The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Feminism’ Category

The liberals made my life miserable for 43 years. And I’m going to make their lives miserable for 43 years.

Clarence Thomas to his clerks in 1993

This is the petty schmuck who has led the charge to make all the people he hates – women, LGBTQ+, and non-Christofascists in general – into property of the State. I say “the State” because the federal government, in the person of six ideologues who never should have been confirmed to the Supreme Court, has removed basic privacy protections from all of us.

The State has decided that only women who live in blue states will have rights to their own bodies. In essence, when one person is denied the guarantee of freedom, it opens up the precedent that everyone can be denied the guarantee of freedom. Thomas and the five ChristoClowns have decided that no one has rights to their own bodies except white, straight, Christian men. (I think Clarence Thomas counts himself as white – that’s the only explanation for his buying in to this anti-American bullsh*t.)

As Quixote pointed out in comments, this is the re-establishment of slavery; but Slavery 2.0 casts a much wider net than the original. Friday’s decision removed basic human rights from 166 million women and girls. And each of those women and girls has many people that love her and will grieve her pain along with her. So when she is raped and has to bear her rapist’s child, or dies in childbirth, or dies from an ectopic pregnancy, or lives in poverty and misery because she can’t afford a child, this suffering doesn’t just impact her. It impacts everyone around her.

The horrors that will spread from this decision are unimaginable, and I think we are all incredulous that no one could see it coming in 2016. Young white people in particular should have come out in droves to vote for Hillary, but no. They couldn’t be bothered because “both parties are the same” and “Bernie woulda won.” Do y’all get it now, Gen Z and Millennials? You’re the ones who will actually be impacted by this. I’m going to be 55 this year and can no longer get pregnant, which oddly, makes me feel guilty that I won’t be directly miserable along with so many others. (Jewish guilt is rough.)

For those who say this will only impact women of color, and wealthy white women in red states will be fine because they can travel to other states, I think they’re in for a surprise. The Christofascists have thought of that loophole. They want to test women for pregnancy before allowing them to travel out of state. And, they want to criminalize miscarriages. Sounds like Slavery 1.0, doesn’t it? Will they be sending bounty hunters to capture runaway pregnant women if they cross the border “illegally” to states where they’re not considered property?

Based on the wave of protests that started on Friday and will likely continue, as well as the vast majority of Americans who disagree with SCOTUS, this terrible decision will drive enormous turnout in 2022 and the Democrats will increase their majorities in the House and Senate. (This doesn’t even count the impact the J6 hearings have had on the QOP – but that’s for another post. That will also be quite significant.) Nevertheless, I agree with Quixote, DYB and other Widdershins that every Democrat running for office in 2022 needs to be on message as to what they are going to do to fix this. I’d like to hear them say three things: 1) I will vote to amend the filibuster to make progress on legislation the Republicans are blocking; 2) I will vote to expand the Supreme Court and 3) I will vote “yes” on the Women’s Health Protection Act. None of these things can happen without two more Senate Democrats to nullify Manchinema’s inconsistent insistence on keeping the filibuster sacrosanct sometimes, whatever whatever.

The QOP has massively overstepped both their power and their mandate. They may be celebrating now, but they will be crying in November, and for decades to come. And Clarence Thomas, you will be f*cking miserable for the rest of your disgusting, pathetic life.

It seems that 99.9% of all political sex offenders are always Republicans, but the .01% of Democrats all seem to come from New York! I’m annoyed, pissed off and disappointed at how these New York Democratic men have been conducting themselves over the past several years. Governor Cuomo is only the latest example of Manhattan Men Behaving Badly (and frankly, I want him to wait out the investigation because something smells Al Franken-y about this one). Is there something in the water?!

2008 – Governor Eliot Spitzer, a rock star of the Party and seemingly headed for higher office, was caught using prostitutes – and didn’t hide the money trail so well either.

