The invisibility of misogyngy

While this article Maybe Jared Loughner Was a Bigot, After All in Slate magazine supports my argument that Loughner’s attack on Giffords was motivated, at least in part, by misogyny it also serves as an example of the invisibility of misogyny.

Look again at the headline. Loughner, the reader is told, is a bigot. Yes, misogynists are bigots. They are a particular type of bigot. If most of someone’s writing is about Jewish conspiracies to take over the world we call them anti-Semitic. If a writer’s output is dominated by claims about the ‘yellow menace’ we call them racist. Yet when a man publicly argues that women should not be allowed to hold positions of authority Slate calls him a bigot.

Tom Scocca, the author of the Slate piece, makes the argument that The New York Times article buries and obscures the importance of Loughner’s atttitude towards women.

These bits of information appear in the 17th and 90th paragraphs of the Times story, a story dedicated to the thesis that the facts surrounding Loughner are “a curlicue of contradictory moments open to broad interpretation.”

Scocca’s argument that The New York Times was ignoring the importance of Loughner’s misogyny was partially buried by the Slate editorial decision as to the appropriate headline for the story.

If Scocca himself had been a woman this treatment of his piece would have been even more ironic but I suspect that if Scocca had been a woman her editors would not have taken her argument seriously enough to publish it.