May 8th, 2017

Talking about vaginas

Feminist author Naomi Wolf writes about “the resurgence of blatant sexism in politics.” The opening paragraph of her article goes like this:

When I published a book called Vagina four years ago, arguing that targeting the genitals and sexuality of women was a political ploy, and that women need to defend their sexuality—and even their genitals—overtly in order to be a potent political force, the topic was seen to be outré, and I was chastised for introducing women’s reproductive organs into politics. The vagina has since made many rather shocking appearances in the political fray. Donald Trump and Billy Bush talked about grabbing women’s vaginas without permission. The New York Times ran the word “pussy” on the front page for the first time in its history. And when a woman with a national platform—Fox News’s Megyn Kelly—called Donald Trump out on broadcast television, like a metronome, Trump invoked for viewers the image of Ms. Kelly’s bleeding vagina. This attack was meant to silence Kelly, just as attacks on women’s vaginas always have been.

So now, let’s see where this “resurgence” came from. Donald Trump and Billy Bush’s “talk about grabbing women’s vaginas without permission” made a “rather shocking appearance in the political fray” solely because Trump’s enemies searched for something to use against him, and dug the incident up from a minor 2005 appearance of his that wasn’t part of the “political fray” at all (or, for that matter, the public fray) even back in 2005. It was a private conversation “caught on tape” during a recording session for an “Access Hollywood” clip. It could not have been further from public political discourse until the Democrats went looking and found it and publicized it, hoping to make political hay of it. And then that’s why the Times ran the word “pussy”—because Democrats hopefully introduced it into political discourse.

And what of the invocation of the image of Megyn Kelly’s “bleeding vagina”? Let’s revisit that incident:

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Friday night that Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly “had blood coming out of her eyes” when she aggressively questioned him during Thursday’s presidential debate.

“She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions,” Trump said in a CNN interview. “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.”

(On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that he was referring to Kelly’s nose. His campaign also issued a statement, claiming Trump said “whatever” instead of “wherever,” while again repeating that the reference was to her nose.)

Trump certainly mentions blood, but the orifice he specifies is eyes. You can fill in the blank yourself for the “wherever” or the “whatever” that follows, but “vagina” would not have been the first thing I would assume he meant, and it doesn’t even make sense. “Blood coming out of his/her eyes” means someone being agitated or vehement, and Trump also used the phrase again in the same interview to refer to Chris Wallace’s eyes, as well. No vagina image there. If Trump “invoked” the image of Kelly’s bleeding vagina in people’s minds, it was in a subtle way that relied on an association that I certainly didn’t make. It was his enemies who specifically invoked that image, once again—and I wonder what percentage of listeners would even have thought of it without their helpful and explicit suggestions.

So the “resurgence” of all this vagina talk is on the Democratic side (and Wolf gives many example when she describes the images women brought to the post-inauguration march on the Mall), not the Republican or Trumpian. And that’s exactly what Ms. Wolf says she had been accused of doing when she wrote her book Vagina: “introducing women’s reproductive organs into politics.” It makes perfect sense for the left to do so, because the idea that Republicans are attacking their genitals is certainly a good way to encourage women’s natural tendency to vote Democratic anyway. Wolf knows that full well, and exploits it mightily, just as she’s doing in her New Republic piece.

Here’s another genitalia invocation by Wolf:

Within days of assuming office, President Trump signed an executive order limiting access to birth control and safe abortions in countries that receive US aid. In the photo of the signing, he is flanked by seven white men with their hands folded nervously over their gray-suit-clad penises. With its painful irony, the photo went viral.

I think Ms. Wolf needs help; she’s fixated on genitals, both male and female, and seeing them everywhere.

Speaking of which, she adds:

The penis has made dramatic political appearances as well. Anthony Weiner’s snaps of his genitals on social media became a powerful opposition tool for Republicans. Missteps—even serious missteps—of errant sexuality by powerful white men in the past were politely glossed over by other white men. Now, they have became lurid fodder for political battle. Anthony Weiner’s penis was used as a way to attack both his wife, Huma Abedin, and her boss, Secretary Clinton, replaying traditional uses of the phallus to smite powerful women.

So, let’s get this straight. According to Wolf, when Democrats uncover a private Trump conversation from 2005 and use it politically during the 2016 campaign, it’s Trump who’s responsible for bringing pussies into today’s political discourse. But when Weiner emails photos of his genitals in the present, and Republicans use that fact politically, it’s the Republicans who are responsible for bringing penises into the fray as “lurid fodder for political battle,” and a way to attack women, not Weiner, thus “replaying traditional uses of the phallus to smite powerful women.”

I wasn’t particularly familiar with Wolf prior to writing this post, but while researching it I discovered that she’s parlayed writing about women’s bodies and genitalia from an outraged feminist point of view into an entire career, not just in leftist academia (where you’d expect it) but on the popular front as well. Along the way, she’s become so profoundly paranoid and irrational in her writing that even many of her fellow leftist feminists have been condemning her.

