Archive - Sep 2016

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September 6th

This Is Just A Tribute

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Memo to Phyllis Schlafly, Fox News, and Donald Trump: ONE DOWN, TWO TO GO.

One of the founding principles of this column is that the dumb, the malicious, and the assholes are keeping things from getting better by actively working to make things worse, for their own benefit. That was certainly very true of Phyllis Schlafly, who we "honor" today with her own themed edition of IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

“Non-criminal sexual harassment on the job is not a problem for the virtuous woman except in the rarest of cases.” - The very belatedly late Phyllis Schlafly, in 1981.

For the most part, the cultural perfidy of Phyllis Schlafly predates this space. Oh, I made fun of her and her dipshit son a few times, but a lot of her bullshit, like the quote above, came before I was politically active, and I mostly knew about her when I was growing up thanks to Bloom County. But there's no denying she was awful.

She worked tirelessly to keep women subservient to men. In the home, in the worlplace, in politics, in society. She did this despite being a woman, hypocritically accruing influence, power, and money all the while. If I had to estimate, I'd say she's personally responsible for probably ten cents of the current pay gap between men and women. And, of course, her attitude on sexual harassment above was not unique within conservatism. Case in point:

"We sincerely regret and apologize for the fact that Gretchen was not treated with the respect and dignity that she and all of our colleagues deserve.” - 20th Century Fox, in the statement that accompanied their $20 million sexual harassment settlement with Gretchen Carlson.

The thing about settlements is that nearly every single one includes legal language to the effect that "even though we're giving you a pile of money, that doesn't mean we did anything wrong". Gretchen Carlson's settlement for years of enduring the grubby, grabby mitts of Roger Ailes very pointedly included no such thing, and instead included the above language, which tells you everything you need to know about the vailidity of Carlson's claims, and by extension, the claims of several of the of Ailes' female employees.

But hey, according to Phyllis Schlafly, none of them were "virtuous". I mean, to be fair, they were willing participants in Fox News' collective destruction of America, so I wouldn't call any of them rife with virtue, but that still doesn't mean they deserve to live in constant fear of elderly mogul dick. But living in fear of elderly mogul dick is ultimately Phyllis Schlafly's legacy for women.

"Our deepest prayers go out to her family and all her loved ones. She was a patriot, a champion for women, and a symbol of strength. " - Donald Trump, on Phyllis Schlafly.

Donald Trump probably didn't write this, given the sentence structure, but there's very little doubt that he believes it. Whatever Trump's previous dalliances with the Democratic Party or liberal causes, his attitude toward women has been more consistent than anything else. That's why everyone knew what he meant this week when he said HIllary Clinton doesn't look like a president.

And, because there's no need to waste a perfectly good throughline, let's not forget that Donald Trump is the man who, just this year, said that if his daughter were ever sexually harassed on the job, he'd hope she'd quit and get a different job or career. Making it the victim's responsibility to avoid harm rather than the perpetrator's responsibility for inflicting harm. Making women responsible for the failings of men. When you oppose feminism, that's what you're supporting.