The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Sexism’ Category

Good afternoon Widdershins

 

I had a different post in mind for the weekend, but yeah, fuck that.  And no, it wasn’t going to be a GoT thing.

No, after this week it’s time to let your musical voices come out in anger!  Shout it out.

I’ll put up a few songs but I fully expect y’all to provide lots of them yourselves.

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AND LAST:

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Open thread of course but hope you’ll add some of your own in the comments.

 

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The talk about fetal personhood bills, and especially Lauren Kelley’s point about the activists turning a health issue into a criminal one, got me thinking. So much so that I actually wrote her some feedback, which now, I guess, I’m going to turn into an open letter of feedback. (There’s a whole series in the NYTimes, a newspaper I’m terminally annoyed with, so I have most of this secondhand from public twitter feeds.)

Pregnancy is a health issue if women are people.

But they really can’t be people to those pushing fetal personhood. If women were actual humans in their minds, the pro-fetus crowd would know that personhood does not mean a guaranteed right to erase women.

After all, if an adult man is about to die for lack of a kidney transplant, we don’t send tissue-typing trucks to roam the streets until a match is found for him and the required spare kidney is extracted. Yet it’s a parallel case. A person (everyone agrees an adult man is a person) will die unless he can use another person’s kidney. If you wanted an exactly parallel case, the healthy person would be drafted to dialyse his blood for nine months. We don’t do that either.

That’s for the simple reason that the counterparty really is a person in that example. In the case of pregnancy, it’s necessarily a woman which somehow makes everything different.

But it isn’t. The only thing that’s different is that plenty of people are not used to thinking of women as actual human beings. They’re brood mares first, humans, maybe, second.

The real assumptions behind all this are important because they determine the ground on which you argue. Remember the old Roe v Wade days and the anti-choicers calling themselves “pro-life”? The size of the joke on us is becoming clearer by the day. At the time too few wanted to hear that accepting bogus terminology ceded the high ground before we’d even begun to fight. Now here we are, pleading for our lives, not our rights.

We need to be as clear as we can about the real terms of the argument. This isn’t really about anyone’s health. If it was, we’d have had those tissue-typing vans driving around ever since organ transplantation was feasible. This isn’t even about whether fetuses are persons. It’s about whether women are persons.

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Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

I must confess that watching the Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh testimonies left me feeling hopeless. I don’t know if I’ve felt this depressed since election night and inauguration. What we saw was such a horrific display of partisanship from Republicans, such naked thirst for power, such terrifying absence of decency, that I don’t know if we can ever truly recover from where we are now. And, frankly, the weak performance of Democrats against Kavanaugh revealed that we don’t have strong leadership. Yes, there may be flashes of it here and there, but in the second half of the day Democrats surrendered all control to Republicans. Lindsey Graham goes on a full frontal attack on Democrats and their only response was Cory Booker calling Graham his friend. Every Republican attacked Diane Feinstein. And Democrats remained silent. Democrats kept hammering on about the FBI investigation: important yes, but the point was made already and repeatedly, and anyone who mentioned it after Dick Durbin drew blood by getting Kavanaugh to fall speechless on the subject was wasting time. They let so many things fall through the cracks because they harped on that single issue. They also kept quoting Kavanaugh’s former roommate who said he saw Kavanaugh get very drunk many times: yes, we heard it and Kavanaugh dismissed that story pretty easily. Yet they kept returning to it Kavanaugh swatted them away just as easily each time. It was a waste of time.

Democrats should have pursued Rachel Mitchell’s questions about the July 1st party on Kavanaugh’s calendar – which perfectly matches Dr. Ford’s description of the party where she was assaulted, including the guest list and the timeframe where she ran into Mike Judge in a grocery store approximately 6 weeks later. The Republican prosecutor seemed to accidentally stumble on the actual date of the party where Ford was attacked! She had Kavanaugh read the first and last names of all his friends who were going to attend this party. The names match everyone Ford names, including the man Kavanaugh’s friends tried to pin the assault on (but who denied any involvement in a letter to the judiciary committee.) The date of the party – July 1st – also matches Ford’s story that she ran into Mike Judge in a grocery store approximately 6 weeks later. But because she wasn’t sure when the party was, knowing when Judge worked in the store would help. Well, Mike Judge wrote in his book that worked in that grocery store in August of that year. It matches perfectly the time-frame Ford laid out. A party Kavanaugh attended, the guest list of friends that matches Ford’s list of those present, and the 6 weeks before seeing the eye-witness in a store. Rachel Mitchell – intentionally or not (probably not) – laid this out for Democrats. Democrats did nothing with this information. As soon as Mitchell asked these questions about the July 1st party, Grassley called for a recess. They returned and Graham went for the Democrats’ jugular. Mitchell was not heard from again. Every Republican after that went for the same jugular. And Democrats did nothing. They didn’t fight back, they did not pursue the line of questioning that quite literally may reveal the date – on Kavanaugh’s own calendar – of the party where Ford was assaulted.  The hearings ended as a disaster for Democrats.

Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony was astonishing. With strength and courage she arrived to tell the truth. And she did. What was striking about her answers is that she didn’t try to be right. She knew there were gaps in her story, she willingly acknowledged the limitations of memory. Contrast this with every Kavanaugh testimony: in his desire to be right and perfect, Kavanaugh lies. He lies easily and repeatedly. Republicans don’t care that Kavanaugh has committed perjury numerous times already. But we know that he has. And we know that Dr. Ford has not. This extraordinary woman has upended her entire life – the persecution of Dr. Ford will continue forever – because she wanted to do what is right. She faced the lions and went in. She did it for all of us. She said that her greatest fear is that she would do all this, put her family and herself through hell and it would not matter. She is probably right, that Kavanaugh will still be appointed to the Supreme Court. But her testimony matters. It matters to countless women and men who have been abused and who have been too afraid to speak up. People who have blamed themselves for the attacks. Christine Blasey Ford showed us that sometimes we must do what is right, even when we know it may not make the difference we seek in the moment. Dr. Ford and her courage do not exist in a vacuum. She has already changed the lives of countless victims of sexual abuse. May she take some comfort in that. And may we all hope to have that kind of courage.

“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

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Gillian Flynn’s words echo and echo and echo inside my skull.

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

(Via Sarah Kendzior. I’ve said the same too, repeatedly, less efficiently.)

There’s Senator Orrin Hatch saying, “…consider who the judge is today – because that’s the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.”

“By any measure.” Any measure.

Kavanaugh has never shown any repentance or made any amends, but by any measure he’s in Hatch’s good books. Despite every indication of willingness to commit a crime so bad it’s right up there with murder. Technically, of course. It’s vanishingly unlikely to happen to Hatch. So Kavanaugh is a “good man.”

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

You wonder how the slavers could do what they did to black human beings two hundred years ago? This is how. They thought it was natural, normal, just how things were. They could think well of themselves with no trouble while they sold people. Those people were livestock. Just as people now consider themselves “good” while thinking that a little rape never hurt anyone. Not any real people. Slaveholders were Supreme Court Justices once. What could possibly be the objection to a rapist on the highest court in the land?

They don’t care about us enough to hate us. We are simply a form of livestock.

Crossposted from Acid Test

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The #MeToo movement blasted the door off Hollywood like a tsunami. The first villain to go down was Harvey Weinstein, the notoriously vicious and deranged producer who produced some extraordinary films. In his wake many others have fallen, some perhaps unfairly (Al Franken is still hotly debated on Twitter.) The last couple of weeks saw the fall of 2 big CBS figures: the president of the network Les Moonves and the 60 Minutes’ chief Jeff Fager.

After Ronan Farrow’s article in The New Yorker discussed allegations against Fager, CBS journalist Jericka Duncan, preparing a report on the story, contacted Fager for comment. Fager wrote back via text:

If you repeat these false accusations without any of your own reporting to back them up, you will be responsible for harming me. Be careful. There are people who lost their jobs trying to harm me and if you pass on these damaging claims without your own reporting to back them up that will become a serious problem.

Once head of CBS News learned of this message, Fager was fired.

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Former CBS president Les Moonves

The bigger fall at CBS, however, was its very president, Les Moonves. Moonves has been accused of not just harassment, but assault, forcing women to perform oral sex on him. And, of course, he ruined many careers. Moonves (who is married to CBS host Julie Chen) carried a vendetta against Janet Jackson because of the “wardrobe malfunction” at the Super Bowl, and ordered MTV and VH1, as well as Viacom owned radio stations, to stop playing Jackson’s music. The “disappearance” of Janet from much of the music scene over the past decade is now being largely attributed to this. Before Jackson, Moonves set his sights on Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, the creator of the hit show Designing Women. Bloodworth-Thomason wrote a searing article in The Hollywood Reporter describing her relationship with Moonves and how he ruined her career. One story is that high on the success of Designing Women, she wrote a pilot for a new series (actually she wrote many pilots, all of which Moonves rejected, including one with Bette Middler) and arranged a reading of the script with big names, including Ileana Douglas. At the reading, Moonves sat across from Bloodworth-Thomason and just stared at her:

Having been voted most popular in high school, I felt confident that I would be able to charm him. I was wrong. He sat and stared at me throughout the entire reading with eyes that were stunningly cold, as in, “You are so dead.” I had not experienced such a menacing look since Charles Manson tried to stare me down on a daily basis when I was a young reporter covering that trial. As soon as the pilot was completed, Moonves informed me that it would not be picked up. I was at the pinnacle of my career. I would not work again for seven years.

