Katie Roiphe’s Harper’s article about the #MeToo movement dropped on Sunday, and boy was it ever a big pile of nothing we haven’t heard before.

The essay, titled The Other Whisper Network: How Twitter feminism is bad for women, started out with the traditional noting of the “many other women” who agree with Roiphe that #MeToo has just gone too far, but who are terrified to speak out because of, uh, feminists who use Twitter.

Of course, the prepublication frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury about this essay, which exploded in early January, is Exhibit A for why nobody wants to speak openly. Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”—all because of a rumor that I was planning to name the creator of the so-called Shitty Media Men list. The Twitter feminist Jessica Valenti called this prospect “profoundly shitty” and “incredibly dangerous” without having read a single word of my piece. Other tweets were more direct: “man if katie roiphe actually publishes that article she can consider her career over.” “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original?

Let’s be clear here. For one thing, the “rumor” was true. The woman who initiated the list was contacted by Harper’s fact checkers who told her as much and wanted to make sure Roiphe had it right. She ended up outing herself rather than letting Roiphe do it, but she should not have had to.

For another, this was not “thought policing.” “Twitter feminists” were not mad at Harper’s because Roiphe was going to criticize #MeToo. We were not frightened of her fabulously provocative and original thoughts that she has repeated ad nauseam since the early 1990s. We simply opposed her naming the woman who created the Shitty Media Men list. To do so, yes, would have been a “profoundly shitty” thing to do. There was nothing necessary about doing that, no overriding public interest that could have been served. It wouldn’t have changed the way anyone looked at the list, but rather simply made her a target of harassment far more severe than someone calling Katie Roiphe a “garbage person.”

Referring to Jessica Valenti as merely a “Twitter feminist” is also quite snide, by the way.

If being called names or receiving pushback on the internet was “Exhibit A” of why no one wanted to “speak out” about a particular issue, literally no one would talk about any issues at all, ever, on the internet. My own Twitter mentions are, on occasion, a total trash fire — and also, quite often, filled with people saying the exact things Roiphe and her anonymous friends say in her essay. If we are “silencing” them, we are not doing a very good job of it.

There are a lot of things we don’t talk about because we don’t care enough to deal with the shit that comes with talking about them. For instance, when people tell me about how they are into crystals, I try to arrange my face into a look that says, “Oh yeah, those rocks probably can do magic or whatever” because I just really don’t want to have that discussion with people. It is both awkward and incredibly boring and I just want to move on to the next topic of conversation. This isn’t me being silenced, it’s me avoiding conflict.

Roiphe and her silenced friends believe that many of the things men were accused of on the Shitty Media Men list were simply not that big of a deal.

To do a close reading of the list: some of the offenses on the spreadsheet (“creepy DMs,” “weird lunch ‘dates,’” “leering,” “flirting,” “violent language,” and “leading on multiple women online”) seem not quite substantial or rare enough to put into the category of sexual misconduct. I am not even sure they merit a warning to a hopeful young employee. I have graduate students who go on to work for these sorts of publications, and I am very mother-hen-ish about them. But I can’t imagine sitting with one of my smart, ambitious students in my office, lined with shelves of books like The Second Sex and A Room of One’s Own and I Love Dick and The Argonauts, saying, “Before you go work there, I just want to warn you, that guy might leer at you.” I would worry I was being condescending, treating her like a child who doesn’t know how to handle herself in the world.

And you know what? I get that. A lot of that stuff might not have seemed a big deal to me either, were I the one to have experienced it. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not a big deal to other women, and they have the right to say so. It’s not as if all of these men were fired or even faced any consequences for their appearance on the list, and if they don’t think these things are that big of a deal, then it shouldn’t really matter if people find out about them.

One of the things Roiphe brings up is the sheer horror of people talking about whether or not someone should ask beforehand if they can kiss someone.

A couple of days after my friend made this potentially outsized claim, Josephine Livingstone issued a fresh dictum in The New Republic: “You probably shouldn’t kiss anybody without asking.” She insists that everyone, not just college students, must now obtain verbal permission; all those ways you used to think you could tell whether someone wanted to kiss you six months ago no longer matter: “The world has changed, and affirmative consent is now the standard.” Note the friendly yet threatening tone of a low-level secret policeman in a new totalitarian state.

Am I going to fall down dead if someone kisses me without asking? No, I’m not. Does the idea of someone asking me if they can kiss me strike me as weird and overly formal? It totally does! It’s definitely not something I am accustomed to. But I also realize that not every person feels the same way I do, and if being overly formal is the price we pay for someone else not feeling violated, it’s not that big of a deal to me. Whatever, I’ll live.

Maybe Katie Roiphe can “handle” a man leering at her. Maybe she even welcomes it. That doesn’t mean that all women must collectively be fine with it. If men were somehow only engaging in this behavior with women who welcome it, if they were body-language experts who were successfully only kissing women who wanted to be kissed, this conversation would not even be happening in the first place. Clearly, this is not the case.

The irony with all of this, however, is that Katie and these supposedly terrified and silenced women in the shadows are also complaining about something that not everyone else finds to be a particularly big deal — the mere concept of people not agreeing with them. They are, like everyone else, absolutely allowed to speak their minds, on Twitter and elsewhere. Roiphe was able to find a home for her piece at Harper’s. There have been at least 45,000 other “Has #MeToo Gone Too Far?” articles in the last month alone. Prior to that, there have been 45,000 articles about how feminism has gone too far, or how feminists on Twitter are murdering free speech. Prior to that, this take has literally been the status quo for god knows how many centuries. Their issue is not that they are being silenced or censored, but that other people do not respond to their “original” and “provocative” takes by going “Oh gee, I never thought about that before! You have a point!”

People disagree with me all the damn time. That doesn’t shut me up and it doesn’t make me scared and it doesn’t make me feel silenced. In fact, I generally assume that most people are going to disagree with me on most things and work from there. I have disagreements with other feminists and other people on the Left all the time, as do most people who participate in conversations with other human beings on the regular. It’s just a fact of life. “Feminists on the internet” or “Feminists on Twitter” are not some specific, different breed of human being. We just get way more shit for doing the exact same things everyone else does.

If you are going to say “provocative” things, you cannot be surprised when people are provoked. No one can count on acceptance. If you really, truly believe the things you have to say are important and valid, you have to learn how to say them whether or not people are going to agree with you. Toughen up, buttercups!


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  • Msgr_MΩment

    Show us on your Likes where the Feminazis touched you, Katie.

    • Wonder

      That’s kinda gross, especially in this context.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”

    Congrats, and welcome to Twitter. Michelle Obama had to have her husband run for President to get that kind of “name recognition”.

  • Parakeetist

    I really just hate this dumb motherfucker. If anybody kissed her without asking, she’d probably kick the living crap out of him. As she should.

  • are we sure that’s not a David Brooks piece?

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Or Ross Douchehat?

    • Anna Rompage

      Weird you mention that, as you never see David Brooks, and this person, at the same time

    • gnomemansanisland

      No one would kiss David Brooks without his permission.

  • Spotts1701, Porg Wrangler

    Note the friendly yet threatening tone of a low-level secret policeman in a new totalitarian state.

    Well, glad to see she hasn’t lost perspective…

    • slippery slope is slippery.

    • Michael Smith

      Glad to see she’s added some unnecessary adjectives to give the sentence a clever feel, but really what is their significance? A “low level” secret policeman? Is that supposed to be an insult? Like if you’re going to be a fascist, you should at least be a good one? A “new” totalitarian state? Did the sentence have that new totalitarian smell? I mean how can she surmise the age of the state?

      • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

        She’s saying that, right under our very noses, a benevolent Feminazi dictatorship is springing up like mushrooms in night soil. But, thank goodness, we have SuperKatie to expose the wretched hive of scum and villainy.

        Aw, who am I kidding? It wouldn’t be Harpers without some overblown verbiage.

  • The Wanderer

    I believe that I have referred to various right-wing women as “harridans” on this mommyblog. Please don’t think less of me for exercising my vocabulary.

