Category Archives: Politics

Sexism and Fighting Back, Around the World

First, international:

Over in Italy, two men were cleared of rape charges on the grounds the victim looked too masculine to be the target of rape.

Someone’s keeping a database in China that apparently tracks “breed ready” women and identifies them by name and address.

In Nigeria, women are pushing back against marketplace harassment. Women are also in the forefront of Sudanese protests against government oppression.

In Saudi Arabia, even women covered up except for their eyes can offend decency with tempting eyes.

Now, the US:

Actor Lupita N’Yongo on her first-person experience of how Harvey Weinstein harasses women.

“Women have more adverse reactions to drugs than men, and while the number one adverse reaction in women is nausea, the second most common is that the drug just doesn’t work.”

As you may have heard, a man threw a child off a balcony in the Mall of America because he’d had no luck picking up women at the mall.

Is “brilliant” in politics a descriptor reserved for men?

The new movie Unplanned is supposedly the based-on-truth story of a Planned Parenthood staffer who became a right-to-lifer. Amanda Marcotte suggests it’s more “based” than “truth.”

Katie Bouman got some media attention as a woman working on the project that photographed the first black hole. For some people, the attention was too much. Particularly online misogynists.

Some guys in an Alaska high school staged a protest against trans-bathroom access by barging into the girls’ bathroom. Reportedly they blocked one girl from leaving the bathroom so she kicked one in the groin — and got suspended for it. Twitter discussion here.

In Texas the legislature recently debated a bill that could impose the death penalty on women who get abortions. Self-proclaimed Christian prophet Mark Taylor, however, claims that it’s the left wing that wants to execute pregnant women.

Joshua Harris was a major player in the evangelical push to replace dating with a more formal, parent-controlled courtship. Women who experienced guilt and shame trying to live up to this standard aren’t thrilled Harris now takes it all back.

Like so many people, feminists on Twitter can get vicious with each other.

A federal ban on female genital mutilation has been ruled unconstitutional.

 

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Free speech does not mean what he thinks it does

So in 2015, artist Julian Raven painted Unafraid and Unashamed, a worshipful, 16 foot wide painting of Donald Trump (and as an aside, people who admire a racist, sexist, sexual harassing liar and crook because he’s not ashamed are saying a lot about themselves, and it ain’t good). In 2017, he asked the National Portrait Gallery to display it for the inauguration. The director said it wasn’t very good (I agree; you can see it at the link); Raven sued on the grounds that by refusing him, the museum was denying him his First Amendment rights. He lost, but he’s appealing the case

As the judge who ruled against him said, museums selecting which works hang on their walls is not a First Amendment issue. Selecting artworks, or historical pieces, or dinosaur skeletons is part of their job. And yes, that includes rejecting works that are too political. Nobody has the right to demand their work be exhibited, even in a government museum. As Fred Clark points out, the museum is not suppressing Raven’s work: he displayed it at CPAC and he’s free to show it anywhere he chooses. What Raven wants to do is force the museum to put his poster up, in defiance of the organization’s own First Amendment rights (which include the right not to express a viewpoint or show a painting).

This is something a lot of people, and not just conservatives, have trouble grasping. Not providing someone else with a platform to speak is not, generally, a violation of their First Amendment rights and it’s not necessarily censorship. If Stephen Miller or Milo Yianopoulis (or for that matter Barack Obama) wants to speak at UNC, or Harvard, or on the lawn of my house, wanting to doesn’t translate into a right to speak there. They don’t have a right to have a book published; they don’t have a right to have stores carry the book if it is published; movie theaters are not obligated to show a movie hero-worshipping Donald Trump. Even if they’re doing it for political reasons, that doesn’t make it censorship.

I first ran into this argument in the early 1990s when Piers Anthony and another author were complaining that bookstores refused to carry their stuff because of its political content (I don’t know the specific objections, though with Anthony I can imagine) — censorship! Both said that would be acceptable if the books didn’t sell, but not for objections to their content. Which is to say they had more respect for someone who rejected their work based on cash than someone who rejected it on principles.

I disagreed strongly (not to their faces, though). If a company wants to make decisions based on ethical conduct, that’s certainly justifiable; nobody’s obligated to sell erotica, or porn, or Bibles, or Korans, or atheist manifestos, or sexist TV stars if they disagree with them. That’s true even if their decisions aren’t ones I’d agree with. Refusing a book because the lead character is gay, or there’s an inter-racial romance is a bad thing in my eyes — but that’s not because it’s a First Amendment issue, it’s because I disagree with the politics.

