On Monday, as Representative Alexandria Octavio Cortez was about to enter the Capitol to cast a vote, she verbally accosted with a profanity laced tirade by a fellow member of the House. That person was “Floriduh man” Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) who, or no apparent rational reason, called her “disgusting” and “f*cking b***h.” He also …
Jul 24 2020
Jun 30 2017
I hate to bring up Trump’s misogyny but it is part of the larger problem of his mental fitness to be in any high office let alone the presidency if the United States. By now, everyone knows about his latest disgusting twitter tirade that was triggered by the hosts of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Joe Scarborough …
Aug 03 2014
Jul 13 2014
Recent Supreme Court rulings highlight the persistent presence of misogyny in the US.
Megan Amundson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, expressed her anger over the Supreme Court’s message that “women are second-class citizens, not capable of making our healthcare decisions without the interference of our bosses and complete strangers on the street,” and she encouraged the crowd to send a message back.
This was the most striking language in the buffer zone ruling, to me:
petitioners are not protestors; they seek not merely to express their opposition to abortion, but to engage in personal, caring, consensual conversations with women about various alternatives.
Unbidden strangers given the rights of “counselor.” Since when is anyone who wants to talk to me considered my counselor? Why is the word “consensual” in that sentence? Patients haven’t consented to this counseling. They are hounded by it. This kind of distortion of someone’s behavior and giving it a title which then affords them rights, when they are really just harassing people would never happen if the recipients of said counseling were white males. Where is the autonomy of the woman in this interaction? This is codified misogyny.
In a country which claims to be “democratic” and to believe in “liberty”, how is it that autonomy is not fully respected for all people?
It would seem that something overrides our belief in the respect of the individual which should be inherent to a democracy and our commitment to privacy when it comes to personal liberty. Could that be capitalism?
Will you join me for an exploration of the linkages between capitalism and misogyny?
Oct 12 2012
Australia’s first female Prime minister, Julia Gillard delivered a 15 minute blistering smackdown of opposition leader Tony Abbot for his hypocrisy in attacking a member of her party over sexist text messages. This is want Mr. Abbot said:
Mr Abbott was perfectly within his rights to put forward the motion that speaker Peter Slipper should be immediately dispatched. Most Australians feel likewise. But the words Mr Abbott chose to deliver this message were not only vicious but monumentally stupid beyond belief. Who are his advisers – the Sydney University young liberals?
Here is what Mr Abbott said: “I must allude to the vile anatomical references to which this Speaker appears to be addicted in his text message… Should (Gillard) rise in this place now to try and defend the Speaker, she will shame this parliament again… And every day the prime minister stands in this parliament to defend this Speaker will be another day of shame for this parliament, another day of shame for a government which should already have died of shame.”
Can you believe Tony Abbott used that phrase? Can you believe, after every drop of water that has flowed under the bridge since (Alan) Jones’ ill-advised speech to the young libs, that the would-be Prime Minister of Australia still thinks it fitting to poke further fun at the death of the sitting Prime Minister’s father. Can anyone believe that?
Alan Jones made the remark that M. Gillard’s father had “died of shame” over her politics at an Abbot fund raising lunch. The aftermath caused advertisers to pull ads and Mercedes Benz took back the $200,000 car on loan to the broadcaster.
The Prime Minister, who is 51, unmarried and has no children, has been told to “make an honest woman” of herself, a “slut”, taunted with signs saying “Ditch the Witch” and worse.
At naked capitalism, Yves Smith notes that Americans politicians could take some lessons from PM Gillard:
Look how Gilliard speaks effectively and energetically, referring to notes only when she needs to read quotations, for fifteen minutes. As YY indicates, the context is clear enough that you don’t need the backstory to infer what happened.
Do we have a single politician in the US who could command attention for that long and deliver a blistering attack with so little in the way of props? I suspect this is one of the by products of the Commonwealth tradition of “question time,” in which government ministers have to deal with the cut and thrust of Parliamentary debates, while in the US, we have far more staging and far less real controversy in our political discourse.
Oct 22 2009
The Australian actress Nicole Kidman testified yesterday before the House International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight Subcommittee on the subject of violence in film, in particular the sickening amount of onscreen violence against women. Kidman stated that many roles portray women as weak, as mere sex objects, or as both and that this permissive attitude of debasement contributes greatly to real life acts of violence perpetrated against women. The actress’ intent was not merely to condemn the film industry for its excesses but also to advance the larger issue of unchecked, infrequently prosecuted violent acts committed against women across the globe.
The Oscar-winning actress said she is not interested in those kinds of demeaning roles, adding that the movie industry also has made an effort to contribute to solutions for ending the violence. Kidman testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee that is considering legislation to address violence against women overseas through humanitarian relief efforts and grants to local organizations working on the problem.
That notable stories like these get submerged underneath the incessant back-and-forth of partisan or even inter-party bickering surprises me not one iota. Such stories are often pigeonholed as merely “women’s topics” or moved to the back of the soft news queue, with the tacit assumption that celebrities are incapable of advancing much beyond their own careers or the manufactured drama designed to garnish publicity. As for this particular example in question, Kidman is notably treading cautiously here, not willing to assign full blame to Hollywood because of her stated belief that it has devoted committed and serious internal efforts towards self-regulation. Forgive me for being skeptical, because I know that few major money-making industries do an adequate job of policing themselves from within. Specifically regarding the celluloid conglomerate, it took the Hays Code and then the puritanical Production Code before Tinseltown ever strongly curtailed the content found in moving pictures.