Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

First there’s sexism, then there’s other stuff: political links

The idea of replacing tampons with labial glue is more dumb than inherently sexist — except for the inventor’s argument that the very face women aren’t impressed shows that periods make them stupid.

•A round of applause for the teenage girl who found the clip of Milo Yiannoppoulis endorsing adult sex with “sexually mature” 13-year-olds.

•Pro footballer Jamies Winston tells fifth-grade boys they can do anything they want. Fifth-grade girls, though, should be “silent, polite, gentle.

•A look at how some online male subcultures led to their members voting for Trump.

•And then of course, there’s the lovely folks in ISIS.

•The Republicans love to talk about how they support the troops, so I’m sure they’ll fix the problems Trump’s polices are creating for military child-care, and for families of immigrants earning citizenship through armed service.

•There have not been mass sexual assaults by refugees in Germany, but a Tennessee man did plot to blow up a mosque. According to attorneys for the mosque, as he’s not a foreign extremist, his crime doesn’t legally count as terrorism.

•Utah Republican James Green says women shouldn’t be paid as much as men because that will make it harder for men to support stay-at-home wives.

•Ivanka Trump wants Congress to pass a child-care tax credit. Surprise, it will benefit upper incomes much more than the working poor.

•Uber is far from the only business accused of prioritizing male employees over women who report harassment. But that’s no excuse.

•I’ve already written about how people who seem perfectly nice can be horrible people but apparently the media hasn’t got the message. So we should feel sympathy for a Trump voter who insists he didn’t pick a side until liberals criticized him for voting Trump.  Proving again that Ta-Nehisi Coates was right: poor suffering white guys are automatically justified in their grievances, at least in the media’s eyes. More mockery of this argument from No More Mr. Nice Blog and We Hunted the Mammoth. In a related vein, Slacktivist looks at how addicted Republicans are to their outrage, and how absurd some of it is: “The wealthy deride the poor as “takers” — never quite able to explain why those “takers” don’t seem to have anything to show for it. Where is all this stuff they’ve “taken”? Well, it’s still in the hands of the wealthy. White folks indignantly explain how black folks have always had it so much easier, somehow managing to sound as though they’ve convinced themselves of this enough to actually feel near-constant anger about it. Men resent women. The rich resent the poor. Majorities resent minorities. The powerful resent the powerless.”

•Some good news: librarians are doing what they can to help immigrants. And here are 29 more pieces of good news.

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Michael Flynn, abortion and other links.

•You may have heard that Michael Flynn has stepped down as Trump’s National Security Adviser due to his covert discussions with Russian representatives about Obama’s sanctions on Russia. It’s unclear, from what I’ve read, whether he made any promises to Russia about lifting them or negotiating them, which would be illegal. But in any case, right-bloggers know who’s really to blame: Obama! And both Paul Ryan and Rand Paul are on the case — which is to say, they’ve decided there is no case.  Digby looks at whether Flynn lied to the FBI (which is illegal). Given the Republicans softened their election platform last year on defending the Ukraine, did Flynn propose any deal with the Russians? Dan Rather compares this to the early stages of Watergate.

Even if Trump did cut some deal with the Russians (e.g., hack the Clinton campaign, I’ll be nice to you when I’m president), will Congress care? Nixon withered under heavy Congressional scrutiny, but Congressional Republicans are okay with having a white supremacist president as long as he delivers on their policy wishes. A lot of people, including me, assumed they’d be happy to have Pence (solid Republican, anti-abortion, not crazy) but maybe they’re afraid all the Trump voters will stay home in 2018 if they reject him?

•An Oklahoma bill would require pregnant women get the father’s written permission before an abortion. Rep. Justin Humphrey explained it’s because women who get pregnant when they don’t want the baby are irresponsible sluts, and aquariums: “I understand that they feel like that is their body. I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,”

•A Tennessee bill would classify children of artificial insemination as illegitimate.

•A Florida bill would let women who get abortions sue the provider for negligence up to 10 years after the operation (the normal statute of limitations for medical negligence is two years). Even if the woman signs a consent form, that doesn’t immunize the provider.

