Andrew Dice Clay and His Spectacular Wrongness
If the name Andrew Dice Clay has any significance to you, it is, inevitably, as the blockheaded, spectacularlyleathered obscenity-dispenser who once looked like some combination of Mad Max and Liberace, who now looks like the guy who lives downstairs from your grandmother and can get you a great deal on calling cards. The perfect avatar for all that slimy, bicep-smooching late-80s male machismo, slicking his hair back in every reflective surface, winking at girls in skirts and when the girls snort in disgust he holds up his arms with a “WHATS-A-MATTA-HONEY?” and then tugs on his crotch and lights another cigarette. The definitive representation of the swaggering, filthy, bombastic “I’M HERE, WATCH WHERE YOU’RE WALKING” New York City, a place memorialized in heavy-handed Spike Lee montages, scored to car horns and relentless come ons, all intolerance and impatience and flamboyance, every accent like bad parody.
Andrew Dice Clay is that man. He is so that man. He is throwing you against a motel minifridge and he is chewing the button off of your jeans. He is shouting in your ear as you place his takeout order, and he is telling you to make sure they don’t forget his extra fucking ketchup, sweetheart. But he is also something else. In a sense, Andrew Dice Clay is the greatest comedian you’ve never heard of.
You’re a Pussy if You Think There’s a War on Men
For some men, women—especially feminists—are terrifying. Not in the normal oh-my-God-I-can’t-ask-her-out-what-if-she-says-no way that middle schoolers and characters on Friends experience, but “afraid” in the sense that women will take their money, try to get pregnant on purpose, invent false rape claims, and use feminism to generally abuse men. In this narrative, men are either an oppressed minority (or about to become one), or have to “fight back” against feminists to preserve their rights.
If you want to see what this kind of thinking looks like, take a dip into the river of the Men’s Rights section of Reddit, where a bunch of dudes go to complain about getting raped by women and talk gibberish about how their “clans” are getting attacked by “Statism and Feminism.” Currently, some of the most popular posts on the subreddit include a complaint about how if you owe more than $2,500 in child support payments you can’t get a passport (in the Men’s Rights universe, deadbeat dads are often victims of a misandrist court system); adiscussion, inspired by a Walking Dead plot point, about how getting beaten up is worse than being threatened with rape; an account of some guy squabbling with an obscure feminist blogger (these guys are always getting into internet beef with feminist bloggers, and vice-versa); and a screenshot of some gobbledygook about patriarchy that probably sounded smart to the high-schooler who wrote it. Like a lot of Reddit, the Men’s Rights forum is a way for predominantly white, predominantly rich young men to pat themselves on the back for how smart they are. It gives them something to do, I guess, and it gives the Shit Reddit Says subreddit something to react against.
But the idea that feminism is harmful to men, and women have declared war on people with penises, isn’t confined to Reddit’s nether regions anymore. It’s now mainstream enough for Fox News’s website, which published an awful, troll-baiting op-ed about “The War on Men” written by Suzzanne Venker. Her thesis is that while women want to marry men, men don’t want to marry them because, “Women aren’t women anymore.” She goes on:
“Women are angry. They’re also defensive, though often unknowingly. That’s because they’ve been raised to think of men as the enemy. Armed with this new attitude, women pushed men off their pedestal (women had their own pedestal, but feminists convinced them otherwise) and climbed up to take what they were taught to believe was rightfully theirs.
Now the men have nowhere to go.”
What she’s describing is a pretty standard anti-feminist narrative: The evil feminists “convinced” women to want things like the same careers and pay and power that men had (they didn’t really want these things, see, but they were persuaded otherwise), thereby causing them to lose the status they were too short-sighted to have valued.
Many of us like to think that we’ll stand strong and act decisively during a crisis, but until we’re put in one, it’s impossible to know we’ll react. That conflict may affect how we view victims of sexual harassment, according to new research.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer McCreight
Being an atheist is a hassle, but being a lady atheist can be the pits. Not only do you have to deal with Christians saying you’re going to hell all the time, your beliefs will undoubtedly put you in close proximity with “enlightened” male unbelievers who will unabashedly hit on you and maybe even make rape jokes because, well, there’s no God to punish them. Atheist blogger Jennifer McCreight became well versed in godless misogyny when in 2010 she devised a stunt called “Boobquake” via her blog that called on women to dress immodestly for a designated day (April 26) in response to Iranian cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Seddiqi’s claim that things like female cleavage and bare legs cause earthquakes. Of course, Boobquake went viral. The unfortunate by-product was that Jennifer’s instant internet fame resulted in a deluge of hateful, misogynistic emails from fellow nonbelievers.
Once again she took to her blog to respond, authoring a post that called for a “new wave” of atheism that concerned itself with feminism and social justice. And again Jennifer’s ideas exploded all over the insular, male-dominated world of atheism blogs. This led to her setting up an online forum that concerns what has come to be known as “Atheism+.” She plans to continue what she’s doing without compromise, despite objections from the same sort who said nasty things about her boobs. I called her up to see how the fight was going.
VICE: When did you begin getting hassled by sexist atheists?
Jennifer McCreight: When I first started going to atheist conferences, I was warned to avoid certain speakers because they were known for going after younger women. I was often approached after I gave talks, and people would make really lewd, sexual comments to me or basically be talking to my chest.
Then you wrote the post that begot Atheism+.
I basically said that we have to fight back against this. We need to make our own space where we don’t tolerate that kind of discussion or people trying to silence each other with really hateful things. I was actually surprised to see that people were excited about it.
It’s been pretty divisive—I’ve read some blogs that really don’t like the idea of Atheism+, or the message board you’ve created around it.
The people who have been really hateful in the past are obviously pretty cranky about it. They see it as being exclusionary toward white people or men, but that’s really not the point. We have a lot of white men who are happily participating. It’s a space where we can talk about feminism, race, or social-justice issues, and not have people come in with slurs or threats. I think some people feel threatened by that.
Is it fair to say that, on the whole, atheists aren’t that crazy about feminism?
I think, for some people, atheism is the one minority identity they have. They’re not gay, they’re not black, they live in the United States, and a lot of them are middle-class or higher. Being an “atheist” is the one thing that they take on as their cause, and they think it’s the most important because it’s the only one that affects them. It puts their priorities out of order a little bit. Once you’ve figured out God doesn’t exist, that’s great! But there are other irrational things you might believe in, like sexism.