When Bloodworth-Thomason finally left CBS after Moonves rejected all of her writing, his last words to her were “Go fuck yourself.”

Remember too that Les Moonves said this about Donald Trump in 2016:

It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS… Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? … The money’s rolling in and this is fun… I’ve never seen anything like this, and this going to be a very good year for us. Sorry. It’s a terrible thing to say. But, bring it on, Donald. Keep going.

CBS Board of Directors – all men – tried their darnedest to save Les. Arnold Kopelson, who once upon a time won an Oscar for producing Platoon, said in a board meeting: “I don’t care if 30 more women come forward and allege this kind of stuff. Les is our leader and it wouldn’t change my opinion of him.” Another member fo the board, William Cohen (yes, Bill Clinton’s Defense Secretary in the 1990s) said: “We are going to stay in this meeting until midnight if we need to until we get an agreement that we stand 100 percent behind our CEO, and there will be no change in his status.” These are the type of men who protect other men’s perversions. They are why people like Moonves and Weinstein, and there are so many others, have thrived and will continue to thrive.

One other note on Arnold Kopelson: after Kathy Griffin’s debacle with the fake Trump head, Kopelson wrote Griffin a letter telling her how to get her career back. It’s one of the most shocking things I’ve read in a long time. He thinks he’s being helpful, but…

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Mr. Kopelson is no longer a member of the board of directors of CBS, incidentally.

Margaret Sullivan of Washington Post (and a former public editor of the NY Times, a position that paper got rid of) wrote a powerful column discussing the fact that the damage done by men like Moonves – and Mark Halperin and Charlie Rose – is incalculable. They have shaped our culture’s view of women for decades.

What if Mark Halperin, for instance, had not been a network commentator during the 2016 presidential campaign? (James Wolcott of Vanity Fair aptly described him as “a political kingmaker and narrative shaper” and “the most influential” of the men who were felled by sexual-misconduct allegations last year.)

What if Bill O’Reilly of Fox News hadn’t been the biggest cable TV star in the nation when a woman had a major-party presidential nomination for the first time?

[…]

A media figure doesn’t have to show up for a business meeting in an open bathrobe to do harm, though that strange practice has turned out to be something of a leitmotif.

He can help frame the coverage of a candidate’s supposedly disqualifying flaws. He can squelch a writer’s promising work. He can threaten an underling’s job if she doesn’t stay in line and remember who really runs the show around here.

All these little moments add up, though we’ll never know their full cost. Only that it’s very, very high.

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2017 (which is almost over) will be remembered for many things. I can’t think of any good things. I’d be willing to take all the celebrity deaths in 2016 over what we’re living with now. But time travel is not an option.

One part of this year that has sent shockwaves through all of our collective lives is the slew of allegations (and confessions) about sexual assault and harassment done by powerful men in professional settings over decades. The first brick to fall was Harvey Weinstein’s long history of abusing Hollywood actresses. He is now joined in infamy by Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., New Republic president Hamilton Fish, journalist Mark Halperin, New York Times’ Glenn Thrush, Charlie Rose, film producer and director Brett Ratner, director James Toback, actor Casey Affleck, and his brother Ben too. This list is not at all up to date and it will grow longer. (I didn’t even mention Trump or Roy Moore…)

In some ways the most interesting names on that list, to me anyway, are the reporters. People like Fish, Halperin, Thrush and Rose (I’m sure that list will expand.) It is important to remember that these men, in their positions of extraordinary power and influence, helped set the narrative for the 2016 election. They helped paint Hillary Clinton as unlikable and untrustworthy. Not just in 2016, but long before that. How does one process the revelations about them with the filter of misogyny turned on? Because certainly their misogyny – which is no longer an abstract accusation, but now something very concrete and definitive – helped drive their coverage of the first female nominee for a major party. We had complaints about the coverage of Clinton and the election before. But now our complaints have something very tangible attached to them. These men, who do not respect women (at best, hate women at worst) helped paint Clinton as an untrustworthy, lazy, unlikable shill.

