2015.17: F**king Samir Chopra

 Posted on January 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

My fellow Delhi-walla Samir Chopra writes, in a post entitled "Mark Bennett is a Sexist Tool":

Over at the blog Defending People, Mark Bennett, a Houston-based criminal defense lawyer, writes a long, technical, closely argued post critiquing Danielle Citron‘s putative

"Putative." Which means that Chopra is at least partly on the right page: there is some doubt about Citron's rebuttals.

rebuttals of arguments–based on First Amendment concerns–against her proposals for ‘revenge porn' laws. Bennett titles his post ‘F**ing Danielle Citron' and at the end signs off thusly:P.S. "F**king" is fisking. Sicko.That was very witty. Chuckle, guffaw, chortle, snicker. I hope you got it and appreciated the joke, otherwise, Bennett is going to think you are one square, stodgy dude. I'm playing it safe, and issuing a few preemptive cackles.

Dad always warned me that most people wouldn't get my sense of humor. It has never bothered me. I hope it doesn't bother Chopra too much that he's a humorless twerp.

It's no surprise,

That's a shame. I aim to be surprising. That or non-sexist. Sometimes both.

of course, that a male


blogger–a brave defender of free speech!

I am guessing here, but I think, because of the exclamation point, that maybe this was meant to be facetious.

I wouldn't say "brave"-I'm not facing censorship by statute (yet) nor by fear-but I have dedicated a good chunk of my personal and professional life over the past half-decade to defending free speech, mostly pro bono, with some realized success and more to come. I would bet that nobody in the U.S. freed more people who had been imprisoned for their speech last year than I did.

–should have chosen such a title and chosen to express his wit in such puerile fashion. He is, after all, writing a post that aims to ‘fisk', to ‘take apart' arguments made by a woman.


So why not invoke, for the amusement and entertainment of his male readers¹, the kind of aggressive language many men


academic or otherwise–like to attach to the art and practice of argumentation. Like, "I tore him a new asshole", "I wiped the floor with him", "I shut him the fuck up" and many others. So if you're refuting someone's arguments, you're fucking them.

"Tore him a new asshole" is fucking? "Wiped the floor with him" is fucking? "Shut him the fuck up" is fucking? To Chopra all aggression is fucking.

I've apparently been doing them (both aggression and fucking) wrong.

Argumentation is a contact sport, innit?

Contact sports are fucking? It seems like I really should have been better at football.

Such language is almost exactly the precise converse of another kind

Does "almost exactly the precise converse" of a kind of language mean something?

that men


are inordinately fond of. As I wrote in a post last year commenting on a "culture, local and global, of sexual harassment, ogling, [and] innuendo":

Quoting yourself as authority: always persuasive.

It's not clear what the intent of this next bit is, other than to impress the reader with the breadth of Chopra's thinking: not only do men describe argument as sex, but they describe sex as conquest and domination! Look what a good feminist ally I am!

The first premise-that men describe argument as sex-is questionable. It's unproven here by Chopra, and in fact unillustrated unless we want to go along with "I wiped the floor with him" being sexual.



when talking about sex, cannot drop

If Chopra himself were able to drop it, he would not write that men "cannot." I wonder: is it the Y-chromosome that makes it impossible for him to drop it, or does his penis physically get in the way? Maybe it's just the guys that Chopra hangs out with. Perhaps Chopra's experience with men talking about sex is somewhat limited.

I want to make one thing very clear: I am not volunteering.

Also, Chopra should eavesdrop sometime on gay men talking about sex. Or on women talking about sex. Ho-lee shit.

the language of conquest and domination, of conflating sex and violence (‘Dude, I fucked the shit out of her' or ‘I was banging her all night'), who imagine sex to be a variant of rough-and-tumble sport (‘scoring touchdowns'),

Men cannot drop the language of conquest and domination when talking about sex. Chopra is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Look, I'm not going to judge Chopra for the way he talks about sex with his bros. But he paints with a very broad brush. And apparently the reader is supposed to draw some sort of conclusion from this-he started with "As I wrote."

So here's the conclusion I draw: Chopra is deeply conflicted. He simply "cannot drop" the language of conquest and domination. Yet he so wants to be accepted by his sisters in the academy that he must condemn it. He is filled by self-loathing.

who associate weakness with womanhood (‘Don't be a pussy' ‘Man up' ‘Put your pants on')."

O, if only there were somewhere Chopra could look for examples of such sexist language actually written by me. Somewhere like a blog where I have written a War-and-Peace-and-a-half.

In his self-exalted mind,

This is the "you think you're better than me" argument, which I only hear from people who are afraid that I am in fact better than them. So thanks, Chopra, but I'm not accepting it. I'm no better than you.

Smarter, taller, better-looking, better-adjusted, better-dressed, a better writer, more successful, more comfortable in my own skin, less eager for the approval of others? Sure. But never "better."