    • Spotts1701, Porg Wrangler

      Well, if you don’t exercise your vocabulary it will become flabby and lazy like a common Trumper’s.

      • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁


    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      H, A, double R, I, D-A-N spells Harridan!
      Proud of all the hatred that’s inside me,
      Proud to let the Spirit of Schlafly guide me!
      H, A, double R, I, D-A-N, you see,
      It’s a ploy, so a boy,
      Will appoint me his Serena Joy,
      Harridan — that’s me!

      KKKatie, bar the door!

      • Lord Jim

        Did you tcompose that yourself? Cuz AWESOME!

    • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

      If the Louboutin fits…

  • Teecha

    I love you Robyn, and I respectfully disagree about the asking before kissing. My top 10 sexxxy times have involved someone saying to me ‘I really want to kiss you’ or words to that effect. And it’s all gone on from there… yum!

  • Bobathonic

    So, she can tolerate someone kissing her unasked, but cannot tolerate being asked about a kiss?

    That doesn’t seem very consistent.

  • Mehmeisterjr

    Has Sarah Huckbee Sanders told Katie Roiphe to smile yet?

    • WotsAllThisThen

      It would be good for the country .

  • WiscoJoe

    People who spend most of their professional/personal lives on Twitter seem convinced that the “frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury” is the end-all/be-all of their professional/personal lives. This is such a weird cognitive bias and epistemic closure that’s formed within our media (and in the Oval Office).

    “People on Twitter on saying something about what other people on Twitter are saying so here’s a Twitter-ready article about why Twitter is so influential on Twitter users.”

    • Marion in Savannah

      Reason 298,479,012 that I don’t twatter.

      • BreakingDeadMen

        it’s fun simply cause you can directly respond to people with the snarkening. but it’s not ‘discourse.’

      • GoutMachine

        Seriously. I gave up Twitter years ago; it’s just not useful. No way to organize what you see, just continual firehose-drinking. Meh. I have better things to do with my time.

    • twitter is a bubble machine.

    • MynameisBlarney

      Back in MY day, we used tin cans and string!
      And we liked it that way!

      • Marion in Savannah

        Tin cans and string? LOOOXURY!!! We had smoke signals or nothing.

        • MynameisBlarney


      • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

        I too refuse to be a twit.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Another person competing with McMegan and Nooners to be the least sharp spoon in the drawer.

  • shivaskeeper

    I know it’s not the overall point of this essay, but could someone explains how getting express permission to kiss someone is a bad thing?

    • TJ Barke

      Cuz it doesn’t fit into her outmoded, antiquated conception of romance.

    • MsEdgyNation

      I don’t get it either. If The Beatles could sing about wanting to hold hands in 1964 without getting their balls cut off, I don’t see why asking for a kiss over fifty years later should be a big deal.

      • shivaskeeper

        It’s not about the kiss. Not really. It’s about how hard is it to not touch someone without permission? Seriously.

  • this has got to be one of the dumbest straw men I’ve seen in a while

    “A couple of days after my friend made this potentially outsized claim, Josephine Livingstone issued a fresh dictum in The New Republic: “You probably shouldn’t kiss anybody without asking.” She insists that everyone, not just college students, must now obtain verbal permission;”

    “must NOW ask for permission”?

    • wide_stance_hubby

      Why does she hate the rich and famous bearing Tic Tacs?

  • ManchuCandidate

    Is her name pronounced Roofie?

  • Michael Smith

    Why do these dishonest writers get these big platforms? They only encourage the same in their readers.

    Katie Roiphe, you are either dumb or you are lying because you want people to think that those who disagree with you are not only wrong, but also are bad, potentially violent people. And it is just not true. It is frankly a bit dangerous for you to say so. People exaggerating the degree to which “liberals” are willing to “force” others to abide by their opinions is part of why we are where we are now politically.

    Here’s the thing. If you are thinking so much about whether you agree with the list, and whether that makes you a bad feminist, or whether that makes you a person with archaic morals… did you ever think that maybe you are the one thinking all of that, all at the same time? Maybe you are having a conversation with yourself?

    Maybe write it like “I read the list, and there were a few things on there that I thought shouldn’t be there. But then I thought.. ‘Does that make me a bad person?’ So I started to think a bit more deeply about it, and here’s what I keep coming back to… etc.” Don’t blame other people because you feel guilty. Certainly don’t insinuate that they are fascist threats to free expression, when that’s completely untrue. Be honest with yourself, and maybe you might actually grow, and then people won’t be able to make fun of you for writing the same article since 1993.

    • Why do these dishonest writers get big platforms? Because big platforms are dishonest publishers. QED.

      • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

        They remain big by hiring defenders of the status quo.

    • Edith Prickly, Stable Genius

      I posted this link above, but I’m posting again because it answers your question – Roiphe has a platform because 25 years ago the NYT decided to make her their Gen X poster girl straight out of school.

  • goonemeritus

    If only more people were terrified to speak when they only had wrong, stupid or hurtful things to say. In fact this may become my go to wish, light a candle in church, offer a little prayer that stupid people take vow of silence. Blow out some birthday candles, wish that mean people forget how to log on to social media. New Years, wish that media decided to stop interviewing people who have repeatedly lied on air.

  • BearGHAZI

    Wonkette, I wish to give you a cheek kiss. May I affirmatively do so?

  • BaconzShanz


    Is a hash tag that should be started.

    • Shanzgood


      • Lord Jim

        Maybe to tweak the nose of Little Miss Oppressed By Twitter Feminists?

  • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

    Robyn is a lot braver than I am. I signed up for Blogger and have some words on the page, but doubt I’ll ever have the courage to take it public on a garbage-fire Roman Coliseum free-for-all like Twitter. Especially since, what Roiphe is doing is called doxing, and it’s something that the worst-of-the-worst Gamergate terrorists have done to silence their own “enemies” for daring to speak out about sexist abuse in the world of gaming and I.T.

    Milo Youreadumbass outed a trans person by their deadname at one of the campus Twitlerjügend rallies he was at. 4chan hacked into the ShareBlue database and sent phony SWAT calls to the address of employees of the organization. They’ve tracked down family members of terror suspects and even people with the same name (shades of KKKris KKKobach’s Burning KKKrosscheck application). Their goal all around is the same: to make damn sure that women, minorities, and other undesirables facing the threat of oppression have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and nowhere to call a “safe space.”

    There is absolutely a case to be made for Internet anonymity. Unfortunately, in far too many cases it enables Anonymous-masked basement-dwellers and their kapo muses like Roiphe to get away with intimidation tactics against people they don’t like, and then claim it was just to “start a conversation” or, worse, “4 teh lulz.”

  • OrG

    I don’t know who this person is,but fuck her.

  • Bill D. Burger

    ot…but Dow has plunged another 450 points so far today, a total of 1500+ in the last 6 days of scoring.
    Haz’ The Fucking Moron taken credit yet? That would be the responsible thing..ahahahahaahaha…..couldn’t finish.

  • thepoliticalcat

    Robyn Elyse you are Queen of the World right now for this elegant takedown of garbage_human Katie Roiphe. I even asked Twitter to munny you. Shamelessly.

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    “Oh yeah, those rocks probably can do magic or whatever” because I just really don’t want to have that discussion with people. It is both awkward and incredibly boring and I just want to move on to the next topic of conversation. This isn’t me being silenced, it’s me avoiding conflict.

    That’s much nicer than what I do. I scan the room for the nearest exit, back away slowly the first three steps, and walk as fast as I can without running toward the exit, afraid to look back.

    It’s worse if they are suffocating me intially with a patchouli cloud.

    • Bobathonic

      I’m pretty sure I roll my eyes and mutter something like “oh for fuck’s sake”.

      • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

        Same thing with the magnetic bracelet/necklace people, right?

        OK, I live in this giant magnetic field that makes my compass work, and you’re trying to tell me what?

        • Lord Jim

          People don’t even realize how old that scam is.

    • Lord Jim

      Is sandalwood better? Asking for a friend. 😁

  • WotsAllThisThen

    Ummm, could you be silenced a little bit quieter? I can’t hear myself not think.

    • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

      IKR? She’s awfully outspoken in her being silenced. Bossy too.

  • GoutMachine

    She should join up with the white Evangelicals. Sounds like they’re both horribly persecuted and silenced for their beliefs. I mean, I never hear from them!

    • being professionally aggrieved is a great job if you can get it.

      • The ‘ladies against women’ gig pays well, as does the ‘blacks against African-Americans’ gig.

        • gay against gays, etc, etc. grievance is the biggest, most lucrative grift. just ask the religious.

          • Lord Jim

            These occupations are lucrative when cishet white men are in power because they are the target ausdience. That’ll change. It won’t be soon or easy, but that’s the way the demographics are rolling, I think.

          • would be nice to see the end of this circle jerk in our lifetimes but I’m not holding my breath.

        • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

          Token gig.

  • so, I read this thing again and Roiphe seems to have taken quite a few pages out of the Gamergate playbook.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      Yep. Doxing. See below.

      • Lord Jim

        Is she a TERF? She’s sure starting to sound like one…

        • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

          I have no idea. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least, though.

        • Dixie Gale

          With all due respect, I have never heard a woman refer to herself as a “terf.” I have only heard some feminists describe feminists they don’t agree with like that. I don’t police other people’s language, though, so do your thing.

          • Lord Jim

            I’m pretty sure the disagreement is that most feminists think trans women are really women and deserving of respect and a few don’t, but whatever.

          • HarpyLibtart

            In order to be a TERF she’d have to be a feminist – oh look, she’s failed right out of the gate again. :P
            I think she’s just a horrible, transphobic, rape-apologist dullard with a vastly over-inflated opinion of her own intellect who should be thrashed with a thesaurus whenever she looks in the direction of a keyboard.

          • Dixie Gale

            I come in peace, Lord Jim! I presume to speak only for myself. You are probably the member of the Wonketariat whom I upvote most often. My understanding of sexual differentiation is science-based. My treatment of other human beings is kindness-based, at least after my second cup of coffee. I’m just not big on labeling other people with a term they find offensive and don’t use themselves. It can divide fellow travelers. For example, we certainly share a sense of humor. You still get my upvotes when you make me laugh, you sly devil. Aaaaand now I need to sleep!

  • Mike Minden

    At the risk of getting into big trouble, I have to ask – has any woman here ever gotten into trouble for kissing a man without first asking permission? Isn’t part of feminism the right of women to take the initiative?

    It just seems like there is a double standard at work here.

    • Lord Jim

      Not a double standard, a disparity in power. It’s not impossible for a woman to sexually assault a man, but it’s far more likely to be the other way around because of power distribution in our culture.

      • teele

        It is the same kind of both-siderism that allows men to point to the high-profile cases of female teachers sexually assaulting teenage boys and claim that both genders are equally guilty. The cases are high profile because they are true man-bites-dog stories, so rare that they are noticeable. The male teachers sexually assaulting female students are dog-bites-man stories, so common that they go unnoticed and are rarely publicized.

    • shivaskeeper

      Yes. Yes they have.

    • Debbie the Unpaid Protester

      “You probably shouldn’t kiss anybody without asking.”
      I don’t see anything in this quote about male vs female asking.
      And, actually, thinking on it: yes, maybe we all should be asking each other for permission to touch each other’s bodies.

      • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

        This is kindergarten-level stuff that I can’t believe we’re having to repeat. Did Katie cut class that day or was she home-schooled? (Actually, I was home-schooled and still somehow managed to learn this, so it sounds like Katie needs remedial education.)

    • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

      Women mostly don’t do that stuff. Except for a few horrendous ones when they think you are so drunk you won’t resist. Which makes no sense because broke dick.

    • Jennaratrix

      Gotten in trouble? No. Done it? Yeah, probably. I’ve had to confront some of my past behavior during the #metoo thing, and it hasn’t been fun. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that there’s a double standard because of the power issue, but if we’re being honest, everyone needs to evaluate things to figure out how to behave appropriately going forward, and that’s all to the good. I’m sure I’m not the only woman doing some soul searching, we’re just not talking about it yet.

  • OrdinaryJoe

    What #MeToo is doing resembles the process of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that helped South Africa begin to deal with the truth of apartheid. IMHO. We have a long road to walk to really confront the problem and having men confront their bad shit behavior is one necessary element of that.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      America has a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG walk to confront its myriad problems of power imbalance, abuse and inequality. The first step is acknowledging there’s a problem at all. Right now only a fraction of people are willing to do that. No surprise it’s the people who are adversely impacted by that problem who are saying “this is a problem,” while the people who benefit from plugging their ears are doing everything they can to make the adversely-impacted group shut up and go away. They’re the equivalent of This is Fine dog sipping coffee outside the burning building, while other dogs are trapped inside.

  • “You probably shouldn’t kiss anybody without asking.” She insists that everyone, not just college students, must now obtain verbal permission;

    Because if you can’t pick up the body language of a woman who is looking uncomfortable or leaning away from you, maybe you need to try asking until you get better at reading body language.

    • Courser_Resistance

      I hate the whole discussion. I have both been forcefully kissed against my will and surprised by a sweet kiss from a date. Anyone who can’t tell the different is a moran. Seriously, people, grow a brain! Graaaaahhhh!

      • Debbie the Unpaid Protester

        OTOH, this was always my least favorite moment of a First Date: wondering if he was going to kiss me or not. I can see the attraction of having someone come right out & ask, and then I can decide.

        • Courser_Resistance

          I find the, “I’d love to kiss you…” approach very appealing

          • GoutMachine

            In high school, I had a friend whose go-to line was, “What would you do if I kissed you right now?”

          • Courser_Resistance

            High school awkward, but it’s an ask, I guess. Unfortunately, he probably got a lot of, “I’ll punch you in the face”.

          • GoutMachine

            Yeah, I think it was less a concern about consent than it was that it sounded cool or smooth or something.

  • Courser_Resistance

    I look at it as kind of like the County Fair, or any other of those Home & Garden Show things where vendors of everything from sun rooms, to pots and pans and Watkins spices, set up spaces and start cooking up food or whatever?

    Interested people will drop by and watch your show and talk about your pans. A lot of people just want to eat your food, which is okay because it gives you one more opportunity to make your pitch. It’s a trade off, food for pitch. But a lot of us will walk right by or even turn away because we aren’t interested in your pans or because we know your pans are crap and the handles will fall off the first time we use them. Your ‘rights’ have not been violated. You paid your money to take your place in the ‘marketplace of ideas’ and a lot of people think your ideas suck. We’re not being paid to be there;Sometimes we have to pay to be in the ‘Marketplace’ to begin with. So no, we’re not going to waste our time listening to you drone on about your crappy pans and we don’t want your food either.

    Suck it up buttercup. We think your ideas suck and we don’t have to listen to them.

    • GoutMachine

      And I’m just tryin’ to sell deep-fried Twinkies.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      Not to mention, all marketplaces need regulations in order to protect the public from harmful products. Rape apologia, whether it’s from Katie Roiphe or Mike Cernovich, is the equivalent of the Ford Pinto in the “marketplace of ideas.”

  • Edith Prickly, Stable Genius

    Reminding everyone that the reason Katie Roiphe became a thing in the first place is because the NYT has always been a reactionary garbage fire.

    • Lord Jim

      I just looked over that. So, some regressive, heartless twunt who has no facts or evidence makes sweeping claims that campus rape stats are just wrong, deliberately stirs shit to get attention, then is pissed because she get it.

  • msanthropesmr

    I mean how many people read Harper’s anyways?

    • Dutchman


    • Mike Minden

      Only on the ferry.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      Harper’s what? Instruction manual for how to turn a polite country into a fascist state without really trying (and then get your ass whooped by the son of your arch-nemesis)?

      Oh. Different Harper. Same backwards mentality, apparently.

      • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

        Harper’s Bazaar, Not Bizarre Harper.

  • Dutchman

    Has Katie signed on Courtland Sykes campaign staff in a communications role? She’d make an excellent Poot Lips.

    • I don’t know if her culinary skills are up to Courtland’s exacting standards.

