Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Tamika Mallory: Speaking Truth to Power in Amerikkka

As you may know, Tamika Mallory co-organized the 2017 Women's March on Washington. Here she is addressing a Minneapolis rally on May 29, 2020. This is the most compressed, powerful dose of truth delivered to Amerikkka I've seen or heard since I don't know when. Four versions of this amazing speech follow.

 The first is more complete than most on the web: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wxAhGhHZMI
 
 

The second has English subtitles and shows the women who were around her, supporting her:
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkGC1jdEtKc



With the rest I'll just provide the links:

The third video has Spanish subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QY3Djk68gA
 
And this last one is completely unedited. The volume is low at first but that changes half way in and becomes much clearer and stronger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Jzku_jx5DQ



Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Black Radical, Lesbian, Queer, Feminist voices

Women's liberation movement - Wikipedia
image of Black feminist marchers is from here
I've been struggling to figure out how to maintain integrity of practice, of action in friendship and within communities and in isolation. How to find my footing, meaning both my voice and in what perspectives my voice is grounded. I hope to write a series of posts about who influences my thinking and doing and where I am landing at this time.

Radical Black feminism, or Black radical feminism, has been a core influence. Some of the key figures for me have been Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, bell hooks, and Alicia Garza, among others. Each woman has addressed different but overlapping concerns. I see Black radical feminist activism addressing white straight male supremacy, white and Black men's violence against Black women; white women's marginalisation of Black women in movement work, Black men's denial of male privilege and power to oppress women, white women's denial of white privilege and power to oppress women and men; men's sexual exploitation and violence against women of color; many forms of gendered-raced violence that systematically oppress and kill Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous women and girls; classism, poverty, and economic violence against women; State and police violence that is misogynoirist; military warfare against Asian and Brown women internationally, police violence and slaughter, the prison industrial complex; and the murder of Black trans women and queer liberation; the legacies and continuing force of European colonialism and globalised capitalism; the struggles of Indigenous women; gender; sexuality; and dealing with issues of sustainable action, responsible engagement in community, and creating systems of support for marginalised and invisibilised girls and women.

There is overlap with white radical feminist agendas in fighting heteropatriarchy, calling out male privilege and power interpersonally, socially, and culturally, and men's sexual violence and exploitation of women and girls of all colors; gender; sexuality and lesbian existence. The white radical feminists I'm speaking of include Andrea Dworkin, Catharine A. MacKinnon, Sheila Jeffreys, and Julie Bindel, to name a few key figures who have shaped the direction of liberatory struggle. The first two have been particularly influential to me, most especially Dworkin. These voices are not monolithic and have or have had different areas of focus with lots of overlap. Among some white feminist writers and activists spanning generations, intersectionality and queerness are critiqued as pro-patriarchal, anti-feminist, or not radical. In this last area, I am in disagreement in part due to a commitment respect and honor the struggles of Black feminists even when at odds with white feminist theories or agendas.

So in this short post I want to link to some conversations among Black feminists and Black liberation workers so that we may hear their struggles, their agendas, in their own voices:

Audre Lorde speech, Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power, 1978:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWmq9gw4Rq0

A conversation on October 13, 2014 with bell hooks and Laverne Cox:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oMmZIJijgY

A conversation from January 23, 2016, with Barbara Smith, and Reina Gossett, and Charlene Carruthers where liberation struggles are discussed directly:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV3nnFheQRo

An October 2016 TED Talk on the murder of Black women by Kimberlé Crenshaw:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akOe5-UsQ2o


Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Why Does John Stoltenberg Call Andrea Dworkin a Trans Ally?

