Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And while we're on the subject of racism:

Yes, I know, "racist" is the worst thing one could ever, ever, ever accuse anyone of being and one must therefore reserve such speculations for, like, actual lynchings, if that ("he's a nice boy! he doesn't have a racist bone in his body! he didn't mean it PERSONALLY. he just got...upset"). Nonetheless. It is hard to know what (else) to make of, well, pretty much anything that comes out of Reclusive Leftist these days, but specifically, now (once again via Palin Puma Watch):

Warning: post contains a quotation with racial epithets.

Apostate, bless her, is still trying:

I agree with you that the sexist stuff is inexcusable. However, please believe me to be sincere in saying that it does seem as if there is simple *adoration* of Palin in the PUMA camp. This adoration is not in keeping with your stated disagreement with most of Palin’s platform.

Plus, at least half of your commenting community sound like Republican women to me. I may be wrong about this, but such is my impression. After a certain point, your commenting community begins to define the tone of your blog.

To which Violet replies:

Apostate, your comment 136 about people “adoring” Palin reminds me of an old and horrible phrase: “nigger-lover.” That used to be what racists called white people who committed the sin of not sharing in the racism of the day. If you refused to join in the slurs, if you stood up for the simple humanity of a black person, if you tried pointing out his or her qualities and abilities, you weren’t seen as being just or decent; you were a “nigger-lover.”

It is a sad commentary on the zeitgeist that by simply refusing to engage in the bashing of Palin, by standing up for her as a person, for trying to see the real woman, for treating her with basic dignity and honesty, I’m “adoring” Palin.

As for the “everyone” you refer to who interprets this as adoration, that is an artifact of your circumstances. From what I know of you, the only feminists you come into contact with (online and in real life) are exactly the same lemmings who have engaged in the kind of sexist Palin-bashing I’m describing. The mostly young feminists online have devolved into a caricature; I’m embarrassed by them. Planned Parenthood allowed the Obama campaign to use its mailing list to send out a smear email about Palin.

The women in my circle, in real life and online, are long-time feminists who are deeply disturbed by what has happened.

By the way: I usually like Shakesville, but the last time I was there they were uncritically repeating the rape kit smear. I haven’t been back since.

What. In. The. FUCK.

Aside from the gratuitous use of racial slurs, the inherent WTFery of a white woman lecturing a woman of colour about racism, and the disingenuous bullshit about how she's just been defending Palin's humanity instead of actively encouraging people to vote for her, read these comments and tell me with a straight face there's no adoration going on. Read Violet's repeated assertions that she recognizes Palin as "kin" to her and tell me she's just objectively defending a woman against sexism...*

So, first of all, seconding the rest of PPW's commentary there (which you should go read), and this and also this, insightful analyses of what else might actually be going on with the Palin fanbase.

I'll just add this, because now I'm good and pissed:

You know. Given just how much projection is going on there ("lemmings" "devolved into a caricature" "embarrassed by them" "smear," and that's just in that one post). And given that there is otherwise very little Earth explanation as to how exactly someone gets from "likes Palin, an unpopular view in the larger feminist community" to...that;

I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that maybe, just maybe, -that- was what VS (along with some others) was really wanting to call the "O-bots" all along.

I mean. -Such- betrayal. -Such- outrage. Is it -really- all because gosh darn it we should have just supported the woman, -any- woman, over the man, -any- man? Really. And yet, at that same place: the campaign to throw the vote, however "unwillingly" to McCain; and even now, a number of snarks at Michelle Obama (ain't she a woman?)

So, say the nomination had ultimately come down to Edwards versus Clinton, and had narrowly gone to Edwards (assuming of course he hadn't fucked up with the stupid sex scandal, which of course besides being the political suicide that it was would be duly and correctly excoriated by most feminists: everyone loves Elizabeth, he was another arrogant shit, but anyway moving on). Would the PUMA's have existed at all? In this form? And still be going, and going, and going, and fucking going? With freepers all over the fucking place now, yet? Really.

I mean, anything's possible; we can all speculate a thousand "what if" scenarios, right, and the goddam election, I keep having to remind myself, is -over-. Mostly because, well, now the -hard part-, and the adrenaline is hard to let go of.

But also, yeah, crap like this.

This post-PUMA thing, as I'm looking at it, insofar as it may be relevant at all, is shaping up as an unholy "confluence" between the dregs of what was already a noxious form of "cultural" feminism, which already had more than its share of thinly-if-at-all-veiled racism, creepy calls for "purity" and crypto-fascist nostalgia for mythical times, among other reactionary markers; and actual full-on right wing reactionaries. Now with more xenophobia and nativist bunker mentality!

Which is, of course, -exactly what the world fucking needs-. FEMINISM, especially, we -need- this, fuck knows. I mean the real problem with mainstream feminism, it turns out, is that it's -not focused on white and/or straight women enough.

Oh, yeah: it's hard out there for a white, straight woman.