  • Lord Jim

    Time to trot out this article again.

    But what kind of freedom is saying “no”? In the already much-dissected account of the date between the anonymous “Grace” and Aziz Ansari, “Grace” does indeed say no, both verbally and not. But her options are either to leave or take her lumps — that she might have wanted to have sex with Ansari, but in a way that incorporated her own desires or indeed even left room for her to speak, isn’t on the table. Female sexual agency exists only in deciding what any given woman is willing to submit to, not what she wants.

  • Suse

    OT, but Dotard is on teevee live from Ohio factory slurring and lying his ass off. Basically giving himself a blow job because he’s so terrific. Yuck!

    • Lord Jim

      I don’t listen to him speak anymore. I know he’s gonna lie, and I know I’m gonna wind up stressing. Not worth it.

      • wide_stance_hubby

        He’s got face for radio and a voice for print.

        • Suse

          He’s completely stoned, I think.

          • Villago Delenda Est


          • Suse


      • Good_Gawd_Yall

        I’ve almost got my remote control trained to automute whenever his face appears onscreen. Could some bright engineer work on a feature like that? That’d be greaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat.

        • GoutMachine

          Need a Make America Kittens Again plug-in for my teevee.

      • Suse

        He just said, “I’m not braggadocios!”

        • SomeBigRedDog

          NUH UH!

        • Erala Contratista

          I’m goin’ to Braggadocio, Missouri, by golly!

  • If losing ‘spontaneity’ makes things safer for people, to hell with spontaneity. Sure, ‘can I touch your boob?’ sounds silly, but almost all of the alternatives are untenable.

    • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

      If it sounds silly to to blurt it out, imagine what it’s like to just do it?

      • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

        Aren’t you supposed to say, “Honk” when you do it?

        I am klassy.

        I’ll go sit down and think about what I just did.

        • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

          I don’t know. IRL I once had a large-breasted woman tell me, “They’re real (cupping her own breasts), go ahead and touch ’em”.

          Boy, talk about your awkward situations. No, err, umm, no thanks, ma’am. I believe you.

          What’s going on?

          • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

            Sometimes some women want you to touch their boobs. They will tell you, but just don’t go a grabbin’.

          • Shanzgood

            Have had boobs grabbed, can confirm.

          • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

            I am not good in unexpected awkward situations.

            Once these two women were standing together, and one of them said, “We’ll let you do anything to us that you want”.

            Again, umm.. err, Anything?

            “Yes, anything!”.

            Can I set you on fire?

            Looking back, I wonder if that was the right response.

          • Mavenmaven

            There’s an old joke like that…

          • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

            Really happened.

            I would like to say I am a smooth operator, but the opposite is true.

            When I was young, this girl a couple years younger caught me looking at her fishnet stockings, and she asked, “Do you like my legs”.

            Truth is, I did like them very much. But I was immediately embarrassed at having been caught, and the next thing I knew I said, “I’d like to take them home and put them in a box”.

            That also did not end the way I would have liked.

          • GoutMachine

            Oh damn! Smiling in solidarity.

          • Mavenmaven

            “Thank you very much, you’ve been a great audience, and remember not to dismember your waiter”

          • Arolpin

            Almost as awkward as when Mrs. Arolpin’s friend got her boob job after a double-mastectomy, and was very proud to show them off (she had always been an A-cup, and went to a nice B-cup). I was fine with looking, but when she asked me to touch them, I demurred. (Her ex-husband is an asshole, and I always get the vibe that she is flirting with me in a not-entirely-innocent manner.)

    • Debbie the Unpaid Protester

      I always thought it was kinda sexy to be asked what I wanted.

    • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

      Not entirely germane to the discussion, but kinda:
      I am overly-graced in the mammarian area. I also sometimes perform as a living statue. Sometimes these gigs will be places where alcohol is available. Sometimes *that* means that a drunken passer-by will think its cute or funny to physically interact with me. For guys, that ~usually~ means attempted high-fives, or the occasional pat/grab of the ass. Drunk chicks? Go for the boobs, every time (then reel away laughing, ‘ehrmagerd, I didn’t think it was a real person!’) F*ckers never tip, either.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Christ, what an asshole that woman is.

    • Lord Jim

      I guess she’s never had it happen to her, therefore what’s the big deal. Lack of empathy is a characteristic of psychopaths. Not that I’m saying she’s a psychopath, but…

      • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

        if the stiletto fits.

  • Angela Ruzzo

    What the hell is “Twitter feminism”? Is that, like, illegal, whereas Twitter Facebook and Twitter Snapchat are legal and acceptable? And what army gave Roiphe the right to say that Twitter is bad for women? She is not “women”. She is one woman. If men don’t get to say what is good and bad for women, then neither does one woman named Katie Roiphe get to do it.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      Twitter is bad for women, and so are Facebook and Snapchat, but not for the reasons Katie is talking about. Actually, it’s bad for women because it privileges assholes like Katie and her ideological cohort Gamergate terrorists and gives them free rein to abuse and silence others who want to speak out.

      “Blocking” or “logging off” isn’t a panacea. There are people who want to use these platforms either to casually socialize or to raise awareness of important causes. Trolls shouldn’t get to have the whole Internet as their “safe space” to harass others and block them from doing so through bullying and abuse.

      Silicon Valley needs to be more proactive. And if they aren’t going to do that on their own, then they need to be made to do it. Start by holding them accountable for allowing abuse. Repeal Section 230 of the CDA, and go after the “bar owners” legally for not removing drunken patrons who ruin the experience for everyone else.

      • Angela Ruzzo

        Silicon valley is run by privileged white men, so I don’t see it becoming more proactive until it integrates.

        • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

          Whether by choice or by being forced out. The way this is going, with the James Damores of the world being hailed as martyrs for the cause of frozen peaches, it’s increasingly looking like the latter is inevitable. They haven’t done a goddamn thing about Russia or about troll terrorists. About time they paid the piper (either with fines or with outright shutdowns). If the feds can raid Pirate Bay they can raid Twitter and Facebook too. I hope Mueller burns the whole thing down.

    • tza

      Honestly to me when I say “twitter feminism” or “[any other social media site] feminism” I usually mean feminism not actually founded in feminism but in a performative desire to fit in and be lauded for repeating what you see as the correct opinions. Another good term might be “popularity feminism” since it’s based on likes and such, and getting attention as opposed to speaking truth or bring attention to causes other than yourself. However that’s clearly not what this lady was talking about.

  • A Walker

    She looks like Christopher Lambert in Highlander (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

    • wide_stance_hubby

      I was thinking KAC’s younger, more bitter-er and less successful sister.

    • GoutMachine

      Not so fast. There can be only one.

      • Too bad that doesn’t apply to anti-feminist ‘Contrarians’.

        • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

          The “Contrarian master race”…

  • Angela Ruzzo

    Would someone please dig up Phyllis Schlafly and make sure she is really dead?

    • Stable Uniomist Raan

      And maybe stake her to the coffin while you’re in there.

      • Lord Jim

        Stuff the mouth with garlic. They always forget to do that.

  • UncleTravelingMatt


  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Also too, some people (not just women) don’t like to be touched by people they don’t know well. I fail to see what’s so unreasonable about asking if it’s cool to do so FFS.

    • Shanzgood

      Exactly. I have a large bubble of personal space that only certain people are allowed into, and not always even then. Asking is…really nice.

      • Lord Jim

        Ya know, as others as commented below, averagely empathetic and non-self-absorbed people can usually detect when someone is uncomfortable in a given situation. But there are too many assholes who can’t be bothered to sensitize themselves to others’ nonverbal signals. tl;dr – if some jerks would learn a little other-orientedness, maybe they KNOW when something they are doing or contemplating doing was unwelcome.

  • Crystalclear12

    So she’s another person behaving like an asshole and is traumatized when people call her on it.
    Boo fucking hoo.

  • shivaskeeper

    Also, too “being silenced”. I fucking hate this self serving, sniveling, woe is me phrase being uttered in any form by someone using a national level platform to fucking utter it.

