Walsh has apologized for what she said and, of course, claimed that her comments were taken out of context. She’s also been sent nearly 2000 decks of playing cards because you don’t fuck with nurses.
But let’s try to look at what she said in context because it’s actually pretty bad and I’m really sick of the “out of context” excuse anyway.
Walsh was speaking for an amendment to a bill that would have provided nurses in Washington State with uninterrupted meals and rest periods. Basically, if a nurse is on a twelve hour shift and they are on their lunch break, they are on their lunch break. Find another nurse because, you know, there is more than one working that shift and they don’t all take lunch at the same time.
The amendment Walsh was pushing for (that made it into the bill) would except “critical access hospitals” in rural areas from the bill.
Walsh was arguing that outstate hospitals with smaller staffs would be hurt by this law because no nurse would leave her contractually mandated rest period if there was an emergency and they were the only nurse in the building thus possibly risking the life of a patient nurses clearly don’t give a shit about as much as having uninterrupted breaks.
Besides, she said, nurses in rural areas probably already get breaks. They probably, she said, play cards for a “considerable amount of the day.”
In context, what she was saying was that nurses in these areas don’t work that hard anyway. She later said she was tired and regretted the comment. Maybe she should have taken an uninterrupted break.
And yeah, Walsh is a Republican. I only bring this up because the bill in question was supported by the nurses union.
In general conservatives don’t like unions. So when a union is in support of a measure, they are probably going to be against it. Unless it’s a police union.
There might be nurses in “critical access hospitals” that play cards during the day. I mean, I have no idea. Maybe they are all playing Minecraft if Minecraft is still a thing. Is Minecraft still a thing?
But no they aren’t. Walsh was pretending she was concerned about patients but really she just wanted to make sure nurses didn’t slack off. When we are tired, we usually say exactly what we mean.
Now I understand that not every man who voted for Trump feels it is OK to grope women without consent. Some of them just think it is OK for Trump to do that but they would never imagine doing it themselves.
Well, OK, maybe they would imagine doing it themselves. But they would never actually do it unless there was absolutely no chance that they would be caught.
The thing is, our President has normalized sexual assault. He has turned victims into punch lines and perpetrators into supreme court justices. He has shown a lot of men in this country that you can do this kind of thing and get away with it.
Given rape culture in this country, that should actually not be a surprise. Thing is, when you have an admitted sexual predator in the white house (he’s on tape so shut up with your apologist bullshit), even the minor amount of stigma that existed before has been shredded.
Sure, this guy was arrested and he’ll be fined or spend a few weeks in jail. He’s not going to stop thinking that what he did was OK.
And the biggest problem with Trump is that he’s popular with a subset of the American public because he represents all that deeply felt awfulness in each one of us. He releases the national desire to be a bunch of fucking unapologetic assholes.
So congratulations, women of America! You already had to deal with ten million other problems. Now you have a bunch of white dudes who have been told that actions don’t have consequences.
So what this guy did was technically not sexual assault. He just strangled a woman until she was unconscious and then masturbated on her because that was the only way he could get off.
Now if you look at this scenario, you think “dude is going to do this shit again.”
And I realize the law has limits unless you are a black man convinced of marijuana possession. At which point we should put him into solitary confinement for twenty five years.
But it really does send a message that we don’t give a shit when the victim is a woman, doesn’t it?
And I know what you’re thinking. “Tim,” you think “isn’t it true that we don’t really give a shit when the victim is a woman.”
Well, random person on the internet, it shouldn’t be true but in a case like this where everyone involved seems more concerned about this fine upstanding family man who couldn’t get hard unless he strangled his victim unconscious than they do about the next woman he strangles.
“Innocent until proven guilty” seems to have given way for “innocent even if proven guilty.
Walgreens allows their pharmacists to refuse service should they have a moral objection to the prescription being administered. I guess that’s OK because you wouldn’t want anyone…
It isn’t OK. In this case you had a woman who wanted to have a baby and was about to miscarry and the pharmacist basically shamed her by publicly refusing to fill the prescription.
This pharmacist has a job to do. And the bullshit idea that his deeply held religious beliefs should prevent him from doing his job is completely backwards. He still should do his job.
We all have to do shit we don’t want to do all the time. A lot of us don’t like our jobs but we still do them. I don’t like driving when other drivers are on the road because all other drivers are awful. I do it anyway. So pharmacist guy should just do his fucking job and hope god forgives him for doing the job he decided he wanted to do.
