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athena

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Member since: Sat Aug 7, 2004, 10:55 PM
Number of posts: 4,187

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Great article comparing women's status in Europe and the U.S.

This excellent article, which discusses women's status in the Chech Republic, Sweden, France, and the United States, is worth reading in its entirety. It is so good that I'm considering reactivating my NYT subscription.

The ending -- the part (below) where she talks about the American woman being told she can do anything -- brought tears to my eyes because of how horribly true it is.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/10/opinion/sunday/paulina-porizkova-america-feminist.html

Excerpt:

"In America, a woman’s body seemed to belong to everybody but herself. Her sexuality belonged to her husband, her opinion of herself belonged to her social circles, and her uterus belonged to the government. She was supposed to be a mother and a lover and a career woman (at a fraction of the pay) while remaining perpetually youthful and slim. In America, important men were desirable. Important women had to be desirable. That got to me.

"In the Czech Republic, the nicknames for women, whether sweet or bitter, fall into the animal category: little bug, kitten, old cow, swine. In Sweden, women are rulers of the universe. In France, women are dangerous objects to treasure and fear. For better or worse, in those countries, a woman knows her place.

"But the American woman is told she can do anything and then is knocked down the moment she proves it. In adapting myself to my new country, my Swedish woman power began to wilt. I joined the women around me who were struggling to do it all and failing miserably. I now have no choice but to pull the word “feminist” out of the dusty drawer and polish it up.

My name is Paulina Porizkova, and I am a feminist."

Comey is all about Comey.

Comey's focus was on keeping his job and maximizing his own power. That's why he did not challenge Trump when Trump started making inappropriate demands. If Trump had not fired Comey, you would never have heard anything about what went on between Trump and Comey. It makes me sick that so many liberals have fallen for Comey's act. What we're seeing here is two extremely self-centered people -- Trump and Comey -- trying to destroy each other. Neither of them deserves applause or admiration; they are each equally disgusting in their total focus on themselves and their lack of concern for others. If you really want to applaud someone, applaud Salley Yates, who put her country's needs before her own concerns. But she's a woman, and we don't admire women in this society. We'd rather applaud a self-centered male conservative than a patriotic female liberal.

You should read this article about Comey before you go applauding him:

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/james-comeys-intellectual-history

When you get to the part about why he felt he had to meddle in the election, ask yourself who would really have suffered. The answer is Comey. The only person who would have been inconvenienced if Comey had not sent that letter on October 28th was Comey himself. He meddled in the election only to cover his own ass in case HRC became president, new and incriminating information was found in the e-mails, and he was attacked by conservatives for having helped HRC win. If he really felt he had to announce that he was reopening the investigation on Hillary, why couldn't he also announce that there was an investigation into the Trump campaign's ties with Russia? Comey assumed HRC would win the presidency and that he would end up looking like an amazingly independent guy with amazing integrity. Comey's whole focus is on looking as good as possible while screwing everyone else. It's sad that so many people fall for it.

The problem with this chart

is that you're asking people to answer a hypothetical question. Many people will differ on which candidate is likely to win in the GE. We have seen that in the last election.

The right solution to this dilemma is to avoid attacking Democrats. Even if one disagrees with some or most of the positions or attitudes of one of the Democratic candidates and finds another one to their liking, one should refrain from attacking any Democrat. It's enough to vote in the primary for your favorite candidate. There is no reason to say anything against a Democrat that might hurt his/her chances in the GE, in case that person turns out to be the party's candidate.

We have to put an end to all this infighting. We have to understand that while we may disagree about specifics, in the grand scheme we are all on the same side. We can disagree without being disagreeable. We can argue our points. But we have to stop making sexist, racist, ageist, or otherwise discriminatory attacks against candidates we don't like. We have to stop accusing candidates of dishonesty or incompetence or other character flaws just because we don't like them. We have to stop coming up with attacks against Democrats that Republicans can later use to much better effect. As we have seen, the alternative to any Democrat is too horrible to contemplate, let alone live under. If we are smart, we will stop repeating the same mistake. If we had learned our lesson in 2008, we wouldn't have President Trump now. Let's learn our lesson this time.

If air traffic control gets privatized, I'm no longer flying.

I'm not someone who is afraid of flying, but privatizing air traffic control is a terrible idea. This is not an area where we should be cutting costs.

No one is perfect.

Hillary Rodham Clinton was as close to perfect as any human being can get as a woman in this society. She was able to walk the very fine line between likable-therefore-incompetent and competent-therefore-unlikable that is imposed on women in this society. She managed to be outspoken without being shrill, and strong without appearing angry. But since no human being is perfect, her haters were able to find miniature mistakes to blow out of proportion and criticize ad infinitum. The whole private-server controversy was a small misstep made among millions of non-mistakes over a long political career. If it hadn't been that, there would have been something else. No one manages to live for decades without making any mistakes.

As long as people like you insist on absolute perfection for the first female president, we will not have a female president, ever. And you know that.

