› Male Energies | James Howard Kunstler
History will notice — even if we are too chickenshit to face it now — that the extraordinary turpitudes of US politics today represent an unprecedented failure of American manhood. It’s everywhere and pervasive along the spectrum of party politics, as untruth is everywhere and pervasive in American life.
The Republican case is too painfully obvious - Congressman Todd Akin being only the latest buffoon from the vast red state flyover cultural wilderness of franchise food and franchise thought to expose himself as lacking the basic male decency to defend womanhood against the consequences of plain-and-simple rape. In Dixieland Republicanism - now a misty region-of-mind that extends way beyond the old Confederate borders - you have the perfect confluence of sheer stupidity with the put-on, fake religiosity of men too weak to take responsibility for their own actions. They can just pawn everything off on Jesus: the good, the bad, the mystifying, the shameful. All the Republican men have to do is show up at the Nascar oval in time for barbeque. As for the courage of convictions, watch VP-designate Paul Ryan haul his mom out before a crowd of Florida retirees to prove his allegiance to Medicare and Social Security - two programs he would like to dismantle - on top of the fact that his mom is exactly the sort of multi-millionaire who a sane society would means-test out of receiving old-age support from the less fortunate taxpayers.
The Democratic party case is more interesting to me, being a life-long registered Democrat, perhaps partly accounted for by my Manhattan Jewish upbringing. I was coming-of-age and paying attention when Lyndon B. Johnson chose manfully to sacrifice the future votes of all Dixieland - his home territory - by signing legislation aimed at resolving the unfinished business of the Civil War. Even the fiasco of Vietnam that followed the Civil Rights years was acknowledged by many Democrats then in power as a tragic error. They had the courage of men conscious in crisis.
A perverse residue of those Civil Rights years lingers on today in the campaign for gay marriage, which affects to be identical in substance, and which is now, ironically, the only vector of action in Democratic politics inviting male valor - while it is also a huge distraction from many far more pressing tribulations we face, from resource scarcity to the well-being of the only planetary ecosystem we call home. I say, ironically, because gay marriage represents an existential endeavor that seeks to escape or nullify the fundamental tensions of the two-sexed human race. Like all things fashion-oriented, its essence is novelty, and the essence of novelty is that its charms wear off. Sooner or later, the charm of being not quite a man and not quite a woman will seem less than compelling to those not directly preoccupied by it. I bring it up because the Democrats have (foolishly) made it the public’s business to the exclusion of other things. So, for Democrats, the last remaining imaginable act of male valor in the arena of politics is to come out of the closet. Where else is valor found in Democratic politics? What amount of valor has been attached to the act of fighting to reestablish the rule of law in American finance, upon which the fate of the nation truly hangs?
None. Zero. Last week Mr. Obama’s Department of Justice dropped its case against Goldman Sachs’s CDO swindling operations - a case that was served up on a silver platter by the report from Senator Carl Levin’s Senate subcommittee hearings. Not one lawyer in the entire DOJ took a public stand against that act of gross negligence. It’s only the latest in a long string of failures-of-nerve in the desperately needed rescue of legitimacy in American affairs. Every agency head, every person in authority in Mr. Obama’s government has evaded the single-most pressing issue of our time. From the center of power to the margins of power and everywhere in between, real masculine courage is absent.
Regardless where you stand on immigration issues, a border fence, amnesty, etc., or on same-sex marriage and equal rights for LGBT citizens, how can you be in favor of making it easier to commit violence against LGBT or immigrant women? I cannot believe our national debate has come to this point – where we are singling out parts of the population and making them more vulnerable to violence.
Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) criticized the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act saying the bill passed on Wednesday puts women’s lives in jeopardy because it excludes access to services for immigrant, LGBT and Native American women. (via nbclatino)
I mean, “singling out parts of the population and making them more vulnerable to violence” is what institutional oppression is - it’s just not always as visible as this.
But yes, this whole thing is fucking ridiculous.
› Governor Rick Scott Vetoes Funds For Rape Crisis Centers During Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) shocked the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence this week when he vetoed $1.5 million in funding for 30 rape crisis centers in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. State lawmakers allotted the money to offset an increase in need and a lack of sufficient funding for victim services.
A spokesperson for Scott said he vetoed that particular line item in the state budget because the state already funds sexual violence programs, and nobody was able to make it clear to him why rape crisis centers needed the new funding.
As for the $6.5 million that Scott said the government provides for rape prevention and sexual assault services, a large percentage of that money is distributed to education programs, not actual crisis centers serving the victims.
“He’s probably including rape prevention and education money,” she said. “You think they would have asked us about that, and we could explain to them very clearly what money is available for our programs. It looks like $1.5 million is a lot of money to ask for, but frankly, when you spread it across 67 counties, it’s not.”
From a political standpoint, Scott’s cuts to sexual violence funding could not have come at a worse time, as Republicans in Congress are taking heat for opposing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. But Scott’s spokesman said the governor’s decision had nothing to do with the oft-cited GOP “war on women.”
“Anyone who’s trying to say this veto is evidence of a war on women, is deliberately trying to mislead the public for political ends,” Wright said.
(Source: sarahlee310, via other-stuff)
buy rubbers when I was in college.
I’M A SLUT.
The pro-choice movement opposes forced ultrasounds because they override the doctor’s discretion and the doctor-patient relationship, in a manner that is not only condescending to the woman’s preferred course of action, but also often requires a greater outlay of time, sometimes an entire extra day, as well as money. Not only do they not change anyone’s mind, ultrasounds stigmatize and intimidate women who are already under stress.
The ultrasound fallacy (via iamdrtiller)
(Source: stephherold, via randomactsofchaos)
› Now they’ve done it: Vaginaphobe Republicans Have just pissed off women (10s of thousands of them) – FreakOutNation
Out of touch Republicans — in an attempt to possibly deflect from the fact they have no viable candidate to run against President Obama — have thrown the female population under the 1950s bus. ‘We are Women’ are marching to each state capitol. What started out with just a few members, within just a few days, now have 10s of thousands in total supporting them. Just wait until April 28th – because moderates do not agree with these tactics either.
Male supporters are also marching in solidarity with women (thanks guys). It’s not up for debate as to whether there has been a war initiated by the Right against women after denying half the population necessary health care, holding a House panel on contraception with no women on it, or suggesting that holding an aspirin between the knees is all the birth control women need, and then deeming it as a joke – which wasn’t remotely funny. That’s as funny as suggesting that men tie their penises in knots to avoid impregnating a woman. At the same time, have Republicans forgotten that we vote?