to marry in City of Sydney venues, such as parks, could do so free of charge, or at least without paying the usual venue hire. For the first 100 days.

You wouldn't think anyone outside of the usual shower of homophobes could be against that, would you? A small gesture towards making up for centuries of abuse towards LGBTQ people? Oh, but they are.

 Rather than bothering with screenshots, I'll let you read the howls of unfairness in their own words, almost all of them, I would wager, from people who don't live in the City of Sydney, aren't planning to get married soon, or both:
 

And in case you missed my reply. If straight couples want to get married they could do so right now anywhere they please without worrying if they'll even have the chance because right now 15 million people they don't know are voting on whether they'll even be able to get married or not. And no one is calling their marriage evil, a sin, tearing apart the basis of society. And given all that, I would hope those straight couples wouldn't begrudge celebrating the legalisation of gay marriage with celebratory weddings to go a tiny way towards all the disadvantages gay couples have faced. Nor would anyone else begrudge it. It doesn't affect them in any way.

~~~~~

I'll probably be a bit quiet for the next few weeks as we hit the pointy end of - I cannot believe it - my last semester of university. It felt like this thing would never finish; now finally, it might. So I am very, very busy. I'd better make a study timetable.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Tatiana Gutsu and victim blaming Soviet style

In the wake of revelations that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually abused and assaulted women for decades, women around the world have been bravely revealing their stories as part of the #MeToo campaign. Perhaps especially brave is 1992 Olympic champion gymnast, Tatiana Gutsu, who revealed that fellow Barcelona Olympic champion Vitaly Scherbo raped her 1991, when they were in Germany to compete. She was fifteen years old at the time.


"This is me being brave". Tears for all she has been through.

There has been support for Ms Gutsu in the international gymnastics community. American Olympian Aly Raisman tweeted:


But if you think victim blaming in Western culture is bad - and it is - the attitude towards rape in nations of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) is shocking. The accusations levelled at Ms Gutsu in the FSU media are appalling, unfair and wrong.

Lydia Ivanova, one of the coaches of the Unified Team, of which Gutsu and Scherbo were both members, at the 1992 Olympics, stated:

“I do not want to talk in details about this and I think that this unseemly. Either she wants to earn money on this or get media attention, nothing more than that. It was unpleasant to suddenly hear about it. I’ve never seen any immodesty from this girl before. She was a good gymnast, at the high level. If there is a good, strong training session, what kind of sexual urges can there be?"

(Emphasis, mine). Immodesty from her? Excuse me?! This is not about anything Ms Gutsu did, or didn't do wrong. This is about an adult man - 19 at the time - raping a child.

Viktor Doylidov, a Belorussian coach who also worked with the national team, claimed Scherbo wouldn't have raped Gutsu because she was not pretty enough:

"I do not believe in it at all. And then, what does it mean to rape a girl ?! This means that it needs to be beaten or that someone keeps it.

Vitaly never did this, he always had a lot of fans who, frankly speaking, could rape him. He was a cute guy, looked chic, had a name. In 1992, 6 gold Olympic medals, and so far he was in the national team in the first roles. He did not suffer from the fact that he did not have attention from the female.

 As far as I remember Gutsu, she is not so beautiful that he would die on her. I did not hear at all that they had any relationship. I know Vitaly well, I do not think he could cross this line. Therefore, what Gutsu writes is just rubbish. And why did she suddenly mention this now? So, it is profitable for her."

And Antonian Koshel, current director of the Belorussian gymnastics federation, also wanted to know why Gutsu stayed silent so long:

“I don’t believe that this could have happened, that Vitaly is capable of such a thing. He’s the kind of a guy who couldn’t have offended someone like that. I don’t believe that she could be silent for 27 years and didn’t share it with anyone. Especially since she was a 15-year-old girl – that she didn’t share it, didn’t cry on anyone’s shoulder. I don’t know why would she say it. I guess, because of something else, so that people would think bad things about Vitaly… I can’t believe this and I wish other people wouldn’t think such bad things about him.”

Sheer, classic victim blaming. Why did she keep quiet? Why would he have raped her? He's a nice guy. He's a good looking guy, too good looking for her. Rape is all about sex, he could get sex so why would he rape her? She's after his money. She just wants to ruin him. This is all most unseemly and she shouldn't have mentioned it at all. On and on and on.

The things that trolls pump out on social media are considered mainstream fodder in the FSU. This excellent article looks at rape culture in Russia; the victim blaming, the denials, the shocking statistics: in 2015, only 3,900 sexual assault cases were opened by police, resulting in 2,700 convictions. That's for 144.3 million people.

Compare to Australia. We have our own problems, with victim blaming and a blokey culture. God knows and I do too. But for 24 million people, in 2016 police recorded 23,052 cases of sexual assault.

Meanwhile, in a 2010 interview, Vitaly Scherbo claimed he is used to getting what he wants from women:

I won’t be modest, I’ve seen plenty of women in my life. Playboy, in general. And I’m used to getting what I want from women. And you understand what I wanted.

Aly Raisman is right - Vitaly, you are disgusting.

And if Tatiana Gutsu, or any other woman who has survived sexual assault, happens to read this: I believe you, and I'm sorry, and I'm inspired by your bravery. I hope you can find some healing and peace in all this.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Australia Post: slower than snail's pace

Congratulations must go to Australia Post, for managing to get a small parcel from Sydney International Airport to my house 7km away in eight days. What was it doing all that time - admiring the city sights? Goggling at house prices? I can walk faster than that. In fact I thought a snail can probably cover the distance faster than that. So I had a look, and yep: the pace of a garden snail is 0.013 metres a second, which equates to 0.0468 km/hr. Over 8 days, that equates to 7.824km.

The snail would even have 800 metres spare to grab a tumeric latte.

So if I took a snail to the airport and set it loose...it would probably get lost or squashed, if I didn't get bored and wander off first. But if that snail stayed the course, it would make it from the airport to my house faster than Australia Post seems able to manage. Australia Post literally delivers mail slower than a snail's pace. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Triggered

"Triggered" used to be a useful word.

It was never a good word. Nothing that painful can be good. But it was useful. It was a useful word to describe exposure to stimulus or reminders so painful that, for survivors of trauma and abuse, it can take them right back to the traumatic incident, back to the feelings of horror, terror, shock and grief they experienced - or suppressed - at the time. We needed that word.

When I was first a member then an online counsellor at a forum for survivors of abuse, we used trigger warnings to warn other members that we were about to discuss painful and difficult things that may cause grief, guilt and flashbacks. Letting them know what was up ahead so they could avoid it if they needed to. 

And we've had trigger warnings in the media for a long time. Television news bulletins warn viewers that stories up ahead contain disturbing images, content that may upset some viewers, so they can avoid injuries, child abuse, animal abuse.

But now, being "triggered" has become a joke in the hands of the likes of this guy:



Being triggered does not mean what they think it means. It does not mean being offended, being exposed to ideas you don't agree with, or having your feelings hurt in the normal course of things.


A trigger is something that, well, triggers the memory of experiencing trauma. It can be something seemingly minor; a smell, a few bars of a song, certain word combinations. Something that was never meant to offend, certainly something that was never meant to be edgy. But what's often triggering are direct reminders of the trauma you went through yourself. Like when that sort of trauma comes up online or in the media.

What does being triggered feel like? It's different for everyone. It might be feelings of helplessness, anger, intense sorrow.

It's falling to the floor, hitting your fists or head against a wall, sobs that start so deep inside they seem to come from somewhere beyond your body and can't get out fast enough. It's fear and shame and grief and guilt and anger and rage and disgust.

It's not something which can be caused or explained by a Facebook comment saying "LOL! Triggered!"

