It's Not Really Cool To Say Someone You Don't Like "Needs to Get Laid"

I’m pretty irked that liberal-leaning attorney Tamara Holder chose to use her platform on Fox to suggest that Michelle Malkin “needs to get laid.”
Publish date:
September 14, 2012
sexism, politics, seriously just stop talking now, thanks for making us all look bad

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin is, perhaps not surprisingly, on the depressingly long list of people I am not really a big fan of1, as a general rule. She and I have very differing approaches to society, radically different politics, and fundamentally different beliefs about humanity. She’s said some pretty hateful things about people like me and the people I love, and it’s probably safe to say that any dinner party featuring both of us would probably include a fair amount of fireworks.

But I still respect her as a human being because, hey, everyone deserves some common decency, no matter how much I disagree with them and think they are advancing vile social policies. And that means there are certain lines I am not interested in crossing ever, especially in public when I’m speaking for my community or a larger organization. However I may feel about Malkin, there’s no grounds for personal attacks on her, and they don’t serve my larger goal of confronting the ideas she endorses; and I have to admit that she has a huge influence on the conservative community and is among the most widely-read English-language bloggers in the world. That doesn’t go away if I click my heels three times and wish real hard.

Sadly, not everyone shares the belief that personal attacks should be kept out of political discussion, including people on all sides of the political spectrum (Malkin herself not excepted). And I’m pretty irked that liberal-leaning attorney Tamara Holder, who’s gone a few rounds with Malkin in the past, chose to use her platform on Fox to suggest that Michelle Malkin “needs to get laid.”

Uhm, excuse me? Is this the current level of liberal discourse in the US? Resorting to juvenile schoolyard taunting about people we do not like, instead of directly engaging with what they are actually saying and confronting that? Holder does realize that she basically just created open season on progressives at Fox, not exactly a network known for being friendly to people on the left, right? Because conservatives are all over stuff like this when it happens to one of their own2.

In an exchange with Don Imus (speaking of stand-up folks of whom we can all be proud), she said that she didn’t know Malkin, but didn’t like the way she debated. Which, fair enough, I’ll agree on those grounds. And then she added: “I think she needs to get laid. She’s very angry.”

Imus’ brain must have lit up like a jackpot on a gambling machine at that, because he moved in for the kill, asking her to confirm it. Which she did. Holder has a lot of experience in news, public speaking, and the courtroom, and she didn’t see where this was going and try to head this off at the pass? Really? Was she trying to make herself look as bad as possible?

And this brings me to the most amazing part of this story, which is Malkin’s response. All credit due to Malkin: I may not like her, but she can deliver a beautiful zinger, and this one was pretty sharp:

This whole “so-and-so needs to get laid, hurr hurr, she’s so angry” thing is so out of date and ridiculous. Of course it’s always women who get this thrown at them, with the implication that they’re too uptight and they just need to relax, and what better a way to do that than gobbling some cock3? Liberals say it about people on the right, conservatives say it about people on the left, and all of them infuriate me.

There’s a lot of gross gendered commentary about high profile women on all parts of the political spectrum, and some truly hideous bile is reserved for Michelle Malkin. People use gross gendered insults when talking about her, add a sprinkle of racist commentary, and make “witty” memes about her that have more to say about their creators than their subject; Malkin seems to bring out the troglodyte element on the left, and she knows that, and works it, and definitely leverages it as part of her public life.

Look, people, it’s really not cool to say that someone you don’t like “needs to get laid.” In addition to the fact that it’s just kind of a childish, ridiculous statement, it doesn’t actually engage substantively with anything the person is doing. Unless you are talking about an out-of-work porn star.

You really can just stick with “I find her debating style aggressive and not to my taste” or “we have radically different politics, and I don’t really like the ideas she advances. Here’s why.” That’s all you need to say. Point made. More than made; you’ve held yourself above the fray. You think someone has too much anger and an aggressive debating style that makes you uncomfortable? Turn that around with a cool, collected response to the person’s politics, rather than one that stoops to puerile jokes or rhetoric about how "crazy" she is.

Attempting to invalidate a grown woman’s beliefs and feelings by dismissing her as in need of a good porking is just revolting, and we should be above that. There’s an uncomfortable turn about this imperative phrasing that strays uncomfortably close to rapeyland; “She needs to get laid” is perilously similar to “She deserved it” and all the rhetoric that accompanies attacks on rape victims. There’s a long cultural history of corrective rape and the implication that rape will reform a willful and wild woman, and I’m not cool with having that referenced casually as a “joke” in any discussion.

Michelle Malkin’s sex life is her business. I’ll focus on her revolting politics, thanks.

Image credits:, andydr.

1. See also: People who destroy my beautifully formatted em-dashes (say it with me: —!), the IRS, that creepy dude at the coffeehouse, Mitt Romney, people who kick puppies. Return

2. When they’re doing it to us, of course, it’s fine. Return

3. People are especially fond of suggesting that lesbians get it on with dudes, evidently in the belief that cocks have magical healing powers that sap your Militant Angry Lesbianism away and replace it with a warm heterosexual glow. Return