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The other day, noted creepy dude Ben Shapiro offered a woman who is 1000% out of his league a whole lot of money to spend the night with him. To spend the night "debating" him, that is.



The woman Shapiro Indecent Proposal-ed was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and he offered a $10,000 donation to her campaign to debate him. Which, aside from not being nearly enough money to have to listen to Ben Shapiro's voice for an hour, would actually be very illegal.

Surprisingly, Ocasio-Cortez did not immediately bust out a copy of Robert's Rules of Order and leap at this very thrilling opportunity to engage with the king of facts and logic and reason himself.

Was it because, as Republicans on the internet have suggested, she is a coward? That she is simply too afraid of having her ideas challenged by someone of Ben Shapiro's intellectual prowess? No, it's because Ben Shapiro is an awful human being that no woman in her right mind would want to stand in line next to at the DMV, never mind "debate." Also debating stupid ideas puts those ideas on par with not-stupid ideas. This is why you never see scientists "debating" flat-earthers. There is no need for anyone to "debate" Ben Shapiro on his idea that "Arabs like to bomb crap and live in open sewage," because it is not an idea worth considering for a single moment past "Jeez, that guy's an asshole."

As a Woman With Opinions On Stuff, I am also often challenged to debates by men I could give a fuck less about. Sometimes they are randos on the internet; sometimes they are my sister's ex-boyfriend who for some reason kept telling her "I wanna debate your mom and your sister!" before he ever met us; sometimes they are men just out in the world who think that "debating" me will inevitably lead to some kind of sexy hatefuck scenario. As a woman, in general, men often feel they are entitled to attention from me and then lash out when they are not given said attention. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, clearly, is also familiar with this tune.

Ocasio's comparison of the offer to catcalling was incredibly accurate. The very essence of catcalling is some asshole dude thinking he's entitled to your time and attention when he is not, with an implication that if you do not offer said man the opportunity to dazzle you with his charms, you are a bitch. It is not understanding that he is indeed, truly repulsive to the object of his desire, simply by being the kind of person who pulls that shit in the first place. That is what Ben Shapiro is doing. That is what every idiot man on the internet yelling at women to "debate" him is doing. Whether it's sexual in nature or not, no one is entitled to anyone's time.

Naturally, Shapiro missed the point:

Naturally, Shapiro's acolytes then proceeded to tell everyone about how he was far too holy to be a catcaller, on account of how he had been a virgin until his wedding night.

Of course, if you ask me, this speaks a lot more to the fact that very few women want to be in Ben Shapiro's presence, even for two minutes. Frankly, do we even know that he's not still a virgin? He very well could be. Sure, he's got a kid, but you don't have to have sex to have a kid, here in the future. I'm not saying he definitely is, merely that I know where I'd put my money.

Men like Ben Shapiro cannot fathom that they are not worth a woman's time, and are enraged by this. He's got visions of "Ben Shapiro DESTROYS Liberal Woman With Logic and Reason" YouTube videos dancing in his little head -- videos that would exist and be called that whether or not it were actually true, which it probably wouldn't be.

Most of us have discussions with people we disagree with all the time. I know I do. Hell, I pretty much start from the premise that no one agrees with me on anything, ever, and simply consider it a pleasant surprise any time anyone actually does.

Most of us do not, however, bust out the podiums and call it a "debate." We don't demand other people's time and then throw tantrums when it isn't given to us. That's weird. That is a weird thing to do. When someone says to me "I want to debate you," I immediately know that this is not a person I want to be around, or discuss anything with, for any reason.

However, the reason men like Ben Shapiro prefer "debate" to simply writing out their opinions, the reason why conservatives get so much of their information from YouTube videos and talk radio and television news, is because it's more difficult to immediately fact check things that way than if they are written down -- especially when they are written on the internet, with links to sources. It's easier to trick people with misinformation when they can't immediately look up whether you are actually telling the truth or not. Your "opponent" can say something completely ridiculous and untrue, but if you cannot immediately disprove it off the top of your head, you lose. Debate is all about rhetorical trickery -- a person who is especially skilled at this sort of trickery can "win" while still being completely wrong. People can say things they "feel" are true that are not actually backed up by facts, and people who also feel those things are true will say, "Yes, clearly this person is winning this here debate." It is not actually a very good way to compare and contrast ideas. It is, in fact, a terrible way to do that.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not owe Ben Shapiro any of her time or attention. No one owes anyone their time or attention. If you are a man who is sitting around, feeling frustrated, wondering why women won't take time out of their lives to "debate" you, you should perhaps consider that you are an unpleasant person with stupid ideas that no one wants to talk to or be around.

DEBATE OVER.

[Twitter]

How about someone gives Wonkette $10,000 to NOT debate Ben Shapiro, huh? If that's too much, we'll take whatever change you've got lying in your couch cushions. Click here to tip us!

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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