don’t trump us women, again

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A silver lining of Trump as the republican nominee was that he boasted and embodied the inky underbelly of our United States: bigotry, lies, racism, homophobia and sexism.

With the latter, he exposed what is often invisible to men (and some women, too): a deep hatred of women. Leading up to the election, many male friends (in life and on FB) registered how often they’ve heard or witnessed similar Trump-like sentiments usually when women aren’t present. Many sympathized. Some even admitted to long ago participation, and apologized. Apologized for things they hadn’t quite recognized because it’s so prevalent and praised in how we raise males, and: they’re not on the other side of it—unless they’re gay, that is. Homophobia has everything to do with not being ‘manly.’ It has everything to do with misogyny. What’s the primary painful pejorative for boys/men? You pussy! Fighting words!

Some of us (both genders) did vote for Hillary because she has a vagina even if she was not our valentine. Why? Because the world has been sorely out of balance since the Neolithic Era in terms of male/female energies. It’s long past time. White males have had infinity to do it ‘right’ and yet…

We just wanted a turn. We weren’t even asking for 50/50, more like a slight tip toward the feminine at—hopefully—30/70.

I knew that ANY male who ran against Clinton would beat her. ANY male. This piece I wrote in 2011 discusses race vs. gender in politics:  in the USA, black men got the vote before white women. Sexism always surpasses racism because of its insidious invisible ubiquity eclipsing all nations/races; women live everywhere.

So I believed that any man could win EXCEPT Trump. Because he didn’t just admit to his venom—fill in his dirty laundry list of intolerance and his conclusion that women’s only value is sexual—he bragged about it! He bombasted the shit out of it. He said he could shoot somebody ! and not lose any voters. And he was right.

Yet…none of us are going away, to whatever imagined place ‘away’ would be. Not happening. Sorry/not sorry! The right-wingers may have helped divide us with the Bernie/Hillary/third-party click-bait but I believe we have each others’ backs now no matter who we voted for. Divisiveness won’t win today.

But…less than three days after the election, I again see and hear commentary from defensive white dudes: “not ALL men” and “could we ease up on blaming white males.”

We can’t change any issue—within or without—unless we can identify and name the cause. [see: men can ‘hate’ patriarchy, too] Both women and men are naming it:

  • The world is in this state due to the imbalance of female to male energies.
  • White men are the primary drivers of this lopsidedness.
  • It’s not a criticism; it’s an accurate observation, and a fact.

So men—a plea. We could use your help like you’ve had and still have ours for: labor movements, civil rights demonstrations, LGBT rights, DAPL pipeline. [men have rarely worked for ‘women’s’ causes: ERA, abortion rights, equal pay for equal work on par to us women supporting other social justice issues]

Don’t make us do it without you. We like you and want you as allies. We may be mad at the global mess y’all have made—and keep making—but in most cases it’s not personal. It is however essential to safeguard the earth, to save ourselves.

If you’re not doing “it,” then don’t take it personally; take ACTION. Please stand with us and don’t retreat, returning to the white male whine of “not ALL men” as an excuse not to show up for us. We need the rest & best of you—now—like never before.

if men had to do it…it wouldn’t be being done

If men had to do it

Lately this photo has been circling around social networks. As nice looking as these men are, it could be assumed they’re holding these postures only because they’re comedians; the photo’s amusing and something comedians would do for laughs. But because Carell, Stewart and Colbert are politically minded, they’re illuminating and mocking how women are arranged, twisted and bent to sell things. This photo’s entitled: If Men Had to Do It.

What’s “IT”?

IT is this:

And this:

And this:

And this:

http://www.realbeer.com/blog/images/20060314-stpauli.jpg

And even more disturbing, this:

http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scentedsalamander/images/Dolce-Gabbana-Ad-Sexist.jpg

In most ads, women pose in half-naked, stilted and misshapened positions for others—i.e. men—to eyeball while the male models are usually accomplishing something, are mostly clothed, engaged in an activity, “taking charge” (maybe like the dick above) or working.

Women instead, introspectively gaze off in the distance with almost exposed breasts, maybe unzipped jeans and are often dreamily reclined and arched about on a bed, divan or floor like throw pillows waiting for someone to use them. Or turned into items like the ‘woman-as-beer’ pic above. Urgent alert: women are actually human (see: women aren’t food); we do things, too.

Secondly, females are dismembered components: lips, legs, breasts, butts or headless trunks in a delusional torso type only representative of 3-5% of the female population: non-existent  hips, ample and often artificial breasts, long computer enhanced legs and hairless bodies (see: i like a woman who takes “care” of herself) measured in ounces instead of pounds. Barely joking on that last one.

This faux female image has become the ridiculous ideal for adolescent girls whose brains are just emerging out of the chief childhood Theta brainwave state and aren’t yet capable of decent discernment. That “womanly” depiction lingers long into adulthood primarily because 97% of all media we see is male driven creating this kind of dysfunction: 75% of normal-weight women feel they are overweight, while 80% of 4th graders have done fad diets. See: ‘weighty’ women & “little petty places.”