    You are not being silenced. You are being confronted with the fact that not everyone agrees with you. You are being confronted with some people challenging what you say and your beliefs because of that disagreement. You are, possibly, being forced to actually confront and defend your own beliefs in something more than the superficial, bumper sticker/sound bite way you are used to declaring those beliefs in.

    In short, questioning what you believe and asking you to evaluate or explain you own views in a little more detail is not silencing you. Not uncritically accepting what you say is not silencing you. Telling you that you are full of shit is not silencing you. Even ignoring or boycotting you is not silencing you.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      “Being silenced” is not the same as “being ignored”, especially when you’re “being ignored by your intellectual, moral, and otherwise in all other ways superiors.”

    • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

      Help! We’re being oppressed!

  • Kurt Weil

    ME: I’m going to drown some puppies.

    EVERYONE: You are a sick fucker.


  • As far as how Roiphe initially got her gig, her parents were well-connected. She was inflicted on the public in the same manner that Lena Dunham was, but she’s 100 times worse than Dunham.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      I knew it. It’s not in what you know but who you know. Explains why there are complete morans at the doctor’s office who talk loudly about patients’ private information in general water-cooler conversation (and use the malapropism “Old Timer’s Disease” unironically), but I can’t find a job despite having more than a general awareness of HIPAA and knowing that the word is Alzheimer’s.

      The reason? The secretary’s mom or aunt is a nurse and/or she was a bridesmaid for someone else who worked there. I fucking hate nepotism and the insistence on “networking” over actual competence and skills.

      • Shanzgood

        It’s worse than that in her case.

        • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

          Your Child’s Mind: The Complete Book of Infant and Child Mental Health Care is one of her books, co-authored with a Dr. Herman Roiphe who I’m guessing is Katie’s father. Boy, I’d love to read this one to see what ind of quackery led to Katie turning out to be such a bitch.

  • La Cieca

    Katie Roiphe talks about silencing Katie Roiphe as if that would be a bad thing.

  • GoutMachine

    Katie Roiphe: “I’m being silenced!”

    World: “Who are you, again?”

  • Blanche de Shambles

    Fucking snowflakes.

  • Thiazin Red

    Concern trolling OMG women’s rights have gone TOO FAR have been a thing literally for centuries. But if women aren’t legally property society will collapse! Pockets on women’s clothing will let them carry things unseen and make them hoors! Women reading will make their uterus fall out! Women doing physical exercise will make their uterus fall out!

    • Shanzgood

      And you can’t be a woman without a uterus, either, right?

      • Lord Jim

        If you can’t make babby or sammich, what good are you?

    • It chaps my ass whenever misogynists and racists are lauded as ‘brave’ or ‘independent’ or ‘edgy’. These people are pushing the same old authoritarian playbook that’s been the norm for millennia.

      • GoutMachine

        Yeah. You’re not being “politically incorrect”; you’re just being an asshole.

        • harryr

          Means the same thing basically.

        • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

          Speaking of “politically incorrect,” Bill Maher loves to have on Heritage Foundation hack Christina Hoff-Sommers as a frequent guest on his panel. Another “contrarian feminist” like Katie Roiphe and the glibertarian shrew Camille Paglia. No shortage of them, it seems.

          • Carpe Vagenda

            Nothing will ever become Bill Maher in this life like the leaving of it.

          • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

            …with bad rating votes….

          • Carpe Vagenda

            It’s not just that he’s a vicious little swine. It’s that he’s a vicious little swine who’s apparently moments from plunging his hands down the front of his pants thinking about teenagers at Berkeley getting beat down by armed nazis because six million years ago another set of teenagers at Berkeley didn’t want to spend their student fees on his unfunny ass.

          • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

            He’s a pig who doesn’t like Muslims. Not surprisingly, the feeling is mutual. He’s also a real dick to women trying to defend Muslims’ basic human rights not to be singled out or painted with a broad brush. Exhibit A: Bill Maher vs. Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland. Bill Maher being an ignorant nono and Chrystia just trying to be polite.


          • Roadstergal

            Perfectly put. As an atheist, I haaaate that he is the public face of atheists in the US.

            Add to his crimes: anti-vaxx, germ theory ‘skeptic,’ anti-GMO idiot, AIDS denialist who cheerleaded Christine Maggiore to kill her daughter and herself.

          • Carpe Vagenda

            Isn’t it really PZ, tho?

          • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

            Sadly, this applies to so many these days.

        • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

          My father’s fallen so far down this rabbit hole he ended up in legit anti-semite Nazi land.

          What? They’re just “alternative viewpoints”! No, they’re fucking nazis.

        • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

          Porque no los dos?

      • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

        They claim to be the “counter-counterculture.”

        So basically, the establishment.

        • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

          Logic is not their strong suit.

  • Mavenmaven

    Silenced? Her piece was widely circulated by all the alt-right creep types.

    • brucej

      Probably the only time they’ve ever read “Harper’s”, too, who silenced her by publishing her article . On paper. In a widely circulated national magazine.

  • Ninja0980

    Ah yes, another far right type who claims he/she is being silenced because people won’t publish their crap.
    You have a right to free speech in this country.
    You don’t have a right to have it published or not have people call you out on your bullshit.

    • Carpe Vagenda

      Except of course that someone published her crap, and have in fact been publishing her crap since her mommy’s name lofted her into a career her talent never would have.

      So, for the record, men and Katie Roiphe have to be protected from differences of opinion, while women and specifically the woman who wrote the article are snowflakes for thinking unwanted sexual advances in a workplace environment as the cost of having a career is something some women might want to avoid.

  • Carpe Vagenda

    Referring to Jessica Valenti as merely a “Twitter feminist” is also quite snide, by the way.

    It’s more polite than “Jessica Valenti, whose mother you’ve never heard of. Do not imagine me ignorant of her condition.”

  • Martini A, very stable genius

    Roiphe is a garbage person. I only wish she was silenced enough for me never to have heard her whining, but there you go.

    In the meantime, Robyn, I’m divining over a whole field of quartz geodes to help cleanse your aura. You’re welcome?

  • The Wanderer

    “There is a conspiracy of silence against me, Oscar, a conspiracy of silence. What should I do?”

    “Join it.”

  • Magma Cardhole jesterpunk

    So the conspiracy to silence her is just like the Trump supporter starbucks boycott? They let her talk but someone tells her she is an asshole?

  • Royal Ugly Dude

    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      “Better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought an idiot than to open one’s mouth and prove it.”

      -Not sure who said this, but since it’s the Internet, let’s go with Mark Twain or Star Trek.

      • brucej

        Twain’s guest appearance on Star Trek was the greatest in history!

  • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

    She is not being silenced. People are just telling her to shut the fuck up because she’s out of her element. Nevertheless, she persisted… at whining that she’s not being allowed to persist.

  • phoenix00

    No kisses without permission? Totally a Stalin move.

    • therblig

      Seno ekto gamat!

      • Blanche de Shambles


  • Magma Cardhole jesterpunk
    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      The 1A has been Goatse-stretched to its illogical extent. The U.S. is an outlier compared to the E.U. and Canada and it’s no accident that Silicon Valley’s bigliest companies are headquartered here so they don’t have to be held accountable for any social impact they have. We need hate speech laws to protect the vulnerable against harridans like Roiphe and her apparent allies in Gamergate.

  • brucej

    If you are going to say “provocative” things, you cannot be surprised when people are provoked.

    This needs to be tattooed reversed on many MANY people’s foreheads so they see it every time they look in the mirror.

    • Lord Jim

      Its good you specified “reversed”, cuz many of these nebbishes are not smart enough to read backwards. Or at all.

      • puredog


        • brucej

          You mis-spelled “ƎƆИA⅃UᙠMAAAW”

  • beatbort

    To quote the great Nigel Tufnel, “Wanker.”

  • beatbort

    Another quote I have always liked is attributed, sometimes, to Anatole France:
    “If a million people say a stupid thing, it is still a stupid thing.”

