Dispatch #21 April 22nd 2017
Day 167 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)
Day 92 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings
WHAT THE FUCK!?!?! REALLY!?!?! I MEAN, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY!?!?!?!
Yes indeed Furious Furies, we are being treated to the out-raging spectacle of two Democratic self-styled political leaders out-misogyny-ing the White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeOTUS. In case you missed all the coverage (hah!), Bernie Sanders, with initial acquiescence from Tom Perez, endorsed a Democratic candidate (Heath Mello) for Omaha mayor who supports restrictions on women’s right to control their bodies (aka anti-choice) www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/04/20/bernie-sanderss-strange-behavior
In her article at Jezebel online, Aimee Lutkin recounts NARAL’s reaction:
On Thursday, NARAL released a statement from President Ilyse Hogue, who condemned Sanders and DNC Chair Tom Perez for showing up for Mello’s campaign:
“The actions today by the DNC to embrace and support a candidate for office who will strip women – one of the most critical constituencies for the party – of our basic rights and freedom is not only disappointing, it is politically stupid. Today’s action make this so-called ‘fight back tour’ look more like a throw back tour for women and our rights.
“If Democrats think the path forward following the 2016 election is to support candidates who substitute their own judgement and ideology for that of their female constituents, they have learned all the wrong lessons and are bound to lose. It’s not possible to have an authentic conversation about economic security for women that does not include our ability to decide when and how we have children. http://theslot.jezebel.com/bernie-sanders-defends-his-decision-to-campaign-for-an-1794536295
Bernie Sanders is reportedly annoyed at this criticism. The 72 year-old white self-described non-Democrat from Vermont demonstrably clueless about White Supremacy and Misogyny is being touted as the future of the Democratic Party. WTF? Screeching one-note Bernie so enthralled with the sound of his own voice that he was willing to throw HRC under the bus. Bernie continues as the chief proponent for Misogyny in the Democratic Party, i.e., unwilling to understand/accept what economic and political equity for women requires. Tom Perez, you should know better.
Even more out-raging, these two fools are leading a so-called Democratic Unity Campaign which is traveling across the country. Uh-huh….unifying clueless men I guess. Bernie and Tom, you have just disqualified yourselves PERMANENTLY from ANY position of leadership. EVER. PERIOD. And you both are never allowed to take any future actions on behalf of the Democratic Party without strict supervision by women.
And NO, I am not overreacting. This behavior is absolutely unforgiveable and more egregious than that of the Illegitimate-PeeOTUS. These two supposedly progressive nincompoops thought it was just fine to give up women’s fundamental right to control their bodies in order to …. WHAT!? bring more anti-choice people into the Democratic party, or market their male version of economic populism, or promote prioritizing religious beliefs over human rights. Yeah, it is apparently just too much trouble for these two boys to grasp and respect the fundamental human rights of women. As Audre Lorde said, the tools of the Master cannot be used to dismantle the Master’s house.
In her excellent piece at online New York Magazine, Rebecca Traister incisively provides the context for the Bernie-Tom debacle.
The most disturbing thing to emerge from this week’s badly bungled Democratic “Unity Tour” staged by Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and new DNC head Tom Perez was the fact that the only thing on which the two men seemed to easily agree was that reproductive rights are not necessarily fundamental to progressive politics.
Not to be outdone, Perez amplified the message that reproductive rights are negotiable for the Democratic Party. “If you demand fealty on every single issue,” Perez said, “then it’s a challenge. The Democratic Party platform acknowledges that we’re pro-choice, but there are communities, like some in Kansas, where people have a different position.”
Well, sure. There are also communities in Kansas where voters have different positions from Democrats on immigration reform, labor protections, climate change, voting rights, and health care, and it would be vexing — and not at all progressive — for post-2016 Democrats to alter their stances on any of those issues.
There is absolutely no need to abandon women’s rights in the name of advancing progressive politics. And yet the party has done it time and again, often after losing presidential elections. It happened after the 2004 defeat of John Kerry, despite the fact that there was little evidence that Kerry’s pro-choice politics had anything to do with his loss. “I have long believed that we ought to make a home for pro-life Democrats,” Howard Dean said in December of 2004, as he worked to become the Democratic party chairman. Many Democrats at the time reembraced the Clintonian formulation of “safe, legal, and rare” — a phrase long rumored to have been the invention of Hillary Clinton — which cast abortion not as a legal right necessary to women’s autonomy and economic equality, but as a necessary evil.
