« These scriptwriters are overpaid | Main | jazz trigger alert »

October 03, 2020

Comments

I think there's a range of how female politicians would deal with Trump, and with what success. A significant factor being their personal experiences dealing with toxic masculinity.

Hilary's experience was colored by years of dealing with Bill. Who is a pretty dusgusting excuse for a human being (IMHO), but not anywhere near Trump's class. And who not only didn't sink to Trump's depths but to some extent sheltered her from toxic males.

On the other hand, consider a professional prosecutor like, say, Harris. Yes, she'd get trashed for her attitude. But she'd be just as dismissive as Biden was, and as effective -- outside the Trumpist base.

And Trump, I suspect, would have real trouble dealing with a woman who doesn't flinch. When he can't just walk away with a snide remark, but is stuck engaging (or visibly failing to engage) for an hour or more. I could envision a complete meltdown, live on national TV.

I guess this bit of bad news is close to the topic of this thread.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-election-north-carolina-democrat/2020/10/03/2fc1b14e-059a-11eb-897d-3a6201d6643f_story.html

Toxic masculinity is (I hope) aging out. It's going slowly because it takes time to change folkways, but it is being eroded. Every new generation gets us a step farther away. We know this because of the ever more palpable panic on the religious right where gender policing is concerned.

I think the biggest things we can do to get rid of it to start is to change the toy industry in the US. The biggest toy companies have completely separate teams for boys and girls and the major retailers have separate buyers for boys and girls. I think relaxing the borders that exist around the way that children interact while roleplaying social roles will break down a lot of the rest of the stupidity as well.

Which is not to say that we need to get rid of "gendered" toys, just that we should spend a lot less time implicitly policing and segregating and guiding children to toys that fit the socially approved gender roles for their sexual identity.

It's a bonus feature that this will really piss of Focus on the Family and the rest of the Christian patriarch homophobes.

Which is not to say that we need to get rid of "gendered" toys, just that we should spend a lot less time implicitly policing and segregating and guiding children to toys that fit the socially approved gender roles for their sexual identity.

I expect we will find it a challenging needle to thread. On one side will be those toxic traditionalists you mention, who are already ramped up to police gender rolls. On the other side will be those who find anything that looks even vaguely like a traditional gender roll, however how voluntarily assumed, abhorrent.

Tolerance tends to be in extremely short supply on both sides. Which just means the rest of us will have fight that much harder for it.

Is a gender roll anything like a rick roll?

Ouch!

“ I guess this bit of bad news is close to the topic of this thread. “

I’m having a hard time getting mad about this. Feels to me like Trump proved the people who pretended to really care about this stuff really don’t care. And that leAves a big group of people who always thought that first group were protesting a bit much to begin with.

I’ll be happy to leave that behind.

Is a gender roll anything like a rick roll?

Always gonna beat you up, always gonna let you down, always gonna tell a lie, desert you...

Feels to me like Trump proved the people who pretended to really care about this stuff really don’t care. And that leAves a big group of people who always thought that first group were protesting a bit much to begin with.

Yes and no. Trump demonstrated that a huge portion of those who pretended to care about this stuff actually didn't. On the other hand, there are a few people who actually do care. Even to the point where they refused to join their brethren in voting for Trump. And when an election is as close as North Carolina's looks like it might be this time, those few could be enough to make a difference.

Agreed, it will be nice when we can leave all that behind. But at the moment, we haven't. At least, not enough.

" Trump demonstrated that a huge portion of those who pretended to care about this stuff actually didn't. On the other hand, there are a few people who actually do care."

Too bad for them, they need to be more careful in who they hang out with.

Alternately, a nice large "T" should be branded on the foreheads of Trumpers so that they can announce their allegiance not escape the consequences of their actions.

A woman politician would be well advised to refuse to "debate" with Trump.

Trump of course isn't willing to debate anything. He just wants to go on stage, tell lies, and do whatever it takes to make his opponent look uncomfortable.

The appropriate response is one of calm authority. That's almost impossible to achieve in a woman's voice.

The evidence suggests that women tend to be better at governing that men. But they're less effective at campaigning, because audiences, whether male or female, prefer deeper voiced (and taller) candidates.

A woman candidate therefore needs to pick her spots. On a stage with Trump should not be one of them.

That's almost impossible to achieve in a woman's voice.

??!??

And if the woman has the voice, she'll be accused of being butch (otherwise of course bitch). Not to forget lesbian (I'll abstain from using the words that will actually be used).

Alternately, a nice large "T" should be branded on the foreheads of Trumpers so that they can announce their allegiance not escape the consequences of their actions.

And how marvelously coincidental (I rank it nothing more than coincidence) that our current party color-coding tradition would make that "T" a Scarlet Letter.

And how marvelously coincidental (I rank it nothing more than coincidence) that our current party color-coding tradition would make that "T" a Scarlet Letter.

And yet, as it just dawned on me yesterday as I was driving around the countryside, Clickbait's signs are *blue*. And they were four years ago, too. Talk about oblivious!!! (I mean me!)

Was that color selection some kind of Macchiavellian plot, intended to confuse people's unconscious thought processes?

Came across this, from SNL's Michael Che:

“Look, I don’t want the president to die, obviously. Yeah, actually, I wish him a very lengthy recovery.”
I think that about sums up my view on things.

A woman politician would be well advised to refuse to "debate" with Trump.

I disagree; I would have loved to see Harris, for example, debate Trump.

Though she’d have been advised to borrow the Perspex screen the South Carolina Democrat used for debating Lindsey Graham (whom he fairly successfully dismantled).