This photo of Andrea Dworkin and John Stoltenberg was found here.
[I have revised this piece since published on 4/22.  Julian, 4/26/2020]

PART I: INTRODUCTION

In recognition of the fifteenth anniversary of the passing of the great Andrea Dworkin, her life partner, John Stoltenberg, recently wrote a piece published online at the Boston Review. You may read it here (or see the URL in the notes): "Andrea Dworkin Was a Trans Ally."(1)

I fully appreciate and understand where John is coming from; I share his concern about any ideology or actions that aim to generate bigotry, systemic and interpersonal discrimination, or replicate any incarnation of social supremacy. Like John, I believe Andrea would have passionately opposed such efforts. Unlike John, Andrea would have done so anywhere she found it.

I find the title as well as the content of Stoltenberg's new article problematic in a few ways. Stoltenberg applies a label on Andrea to stick silence to sentiments. Her empathy for the oppressed is established. But there are no public declarations of support for trans agendas, specifically. She wasn't "anti-male" and I don't think she would be "anti-trans", nor should she be labeled as such. But you can't affix absence to affection. You ought not cut terms from a battle not hers and paste them on someone so battle-scarred. I know he appreciates that mislabeling is not cool.(2) I am calling on John to carefully state where she stood and to not misappropriate something she wrote about when her own theory work was problematic, including to her. (More later.)
 
Additionally, I don't see his article addressing whether Andrea was or was not a trans ally. It is about ideas and values: hers, his, and his interpretation of terms some radical feminists sometimes use. His article blurs distinctions, especially Andrea's. Far more seriously, the piece obfuscates what terms Andrea's public work required to convey meaning to incite action in service to revolutionary feminist change. In each of these ways, I feel, he is making a mountain out of a mole hole, disrespecting her in the process. Stoltenberg has said he was naive when approving a publisher's title to his 2014 article, "Andrea Dworkin Was Not Transphobic."(3) How long must naivete nestle in his defensive arsenal? Only a great deal of privilege allows that term to never expire. And this: did Andrea request to be posthumously placed in the middle of a political-polemical battle not chosen by her?

Reader, it gets worse.

PART II: REAL WOMEN
 
John identifies usage of the phrase 'real woman' as a moral affront to what Andrea worked for and valued. At the same time, he neglects to highlight a concern, a nightmare, abundantly evident to her in life under patriarchy that, I believe, most of radical feminism holds central in its theory and activism: womanhood is not chosen; it is enforced. It has a body; the body is female. Andrea graphically described the violence against her, her body, a female one. She described what is done to millions of girls and women, every one female. Noticing this connection (and how does one not?), does not render Dworkin, nor anyone else enduring and bearing witness to the same atrocities, a sex essentialist. As I shall illustrate, it is the most central theme, addressed in dozens of speeches and articles, and in all of her books. I saw her speak several times, I've read her books. This is what I heard:

It is against the female body that male supremacy most egregiously and systematically expresses itself in order to maintain male dominance as natural, God-given, eternal, and inevitable. It is against the female body that intercourse as violence and violation occurs most normally. It is against the female body that patriarchal force is unleashed: brutal, sadistic, bone crushing, and murderous. Through all of her work, Andrea addresses this explicitly: the violence is against the woman's breasts, her uterus, her vagina. What I hear most deeply, most fiercely, in radical feminists' angry opposition to essential elements of trans politics, in part, is this: You are making that understanding seem crazy and immoral. And increasingly verboten. John isn't helping. Patriarchy makes men's treatment of women—for Andrea, for radical feminism, the stubbornly human beings with a female form—intimately oppressive. Her words express this point far better than mine.
The acts of violence depicted in pornography are real acts committed against real women and real female children. (Letters from a War Zone, p. 11)

