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I have a dream

Imagine all the people out in the streets, as outraged as they are now, about women being murdered for existing while female [1]. Outraged that women are tortured constantly to put them in their place [2]. Outraged that women suffer the mental, moral, emotional equivalent of Abu Ghraib every hour of every day.

Exaggeration? Not really. Those atrocities were carefully calibrated [3] to give men the psychological trauma of rape. The big difference to the lifelong traumas of women is that most of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib were men.

Don’t come at me about freeriding on someone else’s struggles. If you can’t see the horrible similarities between the treatments of different oppressed groups, you’re the freerider. I’m pointing out the similarities not to downplay them. That would be freeriding. I’m pointing them out to think about how amazing it would feel to see this level of support for women.

Then there’s the fact that an awful lot of the freeriding that does happen takes place using women, not the other way around. Women were the loudest voices in the US for the abolition of slavery. Blacks were officially emancipated in 1861. The laws against coverture were never really articulated as an atrocity against civil rights. They began to lose support in the later 1800s, but elements of them still operated almost to the new millenium.

What’s coverture you ask? The law that said all of a woman’s possessions and money and wages passed to her husband on marriage. There were other laws that said he could beat her [4] if she didn’t behave the way he required. Rape in marriage wasn’t even a thing. She was his property. The concept she could have some right to be treated like a human being was so absurd as to be laughable.

If you’re sitting there protesting to yourself, “No, no, no. That’s completely different. Some women were well-dressed and went to Society balls,” then congratulations. You’ve just understood from the inside how slavers felt about blacks. They didn’t count. They weren’t really human beings. The concept that they could be was so absurd as to be laughable.

Just as a coda to that: black men in the US officially got the vote in 1870. Women in 1920. The Civil Rights Act requiring equal treatment regardless of race creed or national origin has been a law since 1964. The law requiring equal treatment regardless of sex is still just a dream. Imagine how it would feel if people, including men, cared.

And if you retreat all the way to insisting that, no, this really is different because women aren’t being murdered by cops, then you’re still wrong. The number killed by cops in the official execution of their duties is an order of magnitude less than men. But women are also more than an order of magnitude less violent than men so they’re that much more rare in situations that develop into violence. Interestingly, there don’t seem to be (easily available?) statistics showing whether the per capita murders of women by police are lower when the situations are similar. Further, what’s indisputable is that it’s almost always women who are victims of sexual assault by officers [5]. I trust nobody is going to argue that adding a sexual component to being brutalized by policemen is an improvement. Even further, something like 40% of policemen abuse women they’re involved with [6]. And sometimes kill them. And because they’re policemen, that doesn’t get investigated or prosecuted either. Nor do they get fired. All in all, the police violence is painfully similar. One difference is that there’s rarely someone around with a camera. The other one is that the victims are women.

If you point out that white women are less oppressed than black men, I’d say that firstly it needs a #NotAll tag in front of both categories. But even more to the point, if it’s important to focus on the most oppressed first, why aren’t these protests about black women [7]? Breonna Taylor was killed by cops in March, months ago. It’s starting to be mentioned now because some of us are shouting that half of black people are being a bit erased and that maybe that’s not such a good look.

Another big thing I keep hearing is how terrible it is that black men can’t walk safely down the street. Pardon me while I do my best to shut down my hollow laughter. You are seriously going to lecture women about feeling safe on the street? The people who have to hold their keys sticking out between their fingers in the forlorn hope it’ll give them a chance during an attack? The people who have to plan their routes going anywhere, at any time, in case some rando decides to destroy their life that day? You clearly have no idea how much of a luxury it would be to have only cops, in their well-marked uniforms, to worry about.

So don’t tell me how terrible it is to be targeted and humiliated and attacked and killed. There’s too much of that in my world, too. And maybe, if you really understand how terrible it is, you’ll join me in dreaming of a day when all of it is just awful history and we can all, black, white, male, female, live our lives in peace.