•The standard bullshit criticism of women in power is that they’re too emotional, lose control when their hormones surge, and can’t keep themselves under control. Which makes Trump a parody of a woman in authority.

•There are startlingly few laws preventing child marriage in this country.

•Thomas Frank looks at how Steve Bannon blames the 2008 economic crunch on the hippies. This argument — the left rejected traditional morals, therefore all immoral behavior ever since is the fault of the left — is not new, but usually it’s just used for “hippy punching.” This time Bannon’s point is that deregulation and bad business decisions didn’t really cause the financial meltdown because, hippies, so deregulation good!

•One conservative argues that just because Trump talked about banning Muslim refugees, we shouldn’t assume that his Muslim ban is actually based on religion. LGM politely disagrees.

•This Ruthless World on not having sympathy for Trump voters.

•So apparently some anti-semites have decided John Carpenter’s They Live is about the secret Jewish conspiracy to take us over rather than, say, the corrupting influence of money (which it is about). But as I pointed out in Screen Enemies of the American Way, the bogeymen of one conspiracy theory (real or fictional) do tend to blur into each other. So I’m not surprised.

•About that Republican commitment to state’s rights — apparently if a state wants to create a retirement system for poorer workers, that’s a bad thing.

•Digby predicts that while other parts of the administration may flounder in inefficiency, the Sessions Justice Department will probably be very efficient at vote suppression, drug crack-downs, and resisting any efforts to reform or challenge bad prosecutors and out-of-control cops.

•An example of misogynoir?

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Fandom, sexism and other writing-related links (#SFWApro)

Foz Meadows looks at the assumption talking about race and representation in YA is, itself, racist. After all, you’re talking about how many black or women or gay characters are in fiction, so obviously you’re not seeing them as people, just diversity hires (so to speak), right? No, as detailed at the link.

•No, comics are not innately a man’s world. Women were involved in comic strips and comic books even before second-wave feminism started.

•SF and comics are not the only creative field with a history of sexism.

•Atomic Junk Shop looks at the roots of sexism in comics fandom (I’ve linked to this before, I know, but it seemed to fit in two different posts).

•Freelancer Renae deLiz had a big hit with Legend of Wonder Woman but her relationship with DC has been less than amicable. Heidi McDonald looks at the history (which includes some crowdfunded projects that did not deliver as planned) and the tricky questions of freelancer vs. corporation.

•Need images? The Metropolitan Museum of Art has them online for free.

•Fake news as a tool for promoting a movie?

•Duke’s Center for the Public Domain puts out a comic-book explaining fair use.

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Right-wing myths vs. reality

Women cannot fight or be heroes vs. a Nigerian hunter who tracks down Boko Haram members.

•Right-wing terrorism isn’t a threat vs. this guy and these guys.

•Republicans have nothing against women vs. shutting up Sen. Warren. At least neo-Nazis don’t even try to pretend.

•Congressional Republicans will stand up to Trump vs. blocking a resolution referencing Jewish deaths in the Holocaust.

•Republicans will give us something better than Obamacare vs. wanting to repeal ACA before coming up with a new plan, because “if we load down the repeal bill with what comes next, it’s harder to get both of them passed.”

•Taking the oil is an easy way to pay for our costs if we invade the middle east vs. the practical challenges of taking the oil.

•Trump doesn’t have to be smart because he’ll hire smart people vs. Tom Price (HHS nominee). Or Kellyann Conway.

•Republicans respect the Constitution vs. Trump who objects to an independent judiciary. Or Mike Huckabee, who thinks submitting to court rulings emasculates the Oval Office.

•People who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear vs. concealing data that might show whether companies are violating animal welfare laws.

•Republicans hate tangling business in regulation vs. Oklahoma requiring businesses post anti-abortion signs in their restrooms.

•Republicans are fighting voting fraud vs. Republicans voting to eliminate the agency that guards election tech against hacking.

•Republicans care about pregnant women and their babies vs. quit your job if your employer refuses to let you breastfeed, sit down when you’re pregnant, take extra bathroom breaks, etc.