[from someone called "Cindy"]

The following I’ve written as an open “letter” to Americans (from my perspective as a straight, white woman):

We are American women.
We have done eveything society asked of us.
We behaved in school.
We looked as pretty as possible at all times.
We learned to cook.
We learned to sew.
We went to church.
We dated nice boys.
We got married.
We took our husbands’ names.
We gave up our identities.
We took jobs for less pay.
We bore you children.
We lovlingly taught, nursed, guided, and nurtured these children.
We volunteered at our children’s schools.
We baked cookies for community fundraisers.
We volunteered at political campaigns.
We volunteered at nursing homes.
We took care of our elderly parents.
We have been loyal American patriots.
What have we done wrong? Why do you hate us?
Were we not pretty enough for you?
Did we not scream loud enough during childbirth?
Are we not dying at the hands of intimate partners fast enough for you?
Why do you hate us?

Poignant, innit?

Almost as poignant as the plight of Joe the Plumber (whom?): you bought a dream which was never even -meant- to be applicable to 80% of the population in the first place (and unwanted by another good 15% or so I'd say); and now that the dream is clearly being revealed as a bill of goods, you:

a) cling frantically to the politician who promises to keep the increasingly threadbare, -even to you-, fantasy going, no matter what the cost to you, let alone anybody else in the entire world (whom?)

b) incredibly, are now whining, to the 95% of the population to whom this means exactly jack and shit, for -sympathy-, even as you continue to do everything in your passive-aggressive power to fuck them over. All while denying strenuously that you're doing any such thing.

Ummm...sorry, what was the question? Right, right. "We" hate "you, plural," because, um.

a) You're beautiful, like a Prell commerical (or whatever the fuck that was. Also, popular and shiny, and we covet your red scrunchie.

b For your freedoms, unless it's for your not-freedoms.

c) Because "we're" "the" "axis" "of" "evil." Thugs, 'bots of various sorts, etc. etc. etc.

d) Because we, the WINO's aka "Women In Name Only," forgot the "feminist" rule that you're not supposed to attack a woman (i.e. a "real" woman, whom I guess at this point the only one would, no matter what she does to you first.

Certainly not because "you" are a whiny, plaster-of-Paris, self-absorbed, genteely bigoted, rightwing -git- who's becoming everything you claim you're afraid of and (collectively) would be dangerous if you gave any signs of being able to find your way out of a grease-proof paper bag unassisted.

I'm sorry; was that sexist of me? Too -mean-? -Unfair-? Unladylike unfeminist?

Because, you know, I feel just awful about it.


ETA Then again, with endorsements like these, how could you possibly go wrong, am I right?

I, who am a dried up angry embittered angry cynical paranoid angry hag, burst out laughing out loud, over and over and over as I read the Reclusive Leftist. She is anti war and I am not, which is usually the Great Divide but not here. She cares about women even if she doesn't get what it will take to create room for women under Sharia to breath. (it will take a lot of killing).

elsewhere, from the same charming commenter ("Green Consciousness;" she's some sort of eco-feminist too, see, Animal Liberation Front and so forth):

Muslims are a threat in every country they immigrate to and from -they bring their anti-semitic hatreds, their misogyny, their separatism, their gender apartheid and their dhimmi tactics against the infidels which include a moral threatening outrage over imaginary and legitimate criticism. They cry victim to shame and guilt trip the people they victimize. We must defend our democracy from these Muslim war tactics or we will be their victims.

Obama used these tactics successfully against the Clintons by calling them racists every time they made any factual statement the BO campaign could twist to their advantage. People had to know what they were doing when they jumped on that race baiting band wagon but they wanted BO to win more than they cared about fairness...His backers proudly wear teeshirts with the name Hussein to proclaim their solidarity with his Muslim heritage.

If legitimate fear and loathing of fascist Muslim culture and religious practices can be made to seem racist, soon the hate laws will cover Muslims. Then Muslims will use these laws the way abusers use injunctions against their victims. The way that group of Muslims baited authorities on that airplane where they prayed in the aisles, asked for seat belt extenders, went to the bathroom in groups and generally tried to provoke a lawsuit.

I struggle --- constantly struggle with a hatred that is growing in my own heart, not toward Muslims who I coldly recognize as my enemy, but at those who pretend to stand for women while protecting slave masters who seek to dominate us by overwhelming numbers or by force. Muslims as individuals are both good and bad but it is the women I am concerned with and about - those who feel a desire to be their own boss and oppressed by their religion, practices and culture. The correct thing to do is to help the decent people leave the Muslim faith and find a way to live free. Very hard but battered women do it, all abuse survivors do it. You cannot live free and stay Muslim. This attitude must become part of our foreign policy in that we insist on secular political systems in countries we support. Because the Muslim religion does not tolerate nonbelievers, we nonbelievers must not tolerate the Muslim religion to gain power in our democracy which is vulnerable to it...


Tom Nolan said...

Let's see if I've got this right.

"You so-called feminists shouldn't hate us the way you do, because it's the Patriarchy's fault that we, wealthy white American women who wear bonnets,

have done eveything society asked of us.
We went to church.
We dated nice boys.
We got married.
We took our husbands’ names.
We gave up our identities.

And none of all that was our fault, you know. YOU KNOW???

signed: The Patriarchy (Ladies' branch)"

Comrade PhysioProf said...

