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One man gets it. One doesn’t.

Ben Rosenbaum outlined the price of patriarchy for men.

Lexi Alexander @Lexialex Oct 5:
Do men ever look at the week’s news and think “what the fuck is going on with men?”

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum
Replying to @Lexialex
sadly i think i know exactly what’s fucking going on with men 🙁

i am never surprised by the horrible shit men will do to stave off the terror of feeling dependent, inadequate, dominated, out of power …

… by the fever dream of entitlement, the desperate lies we tell ourselves, the starvation of human emotion that results when every …

…interaction is a struggle to dominate and failing to dominate feels like destruction….

…every oppressor class imagines themselves oppressed because the removal of privilege feels like death, but sexism is uniquely cruel…

…b/c it demands of men that, to be men, we poison our first & deepest love relationships w/ contempt, & conceal this from ourselves…

…if you wanted, from first principles, to design a broken & dangerous group of humans, you’d teach them love os weakness…

…dominance is safety, vulnerability is danger & that they are entitled to everything & losers if they cannot win it…

…& that losers are undeserving of love, of existence, that not winning is oblivion. and this is no accident. like other oppressions…

…sexism has a functional design & purpose in maintaining status-hierarchy societies. you cannot get a large # of humans to reliably…

…kill other humans w/o mangling their ability to feel, their self-knowledge, & their self-trust as emotional agents…

…but it’s not just the soldier class; the pattern developed there permeates the rest of patriarchy. My own conversational style, even…

…after 40+ years of struggle, is warped by the dictates of scholar-class patriarchal emotional starvation & warfare….

…tl:dr; men be fucked up; we are brutal to boys to make them brutal, much of it invisible to us; hug your sons & expect humanity of them.

i mean you probably knew all that @JustineLavaworm 🙂
but you asked!

i hope none of this sounds like “oh poor men, so coddle oppression”

denounce men’s behavior, destroy men’s privilege, have zero tolerance…

…for sexism. expect men to act like fucking humans. a command to heal, not an excuse to avoid healing. cutting it the fuck out is step 1

The joke-not-joke among women is that the comments on any post or piece or tweet about feminism proves the need for feminism. The same is obviously true for men trying to throw off the shackles. Within minutes, the following showed up.

Selor @SelorKiith
/14 Until such Men are deemed more desireable, nothing will change… We all have to work on this… on ourselves if we want a better world.

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum 1h1 hour ago
but being shitty to other people out of fear of loneliness is a shitty way to live, and not actually very sexy in the final analysis.

consider the possibility that standing up for what you believe in and being who you really are is a) more satisfying and b) probably sexier.

Selor @SelorKiith 1h1 hour ago
Forced to be alone with your thoughts. sitting there in your dimly lit room, a microwave meal-for-one the only thing giving you company.

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum 1h1 hour ago
I get the fear of loneliness; patriarchy does have a stick.
But fight back & you might actually find lots of comrades on the barricades.

Selor @SelorKiith 59m59 minutes ago
It’s not a fear, it’s bitter reality… also: I don’t want comrades, I want Love, I want Family, that is not achieved by casting myself out

The mind reels. At least mine does. There’s a caste system to limit women to cages (and men to being prison guards) and this guy thinks the problem is that some people escape? Because then they’re not there when he wants to use them? And he calls that “love.”

I wonder why no free agent wants anything to do with him.

 

Eastern Sierra. Beautiful, impassable, a walk in the park.

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Just call US a Dark Age dictatorship

The global gag rule the Dump in the White House signed not long ago will kill women. But officially that’s an unfortunate unintended consequence.

Not this. The whole point is to go out and find people minding their own business and kill them. [Update 2017-10-08] It’s about more than gays. It also supports the death penalty for apostasy (leaving a religion), blasphemy (saying things like “Christ on a bike!”), and adultery. At this rate, the planet’s overpopulation problem could soon be solved. (Ostensibly, this US vote is because of the dreadful risk it might interfere with their ability to off prisoners when they want to.)

US votes against UN resolution condemning gay sex death penalty, joining Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The full list:

 

And you shall know them by the company they keep.

 
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Picture where The Donald would be without affirmative action

They haven’t thought this push against affirmative action through very well.

