Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Assorted linkage

Hal Lindsay predicted the imminent apocalypse back in the 1970s. But he’s still around 40 years later to see it not happen.

•A look at the scope of influence and money in Washington.

•A lot of people still rely on landlines, so what happens when they’re gone? As a former Floridian, I think the point about phone service after a disaster is very pertinent.

•Obama’s decision to halt deportation of several million illegal workers has conservatives freaking out because Hispanics—oh, sorry, because tyranny! Though it isn’t, and it’s something other presidents have done. But no, it’s Obama so it’s totally different and much worse than W’s record of detention, torture and warrantless eavesdropping! Why it’s vritually ethnic cleansing! It could lead to violence.

•Before the Civil War, a slave was sold every 3.6 minutes.

•Conservatives don’t have a better idea than Obamacare, other than letting poor people die of illness.

•I agree with LGM, the idea that if we eliminate affirmative action schools will naturally find legal ways to get the same result is a fantasy.

•Affirmative consent does not equate to “all drunk sex is rape.” And here’s a grim look at rape culture at the University of Virginia.

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Puppy fatigued, so I’ll link.

It didn’t help that Trixie dropped a great big log inside the front door. I’d been trying working in another room to get her used to hanging out without me—I think about one hour at a shot is the most she can tolerate.

•Think punk rock was cool? Dupe! National Review reveals punk rockers were “deceitful social predators who wouldn’t think twice about framing you for murder and forcing you into a codeine overdose” It must be true because it was on an old episode of TV’s Quincy! I highly recommend the snarky comments thread (“I was at a Sex Pistols concert and they framed me for three different murders …”).

•David Neiwert suggests that as long as Dems get through elections without making right-wing craziness an issue, Republicans will keep getting crazier (Jody Hice, who believes theocracy will lead to smaller government, and Jodi Ernst who believes in a Secret UN Conspiracy to take us over). LGM catches one analyst who explains, very dubiously, that it’s because Democrats have sold out the suburbs. Another LGM post concludes that running to the left in elections really won’t help Democrats (passing liberal legislation might, but even that’s not a slam-dunk).

•So a scientist wore a shirt with naked/seminaked women on it during a video interview. Some women criticized the shirt. Some men unsurprisingly went ballistic. Echidne catches men’s rights activist Glenn Reynolds mansplaining how it’s the women who are the vicious bullies in this.

•Republicans get the facts wrong about net neutrality but they’re definitely against it.

•Imperial Japan ran a sex-trafficking trade to staff military brothels. Japan still doesn’t want to acknowledge it.

•Here’s another crime from more recent history, inching closer to justice.

•If airlines are actually putting money into newer planes and other infrastructure improvements, I’m not so upset with higher fees.

•For some conservatives, “The fullness of being a woman is being a mother.” So being able to avoid birth is a Bad Thing.

•In this link post, Slacktivist suggests racism and sexism on Twitter isn’t a sign of chaos as much as “a concerted attempt to impose order.”

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Sexist Gibberish (and other links)

Men’s rights activist Paul Elam explains that letting women work alongside men is a disaster that makes it impossible for humanity to achieve anything great. Men working in groups built aqueducts and landed on the moon, but then women come in and complain about harassment and that makes it impossible to work toward greatness (I presume the subtext is that women should shut up about sexual harassment). He offers neither evidence nor examples in the quoted section of his presentation (I admit I didn’t listen to the whole thing).

Not that Elam’s unique. We have Mark Forney, who says women don’t deserve to feel self-confident as they’ve never accomplished anything (and more importantly, self-confident women make his dick limp. He said it, not me). Roy Baumeister believes that because men had to be successful to get laid, therefore evolution selects for superior men, while women could just be inferior as men took care of them. And this is why men run the world—not sexism but because their natural superiority left women in the dust. So letting women into the working world built by men is just anti-meritocracy.

Baumeister gussies his arguments up with supposed science (Echidne dissects them at the links) but both he and Elam are just regurgitating time-honed sexism. Women just don’t belong in the workplace. They should be at home popping out babies. From the men’s rights viewpoint that would be a great outcome: if women weren’t working, they’d need to find husbands so maybe those poor incels wouldn’t need government help to find women.

In other news:

•Obama’s new AG nominee opposes the death penalty and doesn’t support dubious vote-suppression—er, voter anti-fraud measures. This right-wing post keeps listing point after point that makes her look pretty good.

•Porn stars explain net neutrality (if streaming porn is outlawed, only outlaws will stream porn. No, not quite it …)

•It depresses me to think of Bill Cosby as a rapist, but I don’t really doubt it.

•In the eyes of some people fighting for social justice is a bad thing.

•A really bad thing: nuclear power.

•For two years, the Franklin Loan Corporation paid bonuses to loan officers to talk consumers into more expensive loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is forcing the company to pay out $730,000 as a penalty.

•There’s a limit to how big a bar or restaurant’s TV can be without violating copyright.

•Digby reminds us what a massive violation of human rights the war on terror has become. Here she discusses NSA head Michael Rogers’ whiny claims that people should stop being so mean to the NSA because it doesn’t collect data on Americans and Edward Snowden totally made it easier for ISIS to keep their communications secret (Digby points out ISIS actually changed its communication strategy because we kept bombing them).

•Alaska Senator Pete Kelly wants bars to have pregnancy tests in the women’s room, so that women can double-check if their pregnant before they drink. But make birth control more available? That’s social engineering! The post links to this truly scary story in passing: a woman in New Jersey refused to pre-authorize a C-section. Her baby was born without trouble but the authorities claimed her refusal endangered her child, and took the baby away for three years.

