Monday, October 22, 2018

Trans People Exist, Elections Matter, and Identity Politics Are Here To Stay

I have a new piece up at Shakesville today about the Trump Administration's ongoing attack on transgender and non-binary people.

Here's a snippet:
"Republicans know they can get away with attacking trans people partly because they know that many people on the moderate-to-left side of the political spectrum, particularly cishet white men, will give them sufficient cover.

Remember the spate of articles right after the 2016 election, those high-and-mighty 'I told you so' taunts of marginalized people: You people had this coming for obsessing about identity politics!

I think about Mark Lilla's version of this genre often. His piece was called, 'The End of Identity Liberalism.'  Wishful thinking, there? It was also published at The New York Times. For sufficient balance to all those 'trans people are people' pieces, I suppose."
This national conversation must center the voices and perspectives of trans and non-binary individuals, and definitely not the voices of those whose prism for "identity politics" is that it's all a game.

Read the whole thing.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Supergirl Is Back!

I know there's a lot going on in the world but I, for one, am happy to be able to watch Supergirl zoom around National City again!

I have so many questions.

Is it just me, or does Alex's hair keep getting gayer and gayer each season? Will Cat Grant ever come back to reunite with her one true soulmate, Supergirl?  What will Nicole Maines' new character be like? Will Winn and James tie the knot anytime soon? Will Mon-El stay away?

What are y'all reading, watching, listening to, and/or playing? 

I am officially watching the entire Alien movie canon, because I've only seen bits and pieces here and there. I also recently got the Pandemic Legacy tabletop game and am looking forward to giving it a go. I usually give various Buffy episodes a re-watch around Halloween, but the older I get the younger the Scoobies also start to seem. This year, I'm opting for The Haunting of Hill House. YIKES.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Gilead of Republicans Stand By Their Man, Kavanaugh

I wrote about yesterday's Kavanaugh hearing over at Shakesville:
Notice how so much of his testimony was him recounting his top-dog academic, cultural, and legal experiences, as though we all take it as a given that a man of such stature couldn't possibly have done wrong and thus might experience consequences for shitty, frat-bro behavior. Notice how he blubbered about his sports buds, and his female mentees, and the Anonymous Woman Friend who purportedly texted him that he was "a good man," as though any of it rendered an attempted rape of a woman factually impossible.
Read the whole thing!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Choirboy Kavanaugh and Rightwing Women

Whereas Donald Trump will thumb his nose at the left on the daily, performatively admitting to his fans on Twitter that he knows what despicable behavior he can get away with, Trump fan and National Organization for [Heterosexual] Marriage (NOM) president Brian Brown on the other hand treats the citizenry like credulous, cherubic nimrods.

Desperate and salivating to see Obergefell overturned, watch how Brown (in a 9/21/18 NOM blogpost, which I'm not linking to) describes Clarence Thomas, Donald Trump, and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (emphasis in original):
"...[R]ight on cue, came the dirty trick they are hoping will derail or at least delay Kavanaugh's confirmation, the infamous 'sexual assault' allegation against him from his time as a high school student!
This is so predictable. They did the same thing against Clarence Thomas when he was nominated to the Supreme Court decades ago. They tried to use this against President Trump in the 2016 presidential election. And now they are using it against a supremely qualified nominee, someone who is a devout believer in Jesus Christ, who devotes himself as a volunteer to the less fortunate, who dearly loves his wife and family and who has gone out of his way to promote and mentor young women who wish to pursue a career in the law."
It's a little hard to know where to start breaking this one down, isn't it?  First, there's the reality that Donald Trump admitted to sexual assault on tape, tape that is in the public record. Yet, Brown acts as though Democrats making a big deal about that is some sort of unfair bit of fake news. Then, there's the implication that a "devout believer in Jesus Christ" couldn't possibly be a sexual predator. That would be big news to the Catholic Church. And, I suppose it didn't cross the mono-manic Brown's mind that, perhaps, many sexual predators position themselves as mentors to young people because it gives them greater access to targets.

Yet, what I really want to highlight here is how the conservative pretense for giving a damn about women really falls away here. In Right Wing Women, one of Andrea Dworkin's observations was that conservative women choose conservative anti-feminism because they believe it offers them a safe harbor from the rape culture misogyny on the left (which, yes, exists). They - particularly white Christian women - give up equality in exchange for being protected by, and privileged within, white Christian patriarchy.

Of course, a lot of the "protection" is a sham. The reality for women is that men across the political spectrum can be abusive and we're all making choices within a flawed system rigged for elite men.

Yet, what's interesting in this political moment is the extent to which conservative elite men are now openly admitting to the sham. No serious person can in good faith believe Trump treats women well. And, far from being the saintly protector of women, Kavanaugh himself was part of a frat-bro culture that relished in the homosocial humiliation of women. Brown, too, completely throws women's, and victim's, rights under the bus in his zeal for his obsessive, anti-LGBT "one man, one woman" campaign.

Since the 2016 election, we in the US have been living within a new wave of both feminism and intense, overt misogyny. The way I see it, many women, even conservative white Christians, have the capacity to be reached either by feminist messaging or to retreat backwards in fear, internalizing the misogyny, lashing out at women (especially feminists), and seeking more protection from abusive, shitty men.

This dynamic underscores just one of the many reasons it's imperative that the left continue to seriously address allegations of sexual assault, abuse, and predation committed by those on the left. Not only is it the right thing to do, but we must offer women - all women - a better, safer experience than what they're getting on the right.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Monday Feeling

Gillian Anderson's new look:

That reminds me: "I'm not the waiter." 

Never forget.