Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

White working-class voters, the Republican platform and other political links

The Daily Beast points out that white working-class voters who support Trump aren’t going to change any time soon. As noted in the article, for years Democrats have been trying to recapture those voters by going soft on say, race or religion or emphasizing how much better Dems are for the economy, but it doesn’t work because race is a major factor (and I’d add gender to that). This is actually a subset of an old argument that If Only X Would Realize How My Party Serves Their Interests They’d Switch. It never works.

•I almost have respect for Republicans never giving an inch no matter how unpopular their policies are. Except the policies they invoke are just vile: still anti-gay marriage, anti-abortion, anti-women in combat, plus new stuff like building the border wall. And while they condemn Isis, the drafters (at least at this point) have decided against condemning attacks on LBGT people (which ties in with my point this article). Echidne points out how much the Republican theocrats have in common with ISIS. Digby notices that Trump’s bigotry and warmongering are less objectionable to Paul Ryan than Clinton winning.

•Congress is getting closer to outlawing gag clauses that say you can’t write a negative review of a business. However the fast-tracking bill banning Vermont’s GMO-labeling rules has a lot of drawbacks.

•Penn State and its liability insurer are fighting in court over whether the insurer has to cover the college’s losses over the settlements paid out in the Jerry Sandusky abuse case. One thing that turned up in the documents: allegations of abuse going as far back as 1976. As someone says at the link, Penn State looks so bad, the insurance company is the good guy.

•Pokemon Go collects all your Google data while you play.

•Right-wingers continue insisting that unlike liberals, only they understand the Real Americans.

•No, police don’t always have to gun down men with guns. An old post from Digby, but obviously pertinent.

•Megan McArdle’s theory on why it’s okay for the Republican Party to ignore voters and reject Trump: the system already allows for appointments without voter input (appointed, non-elected judges for instance) so picking the candidate regardless of voter input is perfectly reasonable. The difference between “setting rules that say certain positions are not subject to vote” and “changing the rules when the voters pick wrong” escapes her, presumably because it ruins her thesis.

•Kansas Governor Sam Brownback continues running the state even further into the ground. To the point even Kansas Republicans are angry.

•The financial struggles of American law schools.

•SLAPP lawsuits (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) are a tactic businesses use to intimidate the public: someone speaks up at city hall about a new development, the developer sues them for slander, restraint of trade, whatever. At the link, an overview of the legal issues and defenses involved. For one example, a nursing home SLAPPed a couple for sharing criticism of the home with the couple’s attorney.

•Sexism from politicians around the world. Putin makes full use of sexism in his own politics. And here’s some choice quotes from Trump.

Bigots celebrate Brexit. Though as noted at the link, they’d be just as bigoted and angry at foreigners if they’d lost.

•At LGM, Erik Loomis argues that even though videorecordings of police violence haven’t stopped it, they’re changing the response. Which is probably why North Carolina has now decreed that police body-cam footage is only available if the cops approve. More information on the NC law from CNN.

•Immigrant domestic workers in Oman often suffer imprisonment, abuse and wage theft.

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Undead Sexist Cliches: Slutty Girls Are Destroying Civilization (Again)

This was the first undead sexist cliche I ever wrote about, the belief that men only achieve things so they can get laid. As women in the modern age are giving it away without waiting for a man who can offer financial support, men have no reason to accomplish anything, so civilization is doomed. And so are women because no man will buy the cow if he can get the milk free.

Astonishingly, my exposing this as a bullshit cliche did not immediately prompt conservatives to give up and stop using it. Case in point,  Amy Otto of the Federalist who explains that easy sex and the availability of Internet porn give men no reason to do anything. Including the standard argument that women lose because they no longer control the rules of the game. Okay, not so standard because Otto’s babble includes “[Women] held a majority of the cards in sexual relationships and, facing a royal flush, decided to fold.” I’m not sure what she meant to say or if she’s just clueless about poker but folding against a royal flush is the best move you can make. Nothing beats a royal flush.

