They don’t really want us to leave the cities.

Yeah, I’ve been quiet lately, but I’m not dead. Tauriq Moosa has brought us the news that Scott Adams, known sock-puppeteer, is still talking, this time about street harassment. He still hasn’t learned anything.

There’s the initial bout of condescension towards feminists and feminist-sympathizers, which is especially rich coming from this guy because let me remind you: known sock-puppeteer. He seems to think that feminists don’t know how our movement is received by men, and therefore his opinion will be valuable to us.

Okay, so, quick note to any male readers who might be new (to this blog, to feminist discussion in general) around here: if it seems like feminist activism is insufficiently responsive to men’s objections, or insufficiently sensitive to men’s feelings, or just generally not saying what men think should be said, it’s not because we don’t hear you. Trust me, we hear you. We hear you much better than you hear us. We have different priorities. If our priorities were in line with men’s priorities, we wouldn’t be feminists.

With that in mind, his whole post is worthless before it begins. He’s giving us his take on the recent (infamous) street harassment video by Hollaback, in which a young white or white-passing woman walks through the streets of New York, mostly Harlem, and gets tons of unsolicited, inappropriate, sometimes threatening attention. (If you don’t already know which one I’m talking about, put “Hollaback video Shoshana B. Roberts” into a Google search. You probably already know it.) He looks at this video, first complains that it’s deceptively edited, and then starts screaming at all us uppity females to move somewhere else. Yeah, that’s what he says. Over and over. There’s a bit of concern-trolling about racism and classism, but mostly he’s just screaming at us to move out of wherever we’re experiencing street harassment now. Here are some edited highlights:


Okay, I know, your family lives in New York City and your job is there and….JUST FUCKING MOVE!!! MOVE!!! STOP MAKING IT MY PROBLEM!!!

[The video] makes women look like idiots for living in such a place voluntarily.

The creepy stalker guys were just scary. MOVE!!! MOVE!!! MOVE!!!

Mr. Certified Genius Adams’s angle is that he’s telling us feminists how to handle our message to make it more appealing to men, and if he’s thinking that way, this reaction to the issue of street harassment is probably not unique. There are a lot of reasons why this advice is unhelpful, such as a) There are some careers that are impossible to pursue outside of New York and Los Angeles, b) There’s basically no such thing as a safe neighborhood for women, c) The men who appear in that video are probably much more aggressive towards black and brown women who live in their neighborhoods full time, d) Moving somewhere else is fucking expensive and risky, often prohibitively so, e) Therefore, the women who are likely getting the most egregious harassment are the ones who can least afford to move and have the most limited options for other places to live, and f) Wait a minute, why is it that the women have to move? Women are not the problem here.

There are all those issues, and now I want to add that Scott Adams, and anyone else who thinks the solution to street harassment is for women to go live somewhere else, isn’t really serious about that. They don’t want us to move out of the cities. Even if there are some places where women can live and work without harassment (which…no, honestly, there aren’t), nobody actually wants us to follow this advice. If all the women currently experiencing street harassment in New York City cut their losses and moved out to the Land of Safe Streets, that would be a very serious problem for NYC, and nobody wants that to happen. Nobody wants New York, or LA, or DC, or San Francisco, or Chicago, or anywhere else where creepy stalker guys exist (which is…everywhere that humans live) to become a sausagefest. A city without women is an unsustainable city. Demographic devastation is not the answer to street harassment.

They don’t want us to move somewhere safer. They want us to shut up and pretend there’s no problem.

That genius’s privilege is showing.

Via Gawker via HuffPo, we have Scott Adams on Keli Goff on Gwyneth Paltrow. Still with me? Good.

