Dear Mike Huckabee,
I'm a sucker for good manners. Sadly, they're becoming less commonplace every day. However, old fashioned etiquette is one thing, exploitative showboating is something else entirely.
Yours very truly,
The New Republic's interview with Huckabee about how he sees female political opponents went a little something like this:
“I’ve twice run against women opponents, and it’s a very different kind of approach,” he tells me. Different how? “For those of us who have some chivalry left, there’s a level of respect. ... You treat some things as a special treasure; you treat other things as common.” A male opponent is “common,” a woman requires “a sense of pedestal.”
What the hell is a "sense of pedestal"? Anyone?
“I’ll put it this way,” Huckabee says. “I treat my wife very differently than I treat my chums and my pals. I wouldn’t worry about calling them on Valentine’s Day, opening the door for them, or making sure they were OK.”
Aww, how touching. How caring. How... anachronistic. Women are... special. Delicate. Needy. Require assistance. And clearly congregate in binders. Women shouldn't be treated like "chums and pals." Which means that hanging out at a ball game guzzling beer together (from what my Tee Vee Machine tells me, that's an ultra-chummy guy thing to do) or sharing a Hungry-Man Frozen Dinner is completely out of the question. And don't get me started on tête-à-têtes about Cialis.
(By the way, Huck, some men do call each other on Valentine's Day or check to make sure their significant male other is okay. But that's another post for another day.)
Apparently, HuckaFossil also doesn't feel that women can or want to open their own doors. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate politeness like nobody's business, and there's a certain charm to conventional "treat her like a lady" behavior. But some of Huckabee's "protective" instincts telegraph less formality and thoughtfulness and more moth-eaten patronizing and moldy condescension.
It gets even worse via another tidbit from Salon:
“I believe in equality [!!! huhwha? !!!], and I have a record of transforming that belief into action... However, equality doesn’t mean sameness... I still will invite a lady to go first, will open a door for her, and will place her in the center of the photograph. And yes, I would seek to treat a female opponent with the same respect I give to all women, even though we may disagree on the issues.”
Respect is one thing. Arrogance is quite another. So is hypocrisy. Remember this? "Uncle Sugar" Dems give birth control to women who can't "control their libido" quote?
If the Democrats want to insult women by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it. Let us take this discussion all across America because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be. And women across America need to stand up and say ‘Enough of that nonsense."
That's about as respectful as an Ann Coulter CPAC speech.
Now if you'll excuse me, I simply must step down from my "sense of pedestal." It's cookie-baking time and I need a moment to remove my high heels and don my apron.
My former student and dear pal Lucia Fasano has submitted a post about equality vs. mutuality for your consideration (all of her posts can be found here). You can also see Lucia in my BLUNT VIDEO: Not Guilty– The George Zimmerman Verdict.
Please link over and read what this involved twenty-year-old has been writing. Here's her latest:
Mutuality an Actuality?
I’ve been actively involved in the feminist community since I graduated from high school and moved out on my own in 2011. I started reading feminist literature, went to rallies, made feminist friends and made feminists out of friends, praising the movement of “equal rights”. Recently, I was struck by the term “mutuality” and what it entailed. It was defined as a reciprocal relationship between interdependent entities-- and that, is what Bell Hooks and others would say, should be the ultimate goal, not equality.
It was a word that encapsulated the type of feminism I have believed in and strive for, but couldn’t properly articulate. Making your whole movement about equality was the problem with many approaches to various progressive movements to end oppression or educate others, because the opposition will always argue that total equality is unobtainable, so why even try? Or that if gay people can get married, or a woman gets the same pay as a man, isn’t the struggle over? And that’s just not true.
In the introduction to her book, “Feminism Is For Everybody”, by Bell Hooks, she writes: “Imagine living in a world where there is no domination, where females and males are not alike or even always equal, but where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction.” To me, mutuality is a demonstration of an ideal America and an ideal planet.
Another aspect of mutuality that makes it so perfect for the actualization of harmony and beloved community is the acknowledgement, in total mutuality, that we all need each other. The problem is, that doesn’t jive with Western Metaphysical Dualism. When mutuality is achieved, we all acknowledge that what feeds and helps the community enriches and strengthens the community as a whole. That one person’s job isn’t worth more than the other, that some people have more worth than others. Our government is supposed to have a welfare system, social programs, taxes, to create a safety net when members of our system need help-- implying that we’ll be there to catch each other and support each other in times of need. We all meet each other’s needs at one point, we all are parts of one big machine, and all should be oiled correctly.
People will put bumper stickers for equality on their cars or say from places of privilege that they wish for everyone to be treated entirely equal, when the truth is that people aren’t born into equal situations and to wish for that is unrealistic. So it’s easier to say than to actually achieve or work for-- because to really want total equality, you need to be very conscious of what goes into that and who actually wants that. But to be pro-mutuality, and to work for mutuality, all that takes is critical consciousness.