The woman's material reality is determined by a sexual characteristic, a capacity for reproduction. The man takes a body that is not his, claims it, sows his so-called seed, reaps a harvest—he colonializes a female body, robs it of its natural resources, controls it, uses it, depletes it as he wishes, denies it freedom and self-determination so that he can continue to plunder it... (War Zone, p. 118)
...I have also learned much about male power from [women], once I cared enough about women as such to realize that male power was the theme my own life had led me to. I know male power inside out, with knowledge of it gained by this female body. (War Zone, p. 64)
Now, this repulsion is literal and linear: directed especially against her genitals, also her breasts, also her mouth newly per­ceived as a sex organ. It is a goose-stepping hatred of cunt. The woman has no human dimension, no human meaning. (Intercourse, p. 9)
What is stunning and outrageous to me is that stating this aloud is controversial, unless to menthen it is still outrageous while expected and unremarkable. John, many radical feminists, and anyone who is familiar with her know this: Andrea valued naming conditions as she saw them, full voice. Mincing words or verbal tip-toeing were anathema to her. She hated words being put in her mouth or taken out context. Yet John's representation of her edits out this most incisive fact: Materially, the Venn diagram consists of one circle.

I have disturbingly discovered, over the last decade and a half, that a prerequisite for operating acceptably in white-dominated liberal queer spaces, academic and otherwise,(4) is the silencing of Andrea Dworkin specifically, and radical and lesbian feminists more generally. Those are places I have increasingly avoided due to my disdain for the prevailing ideologies and anti-feminist practice.

You cannot rationally read Dworkin and come away denying that in her worldview and in her experience, melded to the experiences of millions of women, this is realised: male means man, men are male; female means woman, women are female. She didn't shy away from saying so in academic or social circles. She didn't indulge Western theorists who value sexual diversity more than women's liberation, who think by multiplying genders we arrive at new form of freedom. There is no such charge toward metastatic metamorphosis. In the time she was alive, Andrea never articulated a hierarchy in which female women oppress trans women. Female women were, to her, a class of actual (read: real) women: 'women', unmodified by any prefix.

Unabashedly reciting those four passages above will not be tolerated in many settings influenced by the suppositions essential to liberal sex and gender theory. As Women's Studies has shifted to Gender Studies, radical feminist perspectives have been branded a violation of anti-discrimination policy, grounds for dismissal. Those courageous radical feminists who insist on naming the reality they and Andrea experienced, are losing their reputations, their careers, and their safety. Alarmingly, they are being doxed, deplatformed, threatened, and terrorised. About this, thus far, John is silent.
 

PART III: TRANSSEXUALS

In Stoltenberg's article and in others by him published after Andrea's death, he resurrects chapter nine from section four from her first feminist book, Woman Hating (1974). From "Androgyny: Androgyny, Fucking, and Community," the passage prior to the one in his article:
Transsexuality can be defined as one particular formation of our general multisexuality which is un­able to achieve its natural development because of ex­tremely adverse social conditions. (p. 186)
Following her discussion of transsexuality, Dworkin went on to discuss transvestism in the context of an erotically repressive society:
Transvestism is costuming which violates gender imperatives. Transvestism is generally a sexually charged act: the visible, public violation of sex role is erotic, exciting, dangerous. It is a kind of erotic civil disobedience, and that is precisely its value. Costuming is part of the strategy and process of role destruction. We see, for instance, that as women reject the female role, they adopt “male” clothing. As sex roles dissolve, the particular erotic content of transvestism dissolves. (p. 187)
In that chapter, she also wrote uncritically about stigmatised and/or abusive interpersonal contact existing in an erotically repressive society. From the introduction to the section:
Homosexuality, transsexuality, incest, and bestiality persist as the "perversions" of this "human nature" we presume to know so much about. They persist despite the overwhelming forces mar­shaled against them—discriminatory laws and social practices, ostracism, active persecution by the state and other organs of the culture—as inexplicable em­barrassments, as odious examples of "filth" and/or "maladjustment." (p. 174)
In the conclusion, she adds: "We must refuse to submit to the fears engendered by sexual taboos." (p. 192) In 1989, in an interview, Dworkin addressed theorising with unknown and unintegrated knowledge; theory she would abandon and critique.(5)

Once known and integrated, from Pornography: Men Possessing Women (1981) to Heartbreak (2002), she never again speaks of core or peripheral issues in the terms John most utilises: there is no call for an expansive multiplicity of gender; multisexuality ceases to matter; a focus on fictive and static sex roles becomes increasingly astigmatic; the liberators of sexual taboos are revealed to be predators; she ditches androgyny as salvation. She bids a griefless goodbye to all this.

