I feel bad for Planned Parenthood. Not only have they been facing attacks from conservative politicians and cancer charities, defunding threats, and–I kid you not–firebombs, but now they have to deal with the odious filth that is Tucker Max and his publicity machine.
First, an aside–I’m not going to waste space here discussing who Tucker Max is and why he’s one of my least favorite people in the world, though I may do so in a future post. For now, Google is your friend. I will, however, say this–if you think Tucker is funny, please just take five minutes and ask yourself why. Why does he make you laugh?
Anyway, our favorite misogynist (and racist, etc.) Tucker Max has a little problem. An image problem. Thing is, people seem to think that poor Tucker is a Bad Guy. But he’s not, I swear! He’s actually a Nice Guy. He just needs to find a way to show it.
Tucker also has another problem: he makes so much money from his narcissistic writings that he has to pay really high taxes. There must be a way around this!
Luckily, Tucker happens to have an excellent media consultant, Ryan Holiday, to whom he wrote the following email:
Ryan, I have a huge tax burden this year. I can reduce it with a large donation to charity, but I want to promote my new book at the same time. Can you come up with something cool that does both?
To this, Holiday responded with a Brilliant Idea:
What if you gave a bunch of money to Planned Parenthood and they named a clinic after you? They need donors, it’d be awesome and you’d get a ton of positive press out of it for a change.
Tucker agreed and offered $500,000 to Planned Parenthood of Texas, which soon declined the donation. In a stunning demonstration of his and Tucker’s selfless altruism, Holiday immediately wrote a diatribe in Forbes about how this is “one of the stupidest and most depressing things” he’s ever seen, and how PP has “acted like a fool.”
(As another aside, I’m really starting to hate Forbes magazine.)
At first glance, rejecting a $500,000 donation may indeed seem pretty stupid. But here are some things Holiday declined to mention in his whiny rant:
1. This isn’t the first time Tucker has attempted to donate to PP. Three other affiliates have already turned down his money, not merely because he’s a sexist douchebag, but because his demands in exchange for the donation–such as building naming rights–violate PP’s gifts policy. I respect an organization that has the integrity to turn down money that would violate its own policies.
2. We all know how Tucker really feels about PP, thanks to his Twitter account. In a miraculous burst of intelligence, he removed this tweet when Holiday’s Forbes piece went up, but the internet is forever:
You’ll notice that this is from just a few weeks ago–presumably long after Tucker had already began his campaign to rehabilitate his image using Planned Parenthood.
3. Despite Holiday’s claim that this was a poor business decision for PP, it actually wasn’t–if you look at the big picture. While it’d be great to have $500,000 right now, yoking one’s public image to that of Tucker Max would be a terrible business decision. What will PP’s other donors think when it names a clinic after a notorious sexist who belittles and shames women of different shapes, sizes, and colors? How many press releases will PP have to issue every time Tucker winds up in the news for being an awful person? How would PP answer the (accurate) claims that it has violated its own gifts policy just to get some more cash?
4. Finally, the unavoidable point–the respective missions of Tucker Max and Planned Parenthood are not only disparate; they are mutually exclusive. Tucker Max’s mission is to attain fame and money by treating women like dirt and writing about it in a way that some consider funny. Planned Parenthood’s mission is to help women of all kinds stay healthy, happy, and safe. A partnership between these two entities simply doesn’t make sense. “Tucker Max Women’s Clinic” has the same ironic ring to it as, say, Santorum University or Romney Animal Shelter.
Incidentally, although Holiday tries to make the point in his piece that Tucker is really such an avid supporter of Planned Parenthood and has been pro-choice his whole life, a comment on the Jezebel piece clarifies this:
Well, he is all for women’s rights to choose… upon knocking up a girlfriend of mine, the chivalrous Master of Equality himself instructed her to “take care of it”, but made it clear he would not help support her financially or emotionally through the ordeal.
Granted, there’s no proof, so take this with a grain of salt. But judging by Tucker’s attitude towards women, I’d believe it.
Could PP have used Tucker’s money? Of course it could’ve. What it couldn’t have used is a business deal with someone who maintains a persona that is simply antithetical to PP’s mission.
For what it’s worth, knowing that Planned Parenthood is willing to take a financial fall in order to stay true to both its mission and its actual policies makes me only more likely to support it in the future. I hope other PP donors feel the same way.
To close, I’ll leave you with some of Tucker Max’s quotes about women.
Your gender is hardwired for whoredom.
Fat girls aren’t real people.
I’m going to be real clear about this, ladies, so pay attention: Prince Charming doesn’t come to rescue cunty lunatics.
Look, I know everything is shitty right now, but if you don’t stop acting like such a bitch, someone’s gonna fuck that pussy on your face.
She may be a vacuous slut with no taste, but at least she’s not a stripper.
Except for one thing…she was not attractive. On a scale of 1 to 10, she should have hung herself. The pear-shape of her body was so pronounced she looked like a nesting doll made of owl pellets.
Even though I’d slept with one, part of me still believed that midgets were mythical creatures, like unicorns and educated guidos.
You show me a truly funny girl who doesn’t have emotional issues, and I’ll introduce you to my stable of unicorn thoroughbreds ridden by leprechaun jockeys.
Look, I’m not trying to judge you about it. I’m slutty sometimes too. And personally, I like sluts; they’re the most fun. But if you act like a slut, you should be ready for some guys to call you a slut.
I know this really sexy move you can do with your mouth. It’s called ‘shutting the fuck up.’
You know that saying, ‘no matter how hot she is, someone somewhere is sick of her shit?’ This was the type of girl that had a lot of someones in a lot of somewheres.
Your back fat could have its own bra! Look at yourself—you look like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup!
Contrary to what some assholes think, Fat Tuesday is NOT Adele’s birthday. Shame on all of us who thought that.
Any hot black girls free today? Looking to knock out Valentines Day and Black History Month all at once.
There is a girl lying next to me on the bed, shaking me, saying something. She is not happy. She is also not skinny. Or attractive. She may not even be human.
Not even human.
Edit 4/6/12: I cannot bring myself to link to Tucker Max’s blog from my own, but here is a brilliant analysis of his blog post about the issue, over at Feministe.