  • James Baskin

    I’m a shy man. It’s often hard for me to get a read on whether it is OK for me to kiss someone or not. It has happened that I attempted to kiss someone that did not want to be kissed. All I can say is, I did not mean any harm, I just misread the situation. And when it was made clear to me that I was the only one wanting to do some kissing, my ardor instantly vanished. Why would anyone want to kiss someone that doesn’t feel the same way?

    BTW, a woman did ask me if she could kiss me once. I did not find it an awkward question.

    • puredog

      I find the idea of asking weird, but I am an old. My preferred approach was always to move in VERY slowly for a kiss so that, if it were unwelcome, the intended kissee would have every opportunity to avoid it. And even then, it would begin as a gentle, almost sisterly, peck. If after all that the kissee showed no signs of being discommoded, well then, damn the torpedoes.

      • James Baskin

        I’m old too.

  • eyelashviper

    Shaddup you twit.
    If that constitutes you being silenced, then so be it.

  • PubOption

    “Which of my opinions do you find objectionable?”
    “All of them, Katie.”

  • Cornelius Fussbudget

    These two misconceptions have cross-pollinated and become a threat to truth and justice:

    * The First Amendment says that anyone can say anything without any consequences
    * Saying something provocative is a good thing, just because it’s provocative

    Both of those things are false, but believing them at the same time apparently makes you some kind of hero to a significant group of people.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      “believing them at the same time apparently makes you some kind of hero to a significant group of people”

      Which is why another “contrarian” asshole, Jordan Peterson, has his book sitting quite comfortably at #2 on the NYT bestseller list, second only to Michael Wolff. This is a guy who has no qualms about deadnaming trans people (another form of doxing) because “blah blah, Justin’s a SJW fascist who’s not going to make me be polite by legislative fiat, I should have the right to decide that I want to be an asshole on my own.” He went from obscure crank at U of Toronto to an international celebrity by being “provocative” and playing to the widespread cohort of Trudeau haters and trans-bashers. He has as much intellectual heft as any of the fart noises coming from the likes of David Brooks or Ross Douchehat.

      • brucej

        Which is why Brooks is swooning over him, as I’m sure Cardinal “Chunky Reese Witherspoon” Douthat will soon, as well. Echidne of the Snakes has an exhaustive (and it must have been exhausting as well) three-part demolition of Peterson’s bullshit.

        • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

          Dame Peggington Nooningdale of Tipsy-Turvy Palace already has a teacher-crush on him. Even the Graun is taken in by this silver-tongued cult leader. Trans people, feminists, his fellow professors at U of Toronto, and the Canadian government are not, but who cares, that’s OK because transgenders are mentally ill, feminists are Freudian helicopter mothers, and Justin is a dictator who wants to turn Canada into a safe space for everyone but the beleaguered white, Christian male. And because MCGA.

      • Cornelius Fussbudget

        At least some of the problem is surely driven by the way we reward people for drawing clicks on the internet. As a consumer, it’s like being charged simply to read the packaging.

        [me] Standing in the grocery store, picks up a package of cookies
        [me] “Ugh, these are full of trans fats and refined sugar”
        [me] Puts package back
        [grocer] “That’ll be 37 cents please”

      • Edith Prickly, Stable Genius

        This is a really good takedown of Peterson’s dishonest bloviating:

        I personally have decided that his name doesn’t suit him and he should be called Perfesser Stupidface McDouchebag from now on. And if he says that’s not his name he’s taking away my FREEZE PEACH!!11!

    • Lord Jim

      Well and concisely put.

    • Blanche de Shambles

      And the corollary of the two: “Telling me I’m being a jerk is way worse than anything I have said or done.”

      • Angela

        Gℴogle gives now 99 US dollars every hour to complete some internet services from the comfort of home .. Work Some just few hours in a whole day and spend more time with your own relatives … You can benefit this online job!!!this Thursday I purchased a top of the range volvo after just earnin $5227 last six weeks .it’s definitly my favourite-work but you won’t forgive yourself if you don’t take a look at it.!ue681x:♋♋♋ http://GoogleSmartUpdateWorkAtHome/earn/cash/98$/hr ♥f♥m♥♥e♥i♥r♥o♥♥♥o♥♥b♥♥q♥i♥♥♥e♥♥e♥♥w♥♥z♥i♥♥♥t♥m♥g♥♥♥m♥♥d♥u♥♥♥r♥♥e♥♥♥j♥♥p:::::!ee633n:lw

    • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

      This business about unabridged rights, most frequently applied to the second amendment but now more and more often applied to the first, is found nowhere else on the planet. Not even here, until recently.

  • Indiepalin

    Where does the term “strumpet” fall on the lines of PC?

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      Well, you can’t spell “strumpet” without TRUMP. She seems to fall in line with the notion that it’s perfectly acceptable to just walk right up to anybody and grab ’em by the Tic-Tacs.

      • Erala Contratista

        That’s accuracy!!!!!

    • ginmar

      Strumpet is an excellent word.

    • Jeffery Campbell

      Slightly to the right of “hussy.”

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      They go well with strong British tea?

  • Amanda

    Aww, and now with all this wonderful, sound, cogent, spot-on, reasoning on a complicated and nuanced topic, you’ve made me love you even more, Wonkette!!

    If I could kiss you, I would (after respectfully asking first).

    Instead, I will just have to give you $$. Cheers!

  • brucej

    who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original?

    Someone with a skin more than paper-thin?

    But seriously this is part and parcel of the whole ‘I’m not an asshole, I’m being provocative!‘ schtick. First publish something that clearly paints the writer as an asshole, then whine, loudly and widely, that the mean people are calling you an asshole.

  • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

    Twitter abuse is abuse

    That said

    Anybody comparing #metoo to McCarthyism is ignorant af.

    • Tony Prost

      it burns….it burns!!!!

  • like really RESISTLY GHERKINS!

    “AAAIIIEEE!! Some folks told me to shut the fuck up! I AM BEING SILENCED!”

    Weird! I can still hear you!

    That word… Perhaps you meant “Make them stop criticizing me because my big ideas are more important than theirs!!!1”

  • Oneofthebobs

    If I don’t read her crap, is she being “silenced”? Don’t care, not gonna read it.

  • Bitter Scribe

    She’s pretty much made a career out of saying rape, sexual harassment and sexism in general are no big deal, hasn’t she?

    • Ellie

      Has she? I keep forgetting who she is. I guess I’ll have to go back to Google, again….oh, yes. If you’re raped on Campus it’s your fault. Now I remember her. She really is a snowflake, isn’t she?

    • Erala Contratista

      Wasn’t incest involved too, also? I associate the name with some gaseous publicity involving ” provocative” or so. She’s basically more unreadable than Camille…..

      • ginmar

        I do know she wrote a piece about screwing a friend’s husband, and then wrote rapturously about having a son.

        She had a daughter who was about five or six at the time, I believe. No rapture for her.

        • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

          Well he’s all but guaranteed to become a mgtow.

  • AlanInSF

    I can’t believe Wonkette, a so-called champion of the First Amendment, would deny Ms. Roiphe her constitutional rights by publishing this article about her. Shame!

    • Robyn Ryan

      Wonkette isn’t the government. 1st amendment doesn’t apply.

      • James

        Snark detector might need a tweak.

  • ibwilliamsi

    I saw her on Sunday Morning. “Is it harassment to ask a woman for her phone number now?” If men do it while masturbating in front of her, yes it is, dearie. FWIW, she didn’t look anything like that for her tv spot.

    • ginmar

      Katie Roiphe is the sort of safe, arrogant, selfish white girl who preens about how special she is while asking contemptuously, “If one quarter of my friends were being raped, wouldn’t I know?” (Actual book quote.)

      Number one, considering she wrote smugly about fucking a friend’s hubbie, I doubt she has enough friends to divide by four (without surgery);

      and Number two, who on earth would want to talk to her about anything heartbreaking? She’s worse than Lena Dunham and Ann Coulter, combined.

  • Lance Thrustwell

    This whole thing (not Roiphe’s entire career, but rather the current kerfuffle) seems to have originated with this document:

    Now, I’m of two minds on something like this. If every one of these men deserve to be here – i.e., they really have patterns of doing bad things, or did one really awful thing – then I suppose it’s justified? But: Some of these accusations are very vague (“abuse,” “groping”), and there is no proof offered anywhere. For anything. I’m not sure what I think about that.