Take away the preferences white boys have been getting and colleges will be swamped by women and Asians.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s the outcome Sessions and Co. are looking for when they say they want colleges to purify themselves of “intentional discrimination.”

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This dude. And his kidneys. Should run for US Congress.

Sometimes you just stand there, with a mouth full of teeth, gaping, dumbfounded.

The following thread happened on twitter:

The Motherhub: So furious everytime I hear reference to the ‘debate’ on abortion. How come the whole country gets to debate on my body? My rights?

Stephen McKillop: In fairness there’s more to it than just that. There’s an unborn child whose life and future is also affeccted by this issue.

Victoria Smith: Do you worry this much about the lives and futures of those who might benefit from that extra kidney of yours?

And the dude’s gobsmacking response:

“But I’ve genuinely no idea what relevance the kidney point has to pregnancy.”

Jesus take the wheel.

Really? I mean, really?

What do you think pregnancy is? The woman as some kind of ceramic pot? She carries a homunculus around until it’s grown big enough, no doubt by absorbing quintessence straight from the aether, to be born?

There’s this thing called a placenta. It’s a stupendously complicated organ that interfaces with the fetus’s circulatory system and allows the mother’s lungs and digestion and kidneys to perform all the vital functions for the fetus.

The fetus is using her kidneys, as if she was a human dialysis machine. Her kidneys allow it to live.

Just as your spare kidney could be removed and given to someone who’s dying for lack of a transplant.

So, now that you know she’s not just a pot, and you apparently feel people must save others’ lives at the cost of their own bodies, you’re going to understand when a kidney is surgically removed from you, right?

After all, there’s an adult human whose life and future are affected by that issue.

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Fighting the weather

So, this is a thing Tomi Lahren (Ph.D. Bobblehead Studies) twittered in ref to the latest London attack. (No link to source. Search for it if you need to.)

Hey liberals, this is what we are fighting against while you fight weather.

Since you don’t get out much, let me show you the sequence.

Climate change → drought in Syria → some people ruined → some of the ruined young men join angry groups → Daesh (=ISIS or whatever they’re calling themselves today).

It’s not even many steps. Maybe you could follow them.

So I’ll fix your tweet for you.

Hey liberals, we’re shouting at the thunder while you’re building lightning rods.

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Retirement isn’t in the bible, so…..

Hell. At this rate I’m going to have to start a category for Stupid Garbage Spewed By Congresscritters. And I try hard to avoid that “news.”

(just a small sample: Utah, why stop at global warming?. This is how our world ends. Congressmen should have at least room temperature IQ.)

Electricity. Also not in the bible.

And now? Now this from Greg “Body Slam” Gianforte who is (was?) running for Congress from Montana:

“There’s nothing in the Bible that talks about retirement. … Nowhere does it say, ‘Well he was a good and faithful servant, so he went to the beach.’ It doesn’t say that anywhere.

Forgetting for a moment that little thing about separation of church and state, you know what else isn’t in the bible?

America. That’s what. Neither North, South, or Central.

So I guess you just better vanish, Mr. Greg. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

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It’s lucky Nixon obstructed justice

The Comey firing seems to have sent a tremor through the inert (dead? or sleeping?) body politic.

Even a few Republican congresscritters are saying ZOMG. That’s just so Nixon. That’s what he did. It’s exactly what he did. Omigod. Maybe we have to actually, perhaps, like, take steps.

You know what Nixon did, right? He tried to bug the Democratic headquarters to get the jump on his political rivals. At this point, that’s pretty well Standard Operating Procedure. Even Bernie Sanders snooped on his rival’s campaign info. Nobody cares. That’s what Nixon tried to do when the technology wasn’t as easy.

So, yes, in his case, obstructing justice was a way more serious crime, especially since he was President and supposedly a prime upholder of justice in the land.

Donnie “Two Scoops” Trump, on the other hand, has committed sexual assault, fraud, all indications point to heavy duty money laundering, and has handed over intelligence and god-knows-what-else to a hostile foreign power because Putin seems to have some major hold over him. Truckling to a hostile foreign power is treason.

Treason.

Treason. Committed by a thug installed in the White House by voter suppression.

That is just a tad worse than trying to get your opponent’s secret election-winning sauce.

