Philadelphia is a wonderful city that deserves a better daily newspaper than what it has. That’s been the case ever since I arrived here in 1999, but with the Inquirer’s newsroom collapsing it’s still sad to see someone like Ann Coulter wanna-be Christine Flowers clinging on for dear life and still spewing hatred. As the kids say, shit floats.
I promised myself—I probably promised you—that I wouldn’t write about Flowers again. Nothing she says or does will get her removed from the opinion pages of that paper, because the editor can’t tell the difference between friendships and employees.
But after my father handed me the paper yesterday morning and asked me “what is she talking about,” the resulting brain cramp basically forced me to write a letter. The content was classic Flowers, in this case blaming women for something a man did. Well, not a man, exactly—Jeffrey Epstein, to be specific. I don’t think a guy that rapes little girls counts as much of a man.
Buried in an otherwise useless article was a little gem of stupid:
This is why the indictment of Jeffrey Epstein for sex trafficking is so important. First and foremost, it begins to introduce justice for the dozens of young women he abused. Beyond that, his case provides an opportunity to highlight the overreach of the #Metoo movement — which has morphed into a white, upper middle-class crusade that turns outraged women into avenging mohels — and how that movement has hijacked our perspective on sexual assault and abuse.
Now, if you’re not Jewish you may not have heard the word mohel before. Flowers obviously has—but as Inigo Montoya says, “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.” So I wrote a letter to help straighten her out. Sadly, it wasn’t chosen for publication, so I will share it here with you.
I’m not sure exactly what Christine Flowers means when she writes that the #MeToo movement “turns outraged women into avenging mohels.”
I THINK what she’s trying to say is that women in that movement are trying to castrate men, except that’s not what a mohel does. According to Wikipedia, a mohel “is a Jew trained in the practice of brit milah, the ‘covenant of circumcision.'” The testicles are not removed, nor is the tip of the child’s penis, as suggested in numerous dirty jokes. It’s more like removing a scarf or a hat.
Perhaps she is trying to make a clever reference to the fact that Jeffrey Epstein is Jewish? That doesn’t make much sense either: Epstein’s religion has little to do with his alleged crimes. In fact, if there’s any religion one could associate with pedophilia and child sex abuse, it’s Flowers’ own faith, Catholicism.
On a related note, I’d like to personally thank Ms. Flowers for ruining our breakfast table conversation. The last thing anyone wants to think about over their bowl of Cheerios is the bloody remnants of an infant’s foreskin. Yet here we are. Bravo, Inquirer! Another tour de force.
I found myself laughing at this on two separate levels. The first of course is the notion of an army of vengeful women attacking men and relieving them of their foreskins, which is a minor procedure that leaves no lasting damage. The second level is that in this scenario, the actual target of Flowers’ ire—Jeffrey Epstein—would escape completely unscathed, since his foreskin was presumably sacrificed some 66 years ago.
A good copy editor or fact checker would have caught that one, but that’s not a priority for the Inquirer anymore.