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Member since: 2001
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More than one man I'm close to have said things to the effect of "It's about time ('these guys'/'guys like that'/'institutions like that prep school'/'enablers in the dudebro club'/etc.) get seriously called out on this, and have to take consequences."

Agreed, and thank you, guys.

But then some of them go on to say, "But I worry that a lot of guys are going to suffer unfairly for stuff they didn't do, or stuff they were only peripherally involved in, or because they went to a school like that even if they never did anything" yadayadayada...

And then there are those who worry about something like 'proportionality' in terms of the consequences, like- 'it was only a drunken grope that didn't go anywhere, she was fully dressed and left on her own steam, why should it wreck a whole career decades later' and shit like that.

So unfair, right?


Tell me, please, what is "fair" about the lifelong impact of attempted rape on a young woman who knew, thirty years ago, that to try and have her assaulter identified and punished (oh, proportionately, of course!) would only result in 'the second assault' of being blamed, not-believed, subjected to venomous gossip and character assassination, etc. And so she's never really slept all that well, has always had trust issues in relationships, has lost opportunities to try things because of needing to keep herself safe (because deep inside, she knows she's not worthy of society keeping her safe- that was proved thirty years ago), has had her vision of her self distorted and occluded by her victimization, had suffered from periodic depressions that have affected her parenting, work, etc.

What is "fair" about that?

Women who have survived sexual assault are not inclined to trust any 'system' to be scrupulously fair. And indeed, the whole concept of 'fair' is subject to valid debate. We're not talking about things that can be accurately measured or compared across incidence and time.

The cry for "fairness" is a strong and resonant one that stirs empathy on a very fundamental level in human beings. Manipulating our perceptions of what is "fair" and who's been fairly treated or unfairly treated, by whom, with what motives, is a potent tool for those who would seek power and influence. Demagogues of all kinds beat the "fairness" drum to bring their followers into the streets, metaphorical and literal.

The law seeks "equity" but if you talk to any competent and experienced judge at almost any level of the judicial system you'll get an earful about how illusory that goal can be, way more often than not.

I do not seek to make some kind of universal retribution upon all whose physiology puts them in the patriarchal 'privilege' spot. But neither do I think that calls for "fairness" in examining the impact of consequences on those who've participated in, enabled, and/or benefited by the victimization of women- women whose pain has NEVER been acknowledged, examined, or redressed in this culture, are going to get a whole lot of respect.


It may not be fair.

Neither is being dehumanized, degraded, treated as an object whose pain doesn't matter, and left to your own devices for decades.

Get used to "unfair."

You can survive it. We're here to testify to that.


Himpathy's Last Victory

(Note: I didn't coin the term 'himpathy'. I first saw it in this interview with Kate Manne. My definition is slightly different than hers, but, I think, congruent.)

Will a Senate confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States be himpathy's last victory?

It is comforting to me to think that such a confirmation would so blatantly expose the toxic ubiquity of himpathy that America will rise up as a nation to deliver a final rejection, in November 2018, in November 2020, in courts and police stations and schools and churches and institutions throughout the land.

But I'm not counting on it.

Himpathy is too pervasive in our culture, too toxic.

Himpathy says "It would be a tragedy to ruin HIS career/future because of the pain/trauma he inflicted on HER."

Himpathy says "It's understandable and okay for HIM to treat HER as an object, to elicit the belonging and approval of his fellow Dudebros."

Himpathy says "SHE can explain in accurate and complete detail but it's not understandable or acceptable until HE explains the same thing."

Himpathy says "HE can be a minister/bishop/prophet/imam/rabbi but SHE can't."

Himpathy says "I don't feel the impact of the news from HER voice, but when HE gives it, it's more important, believable, real, authoritative."

Himpathy says "HIS art/musical composition/sculpture/poetry/film is worthy of enshrining as a cultural reference point, but HERs is 'folk art' or 'chick lit' or whatever."