~~~~~

I know there are a lot of people who have been triggered by the discussion of the sexually predatory behaviour of Harvey Weinstein. It is necessary and important that these matters are discussed. But for people being triggered by their own abuse, this is a really hard time.

Triggered is the best word we have to describe what's happening. It's not a joke.

To all the people feeling shaken up, upset, and triggered by what's going on right now. You're not alone.



Thursday, October 12, 2017

The "War on Religion" is Over (the Good Guys Lost)

The "No" campaign in the same sex marriage plebiscite, knowing they've lost hearts and minds on the issue of marriage equality itself, are claiming that what's really at stake here are freedom of speech and religion.

Their arguments regarding freedom of speech are spurious, as I discussed here; but they make a rather more important point about freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is a losing battle in Australia. Except it's not them that's losing, it's the rest of us. Even as Australia belatedly catches up to the rest of the world on matters like same sex marriage, the influence of organised religion continues to grow and control every aspect of our lives.

The poor old sausages at the Coalition for Marriage worry that if marriage equality becomes law, churches will lose their right to refuse to marry same sex couples. Which is hard to fathom, given that right now churches can refuse to marry anyone they want, for any reason at all. If you're not baptised in the faith, not living in the parish, not a regular attendee at services, divorced or doubting, the church can send you on your way. Given that 70% of couples in Australia now choose to be married by civil celebrants, that's not such a tedious imposition.  People are able to go elsewhere, and do so. (You'd think the churches would be glad of whatever custom they can get). 