Which is true of most conservative posturing on this matter: the issue is their right to promote their own viewpoints, not free speech, but they don’t admit it. When Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty was denied a speaker’s slot at a Christian event because his family had launched a wine label, the religious right didn’t protest; when A&E dropped his show for his sexist remarks, they were livid.

As Clark says, it’s not inconceivable Raven might win his case, given how hard the Republicans have worked over the years to staff courts with conservative judges. But if he does, it would not be a triumph for freedom. And certainly not for good art.

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No, clothes do not make the rapist

I’ve had Jessica Wolfendale’s law journal article on Provocative Dress and Sexual Responsibility on my desktop for a while. I’m glad I finally got around to it. The article covers a topic I’ve written about before (the myth a rape victim was asking for it) and does it well. Two points in particular jumped out at me:

1)Under the standards used in some states, a husband or boyfriend murdering his wife for divorcing him or taking out a restraining order could be classed as manslaughter rather than murder, on the grounds the killer was driven by overwhelming emotion. As Wolfendale says, this allows the man to rewrite the law: a restraining order doesn’t really restrain him. A woman’s right to divorce doesn’t entitle her to leave if he loses it.

2)The standard that a woman should expect rape if she’s “dressed to convey sexual availability” supposedly makes women responsible for what happens. In reality it takes away their agency: whatever they think they were doing (looking professional-but-attractive for work, wearing makeup because it’s expected, wearing shorts because it’s hot), their intentions are less important than what men think they were doing. By Rod Dreher’s logic, if a man thinks a woman looks like a hooker, it’s natural for him to rape her. Most women I know with tattoos don’t think they’re flaunting their sexuality; Dreher thinks they’re slutting it up. So presumably they’re asking for it, the jezebels. Much as Saudi women who cover up everything but their eyes can be punished for having sexy eyes.

And of course, women often look sexy because it’s a job requirement. And because they’re constantly being judged on their clothing in ways men aren’t.

In other news:

An older article from Time on sexism and school dress codes.

Jessica Valenti looks at comments on one article about anti-rape slutwalks.

Back in Steubenville, OH, two teenage boys raped an unconscious girl (they’d all been drinking) and shared videos with classmates. Think Progress looks at how the media took the boys’ side, for example discussing how hard it will be for them if they have to register as sexual offenders the rest of their lives.

A fascist endorses the idea that women should have to pay incels sexual reparations. And here’s an incel who thinks slave women had it easy because all they had to do was have sex.

Passage is a long-shot but I do like this Dem-backed bill fighting sexual harassment.

Another prominent harasser (whom somehow I’d missed hearing about).

“Older men are sex symbols” has been a fantasy for a long time (a fantasy in that while some older men are sexy, a lot of us are just old). It’s also a popular fantasy for incels who imagine themselves getting hotter with age while women wither up and become spinsters. We Hunted the Mammoth tackles the bullshit.

Trump cabinet member Alex Acosta broke Florida law as a prosecutor by giving accused serial sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein a sweetheart plea bargain. In a recent Congressional hearing, Democrats pummeled him for his decision. The standard Repub defense in these situations seems to be that it’s all politics, but that’s no excuse for Acosta (despite which, one Republican in the hearings hailed him for integrity).

Echidne of the Snakes parses out the complexities of what causes the gender pay gap.

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My state and other links

A North Carolina school insisted female students wear skirts to “preserve chivalry and respect among young women and men.” How does that work? “Visual cues” signifying this is not a boy and should be treated accordingly. Plus blather about teen pregnancies and casual sex, which as we all know never happen when women wore skirts.

Oh, and in North Carolina, once sex starts a woman can’t change her mind. It’s a 2017 story, but online research indicates it’s still the law here.

Now for something positive from NC: the Guilford County sheriff fired a jail chaplain who thought his mission included converting inmates.

Less positive: the Supreme Court told Texas must either allow inmates to have a spiritual adviser with them in the execution chamber, regardless of faith, or ban all spiritual advisers. Texas went with option 2.

Rod Dreher bemoans kids who’d sooner play online than get physical in the sports arena. Of course he never played himself.

If women have “daddy issues” why do we mock them instead of their fathers?

Donald Trump has decided Homeland Security shouldn’t focus as much on domestic terrorism. Timothy McVeigh, Eric Rudolph, Christopher Hasson, the prez has your back!