8 Comments (Open | Close)

8 Comments To "I have a dream"

#1 Comment By earlynerd On 10 Jun, 2020 @ 04:30

The number for women killed by men for no reason other than that they are women has been around 2,000 per year in the U.S. for several years now. I’m too lazy to look up a cite, but that figure shows up over and over. Like your 40% for the cops.

The number of black men killed by cops is around 1000.

Only difference between the two is that the cops just step out of the way and let men kill women. The police will, however, use the full force of the law if a woman dares to defend herself against a man. In other words, in the U.S., the police will not protect women from men, but will stop women from protecting themselves from men.

This is just one instance of the full force of the law used against a woman for protecting herself from a violent man:
[8]. There are so many more.

Also, there are no laws currently and no court decision that explicitly authorize police or any other violence against black men. The police who have unjustly killed so many are at least breaking the law. For U.S. women, the police who refuse to protect women from men are legally authorized to allow this violence and these murders by a Supreme Court decision in 2005. The civil rights protections from violence black men have by law were explicitly denied women in a Supreme Court decision in 2000, when those remedies were stricken from the Violence Against Women Act. The U.S. is not in violation of any international law for legally permitting violence against any person due to race; we are in violation of international law for legally failing to protect women from men.

Now people are using the internet to further escalate violence against white women. That “Karen” thing that made me so uneasy earlier has grown into videos and approving threads of women striking white women for language they take exception to. It’s the same two-minute hate of any high school lunch room, only with a far greater reach.

When that started, I noticed a parallel between what the newspapers had done in the South to black men when I was a kid there and what the internet is doing now to white women. As one of my brothers pointed out, when a black man was arrested or accused of violence, his picture was usually shown and his race was always noted. When a white man was arrested for the same type of crime, his race would not be published and his picture would not be shown. The subliminal impression was that black men were more violent as a group. It was very far from the truth, but left people convinced without knowing why.

The internet and other social media is doing the same thing now to white women, with that “Karen” thing. I noticed at least a year ago, that if a white woman was present in any racist or violent group, she would be videod, interviewed or focused on, to the exclusion of the far greater number of men around her.

In the videos of the threatening white men holding rifles showing up at protests, there are only a few women and I never saw any with guns, but no one is giving those men objectifying names and calling for violence against them. I also count so many more “Karens” i.e. white women, among the online videos of peaceful protesters than white men. But those women don’t matter in the current successful whipping up of hatred against one demographic, the one that has always been the powerless whipping boy for white men.

Stupid, if those haters actually wanted to change things: white women can’t even secure their own rights, much less make white men grant rights to others, but it does make the haters feel better without requiring any courage whatsoever.

#2 Comment By Earlynerd On 11 Jun, 2020 @ 02:16

And then there’s this:

Louisville police have released the incident report for Breonna Taylor and it's literally blank. [9] [10]— hate5six (@hate5six) [11]

As you pointed out, this woman was murdered by law enforcement agents for the crime of sleeping in her own home and it’s only now being given national attention.

All women’s access to rights and freedoms in the U.S. is defined first by their second class status as women and only after that, by inclusion in any other group.

Even the enormous leverage Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 gives black workers in employment discrimination cases, where both black men and women are included but all other women explicitly left out, all this gives black women in the U.S. is the right to parity with other women in the poverty strewn gender segregated U.S. workforce. It gives them no power at all for parity with black men, let alone parity with white men and *real* power.

But you won’t see women lawyers fighting for this anymore. Like they say, the past is a different country. In my past of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, it was a given that the first women to break through into any position of power would use some of that to bring us all forward, all women of any race or background, without exception.

The ones that came after them, the current crop of women lawyers, keep their heads down and their mouths shut. They have much to lose and no integrity to make the risk worth it.

#3 Comment By quixote On 11 Jun, 2020 @ 12:16

I’m going through one of my I’m-in-a-funk-and-I-can’t-stand-anything periods.

It’s the anti-racism demonstrations. It’s so wonderful to see people care that much about justice. It’s so horrible to be left out of it.