In case you missed it, governments across Australia have, in recent years, merrily engaged in the business of privatising every damn thing they can lay their hands on. And when it comes to social services - healthcare, refuges, aged care, welfare, support - churches have fallen over themselves rushing to fill the gap. You might think this is good; that churches can do the work of ministering to the sick, poor and needy better than the government. But the thing is, government departments are bound to serve, and employ, without prejudice. Charities are not. 

For aged care workers, youth and community workers, and healthcare staff, this often means having to attest - even prove - that they share the beliefs and values of the hiring organisation before taking a new job. This might mean anything from having to affirm that the earth was created in 7 days, that men and women have separate roles defined by God, or having to attend regular prayer sessions with co-workers. And it's hard to just look for a job somewhere else when community service industries, hit with the above mentioned neoliberal privatisation, are already suffering from casualisation and uncertain employment and are just run by other churches with their almost unlimited freedom of religion.

(It's a similar situation for teachers working in non-government schools; yet another reason why we must not allow the public school system to be any further eroded).

If it's that bad for staff, the situation for service users - "clients", in the modern economic rationalist speak - is even worse. The scenarios are many and horrifying; women unable to access abortion in church-run hospitals; same sex, even straight unmarried, couples unable to access aged care; people in need denied access to social services, turned away from food banks and shelters.

These are some of the most vulnerable people in society, and they usually don't have a choice to go somewhere else.

Many church run organisations have non-discriminatory policies, but that's up to them; they are free to choose to provide services, or not, as they see fit. There's no anti-discrimination law that comes into play. This is their absolute freedom of religion and the of us can go jump.

And it won't be impinged in any way by the outcome of the same sex marriage plebiscite. Can you imagine the dictate that would come down to Christian churches if legalising gay marriage did hurt their freedom of religion?

"Okay. You're still free to hold your current belief that God created the Earth in 7 days and put dinosaur bones in the ground to test our faith. That God created man to lead and woman to be his helpmeet. That the word of the Bible in infallible, even the bits about babies coming out of their mothers bowels and the fact that the divine word of God doesn't even get close to an accurate calculation for pi. You can keep all this, but the part about gay people being sinful, that has to go. In fact, you have to let gay couples get married now. Yes, to each other"

Yeah, nah.

It's important to point out here, of course, that there are religious and charitable organisations doing incredible, hard, thankless work out in the community; I've received some help myself in these last few tumultuous years. But the work they do isn't under threat, worship isn't under threat, there is no threat to freedom of religion from marriage equality.

What there is right now, however, is a lack of freedom. There's no freedom from religion in Australia. Even as social and legislative progress is made in areas like euthanasia, abortion and marriage equality, the role of the church in service provision in Australia grows ever larger. The workers may be dedicated and hard working, but the all powerful organisations behind them set the agenda. There's no war on religion in Australia. It's over. Big Christian won. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Kate Winslet Condemns Hollywood Sex Abuse... Sometimes

By Tony Shek, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

With the revelations that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein carried on like a gross misogynist pig for decades, actors and others are lining up to condemn him. Some of them are even sincere. Here's Kate Winslet's statement to Variety on the issue:

“The fact that these women are starting to speak out about the gross misconduct of one of our most important and well regarded film producers, is incredibly brave and has been deeply shocking to hear. The way Harvey Weinstein has treated these vulnerable, talented young women is NOT the way women should ever EVER deem to be acceptable or commonplace in ANY workplace.
“I have no doubt that for these women this time has been, and continues to be extremely traumatic. I fully embrace and salute their profound courage, and I unequivocally support this level of very necessary exposure of someone who has behaved in reprehensible and disgusting ways. His behaviour is without question disgraceful and appalling and very, very wrong. I had hoped that these kind of stories were just made up rumours, maybe we have all been na├»ve. And it makes me so angry. There must be ‘no tolerance’ of this degrading, vile treatment of women in ANY workplace anywhere in the world.”

As perhaps the most revered actress of our times, Winslet carries considerable star power and her views are important, so kudos for speaking up.

