Welcome to Friday Feedback, our weekly scooping of the poop readers thoughtlessly and surreptitiously leave on the blog’s weedy, overgrown lawn.
I don’t usually have the opportunity to use real names on Friday Feedback, because most of the mail I get is sent from the same person named “Anonymous.” Happily, today that is not the case.
I assume all of you read my opinion piece on golocalpdx regarding Almost First Lady (but now never will be) Cylvia Hayes. If you did not, you are hereby fired as a reader of this blog. Go play in traffic wearing black on a rainy night, please.
For a refresher, click here.
I did not write the headline for this piece (“How ‘First Lady’ Cylvia Hayes is Letting Feminists Down”), someone at golocalpdx did. Upon reflection, I agree with one commenter on Twitter who said the title was misleading and implied feminists supported and looked up to Cylvia in the first place, otherwise how could she let them down?
I’ve asked them to change it to “How Cylvia Hayes Annoys the Feminist in Me” or something like that but so far, to no avail. It doesn’t really matter because it was days ago and probably gets zero page views at this point.
When golocalpdx promoted the piece on their Facebook page, something really fun and exciting happened. I got hate mail! You guys know how much I loves me some hate mail, but this was special, because these two women commented through their Facebook pages with their real names.
It was like waking up on Christmas morning and seeing nothing but Aquatalia Boots boxes and David Yurman pouches yawning out from under the tree. Mr. Patience and Understanding, did you read that VERY CAREFULLY? Please take notes.
First I heard from Loretta Passwaters. In other words, Miss Piss. And boy, was she pissy.
“Seriously? This is what you have to report on? Someone who is not running for office? Where is your story on Monica Wehby, someone who IS running for the Senate? You group her in with Feminists? Why?? Because she has a vagina? What about Wehby; the stalker and plagiarist (because she accepted responsibility…my bad, she BLAMED her staff!).
“Quit trying to deflect the real issue here and frame this woman as a Feminist, just because she has a vagina. You should be ashamed of yourself. Go back to school; you obviously don’t understand what the word ‘journalism’ means. You should be fired.”
Pissy McPissypants also said in response to a comment from my good friend Anna Preble (we’ll get to her in a minute) in which she sulked she was “unliking” golocalpdx’s Facebook page because of my article, “pretty sad, isn’t it. Obviously this ‘person’ has no clue what the word ‘feminist’ means.”
Ordinarily I’d let her have it. However, I decided to try to be diplomatic given this was happening on the golocalpdx Facebook page, so I responded:
“What does it (‘feminist’)mean to you? And am I not a ‘person’ because you disagree with me? That doesn’t sound very forward-thinking. If you read more closely, my point was she is a disappointment to feminists who believe, as I do, that we should all accept responsibility for our actions.
“I find Wehby much more disturbing and agree – so why would you peg me as a Wehby supporter? I am interested in the degree of anger you are projecting onto the page…and ask what you believe the word ‘feminist’ means. If I have no clue I’d be interested to hear how you define the word.”
Loretta then exited the scene, leaving me feeling utterly frustrated as I anxiously awaited her definition of feminist so I could compare it against my own. You know that feeling you get when you really have to sneeze and no matter how much you look at the sun or a really bright light you just can’t get it?
That’s how I felt.
Worry not, however, because in ambled Anna Preble, filled with piss and vinegar and yet, similar to Loretta, no definition of “feminist.” I’m sensing a trend here…
“Let me make sure I understand this correctly. Two white american women (correct me if I’m wrong about your origins) want to lecture me and tell ME that I have ‘no clue’ about the word feminist? Let me just MAKE SURE I UNDERSTAND YOUR COMMENTS CLEARLY”
So what’s happening here is Anna is confused. She doesn’t realize that Loretta PeesAlot is agreeing with her by responding to her comment while simultaneously implying with mean little quote marks that I am not a “person” and that I don’t know what the word “feminist” means (despite her own inability to even attempt a definition).
Facebook commenting is hard, yo.
By the way, when Loretta MakesYellowWater disappeared from the scene and robbed me of the gift of her definition of “feminist,” I do admit snarking by commenting “crickets.” This will be important in a moment, so pay attention.
“If I’m actually being requested to respond with feedback, I’d say that different demographics define ‘moral and legal entitlement’ differently. My personal background in Asia and comparative studies of token representation mean that I’m not necessarily impressed with using Vera Katz and other women to demonstrate progress.
