I Write Letters

Dear Maxim,

Of all the many, many, many things wrong with Ann Coulter, her alleged physical flaws are right at the top of my fucking list of things about which I don't give a flying shit.

Ann Coulter is the high priestess of screeching hyperbole, whose natural habitat is the nearest studio chair on a right-wing cable hatefest, from whence she spews her bile-rich nuggets of insane vitriol like a mama bird projectile vomiting chunks of hate fuel to nourish her repellent babies, as they sit, gape-mouthed and wanting, waiting for their vile supper on couches in front of tellies across the nation so they may ever stay plump with outrage. And not only is she a monstrous font of diarrheic vitriol who disgorges a continual torrent of loathsome rhetoric to poison the public discourse; the frequency with which she manages to emit accurate (and original) assertions is approximate to photographic evidence of unicorns. She is as devoid of facts as she is of kindness and compassion. I've heard more astute political observations from a pile of day-old puke—and it didn't have to plagiarize, either.

And you expect me to care about her oversized forehead? Seriously?

Let me illustrate to you precisely how you're part of the problem and not part of the solution:

See how nothing got accomplished there? Except, of course, making fun of transgender people in three different ways, thereby being no better than Ann Coulter in the first place, and more deeply entrenching the idea that women aren't to be taken seriously. (Not that I'd expect better on that accord from Maxim.)

But if you genuinely care about the latest despicable outrage to emanate from the odious Coulter, to which you're purporting to respond, let me remind you that being misogynist, transphobic assholes in response doesn't actually improve anything.

It's just the same bag of shit she's peddling in a different package.


And let me tell you something else—I imagine that there are few people on the planet with whom I share less in common than Ann Coulter, but the one thing we do share in common is being fiercely independent and intelligent women who speak their minds publicly, loudly, and often. Consequently, we are routinely subjected to all manner of attack on our looks—because that's the first tool out of the shed for lazy douchebags who can't be bothered to construct a real argument. But not only are schoolyard taunts like "Fatty!" and "Tranny!" so profoundly uncreative as to be exhaustingly boring; they also wholly lack the capacity to affect their target in even the most superficial way.

If you're picturing Coulter going home at night, walking through her door with a trembling chin and collapsing into a heap from the emotional pain of juvenile insults, I daresay you're imagining something that simply doesn't happen. I can guaranfuckingtee ya that shit is water off a duck's back—namecalling doesn't even sting, no less leave a wound that lingers.

You just don't do this day in and day out, even on the comparatively obscure level that I do it, without developing a skin nine inches thick. (To wit: The infamously vile O&A comment thread.) As a woman who has to face comments right in public threads like "i hope you get aids while being raped by a homeless man in the alleyways of new york, you cunt" or "the only tragedy is that a bullet didn't rip through your brainstem after you were used for your one and only purpose in this world" or "too bad that terrible rapist didn't kill your fat ass," you've got to trust me when I assure you that someone calling me fat and ugly isn't particularly effective.

I am quite certain Coulter would agree.

So in the end, what's the efficacy of this strategy?

Given that Ann Coulter's revolting ideology most vigorously flourishes in a culture replete with the intolerant, oppressive accoutrements of bigotry, adding yet more fuel to the long-raging fires of misogyny and transphobia is, in fact, a win for her. Further, it's a loss for every other other woman and transgender person in America, who are inescapably subject to the culturally endemic narratives of hatred which have—once again—been validated and reinforced. Women aren't to be taken seriously. Trannies are icky. Ugly women are trannies are bad and deserving of no respect.

That's a dangerous game for us you're playing—and I, for one, wish you would stop playing it.

Especially when it comes to a woman who's built an entire career around saying objectionable things to which, ya know, it might be worth one's time to object.


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