I wish to see him fully recover well in time to get comprehensively voted out of office.

In a new display of toxic masculinity (or maybe just of massive stupidity) a man so ill that he has been hospitalized decided to hop in an SUV and go for a joy ride to wave to his adoring cult members.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-covid-19-walter-reed-wave/2020/10/04/12dbe38c-064f-11eb-a166-dc429b380d10_story.html

Well perhaps he had his oxygen tank on board. It was a risk for everybody else in the vehicle, of course. But who cares about them?

I think Kamela would have kicked TRump's ass. I saw a FB post of a yard sign that said, "I'm for Biden and that lady that made Kavanaugh cry." She has a way to dismantling men in a way that is almost maternal, like supermom.

Trump signs are blue
and MAGA hats red
but the GOP color
should be orange instead.

The GOP elephant
has served long enough.
It must be replaced
by a pig at the trough.

I tried to rhyme "orange",
I tried to rhyme "elephant",
but I couldn't find
a rhyme that was elegant.

Sorry 'bout that.

--TP

The GOP elephant
has served long enough.
It must be replaced
by a pig at the trough.

I understand the challenges of creating verse. But really, these days the replacement for the elephant should be the lemming.

The days when the pig was appropriate are past now. Whether the pigs quite grasp it or not. Perhaps they will wake up when the cliff edge is well past.

Interesting stuff. I see the possibility that Harris might have been able to thread that needle, though her prosecutorial record is what has/had some on the left cool on her. And look at what her attacks on Biden got her. Though she 'drew blood', there was a pretty strong backlash among dems that she had mugged Biden (and this became a line of attack in stories that had her shrugging it off saying something like 'it was just business' a la Tessio demonstrating her unfitness for VP (sigh))

I do think Pro Bono's point is true. As soon as a woman goes for calm authority, you get school teacher jibes. This isn't meant to be an attempt to raise an old fight, but in our discussion of white fragility, that was something observed about DiAngelo's delivery. This isn't to claim that people who disagreed with her are disagreeing with her based on prejudices, I do think there is room for disagreement on several aspects, it's just to suggest how deeply this might go. (I have to admit, when HRC gave her nomination acceptance speech, I could not hear anything but an old style elementary school teacher)

nous gives the 'the universe slowly arcs towards justice' take, which I also sincerely believe on my optimistic days. I mean, it has to, right? But when one is in the middle of the historical moment, it becomes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to say surely, societies have to move towards more openness and more diversity but the route to that place doesn't really seem, especially at the moment, very clear.

And thanks for the verse, I'll try to get a poetry thread up this week.

There a host of reasons why, in this particular case, that is was a good thing it ended up being Biden running against Trump.
But to say that Harris (for example) would have been well advised to avoid debating him in the hypothetical matchup is just nonsense, IMO.

It's a bit like the then wisdom that we just weren't ready for a black President back in 2007/8.
The tyranny of low expectations.

when HRC gave her nomination acceptance speech

I don't think HRC is a good example here. All substantive qualifications to the side, she was not a relaxed or confident public speaker. She somehow gave people the feeling that they were getting a lecture. Warren suffers from the same thing, to some degree, although she is more approachable than Clinton. What they have in common is that they are policy-driven technocratic wonks. Very very good policy-driven technocratic wonks. They want to argue from facts, and in Clinton's case, seem impatient when that isn't sufficient.

Compare to people like (off the top of my head) Merkel, Allbright. Ardern in New Zealand is young, so perhaps doesn't project gravitas to the same degree, but certainly projects confident, competent executive authority. The list could be quite long.

What surprised me most in Pro Bono's comment was that (if I'm not mistaken) he's in the UK, home of Queen Elizabeth, whose entire public function appears to be speaking with calm authority.

Now I'm imagining a debate between Trump and Queen Elizabeth. What fun that would be.

FWIW, Harris would shred Trump. He is actually pretty lucky to have Biden as his opponent, Biden's a nice guy.

Trump's only skill set in interacting with other people is bullying. It doesn't work with everyone.

The wages of toxic subhuman republican conservatism:

https://heavy.com/news/claudia-conway-coronavirus-tiktok/

Her mother doesn't need a cock and balls to fuck the rest of us, including her family.

Female republicans may have to wear a strap on, but the vermin share their male counterparts' constant and universal ratfuckery.

On tiktok, no less.

We ain't seen nothin yet.

More guns should solve everything.

See how the EVIL ones are playing it:

Trump: “I had to confront [the virus] so the American people stopped being afraid of it so we could deal with it responsibly.”

Take a moment to dry heave, all of us having purged completely over the past four years of republican government terrorism.

The both-sides-do-it crowd, willful dupes all, can whack off to their putrid, pathetic rationlizations.

Don't think Trump can't live through this and steal the election, and don't think Biden can't yet contract the virus and die, as conservative scum are trying their best to infect the latter:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/top-trump-campaign-official-ridicules-joe-biden-s-mask-wearing-n1242041

Top corrupt subhuman conservative cop has to be dragged kicking and screaming into being a big boy:

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/519569-barr-reverses-will-quarantine-for-several-days-after-potential-coronavirus

They are spreading and catching the virus on purpose. If a few of them succumb or are otherwise debilitated, in their sick small minds, that will make them martyrs to the malign goals of the subhuman conservative movement. Think what they will wreak on America and their enemies should they live and prevail and man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allen Poe.

https://www.newsweek.com/amy-coney-barrett-coronavirus-1536169

I don't believe her. The devout theocrat can justify all manner of bullshit to compel the rest of us to devotion.

