Medusa Magazine shuts down, finds its satire of Regressive Leftism is now indistinguishable from reality

November 24, 2017 • 10:00 am

On June 24 I wrote about a piece in Medusa Magazine called “Beyond pro-choice: The solution to white supremacy is white abortion,” which called for white women to abort their babies as a way of diverting child-care resources to people of color. An excerpt:

White women: it is time to do your part! Your white children reinforce the white supremacist society that benefits you. If you claim to be progressive, and yet willingly birth white children by your own choice, you are a hypocrite. White women should be encouraged to abort their white children, and to use their freed-up time and resources to assist women of color who have no other choice but to raise their children. Women of color are in need of financial and humanitarian resources. As this white supremacist society continues to imprison black fathers, women of color are forced to stand alone in their plight to raise the next generation of Americans. White women: instead of devoting your time and energy to white children who will reinforce the struggles of women of color, how about asking women of color in what ways you can assist them in their self-liberation? How about adopting children of color who have lost their parents to the destructive white supremacist society that you have enabled and encouraged?

I suspected that the piece, and the magazine itself, which certainly looked like a genuine Regressive site (motto: “Feminist Revolution Now”), might have been a hoax, for many of its articles were way over the top: more extreme than even Everyday Feminism, which is nearly a parody itself. And several diligent readers sussed out evidence of a hoax, looking up domain names, those who registered them, and other facts. When I concluded it was probably a hoax, but wasn’t sure, one irate reader chewed me out:

The fact that you fell for this obvious hoax reveals that you have been fighting windmills for a long fucking time. Nobody with even minimal knowledge of modern feminism could possibly have been fooled by this trash. You find the article indistinguishable from what far right misogynists have told you that feminists say. Maybe this will be a valuable lesson to be less gullible and better informed.

I responded saying, among other things, “You don’t have the slightest idea what you’re talking about; I’ve posted about real feminism articles (one recently on Everyday Feminism, others about feminist glaciology and the racism of Pilates) that are indistinguishable from these pieces.”

One writer contacted Medusa, asking them if they were a hoax, and the editor adamantly denied it (but of course they would!), saying:

Medusa Magazine is a blog that espouses feminist ideology. We make no apologies for this, and we stand by everything we publish.
That being said, the views expressed in each article belong to the author(s) alone. We would however never have published any of the articles if we didn’t think they had any value to add to intellectual discourse. Even the articles that you describe as “over the top” have started a discussion and debate online about important issues that need to be discussed.
Say Hi to your readers from us.

Well, it turns out Medusa was indeed a well-crafted hoax, certainly fooling some of us who were used to over-the-top articles about racist pumpkin lattes, white-privilege Pilates, and similar things. It was too close to reality to know for from the content itself without the further digging done by our readers.

As reader Cindy pointed out, Medusa has now admitted its spoofiness in the article below (click on screenshot):

Before I go on, let me say that I don’t endorse the extreme denigration of feminism associated with “Age of Shitlords”; I think I’ve made my approbation of women’s struggles for equality clear many times on this site. The point of this piece, however, is how close the satire of extreme Third Wave feminism and Regressive Leftism can come to the real thing—something we suspected already from the articles I’ve highlighted in real journals as well as hoaxes like the Sokal Affair.

Why are they shutting down Medusa? Because they published a satire article that was almost indistinguishable from a real one published later— with both pieces about why sexual harassers and abusers on the Left should be given more of a pass than those on the Right. Their explanation:

But back to to the original topic, we are shutting down our rather hilarious project because we can no longer compete with our competition. We have come to realize that our competition is not other satirical websites, but rather the people we are trying to satirize. About a week ago, after a short hiatus from the website and in light of the recent sexual assault allegations currently afflicting Hollywood, we put out another article titled “Why we should believe women who accuse right wingers of rape more than those who accuse liberals”. The article is a total caricature intended to be as ridiculous as possible, basically arguing that because liberals are good people, we should forgive them when they rape women. We thought no one in the world could possibly hold views as ridiculous as that, so we wrote it as satire and published it.

So imagine our surprise when an actual Feminist and self-proclaimed expert on “rape culture” wrote an article for The Washington Post no less, using the same rational [sic] and reasoning as our satirical article that was written just a few days before.

