Here Ladies: Have Some Cookies

Michelle Togut

Michelle Togut resides in North Carolina with her husband and pets. She has worked as an adjunct professor of history, contributor and writer, and small-firm attorney, among other things. These days, she's trying to sell real estate. For fun, she reads political blogs of all persuasions, practices yoga, drinks wine, hikes, reads, and volunteers for a local animal rescue.

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37 Responses

  1. Kazzy says:


    Do you consider the proposed standards to be out of bounds? It seems a bit curious to me that 15 out of 16 centers can’t meet the standards that outpatient surgery centers are required to meet, but I don’t know what those standards are. Do you have any insight into that?Report

    • Michelle Togut in reply to Kazzy says:

      Abortions, particularly in the first term, are procedures more so than surgery and don’t carry the same kind of risks surgery does. There’s no anesthesia, no need for hospital beds as patients can leave shortly thereafter, and no need for a lot of other equipment and personnel required for outpatient surgery. And it’s not like there’s been any huge concern about safety standards at clinics that perform abortions that would require this kind of legislation. It’s a means to get around the law because it isn’t a direct prohibition of abortion, but it makes it near impossible for most women in the state to get one.

      I’m sure it will be challenged in the courts.Report

  2. Mike Schilling says:

    Why, since these things generally pass with unanimous support from Republican majorities, are they so often done as amendments to unrelated bills rather than as straightforward anti-abortion bills?Report

    • Michelle Togut in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      This abortion measure is wildly unpopular with voters, so Republicans tried to sneak it in without notice and pass it quickly without arousing protest or debates.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Why, since these things generally pass with unanimous support from Republican majorities, are they so often done as amendments to unrelated bills rather than as straightforward anti-abortion bills?

      And don’t these same folks say that the majority of Americans want abortion restrictions?Report

  3. NotMe says:

    Why is the polite offer of a snack at night bizarre and patronizing? Is it that the offer of cookies is patronizing or would any snack like rice cakes be insulting? Say it was cold and he came out with coffee would that be bad?Report

    • BlaiseP in reply to NotMe says:

      In judo, there’s a move called morote-gari, a falling forward pulldown. He’s doing two things: getting within arms’ reach of these women and they either have to take his fucking cookie or seem like they’re being rude. Either way, he wins.Report

      • Michelle in reply to BlaiseP says:

        Except I don’t think he did win in this case. Instead, he just pissed people off and made himself look silly.Report

      • Michelle Togut in reply to BlaiseP says:

        Yes, I suppose sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but this is one of those gestures that, even if it was meant to be nice, comes off as patronizing. I doubt McCrory would have offered a group of mostly male protesters cookies, or even beer. He would have either addressed them or ignored them. Or had the police arrest a few of them. But hey, it was just a group of girls, so he didn’t need to take their concerns seriously.Report

      • Glyph in reply to BlaiseP says:

        Without knowing anything about McCrory personally, complaining about the insult of free cookies or coffee seems like pretty weak sauce on the surface. From here, it looks like it could just as easily be “hey, we don’t agree…but it looks cold out there, here’s some food”.

        Of course, it could be the sort of intentional or unintentional insult you feel it is (see my initial disclaimer), but in other circumstances, we would think it admirable that someone could offer to share their food without coming to an agreement on (or even desiring to discuss) contentious topics.

        We call those other circumstances “Thanksgiving”, at my house.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

        Glyph, if it weren’t cookies, I might agree. But I pick up on connotations with cookies. Namely, that the women should be at home cooking them. I wouldn’t feel that way if he’d ordered them pizza.Report

      • Glyph in reply to BlaiseP says:

        Eh, you (and BP/Michelle) could be right, but frankly if McCrory intended it as insult/patronizing and you complain about it, you are playing right into his hands, because then undoubtedly it will look to some people like it does to me. Accept the cookies or don’t, but don’t complain about free cookies. That’s a no-win situation. They are cookies and completely irrelevant to the situation at hand.

        How’s this – any future potentially-insulting cookies should be either refused without further comment, or graciously accepted with a gritted-teeth smile, then forwarded to my P.O. box.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to BlaiseP says:

        I don’t know how many people here have seen House of Cards on Netflix yet. There’s a wonderfully cynical gesture where the Congressman from Hell, Frank Underwood, (Kevin Spacey, brilliant performance) confronts a teachers’ union protesting his party by sending the leftovers from his barbeque across the street to the protesters, who are hungry enough to eat it, enraging the union organiser.

