Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why so serious?

After Hillary Clinton’s speech on Tuesday night (she had won 4 of 5 contests that night, and apparently has also narrowly won Missouri, completing her sweep), a few pundit fellas took to the Twitters and told her that she won, she should smile. And that she was shouting. And that she seemed angry.


It dismays me that women are still held to some weird standard that dictates that we can’t get angry, or if we do, we should put on a happy face and not project our anger.

Well, fuck that.

Plenty of us are angry at the erosion of our hard-earned rights to reproductive freedom and we are angry about STILL not getting equal pay for equal work, and we are angry about sometimes being treated as less than competent as workers and as leaders. In Clinton’s speech, she was talking about many of these things, as well as things like gun violence and Governor Rick Snyder’s incompetence and complicity in the Flint water crisis (who cares if the browns get a little brain damage from lead poisoning, right Rick?).

But come on, Hillary. Give us a smile!

This is so offensive to me as a woman. What is it about having a uterus that makes men think they can tell us how to comport ourselves? That we aren’t agreeable enough, or that our passion and outrage is somehow unseemly or unfeminine? Look pretty and smile a little! That’s a good girl.

It is incredibly condescending and it pisses me off. Next time you get into an argument with a woman who is fired up about something, tell her to calm down or tell her to smile. Let me know how that works out for you.

It resulted in a discussion between me and Ken, but because we are both rational people, we managed to understand where each other was coming from. He maintained that sometimes she does sound like she is shouting, and I said, “What wrong with that at a rally?” He said sure, that’s fair. I said that I think she did get the message about toning it down a bit in debates and she has handled herself well lately. If it ends up being her vs Trump in a debate, that ability will serve her well. If she can keep her cool when subjected to the personal attacks that he is bound to bring, she will only prove that she can handle anything thrown at her.

Women can and do get angry about things, and we get passionate about things. I object to the ridiculous standard that we shouldn’t show our anger or our passion. I am honestly more committed to rational discussion and reasonable discourse, but if I get pissed off about something, you’ll know it.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Paper Gods

And when the final curtain finally comes down
We'll all be in the party room, no wiser as to how
The total human race became a basket case
It's nothing to lose face about, it's really not our place to doubt it

~~ Duran Duran, “Paper Gods

Maybe not the total human race, but apparently a sizable portion of the American electorate has become basket cases.

It seems that the Republican party is on track to nominate Donald Trump (AKA the Vulgar Talking Yam, according to Charlie Pierce) for president. I find myself vacillating between laughter and despair.

I find it dismaying that anyone can fall for this scam artist’s lines and believe that he would be, in any way, good for our country. Even more dismaying is that I don’t doubt that I have family members who are supporting him. I honestly question their judgment, their intelligence, and even their basic sense of humanity.

I’m trying to maintain a sense of humor about it and I can laugh when I see Trump answer questions about where he is getting his advice concerning foreign policy by saying, “I’m speaking with myself. I have a very good brain.” But it’s getting harder and harder to find the humor in any American embracing this unqualified, narcissistic, misogynistic, demagogic, bullying TOOL.

It’s easy to think that the Democratic nominee (who looks increasingly likely to be Hillary Clinton) will have an easy time in defeating him. I take nothing for granted and none of my fellow Democrats should, either. It is vital that we ensure that this schoolyard bully gets nowhere near the White House. Not only are his proposals absurd, he would destroy any good will around the world that President Obama has generated.

I don’t know about you, but being a laughingstock does not not sit well with me. The thought of our entire country becoming a laughingstock for electing this buffoon is abhorrent.

The primaries aren’t over yet, but we are edging closer. Let’s make sure that we aren’t edging closer to the abyss.

Reading List:

It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

Christian Nation: A Novel by Frederic C. Rich