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Sat Jan 28, 2012, 02:04 PM

Why Jan Brewer Should Keep Her Fingers To Herself

http://crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/white-womens-rage-5-thoughts-on-why-jan-brewer-should-keep-her-fingers-to-herself/

A friend of mine from high school posted this on Facebook today. Yesterday he sparked a wicked discussion on Facebook regarding Jan Brewers behavior. He made a good point - yeah it wasn't appropriate - but it also wasn't "lady like" and that perhaps he has a liberal feminist man married to a liberal feminist woman needed to re-evaluate his perception of gender appropriate behavior.

His wife then found this post on a feminist blog that explored how race and gender don't exist in separate vacuums. A bit of background on this man - his mom and my mom ran in the same circles in our home city. Moorehouse undergrad, Harvard Law, member of bachelors and Benedict, was a student of Malcolm X when we were in high school and is now attending Seminary school. He's questioning the concept of female rage being a stereotype of the "angry black woman". IE did Jan Brewer spark something that we were not aware exists? And he and his wife amongst others are exploring - and I'm sure you'll like this . . . Why feminist women don't behave this way - regardless of our skin tone.

I.E. Who is really angry - and is their anger justified. No answers from me - just a well written and thought provoking piece. Enjoy!

9 replies, 2535 views

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Jan Brewer Should Keep Her Fingers To Herself (Original post)
JustAnotherGen Jan 2012 OP
hlthe2b Jan 2012 #1
Warpy Jan 2012 #2
hlthe2b Jan 2012 #3
noamnety Jan 2012 #4
iverglas Jan 2012 #7
seabeyond Jan 2012 #8
rrneck Jan 2012 #5
iverglas Jan 2012 #6
Whisp Jan 2012 #9

Response to JustAnotherGen (Original post)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 02:09 PM

1. BS...but I do wonder if it had been a male governor doing the same...

If the secret service would not have stepped in--just to be sure of no escalation. She might well have gotten latitude because she was female, but it would be a sign of aggression regardless of gender. Rude, nasty, and totally bereft of any class-- that's Jan Brewer.

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Response to hlthe2b (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 03:40 PM

2. Nah, a finger is not a fist

but waving a finger in someone's face is rude and disrespectful. Remember how the far right reacted to Clinton's finger when he was denying his relationship with Lewinsky on TV? You'd think if he kept his hands to himself the rage might have been far more muted. But they all focused on that finger wagging in their faces.

I have to think it was a massive blunder on Brewer's part, no matter how many right wingnuts are trying to defend it publicly.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 04:29 PM

3. 'Didn't mean the SS would diirectly intervene if it were male-but possibly "step in" just a bit..

so as to send a signal. Getting in anothers face waving a finger is certainly overly assertive, if not downright aggressive and doesn't take much to move to more threatening behavior. I think just moving a few feet towards the President would be all the message required and still argue they would have been more likely to do so, had it been male.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Original post)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 05:42 PM

4. Wow, what a difference in reactions.

I just looked at the photo for the first time, and my immediate reaction was that Obama was being patronizing by grabbing her. I've seen people in positions of power (male bosses in particular) do that to female employees and it's nearly always in the context of dominant behavior.

I'm actually a little shocked that Obama has his hand physically ON Brewer, and the outrage is that she's gesturing (without touching him). Was their outrage about him grabbing her and the stuff above is intended as a counterpoint? I don't know the background on it.

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Response to noamnety (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 06:27 PM

7. that's interesting too

 

But -- if you look at gatherings or bilateral meetings of powerful men, you find they do that to each other all the time. And yes, there's definitely an element of power-exerting in it: the one who is in the dominant position (host in a bilateral meeting, or pretender to dominance on neutral ground) is the one who does the touching.

To me, it's like the thing men do when they put their hand on the small of your back to "take you in" somewhere - to the table in a restaurant, out a door, whatever. Anybody doing it to me is cruising for a bruising; I find it one of the most obnoxious dominance-asserting behaviours I know. And that's what powerful men do to each other, establishing their pecking order.

In this case, he was in the dominant position, he's President, apart from their respective sexes, so I don't find it surprising that he'd be the one touching.

It's so hard to tell from that photo how close they actually were, whether he was actually touching her, how long this apparent confrontation went on, whether it actually was testy or unpleasant, etc. Other photos from the event show her smiling broadly at him.

noamnety -- you're even more out of it than I am! This picture and the outrage has been all over this site for a couple of days, compounded by the insistance of some people on using misogynist language to describe Brewer based on what she is described as having done.

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Response to noamnety (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 29, 2012, 10:08 AM

8. i saw and recognized that immediately, too. we have all had a man do that

time to be quiet, honey.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Original post)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 05:54 PM

5. Politics is a contact sport.

This image is getting way more attention than it deserves.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Original post)

Sat Jan 28, 2012, 06:15 PM

6. and now the view from another planet ...

 

I've tried to find video of the incident but apparently there isn't any - ? From the photo alone, I don't see any finger-wagging, I see a pointing finger, but I suppose someone who was there has accurately described it as wagging. Whatever; I can't believe this hue and cry, I really can't, any aspect of it. Don't get it at all.

This probably comes from living in a parliamentary system. Somebody wagging a finger at Stephen Harper wouldn't even get their picture taken. People wag their fingers at him in Parliament all the time. He's the head of government. Now the head of state, maybe a little different. If somebody wagged their finger at the Governor General, or the Queen, it might get noticed. The good part is that they don't do anything that might get a finger wagged at them, because as a rule they don't do anything at all. We don't have to "respect" Stephen Harper. He's right-wing dirt, and he is running the country with a 40% plurality of the popular vote, and huge numbers of people despise him, and if I got within wagging distance, I'd wag.

You have the problem of having a combined head of state and head of government. How to give a head of government precisely as much respect as they have earned, and still show respect for the head of state? I made the same observations here about Bush's second State of the Union address. (Here, we get the Speech from the Throne, which is the GG reading what the PM hands them to read, so everybody makes nice because it isn't actually Stephen Harper doing it, and then goes after him hammer and tongs in the House.)

Anyway. The article in the OP is pretty dumb and just not a well-written consideration of what issues there might be. Undoubtedly there are issues of that nature worth considering, I just don't really think they arise in this situation. You've got an apparently obnoxious and slightly loony woman behaving, at least so it's characterized, in an obnoxious way. She wouldn't have behaved that way if it had been Joe Biden she was talking to? Hm.

If anything, I'd say she's the one being stereotyped here. As witnessed by the propensity of some to call her a bitch, etc. I wonder: if she'd just bombed Iraq, would she be "a bitch"? Just wondering whether the combination of "unladylike" and actually rather stereotypical bad-female behaviour she was caught on camera engaging in has more to do with what she's being called.

My inability to understand the outrage generally is probably hindering me here. I can't tell whether it's outrage because anybody would behave that way to the President, or outrage because she's white, or outrage because he's black, or outrage because she's female ... because I can't see what the hook is to hang the outrage on in the first place. She wagged her finger at the President. BFD.

Now, here is how to show disrespect to a head of government!



http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/07/20/the-short-underwhelming-history-of-pie-throwing/jean-chretien/

The guy who pied the Prime Minister got 30 days. Mind you, that was before we discovered terrorism ...

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Response to iverglas (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 29, 2012, 10:37 AM

9. thoughtful post, and thanks for that Cretien image.

I'd forgotten about that. ha!! golden moment.

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