An Unfeminist Excuse

There was a movie years ago* that included a joke about why we should have an “all-girl army.”

If you win, you can point at the other side and say, “Hah, you got beaten by a bunch of girls.” And if you lose, you can point at the other side and say, “Big deal, so you beat a bunch of girls.” Either way, you win.

At the time, this was hysterically funny. Today, it’s about as sexist as it gets. Worse still, women in the military have more than proven their mettle, and there’s just as good a chance some guy warrior will get his butt kicked by a woman warrior as not. There’s nothing that takes the laugh out of a joke faster than a good ass-whupping.

Conservative Ben Shapiro challenged Democratic Socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez to a debate.

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro challenged Democratic House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to a debate on Wednesday and offered $10,000 for her campaign if she accepted the challenge.

In a segment on “The Ben Shapiro Show,” he noted that Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has called Ocasio-Cortez “the future of the party.”

“Miss Ocasio-Cortez, I’m really excited that you’ve been elevated to that position and I would love to have a real conversation with you about the issues,” Shapiro said.

Whether Shapiro was being completely insincere in his “love to have a real conversation” troll or saw the opportunity to use his rhetorical skills to take advantage of a congressional candidate who was plopped on the pedestal well before she was ready to face the enormous pressure of being held out as the future of a party because of her extreme views, this was pretty much a troll by Shapiro. He was trying to goad her into a fight. This didn’t work out well for Bobby Riggs, but then Shapiro has far more practice being glib than Ocasio-Cortez.

Her response, however, was striking.

Just like catcalling? What does catcalling have to do with anything? Obviously, it doesn’t. Shapiro may well be trolling Ocasio-Cortez because of her politics, her overnight elevation from bartender to party icon. But there was absolutely nothing about his goading her that had anything to do with her gender or was in any way sexist. Yet, her response was not merely a complete non-sequitur, but an excuse that’s become acceptable, if not ubiquitous, for some women and their allies.

The challenge here was one of political ideology, conservative v. socialist. That Ocasio-Cortez is a woman is irrelevant to the ideological debate. Or is it?

Certainly, Shapiro is male and Ocasio-Cortez is female. Whether he’s uneducated is a matter of debate, but not particularly important. That he’s trying to push his way into her world is true. But what distinguishes catcalling is its sexual nature. Was there anything sexual about Shapiro’s offer?

From a certain identitarian perspective, every interaction between male and female is inherently sexual. Women are oppressed. Men are oppressors. No interaction, regardless of nature or content, can avoid this “truth,” assuming one subscribes to the notion. This is regarded by the woke as a feminist tenet. This is about as unfeminist as it gets.

Is Ocasio-Cortez too weak to withstand the likes of Shapiro because he’s a man? Her fallback on catcalling reflects her attempt to convert an ideological challenge into a sexist challenge. Should her socialist views be immune from question by any man because they’re just catcalling?

Shapiro, on the other hand, seems willing to fight the “all-girl army” even though his fellow conservatives may find his prevailing unavailing. So what if he wins against Ocasio-Cortez? She’s a political n00b, whereas he’s been playing this game for a long time and has a glib answer for whatever she can throw at him. Even if he delivers a knock-out blow, he can’t really win.

Forget the silly meme about “we need to have a real conversation,” since it’s just a subterfuge for the privileged to shut up and do as the marginalized tell them to do. There are issues at play here that warrant debate, and socialism is certainly one of them as a congressional candidate who will almost certainly win in the general election will take her seat in the United States House of Representatives and be a part of the policy guiding this nation.

But if any communication between a man and woman can be nipped in the bud by imputing a sexist excuse into the mix, then feminism has died. At least the notion of equality, where a woman can face a man on equal terms and make her case. Or lose her case. But as equals.

There are sound reasons for Ocasio-Cortez to refuse to debate Shapiro. In fact, there is no duty on her part to even respond to his trolling her, his goading her into a debate. She doesn’t owe him a response. She doesn’t owe him anything, though she may suffer the consequences as a result of her willing acceptance of the mantle of the “future of the Democratic Party.”

But catcalling isn’t one of them. It’s the sort of irrelevant, irrational excuse thrown out in weakness to deflect the real issue, whether her socialist ideas are viable or nonsensical. By responding with weakness, by resorting to the cheap sexist gambit, Ocasio-Cortez did the most unfeminist thing she could. She let Shapiro win in a war with an “all-girl army,” which shouldn’t be possible.

*My recollection is that it was Bill Murray in Stripes, but a quick search has failed to produce any evidence to support my memory.

22 thoughts on “An Unfeminist Excuse

  1. Patrick Maupin

    If it felt like catcalling to her, it must have been catcalling. You’re acting like that must be some affectively fallacious thinking on her part or something.

