Monday, February 2, 2009

Family Values at American Power

I thought some folks might grumble at bit at yesterday's post on Ann Althouse.

Cracker asks in the comments:

Professor you have referred to this blog as a "family blog".

You have recently commented on the suspect "values" of Family Broadcast Companies.

If my daughter is studying "Civics" in her 7th grade class.....and I recommended not only to her, but other classmates of hers that "American Power" has a good take on "conservatism" as it stands right now in our country and there is No indicator that you have to be 18 to view its content.

How do you suggest I respond to her, and her classmates, and perhaps her instructor ..... questions about the blog authors obsession with another blog authors breasts (nipples, tube tops, farrah etc etc.) ... as related to family values, content responsibility, and of course any hypocracy indicators that could possibly be applied not only to the "American Power" blog, but in a wider net, the entire conservative movement right now....
Check the comments for my response at the post.

I'll add further here that I'm not for one moment "obssessing" with Althouse's breasts. In fact, I'm not sexually objectifying Althouse at all. Like perhaps millions of adolescent boys in the mid-1970s, I had a poster of Farrah Fawcett on the wall in my bedroom. Does that disqualify me today, as late-40s heterosexual male observer of popular culture from commenting on a fellow blogger's dress and sexuality in a picture from the 1970s?

Check Althouse's comments if you want sex talk, where one visitor says: "Those some nice looking tits. Great rack. You could serve dinner on those things." This commenter also suggests when he meets Althouse "we are definitely going to get to 2nd base."

Althouse responds: "Not if you keep chickening out."

And besides, as noted yesterday, Althouse is a notorious breast blogger, and she's instigated some of the web's greatest flame wars with her observations on Jessica Valenti's breasts. By posting pictures of herself in a tight-fitting shirt, does Althouse succumb to same self-objectifying promotion as other women whom she's criticized?
Valenti didn't like it when Althouse accused her of poking her breasts out while standing for a photo opportunity with former president Bill Clinton:
Last year I had my own run-in with online sexism when I was invited to a lunch meeting with Bill Clinton, along with a handful of other bloggers. After the meeting, a group photo of the attendees with Clinton was posted on several websites, and it wasn't long before comments about my appearance ("Who's the intern?; "I do like Gray Shirt's three-quarter pose.") started popping up.

One website, run by law professor and occasional New York Times columnist Ann Althouse, devoted an entire article to how I was "posing" so as to "make [my] breasts as obvious as possible". The post, titled "Let's take a closer look at those breasts," ended up with over 500 comments. Most were about my body, my perceived whorishness, and how I couldn't possibly be a good feminist because I had the gall to show up to a meeting with my breasts in tow. One commenter even created a limerick about me giving oral sex. Althouse herself said that I should have "worn a beret . . . a blue dress would have been good too". All this on the basis of a photograph of me in a crew-neck sweater from Gap.
Perhaps folks take all of this a bit too seriously. There's was a personal context to my post that didn't need elaboration, or so I thought. It doesn't matter anyway. While this is a "family blog," what I wrote last night is hardly disqualifying. My earlier reference to being a "family blog" was to crude vulgarity, which I do not employ. Plus, every once in a while I'm going to shake it up around here and discuss off-topics that are completely germaine to the blogging medium. In any case, I'm a man, and as Little Miss Attilla notes, "There is a marked tendency for heterosexual men to be interested in women." For some proof of that maxim, see Robert Stacy McCain, breast-blogger extraordinaire, who pronounced last November "International Natalie Portman Cleavage Day in the blogosphere."

Look, I often have young students sitting in the front row in my classrooms showing so much cleavage it's as if their endowments are about to burst out on their desktops. Actually, I think it's a bit much. I will, of course, continue to write about these things as a participant in the web's social commentary. I would think folks would find this much more acceptable than the Democratic Party's agenda of providing abortion services to 15 year-old girls or Disney-ABC's "family" programming that glorifies teenage pregnancy and underage drinking.

8 comments:

shoprat said...

Conservatives are like liberals in one way and that is that there are those amongst us who take it a bit far. I am opposed to real pornography being publicly displayed or made available to minors, but I am sometimes dismayed by those who consider the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to be pornography. You said nothing wrong in that post. It was a bit of an unusual post for you but that's OK.

cracker said...

