Category Archives: Trump administration

Anger in America

Lizza-Scaramucci

“Angry” is the word used to characterize Trump’s base. Collectively, these voters had long been fed up with feeling marginalized, left behind, left out, and laid off. Then Trump rose up to give voice to their anger, pointing fingers of blame all over the place (but especially at “the Dems” and “Crooked Hillary”). There’s a funny New Yorker piece called “Don’t Blame Yourself,” enumerating all the things that are no one’s fault (but especially not the fault of the guileless “you” in the piece): “Your teeth were fine until that dentist said you had a bunch of cavities,” and so on.

When Hillary Clinton played into Trump’s narrative with her regrettable “basket of deplorables” remark, she further evoked the ire of the angry populace who, during campaign season, had been given permission to be angry and loudly so. No longer do they have to suffer in silence. The reaction is parallel to that of the stereotypical redneck who now feels emboldened to mock people who are educated. Or bigots who now feel it is OK to disparage “liberals” as “PC.” America no longer has a prevailing “live and let live” or “agree to disagree” culture. People are dug into their anger, hardened by their grudges, and, seemingly, would rather see their country fall apart than make progress toward a shared goal. Because the divide between Trump and his supporters and everyone else is too great. We don’t, actually, share anything. We don’t have anything in common, or so it seems.

I am thinking of this on the train, where I find myself sighing overly loudly in the direction of a woman on her cell phone, loudly conversing about this and that. When I catch her eye she gives me the finger.

Anger in America.

And, finally, I’m remembering a little incident at a recent Zara sale. The cashiers’ line was long and slow. A woman asks, loudly, if she might go to the front of the line because she is illegally parked outside and needs to return clothing right away because the 30-day return window ends today. No one speaks up. I say “I’m sorry, I’ve got to say ‘no,’ to that. We’ve all been waiting at least for 20 minutes.” The woman grumbles something like: “Well that’s a New Yorker for you.” I say, “Well you did ask. And it’s not like it’s a medical emergency.” To which she says: “Not everything’s a medical emergency, lady.” Which is a stupid retort and I stupidly replied “can’t argue with that.”

Anger in America.

I wrote all this before Anthony Scaramucci unloaded onto The New Yorker an expletive-laced tirade against Reince Priebus. It’s getting worse.

 

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Men behaving badly

 

 

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Jennifer Weiner

In an opinion piece called “The Men Who Never Grow Up,” Jennifer Weiner observes that “Americans have a soft spot for our troublemakers and scamps,” excusing the bad behavior on the part of one particular “honest kid” with a dismissive “that’s politics”—even when that kid is 39 years old and his scampishness appears to have included colluding with the Russians to interfere with the presidential election.

“Women and nonwhite men don’t have it quite as easy,” Weiner writes, trenchantly: “If boys will be boys, then girls must be grown-ups, whose job it is to protect men from their worst impulses.” Or serve as post-indiscretion apologists: “like boys in the locker room,” appeased Melania Trump about her husband bragging about his pussy-grabbing prowess. Also implicated in that incident was Billy Bush, who excused his own poor judgment with “I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.” He was 33 at the time.

When Anderson Cooper pressed Melania, she stayed on point: “It’s kinda like two teenage boys — actually they should behave better, right?” she said.

Cooper: “He was 59.”

Compare all that with condemnation heaped upon female celebrities behaving badly. Lindsay Lohan, while not one of my very favorite people (except for her star turn in “The Parent Trap” 10 years ago, when she was), is a pariah. Confusing, yes, so here’s the bottom line: men who behave badly are forgiven, women are not and, salt to the wound, must clean up the messes made by males.

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No broughtupsy to be found

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Best piece of writing about KAC I’ve read, taking her to task for acting like a 10-year-old, far as I can see: feet on the couch, knees all splayed, playing with her phone. Says Awesomely Luvvie: “This woman ain’t got no home training. Not a piece of broughtupsy to be found. Does she have on shoes? That couch looks like it stains easily and I don’t know where her feet have been and what she’s trudging in. I’m just mad for whoever has to come clean … and so much more >

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Refugees Welcome

 

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Refugees Welcome: #NoBanNoWall

Read more on Tue/Night >

 

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“Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Hell hath no fury like a woman silenced. Like Trump’s Nasty Woman putdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rebuke (and silencing) of Elizabeth Warren last night only fanned the flames of female fury. Here‘s how it went down: Warren began to read a letter from Coretta Scott King’s feelings about a prior Jeff Sessions’ appointment. McConnell objected to both the reading of the letter and to Warren’s history of outspokenness, even after she is asked to stop talking. Then came the line.

“Nevertheless, she persisted.”

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Instantly, this has become a rallying cry for women in government, in the workplace and in relationships to “persist” in the face of would-be male silencers. Writes Heidi Stevens for The Chicago Tribune:

“Just keep talking. Keep your pauses short. Maintain your momentum. No matter if he waves his hands, raises his voice or squirms in his chair, you do you.”

Or push back. “Bob, I wasn’t done finishing that point. Give me one more sec.”

Persist.

Sometimes the floor remains yours; sometimes you get rebuked and silenced by your colleagues.

But you say what needs to be said. And here and there, you inspire a rallying cry.

“Nevertheless, she persisted.”

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Cissexism (and other things I want to be smarter about)

This post was supposed to be about the surge of pro-woman discourse in the age of Donald Trump. I mostly wanted to post the posters, below, which I think are beautiful. Following a path I could not recall if I even wanted to, I fell into Everyday Feminism and an article called “Here are 20 Examples of Cissexism We’ve Probably All Committed at Some Point.” And I, a supposedly broad-minded, thinking-caring-and-soi-disant feminist, have committed so many of them. For example:

3. Not Noticing When Personal Information Forms Have Only ‘Male’ or ‘Female’ as Options — yes ma’am! and sir and, um, other honorific I don’t actually know 

6. Never Wondering Why Tampons Aren’t in Men’s Restrooms — never, ever wondered this

12. Referring to Equal Marriage as ‘Gay Marriage’ or ‘Same-Sex Marriage’ — guilty again and I thought I was saying the right thing, but now I see the problem  

19. Expecting Trans People to Educate You If You’re Struggling to Understand the Trans Community — perhaps worse (again) I never considered this question at all. And I love the author’s notation on this one: I am not your teachable moment. Teach your own damn self on your own damn time. 

Also cessexist as a adjective is really hard to say but I’m going to try, I really am.

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Lauren Crew

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Ashley Shley

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Mary Purdie

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Jerkish

 

“Humanly impoverished” is one of the ways novelist Philip Roth describes Donald Trump in an email to Judith Thurman for a New Yorker article. Further, per Roth, Trump is:

“…ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English.”

I’ve always admired Roth but, at the same time, felt excluded from Roth’s world, even as a reader: I’m too fond of resolution, kindness and civility. I react to him in the same way I react to overly (in my estimation) sardonic, sarcastic, cerebral but dark-world-view-professing people in my IRL. Why? I don’t know. I’m not the sunniest of all sunbeams. Perhaps it’s a lack of confidence in my own intellect. Insecurity, let’s say, the root cause of so much human conflict.

All that said, I’ll put “The Plot Against America”on my reading list.

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Philip Roth

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