But that’s not what the headlines are about. It’s as if right and wrong don’t exist anymore. The only way to understand whether something awful happened is if it echoes an event clearly labelled back in the day, when we still knew up from down.

So, as I say, thank God Nixon obstructed justice. There’s obviously nothing wrong with selling the country to Putin for personal benefit because Nixon never did that.

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What do you mean, “Russia TRIED to hijack US election”?

BBC: Russia ‘tried to hijack US election’

Have you noticed who’s sitting in the White House (when he’s not golfing)?

 

(Admittedly, Putin had lots of help. Crosscheck dumped over 7,000,000 likely Democrats off the voter rolls, and the tRump got the Electoral College by all of around 77,000 votes in a few key districts. Small subset of effects of Crosscheck:)

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This isn’t going to work, is it?

I’m watching Old Orange, aka 45, as we’re all in this train plunging off this cliff together, and occupying myself by wondering, in a detached sort of way, how he’s going to handle this.

Not the crashing train of state, of course. It’s obvious what he’s doing about that. Nothing. Except for any grifting he and his Trumpists can accomplish before we find out where the bottom is.

I mean, how is he going to handle the fact that for apparently the very first time in his life he has to have evidence for what he says. And for the very first time, apparently, people think he shouldn’t be promising things unless he’s going to do them.

He’s spent his life throwing bizarre insults in order to play to his audience. He’s a Chatbot. What else would you expect? But suddenly when he says something idiotic for his base, such as that awful Obama wiretapping him, people start demanding evidence. What’s next? At this rate, they’ll soon be insisting on subject-verb agreement.

Then there’s the other big flap: the health care plan. It’s all the polar opposite of what he “promised.”

That’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the man. He’s never promised anything in his life, not in the usual meaning of the word. He says whatever he thinks might get you to sign on the dotted line, what he calls “The Deal,” and then after that he gets to do what he wants. “Come up and sue me some time” is his general idea.

And now, suddenly, the meddlesome proles are acting like he’s under some sort of obligation? To them? For having said something to get their votes? Crazy. He got their votes. They’re irrelevant now. You’d think that would be obvious even to proles.

So what’s he going to do when he has to answer for his words for the first time in his life?

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Putin isn’t the biggest problem for the USA

1) Agent Orange got the Electoral College by 77,000 votes in three states, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

2) Crosscheck, the longrunning Republican effort to stop blacks, hispanics, poor, college students, and other likely Democrats from voting, dumped millions of people off the voter rolls.

The link above talks about how fewer blacks and more whites voted in the relevant precincts, framing it as mere turnout. Had blacks voted in 2008-type numbers, it would have changed the outcome. Personally, I think Crosscheck needs to be subpoenaed and examined minutely, because I’d be willing to bet money that Crosscheck is the difference, not “turnout.”

3) There were enough people in the country who, when faced with the choice between one of the most accomplished candidates in a century and an actual monster chose the monster. Because the accomplished candidate is female. That’s how toxic the patriarchy is.

(For comparison, Obama — with almost no experience at the time — ran against McCain, who was Churchill compared to the dogpile we have now, and yet Obama was not given concrete shoes to run in. Racism is toxic, see Crosscheck above, but it’s rattlesnake venom compared to misogyny nerve gas.)

My point is that if we didn’t have way too many feverishly irrational hatreds seething in this country, then Putin would have nothing to work with.

If we were smart, we’d be dissolving the hatreds as well as preventing his meddling.

We’re not even doing the latter, yet anyway. So I’m not holding my breath.

She won by 3 million votes even after
7.3 million were purged by Republican dirty tricks.

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When they’re walking out, through the snow

Fleeing to Canada

People trying to make it out, on foot, to Canada, in February, through the snow … well, that’s what it’s like when you’re in a tin pot banana republic and you’re trying to make it out alive.

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I don’t like to agree with Republicans

At this point it’s like a reflex. A Repub said it? Then, no.

But McCain is right about this:

“There is no moral equivalence between that butcher and thug and KGB colonel and the United States.”

The US, for all the evil it does, for all the Guantanamos and legalized torture and bullying wars, is not in Putin’s class.

Yet.

But as Joy Reid said, people like McCain need to “start opposing the thug’s apologist at 1600 PA Ave.”