If you let go of your assumptions and separative-thinking, you’re giving yourself over to a world/community where everyone is playing a part or has the potential to. If you’re more conscious of what you consume and what you do and how you treat people, then you’re closer to realizing how truly dependent each individual is on each other. Even the richest people are dependent on the poorest. If feminists aim for “total independency, total equality”, then that makes it easy to ignore the people that aren’t reaching those goals once you achieve it for yourself.
I hear the term “equality” thrown around as a blanket term so often that its potency does feel diminished, when it was once a term that evoked a great fire in me and motivated me to stand up for myself and others. What is hard is that when we talk about equality, everybody has their own different thought and definition, usually influenced by the media, social status, political leaning, etc. Some people think it means being the same, some people think it means being treated the same-- but when we speak for everybody in our movements, and wish to include everybody, we have to acknowledge that not everybody wants to be treated the same, not everybody is the same, nor is it realistic to treat everybody the same.
Politicians would rather support an impossible or not serviceable goal like the idea of total equality than actually working toward better health care for the poor, raising minimum wage, or national mandated maternity leave. Those things are seen as unnecessary in the world of “total equality” and “meritocracy” that is America, because they’re easily labeled as “special treatment.”
The idea of Mutuality is a way of both trying to make reform within our system but in a revolutionary, radical way.
Per Salon, Michele Bachmann took part in a “newsmaker interview” at Patrick Henry College, a conservative evangelical school in Virginia. Or as I like to call it, a "You still here?" interview.
When asked about the “inevitability” of gay marriage, Bachmann said,
“I won’t be deviating,” explaining that no matter what humans think, God created marriage and that is unquestionable.
Unquestionable! No doubt about it! What she believes is the truth. For everyone. Ever.
So who created marriage for atheists and people who believe differently? Oo! Oo! I know! *waving hand wildly* Pick me! People did! Mostly the two people who wanted to get married. Or people who benefited from their getting married. Those people.
Asked if any good came from feminism, Bachmann said that realizing that “women are valuable and that women should be listened to is very important.” However, she continued, “But in my opinion, that wasn’t feminism, that was Jesus Christ who did that. Because Jesus Christ did more to lift up women… We didn’t need the 1960s to tell us that, all you have to do is read Proverbs 31.”
Mmmnotsomuch Michelle, those "valuable" women pretty much lifted themselves up, and it hasn't been easy. They've had a little assistance from a few very wise men who have recognized the obvious, that men and women are equals.
But perhaps her most revealing answers came when she spoke about her failed presidential bid. “I was very proud of the fact that I didn’t get anything wrong that I said during the course of the debates. I didn’t get anything wrong and that’s a huge arena,” she said.
America begs to differ:
And sometimes it's not what Michele said that was wrong, it's what she did that caused some murmurs and head scratching. Remember that Where oh where was Michele Bachmann? moment during the debate? If only Jesus had filled us in on her whereabouts.
Oh, and this happened: Was the debate de-Bachmann’d?
The nation should be de-Bachmann'd, and that is "unquestionable."
I used to give you slack over your Beaten Down Mommy routine you pander every day in your testosterone heavy parade of guests, but c'mon honey, those gams belong to a "working woman" not a Working Woman. And no, I have no problem with you being in great condition, (god bless and more power to ya), but WHAT THE FUCK DOES IT SAY TO EVERYDAY WOMEN when you're depicted as a scantily clad cabaret chippie dancing for the amusement of the boss man instead of the the (supposed) seasoned journalist your wiki purports?
Is the submissive "So sorry, you're so right Joe." "news reader" really reflect the woman who did this?
I guess the money is good, and "news readers" are a dime a dozen, so you figure you have to go along to get along, but man, I've never seen such a contradiction of ethos wrapped up into one woman. I guess you figured out your "value", but it's one I wouldn't recommend to my daughters.
In these day that we're fighting fights that we all thought were won, having stereotypes like this pop up and be validated by the very women who should be the embodiment of the fight against them is scary and self defeating. I doubt if MB gives a crap what a crazy woman from Indiana thinks, but at least I know I'm not the only one. Reconsider Mika. Think about it. Maybe not all of JoeScars' misogynistic offhands deserve a twitter and a blush. Try standing up, try speaking from truth and for GODSAKES stop being Den Mommy to a bunch of Hi Karate soaked frat boys.
DISCLAIMER- I have no problem with women being proud of their bodies, of being sexual beings, of any pride situations to health or beauty. I have HONGO problems with female submission, female oppression and even the glossing over of female servitude with the gloss of "sensitivity". So, Bite Me.
DISCLAIMER TWO: And I'm pissed off she's Polish. My people are better than this.
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