Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Let’s link to sexism (and the fight against it)

LGM points out that some people support restricting abortion because they don’t like some of the reasons for getting one. But the trouble is, the regulations the forced-birthers promote affect all women, regardless of their motive. Case in point, Texas is poised to ban second-trimester abortions. And Trump’s judicial picks think abortion is like slavery.

•In the age of Trump, not insulting women = political correctness. And is therefore objectionable.

•”A competent woman losing a job to an incompetent man is not an anomalous Election Day surprise; it is Tuesday in America.” And the sexism continues with the declarations failed presidential candidates must disappear from public life.

•Classic comics covers redone with Wonder Woman. And the Mary Sue applauds the movie for its handling of Steve/Diana.

•Misogynists insist men shouldn’t like women because women are all ugly. And there only value is as vessels for men’s seed.

•Some students accepted to Harvard who posted inappropriate memes (sexual assault, yay! hanging Mexicans, cool!) to Facebook have had their acceptance letters revoked.

•Samantha Field attests that The Handmaid’s Tale isn’t a straw man — it’s what some conservatives want.

•One columnist argues that Bill Cosby is just a whipping boy for women who’ve been treated badly by men. And Cosby can’t possibly be a bad person because he was so nice on The Cosby ShowShe’s not the only one still defending Cosby.

•After a passenger accused an Uber driver of rape, a company executive got her medical records and showed them to colleagues.

•”Female is not a design flaw.” JK Rowling rips into a liberal man for calling UK leader Teresa May a whore. I’m in total agreement.

•Echidne of the Snakes looks at Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s fondness for rape jokes.

•Black Girl Nerds argues the point of Wonder Woman sparing Dr. Poison in Wonder Woman is that white women get a free pass.

•In the misogynist world, fat women have it so much easier than fat guys. But the good news is that with women’s rights having gone to such an extreme, the pendulum will soon swing back to raping women with impunity.

•Sen. Kamala Harris questioned Jeff Sessions during a Congressional hearing. According to Trump ex-lackey Jason Miller, Harris’ questioning was clearly hysterical.

•A TV televangelist (Jan Crouch) has been found guilty of covering up her granddaughter’s rape.

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

To piss off liberals

So during one argument on FB not long after the election, one of the Trump voters involved informed me with glee that he voted for Trump just because Trump winning would piss off liberals. And Trump won so Mission Accomplished!

Even before Trump’s election, I was aware of this strain of right-wing thought. But following Trump yanking the US out of the Paris Accord on climate change, several bloggers and pundits have pointed out how even more deep-rooted it’s become on the right — and that it’s almost their primary policy goal. Will the policy piss off liberals? Then it’s good! Will it undo something the evil Kenyan usurper accomplished? Ditto!

Paul Krugman, for example, says opposition to climate change is driven by sheer spite: “Don’t tell me that it’s about coal miners. Anyone who really cared about those miners would be crusading to protect their health, disability and pension benefits, and trying to provide alternative employment opportunities — not pretending that environmental irresponsibility will somehow bring back jobs lost to strip mining and mountaintop removal.”

In fairness, other policy motivators include a passion for an oligarchy where corporations are free of any restraint or regulation, can pollute wherever they will and rich people are free of all those onerous taxes while still getting government services. And Trump’s policy motivations include being a shit-gibbon who sees even terrorist attacks as proof of his own awesomeness.

In other news:

•Slacktivist mocks the idea that we shouldn’t worry about climate change because the end times will happen soon. Because it’s not like the people who claim this are ignoring the future in other aspects of life — not contributing to their 401k, telling their kids not to bother with school. It’s just on this issue.

•Given how bad the Trump administration continues to be, it’s not surprising the media get some flak for focusing on Clinton’s emails rather than Trump’s well, everything. So the response from reporter Chris Cillizza is that Russian interference and Comey’s warnings about Clinton investigations are just standard shit that happens. If Clinton had been a better candidate, she’d have gotten past them. Scott Lemieux’s response is that the media needs more flak, not less.

•On the plus side, some right-wing pundits are floundering as they try to figure out where to stand in the era of President Shit-Gibbon. And Breitbart’s page views and traffic have taken a hit, as it’s concentrating a lot of energy on defending Trump rather than lashing out at the opposition.

