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Wrecked but alive: thoughts on Inauguration Day

A few things to remember while we’re boneless with relief that so many of us survived the kakistocracy.

1) This is just back to normal. Remember normal? It’s great compared to being in the grip of a tarantula that thinks we’re food items. It really is. But normal isn’t genius. It’s just okay.

For his whole political career, Biden has just been a white male fossil. He’s graduated to old white male fossil, but he has not, on the whole, shown any particular flashes of brilliance that I can remember.

He may start showing them now, when he’s more concerned about his legacy than his future career in politics. We can hope. It’s a good omen that he’s signed Executive Orders on the first day to turn around some of the Dump’s worst excesses.

The times demand brilliance. Remember climate change? Still there. Inequality? Which corrodes every society it touches? Worse than ever because of the pandemic. Plus the pandemic itself. That’s just a tedious, logistical problem that needs people to follow obvious public health rules. Something that’s totally beyond enough leaders and people to be a disaster.

At least Biden understands government administration. That could count for a lot, given the herculean clean-up job he’s been given.

2) Yes, I’m glad Kamala Harris is in the picture. No, I can’t get over the crushing weight of sexism that gave her the place she’s got.

She should have been President. It’s her slot Biden stepped into.

With a heavy heart, I have to agree with all the millions of people who were pretty sure sexism would have stopped her from winning. We barely squeaked by with the old white male fossil at the top of the ticket, even after four years of the Pile of Garbage trashing the country and the world.

So, yes, her ability to make lemonade out of lemons is a good thing. And it may well set her up to be a future president. But the anger is merely diluted with water. There’s no sugar in it. It’s still very sour.

And that’s especially so because there’s almost no recognition of the gap. Nobody pointing out what’s been taken from her, even if it was necessary when the country is still so drenched in despising women. Almost nobody remembering the idiots who said [1] there’d be no difference between Hillary Clinton and TheDonald. (Just a few [2] differences [3].) Almost nobody apologizing for the blinding sexism that allows them to let such bullshit pass. Very few pointing out that Clinton was right about everything, and that sexism delivered us into the jaws of the tarantula.

Yes, racism is a huge factor. All the bigotries are limbs of the same monster. It’s the unrecognized limbs that can grab you. You can tell which ones those are by paying attention to which ones are ignored the most. Racism is ignored a lot when it comes to getting rid of it, not just talking about it.

With sexism, we’re barely at the talking stage.

3) Last and most important for fixing the problems in the immediate future: Remember that there would be little to celebrate without the work of Stacey Abrams. We’d still be at the non-existent mercy of Moscow Mitch.

She’s the one who saw the solution was the slogwork of increasing turnout. She’s the one who mucked right in and started working [4], years ago. She’s the one who inspired hundreds and thousands to take on the work with her [5]. She’s the one who delivered the deciding votes and delivered us from Mitch. She’s the one who made it possible to start walking back from the shitshow of the last four years.

There’s a lot of her influence in the first and vital bill the Democrats plan to present, a voting rights act [6]. It could go a long way to easing the chokehold of minority rule on the USA if it actually gets turned into law.

So the main thing to say on this day is

Thank you, Stacey Abrams [7]!

photo from her web page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stacey_Abrams
21 Comments (Open | Close)

21 Comments To "Wrecked but alive: thoughts on Inauguration Day"

#1 Comment By quixote On 20 Jan, 2021 @ 18:39

I take a good bit of pride in being one of the voters who helped Harris win her first statewide California office as state Attorney General in 2010. [8] out of over 8,700,000. (0.66% margin, less than 1%) And I was one of the 58,000

icon with embarrassed smile

#2 Comment By quixote On 22 Jan, 2021 @ 00:00

Hah. Well, that didn’t even take a full day as far as I can tell.

The pro-trans Executive Order completely ignores the existence of women.

Male-bodied people, average ones, who’d never make it in the male leagues, can discover they’re women and scoop in the scholarships and prizes. As [9] notes, now we just wait for the EO “banning weight classes in sports due to their inherent fat-phobia.”

Sex offenders can discover they’re women and then they have to be housed in women’s prisons. Where [10]. The UK is a few years ahead of the US in implementing this nonsense and has suffered the consequences earlier.

Trans civil rights are essential.

This nonsense provides privileges, not rights, to a few male-bodied trans. (Female-bodied trans concerns are invisible, interestingly enough.) And it does it at the cost of women’s most basic right to physical safety. As well as at the cost of their right to define their own group, same as every other subgroup of humans on the planet.

Trans privileges to destroy the fundamental right to safety are not okay.

Of course most male-bodied trans are harmless. So are most men. That’s not the point.

The point is that men have a long track record of using every loophole to get at their victims. Scoutmasters. Priests. Sports medicine doctors. The list is endless. Letting male-bodied people into women’s spaces is just opening the door for criminals.