“I also find that it IS true that strong women are often feared to the point of coming under hyperscrutiny, ad hominem attacks, and instant shaming campaigns. Gendered role congruity is a much deeper and nuanced factor in politics than simply being the proud owner of ovaries or fallopian tubes (b/t/w, qualifying feminism through physical features is not inclusive to trans-identified women, and may not appeal to as wide a readersip as one might think).
“Much of this article, I believe, is simply a list of conclusions – not findings of facts at hand. My understanding was that the Governor DID call for an investigation. I’ll double check that.”
At this point I’m a little annoyed but still civil. Most annoying is her not getting the joke I made regarding Clinton, Roberts and Katz having female body parts. Anna is a humorless problem-creator and could find discrimination and injustice in a box of cereal.
“Froot Loops! Is that some sort of homophobic marketing campaign to make children hate gays and rabbits and gay rabbits?”
So I said: “Thank you for your response, but in response I’d add:
1. This was an opinion piece and had no ad hominem attacks nor did it have hyper-scrutiny. These are valid questions and there are reasons why so many people are delving into this situation, myself included.
2. I did not qualify feminism through physical features, I used humor to illustrate that Oregon is not exactly unfamiliar with strong women and hence not afraid of them.
3. Whether or not you believe this was simply a list of conclusions, I’d refer you back to my point #1 – this was obviously an opinion piece, which by definition looks at the facts at hand and draws conclusions. I don’t think anyone with any sense at all could conclude this was a piece of investigative journalism.
4. Re: calling for investigation, you did see the timing of that, I assume? Are you aware that John Kroger investigated her in 2011 and advised she should return 60,000 from a contract with conflict issues given her relationship to the governor? And that she refused?”
That was reasonable, right? I think so. Maybe I can’t be objective because I know how freakin’ awesome I am.
Anna goes on to vomit many more words from her vegan pasta salad-encrusted keyboard onto the Facebook page. Remember, this is all using her real name, Anna Preble. I love that because most purposefully ignorant and foolish assholes try to hide behind fake names on the internet. Not Anna Preble!
Anna writes: “I initially unliked the page because I don’t need these updates coming from what I thought was a city-related blog. But now you’ve opened a whole new door with me. When did I EVER say you were not a person, Robin Descamp? Let’s start with the easiest questions first, to limber up.
“Nobody, and I mean NOBODY tells me whether something ‘lets me down’ or not, in my own perspective and definition of what it means to work for feminism. Oftentimes people who try to tell me how to react are the very same people who don’t care to ask me about my reaction.
“One more tip – don’t post something so aggressive as ‘crickets.’ That can actually be triggering.”
OK, so now I’m laughing my ass off along with my good friend and soon-to-be family member Dan Lacey who has jumped in to the vat of fun that is Loretta and Anna. My next comment to Anna was, I thought, very thoughtful and not half as aggressive as I wanted it to be:
“Anna, my response was to Loretta who called me a ‘person’ with quote marks and said I had ‘no clue’ what a feminist is. If ‘crickets’ is ‘triggering’ to you I suggest you do some work to delve into why a person typing out the name of an insect can make you fly into a rage. Please explain how my race is relevant to your pointless point that nobody except you is allowed to speak about what feminism means to them.”
Anna didn’t care for that. Not one bit.
In response, Anna said, “like I said, I don’t like when white american women impose cultural imperialism on me. You don’t know me in a ‘rage’. Your privilege and arrogance are your shortcomings in the political sphere of the 21st century. #whiteculture
“Good grief, I have NO MORE seconds to devote to this banality, but I’d also like to note that Loretta had posted her own comment and you could have more appropriately climbed up her ass with your interrogations on THAT thread.
“You only got what you asked for when you posted antagonist crap here – I already stood corrected about how my notifications came through. Go nail someone else to the cross, please. UGH. Just nasty, ugly behavior.
“I never spoke FOR anybody. I objected to your headlines. please try to keep objectivity on YOUR actions. Your nastiness and white privilege here only strengthen the position of those who come from similar political points of departure as myself. Time to diversify or be left behind. The GOP STILL hasn’t figured this out.
“Your asinine ‘article’ does not entitle you to be so supremacist with me. My annoyance, and now my ire, is legitimate.
