Friday, June 13, 2008

Is America Ready?

For the past week I have been preparing a special post for this blog that is almost finished, but before posting that I must post this, inspired by something that I found at BlondeSense. Of course, I should not be at all surprised by what is contained within the short video, but it is nonetheless disheartening to hear so many examples of neo-conservative thinking that simply defies logic. But I am getting ahead of myself … you don’t know what I am talking about if you have not watched the video that is just below this paragraph. Go ahead … I’ll be patient for the few minutes it will take … it is worth your time to watch the video, and you will not regret taking the time. You may need to lean close to your monitor to read all of the quotations.

There you go ... pretty horrible, right? Well, welcome back.

Before this presidential race began, so many months ago, the question as to whether America was “ready” for a woman president or an African-American president seemed to be on the lips of everyone and their dog. The arguments were impassioned, vexatious, and mostly spurious; an individuals qualification for political office has nothing to do with the colour of their skin or of whether they sit down or stand up while going to the washroom. What qualifies someone is their mind, their ideas and ideals, and whether there are enough other like-minded people around who are willing to support them in their run for that office. That is the ultimate qualification for the job, not their colour or sex.

Of course, many elements in the media did not get that memo. While the leering eye of Chris Matthews is sadly pathetic, as are his comments from the debate regarding how important cosmetics will be, the comments from the representatives of “Fixed Noise”, which is also known to some as “Fox News” seemed to have a stranglehold on the best of the worst comments, something that is best represented by their flagship personalities: Bill O’Reilly, Hannity & Colmes.

That the United States is 68th in the WORLD when it comes to female political representation should not surprise; in a nation that allowed 20,000 Florida voters to be disenfranchised (in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment AND the 15th Amendment of the United States Constitution) there should be no surprise when the majority of the population receives the least amount of representation from their government, nor that they are routinely treated as second-class citizens.

The “downside” of having a woman in the White House? one “man” is asked: “… the PMS and mood swings?” How much more of a cheap, gutless attack could you make at someone? This is the heart of the ad hominem attack, a device used by people in an argument who have reached a point where they are unable to come up with anything relevant with which to support their point thus forcing them to rely on personal attacks and fictionalising. It is a sign of desperation and usually indicates that the individual has conceded the argument insofar as their ability to continue shall only last for as long as they are able to invent more lies and unrelated mudslinging.

How is being a woman any less of a disadvantage to being a male senior citizen (one who has, by the way, been demonstrating some serious cognitive impairments while delivering his prepared remarks … something that would seriously concern me if I was a supporter of said septuagenarian)? Arguing that the voice of the candidate reminds men of their wives, that it makes one fear for their privates (that was Hannity of FN), that everything she wears is calculated for effect, all perpetuates the myths that men are so easily ensnared – that she is something of a Jezebel seeking “our power”.

Hilary Clinton did not become a Senator because her husband had an affair. She became a Senator because she wanted to [eventually] run for the office of the president of the United States. For Chris Matthews to suggest otherwise is not only pathetic, it belies his political astuteness that is, quite honestly, something that I ordinarily have a great amount of respect for. One does not make a run for the office of the nation’s Chief Executive without having first been proven in another branch of the government; after all, her husband had been the Governor of some hick state, no? The reason Hillary chose to run for the New York Senate seat should be well known to Matthews: Daniel Patrick Moynihan had announced his retirement in 1998 after serving as the Senator from NY from 1977 (his term ended in 2001). Many prominent figures in the Democratic Party urged the former First Lady to enter the race, so the Clintons purchased a home in Chappaqua, New York, in 1999, establishing her legal residence requirement to run for office.

To imply anything else diminishes the entire Senate as an institution, not to mention Chris Matthews and his network’s credibility for allowing such libelous ideas to be broadcast without being taken to task.

This is not journalism, it is the blatant smearing of women, not just Hillary Clinton; it is violence against women, all women. This is the worst sort of male chauvinism and only serves to remind us that, more than anything else, America is in desperate need of real change; not just of its political leadership, but of its fundamental attitudes.

America, we have seen what you really believe in your heart, we have heard your opinions and have been exposed to the vitriol and the fear you harbour at losing control, of losing power, and it is an ugliness that defies comprehension; an ugliness that defies definition, and yet it defines so many who call themselves “American”.

Is America ready for change after the end of George W. Bush’s second term as president? Judging by the comments in that video, they deserve whatever change they get, but that is not really what I wanted to say; my first response had been … and, alas, still is, that (after watching the miserable excuses of men that could not keep their idiocy to themselves) I feel ashamed to be a man. If that is the perception of how “real men” think, then yes, I am ashamed; ashamed that more people do not have an opportunity to hear real, enlightened opinions on these matters, ashamed that the only voices that seem to get heard are the most asinine rather than the reasonable and responsible.

I feel ashamed because it becomes too easy to sit back and let others carry the banners while these frauds continue to spread their lies without any opposition. But, now that I have shared this, that shame is somewhat mitigated and I feel slightly more proud to say that I am a man and that real men would not speak that way about women.

Real men would not show such disrespect to women, after all, our mothers are women and to disrespect your mother is an act too despicable to contemplate. When men disrespect women they demonstrate that they are small-minded, impotent, weak-willed creatures that are incapable of carrying out healthy, loving relationships. Their lack of respect is emblematic of the psychological scars that prevent them from developing normal relationships with women and, subsequently, they lash out at them either verbally or worse, with violence.

It is time for all the real men to take a stand and say they are not afraid of standing up against the sexism being perpetrated against women in the media. These misogynistic acts must be stopped and they can be, if enough viewers demand that the stations broadcasting this trash change their broadcast standards. This is not about censorship; it is about the freedom to be who you were born to be, it is about the freedom to be a man or a woman and to celebrate the differences. Is America ready for that?


Anonymous said...

Peter, this is absolutely terrific. I thank you as a woman and as a mother. From where I accessed I could not see the video but from your comments, I didn't have to. Excellent!!!

Anonymous said...

Peter, you are a filthy devil bolshevik. Go back to Russia you filthy white devil. You are an anti white white devil and do not ever try to oppress me. Just try it you fucking devil bolshevik bigot.

Unknown said...

Well, it's nice to see that not all of my faithful readers have abandoned me. So, 'anonymous', how exactly do you feel that I am 'oppressing' you through what I write on my blog? Is your delusional paranoia so extreme that you believe everything is about you (including that song, which, I have to say, really isn't about you).

As for my being a Bolshevik - thank you for acknowledging that my opinion represents the MAJORITY (that is, after all, what Bolshevik means, compared to the Mensheviks were in the minority). If you read enough posts on this blog, however, you will know that I am not white - I am Semitic - but to say that I am 'anti-white', well, that is simply absurd and, typically, is one of the ad hominem attacks that you and your ilk stoop to when you find yourselves incapable of engaging in meaningful debate.

That is what you truly fear, and ultimately why you post anonymously (note that I did allow your insulting and degrading comment, even though it violates the comment practices of this blog). Rather than standing behind your words and actually trying to carry on a reasoned, intelligent debate (yes, I'd love to see you defend the subjugation of women and the perpetuation of female stereotypes - it's always fun to see dinosaurs in action) you hide behind the insults of anonymous comments.

Whose the real bigot? Who is the oppressor if not the one who will attack without showing their face; just like a thief in the night.

You should be ashamed of yourself and the hate you represent; your mother would be ashamed to call you her child.