If they want to stop sliding toward that class.

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Remember when Bush the Lesser was bad? Good times.

A mere few days ago this was a cartoon.

“These smug pilots have lost touch with regular passengers like us. Who thinks I should fly the plane?” [And quite a few hands are raised.]

cartoon by W. McPhail

Yesterday. Reality. Comments by one of our newly unleashed protofascists. Congress can now reduce any individual Federal worker’s or specific program’s annual salary or funds to one dollar.

He favors a strategic application, likening it to a bullet from a sniper rifle rather than a shotgun. It’s unlikely — but not impossible — that members will “go crazy” and cut huge swaths of the workforce, he said.

“I can’t tell you it won’t happen,” he said in an interview Wednesday in his office. “The power is there. But isn’t that appropriate? Who runs this country, the people of the United States or the people on the people’s payroll?”

 

(Of course, if he was actually that concerned about the people, the president inaugurated on january 20th would be the one who won by near-three million votes, Hillary Clinton.)

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Okay. Me too. Analysis of Dumpsterfire voters.

Opinions are divided on the sexism-racism-all-around-bigotry of the people who voted for the Gropenführer (h/t Doonesbury). They know they’re not any of those awful things. Everybody else knows they are.

After all, when everything you stand for damages everyone except your kind of people, what else can we call you?

I’m convinced we’re all correct. Really, the two are not mutually exclusive.

The sexist racist garbage was the whole point, for them. What it meant to them was they were going to be the important ones for a change. They were going to be the ones who got the money.

It’s not sexist or racist to want all the money, right? That’s just good old greed which, as we know since the 80s, is good.

The fact that it damns everyone else to hell is a minor detail, an unfortunate side effect. All they want is all the money. If there was some way for all those other people not to be miserable because of it, that would be fine. So they’re not bigots. A real misogynist racist is one who takes his automatic rifle and goes hunting for women or blacks to kill. They would never do that.

Us liberals are currently boggling that Gropenführer voters are shocked he’s taking their new government subsidized health insurance away. They’re shocked their jobs are still disappearing. What did you think? we’re screaming. You elect a fraudulent “billionaire” with gold-plated toilets and you think he’s going to do something for the menials?

But it actually makes sense that they thought both he’d give them their jobs back and not take away their health insurance. They thought they were going to get all the goodies. That’s what all that bigotry meant. To them.

Plus, big bonus, he said it was okay to kick all the scum who belonged beneath them. That proved he was in their corner, right? (Which is not hateful! It’s just unhappiness!)

(Also, for that matter, the appeal of Bernie Sanders to some of the same voters, which mystifies liberals, makes sense. Bernie was also heard as saying “vote for me and you’ll get more money.”)

I don’t know what’ll happen when the Gropenführer voters find out they’ve been swindled and only Goldman Sachs is going to keep getting gold-plated toilets.

Blame it on witches, probably.

 
Far Side cartoon, car salesman foisting enormous car onto tiny buyers.

 
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Normalizing Malignancy

Everyone is right. It’s depraved to normalize evil. And that includes the horrible people who’ve decided to be its avatars. It’s wrong to muss their hair and discuss how to work with them, as if there was something well-meaning about them.

Not recognizing them for what they are and not rejecting the endless harm they do is to lose your immune system. Cancers kill because the immune system is fooled into not fighting them. Social cancers work the same way.

There are interesting articles turning up remembering normalization at work in the early Third Reich.

“The rough edges of the extreme anti-Semite and agitator of the masses were sanded away through the creation of a new, sophisticated persona that emerged in carefully crafted domestic surroundings. With silk curtains and porcelain vases, Hitler’s designers suggested an internal world that was both cultivated and peaceful.”

That kind of normalizing, which ignores the damage being done, is depraved.

But there’s another side to the issue.

Some of the anti-normalization outrage focuses on rejecting everything to do with people who do horrible things. You’re barely allowed to point out they had mothers once and were small and blew out the candles on their birthday cakes just like you and me. That’s also normalizing them.

It is, but it’s a very different sort of normalizing. It’s never all right to pretend the harm they do is okay. But it’s always necessary to recognize how widespread, how normal, the seeds of those horrors are in everyone. The seeds are just small. It’s easy not to see their potential. That’s why they can grow.

