Dispatch #33 October 14th 2017
Day 342 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny (PAWSM)
Day 267 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy- Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings
Let’s begin with a couple of random and out-raging observations.
Wow, the fall of Harvey Weinstein means a big step forward in how sexual predators will be outed and punished. But, wasn’t it just a year ago that almost 63 million American voted for a proudly misogynist serial sexual predator? Uh-huh.
And, really, Bernie Sanders a featured speaker at the upcoming Women’s Convention in Detroit? The Bernie Sanders who identifies a woman’s right to control her body as negotiable identity politics?! The Bernie Sanders who is demonstrably clueless about White Supremacy and Misogyny?! The Bernie Sanders who said he is “honored to join the women at the front lines of our struggle for economic, social, racial and environmental justice.” www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/10/13/womens-convention-faces-backlash-after-prime-speaking-slot-goes-to-bernie-sanders/
BERNIE!!!! What about Gender Justice?! You know, dismantling Misogyny….oh well…. yeah, hard to keep track of these side issues…
Soft Misogyny, just like soft White Supremacy, maintains/nourishes structural oppression insidiously and effectively in our “post-feminist” country. Know this! We Must Insist that Misogyny is NAMED and DEFAMED and DISMANTLED
Petula Dvorak’s recent column scores high on the “are-you-fucking-kidding-me-scale:”
It figures. Finally, a woman might be celebrated in grand, monumental way in the nation’s capital. And she’s naked.
Tall, strong, towering and steel, defiant in her stance, yes. But stripped of clothing, as though she were an offering to the former Miss Universe beauty pageant aficionado who now occupies the White House. It’s already clear that our nation has a hard time celebrating or memorializing real women in our culture.
Among 44 memorials in the Mall space, only two besides Freedom include women. One is the tucked-away likeness of Eleanor Roosevelt (who rates a less prominent place on the Franklin Delano Roosevelt monument than his dog) and the powerful statue of Vietnam War nurses.
We’re 51 percent of the population, but a futuristic archaeologist unearthing the rubble in a post-apocalyptic Mall would find little evidence we even existed
This blind spot isn’t just a Washington thing. Of the more than 5,000 public outdoor sculptures across America that are entered in the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Art Inventories Catalog, less than 400 include women. That’s 8 percent.
Even after what seemed like a huge victory for women and African Americans last year, when the U.S. Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would replace President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, current Treasury Secretary Steve T. Mnuchin said he would not commit to following through on that plan. www.washingtonpost.com/local/a-woman-finally-gets-a-monumental-tribute-on-the-mall-and-shes-naked-really/2017/10/04/2072b564-a911-11e7-b3aa-c0e2e1d41e38_story.html
OK, now let’s check in on how the War on Women is going in the US. New rules from the PeeeOTUS Administration gives many more employer-based insurers to opt out of covering contraception for women due to their religious beliefs. How much hate-based rhetoric do we hear about Muslims imposing Sharia Law in the US?! Uh-Huh…we are already imposing Christian Supremacist Law….which by the way will soon be conflated with the Flag, the National Anthem, and the Military. So watch out all you NFL ingrates!
And as always, poor women, disproportionately women of color, must bear the brunt of Misogyny. Shouldn’t we at least be embarrassed by the situation for women in Washington DC, capital of the richest country in the world?!
In Fall 2016, two professors at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill called attention to the stealth attacks by Congress on Title X Family Planning Programs. With a bi-partisan (shocking!) vote in 1970 Congress established Title X as part of the Public Health Service Act. Yes, really, not so long ago it was a no-brainer to understand family planning as public health issue. Beginning in 2011, Congressional Republicans have been steadily reducing the funds that go to states for Title X services. The authors explain:
Why does that matter? According to a recent study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, while maternal mortality rates around the world are decreasing, they increased in the United States between 2000 to 2014. www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/09/26/contraception-deserts-are-what-you-get-when-you-cut-off-this-little-known-federal-program
Yup, you guessed it, these cuts disproportionately and adversely affect poor women of color. Contraception deserts – poor women condemned to third world conditions and medieval restrictions. Can we imagine what is going on in Fall 2017?
Previous dispatches have discussed poverty in America, and the history, legacy, and political purpose of poverty in White Supremacist and Misogynist America. A recent story that did not appear in the mainstream press, that is too busy trying to normalize the PeeeOTUS and the ascension of fascism, concerned the emergence of endemic tropical diseases in the US.
Children playing feet away from open pools of raw sewage; drinking water pumped beside cracked pipes of untreated waste; human feces flushed back into kitchen sinks and bathtubs whenever the rains come; people testing positive for hookworm, an intestinal parasite that thrives on extreme poverty.
These are the findings of a new study into endemic tropical diseases, not in places usually associated with them in the developing world of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, but in a corner of the richest nation on earth: Alabama.
Scientists in Houston, Texas, have lifted the lid on one of America’s darkest and deepest secrets: that hidden beneath fabulous wealth, the US tolerates poverty-related illness at levels comparable to the world’s poorest countries. More than one in three people sampled in a poor area of Alabama tested positive for traces of hookworm, a gastrointestinal parasite thought to have been eradicated from the US decades ago.
The study, the first of its kind in modern times, was carried out by the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in conjunction with Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise (ACRE), a non-profit group seeking to address the root causes of poverty. In a survey of people living in Lowndes County, an area with a long history of racial discrimination and inequality, it found that 34% tested positive for genetic traces of Necator americanus.
Hookworm was rampant in the deep south of the US in the earlier 20th century, sapping the energy and educational achievements of both white and black kids and helping to create the stereotype of the lazy and lethargic southern redneck. As public health improved, most experts assumed it had disappeared altogether by the 1980s.
But the new study reveals that hookworm not only survives in communities of Americans lacking even basic sanitation, but does so on a breathtaking scale. None of the people included in the research had travelled outside the US, yet parasite exposure was found to be prevalent, as was shockingly inadequate waste treatment.
The peer-reviewed research paper, published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, focuses on Lowndes County, Alabama – the home state of the US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and a landmark region in the history of the nation’s civil rights movement. “Bloody Lowndes”, the area was called in reference to the violent reaction of white residents towards attempts to undo racial segregation in the 1950s.
We now need to find how widespread hookworm is across the US,” said Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, who led the research team along with Rojelio Mejia. Hotez, who has estimated that as many as 12 million Americans could be suffering from neglected tropical diseases in poor parts of the south and midwest, told the Guardian the results were a wake-up call for the nation.
“This is the inconvenient truth that nobody in America wants to talk about,” he said. “These people live in the southern United States, and nobody seems to care; they are poor, and nobody seems to care; and more often than not they are people of color, and nobody seems to care.” www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/05/hookworm-lowndes-county-alabama-water-waste-treatment-poverty
Nourished by White Supremacy and Misogyny, Poverty disables millions from birth to (an often early) death. Fear of Poverty makes sure that millions of others loathe poor people and preoccupy themselves with avoiding Poverty. Yeah, structural oppressions are built to endure and flourish.