And then there was the time in 2004 when she accused Professor Harold Bloom of having made a pass at her twenty years earlier when she was an undergrad at Yale. There are many articles on the subject; you can Google and read them yourself if you’re the least bit inclined (here’s one more). But the gist of it—if you take everything Wolf herself says as the gospel truth, which we’ll do here for the sake of discussion—is that he was her professor, they were having dinner at her house, they were both drinking and probably drunk, he touched her thigh, she told him “no,” and he stopped and left the apartment, but not before she had vomited in the sink at the horror of it all and he had delivered the line “You are a deeply troubled girl.”

It’s hard to disagree with him; the remark sounds nothing if not perceptive. How on earth would a student of twenty (Wolf’s age at the time) not understand that the setting—her apartment, the drink, the older prof with the beautiful (Wolf is quite attractive) younger woman—would be highly likely to engender a pass? Bloom didn’t press the situation, either. So why the horror, wherefore the outrage?

I’ve already written too much about Wolf and her oeuvre, probably more than it warrants. But Wolf has influenced—and continues to influence—generations of young women, and continues to be published. Reading her work, I’m struck not just by the extremity of her feminist rage and paranoia and her reliance on jargon, but in particular by her intellectual laziness and lack of logic. With her impeccable academic credentials (Yale, Rhodes Scholar), how is it that she can’t seem to think straight?

That’s a rhetorical question, by the way.

[NOTE: In somewhat related news, Michael Goodwin believes we will have Hillary Clinton to kick around some more.]

29 Responses to “Talking about vaginas”

  1. Ymar Sakar Says:

    They used to say in 1830 that the territories needed to get rid of pioneer women’s voting rights because women couldn’t think straight due to their being the weaker sex, and because women were financially and politically under the power of their male relatives or their husbands.

    It’s not so much different now a days.

    Now women self proclaim themselves the weaker sex via the “vagina” monologues, and also proclaim that they are under a “Patriarchy” which strips them of power. Which is almost exactly the same reason why their votes were stripped away to begin with.

  2. Cornhead Says:

    She can’t think straight because she went to Yale.

  3. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.” Donald Trump

    It seems obvious that Trump was implying that Kelly was “on the rag”. Is it arguable that many women get short tempered, easily offended and abrasive at certain times during their menstrual cycle?

    That may not have been the case with Kelly but it’s certainly fair for Trump to have opined that her attacks were both unfair and inappropriate in that venue and that the palpable animosity of Kelly toward Trump had to have a disproportionate emotional motivation.

    Wolf is clearly “deeply troubled” and I’d bet that she’s never forgiven Prof. Bloom for telling her so.

  4. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Also, clans had chaperones for their female relatives and children because this protected both the males from false accusations and the females from physical intimidations and coercions.

    The weaker sex is vulnerable to physical escalation, while the male sex is vulnerable to verbal and intrigue setups. If it even “looked” like someone was having sex out of marriage, the families would be pressured either way to get them married. The evidence can be as little as a male and female being in the same room at a party for more than say 3 minutes, and then being discovered in close proximity to each other, like handshake distance.

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    GB:

    I don’t draw that conclusion at all, and the fact that Trump said in the same interview that Chris Wallace had blood coming out of HIS eyes indicates it, too.

  6. Harry the Extremist Says:

    Not that I agree with Wolf, but Im with GB on this one. Trump is known for lowering himself to vulgarities.

  7. Jamie Says:

    A “pussy” is not a vagina. I get very irritated when women – especially women, since when my husband and I started dating it came out in conversation (an interesting conversation indeed) that he was not at all clear about women’s anatomy, and I’ve since discovered that he isn’t the only man I know who was once really puzzled by it all, so I’ll give men a pass – refer to their external genitalia as their “vagina.”

    At the same time, “vulva” is… Well, maybe if we all say it enough, like “vagina,” it’ll gain an… Lord, trying hard not to make a bad joke here – oh, to heck with it: an odor of respectability.

  8. vanderleun Says:

    It’s ignorant sluts like Wolf who are keeping the C-Word alive in the 21st century.

  9. vanderleun Says:

    As for “Trump is known for lowering himself to vulgarities,” two sets of two words each.

    1) So. What.

    2) Cock holster.

  10. parker Says:

    Jamie,

    Some of us find the odor stimulating. 😉

  11. Oldflyer Says:

    The Apocalypse may well be nigh. The inhabitants of Earth may simply be too fatuous to survive. Sadly, the so-called intellectual elite lead the parade.

  12. Gordon Says:

    It’s no different from what Oprah does when she has a movie to promote. Oprah invents some episode of discrimination she suffered. When Wolf invents some sort of sexism crap in which she is the fearless heroine explaining it all, she’s promoting her book.

