Enablers

11 Nov

Yesterday, in response to John Derbyshire’s earlier assertion that sexual harassment isn’t a “real thing”, Feminist Law Professors posted a small list of (horrifying) sexual harassment cases that have come to court in the last ten years.

The problem with this is that the issue with Derbs isn’t his ignorance regarding the degree and frequency of sexual harassment women experience. Rather, Derbs has a personal investment in sustaining the culture that leads to and allows sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and rape.

This is the same dude who wrote that teenage girls were more fuckable than older women (women past the age of 20, apparently), and thus, more rapeable. I tend to look askance at any man past the age of 25 or so (I’m fucking charitable) who thinks that teenage girls are hotter than full-grown women, but a middle-aged man who does that and conflates sexual predation with sexual attraction? GROSS.

However, in a culture where men are allowed to harass, terrorize, abuse, and rape women and children on a regular basis without a peep, Derbs isn’t that bad of a guy for saying that it’s too bad bitches can’t take a joke or even that girls who are his daughter’s age are in their “salad days”. In a normal, functioning society, this guy would be shunned by decent people, even conservatives. He has to support and minimize rape culture if he wants to continue to think of himself as a good, upstanding person. He holds fucked-up views because of his own personal fuckedupness, and things like “facts” and “human decency” aren’t going to change those views.

Compare and contrast this with the observation that DougJ from Balloon Juice made last night about the conservative reaction to the Penn State child rape case. Conservatives are personally invested in the concept that orders and hierarchies are Good, and anything that brings that concept into question is shocking and even disturbing. It’s not just a political view; it’s a deep, personal, emotional belief that shapes the way they perceive the world. That’s why you see people like Ross Douthat and Kathryn Lopez minimizing and dismissing child abuse in the Catholic Church. It’s also why, when Derbs waves away sexual harassment, conservatives are prone to agreeing with him, even if they aren’t creeps like he is. Bosses are More Than other people, and women are Less Than men, and to question that is to question everything their beliefs are built upon.

Occasionally, something so heinous pierces through that worldview that they can’t explain it away and they at least have the decency to acknowledge it exists. However, they aren’t going to make the connection between what happened and their worldview, much less let go of it. Penn State is an isolated incident, not an example of how the fetishization of authority and order enables the culture of silence surrounding sexual abuse. They can’t let go of the hierarchy and their places within it.

I’m not sure which case is worse. Either way, you’re encouraging suffering for your own personal benefit. Then again, that’s pretty much the conservative ethos in a nutshell.

All Growed Up

10 Nov

“Shower” and “drink water” are on my to-do list for today.

FYIGM

9 Nov

I’ve seen brief discussions of the huge gap in wealth between young and old at a couple of other blogs, but I thought I’d weigh in because I Write Shit Sometimes. Occasionally.

As a cusp-y Gen Xer and politically-aware pessimist, I’ve been aware for some time that the traditional American Dream was probably going to be unachievable for me, even though I’m middle class and white. I figured that if people ten years older than me were being called “slackers” because they weren’t going to be as financially successful as their parents, the “you’re fucked” ball was already rolling and it was going to be difficult to stop, especially since demographics aren’t on our side.  What infuriates me is that people my age and younger have had FUCK ALL TO DO WITH creating the  policies and economic conditions that have created such a large wealth gap between younger and older people.

People 65 and older established their careers and bought homes during times when pensions, strong unions, cheap higher education, and affordable housing actually existed. These same people (along with Baby Boomers*) elected Ronald Reagan the year that I was born, setting off a cascade of lower taxes and deregulation, effectively destroying the conditions that allowed them to obtain steady jobs with living wages at the beginning of their careers. They reaped all of the benefits of lower taxes without any of the risks.

Now that they’re older, they still support “small government” and the “free market” and lower taxes EXCEPT when it comes to Medicare and Social Security. I’m anti-throwing Granny out on the street (I love my granny!), but that level of self-absorption is fucking breathtaking, especially when we’re being told to suck it up and pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.**

I don’t dispute that older people have worked hard for what they have. I don’t feel entitled to anything. I don’t envy their wealth. I do, however, envy their opportunities–opportunities that aren’t available to me, my cousins, my brothers, and my friends because of the shithole banana repbulic they’ve helped to create.