If I didnt know better Professor....I'd say youre totally taking this Conservative, punky, sex drugs and rock n roll thingy to the forefront of "AMERICAN POWER, HECK YEAH"!

I think I'm digging Professor

Rock out with your blog out!

(fist pump in the air)

Man, i gotta find some work soon ; )

JBW said...

Don't let the man, liberal or conservative, get you down, Don. If anything, you should be focusing more on hot chicks with great bodies. We guys don't choose to love breasts as much as we do, we've been programmed to by millions of years of evolution.

And don't kid yourself, you talking about breasts is just as important as an agenda of providing abortion services to 15 year-old girls or glorifying teenage pregnancy and underage drinking. This is important work that must be done to achieve the godless, nihilistic paradise I know America can become, and we all have to do our part.

Oh, and here's a free tip for you: drop a few pencils in front of those students sitting in your front row next time you get a chance. As a guy I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

Grace Explosion said...

OK, I just gotta chime in on this one. lol

Entrance stage right.

I read the article by Ann Althouse. It seems there is an incredible feminist uproar about boobs these days. I found it hilarious. First, it was burning bras. Now, it's arguing about who is sticking their chest out in the presence of Bill Clinton. Oh, the irony. Flame wars have become boob wars. I thought it was really comical.

All I can tell you is that the gals in the office would swoon when a previous Fed Ex guy would come in to pick up and deliver packages. I sought to be very Christian and controlled... and stayed away from him.

Then, one day, I happened to walk into the office... and there he was. (I tried to avoid moments like these.) He looked me in the eyes with a smokin' look like I revved his engines... and it was just a feel good moment like you'd see in the movies. ha ha ha ha ha.... lol.

We may be conservative, but we're not dead. lol

I'm single. But if I was Ann Althouse, I don't think I'd mind that picture being posted.

Ann Coulter likes being appreciated, Pamela Gellar likes being appreciated, and I think most women like being appreciated within reason as long as it doesn't go so far that it's out of control and offensive.

I saw a clip of Pamela Gellar doing a "bikini vlog"... and I just thought she was just being herself. I didn't think anything bad about her being a bikini blogger like she shouldn't be doing that.

I thought it was kinda cool of her. I just figured it shows she has spunk and personality. And I'm a conservative.

People take things way too seriously. Out and out pornography... that's out of range, imo... but, it seems to me that we conservative women are okay with Governor Palin though guys think she's hot - and we're just not so "feminist" that we think women should look like butchie boys and be unattractive or something to men.

One conservative woman's pov.

Grace Explosion said...

Hey JBW,

I don't think it's evolution. I believe it's how God created human beings. Does anyone think this is not family values:

Chapter 4

1. Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves' eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
2. Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.
3. Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.
4. Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.
5. Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
6. Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
7. Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.
8. Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions' dens, from the mountains of the leopards.
9. Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.
10. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!
11. Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honeycomb: honey and milk are under thy tongue; and the smell of thy garments is like the smell of Lebanon.

(Song of Solomon - from the Bible).

Red, White, and Blue Patriot said...

You could be more family appropriate. Hell this is why the government needs to regulate the media because we have fags and pedophiles glamorizing this behavior. I excepted better of you.

JBW said...

Now you can imagine the quandary I'm in here: do I address the remarks mad by the crazy religious woman or the "fag" hating "patriot". Hell, why not both...

Grace, you're the online commenter equivalent of a boomerang, honey: I'm going to stop writing poems about you if you spend too much more time here. That said, men like women with curves because round hips and full breasts better insure that they will be able to birth and suckle our offspring. This is biological fact, regardless if you believe in it or not. It's also damn sexy.

RWBPatriot, you personify some of the worst aspects of our society with your remarks about homosexuals here and about the "blood bath" that would result if you ran into anyone from Code Pink back on your site. If that banner on your site is intended to imply that you are a Marine, the Corps should be ashamed for producing such a sorry excuse for humanity as yourself. I wouldn't cross the street to piss on you if you were on fire.

Don, if someone was railing against "spics" and "niggers" on your site I would hope your reaction would be a little less nonexistent than when this loser talks about "fags". You are the moderator here.

Average American said...

Donald, kind of what Shoprat said, it was a bit out of character, but it was not in bad taste. I wouldn't expect to see anyone under 16 in here reading political blogs, and I have seen nothing you have written that would be unsuitable for the 16 and older age group.