piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i'm mostly staying away from it, but if the alternative is kate middleton's bared breasts...

so the mass media is in an uproar over romney's "47%" bit. (if you live under the same comfy rock where i am normally curled up, he was secretly taped at a closed, wealthy donor fundraiser, where he spouted a lot of really lovely crap, see [*] for verbatim quote about this particular bit).

and i gotta say, i see why the uproar is handy, of course (and a nice present for the obama campaign), but it's not like this is news. isn't this what the right wing has been flogging for more than a year already? hasn't there been some anti-"occupy" reference like "we're the 53%" from them? ok, so it's news that the candidate for the presidency said it, with the addendum that he doesn't worry about these people (which will be taken out of context, but he clearly meant it in regards to his election strategy)(well, "out of context" -- i think romney does in actuality not care about most people, but he wouldn't ever say that out loud as president, or act overtly as if he believes it. heck, maybe he doesn't even realize it.).

so some people say "stick a fork in him, he's done". and i say "alas, no".

because his base will gobble it up. seriously. they think it's poor people driving the US to the brink (nothing could be further from the truth, but truth was a victim of republican talking points long ago). they're dead set against helping poor people, because they think they're lazy freeloaders. they have become a lot less compassionate than they were even under reagan (who started the whole "welfare queen" malarkey). they don't recognize who these 47% are. since i know how to, uh, quack (using duckduckgo as my search engine), i looked it up, to be sure i had actual data instead of gut feelings: most of the 47% pay other taxes, just not federal income tax -- they simply don't make enough for the latter. but they pay sales taxes, payroll taxes, state income taxes, etc. most of them are not lazy, shiftless bums lying on their couches eating government bonbons, they're working in menial jobs where they barely make ends meet because they also have children. or they are retired, after a working life of, well, not being a corporate raider; the 47% includes many seniors. the idea that they're not taking responsibility for their lives is preposterous.

and a huge part of his base don't even realize that they are quite possibly part of these 47%. they just don't think of themselves as lazy victims, dependent on government handouts, unlike those obama voters.

so no, romney's not gonna lose those voters. not a chance. in fact he might fire them up some, which he badly needs, since they're not that excited about him. well, maybe a few seniors will stay at home, the ones who're already worried about medicare and medicaid.

he's just not gonna win any undecideds. but i doubt there are many of those left. how can anyone still be undecided? it's not like the republicans are actually fiscally conservative; they just prefer to direct their welfare at the corporate sector. of all the people to rail about debt, romney is their champion? romney, who made his fortune off pushing companies into debt? romney, who has never created anything, and who got his own personal bailout for bain? why paul ryan isn't throwing up every time he looks at him, is a mystery. or hell, not so much. he's a republican; hypocrisy comes with the territory these days.

i mean, for me obama has been a crushing disappointment, but if i could vote, i'd vote for him 10 times over romney. people are supposed to become more conservative as they grow older, but so far it looks like the opposite is true for me. i used to have respect for some republicans, but that group is tiny now, and most of them have already left the party.

last but not least, romney saying anything at all about people not paying taxes? the irony, it slays me.

[*] “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right? There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. …. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of lower taxes doesn’t connect. So he’ll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that’s what they sell every four years.

And so my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
like so much conversation about privilege, this little survey i found at [livejournal.com profile] kightp's is filled with its own presumptions. it's totally sideways to where i see my own privilege. click if you care; there's also commentary )

that's it, and it's not even all that close to what they have in mind. according to this survey i haven't lived very privileged. and some of what they consider privilege wasn't so in my culture, due to religious twists. and yet i've had enormous privilege they don't even seem to realize exists -- the fact that public education, including at the secondary level was there for me to catch and propel me forward where my parents would have failed is probably the largest single influence on my life. it made everything possible that came afterwards, because i learned to think and speak and act as an educated person.

i can see very clearly how this confuses my doctor. he's giving me samples of the expensive blood pressure med and talks in ways that convey he thinks i am financially strapped -- because i'm fat and grey and dress in sweats and have a missing canine (tooth). but i also speak educated english, and i know my way around the internet, and i clearly understand blood pressure and blood glucose, and i present my numbers in nice little graphs. he doesn't know what to make of me.

