White male rage boils over after Kavanaugh hearing: But women aren’t scared anymore

From Salon:  https://www.salon.com/2018/10/01/white-male-rage-boils-over-after-kavanaugh-hearing-but-women-arent-scared-anymore/

Lindsey Graham and Brett Kavanaugh channel white-rage blowback, but suddenly they just come off like big babies

Heather Digby Parton
October 1, 2018

There has been a lot of discussion lately about women’s rage. New York magazine’s Rebecca Traister (a former Salon staffer) has written a timely book about it and has chronicled various aspects of the issue, most recently in the New York Times. Women are mad as hell, for sure. But if they want to see how powerful white men (and the women who enable them) leverage anger to dominate the rest of us, we’ve just had a potent demonstration of how that works.

The rhetorical violence of the right-wing response to the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation mess perfectly illustrates the “Don’t make daddy mad” tactic of white patriarchy. Powerful white men may allow women and people of color to speak their piece but such people should never, ever think that they get to make the rules. If they refuse to back down when they’re told to do so, there will be hell to pay. This is a familiar tactic to people who grew up in traditional, patriarchal families. Mother may complain and the kids will squabble, but when Father has had enough and puts his foot down, everyone must stop or face his wrath, which will be swift and often brutal.

This particular political temper tantrum has been building for about a quarter of a century, ever since Bill Clinton disrupted what Republicans believed was a lock on the presidency stemming from the glorious reign of Ronald Reagan. They considered Clinton an unreconstructed hippie who was illegitimately elected they treated him as such for his entire eight-year term, ending with that failed impeachment trial. They were furious that the public didn’t back their play and when the 2000 election chaos ensued, they fought with everything they had and eked out a win. (Thanks to the Supreme Court, let us note.)

Since the Democrats pretty much cried uncle on that occasion, Republican anger settled down to simmer and they reveled in the soaring popularity of George W. Bush after 9/11, feeling their rightful dominance once again restored. That didn’t last and Bush ended as a failed president, causing their rage to rise to unprecedented levels with the election of Barack Obama, our first black president. They pushed hard to make Obama lose his cool but he never did. He couldn’t, of course. Any black man in America, especially if he’s in a leadership position, must always stay in control lest he unleash the beast.

So right-wing male anger grew and grew, finding an initial outlet in the Tea Party wave election of 2010. Then Democrats made the fateful decision to push the envelope and try to force them to endure another leader who challenged their rightful roles, this time a woman. Recall the words of NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre, who said it out loud: “Eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough.”

Hillary Clinton had always made those kinds of men livid. She was an uppity feminist woman whose most enduring characteristic was that when she was defeated or humiliated she simply refused to shut up and slink away. (That trait annoys people to this day.) That she would deign to believe she could be president after they had dogged her with one bogus scandal after another, and even held her liable for her husband’s personal weaknesses, was just too much.

Continue reading at:  https://www.salon.com/2018/10/01/white-male-rage-boils-over-after-kavanaugh-hearing-but-women-arent-scared-anymore/

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The Angry White Male Caucus

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/01/opinion/kavanaugh-white-male-privilege.html

Trumpism is all about the fear of losing traditional privilege.

By Paul Krugman
Oct. 1, 2018

When Matt Damon did his Brett Kavanaugh imitation on “Saturday Night Live,” you could tell that he nailed it before he said a word. It was all about the face — that sneering, rage-filled scowl. Kavanaugh didn’t sound like a judge at his Senate hearing last week, let alone a potential Supreme Court justice; he didn’t even manage to look like one.

But then again, Lindsey Graham, who went through the hearing with pretty much the same expression on his face, didn’t look much like a senator, either.

There have been many studies of the forces driving Trump support, and in particular the rage that is so pervasive a feature of the MAGA movement. What Thursday’s hearing drove home, however, was that white male rage isn’t restricted to blue-collar guys in diners. It’s also present among people who’ve done very well in life’s lottery, whom you would normally consider very much part of the elite.

In other words, hatred can go along with high income, and all too often does.