The problem with capitalism is often that capitalists suck.

Conservative Austin pastors unsurprisingly fight an ordinance that protects against firing for gender identity and sexual orientation.

How America sold out to Russian (and other) kleptocrats.

A pastor told his female parishioners God would bless them for submitting to his sexual demands. (hat tip to slacktivist).

The appeal of Satan-fearing paranoia? “Even if there isn’t a good guy, there sure as hell is a villain.” Or as Fred Clark puts it ” It was a lie that reassured them they were the good and virtuous and heroic people, distinct from and better than hundreds of thousands of their neighbors who were — in fact and, more importantly, by comparison — unspeakably vile and depraved.”

A-OC reminds us that tech companies and Big Pharma rely on government support for innovation and don’t pay much back.

In El Salvador, having a health crisis in pregnancy can get you 30 years in prison.

“But, being “not quite as bad” when it comes to gender discrimination isn’t enough for Democrats, not ever, but especially not now.” Which is to say Michigan Democrats are not doing enough.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (yep, that guy) is totally in favor of trans rights (the same way he’s concerned about the environment), but if we give them rights, couldn’t Trump declare himself the first female president?

White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney thinks it’s terrible that we don’t support anti-gay discrimination in other countries. The administration is also comfortable with overseas efforts to push women into having more babies. Unsurprising given our own alt.right movement is fueled by male supremacy. And Republicans have been courting the far right overseas for a long time.

Beware! Trump claims the noise from wind turbines gives people cancer. No More Mr. Nice Blog provides some perspective (it’s a fringe theory that the noise will keep people awake, which weakens their health).

National Review‘s Graham Hillard says it seems reasonable to respect trans people’s requests about which pronouns and names to use, but we shouldn’t! “A man is a man. A woman is a woman. Let us not pretend otherwise.” Remember, it’s the people who hate LBGTQ people who are the real martyrs.

A woman in West Virginia claimed she saved her daughter from an Egyptian-immigrant kidnapper by flashing a gun. She lied about everything.

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Competing with the dead (and other writing links)

I don’t really buy Ernest Hemingway’s statement that success as a writer requires being better than the dead writers who proceed you. Author Fonda Lee has another take: in terms of bookstore shelf space, she and similar rising writers are squeezed out of shelf space by dead guys such as Robert Jordan and JRR Tolkien (the comments on Jim Hines’ post are good too). Which ties into this post too.

Vellum and Vinyl suggests that manic pixie dream girls are fine, the boyfriends are the problem.

Rick Riordan on how Hollywood mishandled the Percy Jackson series.

A solution for getting unstuck: five more (pages/minutes/chapters/whatever)

The Houston Chronicle investigated veteran reporter Mike Ward’s work for possible false quotes. They searched for 275 people quoted in his work and 122 could not be found.

I haven’t seen Alita: Battle Angel, but this review still seems to make good points about writing to set up a franchise vs. writing a movie.

Just how much did the late Stan Lee co-create for Marvel? Spoiler: lots.

Author Amber Royer discusses action scenes and SF worldbuilding

How filmmakers used to fake newsreel footage.

Some years back, undercover TV reporters went to work for Food Lion and filmed staff changing expiration-date labeling. There was a huge hue and cry declaring that the reporters had acted unethically and reporters must never be allowed to expose corporate misdeeds again (okay, not how they phrased it). This discussion of Al Jazeera posing as a gun rights group to expose both Australian politicians and the NRA argues there are times subterfuge is justified. I’m in agreement.

Deadspin argues that Netflix isn’t changing the world of broadcast TV, it’s become interchangeable with it.

A history of Harvey Comics, speculating about its effect on child readers. Below, the map of Harveyland.

A short history of the word retcon.

Positive and negative goals for characters

Oracle claims its Java API is copyrighted, and Google’s been violating copyright. Google says it’s fair use. The tech industry sides with Google.

Copyright issues are among the reason a French court has invalidated Google’s terms of service for Google+.

The U.S., China and intellectual property.

An Irish sandwich chain, Supermac, convinced an EU court to invalidate McDonald’s Big Mac trademark in the European Union.

#SFWApro. Cover by Jack Kirby, all rights to images remain with current holders.

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Menstrual pads should not be a luxury (and other political links)

And no, nothing in here is an April fool’s joke. I wish!

