Dispatch #52 May 20th 2019
Day 925 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny
Day 850 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings
I AM FED UP AND OUT-RAGED ABOUT THE TERM ‘CULTURE WAR’ BEING APPLIED TO THE WAR ON WOMEN.
I WANT TO SCREAM WHAT THE FUCK!!
So hey, would we describe White Supremacy as the Culture War? Racism measured by the likelihood of being killed by police officers after a traffic stop as the Culture War? Torture as justified by soul-less lawyers and psychiatrists-for-hire as the Culture War? HELL NO!! Human rights and civil rights are at stake, except apparently where women’s rights and humanity are being targeted.
What the hell do we mean by ‘extreme anti-abortion law?’ Mainstream media posture as brave and progressive when they denounce as ‘extreme’ the raft of state laws essentially outlawing abortions, as if ‘extreme’ distinguishes these laws from other ‘less extreme’ anti-abortion legislation. So is this new anti-abortion extremism supposed by make us fight to protect the existing Roe restrictions?!
ANY LAW RESTRICTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF WOMEN
TO CONTROL/OWN THEIR BODIES IS EXTREME!
That women are less than human and their human rights are not recognized and easily abridged is baked into the DNA of our patriarchal misogynistic society – so pervasive, so routine, and so matter of fact that we don’t even see the consequences.
For decades, mealy-mouthed cowardly Democratic politicians — unreformed misogynists willing to pander for power – have routinely accepted and supported this chipping away at women’s human rights. Joe Biden’s steadfast support for the 1976 Hyde Amendment showing he is A-OK with treating poor women as less than human is but one example. And, oh yeah, more than 30 years later, our much-heralded President Obama dismissed this ongoing Hyde Amendment atrocity as mere tradition and abortion access as a distraction during the fight to pass the Affordable Care Act. (In case memory fails, Hyde Amendment is the legislative rider that has barred the use of federal insurance programs from paying for abortion, making reproductive health care inaccessible to poor women since 1976.)
I am frankly tired of hearing about gay marriage as an important milestone, or the importance of emphasizing trans rights, or the battle over bathrooms while the insidious characteristics and consequences of institutionalized misogyny are brushed aside.
In her recent New York Times article entitled “We Prosecute Murder Without the Victim’s Help. Why Not Domestic Violence?” Rachel Louise Snyder discusses why domestic violence cases are infrequently prosecuted and highlights the work of a few diligent prosecutors who have overcome the judicial barriers.
In other words, “the barrier to evidence-based prosecution is not about evidence,” as Mr. Gwinn told me not long ago. It never really was. It’s about the kind of violence that is deemed worthy of state attention — like school shootings — and the kind that isn’t, like intimate partner violence. It’s about how we understand, or more often fail to understand, the intersections between family violence and nearly every other social issue we face in this country — homelessness, poverty, mental health, gender equality and yes, mass shootings.
“It’s not about the viability of winning these cases,” Mr. Gwinn said. “It’s about cultural norms and values. And at the heart of it is a stunning amount of misogyny.” www.nytimes.com/2019/05/04/opinion/sunday/domestic-violence-recanting-crawford.html
Winner of the prestigious J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Award, Ms. Snyder’s just published book, No Visible Bruises What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us, is reviewed by Parul Sehgal in her New York Times article “An Extraordinary New Book Dismantles the Myths That Surround Domestic Violence.” Sehgal begins her review with Between 2000 and 2006, 3,200 American soldiers were killed in combat. During that same period, in the United States, more than three times as many women died at the hands of their husbands and boyfriends. Sehgal references the 2017 CDC report that 55% of female homicide victims are the result of intimate partner violence representing an increase from a 2007 CDC report that 40% of female homicides result from intimate partner violence. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6628a1.htm?s_cid=mm6628a1_w Sehgal notes that domestic violence initiatives, after all, are fairly new in this country; until the 1990s, we had more animal shelters than women’s shelters. She describes how Snyder takes the reader through history — how the O.J. Simpson trial and passage of the Violence Against Women Act, in 1994, transformed the understanding of domestic violence — and up to the series of steps that can save women’s lives today. www.nytimes.com/2019/05/07/books/review-no-visible-bruises-domestic-violence-rachel-louise-snyder.html
In her recent article in New York Magazine entitled “Our Fury Over Abortion Was Dismissed for Decades As Hysterical” Rebecca Traister rages with gusto about her rage:
I have been thinking, like so many people this week, about rage. Who I’m mad at, what that anger’s good for, how what makes me maddest is the way the madness has long gone unrespected, even by those who have relied on it for their gains.
For as long as I have been a cogent adult, and actually before that, I have watched people devote their lives, their furious energies, to fighting against the steady, merciless, punitive erosion of reproductive rights. And I have watched as politicians — not just on the right, but members of my own party — and the writers and pundits who cover them, treat reproductive rights and justice advocates as if they were fantasists enacting dystopian fiction…..
First, never again let anyone tell you that the fury or determination to fight on this account is invalid, inappropriate, or inconvenient to a broader message. Consider that this is also what women and marginalized people are told all the time about their anger in general: that they should not express it, not let it out, because to give voice to their rage will distract from their aims, undermine them; that it will ultimately be bad for them. This messaging is strategic. It is designed to get angry people to keep their mouths shut. Because if they are successfully stifled, they will remain at the margins, isolated, alone in their fury. It is only if they start letting it out and acting on it and working in tandem with others who share their outrage that they might begin to form networks, coalitions, the building blocks of movements; it is when the anger is let loose that the organizing happens in earnest….
The fights on the ground might be the most current and urgent in human terms, but there is also energy to be put into policy fights. In 2015, California Congresswoman Barbara Lee authored the EACH Woman Act, the first serious congressional challenge to the Hyde Amendment, which came after years of agitation and activism, especially by All Above All, a grassroots organization led by women of color and determined to make abortion accessible to everyone. Those who are looking for policy fights to lean into can call and write your representatives and candidates and demand that they support the EACH Woman Act.
Rage works. It takes time and numbers and a willingness to express it, but it is among the most reliable catalysts of social and political change. That’s the story of how grassroots activism can compel Barbara Lee to compel her caucus to take on Hyde. Her willingness to tackle it, and the righteous outrage of those who are driven to end the harm it does to poor women and women of color, in turn helped to compel Hillary Clinton—who’d stated her opposition to Hyde during her 08 presidential effort—to make that opposition central to her 2016 primary campaign; opposition to Hyde is now — for the first time since passage in 1976 — a part of the Democratic Party’s platform.
Above all, do not let defeat or despair take you, and do not let anyone tell you that your anger is misplaced or silly or in vain, or that it is anything other than urgent and motivating. It may be terrifying — it is terrifying. But this — the fury and the fight it must fuel — is going to last the rest of our lives and we must get comfortable using our rage as central to the work ahead. www.thecut.com/2019/05/how-extreme-abortion-bans-in-alabama-and-georgia-happened.html