I’m sure there is a biblical passage that supports such an act. And there is also one that condemns it. They might be the same passage.
This case is even worse, by the way. He could have gotten another pharmacist to fill her prescription (per company policy). But he didn’t. Because his opportunity to shame her for what he viewed as an immoral choice (even though it wasn’t but it shouldn’t matter if it was) was more important.
And I know that we live in a world where bakers can refuse to make cakes for gay couples because it is OK to be a homophobic bigot as long as you can claim the bible is on your side. And that world means pharmacists can shame women for miscarrying without anything more than some online blowback.
But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. This shit is not OK.
White People Are Calling the Police on Black People All Over the Place
Since I missed last week’s column (I was on a trip for my anniversary and we had a lovely time thank you), I didn’t get to write about the white woman who called the cops on a black student who fell asleep at college or the white woman who called the cops on a black family barbecuing. I was also going to write about the two Native American students who were on a campus tour but detained when a white woman called campus security on them.
I was going to write about all three happening in the same week. But then I didn’t write a post last week.
Then this week a Hobby Lobby manager called the police when a black man with proper receipt tried to return something to their store. Shockingly, the manager was a white woman! A white woman also called the police on a black man who was inspecting a property he was planning to buy.
In every one of these cases, the people had done nothing wrong. I mean aside from not being white. In most cases, the individuals reported were at least inconvenienced by the situation. But in all cases, the police acknowledged they had, basically, done nothing wrong.
I suppose all of these people of color should be relieved that they hadn’t raised the concern of a white male because he probably would have shot them and claimed self defense.
I know, not all white women call the cops on people of color. And not all white dudes shoot black people. It seems silly that I have to point out that I’m using hyperbole to make a point but I fear I will bruise fragile white egos if I don’t point out to the white people reading this column that I’m not talking about them specifically.
But then let me as a white dude say this – yes I am.
Because this is our problem. When you put a racist in the White House and you argue that we need to understand both sides of the argument, you are forgetting that sometimes one side is right and the other side is wrong. When a black man can’t return something to a store without the manager calling the cops, the problem isn’t the black man’s behavior.
One one side you have a guy just trying to get on with his day and on the other, you have a racist.
So maybe you aren’t specifically calling the cops on black people. Or shooting black people. Next time it happens, though, maybe you should stop trying to see the “other side” because if you are white, you can’t even begin to understand what it is like to know someone might call the cops on you for existing.
Post racial society, huh?
This report, which the church very pointedly doesn’t deny in it’s vehement tirade against the news organization that broke the story, suggests some troubling things.
Now I know we could all simply dismiss this entire mess because people aren’t that awful but history tells us that, yes, people can really be that awful. There is currently a person that awful working in the white house. And our President regularly listens to what Mr. Bannon has to say.
America is, we are told, the greatest country in the history of countries (sure we are) so we ought to be super upset about this entire problem. However, with the possible exception of Vatican City, we are the most smugly Christian country in the history of countries and that means any report like this must be viewed with suspicion because Christians just don’t do that sort of thing!
And to be fair, most Christians don’t do that sort of thing. We should really get upset, though, when some self professed Christians actually do that sort of thing.
The response so far seems tepid. It isn’t the sort of “what the FUCK” kind of response you like to see when a church is accused of enslaving people. I mean the health care vote is a big deal and it affects all Americans so I understand why we aren’t quite as concerned about a few Brazilians.
Once we get this health care thing sorted out, though, can we spare a few thoughts for people tricked into slavery?
Oh fuck. We’re never going to be done sorting out this health care thing, are we?
I was on vacation for the last two weeks and that means I need to play a little bit of catch up.
Now let’s be clear that I think Kellyanne Conway is a tool. Her job is to go to the press and ignore their questions as a way of obfuscating all the stupid bullshit our rich white President tweets out. More on that later.
However, the controversy around the following picture is a bunch of bullshit.
Conway is taking a picture of her President surrounded by black people in an attempt to make it look like he has a lot of friends who are black. I could totally make fun of that because I’m pretty sure Donald Trump knows as much about the black experience in America as Ben Carson.
But instead, people like Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond made fun of conway for being barefoot on a couch. I suppose the implication is that she slept her way to the top or something while ignoring the fact she was instrumental in getting Donald Trump elected.
