Who look at your face from more than one angle

29 12 2016

Short bit: alllla these pieces about the need to empathize with the whiteworkingclass?

How many by women? How many about women?

I really don’t know—there might be plenty—but I haven’t seen pundit pieces to this effect. Reporting, yes—Arlie Hochschild, Larissa MacFarquhar, Patricia Lockwood—but counsel to ‘Be nice’? Nope.

Instead, what I’ve seen has been white women calling out white women for voting for Trump. Samantha Bee, Jen Graves, the (mostly-but-not-only-white) women at Jezebel.

Yes, there are plenty of white liberals and leftists of all sexes willing to go after whites of all sexes for voting for or not caring they’re voting for whiteness-first, but the genre of sympathy-for-the-WWC seems to be written largely by and about white men.

Nope, don’t know what this means, but I bet it means something.

~~~

h/t Emily Nussbaum, who’s been relentless in pointing out on Twitter how few analyses of Trump’s win/Clinton’s loss takes sex seriously, and Marcus H. Johnson, Oliver Willis, Jamelle Bouie, Jamilah Lemieux, and many, many others who’ve highlighted how simple-minded so many of the ‘be kind’ pieces are.

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He said shut up, he said shut up

24 10 2014

And Sullivan wonders why he has such a hard time attracting women readers.





All your bodies are belong to us

16 10 2014

shortformblog

h/t Kaili Joy Gray, Wonkette; shortformblog





Stories for boys

7 10 2014

Why is gay marriage gaining and abortion rights losing?

Paul Constant at the Stranger suggests its down to men: they don’t get abortions, so they can fill their own minds with their own views of the slutty whores who irresponsibly seek to evade responsibility for their whorish slutty irresponsible sex.

Gays and lesbians, on the other hand, have fought and marched and partied and litigated (and, unfortunately, died) their way into public consciousness as human beings deserving of the same rights as all other human beings.

There’s something to this. ‘Coming out’ is not just a personal affirmation, but a political statement, as is the chant we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it. Visibility matters in politics, especially visibility without compromise: as Arendt and Biko and Malcolm X noted, the oppressed must demand recognition as they are—Jewish or black or queer—and not merely ask to be allowed to assimilate.

We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it.

That attitude underlay even the most anodyne of marriage equality ads, the ones featuring couples who’d been together for decades, who are raising children and puppies, who want only to love and care for their beloveds, til death do they part.  These ads were oft-accompanied by gentle music and soft focus, but the insistence remained: we are human beings who want to be treated as human beings.

That’s a tough message for the anti-same-sex-marriage folks to counter, which they themselves knew. It’s not enough to talk about stories or the nice couple next door, they said, we have to talk about principles! and preserving marriage! and the children! don’t forget the children! and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The fear of gay marriage worked only so long as homosexuality was a threat; once straight people got to know actual homosexual people, however, the abstraction couldn’t hold. The human story won.

Abortion rights don’t lend themselves so easily to such humanizing stories, however, and don’t end in thrown bouquets and candlelit dances. There are plenty of abortion stories to tell, which are being told, but they don’t follow the same arc as that toward marriage-equality.

There are all kinds of reasons for that difference, but a big one involves sex: marriage-equality folks rightly focused on love and commitment and fairness, on romance and weddings and families, and most definitely not on same-sex sex.

(Again, this is completely understandable: queer folk, especially queer men, have long sought to be seen as more than just sex machines, and as folks who just want what everyone else has. It thus made sense to omit from the ads & campaign speeches that a big thing most everyone has is sex.)

But ain’t no way to talk about abortion without talking about sex, and, unlike marriage, abortion isn’t seen as containing or domesticating sex, but the opposite; it is often seen, even among some who call themselves pro-choice, as enabling irresponsible sex.

By women, I mean. Of course, it is women who have irresponsible sex.

And so abortion gets caught up in all of our weirdness about women and sex and what counts as responsible and what should be the consequences and who should be the judge and wouldn’t you know it, none of that is as happy as the story of Caroline and Anita getting married after 50 years together or Jamal and Keith’s five kids dancing at their wedding.

I get what Constant is saying about the necessity of stories, but on abortion, I gotta side with the SSM opponents: “putting a face on the issue” isn’t enough.





I think I have to send you a reminder

30 11 2013

I learned something today.

That t-shirt that guy was wearing at the gym? The one that said WOMEN LIE on the front, NUMBERS DON’T on the back?

Apparently those are lyrics from a Jay-Z song—although the complete line is “Men lie women lie, numbers don’t.”

Which may get Mr. Carter off the hook, but not the stupid bastard who made the t-shirt, or the stupid bastard who was wearing it.

He was a big guy; I gave him the stink-eye.

But I’m sure it was just meant to be funny. So, so funny.

~~~

I was grumpy the other night reading TNC’s post on Alec Baldwin’s bigotry, noting that

We’re all condemning him for what he says about gay men, but not so much that large chunks of what he finds so awful about gay men is that they act like “little girls” and “bitches”.

