Meghan McCain Thinks the Internet Can Be Especially Mean to Women

Avowed socially liberal Republican Meghan McCain wrote Sunday on the Daily Beast about how conservative bloggers across this poorly-lit back alley we call the internet turned on her like a pack of jackals in the wake of her appearance on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show PoliticsNation. She explained that, baseless as the attacks levelled against her were, she couldn't help but feel hurt by some of the nastier, more inexplicable manifestations of conservative angst bubbling out of the bilious little tummies of Andrew Breitbart denizens. McCain paraphrased those insults that were the most personal and, coincidentally, the least relevant:

I am fat pig. I am ugly. I am disgusting. I am an embarrassment to my family, and they should be ashamed of me. I am an anti-American extremist. I am a clueless whore. I should drink a bottle of alcohol and pills and kill myself.

What could have possibly merited this vitriol? McCain told Sharpton that many far-right Republicans treat her "like a freak" (probably because she tries very hard to assure everyone that she's not on board with some of the GOP's most anachronistic social policies), and that she doesn't understand the appeal of sulphur-spewing conservative bloggers such as Michelle Malkin and the Andrew Breitbart insane clown posse that seems to be engaged in some sort of blogging version of Russian roulette over at the late muckraker's eponymous website. To McCain's surprise, conservative bloggers smelted her words until they became something more like, "Meghan McCain called the late Andrew Breitbart a stupidface," and, therefore, more worthy of their ire, which, if you're not into hate-reading conservative blogs, they have plenty of.

McCain was quick to point out that the internet can be a more treacherous place for women than men, especially when it's teeming with troglodytes like Dan Riehl, who believes that the best way to win the ideological chess match we call arguing is to smear his feces all over the board and hope that his opponent is simply too disgusted to continue playing. It's a shame that McCain had to become the latest object of conservative taunting and body-snarking, but it's pointless for her to explain and defend herself the way a rational human being would because the people who've attacked her either use rationality only when it suits them or are sincerely irrational.

When faced with the prospect of defending their points of view, it's far easier for conservative bloggers of the Breitbart ilk to stop their ears and scream obscenities. If by calling a woman an evil slag or simply dismissing someone with an imperative "Kill yourself" these bloggers can wriggle free from a fair fight, they'll do it. Maybe a great deal of these (mostly) male screechers genuinely believe the vitriol they spout, but even if they don't believe it and personally insulting women is just their way of getting off the argument-losing hook, their willingness to pick up words like "slut" or "bitch" and wield them as weapons at least shows that they think it's perfectly fine to attack female sexuality, to exploit a culturally sensitive subject in order to deflect focus from the real issue — that their social prejudices are indefensible.

Meghan McCain: Cut It Out, Internet Bullies! [Daily Beast]