        This isn’t Weak Sauce. It’s political judo. And we know how that First Thanksgiving played out. King Philip’s War. Google it up.Report

      • Will Truman in reply to BlaiseP says:

        but frankly if McCrory intended it as insult/patronizing and you complain about it, you are playing right into his hands, because then undoubtedly it will look to some people like it does to me.

        That may well be right, that there’s less percentage in pointing it out than there would be in letting it go.Report

      • Glyph in reply to BlaiseP says:

        Again, accept the cookies or don’t, and that’s the end of it. I am aware of political judo, and it requires savvy about not playing into their hands, if they have set several traps about you.

        Complain about free cookies, and you’re heading toward the mat in the average cookie-loving American’s opinion. Not to mention the average Monster’s.Report

      • Michelle in reply to BlaiseP says:

        I think it’s the combination of the cookies and McCrory’s assertion that he’s signing the bill to “protect” women that annoys me. There haven’t been any widespread complaints about the safety of abortion clinics here. The current regulations and inspections seem to work quite well. The bill is about using “safety” to get around current abortion law. McCrory knows that as do the protesters, who are calling him on breaking a campaign promise.

        I have no idea what was in his mind when he brought out the cookies, or whether it was his idea or an advisors. But the symbolism was bad for him.Report

    • Michelle in reply to NotMe says:

      He won’t actually talk to the demonstrators or their representatives (mostly women) but he thinks a plate of cookies will make them feel better. Plus, he knows darned well that this legislation isn’t about women’s safety–it’s an attempt to close down as many abortion providers as possible. On both levels, he’s patronizing his opponents by assuming they’re clueless and easily placated.

      And yes, offering them coffee would be equally strange.Report

    • Murali in reply to NotMe says:

      Offering the cookie delegitimises their voice. It is one thing to ignore protesters. That is par for the course. Approaching protesters indicates one is either prepared to argue one’s point or address their grievances or both. To offer them a cookie is to tell them that you expect the cookie to relevantly assuage their concerns. Which means that you did not just denigrate their concerns, you denigrated them as citizens.Report

      • Glyph in reply to Murali says:

        That’s a lot of symbolism baked into one snack.Report

      • Notme in reply to Murali says:

        I agree that is a lot of symbolism baked into one cookie. However liberals often have the ability to see racism, sexism, etc in cookies or gestures where others don’t see anything. I guess that having any interaction with the protestors other than a substantive discussion with them is patronizing and delegitimatizing. I guess it also means that you shouldn’t do any thing nice for liberals lets you be accused of ill will.Report

      • Michelle Togut in reply to Murali says:

        Notme–see above for my response to your comment. I’m still getting used to this new comment nesting scheme.Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to Murali says:


        I can see you’re upset. Have a cookie.Report

  4. George Turner says:

    Well, often abortion restrictions would help defuse violence against women, or violence committed by women that lands them in jail.

    Take this story for example, straight from today’s headlines.

    An Arizona Cardinal cheerleader, a US Army captain, combat veteran, platoon leader in Iraq, and professional fighter got into a scuffle. The cheerleader was apparently in part upset because she thought the fighter was mad that she’d had an abortion without his approval, then things apparently escalated because he texted an ex-girlfriend. Things got crazy, the fighter recorded the violence on video, and the cheerleader went to jail for beating up the professional fighter.

    It makes you wonder how many Iraqis she killed when she was leading her platoon.Report

  5. Brandon Berg says:

    Regulations: Only good when the right ox gets gored.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Regulations — only good when they improve things. Bad when they make things worse. Unlike free enterprise, which is good even when it kills a thousand people.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      That’s better than having 250,000 Bangladeshis a year die in floods back when it was socialist. They’re still recovering from all the economic damage of that long socialist period, when inefficient state-owned enterprises, poor infrastructure, corruption, and other economic policies kept them in the very bottom ranks of world per-capita income, while inflation was often several hundred percent. India and China were giving them foreign aid!

      Now their economy is growing at 6 to 7% per year, inflation is running about 8%, and they have a chance to become at least a somewhat functional country. Government reform is still slow, and corruption is still rampant, but they’re making progress.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      I do find it ironic that abortion regulation is the only type of regulation where conservatives don’t want to listen to the business owners about what type of regulations would be best for them.Report