A writer with a pedophile father talks about this.

We don’t really just condemn the sexualization of children. Instead, we condemn the very existence of child abuse altogether. It’s as if the crime includes being victimized by it, or responsible for bringing it into the light. We take an ontological roach spray to the whole event, either denying its status in reality altogether, or competing with one another to proclaim the most exquisite forms of torture for the perpetrators. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen the most strident liberal break character to loudly call for the prison rape of perpetrators.

That this darkness is actually woven into and throughout the fabric of our society—that these abusers are among us—is simply too much to bear. So the darkness is ignored except for the most distilled, theatrical, and viscerally repellent cases. …

Most of us would sooner discard all parties who have been tainted by this event than we would look at how tenuous the sanctity of children really is, how commonplace abuse is, or see the capacity for the mostly good to do periodic evil. We live in the same universe as those who abuse kids. We walk among them. If we want to end the sexual abuse of children, it will begin with the recognition that we are simply not that different from them.

If you assumed cancer cells are evil extraterrestrials otherwise unknown on earth, you could never find a cure. It’s when you know they’re ordinary cells with some processes running amok that you have any chance of stopping it.

Wholesale monsters who kill millions and retail ones who destroy a few women or children or men are not some kind of incomprehensible Others. They’re ordinary people who started running amok with appalling horrifying lethal consequences.

Never underestimate or normalize the malignancy. Never assume that normal people can’t become malignant.

Then we could at least try to stop the transformation at the source, every day.

That’s less fun than performing virtue by stoning the devil, but more useful.

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Objet d’Art. Under Glass.

I find myself wanting to defend Melania, First Concubine. But why? She chose her path. She’s not suffering ordinary pain. I couldn’t put my finger on what makes her seem such a trapped figure.

Then along comes Laurie Penny, putting it all in words more clearly and beautifully than I could have done. As we say on the web, go read the whole thing.

When Melania speaks, more than any of Trump’s adoring female entourage, she looks like someone with a gun discreetly pointed at her back, with her necklines so high her clothes seem to be trying to strangle her and that rictus smile that never reaches her eyes.

Imagine being in her position. Imagine being married to that man, having to live with him, back him up, soothe his ego, deal with his tantrums. Her marriage will be under relentless scrutiny for the rest of her life, just as her body has been since she did her first catwalk at the age of five, but if anyone raises the alarm, we’ll be told it’s music and ordered to dance. Do we think that the ham-faced, race-baiting, woman-hating monster about to waltz into the White House respects his third wife as a person? This is a man who slut-shames and humiliates any woman who stands in his way

No, Mrs Trump is not the most unfortunate woman in America right now. She will be unaffected by many of the more venal policies of her husband’s cronies, and as the mother of an ex boyfriend once told me, if you must cry, it’s nice to be able to cry in the back of a Porsche. But there are all sorts of cages you can keep a woman in — ask the wife of any Saudi Prince — and this, now, is what American girls are being taught to aspire to. Costlier chains. Shinier bars.

It’s not that the third Mrs Trump never had any choices. Those who dismiss her as a trophy wife miss the point: of course she knew the deal she was making. She has worked harder than most men could ever understand to get to this position …. This is a woman who has played the Master’s game expertly, and who now has to live in the Master’s house, raising his child, doling out platitudes about abuse as her husband sets about gaslighting the entire world. You might see that as karma. I see it as tragedy. Treating Melania as a real human being, rather than an empty symbol, is one more way of opposing everything her husband stands for.

Melania Trump was kidnapped long ago. She is now the walking, very occasionally talking, embodiment of the Stockholm Syndrome suffered by a growing cadre of the American political class. It’s an ugly thing to watch.

It is galling to watch left-wing men, in particular, muster to fling mud at a woman who clearly has, in her own way, very few choices, and is very publicly starring in the reality-television adaptation of American Psycho.

Patriarchy is not a game any woman can win, and Melania is playing it on nightmare mode, in the version where you have to sleep with the end-level boss. The man she is married to has a thug’s understanding of consent and every intention of screwing the world, violently if necessary. How we treat his First Victim sets the tone for the fight to come.

 
small geisha doll on display

 
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