The role model the vermin Republican movement is attempting to follow, besides that of Russia, Belarus, and Hungary's despot, Victor Orban:

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/10/donald-trump-jair-bolsonaro-coronavirus/616602/

The Brazilian people must rise up and butcher and slaughter the entire Bolsonaro right-wing murderous movement and government.

Show America how it will be done.

Otherwise, they aren't leaving.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/11/right-wing-militias-civil-war/616473/

Hey, but the stock market is up this morning.

Ratings and market share are up.

All abominations ignored, all resistance soothed, just as in 1930s Germany.

The prophetic Paddy Chayevsky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuBe93FMiJc

This isn't to claim that people who disagreed with her are disagreeing with her based on prejudices, I do think there is room for disagreement on several aspects

Mighty big of you there, lj.

Thanks I try... ;^P

Anyway, sorry that all my interests/obsessions end up in the same pot. I get that me picking at this ends up picking at other people, so apologies.

Couple of more points. re Nigel's comment. I certainly wouldn't advise presidential candidate Harris to not debate Trump, even if I could zip over to a dystopic parallel universe and what what we watched.

But I'm thinking that Biden got channeled into the nomination because of these kinds of forces. They are all small points in and of themselves (first names? questions about how they treat their staff? This cnn article hits some of those notes)
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/06/opinions/sexism-2020-election-opinion-hunt/index.html

And Russell's point is good, but Queen Elizabeth is able to speak with calm authority because she has a particular context to speak from, one that is woven into 1000 years (or more?) of British history. The episode in the Crown when the Kennedys go to the UK and meet HRM and Prince Phillip (and the way that Phillip has to deal with accepting his role is also quite interesting) and every tiny mistake and mistaken address creates this tension in all of the royal household staff reminds me a lot of Japan, where, the more you understand the language and social etiquette, the more you become trapped by it. They used to say that Steve Jobs used to create his own reality, but Trump, by surrounding himself with syncophants, does much the same thing. How those two realities would collide would be a sight to see.

a prompt for that last line

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/05/trump-doctors-slam-short-drive-outside-walter-reed-hospital.html

I'm not wishing him dead, but it would be nice to know that that the reality he's trying to create doesn't have a chance against the real one.

I do think Pro Bono's point is true. As soon as a woman goes for calm authority, you get school teacher jibes.

I think this is increasingly true as age increases. For us Baby Boomers, the only women in authority we knew growing up were school teachers. (If a woman was, for example, a US Senator, she almost certainly held a seat her late husband had held.) So that tends to be the mental bucket we use.

But across our lifetimes, the reality has changed. For anybody under 40, a woman who is a manager or executive just isn't an anomaly. The number of female "CEO & Founders" is still low. But even there it's not a shock to the system for them. All personal style aside, it gets easier every year for a woman to just get accepted on her own merits.

Pace Russell, it's unimaginable that Queen Elizabeth would involve herself in any sort of debate. She has no experience at all of a hostile adversary.

How would Margaret Thatcher, in her prime, fare in a debate with Donald Trump? Whatever you think of her politics (I hated them), she was an exceptional politician. I can't see her standing for his rudeness; I'd expect her to walk out.

By the way, Thatcher had herself trained to speak in a much lower voice than came naturally to her.

(Yes, I am in England.)

The double stardard can cut both ways, too. For example, if/when we get to Senate Judiciary Committee hearings over Judge Barrett, Senator Harris will be able to hammer her. A male Senator would have to be a lot more delicate in his hostile questioning.

And while Trump, as a known sexist scumbag, could perhaps get away somewhat with treating Harris like he did Biden, VP Pence cannot. Just won't be acceptable to the culturally unenlightened, who still expect guys to be gentlemen when dealing with women.

I'm not wishing him dead,

i'm with the author of Psalms 108:

7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.

8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.

12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.

13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.

15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.

17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.

lj -- more seriously...I doubt we'll ever come to a meeting of the minds about DiAngelo. You did bring her up just now, but on the other hand this isn't an open thread, so I'll confine myself to three quick notes (I don't really have the energy to go deeper anyhow).

1. Relevant (at least to me) -- Former Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz quoted this conversation when John Lewis died, remembering a moment when she asked him how to get her "constituency" of white working class voters to vote for Obama in 2008:

"How do I reach their hearts?" I asked John. He folded his hands together and slowly shook his head.

"We don't need their hearts, Connie. We need them to do the right thing."

2. DiAngelo may be a good sociologist. I think she's a pretty bad psychologist.

3. Isn't it kind of ... something ... that after the BLM protests got up a head of steam, the top slot on the bestseller list was occupied by a white woman's book about white people? (Telling them how bad they are. See #2.)

From that font of cheap (but not necessarily therefore always wrong) wisdom, Children of Dune:

If you focus your awareness only upon your own rightness, then you invite the forces of opposition to overwhelm you. This is a common error. Even I, your teacher, have made it.

and

The assumption that a whole system can be made to work better through an assault on its conscious elements betrays a dangerous ignorance. This has often been the ignorant approach of those who call themselves scientists and technologists.

Every time you mention DiAngelo I think of these passages, especially the second one. Not that they aren't applicable to the rest of us, for that matter. Or at least me.

I think this is increasingly true as age increases. For us Baby Boomers, the only women in authority we knew growing up were school teachers. (If a woman was, for example, a US Senator, she almost certainly held a seat her late husband had held.) So that tends to be the mental bucket we use.