If we want female reality displayed, we’ll need more gender balance in all aspects and channels of media.

Sometimes, in order to see what’s so ubiquitous and so obvious that IT becomes invisible, we’ll need to reverse IT, like the comics above did.

Next time you leaf through a magazine, watch a beer commercial, view a mannequin, check out a movie, see a billboard, play a video game, and the image of a woman is shown—in whatever distorted or partially clothed state—mentally replace that woman with a male figure.

Go ahead, take your time. What do you see? Sophomoric male fantasies exposed? Women as busty perfumed chattel? Absurdly embarrassing isn’t IT?

For more detailed information see The Gender Ads Project.

UPDATE: Just found this Canadian school project. A short illuminating film. At 2:50, you get to see this gender role reversal played out extremely well: Representation of Gender in Advertising.

UPDATE 2: Men on motorcycles—ooo la la

dude! wow man, you guys are really cool!

When the Quasi enters our yard he often greets the chickens, “Hi guys.” Hmmm—what’s off about this phrase?

Give up?

Doh! they’re all females! The Grrrly-Grrrls is their proper group name, if anything. Saying, “Hey girls,” would be way more fitting.

Addressing a mixed gender group by saying, “Hey guys!” is something we’re all so cliché-y familiar with that we don’t even hear it. Let’s turn this around. How about we decide to change-up “Hey Guys” to “Hey Gals” when talking to a combined crowd. Does this sit right with you? Why not?

Because: : : : language matters.

In romance languages, to speak to a blended gender group, the plural becomes male even though nouns have both male and female versions. In English, “mankind” is applied when we mean “human-kind,” “he” and “his” are used if the gender is unknown, and recently people hail both genders by the stupid moniker “dude.” I’m so not a guy or a—yuck—dude.

Placidity is taught. One word at a time. And it begins early. At age 18, I read a suggestion (by a female author!) that when writing children’s books the protagonists should be male because boys don’t relate to *female characters. Really? How is it that girls learned to do so? I’ll tell you. By default–we had to identify with something and there was a dearth of authentic female protagonists. For me: Olive Oyl, Betty & Veronica, Snow White. Sigh.

When my kids were little, I would carefully use pen & ink on the fonts in library picture books changing the genders of pigs, cats, ghosts, whatever—who were all mysteriously males—to females. [Check San Francisco or Denver–guerrilla warfare!] Hello! where did all those boy donkeys, horses or ducks come from anyway? Reverse parthenogenesis?

Later, when I’d read storybooks aloud, I was able to alter the gender without skipping a beat. Once when Dario was about 8, he interrupted me and questioned, “So, is that person really a girl, Mom, or are you changing it?” Drat! Why did I teach him to read?!

So, what can we employ if we don’t want to say “guys” but want to sound casual? Southerner’s use “y’all” or, for real emphasis, “all y’all.” How about, “Hey Gang!” or “Hey everybody.” Fixing “dude?” You’re on your own.

If you think this is too picayune an issue to consider, think again. Sticks & stones don’t break many bones, but words linger in most people’s psyches until…who knows?

And if you believe the matter really is petty, then you’ll understand exactly what I mean if I address men as “gals,” discuss “God-the-Mother,” substitute “women” while discussing humanity. You won’t mind, right? You’ll get used to it. And if you complain, well, then you’re just being “too sensitive.”

*today’s boys appear to identify just fine with Dora and Junie B. Jones.

deaf dismissal and the female voice

interp

Some years ago, when I lived in San Francisco, I knew a woman who interpreted for the deaf. She worked in everything from concerts to court dates, funerals to drug rehab. All interpreters—she told me—wear colors that contrast with their skin color and with no patterns, as the goal is to be “invisible” and just be the “voice” of the deaf person speaking. Sometimes she said she feels lost because she’s never her own voice or hands.

One difficulty she’d encounter was to make sure she got the “tone” right. A playful fuck you is way different from a FUCK YOU!; her hands and facial expression would have to accurately display this. Another hurdle was an intriguing gender issue: speaking aloud for a deaf man to hearing men.

When working with prison guys in therapy groups she knew she had to “talk like a man” in order for her male clients to be heard the way they intended. It was no longer just getting the tone right; it was that her voice being a higher pitched woman’s voice meant—and maybe because she was a petite woman—that a deaf man could potentially not be respected as much; he might not come across as manly as he “should” and thereby not be taken as seriously, or as macho, or as threatening…

This makes me wonder about a reverse scenario of, say, a deaf shriveled ancient lady paired with a male interpreter—maybe even a 6’6″ buff one with full sleeves of skulls and snakes—if she would garner extra respect than if her interpreter were a small Asian man or a girlish woman. Just wondering.