    Or maybe those are exactly the right words to energize her woke base. It’s not as if stupid simple words that pander more to feelings than thought is always a losing non-strategy lately.

    1. SHG Post author

      Watching some of the reactions from the left is deeply disheartening. I expect nothing of Shapiro’s fans, but the “smart ones” are thrilled to debase themselves to defend her.

  2. DaveL

    I’m a fan of Richard Dawkins’ response to innumerable challenges from random preachers to debate biological evolution:

    “I’m sure that would look great on your CV. Not so much on mine.”

  3. Jeff Blevins

    Ignoring the fact that a dozen or so conservative women have come forward to take Shapiro’s place. Also ignoring that it’s a foolish exercise to own the libs. It’ll be interesting to see how she handles being a mostly ignored junior representative.

    Her mentor has been shouting at colleagues for the better part of 30 years and has been ineffective the entire time.

  4. B. McLeod

    She didn’t “refuse to respond.” She rejected the offer. She simply did it in an infantile and indirect “I’m not talking to you” manner.

      1. SHG Post author

        I have no clue what her thing is, other than enjoying her moment in the sun before she finds herself in the worst job in Washington.

  5. B. McLeod

    It is hard to see how they could have a “debate” anyway, as the Feelz are incompatible. There is no real basis for a conversation, so they would likely be limited to insulting each other for being so obviously wrong.

  6. Lucas A. Meyer

    I think the phrase comes from SNL Season 5 Episode 10:

    From IMDB:
    “Weekend Update Anchor: If you ask me, the best defense our country could have… would be an army of poorly-equipped, untrained, unarmed women. That way, either we would win the war or we’d make the Russians look like incredible jerks. And isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway? That’s my opinion. I’m Bill Murray, and my girlfriend’s going.”

      1. Lucas A. Meyer

        I ended up finding the full transcript for the SNL Season 5 Episode 10, and it includes the “beat a bunch of girls” part:

        Bill Murray: President Carter proposed the drafting of women, and everybody’s all worked up about it. Personally, I don’t see what they’re complaining about. Women in the Armed Forces could be the best thing that ever happened in this country. Let’s say we have a war with Russia, and the women fight. If we win, that’s okay; and if we lose, we can say to the Russians: “Wow! You beat a bunch of girls. You must be really proud of yourself! You Russians are real tough guys, yeah!” Can you imagine how embarrassed the Russians would be? The same holds true for weapons! Why give weapons to our soldiers? If we win without them, fine! And if we lose, we can say: “Oh, so you BEAT us! We didn’t even HAVE any weapons! What do you want? BIG DEAL!” If you ask me, the BEST defense our country could have… would be an army with poorly-equipped, untrained, unarmed women! That way, either we would win the war or we’d make the Russians look like incredible jerks! Amd isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway?

        That’s my opinion. I’m Bill Murray, and my girlfriend’s going. Jane?

  7. John Barleycorn on

    “….and be a part of the policy guiding this nation.”

    Damn, you back on the bagels or what?!

    Speaking of diets, have you ever thought about upping the ante with your comment section CAPTCHA questions?

    You know…. If you put a little effort into it you could probably figure out a way to deploy multiple choice drop-down lists for a “fill in the blank from a SJ quote” CAPTCHA.

    It would almost be like trolling and educating your very own readers all at the same time. And just think about all the time it would save you after you got it set up!

    I can just feel the eyebrows crinkling and hear the tendons snapping,…

    WTF are you waiting for man!? Step away from the bagels an get on it already, or the next thing you know you optimism and waist line are gonna put the sync in the elasticity of the flex fit.

  8. John Rew

    The peasant wants an audience with the queen. Who does he think he is, you only get that through invitation. That’s the problem with us men, if we would only listen to the royal decrees our lives would be so much better.

    1. SHG Post author

      There’s nothing in it for AOC to debate Shapiro. It’s not her refusal (or failure to respond), but her playing the sexist card. Then again, he then played the “slander” card because orthodox Jews don’t catcall, so we had another “hold my beer” moment in the ongoing saga of who can say the stupidest thing.

  9. Gretz

    During the primary campaign, Miss AOC hounded her rival, the incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley, for a debate, and impugned his masculinity for not agreeing to debate her, until he relented, and then the press went on about her mad debate skillz. She doesn’t do well when pressed for details or asked follow on questions, even in friendly press environments.

    For her to take this tack, and claim “Screaming Male Catcalling to demand her attention”, is pretty rich as she seemingly wants it both ways, but you’re right, there’s no benefit to her for any further debate, especially against someone who isn’t her opponent in the race.

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