Keep hating Hillary. I'm sure you don't realize it, but it's hurting you more than you think. Indeed, it's hurting you infinitely more than it's hurting Hillary, since Hillary, fortunately, is not within your reach.

I feel the same way.

An incredibly intelligent, experienced, caring, and competent woman -- a woman who had almost no flaws, made no major mistakes, and had an almost superhuman level of control over her emotions, her behavior, and her facial expressions -- lost to an obviously mentally unstable man with zero government experience and no policy. Any woman who thinks Hillary's loss was her own fault and that another woman would do better is in denial about what the last election revealed about the depth of sexism in American society.

The party of sociopaths.

Seriously, "Fuck your feelings"? Is that what the United States is now? The land of sociopaths?

We should have put a stop to this long ago, when the right wing first started attacking political correctness. Because in the end, being against political correctness means being in favor of offending people -- in other words, not giving a damn about others' feelings. Every liberal who jumped on the "politically incorrect" bandwagon is partly guilty for Trump's presidency. In a country where people respected others and cared about other people's feelings, Trump wouldn't have even gotten close to winning the presidency.

Love and compassion are the highest human feelings. They are the basis of our society -- the reason we live in communities rather than alone in the wild. Love and compassion will save the world, not sociopathy and egotism. We liberals have to stop stooping to the level of the deplorables and embrace love, compassion, and kindness, the way Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to do.

It's because they can't stand intelligent women.

A great number of men and women are deeply disturbed by the idea of a smart and competent woman. It threatens their view of the world.

The self-image of many men is based on the idea that they are intrinsically superior to half the population. Such men feel extremely uncomfortable when they meet a woman who is obviously smarter and more competent than they are. All high-achieving women over 35 have had to deal with this type of man at work: he will do everything within his power to destroy the career of the woman who threatens his sense of intrinsic superiority.

Many women, too, are disturbed by the idea of a woman being more intelligent and competent than a man. Such women are low-achievers, and they justify their own low achievement by their belief that women are intrinsically inferior to men. Such women are much happier with a male boss than with a female boss. When they are forced to work with a woman who is smart, competent, and strong, they will at best try to subtly undermine her and at worst gang up with the men who are trying to destroy her.

In short, people who can't stop criticizing Hillary reveal a lot more about themselves than about anything else. Fortunately, their hatred can no longer reach Hillary. She knows she's a brilliant woman. She knows that almost everyone in the U.S. knows, deep down, that she would have made an excellent president. And she's surrounded by a loving family and loyal, high-quality friends. She has done what she could for her country and will continue to do what she can while she is still alive. In the meantime, those who can't stop hating her have much bigger problems to deal with, a mentally unstable president being only one of them.

This culture of fear is what is destroying this country.

About ten years ago, when I was a grad student, I was on campus on a Sunday. Just as I was about to enter the building where I had my office, a woman came up to me and said she had seen a man drag a child into that building and was concerned that a kidnapping was taking place. I vaguely remembered that I had seen one of my colleagues enter the building ahead of me; he was divorced and spent the weekends with his daughter. I told her it was no problem, that I knew him, and that he had a daughter. If I hadn't been around, she would probably have called the campus police on him.

What the woman did was disgusting: she assumed that a man spending time with his daughter was a dangerous situation. If my colleague had been female, the woman would not have been concerned. This kind of behavior is sexist: it perpetuates gender-based roles. It discourages men from spending time with their kids. If it's a woman hanging out with a kid, dragging her, or playing with her, it's fine; but if it's a man, we have to make sure he's not a child molester! A man should be either at work or hanging out with his male buddies; children are women's business!

As horrible a problem as child molestation is, it is not a problem you are going to solve by poking your nose into people's lives. Child molestation does not happen in broad daylight; it is not perpetrated by people who look strange or unusual. It happens in the dark, indoors, and is perpetrated by people -- usually men -- who are believed by everyone around them to be good Christian people, family men, and pillars of their society. Such men appear so virtuous that when a child tries to speak to an adult about what is happening, the adult assumes the child is lying. If you want to do something about child molestation, just be there for the children around you; your children, your relatives' children, and your friends' children; be someone they can trust. (See https://www.rainn.org/articles/how-can-i-protect-my-child-sexual-assault) All you're going to do by "speaking up" in public about people who look suspicious to you is annoy people and hurt them for looking different and defying gender roles.

It's not tragic. It's completely fair.

Americans asked for this. They knew exactly what they were getting into, and they got exactly what they voted for. Too many Americans couldn't stand the idea of being led by a woman, so they chose to be represented by a narcissistic fool. I don't feel sorry for the United States right now. People can repeat as many times as they like that Hillary won the popular vote and that too many minorities were disenfranchised, but it shouldn't have even been close. Trump, being who he is, shouldn't have gotten more than 5% of the vote. Americans made a clear statement when they went to the polls on November 7th, 2016: that they would rather be led by a mentally unstable male bully than by a stateswoman. My only hope is that Americans will learn something from this experience, and that the next time a woman is running against a narcissistic fool, people will be able to vote with something other than their penis or their penis envy.
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