Friday, October 21, 2016

On Mrs. Obama's Disdain

 --Tip Drill, Nelly

 In heaven's name
why do you play these games?
--Hang On, to Your Love,

We see not only with our eyes,
but with all that we are,
and all that our culture is
--Dorothea Lange

I've seen all good people
turn their heads each day
So satisfied I'm on my way
--I've Seen All Good People,

[The graphic features the rapper Nelly and his "Tip Drill", in which he slides a credit card between a woman's buttocks. I saw it playing on a t.v. in a gym in 2001. An inauspicious beginning to the 21st century, far as women's rights go, I thought.]
Mrs. Obama, recently delivered a tremulous speech hailed for its unbridled emotion ostensibly on behalf of every woman. One does not become an attorney without some acting skills.

No doubt Mrs. Obama, hailing from Southside Chicago, knows of some men who “throw down, and take away.” But Mr. Trump has never been accused of being one of those men. 

ISTM in the pantheon of bad male behavior, copping a few feels and talking locker room about ladies private parts pales in comparison to the ACTUAL behavior of so many men who have inhabited the Oval Office. Stealing a kiss or copping a feel versus getting fellated in the Oval Office and inserting a cigar into a 19-year old's vagina.You decide.

But we trot out the little ladies when need to feel chivalric, which is to say, righteous and purposeful, in the face of a national political atmosphere which is anything but.

Witness one of the after-the-fact phony justifications for the Phony Wars on Terror (PWOT ©): women's rights. And things have gotten a lot better for women since that action, no?

But no one questions the bombast, because it sounds so good. I mean, who could be against women having rights, right? That is like saying you are against moms and apple pie.

This speech came in an atmosphere that has allowed the wide dissemination of  false rape tales like that of Tawana Brawley and Crystal Magnum by members of the Duke Lacrosse squad. The mythical targets were black women, in a reverse Mandingo fantasy.

We are all good people, and have been taught to atone. We believe that wearing our horsehair shirt will buy favor from the gods.

So when Mrs. Obama says “we”, what we hear is, “we black women”.  We live in an age in which there are calls for monetary reparations for slavery, and #blacklivesmatter is a social networking movement. A collective guilt gets superimposed upon any man, especially a privileged one, accused of some wrongdoing.

Mrs. Clinton’s initial campaign ads featured a black girl alone before the image of a florid Trump exhorting something on the screen, ad infinitum. She is wide-eyed, and seems afraid.

Ironic that a month later, tapings of Trump's private conversation appear, along with a few women over a span of 30+ years who allege they have been “inappropriately touched” (NYT headline) by Mr. Trump.

Have we no shame? Is there no adult in the newsroom, or among the viewers of the spectacle?

The stumping Mrs. Obama expresses her horror at Mr. Trump's bravado and possible overreach:

 “It’s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them, or forced himself on them and they’ve said no but he didn’t listen. It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day,the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office.”

Unfortunately, her speech about the bogeyman bossman is fraught with untruth. And the lawyer in her would say that The New York Times will surely face a libel suit after this election.

But if the paper gets its candidate into Office, it will have been worth it. The lawsuit will occur post-election, and someone will happily foot the bill.

No woman has said that she said "no" to Mr. Trump, and that he then gave chase, as Mrs. Obama implies. And sorry to say, but exploitation and misogyny did not stop back in Mrs. Obama's mother's day. 

This is a transparent attempt to tarnish Trump with the biggest sin, that of being old and therefore, out of touch. The implication is clear: Mr. Trump and his superannuated brethren are from another place and time. This is blatant ageism.

Trouble is, Mrs. Clinton is exactly the same age, and the FLOTUS's speech is rent is rife with problems.

She states Mr. Trump spoke "freely and openly" on the secretly recorded tape. This IS still America, and we may hold opinions and we have free speech. We may speak freely, with an expectation of privacy unless permission has been granted otherwise.

She also said she is "worried about the impact this election is having on our boys who are looking for role models of what it means to be a man.” 

However, if she were truly worried about that, then she would address the very real problem of the much too many young black boys who grow up lacking fathers or even father figures, for that surely has a corrosive effect upon that population, and our population at large. (She could witness that in Southside Chicago, too.)

Incarceration rates for black males are at epic proportions. 72% of black children are raised in single head of household families. Now those are problems that need tending to.

Mrs. Obama says she is hurt to her core over Trump's words. To quell her shock, perhaps she should stop listening to "Earth, Wind and Fire" and borrow from her husband's iPod to broaden her horizons regarding the state of relations between the sexes.

There, she may listen to some of Jay-Z's greatest hits -- try "Big Pimpin'" for a start. Oh, I know, now that he and his wife are billionaires he tries to explain it away. But misogynist rappers have always contended that they are just expressing life as it is.

Jay-Z's wife, Queen Bey, earned her almost half a billion by robustly shaking her moneymaker and singing about fellating men in limousines, among other things. 

Probably not what Mrs. Obama wants for her daughters, but there it is.

This would be today, and it is exactly where women stood in her mother's day (and hers), if she cared to see and tell the truth.  

[cross-posted @ rangeragainstwar.]

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