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    neo,

    You may well be right but I think not. “Blood coming out of the eyes” can apply to either gender but in referring to Kelly, Trump’s addition of, “blood coming out of her wherever” is, I believe a clear indication of what he meant.

    He was being interviewed and for once the sanity of self-preservation led him to tone down what he wanted to say. Though his lack of self-discipline prevented him from leaving it at the non-sexual “Blood coming out of the eyes”. IMO, he came up with a way to suggest it without actually saying it.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    GB:

    You are completely speculating, and of course I’m aware that it’s a possible interpretation I don’t happen to find it convincing.

  15. neo-neocon Says:

    Should be a period after “interpretation.”

  16. mollyNH Says:

    Naomi Wolfe dragged out the phrase Alpha Male, lol back whenGore ran against GW, & people were calling Al.”wooden. Phoney, stiff. ( More puns, can we stand ?)

  17. Griffin Says:

    This is a variation on when a Democrat has a scandal and the media story is all about the Republicans pouncing or taking advantage. Not about the scandal but about the Republicans. On the other hand a Republican scandal represents all Republicans everywhere for all times.

  18. groundhog Says:

    I agree with GB, because I think Trump was intending it as an return jab not just an observation.

    And it sounds like a jab more than just commentary and he didn’t seem in a light hearted mood when he said it.

  19. Ymar Sakar Says:

    1) So. What.

    Solomon, David, Soddom, Gomorrah.

    Divine Punishment is a little bit difficult to deny, because an entire nation will suffer it depending on the leaders’ conduct.

  20. The Other Gary Says:

    One of the Naomi Wolf excerpts includes the following penetrating insight, showing just how indispensable a public intellectual can be:

    Anthony Weiner’s penis was used as a way to attack both his wife, Huma Abedin, and her boss, Secretary Clinton, replaying traditional uses of the phallus to smite powerful women.

    Aha. I was not aware that “smiting” powerful women was among the “traditional uses of the phallus.” Maybe Trump was really onto something when he observed that Hillary “got schlonged” by losing the 2008 nomination to Obama. 🙂

    To make matters even worse, subsequently both she and Huma were “smitten” by Anthony’s weiner 😮 .

  21. blert Says:

    MY first association was “blood from without the EARS.”

    The menses never came into consideration.

    No gal EVER reacts emotionally, spontaneously, with the menses.

  22. Ralph Kinney Bennett Says:

    Neo,
    This was a very interesting post. I was sanguine about what I might find in the comments. But I’m bloody tired of it all. Indeed, I find myself “in blood stepp’d in so far, that I should wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.”

  23. Susanamantha Says:

    I remember reading that Ms Wolf was the one responsible for dressing Mr. Gore in brown suits
    during the 2000 presidential campaign, presumably to invoke fond memories of Ronald Reagan who often wore the same. I wonder if, before the second debate, she was the one who suggested that his hair be styled in Reagan’s semi-pompadour. His face also had contouring to suggest Reagan facial structure.

  24. AMartel Says:

    Meanwhile, news of female genital mutilation is suppressed by Democrat operatives. Draw your own conclusion about whether Dems actually care about saving the vagina (as opposed to covering their ass).

  25. AMartel Says:

    Trump is hardly the only person who has observed that some women will allow wealthy and powerful men to do what they want with them in exchange for getting close to that power and money. This is the bread and butter of gossip sites. (And it’s not just women.). Certainly the Clinton-Lewinsky debacle was an example of this dynamic. Trump only made the observation, he didn’t actually grab a pussy. Yet another example of the double standard between Dems and Reps. Of course Naomi Wolf is deranged having made a career of defending and promoting cynical liars who don’t believe in her pet issue and only use it as a stepping stone to power.

  26. neo-neocon Says:

    AMartel:

    I wouldn’t exactly call Trump’s statement to Billy Bush a mere observation.

  27. AMartel Says:

    That’s true. He did say he put the moves on a married entertainment reporter and got shot down.

  28. NeoConScum Says:

    WOW!!!!
    Haven’t been on Neo’s site for awhile. Never imagined I was missing pussy blather.

    CANNOT make this S*** up.

  29. Snow on Pine Says:

    I note how all of these feminists/women’s rights types aren’t gonna touch the issue of FGM, which I would think would be a much greater concern than real estate Trump talking about grabbing a feel in 2005.

    By the way, the official UN/WHO statistics from 2013 on the prevalence of FGM in the Africa and the Middle East are staggering:

    Estimated percentage of women between the ages of 15 and 49 who have been subjected to FGM:

    Somalia 96%
    Egypt 91%
    Sudan 88%

    Moreover, the current estimate of women, here in the U.S., who are at risk of being subjected to FGM is 550,000.

    You see stories about this practice here in the U.S. popping up here and there in the MSM, but with numbers like these, you can bet that FGM is being practiced all over the U.S. particularly in areas with heavy Muslim immigrant populations, but the local authorities/medical authorities, police are, with rare exceptions, studiously looking the other way.

About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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