Thursday, December 22, 2005

Just Call Me "Poopyhead"

Over the past couple of days, I have been at war with a couple of rabid ankle-biters on the comment board of the Independent Gay Forum. An article, by Stephen H. Miller, suggested that the fact girls seem to be outperforming boys in school can be attributed to the sinister, feminizing influence of the Left. I challenged that notion, responding that it sounds just as lame to blame the boys' lackluster grades on such a cardboard-cutout bogeybear as it did when the professional feminists got their undies in a wad over the remarks of Lawrence Summers. (You remember him -- he's the one who said male students tend to be better at math and science.)

Now, there's nothing wrong with people who disagree with me. But one particular individual was not content to act like a grownup and simply point out the errors of my ways. Because I had used the word "feminazi" -- not quoting Mr. Miller, but simply expressing my opinion of what he meant -- the ankle-biter pronounced me guilty of "distortion" and called me (oh, the gloves were REALLY off, here) a "liberal."

As I am a liberal Libertarian, and until extremely recently a member of the Democratic Party, there really was nothing too off-base about what he said on that score. But of course, he didn't mean it as an intelligent description; it was invective, plain and simple. "Liberal" has replaced "Poopyhead" as the infantile expletive of choice.

On its own, it would have been too pitifully stupid and childish to merit any response from me. But at the "distortion" charge, however, I had to draw the line. When you accuse me of "distortion," you are calling me a liar. Make the mistake of doing that to my face and you'll be picking yourself up off of your ass. Make it over cyberspace, from the safe distance of who knows how many miles and with only a first name to show for yourself, and I've got a name for you. You are a coward.

This ankle-biter was soon joined by the other, who just keeps venting and flailing his way, in desperation, past my every rejoinder. This whole exchange was fun for a while -- I love nothing better than a good knock-down, drag-out brawl, and I'll get it in cyberspace if I can't get it anywhere else. But this is like trying to fight a whiny little kid.

He has a real problem reading for comprehension, this one. First, he failed to understand that my remark about charging men and women both the same rates for auto insurance was sarcasm (as the whole tone of my post made clear), then he tried to claim I was saying that government does not hamper business. Nobody who knows me would ever get such a fantabulously nutty notion.

Why is it that so many men simply cannot remain adults when debating with women? When you're clearly winning the argument, they change the subject -- and all at once, you find you're arguing about something else. We got off onto genetic testing for auto insurance, something that had nothing in the world to do with the article upon which I had originally commented. Debate used to be an honorable sport -- like boxing (something else the crowd at Independent Gay Forum thinks women are destroying). It used to be about arriving at the truth. But for all too many guys these days, it's nothing more than a game to play -- and win at all costs. Even at the expense of the truth.

I'm pretty sure my unworthy opponents are sick and tired of the whole game by now. And at the risk of sounding homophobic, the experience has confirmed, for me, that many gay men simply can't stand lesbians. A straight chick would probably giggle, bat her eyelashes, worshipfully concede her point (gay men are SO much more fascinating to them, these days, than straight ones), and go gracefully away. But, like a fair number of my sapphic sisters, I have rejected the role of doormat. This makes me an uppity bitch, and means that I must be taken down.

I generally get along quite nicely with straight men, and with gay men who understand the code of mutual respect men have traditionally lived by. But as for the pissy queens who cannot abide me, I can assure you, the feeling is mutual.

Notice that straight men do not dare to get too snarky with each other. If one accused another of "distortion," he'd be taken outside and taught a lesson in civility he wouldn't soon forget. They and I understand each other. I am duly respectful to them, and, far more often than not, they return the favor.

I do not seem to have come with a "back-down" gear. My only gear, in a conflict, is dead-forward, in-your-face, toe-to-toe and all the way down to the mat. Get used to it, because it isn't going away.

This does not mean that I don't appreciate a little civility and the observance of basic adult social graces. When I complained of the lack of this in my combatants, I was accused of "crying poor me." Enjoy cyperspace, my friend. Say that to somebody's face and we'll see who ends up crying.

There is a very big difference between my posts and theirs. I use both my first and last names. Anybody who doesn't like what I have to say is always welcome to come and tell me about it in person. Will I ever be confronted by an ankle-biter? Fat chance.

As for me, I intend to remain mature, gracious and ladylike. Nanny-nanny boo-boo, Poopyheads!


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