Carrie Fisher, actress, writer, feminist, badass on- and offscreen, has died.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about dialogue and understanding. Liberals just need to try to understand conservatives, They say. People get defensive when you call them (or, more often, even just imply that they might be) bigots, They say. If we want to get anything accomplished, we need to meet conservatives halfway, (in which “halfway” is usually defined as “on their side”), They say. Generally, the response from the liberal camp is, “Fuck that shit.” You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into. It’s hard and unsatisfying, and maybe the New York Times needs to do a Dialogue and Understanding piece about people who are being asked to take on that struggle. That said, dialogue can happen. Here’s how.
Recently deceased poet/musician Leonard Cohen features for this week’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over the next few weeks.
* with a few netiquette exceptions e.g. election-specific stuff belongs on the dedicated Open Election Thread , thank you kindly
Since the release of a video featuring Donald Trump unwittingly speaking into a hot mic about how great it is that his celebrity allows him to nonconsensually grab women’s genitals without consequence, Trump has thrice dismissed the celebration of sexual assault as “locker room banter” or “locker room talk.” Pro athletes across the U.S. have united to say that, in fact, such banter is not acceptable in any of the locker rooms they frequent. (You can take that with as many grains of salt as you choose.) But it raises the question: If that banter isn’t happening in the locker rooms of the Dodgers or the Falcons or the Clippers, in which locker rooms is it taking place?
There is still one more chilling but less-discussed aspect of the Trump video. Yes, his language is vulgar, and yes, his casual discussion of sexual assault is horrifying. But two reporters, in separate pieces, point out that there’s something even more disturbing about the video: the way they talked about actress Arianne Zucker, Trump’s costar-to-be, as she waited, unsuspecting, at the end of their bus trip.
[Content note for sexual assault]
On Friday, the Washington Post published a heretofore unseen video from 2005 in which Donald Trump, in the Access Hollywood bus on the way to a cameo on “Days of Our Lives,” gives us a good look at how much he really respects women. Talking with Billy Bush, into a mic that he didn’t know was hot (Donald, are you sure that a malfunctioning microphone isn’t the best thing for you at this point?), he makes it clear that no, women aren’t more than objects to be evaluated, disparaged, and abused at his whim.
The Trump campaign’s attempts to humanize The Donald via a Twitter campaign by his kids have gotten off to a rocky start. First, there was the “insider vs. outsider” tweet featuring Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Jr., #millennialsfortrump. Most recently, it’s Junior’s Skittles tweet, which equates Syrian refugees to poisonous Skittles.
Allow me to, as an advertising professional, break down some of the mistakes Junior made in his tweet.
[Content note for racism and child sex abuse]
I get that we’re supposed to love Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham on account of they aren’t thin, and that they’re proudly imperfect and not trying to be perfect, and that they’re bold enough to do raunch humor even though women aren’t supposed to do that, and whatever, I get it. They do catch a lot of criticism for being self-absorbed and self-unaware, for occasionally poking their head out of their hole long enough to do something shitty, double down ‘cause haters, and then apologize (sometimes) and go back to their self-absorption. But I have to posit that maybe Dunham’s super-white TV-Brooklyn is actually the best place for her. Because dress her up in a tux and march her out into real-life Manhattan, and she’s going to end up sitting next to Odell Beckham at a gala and assigning him misogynistic motives for not hitting on her like apparently he was supposed to. And then complaining about the “outrage machine” on Twitter (doubling down, haters)… and ultimately apologizing.
So I’m totally cool with being done with them.
[Trigger warning for ableist slur]
Do you remember when Donald Trump struck out at New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski by mocking him during a campaign speech? Kovaleski committed the dual sins of having arthrogryposis, a congenital joint contracture, and for calling bullshit on Trump’s claims that thousands of Muslims were celebrating in New York after 9/11. Trump later denied that he was mocking Kovaleski, saying that his twitching, flailing, stammering impersonation was actually “mimick[ing] what [he] thought would be a flustered reporter[.].” In her new book, In Trump We Trust, Ann Coulter agrees that he wasn’t mocking Kovaleski, but her position is that he was doing an impersonation of a “standard…” No, I just can’t.
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.
All these women confronted us with truths we did not want to consider, and so we terrorized them, mocked them, abused them, and rendered them finally voiceless. That was how terrified we were of listening to what they had to say.
In an election year which has just become even more polarised than previously due to differences of opinion regarding exactly who is throwing around any “womancard”, this article raises some extremely important questions about what today’s media and their audience (us) are and are not doing differently from what went down in the 90s.