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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
Number of posts: 40,638

About Me

Whiteness is a scourge on humanity. Voting for Obama that one time is not a get out of being a racist card

Journal Archives

Misogyny Is Back. Did It Ever Go Away?

On the night of Saturday, Sept. 10, between the hours of about 8 and 11, six women, each of them walking in Midtown Manhattan, were approached by a group of young men who sought to light them on fire. Although the attacks were mercifully unsuccessful — no one was injured — one woman, standing at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and East 54th Street had her skirt set aflame, while another, walking past a Valentino store, the police reported, felt something warm on her left arm, only to realize that her blouse was on fire. Six days later, a 14-year old boy was taken into custody, and charged with attempted assault and harassment. Given that everyone targeted for conflagration was female, the police have considered these hate crimes.

That four of the five encounters occurred on a stretch of Fifth Avenue just outside Trump Tower may bear no actual relationship to our current political misfortunes. For whatever it has done and failed to do, the presidential candidacy of Donald J. Trump has revived a national discussion of misogyny, which, as a word, an idea and worldview had long ago fallen out of favor, lost to the 1970s and obscured instead by the cheerfully appointed goal posts of contemporary feminism.

If you are concerned about misogyny, you are worried less about how we can create a better world for women who want to share whole-grain breakfasts with their children and still make it to Teterboro on time for the flight to the board meeting in Sun Valley, and more about the cultural damage inflicted by collective male rage. You take to heart Margaret Atwood’s famous saying that men are worried that women will laugh at them while women are worried that men will kill them. You are a generalist, really, and you see that the problem goes beyond whatever hindrance men might pose to your making partner or getting the dishwasher emptied. One kind of feminism imagines men as an existential threat, another merely as an inconvenience.

The former, of course, is a dark and not consistently rational way to think. That is why many women — particularly educated, affluent women who live in cities where crime rates are at historical lows and the presence of physical danger and extreme prejudice seem distant — don’t easily imagine that they could be set on fire on their way to dinner.


No 2016 Nobel Prizes Went To Women — And That's Total Bullsh*t

Amid the furor surrounding Thursday's announcement that musician and world-famous mumbler Bob Dylan had won the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, the world's foremost literary award, some people noticed a little problem: this was the final Nobel announcement of the year. And not one of the six categories (physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics and peace) featured a single female Nobel prize winner. This is a radical step backwards from 2015, where 20 percent of the total winners were female (which, even by itself, is a pretty upsetting statistic). And, unfortunately, it continues a trend throughout the history of the Nobel Prize: over the awards' history, they've only been given to 49 women, versus 825 men. Yes, you read that statistic correctly.

The justifications for this 2016 woman-drought are varied: Perhaps "nobody was good enough" this year. (Considering that the Nobel Prize award work done years before, this isn't exactly a good argument.) Perhaps there will be a corrective influx of female winners next year. Perhaps political considerations shut out various female candidates. (If you don't think a lot of campaigning and outside hand-wringing goes into the nomination of various candidates, you obviously haven't been paying attention. One of the reasons the Syrian poet Adonis, a favorite, likely didn't win this year is the situation in Syria; the Nobel committee, New Republic predicted accurately, "won't touch it with a ten-foot pole." But it should make us consider other options: that perhaps the Nobel Prize is the crowning aspect of a wider global culture that doesn't give sufficient means or attention to female achievement.

The growth of female representation among the Nobel Prize Laureates has been growing, from a total of 23 Laureates between the years of 1901 to 1960 to a total of 19 just in the last 15 years. That may, to be honest, be commensurate with the increasing participation of women in the workforce, particularly in STEM fields. In the past century, women have received far more opportunities to attain excellence in their fields than ever before in history; but the Nobel Prize selection lays out, starkly, that the journey is still far from over. It's not just a matter of finding the "best possible people" every year; getting a Nobel is an intricate accumulation of factors, many of which may still be prejudiced towards men.


The Thrill of Watching Hillary Clinton Take Down Donald Trump

This election is a disaster – a mess, a disgrace, a kind of shameful political theater previously unseen in modern American politics. Or rather, one of the candidates has turned this election into a disgraceful spectacle, and he seems intent on debasing the very concept of politics as public service. The other is running a smart, tight campaign, but seeing herself tarnished by the stench exuding, Pigpen-like, from her adversary. How sweet it was last night to watch Hillary Clinton again get the chance to demonstrate how much more skillful, thoughtful, and intelligent she is than her opponent. Next to Donald Trump, that’s perhaps not a tough sell. But it’s also extra satisfying.

