On Monday night, Donald Trump’s wife Melania touched hearts as she addressed the Republican National Convention, sharing the lessons she learned growing up as a black girl on the South Side of Chicago. As first spotted by journalist Jarrett Hill, Melania’s speech bore more than a passing resemblance to another speech at another convention about eight years ago — Michelle Obama’s 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention. The cribbed portion discussed the values that Michelle and Melania apparently share, including working hard for what you want in life and keeping your word.
I apologize for Feministe’s long, long radio silence, and I hate that this is the occasion to break it. This space is available for discussion of the recent extrajudicial executions of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Updates and links to commentary will be added as they arise. Please be respectful and take your “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” elsewhere; this is neither the time nor the place.
[Content note: mentions of transphobia and child sexual abuse]
While Feministe has been down, an issue erupted in North Carolina about where trans people are allowed to pee. In response to a local ordinance in Charlotte outlawing discrimination against trans people, the North Carolina legislature passed HB2, a law mandating discrimination, requiring trans people to use the bathroom corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate rather than the gender with which they identify.
Here are some highlights, if somehow you missed it while you were missing us.
On Thursday, Democratic legislators got enough votes to nullify overt LGBT discrimination in a military spending bill. It wasn’t actually the bill in question at the time — the offending language was on the National Defense Authorization Act, passed last Wednesday, and allowed government contractors to fire and harass LGBT employees in the name of Jesus. It passed 277 to 147 then, but on Thursday, New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney introduced language into a different bill to prevent said discrimination. And it passed! To cheers! When the clock ran out, the new language passed 217-206! That’s cool, right?!
Today is the sixth annual International Transgender Day of Visibility. It’s a celebration that organizers TSER say “aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community.” And this year’s theme, “More Than Visibility,” emphasizes that fight.
Donald Trump is racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, egotistical, and crude, and he’s proud of it, and he’s aimed at the Republican nomination and closing at a solid clip. It is mind-boggling. It’s mind-boggling unless you’re one of the terrifying number of supporters who are looking for those qualities in a president, or unless you’ve recently resigned from his campaign staff because you finally realized that your candidate is an expensive suit and a windproof coif covering a growing pile of loose turd.
Golf writer, Bernie Sanders supporter, and self-identified privileged white guy Shane Ryan would “like to address the idea that Bernie Sanders supporters who refuse to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election are over-privileged assholes.”
I feel like “You said it, not me” would be a petty interjection at this early stage.
Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton won in Illinois, North Carolina, Florida, and Ohio, and played it close in Missouri. And after all of that, what was the one thing she (apparently) didn’t deliver to the masses during her victory speech?
Y’all, I was supposed to be triggered yesterday. Intentionally. It was supposed to be some kind an event — not just a triggering, but the triggering, #TheTriggering, some kind of dramatic protest against political correctness, deliberately inflammatory comments decrying with no apparent intended irony their lost freedom of speech by demonstrating that it hasn’t gone anywhere.
Instead, it was basically just tweeting whatever they’d normally tweet anyway and appending it with a hashtagged THERE I SAID IT for the occasion. Come on, folks. You can do better than that.
[Content note for rape.]
This appears to be a tough one.
The whole thing about how rape does result in pregnancy.
(I’m guessing that has something to do with a lack of comprehensive sex education. That’s why it’s important, y’all.)
But lawmakers, officially, for the record, in case it comes up in the future and you absolutely can’t resist your better judgment not to talk about it: Rape does result in pregnancy.
With “significant frequency,” according to the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
On Sunday, MSNBC confirmed that they have officially “parted ways” with Melissa Harris-Perry. This comes after weeks of sporadic inclusion in news coverage, repeated preemption, and an email that NBC executives said was “destructive to [their] relationship.”
I haven’t seen anyone — anyone of real influence, at least — say that voters should support Hillary Clinton solely because she’s a woman. But the concept of A Female President — not specifically President Hillary Clinton, but simply a female president, as in The Importance Of A Female President, or how It’s Time For A Female President — has come up numerous times throughout election season in support of Clinton’s candidacy, and that’s just not a good choice of selling points. From a marketing standpoint. I say all of this not as someone with a specific political preference (I do have a candidate of choice, and it’s hardly a secret, but it’s inconsequential for current purposes) but as someone who deals in message strategy for a living, and who can tell when a value proposition isn’t going to get the job done.