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A friend linked me to this oh-so-earnest open letter, by Umair Haque. This bit, in particular, happened to jump out at me:

Gen M is about passion, responsibility, authenticity, and challenging yesterday’s way of everything. Everywhere I look, I see an explosion of Gen M businesses, NGOs, open-source communities, local initiatives, government. Who’s Gen M? Obama, kind of. Larry and Sergey. The Threadless, Etsy, and Flickr guys. Ev, Biz and the Twitter crew. Tehran 2.0. The folks at Kiva, Talking Points Memo, and FindtheFarmer. Shigeru Miyamoto, Steve Jobs, Muhammad Yunus, and Jeff Sachs are like the grandpas of Gen M. There are tons where these innovators came from.

Aside from being perfectly exemplary of the generation that insists on conflating public service and politics with things like “marketing democracy” (which, I reiterate, as a civics wonk, irritates the goddamn hell out of me) … I wonder if it even registered with him that he didn’t list a single female. Not a one. Is it really possible to be truly transformative and revolutionary when you’re just as insular and exclusionary as those ever-so-earnest men of the 60s/70s, blindly marginalizing half the population in the same manner as those you’re so self-righteously lambasting?

(I suppose I should give him points for at least inserting the caveat “kind of” for Barack Obama, DINO-in-Chief. But I’m not feeling very generous.)

Afterward, when the demonstrators had left, one of the madrasa’s senior clerics came outside. Asked about the dispute, he said it was between professionals and nonprofessionals; that is, between the clerics, who understood the Koran and Islamic law, and the women calling for the law’s repeal who did not.

“It’s like if you are sick, you go to a doctor, not some amateur,” said the cleric, Mohammed Hussein Jafaari. “This law was approved by the scholars. It was passed by both houses of Parliament. It was signed by the president.”

The religious scholars, Mr. Jafaari conceded, were all men.

Meanwhile, the MSM airwaves are busy covering these “freedom movement” morons, who wouldn’t know real oppression if hit bit them on the ass.

I totally hate the world now (which is why I rarely post anymore, FYI).

… But, of course, he won’t.

Douchemonkey Extraordinaire

Jon Favreau: Douchemonkey Extraordinaire

Since this little brouhaha jumped up, male reaction seems to have been has been (largely, with some exceptions) “OMG ITZ NOT THAT BAD, BOYZ WILL BE BOYZ, HE’S YOUNG AND WUZ DRINKING, HILLARY’Z OLD AND SHOULD APPRECIATE THE ATTENTION AND SHE PUT UP WITH HER CHEATING HUSBAND SO SHE KNOWS WHAT OVERSEXED MEN ARE LIKE AND IT’S NOT EVEN THAT SEXIST ANYWAY.”

As always, I love how the mens quickly jump in to tell us what is, and what is not, sexist and/or offensive, while continuing to be egregiously sexist and offensive in the process. Because intimating sexual assault on a cutout of one of the most famous, powerful women in the world, and your political rival, is not demeaning or degrading at all.

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen a dude act in this exact manner towards any woman higher than him in seniority (professor, supervisor, boss, etc.) – any woman who makes him feel a little insecure about his Total Dudely Awesomeness, that Total Dudely Awesomeness that comes with his possession of the correct genitalia and automatically places him as superior to half the population through no effort of his own. This behaviour is depressingly common, and epic in proportion. It needs to be nipped in the bud immediately, and severely. Otherwise, how else will they learn?

Parallel situation: Hillary staffers, one wearing an “CLINTON STAFF” t-shirt, mugging for the camera, “jokingly” holding a noose around the neck of a cutout of Obama. Would immediate dismissal be an inappropriate reaction then? Would Clinton be condemned as condoning gross racism if she didn’t fire them immediately? (Answer: Betcherass.)

And no: this is not an extreme, hyperbolic theoretical. Threats of rape and sexual assault are weapons used against women in exactly the same manner as threats of lynching are used against black people: the implication of violence if they dare step out of line and get “uppity.” It is exactly the same thing.