Transsexuality, too, disappears, save for two mentions in the Dworkin-MacKinnon antipornography ordinance: "The use of men, children or transsexuals in the place of women..." and, "[a]ny man, child, or transsexual who alleges injury by pornography in the way women are injured..."(6) About this, John said: "I merely want to point out that Andrea understood in a profound way that a person could be subordinated like a woman without having been assigned female at birth..."

"Subordinated like a woman." Not as a woman. The ordinance brought awareness to the fact that the pornographers can treat anyone like shit, the way women, most often and most centrally, are treated like shit. A girl, a woman: from birth to death. It is clear that Andrea and Catharine, in this radical legal mechanism for ending sex-based discrimination, did not equate being a transsexual with being a woman or a man. For the purposes of their ordinance, reflecting life as they knew it, 'women' were unto themselves as an oppressed sexual-political class.


PART IV: ACCOUNTABILITY

I call upon John to stop inferring that her radicalism is epitomised in a pre-feminist section of Woman Hating and a colonialist chapter in her second book, Our Blood (1976), in which she unpacks the prevailing philosophy of gender, and, alarmingly, posits Columbus as a radical hero. (pp. 97, 110). I believe her radicalism, her mission, is found elsewhere. From the introduction to Woman Hating:
This book is an action, a political action where revolu­tion is the goal. It has no other purpose. It is not cerebral wisdom, or academic horseshit, or ideas carved in granite or destined for immortality. It is part of a process and its context is change. (p. 17)
If John is to reference Andrea's work, he must unsilence her on what mattered most to her. To not do so is misappropriation in the name of radical profeminism. We know he's familiar with the practice. From John's article: "After Andrea’s death in 2005, I became increasingly concerned that she and the radical politics I learned from her were being misappropriated by some..." I call on John to just as resolutely hold himself accountable.

Following her death, it has been sad to see the degree to which John's political trajectory follows a different orbit. I've been outraged to see the ways he's obscured Andrea's. This is my view of their respective work at this point. In the Venn diagram, his circle is the one in many colors; hers is totally eclipsed.

What follows is some of John's work.(7) I believe this is where his passion isin discussions about gender like this:
Think of a color wheel. And don’t think of one with colors segmented by lines like a pinwheel; think of one where the colors blend and blur into one another as they do in the infinitely circular rainbow that is the visible spectrum:
 










                        Figure 1: Color spectrum wheel
I submit that for any individual, what we think of as sex and gender is actually more like a point somewhere on a color wheel (rather than a point somewhere on a linear continuum with two ends, each of which supposedly represents two poles of a binary).
Reader, that work was not hers.

PART V: CONCLUSION
  
Perhaps Andrea didn't establish a public position one way or the other in such battles because of the time in which she wrote. Mindful of her empathy and compassion for oppressed people, there's simply no evidence of her being a trans ally as I've heard the term used.(8) I say that without satisfaction or derision. I'm stating a fact. As a point of reasonable comparison: if, forty years ago, an out heterosexual man wrote affirmatively about the lesbian, bi, and gay community and had done nothing since to support LGBTQ+ challenges to, and survival within, an outrageously heterosexist society, should he be considered an ally? I hope we'd all conclude the answer must be no. Here, John is the ally; Andrea was the analyst.

What white peopletrans, queer, and otherwisecan do to honor Andrea is to read all her books and fight to end white and male supremacy in all of its manifestations, in every theory and every practice.

Andrea's views are best expressed in her own work on her own terms. Not that they can't be discussed and debated. Not that we can't wonder what position she'd take on any given issue. I can't count how many times I wondered: What Would Dworkin Do? Unfortunately, since death, she's had people who identify in many ways, embracing different ideologies, with various political agendas, metaphorically tugging, tugging on each arm, trying to make a case that she stood firmly on one side or the other of the fierce trans debate. Defended she must be, but not in indefensible ways. Andrea Dworkin fought hard enough in the war zone. Let her rest, with gifts given, in power and peace.



