Thursday, November 30, 2017

Values, Accountability, and women

The world is all topsy-turvy, with serial sexual harassers who assault young girls elected to high office, while gropers grimly hang on. Politics is a mess and there are no values left in its practitioners. At least the media has been cleaning house, with the latest being NBC news host Matt Lauer.

I do not watch television, so I am only dimly aware of who he is. Apparently, he liked to sleep with women not his wife, and exposed himself to his staff, gave them inappropriate gifts, and tried to have sex with them. And like Charlie Rose before him, he had power and authority and he got away with it. (What is it with talk show hosts and sex?)

But one thing that struck me was that the guy earns $25 MILLION for a combination of fluff interviews and reading the news. One twitter account I saw suggested that $25m is enough to put 5 reporters in each of our statehouses and pay them and give them benefits. I am a fairly well paid professional and there's no way in an entire lifetime of work that I would come anywhere near $25M.

And what does it say about our culture that we pay a sex-mad newsreader $25M while people who do the actual job of journalism, or cancer research, or teaching, struggle to stay in the middle class. (And they won't, if the GOP tax plan passes).

Meanwhile, today there was an article published in the Federalist arguing that it doesn't matter what Moore did, because ABORTION.

Really, it all cycles back to abortion, which is an outcome of female sexuality and that is why it must be controlled.  Because women should be shamed if they are pregnant out of wedlock, because women's bodies must be policed.  Because men feel they have the right to power over women.  Because a woman's job is babies. It's not surprising that ThinkProgress found evidence that Roy Moore co-authored a law course that included arguments against women holding elected office.

 From Salon, a few weeks ago:
And make no mistake: It's patriarchy, not morality, that is the animating force behind the Christian right that has elevated Moore. Evangelicals may talk a big game about chastity, but their overwhelming support for Donald Trump is a reminder that "chastity" is just the cover story for the true agenda, which is bringing women firmly under the control of men. Men's unchaste behavior isn't really considered a problem, even when it's criminal. It's female bodies and female sexuality the Christian right is interested in controlling — and dating young girls in no way conflicts with that goal. If anything, as the above examples show, locking them down young is considered a handy way to achieve these patriarchal objectives.
I salute the women who have come forward against these powerful men, but nothing's going to change.  The Democrats lost a moment when Franken and Conyers refused to resign (Franken's seat in MN would remain safely D), so the GOP can point at them and say "everyone does it".  Alabama evangelicals are even more likely to vote for Moore after these allegations.  The President remains in office, and get prepared to say hello to Senator Moore.  The darkness is upon us.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.



The Second Coming, W. B. Yeats.