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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Catty Persons

Claire Lehmann, Christina Hoff Sommers and Cathy Young are all members of what I think of as the IDW Misogynist Ladies Club - all three of them have careers built on hating women on behalf of right-wing men like the Koch brothers.

And I do mean misogynist, not just anti-feminist. I've noted Lehmann's misogyny especially, although Sommers and Young have had even longer careers championing the cause of those poor downtrodden men. And Cathy Young still has some serious apologizing to do, in my opinion, for the way she celebrated the Gamergate mob's campaign against women.

But nothing is more illustrative of the deep internalized misogyny of the alt-right Weird Sisters than their attitude towards fiction author Kristen Roupenian.

Roupenian's short story "Cat Person" was published in the New Yorker in December 2017 and "went viral" - clearly it struck a nerve with many people.

It's well-written - but the New Yorker is not known for publishing bad work as even Philistines like Lehmann, Sommers and Young must be aware.

"Cat Person" is about (spoiler alert) a college student who gets involved with an older man, she discovers he lied about being a "cat person" on his online dating profile, she has disappointing sex with him and she breaks up with him.

Now remember, this is a work of fiction. I can't find anything online by any of the three women that explains why they dislike her work so much as fiction.

And there is nothing overtly feminist about the piece - but just writing about a fictional woman's disappointment with a fictional man seems to be enough to enrage them. How dare she.

Lehmann, Sommers and Young have a very personal contempt for Roupenian, whom they never refer to by name. As you can see here, Cathy Young jumped right on the hate train, making a truly bizarre comment about Roupenian's success, and even one of her Twitter followers doesn't seem to understand her response.

Sommers conflates Roupenian with her story of a bad relationship to gloat about a work of non-fiction written by Roupenian recounting a man breaking up with her.

Claire Lehmann uses another work of fiction by Roupenian to tell us it's wrong and she, Claire Lehmann, knows what men really want.

Although Lehmann elsewhere ho-hums that she only got half-way through the piece.

But then Lehmann is rapidly getting a reputation as an ignoramus who doesn't read much at all.

Cathy Young, whose political views I criticized  (and this was even before I realized how invested she was in Gamergate) attacked me in a viciously personal way while discussing me with Steven Pinker's buddy Razib Khan over my criticisms of Khan's race science.

It should be obvious that an incredibly expensive lawsuit in federal court is how nobody wants to "get in the spotlight somehow." The belief that I would do anything to be famous, no matter how harmful to myself, says more about Young than about me.

On the other hand, I don't think the Koch brothers or the other right-wing men who support their careers really care about a young short story author.

So although I think the Catty Persons' motivation is primarily financial I also think there is something about the characters of all three women - something twisted and damaged - that makes them so well-suited to their professional careers of incessantly attacking women and women's aspirations.

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