On Misogynists Who Aren’t Men
Sunday Content #33: October 9, 2016
I’ve written before about an older relative of mine who’s conservative. She admitted earlier this year that she voted for Trump during the primary. She lives in California so her vote is an impotent one, but when I learned that, that she actually cast a vote for Donald Trump, I talked to her about it. I told her some of my thoughts about why that was the wrong thing to do.
Though our political beliefs aren’t usually the same (mostly, I think, because she’s been poisoned by Roger Ailes), she’s always been curious to ask me about events she’s seen lately on FOX, or (she insists) CNN. She once made reference to watching “that gay lady” on some channel that wasn’t FOX. (Your guess is as good as mine.)
Sometimes when we talk on the phone, I can hear that she has a list of topics— an actual written list—that she’s curious to ask me about. These topics themselves reveal how Islamophobic the coverage she watches is, and how racist, how generally hateful. Once, though, I was sort of surprised when the topic she brought up was Brock Turner. He had been in the news. She wasn’t interested in my opinion of him per se. Instead, she was interested to hear whether I thought it was okay that a woman could go out drinking like that.
And I felt real sad.
I tried to tell her that, well, I thought Brock Turner was a rapist — a convicted rapist (the kind who had witnesses!)(male witnesses!) — and his sentence being as paltry as it was, the judge in that case being as ignorant as he was, had caused a stir, and thank goodness, because it was sort of a great example of how much our criminal justice system has failed when it comes to sexual violence.
“Because I have friends who’ve been raped,” I said to this relative, who is in her eighties.
She muttered she doesn’t know people like that.
She does, of course.
She maybe knows it.
Maybe she really doesn’t.
The point is: we can say it now. We are saying it. We’re telling each other about how men rape us. Or grope us. One of them is maybe going to be president.
I have known abuse. I have figured out how to live despite it. I try, anyway.
The point I’m making —and it’s not novel, I know, but it always bears repeating—is that not all misogynists are men.
I really hope you listen to this episode of Death Sex and Money, an interview between the actress Ellen Burstyn and Gloria Steinem.
Ellen says to Gloria:
Well I remember when I first heard about the women’s movement, and I was totally, you know — men were the boss and they were the smart ones, and they were the ones that made the world happen. And, so anyway, when I heard about the women’s movement secondhand, I kind of had an attitude about it. And then I saw you on television and I went, “Oh, she’s beautiful!” And then I started paying attention. And I say this because I think it’s important to know that the patriarchy has been very successful in brainwashing not only men but women.
Last night’s SNL was real good. The Weekend Update featured the following image:
Some personal news: I handed in another draft of the book. We’ll see how it goes from here.
It’s been a long time since I did one of these newsletters. I realize that in my past, I had a strong stance, which was that this newsletter is firmly anti-email.
🚨I have decided to give into the pressure and release an emailed version of this newsletter.🚨
You can sign up for it here.
To be clear: I do still believe that email is very bad. Such thirst:
But IDGAF. Hillary Clinton has to be president.
Go knock on doors. Call people. Register to vote. Help others register to vote. Are you having sex with a Republican ? — stop immediately. Do you live in a state where you can vote early?—vote early. If you’re famous or have a lot of followers, do your part. Speak up. Give money if you got some. Watch The Choice 2016. Ask people you know to watch The Choice 2016. Tell people you’re voting, and why.
I’m getting one of these shirts:
Here are some #longreads to consume while we wait for this fucking debate to start: big, great HuffPo Highline piece about Hillary’s policy people. Disturbing af Chicago Reader investigation about civil forfeiture in that town. Wil S. Hylton’s utterly stunning profile of Marilyn Mosby (do not miss this piece’s end!).
Here are some sad chairs.
p.s. Help if you can:
p.p.s. FYI the hottest emoji this fall is the sassy whale: 🐋
p.p.p.s. Going into tonight’s debate, read Amanda Shapiro on why live fact checking is mostly bullshit.
p.p.p.p.s. A debate! There’s really gonna be a debate. Unreal.