Dispatch #75 July 12th 2020
Day 1340 Post-Ascendency of White Supremacy & Misogyny
Day 1268 Post-Installation of White-Supremacist-Misogynist-Pussy-Grabbing-Self-Aggrandizing-Demagogic-Bully-Illegitimate-PeeeOTUS & his White-Nationalist-Fascistic-Christian-Supremacist-Quislings
New York Times July 9th headline says ‘Supreme Court Affirms that Religious Beliefs and Moral Concerns Do Override Women’s Human Rights and Reproductive Justice Rights.’
No? You didn’t see this headline? Then you are absolutely not paying attention! You remember, Obama threw women’s human rights under the bus in his deal to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You still are confused?! OK, ACA allows employers providing health insurance to be exempt from covering contraception/birth control services on the basis of religious beliefs. The Supremes just ruled in favor of PeeeOTUS Administration regulations that expand this exemption to include religious or moral concerns. Yup, employer-sponsored insurance will pay for Viagra, but, not for birth control because…well, because women are less than human so actually we don’t need to care (AKA females don’t have any rights that matter).
The rising calls for transformational/structural change premised on dismantling White Supremacy MUST include dismantling Misogyny. We must insist on racial justice and gender justice. The disabling shackles of patriarchal-heteronormativity will not destroyed without a specific focus on women’s human rights and reproductive justice. If Misogyny gives you trouble, then Patriarchal White Supremacy will do.
This moment of widespread uprising for social justice requires transformational language to shape demands for change. New York Times columnist Charles Blow recently declared that language matters and that White Supremacy must be used to describe and decry US racism. www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/opinion/racism-united-states.html (Hey Charles, welcome to the revolution! Better late than never.)
We must demand equally powerful transformational language to describe and decry the use of religious beliefs to deny women their human rights, to deprive women of the fundamental right to control their own bodies. Delete abortion rights, pro-choice, pro-life et al. from your vocabulary – instead use this language:
Reproductive Justice ∞ Reproductive Right ∞ Women’s Human Rights
SisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities. Reproductive politics in the US is [currently]based on gendered, sexualized, and racialized acts of dominance that occur on a daily basis. www.sistersong.net/reproductive-justice
Language matters! This is why young women do not understand the gravity of this moment…the breadth of how their human rights are being restricted and endangered.
Don’t pay attention to the numerous articles parsing the Supremes’ decision as offering hope and bolstering Roberts’ mainstream credentials. Linda Greenhouse’s New York Times column titled “How Chief Justice Roberts Solved His Abortion Dilemma: For the moment, the right to choose is safe. But the outlook is ominous” gives the most accurate assessment and warning. Read it now! www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/opinion/supreme-court-abortion-roberts.html? At least the New York Times editorial board knows what is at stake in the column titled “The Roberts Court Curtails Birth Control Access. Again.” www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/opinion/supreme-court-birth-control.html?
Just like communities of color are being disproportionately affected by COVID19 due to underlying conditions, i.e., living and surviving in White Supremacist culture, so women are being disproportionately affected by Patriarchal White Supremacy.
W.H.O. Warns of Pandemic’s Indirect Dangers to Women and Children nytimes.com/video/world/100000007189269/world-health-organization-women-children-coronavirus.html
Pandemic Could Scar a Generation of Working Mothers Working from home has highlighted and compounded the heavier domestic burden borne by women. Now office re-openings may force new career sacrifices. www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/business/economy/coronavirus-working-women.html
For Indian Women, the Coronavirus Economy Is a Devastating Setback India’s women were already dropping out of the labor force. Coronavirus restrictions — and one of the worst economic slumps in decades — threaten even more losses for them. http://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/09/world/asia/india-coronavirus-women-economy.html
A Stimulus Backlash Delivers a Global Warning: Value Female Workers -Australia is pouring millions into the male-dominated construction industry while ending free child care. www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/world/australia/coronavirus-stimulus-childcare-women.html
The Pandemic’s Setbacks for Working Moms -Two reporters talk about the disadvantages women will face in the workplace in earnings and opportunities. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/02/insider/virus-working-moms.html
With barely concealed outrage and despair in her Nation column titled “A Small Victory for Reproductive Rights –Trump’s Supreme Court appointees lost this battle, but the war on abortion is far from over” Katha Pollitt protests:
How has it happened that the right of millions of women to decide whether and when to keep a pregnancy depends on one man—a man who actually doesn’t believe they should have that right? That 70 percent of Americans support Roe, that one in four women will have had an abortion by menopause, that countless women still living had illegal abortions before Roe, that legal abortion underwrites every aspect of modern women’s lives, and men’s lives too—none of that has the traction in our politics or our legal system that you would expect. www.thenation.com/article/society/supreme-court-abortion/
In his New York Times column titled ‘An Insatiable Rage’ Charles Blow acknowledges that Black people are burdened with an everyday struggle to neither fall into despair nor explode in anger. www.nytimes.com/2020/06/14/opinion/us-protests-racism.html.
Women feel this same insatiable rage, this same everyday struggle to neither fall into despair nor explode in anger. As a woman, I have life-long experience with being smothered by structural Misogyny – the invisible burqa dictated by the patriarchy. 24/7 my gender determines how I am seen as less than human and routinely dismissed by the toxicity of Misogyny — just like 24/7 skin color entirely determines one’s fate by the poison of White Supremacy.
“Most women have not even been able to touch this anger, except to drive it inward like a rusted nail.” — Adrienne Rich
Institutionalized Misogynist terror takes many forms—from the sexualized rape culture to the helpless little woman trope. Women live their lives on alert for predatory male behavior and for the blame and consequences that may or may not occur; whether a sexualized glance, full-blown leering and jeering, a stance too close, grabbing and touching without permission. Women worry with good reason when we see a small girl or adolescent female alone, without a protector. Misogyny cripples women with fear, self-loathing and internalized rage; Misogyny is designed to make women enforce oppression on themselves and on other women.
“The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic, and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.” — Adrienne Rich