Cenk Uygur vs Karen Straughan: Cenk blows a fuse

I watched the recent interview of Karen Straughan by Young Turks host Cenk Uygur with a now very familiar sense of amusement. Then I watched it again for the LOLZ.

Full disclosure here. There is an element to the man that I actually like. His politics are in fantasy land, but there does seem to be a streak in Cenk that actually walks some of the stuff he talks. I watched him deliver this speech on mainstream government corruption (and mainstream media complicity) some time ago and was so impressed with that particular message on that particular day that I posted it to A Voice for Men.

Alas, that was a different message on a different day. Perhaps Cenk’s venture into sanity was a fluke, because in his interview with Straughan he jumped the shark with Olympic skill. If you have not seen the interview with Straughan, here it is. Everything I have to say will make a lot more sense after watching it.

What Cenk does here is a real life psychodrama on the mindset of the acutely indoctrinated. It is there to be seen in facial expressions, body language, tone and affect with every word that comes out of his very programmed mouth.

The dissonance is palpable. Note the hesitancy, right from the beginning, as he “acknowledges” that men and boys face issues that indeed require some sort of movement to address. He has all the confidence of an antebellum plantation owner acknowledging that perhaps enslaving people is unfair. As he talks of the necessity for a men’s movement his eyes wander, as though looking for an exit.

I think Cenk knows he needs to do this, as the days when outright denial of the fact that men have unique issues have passed. We have entered the days of acknowledging men’s issues but asserting that MHRAs should not be talking about them; a sentiment that virtually drips with every grudging, condescending admission that he makes. It is clear at that part that he is telling the truth, and he hates every freaking second of it.

What he leaves us with is an attempt at a slightly more sophisticated version of “Yes, men have issues, but, (insert bullshit reason to ignore them here).” Standard stuff for your average indoctrinated pundit, but due to his obvious level of insecurity with the subject he is discussing, he winds up less rational than when he started.

That’s where Cenk sealed his own fate and placed himself directly on course for the unavoidable meltdown. Karen short-circuited the man’s thinking by presenting him with a much more nuanced, informed and rational look at the history of suffrage than his ideology and soundbite-addled brain could handle. It overloaded his “poor little wimmens could not vote and that is that” circuit, and since there is no breaker box up there sparks started shooting from his brain and his mouth.

He turned into an irrational bully, and on the quick, raising his voice, interrupting repeatedly and demanding that Karen issue a public thank you to feminism which it does not deserve and which she was clearly not inclined to give. Then he resorted to name calling.

I cannot pretend to speak for Karen Straughan, but I can only imagine the irony she must have felt as Cenk went near postal, refusing to allow her to talk, shrieking about how radical she was.

All because she educated him on aspects of history with which he had never considered, and which undermined his distorted worldview.

For the record, she was right. Voting rights for men in the US were (and still are) tied directly to their literal availability for conscription and forced service by the state. Women in the US have had the vote for 95 years with no such assumption of their availability for die for democracy and better commerce. It is a right without a corresponding responsibility that men do not and never have enjoyed. To take it another step forward, there is a strong constitutional argument that without joining men in selective service and forced conscription when it is visited on men, women should not have the right to vote.

Radical? Perhaps to Cenk Uygur. But I am betting that he would not feel that way if he pulled his fingers out of his ears and quit saying, “la-la-la-la-la-la I am not list-en-ing to you!”

I have some suggestions for Cenk, should he be inclined to consider them. One, don’t lose your cool over an ideological tenet that does not reconcile with the facts. It makes you look as irrational and pseudoscientific as a creationist explaining to paleontologists that the world is 7,000 years old.

Blowing up on people in public for daring to be more informed than you are only impresses a following of the terminally stupid.

Asserting that all women should thank feminism for pushing an agenda that privileges women with the same rights as men, but exempts them from the corresponding responsibilities? Cenk, say it ain’t so.

If you want to go that route, you might want to replace the word “women” with the word “children,” as it much easier to digest an egregiously unfair double standard when done for the sake of the feeble and incompetent, which is precisely what you must imagine women to be if you think that way.

Finally, I will suggest some humility for Cenk. There is a men’s human rights movement. It is real, and you just talked to one of its leading voices. With all respect, no one gives a fudgsicle whether you grudgingly admit that there is some merit to it. It will not be shouted down by ideologues who continually display ignorance of and indifference toward historical facts. In fact, it is people like Cenk who are accelerating this movement, courtesy of their willingness to make embarrassing asses of themselves in defense of their own ignorance.

Recommended Content

Skip to toolbar