It's just that she took a very different tone discussing sexual abuse allegations a few months ago when asked how she felt about working with Woody Allen, in light of Dylan Farrow's revelations that he molested her as a child. Back then Winslet was falling over herself to hedge her bets and sweep it under the carpet - with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski too:

Of course one thinks about it. But at the same time, I didn’t know Woody and I don’t know anything about that family. As the actor in the film, you just have to step away and say, I don’t know anything, really, and whether any of it is true or false. Having thought it all through, you put it to one side and just work with the person. Woody Allen is an incredible director. So is Roman Polanski. I had an extraordinary working experience with both of those men, and that’s the truth.

Winslet's career is already well established of course; she can pretty much have her pick of whatever roles she wants, so it's not fear that would keep her from speaking out - on anyone (and I don't know whether "I need to protect my career" makes it okay, anyway). So is it that she knows something about Weinstein, has possibly been a victim of his harassment herself? Is she still hoping to work with Allen or Polanski in future? Is she just jumping on the get-Weinstein bandwagon now that he is officially Out Of Favour? Is Kate Winslet just a massive hypocrite? I don't know; but anyway, gross.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Kardashians to Blame for Mass Shootings (we can Blame Serial Killers on the Osmonds)

Following the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas, and the fact that mass shootings are getting more frequent and deadlier, Planet America went to an expert for answers: Professor Adam Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama. Professor Lankford made the fascinating correlation between mass shootings and modern celebrity culture: in an age of instant celebrity and being famous for being famous, carrying out a gun massacre is a way to instant renown. Everybody will be talking about you; the saturation press coverage will assure you, in death, the attention you may have desperately craved in life. You can watch the full interview here:



And whilst the Las Vegas killer, at 64 years old, may seem unlikely to be swept up by culture of instant (and unaccomplished) celebrity, of thinking if the Kardashians can be so famous why can't you, no one is immune from feelings of isolation - or entitlement.

We know little of his motives at the moment, but the increase in the frequency and fatalities of this age of mass shootings points to a need in the shooters for renown, for notoriety, to outdo the firepower and rage of the last loser to mow down innocent people in a public place.

 But does an increase in mass shootings point to an increase in psychopathy? Does the grim frequency of gun massacres show an increase in fury along with a desire to be known?

Not necessarily. There's long been murderous sadists; they've just switched tactics. Forty years ago, your lone male filled with anger strangled co-eds one by one instead of mowing them down in a massacre. They became a serial killer instead of a mass shooter.

The 1970s were known for Quaaludes, disco and oil crises; punk, the Dismissal and Watergate. The first family of fame was the Osmonds, not the Kardashians. And the 1970s were the golden age of the serial killer. Although the number of killings kept rising into the 1980s, the Seventies  were the time of the killers most non-aficionados have an inkling of: John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Son of Sam, Dahmer. There are still serial killers of course - and there may be killers operating now who haven't been detected yet - but the phenomenon of the serial killer to captivate public attention is one that has passed. 

The serial killer operates in a different way to the spree shooter, and gets a very different version of the sick gratification they seek. By operating in secret, committing murders one at a time, the serial killer may derive a sick thrill from the killing, but gets none of the instant gratification of the mass shooter. No one knows what they have done, not straight away. They have to wait, wait until the bodies are found, the pattern of the killings is discovered. They may eventually get substantial media coverage, maybe a nickname; they may get a thrill from the mystery, from the power of terrorising the area they operate in.

Or they may not. The bodies might not be found. The police might not link the killings. The pattern might not be discerned. The serial killer has control only over the murder itself. Once the deed is done, it's out in the world, and they have to wait for a public reaction that may never come.

It's like the difference between posting on Instagram, and releasing an album. The mass shooter commits the deed and reaction is instant; the comments flood in. The serial killer does their thing, puts it out in the world and then it's up to a mercurial public to discover what they've done and, in the 1970s, a delay for the public reaction, for media attention, a wait for newspapers to be printed, for someone to finally notice them.

Maybe the decline in serial killers and rise of mass shooters points to a change in our culture. Of instant gratification and instant celebrity. Of wanting attention now.

I can't say if the psychology of serial killers and spree shooters is similar enough to support the theory that the type of people who carried out the former in the 1970s are the same type that go for the latter now, that the methodology has changed whilst the psychology hasn't. But it's something interesting to ponder.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Is there anything the Coalition for Marriage aren't wrong about?

You could almost feel sorry for the Coalition for Marriage, the self described "movement to defend traditional marriage" in the ongoing (and going and going) debate over the same sex marriage plebiscite. They are so persistently, helplessly wrong that one could describe them as hapless, if they weren't, you know, evil. First, they proclaim they are the silent majority, when they are neither silent nor the majority. Then there's their logo, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the logo for bisexual pride:

 
Whoops.