800px-Royal_flush(Credit for image to David Castor via wikimedia commons)

Equally illogical, she argues that the peak of creativity for inventors and engineers used to be in their twenties; now it’s people in their fifties and sixties. Evidence this is because young men are too busy partying and never get around to creating anything? None offered in the article she links to. Perhaps it’s that seniors currently have more time, or we have a larger crop of seniors than before, or young people are too busy coping with college debt to risk a product that may not pay off (as noted at the link most inventions don’t). Or (as suggested here), that with today’s tech, you need more money and expertise to advance on what’s already out there.

Otto goes on to claim that “Women used to set the cultural standards and parameters for intimate activity. Now often the guys wield more power over sex and the girls are working way too hard, way too soon, for no reciprocity.” That would explain why a hundred years ago women could take as many partners as they wanted while men who slept around were tarred as “tramps” and treated like dirt. Oh, wait, history was nothing like that. A male-dominated patriarchal system has always set the standards: pushing women to marry early (still held up as the ideal by multiple conservatives), restricting their options if they didn’t marry, hand-waving rape cases away.

Of course the Federalist is the magazine that told us Paul Ryan’s beard proves feminism has failed, and the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey proves feminism has failed. I have a strange feeling their concern for women’s happiness is …. bullshit.

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Business and economic links (plus sexism)

At LGM, Paul Campos crushes an argument that a guaranteed universal income is unworkable.

•A JetBlue gate agent tells a woman her shorts are too short to be allowed on the plane.

•Law schools are becoming a money-losing business.

•Banks warned a payment-processing company that the firms they worked with were making unauthorized debits of consumers’ accounts. Payment processer allegedly ignored the warnings. CFPB has now taken the firm to court.

•Free-market fans give lip service to letting companies do their own thing and make their own decisions—but when McDonalds decides to raise wages for employees “artificially” (i.e., they might be able to hire people for less) that’s just wrong! I remember a few years ago, the same complaints about Costco, that by paying decent wages they were robbing the shareholders.

•The federal net neutrality policy has survived its first legal challenge. More will follow.

•Uber is now offering to lease cars to potential drivers who would otherwise be too poor to own a car and drive Uber. Apparently the lease terms are much better for Uber than the driver. Good commentary at the link.

•A new way for airlines to raise money: make you pay for choice of seat, or to sit next to your kids.

•The NFL spent a lot of money funding research on impact-related brain damage, but the funding seems targeted to football-friendly researchers.

•Echidne criticizes a study of Twitter misogyny.

•Some Iranian women dress as men to walk freely in public.

•A Delaware school system’s plan to reduce distractions in school: ban girls wearing tight jeans.

•A Stanford University competitive swimmer is found guilty of attempting to rape an unconscious woman. The judge’s sentence: six months, because of the negative effect a prison term would have on his life. More here. And the father thinks even that’s unreasonable—why should his son’s life be ruined for “2o minutes of action?” A long-time friend of the rapist argues that punishing him is just political correctness— “where do we draw the line and stop worrying about being politically correct every second of the day and see that rape on campuses isn’t always because people are rapists.” But yes, actually it is. One rape makes you a rapist. It may be you’ve done wonderful things with the rest of your life, but you’re still a rapist.

•When Ken Starr was a prosecutor, he was hard on Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky. As president of Baylor University, Starr is a lot softer on footballers who commit sexual assault.

•Samantha Field looks at the Starr case and other examples of Christians covering up/defending rape and abuse. Case in point, Pope Francis and the ongoing priestly abuse scandal.

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The man who made his daughter marry her rapist (and other links)

So an Idaho man named Keith Strawn discovers his 14-year-old daughter has been raped. His solution: drive her across state lines to marry her rapist, because the Bible says that’s what should be done. His lawyer alleged a religious motivation and said that should get Strawn off; it didn’t. Slacktivist cites this as an example of why insisting Old Testament law is God’s will is an unworkable approach to morality, and so is attempts to divide it into good and bad laws (something he discusses further here).

