In which I break character and answer a transparently loaded question about Ms Shannon Elizabeth's parodic/allegorical sexual proclivities
Yesterday’s post on the Marcotte / Savages dustup (and subsequent self-loathing, overtly “introspective” world wide apology tour) — presented in the form of a Shannon Elizabeth riff — has, as I’d imagined it might, brought the establishment feminist boilerplate out in full force: I am, evidently, in addition to being an asshole (confirmed), also a “racist” and a supporter of either “grey rape” or full on rape (each charge ridiculous).
One of those who chimes in on my insufferable racism and smug, patriarchal presumptuousness is left-leaning site regular Lisa, who writes:
I guess I am stupid, but how does your fixation with Shannon Elizabeth and rappers/black men (with their superiorly-sized penises)wanting to rape yer white wimminz meme tie into the Amanda Marcotte (and all of that white privlege/gnashing of the teeth) book kerfluffle?
Interesting sex fantasy choice though. Hmmm.
— To which I am less than thrilled to respond, but to which I shall respond, if only because the time has come to point out certain of the less than charming rhetorical ploys being clumsily attempted by my critics.
So, here it goes:
Yes. I suppose it’s possible that maybe you are stupid, Lisa. In which case, pity that. But perhaps you just aren’t yet completely familiar with the site (or me, in particular).
First, there’s no “fixation” with either Shannon Elizabeth or Black men/rappers. What you are witnessing is, instead, part of a running series (one that has its own category, in fact. Other luminaries I’m “fixated” on are Peter Fonda and Leif Garrett — neither of whom I wish to have intercourse with, either). If you’ll take a look at the greatest hits over to the left sidebar, you’ll note that I have a similar “fixation” with a number of things — from the Ghost of John Merrick to a laconic Kleagle hood to dolphins in pea coats to the ways in which incoherent hermeneutic theory underpins political philosophies in a way that is at once obvious and virtually unnoticeable to those not predisposed to examining the strategies in any rigorous detail. Pay particular attention to my posts on intentionalism, because they are controlling as a subtext in this current discussion.
Second, the links (the orange words actually take you to other sites and posts) give you the back story on Marcotte, the conflicted suffering of the white feminists wrestling with their place in a power hierarchy of their own conjuring, and the idea of “white privilege.” Similarly, they add weight to the particular mapping points of the allegory I wrote. If it helps, using a pen and paper and drawing yourself a chart or diagram could prove useful. Most readers have been able to do the mental mapping sans tactile implements, but hey, there’s a learning curve here — especially if you’ve only been a regular since my absence.
Third, the relative length and width of black penises is nowhere discussed in the Elizabeth post. For whatever reason, you seem to have grafted that little bit of your own psychosexual/social baggage onto what I wrote. Which, if that’s what the post conjures for you, that’s what it conjures for you. But me, I don’t subscribe to that bit of biological observation as a general rule.
Fourth, I don’t think Wayans or Method Man want to “rape” Ms Elizabeth. I think they are interested in getting that funny feel, certainly; but it is Ms Elizabeth who gives them the go ahead — out of guilt over white privilege.
Then, when she begins feeling self-satisfied at her charity, she again feels guilty — this time because it is unseemly to feel superior for having deigned to help the poor oppressed Black man (made all the more ironic in that neither Wayans or Method Man is hurting for money or social cachet, and so are “oppressed” in the same way that is, say, a certain Democratic presidential front runner and his equally oppressed wife. Thankfully, they have plenty of living space in which to study their travails). This guilt is brought about as another manifestation of her having recognized and internalized her odious white privilege — and so acts, thematically speaking, as another snare in the tangled jungle (can I say “jungle,” or is that, too, now racist?) of identity politics.
In fact, the competing impulses being explored in the self-flagellating debate the feminist sites are having over the Marcotte book kerfuffle, are enough to drive at least one earnest feminist to drink a whole shitload of tequila — if only to escape trying to figure out just how “a feminist” is supposed to act.
Naturally, I’d say Ms Elizabeth’s first impulse was correct: just say no! — but then, I’m not burdened by any ridiculous notions of my having been born into a social position that posits me a de facto oppressor, and so I feel no need to remedy the situation of my birth by having a Cristal bottle jammed into my anus.
On the flip side — and drawing on a quote someone posted here from Booker T Washington about the Black grievance industry — I portrayed Wayans and Method Man as savvy and smart: they recognize the power they have as soon as they recognize the conflict Ms Elizabeth is undergoing.
At which point they act precisely like the kind of men certain feminists are always positing: self-interested, power-hungry, rapacious in their desire to sexualize and objectify women.
Had they been white frat boys, therefore, I don’t think we’d be hearing a complaint about how unfairly they are being treated in this little monologue; nor do I suspect activist feminists would be coming out of the woodwork to decry how they’d been “stereotyped,” or how the portrayal of white 20-somethings is “racist.”
I must say, I hate explaining the jokes to people. Because they aren’t simply jokes for jokes’ sake, oftentimes — and explaining them takes away some of their power, such as it is. The post was pointed, and I think fairly spot on in exposing the conflicting impulses by which those over-committed to identity politics are burdened and frustrated.
Not only that, but it had the luxury of working within an established set piece familiar to readers of this site. Which is why they seemed to get it and you, evidently, did not (though honestly? I tend to doubt that. You seem sharp enough to understand what’s going on here, yet partisan enough to pretend toward being flummoxed so that you can attempt to put me on the defensive).
Finally, I have no particular sexual fantasies of my own that are unconsciously on display here. Rather, I’m a slave to a certain kind of imagery that I find both aesthetically appropriate to the piece, and that makes me kinda giggle.
So sue me.