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If you’re a young female voter, conservatives say you should stay home today

Fox News’ Kimberly Guilfoyle says, for instance, that you should concentrate on your online dating profile, because you’re not smart enough to vote conservative. You don’t get it because you’re “not in that same life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, healthcare. They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world.”

Yes, I’m sure being single insulates you from having to pay bills, go to doctors, pay off student loans or having a mortgage.

Media Matters collects more outrage at young women voting here. Kevin Williamson, who once wrote about how having five sons made Romney sooooo much more manly than Obama with just two kids and not a y-chromosome among them, thinks women are just being shallow when they vote, it’s a fashion statement. And if it takes a celebrity to get you to care about issues and voting, that proves you aren’t smart enough to vote and besides, voting is overrated (more on Williamson’s views here).

Right-wing opposition to women voting isn’t new but I imagine it’s only going to get more intense as the Republican party continues to embrace anti-women policies. That said, I doubt Guilfoyle, Williamson etc. really think they’re going to discourage any women from voting. More likely they’re just shoring up their right-wing credentials so that whoever rights their paychecks will keep writing their paychecks. But of course, that’s no excuse for sexism.

Spike their guns. Get out there and vote.

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Undead sexist cliches: Women who orbit men (#SFWApro)

So I was thinking about the movie Paycheck some more and then I also started thinking of this post about strong female characters by my friend and fellow writer Elizabeth Berger.

Liz’s post is about the need to have female characters who are more than just strong and heroic, they need flaws and distinctive personality traits (I’ve written my own thoughts about female protagonists here). But Paycheck reminded me of another problem with supposedly strong fictional women: for all their strength and ability (whatever their talents may be), a lot of them are just there to fall in love with the hero.

Uma Thurman’s biologist in the movie is presumably brilliant (CEO of Evil Aaron Eckhart is the kind of villain who hires the best), and the climax proves she can handle herself in a fight. But personality wise, the only drive or goal she has is to be in love with Ben Affleck. They knew each other, fell for each other, but his mind has been wiped of the past three years’ memory so he’s lost to her.

This is, of course, hardly a new idea. It’s a variation on the Bechdel Test—does the movie have more than two women? Do they talk about anything but their boyfriends?—does the heroine have a life that doesn’t orbit around the male lead? Does she have career goals that disappear as soon as she falls in love? Is she only there to love the hero and prove he’s a real man? Or to inspire him and motivate him by getting brutally murdered (known as “fridging” from one example back in the 1990s Green Lantern series)?

It’s not a lot to ask, but a lot of writing fails the test anyway.

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Let’s talk politics!

First off, here we have a handful of right-wingers who are attempting to milk Gamergate for whatever notoriety they can get out of it.

Echidne and Jill Filipovic look at claims that more American men are raped than women, based on the number of prison rapes. As the two posts point out, this takes a lot of statistical fudging, such as ignoring that “prisoners are raped” is not the same as “men are raped” (it happens to women too).

And I think it’s telling that the issue is not framed as prison rape but as men raped—i.e., men have it worse than women so stop all that blathering about rape. This is not a novel approach: men’s rights activist Warren Farrell devoted a chapter of one of his books to all the things that happen to men that are just as bad as getting raped (getting fired is like getting raped! Getting c-word teased is as traumatic as rape! [I have been fired and I have been teased—which I quite enjoyed—and I think Farrell's full of it]). The point is not to fix the problem of prison rape but just to shut feminists up.

•A National Review writer is unsurprisingly shocked that the issue is “are people who refuse blacks or Latinos service racist?” (not a direct quote) rather than “how can the government tell me who I can or cannot serve?” Except as LGM points out, the norm under English common law and later American was that anyone who offers food or a bed for the night couldn’t refuse a legitimate customer. So the idea of turning people away was an aberration.

•George Will asks why the Democrats think anyone might take away women’s right to use birth control when it’s been legal for decades. As Digby points out at the link, so has abortion—and he has plenty of Repub quotes to show they don’t like birth control much either.

•Government prosecutors not only seized the assets of one Las Vegas gambler, they did it under a secret court seal so there was no public record, and even the victim didn’t know anything about the case.

•The Convention Against Torture bans countries from using torture, even outside their borders. Obama may come out against that part as W did before him. And as detailed here, our government is already violating other provisions: not providing redress for torture victims, keeping information and names of torturers classified, refusing to cooperate with foreign investigations.

•Current federal law bans “disparate impact” in housing: if there’s a pattern where blacks or Latinos don’t get loans to buy homes in Town X, that’s illegal even if the people redlining don’t specifically admit to discrimination. A Supreme Court case may gut that rule.

•Remember how the Gremlins in the movie Gremlins turned evil? One South Carolina Republican says that’s what will happen with gay marriage.

•White people riot in New Hampshire, some throwing cans at cops. Some people notice the difference in the police response to Michael Brown.

•LGM looks at right-wing enthusiasm for suffering and how it builds character. Why don’t we have more Americans like the the cannibals of the Donner Party (yes, William Bennett did express great admiration for them, also for the suicidal military mess called the charge of the Light Brigade)? This post discusses other conservatives who think a happy, thriving economy and easy living are bad, bad, bad.

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New And column out

A look at the way some forced-birthers see miscarriages as equally suspicious to a woman standing over her child’s body with a gun. I mean, sure, she says she didn’t kill the child, but hmm …

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