And in the face of overwhelming opposition to their cause, they're more than a tad muddle headed in their approach as well.

Knowing that arguments that marriage is between a man and a woman aren't cutting it, they're focusing their efforts on two main areas: the Safe Schools program, and Freedom of Speech (and to a lesser extent religion, which they know Australians don't much care about).

But your Free Speech is under attack, they warn. Why, if you oppose marriage equality, you risk your losing your job, as foretold in these dire examples:

In workplaces across Australia, employees are coming under increasing pressure to comply with increasingly restrictive policies around “politically correct” speech, and are being compelled to participate in LGBTI pride events at work. 

 A Telstra employee had this to say: “Even though I declined to attend the “Wear It Purple” Day meeting, I have since been re-sent the meeting invite by an Executive Director 6 times. The meeting invite says staff are “required” (not “optional”) attendees.”

You had to go to a meeting? Heavens to Murgatroid. Have none of these people ever had a job before? All you had to do was attend a Wear It Purple Day meeting, and you're carrying on like you were required to lip sync "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" at the office Christmas party wearing a feather boa, hot pants and cha cha heels (which no one wants to see the creepy middle aged guy from accounts receivable do).

That's what you do when you have a job. I've had to attend meetings for campaigns I wasn't involved in, decorate my desk to celebrate sporting events I didn't care two tiny mouse droppings about, watch the Melbourne Cup when I found doing so upsetting and annoying.

It's a meeting. You show up, sit in the corner, wait for the biscuits to make their way around the room to you, bitch to yourself that there's only Milk Arrowroots left (I saw you take three Monte Carlos, Karl), nod in agreement with the boss, then head back to your desk, an hour behind on your work. Yeah, you could complain about what a waste of time it all is, but you'll be out of a job, or at least called in for another meeting on your attitude.

You don't have freedom of speech here to be taken away. Nor should you. Don't be ridiculous. There's a weird little subset of the right lately - Mark Latham is their spiritual leader - with a bizarre fetish for (their own) free speech. They're nuts about it. The threat to their free speech and liberties, they believe, is the greatest threat facing Australia. Everything would get back on track for the nation, if only they could crack racist jokes in the work lunch room (or on TV) again.

The Coalition for Marriage has no reports of employees being asked to do anything that's out of the ordinary for supporting the organisation and doing your job, and no indication of how marriage equality would affect that anyway. If your religious beliefs are so intense that you cannot bear to have the matter of marriage equality even discussed in the same room as you - that's your problem, really. Not something the law should protect. (And if your religious beliefs are so strong, surely they will protect you from the evils of hearing about gay marriage?).

It's a load of hysterical rubbish is what it is. They know they're clutching at straws here. I was going to include freedom of religion in this post, but that's a much bigger problem - for the rest of us, right now, controlling our lives and careers. So I'll get to that quite shortly.

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Hefner was a Sexist Pig, but Women Wouldn't Understand

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wants us to know that Hugh Hefner, who died last week, was a pretty seedy creature, a "lecherous, low-brow Peter Pan":

[A] pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain's hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.

But the real problem with Hefner is with the society that took on the values Hefner espoused allowed him to become a cultural icon. We need to take a long hard look at ourselves:

Now that death has taken him, we should examine our own sins. Liberals should ask why their crusade for freedom and equality found itself with such a captain, and what his legacy says about their cause. Conservatives should ask how their crusade for faith and family and community ended up so Hefnerian itself - with a conservative news network that seems to have been run on Playboy Mansion principles and a conservative party that just elected a playboy as our president.

But I've read a heap of insightful writing on Hefner, Playboy and the effects it's all had on our society. What about Julie Bindel's piece in the Independent or Robin Abearian on how Playboy's dreams were for men only? Suzanne Moore's account of her dealings with Hefner and his legal threats?

Nope:

You can find these questions being asked, but they are counterpoints and minor themes. That this should be the case, that only prudish Christians and spoilsport feminists are willing to say that the man was obviously wicked and destructive.

(Emphasis mine).

Ross Douthat is here to tell us what's going on here. Bindel, Abearian, Moore and the others aren't real writers. They're women, you see. They don't have a place in mainstream commentary. They're spoilsport feminists. Their views and opinions are "minor themes". Douthat will bring the debate into the mainstream as only a man can. We need a man to explain what a lecherous clot Hefner was. Women write women's writing about women's issues, and when they complain about anything, they're spoilsport feminists. Men are the default, we need men to do the real writing, and thank goodness a man has come along to tell us how sexist Hefner was.