NOTES:
1. "Andrea Dworkin Was a Trans Ally" (2020): http://bostonreview.net/gender-sexuality/john-stoltenberg-andrea-dworkin-was-trans-ally

2. John makes an assumption that 'transsexual' and 'transgender' are synonymous terms. Many of us under the Western queer banner know that to be false. For example, there are queer and trans people of color and Indigenous Two-Spirit and queer people who reject the authority, agendas, and appropriations part and parcel of white gender and sexual politics. There are radical feminist transsexuals who do not identify as transgender for political reasons. The 'trans' moniker, that appears in the title of John's article, in fact, is often used in or by LGBTQIA communities as an umbrella term that includes many people, among whom some ID transsexual, some are ID transgender, and many who identify as neither: it may also include folks who are gender fluid, gender non-conforming, and non-binary. Sometimes 'trans*' is synonymous with 'queer.' If he doesn't know this, he should, before trying to identify Andrea as a "trans ally". He, as a gay man, is also not positioned to make the claim. Trans-identified people are, especially trans women and trans men of color. His lack of accountability, if not knowledge, to radical and feminist transsexuals reveals allyhood with only some letters in our alphabet. See note 8 for more.

3. After writing this post, I found an archived article by John titled "Andrea Dworkin Was Not Transphobic." (2014) I had recalled and likely read it when released but couldn't find it. Once tracked down, I was engaged by the comments. They pertain so directly to this discussion that I want to link to them here, with particular shout outs to Morag and Lil Z:
https://web.archive.org/web/20180827101819/http://archive.feministtimes.com/%e2%80%aa%e2%80%8egenderweek-andrea-was-not-transphobic/#comments

4. The spaces I have operated in socially and academically have been white majority and led, or Anglo and Western theory dominated. When we who are white speak of feminism and queer politics, it generally means "white" but without stating so. I am aware of communities, perspectives, and agendas of color. Analysis of the complex challenges, not the least of which is Western and Anglo colonisation in culture and thought, is beyond the scope of this piece about Andrea Dworkin and John Stoltenberg and his use of her writings about sex not race.

5. Dworkin goes on to explicate this statement. Without Apology: Andrea Dworkin's Art and Politics (1998), by Cindy Jenefsky. Page 139, Note 1: https://books.telegraph.co.uk/Product/Cindy-Jenefsky/Without-Apology--Andrea-Dworkins-Art-And-Politics/23799992 (a UK source)

Cindy Jenefsky writes:
In my 1989 interview with Dworkin, she indicated she no longer agrees with suggestions proposed at the end of the book. "I think there are a lot of things really wrong with the last chapter in Woman Hating," says Dworkin. When asked about her discussion of incest in particular, she made reference to several factors which influenced this part of her writing. First, at the time she wrote this part of the book, she was taking care of a child who had been incestuously abused, and even though she had talked with police in Holland about the prevalence of incest there, she says there was a gap between her intellectual analysis and her personal experience. It was only through writing and getting responses to Woman Hating that her subjective experience—not just about the incest, but about wife battery and pornography as well—was validated by others and that she began to understand incest as a form of sexual abuse. She also made reference to being influenced by "years of reading Freud and trying to figure out abstractly what all this was about," especially in the absence of publicly available information about the prevalence and character of sexual abuse. Finally, Dworkin also noted that even though feminists and pornographers were moving in different directions at the time Woman Hating was written, they still shared common roots in the counterculture and sexual liberation movement. Dworkin, interview with the author, 1989.

