Friday, November 30, 2018

Conservative Bully Reads P0rn So You Don't Have To!

[Content note: transbigotry]

I see that Rod Dreher has continued his years-long hate-fixation with transgender people.

I won't link to it, but most recently he has reacted to Andrea Long Chu's New York Times op-ed about her experience as a transgender woman. I know Chu's op-ed has created debate within the trans community. For that reason, and others, I think trans voices should be centered and prioritized within that conversation.

Clearly, other people disagree, including Rod Dreher.

Dreher is not a trans person, a scientist, a doctor, or a mental health professional and for those reasons his musings should be given no weight.  Yet, with a confidence that belies his qualifications, he discounts the lived experiences of transgender people using the "expertise" of his "common sense" religious ideology and his platform as Professional Conservative Navel-Gazer to denigrate, misgender, and bully transgender children, teenagers, and adults all while trying to paint conservative Christians like himself as victims of a secular decadent society.

That's sort of his brand.

In his Chu blogpost, he histrionically posts update after update and that's all I'll address today. Now, he often posts updates to his articles as reader reactions come in. He particularly seems to like to either scold pro-LGBT commenters for being "uncreative" or mean to him or he wants to highlight some comment that he thinks is particularly witty (ie, it affirms his own biases/bigotry). My favorite of these are the "I'm a homosexual/Black person/feminist and I agree with ya, Rod!" genre of "private emails" he seems to receive with surprising, and not at all suspicious, regularity.

One update to the Chu piece, however, is a bit.... different. In it, he breathlessly reports how he discovered a paper Chu wrote about "sissy p0rn," gives his readers a content warning* about it, and - as though he's really taking one for the team -offers readers a summary, followed by yet another content warning.

Here he is (emphasis added):
"There are no images, but don’t click through to it and start reading unless you are prepared to go to an extremely dark place. I almost didn’t post this here, but after thinking about it, I concluded that it’s actually vitally important to know.
I’m going to summarize the paper for those who don’t want to read it. Again, I cannot caution you strongly enough about its content, and the pornographic images Chu describes in detail in the paper."
Here, I'm reminded of anti-LGBT voyeurs like Peter LaBarbera, of Americans For Truth [sic] About Homosexuality, who show up at LGBT events like Pride, Folsom Street Fair, and International Mr. Leather to document/"expose"/gawk at/whatever LGBT people for a conservative anti-LGBT audience. These armchair anthropologists start first from the premise that LGBT = bad/immoral/flawed/sinful/overly-sexual/aggressive and gather every bit of sociological "evidence" they think confirms that.

Yet, among other things, the praxis strikes me as counterproductive.

If someone weren't curious enough to go look into LGBT events or a certain type of p0rn on their own, wouldn't you sure as shit have your curiosity piqued after Dreher's impassioned, vehement description?   

You guys: this thing I found. You WON'T believe it. Don't look! Seriously, just don't. BUT, let me summarize it. I'm WARNING you, under no circumstances look into this yourselves. Why, I do declare: IT'S PORN AND ASSLESS CHAPS!


*As a note about the content warning Dreher offers his readers. He frequently uses various forms of content notes at his blog,usually with respect to content he links to that includes profanity or what he deems vulgarity. He also frequently mocks trigger warnings and other such "politically correct" content notes. Because he's very self-aware, obviously.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I Was Just Saying

Queer women desperately need a holiday rom-com, especially because watching Love Actually becomes more and more insufferable every year now that Feminist Hivemind has collectively acknowledged that the movie is a creepy boner-centered flick masquerading as a deep, saccharine Statement About Love. (The "actually" in the title should have been the first tip-off, but alas).

Welp, via Hollywood Reporter:
 "Kristen Stewart is in talks to star in Temple Hill Entertainment and TriStar Pictures' Happiest Season, a same-sex romantic comedy from director Clea DuVall and writing partner Mary Holland, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Happiest Season portrays a young woman whose plan to propose to her girlfriend while at her family’s annual holiday party is upended when she discovers her partner hasn’t yet come out to her conservative parents."
This plot sounds slightly like the plot in Jenny's Wedding (movie review: never forget), but I have confidence that in Clea DuVall's hands, it will be oh-so-much better.

Related: Lady Love Actually

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Buckle Up, Bros

With an impending 2020 run on his horizon, Bernie Sanders is not going to receive the same delicate press treatment he received in 2016.

This is what's called foreshadowing, via NPR:

(Text of tweet from NPR Politics: "Bernie Sanders' new book, 'Where We Go From Here' is just what you might expect. His platforms are presented but not interrogated. There are stances, but few real questions and little self-reflection.")

From the NPR review of Bernie's new book:

"He also often accuses the media of not covering issues that they cover extensively, from climate change to healthcare to the Koch brothers — Sanders writes that the media has 'zero interest in what they stand for,' despite the amount of great reporting on their agenda from journalists such as Jane Mayer at The New Yorker.
His disdain, if more nuanced than Trump's, is hardly less self defeating, and at a certain point it begins to feel like what he is actually bothered by is the media's failure to cover his campaign as he would like it to be, rather than as it actually is."
When I first learned about Bernie Sanders, I had neutral-to-good first impressions of him.

The more I have learned about him over the years and have seen him in action, particularly his cantankerous asshole attitude during interviews, I have come to find him more and more unfathomably unlikeable. It's no wonder he's largely been an ineffective member of Congress with few allies in the decades he's been part of the political establishment of the US.

The way I see it, the fact that he was running as Not Hillary Clinton in a two-person race against Hillary Clinton in 2016 gave him a huge assist that he and his die-hard followers seem largely unaware of.  He won't have that in 2020. And that, coupled with the fact that he basically hasn't stopped running for president since 2014, the mainstream media - including liberal and progressive sources - will be more prone to actually vetting and criticizing him.