Here’s the Medusa article, published on November 11 (click on screenshot):

An excerpt from that Medusa piece:

Regardless of whether  any of these men are guilty of the crimes they have been accused of or not, one thing is for sure – the ones who hold left wing values have earned the right to make at least one mistake in their lives. George Takei has helped millions of LGBT children around the globe come out and be comfortable in their sexually. Harvey Weinstein has donated funds to many Democratic candidates and grass-root movements that have helped us secure political power. Who cares if these men have made one or two mistakes in their lives? What’s important is that they have realized their mistakes and are willing to learn from them, which is more than I can say for Trump and his fellow GOP rapists.

We should sympathize with the victims of these liberal men, but we should not devalue the work and legacies of their rapists. To focus too much on the accusations brings to light these men’s political ideologies, which wrecks [sic] havoc for us. It would be hypocritical of us to keep criticizing Trump and rape culture when so many men among us have been accused of sexual assault. If more liberal personalities get accused of sexual assault between now and 2020, Trump is going to win a second term. I don’t know about you, but I would rather live in a world where liberals hold political power and a few women get raped than one in which conservatives hold power and women still get raped.

And here’s the Post‘s article from November 17 (click on screenshot), written by Kate Harding, a feminist author and co-host of the podcast “Feminasty”

The Medusa hoaxer underlined bits of the Post piece that were similar to what appeared in Medusa:

The Post‘s sentiments were echoed by Matthew Dowd, chief political analyst of ABC News:

Huge difference? Not really. Now granted, the Medusa piece is a bit more hyperbolic and dramatic than the Post piece, and its headline is a bit misleading (it’s more about forgiving than believing), but the points were the same: we are supposed give more of a pass to Left-wing harassers and sexual predators than to those on the Right. Everyone’s calling for Roy Moore to step out of the race, but some, at least, are importuning Franken to stay in office. I’m reserving judgment since accusations against Franken are still appearing, and we can’t yet judge their severity or reality, but principles of justice say that people who do equally bad things should suffer equal punishment and opprobrium. If you call for one to resign, you should call for the other. Criminals in court don’t usually have their sentences conditioned on their politics.

I have to say that I’m far more saddened by Franken’s missteps than Moore’s, as Franken was a good Senator with progressive values, and surely he’d accomplish more good in the Senate than Moore ever would. (And, to be sure, Franken’s transgressions appear, right now, to be less severe.) But should we take politics into account when calling for punishment? If deterrence of others and reformation of the miscreant are part of the goals of punishment, why would the deterrence be less with a Left-wing harasser than one on the Right? And I find it hard to believe that Left-wing sexual predators like Harvey Weinstein are more “reformable” than those on the right.

But I digress. The point is that when blatant caricature becomes indistinguishable from political reality, and hoaxes come to look like the truth, something is off kilter.


71 thoughts on “Medusa Magazine shuts down, finds its satire of Regressive Leftism is now indistinguishable from reality

  1. Reader Bob Murray noted this yesterday in the post on creationism vs. evolution, but it went virtually unnoticed. I commented then and repost my comment here:

    “Yup. Skepticism triumphs again. The mention is worthy of quoting, even if she can’t resist the credit by tossing in what to me is a silly non-sequitur, which only serves to make her look foolish, not clever.

    She writes:
    “Also, a special hat-tip to the nosy writer of the blog why evolution is true, who kept pestering and gathering information to prove that this site was indeed a parody. But then again, they were only able to come to that conclusion due to my own personal clumsiness.””

  2. A Democratic party with its head on straight would have laughed the Franken affair out of the room. Unfortunately they’ve created a puritanical monster that is now consuming them. And the James O’Keefe types on the right are starting to figure out how to leverage this against them further to speed the process along.

    1. A Democratic party with its head on straight would have laughed the Franken affair out of the room.

      Would you mind expanding on this?

      1. That the accused “groping” involved zero physical contact? That the accuser is herself photographed on the same USO tour playing grabass (and actually touching the other person)? That it was blatantly timed whataboutery designed to draw a little heat off of Moore and regressives marched us all right into the trap?

        1. Perhaps you hadn’t heard, more women came forward. I’m perfectly capable of being critical of both Franken and Moore, and understanding that what they each did was different but not acceptable.

          1. Observe how the Right has closed ranks is already weaponizing this issue, while the Left is flailing about in overwrought apoplexy and eating its own, with loose cannon Kirstin Gillibrand wreaking havoc.

            Franken’s alleged offenses are nowhere near the level of Moore’s, yet the two now effectively cancel out each other.

            Another great job by the Dems of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

            1. Pretty much agreed. The problem, as usual, is that the left tries to play fair, and the right isn’t held back by that compunction.