    Is this sort of thing okay? As a man, am I naturally going to have difficulty getting moral clarity on this? Is Robyn defending the list unreservedly? I can’t quite tell.

    • James

      Okay, as a man, I’ll respond.

      Yes, this list is okay. This is not the government making lists (Joe McCarthy) and trying to blackball people. Individuals can make lists of people to avoid, and have done so all the time. The only difference now is it’s Twitter rather than gossip.

      How is a list of “these men harassed me” any different than making up a list of vegan restaurants to avoid because they have yodelling baby buttholes? Neighbours not to loan your lawnmower to because it is so hard to get back from them? Folks not to hang out with because they seem to be involved in shady crap that looks criminal?

      Why does “garbage men list” get a different standard of scrutiny than “garbage restaurant list?” Crappy service in a restaurant won’t kill you; an awful man might.

      • arrrghle

        Key point “and have done so all the time.” Pretty sure humans have been telling humans about other humans for as long as there have been humans.

        And women have been warning other women about asshole men for as long as there have been either.

      • phoenix00

        There’s always salmonella, e.coli, Hep C…..

    • Robyn Ryan

      Maturity and manners help you navigate those vague and scary interactions.

    • ginmar

      Christ, could all the dewdz who are so worried about teh poor other dewdz being accused without any “proof” get outraged when womenget accused of stupid shit or judged by standards that are never applied to women?

    • natoslug

      As a sentient being who has manly dangly bits, I see this list as a good thing. As a father, I’m going to make sure my daughter sees this list. As a carbon-based life form, I also think this list is okay. As a formerly-blond person, I also approve this list. As a leftie (both outlook and handedness) I also support it. As a warm-blooded creature and as a mammal, I’m slightly ambivalent. So on average, I am in the “this sort of thing is okay” category. However, as someone who just realized he hasn’t had lunch yet, I would rather have a plate of pasta right now.

      • Roadstergal

        Your reply makes me want to kiss you, if that’s ok.

        • natoslug

          You asked first, so I think we’re good.

    • sgt. jmk of the résistance

      Since inclusion on this list brought no consequences other than having women who knew they didn’t want to deal with whatever behavior was cited avoid the men listed, my withers remain unwrung.

      It might help to remember that the list exists because women who encountered a wide variety of behaviors that made them uncomfortable or worse had nowhere else to go to be heard.

      • Steely_Fan

        All the upfists for best EVAH euphemism for IDGAF: “My withers remain unwrung.”

        • sgt. jmk of the résistance

          Thank you, thank you!

          I KNEW that English Lit degree would come in handy one day!!

    • HazooToo

      Yeah, it’s not being sent to their bosses as a “fire these men” list, and it’s not being sent to the police as a “dangerous sexual predators” list. It was always intended to be a document for women, by women, alerting them to the behavior of certain men so they could choose to either avoid working with them or take extra precautions when doing so. You could say it’s the equivalent of “The Invisible Hand of the Free Market” that is supposed to do the job of regulating businesses instead of actual regulations. If they don’t act right, they wind up on the list, women weigh the risks and decide if they want or have to deal with them.

    • Vagenda and Pee-ara

      I think one reporter got fired because of that list, but then he was rehired not long afterwards. He may have worked for CNN. I think they found that he hadn’t actually done anything wrong.

      I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with making the list, but I also believe in due process if it comes down to the person getting fired.

      • James

        That would be Ryan Lizza.

        He responded saying the allegation is false:

        In an email to BuzzFeed News, Lizza denied the accusations, saying he was “dismayed that the New Yorker has decided to characterize a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate.”

        “The New Yorker was unable to cite any company policy that was violated,” he continued. “I am sorry to my friends, workplace colleagues, and loved ones for any embarrassment this episode may cause. I love the New Yorker, my home for the last decade, and I have the highest regard for the people who work there. But this decision, which was made hastily and without a full investigation of the relevant facts, was a terrible mistake.”

        Following the firing, law firm Wigdor LLP said it was representing an accuser and that “in no way did Mr. Lizza’s misconduct constitute a ‘respectful relationship’ as he has now tried to characterize it.”

        • Vagenda and Pee-ara

          That’s exactly who I was thinking of. Thank You!

  • Sakonyachen

    Another snowflake! Just what we needed!

    My opinions on how the world needs to be are enough to make utopians roll their eyes and chuckle condescendingly. I would have flooded the earth with my tears by now if I was this delicate. Who raises their kids to be this soft? How do they? Here is a novel idea, if the Twitter feminists are too much for you, stay off of Twitter. I don’t even stir up this much shit and I stay off of Twitter. I kinda doubt there are twitter mobs hunting people down at home to force them to put opinions online so they have something to be triggered by.

    It turns out that when someone can cite a valid refutation of my point, it doesn’t mean I am being oppressed, it just means they had a better thought out counter point. They might even be wrong, or God forbid, I may even be wrong!!!! And yet I will survive to go on the web and babble about my solar powered luxury space society that hasn’t happened because we are all too attached to dollars and status. Forget whether it’s possible, we haven’t done it so society is doing everything wrong. Feel free to tell me I’m a wingnut(proud of it), I promise not to stain your shoes with my tears. How do people make it to the point of being published when they operate under this level of butthurt?

  • wait! what?

    It’s funny how non-feminists, like Katie, say the darnedist things when they have a microphone pointed at their head…

  • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

    And, let’s cut the shit; academic circles, where Harpers has been found in deans’ private bathrooms for decades, have _never_ been “safe spaces” for women in any sense of the word. The amount of shit female students and faculty have had to put up with, physical and otherwise, has been common knowledge for decades. Out-and-out rape has been swept under the rug for fuck knows how long. And this twat is saying “witch hunt”. Where was she when the victims needed an advocate?

    Do you think anybody would even think about posting #metoo if football players and frat boys had faced consistent consequences for being rapey assholes?

  • ginmar

    Katie Roiphe was fuck over any other woman as ling as she gets to scream that she’s not like other girls. I’m too tired to type out all her fuckery.

  • Roadstergal

    I’m sorry, what the hell is the big deal with asking to kiss? If you can’t do it in a sultry and/or sweet way, you have no business kissing.


    • phoenix00

      And if you have to ask, you might as well walk yourself to the gulag.

      • r m reddicks

        Nah, there are times.

  • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

    And, BTW, honey – you know what _real_ feminists never do? Call other feminist movements “bad for women”

  • sgt. jmk of the résistance

    Excellent piece, Robyn… I’m glad you’re there to do all the good analysis, because when I read Roiphe’s Harper’s piece, all I wanted to do was slap somebody.

    I do have to say I disagree that verbal permission is weird and formal – when my beloved asked “may I kiss you?” and waited for me to answer before doing so, it really was one of the most memorable moments of my entire life. It’s all in how it’s done.

    • It is how it used to be always done until advertising convinced women they were commodities.

  • dnatwork

    The author is much too nice to Roiphe.

  • ccurtisp

    She fails to see the irony in her complaints about being harassed on twitter. Women speaking out in the metoo movement have endured much worse.

  • “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original?

    I am not sure if she is complaining whether someone read that thought of hers or whether she said it out loud

  • Delu

    Another one who doesn’t understand free speech and how it works.

    Here’s a tip for those Trumpians, even though I know they are probably not going to get it, free speech does NOT protect you from the cussing, swearing and whatever negative reactions you get in response if you walk into a bar and start insulting everyone in it.


    • Stulexington

      It in fact protects the cussing, swearing and whatever negative reactions because they’re free to speak their mind too. Although it doesn’t protect threats.

  • Tosca

    Let’s apply her logic about the Shitty Media Men list to her own complaints about online abuse (words changed in brackets)

    To do a close reading of the (complaints): some of the offenses (in the article) seem not quite substantial or rare enough to put into the category of sexual misconduct….“Before you (write) there, I just want to warn you, that guy might (write a comment saying “Suck my dick”.”

