For Nancy Pelosi and the new women in Congress, fashion was a defiant statement of purpose — and resistance – The Washington Post

Pelosi noted that no one is indispensable, “but some of us are just better at our jobs than others.” That wasn’t overconfident swagger. It was honest. But it was the kind of honesty that women mostly don’t offer up about themselves, because that’s not what little girls in powder pink were taught to do. They were taught to whisper with humility.

Fuchsia roars.

…Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) wore a Palestinian thobe in honor of her mother. Tlaib, who is the first Palestinian American elected to Congress, recalled in an essay for Elle that as a child, she would watch as her mother sat on the floor stitching and embroidering the gowns with a lamp at her side. The decision was a statement about Tlaib’s background and a future in which it can be as welcomed in the United States as Western European roots are. Similarly, Rep. Debra Haaland (D-N.M.) expressed her Native American heritage in turquoise jewelry and immaculate embroidery while also underscoring one of her campaign promises, which was to focus attention on missing and murdered Native American women. African American congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) had a kente cloth wrap draped around her shoulders. Each of them used fashion to press the point that diversity is essential to the power dynamic.

…Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who came to the United States as a refu­gee from Somalia, wore a hijab at a time when both Muslims and refugees have been vilified. She also wore white, as did Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Their attire stood out as symbolic of a new beginning, as well as a nod to the women’s suffrage movement. As Pelosi noted in her speech, this year marks the 100th anniversary of women having the right to vote.

…Fashion communicated a visual story about the day’s place in the country’s ongoing narrative and the ways in which these newly sworn-in congresswomen define their roles and themselves.–and-resistance/2019/01/03/0f8c2836-0f7a-11e9-831f-3aa2c2be4cbd_story.html



How the Karen Meme Confronts History of White Womanhood | Time

“One of the things that has worked throughout American history is finding a way to project whiteness in need of defense or protection,” says Dr. André Brock, associate professor of Black digital culture at Georgia Tech whose research is leading the conversation on the impact of Black Twitter. “For men, it’s a fight; for women, it’s calling men to help on their behalf or demonstrating that they are so frail that they cannot handle the weight.”

…In a larger sense, the mainstreaming of calling out the danger that white women and their tears pose has been building up to this moment. There’s the oft-cited stat that 52% of white women voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, the constant lies of white women like Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders in service of the Trump Administration have made it abundantly clear that white women can and are often complicit in oppressive systems. Coupled with the rise of social media and the smartphone camera, the longtime narrative of white women as helpless victims in need of protection is now being challenged by video evidence of them as instigators of not only conflict, but violence.

…The historical narrative of white women’s victimhood goes back to myths that were constructed during the era of American slavery. Black slaves were posited as sexual threats to the white women, the wives of slave owners; in reality, slave masters were the ones raping their slaves. This ideology, however, perpetuated the idea that white women, who represented the good and the moral in American society, needed to be protected by white men at all costs, thus justifying racial violence towards Black men or anyone that posed a threat to their power.

…“White women are positioned as the virtue of society because they hold that position as the mother, as the keepers of virtuosity, all these ideologies that we associate with white motherhood and white women in particular, their certain role in society gives them power and when you couple that with this racist history, where white women are afraid of black men and black men are hypersexualized and seen as dangerous, then that’s really a volatile combination.”

Williams says the exposure is challenging this position. “That’s part of what people aren’t seeing is that white women do have this power and they’re exercising that power when they call or threaten to call the police.”

…“The fact that Amy Cooper is saying, ‘I’m going to call the police and tell them that a African-American man is threatening my life’ is a very racially violent statement and a racially violent act, especially if you look at it in a larger, broader historical context, and think about the way that Emmett Till’s accuser [Carolyn Bryant] did the same exact thing and it resulted in his death.”

How the Karen Meme Confronts History of White Womanhood | Time


Sanders says ‘rampant’ sexism in US is a hurdle for women running for president – CNNPolitics

“I think women have obstacles placed in front of them that men do not have.”