#4 Comment By quixote On 11 Jun, 2020 @ 12:22

By the way, did you see [12] on the whole women’s rights / trans rights twitstorm?

She ends with:

All I’m asking – all I want – is for similar empathy, similar understanding, to be extended to the many millions of women whose sole crime is wanting their concerns to be heard without receiving threats and abuse.

Something we’d all be boggled about having to ask for if women were known to be human.

#5 Comment By earlynerd On 12 Jun, 2020 @ 03:22

I’ve seen so much online piling on to J.K. Rowling, even among the liberal men I’d had bookmarked for years (since removed). It’s good to see a thoughtful article counter that.

It’s so wonderful to see people care that much about justice. It’s so horrible to be left out of it.

It’s a reprise of, as your post mentioned, the most basic right – voting, women being added as a joke to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and treated as a joke by that commission for most of the years afterwards, women being excluded from the only equal employment statute with teeth – section 1981, women being left out of any legislation against state sponsored violence, etc. It’s demanded of women that we fight for other people and also demanded of us that we shut up about our own rights.

I can’t help but see women who ardently champion the rights of groups they specifically are not part of, while as ardently ignoring their own rights, as tourists.

They can drop out anytime it becomes too painful, inconvenient or just boring – something impossible to do when it’s your own life and your own rights.

#6 Comment By Earlynerd On 27 Jun, 2020 @ 01:22

This are the lyrics to the soundtrack that accompanied later president Obama up the stairs to the podium in one of the few primaries he won.

If you’re having girl problems I feel bad for you son
I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one
I got the rap patrol on the gat patrol
Foes that want to make sure my casket’s closed
Rap critics that say he’s “Money Cash Hoes”
I’m from the hood, stupid What type of facts are those
If you grew up with holes in your zapatos
You’d celebrate the minute you was having dough
I’m like “Fuck critics” you can kiss my whole asshole
If you don’t like my lyrics, you can press fast forward
Got beef with radio if I don’t play they show
They don’t play my hits, well, I don’t give a shit, so
Rap mags try and use my black ass
So advertisers can give ’em more cash for ads, fuckers
I don’t know what you take me as
Or understand the intelligence that Jay-Z has
I’m from rags to riches, niggas I ain’t dumb
I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one, hit me
Ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one
If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son
I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one, hit me
Year’s ’94 and my trunk is raw
In my rear view mirror is the motherfucking law
I got two choices y’all, pull over the car or, hmm,
Bounce on the devil, put the pedal to the floor
Now I ain’t trying to see no highway chase with Jake
Plus I got a few dollars I could fight the case
So I, pull over to the side of the road
I heard “Son, do you know why I’m stopping you for?”
Cause I’m young and I’m black and my hat’s real low
Or do I look like a mind reader, sir? I don’t know
Am I under arrest or should I guess some mo?
“Well you was doing fifty-five in the fifty-four”, uh huh
“License and registration and step out of the car
“Are you carrying a weapon on you, I know a lot of you are”
I ain’t stepping out of shit, all my papers legit
“Well do you mind if I look around the car a little bit?”
Well my glove compartment is locked, so is the trunk and the back
And I know my rights so you goin’ need a warrant for that
“Aren’t you sharp as a tack? You some type of lawyer or something?
“Somebody important or something?”
Child, I ain’t passed the bar, but I know a little bit
Enough that you won’t illegally search my shit
“Well we’ll see how smart you are when the K-9 come”
I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one, hit me
Ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one
If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son
I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one, hit me
Ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one
If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son
I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one, hit me
Now once upon a time not too long ago
A nigga like myself had to strong arm a hoe
This is not a hoe in the sense of having a pussy
But a pussy having no goddamn sense try and push me
I tried to ignore ’em, talk to the Lord
Pray for ’em, cause some fools just love to perform
You know the type, loud as a motorbike
But wouldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight
The only thing that’s goin’ happen is I’ma get to clapping and
He and his boys goin’ be yapping to the captain
And there I go trapped in the Kit Kat again
Back through the system with the riff raff again
Fiends on the floor scratching again
Paparazzi’s with they cameras, snapping them
D.A. tried to give a nigga shaft again
Half a mil for bail cause I’m African
All because this fool was harassing them
Trying to play the boy like he’s saccharine
But ain’t nothing sweet ’bout how I hold my gun
I got ninety nine problems being a bitch ain’t one, hit me
Ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one
If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son
I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one, hit me
Ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one
If you having girl problems I feel bad for you son
I got ninety nine problems but a bitch ain’t one, hit me
Having girl problems I feel bad for you son
I got ninety nine problems and a bitch ain’t one
You’re crazy for this one, Rick, it’s your boy