At this point there’s overwhelming evidence against the “economic anxiety” hypothesis — the notion that people voted for Donald Trump because they had been hurt by globalization. In fact, people who were doing well financially were just as likely to support Trump as people who were doing badly.

What distinguished Trump voters was, instead, racial resentment. Furthermore, this resentment was and is driven not by actual economic losses at the hands of minority groups, but by fear of losing status in a changing country, one in which the privilege of being a white man isn’t what it used to be.

And here’s the thing: It’s perfectly possible for a man to lead a comfortable, indeed enviable life by any objective standard, yet be consumed with bitterness driven by status anxiety.

You might think that this is impossible, that having a good job and a comfortable life would inoculate someone against envy and hatred. That is, you might think that if you knew nothing of human nature and the world.

I’ve spent my whole adult life in rarefied academic circles, where everyone has a good income and excellent working conditions. Yet I know many people in that world who are seething with resentment because they aren’t at Harvard or Yale, or who actually are at Harvard or Yale but are seething all the same because they haven’t received a Nobel Prize.

And this sort of high-end resentment, the anger of highly privileged people who nonetheless feel that they aren’t privileged enough or that their privileges might be eroded by social change, suffuses the modern conservative movement.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/01/opinion/kavanaugh-white-male-privilege.html

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White Indignant Male Person (W.I.M.P.)

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Transgender Suicide Is More Than a Mental Health Issue

It is hard to describe the impact on me of having spent so much of my life as what Andrew Vachss describes as a “non-citizen” living in a world where I have few rights which authorities feel a need to respect.

An acquaintance once said of me, “You have always been an outlaw.”  I thought, but didn’t say because I learned the tradecraft of survival well, “If you only knew.”

From The Advocate:  https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2018/9/25/transgender-suicide-more-mental-health-issue

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Seth Meyers: Trump Defends Kavanaugh in Crazy Press Conference Amid FBI Probe: A Closer Look

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How Feminist Bookstores Changed History

From Broadly-Vice:  https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/mbw7j3/feminist-bookstores-women-activism-history

In their printing presses and bookshops, women once owned the means of production—in their literature, at least.

by Lucy Uprichard
Sep 25 2018

A largely forgotten footnote in Amazon’s history is the time that the online retail giant sat down with the owners of a feminist bookstore and asked them: “Are you gay?” and “Have you had any interest in promoting lesbian ideals in the community?” These bizarre questions were part of a strange and awkward legal battle between Amazon.com and the tiny Amazon Bookstore Cooperative in Minneapolis, which sued the larger company for trademark infringement in 1999.

The feminists, who had been in business for decades, were sick of dealing with calls from confused customers and initiated a legal suit after attempts to resolve the issue informally went ignored. During the deposition, lawyers for Amazon.com repeatedly asked the owners about their sexualities, arguing that Amazon Bookstore Cooperative was a lesbian business catering to a lesbian audience and in a fundamentally different market to Amazon. Eventually they settled out of court, with the bookstore retaining use of the name but assigning its common-law rights to use the name to Amazon.

Amazon Bookstore Cooperative closed down in 2012, but its legacy in feminist circles goes far beyond its spat with the online retailer. Established in 1970, it was a scrappy little operation that persevered through poor building conditions and frequent moves to become one of the first of over one hundred feminist bookstores to spring up in North America by the mid-90s. Like others, it was vital to its local community’s feminist education, operating as a friendly and accessible entry point to a vast political network. Many of these spaces have disappeared over time, but they remain part of an important literary heritage that feminists and queer people can still draw from today.

The affinity between print and feminism stretches back to the earliest days of movement, but feminist bookstores are very much a product of the second wave. Invigorated by the blossoming feminist and gay rights movements of the early 1970s, a rapid emergence of feminist spaces and infrastructure that could offer tangible support to women’s creative efforts emerged across North America. It was a phenomenon that became known as “women’s culture”, or the Women in Print movement, and it laid the foundations for a revolution in feminist literary projects.

