I’d like to say Andrew Sullivan does a great job in responding to Jill Nelson’s outrage when he criticized her for saying that there wasn’t any difference between the oppression of a woman in a Western beauty contest and of one forced to wear a burkha under penalty of stoning. The only problem with praising Sullivan in this context is that Nelson’s views are so painfully, abjectly stoo-pid that one could make her look like an idiot of sufficient depth so that she should be barred from using adult scissors simply by introducing and quoting what she said verbatim. ..

“Jill Nelson, folks. Let’s give her a big hand .”

She’s really the one doing all the legwork when it comes to revealing her opinions to be the worst sort of reactionary anti-western tripe. This is not to detract from Sullivan’s weighty argumentative skills, it just seems to me that with the sheer critical mass of stupid that is piled up in Nelson’s words, her own points are the meat of the refutation against her, and Sullivan’s commentary is the gravy.


Sullivan’s suggestion that I playa-hate Western societies where women “choose how they want to present themselves,” demonstrates no understanding of women’s roles in Western culture, contempt for feminists, and, possibly worst of all, that he has no women friends . If he had any, he’d know how difficult it is to find one woman in America who actually believes that the way she chooses to “present” herself is determined absent historical, cultural and political conditioning, expectations and constraints.


Sullivan rightly points out that to suggest this is to reveal that Nelson is living in a fantasy world of oppression. However, there is also the possibility that she is a devotee of that school of po-mo “thought” which holds that all these horribly repressive cultural chains pervert us into ideologically willing slaves of the patriarchy, racism, the military-industrial complex, global capitalism and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir without us even knowing it! And of course the only people who can deliver us from this ideological lockbox of the mind are those self-appointed Moses such as the humanities departments at our major universities, and perhaps folk like Jill Nelson .

I do not think that such a judgement concerning Nelson is really so far-fetched, because otherwise she would just stupidly be relating two completely different situations without any consideration of their obvious differences, such as oh, i dunno, like how in fundamentalist Muslim countries, women who don’t wear a burkha get stoned or otherwise horribly punished, whereas, at least the last time I checked, there weren’t any hordes of Beauty Pageant Police roaming the streets with clubs to beat to a pulp any woman who doesn’t want to put on a bathing suit and be admired on a stage. So, as far as I can tell, unless she has the reasoning ability of a drunk chimp, she must be saying that women in the west actually are forced to enter beauty pageants and parade around in skimpy clothes because the Patriarchy has done a damn fine job with its secret brainwashing project.

Now to be sure, the above contention is also silly and risible in the extreme, but it is just slightly more subtle, in that it adds a second component to explain away (horribly badly, of course, but at least she tries) why an idea that is painted with a bright bold obvious face of stupid is actually not so dumb after all, just because it happens to go against every shred of common sense the normal human adult possesses.

And what about this “historical, cultural and political conditioning, expectations and constraints”?

Is Nelson suggesting that women are unique in being constrained in their behavior by the culture around them? I’m sure that notion would fly fine in the bizarro world that this silly woman has built around herself, but here in reality most would instantly point out that every human being lives under a large array of cultural constraints relating to, among others, gender, age, profession, you name it. Now you can have reasonable discussions about which of those many rules are just and which are not, but to single women out as fundamentally special in this regard, and then to relate that constraint to the situation of women in the middle east, is to display for the world your passport from Idiotland.

Anyway, have a gander at the rest of Nelson’s bile. Everyone can use a laugh as good as that.

last update : 23-5-2018

Comments are closed.