I don't see that working in his favor.

What's unfortunate is that, as his campaign tanks, he'll most likely wipe his ass on the drapes on the way out, helping to ensure that The Democratic Establishment fails simply because he wasn't chosen as its big savior.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Emailz, Lock Her Up, etc.

Well, well, well.

Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka, has purportedly been using a personal email account to conduct government business.

Via the Chicago Tribune:

"Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence.

White House ethics officials learned of Trump's repeated use of personal email when reviewing emails gathered last fall by five Cabinet agencies to respond to a public records lawsuit. That review revealed that throughout much of 2017, she often discussed or relayed official White House business using a private email account with a domain that she shares with her husband, Jared Kushner."

If you remember, and who doesn't, the mainstream media's sheer devotion to the topic of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during the course of government business far, far outweighed their coverage of her policy issues.

Yet, who else among Trump's administration has since been found to have used personal email for government business? His VP, Mike Pence, for one. As did at least six more of Trump's advisers. In terms of Republicans in general, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Rick Perry, and Bobby Jindal also did.

And, it doesn't matter. It simply doesn't, because none of these people will experience the consequences or an iota of the media coverage and public shaming that Clinton experienced.

As I tweeted yesterday:
[Transcript of Tweet: It was never about the emails. It was always about finding any conceivable reason to collectively latch onto to stop a woman from becoming president.

And, it will happen again. "The emails" will simply morph into some other reason the woman "isn't qualified."]

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Is Facebook Worth It?

Today at Shakesville I wrote about the recent New York Times revelations on Facebook's behavior during and after the 2016 presidential election.

Specifically, NYT has reported that Facebook hired a PR firm to discredit those who criticized the company for allowing Cambridge Analytica to access (and then mis-use) Facebook users' personal information and that the company, which has existed since 2004, had no "policy on disinformation."

Given the diminishing public trust in Facebook, at what point will people begin to mass migrate from Facebook to other, more responsible, platforms?

Read the whole thing!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Riding the Blue Wave


As you no doubt know by now, Democrats will soon hold a majority in the House, somewhat ending one-party rule in the nation. I'm disappointed we didn't take the Senate as well, but that was always a long shot. Nonetheless, we had the largest gains in 40 years and I believe that's largely the result of the political labor, advocacy, and organizing of millions of marginalized people, primarily women.

Hilariously, religious freedom fighter Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in contravention of a federal court order, lost her re-election bid for county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky.

I will never not have schadenfreude when bigots lose.

Regarding Beto's loss in Texas to the unfathomably unlikeable and terrible Ted Cruz, this tweet sums up my thoughts pretty well:

When white men lose in politics, it seems like their loss is often framed as, in some way or another, actually a win. They're not automatically categorized as irredeemable losers who need to retreat from the public sphere forever. And yet, we still see regular media pieces demanding that Hillary Clinton Go Away.  There are regular think pieces on whether Nancy Pelosi should do the same, especially now that Democrats have won the House. And no such speculation for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, even though Democrats lost seats in the Senate? Mitt Romney gets no heat for running for Senate in 2018 after his big loss to President Obama in 2012?  And what about Bernie Sanders, who lost to the candidate who lost to Donald Trump? We're all just fine with him boning up to run again in 2020?

ANYway, multiple election contests still have uncertain results. In Florida, it was initially being reported that Republican Ron DeSantis had won, but now it seems to be headed for a recount. In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp is acting as though he's won, even though ballots remain uncounted, numerous irregularities were reported in the election, and Democrat Stacey Abrams has refused to concede. And, in Arizona, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has taken the lead for a Senate seat over her Republican opponent.

What I continue to find disturbing are the mechanisms of our political system - such as the Senate and Electoral College - that grant conservative, rural white people disproportionate political power over a more-liberal, more-diverse majority. For instance, the states in which voters have the most voting power as determined by the number of federal elected officials per adult population are Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Montana, and Delaware.

Given that the US Supreme Court majority very likely does not reflect the will of the majority on many important issues - such as economics, environmental issues, reproductive justice, and LGBT rights - the 2020 presidential election is going to be critical (I mean, in addition to the obvious critical necessity to remove Donald Trump and Republicans from executive power).   Two presidential elections in my lifetime have been decided by a conservative minority and the results for our nation have been largely disastrous, particularly with respect to George W. Bush's SCOTUS appointments and Iraq War and Donald Trump's.....*gestures wildly at everything*!

A successful 2020 Democrat candidate is going to have to be able to effectively withstand Trump/Russia/Wikileaks/social media hit jobs and carefully unite the smattering of coalitions who both form the anti-Trump resistance and have a lot of schisms with each other. Many of these schisms, after all, were leveraged for Trump's electoral college win and likely will be again.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

2018 Midterms

I feel confident that the dozens of people who read Fannie's Room regularly have voted in the 2018 midterms already, or are planning on doing so. But, if you're able to, please vote!

I cast my ballot early this year, for Democrats across the board. I'm feeling anxious. Democrats have a lot of momentum, but there are so many forces against us: Republicans' consistent appeal to bigotry to win elections, voter suppression, possible rigging and Republican collusion, a mainstream media that still seems inept (at best) in its coverage of our reality show "leader," and more.

Anyway, I did the meme:

Go Abrams! Go Beto! Go Gillum! Go Sharice!

Who are y'all voting and rooting for?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Look At All These Ladies Singing To Each Other

If you don't ship Glinda and Elphaba are you really even queer?

 Just kidding.  Talk about stuff, or not. It's Friday!