If and when Clinton wins the election, sections of the peanut gallery will inevitably credit Trump for her victory. The arguments are predictable: He’s an easy opponent, such an outlandish figure, how could she not beat him? Had she been running against a Mitt Romney or a John McCain or a Paul Ryan, she would have had a much tougher time. Even Clinton’s dominance in the debates are routinely framed as a product of Trump’s incompetence rather than her own aptitude. But an opponent like Trump doesn’t cheapen a Clinton win, in the debates or in the election. Anyone who thinks he’s an easy adversary hasn’t spent an hour and a half trying to get his or her point across while a boorish, loud, and entitled man interrupts, condescends, talks over, and eventually threatens you, all while physically menacing you in the few moments he lets you speak without interruption (and then when he talks, he lies). The debate was a microcosm of this entire election season – the hyper-competent but slightly boring woman, the belligerent and combative man – and watching Clinton take Trump down was a captivating preview of just how gratifying Election Day might be.

Of course the first woman running for president of the United States is running against the mother of all sexists; what’s astonishing is that she’s winning. It was in hindsight obvious that the Republican Party’s conservative male base, realizing that Clinton was the likely Democratic nominee, would pick a notoriously misogynist dirtbag to be their party’s own candidate – many of these voters are men who like seeing more-accomplished women taken down a peg, and Trump gives voice to their worst impulses. So it’s particularly delightful to watch that kind of sexism work against him, his misogyny so crude that even members of his own party who aren’t exactly feminist firebrands are fleeing so they aren’t tainted by him. They’re smart to do so. Trump’s boasting about assaulting women (he would “grab them by the pussy,” he bragged to entertainment reporter Billy Bush in a 2005 conversation that was caught on tape) has even further alienated women, and many men: Nearly two-thirds of voters now say that Trump doesn’t respect women, up from just over half before the release of the tape. More than half of Americans say the video made them less likely to vote for Trump. Forty percent say he should withdraw from the race.

Misogyny like that is particularly notable because Trump’s opponent is female, but Trump’s style of aggressive, blustering masculinity also wouldn’t be such a cornerstone of his campaign if he were running against a man. Women recognize Trump in the classmate who always shouted over them, the boyfriend who bullied them, the coworker who coopted their ideas and got the credit – and the guy who made crude comments about their ass as they walked away. Clinton’s genius is that she has finally figured out how to make gender work for her by pointing out Trump’s sexism, confirming what so many American women feel instinctively.

An Open Letter To Donald Trump From Some Angry Women.


Before I get started, let me say this letter isn’t from all women. The Trumpettes surely won’t approve of this message. But this is from most women.

We see right through you. We have all known you at some point. Your ways are not unfamiliar to us. We see through you because we’ve been dealing with you our whole lives.

We heard you call women pigs. And disgusting. And stupid. And bimbos.

We watched as you called a former Ms. Universe “Ms. Piggy” and then spent four days continuing to insult her.

We see your weakness. Your lust for attention at any cost, your need to denigrate women. We see all of it. And we’re mad.

Yes. We’re mad. And fired up. And here’s the thing about us… we can be bitches.

Gone are the days where we question our power or our influence. We are strong. Smart. We know our worth and it doesn’t reside in the size of our bras or our skinny jeans. We build each other up. We have our sister’s backs. And our brother’s. So when you took on the former Ms. Universe, you took on all of us.

And right now you’ve got a lot of angry women to contend with. And let me remind you, Mr. Trump… hell hath no fury like a pissed off woman who’s tired of this sexist bullshit.


There is yet another thread in GD

On the blindness of white liberals with any number of replies that completely validate the article.

I'm not special. I was raised by uneducated racists, so I know the overt racism personally. And have no delusions but it impacts my responses. I've lived in the streets, I've lived in dire poverty. For the last couple of decades though, my life is at the lower edge of middle class and I'm a comfortable white person. I have a collage degree. Yet knowing I have had racism ingrained in me from birth makes me want to root it all out. It's repulsive to think I have the patterned responses of an entire culture of whiteness. Fucking gross. I want it out of me. In order to do that, I can't afford to be fragile, I can't afford to engage in toxic whiteness, I can't afford not to listen and I have to actively search each rootlet of cultural racism I have.

I shouldn't get, or expect praise for this. I don't deserve a cookie. It's simply the part of me that wants to be a decent human being.

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