No white woman has been made a millionaire or ever been paid at all by white men for spraying out words this hateful against any black person. White men have made many black men millionaires, paying them to be their safe sexist mouthpieces for the hatred all women have had to endure in public for over twenty years, for just walking down a street or pulling up next to a car in traffic or riding in a bus.

One reason the majority of voters in this country (women, for the math challenged) may not have voted 100% for the person who shared their gender in 2016 could have been her decision to ignore this hatred and actually sponser this hater (and also showcase a member of a religion on a par with Catholicism for deadly hatred of women, Islam). But the majority of all men fervently voted against her – *their* deflection onto women has been a marketing manager’s dream.

No person who has ever used the term “bitch” or any other sexist hate speech has any moral grounds at all to call anyone out on any other bigotry.

Can you imagine any of the “keeping in with our masters at all costs” females who dutifully pillory woman online, saying “oh, she may have said *this*, but it doesn’t mean she’s a Bad Person. It doesn’t mean her other opinions don’t have value”? But those women go a long way to keeping rappers like JayZ, and a man like Miles Davis, who routinely beat and hospitalized the women he lived with, respectable.

Davis’s album “Bitches Brew” has been a favorite of white liberal males for 3 decades now. Not only did they just love saying the word “bitch” on air before it had become acceptable, they also loved the background where Davis’s violence towards dismissable victims was well known the whole time they venerated him.

About a decade ago, in the bro capital of Washington State, i asked a young white woman cashier who had to work beneath a poster of Davis’s album cover, “The Bitches Brew Years”, how she would feel if I referred to that one album, that one piece of woman hatred, as “Nigger Noise”. She said she couldn’t accept it, saying her generation had different values.

Like the Catholic, especially, but also all the other currently acceptable male supremacist religions vs. the Southern Baptists, THE only moral directive for the strength of the outrage is how unimportant the victims are. Women will always be first in that rightless sweepstakes. Women will always sell other women out to keep from being the very last in their concrete silo.

But then anyone whose been paying attention knows that U.S. women’s “lesser of two evils”, the Democratic party, rose Obama out of nowhere in 2004 because it looked as though Hillary Clinton might run for president. The surest, the absolutely fail-safe gag for all women, and especially for those chatlaines closest to white men, has always been to shove white men’s racism down all women’s throats.

The women who gathered their almost Islamic 19th century skirts about them, mostly white women but not all, the women at the top of the rigid rightless silo that women were in this so-called democracy in the early 1800’s, the women that lit the spark that became my right to vote in the 1970s, a right enacted 70 years after the last man in this country had a voice in his own government, found their voice when they were denied by white *and by black men* seating at an anti-slavery conference.

White men are doing this again and white women are falling for it. Again.

#7 Comment By quixote On 27 Jun, 2020 @ 01:32

Yeah. Boggling. All of it.

The most recent tiny thing tripping me up is The Dixie Chicks changing their name to The Chicks.

And NOBODY — not that I’ve seen anyway — noticing which term was shameful enough to drop while the putdown is still A-OK.

#8 Comment By Earlynerd On 05 Jul, 2020 @ 03:36

Yep. I’m still subscribed to Linux Chix, but the name has alway grated, even when they were an invaluable resource for Linux outside of the ‘bro culture at work and even in other LUGs.

Both names were kinda cute and alliterative for their times, but now … ugh. Both terms should go.