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April 03, 2013

Amanda Marcotte Feels the Need to Weigh In on the High-Schooler-Who-Asked-Kate-Upton-to-Prom Controversy

Controversy? Oh yes. Oh very yes. Of course it's a controversy. It's Amanda Marcotte, after all, and stupid shit about the Same Damn Thing just isn't going to write itself.

First of all, do you know who Kate Upton is? Some of you don't. Perfect. She's this girl right here.

She looks like this.

Sometimes she looks like this.

I could go on. But you're up to speed now.

So Amanda Marcotte noticed that Kate Upton gives Search Engine Optimization algorithms boners, too, and she decided she had to weigh in. For Feminism. And some Kate Upton traffic.

Kat Stoeffel of the Cut has a post celebrating Upton for coming up with a polite excuse to get out of the date, even though Upton still had to endure the humiliation of having to pretend she was flattered, so as to preserve her reputation for being "nice." As Stoeffel points out, if famous models and actresses can't decline a man's offer for no other reason than lack of interest, what chance do the rest of us have?

"But her 'yes' would have reinforced the idea that women owe something--attention, time, sex--to men just because they've asked nicely. Or paid a compliment. Or bought a drink."

Davidson's prom video put Upton in a no-win situation. Say yes, and you have to go through with this prom date that will probably be one of the most awkward and embarrassing nights of your life, where you have to socialize with teenagers while being paraded around like a show pony. Laugh at the obvious ridiculousness of this entire situation, and now you're a big old meanie-head. But what Upton chose to do, which is to let him down easy while pretending to be flattered, isn't really much better. Everyone knows she's just saying that. The lesson learned: You may be a rich and famous model, but any random man can, just by making a video, force you to do a little song and dance about how delightful his attentions are.

Instead of applauding Davidson for this, adults should be appalled. All that's been taught here to young men is that they are entitled to women's attention simply because they ask for it. This lesson not only feeds the unjustified grievances of the Reddit users that Stoeffel describes as "tallying up women's socially obligatory acts of kindness." It also helps build the undercurrent of fear that many women, especially younger women, have to live with in their daily lives. This entitlement we teach men crops up all the time for women, and it's rarely as cute as a silly comedy video: When a man demands that you stop on the street to entertain his proposal of going back to his place and then follows you for blocks because you pretended not to hear him. When a rape victim is told that if she didn't want to have sex, she shouldn't have gone to the rapist's hotel room. When a woman files for a restraining order because she's afraid her abusive husband means it when he says that if he can't have her, no one can.

Wait, did we just go from a silly video asking Kate Upton to prom to a rape/domsteic-violence-ending-in-murder-scenario?

We sure did. That's Our Amanda (TM)!

Anyway, I can't believe I'm saying this, but Conor Fridersdorf (whatever) has a point. Marcotte writes relentlessly in the reductivist cant of Marxist critique, which only speaks of "power imbalances" and such.

Her ideology causes her to write as if she doesn't understand what is plain to most observers: Kate Upton is far more privileged, powerful, culturally savvy, and capable of fully exercising her autonomy than the vast majority of straight white males in America, and certainly more than a dateless, non-celebrity 18-year-old high school student on YouTube.

Speaking of "the dynamics of difference and power," as they called it at my alma mater, Marcotte, in her capacity as a regular columnist at a prestigious, internationally read Web magazine, presently possesses a lot more cultural power and privilege than the high school boy she just called "creepy," accused of implicitly threatening Upton with being called a bitch, and told that his prom invitation is rooted in the same premise that stalkers and rapists operate under.

Amanda has a lot of power. That power is the Power of Dumb. She wields this power without mercy (second item).


Thought: William F. Buckley deemed Patrick Buchanan likely guilty of antisemtism by analyzing his writings and his positions and noting that in every case, Buchanan decided negatively against Jewish opinions on the matter. Buckley conceded that this opinion or that one might be just fine in and of itself, but taken together, with Buchanan always on the other side of Jewish opinion, it didn't seem like random chance. It seemed like something unstated was influencing all of these pronouncements in the same direction


I'm not sure if this is a fair way to lay such a large charge against someone, but generally people seemed okay with it. The liberal media sure seemed to appreciate it.

My point is: If you look at all of Amanda Marcotte's positions and writings, isn't it rather obvious she despises men and will always, and I do mean always, find them guilty of some or other charge?


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posted by Ace at 06:50 PM

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