              1. The Left is hung by its own petard with the answer-begging-the-question fallacy, ‘believe the victim.’ Franken himself publicized Jamie Leigh Jones, who turned out to be lying. Kinda hard for him to now cast aspersion on the claims against him.

                And now Amanda ‘Duke Lacrosse’ Marcotte is calling for Franken’s head. With friends like these….

              2. I hate to be an insufferable pedant, but I’m gonna be an insufferable pedant here: a “petard” is a small bomb (derived from the French word for “fart”). Thus, one can be hoist with one (as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern were with the letters from Claudius that were altered by Hamlet), but they’re ill-suited for a hanging.

          2. Trouble is the groping charge is the strongest, most well-evidenced accusation, and it’s tea so weak you can just call it water.

  3. Telling the fake from the real is becoming more of a challenge everyday. This is especially true with the slide into ignorance of more people than ever before. When someone such as Trump, along with the help and assistance of the internet and Russia who seem to know how to use the technology at least as well and better than the companies in the U.S. who are getting rich from it, wins, what else do you need to know.

    There is a difference between a Moore and a Franken and that should be obvious. Moore is a religion fanatic who disgraced the job he was elected to do and a child molester and predator tolling for a teenage virgin for a wife when he was in his 30s. He hung around malls where these girls also hang out and even called them at their schools and got them out of class to proposition them. How this and the Franken case compare…you tell me?

      1. I was attempting to keep it short and give credit that you might already know. However, his accusers include mostly grabbing or touching without permission. One woman said he grabbed her in the butt area while at the state fair taking pictures. Her husband was taking the picture. Mostly it was juvenile stuff. I can probably assure you that whatever tribe you belong to, I am not in it.

    1. Based on what we know so far about Franken’s antics, I agree with you. Franken’s actions were like a kid stealing a candy bar from a candy store. Moore’s actions were akin to a bank robbery. What they both did was wrong. But, should the punishment be the same? In Franken’s case, if he is forced to leave the Senate, in political terms, it is the equivalent of a life sentence. Is this an appropriate punishment for the crime, especially when he has expressed remorse?

        1. Someone else had a good point (it may have been on Twitter):
          Sexual harassment is the new drunk driving. We used to accept it, wink at it and lots of people did it. Now, it has become socially unacceptable. So, while Sen. Gropey McGrabby-hands is certainly less-bad® than Moore, his actions are still bad.

          1. That point resonates with me.

            But why now? Is it just political gamesmanship? Does anyone actually care, or it it just scoring points? Probably a little of both.

            1. I hope people care, and that things are changing. No person should have to accept that sexual harassment is just part-and-parcel of entering the work force.

    2. There is no evidence Moore is a “child molester.” There is in fact less evidence of his alleged misdeeds than Franken’s. Double standards in re truth or evidence are no more defensible than in deciding consequences.

      1. And your statement is hardly worth comment. All of the Moore attacks were documented by journalist who went looking for these women. They did not just jump out of the bushes. Calling them all liars is only for him and his followers which must include you. Franken has publicly apologized for his actions and welcomes inquiry. What I ask could be your reasons for siding with the likes of Roy Moore. When you cannot see a difference then it must have something to do with your politics because it is not the moral position.

        1. So, expressing skepticism means taking a side and/or being a “follower”? What? And where is anyone being called a liar?

          1. If you cannot read or you really do not follow the story, I cannot help you. Moore call all of the accusers liars. Just like Trump called all of his liars. Also, off the same playbook they both said they would sue. More lying.

            1. You are playing dumb. You stated flatly I must be a “follower”. Then you follow up with a direct insult of Jeff Rankin for calling you one.
              You fail the standards of civility explicitly expected here.

      2. “There is no evidence Moore is a “child molester.””

        Except for the fact that yearbook signature, that little mall ban, testimony from cops and friends and family of the accusers, etc. But keep on taking Moore’s words at face value and see how far that gets you.

        1. All those can be true (though Allred is backing away from the yearbook) and that is still not child molestation. Child molesters molest children. 16 year old young women are not children. Being accurate matters.

          1. Leigh Corfman was 14 when Roy Moore stripped her down, felt her up, and put her hand on his tallywacker — below the age of consent, even in old Alabammy.

            You’re right; being accurate does matter.

      3. The best comparison is between these harassment accusations and someone on trial for murder or some other serious crime. Some liberals want to rationalize his crime by pointing out his unhappy childhood, trauma, deprivation, lack of job or education, etc.
        Sorry but when a person not judged criminally insane commits a crime, he must be judged and sentenced by the exact same criteria as everyone else. Equal opportunity….equal treatment under the law…everyone must assume responsibility for his/her own actions. The judge can decide on the penalty but must use identical criteria.