It’s also not the point that some specific commenter hasn’t had a problem. That’s great. May it stay that way. *You* can have male-bodied people in *your* spaces. What you can’t do is tell a woman in prison that she gets to share a cell with a rapist. What you can’t do is tell anybody else which risks to run or how to feel about them.

But now we have an EO doing exactly that.

#3 Comment By Branjor On 22 Jan, 2021 @ 12:09

What you can’t do is tell a woman in prison that she gets to share a cell with a rapist.

Can you imagine when that cell door locks at night? The terror must be overwhelming.

Of course most male-bodied trans are harmless. So are most men.

Amazing how much bullying of women was done to ensure that every woman alive knows she has to state that disclaimer clearly every time she so much as opens her mouth on the subject of what men do to women or be branded a “bigot.” And I don’t even think it’s true.

#4 Comment By quixote On 22 Jan, 2021 @ 15:24

Re “most men.” Statistically, it is true. In the US, studies with good methodology show around 5% predators. (Not all of those with porn-induced fantasies of same. That proportion would be higher, which probably means in future the number who act out will be higher too.)

Each criminal traumatizes many more than just one woman, so a small minority has society-wide effects on keeping women “in their place.” Which is quietly useful to the whole caste system, so the perps aren’t found or punished much.

That said, 5% is actually a high frequency of perps. The proportion of Muslim terrorists is down around 0.00001% of the population (I invented that number, but it is vanishingly low), and the whole society has been reorganized to guard against them.

Other countries, I seem to remember a study that found about 35% of the male population in South Africa were rapists. Sex offenses are at a super-high frequency there. But even 35% is, technically, less than “most.” Not that the technicality is at all reassuring when you’re visiting there.

#5 Comment By quixote On 22 Jan, 2021 @ 15:26

And you’re absolutely right about the main point: interesting that reassurance about #notallmen is mandatory #allthetime.

#6 Comment By Branjor On 22 Jan, 2021 @ 19:39

How can most male bodied trans be harmless? The majority of them today are heterosexual men who identify as “lesbians.” So they push themselves on lesbians in every way, they have redefined lesbianism as attraction to the same “gender”, not sex, and same sex attracted women are not lesbians at all, but merely bigoted “vagina fetishists.” This is all rapey-er than fuck. I could go on and on, but it is so exhausting.
As to men in general, even if they don’t actively rape themselves, they also don’t do a thing about it because they know they benefit from it. There’s also rotten male attitudes which are anything but harmless and I could write a book about male precipitated mistreatment of women in the mental health system who do not conform to sex role expectations from personal experience. It rather resembles the treatment meted out to Hillary Clinton in this society. All of this is a lot more real and common than any small statistic in a male-washing study, and not the least bit “harmless.”

#7 Comment By Branjor On 22 Jan, 2021 @ 19:57

That last sentence should read: All of this is a lot more real and common than any small statistic of narrowly defined predation in a male-washing study, and not the least bit “harmless.”

#8 Comment By Earlynerd On 23 Jan, 2021 @ 03:25

(Moved up from the previous post. Please do delete that one, Quixote.)

With respect to the inauguration. Amanda Gorman. OMG.

I heard Gerard Manley Hopkins. Gwendolyn Brooks, Carl Sandberg, at least, but all in her own voice and her own words.

Poets run the human race through their brains via language. They settle, instant by instant, Humpty Dumpty’s question “Who is to be master?” They win where most of us lose.

She’s already being recognized, but I had to say this.

And will watch her future career with interest ?

Posted on January 20th, 2021 at 10:18 (after a wee bit of champagne 🙂 )

#9 Comment By Earlynerd On 23 Jan, 2021 @ 04:06

Also, very good post on the inauguration.

I would like to add that I hope Biden -soon- does something to restore what the traitor in chief took away from those who stood up to him.

Colonel Vindemann, his brother, their families, Christine Blasey Ford, Sally Yates and too many others, had the thing most precious to so many adults, their work, taken away from them for doing the right thing (or removed before they even could, like Preet Bharara,)

Biden needs to recognize these brave people and restore their careers if at all possible. “The thanks of a grateful nation” isn’t nearly enough.

#10 Comment By quixote On 23 Jan, 2021 @ 20:54

I take your points, Branjor. The whole caste system is propped up on harm to the “lower orders.” And everybody in the elite orders benefits (while inventing #notallmen, #alllivesmatter hashtags).

Agree, Earlynerd, about how Biden should hurry up and reverse the damage done to those who did the right thing. He needs to get to it in the first few weeks!

#11 Comment By Earlynerd On 18 Feb, 2021 @ 14:30

I thought you might appreciate this (even if it is from January 26th)


I think a lot of people feel this way right about now. Yay, science! Yay, science teachers!

#12 Comment By Earlynerd On 03 Mar, 2021 @ 14:31

Covid is mutating so fast there’s now a verbal variant!