The investigation of Spitzer was initiated after North Fork Bank[1] reported suspicious transactions to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as required by the Bank Secrecy Act, which was enhanced by Patriot Act provisions, enacted to combat terrorist activity such as money laundering.[2] Spitzer had at least seven liaisons with prostitutes from the agency over six months, and paid more than $15,000 for their services. Federal agents had him under surveillance twice in 2008.[3][4][5] According to published reports, investigators believe Spitzer paid up to $80,000 for prostitutes over a period of several years – first while he was attorney general, and later as governor.[6][7][8] Governor Spitzer, referred to as “Client 9” in an affidavit filed in US Federal Court,[9] arranged to meet at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on February 13, 2008 with a prostitute named “Kristen”. “Kristen” was later identified as 22-year-old Ashley Dupré.[10][11] She intended to travel from New York City for the planned tryst and Spitzer agreed in advance that he “would be paying for everything—train tickets, cab fare from the hotel and back, mini-bar or room service, travel time and hotel”.[12] After the meeting on February 13, 2008, Spitzer paid her $4,300 in cash.[13] The payment included $1,100 as a deposit with the agency toward future services.[14]

2011 – Next there was Democrat Anthony Weiner, an up-and-coming seven-term New York Representative whom MadamaB saw speak at a single-payer advocacy group meeting (he was terrific) – but alas, he couldn’t keep it in his pants either, and ended up several years later disgraced, divorced from Hillary’s BFF Huma Abedin, and registered as a sex offender. WTAF!

2018 – Now this one was ugly and mind-boggling. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (yes I voted for him!) was a long-time favorite in the Empire State. He had a history of advocacy for liberal causes, including the cause of protecting women from harassment and abuse.

In its first year in office, the Trump administration sought to scrap numerous Obama-era environmental regulations which Trump had often referred to as an impediment to business.[40] Saying, “Over and over again, the Trump administration has put the profits of multinational polluters over the health and well-being of everyday Americans,” Schneiderman filed over 50 lawsuits opposing Trump’s environmental revisions.[41]
In February 2018, Schneiderman brought a civil rights lawsuit against The Weinstein Company, alleging the company “repeatedly broke New York law by failing to protect its employees from pervasive sexual harassment, intimidation, and discrimination”. The lawsuit delayed the sale of The Weinstein Company with the Attorney General adding, “Any sale of the Weinstein Company must ensure that victims will be compensated.”[42][43]

When it came out that four women had accused Schneiderman of physical and emotional abuse, I really couldn’t believe it, but the women were credible and it was clear he had to resign.

Now in case you were noticing that all these men are Jewish, take heart! There’s a Christian on this list as well.

2021 – New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo is caught up in yet another cosmic clusterf*ck. Is he corrupt and a sexual harasser? Is he the victim of a setup a la Al Franken? I don’t know, but frankly, I’m tired of hearing about all this sh*t from New York Democratic men.

Maybe try electing a woman now and then, eh Noo Yawk?

Tawk amongst yerselves!

So the Mango Moron, the only pResident ever to brag about “acing” a cognitive impairment test, is trying to smear Joe Biden as not all there, mentally speaking. He’s made big ad buys with this messaging in swing states, and his campaign keeps doubling down on the “strategy.”

This isn’t going over well with the most reliable group of voters: people over 65. Turns out leaving older people to die in nursing homes of Covid-19, trying to take health care away from the survivors, then smearing them as unfit to serve as President are somehow not winning strategies. Who knew?

More troubling for the president, Biden has moved ahead among voters 65 or older in several national surveys, including a significant 14-point advantage in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday, helping propel him to double-digit leads nationally. Trump won seniors by 7 percentage points in 2016 over Hillary Clinton, according to exit polls, with white senior voters a key part of his coalition. 

“It can certainly backfire among senior voters, and it’s not something you want to do when you’re already starting to lose their votes,” said Todd Belt, professor and political management program director at George Washington University. “We’ve seen a big shift in the over-65 population moving towards Biden. This isn’t a really good strategy to win them back.”

