Dispatch #46 November 5th 2018
Day 729 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny
Day 654 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings
On the eve of the two-year anniversary of the Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny, Democratic hopes for the midterm elections are riding largely on a record number of women running for the House and the out-raged organizing by women across the country.
Commentators note a possible reprise of the so-called “1992 Year of the Woman” when 24 women won House seats and 4 women won Senate seats. Then women reacted to the brazen and pitiless misogyny smeared on Anita Hill by the Senate Judiciary Committee led by Joe Biden. (Yeah, that Joe Biden the leading Democratic 2020 Presidential candidate because, you know, he can talk to those white men dismissed by Hillary.)
Now, 26 years later, women are out-raged by the ascendency of the White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS over the most qualified person ever to run for the US Presidency. I can still feel/remember the excited anticipation about electing a woman president being twisted into out-rage; for these two years, woke women have been living with the toxic legacy of brazen and pitiless Misogyny smeared on Hillary Clinton.
Hiding in plain sight is the most visible and egregious expression of Misogyny in 2018 – the treatment of Nancy Pelosi by Republicans and Democrats. Now that Hillary Clinton has been dispatched, Pelosi becomes the favorite dog whistle for inciting male anger and fear about what the Democrats will do to the country if they gain power.
In an August 2018 column entitled “Whose Afraid of Nancy Pelosi?” Paul Krugman offered an assessment of this powerful politician/woman:
So this seems like a good time to remind everyone that Pelosi is by far the greatest speaker of modern times and surely ranks among the most impressive people ever to hold that position. And it’s interesting to ask why she gets so little credit with the news media, and hence with the general public, for her accomplishments. What has Pelosi achieved?
First, as House minority leader, she played a crucial role in turning back George W. Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security. Then she was the key figure, arguably even more crucial than President Barack Obama, in passing the Affordable Care Act, which produced a spectacular fall in the number of uninsured Americans and has proved surprisingly robust even in the face of Trumpian sabotage. She helped enact financial reform, which has turned out to be more vulnerable to being undermined, but still helped stabilize the economy and protected many Americans from fraud. Pelosi also helped pass the Obama stimulus plan, which economists overwhelmingly agree mitigated job losses from the financial crisis, as well as playing a role in laying the foundation for a green energy revolution.
But you’d never know that from her media coverage. Or maybe it’s just the fact that she’s a woman — a woman who happens to have been far better at her job than any man in recent memory. It’s a sad commentary on Republicans that they have nothing to run on except demonizing a politician whose track record makes them look pathetic. And it’s a sad commentary on the news media that so much reporting echoes these baseless attacks. www.nytimes.com/2018/08/13/opinion/nancy-pelosi-midterms-democrats-republicans.html
Democrats show their willful ignorance and incompetence as they decry identity politics, see women’s right to control their bodies as negotiable, and follow the Republican lead in denigrating this accomplished and powerful Democratic woman. Misogyny dictates that women exercising and/or seeking power are dangerous and alien; indeed, such women must be punished and removed from power. SHAME on these cowardly Democrats.
In her article entitled “Nancy Pelosi: Demonized or Celebrated, She Refuses to Agonize,” Kate Zernike reports:
Ms. Pelosi, 78, is the highest-ranking woman in American politics and American political history. And as the only woman at the table for so long, she has become the proxy for all the complicated feelings around women in power.
The caricatures come easily. One ad — Republicans have run more than 61,000 featuring her in the last six weeks, more than either party has run about President Trump— depicts a California congressman walking in a cheap version of Ms. Pelosi’s signature stilettos, more streetwalker than former speaker. Has anyone ever attempted to tar a candidate with Chuck Schumer’s reading glasses or Mitch McConnell’s wingtips?
Ms. Pelosi tells female candidates they have to be ready, to know their issues cold and to have a plan: “I don’t want you to be intimidated by anything people will say, because they’re always trying to diminish whatever it is we have done,” she told the audience at Emerge. To the transgender woman who wants to run for office, and the Muslims who organized after being denied a permit to build a mosque and are now hosting her at a fund-raiser, Ms. Pelosi repeats her favorite aphorisms: “Know your why, know your how” and “Don’t agonize, organize.”
In an interview, Ms. Pelosi did not want to linger on the attacks against her. “The woman thing is a double-edged sword,” she said. “Yes, there’s misogyny out there. But you get a tremendous upside: the support of women.” In her 15 years as leader, 68 new Democratic women have entered the House, and the total has risen to 65 from 42.
