Open thread for night owls: ‘She’s not my type’ has long been a mainstay of rape culture
Megan Garber at The Atlantic writes—The Real Meaning of Trump’s ‘She’s Not My Type’ Defense:
There is, as always, a certain clarity to Trump’s cruelty. The president seems to understand, on some level, something profoundly true about the creaking mechanics of structural misogyny: Sexual abuse is not, ultimately, about sexual attraction. It is about power. It is about one person’s exertion of will over another. In this way, “She’s not my type” is deeply entangled with the president’s long-standing habit of dismissing unruly women through his negative assessments of their attractiveness: the women as the sexual commodities, Donald Trump as the discerning consumer.
So when he is mocking women’s appearances—as he has done with Rosie O’Donnell and Carly Fiorina and Arianna Huffington and Bette Midler and Mika Brzezinski and Stormy Daniels and Heidi Cruz and Heidi Klum and so very many others—Trump is not, ultimately, talking about their looks. He is talking, via jokes about fat pigs and ugly dogs, about the women’s relative ability to please men (specifically, the one man he seems to care about: himself). He is attempting, with some desperation—“fat pig” is not typically evidence of a tranquil mind at work—to defend the status quo that has thus far arranged itself so neatly around his own desires. He is working, with the aid of petty insults, to protect a patriarchal system, the very one that is threatened when women such as E. Jean Carroll come forward to declare their refusal to serve as the passive recipients of men’s roving will. […]
The rhetoric here may be singular; it is also familiar. You can see the same strain of panic on display among the men who protested when the women of their own times argued for a measure of equality. In 1866, the Albany Evening Journal mocked a group of women asking for a constitutional amendment “prohibiting disfranchising citizens on grounds of sex”: Those women, it speculated, must “have hook-billed noses, crow’s feet under their sunken eyes, and a mellow tinting of the hair.” A century later, Esquire defined feminism as “a bunch of ugly women screaming at each other on television.” […]
And from Alyssa Rosenberg at The Washington Post—Trump will never be held accountable for his treatment of women:
Nothing will happen to hold Trump accountable for his alleged treatment of women, not during his presidency and not after. The reality-distortion field that Trump emits, and that his most ardent supporters have embraced, provides him with a grant of immunity so powerful that it has come to seem irrevocable and impenetrable. Of course I haven’t wanted to say this out loud. The only possible response is despair.
Trump’s most ardent supporters won’t find this story horrifying, because they won’t believe it at all. If they do accept any part of it, they’ll insist that the encounter was consensual; that Carroll was a pathetic 52-year-old woman throwing herself at a “good-looking,” slightly younger gazillionaire; that any contact Trump had with her was some sort of sexual philanthropy.
This is what makes Trump different from the other powerful men who have fallen since #MeToo became a global movement: He has convinced too many people to invest too deeply in him and to view him as the sole source of truth for him to be disgraced and banished …
[As long as there is no way to hold him accountable,] Trump’s legacy will be proof that when you’re a star, the world does let you do it. Even if women like E. Jean Carroll fight back, even if millions of us read their stories and find them credible, you can do anything.
“Here’s to the security guards who maybe had a degree in another land. Here’s to the manicurist who had to leave her family to come here, painting the nails, scrubbing the feet of strangers. Here’s to the janitors who don’t understand English yet work hard despite it all. Here’s to the fast food workers who work hard to see their family smile. Here’s to the laundry man at the Marriott who told me with the sparkle in his eyes how he was an engineer in Peru. Here’s to the bus driver, the Turkish Sufi who almost danced when I quoted Rumi. Here’s to the harvesters who live in fear of being deported for coming here to open the road for their future generation. Here’s to the taxi drivers from Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and India who gossip amongst themselves. Here is to them waking up at 4am, calling home to hear the voices of their loved ones. Here is to their children, to the children who despite it all become artists, writers, teachers, doctors, lawyers, activists and rebels. Here’s to international money transfer. For never forgetting home. Here’s to their children who carry the heartbeats of their motherland and even in sleep, speak with pride about their fathers. Keep on.”
~~Ijeoma Umebinyuo, Questions for Ada (2015)
On this date at Daily Kos in 2002—House Dems push 9-11 commission:
Even though the issue looked dead, pushed to the background by the nation’s worsening economic situation, House Democrats won their bid to create an independent 9-11 commission.
On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: A certain “very strong leader” says our drone was in Iranian airspace. Armando has a bit to say about the new WH strategy where everyone has “absolute immunity,” and if not, then some other kind. If not that, then maybe armed militias & stuff.
More at http://www.dailykos.com/stories/1867260