April 28th 2017 Dispatch #22
Day 173 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)
Day 98 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings
Senator Elizabeth Warren!?!?! Really!?!? The crusading Senator who refused to be silenced. The champion of progressive economic policies. The future of the Democratic Party. Just as willing to throw women under the bus as the boys. Without batting eyelash she supports the proposition that Democrats can differ on whether women have the right to control their bodies.
Elizabeth Warren, you join Bernie and Tom and all other Democrats who are prepared to see women’s human rights and reproductive justice as negotiable – you are no longer qualified to lead the Democratic Party or to speak for women. Tragically your behavior show how pervasively Misogyny dictates that women are to be treated as property, accessories, and breeding stock. Elizabeth, you urgently OWE women an effort to reorganize your presumptions and to expunge Misogyny from your operating principles.
Apparently Bernie, Tom, Elizabeth and other so-called progressives and Democrats need to be educated about why and how reproductive justice represents the singular economic equity issue for women. Here are two great articles:
Women’s Reproductive Justice is NOT a social issue!!!! ANYONE who asserts this is endorsing Misogyny. PERIOD. And yes, Bernie Sanders is the biggest offender.
Yeah, millions of women and their supporters marched on Washington. Wow, everyone was so impressed with the monumental expressions of outrage and resistance. But women’s rights continue to be treated as “social” issues and identity politics. And the War on Women continues unchallenged.
I am concerned about language, and about how every single word matters in the struggle to dismantle White Supremacy and Misogyny. Because every single unexamined and unchallenged word serves to reinforce institutionalized oppressions in America based on heroic myths, fictionalized history, and white-washed values. Because language and words determine what we know and how we think and whether we are capable of compassion instead of fear and whether we will value the common good instead of the individual gain.
Pro-life is about imposing religious beliefs on women in our supposedly-secular country. REJECT this language as part of the War on Women. Anti-choice is about restricting women’s control of their bodies. REJECT this language as part of the War on Women. Anti-abortion is about rejecting reproduction justice for women. REJECT this language as part of the War on Women.
For a classic example of misogynist-lensed writing/language that insinuates the second class citizenship of women, and consigns reproductive justice and women’s rights to the culture wars, take a look at www.nytimes.com/2017/04/21/us/politics/bernie-sanders-democrats-nebraska.html. Below are a few excerpts where I have marked the insinuations with italics.
Mr. Mello, a practicing Catholic, supported a Nebraska State Senate bill requiring that women be informed of their right to request a fetal ultrasound before an abortion. The anger over that position reflects a long-running argument among Democrats over whether, or how much, to support candidates who depart from party orthodoxy on abortion.
But the ferocity of the dispute this time reveals a much deeper debate on the left: Should a commitment to economic justice be the party’s central and dominant appeal, or do candidates also have to display fealty to the Democrats’ cultural catechism?
That back-and-forth is an extension of Democrats’ soul-searching after losing an election that they thought they would win. Many Democrats believe that Mrs. Clinton erred by not making economic populism more central to her campaign against Mr. Trump, relying instead on a mix of cultural liberalism and character attacks.
Just as the Republican establishment battled the nascent Tea Party over conservative purity after its 2008 loss, Democrats are enduring internecine strife over what it means to be a progressive.
“Anytime your party is out of power, you face a choice,” said Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist. “Do you want to hunt down heretics or seek out converts?”
Mr. Sanders and his supporters are the ones preaching inclusion, at least on social issues.
So, would it be fine to support a Democratic candidate who professes “private” feelings that black people often seem to lack the drive to be successful, but promises that these feelings won’t affect his behavior as an elected official? Or what about a Democratic candidate who isn’t comfortable with interracial marriage, but promises that these feelings won’t affect him as an elected official? Or what about a candidate whose religious beliefs see same-gender relationships as wrong but asserts that these feelings won’t affect his behavior as an elected official?
A shout-out to Rebecca Traister for another great piece where she discusses the significance of the Women’s March on Washington for future left leadership:
But even if the necessary power realignment within feminism takes time, this historic event will have been a tremendous step toward the reimagining of a women’s movement as a web of varied but interconnected interests and missions. In the past, strategic tensions over intersectional aims have stemmed from an anxiety that diffusing the focus on gender inequity to also tackle racial injustice, environmental injustice, minimum wage, and LGBTQ issues would just serve as an example of women subjugating their uniquely gendered concerns to other kinds of needs, as they have been conditioned to do. The fear — and yes, it is often a fear of white feminists who do not experience as many additional biases or roadblocks to equality aside from their gender — has been that overlapping identities and injustices could somehow work to pull women who might otherwise be united apart from each other.
But there was a new metaphysical approach at work on Saturday, largely thanks to the organizing and leadership of nonwhite women: the revolutionary sense that the new women’s movement will be about pulling in issues of criminal justice, environmental activism, immigration reform, and systemic racism. Women, with women of color at front and center, can be the engines of new progressive activism in all arenas. It’s a rebuke to the theory floated by some on the left that there is a disjunction between “identity politics” and politics, a rebuke to those who suggested in the wake of Trump’s electoral win that the future lies in moving away from divisive “social issues” and identity-framed movements and back to economic policies.
What this event did, on the most massive scale we have seen in this country, is reaffirm what has always been true: The impact of identity bias has always been economic, and economic issues have always most powerfully disadvantaged those who experience identity bias. Or to put it another way: Women’s rights are human rights.
The day after the march a video circulated showing Ur-progressive white man Bruce Springsteen speaking at a concert in Perth on Saturday, saying that his band’s “hearts and spirits are with the hundreds of thousands of women and men” protesting “in support of tolerance and inclusion, reproductive rights, civil rights, racial justice, LGBT rights, the environment, wage inequality, gender equality, health care, and immigrant rights.” There it was, a progressive agenda that could not possibly sideline women’s concerns, because it was women who drew it up and laid it out and summoned millions to shout their message.It’s a new world. Get a load of who’s running it after all.
We must INSIST that Reproductive Justice is the language that is used. We must INSIST that Human Rights means that Women have the Fundamental Right to control their bodies. We must INSIST that religious beliefs have NO PLACE in politics and governance.
WE MUST DEMAND THAT MISOGYNY IS DISMANTLED.
When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.
Re-vision – the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction – is for woman more than a chapter in cultural history: it is an act of survival. Until we understand the assumptions in which we are drenched we cannot know ourselves. And this drive to self-knowledge, for women, is more than a search for identity: it is part of our refusal of the self-destructiveness of male-dominated society. ― Adrienne Rich, On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978