In no way did Favreau ever feel insecure about himself in the presence of Hillary Clinton, I’m sure: a woman ten times stronger, sharper and smarter than him. There is absolutely no way that this little photo op represented, to him, a way to bring her down a peg to his level, so he could feel reassured about his position in the world. She’s just a woman, after all, like every other woman – she starts getting uppity, just grab her boob and remind her that no matter what she does, she’ll always be a cunt, existing solely for the sexual gratification of men. That bitch. And she needs to be reminded of that, as do all women, that they should never, ever, make men feel insecure about their Total Dudely Awesomeness.

It’s Monday, and the fact that Favreau has not been dismissed immediately speaks volumes about the frat culture of the Democratic Party, and the Obama Administration’s judgement. Bitches ain’t worth shit, so why don’t you lighten up, and get a sense of humour? Now, go get me my coffee, woman, I have a wicked hangover, and I’m late for my three hour lunch with the dudes from State.

If you didn’t want me voting with my vagina, maybe you shouldn’t have spent the last year calling me a cunt.”Nadai, in comments at RL.

You can’t really sum it up much more succinctly than that, can you?

(Also summing it up, though not quite as succinctly, is Dr Socks herself, documenting the atrocities.)

Happy freakin’ Election Day. Democracy, you’ve never made me feel quite so ill.

Too busy. Here, have a laugh.

… run – do not walk – over to Anglachel to see her post today. It’s a must-read. Here’s a taste, but the whole thing is excellent, and I had trouble picking out which bit to post here:

That female identification with Hillary and later Palin has been dismissed as either irrational (vagina voting) or actually a sign of secret racism exposes the ease with which misogyny is mobilized to try to belittle, badger, and dominate. Its very ubiquity makes it unremarkable and difficult to problematize. Our arguments and explanations on how we perceive our interests to be best served are trivialized as the whines of “bitter knitters” instead of serious challenges by engaged citizens. Insisting that we be heard garners a mix of aggressive bluster and wide-eyed faux-innocence.

Misogyny deniers try to focus on just a few figures, and explain away broad actions as being reasonable responses to these despicable, polarizing broads. No, no, it’s not that we are kicking women down; it’s that Hillary’s a cold bitch! We’d like someone else. But not Ferraro, that racist, shriveled up old hag. And Chelsea is really just letting herself get pimped out. Then we defend teenage sexuality, except for that wanton slut, Bristol Palin, and her bigger slut, the mother I’d like to fuck (MILF), Sarah.But then how to explain the fury expressed at women who do not support Obama?

Go read the whole thing.

Via Echidne of the Snakes:

Yes, the misogynist boys of the blogs are still there, bonding over their hatred of Hillary Clinton and other women. Yes, they are a blight on the leftist blogosphere, they ARE the exact equivalent of the racists in putrid bloom on Republican blogs. The big difference is that they are damaging OUR effort to push the agenda of progressives, liberals and leftists. By attaching themselves like toxic limpets to Barack Obama, they are creating a problem for his campaign. Clearly their boy bonding is more important to them than his winning the election.

They need to be told to shut up and, since they don’t have very long attention spans, don’t care about the damage they do to the left and can’t be reasoned with, they need to be told to shut up repeatedly. They don’t hear women’s voices, they need to be made to hear them.

They divide us, weaken us and give our enemies ammunition to use against us, and most topically, they damage our candidates. They must be made to feel uncomfortable, they need to be inhibited, they need to be given cooties.

Sexism has to be made an unacceptable form of expression just as racism and homophobia does and that depends on us calling them on it constantly. You can depend on them using the “I was being ironic” dodge when you do, don’t fall for that one. Since the word has been stretched out of any coherence, irony is now the lowest form of humor, it is the last refuge of bigots.

I propose that the randomly chosen day, October 18, 2008, should be “Tell Sexist Blog Boys To Shut Up Day”. Having no organizational talent, spreading the word will depend on others. I hope the habit takes and they are made to feel our anger with them.

Personally, I think every day should be “Tell Sexist Blog Boys to Shut Up Day,” but this works for me too. I doubt the blogger boiz will care – I mean, it’s just the wimminz, being all bitchy and whingey, like alwayz! – but, in my opinion, telling them to shut up en masse is an intrinsically satisfying endeavour. If it feels good, do it, etc.

