Friday, June 08, 2007

Leering and smearing

By Libby

Look, when I screw up I'm willing to own up to it. When I inadvertently implied that Jeri Thompson was a gold digging bimbo, which I don't think she is, I took the heat for it. I apologized. That apparently didn't satisfy all my critics. Now comes Dr. Helen, who deliberately contorts my words beyond their clear meaning in order to justify her own anti-feminist rant.

Dr. H cites this part of my post as "evidence" that I'm one of those man-hating femi-nazis.
But what really struck me about this piece was the photo. If you didn't know, you would think it was a father and daughter, well except for the slightly lecherous look in his eyes. It's clear he's proud of his beautiful young wife, who is actually four years younger than his real daughter....

Even assuming they fell crazy in love and just had to be together, it's somewhat jarring to see them together in the photo. She looks so young, you expect that she signs her name with a little smiley face instead of a dot on the "i" at the end. In studying that shot, I couldn't help but think if Fred has been dating her only a few years eariler it would have been considered a sex offense [see update].

And she responds:
Now Libby updates her post to mention that she misread Ms. Thompson's age, thinking she was in her 20's when she was actually forty but I say, so what?
Now I could take those words out of context and deliberately misconstrue her meaning too. I could ask if that means she thinks it's okay for fathers to leer at their daughters? Perhaps she would have no problem if Glenn started leering at their own 16 year old? But I wouldn't do that since it would be dishonest. I know that she didn't mean it that way, just as it should be clear to any objective reader of my post that I used Fred's "slightly lecherous" attitude as a neutral qualifier to rule out that he was Jeri's father.

But the good Dr. H is not content to simply twist my meanings, she apparently feels it necessary to put words in my mouth in as well.
This is yet another example of a woman who deep down believes that men have no right to leer at women, lest it be considered a sex offense. ...In their eagar quest to control men's sexual rights, some "feminist" women (and other prudish ones too!) go to extremes to shame, expose or intimidate men who let their lust for women dare come to the surface.
I might remind Helen that if Jeri was really 24 years old, rather than 24 years younger, Fred would have been dating her as a 54 year old when she was only 15. In most states that will get a man a one way ticket to the sex offender registry list. You would think the wife of a law professor would know that. Again, I could ask if Dr. Helen meant she would have no problem with a 54 year old dating, (and leering at) her teenage daughter but I know she didn't mean that, so honesty compels me to refrain from such a cheap shot.

Dr Helen apparently prefers not to exercise the same restrain and goes on to accuse me of wanting to criminalize consensual sex. And what's with the scare quotes around my name? Is that supposed to imply that I'm not really Libby Spencer, or that I'm barely worth mentioning except that she needed my post in order to frame her own?

Now I know I'm just a B-list blogger who doesn't have the benefit of insta-name recognition by dint of being married to a Very Important Blogger, but it would take all of 30 seconds to determine that I blog under my real name and a google search would even turn up a very unflattering photo of me, along with a slightly outdated bio, so should I take that as a deliberate insult or should I just chalk it up to "tipping point blogger" elitism? Whatever.

For the record, I fully support leering. I love seeing a couple obviously in lust -- especially a married couple. It's a beautiful thing to behold. In fact, I think great sex was God's reward for making us go through all the other angst of being human. I also support father's rights, having seen all too many men denied equal custody of children based on just such trivialities as leering or knocking back a couple of beers on the weekend.

I'm all for pornography and in fact think prostitution should be legalized. I think it's as unrealistic to think you can stop sex, as it is to think you can stop drug use by criminalizing it. Furthermore, contrary to Don Surber's contention that liberals are prudes, I also support smoker's rights, drinker's right and yes, even the showing of cleavage at any age.

My post was never about judging the appropriateness of either leering or the age difference in the Thompson marriage. The photo elicited a reaction in me that I found surprising. So I blogged about it, honestly, and wondered aloud if others would react the same and whether it would have an impact on Thompson's campaign. It's not only disingenuous to pretend that I had any deeper agenda, but also unfair.

Maybe the real problem is that the right wing bloggers are so used to their own "truthy" talking points, they just don't know how to react when confronted with genuine honesty.

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