6. Regarding the ordinance, see Pornography: Men Possessing Women, tenth anniversary edition (1989), new introduction, p. xxxiii. See also, the Massachusetts ordinance (1992): http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/OrdinanceMassComplete.html

7. "The Sex/Gender Binary: Essentialism" (2015): http://radfem.transadvocate.com/the-sexgender-binary-essentialism_n_508/

8. "Becoming an Ally to Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC)": https://colleges.claremont.edu/qrc/education/enact-allyship/qtpoc-ally/. Also, see the first paragraph in "11 Ways To Be A Trans* Ally, According To Transgender People Themselves" (2015): https://www.bustle.com/articles/76762-11-ways-to-be-a-trans-ally-according-to-transgender-people-themselves

May my white male privilege serve this call to honesty and integrity.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Interpersonally Abusive Men: the work of Feminist Kajsa Ekis Ekman and Pro-feminist Lundy Bancroft

 
book cover

Although this was published several years ago, this book is new to me. It was put on my radar by Swedish feminist Kajsa Ekis Ekman, a writer, journalist, and activist. I found her via this audio recorded lecture wherein she mentions it. She addresses interpersonally abusive men's tactics and behavior in the initial stages and how those tactics may mirror and mimic the country's oppressive male supremacist government and its leaders. The audio link was sent to me from a friend in Serbia. I believe the close translation of the title of the lecture is: Types of Abuse: How to Recognize Your Relationship is Violent. NOTE: It may be very distressing to anyone who has lived through or witnessed an abusive relationship.

https://www.mixcloud.com/TNT_BeFemTalks/s03e03kajsa-ekis-ekman-deset-vrsta-zlostavlja%C4%8Da-kako-prepoznati-da-je-va%C5%A1a-veza-nasilna/?fbclid=IwAR31xA4HeQV2U4mSrSqbzNJZbVSPEeW6GjW_Xne8DTFSfVTclULwBCsyP6Y

Here is a PDF of the book by Lundy Bancroft: Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men 

A summary:
Has your partner changed dramatically from the man you originally got involved with? Do you struggle with trying to understand what is bothering him and how to keep him from exploding? Do you feel like you’re always messing things up in his eyes, and you can’t figure out how to get it right?
Why Does He Do That? has become the go-to book for women who have partners who are angry, controlling, or unfaithful. It answers the 20 questions that women most ask about their partners’ behavior.
Here are just a few:
* “Why did he used to think I was so great and now he often seems to think I’m terrible?”
* “Why does he make everything he does my fault?”
* “Why does he want to have sex after being terrible to me?”
* “Is he going to escalate to physical violence?”
* “How come everybody else seems to think he’s so perfect?”
* “What can I do to get him to change how he treats me?”
This book will help you to sort out whether your partner’s behavior is just “normal relationship stuff” or whether he is trying to control you. And if he is controlling, Lundy will guide you in how to keep yourself safe and sort out the way forward for your life.


Friday, June 28, 2019

Stonewall Rebellion: 50 Years Ago at Midnight

Aug. 2018 Stormé
Stormé DeLarverie is from here
Stormé was always clear: “It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was civil disobedience. It was no damn riot.”
Stories are missing from several accounts of what occurred that fateful night. For example, some say the grief over the death of Judy Garland, whose funeral service had ended not long before the midnight uprising, put many of her followers in a less obedient place: the deep grief may have fueled the rebellious anger and rage.

I grew up hearing that. I also grew up with the impression that this was primarily a white gay male story, of men fed up with police harassment and brutality, finally ready to fight back, for dignity and for freedom. Later I learned about Sylvia Rivera, a powerful figure in that story and in the story of NYC's political struggles at that time. There is a question over whether Sylvia was there that first night: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvia_Rivera

I then learned that homeless queer kids, queens, and trans people of color were part of this story.

Among the voices most often left out of the account is that of Stormé DeLarverie, the mixed-race Black lesbian butch who called out for others to do something when the cops invaded the Inn. Here is more about her: https://socialistaction.org/2018/07/31/storme-delarverie-the-lesbian-spark-in-the-stonewall-uprising/

Here, from a documentary, are other parts of the story of that night:
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/6/28/remembering_stonewall_on_50th_anniversary_leaders?utm_source=Democracy+Now%21&utm_campaign=4b622124a2-Daily_Digest_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fa2346a853-4b622124a2-191478001

May the rebellion continue, for all who participated back then, their memories, and for all of us who came along and came out after that night.