This seems on-point to me. I think there is a fall-off in the "schoolmarm" reaction starting in Gen X. This more than a marxist utopian narrative of history makes me think that the change has already happened and that masculinity will change a lot in the next decade or so. I don't think that history bends towards justice, I just think that we have several generations that have already bent away from some of the bedrock paradigms of toxic masculinity.

Of course my view of this is from the standpoint of the college educated segment of US society, and that creates a selection bias. But that's also the segment with money, so the media and the market are going to amplify those choices somewhat and put pressure on the rest of culture. I think that process is what is driving a big chunk of the religious right into their apocalyptic, last stand mentality.

3. Isn't it kind of ... something ... that after the BLM protests got up a head of steam, the top slot on the bestseller list was occupied by a white woman's book about white people?

As someone with a ringside seat for the publishing industry, this comes as absolutely no surprise to me. It's baked into how manuscripts are bought and marketed. It's the sort of book that will be adopted by both libraries and book clubs.

Janie, no worries, I just recall that the tone of DiAngelo's video was brought up by more than one person (though I didn't go back to check who) and I didn't want my memory that a claim that I thought they were wrong for disagreeing.

The last Dune passage is interesting, cause I would have assumed that what is going on here is unconscious elements. Like a friend who pointed out to me that she had lost a lot of narration gigs because, even though she has an excellent speaking voice, exhibits some vocal fry, which is often considered disqualifying

https://www.streetroots.org/news/2015/10/22/policing-vocal-fry-another-excuse-dismiss-women-s-voices

It's also on my mind because I'm teaching a face to face class (though it's set up so that students can do all the work online, and the class time is an office hour where students either come to the room or visit me on zoom) and I have a colleague who is lecturing next door and it drives me bonkers because she has that tone of a Japanese JHS teacher angry at the kids for not doing the homework. While I'm telling my students that they should not start their essays with display questions that are primarily rhetorical (and the way a lot of Japanese essays start) because it sounds like a kindergarten teacher.

So, like I said, all my interests and obsessions in the same pot. Which is more like a pressure cooker these days.

The last Dune passage is interesting, cause I would have assumed that what is going on here is unconscious elements.

Yes, I think that's true. Or at least partly true.

*****

@nous -- no quarrel with the publishing industry comment. But I think the prominence of DiAngelo (et al.) comes from other sources as well. It's a sort of cousin of the phenomenon I noticed after the Minneapolis protests began (and that played out right here at ObWi): BLM protests blossom, issues of racism in the US are brought to the fore....and people *immediately* start changing the subject (and I do believe it's a change in subject) to: "But I don't see how vandalism helps the cause." After a week or two, almost every single person I talked to wanted to talk about that, and not about racism in America.

In essence it's a shift from talking about black people's pain to talking about black people's bad behavior and white people's pain (and opinions). I said to one of my siblings, as an illustration that might cut closer to home: I'm a gay person. If, during a protest in favor of gay rights, someone trashes a store, and even if they do it in the name of gay rights (never mind that they may or may not be a provocateur), that has nothing whatsoever to do with whether I should have the same rights as straight people. Nothing! But people's attention is so easily deflected, and logic is out the window.

After a week or two, almost every single person I talked to wanted to talk about that, and not about racism in America.

as it always does: every single time.

there's a lesson in there somewhere.

there's a lesson in there somewhere.

The lesson might be that people don't want to talk about pain, especially other people's, but often not even their own.

Well-meaning people would like to do something about pain, but they need to believe that what they're asked to do actually addresses the problem, and that they have a way to do it (the more convenient, the better). If proposed solutions aren't possible in some people's circumstances, or don't seem helpful, the conversation will shift to what's working or what's not working.

There's nothing wrong with criticizing what's not working, but people who want to help should probably try to propose something that would work better than what they're criticizing. They may find that those proposals aren't well received either.

Interesting stuff. I'm on the outside, so for me DiAngelo is a way in to talk about this. And I don't think there is a lot to tell black people about racism, so who else to tell?

And talking about white fragility, while a second order phenomenon, has to, I think, be dismantled because it seems to build a wall around talking about racism.

But again, I've pushed the conversation back to this when I really just wanted to point out a memory of that discussion but not claim that was disqualifying. Connecting to wj's point that this may be my/our age showing, it also brings up the disturbing feeling that teaching has been devalued as a job, perhaps in part because it is mostly women who are doing it?
https://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DataSetCode=EAG_PERS_SHARE_AGE
87% women in primary
67% in lower secondary
62% in total secondary

I'm also wondering (though it is too deep a google rabbit hole to go down) what has been the average change in education salaries compared to other industries (with the proper separation of data?). My guess is that they have actually be hit worse than others, but that is just a feeling.

Another thing that strikes me (it's late here and a design failure in Microsoft teams has me up late redoing stuff) is that the typical US (or perhaps human?) way of dealing with conflict is to not talk about it and we are often ill-equipped to start talking about conflict. It's a trait that serves us rather poorly given everything that is happening.

Though to try and circle back to the post, would anyone disagree that there is a surfeit of male fragility these days? Will see what y'all have to say tomorrow.

Toxicity is at crisis levels:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/conservative-justices-thomas-and-alito-suggest-supreme-court-should-fix-its-ruling-that-legalized-gay-marriage/ar-BB19J4Kz?ocid=uxbndlbing

They will kill gay marriage and gay rights.

They will kill human beings on Obamacare and Medicaid.

They will kill mothers and fetuses on Obamacare and Medicaid.

They will kill post-born children on Obamacare and Medicaid.

