Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Undead sexist cliche: good women are nice

So far this year I’ve talked about nice people with ugly beliefs and nice people in fiction. Now for a discussion of the pressure on women to be nice, to be decorous — in short to shut the hell up and not question the menfolk.

For example, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren started questioning Jeff Sessions’ fitness for attorney general, Mitch McConnell invoked a procedural rule to prevent Warren speaking ill of another Senator.

Or we have Michigan State Rep. Lisa Brown who during an abortion debate referenced her vagina. For actually using the word, the majority leader (Republican) declared Brown had violated the “decorum” of the State House (another Republican declared the word was hideously offensive — nothing that should ever be said in mixed company).. The leader barred Brown from speaking on a subsequent, unrelated bill and did the same to Barb Bynum for suggesting the state ban vasectomies unless needed to save a life.

And now we have Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s response to a Native American woman who confronted him in a recent dispute: he wagged his finger and told her to be nice.

In my piece on niceness in fiction, I pointed out that writing a nice character doesn’t mean writing them as a doormat. The guys in these accounts confuse the two (probably intentionally). The nice, polite, unfeminine behavior they’re demanding is behavior that doesn’t challenge them or threaten their goals in the slightest. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that while pols may bristle about how unfair male critics are, their response is rarely “be nice.”

Likewise, antifeminist snowflake Suzanne Venker has a new article on the Fox News website about how what men want most in a woman is niceness. A woman who’s soft, gentle and nice. A beta female. They don’t want someone who’s going to fight them. Whereas women don’t want nice, they’re attracted to a guy who’ll take charge. Venker says that Of Course she’s not telling women to be a doormat but yeah, she is. Nice = submissive. Which is her usual take.

There are times it’s good to be nice. Times it’s good to appear nice. And times to drop any pretense of niceness and stick in the shiv. I’m sure Zinke and Venker know that, they’re just not going to admit it.

In other sexist news:

•A neo-Nazi rant declares that casual dating is cheating, proving that what we need is white sharia.

•Alaska state Rep. David Eastman is convinced women are getting abortions because it’s an opportunity to travel.

•The Oklahoma legislature has passed a resolution calling abortion murder.

ªLots of women live in states with anti-science forced-birth laws (abortion causes depression! Breast cancer! Etc.)

•Then there’s the right-wing enthusiasm for women getting married and popping out babies. Which prompts one writer at the Federalist to declare people who have pets instead of babies are insane. Literally. Don’t we realize dogs are actually savage predators at heart? Yeah, like human beings aren’t?

•Fox News bigshot and alleged sexual harasser Roger Ailes is dead. I’m not crying. I’m crying even less because if he’d died just a year ago, Fox would have saved the $45 million it’s paid in the past nine months to settle harassment lawsuits against him.

•In more good news, the New Hampshire politician who founded the Red Pill misogynist Reddit sub-site has resigned from politics.

•Frontier flight attendants say the airline won’t let them pump breast milk at work.

•Apparently the military community has a new female target for its wrath: dependas, women who supposedly marry military guys for the wrong reasons.

•A man hits on a woman working retail, then waits in his truck to talk to her again when she gets off work. He’s stunned people thought the waiting outside was suspicious.

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Assorted political venting, starting with Trump’s dictatorial fantasies.

Trump speaks the truth! The reason he hasn’t accomplished more is at least partly the Constitution and its checks and balances — the judicial power to block his deportations, the need for Congress to roll back Obamacare and to vote on a budget, etc. The trouble is, President Shit-Gibbon thinks that’s a bad thing, “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.”  No, it’s not. It’s what keeps the president — not just Trump, not just white supremacists, but any president — from riding roughshod over the rest of us.

And as I’ve discussed before, a lot of Republican voters are right there with Trump. They’d love a dictator as long as he had an R by his name; back during the W years, one of the things that drove Republicans to outrage was that liberals questioned Bush! Disagreed with him! Refused to support his policies! Which is exactly the same as wanting terrorist to rape American children! (I’m sure they’re fine with a woman who laughed at Jeff Sessions getting prosecuted for it And convicted).

Of course the same people turned around and spent the Obama years refusing to support his policies, cheering on Republicans whose over-riding goal (by their own words) was to make him a one-term president, celebrating Limbaugh for saying “I hope he fails.” And they apparently don’t see any contrast. After all, they still tell themselves they have the moral high ground.

And sexism invariably goes hand-in-hand with authoritarian conservatism. As witness Trump appointing a lying forced-birther to manage the DOH population-planning grants (and here’s another forced-birther appointment). Or a post by a neo-Nazi on publicly shaming women (who are too fat, dating across the color line, etc.) — which he assures readers will turn them on and make them beg to carry your children.