Incarcerated women in Maine only get a limited supply of menstrual products. Republican State Rep. Richard Pickett thinks giving women all the supplies they need would turn prison into a country club.

Serial sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, on the other hand did go to a club fed prison, and then he left that half the day to work at his office. It’s almost like law does not treat the rich powerful men and imprisoned women equally …

The GOP has been surprisingly ineffective at using the Mueller report and Trump’s supposed exoneration to shift public opinion. That doesn’t stop them trying to put the spotlight back on Clinton.

“Only in the elite media are there people who dislike Trump and feel bad about it.

Faced with a lawsuit over his claims the Sandy Hook school shooting was faked, Alex Jones says he was wrong, but not guilty by reason of insanity. And the media drove him to it!

There’s a lot of pessimism about America’s future since the rise of Trump, but here’s some optimism.

A gay prosecutor talks about the consequences of employers being able to fire him for being gay.

Boys at one high school had an organized system for rating girls’ hotness. The girls pushed back.

A Florida man raped his neighbor, offered to do some yard work in return, then asked her to shake hands so he could trust her not to call the cops. She called the cops, he’s serving 50 years.

The complexity of hate crime statistics.

One of the standard religious-right excuses for dropping the whole “we want moral Christian leaders” pretense is that Trump is a godless instrument chosen to serve the godly, just as the Persian conqueror Cyrus the Great brought the Jews back to Israel from exile. As I pointed out in an old And column, American Christians are not in exile.

Supposed deep thinker Stefan Molyneux blames ADHD on immigrants and single mothers.

The new right-wing idiot theory: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t a real congress member, she’s a paid actor. Um, no matter what they say (and like Edroso at the link, I’m sure this crap won’t disappear, even though it’s dumb), she got elected, ergo she’s a real congress person. It’s sort of like the birther paranoids, it’s easier to imagine that their adversary isn’t really entitled to her office. Oh, and trans people are trying to turn us all into cyborgs. See why I wish there were some April Fool stuff in here?

Last month the Supreme Court let Alabama execute a Muslim prisoner without making a spiritual counselor of his own faith available. This month, they did the opposite (I don’t know if the difference is that the prisoner is Buddhist, or what).

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Decriminalizing homosexuality and other political links

I was pleased when the Trump administration announced it would push for decriminalizing homosexuality worldwide. Like NMMNB, I’m not surprised they aren’t doing it.

I’m a big fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center, but if former top kick Morris Dees was indeed racist and sexist, it’s a good thing they fired him.

OMG, abortion cells in vaccines neutralize the power of prayer!

Beto O’Rourke has one big advantage in running for president.

Trump continues screwing over Puerto Rico.

What exactly should we say to put Confederate memorials in context?

What happens to the information gathered by smart watches?

Steve Bannon is very upset that the Russia probe will set back his efforts to “unite the Judeo-Christian west,” presumably against all the nonwhites and non-Christians. Given Russia’s history of anti-semitism and the growing anti-Semitism in the American right, I have a strange suspicion Bannon doesn’t mean the “Judeo” part.

Katha Pollitt looks at the admissions cheating scandal (“These excellent schools are not called Yale or Georgetown, though, and they don’t look as good on your sweatshirt or your BMW.”)

“To be clear: the definitions provided in this bill would ensure that books discussing sexual assault, books that educate healthy sexuality, and especially those which discuss non-heteronormative sex or sexuality would be deemed ‘pornographic.’

Sen. Mike Lee explains we can solve climate change by having more babies.

Because of the Trump/Republican tax cuts, we’re running a big deficit. Trump education secretary Betsy DeVos decided one way to trim the deficit is cut funding for Special Olympics.

The alt.right keeps moving in on the Republican Party.

A couple of years ago, Bret Easton Ellis had a hissy fit about whiny millennial snowflakes. At Bookforum, Andrea Long Chu dissects Ellis’ newest freakout beautifully (“Indeed, one cannot read White as anything but a book about being rich and bored.”).

White Kansas voters tell a researcher they support cutting school spending because it all goes to blacks who waste the money. At the link, Slacktivist scoffs at the researcher’s claim that doesn’t make the voters racist.

Right-wing pseudo historian David Barton was a big supporter of Mark Harris, the NC Republican whose campaign tried stealing votes and tampering with absentee ballots last year. Guess which party Barton claims is going to steal elections by absentee ballot?

Good for her! A sheriff resigns rather than obey a court order to reopen an unsafe jail.