Himpathy says "It's okay for the collective noun in a language to be gendered in relationship to HE, because SHE applies only to this anomalous subset of not-quite-fully human members of the species."

Himpathy says "This film isn't going to have much impact unless the protagonist is a HE, because 'people' won't be able to enter into their feelings and experiences if it's a SHE."

Himpathy says "HE belongs here. SHE has to prove she can compete on the same level."

Himpathy says "People will come to see HIM play football but not to see HER play basketball, so our University will spend five million dollars on a football coach and a hundred thousand on a basketball coach."

Himpathy says "No one's going to respect our organization/institution unless we have HIM for a leader. If we have HER for a leader they'll think we're weak or negligible."

Himpathy says "We can't start the meeting until HE arrives, even though SHE is here and ready to begin."

I would love to think that America's ready to give up on Himpathy. I can't quite get there.

But failing that, I would love to think that the rising water now far out at sea is a tsunami of Himpathy rejection that is going to break with massively destructive force over the GOP.

And THAT, I believe, is achievable.

Let us make it so.

If we can't make Kavanaugh's confirmation Himpathy's last victory in our nation, let us at least make it the GOP's final triumph of Himpathy.


What's in the woodwork...

I've lost count of the times, over the last few days, when I've heard, heard about, or read about some Pissed-Off Old White Guy (isn't "POOWG" just an adorable acronym?) snarling something to the effect that women 'coming out of the woodwork' to accuse fine, upstanding other OWGs of Stuff That Didn't Even Used To Be Worth Paying Attention To, is some kind of evil conspiracy.

See, apparently in the minds of these POOWGs (spot me on this one, I know it's irrational but I can't make anything rational out of what I'm hearing, so I have to go with 'irrational') "real" sexual assault is very rare-- only at-gunpoint, stranger rape resulting in grievous bodily harm qualifies.

So, obvs, all these women bringing up "sexual assault" are just monkey-wrenching, faking it, and/or otherwise being the kind of nuisances that their husbands should deal with and keep out of the public sphere. They're scurrying around in the woodwork like roaches, chittering together and conspiring to Be Mean to Men for their own malevolently female reasons.


Over here?

Down by the baseboard, yep.


You're right about one thing, Old Dudesters: If your Mama told you that old line about "If you see one roach in the kitchen, there's a hundred more in the woodwork?" And that's what you're going by?

Actually, that's a pretty good inference. Except for the scale.

For every one woman popping out of the woodwork to point a finger at her assaulter, there's not a hundred more. It's probably more like A THOUSAND.

Estimates range from one in three to one in five American women has experienced some form of sexual assault. That's a LOT of women, any way you calculate it.

'But waitaminnit', I hear your creaky voices objecting: 'if there's somewhere between 30 and 50 million women who've been victims of sexual assault, there must be that many rapists in jail, and there certainly aren't so you're making this all up.'

POOWG logic.

Gotta love it.

No, dudes ancien, that doesn't follow. The number of perps does not equal the number of victims. Once a skeevy asshole has discovered that He Gets Away With It, he rarely stops at one victim. So, thankfully for us, there are a much higher number of men who don't engage in sexual assault than you might think, by the number of women who've been assaulted.

The fact that the airwaves, Intertoobs, Starbux lounges, print newspapers, meeting minutes, legislative hearings, criminal courts and every other public forum haven't been one long narrative of outrage isn't because sexual assault is "rare".


Many guys who'd never dream of literally waving their weiner in a co-worker's face themselves are reluctant to see the co-worker who DID wave his weiner in a co-worker's face lose his job. Or get prosecuted. He's basically a nice guy, after all, aside from the weiner-waving thing. And the co-worker over-reacted.

Even many WOMEN, god help us, who've carefully warned their darling sons about the manipulative little sluts who are going to try and victimize them, can't believe it when it seems their sweet boychick humped on an intoxicated classmate. And they certainly don't want their offsprings' lives "ruined" by having to take the consequences of their actions. Ah, mother love.

Now listen up, POOWGs, and listen carefully.

