Saturday, June 15, 2019

Lady be good and mad

Next year we will mark the centenary of the Nineteenth Amendment, if it hasn't been repealed by then.

Everybody who has read a non-Texas-approved history text knows America was founded on systemic racism, but we often overlook the systemic misogyny.  Maybe this is because patriarchy is thousands of years old and more or less universal.  Arriving late in the day, America has been mostly free of chastity belts, harems and genital mutilation, but in most other ways it has resembled the Old World and is increasingly shaded toward Saudi Arabia.

I was reminded of the creepy-crawly roots of Trump's loathing for women by Fintan O'Toole's article in the current New York Review of Books.  As with resurgent racism, it grants permission to the haters to unleash the present wave of state legislation designed to put abortion out of reach of all but the financially secure and well-educated.  Of course, it's phrased as tender regard for the "unborn" and the "innocent" (at the expense of the guilty, of course, women who "cain't say no" or walk around in skimpy clothes inviting assault).  There's even a dusty craphole in Texas that has proclaimed itself a "sanctuary city" for fetuses, which I can't even picture.  Of course the concern vanishes as soon as the "innocent" is born and requires food and shelter -- somebody else's problem.  We all know what's really going on -- say the secret word "hypocrisy" and win a hundred dollars.

Beyond abortion, it's a daily smorgasbord of misogyny, with attacks on female politicians that would never be unleashed on men.  (Just one example:  when an Irish-American is happy to be called by the Hispanic nickname "Beto" isn't that "cultural appropriation"?  Has anyone sneeringly called him "Pancho"?  And really, shouldn't he be less shrill and smile more?)  When the doctored video of "Crazy Nancy" was being played and re-played by the "news" just to show us how bad it was, am I the only one who remembered that John Boehner, an actual weeping drunk, was never the subject of such a smear?  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can't board a plane or buy a pair of shoes without being called a Green phony.  Elizabeth Warren was castigated for a week because her tax returns  (remember those?) reveal she did outside legal work -- for money -- while teaching at Harvard Law; who does she think she is, Alan Dershowitz?

The double standard is at work even in top-level athletics.  At the Women's World Cup, the U.S. team defeated Thailand by a stunning 13-0.  Were they honored like those Olympic hockey players who beat the Russians?  Absolutely not.  It wasn't...ladylike.  Going into the second half at 3-0, they should have sat their best players down and just played defense.  And under no circumstances should they have celebrated.  Never mind that in major league baseball, players who score on a sac fly are greeted in the dugout like liberators regardless of the score.  They're men.  First of all, thirteen goals is more than some English Premier League teams score all season.  Second, fuck you.

There's always time for one more symbolic assault.  The Treasury Department regrets to announce it will be at least 2030 or possibly never when the Harriet Tubman twenty begins to circulate.  This project was always meant to mark a hundred years of women's suffrage as well as a heroic woman's fight against slavery.  I can imagine that Cabinet meeting.  "I don't wanna see some colored woman on my money, all right?  People are telling me this Frederick Douglass is doing very well.  Is there a picture of him?"    


Blogger The New York Crank said...

"There's even a dusty craphole in Texas that has proclaimed itself a "sanctuary city" for fetuses, which I can't even picture."

Shucks, m'am, it's simple. Let me draw you a picture:

If you're a fetus that's feeling persecuted, you just come on down here and we'll take you in, no questions asked. Sorry, we have no room for mothers just yet, although we're working on that part, but all endangered fetuses gladly accepted regardless of race, sex, or country of national origin, so long as it's the USA, of course.

We think you fetuses have put up with enough, what with being bullied, getting your lives threatened by criminal abortionists, not to mention all those who fail to recognize that Life is a wonderful opportunity for people who otherwise wouldn't have had one.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

9:19 AM  

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