It’s time again for The Week in Woke, my attempt to track the silliest things that right-wingers have declared “woke” on a weekly basis. Today we’ve got a pregnant man, some Major League sports, and a renegade … Fox News?
One of the best ways to keep up with what’s going on with Fox News — without having to actually watch it — is to follow Media Matters, which has a small army of journalists paid to monitor Fox and write up analyses of the most egregious nonsense. This little army does us all another favor by tweeting little screenshots of some of the stranger moments on the channel.
During the Obama administration — if you can remember that far back — the right-wing press got pretty good at generating controversies out of nothing — collectively clutching their pearls when, say, Obama allegedly dishonored the White House by wearing a tan suit. And them there was the time he ordered spicy mustard for his hamburger, like some kind of fancy-pants snob.
By David Futrelle
As you no doubt have heard, Media Matters’ Madeline Peltz recently dug up a bunch of rather remarkably creepy things that white supremacist Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on the radio some years back.
By David Futrelle
In recent days, Tucker Carlson — the whitest of Fox News’ many white supremacists — has taken a break from calling immigrants “dirty” to focus again on one of his other favorite topics: How gosh darn unfair the world is to men, especially white ones like him.
By David Futrelle
Last night the Proud Boys went looking for a fight. After a speech by the group’s founder Gavin McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan, members of the group — a gang of pro-Trump goons who seem to get into fights at every event they attend — were caught on video violently attacking several people who had come out to protest their event, beating and kicking them.
By David Futrelle
A quick roundup of some terrible people with terrible thoughts on the YouTube shooting. With videos!
Fox News host Jessie Watters: seemed to be channeling Warren Farrell with some particularly obtuse remarks he made recently on the Fox show “Outnumbered” on the “single ladies” vote.
Hillary Clinton needs the single ladies vote. I call them ‘The Beyoncé Voters’ — the single ladies. Obama won single ladies by 76% last time, and made up about a quarter of the electorate. They depend on government because they’re not depending on their husbands. They need contraception, health care, and they love to talk about equal pay.
If we ignore the implicit racism of his castigating “Beyonce voters” for being welfare “takers,” Watters is more or less rehashing an old, bad argument that Farrell made in The Myth of Male Power. In a section of the book called “Government as Substitute Husband,” Farrell wrote that “when divorces left women without husband-as-savior, many women looked for substitute saviors … .”
In a case of spectacularly bad timing, Fox News happened to choose the day before the Zimmerman verdict was handed down to publish an op-ed proclaiming “the White American Male” to be the most oppressed creature on Planet Earth. In a piece entitled “Men — The New Second Class Citizens,” professional antifeminist Suzanne Venker declared that
From boyhood through adulthood, the White American Male must fight his way through a litany of taunts, assumptions and grievances about his very existence. His oppression is unlike anything American women have faced.
What is revealing about this quote, besides its complete disconnection from reality, is that Venker makes no other references to race in the rest of her piece, which runs through a number of tiresome and oh-so-familiar MRA talking points about the alleged oppression of men.
Venker complains about schools being biased towards girls, from grade schools that force students to sit still to colleges with their infernal Title IX. She whines about “sit coms and commercials that portray dad as an idiot.”
Quoting antifeminist psychologist Helen Smith, a friend of and sometime contributor to A Voice for Men, she suggests that women can get their boyfriends or husbands locked up on a whim just by claiming abuse.
I’m surprised she didn’t talk about the evils of “friend zoning.”
But when Venker refers to “men” in all of these complaints, she is evidently thinking only of white men — why else would she switch so seamlessly from talking about the alleged oppression of “men” to proclaiming “the White American Male” the ultimate victim?
There’s really no other word for this than, well, racist.
The day after Fox published Venker’s nonsense, we were of course reminded (as if any of us really needed to be reminded) of the very real oppression faced by “the Black American Male.”
Trayvon Martin didn’t die because he happened to see a show featuring a bumbling sitcom dad. He died because George Zimmerman saw a young black man in a hoodie walking home from the store and assumed, apparently because Martin was young and black and wearing a hoodie, that he was up to something sinister.
Trayvon Martin didn’t die because he was male; he died because he was a black male. His killer walked free not because his victim was male, but because his victim was a black male.
Suzanne Venker did us all a favor by revealing the unconscious racism underlying so many Men’s Rights complaints. The Men’s Rights movement is not only a movement that is overwhelmingly made up of white men; it’s a movement that’s almost exclusively about white men, and their largely imaginary oppressions, as well. We might as well call it the White Men’s Rights Movement.