•Sen. Paul Ryan is a principled believer in limited government, vs. Paul Ryan voted for Attorney General Jeff Sessions because Democrats said mean things about Sessions instead of saying stuff that would totally change Ryan’s mind

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Undead sexist cliches: The woman is an aquarium, her baby is a priceless fish

That’s how Echidne of the Snakes has frequently described the pro-life view of women: they’re aquariums whose only value is the precious life they hold. You don’t worry about the rights of aquariums. You don’t worry about the health of aquariums. All that matters is the baby.

Which leads to the new Arkansas Act 45 just recently passed. Under this state law, D&E abortions, which are a standard second-trimester approach, are banned. The only exception is if it’s life-or-death for the mother, or she’s at risk for serious physical impairment, or the baby has died (depressingly, that’s actually better than some proposals that wouldn’t allow an exemption  even if the baby was born dead). No exception for rape.

On top of which, it allows spouses and parents (it doesn’t seem to specify “parents if the woman is under-age”) or other healthcare providers to sue to stop the abortion, and to sue the abortion provider for damages. That right apparently extends to babies born of spousal rape (but good news! He can’t sue the provider for damages!).

The lawmakers supporting the bill talk about how they’re showing compassion. Sorry, forcing a woman to bear a child, let alone giving a rapist a say in her decision — hell, giving anyone else a say in her decision — is not compassion. It’s just throwing more roadblocks in the way so that the aquarium has to do its duty.

I think it’s telling that if Obamacare goes, the Senate has no interest in protecting the ACA requirements insurers cover contraception and maternity care. Contraception no surprise, because in the forced-birther universe only irresponsible sluts use it. (this does not, as far as I know, apply to guys using condoms). But maternity care? If they’re so het-up about protecting the fish, making sure plans provide maternity care (many formerly did not) would seem important. But no — it’s almost like if “the fetus has rights!” doesn’t reinforce the woman’s aquarium status, they don’t care. If a woman has to bear her rapist’s child, that means she either spends lots of money to get good care or the child and she suffer bad health issues, all through no fault of their own. Yet somehow I don’t see a move to provide that funding. Ultimately the fish isn’t that precious. As witness the Idaho forced-birthers who think abortion is wrong but denying your child medical care is godly.

•Did I mention that some states require rape victims who bear a baby from the rape to give their rapist time with the child.

•In Russia, domestic violence is getting decriminalized. I suppose I should take comfort that we’re not the only country grappling with sexism in the halls of power … but I don’t.

•On the positive side, pro-choice lawmakers are pushing to end the Hyde amendment that bans any federal funds going to abortion (e.g., Medicaid). I doubt they’ll succeed, but I think it’s good and necessary to fight for abortion (and other) rights.

•women on Twitter respond to Trump’s declaration female staffers must dress like women.

•In this morning’s post, I linked (not directly) to conservative Carrie Lukas whining that all liberal criticism of Kellyanne Conway is sexist. Sorry, I think ripping into someone for citing a massacre that never happened to justify Trump’s immigration ban on Muslims is fully justified.

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I totally did not see these plot twists coming (#SFWApro)

Plot twist the first: after a big get together last weekend, TYG came down with a nasty cold. As of today, it appears I’ve caught it too, but in much less virulent form (that’s how it usually works with us). I felt like all I want to do is nothing, but I’m not hacking or sneezing any. So yay for small mercies.

Plot twist the second: I routinely submit query letters to various non-fiction magazines, but my success rate is so low I’ve often wondered if writing and finishing more fiction wouldn’t be smarter. But this week, guess what? I got a go-ahead from History magazine for an article proposal. After the initial panic at having committed myself (I’m so used to working without deadlines or obligations these days) I took a deep breath, relaxed, and enjoyed the moment.

PT the third: I also apply for freelance gigs through the Journalism Jobs website, usually without much success. But this week I pitched Screen Rant on a gig writing about comic books, and they liked my stuff. It’ll be a trial run at first to see if it really works out on both sides, but writing about comic books (list-style articles) is like a dream job. More details when I have something posted.

This, of course, leaves me with the challenge of adjusting my schedule for the new assignments. That’s tougher than you’d think, simply because I don’t want to give up time on fiction — but most probably, work on short stories will take the hit. Next to actual paying gigs, Southern Discomforts is the top priority, lesser projects will have to go on stand-by.