They will kill Medicare and Social Security.

They will kill electoral democracy.

They will kill immigrants.

So now Trump refuses to participate in the next debate / town hall, because it will be virtual. Perhaps the fact that his interruptions could be muted was a problem. After all, how can you simulate ("simulate" because in his case it's clearly not real**) being an alpha male if you can't shout over anyone else who tries to talk?

** See his behavior around Putin or Xi. Or even Kim.

We have another data point as of this morning, so time to get another comment moderated away.

The claim: "a woman going up against Trump would have been the recipe for disaster."

The data points.

Palin vs Biden: The man won.
Clinton vs Trump Debate 1: The woman won.
Clinton vs Trump Debate 2: The woman won.
Clinton vs Trump Debate 3: The woman won.
Harris vs Pence: The woman won.

So, in reality, women running for chief executive roles are three out of three against Trump, and four out of five against men, with the sole loss being Sarah friggin' Palin.

No one actually motivated primarily by concern about women would undermine them with this sort of ridiculous defeatism.

Harris vs Pence: The woman won.

especially if you ask women!

In a CNN poll of 609 voters who watched the debate, 59 percent of respondents said Harris won the debate, while 38 percent thought Pence won. The figures are in line with those voters’ pre-debate expectations — 61 percent said ahead of the faceoff that they thought Harris would win, while 36 percent thought Pence would win.

The CNN survey revealed a large gender gap, with women saying Harris won by more than 2 to 1 (69 percent vs. 30 percent). Men were split, with 48 percent saying Harris won and 46 percent saying Pence was the victor.

i side with the shes.

No one actually motivated primarily by concern about women would undermine them with this sort of ridiculous defeatism.

In case you didn't notice, the person you say won three of the debates lost the election. It seems that you want to say that because the debates were won, sexism isn't an issue we should worry our pretty little heads about?

the person you say won three of the debates lost the election

she lost the Electoral College, which is not representative of actual people in any rational manner.

"In case you didn't notice, the person you say won three of the debates lost the election. It seems that you want to say that because the debates were won, sexism isn't an issue we should worry our pretty little heads about?"

That is a dumb answer.

It's not "the person [I] say won three of the debates."

Polling said that. And since the only meaning of "won" in the context of a debate is how it affects polling, that's the authoritative answer.

That is a dumb answer.

This is a nice example of toxic masculinity. Rather than explore what I might mean, you turn it into a pissing match.

My point, that maybe Biden is the nominee precisely because it's fine for a man to interrupt and belittle a woman cause it shows how strong he is, but a woman doing the inverse is bitchy, is totally lost on you. Maybe, if we all had a time machine, we could go back and see this behavior, we might call it out. But that means we have to be aware that it is a problem, in a way that you don't seem to.

I'd suggest that Harris and her advisors spent a lot of time deciding exactly how she was going to deal with Pence's interruptions. I'd also suggest that any female candidate going forward is going to have to have that in her arsenal. I'm also suggesting that Hilary was not really prepared to deal with Trump's 'silverbacked gorilla' (Nigel Farage's summary of that debate tactic) and people should start considering that in the context of these debates and in the context of how we choose our leaders.

No one actually motivated primarily by concern about women would undermine them with this sort of ridiculous defeatism.

Claiming that I am not motivated by a concern for women is a bogus claim. If you'd like to walk it back, that would be great, but if you want to keep leading with this, it's your call, but it isn't a very good look.

By the way, I meant to say this earlier: thanks cleek for quoting that magnificent psalm. If I ever knew it, I'd forgotten it. Crikey, the Hebrew god was a great and impressive hater, and his psalmist knew how to lay it down. Such an appropriate usage, too. Bravo! (Rather like your satisfying use of the Specials and A Message to You, Rudi about Giuliani, which I was by an astonishing coincidence mentioning to a dinner table of London lefties a couple of hours ago! Of course, we then had to play it, which added greatly to the evening's pleasure...)

It's entirely possible to note a deeply ingrained cultural attitude and say that negotiating around or through it will add difficulty to the situation without that notation being defeatist. It's also possible to overestimate the difficulty that it poses based on long experience with that deeply ingrained cultural attitude.

Tipping points are weird and hard to predict. Cultural shifts likewise.

We shouldn't let prejudice stop us from pushing for necessary change, but neither should we act as if that prejudice need not be considered tactically.

Thanks nous, that's a much more succinct and elegant way of putting it.

Also this
so time to get another comment moderated away.

I don't believe any of us 'moderate comments away', I certainly don't. There is a long standing bug here that has comments, often by regulars, end up in the spam folder for no apparent reason. We have put in several tickets, but it is an intermittent problem, so no solution has been found. At one point, I had the webpage with the spam folder open all the time, but then it seemed to calm down. If you have a comment that doesn't make it up, just put a note and ask that it be freed from the spam trap.

GftNC...

aw shucks

This article is partly about toxic masculinity ( the phrase is used) but you have to read it all the way through.

It’s about Trump Democrats. It’s a little late in this election cycle to be thinking about this, I imagine, but it partly answers the question of why Trump appeals to some people without demonizing them. And actually, on a national level I don’t want “ honor culture” in a Presidential candidate. Plus as the article points out, the local politicians with some of Trump’s traits actually cared about their community.


https://thebulwark.com/the-other-democratic-party/

So - (D)'s vote for Trump because he's just like the corrupt and nepotistic (D) politicians they are used to.

I'm sure there's something to it. I can't speak for KY or IA, but the narrative rings true for RI. Probably parts of MA as well.