•Speaking of sex discrimination, a Texas court has ruled that even though a new mother’s employer harassed her about breastfeeding, that’s not sex discrimination because men can lactate.

•Chechen police are threatening parents with gay kids: kill your children or we’ll kill them for you.

•Ivanka Trump wants you to know she feels really, really bad about Trump’s “pussy-grabbing” speech. As noted at the link, it doesn’t seem to inspire her to do anything about Daddy’s loathsome ways.

•A new bill would not only end net neutrality, it would ban the FCC from ever doing it again.

•To end on an up note: we can still fight and win (Democrats scored several victories in the recent budget negotiations. No wonder Trump wants to be a dictator).

•Students at a college run by Laureate Education claim the company stripped the school’s assets, ensuring it’s closure, but kept enrolling students.

•Yes, the forced-birth movement does intend to prosecute women who get abortions. They’re already doing it. More here.

•Vox explains why hiring climate-change denialist Bret Stephens for the NYT editorial page gives added status to someone whose views don’t deserve it. And who conveniently fudges them to fit his new gig (instead of Climate Change is Bull it’s now Sure, It’s Probably Real, But Not Definitely) LGM explains why the NYT can’t claim free speech as a defense.

•Speaking of lying, Consumerist shreds Verizon’s arguments for why net neutrality is bad.

•Wells Fargo shareholders says the bank went and collected day laborers from convenience stores to pressure them into signing up for accounts — then adding more unwanted accounts without the workers’ consent.

•Remember how Flint pumped lead-tainted water to its citizens? Residents are being billed for it, even though they can’t drink it.

•Digby looks at how bad the health-care bill is (particularly for women). But the right-wing media is doing its best to keep Republicans thinking it’s awesome. And Health Secretary Tom Price’s strategy is similarly to lie like hell.

•Trump’s right that a good deal could have stopped the Civil War — but only by preserving slavery. I’m sure he’d have been down with that.

•Here’s a shocker, no outrage from the religious right at Bill O’Reilly’s alleged sexual harassment. Funny, when conservatives complain Christians are too wimpy to stand up for what’s right, they don’t mean standing against abuse.

•White paranoia about genocide.

•Monsanto may have ghost written a report finding its pesticide was safe.

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More reasons we can’t have nice things (#SFWApro)

Because whackaloon conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones are taken seriously. Even when claiming that George Soros is making pot stronger to destroy America.

•Because ass-hats like Michael Reagan (son of Ronnie) respond to Bill O’Reilly’s alleged sexual harassment by saying men should have the right to sue women for looking sexy. They dress to get us all hot and bothered, then they get upset when we notice how they’re dressed. The answer: sexual harassment isn’t just men noticing women are attractive. And if men can’t control themselves, it’s not the woman’s fault. No matter how she’s dressed.

•The fight against abortion continues. On a plus side, Maryland is revising its definition of rape so that even if it’s not forcible, cops can charge the rapist.

•Congress is considering a bill that would reduce regulation on crooked payday lenders. Bill’s primary supporter is a Republican, natch. And Trump’s “populism continues to focus on reducing regulation on businesses. And Congress is also looking to cut protections for people using prepaid debit cards.

•Donald Trump has also eased wildlife restrictions in Alaska that make it easier to shoot hibernating bears. Because let’s face it, how else can a man feel like a man?

•Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks Hawaii is not a real state. Which may reflect long-standing right-wing fears that Hawaii isn’t white enough to be a state.

•Because Paul Ryan, that supposed man of principle and seriously wonky disposition, has no qualms tongue-bathing Trump in print. And while he seems cool with having gone to college on his family’s Social Security Disability income, Ryan opposes retired miners getting health benefits.

•Because some right-wingers can’t grasp that choosing to have a baby doesn’t make you anti-abortion.

•Because pundits still want to blame Trump and angry conservatives on liberals. Or explain that if black America suffers, it’s their own fault. While still insisting Trump is Clinton’s fault. And claiming Democrats raise the murder rate.

•Because a Republican Congressman (Jim Sensenbrenner) thinks there’s no need for government to impose privacy rules on Internet providers — nobody has to use the Internet, right? By which logic we shouldn’t worry about keeping up roads, as nobody has to drive.

•Because reporters can paint a spectacular Democratic win as a Republican triumph. Or continue to insist on how awesome it is they’re interviewing Trump voters.

•Because think tanks like CATO can suddenly discover feminism when they can use it to argue in favor of exploiting third-world workers.