The deprioritization of reproductive rights was part of the strategy that helped Rahm Emanuel, chair of the DCCC, win the House for Democrats in 2006. But Ilyse Hogue, head of NARAL Pro-Choice America, argues that we should evaluate that strategy now with an understanding of its longer-term implications: “It did not result in more progressive legislation or in a durable governing coalition,” she says. “It depressed the base and predicated the rise of the Tea Party.”
This circular formulation, in which reproductive-rights advocates are told that they must sacrifice their issues in order to make progress on those same issues, was repeated by Sanders in an NPR interview on Thursday, in which he explained that, “If we are going to protect a woman’s right to choose, at the end of the day we are going to need Democratic control over the House and Senate, and state governments all over this nation. And we have got to appreciate where people come from, and do our best to fight for the pro-choice agenda. But I think you just can’t exclude people who disagree with us on this one issue.”
Women have heard this argument again and again, and we have remained the reliable base of a party that has elected and elevated to positions of greater power anti-choice Democrats including Harry Reid, Joe Biden, Tim Kaine, and Bob Casey. In fact, it’s hard not to feel that it’s because of the dedication of women, and particularly women of color, to the Democratic Party — where else are they going to go? — that party leaders feel freer to take them for granted and trade their fundamental rights in obsessive pursuit of the great white male. This is how Dems always imagine that they can make inroads in red states. It’s third-way centrist bullshit.
In the midst of one of the most activated, energized, ground-up movements in modern Democratic political history — where the energy is coming from women who remain underrepresented in state and federal legislatures — the Unity Tour, with its two men making pronouncements about what the party should do next, felt exceedingly out of touch. And the dynamic — the women doing the labor of organizing and protesting and campaigning, knocking on doors and making calls and sending postcards, while guys speak from the microphones about the need to compromise on their rights — is depressingly retro. http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/04/bernie-sanders-and-tom-perez-must-not-abandon-womens-rights.html
HOW can we explain or understand this dastardly denigration of women?!?! Can you spell M-I-S-O-G-Y-N-Y? NO NEVER EVER is the proper response to the position that women’s right to control their bodies is negotiable. Tom and Bernie, you are in serious need of reprogramming. Since you probably don’t have time to read my dispatches, here are a few instructive excerpts.
To wit: One of the worst elements of Misogyny and War on Women is the ongoing normalization of treating/defining reproductive health rights as an issue of religious beliefs. Republicans have peddled this aggressively for decades and Democrats have been complicit. Uh-huh, men making decisions about controlling women’s bodies and God is on their side. American is becoming a Christian supremacist country and Misogyny has been and continues to be the leading edge. (And we dare to point fingers at Islam?!) The white Christian right represented a substantial voting bloc for Trump who played to their fear and loathing for Hillary Clinton and her public presence as a powerful woman.
And I am SICK of the term “culture war” used to describe struggle over women’s right to choose. These words hide that fact that religious beliefs are driving fundamental social and political decision in our ostensibly secular country – specifically evangelical christian beliefs. And I am ANGRY when articles about the “culture wars” frequently appear in the Style or Entertainment section of newspapers…REALLY?! Are we talking about wallpaper or women’s lives!?!?! (December 20th Dispatch #11)
To wit: Our particular American brand of misogyny does not involve imprisoning women at home, making women invisible in their dress, making physical and sexual women slaves, giving girls to men for their pleasure. No, in our slightly more civilized misogynist world, women simply know that they are in danger of being sexualized and sexually attacked, being forced to bear/raise children in economically inequitable circumstances, being made available as the repository for male rage/denigration and oppression, constantly intimidated in the public square, being always aware of the threat of male aggression and violence, must always be worried about appearance, and always self-conscious about how much space they take up. (January 13th Dispatch #13)
To wit: The War on Women demands recognition that working class and poor women and women of color continue to experience the worst brutalities of Misogyny. These brutalities include women charged for murder in the aftermath of a miscarriage; jail for a mother who procures birth control for her daughter; young women forced to have children and then required to work with no access to childcare or education and then accused of child neglect for using unlicensed daycare. (March 18th Dispatch #20)
We must STOP letting Misogyny get a pass. We must aggressively insist that liberals, progressives, and movement activists SEE that Misogyny cuts (literally) across all social justice issues. And Misogyny works to deaden, disable, depress, destroy all women — depriving our work of our most potent weapon – the power of women out-raged and united.
We must insist on new language/words/rhetoric that can unwind Misogyny’s narrative and catalyze actions necessary to place women’s human rights at the center of Resistance.
The repossession by women of our bodies will bring far more essential change to human society than the seizing of the means of production by workers……The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet. Adrienne Rich