Given the masthead, the article also strikes me as conservatives running away from Trump as fast as they can, while taking the opportunity to throw (D)'s under the bus while they're at it.

I appreciate the desire to not demonize Trump supporters, but it's also possible to not demonize them while simultaneously holding them responsible for their vote.

There are always complex reasons and motivations for why people do what they do. But people also have agency, and they are accountable for their actions, regardless of how complex or nuanced their motivations.

"So - (D)'s vote for Trump because he's just like the corrupt and nepotistic (D) politicians they are used to."

It's not unlike Richard Nixon's southern strategy which embraced the neo-Confederate southern Democratic Party racists to the toxic, masculine (but mask-chickenshit) man-bosum of the Republican Party.

I actually don't use the term "toxic masculinity" much, because it doesn't explain why so many conservative women strap on the equipment and thrust it at us as well.

I don't think it's hormonal, so to speak, but more along the lines of a non-gender specific type of mental illness.

I don't think it's hormonal, so to speak, but more along the lines of a non-gender specific type of mental illness.

I think it's not so much mental illness as a cultural change issue.

Our culture has changed. All cultures do, especially ours, but the rate of change has been particularly rapid this generation when it comes to gender issues. For a lot of people, the result is that they find themselves adrift.

They know how (they think) men and women were supposed to act. And they have gotten the message that some of those behaviors are no longer considered appropriate. However, what they haven't gotten is any clear picture of what their new behavior is supposed to be.

Partly that is because the change is still a work in progress. That is, the culture as a whole is still sorting out what the new standards will be. And partly it is because there are those who are, loudly, demanding even bigger changes that we are actually going to end up with.

So, because they need some standards, they grip extra hard to the only ones they every really understood. And go overboard to make the point that they object to the current situation within our culture.

Put another way, toxic masculinity is often at heart a panic attack.

Doesn't make it any more pleasant to deal with. But does suggest a different approach if you're trying to get rid of it.

Ottumwa, Iowa, home of Radar O'Reilly! Wonder if he turned into a vote for Trump.

But seriously, interesting article and I appreciate you posting it. My take on it is as follows.

The 'machine politics' view is often a standard in African American communities (mentioned in passing), but when it's done there, it's an irreparable stain on the fabric of this country. For example:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704111704575355222465098664

and how it ain't just a Dem thang
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/walking-around-money-how-machine-politics-works-in-america-today/276503/

I'm also wondering about how they are easily able to make the call about what is 'corruption'.

Corruption, more generally, has been a feature of Democratic boss politics, including the cases we studied. It grows out of a social contract between the boss and his supporters that rests on personalism and reciprocity rather than meritocracy and ideology.

Interestingly, the Guardian has had several articles taking issue with meritocracy that might complement this view, like this one
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/sep/06/michael-sandel-the-populist-backlash-has-been-a-revolt-against-the-tyranny-of-merit

By championing an “age of merit” as the solution to the challenges of globalisation, inequality and deindustrialisation, the Democratic party and its European equivalents, Sandel argues, hung the western working-class and its values out to dry – with disastrous consequences for the common good.

But, personalism and reciprocity = corruption? I appreciate calling out, and certainly don't want the honor culture at the national level, but Koch, Big Ag, Oil, Pharma, what are those if not personalism and reciprocity writ large? I'm not going to assume that the authors are being hypocritical, and they did do it to write a book, but the idea that Dems in RI, IA and KY are doing something so bizarre that we need it explained to us, while the total amount of money collected for federal elections this year is over 5 billion dollars, I roll my eyes a bit.

Also, an emphasis on ideology creates any number of litmus tests. I don't know if the authors think they are stupid, but they are certainly weaponized in certain contexts.

But I understand the whole Caesar's wife thing, and the left is always going to be held to a higher standard than the right. So it goes.

Though I wonder what it would mean if we slightly rewrote the last sentence to

The party must eventually distance itself from a [racist and misogynist] president, while also courting a constituency that idolizes him.

does to their thesis.

Anyway, thanks again, interesting stuff.

The (D) "boss" style of ward heeler politics that was, and to a lesser degree is still (maybe), common here in the People's Republic of MA was basically a transactional model.

Vote for my guy, you get a load of coal and I'll get your lazy cousin a job in the highway department.

A lot of that was a response by immigrant communities to what had been rule by old Yankee money. In which things of somewhat greater value than a load of coal and a job in the highway department were apportioned to folks who were in the club, by folks who were in the club.

If anyone is under the impression that politics of any partisan stripe is not conducted by transactional exchanges of value in the form of position, influence, access to funds and people who have funds, or any other feasible thing up to and including handing out checks on the House floor while voting is underway, I have a bridge to sell you.

It was an interesting piece, and I appreciate Donald sharing it. That said, the Bulwark makes this claim about themselves:

The Bulwark is a news network launched in 2018 dedicated to providing political analysis and reporting free from the constraints of partisan loyalties or tribal prejudices.

Which claim I find... questionable.

Just to clarify--

I never heard of Bulwark until today. The article was linked at Nakedcapitalism, a far left blog which usually has a collection of links from places that range from far right to far left.

So I don't know if they have any ulterior ideological goal of some sort. The piece seemed fairly straightforward. Some Trump voters see him as "tough", they fetishize "toughness" because of "honor culture" and they also think he is trying to do things for them the way their local politicians with a similar style try to do things for them. As they point out, in reality these local politicians really do try to help their constituents, whereas Trump mostly doesn't (unless you are rich), but that is their perception.