It was also extremely queer. Elvis B., co-founder of NYC Feminist Zine Fest and coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, is the author of a zine called Where Have All the Feminist Bookstores Gone?, which looks at the history of the women’s print movement and its heavy LGBTQ influence, particularly when it came to the management of feminist bookstores.

“It was basically led by lesbians,” they told me in an interview. (Elvis uses they/them pronouns.) “Different places have different histories, but to call feminist bookstores just ‘women’s spaces’ is bizarre.” Their zine details how mainstream publishers scoffed at the work of women and LGBTQ people, propelling them to create their own printing presses, publishing houses, distribution networks, and bookstores, culminating in a feminist literary culture that felt like an unstoppable force. As Carol Seajay, owner of a San Francisco feminist bookstore and founder of the influential Feminist Bookstore Network newsletter, reflected in 1997: “There was a sense then that if we wanted to turn over patriarchy, we could… it was a dyke thing to do everything ourselves.”

Continue reading at:  https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/mbw7j3/feminist-bookstores-women-activism-history

The Last Independent Women’s Bookstores Across North America


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The Discredited Brown Study on Trans Youth Isn’t Just Junk Science — It’s Dangerous

From Into More: https://www.intomore.com/you/the-discredited-brown-study-on-trans-youth-isnt-just-junk-science-its-dangerous

By: Brynn Tannehill
19 Sep 2018

The latest tool in the effort to bring back conversion therapy doesn’t come out of the Bible Belt. Instead, it came straight from the Ivy League.

Lisa Littman of Brown University published an August 2018 article in the journal PLOS One which purports to show that transgender identities are nothing more than social contagion. In “Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports,” Littman argues that trans youth who choose to transition at a young age are merely copying their friends in school.

It has attracted a lot of attention from mainstream researchers and trans advocates for its shoddy methodology, biased sampling, and unsupported conclusions. This criticism was sufficient for Brown to pull the announcement of the article from its website and PLOS One to declare that it would be reviewing the paper’s problems.

However, the greatest danger isn’t merely the promulgation of bad science, but the reality that it represents a backdoor attempt to undermine trans lives. Bad science happens all the time. However, this is bad science with an agenda. It encourages parents to reject the identities of transgender youth and to subject them to conversion therapy, the discredited practice of seeking to treat the sexual orientation or gender identity of LGBTQ youth.

This isn’t speculative — it is right out in the open.

The study purports to show that transgender identities in teens are caused by interacting with other transgender teens online, referred to as “social contagion.” This erroneous conclusion was based on the observation that children seemed to come out suddenly after meeting other trans youth on social media websites. The article failed to address the much more realistic explanation that transgender teens with anti-trans parents look for support from other LGBTQ youth online because they fear the reaction of their families.

How Littman came to these false, damaging conclusions partially stems from the sources she used. The three websites from which Littman drew her research — 4thwavenow.com, transgendertrend.com, and YouthTransCriticalProfessionals.org — have ties to anti-LGBTQ hate groups, as well as organizations and figures that promote reparative therapy. This includes the fake medical organization American College of Pediatricians and the National Catholic Bioethics Center, as well as noted anti-trans psychiatrist Dr. Paul McHugh, professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins.

Her sources are effectively anti-trans lobbyists. These entities have compared affirming care for transgender teens to lobotomies and Nazi experiments while likening trans people to amputation fetishists. Meanwhile, the trio of websites cited post sponsored articles arguing that discrimination against transgender people is natural, are hostile to transgender youth, and advocate to prevent teens from transitioning.

Littman’s sources also promote the idea that a magic “cure” can change a person’s gender identity.

Continue reading at:  https://www.intomore.com/you/the-discredited-brown-study-on-trans-youth-isnt-just-junk-science-its-dangerous

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Universal healthcare was unthinkable in America, but not any more

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/16/medicare-for-all-universal-healthcare-democrats

A single-payer healthcare system appears closer than ever but to make it a reality we must avoid the pitfalls of the past

Sun 16 Sep 2018

Barack Obama dropped a bombshell into the healthcare debate roiling the Democratic party last Friday. “Democrats aren’t just running on good old ideas like a higher minimum wage,” he said, “they’re running on good new ideas, like Medicare for All …” His endorsement made headlines, and for a good reason: until recently, real universal healthcare had long resided on the margins of the American political discourse. Obama’s announcement, then, was yet one more indication that this idea – also called single-payer healthcare – had migrated to the mainstream. The shift is an encouraging development for proponents, to be sure, but there is also cause for caution: as history shows, formidable political obstacles and pitfalls lie ahead.

