Top 10 feminist failures of Jessica Valenti in 2014

In her otherwise delightful opinion piece entitled “Top 10 feminist fiascoes [sic] of 2014,” author Charlotte Allen (@meancharlotte on Twitter) made a crucial oversight: none of the fiascos mentioned Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti), a “daily” (more or less) professional feminist columnist for The Guardian. It is shocking that poor, inept Jessica didn’t get a “Feminist Screw-up Achievement Award,” or at least an Honorable Mention, for reifying some of the worst stereotypes of feminists as goofy, lying, man-hating, money-grubbing whiners with no redeeming characteristics whatsoever.

Now, in defense of Allen, 10 slots is a small palette, and the huge number of feminist fiascos this past year gave Allen a lot to choose from. Allen did single out Amanda Marcotte as the penultimate fiasco and noted three of Marcotte’s more egregious catcalls, but this is no excuse to pass over Valenti’s menstrual-blood-painted door frame.

Shall we get on to it then?

10. Blood money.

We need to move beyond the stigma of “that time of the month”—women’s feminine hygiene products should be free for all, all the time.—Jessica Valenti

While most “empowered” feminists are content babbling for government handouts in the form of free food, free housing, free abortions, and free birth control, Valenti goes further and demands that big daddy government flows her some cash to pay for her monthly blood plugs. In her August 11 column, “The case for free tampons,” Valenti argues that although First World women sporting the latest designer fashions can run companies and governments, they are too frail and ineffectual to pay for their own menstruation products, citing her own fumbling embarrassment at menarche as proof of her case.

Never mind that the vast variety of feminine hygiene products available today arose through free market competition—the melee of free government-issued menstrual rags would likely have all the comfort and convenience of a monthly tax audit.


9. Equality with men means that only women can choose abortion.

There are a variety of arguments why women should have the choice to abort their pregnancies in certain circumstances. I generally have little disagreement with some of them—notably but not limited to incest, rape, severe genetic or developmental abnormalities, or even the nebulous “health of the mother.”

In my understanding, A Voice for Men has no formal position on abortion, leaving the controversial question open to the individual conscience of those concerned with the issue as long as men and women retain equal rights in the process. I agree that this is as it should be.

But Valenti loves abortion because … equality with men?

The hard part about arguing that abortion is necessary for women’s equality, of course, is that there are still too many people who don’t see women’s pursuit of happiness as an unalienable right.—Jessica Valenti

Notice the phrasing here: “women’s pursuit of happiness” as a right. Not men’s, but only women’s.

Equality in reproductive rights would mean a balancing of the rights of both men and women. That I have to mansplain this to feminists is an indication that feminism’s version of “equality” is nothing more than a sick political ruse to advance women at the expense of men.

If women have the right to reject becoming a parent during pregnancy, then a real concern for equality would demand that men should have similar rights.

If women have the right to reject continuing as a parent under “safe haven laws,” then men should be able to reject the legal obligations of parenthood and opt out of child support and other such laws.

For good or ill, that is what equality means.

Abusing equality to gain a unilateral abortion right for women (but not men) is illustrative of how feminism in general and Valenti in particular undermine the very idea of equality that they supposedly support.

8. Hating women who disagree with my feminism.

When men are against feminism, it’s frustrating, if ultimately predictable—groups with power have always been loathe [sic] to give it up. But when women come out against gender justice, it feels worse: no matter how fringe, the rise of the anti-feminist woman is not just baffling but a betrayal.—Jessica Valenti

Setting aside that women dominate society’s power structures—family, education, employment, the ballot box, criminal justice, healthcare spending, and longevity—when you look below the man-hating surface of her feminism, Valenti carries even more contempt for those women with the audacity to disagree with even the most egregious feminist lies. In her July column bewailing the Hobby Lobby birth control decision, “Punching Gloria Steinem … ,” Valenti conflated every female opponent of feminism, no matter how nuanced or well-researched, into a single, amorphous blob of vicious betrayers of womanhood. In doing so, she proved that feminism is only for feminists, not women, and that feminists are authoritarians who will punish any women who deviates from their party line.

Of course, Valenti still believes the thoroughly debunked wage gap, rape culture, and one-in-five rape lies that even other feminists are backing away from. Her fidelity to these falsehoods could easily be other enumerated items in this list, but I’m going for gold here.

7. My favorite thing is not-rape. 

That rape is a regular part of The Walking Dead’s world is hinted at several times throughout the series: we hear about rapes that have taken place, but we’re not forced to endure watching them. For me, this makes all the difference.—Jessica Valenti

In a June column that was unusually weird even for Valenti, “Why do women love The Walking Dead? It might the lack of rape scenes,” she gives us an unintended peek at her fetish for sexual assault—a fetish that she shares with almost all modern feminists. Valenti loves loves loves loves loves The Walking Dead—she uses “love” five times in the article, including in the title—and she attributes this love to the fact that sexual assault is never depicted directly?

The thing is, sexual assault is rarely depicted directly outside of fetish porn and a few R-rated movies like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Valenti is obsessed with the political power she can, through rape, leverage against all men through the crimes of a few deviants.

Her love for rape as a political bludgeon is tempered only by the mild discomfort she feels during depictions of rape—she just hates seeing the (fictional) actual victims she exploits having to actually suffer. Otherwise, the sanitized rape suggestions of The Walking Dead she embraces—times five.