New Republic argues that Ivanka Trump’s pretense she’s a moderating voice in Trump’s world have collapsed.

•Remember the guys in Portland who got stabbed trying to protect a couple of Muslim women from harassment? A men’s rights activist draws what he thinks is the obvious conclusion: chivalry oppresses men. An Oregon Republican says the real threat is attacks on conservatives and he wants far-right groups to provide Republicans with security.

•Another white supremacist killing of a person of color. And here’s another right-wing plot.

•Kevin Williamson of National Review devoted a post-election column to explaining that poor people should just suck it up if life doesn’t turn out like you expect. He has a different standard for disappointed rich people.

•So last year a retired cop shot and killed a man in a movie theater, allegedly for texting. The cop’s defense: he was in fear for his life.


Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Like sands through the hourglass … (#SFWApro)

I only rarely feel that “How did it get to be May already?” sense that a lot of people (TYG, for instance) express. Maybe because my writing keeps me mentally busy and includes lots of deadlines? It is a little remarkable to realize we’re almost halfway through the year, but it’s not like I don’t know where the time went.

Time on the weekend went to a fair amount of fun stuff including a time-intensive lasagna recipe (well worth it) and a trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art.

This is one of my favorite paintings there, though I don’t remember the name of the artist. All rights to image remain with current holder.

We’d hope to catch the Museum’s Ansel Adams exhibit, but we were a couple of weeks late. Still, I think I had more fun with the collection of Venetian paintings that’s there now as a special exhibit. Some striking stuff including a couple of Titian paintings — I hadn’t even realized he was Venetian.

And we got in an hour bike ride, which wasn’t as long as I wanted, but if not for the three-day weekend we wouldn’t have managed that much.

The work week went pretty well. Despite the four day week I got 6,000 words done on Southern Discomfort and I haven’t run into any fatal plot problems yet (as I worried last week). I submitted a new Screen Rant (17 Most WTF Alternate Versions of Wonder Woman) and proofed Atlas Shagged.

I finished the first draft of Undead Sexist Cliches — The Book, and gave it a quick reread, mostly to note any major points I’d missed or any places where I’d repeated myself (there were several). It’s only around 30,000 words — not a fatal problem if I self-publish, but I would like a little more material.

I’m also entertaining the possibility of writing another film reference book. I did a little research on the topic this week (I’ll detail it when things get further along) though not as much as I’d hoped. Due to a couple of early risings and the dogs only wanting short lunchtime walks, I wound up, despite taking Monday off, only about 1.5 hours short of my regular week’s hours.

I attended my writing group Tuesday, but despite plans did not go out with everyone afterwards. We switched from a place that was relatively close to the meeting, but had execrable service, to a better one that’s farther away. Which has been a problem for me because I’m so not a night owl, and the drive cuts into the amount of time I can spend. So if I’m feeling a little out of it for any reason it’s easy to say, naaah, not worth it. However I’m tired of that attitude, so I’m going. It’s in the goal list for June.

And here’s a Monet painting to wrap up with.



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Filed under Nonfiction, Personal, Screen Rant, Southern Discomfort, Time management and goals, Undead sexist cliches, Writing

The Republican thug lifestyle

You’ve probably heard by now that newly elected Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte assaulted a reporter for questioning him. He won anyway (a lot of early voting in his district) but from what I’ve read, the margin was slim enough to be a good sign for Dems in 2018.

A Business Insider article catches right-wing pundit Laura Ingraham making fun of the reporter for calling the cops and equating getting slammed to the ground by a violent adult man to having your lunch money stolen. The article suggests the Republican enthusiasm for bullies and bullying is partly because “many men in America right now have little to offer women. They do not live up to either to the old, chauvinistic standards for adult men or the new, egalitarian ones. They want what Trump has — the women, the money, the brass-plated apartment — without having to do better or be better to get it. They think they’d be better off under a return to high-school norms, where men could “be men” but really be boys, and gain status through cruel dominance plays without bearing any real-life responsibilities.” No More Mr. Nice Blog argues it’s also resentment: “If you’re a suburban white flag-waver, even if you have a nice life, it angers you that people who aren’t like you — non-whites, non-straights, liberals, feminist women, non-Fox journalists, people who enjoy non-meat-and-potatoes culture — are also thriving. Even if you’ve had all the pie you want, it’s infuriating that such vermin get any pie. And if they start asserting themselves, well, that’s just flat-out intolerable.”