 


Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Kavanaugh, Trump, and the White Male Supremacist Supporters: Unleashing Unbridled Misogyny Again

https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/christine-blasey-ford-swears-in-anita-hill-1538070804.jpg?resize=980:*
image is from Elle, here
I won't put the faces of virulent misogynists in this blog post. We all know what they look like.

What Brett Kavanaugh, Lindsay Graham, Trump and Comp are doing is showing us how blatant misogyny can be, acted out not timidly or shamefully. Unsurprisingly and predictably, this is not how the story is being told. Instead we are seeing it on cable and internet news with cynicism and sarcasm in public, or brought through testimony from private spaces, in bedrooms literally over women's bodies. The reign of white male supremacy has never gone away. From decade to decade it lives on, monstrous in its mutilated humanity.

This is what the man-infestation of its callousness feels like.

This is more than just a reaction to #MeToo, #SayHerName, and #TimesUp. This is on-going action, proactive, planned, well-executed. Any threat to white or men's power is too much. Any challenge, obscene. Any serious opponent to such aggrandizing and aggressive privilege and entitlement is mocked and ridiculed, if not also imprisoned or murdered.

When the oppressed get 'uppity' and organized there will be the white man-beast at the ready to tear them all apart.

More power to Anita Hill, Christine Blasey Ford, and all woman of all colors who are survivors of men's status quo atrocities.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, and Donald Trump: misogyny and predation in US positions of power

Image result for anita hill testifying
image is from here
Two of the highest ranking outed perps, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and POTUS Donald Trump, may be welcoming another predatory man into their rank ranks, reinforcing and shaping the US's laws and policies. Structurally, privately, and professionally, they all support woman-hating predation.

The potential disaster and disgrace of confirming Kavanaugh and the horror of the predicted re-election of Trump means half the US Senate and half of the US population are reinforcing patriarchal norms in the face of recent challenges to rape and porn culture.

https://www.aljazeera.com/mritems/imagecache/mbdxxlarge/mritems/Images/2018/7/10/5d3dbc631a2440b2a0e1d74a5295fc33_18.jpg
image is from here
In other words, straight male supremacist business as usual. A seismic shift occurred over the last half century and in a more media-approved way bravely over the past year starting with Tarana Burke's #MeToo effort, #SayHerName, and #TimesUp. Before these latest efforts an incredibly brave Anita Hill spoke truth to power and was rebuked.

From Vox:
It feels like 1991 all over again.
That year, Clarence Thomas was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to the Supreme Court, and Anita Hill testified that he had sexually harassed her when they worked together several years prior. Sen. Joe Biden, then the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, failed to call additional witnesses whose testimony could have supported Hill’s account. Thomas has now served on the Supreme Court for nearly 30 years.
Today, the details are different but the basic outline is eerily similar. In July, a woman reported to Democrats in Congress that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her when they were both in high school. He has denied the allegation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, knew about the allegation but declined to share it with the other Democrats on the committee, according to Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer at the New Yorker. So it didn’t come up during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
Hill addressed the allegations against Kavanaugh on Friday, saying through a spokesperson that “the reluctance of someone to come forward demonstrates that even in the #MeToo era, it remains incredibly difficult to report harassment, abuse or assault by people in power.” She added that “the Senate Judiciary Committee should put in place a process that enables anyone with a complaint of this nature to be heard.”

Persistent activism is needed to radically alter the structures that make Kavanaugh's confirmation possible. Misogyny is always part of a giant system, perpetually a category 5 storm.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0b/Maria_2017-09-19_2015Z.png/260px-Maria_2017-09-19_2015Z.png
image of 2017's Hurricane Maria is from here