My pronoun references were a total mess just above--"they" and "their" refer to multiple different people, but hopefully you can work it out.

I never heard of Bulwark until today.

No worries, Donald. It was an interesting piece, and I think there is some merit to what they're saying.

Which claim I find... questionable.

Just because they're dedicated to something doesn't mean they've succeeded at it. ;^)

it's an interesting article, for sure. it's almost like anthropologists finding little isolated communities where the ancient rituals are still held.

or finding one of those 5% of Republicans who don't support Trump.

"Well it's just a charge, when they say 'a plot to kidnap', you've gotta remember, a lot of people are angry at the governor..."

so says the sheriff of the MI county where the terrorists were going to kidnap the Gov.

the fact that the sheriff and one of the plotters shared a stage to protest the C19 restrictions earlier this year is a coincidence i bet.

f'ing marxists

Key quote, ISTM, from that Bulwark piece:

"He’s a regular guy. He’s a rich regular person."

Just to go off in a cranky direction, I think the very words "masculinity" and "femininity" are toxic. Or more accurately, the concepts. People are infinitely varied; how toxic is it to spend your life trying to fit some mold that you think you're supposed to fit because of ... a word/concept that has been laden with normalizing cultural expectations, penalties for not living up to it, etc.

However -- if I try to imagine what I think masculinity is, if anything, I can tell you who does not exemplify it in the slightest, and that's Clickbait. He's a great big blob (physically and psychologically) of needy aggressiveness that has nothing to do with "being a man" in any positive sense. He's about as "masculine" as a blob of gray jello.

Of course, no doubt that's part of the problem.

that would be the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association's Sheriff Of The Year.

"the fact that the sheriff and one of the plotters shared a stage to protest the C19 restrictions earlier this year is a coincidence i bet."

which is why those militia plotters need to be waterboarded until they give up their unindicted co-conspirators, and roll up the entire network.

They're all in favor of waterboarding terrists, so it's a-ok and karmic & shit.

PLUS the only way to really get torture outlawed for good also, too.

He's a great big blob (physically and psychologically) of needy aggressiveness that has nothing to do with "being a man" in any positive sense. He's about as "masculine" as a blob of gray jello.

Of course, no doubt that's part of the problem.

The problem, specifically, being that he knows it. So he puts enormous effort into trying, unsuccessfully, to disprove it to himself.

The problem, specifically, being that he knows it. So he puts enormous effort into trying, unsuccessfully, to disprove it to himself.

And the even earlier or more foundational problem being that someone programmed him to believe that it mattered. (Fred has a lot to answer for, but he didn't do it all by himself.)

Part of Bill Clinton's persona was being a "regular guy", and for some number of (male) voters, the reports of his womanizing contributed to that in a positive (from the point of view of those voters) way. Of course Trump is less. . . subtle in that aspect.

Clinton's image was largely of someone that women chased after. Whereas Trump's is more of someone who has to pay women to have anything to do with him.

'regular guy' is definitely Biden's persona, too.

it's probably his biggest selling point.

As opposed to an irregular guy. I might be one of them.

"Masculinity" and "femininity" are fraught, for certain, because of how deeply they are imbricated in our cultural norms, values, and narratives, not to mention how they have been codified in law.

As categories or concepts they can be quite productive and can help to solve many difficulties, personal and interpersonal. They can also prove too restrictive or proscriptive and cause many of the same sorts of difficulties.

Second Wave radical feminists thought the entire concept a pernicious myth. Many trans and non-binary people found the Second Wave position as nullifying as the patriarchy.

Fans of patriarchy see all of this as an existential threat and are willing to try to force their precedent back on the dissenters.

So we get to sift through it all.

Shorter nous: "What a mess."

Just looked at the Lincoln Project twitter feed, and saw to my delight that Sebastian Gorka, my onetime bete noir, has tweeted:

Not one Project Lincoln member is a real man.

He then goes on to say (to Sean Spicer) "they are beta males, they just can't stand him because he is an alpha male." One of his proofs, is how Trump came back from Walter Reed the way he did. Truly, you couldn't ask for a better example of not just toxic masculinity, but toxic idiocy.

It's so perfect for this thread, as is cleek's and russell's (I forget, but I think it one of them who turned us on to it) great Going Medieval blog:

https://going-medieval.com/2020/10/08/on-masculinity-and-disease/

Gorka needs to see a psychologist.

('twasn't i what found that blog)

apropos..

the best (and worst) states in which to be a woman.

it's about what you'd expect.

('twasn't i what found that blog)

Huh. Maybe it was russell. Whoever it was, that blog is a joy. As well as sex with demons (which was the post originally shown to us), and many, many other fine medieval topics, it is truly excellent on Genghis Khan.

As for the best (and worst) states in which to be a woman, it was fascinating, although (as you say) kind of unsurprising. I say kind of, because to a non-American these kinds of extreme disparities among states are still shocking, as is the fact that so many Americans are still prepared to put up with them.

Gorka needs to see a psychologist.

And by the way, my take on this FWIW is that Gorka (as well as being fairly stupid and an extreme rightwing ideologue) has cynically hitched his wagon to Trump's star, and because he is so publicly committed to it he doubles down at every opportunity. As to whether he actually believes that the pathetic Trump is an alpha male, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he doesn't, however he defines that concept.

the best (and worst) states in which to be a woman.

it's about what you'd expect.

About. Although North Dakota was a bit of a surprise.

