Saturday, February 9, 2013

Clara Jeffery Is Also a Drama Queen

It's been an amusing time for my blog over the past couple of days.

A few days ago, I wrote a blog entry titled "Clara Jeffery Is a Bitch". I originally wrote it because I was irritated by some comments that Jeffery, an editor at Mother Jones, had made on Twitter about the death of an ex-Navy Seal who was ambushed and murdered at a firing range. In her tweets, she seems to be taking ghoulish delight in the death of this guy and has no problem using his death as a platform to make snide comments about gun rights supporters. Here exact tweet read:

So much for good/talented guy with a gun being able to stop mentally ill guy with a gun.
When I read the tweet and some articles about the story behind it, I fumed a little, wrote the blog entry linked above and posted it, and largely forgot about the incident. At least, I forgot about it until I checked my traffic feed the next morning and realized that, much to my surprise, my article had been retweeted by a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, Kurt Eichenwald. Even better, the article had provoked a flame war between Eichenwald and Jeffery linked here.

Without digging through the blows of a tedious (is there any other type?) Twitter flame war , the highlights of my blog post centered on Jeffery's objection to the word "bitch". She really didn't dispute anything else in the article, other than my use of that word. So, let me respond.

To my understanding, the word bitch is not all that offensive. True, it's not typically an endearing term, but it's a pretty commonly used term all the same. In my experience, people (especially girls) call each other bitch all of the time. Sometimes they even do it jokingly, as in a recent experience when one female friend of mine playfully called another female friend of mine a bitch for something she did to an ex-boyfriend.

To Jeffery's mind though, it seems the use of this term to refer to her and her actions was sexist. She even equates it's use with other pejorative terms like "cunt" and "slut". Without writing a diatribe about how I feel words have way too much power over people in our society, let me just say that I would never call someone either a cunt or a slut. This is not because I really think the words themselves are evil -- they're just letters on a piece of paper. However, I think the ideas behind them are troubling.

As for the word slut, I frankly don't care how many people a woman sleeps with. I don't care how many people a man sleeps with. As long as I don't have to step over them on the sidewalk on the way to work, it's none of my business.

I would also never call a woman a cunt. I just don't like this word. Also, I don't  understand the insult behind it. It's similar to me screaming down the street at someone, "You're such a vagina." No woman is a vagina, though all but a few genetically anomalous women HAVE vaginas. Further, whether or not a person has a vagina is largely inconsequential to how I view that person, possible dating scenarios excepted. Having or not having a vagina doesn't affect a person's disposition typically -- or how idiotic this person's tweets are -- so, why would I even bring it up in a debate?

On the other hand, bitch is a perfectly legitimate criticism. As I understand it, the word bitch has come to mean any woman with an ill-temperament or bad personality. To me, this describes perfectly describes my perception of what Jeffery's personality must be like in person when I read her tweets. I suppose I could have titled my post "Clara Jeffery is an Ill-tempered and Hateful Person", but the term bitch has a certain je ne se qua. So, I called her a bitch.

I stand by that analysis. Clara Jeffery, you're a bitch.

Furthermore, based on her reaction and pseudo-offense to my calling her a bitch, I can also conclude that she is a major drama queen. I mean, nobody spends that much time and energy arguing someone down on Twitter over being called a bitch or any other insult. When people insult me on Twitter, I just block them and move on with my day. I don't devote dozens of tweets and several hours to calling them out on it. I have better things to do. So, with that in mind, let me point out the following.

Clara Jeffery, you're also a drama queen. Get over yourself. Go find a hobby or something.

As a side note, according to my traffic feed about 500 people have read my original analysis of why Jeffery is a bitch. That's probably 490 more people than would have read it had she not started the flame war on Twitter.

So, thanks for the free publicity I guess.

You bitch.
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