For the record, Matt Taibbi’s no misogynist. Or, well, even if he is, he’s sexist on top of being ageist and looksist and generally misanthropic—and, as such, any umbrage taken at the sexist comments he makes is clearly invalid, losing sight, as it does, of the bigger picture of Taibbian Misanthropy.
For the record, as well, I’m no anti-Taibbite: charges of various “isms” leveled against Taibbi—the list of the individuals and groups the writer has insulted through his Rolling Stone oeuvre—come courtesy of…Taibbi himself. In, specifically, the self-defense he penned against the criticisms of the feminist novelist, essayist and poet Erica Jong, who cried sexism at Taibbi’s reference, in a recent RS piece, to Hillary Clinton’s “flabby” arms:
In the space of three short months, I’ve contrived to write two lengthy, gloating political obituaries for Hillary Clinton, only to see both of them blow up in my face after fantastic eleventh-hour comebacks that ended with scenes of the Hillmeister doing the dual flabby-arm raise on CNN while gusts of confetti whooshed across the room, obscuring almost everything except the shocking results blaring out from the crawl on the bottom of the screen.
Jong (probably rightly) found a bit of gender bias in Taibbi’s reference: “Physical mockery ended in seventh grade, I thought,” she wrote yesterday, in the Huffington Post, “—but apparently not where women pols are concerned.” Jong then (probably wrongly) went on to blame Taibbi’s supposed misogyny on “Momism,” a kind of nouveau-Freudian interpretation of American Pie’s MILF theory:
So what is wrong with American men? Particularly male journalists. I think it was discovered long ago and labeled “Momism” by Philip Wylie in a virulently sexist book 1942 book called Generation of Vipers. The book went through many, many printings in the forties and fifties. It apparently struck many nerves. Momism is a kind of Oedipal obsession with the bad mother — to counter a boy’s attraction to his good mother.