there are some instances where people wouldn't think of what i had as privilege, but i do -- working on the farm in the summer was vastly preferable to going to a religious summer camp, for example. not because it wasn't religious (i was still a christian then) but because i learned things that mattered to me, i got to feel accomplished, i was more of an equal than not among the people with whom i worked, and i was much more free than during my regular days. those were some of the best times of my life back then, those working summers.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
one in a long if casual series illuminating "why i am not a feminist, but an egalitarian humanist".

this was originally written as a comment in somebody else's LJ, but i decided not to post it because the thread was too old, and because i went off on a tangent. the post that started it regarded a feminist protest of violence against women and children as "duh, like who's in favour of violence these days other than psychos". then there was a reply saying that feminists are doing it because people need to have it pointed out, that everyone accepts violence by strangers as the real thing, but domestic abuse is somehow not viewed as just as bad. and that didn't ring true for me -- but i wonder whether i am now too far removed from the mainstream to have a good feel for what they think. i'm judging mostly by what i read on mainstream news and social commentary on blogs.

i've been straining my brain and i cannot think of any people nowadays openly claiming domestic abuse against women isn't a serious problem, anywhere i read. nobody (in any significant numbers that i can see) wants women be injured by their husbands [*]. i think some feminists might be misreading a reaction against broadening the term "violence" as a denial that abuse happens. i myself do make a distinction between "violence" and "force" (and lots of acquaintance rape uses force, IMO, not violence), but i think either is inappropriate in a supposedly loving relationship; i don't make the distinction in order to trivialize acquaintance rape -- i think it is by far a more serious problem than stranger rape. i think that such protests are done simply because domestic abuse keeps happening. (i'll keep my thoughts about their efficacy for myself just now so this doesn't become about that.) i don't know a single person who thinks domestic abuse is ok, not even a little bit (excepting self-defense).

what i can think of however, is plenty of people who're upset at violence against women, who are outraged at pedophilia -- but they think spanking is ok, and is somehow a totally different thing, not violence at all, not even inappropriate force. and frankly, i don't see feminists at large actually having this on their agenda -- when they do seem to care about children as a matter of policy, it's all about pedophilia as well, and the incredibly common woman-on-child violence is a dirty little secret that is swept under the rug. google some time for hits about spanking and feminism, and you'll find vastly more hits about BDSM and its defense, together with conservative rants against all of what allegedly destroys the family (where feminism and anti-spanking movements are named separately), than you find feminist critique of spanking. i consider feminism's silence on the issue of spanking to be particularly suspicious, since it doesn't happen to fit well with the idea that men are the aggressors and women the victims.

maybe feminism shouldn't be about children but just about women; that'd be sort of ok by me -- though i find some issues hard to separate, especially in the areas of sexual abuse, and well, the battle of equality starts long before the age of majority. but then take children off the signs that purport to be against violence. it's long struck me as a token effort, and i dislike tokenism, especially when it uses children.

i agree that it seems harder for people to empathize with domestic than with stranger violence. i see it in myself; i do empathize just as much initially (if not more; i find abuse by loved ones so much more destructive than abuse by strangers), but i have difficulties maintaining that empathy when somebody stays in an abusive situation (assuming no death threats are involved), when somebody falls more than once for the abject apology route after the abuse, when somebody says "but i love him!". if anything, i think feminism needs to support those women more, because they obviously still have very bad tapes running in their heads with "stand by your man" as the soundtrack, and some fundamentally horribly damaging ideas about what love is.

and i wonder how much spanking has to answer for regarding those tapes, how much it is responsible for bad boundaries, and how much it has to do with raising men who become abusers. how can this possibly not be a feminist concern? at least be on the table for discussion?

[*] upon rereading i remembered that i've read sean connery is purported to have said that some women need slapping around. but upon googling this i see that that's not what he said. and while what he did say is questionable, i'd really like to see the full context for it before i count it as evidence.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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