There is another aspect of this topic that I think is worth discussing. The wave of accusations was long-coming. But – there are risks involved. The tag “Believe women” carries a risk with it. Because not all accusations are true. This isn’t to bring up the irrelevant statistics about false accusations (which have historically been statistically insignificant.) It’s just to point out that we now live in highly polarized and divisive times. And some people will take a positive – believe women – and weaponize it. We may have seen some of that in the accusations against Al Franken. As a liberal Senator he has been the number one enemy of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That marked him. A day before accusations against him were publicly made, Roger Stone said that Franken’s time was coming soon. How did Stone know this? We know Franken’s accuser is a Trump supporter and some of her accusations about Franken harassing her on a 2006 USO tour have come under question. Is it fair to question her when liberals have said “believe women” until now? Does it reveal a bias? Or is it a necessary realization that “believe women” can and maybe has already been weaponized by the unscrupulous Right? Franken – if he survives the allegations – is damaged. (Another accusation was made against Franken by the NY Post on behalf of Arianna Huffington, claiming Franken grabbed her inappropriately in 2000 during the taping of the Bill Maher show. Huffington eventually responded defending Franken, saying she was not assaulted by Franken and the accusations printed by the Post were false. “I think I’m a better judge of how I felt in that satirical photo shoot with Al Franken than the recollections of an anonymous bystander,” she wrote. But that’s too late. I’m now seeing references to Franken as having multiple accusations made against him.) Perhaps we need to revise “believe women” to “take women seriously.” Accept the accusations and investigate. See where the investigation takes you.

Another – slightly different – example on Tuesday was The Hollywood Reporter story about the Pixar/Disney executive John Lasseter. Lasseter has been responsible to a very large degree for the animated masterpieces that have come out of Pixar over the years and he directed “Toy Story.” Lasseter has stepped away from Pixar after the allegations were made public. But in their article THR said the actress and writer Rashida Jones left “Toy Story 4” project (which she was helping write) because of Lasseter’s unwanted advances. By attaching a famous woman’s name to the story they made it travel so much further. The problem is that Rashida Jones’ statement (written with her writing partner) about why she left the project say THR was wrong. Nothing sexual in nature drove her away.

The break neck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible and, in fact, counterproductive for the people who do want to tell their stories. In this instance, The Hollywood Reporter does not speak for us. We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue.

They go on to say they left over creative and philosophical differences with Pixar. So whatever Lasseter’s behavior with other women, by throwing Jones into the mix, THR has also weaponized the sexual assault accusations and done a disservice to the actual victims. As reporters rush to find out more dirt, more and more mistakes (malicious or not) will be made. And there is a trip-wire to the whole cause, because once mistakes start happening the entire movement is at risk of crashing down.

 

Good Weekend Widdershins!

My goodness, what a week this has been.  We have had the continuing revelations of more young women that Roy Moore either stalked at the Gadsden Mall (until he was banned), or called up during their trig. class; the first one that he picked up on while sitting outside the Etowah County Courthouse, plus the one whose yearbook he “autographed” at the Old Hickory House Barbecue restaurant.  Adding to the sordid mess were the descriptions of what he wanted to do to several of the young girls in his car.  But, he’s got that (R) behind his name and besides he’s a Christian* so yeah it’s okay for the voters of Alabama to send him up to the world’s greatest deliberative body, one of 100 who are members of that body.

Then…sigh…Mr. Franken.  Damnit Al, you’re better than this.  You were better than this in 2006 and I’m glad you are not making any excuses. You admitted what you did and you made a sincere apology (on the second try) to Ms. Tweeden.  Still Al for you, you must do five hundred Daily Affirmation sessions with Mr. Smalley along with the Senate Ethics Investigation.

And then there’s the uh, titular (ahem) head of the United States government.  Sadly we already know what he’s done and what he said he grabbed – we have the tape.  We have the stories…we’ve had enough.

Following along the lines of what these jerks did with their feeling and grabbing and what have you, let’s take a look at songs about feelings.  There are a ton of them out there but I don’t believe they specifically cover the uh “feelings” these clowns did.

(1) Feelings ~ Morris Albert

(2) Hooked on a feeling ~ B.J. Thomas

(3) The 59th Street Bridge Song ~ Simon and Garfunklel

(4) Can’t Fight This Feeling ~ REO Speedwagon

(5) No Hard Feelings ~ The Avett Brothers

(6) I Get The Sweetest Feeling ~ Jackie Wilson

(7) How Would You Feel ~ Ed Sheeran

Okay Widdershins, there ya go – seven nice songs about feeling/feelings and no actual assaults on women occur in these songs.  There are still lots of songs about feelings out there so I hope to see a few in the comments.

Open thread of course.

 

 


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Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
19 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan

B-I-N-G-O!

Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put

Ironic

Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya