There’s a reason it’s a never-ending battle

Some years back, a commenter on the Feministing website made what struck me as a depressingly true comment: If the Supreme Court legalized slavery tomorrow morning, by tomorrow night people would be driving around with chains in the backs of their cars, eyes peeled for some human assets.
It’s been more than a century since legal slavery was ground into the dust and there are still die-hard racists who will talk of how good it was for blacks. Evil dies slowly, if at all. Sometimes the most we can do is push it back and denounce it, until everyone recoils from those who say it and we make of their name a sign and a proverb. It’s not easy. Even after Todd Akin (the Repub who claimed rape doesn’t get women pregnant) lost the election, there we politicians popping up to defend his words. Of course, driving someone like Akin from office doesn’t stop other people saying and thinking it. But as David Neiwert has argued, when people say it publicly and it’s treated as a legitimate point of view, it only makes the views behind it more acceptable (the “transmission belt” at the link leads to Neiwert’s discussion of how he sees Limbaugh, Coulter and similar pundits channeling what were once far-right ideas into the mainstream. He makes a good case).
Which is why it’s worth looking at things like the latest Miss America pageant. As you may have heard, the winner was an American born woman of Indian descent. Which didn’t stop one Fox host from proclaiming she “doesn’t represent American values” like the blonde military veteran who was runner-up.
Now it’s actually perfectly possible that voting for a veteran as Miss America did make a few judges recoil (it’s not the traditional image that goes with the role), and that would be a shame. But that’s a far cry from saying Nina Davuluri is unAmerican just because she’s non-white. And on Twitter, a lot of people said so, as well as freaking out that someone would actually give this to the “Arab” right after 9/11. Because y’know, she’s dark. And all Arabs bear blood guilt for 9/11. Even a woman who was 12 at the time.
Sample quote: “I swear I’m not racist but this is America.” Um, yeah, you are kind of racist.
Meanwhile, Hanna Rosin, the author of the book The End of Men (so called because she claims men are falling behind as women get the best jobs and all the power) claims that patriarchy is no more. And only feminists who can’t realize the game is over disbelieve it.
And as a commenter points out at LGM “There was a group marginalized in the election: white men. They voted en masse for Mitt Romney, and lost” is an even higher level of bullshit: Voting for the losing candidate isn’t being marginalized, it’s just losing.
And speaking of the alleged failure of men, Echidne points out that the evidence young men are living at home in record numbers while women go out and succeed is not there. But it’s such a useful basis for condemning women, I doubt it’ll disappear any more than the myth 40something women are more likely to die from terrorism than get married.
And over in Florida, lawyers are claiming their client shooting his neighbor over Labor Day was justified by the Bush Doctrine of pre-emptive strikes against imminent threats.
For a lighter note, Roy Edroso watches how rightbloggers denouncing Obama for going into Syria are now denouncing him for not going into Syria.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

One response to “There’s a reason it’s a never-ending battle

  1. Pingback: Silence is not golden | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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