To wrap up on a book cover note, here’s one by Charles Binger.

All rights to image remain with current holder.

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Who could have predicted Sen. Thom Tillis would ring his hands and do nothing? Everyone.

Prior to the vote on Trump’s emergency build-a-wall declaration, NC Sen. Thom Tillis declared the declaration was unacceptable and he was going to vote against it. Guess what? He voted for it.

Lance Mannion says GOP donors intimidated Tillis by threatening to fund a primary challenger for him next year. I frankly wonder if Tillis ever meant to go against Trump or if he was simply positioning himself as a Sensible Moderate Conservative in case Trump goes down. Sure, he may have voted for Trump’s emergency powers, but he was forced! He felt really bad about it! Sorry, senator, but as Thomas Jefferson once said, it’s in our actions and not our words that our hearts are read (and Tillis’ words are frequently lies). Sen. Richard Burr, didn’t even go as far as Tilis: he was an enthusiastic Trump supporter, as usual.

Utah approves hate-crime protection for gays, because the bill throws in protection for Trump supporters.

People aren’t poor because they lack intelligence, their intelligence goes down because poverty drains it.

Anti-semitism keeps surfacing on the right: online comic Owen Benjamin claims Hitler didn’t hate Jews, “he hated filth and was trying to clean it up.”

The right continues to demonize Muslims. Fred Clark looks at the general raving paranoia on the right (they’re going to put Christians in concentration camps and concludes people believe it (whether it is a false-flag shooting, a pedophile slave ring because they choose to believe it: “They purport to be fearful and concerned and upset by this news of evil “Momo” messengers preying on children. If that claim was made in good faith, then these folks would be relieved to learn that it’s all a hoax and a lie. “Oh, thank God,” they would say. But they do not say this and they are not relieved, because they preferred to go on pretending that it was true. Confronted with the evidence of the hoax they had chosen to avoid glancing at, they get angry and resentful to have it pointed out to them.”

I suspect the same sort of logic fuels the fantasy attacks like New Zealand’s are false flags by the left.

And, of course, fantasies about the other side being evil lead into calls to kill them first. Or believing that

So what do the Bible verses about obeying the king and rendering unto Caesar mean in the 21st century? A good discussion here.

Last year Florida voters restored voting rights to convicted criminals. Republicans try to prevent them voting anyway.

I’ve written before about Trump cabinet member and former prosecutor Alexander Acosta breaking Florida law to cut a plea bargain deal with accused child molester Jeffrey Epstein. Now it turns out that as Epstein’s guilty plea involved sex with a sixteen year old, he doesn’t have to register as a sexual predator.

Howard Schulz continues fantasizing he’s the Trump-killer candidate. And some Dems fantasize, just like Obama did, that they can win over Republicans.

In the wake of the recent college recruiting scandal, an insider discusses how often they had to admit mediocre rich kids over the talented poor to land that sweet, sweet full tuition payment.

Five years for animal cruelty? I’m good with it.

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Judging Tucker Carlson by things he says? That’s outrageous!

So as I linked to recently, alt.right-curious Tucker Carlson (who thinks its bad when women out-earn men and that women buying men dinner is disgusting) told a radio host that women like being ordered “do what you’re told” and that a statutory rapist whose willing to marry his victim shouldn’t be treated as a crook (“arranging a marriage between a 16-year-old and a 27-year-old is not the same as pulling a stranger off the street and raping her”). Given his continued sexist views (he also believes men are the oppressed sex in America) his defense that “if you want to know what I think, you can watch” lacks a little something. Right-wingers, however, have an explanation: his words are irrelevant because liberals used research to unearth his quotes! How dare they look up things Carlson said in the past! It’s like a Jedi mind trick, or that time they stole Kevin D. Williamson’s career! Liberals destroy everything! While I doubt Carlson will go down, he is at least hurting.

In other news:

It’s way too early to place bets on 2020, at least for me. I hate the fact that running for president has already started. And there’s absolutely no predicting anything at this point. Okay, I think it’ s a safe bet that if Trump doesn’t die or get impeached (and he’s not getting impeached), he’s the Republican candidate in 2020 but beyond that? But I do think there’s some truth to the argument that the media will gush over Trump a lot and that this will help him. It wouldn’t be the first time media gush has shaped the election. And we’ll also get silly commentary like this.