Do me a favour, will ya? Read the following:

For Clinton, only one road in Albany remained blocked. Hendon and Trotter, two leaders in the women’s caucus, had both been in the Senate for four years before Clinton’s arrival. They represented two of New York’s destitute neighborhoods, and they repeatedly accused the newcomer of failing to understand the issues of the inner city. She cared more about her career than her constituents, they said. Hendon once told a newspaper that Clinton was so ambitious she would like to run for “president of the world.”…

Hillary’s friends encouraged her to stand up to Hendon and Trotter, but she refused. Not her style, she said. And why sink to their level? When Hendon ridiculed Clinton, her standard comeback was a dismissive shrug and a wave of her hand. Ah, Rickie, you’ve always got something to say. “I never would have called her a fighter,” Hendon said. “She used the silk gloves, and I used the iron fists.”

The tension between the two Senators peaked on June 11, 2002, after Hendon made an impassioned speech on the Senate floor urging her colleagues to preserve funding for a child welfare facility in her district. It was, Hendon remembers, “basically the most emotional speech of my life, and I was pulling out all the stops.” Every Republican still voted against her. Every Democrat voted with her — except Clinton and three other members who made up a faction known in Albany as “liberal row.”

Incensed by those four votes, Hendon walked across the floor and confronted Clinton, who explained by saying “something about fiscal responsibility,” Hendon recalls. A few minutes later, after Hendon’s proposal had lost, Clinton stood up and asked to have her previous vote changed to a “Yes” for the record, saying she had misunderstood the legislation. Her request was declined, and Hendon stood to criticize Clinton for political maneuvering.

Infuriated that Hendon had embarrassed her publicly on the Senate floor, Clinton walked over to her rival’s seat, witnesses said.

“She leaned over, put her arm on my shoulder real nice and then threatened to kick my ass,” Hendon said.

The two women walked out of the chamber into a back room and shoved each other a few times before colleagues broke them apart, Hendon and other witnesses said. Clinton and Hendon never talked about the incident with each other again, but they reached an awkward understanding. Hendon stopped teasing Clinton; Clinton started voting with Hendon more regularly. Hendon now supports Hillary Clinton for president.

Now, consider the story. What’s your reaction? That as a Democrat, Hillary failed to vote to preserve funding for a child welfare facility? That she failed to thoroughly understand the legislation – due to either a petty personal grudge or failure to read it in the first place – and then flipped on the vote when confronted? That she was so angry at being embarrassed that she threatened to kick a political adversary’s ass, which lead to actual physical violence, an actual catfight? Ask yourself: would you have drawn this same conclusion?

I suppose the right can spin this incident as a bug instead of a feature, but to me, this is jaw-droppingly intelligent politicking.

Is it possible the US could have a president that isn’t a hot-headed fool, that is slow to anger, and even when angry expresses only the exact amount needed to advance their purposes? A president who patiently builds friendships and coalitions, even with natural political enemies? I suspect there are very few people who read this site who would disagree that – policy disagreements aside – this is exactly the type of character traits we’d like to see in a president.

Be honest. Would you?

Now go read the original. Isn’t gender bias fun?

Dobbs: … What we are watching are business — quote, unquote — leaders who won’t surface and put their faces before the American public who are hysterical. Absolutely hysterical. These are not leaders of moment. They are not leaders of great character or vision. Only Warren Buffett has had the courage to step forward. And that’s after he puts $5 billion into Goldman Sachs.

To watch our political leaders, they have no idea in the world, Kiran, what they’re doing. Literally. And the arrogance with which this administration asks for, not only money, almost $1 trillion, and surely more in the months ahead. But the absolute power for Treasury Secretary Paulson. Give me a break. The American people want this stopped. Those Congressmen and women at home right now, in their districts, are getting an earful because this is an absurdity and it has to end.

Chetry: So in one way, you’re knocking Congress. But on the other way you’re saying that, I guess the system works in that the brakes were pulled. Whether or not you agree with the reasons why it didn’t go through. So, weren’t they doing their job and showing leadership?

Dobbs: Let me be clear, Kiran. I’m saying leadership — I’m saying the Democratic leadership of this Congress was absolutely in the same situation as this president.

They don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re trying to ram this thing down the people’s throats and Congress. And those House Republicans and House Democrats who voted against this bailout deserve a great, great expression of thanks from the American people. Absolutely.

Shorter Glenn Greenwald: “Democracy is still awesome, but increasingly rare.