Elizabeth Picciuto @epicciuto
Props to the reporter who got this quote from a virus.
A screenshot off headline from BBC news saying, “Covid: ‘People are tired of working from home’”


#13 Comment By Earlynerd On 06 Mar, 2021 @ 22:45

Just because you seem to get it (and also because you’ve said no one ever read this):


Thirteen Questions, a Ry Cooter cover of a Chuck Berry song. It lays out consent in black and white terms.

Too bad this was my mom’s generation and not my own bent-back sellout generation’s.

#14 Comment By quixote On 09 Mar, 2021 @ 16:02

earlynerd, you have more energy that I do. I can’t even muster enough to comment, let alone the posts I start and then say, “Oh, what’s the use?”

There have been about three so far.

The good news is that Biden, so far, hasn’t been completely awful. Mostly good EOs (except that “Equality” one we’ve mentioned), good stuff in the covid Relief bill, seems to be doing a good job trying to clean the Dump debris out of the bureaucracy.

It’s all pretty different from his track record as Senator. I wonder if we’re seeing the difference having a Harris, and possibly a Jill Biden, giving you good ideas can make? And, of course, fianlly being old enough to be willing to listen.

#15 Comment By Earlynerd On 14 Mar, 2021 @ 03:21

Nah, not energy, just that on this here blog I feel that whatever random comments I post won’t be excoriated because said comments reflect the views of the smallest of minorities: women as whole human beings, without reference to anyone or anything else.

I did check back in precisely because the person due to the most recent sexist round of abrogation of the American ideal of democracy, Kamala Harris, is in an increasingly uncomfortable position of being a sort of ‘office wife’.

While I very grudgingly acknowledge Biden’s grasp of politics (after how many decades in office, and with the ironclad help of Pelosi) with the passage of the monumental Covid relief bill, I am still very much concerned by how much Harris is being relegated to the role of cheerleader. This must sit badly with this integral strong woman.

I don’t know how she sees a path forward to the presidency from this, but trust that she does.

#16 Comment By quixote On 15 Mar, 2021 @ 17:02

Harris is in a really difficult position. She has about 500x the charisma of Biden. I’m sure she has been very purposely and consciously keeping herself in the background because anything else would cause a collective foaming fit worse than when Hillary Clinton said she was capable of things besides baking cookies.

I saw an article somewhere that Harris is doing a lot of the conversing-with-foreign-leaders stuff, which is apparently considered important prep for the eventual presidency. It would also be something the US media ignores.

I have zero doubt that she’s aiming for Prez, and equally little doubt she has a good plan for getting there. I can’t see it most of the time myself, but that’s probably why I’m not in politics. It takes absurd levels of patience with people’s delusions.

#17 Comment By Earlynerd On 14 Apr, 2021 @ 22:43

Unfortunately, in America people’s delusions govern all of us. It’s the Fox definition of democracy.

This is what was done and is being done to one woman (50+ per cent of American citizens, same number of voters). No matter how many of that demographic turn aside, it is where the law in this country will put them.

Katie Hill, an elected representative to Congress, was forced out because a vengeful male broke the laws of the states in which they both lived. She left the place to which the people of California had elected her. This is what the sole thing standing between all of us women here is the USA and the rule of naked force said about her:


TL:dr: it was ok. The victim was a woman, the perp was a man. Nuff said.

#18 Comment By Earlynerd On 14 Apr, 2021 @ 23:37

And to also address your comment (I’d just seen that decision and didn’t know where else to post the rage)

I hope you’re right about Harris. It still bothers me how much strength she showed as a candidate (and how much just freewheeling womanliness – those cooking videos!) vs how much she has to guard her image now, given the sexism of U.S. media amd U.S. culture.

#19 Comment By quixote On 16 Apr, 2021 @ 18:42

That Katie Hill / Daily Mail garbage. It’s all so depressing. We’re going backward at speed and everybody’s okay with it because we elected a black man and march for BLM or whatever the latest performative folderol is.

Well, maybe she’ll win on appeal. Although the rot reaches well into the Supremes, at this point.The appeal would have to be successful before that and then stop. And I bet the Daily Mail knows that too.

We may all have to live forever to see real change.

#20 Comment By Branjor On 23 Apr, 2021 @ 10:56

Could somebody define these for me? What on earth are “inclusive uniforms” and “inclusive haircuts”?

Sounds like pure gobbledygook to me.

#21 Comment By quixote On 23 Apr, 2021 @ 19:20

Perhaps what used to be called “unisex”? Who knows. It’s all such BS. Which wouldn’t matter so much if that’s all it was, but I’m getting a distinct smell of rabblerousing from the Repubs.

I can see them setting up to say the right things for horrible reasons. Not to give women control over their lives, but to take it away. And the Dems are so chained to anti-science fantasies they can’t even see the opportunity to throw it back at the Repubs. The Dems could be championing human rights, including women’s rights, instead of just handing the whole game as well as the playing field and the stadium to a bunch of cavemen.