    Ask Anita Sarkeesian or Brianna Wu how they would feel about a single comment saying “Suck my dick”. Considering they’ve lived through the Gamergate storm and HAD TO CANCEL APPEARANCES BECAUSE OF BOMB THREATS, they would probably not even pause in their scrolling. So, because SOME women are not worried about some random guy demanding fellatio, it’s unreasonable and hysterical overreaction on her part to object to it happening to her.

  • Apple doesn’t fall far. See Anne Roiphe get out the smelling salts in 1977 because, lord save us, there were lesbians at Sarah Lawrence.

    • Magnificent Mopery.

      Gadzooks!! There WERE?!

      • John Thorstensen

        Upvoted for “Gadzooks!”. It’s time that exclamation made a comeback.

        • IdRatherBeDancing

          I am also waiting for “wiseacre” and “peckerwood” to make a comeback.

          • svejk

            the peckerwoods are, alas, always with us

    • John Thorstensen

      I went to Haverford a bit before that, and spent a lot of time at Bryn Mawr. I’m sure you’ll be shocked — shocked! — to hear that there lesbians there!

      • AnnieGetYerFun

        We had them at Mount Holyoke also. I slept with a few of them, no big.

    • Jeffery Campbell

      Wait….Katie is a legacy?!

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      Oh, god, I can’t even get through that, it’s so boring.

  • Hey, Rophie (really? Ok, well, whatevs)
    You will only be considered one of the “good ones” until they have what they want. Then off to the stocks with you too. Thought you should know that!

  • r m reddicks

    I never called her any of those things and I wouldn’t. But who is she? Don’t make me google her. But I probably will. Oops, did. Seems the National Review finds her interesting.

  • Virginia O’Possum

    Oh, hell. I was thinking the Roiphe thing would be behind a paywall, but no. Now I have to either read it or admit I’m just not that conscientious.

    • gingerwentworth1

      You don’t have to read it! Why would you?

  • napalmnacey

    I asked my boyfriend if I could kiss him on our first date. His face lit up, and he smiled the most beautiful smile I’d ever seen at that point. It was super fucking romantic and after that I snogged the shit out of him (he was a little taken aback at my, er, enthusiasm, which I found pretty adorable). I still ask him, I never go in without asking because he has sensory issues and it feels right with us. I’m not like, “Excuse me, good sir, may I kiss thee in thirty seconds upon thy lips, where I shall be closed mouth and not slip in the tongue, which I know thou dost find offputting in casual circumstances?” Hell no. Usually it’s something along the lines of, “Kiss?” Or even just tilting up my head, lifting my brows and pursing my lips. And he doesn’t always say yes (he has a cold, he’s in a difficult mood, etc). Long story short, it’s not *that* weird a concept, I think more people ask to initiate intimacy that is recognised and if approached the right way, can be reaaaaaaally romantic and sexy.

    • Sure, as sexy as Victorian-era intimacy, which was neither sexy nor romantic.

      • Jeffery Campbell

        I don’t know, those Victorians could be kinda racy.

        • insolenttomato

          Indeed. Ever read Queen Victoria’s diary entries about her wedding night? If you haven’t, let’s just say she was probably too present to just lie back, and England was the furthest thing from her mind. Further proof the “advice” she gave to her daughter re. her wedding night was apocryphal.

          Also, sounds like napalmnacey and her SO have incorporated asking for intimacy into their “play” (for lack of a better word) which sounds sexy and romantic. If it works for them, no sense in scoffing at it.

      • Maybe

        Then why were there so many Victorians?

        And the upper class, in particular, got up to some wild stuff.

        BTW, if you ever read up on Queen Victoria, she was not as pictured she when she was young. She was a bit of a party girl. It was only after she married Albert that she became as prissy as he was. (A good man, but prissy.)

        • Victorian England was *not* some really cool, erotic steampunk fantasy. It’s been throughly fetishized by Americans who have a steady diet of “historical” shows that make the times look sexier than they ever could be. Sexual restraint, particularly for women, is one of the era’s core values. Today, you would all call it “Talibanesque.”

          And I don’t need to read up on imperialist, racist* “royalty” to grasp things about that era. (*Sorry, but “Victoria and Abdul” is for people wanting to whitewash the British Raj.)

          • Maybe

            I never said that Victorian England was some really cool, erotic steampunk fantasy. Only you said that. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a fantasy of any kind–it existed.

            Sexual restraint for women was a strong middle-class value, though not universally. Neither sex nor people have changed too much since Victorian times. What is valued in public is not necessarily practiced in private.

            And the non-middle-class was a whole different situation. The rich could afford to choose their own morals, much as they can nowadays. Artists reveled in amoral behavior, much as many do nowadays. And the lower classes couldn’t really afford to be prudish since often several families shared a few rooms and they had few private places to resort to.

            Victorian England on the surface very much resembled the more prudish parts of our own country now. To look at that group and say our whole country is like that makes no sense.

            You seem to be one of those people who thinks in labels. You have attached the label “Victorian” to a time and culture and then assume it is homogeneous. It wasn’t.

      • napalmnacey

        Well I can’t help you if you’re unable to partake in physical intimacy without taking it regardless of your partner’s wishes, dude.

    • gingerwentworth1

      That song “Hello It’s Me.” He says “and spend the night if you think I should”
      In my young days, I clung to that line, I thought about that line, I dreamed of a man who’d think that way. And to be asked before getting kissed– that’s SO good. I think young men saw too much of John Wayne grabbing reluctant women on tv, and the women eventually giving in and getting excited. And that’s a lie.

      • napalmnacey

        I remember the guy that gave me my first kiss did so without asking. I was 18 and I was soooo confused. I vaguely liked him, would not have kissed him at that time, and I remember his lips being soft, and it feeling pleasant, but I was totally annoyed he took the liberty. It was not like the movies at all.

  • It continues to be amusing that people who inhabit the dank universe of social media think it’s the *only* universe worth inhabiting, and continue to shred one another apart with Jack the Ripper glee, later to bemoan why people are so horrible to one another.

  • Jeffery Campbell

    “If you are going to say “provocative” things, you cannot be surprised when people are provoked.”

    Getting out the embroidery hoop…..

  • MAZS

    I don’t think I called Roiphe pro-rape, but I’m pretty sure I called her all of the other things.

    • chronozoan

      But have you at least considered calling her “pro-rape”? She deserves that much at least after everything she’s done for us all.

  • An Outhouse for the résistance

    I subscribe to Harper’s. I hope they aren’t wasting space in the dead tree version for this crap. I’ll also pretend I know who this person is.

  • MikeyArmstrong

    The anti-Metoos understand that a grown adult male knows when a woman wants to kiss him. They only ignore the existence of enthusiastic consent in order to pander to the type of dumb ass who believes he should get laid in exchange for a taking a lady out to dinner.

    • gingerwentworth1

      When I lived in France a long time ago, it was just like living in Hell. And the men gave the excuse that US women behaved in a way that confused them so much!!! Actually I knew very well that those men never believed what they were saying, they were just having a good time, because I never smiled at any of them, or even looked at any one of them, ever– all of us americans had soon become so angry. So I agree, Mikey A– these guys know very well when there’s no consent and no willingness at all. It’s all part of the fun, really. Otherwise you’d have to believe they’d suddenly gone blind. They’re power-mad and sadistic on top of it, with their lie that blames the victims.

  • Carpe Vagenda

    Rebecca Traister (it’s a travesty that their political coverage is a bunch of bros and their little sisters while this woman writes for their lifestyle site) joins in

    • AnnieGetYerFun

      That was a great rebuttal, thank you!

    • chronozoan


  • Maybe

    I wouldn’t call Roiphe any of those nasty names.

    I’d call her boring and leave it at that.

  • gingerwentworth1

    Yes but you don’t seem to realize, Katie Roiphe’s important!

  • gingerwentworth1

    Maybe her sensitivity is similar to the president’s. Shouldn’t this be explored?

  • chronozoan

    I was over this bullshit back when Camille Paglia was still playing Martin Luther to Gloria Steinem’s Pope.

  • Robin, this one of your best pieces ever

    • Akat

      She’s killing it lately!

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