Julian Sanchez header image 2

photos by Lara Shipley

It’s OK If They’re Conservative, Right?

June 2nd, 2009 · 16 Comments

How is it that there are so many soi-disant liberal guys who think that the rules against being a sexist asshole are somehow suspended so long as you’re attacking a conservative woman? Megan has put up with a metric ton of the kind of abuse that would’ve prompted me to shut down comments long ago. There was Henry Rollins’ “Love Letter to Ann Coulter” a few years back—the one where he cleverly offered her a position as his submissive housekeeper concubine—which a bunch of leftish blogs purported to find high-larious. Now Playboy‘s apparently run a top-ten list of conservative women they’d like to hate-fuck. In the predictable shitstorm that ensued, they pulled it almost instantly, but it’s mindboggling that anyone thought an extended rape fantasy targeting opinionated women might somehow fall in the “provocative but funny” category.

Addendum: Over at Salon, Gabriel Winant duly deplores the Playboy piece, then rather gratuitously adds:

It’s no coincidence that conservative punditry is full of women who give Cimbalo sort-of-guilty ideas about using sex as punishment. Nobody makes Michelle Malkin dress up in a cheerleader outfit. The style of conservatism she and her ilk espouse feeds directly off men who are unwilling to view them as equal citizens.

Far be it from me to deny that stuff like this is cringe-inducing, but in this context, the passage above sounds an awful lot like a roundabout “she was asking for it!”

Tags: Sexual Politics · Sociology



16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 dm // Jun 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    That’s always bugged me, too, but I’m going to suggest that those soi-disant liberal sexist assholes are just sexist assholes who happen to be liberal in other areas.

    I don’t recall seeing much of that stuff outside of comments (where it’s disgustingly common), though, and I’ll note that a Google search on “Love letter to Ann Coulter” doesn’t turn up a lot of what I would call prominent liberal blogs in the first few pages, where I’d expect the Page-rank algorithm to put them.

  • 2 dm // Jun 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    PS., Comment-land is also a repulsive place when Michelle Malkin comes up. There, it’s a two-fer: sexism and racism!

  • 3 sidereal // Jun 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    “So many” are some of them there weasel words.

    The coverage of the Playboy feature that I’ve seen on the liberal side has been uniformly negative. I only barely recall Rollins’ screed. Didn’t he have a talk show on cable for a while? Regardless, taking Rollins as representative is a bit like taking Sam Kinison or Ted Nugent as representative of ‘conservative guys’. He’s a professional rabble-rouser who’s rousing rabble.

    That said, you can argue that any number greater than 0 is ‘so many’ for some topics, and it’s unfortunate even 1 liberal guy thinks it’s okay to abandon any pretense of ethical conduct when the target is on the Red Team. But I don’t think it’s a sound generalization.

  • 4 Daniel // Jun 2, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah, I’m thinking not everyone is a liberal first and sexist asshole second. A lot of these people are sexist assholes first, liberals second.

  • 5 Julian Sanchez // Jun 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply this was a *high proportion* of liberal guys, and certainly not that it was somehow a product of their liberalism — my sense that there are nevertheless “a lot” is driven largely by the amount of bile I see in the comment sections of female bloggers on the right. I really just meant: “How can these pricks not realize what they’re saying is beyond the pale, according to the very principles they’re supposedly going out to fight for?”

  • 6 This Has Nothing To Do With Stereo Equipment « Around The Sphere // Jun 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    […] #3: Julian Sanchez:”How is it that there are so many soi-disant liberal guys who think that the rule against […]

  • 7 sidereal // Jun 2, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    How can these pricks not realize what they’re saying is beyond the pale, according to the very principles they’re supposedly going out to fight for?

    Well, they’re pricks after all. Differing standards for friends and enemies is the original ethical nut to crack.

  • 8 Rob // Jun 3, 2009 at 3:49 am

    I’m actually quite offended by a lot of this reaction to the Playboy piece. It can understand decrying the piece because it sexualizes women who deserve to be lambasted for their pin-sized brains and not any other body parts, but “extended rape fantasy”? We’re really going to revive the message that any type of heterosexual intercourse is rape?