 

*I have quite a bit resentment towards Baby Boomers, too (take up all the cultural air much, fuckers?), but at least they aren’t content to let the world burn and they do let us live in their basements.

**Some of the comments on the stories I’ve read are typical conservative kids get off my lawn bullshit, but my favorite was something about how we shouldn’t have bought designer sneakers and McMansions. Anecdote ain’t data, but I can say confidently that I don’t know anyone with a designer sneaker collection. Also, despite being well out of college and acquainted mostly with people from areas where housing is relatively cheap, I know hardly anybody my age who owns their own home, much less a fucking McMansion. Most of them do have color TVs and cell phones, though, and may occasionally eat t-bone steaks.

Thought of the Day

20 Sep

I swear, if Perry gets the Repube nomination, I will not be able to watch the debates or pay attention to the presidential election closely at all. His hideousness is just fucking mindboggling, and I’m getting too fucking old* to be entertained by that shit. Seriously, I don’t see how Texas fucking put up with him.  (Then again, I don’t see how the US put up with Bush for 8 years).

Also, too, I am not the kind of person who is all “Don’t criticize the president” but seriously, dude, shut the FUCK UP ABOUT PALESTINE. You aren’t helping, you fucking douchecanoe.

*Yes. I am ancient.

So Stoked

17 Sep

So far, Elizabeth Warren seems to have flown under the wingnut radar fairly well despite the fact that she was accused of being a liar on the House floor a few months ago and clearly had/has a lot more influence than Francis Fox Piven. But I think that’s going to change. While Scott Brown has been a disappointment to wingnuts, I think they’ll be eager to protect his seat, especially from a staunch working/middle class rights advocate like Warren. She is not afraid of speaking some ugly truths about our economy and society, which terrifies them. (The dumb ones hate to see their reality shaken, and the smart ones know that a pissed off, informed electorate is dangerous to the right wing). Anyway, is it wrong that I’m looking forward to seeing how the wingnut bloggers lose their shit once they find out more about her?

The Pause Feels Like an Extra Year of High School

22 Aug

I listened to the record this song is on this weekend for the first time in a while. Holy fuck, John K. Samson is a good lyricist. I’ve heard this song a jillion times and it still makes me teary-eyed, especially since Virtute makes an appearance on their previous album. (Yes, I am a Cat Lady).

In other news, I have become a Featured Blogger at Indie Posit, which is a pretty sweet combination of a blog, RSS aggregator, and social media thingy for small blogs. I suppose this means I’ll have to step up my game and post more. And maybe stop using words like “thingy.” Thanks, Mike!

Companion Song

15 Aug

This is one of those  songs that if you find yourself listening to constantly, shit is probably a little fucked in your life. (This isn’t me, although I have to say that the message of the  song is something that’s slooooowlyyyy sinking in as I work on being a grownup).

It’s a great, simple song, though. Plus, Aimee Mann is hot.

 

Will Republicans EVER STOP WHINING???

10 Aug

They has the sads because Patty Murray has been chosen as the co-chair of the debt super-committee.

You agreed to this, you stupid fucking douchebags. I know that “bipartisan” means “Republicans get their own way” these days, but Jesus Christ, your fucking fit-throwing is OLD.

Besides, Baucus is on the committee, which means that it’ll be essentially majority Republican, anyway. Go drink your ba ba and take a fucking nap already.

 

Here’s Your Future

8 Aug

 

Also, too

 

Read This

6 Aug

Shock Doctrine and the Debt Limit.

Via naked capitalism.

Not sure why I didn’t think of this fiasco as shock doctrine before, but it makes sense. I will say that I’m not quite sure it worked, given the fact that the stock market, um, tanked when the deal finally went through. Maybe investors are finally figuring out that you can’t have a vibrant economy without a vibrant middle class? I’m not holding my fucking breath.