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.
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.
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.
For four days, US Army Veteran Larry Jefferson was the official Santa Claus at the Mall of America. He was also black. The result was a whole lot of black kids got to sit on the lap of a Santa who looked like them. Sounds awful.
It sure was to these racists who believe that white characters should stay white no matter how mythological those figures might be.
The racists spouting their hatred for the concept of a Santa that wasn’t pasty white got so out of hand, the Star Tribune had to shut down comments on the article.
Now I will admit that the legends that gave rise to Santa Claus would certainly suggest a white Santa Claus is more accurate than – say – a white Jesus. However, it would seem to me that if we can embrace the idea of Billy Bob Thornton as (a drunk) Santa Claus, the idea of a black Santa shouldn’t result in anyone – what’s the phrase I’m looking for – giving a shit.
So in the giving spirit of the season, let’s give ourselves some time to reflect that a black Santa Claus is a good thing. And remember that every time someone uses the term alt-right, what they really mean is “racist doucebag.”
Milo Yiannopoulos, whose name is a pain to spell and is so much of a creepy fuck that I’m not even going to try, was invited to speak at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He’s well known as an outspoken racist and anti-GLBTQ crusader. As you might expect, a lot of students were upset he was coming.
Free speech is a tricky thing. I mean, does the guy have a right to say what he says?
Unfortunately, yes. Should he be given a paid platform to say these things?
I don’t think he should. I think he should be swept out the door with the other insects we don’t want to kill but also don’t want in our homes. But I understand that Universities have a responsibility to expose students to all perspectives.
Now I will argue that if they want to expose kids to thinking from the right, people like Condoleeza Rice might represent a better option than Milo Yo-yoasaurus. I don’t agree with her on a lot of things but she’s not a racist.
In any case, Milo Yog-Sothoth was given the platform to speak and he was a racist and homophobic fuck, which shouldn’t have surprised anyone. However, he went so far as to show a picture of a trans student and use her dead name.
That, my friends, is bordering on a violent act. The trans community already faces challenges that are unparalleled. What Yorkshire Puddingpolos did to this student is unconscionable.
Fortunately, Yip-yip dogapus doesn’t have a conscience. So he’ll keep saying this shit. And people will keep paying him to say it. In the name of “fairness.”
In an act that isn’t being labelled terrorism because the perpetrator was white and nobody ended up being killed, a dude walked into a pizzeria in Washington D.C. to “investigate” a bullshit conspiracy theory that the restaurant was a front for a child prostitution ring run by the Clintons.
That’s fucked up. Even more fucked up, the son of incoming National Security Advisor Lt. General Michel Flynn tweeted his support for the conspiracy theory (but just barely avoided tweeting support for the gunman). Essentially he said, “until you prove the theory is false, we will keep talking about it.”
The problem with conspiracy theories is you can’t prove them false. The people who believe them will constantly find new reasons to support the idea it is a conspiracy and all your proof to the contrary is just more evidence of a cover up.
In the meantime, it is doing real and demonstrable harm to actual human beings and to an actual business. If Donald Trump gave two shits about anyone but himself, he would use Twitter to debunk this kind of nonsense rather than using it to whine about how Saturday Night Live is making fun of him.
Carl and Angel Larson, who are “good Christians,” are concerned their wedding video business might be sullied should they be forced by anti-discrimination laws to video a same sex couple getting married.
So concerned are they that their religious right to discriminate might be infringed, they are suing the state of Minnesota to ensure they don’t find themselves in that situation. The lawsuit, in effect, says that anti-discrimination laws are unconstitutional.
Look, given that our President-elected by Russia is likely to appoint justices friendly to this kind of religious freedom bullshit, it is probably best for same-sex couples to stay away from businesses like this one because the resulting lawsuit might have extremely dubious consequences. But what do you do when the businesses pre-emptively go to court?
And I’m left to wonder, is this what Jesus meant when he said “turn the other cheek?” I mean, these people aren’t being asked to shoot pornography. They are being asked shoot video featuring a couple of guys (or girls) who love each other getting married while surrounded by their friends and family. Kinky.
Oh wait – they aren’t being asked to do that. Yet. They just don’t want anyone to ask them because if they say no, they are going to look like assholes.
Sore losers like the North Carolina Assembly are quite possibly worse than sore winners (Donald Trump). In this case, the NC Assembly is so upset the people of their state elected a Democrat to the Governor’s mansion, they called an emergency special session to limit his powers.
Of course, they claim they were going to do that anyway. They just feel they need to do it faster because of who the people elected.
The legislation was passed to limit appointments made by the Governor and to also create road blocks between plaintiffs and the State Supreme Court are so blatantly partisan, the lawmakers passing them should be embarrassed. Elections have consequences. Parties lose.
The Democrats are already well aware of this fact.
When a party loses, the worst thing they can do is this kind of scorched earth legislation. Their own constituents should be telling them to stop being assholes and accept that a Democratic governor should be able to do the same fucking stuff a Republican governor was able to do.
I try to convince myself that the Republican party wants what is best for people and they just disagree with me on ideology. When they engage in this kind of sore loser bullshit, however, it is hard for me to think of their party as anything but a party unwilling to share power with anyone.
I’m probably just including this story because given how many words I have devoted to my distaste for Donald Trump, I want it to be known that at least one dude dislikes him more than me.
But seriously, asshole, vandalism isn’t the answer. It makes people who support Trump look more reasonable than those of us who know he’s a bigoted, misogynistic, narcissist, who would probably be the worst President in the history of our country. Which is saying a lot since Buchanan set the bar pretty low, not even George W. Bush was able to limbo under it.
I’ve read people likening it to the destruction of statues of Lenin or Hussein but the thing is: Trump hasn’t been elected yet. And hopefully he’s not going to be. Does it make sense that we should destroy a statue of John McCain simply because we don’t like his stance on using the Senate to blockade the Supreme Court?
Or destroy a statue of George W. Bush because he was a terrible President?
I don’t think there is justification for this kind of behavior. If you think it would be wrong for someone to destroy something that says Hillary Clinton (or Gary Johnson or Jill Stein), it is just as wrong to destroy something that says Donald Trump.
If you’ve got a problem with Trump, how about you work your ass off to make sure he doesn’t get elected? Read More…