•Because part of the right-wing isn’t even denying they like shari’a law as long as it’s white shari’a.

•Because women’s achievements are sometimes hand-waved away and credited to men.

•Because sexual harassers can stick around academia for years. And years.

•Because as IF Stone once put it, the real problem isn’t when governments lie but when they start drinking their own snake-oil. Republicans used to use the right-wing media to manipulate people, but now they’re believers themselves.

•As that’s kind of a downbeat post, I’ll leave on one cheerful note: Florida State Senator Frank Artiles used the n-word on a political opponent. It created such a backlash, he’s resigning.

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Why we can’t have nice things. For starters, Republicans

Because they’re thrilled, absolutely thrilled that we’re bombing Syria.

•Because if they can’t get the state education budget cuts they want, they veto the entire education budget.

•They elected an authoritarian, borderline fascist president. Who despite all the talk in the campaign (and since) about him Not Being a Politician is now a bog-standard Republican only more openly racist.

•Because President Shit-Gibbon’s AG Jeff Sessions has given up on improving forensic science. Apparently sloppy science often works in the prosecution’s favor, so good science might get more people off. Which would be bad. And he’s going to get even tougher on immigrants. I’m sure he’ll make up for it by not spending any DoJ resources on things like right wing terrorism.

•Because education secretary Betsy Devos has dropped an Obama policy of not contracting with student-loan servicers who screw over borrowers.

•Because electing “godly” people (which large numbers of Republicans stopped worrying about when Trump ran) doesn’t lead to moral government. Nor does electing homophobes.

•Because in Texas the Republicans don’t want minors joining unions without parental consent.

•Because some North Carolina Republicans want to make marriage heterosexual-only again. Ditto Tennessee. And one of the NC legislators, Larry Pittman, puts Lincoln fighting the Civil War in the same class as Hitler. And has also supported a bill canceling the “never secede again” clause in the Constitution. Funny, he doesn’t seem to see any connection between Hitler’s belief in racial superiority and the Confederacy’s support of racial superiority.

•Because they’re voting to let a church have its own police force. I know they say its purely for security, but I have a bad feeling about this …

•Because they give us daily examples of white privilege. And more white privilege (and then whine about how minorities shouldn’t be let into college because, merit!). Which we’re supposed to believe represents rugged individualism.

•Because they’re not answerable to the taxpayers: Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin says he’s so rich his taxes pay his salary, so he’s really doing it for free. But I’m sure he’s carefully crunched the numbers and eliminated all the other things he gets like roads, law enforcement and the military.

•Because if they can’t repeal Obamacare, they’re willing to shut off the money.

•Because they cut funding to libraries and legal services for the poor.

•Because their media lackeys will insist on explaining, even now, that Trump is identical to Clinton. Or that he’s the Martin Luther King of healthcare.

•Because they think a woman with a dead fetus should carry it to term instead of aborting (Republicans say the bill doesn’t actually require that, but that doesn’t change that Republican Shannon Lundgren, thinking it did, was cool with it).

•Because they’re still convinced this country belongs to Christians and nobody else.

•Because of the angry white men who think they got ripped off.

•Because we get smug Catholic conservatives like Ross Douthat taking up space in the NYT to tell liberals you should all go to church and (a classic!) even atheists know God exists. Though I will admit “go to liberal churches” is an improvement over his usual paeans to right-wing reactionaries and abstinence.

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The tide has turned. That may be a good thing (#SFWApro)

So a couple of weeks ago I was dealing with four different sources of nonfiction, income generating projects. At this point it looks like next week I’ll be down to one. I don’t feel bad about (perhaps in a few months).

The legal articles I was doing for Leaf has now wrapped up. It was fun doing it again — after several years with them back when I first moved up here I know the format and a lot of the topics well — but simply because it was for a limited time I put in a lot more effort than if it had been long-term. So that’ll free up quite a bit of time.

Two of the other income streams I was dealing with have yet to send me any work. Which is good because I had the Leaf stuff — it paid a lot better — and I don’t know how much more I could have handled. I keep wondering if one of them will start next week, enabling me to keep the money flowing. But I wouldn’t mind a week of getting back to mostly fiction, even though I’m still hustling for nonfiction gigs and magazine article ideas.

Screen Rant, of course, remains. I did my newest article this week (Dalek trivia!) but it’s not online yet. Rights to image remain with current holder.