Anti-Islam bigot John Guandalo says it doesn’t violate the First Amendment to ban Muslims from government because Islam is not a religion. Fox News’ Jeanine Piro claims Ihlan Omar follows sharia which is unconstitutional so she can’t be in Congress. And other people think allowing her to walk around being Muslim means we’ve forgotten 9/11. I’m sure if we start showing posters with prominent white conservatives and ask why we’ve forgotten Oklahoma City, they’ll agree it’s just the same, right?

Trump can’t stand to admit to even a tiny mistake.

Why people shout racist abuse.

Reagan signed MLK Day into law, but he wasn’t a fan of King, and implied King brought it on himself by encouraging people to break the law.

Professional liar Dinesh D’Souza struggles to prove the left inspired Hitler’s genocidal views.

Oh, the horror! “Every email announcement the Federalist Society sent out met a snarky, vitriolic response by progressive students.”

Right-winger Tony Perkins demands the feds regulate PayPal because it’s too left-wing.

A feminist guide to raising boys.

The far-right in Europe isn’t very different in its sexist views from the Muslim far-right.

Why Facebook moderators supposed to moderate crazy political posts start to believe them instead. And people targeted by conspiracy theories find their lives become nightmares.

Will self-driving cars have a harder time spotting black pedestrians than white?

Successful people are often shocked when someone points out they had luck (including being born rich, born white, not growing up in an abusive home) as well as talent.

Let’s end on an upnote: two boys starting a feminist club in their all-male school.

 

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Why what we say matters

So last year I posted on FB about “Apartment Patty,” the white woman who harassed a black man coming into the apartment building where they both lived and demanding he prove he was a tenant. For which her employer canned her. One of my FB friends, a right-winger who believes companies can fire anyone at any time for any reason, nevertheless declared this was bad, bad, bad! Thought policing! And if we penalize people for being racist, then they’ll hide their racism (I’m guessing he’d say the same for sexism, Islamophobia and homophobia, especially as he’s sexist and Islamophobic). Then people won’t know to avoid them!

First off, this is a dumbass argument in this context. The guy was entering his apartment building when the woman harassed him; how’s he supposed to avoid that? Time his comings and goings so they don’t meet? Move?

Second, I suspect that if the victims of this kind of bigotry have to choose between a)people openly harassing them or calling them for being in public while black and b)having to live with the possibility that people around them are racist but hiding it, they’d pick B. Ditto women being asked to choose between getting cat-called and groped vs. merely knowing some men around them might want to do it.

And third, stuff like this doesn’t happen in a vacuum. As I’ve written before, people take their cues from what they see other people do and get away with. One post from England said that soccer fans yell abuse at black players because they know it’ll be supported by some and ignored by the rest: “There are plenty of people around you in the crowd who will listen to you roar abuse and who’ll still share a drink and a joke with you at half-time and after the match.”

Or consider the recent New Zealand shooter, who declared his admiration for Donald Trump as a white champion. He also admired Norwegian terrorist Andre Brevik. Incels likewise idealize misogynist shooter Elliott Rodgers. Anti-Muslim bigots are, of course, loudly denouncing the attacks even though they don’t sound that different (“Islam is the ‘religion of peace’ in the same way that rape is snuggling,” — Matt Barber) or claim similar attacks could happen here because, liberals!

If people see they can be racist shits and not suffer consequences, some of them will indeed give in to the impulse to be racist shits (“Somewhere, in a newsroom or a living room, there are countless others with the same bile in them as you, slightly more confident today than they were yesterday” in the words of the soccer link). Ditto how they treat gays, women, Muslims, Jews, trans people, etc., etc. to infinity. Some because they are racist shits. Some because they had a crappy day and they want to lash out at someone. Some because it just feels good if they can push someone, anyone around and see they’ve delivered a shot of pain. If there’s no consequences, why not?

If they see there are consequences, maybe they stay quiet. That’s not only better for the victims, it reduces the incentive for others to be jerks. Not being a jerk is not as good as being an actual decent person, but it’s an improvement. That’s why I’m glad a black Detroit man is suing three women for harassment-by-cop; it’s both what they deserve (assuming they’re guilty, which I don’t have much doubt about) and a disincentive to others.

Ignoring these kinds of behaviors will not bring about a post-racial world. Pushing back and condemning them might bring us a little closer. That was part of the point of Gillette’s toxic masculinity ad — that just smiling and saying “boys will be boys” sends the message their behavior is OK, even if it isn’t.

 

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