    I suggest you re-read the original piece; it seems to me that painting these subjects as sex-craving bimbos—not innocent prudes—is the main point. Feel free to be offended by that. Any rape fantasies you see, however, are not present in the source, and I can only guess that they are reflections of your own personal attitudes. Attitudes that could bear some examination.

  • 9 Barry // Jun 3, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Julian: “I really just meant: “How can these pricks not realize what they’re saying is beyond the pale, according to the very principles they’re supposedly going out to fight for?””

    Julian, welcome to what liberals see when they go to ‘libertarian’ blogs, and scan the comments.

  • 10 wonkie // Jun 3, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    I haven’t seen any coverage of this on the liberal side. It’s mostly been ignored.

    No rape fantasies are not Ok just because the gargetis a connservative. Yuck.

    On the other hand, am I blaming the victim if I mention that Ann Coulter dresses like a dominatrix? I think it’s intentional. Something to do with her perception of the mentality of her fans.

  • 11 wonkie // Jun 3, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Jeez, I really did not see all those typos. “Target is”, not “gargetis”. One “n” in conservative. Comma afgter “No”.

  • 12 John Markley // Jun 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm


    The article wasn’t just about “any type of heterosexual intercourse;” it specified the top conservative women the author would like to “hate-fuck.” Now, it’s true that the term “hate fuck” can be used to refer to consensual intercourse. But if a man writes an article about how intensely he despises a particular group of women, and how he would like to have sex with those women as a way of expressing his hatred and disgust, you don’t have to be Andrea Dworkin to read that the same way Sanchez did.

    Even if he’s mistaken, it’s not an obviously absurd take on the article; he’s not just conjuring the nasty undertones in the article out of thin air. It’s incredibly sleazy to imply that Sanchez’s interpretation demonstrates some sort of secret misogyny or lust for violence on his part.

  • 13 Mike // Jun 5, 2009 at 4:39 pm


    ” and how he would like to have sex with those women as a way of expressing his hatred and disgust”

    I’d just like to point out that the term could also mean that he would like to have sex with those women DESPITE his hatred and disgust, rather than as a way of expressing it.

  • 14 USpace // Jun 6, 2009 at 5:05 am

    Neo-Liberalism is a mental disease. Conservative women are HOTter! But it’s not hard to imagine the justified ‘Liberal’ outrage if say, Hustler Magazine ran a disgusting parody where Rush, Hannity, Beck, Savage and Ann Coulter gang-rape and tickle-torture Katie Couric, the PIAPS, and then Nancy Pelosi.

    Imagine. The outrage would last for months in the MSM. There would be calls for firings and boycotts. NOW would be apoplectic. Poor little outraged, hypocritical Libs.


    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    joke about raping women

    if they are conservative
    EVIL freedom lovers…

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    sex is the height of evil

    so is photography
    but not pornography

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe says
    always rape women…

    who are conservative
    they’re just gender traitors

  • 15 Rob // Jun 6, 2009 at 7:20 am


    If you read the Playboy feature (which no longer seems to be available), it seems pretty clear that “hate-fuck” is meant to be mutual: the women hate you and you hate them. It’s also quite explicit that any lust is also mutual.

    The Playboy editors are acutely aware of any implied messages of sexual assault, in either text or image. It’s one of the few areas of sexual politics where they have a zero-tolerance policy.

    I never intended to imply that Julian harbors his own rape fantasies, or that he secretly hates women; I regret that my comment could be interpreted that way.

    My experience is that those who see rape when others see sex are often the with the most protective attitudes towards women. The trouble is that such protection often results in a failure to respect and appreciate their sexuality, which results in instinctive prejudice both against men (whose sexuality always borders on rape) and against women (whose sexuality always borders on helplessness and victimhood).

  • 16 Joey Giraud // Jun 6, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I guess I’m weird. I would never want to have sex with any woman, no matter how sexy or “hot” she looked, if her mind was filled with toxic waste.

    There are plenty of beautiful liberal women, they just don’t get hired to talk politics on national television.