•So in my last And column, I discussed how claims Trump voters are driven to support him because of political correctness are bullshit. And that they have more today with the delusion of part of white America that it’s being oppressed than any actual oppression or thought-policing. Case in point, Patrick Buchanan, who argues that white men feel oppressed because they no longer see themselves portrayed as a higher life form.  “They were the Founding Fathers, Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Hamilton, and the statesmen, Webster, Clay and Calhoun. Lincoln and every president had been a white male.” Only now the president is black and the next one may be a woman (Buchanan doesn’t say that, but it’s hard not to see that as part of the point) and people point out the founders were slaveholders—argh, so oppressed! And here we have a 22-year-old libertarian Trumpite who thinks PC is what allows Black Lives Matter protesters to protest without consequences. Which apparently is much worse than cops shooting innocent black people without consequences.

Like every other Republican candidate, Trump wants to slash taxes on the rich.

•A while back, the government ruled that McDonald’s was a a co-employer along with its franchisees and equally liable for any mistreatment of employees or wage theft. Now New York is making a similar argument about Domino’s.

•The federal flood-insurance program may have screwed over homeowners after Hurricane Sandy.

•So Obama visits Hiroshima, and naturally some right-wingers freak out.

•LGM slaps down a liberal writer who thinks it’s time to stop thinking about race and gender-based injustice.

•A study indicates that fathers are much happier being a parent of sons than daughters.

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New And column out—

On the right-wing argument that we should blame liberals, “political correctness” or feminism for the rise of Trump.

And no sooner do I publish than Internet libertarian Tyler Cowen makes the same claim about feminism: “The contemporary world is not very well built for a large chunk of males.  The nature of current service jobs, coddled class time and homework-intensive schooling, a feminized culture allergic to most forms of violence, post-feminist gender relations, and egalitarian semi-cosmopolitanism just don’t sit well with many…what shall I call them?  Brutes?

As I note in my article, even if true (and Echidne dissects it at the link), so what? If men aren’t comfortable with a more egalitarian, less violent world, tough. That doesn’t make feminism the problem, it makes patriarchy the problem. As Cowen has written that he can’t see any reason employees should be protected from employer sexual harassment, I admit I take anything he says that touches on feminism with a grain of salt. And as Cowen is a libertarian I find it unsurprising he would focus on feminism rather than anything uncomfortable like corporate misbehavior, outsourcing, or any unlibertarian motivations like that (he touches on the growth of service jobs but seems to lump that in with them being too girly, rather than being low-paid and with less union protection than old school manufacturing).

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Standing astride history yelling “stop Pajama Boy!” (and other political links)

As you may recall, a few years ago the Obama Administration’s early ads for ACA health coverage included a young man signing up while sipping coffee in his pajamas. Some conservatives still freak out about “Pajama Boy.”

•Conservative bloggers are also shell-shocked about the Obama administration supporting transgender students.

•Don’t worry that Donald Trump is sexist. According to one Republican leader, Trump is above normal rules. I’m sure they’ll find a way to excuse his other problems too. And discover that as the party has all its eggs in Trump’s basket, the basket is awesome. Certainly supposedly moral conservative Foster Fries (all women need for contraception is an aspirin pressed between their legs!) is fine with it—he’s not going to judge Trump just because of a few affairs in his past.

•There have been several recent cases where a toddler found their parent’s gun and injured themselves using it. Police response seems to vary depending on skin color.

•Eye doctors sometimes hang on to the glasses prescription so you can’t get the specs somewhere else. Bad idea, the government says. And insurers must now provide services regardless of gender identity.

•The working class was better off back when we had unionized manufacturing jobs. LGM argues that in today’s economy the “union” part is the more important. Conversely, outsourcing and the gig economy can reach even management jobs. And here’s another argument for paying service workers well.

•Speaking of the gig economy, Lyft is agreeing to a $27 million settlement to keep California drivers classified as independent contractors, not employees.

•A security guard gunned down a fleeing man for stealing a 95 cent candy bar.

•A while back I linked to a Rewire story that involved a right-to-life group tricking a teen into signing a document claiming she didn’t want an abortion. Rewire alerted me that the attorney involved in the mess is running for the Mississippi state court.