…Warren herself commented on the issue when she publicly dropped out on Thursday outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“You know, that is the trap question for women,” she said after a reporter asked what role gender played in her campaign. “If you say, ‘Yeah — there was sexism in this race,’ everyone says, ‘Whiner.’ And if you say, ‘No, there was no sexism,’ about a bazillion women think, ‘What planet do you live on?'”

Sanders says ‘rampant’ sexism in US is a hurdle for women running for president – CNNPolitics

No shit, Bernie? How much of a hurdle is it among your bros?

Thank you for all you have done to change the Democratic Party platform. Now go home to Vermont, sit your divisive spoiler ass down, and shut the fuck up.

Group Buys Alabama Abortion Clinic to Keep it From Closing – Alabama News

An Alabama-based abortion rights group received a flood of donations after state lawmakers in 2019 attempted to outlaw abortion. The group used the money to purchase the state’s busiest abortion clinic to ensure it stays open when then-owner retires.

Group Buys Alabama Abortion Clinic to Keep it From Closing – Alabama News

Nicely, done!

I’m voting for Joe fucking Biden – Use Your Outside Voice

I want you to know that if you criticize women as hypocrites for choosing the candidate that they think can win against the GOP juggernaut, and choosing the lesser evil, then you’re not changing those conditions, you’re simply one more voice blaming women instead of the system. If you criticize #metoo activists for not choosing to take on yet another traumatic battle which will be coopted in favor of Trump, you’re not holding perpetrators accountable. 

…If you say there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans, you just proved that you know nothing about my life and you also don’t care. And if you say you won’t vote for Joe fucking Biden you proved the same thing, and I also don’t care. 

I’m voting for Joe fucking Biden – Use Your Outside Voice


Biden Accuser Amy Lappos Says She Now Supports the Former Vice President as ‘Obvious Choice’ to Defeat Trump

Biden Accuser Amy Lappos Says She Now Supports the Former Vice President as ‘Obvious Choice’ to Defeat Trump

Lappos did no favors to victims of sexual assault or the #MeToo movement blurring the line between sexual assault and something that “wasn’t sexual,” but carries with it the perception of a crossed a ‘line of respect,’ “ and she does herself no favors here.

Sexism Sank Elizabeth Warren

Misogyny is broadcast and reinforced through every cultural vector available. It is internalized, by men and women, and it takes intentional reflection and deprogramming to even start to break free from its grip.

…Some people openly said that a woman couldn’t beat Donald Trump. Other people made the same point, but more subtly. And most people did the usual, frustrating thing where they said a woman could win, “but not that woman.” She was called “shrill,” she was called a “school-marm,” she was called a “snake.” She got criticized for not hitting certain candidates “hard enough” and then got criticized for vaporizing other candidates down to the molecular level. And when she actually talked about the sexism she faced, and all women candidates face, the conversation became about what she could do to overcome it instead of about what everybody else needed to do to stop it.

…Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign didn’t even get off the ground because people resented her for [lumping] Al Franken [in with the Weinsteins of the world and blurring the intense differences between the two.]

…What makes the Warren experience all the more frustrating is that she is the candidate Democrats asked for back in 2016. This is the candidate Democrats said they wanted when they were busy calling Hillary Clinton “inauthentic” and “uninspiring” and “pandering.” She was the candidate progressives used to explain that, while Clinton was a “corrupt, neoliberal shill,” they were totally not sexist and would vote for some other woman.

Elizabeth Warren was the “Stacey Abrams” of 2016: the woman, not in the race, that people who are voting for men say they would totally vote for if she would just run.

…No woman can be explicitly feminist enough while also nonthreatening to male swing voters. No woman can be laughably overqualified compared to her male opponents while still being a “new” and “fresh” face to lead the party. No woman can be strong, sweet, tough, flexible, brilliant, accessible, fiery, motherly, and attractive, but not distractingly so, all at the same time.

…Democrats will not elect a woman who supports the patriarchy. They also won’t elect a woman like Warren, who means to smash it.