Speaking of which, this week’s replotting went reasonably well. I have a rough outline of how things should happen and how everyone reaches their endpoints. I do not have, however, the scene by scene breakdown that I wanted; my vague outlines tend to fall so far apart midbook that I have to give up and start over, and I don’t want that. I’ll continue scene-by-sceneing it but I may start work on the early, well-detailed chapters as well. But I’m still concerned that I may be losing some of the sense of Pharisee as a community outside the plot of the story. I’ll have to watch that as things progress.

I delivered my next And column, though it’s not out yet, and got another 12,000 words written on Undead Sexist Clichés: The Book (not how it will be titled, but it’s the simplest way to distinguish from the same name blog-post series). I also took care of getting a second opinion on one household project (major repairs not necessary for a while, whoot!), and took the car in for its annual inspection.

A good week. With surprises that were mostly pleasant ones. I’m as happy as a plush dog chewing on a stick.


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Hilary Clinton, sexism, and fighting sexism

I was tentatively hopeful last year that America would finally put a woman in the Oval Office. November dashed that hope, but I take some comfort from remembering that the majority voted for the woman. But as Echidne of the Snakes points out, sexism made a difference (Rebecca Solnit has more). Including pre-election arguments that Clinton winning wouldn’t matter to regular women: she’s just a routine politician, and putting women in office doesn’t benefit women anyway. So no big. And at the same time, she’s held to higher standards than any male politician (as I’ve pointed out myself).

Plus we have two decades of right wingers painting as a hybrid of bin Laden, Lex Luthor and D&D’s Demogorgon. Several Trump supporters have said they despise her for not condemning Clinton’s infidelities, but if she had done so the script wouldn’t change. Instead of the bitch who destroys other women to further her ambitions she’d be the bitch who betrayed her spouse to further her ambitions.

Electing her wouldn’t have mattered to women? Seriously?  She’d promised to axe the Hyde Amendment, which bans any federal spending (Medicaid, say, or federally subsidized ACA insurance) on abortion. The House has just voted to make the amendment permanent (it had to be regularly renewed before). And Trump has reinstated a rule that bans money going to family planning groups overseas if their services include abortions or abortion counseling (at the link, the Dutch government announces an international initiative to make up the funding). And in fact he’s made it worse, applying not only to groups that provide family planning but any medical aid (mosquito netting, vaccines, childhood nutirtion programs). Not to mention possibly cutting grant programs that fight violence against women. But who cares? It’s biased to say Republicans have gone off the rails.

•Women protested Trump this weekend, and right-bloggers have freaked out (I know, they always do) that the women’s protest marches outperformed Trump’s inaugural address. Concern troll columnist David Brooks is shocked, shocked and appalled that the women were addressing the wrong issues — reproductive rights, affordable health care, equal pay — when the important matters are “balancing the dynamism of capitalism with biblical morality.” Because capitalism is under siege and that’s much worse than worrying about women’s rights and “identity politics.” Besides, real change has to come through legitimate political parties, not street protests. Brooks always wants people to work that way, even if it doesn’t get results. Because we must accept the superiority of our leaders. And our leaders must impose unity top-down — we can’t have a united movement rising from the streets.

•Jere are some of Jezebel’s favorite protest signs.

•After the march organizers passed on including a right-to-life group, people objected feminism should be a big tent. Samantha Field agrees it should — but draws the line pro-lifers who want to restrict abortion and birth control because that gets women killed. She has another post on protesting to change culture, not just the law (more examples here).

•One woman who claimed Trump assaulted her is suing him for defamation, for saying he lied. And Christopher von Keyseling, a Greenwich, Connecticut town official (and Republican) has been charged with grabbing a woman’s crotch and telling her he no longer has to be politically correct about such things. An assault von Kesyersling apparently admitted to in his legal response (it was just a joke! Why does everyone have to be so PC?)

•But never mind, according to the right-wing Acculturated, Ivanka is such an awesome mom she proves feminism is bullshit. Or something like that. Fortunately, as Quartz points out, women’s magazines have been covering serious issues for a while now — it’s not just Teen Vogue. I particularly liked the point about the sexism implicit in assuming that fashion articles and serious writing can’t possibly be compatible.

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