Friday, August 28, 2015

Terrorism terrifies

This post is number 3000 for this blog! And I wrote that many in less than 8 years (I started the blog in mid November of 2007). Since 2010, when Blogger started keeping statistics for me, there have been over 78,000 page views. I've written about gay marriage/marriage equality in 642 posts, the GOP in 420 posts, personal adventures in 296 posts, and fundamentalism in 271 posts. The top two countries of readership are America and Russia with United Kingdom a distant third.

Alas, this milestone post doesn't come with a celebratory topic. It's … more of the same. Sigh.

Audra Williams in a post for The Soapbox on website The Frisky notes that fat hatred has become so strong that "the most morally pure thing a person can do is lose weight." She shows how that has been true starting with Jared Fogle, the guy in the Subway ads who was arrested on charges of raping children. His foundation to fight childhood obesity put him in a position to have access to lots of kids. But since he had lost so much weight he was seen as a fantastic guy and indiscretions (and crimes) were overlooked. Williams also discusses politicians and celebrities who rose from scandal by losing weight. She reminds us "There is no link between body size and morality, full stop."

The anti-choice movement can't be called pro-life, because the only life they are interested in is that of the fetus. Pro-life? How about working to end war? Perhaps make sure women have great health care so if they don't want kids they won't get pregnant? Maybe even pay attention to the quality of life, including safe neighborhoods and great schools, for all kids beyond the moment of birth? No, they aren't pro-life. Their only purpose is to keep women subservient to men, barefoot and pregnant.

Melissa McEwen of Shakesville takes it one more step. The anti-choice movement is domestic terrorism. It has a decades-long campaign of intimidation, threats, multiple assassinations and attempts, kidnappings, and long lists of harassment, assault and battery, vandalism, arson, and bombings. Their latest strategy is to dig up confidential medical records to be able to file complaints against abortion providers. Never mind the women whose information is used without their consent or knowledge.

Why does this still happen? Because the people being targeted are not straight white males. Because the GOP is a state sponsor of this terrorism. Because the supposedly pro-choice party can barely say the word "abortion" and still uses language that stigmatizes. Because too few people are willing to put themselves in the crosshairs. Because terrorism terrifies.

On to the Donald Trump phenomenon. Here is a guy loudly proclaiming his hatred for women and minorities and voters are falling at his feet because he "speaks the truth!" McEwen again has a few things to say. Her army of commenters add a few more.

The first half of the issue is the hateful language from Trump is giving a lot of fellow haters lots of permission for their hate. We don't need more of that.

The second half is many progressive men think Trump's antics are good for a laugh, followed by a dismissive wave. McEwen reminds us these men are not the ones who will be harmed if Trump or anyone else acts on his vile language. Women and people of color don't think Trump as funny at all.

Is The Donald telling the truth? Yes, he is proclaiming his bigotry quite loudly. Why are we cheering that truth? And why are some progressives cheering that poisonous stream even if it might expose GOP faultlines?

A company is coming out with a Caitlin Jenner costume for Halloween. McEwen says such costumes are only about mockery and that one person's identity is not another person's costume. She asked her readers to describe costumes that don't appropriate someone else's identity. The list is long and varied: candy corn, pencil, mime, academic regalia (hmm, a use for my master's robe?), fictional characters, historical figures (Suffragette), tooth fairy, office fairy (crown of paper clips), a princess with a guy dressed in green as the pea, IRS agent ("audit or treat!"), vampires, zombies, ghosts, and my favorite: all white clothes printed with "404 – Costume not found."

No comments:

Post a Comment