First, Gwyneth Paltrow’s been saying some dumbassed bullshit about how she got to where she is now by working so hard, and Keli Goff points some things out:

As I noted on The Dylan Ratigan Show, Gwyneth, for instance, was born to Hollywood royalty. Her father Bruce was one of television’s most legendary directors of shows like St. Elsewhere and her mother is the acclaimed actress Blythe Danner. I’ve heard nothing but great things about her family — a rarity in Hollywood — and I think it’s wonderful that she was so fortunate to have that. But when you credit landing one of your first film roles to “your Uncle Steven,” as in Steven Spielberg, who directed a young Gwyneth in Hook, you have officially relinquished the right to say that “Everything in my life that’s good is because I worked my ass off to get it.”

This is a distinction that some of us (many of whom are considerably younger and vastly poorer than Ms. Paltrow) learned to make years ago. It’s not that we deny that Gwynnie and other scions of rarefied privilege did work hard, so much as that credit has to be given where credit is due, especially when it’s due in places where you were not the decision-maker.

So, leave it to Scott “certified genius” Adams to make Keli Goff look ten times more awesome by comparison:

It’s worth noting, in the interest of context, that Goff was born with a few advantages herself. She’s beautiful, smart, and apparently had the resources she needed to make it through NYU and go on to get her Master’s Degree at Columbia University.  If you ask Goff what made her successful, would she credit her hard work and leave out her other obvious advantages? Or would she answer honestly and say, “I worked hard for what I’ve achieved, but it didn’t hurt that I’m a brilliant, smoking-hot African-American woman in 2011.” I’m just saying that people don’t generally talk about their advantages. To do so would be…wait for it…gloating.


Where shall I begin?

1. Minimizing Hollywood royalty privilege? Check.

2. Implying that Goff’s race (African-American) got her into Columbia? Check.

3. Implying that Goff’s being “smoking hot” made her successful? Check.

4. Downplaying that Paltrow’s natural beauty played a role in her success? Check.

5. Assuming that Goff made it through graduate school without a heap of student loans? Check.


Part of the amusement factor here is that I don’t dislike Gwyneth Paltrow either; I think she’s a fine actor, I feel free to ignore her lifestyle website, and I have nothing against her for enjoying the perks that come with having grown up under Bruce Paltrow and Blythe Danner and having the good looks and acting talent to make it as a Hollywood leading lady. I think Apple is a cute name to give a little girl. She could be doing a lot worse with the advantages she was given.


This attitude of “everything in my life is good is because I worked my ass off to get it”? She expects us to believe that?

Now THAT is why so many people hate her.

For a “certified genius” he sure is an unimpressive troll.

Y’all have heard about Scott Adams becoming the latest to join the ranks of famous sockpuppeteers, right? Right.

So, with that in mind, I have a little advice for Mr. Adams.

First of all, dude: stop digging.

No one is taking you seriously now, and the way you’re trying to defend yourself is not helping. (Unless, if by “helping” you mean “assisting your race to the bottom.”)

Now, I’m sure that whatever I say won’t mean anything, seeing how I’m a) a nobody and b) female, but why the hell not?

Scott Adams, you have rapidly and single-handedly (though not intentionally) turned the phrase “certified genius” into a punchline. No, sir, we are not laughing with you; we are laughing at you.

At this point, whenever we see someone rushing up the hill to apologize for your behavior, we will assume it’s one of your socks. Your credibility at this point is nonexistent. It doesn’t help that you’re not even a very diligent puppeteer. You attached “PlannedChaos” to your own PayPal account? Dude, that’s pathetic.

If you really want to take over the world using online aliases, there are two things you need to keep in mind: a) Protect your privacy. Create different email accounts, or whatever it takes to cast a credible illusion that these people who exist solely to sing your praises are separate individuals. No, the voices in your head don’t count. b) Make it interesting. Anyone can make socks to be yes-men. You really want to put the blogosphere at sixes and sevens? Cast those socks as your enemies.

And now, for a little filk which recently appeared in my Twitter stream:

Old Scott Adams has a sock,

Ha ha ha ha Ho!

And through that sock he is a troll,

Ha ha ha ha Ho!

With a troll troll here,

and a troll troll there!

Here a troll,

there a troll,

everywhere a troll troll!

Old Scott Adams has a sock,

Ha ha ha ha Ho!