I’d say there’s truth to both.

What I didn’t know until this last week is that Gianforte is also a creationist (Lance Manion adds some thoughts on this). And he also believes that retirement goes against the Bible because the Bible doesn’t mention retirement — Noah was 650 years old when he died, and he never stopped working!

While I haven’t heard this “Biblical” take before, it’s worth noting that, as usual, the current crop of right-wingers are just recycling old tropes, not creating new ones. Five years ago, for example, millionaire anti-Social Security activist Pete Peterson declared that America simply cannot afford to let old people treat the last third of their lives as a “publicly subsidized vacation.” Similarly economics professor Edward Glaeser has argued that seniors not being able to retire is a good thing — after all, lots of people work until they die, so what’s the problem. Of course both Peterson and Glaeser work nice white collar jobs and Peterson at least is uber-rich, so they may be oblivious that lots of jobs, from mining to warehouse work to construction, can wear you out; it’s not a vacation, it’s exhaustion (I am also quite fine with seniors getting that vacation even if they are fit). As I said last week, some people simply refuse to put themselves in anyone else’s shoes.

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Wonder Woman, post-William Marston (#SFWApro)

In her book The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore is clear that everything done on Wonder Woman after his creator William Moulton Marston left is sexist crap (she also looks down her nose at female superheroes in general). And with the film coming up this weekend I’ve seen other articles making the same argument. I disagree with them.

It’s true that nobody has ever written the Amazing Amazon as overtly feminist as Marston did. She championed the freedom of women; her enemies (Mars, Doctor Psycho) were dedicated to putting women in chains (often literally). Women could and should be independent. Any woman from “man’s world” with Amazon training could be as awesome as the Amazons. Of course along with that we got heavy use of bondage, BDSM themes, and difference feminism (Marston strongly believed that women were better suited to run things than men), as noted in my Screen Rant article (link also goes to my review of Lepore’s book). But still, the feminism is very strongly there.

Where Marston believed deeply in feminism, Robert Kanigher, his heir on the title, did not (Lepore notes that when a sniper takes out Diana’s sidekick I Ching in #204, his first victim is based on DC Comics’ female editor Dorothy Woolfolk). And apparently he hated the book. Lepore’s take, which I’ve heard elsewhere, is that the series dissolved into a mushy muddle of dating, romance and WW pining for Steve Trevor.

And that may be true for most of the 1950s — it’s the period of Diana’s life I have least knowledge of. However, I have read Kanigher’s run from 1958 on (when he began working on the book with artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito) and I don’t think it’s true at all. As I’ve mentioned in the past, while there’s no overt feminism,Wonder Woman is the world’s mightiest super-hero and Kanigher writes her that way (crossovers weren’t common at DC in this period so she didn’t share the spotlight with anyone). If alien fleets are going to invade, she’s the one they have to stop. If monsters run wild, she’s the only one who can save us. And so on. As her teenage Wonder Girl self, she’s so dedicated to training for her future heroic career, she often has to pass up chances to date. That’s light years away from Silver Age comics’ usual portrayal of teen girls (Donna Troy in Teen Titans was way more flirtatious).

That said, the Silver Age has its share of sexist stories where Diana acts (as they used to say) “just like a woman.” In #102, for example, an alien confronts Steve with Wonder Woman and two identical robot duplicates, forcing him to choose the real one. He finally succeeds by kissing each of them — but Wonder Woman only grumbles that Steve kissed the two ‘bots before he kissed her, the Lothario! These were only a minority of stories, but that changed in Kanigher’s ’65-68 run when he did import a lot of romance comics tropes to the book. This is the period WW really starts mooning over Steve and things get more sexist.

Then came the four year period (sans Kanigher) where Diana lost her powers. One of the articles I read pointed out, accurately, that this places a lot of emphasis on Diana’s taste in clothes, another element important from romance comics (fashion and style were a big thing there). But while accurate, it also distorts this period: Diana is a top-flight martial artist and globetrotting adventurer fighting against the conspiracy of Dr. Cyber. Plus cleaning up her new neighborhood in New York, visiting the Amazons and having other adventures. I think depowering her was a bad idea, but she wasn’t just a fashion plate.