    3. I first noticed Leann Tweeden as a hostess on NBC’s Poker After Dark. I remember one episode where an extremely old & wealthy [& now dead] high roller in a badly fitted & mis-coloured syrup turned up to set his money on fire playing Texas Hold’em with the pros.

      On each arm [he could barely walk] he had two twenty-something, clingy mini-skirted ‘hangers-on’ who giggled at all his jokes. There are thousands of these ‘escorts’ in Vegas – mostly female – this is Vegas & nobody to this day passes comment on it. No female poker player or Tweeden-style hostess has ever remarked on it nor expressed a social/political opinion.

      The extraordinarily beautiful, intelligent & articulate Tweeden has spent her entire adult life being herded into ‘casting couch’ situations starting with her job as a Hooters Hostess that got her scouted for modelling work. She’s been in Playboy twice. She’s now in sports broadcasting – possibly the most reactionary field of entertainment today.

      How many times has she had to fend off advances from creeps with money & power? I couldn’t begin to guess, but I have seen the way women are treated in the circles Tweeden moves in & my guess is the figure is in the three or four digits.

      Tweeden is a conservative who voted George W twice. Tweeden knows all the big players, owners with wealth in the gambling & sports worlds. I would not be shocked if she was made an offer to unload on Franken when more honestly she should have unloaded on Franken PLUS a couple of casino owners [hint] PLUS some NFL owners. I suppose one explanation is Franken can’t hurt her now, but the zillion other creeps still can.

      I do wonder though.

      1. Notes:

        Tweeden covered seasons 4 to 7 [2008 to 11] of Poker After Dark

        The syrup was Dr. Jerry Buss, owner of the LA Lakers who died at 80 in 2013. A rather colourful, but polite gent.

        It was ONE escort on each arm

  4. Whatever you may think of Matthew Dowd’s views, they do not come from a leftist perspective. He was chief strategist for the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign. As far as I know, he is still a Republican, although I doubt of the Trump variety.

  5. Criminals in court don’t usually have their sentences conditioned on their politics.

    Sentencing judges and parole boards do in fact take character and good behavior into account. Character, not political allegiance, seems to be what Dowd means when he talks about working for the common good.

    1. I don’t think so, I think Coyne has this right. One thing you cannot deny about Moore is that he acts on and because of his ideology. He is not a guy just out for himself, he’s doing God’s work. His ideas are terrible but he believes in them and in his mind is acting for common good.

      1. You’re saying Dowd is wrong in his assessment of Moore’s motives. That doesn’t mean he’s wrong to say that “there is a difference between those who are flawed who work for the common good and those who are flawed who could care less about the common good”, or that Jerry is right to say that difference is irrelevant.

        1. I appreciate that you are quoting someone else, but shouldn’t that be “couldn’t care less?” If one could care less it implies they care to some extent, whereas if they couldn’t care less it suggests they don’t care at all.

      2. Moore is a guy who is out for himself and no one else. His excuse is g*d but that is just a front for Roy Moore. He uses it when he breaks the law and he has done it at least twice before. That is why they threw him off the bench twice before in Alabama.

            1. I’ve found brussels sprouts taste best if sautéed in duck fat. Of course, anything — even cardboard — tastes great if sautéed in duck fat. 🙂

              1. I’m fresh out of duck fat currently. These sprouts I roasted in the oven, and then made a bacon/toasted walnut/balsamic/mustard dressing to go over. I waffled about adding bleu cheese, but am glad I did not.

  6. Criminals in court don’t usually have their sentences conditioned on their politics.

    Ms. Ethel Rosenberg begs to differ.

    Fall far enough outside the mainstream, and they do. Ask Joe Hill, or Emma Goldman, or Sacco and his buddy Vanzetti.

      1. It would be pretty to think politics no longer matter. But as long as there’re humans wearing the black robes on the bench, they do. And those outside the mainstream —
        political or cultural — risk incurring the the system’s wrath.

          1. Sure. I’m simply pointing out that, both historically and currently, there’s a distance between the normative and the positive in the enforcement of our criminal laws.

      1. That doesn’t mean Ethel in particular should have had such a harsh conviction, which your original post claimed. My apologies.

  7. Re “The point is that when blatant caricature becomes indistinguishable from political reality, and hoaxes come to look like the truth, something is off kilter.”

    D’yuh think?