I can hate her for that. But I also have to respect her for that. And in spite of the bad taste it leaves in my mouth, I have to defend Conway on the grounds that you don’t get to make that kind of joke about her.
Given all the stuff she does that is completely horrible, shouldn’t it be OK to shy away from calling her a slut because she’s taking a picture with her shoes off? Do we lack so much creativity as a society that when we are presented with a woman we don’t like, we can find no other outlet to criticize her than shaming her for not behaving like we think a woman should behave.
Conway and her President will do and say so many stupid things in the next 24 hours (pick any 24 hour period), it seems like wasted effort to focus on something so unimportant.
Bad Headline Theater
Dear liberal friends. We had a bad election. We are going to have a bad run here and the conservatives are going to do a lot of stuff that makes us angry. At least fifty percent of the time, our anger will be justified.
Some of the time, though, we need to make sure we understand what is making us angry.
Earlier this week, a friend posted this article with the headline “Dino’s Gyros Cans Employee who Took off for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest.”
Now it is true Dino’s Gyros canned an employee who didn’t show up for work and it is true that employee was taking part in the day without immigrants protest. This headline would make you think Dino’s Gyros were Capitalist fucks who didn’t give a shit about causes important to their employees.
And let’s be fair – they may be.
The truth, which we see if we read the whole article, is that they admitted they should not have fired him because he was participating in a legal strike and they offered him his job back with a raise. He turned it down.
Then there is this story which has the headline “Oklahoma Legislature Just Passed the Most Oppressive law Against Women in History.”
In this case, the law in question is pretty horrible. It requires a woman to get permission from the father before she has an abortion, which is some seriously misogynistic bullshit because it takes a woman’s control of her own body away from her.
But – and given the headline this is super important – the law hasn’t passed yet. Later in the article you will read that it has only been passed out of committee.
And believe me, if the legislature actually passes this law as it is written, I’m going to be bringing it up again. And I will find an opportunity to refer to Oklahoma lawmakers as “controlling gibbons who care about the lives and health of women only slightly less than they care about the lives and health of babies once they are born” when that happens.
All the bad laws in the world don’t justify a headline that is demonstrably untrue. In a world where the term “fake news” is used as a weapon, we have to be doubly sure we are precise.
Due to a lot of factors, my boys aren’t really involved in scouting any longer. I am supportive of scouting and even though I’m aware of the larger issues that surround the Scout’s continued public disapproval of LGBTQ kids (and atheist kids for that matter), I’ve seen some attempts by the organization to soften their stance.
The people my kids have worked with are good people and whatever the national chapter of the Scouts may choose to do, our troop is a good troop that, I think, would not engage in this kind of discrimination. If my kids were still engaged in Scouts, I don’t think I’d pull them over this because I’d be punishing my kids by taking away something they enjoy.
And that makes me kind of crazy. Because on the one hand, I wouldn’t want to punish my kids for being who they are. On the other hand, the Boy Scouts just punished a kid for being who they are.
As we move (slowly) towards acceptance of homosexuality in our society (even as some fight to be able to discriminate free from consequence), transgender rights has now become a new arena and I fear this fight will be harder because people don’t get it.
If you’ve spent your entire life being totally comfortable with your gender, you have no way of understanding someone who is identified as a boy because they were born with a penis but has spent their entire life playing the role of a boy.
As an actor, I get to stop being a character I don’t like when I’m done with the performance. Someone who is pretending to be a gender with which they do not identify never gets the chance to step off stage. They are constantly pretending. And it is exhausting.
Giving them the freedom to stop pretending ought to be something we all celebrate. It ought to be something that makes us happy because we ought to want other people to be happy.
I mean, aside from pedophile priests. You gotta draw the line somewhere.
But we don’t give a fuck about that because we are more concerned with who is peeing in the stall next to our kid. Our kid doesn’t care because they just want to get back to the playground. They probably didn’t even notice the person in the stall next to them.
Our own discomfort with the idea of gender identity is the problem. If we are cool with the gender identity we were assigned at birth, we can’t understand why anyone else isn’t.
The Boy Scouts should be a place where young men (and by that I mean people who identify as young men) can learn how to be responsible adult men. Part of that responsibility should be learning to accept that we aren’t all the same. Their rigidity is disheartening to say the least.