… The essential qualification for a Republican woman candidate is that she must be willing to participate in the project of upholding the patriarchy. …Talk about “traditional” “family” values. Slut-shame single women who use birth control. Be socially and fiscally draconian. Couch traditional Republican bigotry toward people of color in the language of “community safety.” Don’t be openly more intelligent than a man with a high school diploma.

Sexism Sank Elizabeth Warren | The Nation

Mixed in with the ridiculous nonsense there some salient points.

Supreme Court questions Trump’s rollback of birth control coverage

At issue was a Trump policy allowing virtually any employer to claim a religious or moral exemption to providing free birth control to women..

..The court’s conservative majority was expected to side with the administration’s weakening of the contraceptive coverage requirement under Obamacare. However, Chief Justice John Roberts joined some of his liberal colleagues in questioning whether [Trump’s] rollback of the policy went too far.

…”The glaring feature of what the government has done in expanding this exemption is to toss to the winds entirely Congress’ instruction that women need and shall have seamless, no-cost comprehensive coverage,” Ginsburg said.

…The court, which is also hearing a challenge on political robocalls Wednesday, during this period will also consider Trump’s request to shield his financial records and states’ ability to punish so-called faithless presidential electors.

Supreme Court questions Trump’s rollback of birth control coverage – POLITICO


Betsy DeVos releases final changes to campus sexual assault policies

Now, under reworked federal rules, alleged student perpetrators will have added protections, including the presumption that they are innocent throughout the disciplinary process and the right to be provided all evidence collected against them. Those students can also cross-examine their accusers and vice versa during live hearings, although it must be done through a lawyer or representative.

…They come after the Education Department “heard from too many students whose careers were tarnished by administrators without any resemblance to due process,” Kenneth Marcus, the agency’s assistant secretary of civil rights, told reporters. “This must stop.”

…Misconduct must fall under certain categories, including unwelcome conduct that is “so severe, pervasive and objectively offensive” that it “denies a person equal access to the school’s education program or activity.”

Betsy DeVos releases final changes to campus sexual assault policies


Joe Biden tweets support to US women soccer players on equal pay

The team’s fight for equal pay was rejected on Friday when a federal judge dismissed the players’ claims that they were paid less than the men’s national team.

In a tweet Saturday afternoon, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee encouraged the women’s national team to not give up their fight.
“This is not over yet. To @USSoccer: equal pay, now. Or else when I’m president, you can go elsewhere for World Cup funding,” he wrote on Twitter. 

Joe Biden tweets support to US women soccer players on equal pay – CNN


The secret weapon hidden in Obama’s endorsement of Biden

The contrast between those two — Donald Trump and Barack Obama is stark, not just on policy but on larger themes like goodness, virtue and purpose. Restoring those things to the White House would banish what Obama called in his endorsement video the “corruption, carelessness, self-dealing, disinformation, ignorance and just plain meanness” of the Trump tenure.

The secret weapon hidden in Obama’s endorsement of Biden (opinion) – CNN

Interesting theory.

Gendered disinformation might have cost Warren the nomination and us our lives | TheHill

Marvelous AI, a data analytics company creating tools to detect political narratives about individual candidates, did an artificial intelligence analysis of the early months of the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primaries and what they found is that social media narratives about female candidates are more negative and mostly concerned with their character, as opposed to their policies. While such narratives weren’t exclusive to women, they seemed to be the norm for female candidates and the exception for male ones. 

They also found that female candidates received more attacks from far-right and fake-news accounts than male politicians, often adding to people’s concerns regarding their electability, with Warren being their primary target.

Gendered disinformation might have cost Warren the nomination and us our lives | TheHill


Has it been a good week for the royals?

“God speed, guys, but I predict that hearts will harden towards Harry and Meghan over the next few years. Not because they will continue to cost us millions in security, but because they will become emblematic of us, the British, not being able to have nice things. We drove these photogenic rich people away — yes, by tittering at their interest in saving the planet one Learjet flight at a time, but also by being weirdly possessive of their child and creepy to the point of ugh about how many photos we could take of him.” – Harriet Walker, The Times

Has it been a good week for the royals?