Bennett intended to ‘eviscerate' the arguments mounted by Citron;

Why is "eviscerate" in quotes? Did I use that word? I don't think I did.

More importantly, evisceration is sex? Sicko.

Look back at the form of the argument:

  1. Bennett uses "f**king" in a blog post title knowing that people like me will take it as "fucking."

  2. Men use aggression metaphors, which are really fucking metaphors, for argument.

  3. Men cannot help but use aggression metaphors for sex.

  4. Therefore Bennett is a sexist tool.

It may well be that I am a sexist tool, but I remain unconvinced.

@MarkWBennett @ScottGreenfield I thought @EyeOnThePitch did one of the lengthiest analyses of any blog post title ever. Impressive- Brian Tannebaum (@btannebaum) January 11, 2015

I invite Chopra to use the search box for examples of my being a sexist tool. He may find me calling my old friend Kurt Kerns a "Big Fucking Pussy," and seize on that because he is humorless, becauase he has trouble with irony, and because that's it: one word out of 900,000+.

he was really going to lower the boom;

I am pretty sure that's a nautical metaphor, not a sexual one, sicko.

Citron was going to get some rough rhetorical treatment. So why not analogize–in that dazzlingly witty style above–that forensic analysis to, you know, sex?

Thing is, if I mean "fucking" I write "fucking." I don't write "f**king" unless I want foul-minded people like Chopra to think I mean "fucking" but I really don't mean "fucking."*

I apparently could have used just about any verb there, and Chopra would think I was talking about sex: "Touchdowning Danielle Citron."

And for even better measure, why not stick your interlocutor's name in the title?

Why not, indeed? Citron is public about her support of revenge-porn criminalization, one of a few people widely and by choice associated with this brave new world of speech crime.

Citron does write about the harassment of women online, by–among other things–hate speech and revenge porn, so it would only be appropriate that her name feature in such a title.

Plus, it's her arguments, published under her name, that I'm responding to. So there is that.

I bet that would make her squirm just a bit.

I'd take that bet. I doubt that Citron cares.

But it's nice of Chopra to come to her rescue, whether she needs it or not. Nothing sexist about that. Nope.

Why not just let your dick flag flutter proudly?

Is that the dick flag that is attached to the boom I'm lowering? Just curious. I proudly fly my asshole flag all the time. Can I fly both at once? Should my dick flag really be fluttering like this? No, seriously, I think I might need to see a doctor.

I'm sure some of his male


readers–perhaps some drenched-in-testosterone

Does Chopra have something against testosterone? He may. It would go along with his self-loathing about how he dirty-talks his bros.



law school students and bloggers–are passing around Bennett's post and chuckling over how ‘Bennett gave Citron a good bitch-slapping.'

Why on earth would he imagine that? They say that all criticism is autobiographical. Is that the way Chopra talks?

(Incidentally, the tweet that led me to Bennett's post said that it ‘just filets open and guts pernicious Danielle Citron+MaryAnne Franks revenge porn laws.')

"Filet open and gut" is sex talk to Chopra?

I would definitely not want to be this sicko's boyfriend or girlfriend.

I've given up being amazed or appalled by the sexism of smart men.




power is well-entrenched and defiant, but it is embodied in some very insecure folks.

I won't argue with "insecure." Only losers are not a little insecure. "Very" is a bit harsh, though. That hurts my feelings.

Note #1: I doubt Bennett thought any of his female

Number of times that Chopra treated gender as a factor in his blog post: ten.

Number of times that I treated gender as a factor in my blog post: zero.

Number of instances that Chopra can find of actual sexism in posts on this blog: zero.

Isn't that interesting?

When the only tool you have is feminist orthodoxy, every problem looks like a nail.

Can I say "nail"?

Nail nail nail nail nail.

Sorry. Didn't mean to make Chopra hot.

readers would find that title amusing.

Bennett hopes that his readers aren't fragile flowers like Chopra. Indeed, Bennett suspects that his female readers did find the title amusing-doubly so now-because, unlike Chopra, Bennett doesn't think that all females think in lockstep.

WTH. Why'd I start talking about myself in the third person?

Truth is, I don't see Citron any differently than I see any intellectually dishonest male zealot. Some of the most formidable lawyers I know (not Citron) are female, and I aspire not to treat them differently because of their gender despite (and to spite) the sexism inherent in the system. I think I do a good job of that.

PS: Bennett's arguments are well-worth a read. Even sexist tools can be good First Amendment analysts.

That's the money shot: In conclusion, none of this personal rebuke was an actual argumentum ad hominem: despite being a sexist tool, Bennett is a good First Amendment analyst.

Chopra seems to be an incoherent thinker and a poor rhetorician, but I am sure that as a philosophy professor he is a competent judge of First Amendment analysis.

P.S. and * This time, and this time only, "f**king" is "fucking": the participial adjective.

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