And I did get close to 3,000 words of Southern Discomfort done, but that’s 2,000 short of what I’d planned. I should have stuck with the impulse I followed the previous week: when the nonfiction gets tough, just make myself put in the extra time to get 1,000 words each day. I’d figured I could catch up today — I did my last Leaf article (on the educational power of attorney) yesterday — but no. We had a somewhat chaotic morning with me walking the dogs (TYG was stuck handling something else) and then Plushie went and sat up in the bedroom. When I checked on him he stared at me as if he couldn’t quite figure out why he didn’t have one of his parents next to him to snuggle with (he’s not the sharpest card in the deck). So I settled in with him until he finally headed downstairs. All of which apparently left my brain too unfocused to work on fiction, so I switched to batting out some of Undead Sexist Cliches (The Book). I’m pleased I kept my nose to the grindstone, frustrated I got thrown so easily by morning events (and I had such a good night’s sleep, too!). But like I said, next week looks free and clear for catching up (fingers crossed).

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Filed under Personal, Southern Discomfort, The Dog Ate My Homework, Time management and goals, Undead sexist cliches, Writing

Trump, Trump’s people and some people fighting against them

I wrote last week that the the one time we shouldn’t take Trump literally is when he promises something that will help people. Case in point, Trump is not planning to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. But that doesn’t stop some pundits dreaming that Trump is shifting to the center. Or applauding that as he attacked Syria, that makes him more presidential. Or in one particularly ghastly Politico piece, arguing that Trump running the White House as a family business is a good thing.

•The White House demanded Twitter provide the identity of an alleged government employee tweeting against Trump. Twitter refused. The White House backed down.

•The current FCC chair is working to eliminate the FCC’s new net neutrality policy. Oh, and Charter’s no longer required to compete for customers as part of its Time Warner merger. And with the FCC’s privacy restrictions on Internet providers also toast, one state is looking at imposing its own privacy rule.

•The EPA has postponed banning a pesticide that its own science says is dangerous to humans. It’s getting sued over that decision.

•Slacktivist discusses why Trump voters won’t let us have nice things (because that means people of color get them too). Echidne looks at Trump’s win and his staff as a backlash against feminism. Slacktivist (again) reminds us that when Jesus says we must love our neighbor the person who gets technical about who our neighbors are is doing it wrong.

•A court has ruled that civil rights laws prevents firing or refusing to hire gays.

•Some Republicans are proposing a way to let insurers charge through the roof for pre-existing conditions.

•No, the Democrats filibustering Neil Gorsuch is not at all unprecedented.

•If conservatives can live with Bill O’Reilly and the allegations of sexual harassment against him, why would they be bothered by Trump’s sexism?

•A close-up look at what Trump’s 2005 tax return really shows.

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Hulk must smash and smash again!

A short list of people who deserve some smashing:

•Charles Krauthammer, paraplegic right-wing hack who thinks it’s outrageous maternity care coverage is included in his health insurance as he doesn’t need it. Astonishingly, he doesn’t then suggest that it’s unfair on the able-bodied who don’t need the kind of treatments and wheelchairs he does to have to buy insurance that covers them. Almost like there’s a double standard. Ditto every other guy who objects to buying policies with maternity care but not, say, women buying policies that cover testicular cancer.

•A Lutheran pastor whose response to Mike Pence refusing to eat alone with women says men and women can’t be friends. And even trying is bad because that means they’re not popping out babies America needs to replenish himself (he doesn’t say white babies, but that’s my automatic assumption). As someone whose two best friends are women, dude you’re an ignorant idiot. And so are some of the guys Roy Edroso lists making similar arguments.

•Andrew Bowen, a US columnist who asked Arab News to purge his past columns because they were anti-Trump and might stop him getting a State Department post.

•And everyone involved in a Business Insider richsplaining article about all the way to become wealthy earning minimum wage. Like moving to a more affordable city (because moving across country when you’re broke is sooo easy). Living on $75 worth of food a month (I followed most of their tips, such as eating little meat, when I lived by myself and food bills were still $40 a week). Oh, and increase your annual earnings from $14,000 (at minimum wage) to $32,000. So basically it’s “how to build wealth on minimum wage by not working minimum wage.” richsplaining article.

•Donald Trump ,who condemned Obama for bombing Syria, but has begun aggressively bombing Syria.

•Bank of America for screwing over a couple struggling with their mortgage.

Rape apologists.

Bill O’Reilly, accused sexual harasser.

•Megan McArdle, complaining that the Democrats, as opposition party, are actually opposing stuff. She’s spouting all the usual cliches (and as noted at the link, in full double-standard mode). And she’s McArdle, whose bullshit was the subject of an earlier Hulk Smash post.

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