This isn’t the only voting block Drumpf is losing massively. Ex-Republican strategist Jennifer Rubin writes in the Washington Post that, basically, everybody hates Donald. All the voters who helped Drumpf get close enough to steal the election in 2016 are running to Biden in droves. And now the polls are showing double-digit leads all over the map.

By now I’m sure you’re thinking, “How are we going to screw this up? Because we always do.” I know, I know. I have thoughts like that too. But sadly, I think the only way we could have “screwed it up” was to nominate another woman. Unfortunately, this country is so godd*mn misogynistic that they elected a sexual predator, money launderer and traitor rather than voting for THAT WOMAN.

And what really hurts is that Democrats wouldn’t vote for her either. Wouldn’t stand up for her when she was smeared by Bernie for six months in 2016, wouldn’t help her fight against the blizzard of negative press, wouldn’t amplify her message as Drumpf got $2 Billion in free advertising from NBC and other “news” outlets. They claim it was all because Hillary was [fill in horrible misogynistic trope here], but in reality, there is no woman they would vote for. When push came to shove, they wouldn’t have pulled the lever for Elizabeth, Kamala, Kirsten or Amy. And we can’t count on them, ever, to do it.

So thankfully, we have a 77-year-old white man as our nominee. His color, age and gender allow all those Democrats and previously Republican voters to feel “safe” voting for him. Heaven forbid we should ever elect a woman who actually MAKES US SAFE when crises hit. Because those Republican voters felt “safer” voting for Drumpf, a sociopathic predator, than voting for Hillary – a Secretary of State, First Lady of Arkansas and FLOTUS, attorney, and mother (and grandmother).

Well, here we are.

 

Do you remember this article from a couple of years back? It was big in the media for a few days. Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children.

Having a child contributes some thirty times as much to warming the planet as the next closest action an individual can take: living without a car.

 

Climate change impact of having a child: each one adds 58.6 tons of CO2 equivalents per year. Using a car adds 2.4 tCO2e per year.

 

 

And yet, amidst all the discussion of air travel and bicycling and electric vehicles, there’s a ban on mentioning population control.

Another example I came across recently was in a very encouraging article about greening the Sahel in Africa.

… {Farmers had a] cheap, effective way to regreen the Sahel. They did so by using simple water harvesting techniques and protecting trees that emerged naturally on their farms.

Garrity recalls walking through farms in Niger, fields of grains like millet and sorghum stretching to the sun planted around trees, anywhere from a handful to 80 per acre. “In most cases, the trees are in random locations because they sprouted and the farmer protected them and let them grow,” he says. [Depending on species] [t]he trees can be cut for fuel… They can be pruned for livestock fodder. Their leaves and fruit are nutritious.

One tree, Faidherbia albida, goes dormant during the wet season when most trees grow. When the rains begin, the trees defoliate, dropping leaves that fertilize the soil. Because they have dropped their leaves, the trees do not shade crops during the growing season. Their value had long been recognized by farmers….

[But] “He laments that work is moving too slowly. With the Sahel’s population doubling in 20 years, Reij says regreening needs to be finished within 10 to 15 years.”

He makes it sound as if this doubling is a great force beyond human influence, like a solar storm or a meteor strike. It’s not. It’s merely human reproduction. We’re helpless only because the subject is so untouchable it can’t even be said out loud.

What’s up with that?

I think the answer lies in the two possible trajectories to control births.

One is coercive. China’s one child policy is perhaps the most famous recent example. Since women are the ones giving birth, you have to control women. You punish them if they have too many children. You enforce abortions on mothers. Or, if you’re a Nazi in the 1930s who wants lots of blond babies and no browner ones, you try to enforce a eugenics program on women. You sterilize gypsies or the disabled or Jews while giving “your” women the option to be incubators or nothing.