Like females. How degrading for a man to be feminine. What a great insult to a man to be called woman.

Can we note the great insult to women? Can we call that bigotry, too?

TNC, to his credit, has written about sexism from any number of angles, noted it in the original post, and re-emphasized the connections between anti-gay and anti-women sentiment in response to my comment, so I’m not calling him out. He’s doing the work.

But it’s still worth noting that a) attacking someone for being gay is bigotry; b) attacking a gay man for acting like a woman is a bigoted thing to say about gay men; c) which makes women the worst thing for a man to be; d) which makes women what, exactly?

~~~

Unlike other forms of bigotry, anti-women bigotry can’t be divorced from intimacy.

Swedes might believe they can live in a better society without Danes and thus try to eliminate all Danes from their state (and the world); their genocide, as terrible as it would be, would not in fact make Swedish life and society impossible. I might argue that it would make Swedish society worse, much worse, but even so, it could continue.

Men who hate women can’t live without them (us), however. Get rid of all of the women and you will, eventually, get rid of all of the men, as well.

And, given that most men are straight, even those who don’t think much of women don’t want to get rid of us entirely: MRAs are not interested in celibacy. So they hate us and they fear us and they want us, and they hate and fear because they want.

Is it easier to confront bigotry which is, somehow, separable? I don’t know exactly how to say this—because I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say—but it seems as if the lack of choice (at a very basic, sexual, level) in the interaction between men and women makes it far harder to call out sexism as bigotry.

~~~

I’ve never particularly liked the “men-are-so-clueless” types of jokes, whether told by women or men. They strike me as lazy and demeaning, and, worst of all, unfunny.

Women lie/numbers don’t? Not funny.





Brothers in arms

23 06 2013

It’s a modest little show, charming without being precious.

Eureka. I’m (re-)watching Eureka.

I’d happened upon the show at either Hulu or Netflix, watched it here and there, skipping around enough to keep loose track. I liked it, that’s all.

I don’t know if it would qualify as sci-fi. I guess so, insofar as it doesn’t really fit into any other genre—even with a sheriff at the center, it doesn’t really count as a police procedural—and with all the  future-tech, it is fictionalized science. Anyway, I like science fiction, I like clever writing, and I like odd characters.

And on second viewing, I’m latching on to the characters. This isn’t deep stuff by any means, but I’m enjoying how they relate to one another. There’s romance and friendship and antagonism and collegiality and over time it’s. . . nice to see how it all plays out.

The primary relationship is probably that between Sheriff Carter and Global Dynamics head Allison Blake, with a close second that between Carter and his daughter, Zoe, but for me, the central relationship is that between Carter and Henry.

It’s a real friendship between these two, and the actors, Colin Ferguson and Joe Morton, have good friend-chemistry. More than that, they acknowledge that they’re friends, and note on regular occasions how important that friendship is to both of them.

‘Buddies’ aren’t anything new to television, but these guys aren’t buds: they don’t drink beer and knock each other the shoulders and misdirect whatever affection they have toward one another toward, say, a basketball game or a car. They like each other, and that’s enough.

I think that’s one of the reasons I so like Numb3rs. At the center of that show is the relationship between the brothers, Don and Charlie. Don’s a bit of a hard-ass and the genius Charlie is annoyingly needy, but they check in with one another, as brothers. They look out for each other, get on each other’s nerves, and are still working through the weirdness of their childhood relationship.

It’s not a one-time thing, the working on the relationship, and I think that’s what sets apart Eureka and Numb3rs from buddy shows. It’s just there, from episode to episode, and sometimes it’s frayed and sometimes it needs work, but the friendships are demonstrated in their constancy, not in some grand epiphany.

It’s nice to see that, in men. And for them, too.





And furthermore, I don’t like your trousers

3 06 2013

Ohhhh my:

Demetri Marchessini, a Greek-born shipping tycoon who gave [British political party] Ukip £10,000 this year, . . .teamed up with a photographer a decade ago to find “unattractive backsides”, in the words of the Observer writer Liz Hoggard, on the streets of London and New York.

Marchessini wrote in Women in Trousers: A Rear View: “I adore women and want to see them looking beautiful. Everyone has the obligation to look as attractive as possible. It pains me to see women looking terrible.

“Walk along any street and you see women using trousers like a uniform every single day. This is hostile behaviour. They are deliberately dressing in a way that is opposite to what men would like. It is behaviour that flies against common sense, and also flies against the normal human desire to please.”

. . .

Marchessini warned that women are undermining their chances of finding a partner by wearing trousers. “The more women dress like men, the less they are attractive to men. If a man finds a woman attractive, he will find her legs sexy even if they are not perfect, simply because they are her legs. Women know that men don’t like trousers, yet they deliberately wear them.”

~~~

h/t Slactivist Patheos, HerbsandHags