And talking of different kinds of masculinity (rather forced segue) I may (not definitely, just possibly) be pulling back from my Machiavellian theories about James Murdoch and his playing of dynastic chess:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/10/style/james-murdoch-maureen-dowd.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

i found this (long) article about Trump's illness to be jaw-dropping.

toxic masculinity combined with bottomless neediness and the power of the Presidency. what a country.

the GOP should be disbanded and prohibited by law from ever reforming, because of this.

"the GOP should be disbanded and prohibited by law from ever reforming"

Well, I agree, and have said worse right here, but what are we to do, lower the wages of toxic masculinity, which even big-swinging-dick conservative women use as a weapon, to the level at which Milton Friedman might pretend the incentives to be toxic assholes disappear?

The conservative movement will be happy to destroy the country and everyone but themselves on an outright volunteer basis.

They hate our guts. And that's before we even get to trump.

I'm holding on to my personal and deep reserve of toxic masculinity .... and hypocrisy can kiss my ass ... which I keep in check in my personal life except in sports and politics, for the coming stolen election, the refusal of conservative scum to stand aside should they lose and to the civil war the conservative movement and the fascist fake Christian warriors crave against us, win OR lose.

We're going to need every reserve of toxicity, masculine and/or feminine have naught to do with it, and then exponential amounts more savagery to overcome their legion reserves of toxicity and to kill this malignant monster that wants us thoroughly defeated, mastered, and deprived of all voice in governance.

I mean, I'm willing to be a nebbish like this in a normal ham sandwich world:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFADSBDPUzQ

and: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_DIes5480Y

But given the stinking corrupt bullying filth we're up against, I like this female's chances better:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ffc3H-uqLAs

They fight dirty. You return in kind, and then some.

Why have they been arming themselves for the past 30 years?

For squirrel-hunting season?

Believe nothing fucking conservatives tell you.

They have it arranged that THEY are martyrs right down to their dumb cookies:

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/10/rod-dreher-tosses-his-cookies

I'm willing to give them what they desire: the smell of their own burning martyrd flesh.

They are ready for November 4 and the following 77 days, and if they prevail, the rest of our time in Trumperica will be a miserable purgatory under the subhumans.

Biden should at least have the balconies removed from the White House, along with the delousing.

"On Saturday, Trump will speak to a crowd gathered by conservative activist Candace Owens, whose Blexit Foundation encourages Black Americans to leave the Democratic Party. His speech is being billed as “Remarks to Peaceful Protesters for Law & Order,” according to an invitation. He’ll address the crowd from the Truman Balcony off of the Blue Room, a large state room on the main floor of the White House. More than two thousand guests have been invited, according to a person familiar with the event."

From balcony to a fitting end:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdAHyxGWpho

Dear Rod:

Don't want the cookies? Don't buy the cookies.

See? Problem solved.

Hope that helps.

Sincerely,

a friend

It is hard to imagine how something can be so overwhelming in a person's mind that some food coloring in oreos threatens their identity so deeply. Whatta tool...

toxic masculinity

I see yin and yang as more or less poles of how people orient themselves to the world.

Yielding vs active. Cool vs hot. Receptive vs assertive. However you want to slice and dice it.

And those tendencies are distributed across human beings in a variety of ways and mixtures.

Including across biological gender.

Maybe there's some affinity or likelihood that biological gender aligns with one pole or the other. But as far as I can tell it's not a given.

People - individual people - are who they are.

There are truly positive and constructive expressions of yang energy. I can't think of a single example of Donald J Trump or anyone in his entourage, past or present, demonstrating a positive or constructive expression of yang energy.

He is a bully. He is a bully, and he has never learned any other way to relate to other people or to life in general. He's gotten away with it for most of his life because he and his family have money, which is a great insulator from reality.

Gorka is a bully wanna-be. His inadequacies as a person make him dangerous, but while I wouldn't turn my back on him in a crowded room, I pity him. What a puny human being he is.

As Diogenes said: real men nowhere, but in Sparta, real boys.

We've had our fill of real boys. Time for adults, of whatever gender, and with whatever mix of yin and yang they bring to the table. The more various, the better.

Maturity, wisdom, discernment, tested character. Let's have some of that.

Admittedly I am at best a beta male but my general impression is that women are on average more able to physically and mentally cope with (physical) pain. I got an acute attack of lumbago yesterday morning (after getting up having pulled a carpet straight). I can lie flat on my back or sit in a chair with armrests. Anything else gives me the impression of being torn in half. I am barely able to cope while my mother has to deal with pain on a constant base but rarely complains and keeps the household running.
Fortunately, the school holidays started yesterday too so I won't miss anything (provided the episode is over when they end).

It is hard to imagine how something can be so overwhelming in a person's mind that some food coloring in oreos threatens their identity so deeply.

seems that the only logical conclusion must be: Dreher's identity is Performative Panicking Prude.

to not panic about something would be out of character.

Dreher's identity is Performative Panicking Prude.

Hey, professional victim is nice work if you can get it.

What a world.

via TPM.

send in the clowns.

It is hard to imagine how something can be so overwhelming in a person's mind that some food coloring in oreos threatens their identity so deeply

If you value image above reality, and a color change alters the image....

send in the clowns.

If you think about it, it's a tragedy for the country that they didn't just let him wear the Superman shirt. (Cape, too.) Might have been a daft enough look to lose him a few more supporters.

I love Oreos, hence I don't keep them in the house, because I would have no trouble eating half a box at one sitting. I do get little packs as a snack when I'm on long road trips....

But food dye makes my skin condition flare up, so I guess I won't buy extra to take up the slack from RD's boycott. ;-)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Blog powered by Typepad