It is difficult to overstate how far single-payer has recently moved. Consider, for a moment, where things stood after Democrats took the presidency and both houses of Congress in 2008. “The White House and Democratic leaders have made clear,” the Washington Post reported the following year, “there is no chance that Congress will adopt a single-payer approach … because it is too radical a change.” Single-payer supporters didn’t even have a seat at the table (and some were arrested when they showed up anyway).

Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, however, several developments pushed single-payer to the fore. First, although Obamacare expanded coverage to some 20 million people – achieving much good – it raised hopes that universal healthcare would be achieved while failing to deliver it: some 29 million remain uninsured today, while many more face onerous deductibles, restrictive insurance networks, surprise bills, unaffordable medications, medical bankruptcies and disruptions in care with every change in insurance plan.

Next, there was the 2016 election of Donald Trump, which made it obvious that Republicans lacked even a semi-serious alternative. Congressman Paul Ryan’s long-awaited ACA repeal bill was mostly a mechanism to transfer healthcare dollars from the poor into the savings accounts of the rich, and it seemed to satisfy no one except for wealthy donors.

Finally, there was a marked progressive shift within the Democratic party, beginning with the 2015-16 presidential primary campaign. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton opposed single-payer, saying it would “never, ever” happen, but it was central to the platform of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders lost the primary, of course, but he advocated better ideas.

Obama’s endorsement of single-payer on Friday (despite having previously said something similar) is therefore tantamount to a major shift in the Overton window, reflecting years of activism by single-payer supporters as well as a historic intra-party shift.

Today, in primary contests across the country, progressive Medicare-for-All proponents are ousting more centrist and establishment candidates – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise primary win in New York’s 14th congressional district being the most popular example. At the same time, public support has soared: a recent Reuters poll found that 70.1% want Medicare for All, including 84.5% of Democrats. One might even argue that for people who want a job as a Democratic politician, in other words, supporting single-payer is nearly becoming a prerequisite.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/16/medicare-for-all-universal-healthcare-democrats

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Federal court rules North Carolina cannot ban trans people from restrooms

From LGBTQ Nation: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/10/federal-court-rules-north-carolina-cannot-ban-trans-people-restrooms/

Monday, October 1, 2018

A federal court has declared that House Bill 142, the law that replaced North Carolina’s discriminatory House Bill 2, doesn’t bar transgender people from using public facilities – including restrooms.

Federal Judge Thomas Schroeder issued the decision Sunday evening, adding that, “Nothing in the language of Section 2 (of HB 142) can be construed to prevent transgender individuals from using the restrooms that align with their gender identity.”

This effectively returned North Carolina to pre-HB2 days as far as trans restroom use is concerned.  Transgender people in the state may use restrooms that match their self-identity, not based on, for example, their birth certificate.

The ACLU and Lambda Legal represent the six plaintiffs in the case.

“I am relieved to finally have the court unequivocally say that there is no law in North Carolina that can be used to bar transgender people from using restrooms that match who we are,” said Joaquin Carcaño, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, said.

“For the past two and a half years, I have been unable to use restrooms in my home state without worrying that I will be subject to discrimination, harassment, or even arrest.”

“In light of this ruling, there should no longer be any excuse for discrimination in government facilities against transgender students and employees, who are simply trying to get through daily life like everyone else,” said Lambda Legal Counsel Tara Borelli.

“H.B. 142 and H.B. 2 no longer provide a fig leaf for denying transgender people equal dignity and access to public facilities on the same terms that all other North Carolinians can take for granted.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2018/10/federal-court-rules-north-carolina-cannot-ban-trans-people-restrooms/

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Brett Kavanaugh: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

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