All of us here in the woodwork (and I know you cannot even begin to IMAGINE how many of us there are... you remember the scene with the spiders in the Indiana Jones movie? Or the one with the scarabs in "The Mummy"? Did you ever see "Willard"? Yeah... like that, only MORE) aren't gonna stay here.

And here's the deal: Now that we're coming out?

We're not just coming for the perps, wizened bros.

We are coming for THE ENABLERS.

And we're not going to stop.

Not for generations we're not.

Not until the culture changes to grant us full and equal humanity, to the extent that our personhood is not subject to the vagaries of pathetically inadequate masculine ego seeking to bolster itself by sexual domination, subjugation and dehumanization of US.

Get used to it.

Yeah, we're in the woodwork.



The Agonizingly Slow Pace of Exposure: Is There an Understandable Justification?

This morning one commentator pointed out that the most damaging thing about the Woodward book isn't that it provides any 'new' information, but rather that it provides powerful confirmation to what's already been exposed by multiple sources.

That was followed, later today, by the ominously phrased and carefully anonymous "Resistance From Within" Op-Ed in the New York Times "by a senior Administration official".

And no one has to tell us here on DU that the pace of the Mueller investigation seems positively glacial, considering how much evidence there apparently is just (metaphorically and possibly literally) lying around, and how many people lining up to sing like prize canaries.

I've lost count of the number of pieces, here and elsewhere, pointing out hundreds of different aberrations, incompetences, and clear incidences of gobsmacking corruption, and saying something to the effect of "If anyone in the Obama Administration had done that the impeachment proceedings would be done and dusted by Friday of the same week!"

Yes, it's frustrating. It's agonizing. We watch the damage accumulating and holler "What The Actual F***!" among ourselves. When is the metric crapton of other shoes going to hit the deck and SOMETHING HAPPEN TO BRING THIS TRAVESTY TO AN END?

And I think I'm getting a sense of why people who otherwise would be pushing hard to do exactly that might be deliberately slow-rolling this stuff.

It's linked to two clear facts that are almost never brought up during the course of the discussions, at least not anywhere other than here on DU. And even we seem to forget them a lot:

Fact One: The extent of Russian intervention in the 2016 election is not fully known, but the shape materializing in the fog is looking bigger and uglier by the day. Which brings into question the legitimacy of those 2016 election results, although possibly not the legality of the inauguration and the installation of the [Redacted] Administration and all the appointments appertaining thereunto. There is no consensus on how the Constitution should be interpreted to provide guidance in such a case.

Fact Two: It is also becoming increasingly clear to a larger and larger section of the public as well as the punderati and the Federal Establishment that the GOP has become so corrupted, vitiated, greedy, and possibly actually subverted by Putin & Co., that they will NOT cooperate with any of the Constitutionally-provided processes for changing the composition of the Executive Branch between elections. Unlike after Watergate, there are no GOP heroes left who will put the integrity of the Constitution and the government of our Republic ahead of their own greed and/or agendas (Or Putin's agenda.) Both impeachment and Article 25 removal rely on a 2/3 vote of the Senate.

No one sees that happening yet.

Keeping those two facts in mind, what are the likely outcomes that might proceed from increasingly serious evidence of increasingly serious crimes on the part of [Redacted] and his minions?

And who might be waiting just beyond our view, to exploit situations of Constitutional chaos and civil disorder? With what resources, what foreign masters, what domestic traitor/collaborators?

I think it's possible that this process is being slow-rolled because it's necessary to buy time- a lot of it- to lean on various GOP Senators, cobble together Constitutional justifications and processes, identify the most dangerous ambush sites and (metaphorically) flank them.

That NYT Op-Ed looked like a pretty clear indicator to me: There are several lines of attack from Russia and/or domestic adversaries wanting to undermine our nation. If a "soft coup" is part of their plan, Constitutional chaos and civil disorder might well leave all the wrong people in charge.

Maybe slow is a good thing right now.

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