“When did I EVER say that (‘crickets’) triggered me? I don’t buy for a second that you have employed full logic in writing this ‘opinion,’ which is really more of my definition of character attack. And yes, I would say that you attacked John Kitzhaber by linking his qualifications as a candidate to a personal connection. That is why I unliked this page: I have NO ROOM on my feed for your glib conclusions and thinly veiled BS.
“And if you can’t handle that others are going to disagree with you on how you represent the thoughts or “disappointments’ to feminisms, perhaps is it YOU who needs to examine your very public emotional baggage, By mentioning triggers and inclusivitiy, I was trying to broaden your horizons. No good deed, I guess.”
Does anyone get the feeling Anna Preble doesn’t like me? And how do you suppose she pronounces her last name? Is is Preble rhymes with pebble or Preble rhymes with feeble? I’m going with feeble, since it rolls more easily off the tongue and describes her gray matter.
My next response to Anna: “My replying to your comments, including the one in which you warned me that ‘crickets’ was ‘triggering’ does not reflect my ability to handle criticism. In fact, I quite enjoy it.
“I’m sorry you are unable to draw the same logical conclusions many others have: Kitz’s connection to Hayes and his unwillingness to insist she follow the rules as prescribed by his chief of staff and lawyer calls into question his judgement. That’s not an attack, that’s an analysis.
“I also think it’s important that the Governor was warned by his chief of staff and top lawyer that the way she was handling her business was problematic and likely illegal – they suggested changes, she refused and he did nothing. That says a lot about his propensity to be led around by the Lieutenat Governor, if you get my drift…
“I’ll examine my emotional baggage as soon as I locate the key – it’s been lost for some time. I appreciate your willingness to broaden my horizons and your best wishes. Thanks so much and have a great day!
Now in comes my friend Dan Lacey to lend a hand.
I love Dan – I’ve known him for years and in a Portland-is-a-small-town perfect story, we reunited when I met Mr. Patience and Understanding and his son fell in love with Dan’s exquisitely awesome daughter Alex. Now they are getting married and we are family – yay!
Dan said: “Anna let me weigh in and guess what you might be like from a personality perspective based on your comments. You are rigid in your beliefs but want to portray that you are accepting of all. It’s clear that anyone who differs from you in any way must be a Nazi.
“I would guess you don’t care for men especially strong ones as they threaten you. Like Robin I am howling over your term ‘cultural imperialism.’ I accuse you of being VERY insecure, not well read and most likely frigid. Oh and I’m a democrat so how would you characterize me?
“Crickets? (OK now I’m spitting out my coffee and laughing loud enough to frighten the neighbors)
“To Loretta- Give me a break. Cylvia Hayes is an incredibly newsworthy story worth writing about. Why shouldn’t I give a shit about a woman who is a charlatan and a liar and has influence on decisions made by the most powerful man in Oregon. You’re the one who isn’t paying attention.
“Why don’t you and Anna spend the next month arguing the definition of the word feminist while the rest of us who give a damm about an incompetent Governor vote his rear end out of office.”
At this point I chime in:
“TRIGGER WARNING: **crickets**”
Here comes Anna!
“Dan: why don’t you lecture down to someone who gives a crap about your opinion. How disappointingly and trivially partisan, Dan Lacy. I have no other response but “tsk tsk” for you and your (gasp) patronizing response (but I know – don’t tell me – You’d LOVE to hear my thoughts…LOL). I can smell men like you a mile away.
Let this be a lesson to any other morons who want to USE legitimate work towards gender equality in the US as a platform to exhibit their prejudice. I don’t presume to know exactly what thoughts prompted Loretta’s response, but this MIGHT be why ‘person’ is in quotes – this article smells like something a troll would dump on us.”
Here come Jeff Oveson! This is fun!
“Dan Lacey: could it be the roughouts she smells a mile away? ‘Men like you”…One paragraph and you’re pigeon-holed.”
That’s pretty much it. What a good time was had by all! This post has now gone on WAY too long so please forgive me and go about your day. I have a lasagne bolognese that isn’t going to make itself and a workout to get to, so I’m off.
Have a great weekend and check out my Facebook page if you want to read a story about something kind of great that happened yesterday. I posted it publicly so even if we aren’t friends on Facebook (and if so, why not?) you can still see it here.
Cheers and Go Ducks!
(this one never gets old)