Her excitement about the flood of “fabulous women” running for office this year has given her more freedom on the trail. “I’m a shy person,” she said. “For me to be assertive that way, it’s not for me. It’s for the women. To say, don’t take it. Be confident in who you are, what you have to offer. And understand: If you are effective you’ll be opposed. But you’re in the arena. That’s what it is, and it’s not for the faint of heart.” www.nytimes.com/2018/11/04/us/politics/nancy-pelosi-house-leader-women.html
The midterms should bring many Democratic women to join Pelosi in the House. We must SEE women with power being powerful and being successful if Misogyny is ever to be uprooted. !!!!YOU GO Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi!!!!
Structural Patriarchy continues to define the status of American women. The rules and consequences of hierarchical oppression are pervasive and vary in deadliness by race, age and class. In a column entitled “How Feminist Dystopian Fiction Is Channeling Women’s Anger and Anxiety,” Alexandra Alter’s assessment of the context for these recent books shows the urgency of resistance:
“The Water Cure” by Sophie Mackintosh, which comes out in the United States in January and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, joins a growing wave of female-centered dystopian fiction, futuristic works that raise uncomfortable questions about pervasive gender inequality, misogyny and violence against women, the erosion of reproductive rights and the extreme consequences of institutionalized sexism.
Louise Erdrich puts a more apocalyptic spin on the themes of reproduction and women’s physical autonomy in “Future Home of the Living God,” which hinges on a cataclysmic biological event that threatens the future of humanity, leading the government to round up pregnant women and seize their babies. “Fighting for women’s rights is an unrelenting battle,” Ms. Erdrich wrote in an email. “I saw that my daughters might have to live with the steady erosion of human progress.”
For Margaret Atwood — who has become a sort of patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction, heaping praise on younger writers who are expanding the genre — it has been both inspiring and unsettling to see the resurgence of interest in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” as women’s rights activists have taken up the language and imagery from her novel as a cultural shorthand for misogyny. “When I wrote the book, I wished we would not be in a situation where these protests would become necessary,” she said. “There’s certainly a very concerted push toward making women’s bodies a possession of the state in the United States.” www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/books/feminist-dystopian-fiction-margaret-atwood-women-metoo.html
While categorized as fiction, this feminist dystopian literature reflects the reality of Misogyny that women must navigate at all times throughout their lives. E.g.,
- Higher education officials are just starting to grasp how campus rape steals women’s careers before they start. https://qz.com/work/1334192/the-story-of-a-campus-rape-shows-how-womens-careers-can-get-hurt-before-they-start/
- Women participating in senior leadership boot camps are literally not heard/seen when they speak and act exactly like male leaders. www.nytimes.com/2018/03/16/health/women-leadership-workplace.html
- Research shows decisively that women pitching to venture capitalists are not successful no matter how many equal opportunities as male venture capitalists cannot “see” or “hear” them. www.washingtonpost.com/news/posteverything/wp/2018/07/24/to-succeed-in-silicon-valley-you-still-have-to-act-like-a-man/
- How Sexism Follows Women From the Cradle to the Workplace New economic research suggests that the attitudes toward a woman when she is born have a lasting impact on how much she works, and earns, as an adult. www.nytimes.com/2018/08/19/business/sexism-women-birthplace-workplace.html?
- The Costs of Motherhood Are Rising, and Catching Women Off Guard College-educated women in particular underestimate the demands of parenthood and the difficulties of combining working and parenting, new research shows. www.nytimes.com/2018/08/17/upshot/motherhood-rising-costs-surprise.html
- A ‘Generationally Perpetuated’ Pattern: Daughters Do More Chores They also earn less allowance, suggesting that the gender inequality in pay begins at home, and early in life. www.nytimes.com/2018/08/08/upshot/chores-girls-research-social-science.html
Democratic women must resist and call-out the current mainstream/liberal democrat position that “identity politics” is problematic lens and that an economic lens will benefit everyone. Women know that this position is Bullshit because it ignores the patriarchal hierarchy and structural white supremacy.
Ms. Pelosi, the only woman to ever be speaker of the House, replies that she has been opposed in previous bids for leadership; it’s the vitality of the Democratic Party; she thrives on it. The audience applauds, but she pushes on: “I say this especially to women, because they think women are going to run away from a fight, but you can’t do that.” www.nytimes.com/2018/11/04/us/politics/nancy-pelosi-house-leader-women.html