How can these people not see that everything Palin stands for involves reinforcing theocratic misogynist racist shit that is bad for everyone?

belledame222 said...

Because, according to them, they didn't drink the "Koolaid," unlike the rest of the entire damn world.

and it's all lies and "smears," anyway, including the shit that's on the damn record, and since when was Roe v. Wade a litmus test for feminism anyway, huh?? since when did feminism have to be connected to liberalism or progressive politics? Feminism's about a woman living up to her true potential, and if that potential just happens to be enacting a lot of laws that oppress other women, tough, 'cuz she's "kin" and she "shines from within" and yeah I can't do this anymore, off to get the Bromo.

Alon Levy said...

FS fucking M.

I supported Clinton in the primaries. I didn't care about the symbolism either way, but she had a better health plan, and seemed more competent on budget issues. I even cut her some slack about the racial stuff, until it got too overbearing and her policy ideas became too stupid.

I also was very concerned about Obama's religiosity at first. I still think he really did try to appeal to Dominionists by using expressions like "Joshua generation."

And you know what? I still supported him in the general election. I hope his ideas about the mortgage tax credit and ethanol and the automakers die. But I still support him, because he's pro-choice, pro-universal health care (more or less), and realist on foreign policy. Lately I support him more than many crackpots in the Dem base, who think he's spineless because he cares more about health and the environment than about punishing Lieberman.

belledame222 said...

I supported him first and foremost because he -wasn't frigging McCain-. Who, YES, would have been a lot worse from any even marginally -leftist- perspective.

belledame222 said...

He might've been trying to give dogwhistles to them--that one, I hadn't heard--but it's pretty clear by now his actual platform and agenda is anything but. Mostly I thought he was trying to give a shout to kind of middle of the road evangelist voters, who're still too--did not love the ways in which social conservatism bumped up with that, but again, by and large: based on the voting records thus far as well as the on-the-record statements wrt specific policies (the former outweighs the latter in my book) he's about on a par with Clinton both as regards reproductive rights and gay rights. with a broken promise here and a sellout there--what else is new. Nothing compares to picking a veep who IS a frigging Dominionist dogwhistle.

Alon Levy said...

Yeah, I know. I pretty much mentally crossed out everything I said about him concerning Dominionism by early 2008. My guess is that he tried to appeal to them, failed, and decided it wasn't worth the effort.

And yes, the fact that he wasn't singing "Bomb Iran" was one of the reasons I supported him. As I said, it's about realist foreign policy, as opposed to neocon fantasies.

belledame222 said...

Obama strikes me as pretty realistic in general, tendency to the feel-good idealism notwithstanding. Even if I didn't execrate their policies, McCain and especially Palin just seemed so...simplistic in the -way- they think about things, not just -what- they think. Good and evil! Good and evil! yeah thanks, we had eight years of that, had enough. And yeah, you'd think McCain was smarter than that, but...between the temper and the...I don't know what it was...yeah, a -lot- of what he said and did, and how he -didn't- acknowledge it, made me really leery. Moderate schmoderate, I thought.

Alon Levy said...

Yeah, I thought pretty much the same.

Now that I've reread the last bit you quoted, about Muslims being a threat to everyone, I'm even more confused. Sam Harris hates Muslims with ferocity; he even suggested preemptive nuclear strikes against Islamist regimes. Christopher Hitchens isn't so insane, but he's used the feminist argument against religion before. And neither of them supported McCain. In fact, Harris wrote a very caustic article about Palin, accusing her of representing everything that is wrong with religion.

Anonymous said...

i'm still so confused by the attitude of some "feminists" in regards to sarah palin. how is it they think other women, some of whom consider themselves "feminist" also, hated or disliked palin because of her gender?
if someone is a feminist, shouldn't she WANT people to judge a politician for their political ideology, and not just blindly support or hate her?
i despised palin, but i despised her because she stands for many things i think are repulsive: anti-choice, creationist, conservative republican, evangelical - i despise the male politicians who have those same traits.. yet, i've found it almost impossible to get certain fellow feminists i know to accept that i can actually hate a female politician for what she stands for. and i find that very sad, very sad, indeed.
-betty brown

Hazel / Cedar said...

If legitimate fear and loathing of fascist Muslim culture and religious practices can be made to seem racist, soon the hate laws will cover Muslims.


um, I got news for ya, hon.

Anonymous said...
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keshmeshi said...

It was pretty hard to tell what McCain believed toward the end. The man who bucked his party in supporting the patient's bill of rights was ready to take our flawed, but still somewhat functional, health care system, pour gasoline on it, and set it on fire.

One thing that was consistent, however, was his insistence on refighting the Vietnam war. Backing out of a conflict will always be a political liability in this country and, under certain circumstances, could cause problems abroad as well. But I'm leery of politicians who truly believe that we can never give up, even if the conflict is bankrupting us, even when we shouldn't have gone in there in the first place, even when "giving up" actually means handing over control of the country to the people who actually live there.

For that reason, I could never support John McCain, even the relatively sane McCain of the 2000 election.

Anonymous said...