All those methods involve hideously totalitarian pre-emption of individual choice and body autonomy (like the supporters of forced pregnancy, but we’re more used to them so it doesn’t feel as outlandish). But on the bright side, they don’t require any changes to misogynist and patriarchal social systems.

The other trajectory is to give women control over their own reproduction. Wherever that is done, birth rates drop dramatically. They may not fall all the way to replacement levels, but they get much closer than any other method. Giving women control works, it works sustainably and long term.

But.

But it deprives society of its main tool to control all aspects of women’s lives. Your reliable producers of the next generation, your unpaid domestic servants and nannies and handholders and caregivers, gradually find other things to do with their lives. Members of the upper caste might have to do their own dishes. Your whole system falls apart.

And therein lies the rub. All our current problems are made much worse by overpopulation. Dealing with that requires treating women like human beings. Which gives the patriarchy the vapors.

So suddenly respect for medieval religions and medieval cultures make it impossible to promote birth control. They might be offended!

There’s not the same action-limiting respect when it comes to things that serve the caste system. Porn is all over the place even though the Pope disapproves. But breastfeeding is too avantgarde for the delicate sensibilities of men on Facebook. Nor is there ever equivalent concern that women object to being erased.

The discrepancy has a name. Sady Doyle wrote about it almost three years ago, Trump, Putin, Assange, and the politics of sexism. Supposedly all three are exponents of radically different systems, and yet they have a lizard brain-level understanding that they’re on the same side. Her focus is social and political effects, but the same allergy to anything kind or well-meaning is everywhere.

Recently, reactionaries have made The Misogyny of Climate Deniers obvious by their revolting comments against a 16 year old who’s done nothing except use the full weight of all the evidence to disagree with them.

The connection has to do with a sense of group identity under threat, … both by developing gender equality—Hultman pointed specifically to the shock some men felt at the #MeToo movement—and now climate activism’s challenge to their way of life, male reactionaries motivated by right-wing nationalism, anti-feminism, and climate denialism increasingly overlap, the three reactions feeding off of one another. … Climate change used to be a bipartisan concern, the first Bush senior presidency famously promising to tackle global warming. But as conservative male mockery of Thunberg and others shows, climate politics has quickly become the next big battle in the culture war—on a global scale.

Misogyny isn’t the only motivation of reactionaries. There’s greed and garden variety hatred in there, too, but misogyny is the core. It’s misogyny, not greed or racism or ordinary hatred, that makes men fear weakness more than anything. And fear of weakness is what ties together the worst of what they do.

They think strong man governments are a good idea. They like guns and “defence” — war, really, so long as somebody else dies in it. Peace is only tolerable “through strength.” The reactionaries are against anything that doesn’t shout big power. They like nukes because gigawatts! dangerous! The truth is that even building a new gigawatt nuke every two months from 2010 till 2050 would solve only a small part of climate change and energy needs. Meanwhile renewables could provide all our energy by 2050 for a fraction of the cost and without radioactive waste. But distributed power, whether that’s rooftop solar or real democracy, strikes reactionaries as la-la limp-wristed hippie crap. Likewise, restraint against environmental destruction is pathetic weakness in the face of hard choices.

And weakness is the worst thing you can show. They (“They”) come and take your man card away. It’s the only thing that gave you any standing and it’s gone.

That is a future so horrible it’s worth burning the world down to avoid it. It must never be spoken lest saying its name calls it forth.

Crossposted from Acid Test.

It looks like you won’t have a problem finding a place to get your feet on the street today…and after today.

#StopTheBans Actions

This Tuesday, May 21st at noon local time at statehouses, town squares, and courthouses across the nation–with other events throughout the week–we will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women.

Plan an action or RSVP to one near you now. We’ll send you more information on tips to make the most of your event.

As Our Girl Hillary said at the Women in the World Summit in 2012:

“We need to be as fearless as the women whose stories you have applauded, as committed as the dissidents and the activists you have heard from, as audacious as those who start movements for peace when all seems lost.”

This is an open thread.


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