•North Carolina governor Pat McCrory—the guy now struggling to defend the No Transsexuals in Bathrooms Law—has always been hostile to gays.

•As Scott Lemieux says, claims that American liberals want white, working-class Trump voters to suffer hardship are bullshit. I don’t think they deserve more consideration than, say, the black or Hispanic working class, but they don’t deserve less either.

•A company developed a New Improved Blood Test a couple of years back … but it turns out it doesn’t work well.

•A new Senate bill would limit the government’s ability to hack into our computers and phones as part of an investigation. The DOJ unsurprising says the bill is not needed.

•The threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs continues to grow.

•One woman’s story: enlisted in the military, raped, discharged as mentally unstable when she spoke up.

•This Ruthless World vents about militarizing police in America and the belief the military have all the answers to everything.

•Muslims skewed heavily Republican in 2000; today not so much. Could it be because of things like a Republican insisting a Muslim can’t be Republican (although the Repub objector was overruled in this case)? Northier Than Thou looks at the way rules and platforms become creeds. You can also check out my blog post about dogma from a few years back.


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Sexism and other political links

I’ve written before about the idea heroism is supposed to be uniquely male. And one blogger’s similar complaint that Real Men Protect, Real Women Are Protected. Complementarian Christians are big on the ideal, unless it requires protecting women from abuse.

•Jimmy Carter shocked people by admitting he sometimes lusted for women other than his wife. Republicans slammed Bill Clinton for being a philanderer. Yet as Ted Cruz notes, Repubs are flocking to Donald Trump, lecher and serial philanderer. At the link, Frank Bruni suggests Trump can get away with it partly because he’s a sexist pig: he’s not about informed consent and equal satisfaction, he’s about the Mad Men era when a man could slap his secretary on the butt and not take any blowback. And lots of conservatives miss those days (and he makes similar points to my recent And column).

•Someone suggests if guys fail in high school, it’s girls’ fault for looking too sexy.

•Objectivist Carl Barney runs a for-profit chain of colleges. Which means he opposes government loans, except when students take them out to make him rich (the colleges are no longer for-profit, but one lawsuit charges that’s to evade inconvenient regulations.

•Speaking of regulations, Baltimore food trucks are suing over city rules that keep them 300 feet away from a competing bricks-and-mortar store (can’t sell truck pizza if you’re that close to a pizza place). The plaintiffs argue they’re being held to a standard not applied to regular restaurants. Of course that argument admits that they’re free of a lot of costs and expenses regular restaurants face (parking lots, rental fees, etc.). It’s a minor thing, but I’ve written about the issue as a reporter, so it caught my interest.

•Stonewall, the bar where modern gay rights began (though gay-rights activists did exist prior to Stonewall), is becoming a national monument.

•Megan McArdle richsplains that instead of worrying about income inequality, we should be concerned about things like “inequality of opportunity.” Except she’s already on record saying we should do nothing about inequality of opportunity. So as noted at the first link, I suspect this upcoming series is less about solutions and more about warning us not to take money from the rich and give it to the poor who are poor because they’re failures.

•Heidi Cruz would like you to know that Ted Cruz’s campaign for the White House is as important as the fight to end slavery.

•A new conservative meme has forced-birthers declaring All Lives Matter, equating the fight to stop women getting abortions with the fight against police who kill black people. Oh, and one Missouri forced-birther has declared that having to bear your rapist’s child is a silver lining for the victim (a common anti-abortion claim).

•So there’s spyware that users can install on other people’s phones — partner, child, employee — without the target knowing it. Although a lot of the ads talk about how you can eavesdrop or track people, some manufacturers also say You Must Never Actually Do This to shield themselves from liability. At the link, Consumerist looks at the legal landscape. Another company has tried the same defense.

•If you text someone while driving and texting makes them crash, you might be liable.

•A federal court says a lawsuit against Facebook’s over its facial-recognition system can proceed.

•A politician claims the alleged bribes he took were just First Amendment-protected free speech.

Trump’s thoughts on dealing with crooks, and critics.


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