  8. Although painful, and I can mourn the damage done to a couple otherwise good people, these are exciting times that are ‘a changin’. There is reason to hope that the future Bill Clintons and Al Frankens who emerge into power and do good for society will do so with the full knowledge that they cannot get away with this kind of crap so they will keep their reputations clean. Same goes for everybody, really, who hold positions of power. At least I can hope so.

    1. Agreed. It is painful to watch some I admire put to the fire, awful to know that some others -whether I admire them or not- will be wrongly accused and I will admit to a satisfying amount of schadenfreude for the plight of certain others. A big and ugly mess.

      But someone elsewhere on WEIT (can’t find it just now) recently mentioned that perhaps this mess signals a shift in our culture not unlike other shifts we’ve seen. I’m old enough to remember when drinking and driving was once winked at and even tolerated and joked about though now it is rightly seen as grossly irresponsible and anti-social. Maybe this is the messy beginning to a welcome cultural change.

      We’ll see.

  9. For goodness sake, just judge the severity and frequency of the crime.

    Groping and grabbing should IMO (in most cases) be viewed as misdemeanors. Self-exposure and rape should be judged with far greater severity.

    Roy Moore assaulted a minor. This is wayyy worse than Franken.

    1. “Self-exposure and rape should be judged with far greater severity.”

      I take it, by ‘self-exposure’, you mean exposing oneself to an unwilling other in private?

      (Because the first thing I thought of was ‘mooning the Amtrak’ or streaking at a football match – neither of which I would rate even as severe as groping).


  10. I don’t really understand why you think only the 3rd wave of feminism is extremely off-base when it comes to properly assessing and modeling reality. Even though the other waves did fight for some useful things (equal pay, right to vote) they consistently held up the model of “men oppress women” and ignore men’s issues or paint gender neutral issues as female-exclusive issues, including sexual assault, and domestic violence.

    Even with the right to vote it was given without the legal obligation that men have (and still have with selective service, which carries a lot of punishments if not signed up for!).

    Domestic abuse was framed as a male-on-female issue exclusively (with the occasional wink that “men also abuse boys and men” but still ignoring female perpetrators) and this has been institutionalized via the duluth model (used to train police) which paints males as always perpetrators and females as always victims. This also leads to nearly 0% support for male shelters, and the arresting of men who call the cops when they are abused. It’s insane how widespread this nonsense is and it goes back decades.

  11. Seeking a cure for the ongoing complaints about hemorrhoids within my fruit fly colony I came across:

    Mehran Tavakoli Keshe was born in Iran in 1958, son of an X-ray engineer. He was introduced to the world of radiation and nuclear science at a very young age. In 1981 he graduated from Queen Mary College, University of London, as a nuclear engineer specializing in reactor technology system control. He has spent the years since then completing a system for the production of gravity and energy using a radioactive hydrogen-fueled reactor that is clean and safe. He has covered all aspects of the design of a new plasma nuclear system from the very beginning to its present stage. This has included the design, the fuel, testing and practical applications. He has concentrated on completing the full range of his technology for launching into the scientific world and industry. The intellectual properties related to this technology were transferred to Stichting the Keshe Foundation.

    As I said, I was teaching them how to make gold. I said, to make gold, we need mercury and one neutron. And they looked at me, “But gold is one neutron less atomically than mercury.” I said, “Yes if you want to take a proton, a neutron, and an electron out of mercury to make it gold, it is a lot of work.

    But if you put one neutron in the mercury, which immediately changes to a proton and an electron, then you have unstable mercury, which becomes gold and helium, and we can push it to become energy.


    The Keshe Foundation calls up on all members of all groups and individuals to attend and take their position in the cycle of peace movement, which has been taken shape in the past years by the actions and science which has been given as a gift by all members of the Foundation to humanity for the advancement of science and through it, for the creation of the right environment for peace on this planet.


    July-August 2017

    Sounds like it would be perfect fit of some Trumpettes — maybe even a majority of the republicans.

    I’m asking for 10% retainer and an additional 5% finders fee plus piece of the royalties to be negotiated later.

    1. On Good Friday, 2014 Mr. Keshe announced that he’s the Messiah.

      He called for world peace & cooperation & said we should join neighbouring star systems in the universal society – turning implements of war into peaceful tools. I’m guessing his flow of donations had slowed & he needed to regenerate interest among the suckers of this here particular solar system we inhabit 🙂

  12. Franken is my Senator. I think we should not judge based on politics. I think his transgressions are of a pretty low level, except for the forced kissing with Tweeden. Very different in my opinion from the Pussy Grabber and Roy Moore. And, it seems very likely, John Conyers.

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