Category Archives: Undead sexist cliches

Trump, Trump’s budget and his faithful voters

So as I previously blogged about, Trumpcare actually makes things worse for poor, rural and older voters. And his budget now takes a hacksaw to pretty much everything but military spending, for example Meals on Wheels. Which at the link Trump’s budget director explains needs to guarantee the money is “used in a proper function,” which in this context is pure bullshit. It’s being used to feed people who need it, that’s its function. Mr. Mulvaney doesn’t even go so far as to trot out the usual cliches about waste and fraud, just … oh, I don’t know. Oh, and Trump also wants to gut the CDC and National Institute of Health because … well, he’s got the money for a doctor, why should he care? Echidne offers some thoughts about the budget including cuts to other services to the poor. And about Mulvaney’s tough talk. And that while the CBO predicts insurance premiums will go down after 2020 (after an initial increase), that’s because of things like fewer seniors having insurance. Not to mention that by restricting the use of Planned Parenthood for Medicaid patients, it prevents lots of poor people from getting breast or cervical cancer screenings, let alone abortions or birth control (and will therefore lead to lots more unplanned and unwanted pregnancies (Side note: Paul Ryan, who was able to save for college because his family received Social Security Disability, but that didn’t stop him from wanting to cut Medicaid even while he was back in college).

Given that Trump campaigned on promises of better jobs, better and cheaper health care and a better social safety net, will it matter to Trump voters when he screws them over? Salena Zito, one of the countless oh-so-wise conservatives who tell us what poor whites really think, says that contingent (of course a lot of Trump supporters make quite a bit of money) is solidly behind him: they know industrial jobs, factory jobs, mining jobs are going away, but they don’t mind, “it’s tax and regulation reform that they all believe will truly help their community.” As noted at the link, it’s hard to believe the man on the street conveniently regurgitates Republican talking points. Heck one of the things the election brought out was how little the Republican base cares about that stuff compared to the better deal Trump promised them.

As Zito doesn’t quote anyone actually saying that, I suspect she’s er, interpreting flexibly. Still, it’s quite possible that even if Trump does bring down a world of economic misery, they’ll stay loyal. For some people (based on my experience in the Florida Panhandle) Republican is as much a part of who they are as being Baptist or Catholic (or whatever).  For others it’s the appeal of Trump’s America=White policies; one thing Zito’s interviewees are enthusiastic about is Trump’s hardline on Muslims and Hispanics coming in. But that doesn’t have the same salt-of-the-earth, Republicans-are-decent-people feel she’s trying to convey. And some people see a clear difference between Trump and Congressional Republicans, which might make it easier to keep worshipping him. Some people, like the 25 year old who doesn’t know it’s Obamacare lets him stay on his parents’ insurance, are just clueless. For a lot of conservative Republicans, it’s about abortion — as long as he’s against it, nothing else matters. A Forbes article says a lot of white people don’t notice all the ways government supports them — mortgage interest deduction, employers’ write-off for health insurance, etc. — or see it as something they’ve earned, unlike the black/poor voters who are moochers.

So maybe they’ll cling to Trump fiercely, whether from racism/sexism, cluelessness, rationalization or religion. Or maybe their faith in Trump will shatter once they feel the effects of Trumpcare and the budget. Unfortunately, it’ll be too late for them to get their insurance back (and as Digby notes at the link, too late for lots of people who didn’t vote for President Shit-Gibbon. Stay tuned.

But to end on a cheerful note, former NC governor Pat McCrory is weeping and wailing (and maybe gnashing his teeth) that it’s soooo hard to get a job now because his support of HB2 has set people against him. Why can’t we just get along? Like the Bible says, ex-governor, he shall make of your name a sign and a proverb.



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In the age of Trump, I can always lead my link posts with sexism

Of course that’s true in most ages. And it’s not just Trump — it’s important to remember that while other Repubs may not brag as much about grabbing women, they’re not passing women-friendly policies. In Mississippi, a committee blocked a bill that would have allowed spousal abuse as a grounds for divorce, because that would lead to more divorce. A bill in Texas (same link) would allow doctors to lie to a pregnant patient about the fetus’s health so she won’t think about aborting it. Over in Colorado, Republicans have shut off funding for a program that makes it affordable for low-income women and teens to use IUDs and other birth-control devices. The program has successfully reduced abortion rates and teen birth rates but of course it makes it easier for women to have sex without consequences, so there you are. Melinda Gates, however, stresses how important controlling pregnancy can be to a woman’s life.

•But let’s remember, Trump can always make it worse. AG Jeff Sessions is very anti-choice and extremist pro-violent abortion groups hope to make the most of it. Bible-thumping right-winger Jerry Falwell Jr. is now leading an education task force and wants colleges to stop handling sexual assault complaints. Of course, nothing stops a woman reporting assault to the college and the police  —but I have a strange feeling Falwell isn’t going to be pushing police to deal with rape allegations more effectively.

•Women wearing white pantsuits to Trump’s State of the Union speech in support of Clinton? The important thing is their bad fashion sense, according to one Republican. I can just imagine their reaction if Clinton had worn a wig like Trump’s.

•So a female actor criticized a reporter for calling Melania Trump a hooker. Slate says defending Melania ignores her role in Trump’s ultra-sexist administration. Gotta say I disagree with Slate — it’s always a good thing to call out sexist slurs, even directed at horrible people.

•Sterling Jewelers has been accused of turning a blind eye to sexual harassment.

•Kansas Republican Roger Marshall opposes the medicaid expansion under ACA because “the poor will be with you always.” At the link, Slacktivist explains how Marshall is completely getting Jesus wrong.

•Rebecca Traister looks at how The Handmaid’s Tale holds up 30 years later. She includes quotes from one reviewer about how absurd said reviewer found a future in which the US and Russia aren’t at each other’s throats and right-wing fundamentalists have vast power in government.

•A North Dakota Republican says repealing blue laws would be bad, because women should make their husbands breakfast in bed instead of shopping.

•No we are not drowning in illegal immigrants — the levels are a lot lower than a few years back.

The Future That Liberals Want. Imagine that, people just … sitting there. Not bothering anyone. Not bothering anyone else. Sounds good to me (and reminiscent of the segregationist insistence in White Flight that all your public spaces belong to us).

•While Trump has gotten more criticism from the press than W did at this point, many reporters gushed over the state of the union speech. And while Sen. John McCain may talk tough about Trump’s conduct, one writer predicts he won’t back it up with deeds.

•Creationist Ken Ham claims pre-Flood humans were far advanced — but even his imaginary museum displays don’t show it.

•Charles Pierce says Trump supporters should just accept they deserve the flak they’re getting. Nevertheless, one campus libertarian complains it’s harder to be right-wing/libertarian than gay in college. Why, when he invited Milo Yiannopoulis to speak, he actually got criticized!

•AG Sessions wants to crack down on pot. Nevertheless, a new bill has been introduced to end the federal ban on marijuana.

•A Tibetan soccer team has been told it can’t get visas for the US. Gotta watch those infamous Tibetan terrorists, right?

•Trump has announced his intention to publicize crimes committed by immigrants. Presumably because they involve foreigners killing Americans whereas Americans shooting foreigners is A-OK with him.

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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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