Unfortunately for Valenti, or maybe in spite of her, the fall episodes of The Walking Dead included multiple attempted and/or completed sexual assaults against several of the most vulnerable female characters in the show—all of whom, including the beloved Beth, died violently before mid-season.


6. A hoax designed to protect and promote women is … wait for it … an attack on women!

During actress Emma Watson’s launch of her befuddled feminist #HeForShe campaign, one group of her supporters thought using a nasty threat was a wise way to augment her damselling appeal for men to rescue feminism:

Rantic Media (also known as Social VEVO), the supposed marketering bros behind the threat—hoax or no, it was still a threat—swears that the goal was to bring attention to the sexism of 4chan and the recent celebrity photo leaks. But sexually threatening an outspoken woman to shine a light on how outspoken women are sexually threatened—well, that’s idiotic at best.—Jessica Valenti

“Hoax or no, it was still a threat.” Um, no, Jessica—a hoax of a threat, made by one’s supporters, is no threat at all, just like a rape hoax is no rape at all. The fix was in.

“Well, that’s idiotic at best.”—Yes, and not only did you fall for it, Jessica, but you attempted to legitimize feminist liars as reasons to support feminism. You became complicit with the hoax when you equated a fake threat to a real one.


5. Feminists love hating men of color for catcalling. 

There is by now a familiar pattern to campaigns to bring attention to the problems women face in the world: sexism gets documented in a way that is irrefutable, it goes viral, and then sexism continues on unabated.—Jessica Valenti

The actual familiar pattern was Valenti’s defense of the hyper-racist video from Hollaback!. She was unwavering, even after Hollaback! apologized for demonizing men of color and other attempts to replicate the experiment around the world failed to reproduce either their racist or sexist results.


4. Valenti agrees: Feminism makes women victims.

In her July column disputing the charge by #WomenAgainstFeminism that feminism seeks to turn empowered women into victims of patriarchy, Valenti proclaimed,

… denying that women are a victimized class is simply wrong. What else would you call a segment of the population who are systematically discriminated against in school, work and politics?…

Naming what is happening to women—that we are being oppressed, held back, and yes, victimized—is not weakness. It takes strength to tell uncomfortable truths.

Is there systemic discrimination in education? There are 12 million women in U.S. colleges today, compared with 9 million men. Numerically, women dominate teaching positions. Fail.

Is there systemic discrimination in work? The wage gap lie has been debunked and women freely sabotage their male colleagues with bogus sexual harassment charges. Fail.

Is there systemic discrimination in politics? Women are a majority of voters—it is not the fault of men that women voters prefer to elect more men than women to office. Fail.

It takes no strength at all for Valenti to continue to spread facile lies.

3. Turning all sex into rape, both on campus and elsewhere.

… I’m so baffled by the spate of criticism levied against “yes means yes” policies. Are people really so frightened of the consequences of a law that says that all sexual partners must enthusiastically consent?—Jessica Valenti.

In an October column, Valenti used gaslighting bafflement at the affirmative consent, or “yes means yes,” laws that require endless call-and-response interrogations at each escalation of sexual activity. As a part of her gaslighting, she conflated the laws with “enthusiastic consent,” a separate idea not codified in the laws at all.

Others, including me, have pointed out the fatal weaknesses in these laws and the havoc they will bring to feminism.


2. Killing family relationships.

Like many feminists, Valenti loves using intimate partner aggression, neglect, and family violence against her own loved ones.

Sometimes Valenti’s family disruption is subtle. At Thanksgiving, she wrote,

As I prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family this week, I’m acutely aware of how incredibly lucky I am to have a family that loves me, to have food on the table.

But I’m not thankful….

In September, Valenti argued that despite all evidence it is acceptable for feminist mothers to shirk parental duties by using technology to distract very young children.

Other times she is openly hostile.

In October, she railed against husbands for having less exacting housework standards than women—and ignored evidence proving that men who perform less housework have more satisfying sex lives.

In December, she assailed her husband for being less obsessed about holiday gift-wrapping than she was.

Three days before Christmas, Jessica attacked her own mother for caring about the well-being of their child/grandchild.


1. Believe rape hoaxers like Jackie Coakley because they are people.

Whether she is able to remain anonymous or not, and even though her story of being raped has not been disproven, the fact that Jackie is not and was not a symbol or a cause, but a person, has been lost in the rush to indict her and anyone who believes her.

I choose to believe Jackie. I lose nothing by doing so, even if I’m later proven wrong—but at least I will still be able to sleep at night for having stood by a young woman who may have been through an awful trauma.—Jessica Valenti (emphasis added)

In her December piece, “Who is Jackie? Rolling Stone’s rape story is about a person—and I believe her,” Valenti urges us to believe University of Virginia student and rape hoaxer Jackie Coakley, who spun a lurid tale of sexual assault that Rolling Stone printed with little additional corroboration. As detail after detail of Coakley’s account was disproven, Rolling Stone disowned her, and Coakley’s catfishing of a love interest who had friend-zoned her came to light, Valenti refused to jettison her support for a now obvious liar.

What you lose, Jessica, is credibility, something every journalist should be especially concerned about. By siding with a fake victim—a hoaxer—you lose every single real victim of rape who will now have a harder time making themselves believed. You also lose the innocent men who were falsely accused—but you’ve never cared about men because you don’t see men as people at all.

You are not a journalist, Jessica Valenti. You, like Coakley, are a lying, cheating feminist piece of shit.

Happy New Year!

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