Whatever those eras’ faults, they’re not as bad as you may here.

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Filed under Comics, Undead sexist cliches, Wonder Woman

Like a virgin, linked for the very first time

No actual discussion of virginity here, however.

•Roy Edroso watches right-bloggers try to spin Trump’s Mideast trip into something awesome. A less enthused take from Digby.

•The White House wants to block the Ethics Office from looking at whether lobbyists working for Trump are violating ethics rules by working on matters they lobbied the government about.

•Did General Hospital craft a storyline simply to allow product placement for a drug?

•Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, is preaching junk science. I haven’t read the book, but I did look up one issue on which I was curious and he got even the basics wrong.

•Africans should decide which African renewable energy projects need funding.

•With the death of Roger Ailes, Fox News guru, Slacktivist looks at not speaking ill of the dead. While I don’t have a link, Glenn Greenwald has argued that we should speak ill of the dead: otherwise the people declaring how awesome they were will define their legacy and overlook flaws (Reagan’s refusal to approve added funding for AIDS research, Jerry Falwell being a segregationist, etc.)

•Feministing argues that while lots of people protest when right-wing speakers are denied a platform on campus, other viewpoints get shut out without objection.

•Now that Charter has bought out Time Warner, cable customers are getting rate hikes — immediate, with their cable getting turned off until they pay.

•Cable companies commit to net neutrality! Except they won’t say so in writing.

•Reporter Chris Cilliza explains that while the media devoted too much coverage to Clinton’s emails, it’s totally Clinton’s fault.

•Scott Adams of Dilbert fame continues cheering for Trump. Did you know that when President Shit Gibbon does something incompetent, it’s part of a clever strategy? I don’t know what his take is on how most of those Carrier jobs Trump supposedly saved are going away now.

•Did you know that according to the Federalist horror of The Handmaid’s Tale is that dramatizes why gay marriage is bad?

•For-profit colleges sue to stop a rule that protects students from colleges that screw them over.

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Filed under economics, Politics, Undead sexist cliches

Elliott Rodger, mass murderer and role model?

Echidne of the Snakes posted a link this morning to her three-year-old piece on mass murderer Elliot Rodger. Yesterday anniversary of the day Rodger declared his intention to break into a sorority and gun down the filthy cows for refusing to sleep with him (he hadn’t been rejected, but he had some emotional issues and never even asked a woman out). He tried to carry out his plan, couldn’t get in the sorority, killed three girls standing outside and then went off to kill more people. Several injuries followed, plus one death, and Rodger’s own suicide.

Echidne said the date was worth remembering because the attitudes that fueled Rodger haven’t gone away. And sure enough, other “incels” (involuntary celibates) gathered online to celebrate the day Rodger lashed back at the women oppressors. He’s a hero for our times!

Rodger was, I gather, mentally ill, but that doesn’t change the way misogynist, anti-woman, anti-feminism thinking seems to have fueled him. Rodgers himself credited misogynist websites with confirming his views that women were filthy sluts who should never be allowed to choose who they sleep with because they’ll only reject perfect alpha male types like himself for some inferior specimen. As several people put it, if a guy says he hates and loathes women, plans to kill a sorority house full of them and then attempts to do so, it’s not unreasonable to credit him with the motives he claims.

Women issues seem to be a recurrent problem with shooters. They’re almost always men. In several cases they’re domestic abusers. Or men who just feel frustrated, pissed and angry because women don’t put out for them. But the conclusion far too many people draw is that therefore it’s the woman’s fault. If only women would just be nice to their husbands, hubby wouldn’t have to beat them — no, wait, it’s that if women would only put men on a pedestal, worship and admire them, men wouldn’t have to shoot them. Why did I get those two confused?

It’s why I’ve always thought it a shame that Wonder Woman’s old foe Dr. Psycho lost the misogynist mission to keep all women in chains he had in the Golden Age. He could be a perfect caricature of the nastiest men’s rights activists, theocratic woman-haters and sexist propagandists like Limbaugh or Coulter. Not to mention, of course, President Shit-Gibbon.

All rights to image remain with current holder. Art by H.G. Peters

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Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches